March 21, 2019

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03/10 Links: Anne Frank center compares Jews fleeing Nazis to Islamic State terrorists; PA TV teaches children that Israel will come to an end: “All of Palestine will return to us”

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2019/03/0310-links-anne-frank-center-compares.html

From Ian:


Anne Frank center compares Jews fleeing Nazis to Islamic State terrorists
The Anne Frank Educational Center in the German city of Frankfurt is under intense fire for comparing Jews during the Holocaust with Islamic State terrorists in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

The center appeared to object to a German government plan to strip German Islamic State fighters of their citizenship. The educational center wrote that “protests formed against the plan,” in connection with a reference to the Third Reich.

“In fact, the Nazis made generous use of the means of expatriation. In several waves, a total of over 39,000 people were expatriated – especially Jews. As of November 1941, they automatically lost their citizenship when they the crossed the borders of the Reich regardless of whether ‘voluntarily’ emigrated or deported,” the center wrote on Twitter.

The tweet continued, “Their assets were confiscated. Among other things, Albert Einstein was affected on the grounds that he had ‘violated the duty of loyalty to the Reich and the people.”‘

When asked about its tweets by The Jerusalem Post on Saturday, the Anne Frank Educational Center’s Twitter feed wrote: “No, we did not compare or equate Jewish holocaust victims to IS terrorists. And we made that very clear after some misinterpreted our tweet in that way. In no way did we defend jihadists. This is simply not true.”

According to the website of the center, “The Anne Frank Educational Center is a place where both young people and adults can learn about the history of National Socialism and discuss its relevance to today. In our work we use the diary and the biography of Anne Frank as a unique tool to promote tolerance and educate people about the consequences of discrimination and racism.”

Col. Richard Kemp, who was a former British Army commander of Operation Fingal in Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter: “A terrible insult by @BS_AnneFrank. They should delete this disgraceful tweet.”

Trump Peace Envoy Scolds Palestinians, U.N. Members for Enabling Payments to Terrorists

U.S. peace envoy Jason Greenblatt offered a rebuke of the Palestinian Authority and United Nations members who he said are enabling the embattled government to continue paying salaries to terrorists who have killed Jews, according to a readout of Greenblatt’s remarks Friday to a closed-door session of the U.N. Security Council exclusively provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

Greenblatt, who has been engaged in shuttle diplomacy to help foster peace between the Israeli and Palestinians, offered a robust defense of Israel and blamed the P.A.’s ongoing budget crunch on a package of policies that have enabled the government to continue spending internationally provided aid dollars on terrorist salaries, a policy known as “pay to slay.”

As the P.A. grapples with a deepening budget crisis that threatens its control, U.N. member states have sought to blame Israel for the situation, which has thrown the Palestinian government into chaos. Greenblatt fiercely pushed back against these charges, telling U.N. members that the Palestinians’ problems are tied to their refusal to stop spending critical budgetary dollars on terrorists and their families.

The “pay to slay” policy has emerged as a chief diplomatic hurdle in peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, sources told the Free Beacon, and Greenblatt used his perch at the U.N. to send a clear message: These payments must stop immediately if the Palestinians are to be seen as a serious partner for piece.

Greenblatt’s criticism comes at a key time in peace negotiations, as the Trump administration prepares to unveil its much-anticipated framework for peace.

PMW: Official PA TV teaches children that Israel will come to an end: “All of Palestine will return to us”

Despite insurances from Palestinian Authority leaders that they support a two-state solution and want to live side by side with Israel, the PA continues to teach children that Israel will come to an end.

Showing a drawing of a map of “Palestine” which included all of Israel together with the PA areas, the host on official PA TV stated that “all of Palestine will return to us”:

Official PA TV host to girl: “Hold up [your drawing of] the map of Palestine. How nice! Allah willing, all of Palestine will return to us and we will enjoy its breathtaking views.”
[Official PA TV, The Best Home, Feb. 21, 2019]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented this aspect of PA education numerous times and shown that the denial of Israel’s right to exist is a fundamental message coming from PA leaders.

PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam recently illustrated this same message – that all of Israel is “Palestine”:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says AIPAC is coming after her. It’s not.

“It’s official,” says the fundraising appeal from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the freshman lawmaker who has become the flagbearer for the Democratic Party’s restive progressive wing. “AIPAC is coming after Alexandria, Ilhan, and Rashida.”

Not only is it not official, it’s not true.

The release starts by quoting an “AIPAC activist” threatening the political careers of Ocasio-Cortez and her first-year Democratic colleagues, Representatives. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

The quote, saying they are “three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years,” was taken from a recent New York Times article exploring the political clout of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Except the “AIPAC activist” quoted, Stephen Fiske of Florida, confirmed to me that he has not been associated with the pro-Israel lobbying group for several years. The hardball he counsels in dealing with those who depart from centrist pro-Israel orthodoxies is not the style of the lobby, which discourages alienating safe incumbents.

The error is emblematic of the misconceptions that first helped spur the controversy leading up to Ocasio-Cortez’s fundraising pitch, which was posted Thursday on Twitter by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Nikki Haley calls out Rep. Clyburn over his defense of Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism

When Democrats considered a resolution condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MI) recent anti-Semitic remarks, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) invoked a bizarre defense of Omar this week that had fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley calling him out.

The Hill reported:
Clyburn came to Omar’s defense Wednesday, lamenting that many of the media reports surrounding the recent controversy have omitted mentioning that Omar, who was born in Somalia, had to flee the country to escape violence and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to the United States.

Her experience, Clyburn argued, is much more empirical — and powerful — than that of people who are generations removed from the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps during World War II and the other violent episodes that have marked history.

“I’m serious about that. There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her,” Clyburn said. “I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”

Understandably, Clyburn’s minimization of the horrific experiences of Holocaust survivors and their families didn’t sit well with Jewish groups and even some Jewish Democrats in Congress:
After his comments, Clyburn was hit by demands for an apology: From the Anti-Defamation League to former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

“I was disappointed,” added House Foreign Affairs Chairman Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., who is Jewish.

Clyburn released a statement later in the day Thursday clarifying he never meant to diminish the legacy of the Holocaust.

Here’s what Haley said:
So very disappointed in Mr. Clyburn’s comments. Many of us have felt pain as a minority. All groups have painful pasts. Please don’t suddenly make one minority group’s pain more justified or personal than another’s. #SouthCarolinaDoesNotThinkThisWay

Haley’s response to Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, is one that should be viewed in the context of their political history.

Clyburn and Haley were two people on opposite sides of the aisle who came together one sorrowful South Carolina summer to put to rest a divisive symbol seen as a motivator for a mass murder of black churchgoers that shook the state – and a nation – to its core. To understand fully, let’s take a trip back in time.

Seth Frantzman: How the Ilhan Omar antisemitism resolution backfired – analysis

The drive to condemn US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar over antisemitism backfired disastrously on Wednesday in Washington.

It illustrates the importance of going into something with all the facts and making sure that one’s allies are on side before potentially overplaying one’s hand.

Instead of a good debate on antisemitism in the US, what came out of the discussion was an attempt to water down and downplay antisemitism, and cement Omar’s criticism as on the kosher side of the line when it comes to what may constitute antisemitism.

The controversy began on February 28, when Omar attended an event at Busboys and Poets in Washington.

She was coming off months of controversy about anti-Israel comments and other comments perceived as antisemitic.

For instance, she had backtracked on an old tweet, where she claimed Israel “hypnotized” the world and she had sought to apologize again after a more recent tweet in February, where she claimed support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins.”

Then they gave remarks at the Busboys and Poets event that claimed “political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

Pelosi restricts Ilhan Omar to just one anti-Jewish tweet per week (satire)

In an unexpectedly decisive move, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi yesterday restricted Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (Democrat-Minnesota) to just one anti-Jewish tweet per week. Congresswoman Omar’s Twitter history includes such Greatest Hits as ‘Israel hypnotized the world’, that support for Israel in Congress was “all about The Benjamins“, and (just this week!) that American Jews have dual-loyalty. All of this drama has given the Democrats a bit of a rough week, and Pelosi decided bold action was in order. Speaker Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill explained the new policy at a noontime press conference. “Today Speaker Pelosi laid down the law: Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is henceforth to write no more than one anti-Jewish tweet or Facebook post in any 7-day period, whether or not Congress is in session.”

Reaction in the pundit-sphere was quite positive, with noted “As-a-Jew” Peter Beinart expressing his relief. “This masterstroke by Pelosi means that I can put a solid 5 days into my explanatory think-piece for the Atlantic on why Ilhan Omar’s next anti-Jewish outburst is not nearly as bad as that time Trump called a reporter fat. I think you’re going to see a noted increase in the quality of my excuses for Woke Left Wing Anti-Semitism. As a Jew I feel this is important.”

Facing hate – WZO holds protests against antisemitism around the world

The World Zionist Organization [WZO] held a special protest on Sunday in Jerusalem to mark the launching of their “No Hate Campaign.”

The campaign was initiated by Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau, who spoke at the event. Demonstrations will be held in 60 countries around the globe including the US, South Africa, Italy and Poland today at different times.

Vice Chairman of WZO Yaakov Hagoel and Arab-Israeli IDF veteran Youssef Haddad, who is an anti-BDS activist, called for “unity” and “standing together against antisemitism.”

“The recent events are not a warning sign at this point,” Hagoel said. “But a wake-up call to the rest of the world, including Jews and non-Jews.”

He called on world leaders to place the war on antisemitism at the top of their agenda and to eradicate it in their respective countries.

WZO chairman Avraham Duvdevani said that “in past generations there was nothing we could have done because we were persecuted and submissive.”

“Today the State of Israel exists,” he added, “and it’s up to us to stop this hate.”

Adding that he would “enjoy seeing all the Jewish people around the world building their home in Israel,” while Lau said that “we do not accept the idea that antisemitism derives only from hate.”

Netanyahu to take Lindsey Graham to Golan in push for U.S. recognition

In an effort to lobby the US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to fly by helicopter with influential US Senator Lindsey Graham — whom he will meet on Monday – to the strategic plateau to emphasize the importance of the region to Israel’s security.

Netanyahu announced these plans at the opening of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, calling Graham – a Republican senator from South Carolina – a “great friend of Israel.” Graham is the chairman of the US Senate’s powerful Judiciary Committee.

“I will go up with him to the Golan Heights as a continuation of efforts we are making to get the United States, together with other countries, to recognize Israeli sovereignty and the Israeli hold on the Golan,” he said.

In January, soon after US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria, Netanyahu made his first public appeal for US recognition of Israeli control over the Golan during National Security Adviser John Bolton’s visit to Israel. Netanyahu had intended to take Bolton to the region, but that plan was scuttled because of bad weather.

Two Israelis among dead as Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes, killing 157 aboard

An Ethiopian Airlines flight with 157 people thought to be on board crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday morning from Ethiopia’s capital while headed to Nairobi, the airline said.

The airline later confirmed that two Israeli passengers were aboard.

There were no immediate details on what caused the crash of the Boeing 737-8 MAX plane, which was new and had been delivered to the airline in November.

Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, told journalists that the pilot had alerted controllers “he had difficulties,” wanted to turn the plane around, and “was given clearance” to do that.

Ethiopia’s state broadcaster EBC said all passengers were dead, adding that they were of 33 nationalities.
In this photo taken from the Ethiopian Airlines Facebook page, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, looks at the wreckage of the plane that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 10, 2019. (Facebook via AP)

The Addis Ababa-Nairobi route is often used by Israelis, as there are no direct flights between Israel and Kenya. Channel 13 reported that the plane that crashed had been in Israel as recently as last Wednesday.

Netanyahu offers help to Ethiopia after plane crash

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened up Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting by sending condolences to the families of the victims of the Ethiopian Airliner that crashed on its way to Nairobi from Addis Ababa, and by offering aid to the Ethiopian government.

“I want to send condolences to Ethiopia and to the families of the victims,” Netanyahu said, adding that if there is anything that Israel can do to help Ethiopia at this time, it will do so. He said that this message has been relayed to the Ethiopian government.

Netanyahu added that the Foreign Ministry was checking to see if there were any Israelis on the flight.

Ethiopian Airlines is a popular airline for Israelis travelling to Africa and to India, with Kan Bet reporting that some 100,000 Israelis traveled on the airline last year. In addition, the Foreign Ministry set up a situation room to follow the crisis.

PM of Cape Verde to visit Israel after backing from supporting it at U.N.

Cape Verde Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva, whose island state off Africa’s west coast is of significance to Israel primarily because of how it votes on key Middle East issues in international forums, arrived for a four-day visit on Sunday.

The visit comes a year and a half after the country made brief headlines after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that Cape Verde’s President Jorge Carlos Fonseca directed the country’s UN delegation in New York to no longer vote against Israel in the UN.

Up until that time, the country generally voted against Israel at the UN, though at times it had abstained or absented itself from key votes on Israel-related issues.

Netanyahu hailed the decision saying that it was the “result of Israel’s intensive diplomatic activities in Africa,” noting that he had met Fonseca on the sidelines of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) conference in Liberia two months earlier.

The only problem was that Netanyahu rejoiced too soon, and a few days later later, Fonseca – in a Facebook post – denied that any directive was issued.

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said they believe that Fonesca’s about-face was the result of pressure placed on the country by Arab states ardently opposed to the inroads Israel was making in Africa. That opposition continues to this day, as evident by a special committee meeting chaired by Saudi Arabia to combat Israeli efforts in Africa, which met last week at a summit of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo.

Cape Verde, an archipelago comprising some 10 islands that gained independence from Portugal in 1975, has a population of about 550,000.

South Africa ‘in the process’ of downgrading Israel embassy, president says

South Africa’s government is “in the process” of downgrading its embassy in Israel and is working on “the modalities” of such a move, the country’s president has said, while at the same time noting Pretoria’s desire to engage with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Government is in the process of giving effect to a resolution of the governing party that South Africa should downgrade its embassy in Israel,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said Thursday in a response to a parliamentary query.

In December 2017, the African National Congress, the country’s ruling party, at its biannual National Conference Johannesburg unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to turn Pretoria’s embassy in Ramat Gan into a “liaison office.”

Local pro-Palestinian activists and senior ANC politicians, including Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, have since repeatedly called for the decision to implemented.

The last South African ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane, last year ended his tour and Jerusalem does not expect Pretoria to send a replacement in the near future, which could be described as a de facto downgrading of bilateral ties. But no formal downgrade has taken place.

3 of 5 IDF soldiers get 6.5 months for beating Palestinians

Three out of five IDF soldiers who beat two Palestinians while handcuffed and blindfolded were sentenced as part of a plea bargain by an IDF Court to 190 days in prison on Sunday.

The cases of two other soldiers involved in the incident are still pending, no deal having been reached to date.

Last week, the IDF Prosecution reached a deal with the three, but the deal was only formally approved by the court on Sunday.

The soldiers will all be demoted to the rank of private, but part of the deal included a commitment by the IDF to allow the three soldiers to have their criminal records purged in two years so as not to impact their future job prospects.

Part of the deal which enabled this outcome was that the counts that the soldiers were convicted of were reduced to less serious charges which are easier to get removed.

The other two soldiers will remain in detention, having been arrested first back on January 10.

The five soldiers, who serve in the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion, are accused of perpetrating the beatings against two Palestinians on January 8.

Abbas appoints new Prime Minister, ‘gov’t should enhance culture of peace’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday asked senior Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh to form a new government that would “enhance the culture of peace and support the families of prisoners and martyrs.”

Shtayyeh will replace PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who resigned last January.

Hamas immediately rejected Abbas’s decision to form a new “separatist” government and said the move would solidify the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hamas said that it will not recognize the new government.

Shtayyeh, 61, is a politician and economic expert from a village near Nablus. He previously served as PA Minister of Housing and head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR).

Shtayyeh, who is also a member of the Fatah Central Committee, holds a doctorate in economic development from the University of Sussex in the UK.

PA Imposing Hiring, Promotions Freeze, 50% Pay Cuts, Maintaining Full Salaries to Terrorists

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas met on Sunday with Meretz chairperson Tamar Zandberg and accused Israel of responsibility for the current economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority. He claimed that Israel “has no right to withhold the tax money transferred to Israel” on the PA’s behalf, to offset the amount being paid out, even now, to terrorists in Israeli prisons and to the families of killed terrorists.

Abbas has already announced that he refuses to accept the reduced sum from Israel.

PA Minister of Finance Dr. Shakri Bishara on Sunday said at a conference with Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Nabeel Abu Rudeina and government spokesman Yousef Al-Mahmoud that current government monthly salaries would be cut by 50%, down to a minimum of 2,000 shekels (a little over $500) – meaning salaries below 2,000 shekels will be paid in full, so that only 40% of government employees will receive their full salary, according to a report in Ma’an News Agency.

Abu Rudeina stressed that the current situation is difficult, complex and dangerous and may call for more serious political measures.

PA TV uses International Women’s Day to glorify female terrorists and murderers

Official PA TV host in Gaza: “Today [on International Women’s Day] we are telling the Palestinian women that they are the headline of the Palestinian cause with their resolve and patience. All of our blessings to the Palestinian female prisoners, to the wives of the prisoners, to the mothers of the prisoners.” Director of the Palestinian Women’s Union in Gaza Amal Hamad: “We bless the female and male prisoners and our Martyrs with all blessings. They have stood by the men … The women were the first to take part in the battle. That is why we also have female Martyrs – Shadia Abu Ghazaleh, Dalal Mughrabi Wafa Idris, Ayyat Al-Akhras, Darin Abu Aisheh, and Razan Al-Najjar… Today, the Palestinian people in its entirety participates in the true battle of the national struggle that is greater than every secondary social battle here and there.” [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, March 6, 2019] Shadia Abu Ghazaleh – Female Palestinian terrorist active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization and prepared bombs for many attacks against Israel. While she was preparing a bomb for an attack in Tel Aviv in 1968, it accidentally detonated and killed her. Dalal Mughrabi – female Palestinian terrorist who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Highway, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.

Human rights researcher criticizes PA media for encouraging child terrorists

Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center researcher and fieldworker Nabil Abdallah: “When children [who attempt to carry out attacks] are presented here as heroes, particularly in our media, there are times when the child wants to imitate role models and heroes, and may decide [to carry out an attack] while unaware of the consequences… Our media needs to raise awareness and convey to the world that this child is a victim, not just a hero. [By calling him] “a hero” we are seriously taking part in destroying his childhood… This is a problem – we know how much the media influences… Children like Ali or Muawiyah [Alqam who stabbed an Israeli] need to live their lives.” [Official PA TV, The Occupied Capital, Aug. 14, 2016] Muawiyah Alqam and Ali Alqam – 14-year-old and 11-year-old Palestinian terrorists and cousins who stabbed and wounded an Israeli security guard at a Jerusalem light rail stop in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, on Nov. 10, 2015. The security guard shot and wounded Muawiyah Alqam while Ali Alqam was held by train passengers until security forces arrived. In July 2016 Muawiyah Alqam was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison, whereas Ali Alqam was given a year in juvenile detention due to his young age.

Shi’ite militia leader in Iraq threatens U.S., slams ‘Zionist regime’

Two Shi’ite militia leaders spoke out over the weekend, with one threatening the US, and the other demanding American troops leave Iraq.

Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba spokesman Hashim al-Mousawi slammed the US and Israel after the US last week designated the group as a terrorist threat.

Iraqi Transportation Minister Hadi al-Amiri said he was looking forward to a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and that he opposes the continued US presence in Iraq.

On March 5, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control placed Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba on its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, under what the office calls its Counter Terrorism Designation.

The US pointed to the organization itself and its leader as a threat, saying it has “committed, or poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.”

The group, which is closely linked to Iran, in 2017 said US troops were a legitimate target. In February 2018, the group vowed to support Hezbollah in Lebanon in a war against Israel.

MEMRI: #İnstagramCihadı: A Review Of Turkish Jihadi Content On Instagram – Glorifying Martyrdom; Celebrating Terrorist Attacks In The West Including 9/11, Charlie Hebdo; Praising Jihadi Leaders – Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri And Others – And Jihadi Groups – ISIS, Al-Qaeda, And More

The following is an excerpt from a MEMRI JTTM report. To view the report in full, you must be a paying member of the JTTM; for membership information, send an email to jttmsubs@memri.org with “Membership” in the subject line. JTTM subscribers can click here to view the full report.

Note to media and government: For a full copy of this report, send an email with the title of the report in the subject line to media@memri.org. Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.

Of Turkey’s 80 million people, one source reports that 38 million use Instagram[1]– making Turkey the fifth highest Instagram user base in the world. In October 2016, İlke Çarkçı, who heads agencies and brands for Instagram’s parent company Facebook in Turkey, said of Turkey’s Instagram users that 47% were female and 53% were male; 41% of female users and 42% of male users were aged 18-24; and on average users had 87 followers and followed 115 accounts.[2] Among those 38 million users are jihadis and jihadi sympathizers.[3]

It is not clear whether jihadi Instagram content is being monitored by the Turkish government. While there are reports in the Turkish press about terrorism raids and arrests related to terrorist activity on “social media” in general,[4] there is no specific mention of Instagram or any other social media platform. However, the Turkish government does arrest opponents and critics for their Instagram posts.

Following Turkey’s June 24, 2018 general elections, which were marred by allegations of ballot stuffing favoring the ruling AKP, which won the election, Turkish publicist Hakan Aykut Nili wrote on Instagram: “The only way is to take to the street.” He deleted it 15 or 20 seconds later. The next day, Turkish police raided Nili’s apartment and arrested him. He was later charged with “openly provoking animosity and hostility among the people.”[5] Former Turkish model Merve Büyüksaraç shared a satirical poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Instagram, and was later convicted of insulting Erdoğan and sentenced to over a year in prison.[6] Hüseyin Sözlü, mayor of the Turkish city of Adana, faced up to four years in prison for insulting Erdoğan for content he posted on Instagram.[7]

Nasrallah: Israel is scared of war and is not prepared for one

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Israel fears another war with the Lebanese Shi’ite group, and that the United States has imposed sanctions against it because the US and Israel “failed in their military campaigns.”

“What the Zion-American enemy failed to obtain during the military campaigns, it wants to achieve through imposing sanctions on the Syrian people, besieging the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, causing starvation in Yemen, and blacklisting Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said during a televised addressed marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Resistance Support Association, an organization that raises funds for the group.

Nasrallah pointed to the US military’s deployment of its advanced THAAD missile defense system in Israel this past week for joint exercises, as proof of Israel’s inability to protect itself from Hezbollah’s missile arsenal in a future war between the two foes.

“Israel is scared of a new war,” he said. “Every day you hear that Israel is not prepared for war in one way or another, and this week you saw Israel began using the American THAAD system. The Israelis do not believe in their defense systems and are afraid, and that is why they have set up US-made defense systems. The Israeli Army is afraid of war against us, and they know why. We’ll break them on the battlefield. No advanced missile defense systems will help.”

A Z Word in Scotland … defending Jeremy Corbyn

Gaza-born, LSE-educated economist Dr Husam Zomlot is officially described on his Twitter page as “Ambassador, Head of Palestinian Mission to the UK, former Head of PLO General Delegation to the US, Strategic Affairs Advisor to President of Palestine”. If his name seems vaguely familiar, that may be because in 2014 he clarified remarks of his that led to the accusation that he is a Holocaust denier. Or it may be because in September last year he was expelled from the United States by the Trump administration when the Palestinian mission in that country was closed down.

And this month Dr Zomlot has been wowing the Scots, by the look of things.

He was warmly welcomed to the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.

And by Eve Bolander, the Lord Provost of Glasgow:

And, as reported here, he

‘was given a VIP tour of Celtic Park as he thanked Hoops fans for their incredible crowdfunding efforts three years ago.
Mr [sic]Husam Zomlot touched down in Scotland this week for the first time since taking his new role as Palestine’s head of mission to the UK.
In 2016, the Scottish champions were fined £8,000 for a huge pro-Palestine fan demonstration against Israeli outfit Hapoel Beer Sheva.
But the charge was dwarfed by the £176,000 raised online for Middle East charities in a bid by fans to match what they thought would be a far harder hit.
And Mr Zomlot paid homage to the extraordinary sum raised by thanking the club and its supporters today during a trip to the stadium….

Yes, that looks suspiciciously like Dr Zomlot’s old friend Corbyn, in the picture below! He was in Dundee for the Labour Party’s Scottish Conference.

And at a fringe meeting of the party chaired by Pauline McNeill MSP, Dr Zomlot received a standing ovation after delivering a speech in which he did his best to exculpate Corbyn from the stain of antisemitism:

Jeremy Corbyn Announces His 2020 Presidential Bid for the Democratic Party (satire)

Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the UK’s Labour Party, has announced that he intends to campaign to be the US Democratic presidential candidate for 2020.

“Obviously, my initial instinct was very much that I would never run to be president of imperialist America, but then when I saw how close Bernie Sanders and his democratic socialism got to winning for 2016 I started to rethink things. But only now do I realize that I really can find a political home in the Democratic Party because they really share my values: not only are they socialist, but apparently their anti-Semitism is just the right amount for me!”

The UK politician whose party has been mired with anti-Semitism scandals has thrown his hat into the ring following the scandal involving the Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar making anti-Israel remarks which have been interpreted by many as anti-Semitic.

BBC claims a place it reported from last year does not exist

An article relating to an incident which had taken place earlier in the day at the Western Wall appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on the afternoon of March 8th under the headline “Western Wall: Jewish women clash over prayer rights”.

At the end of that article readers were told that:
“For 30 years, the Women of the Wall group have been fighting rules that bar women from wearing prayer shawls, praying and reading from the Torah (Bible) collectively and aloud at the site.

According to Orthodox Jewish tradition, women should not perform these religious rituals. Under pressure from ultra-Orthodox parties, the Israeli authorities in 2017 scrapped plans to create a mixed-gender prayer area at the wall.”

That link leads to an article produced by the BBC News website in June 2017 which failed even then to provide readers with clear background information that would enable the proper understanding of the story.

BBC Culture joins the drip feed of narrative

BBC audiences are not told that the Egyptian girl had been denied entry to the Gaza Strip by the Egyptian authorities or of the Palestinian terrorism that made the blockade necessary.

On page nine audiences find a video in which an image of “Furniture makers in the West Bank, with Israel’s separation barrier behind them” with no explanation of why the anti-terrorist fence had to be built.

The narrative advanced in this feature is glaringly obvious: Habjouqa states in the last video that her work relates to people who “refuse to let suffering be the definition of their existence”.

How that suffering is related to their leaders’ choices and how those choices brought about the “checkpoints”, “blockade” and “separation barrier” of course goes completely unexplained in this latest chapter in the BBC’s drip fed narrative of Palestinian victims completely devoid of agency and responsibility.

Israel becomes first country to list all cemetery tombstones online

Finding a relative’s grave can be a tedious experience. But now paying respects to a loved one can be done using an online app. Israel has become the first country in the world to have all its cemetery plots listed on the Internet. The wide-ranging project to document all cemeteries in Israel was created in a joint effort by the MyHeritage online genealogy platform and the BillionGraves database.

The NIS 4 million project included photographing more than 1.5 million tombstones in 638 cemeteries and placing them in an online searchable database, including GPS pins to be able to locate graves using a smartphone.

MyHeritage noted the project was a race against time since many tombstone inscriptions can deteriorate over the years. Hundreds of thousands of ancient graves throughout the country may be unidentifiable for this reason. For example, the Mount of Olives cemetery near Jerusalem’s Old City is the oldest Jewish burial site in the world. Many tombstones were removed during the Jordanian period of pf the Old City from 1948 to 1967.

In Hebron, the ancient cemetery contained many unmarked graves due to a tradition not to carve inscription on the stone, however, modern researchers have been able to identify and refurbish many of the final resting places of historic figures.

US gaming giant Nvidia reportedly bidding to buy Israel chipmaker Mellanox

US gaming and computer graphics giant Nvidia Corp. has offered to buy Israeli chip maker Mellanox Technologies Ltd., the Calcalist financial website reported Sunday without saying where it got the information.

The bid reportedly joins that of other tech giants that are also reportedly seeking to acquire the Yokne’am, Israel-based maker of servers and storage switching solutions. These reportedly include Microsoft, Intel Corp. and US tech firm Xilinx Inc.

Intel has already offered to pay $6 billion for Mellanox, Calcalist said, estimating that any final acquisition deal would likely be some 10 percent higher than the Intel bid. Mellanox shares are traded on the Nasdaq at a company valuation of $5.9 billion, after the share surged 51% in the past 12 months amid speculation of an acquisition and as the firm reported record revenues in 2018.

Calcalist said that Nvidia would have an advantage over Intel in its bid, as it would have a greater chance of getting both US and Chinese regulatory approvals, given that Intel and Mellanox control the market for InfiniBand technology, a computer-networking communications standard that is used in high performance computers.

A spokesman for Mellanox declined to comment.

Israeli-Developed Drone Will Stop Fruit Growers From Going Bananas

If the upkeep of your orchard is making you go bananas trying to come up with ways to increase fruitfulness, Israeli startup Tevel Aerobotics Technologies may have a solution for you.

Founded in 2016 and based in central Israel, Tevel is a developer of autonomous drones that are equipped with a one-meter long mechanical claw, which can pick fruits, or be used for thinning and pruning tasks in orchards. The company currently employs 15 people.

Tevel’s functioning working prototype was developed in late 2018, said founder and CEO Yaniv Maor in a Monday interview with Calcalist. The company is currently working on a patented fleet of drones that will be commercially available in 2020, he added.

The drones are currently only operational in daylight, but the company is working to give the drone night-vision capabilities to increase productivity.

Tevel’s drones are equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities in order to be able to detect fruit type, blemishes, and the fruit’s quality based on its ripeness, Maor explained. While the company’s current version is able to pick only apples and oranges, Tevel is working on expanding its drone’s capabilities to include additional fruits such as avocados and mangoes.

IKEA and Israeli NGOs design add-ons to make home goods more accessible

IKEA and two Israeli NGOs joined together on Sunday to find solutions to make home goods more accessible to those with disabilities.

In the initiative, called ThisAbles, IKEA, Access Israel and Milbat, two organizations which focus on helping those with disabilities, developed 13 add-ons that help make products more accessible.

“There is a large population of people with disabilities who cannot enjoy and use a variety of products, furniture and household items that we and our retail colleagues offer to the public,” CEO of IKEA Israel Shuki Koblenz said. “IKEA has vowed to create a better daily life for as many people as possible, and we feel it is our duty to create this initiative and allow people with disabilities to enjoy a wide range of products, furniture and household items.”

Some of these supplements help those with disabilities grasp onto doors or closets with a handy accessory that makes the handle wider. Others are simple attachments that can serve as a bumpers on wardrobes for those in wheelchairs.



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