Melanie Phillips: The Sewer of Left-Wing Antisemitism
There was only one thing worse than the remarkable revelation of institutionalised antisemitism on the left revealed by David Collier on his website last week. It was the reaction.
Collier is an indefatigable blogger who spends much of his life immersed in the cesspools of anti-Jewish and Israel-bashing bigotry in British institutions. His aim is to bring the epidemic of open antisemitism to the attention of the wider public. He is positively heroic in subjecting himself to the traumatic effects of wading through all this filth. But last week he took his investigations onto a different level altogether.
His 280-page two-part report, here and here, exposed a secret, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Facebook group called Palestine Live, which was created in 2013. Its members included politicians and other members of the Labour party and the left.
Secrecy was paramount: when one member asked “how safe is this group?” its creator, Elleanne Green, replied: “Very…no one is allowed in who is not trusted…I am very very careful…and it is a Secret Group…so it really is as safe as you will be able to find anywhere…”
The reason for such secrecy immediately becomes apparent from Collier’s expose. One of the first posts – and it was typical – referred to the “barbarian part of that [Jewish] tribe that is lording it over every single government in the word and using their untold wealth to control the agenda for all of us in order to further their nefarious aims for the Jewish state and to wipe out the Palestinians in the process”. Another referred to Jews as a “cancer” who “murder Palestinians” so they can “harvest their organs”. Others claimed that the Jew were behind 9/11 and the 2015 Paris terror attacks.
Group members referenced rabid white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and other far-right sites. They claimed that the blood libel and Protocols of the Elders of Zion were true, that the Rothschilds were a world conspiracy stealing people’s money, that the Jews were behind the two world wars and so on. As Collier asks: “At what point did the British Labour party suddenly develop a fetish for white supremacy?
A high-ranking leader of the Free Gaza Movement, a coalition of human rights activists and pro-Palestinian groups formed to challenge the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip, appears to have corroborated Israel’s previously challenged version of the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid that resulted in the death of 10 Turkish activists.
Greta Berlin, a co-founder and spokesperson for the Free Gaza Movement, made comments in a secret British Facebook group that seem to corroborate accounts that members of the Israeli armed services did not open fire until one of the activists attempted to disarm one of the troops, according to the Times of Israel.
The Gaza Freedom Flotilla was a group of three passenger and three cargo ships organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief in an attempt to breach the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Tensions arose when Israel offered to inspect the six civilians ships that had been chartered to carry what the Free Gaza Movement claimed to be humanitarian supplies and construction material to the Gaza Strip. Israel also offered to transport the supplies via land crossings, but the activists turned down the offer. Israeli armed services than conducted a raid on the six ships in an effort to force the flotilla to the port of Ashdod, where it could be inspected.
While attempting to seize control of the flotilla, Israeli defense forces faced resistance on one of the ships, the Mavi Marmara. What exactly occurred on the ship has long been disputed. The Israeli government has alleged that IDF commandos were attacked with clubs, knives, and metal rods while attempting to board the ship. The government has stated it was forced to open fire after a passenger grabbed a weapon from one of the commandos.
A few years later, Berlin seems to have corroborated the Israeli government’s report during a heated debate in a private Facebook group comprised of pro-Palestinian activists who had all been approved or invited to join. In her comments, which were written in 2014, Berlin specifically rebuked other social media users in the group who were attempting to absolve one of the activists onboard the ship, Kenneth O’Keefe, from any blame.
Melanie Phillips: Left wingers can’t see their cesspool of antisemitism
For the left, bashing Israel and supporting the Palestinians is a noble cause. So there’s no reason to suspect that anyone associated with it will be anything other than decent. This is to ignore the symbiotic connection between Israel-bashing and antisemitism. No, that does not mean criticism of Israel is antisemitic. It is as legitimate as criticism of any other country. The way in which Israel is treated, however, is totally unlike the treatment of any other country.
We’re talking here about demonisation: a unique campaign based entirely on malicious falsehoods, accusing Israel of crimes of which it is not only innocent but is in fact the victim, employing libellous and incendiary tropes such as deliberate child-killing and presenting it as a global conspiracy and menace to the world. These are all the markers of classic antisemitism through the centuries. So the links to the far right and white supremacists aren’t surprising.
The left, though, believes with perfect faith that it stands only for good things such as conscience and human rights. Accordingly, only the “right” can be antisemitic. The “anti-racist” left believes that it is itself utterly incapable of antisemitism. So it is blind to both its own behaviour and the noxious company it keeps.
On March 6, 2018, British journalist David Collier exposed a virulently antisemitic Facebook group, “Palestine Live,” who members have included politicians (such as UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his son/advisor), journalists, and activists from prominent human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These NGOs include Amnesty International, Medical Aid for Palestinians, and Jewish Voice for Peace. (Examples from the latter, discussed below, can be found in the second installment of his report “Antisemitism Inside Palestine Live (a Facebook Group)”.) It is likely that as more information on this group is made public, additional NGO activists will be identified.
Posts to this group regularly involve heinous antisemitic tropes, imagery, and language – such as conspiratorial posts blaming the Rothschild family for WWI and WWII and Jews for 9/11 and other terror attacks; images featuring Jewish people portrayed as octopuses, monsters, and pigs; and the use of neo-Nazi rhetoric such as the term “Zios.” There is also blatant Holocaust denial rampant in the group; articles regarding “The Real Holocaust of World War Two – The Genocide of +15 Million Germans,” “Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told,” and “The Jews and the Concentration Camps: No Evidence of Genocide” that are shared and “liked.”
The following reviews a selection of staff from prominent NGOs that are/were members of Palestine Live:
Aimee Shalan, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a group that promotes distorted and false narratives and demonizing rhetoric under the guise of medical expertise and scientific fact, was active in the group. In 2014, NGO Monitor exposed that MAP’s founder, Swee Ang Chai, disseminated a link to a David Duke video, “The Zio Matrix of Control” in a secret Google group, that also included numerous anti-Israel activists (see below).
At least three officials of Amnesty International were also members, including Alli McCracken (Advocacy Director for MENA at Amnesty International USA) and Alex Neve (Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada).
David Birkett, who describes himself as a fundraiser for Amnesty International UK, shared highly antisemetic articles and statements, including Holocaust denial in the group and on his personal Facebook page.
Collier notes that one of the Admins tagged Amnesty International UK crisis response manager Kristyan Benedict, who has on several occasions made antisemitic jokes and statements reflecting global conspiracy theories involving Israel, the United States, and the arms trade. This suggests that Benedict was once a member and/or is Facebook “friends” with a leader of this antisemitic group.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), was also an active member of the group.
Other NGOs whose activists are members of Palestine Live include CAABU (Chris Doyle), Electronic Intifada (Asa Winstanley and David Cronin), CODEPINK (Medea Benjamin), War on Want (Asad Rehman), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Sara Colbourne – former director), and ICAHD (Jeff Halper, Angela Godfried Goldstein).
- In March 2018, the NGO umbrella group known as Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) published a Policy Note urging the UN Secretary General to add Israel, Myanmar, and others to a list of “grave violators” of children’s rights. Terror groups, including Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are not mentioned in Watchlist’s publication.
- Watchlist’s methodology fails to meet basic requirements for human rights reports, instead claiming to rely on “all publicly available reports related to grave violations against children in 25 relevant country situations in 2017.” There is no information on how the credibility of these reports are evaluated, if at all, and on criteria for including or excluding sources.
- Many of the NGO participants have a history of bias against Israel, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), which coordinates this particular campaign.
- In the section on Israel, Watchlist relies almost exclusively on a Palestinian NGO, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P) – a group with no credibility that fails to meet Watchlist’s own source requirements of “reputable international nongovernmental organization.” DCI-P has close links to the PFLP – designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. Numerous DCI-P staff and board members are hailed by the PFLP as “comrades” and/or “leaders.”
- In its analysis of alleged Israeli grave violations, Watchlist claims that 13 minors (some of whom while in the process of carrying out terror attacks) were killed by Israeli forces in 2017, listing this under the grave violation of “killing and maiming.” In comparison, Watchlist lists “533 verified child casualties” in Syria, “several hundred Rohuungya villagers” (including children) in Myanmar, at least 64 children killed in the Congo. Despite the gross disparity, the IDF gets far more attention in the Watchlist Policy Note than any other country or army/armed group
As the editorial board pointed out, whatever your views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, you should agree that having virtually no time for debate or discussion is no way to handle a controversial issue on a university campus. You don’t have to agree with UMN President Eric Kaler that, “the inclusion on the ballot of a non-binding referendum that names Israel is exacerbating tension and fueling discrimination toward Jewish students.” If you care at all about discrimination against Jewish students, however, you should agree that a resolution of this magnitude ought not to be adopted without reflection. Those who blithely voted for the resolution as in the same cavalier manner that they voted for this year’s homecoming festivities organizing committee do not, perhaps, bear most of the blame for the resolution’s narrow passage. As is so often the case with BDS, though, the organizers of the referendum effort have covered themselves with shame, and all for a half-day news story and the pleasure of being ignored by the Board of Regents.
It is reassuring that some faculty members at UMN were moved to sign a letter in opposition to the resolution. I agree with the signers, of course, that although the resolution also concerns indigenous rights and prisons, the main intent of the activists leading the referendum effort is to “delegitimize Israel.” But only fourteen faculty members signed. Perhaps others were uncomfortable signing on to a full-throated attack on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS), about which most of them presumably know almost nothing. Those faculty members might have at least indicated that most of the voters, too, presumably know almost nothing about BDS, and it runs counter to the spirit of the university to rush such a vote. If professors are unwilling to stand for Israel, they should be willing to stand against ignorance.
BDS, which according to one scorecard has had just 54 campus victories over a thirteen year period, is hardly a success (indeed, BDS, preliminary results indicate, has just taken a big loss at the University of Illinois). Narrow victories after hasty votes like these do as much damage to BDS’ reputation as they do to enhance it. The losers here are not the pro-Israel contingent at UMN. They should consider, as their opponents typically do when they lose, bringing up the issue again next year. Those Jewish students who justly feel targeted by the referendum have certainly suffered a loss. So, too, has the university itself been humiliated. In spite of the worthy effort of its president, UMN has been embarrassed by a small proportion of its student body.
It’s probably fair to say that Sarsour and Mallory do not secretly hate women, and their advocacy on racism and LGBT issues is more full-throated than their grudging statements against anti-Jewish bigotry. It’s too clean, in my opinion, to say that the Women’s March failed to condemn Farrakhan because they agree with him. There are so many areas of disagreement that should have prompted a distancing, but didn’t.
Part of this refusal to jettison Farrakhan is probably attributable to the sort of progressivism the Women’s March espouses. Popular particularly among millennials, its tenets hold that affirmation, positivity, acceptance, and inclusion are sacrosanct, and “shaming” is the gravest sin one can commit (especially when the victim has some sort of minority status). “Intersectional movements are complicated and difficult,” is how the March justified their long silence on Farrakhan.
Note how Mallory speaks about how the women of the Nation of Islam comforted her after her father’s death. Her critics meanwhile use “vile language” to attack her and even a well-intentioned complaint from an ally feels like an “attack.” Sarsour had a fun party with the Muslim Brotherhood and praises anti-Semitic tweets that defend her friend Tamika. When CNN’s Jake Tapper criticized a Women’s March tweet praising a convicted cop killer, he joined the “ranks of the alt-right.”
Farrakhan was nice to the ladies of the Women’s March. Their critics are mean. As far as they’re concerned, that settles it.
The Women’s March, in short, is run by blindly tribal, emotionally stunted children who view even the most reasonable rebuke as a personal attack and are incapable of even an ounce of self-reflection. They will never, ever expel or denounce a despicable human being they view as part of their in-group, whether it’s an overt supporter of the patriarchy like Farrakhan or a literal terrorist. When more controversies arise (and they will) they’ll double down every single time.
The Woman’s March as an organization has an anti-Semitism problem. But it also has a problem with its dysfunctional personalities at the top. Unless that changes, the movement is doomed to irrelevancy.
Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour has a long history of progressive activism and controversial statements, especially on Twitter, her medium of choice.
Below are eight of her most controversial Tweets throughout the years:
1) In 2011, Sarsour praised the Muslim Brotherhood, calling them the “coolest.” Some in the United States have pushed for the group, the goal of which is to institute sharia law, to be designated a terrorist organization.
2) In 2016, Sarsour took a swipe at America’s men and women in uniform on Memorial Day, implying many only joined the armed services because they were pressured to do by military recruiters.
3) During the 2016 election cycle, Sarsour accused the candidates vying for the Republican nomination of wanting to “torture women and children.”
4) Republican presidential candidates were not the only ones to draw scorn and derision from Sarsour. The activist also had some choice words for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
5) Sarsour also used the 2016 election to attack America’s police officers.
6) Sarsour expressed her opinion in 2015 that groups without power cannot be racist.
7) Sarsour has said that the Nation of Islam, an organization headed by rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, is integral to the history of Islam in America.
8) In 2012, Sarsour shared a video of Remi Kanazi, a Palestinian-American poet, with the caption: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism. Challenge racism, #NormalizeJustice.” In the video, Kanazi denounces Israel as an apartheid state and compares it to Iran and North Korea.
Democratic Rep. Andre Carson (Ind.) has distanced himself from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s beliefs but refused to condemn him personally or call his remarks “hate speech.”
The Indiana Democrat admitted last week that he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus had met on several occasions with Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite and racist who has praised Hitler and believes white people are subhuman devils created by a mad scientist thousands of years ago.
In a follow-up interview with Indianapolis Star opinion editor Tim Swarens, Carson said that he opposes “anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, sexism, racism — all the isms and all the phobias.”
But Swarens reported that Carson “avoided criticizing Farrakhan directly, declined to characterize Farrakhan’s remarks as ‘hate speech,’ and would not rule out meeting with Farrakhan in the future to discuss policy concerns.”
“No meetings are planned,” Carson said when asked about possible future meetings. “I often attend banquets and other events where I don’t know who will be seated near me,” he added when Swarens pressed the issue.
Despite refusing to use the term “hate speech” to refer to Farrakhan’s comments, Carson used the term readily when criticizing local radio host and political commentator Tony Katz, who has been quite critical of the congressman’s association with Farrakhan.
Shmuley Boteach: Honoring Caitlyn Jenner and Heroes of Israel
Last Thursday, my organization presented Caitlyn Jenner with the Champion of Israel and Human Rights Award. We also posthumously honored two fallen heroes — Yoni Netanyahu and Taylor Force.
I must confess that I was not entirely shocked, but still unnerved, at the response of people who strongly criticized us for choosing to honor Caitlyn. She has made a lifestyle choice that makes many people uncomfortable, and that clashes with the beliefs of some faith communities. But our point was always that every human life must be viewed as sacred and worthy of protection. The highest Jewish value is the infinite worth of every human being, regardless of religion, ethnicity or gender.
The invective directed at us for this one decision was considerable — but it was also an infinitesimal fraction of what people like Caitlyn endure on a daily basis. And besides the attacks for her choice of lifestyle, Caitlyn also has to contend with criticism from antisemites, who criticize her for her support of Israel.
There are people in her own community who hate Israel more than they care about her rights as a member of the LGBT minority, and therefore condemn her. But Caitlyn rightly points out the major difference between Israel’s protection of members of the LGBT community, and the way that they are brutalized by the Palestinian Authority and other Arab and Muslim states, especially Iran.
In her address, Caitlyn talked about the common interests — and challenges — of the Jewish people and the LBGT community. “First of all,” she said, “we seem to attract a lot of enemies, don’t we? Tyrants, religious fundamentalists, white nationalists, radical Islamic terrorists, we got them all.”
University of Minnesota students have narrowly approved a divestment referendum targeting Israel, which has been condemned for exacerbating divisions on campus, the school elections commission announced on Sunday.
The non-binding measure — proposed by Students for Justice in Palestine — passed by 217 votes, with 3,392 students in favor and 3,175 against.
It urged the Board of Regents to divest from companies including G4S, Raytheon, Elbit Systems, and Boeing, claiming they are “1) complicit in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights, 2) maintaining and establishing private prisons and immigrant detention centers, or 3) violating Indigenous sovereignty.”
SJP’s campaign to promote the referendum, UMN Divest, received support from student groups including the Queer Student Cultural Center, La Raza Student Cultural Center, Asian-American Student Union, and Black Student Union.
The campaign tied divestment from Israel to a number of demands, including the abolition of the UMN Police Department and an end to public surveillance.
Benjie Kaplan — executive director of UMN Hillel — said that Jewish students became aware that the referendum would appear on the ballot on March 2, and then quickly organized a social media and “get out the vote” campaign in opposition.
Two Labour MPs are currently billed as support acts for a political show by disgraced former Momentum Vice-Chair Jackie Walker, who is currently suspended by the Labour Party over antisemitism allegations. However, one of the MPs has now said that they will not appear.
Ms Walker’s show, The Lynching, is her attempt to put across her side of the story, explaining her views and justifying the comments that have led to her becoming such a controversial figure, such as her appalling lie that Jews were the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”. The show’s tagline is “To oppose Israel is not to be antisemitic”, despite the fact that Israel is not mentioned in any of the comments that led to her being suspended by Labour twice.
According to flyers advertising the show at Peterborough’s Afro Caribbean Millennium Centre, Labour MPs Chris Williamson and Fiona Onasanya were due to speak, but Ms Onasanya has now tweeted: “There have been concerns pertaining to an event in Peterborough on Saturday. For the avoidance of doubt, I am vehemently opposed to antisemitism and was invited to speak out against racism, but will not be attending.”
The other MP, Chris Williamson, is seems more likely to speak though. According to Ms Walker, Mr Williamson has said that Mr Walker’s suspension was “disgraceful”, and he recently attended another event with her and her fellow suspended Labour member Marc Wadsworth. Various social media posts suggest that they are close.
Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, said: ‘You could not make this up.
‘The logic of employing someone to patrol the campus for safe space violations is to turn KCL into a mini, soft police state.
‘Next they’ll be employing monitors to listen in to lectures. It pays better than a bar-job so they are unlikely to have a shortage of applicants.’
King’s Libertarian Society is made up of students opposed to the students’ union’s ‘deeply patronising’ safe space policy.
The group, which claims to command ‘substantial support’ from the student body, describes the marshals as a ‘drain on resources’ and a threat to free speech.
It adds in a Facebook post: ‘It creates an environment in which students are treated as if they need chaperones and supervisors to hold their events.
‘That is deeply patronising and takes away student autonomy over their societies.’
The safe space marshals programme dates back to 2015, although James Findon, a member of the Conservative Society, said it was ‘still news’ to many students.
Jack Emsley, editor of The 1828, the Conservative Association Journal said: ‘The students’ union is intolerant of opposing ideas and uses Safe Space as an effective smoke screen.
‘It’s telling that a MP needed safe space marshals to watch over him but that the same procedure failed to prevent anti-Israeli activists from calling for violence against Jewish Israeli students last year.’
The Republican Party of Michigan is signing on to a campaign to defeat candidates, including a Michigan Democrat, backed by J Street PAC, the prominent pro-Iran-deal, Mideast lobbying group.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin announced its “stop J Street Campaign” in February, focused on defeating the congressional campaign of J Street PAC cofounder Dan Kohl for the House of Representatives. J Street is a D.C.-based organization that claims to be “pro-peace” and “pro-Israel” but which critics have described as “anti-Israel.” The group has been censured for inviting individuals with anti-Israel views to their conferences.
Notably, J Street was a prominent backer of President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, pouring millions of dollars into support for the controversial agreement. The Israeli government has since called the deal a “historic mistake.” J Street did not return a request for comment for this article.
Now, the Michigan GOP is joining with its Wisconsin counterpart to hit J Street-backed candidate Elissa Slotkin, running for the House of Representatives in Michigan’s eighth district. Slotkin is strongly backed by J Street, which solicits donations for her on its website.
Slotkin’s previous foreign policy work may have influenced J Street’s decision to back her. Slotkin worked to build support for the Iran deal while at the Department of Defense, and has since publicly voiced her support for it.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
SPECIAL SHOW … This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman feature high profile broadcaster and conservative commentator Dennis Prager ahead of his visit to Australia, and then hear from Mosab Hassan Yousef, aka the Son of Hamas who spied for Israel for 10yrs.
The fellahs then hear from American-Israeli talk show host and expert on Syria Yaron Brook, and then speak with Eran Hermoni, the Secretary-General of the Israeli Labour Party on how their policies differ from those of the current government.
3 min Editorial: The Greens Israel Problem
9 min Dennis Prager on his upcoming visit to Australia
39 min Mosab Hassan Yousef, ‘Son of Hamas’ in Australia
51 min Yaron Brook, Ayn Rand Institute explaining Syrian conflict
1 hr 11 Eran Hermoni, Sec-General Israeli labour Party in Australia
Fresh from their post yesterday proclaiming a fake victory over the evil forces of Sabra Humus, comes yet another fail from the people who brought back Nazi era boycotts of Jewish businesses (hat tip: Amir).
Palestinian Performing Arts Community Urges Renowned Violinist André Rieu to Cancel Shows in Tel Aviv
Dear André Rieu,
We, the undersigned Palestinian performing arts collectives and cultural centers, are writing to urge you to cancel your performances in Tel Aviv scheduled for April 3-7, 2018.
As a fellow artist, we hope you will agree that we have a moral obligation to do no harm; to prevent our artwork from being used to facilitate oppression.
International artists’ performances in Tel Aviv, particularly major shows such as yours, are regularly and openly endorsed by the Israeli government. Such performances are deliberately used to divert the world’s attention from Israel’s decades-old oppression of Palestinians.
André Rieu does not address the request of some twenty Palestinian artists and organizations to cancel his four scheduled concerts in Tel Aviv.
“We are not concerned with politics, but with music”, says Rieus son Pierre against De Limburger. According to him, it is the first time that the orchestra leader receives such a request.
“Too many media outlets have abetted the actions of these radical activists by promoting their narrative and glorifying them, while minimizing or ignoring their public promotion of and participation in violence against Israelis. These journalists have played right into the Tamimis’ hands, providing them with the megaphone and publicity they seek to condemn Israel and market themselves as courageous heroes,” CAMERA’s Ricki Hollander wrote, after a video of 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi (now 17) slapping and punching Israeli soldiers went viral.
This week, NBC is the latest media outlet to take a page out of that playbook, downplaying Ahed’s calls for violence (“Slap heard ‘round the world: Ahed Tamimi becomes symbol of Palestinian resistance”), and whitewashing the Palestinian struggle as one “against the occupation,” as opposed to against Israel in any borders.
“Resistance Against Occupation”?
NBC’s F. Brinley Bruton and Lawahez Jabari lionize “the teen with long blond curly hair [who] swiftly became a global symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation,” going on to present her as a courageous maverick who “simply buck[ed] a longstanding stereotype of Palestinian activists – hoary old warriors and rock-throwing young men – and in the process electrifying a Palestinian population disheartened by years of settlement-building on land envisioned as a future state.”
The NBC reporters note that the imprisoned Tamimi faces charges of incitement and assault. But they avoid specifying why she is facing charges of incitement, concealing the message that she delivered which likely “electrified” the Palestinian population as much as her assault against the soldiers.
The US announcement in early December 2017 relating to its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of its embassy to that city has been the topic of dozens of BBC reports, the most recent of which concerned the US State Department’s February 23rd announcement that an interim embassy will open in Jerusalem this coming May.
The BBC described the December 6th US announcement as “controversial” and claimed that it put the US “out of step with the rest of the international community”. It also told audiences that the May opening of the new embassy “has been seen by some as a deliberate snub to Palestinians” and amplified Palestinian statements on the issue.
In contrast, a similar announcement by Guatemala in late December received much less coverage. The BBC News website correctly noted at the time that the President of Guatemala “did not say when the [embassy] move would happen”.
By unanimous decision, the Miami-Dade County (FL) Association of Chiefs of Police passed a resolution recognizing the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism when investigating crimes.
This decision is in response to statistics recently released by the FBI revealing that of the 1,584 victims of religious hate crimes, over half the incidents were motivated by anti-Semitism. These figures, based on incidents during 2016, indicate a growing pattern, a fact supported by the Anti-Defamation League’s “2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents” that showed a 57% increase in anti-Jewish activity from the previous year.
Adopting the State Department’s anti-Semitism definition is not new to Miami-Dade County.
Last December, Bal Harbour, Florida became the first municipality in the country to implement an ordinance that provides law enforcement with a definition of anti-Semitism, enabling them to investigate such incidents as hate crimes.
“The Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police supports initiatives and laws that protect the rights of all individuals in Miami-Dade County,” stated the association’s president, Captain Raleigh Flowers. “The Anti-Semitism ordinance enacted by Bal Harbour and other municipalities in Miami-Dade provides a guide for law enforcement officers to use when investigating any potential anti-Semitic offenses.”
Germany’s ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran Michael Klor-Berchtold praised last week Ali Larijani, the head of Iran’s quasi-parliament and a well-known denier of the Holocaust.
Writing on his German-ambassador-to-Tehran Twitter feed, Klor-Berchtold said in English and Persian: “good discussion with the Speaker of Iranian Parliament, Mr. Ali Larijani.”
The Jerusalem Post previously reported that, according to critics, Larijani engaged in a form of Holocaust denial at the 2007 Munich Security Conference when he said his country has “different perspectives on the Holocaust.” The news outlet Spiegel online stated in its headline from 2007: “Larijani denies the Holocaust in Munich.” Larijani was defending former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial at time.
German politicians and the head of the Munich security conference Wolfgang Ischinger declined to file criminal charges against Larijani at the time for a possible violation of Germany’s anti-Holocaust denial law. It is unclear why German officials decided not to pursue a criminal complaint.
A former Nazi SS guard dubbed the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz” has died at the age of 96, nearly three years after his conviction for being an accessory to murder, German media said Monday.
A spokesman of the prosecutor’s office in the northern city of Hanover told AFP that Oskar Groening’s lawyer had informed him of his death, but he was unable to confirm it officially.
Groening worked as an accountant at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labor, and shipping it back to his Nazi superiors in Berlin.
He was found guilty in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murders of 300,000 people at the camp, and sentenced to four years in prison.
A court doctor determined last year that he was able to serve his sentence, on condition he was given appropriate nursing and medical care, but he was never jailed.
Israeli television is to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia with Arabic commentary for the first time, offering free coverage of world soccer’s most prestigious competition to the Jewish state’s Arabic-speaking neighbors.
The Foreign Ministry’s Arabic-language Facebook page announced last week that the Israel Broadcasting Corporation will broadcast the games via satellite in Arabic for free, thereby breaking a Qatari monopoly on World Cup coverage in Arabic that has proved unaffordable for many in the Middle East.
According to to the online newspaper Egypt Independent, IBC (Kan) purchased the broadcasting rights for approximately $7.8m. and will rival Qatar’s beIN Sports television channel’s coverage of the World Cup in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
With Qatar’s beIN Sports demanding that fans pay $45 per household to watch the World Cup in Arabic, beyond the budget of many families, millions of Middle East soccer fans are likely to turn to Israeli coverage as a free alternative.
The World Cup, due to kick off on June 14 in Moscow, will feature Egypt for only the third time – its first appearance in nearly three decades.
Cybersecurity researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev say they have found serious security issues in such off-the-shelf devices as baby monitors, home security and web cameras, doorbells, and thermostats. These were easily hacked into by the researchers as part of their ongoing study into detecting the vulnerabilities of the Internet of Things, internet-connected home devices and networks.
As we arm ourselves with smart doorbells, personal assistants, smartphones and ever-so-clever baby monitors, we are also increasingly exposing ourselves to the chances of our devices being taken over by criminal minded hackers. Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa creeped out owners last week when it emitted unprompted laughter. This spurred the e-commerce giant to fix the glitch, which was luckily not a hack. But the episode can be seen as a warning of things that could go wrong, as we become more and more connected.
“It is truly frightening how easily a criminal, voyeur or pedophile can take over these devices,” said Dr. Yossi Oren, a senior lecturer in BGU’s Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering and head of the Implementation Security and Side-Channel Attacks Lab at Cyber@BGU. “Using these devices in our lab, we were able to play loud music through a baby monitor, turn off a thermostat and turn on a camera remotely, much to the concern of our researchers who themselves use these products.”
“It only took 30 minutes to find passwords for most of the devices and some of them were found merely through a Google search of the brand,” said Omer Shwartz, a PhD student and member of Oren’s lab, in a statement released on Tuesday. “Once hackers can access an IoT device, like a camera, they can create an entire network of these camera models controlled remotely.”
The Ministry of Health recently gave its stamp of approval to an Israeli company producing marijuana vaporizers, possibly becoming the first country in the world to certify such a device for medical purposes.
Tel Aviv-based Kanabo Research, a medical-cannabis R&D firm, announced on Tuesday that the ministry certified the company’s VapePod vaporizer for the use of medical cannabis extracts and formulations, reportedly making international precedent.
“This approval is a significant announcement for the medical cannabis patients in Israel who will be able to use the medical vaporizer for the first time,” said Avihu Tamir, Kanabo’s co-founder and CEO.
Administering cannabis to patients has long frustrated doctors due to the lack of a precise dosage. It’s a problem that Kanabo says it can circumvent with the VapePod’s consistent and accurate gauge.
Founded in 2016, Kanabo employs 12 people. The firm expects to reach $10 million in sales within three years in the Israeli market, while the overall local cannabis trade could reach revenues of $100 million during that time.
An estimated 50 Israeli medical marijuana companies work in cultivating plants or producing delivery devices such as inhalers, along with exporting cannabis cosmetics and skin-care products. In 2016, international investors poured more than $100 million into Israeli marijuana firms, according to Reuters.
“The Israeli market is a platform to deliver our technology to global markets in North America and Europe,” Tamir added.
Israeli aerospace company Effective Space Solutions Ltd. signed a deal with U.S.-based launch services provider International Launch Services (ILS) to launch two of Effective Space’s “Space Drone” spacecraft into orbit in 2020, the companies announced Tuesday. The spacecraft will be launched with ILS’ Proton Breeze M vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in the greater Tel Aviv metropolitan area with additional offices in the U.K., Effective Space develops a small spacecraft that provide satellite operators with life-extension and end-of-life services, such as station keeping, orbit correction and relocation, and de-orbiting.
The company’s “Space Drone” spacecraft weigh less than 400 kilograms and can dock on almost all communications satellites currently in orbit. Once docked on a host satellite, the spacecraft provides maintenance that is capable of extending the life of the satellites by several years. Effective Space’s spacecraft is capable of multiple missions during its 15-year lifespan.
In January, Calcalist reported that Effective Space signed a $100 million multi-year contract to provide maintenance services to satellites operated by an undisclosed customer, described by Effective Space as a “major regional satellite operator.” As part of the deal, the company’s first, Effective Space agreed to launch two “Space Drone” spacecraft in 2020 to service two communication satellites.
Hundreds of Israeli soldiers and US Marines trained shoulder-to-shoulder Monday in southern Israel as part of Juniper Cobra 2018, drilling on close urban combat and tunnel warfare.
While the two-week-long joint Israeli/American military exercise drills on various scenarios adapted to Israel’s operational reality such as missile threats in various sectors simultaneously, the Marines have not directly participated in the missile drills which comprised the majority of Juniper Cobra.
Instead the 650 Marines trained with Israeli troops at the Tzehelim army base in several operational scenarios, including live fire and artillery drills, in order to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the two allies.
Calling the training with the Israelis “incredible,” Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, told reporters that this year’s Juniper Cobra is the largest that the Marine Corps and navy have participated in for the last six years.
“Both of our militaries have lots of experience, but that experience is different – from different places – and what we are able to do here is take our experiences from [the] last conflicts that we’ve been in and to share them,” he said, adding that this “allows us to increase the potency of both military forces.”
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) March 12, 2018
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