Teen terror victim to European Parliament: Stop funding war
The Friends of Judea and Samaria, a European Parliament caucus that aims to halt European Union funding of Palestinian terrorism and abolish EU trade barriers placed on Jewish goods from Judea and Samaria hosted its first ever conference in Brussels on Tuesday.
One of the speakers at the conference, named “Israel and the West Bank — Facts and Myths,” was Ayala Shapira, whose emotional speech earned her a standing ovation. Shapira was critically wounded in a terrorist attack in December 2014, when terrorists hurled a firebomb into a car she was riding with her father as they made their way home in Samaria.
With her face fully bandaged as a result of the third-degree burns she suffered in the attack, Shapira told conference attendees, “I am Ayala, almost 14 years old. I live in El Matan in Samaria. I like to read, write stories and draw. I want to describe the feeling of having a terrorist attack directed at you.
“One of the terrorists that threw the Molotov cocktail at our car was a 16-year-old boy, only a few years older than me. He did it, among other reasons, to help his family financially. He knew that if he went to prison, the Palestinian Authority would take care of them. I want you to remember that sometimes when you think you are donating money to peace, you are in fact funding the war,” she said.
I had hoped to report on a meeting in Parliament (Conference Room 1) on 28 March. It was the ‘Balfour Apology Campaign’, chaired by Jenny Tonge. Unfortunately the Chair, Lord Warner (not Tonge – yes I’ll get to that later), threw out the only two Jews in the room, probably in order that the hatefest could not be witnessed.
So who knows what lies, demonisation and anti-semitism were voiced?
But of course, throwing out the only two Jews in the room – on an unfounded accusation in one case and with no reason whatsoever in the other (mine) – itself stinks of anti-semitism.
Down to speak was David Cronin. He writes for Spinwatch, that strange organisation which seems obsessed with ‘Jewish power ‘. Cronin writes from Brussels and is a specialist in demonising Israel and its supporters.
Here for example he writes ‘the Israel lobby is a force not only on Capitol Hill, but in Brussels, too, and … it is attempting to stifle debate about Israel’s sadistic treatment of the Palestinian people.’ He is famous (more accurately, infamous) for attempting (and failing) to make a citizen’s arrest of Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels. And look what he said about Jonathan Freedland in March 2015, when Freedland was thought to be a candidate to become Editor-In-Chief of the Guardian: ‘In a perverse way, it might be a good thing if he gets the job.
With Freedland at the helm, it would be easier to show how a supposedly progressive newspaper is in thrall to the toxic ideology of Zionism’.
“Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege,” screams a flyer being distributed on the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.
The flyer falsely alleges that 44 percent of Jewish Americans are in the top 1% of earners. The threshold for being in the top 1% is $465,626, and as much as 44% of Jewish Americans would like to have achieved that distinction, they haven’t. What the flyer’s authors meant is that 44% of Jewish Americans earn more than $100,000 a year.
Although foreign-born Muslims have not yet achieved the success of Jews, they are far more likely to earn more than $50,00-a-year, compared to native-born Americans. But don’t expect their success to be on a leaflet distributed on college campuses.
Southeast Asian Muslim immigrants — many of them from Pakistanis — are known to value education and go into the professions. They abound in medicine, comprising between 2.7% and 5% of all US physicians, and in high-paying technical fields. They also bring with them an entrepreneurial spirit. Sound familiar?
Rather than commend Jewish success as something to aspire to, the authors of the flyer view it with contempt because in their demented Marxist view of the world, all gain is ill-gotten and a function of privilege. They don’t recognize that a combination of gray matter, hard work and a willingness to take risks also contribute to success.
What’s the antidote to the global anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) threat on college campuses? For Joel Greenberg, a founder of one of the world’s largest privately held investment firms, it’s making sure students understand that Israeli soldiers aren’t like the enemy combatants in Star Wars.
“You can talk all you want, give them all the books in the bag, but unless the person is there talking to Israelis and talking to people in the IDF their own age who are clearly not the next wave of stormtroopers, well, that’s the most important thing I do. That’s why I put so much effort into it,” Greenberg told an audience in Los Angeles.
Greenberg, who once hunted Nazi war criminals for the US Office of Special Investigations, was among the prominent speakers who addressed a gathering of more than 250 people early in March for an annual summit described by its organizers as the first large-scale national conference devoted exclusively to the issue of tackling BDS.
Hosted by the pro-Israel education organization StandWithUs, the “Combating the Boycott Movement Against Israel” conference draws representatives from Jewish and pro-Israel advocacy groups as well as other activists.
Conference sessions featured a wide array of experts on BDS and its ramifications for communities, businesses, culture and the law. But the central focus was the threat pro-Israel students face on college campuses and cultivating student efforts to stem the threat.
Famed Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who delivered the conference’s opening remarks, told the Haym Solomon Center that the BDS approach on campuses “mis-educates future leaders.”
Blinded by Trumpaphobia, conditioned by habitual Jewish cringing, some radical Jews are allying with pro-boycott Israel-bashers. The fight has been most intense among feminists, some of whom inserted irrelevant, divisive calls to “decolonize” Palestine – meaning destroy Israel – into the International Women’s Strike against US President Donald Trump. Fortunately, an unlikely hero, Mayim Bialik, the celebrity actress with a PhD in neuroscience who plays neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on TV, proclaimed with a Big Bang: “I am a feminist Zionist.” Bialik charges that “forcing out…liberal Jews from our own political identification as liberals is the most divisive, un-American, un-feminist, disturbing turn of events in my life as a liberal Zionist.”
This debate is not new. In 1975, Betty Friedan protested when the International Woman’s Year World Conference libeled Zionism as racism. When “virulent anti-Israel and antisemitic” thuggery marred the 1980 conference, Letty Cottin Pogrebin responded, bravely exposing the “Anti-Semitism in the Women’s Movement” in Ms. in 1982. Thirty-five years later, bigoted radical feminists still ignore Palestinian sexism and negate Zionism’s legitimacy.
With a scientific precision, Bialik provides moral leadership.
“Zionism is the belief in the right of the Jewish people to have an autonomous state in Israel,” she blogged on GrokNation. “I am a Zionist. Feminism is the belief that a woman-driven movement can bring about race, class and gender equality and that women deserve all of the rights and privileges afforded to men. I am a feminist…. Zionism and feminism are not in conflict with each other.”
She added on Facebook: “The singling out of Israel for human rights violations reveals a heinous bigotry…. What I said had to be said, and the conversation surrounding Zionism finally went too far for me to keep my big mouth shut.”
“If someone says Israel is an apartheid country, they don’t know what apartheid means,” an Ethiopian-Israeli activist told The Algemeiner on Monday.
“For example, an apartheid state does not appoint two Ethiopian-Israeli women to become judges,” Fentahun Assefa-Dawit — the executive director of the Tebeka legal aid group — noted, referring to Adenko Sebhat-Haimovich and Esther Tapeta Gardi.
In an interview on the sidelines of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in Washington, DC, Assefa-Dawit — whose NGO’s mission is to promote justice and equality for Ethiopian-Israelis – stated, “Like AIPAC strengthens Israel from the outside, we’re doing it from the inside.”
Tebeka, according to Assefa-Dawit, has been working with the government to eliminate racism within Israeli society.
“Absolutely, progress is being made,” he said. “Like any other country, there is discrimination and racism in Israel and there are many challenges that different groups face. But unlike many other countries, Israel tries to sit down and solve these problems. From the top down, starting with the prime minister, everybody is cooperating to resolve these issues. Unlike other countries, we see that Israel is trying its best to make the situation better and things are moving in the right direction.”
Approximately 140,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, comprising around 1.7% of the country’s population.
On many campuses, BDS supporters put up a “wall” to symbolize the security barrier Israel built to prevent terrorist attacks, without mentioning that it was erected in direct response to the murder of more than 700 Israeli civilians (16). They disregard the 800,000 Jews who became refugees from Arab countries after the 1948 War (17), and instead demand the return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel, omitting facts about these refugees that are crucial to understanding the situation. The majority of the Palestinian refugee population of 750,000 was created in 1948 after the Arabs rejected the existence of a Jewish state alongside a state of Palestine, and instead waged a war against the Jews (18). Palestinian refugees are the only group in the world who have their UN refugee status passed down through generations by blood (19). As a result of this unique designation, the original 750,000 Palestinian refugees have grown into a current population of more than five million (20), roughly 40 percent as large as Israel’s 8.6 million population.
The narrative that these groups espouse is but one perspective. We should certainly look critically at all sides of a story, and many of the arguments that BDS proponents present are fueled by a myriad of factual distortions. Although they pin the blame for the Palestinians’ situation almost entirely on Israel, much of it unfortunately lies at the feet of Palestinian leaders whose rejectionism, incompetence, and corruption has irrefutably increased their people’s misery. Indeed, Palestinians living in the West Bank should have the right to vote for their own government in the Palestinian Authority, and are only prevented from doing so because their President, Mahmoud Abbas, is inexplicably in the 13th year of his 4-year term (21). Moreover, the Palestinian Authority government provides the school textbooks in the West Bank, and many of these books erase Israel from the map, replacing it with Palestine (22). By indoctrinating the next generation of Palestinians, the government ensures that future Palestinian leaders will feel entitled to nothing less than all of Israel and continue to systematically reject every Israeli peace offer.
I am not ashamed of my love for Israel, although BDS supporters frequently paint a misleading picture that makes this view seem impossible to reconcile with morality. Israel may fall short of the unachievable standards these groups hold it to, but it has long been an oasis of freedom in a very troubled part of the world. I am not ashamed to love a country that has endured and persevered in spite of being repeatedly attacked since its establishment. Despite its current status as a powerful nation, had Israel not emerged victorious from wars in 1948, 1967, and 1973, it would have been destroyed. I am not ashamed to love a country that protects the Jewish people in a world where history has shown time and time again that other countries are utterly incapable of doing so. I love Israel, and I am not ashamed.
IsraellyCool: Israeli Arab Rips Haters While Defending Israel
An Israeli Arab schools the Israel haters. Like a boss.
Make sure closed captions are on (CC button) to see English translation.
Update: The Israeli Arab here is apparently Muhammad Kabiya.
One recently demobilized IDF soldier decided to join the fight on behalf of Israel abroad after hearing how hostile many college campuses have become towards supporters of the Jewish state.
Muhammad Kabiya, an Israeli Bedouin who recently completed his service in the IDF on a search and rescue team in the Israeli Air Force, says critics of the Jewish state abroad display a remarkable ignorance of Israel – particularly the anti-Israel Jews he encountered on US college campuses.
Raised in the village of Kabiya, which was named after his family, Muhammad Kabiya comes from a long line of Bedouin who supported Israel and the Zionist enterprise. His village was one of Arab communities in Israel which backed the newly-formed Jewish state in 1948 and fought on its behalf.
Many villagers and relatives have served in the IDF, said Kabiya, who told United With Israel that his family fully supported his decision to enlist.
As shown by NGO Monitor research, a report published today by a coalition of French and Palestinian pro-BDS organizations that calls on the French government to “pressure” French financial institutions to divest from Israeli banks, communication, insurance, and utility companies, is funded by the Swedish government.
The report, titled ‘The Dangerous Ties between French Banks and Insurances Companies with Israeli Occupation‘ and written by Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD – Terre Solidaire, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the French League of Human Rights (LDH), and Al-Haq, also calls on the French government to intervene and force French banks and insurance companies to “disengage without delay from any financial link with Israeli banks” as well as encourages “a legislative proposal prohibiting enterprises from all sectors to invest in the settlements.”
Olga Deutsch, Director of the Europe Desk at NGO Monitor, “BDS groups are once again targeting France and Israel with economic warfare, and it is no surprise that the central pillars of the French and Israeli economies are in their sights. What is even more troubling is that a third country – Sweden – is involved as well, and this report reflects the danger of irresponsible Swedish funding to NGOs.”
A Muslim relief group allegedly linked to Hamas has launched a legal challenge in Federal Court in an attempt to be taken off the Canadian government’s list of “terrorist entities.”
The International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy Canada has asked to be removed from the terrorist list and also wants the entire listing process struck down as unconstitutional.
This is the second time the Mississauga, Ont.-based group has gone to court in the hope of being de-listed. It last tried in 2014 but the case was discontinued the following year.
Fifty-three factions — including al-Qaida, ISIL and Hezbollah — are currently on Canada’s list of designated terrorist groups, which effectively makes them illegal organizations.
IRFAN-Canada’s troubles with the government began in 2011 when its charity status was revoked after federal auditors concluded it was an “integral part” of the Hamas fundraising network.
A renowned American-Israel historian told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that the vote earlier this month by members of a US academic society to remove the term “non-political” from its bylaws indicates that it is preparing to pass a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution.
Martin Kramer, founding president of Jerusalem’s Shalem College and author most recently of The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East, said that the March 17 Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) vote — which garnered 81% approval — was an obvious prelude to “pushing MESA into an academic boycott of Israel.”
Kramer noted that though MESA “avoided mention” of BDS explicitly, in a Feb. 2 letter, 11 of its former presidents cited engagement in “advocacy” on Israel-related issues, as well as those having to do with Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Syria and the Gulf states, as the impetus for the move.
Kramer said mention in the letter — whose signatories included Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, who said in January that Zionists would “infest” the Trump administration — of countries beyond the Jewish state was intentional, to make the campaign seem not “Israel-centric.”
“The [bylaw] change would allow the association to defend academic freedom more generally, in places like Turkey and Egypt, and in the America of Trump,” he said. “But let’s see how many motions there will be for an academic boycott of Turkey or Egypt or Iran. I predict: none.”
Kramer also assessed, “When [BDS is] passed, Israeli scholars will leave, and others will decamp in solidarity.”
Following revelations by a media watchdog that a student group at a Nablus school has promoted violence against Israel, a San Francisco State University (SFSU) spokesperson told The Algemeiner Tuesday that its partnership with the Palestinian institution will continue as before.
The SFSU spokesperson was responding to the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) report that An-Najah National University’s chapter of Shabiba, the student movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, created a logo bearing the slogan, “From the sea of blood of the martyrs we will create a state.” The logo, part of Shabiba’s campaign for student council elections, also depicts a raised “resistance” fist in the shape of the entire state of Israel, suggesting that the Jewish state will be destroyed and replaced with Palestine, according to PMW.
The SFSU spokesperson said the ongoing general memorandum of understanding (MOU) with An-Najah — approved in 2014 — is a “goodwill document that demonstrates an intention to collaborate,” though a “specific project has not yet been identified” since it was signed. Should one be presented, she said, SFSU would take student and faculty safety into consideration when reviewing it..
As The Algemeiner reported, campus watchdogs have called on SFSU to terminate the MOU with An-Najah, citing the university’s deep ties to “extremism, glorification of terrorism, routine incitement to violence and antisemitism.” They said their efforts have been met with “deafening silence” from SFSU.
Despite the clear record of anti-Israel activism, JVP is trying to mainstream itself in the progressive Jewish community. Its coffers are growing, and it now has a budget over $3 million, which it uses to organize a myriad of anti-Israel activism.
That attempt at mainstreaming, however, is belied by the Featured Speakers list at JVP’s annual meeting, to be held from March 31-April 2, 2017, in Chicago. That Featured Speakers list is a veritable “Who’s Who” of Israel haters, some famous, others not so famous.
The list features several ‘superstars’ in the BDS movement, such as UC Berkeley gender theorist Judith Butler as well as convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmiah Odeh (see LI coverage here), as well as recent media hero Linda Sarsour, who garnered national celebrity following her involvement with the National Women’s March (in which, Odeh was involved as well).
In addition to these speakers, JVP will be featuring a parade of anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian speakers.
Notably, no representation of the more standard ‘pro-peace’ line of Israeli (or for that matter) Palestinian speakers will be present. Rather, the speakers, almost to a one, has a record of blaming Israel for racism and aggression (or ‘colonialism’), and, among those who have spoken out on the matter: all support a blame Israel approach that manifests itself in boycotts and hostility to everything Israel.
This piece will survey some of the Featured Speakers and their history of anti-Israel activism.
As you go through the list, ask yourselves, is the group sponsoring this collection of speakers really a Jewish voice for peace?
The Texas Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill on Wednesday barring the state from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel, placing increased pressure on a Dallas-based banking giant to cut ties with an activist group that targets Israel for economic warfare, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post.
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), which supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel, defends Iran’s nuclear program, and has a chapter in North Korea, maintains an account at Comerica Bank.
The IADL ”excuses the actions of terrorist organizations and denies Israel’s right to defend itself,” said Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith, while testifying on behalf of the anti-boycott legislation. Mariaschin asserted that Comerica should cut ties with the group, noting, “Banks have recognized that they should not truck or have business with these types [BDS] of accounts.”
Jan Fermon, a Belgian lawyer and secretary-general of IADL, acknowledged in a letter to the Post earlier this month that his group supports the BDS campaign. “IADL engaged in solidarity with the Palestinian people in a very early stage of its existence because it considers the violations of international law and human rights law… by the Israeli authorities as a major obstacle to a just and lasting peace in the region,” he wrote.
IsraellyCool: Electronic Intifada’s Latest Libel: Israel Causes Cancer
EI’s source for the cancer statistics is the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. Their numbers can never be trusted, since they demonstrably inflate them to serve their propaganda goals. But given EI’s founder Ali Abunimah is a Hamas fanboy, it is not surprising EI would disseminate these false numbers.
Their claim here is the Gaza cancer rate is 141 cases per 100,000 people. Which actually contradicts the number of 83.9 cases per 100,000 people just put out by the Palestinian Ministry of Health (run by the PA). And note the discrepancy – the Hamas number is a whopping 68% higher than the PA one.
And even if you accepted the false Hamas numbers, that cancer rate is way lower than that of other countries – including Israel’s, which is over 3 times as high as the Gaza Health Ministry rate.
But the EI smear-job does not stop there. Armed with the false statistics that are still relatively low when compared to other countries, they then try to pin the blame on Israel. Because, Electronic Intifada.
After years of fighting to get US pop sensation Britney Spears to perform in Israel, promoters have finally set the date of July 3 in Tel Aviv. While Spears is no longer the epicenter of pop music, she still commands a large international crowd, a large price tag and likely the condemnation of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists who will seek to prevent the performance.
According to Guy Beser, CEO of Bluestone Entertainment, which is bringing Spears to Israel, his company has been successful in recruiting big-name artists with little impact from the BDS movement. “When it comes to artists as big as Britney, Guns N’ Roses, or Aerosmith, I don’t think that BDS really effects them,” he said.
The BDS movement rose to prominence in the mid-2000s as a loosely connected group of activists and organizations seeking to pressure Israel economically and politically through cultural, economic and academic boycotts.
A statement by the movement this month said it is petitioning the band Radiohead to call of their July concert, because “such a performance, irrespective of intentions, will help Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid cover up its massive violations of Palestinian human rights.”
Avi Yossef, a promoter with Israeli entertainment giant, the Zappa group, said the impact of BDS is waning in his industry. “In the last two years, we see BDS is having a serious breaking up,” remarked Yossef, “and we feel it here in Israel.”
The United Church of Christ (UCC), a liberal Protestant church with roots that go back to the Mayflower, is at it again. During the first few days of July 2017, the denomination’s deliberative body, the General Synod, will gather in Baltimore Maryland. The General Synod will approve the denomination’s budget and vote on some proposals that determine how the church’s national bureaucracy will be reorganized. The synod will also vote on a number of resolutions that call on the denomination’s officers and local churches to advocate for particular social causes that the assembly deems important.
There are 17 resolutions on the General Synod’s agenda, one of which deals with Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in its detention centers. As of this writing, there are no resolutions on the agenda dealing with the massacre of huge numbers of people in Syria by the regime led by Bashar Al-Assad, who has killed hundreds of thousands of Sunni Muslims, many of them children, since the beginning of his country’s civil war in 2011.
There might be some pushback within the denomination against the resolution, which portrays Israel as guilty of crimes against Palestinian children. There should be. The resolution, which was submitted by a number of churches located mostly in coastal “blue states” such as California, Oregon and Connecticut, makes no pretense of holding Palestinian leaders accountable even as it invokes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the Palestinian Authority signed in 2014, to justify its condemnations of Israel.
When Christian peacemaking institutions discover they are providing institutional support to people who advocate or condone violence, the proper response is to apologize, distance themselves from the people in question and try not to make the same mistake again. The last thing Christian organizations can afford to do is to allow their peace activism to become a smokescreen for radicals who promote hate, violence and totalitarian ideologies. Sadly, all too many radicals have learned how to use Christian institutions to legitimize their violent and hateful messages.
One vulnerable target is the World Council of Churches, an umbrella organization headquartered in Geneva that represents approximately 350 churches worldwide. The WCC has been a vocal promoter of the Kairos Palestine Document, a text issued by Palestinian Christians in 2009. In addition to calling for supporters to boycott Israel, the text condones Palestinian terror attacks against civilians by passing off Palestinian violence as “legal resistance” aimed at ending the occupation — without acknowledging Israeli peace offers which, if accepted, would have resulted in the creation of a Palestinian state.
By publicizing the Kairos Palestine Document at the behest of anti-Zionist Christians (who rely on Israel for their safey), the WCC has embraced the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and condoned Palestinian efforts to achieve by violence what has been offered to them at the negotiating table. That’s irresponsible.
The WCC’s irresponsibility doesn’t end there. The WCC has also maintained a relationship with Yusef Daher, who leads the WCC-sponsored Jerusalem Interchurch Center. Contrary to his calling as a peacemaker, Daher has praised a well-known Christian terrorist, George Habash, a now-deceased member of the Popular Front for the Liberation for Palestine.
When Donald Trump named Steve Bannon his chief strategist, backlash from Jewish leaders was swift amid fears that the ex-Breitbart News boss would bring white nationalist sympathies to the White House.
So in one of his first interviews on the new job, Bannon tried to quiet those concerns by invoking something most people had never heard of: “Breitbart Jerusalem.”
“Breitbart is the most pro-Israel site in the United States of America,” Bannon told The Wall Street Journal. “I have Breitbart Jerusalem, which I have Aaron Klein run with about 10 reporters there.”
It’s a line that Bannon and his allies have used repeatedly since his appointment, turning to the fledgling media operation as a shield against suggestions that he, and the administration by extension, are tolerant of anti-Semitism. It’s an accusation rooted in Bannon’s praise for the so-called “alt-right,” a movement associated with white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
And Klein, Bannon’s choice to lead Breitbart’s Middle East outpost, is playing his part, emerging as a vocal validator for Bannon while building the controversial outlet’s international brand.
On a Wednesday afternoon in March, Klein was found running Breitbart Jerusalem operations from his luxurious three-story apartment located, notably, not in Jerusalem but in Tel Aviv, the most liberal, cosmopolitan city in Israel. As storm clouds gathered over the Mediterranean, which was visible from his airy kitchen, Klein sipped a Diet Coke and alternated between expounding on the opportunities for Breitbart Jerusalem in the Trump era and tending to his dog, a black and white papillon named Uzi—for the gun.
First, it appears as if Goodman is relying completely on his own memory, recalling a radio broadcast more than 35 years after the fact. There’s no mention of it in Ben-Gurion’s Six Day War diary published by Brandeis. CAMERA’s Israel office staff couldn’t find any mention of the quote in Hebrew searches. Moreover, it seems extraordinarily unlikely that Ben-Gurion would have said such a thing at all, yet alone while the Six Day War was still in progress – only two days after the IDF took control of the territory.
We reached out to prominent Israeli historian Benny Morris, who told us in an email that he never heard of that Ben-Gurion quote.
We contacted Middle East historian Martin Kramer, who also said that quote seems “dubious”. Kramer noted that in the days following the war, Ben-Gurion visited Hebron and said the ancient Jewish city was Jerusalem’s twin and had to be kept and rapidly settled. Kramer added that Ben-Gurion did not want all of the West Bank, “but he wasn’t prepared to give back everything either”, thus making it extremely unlikely he would have ever opined about “the territories.” As for the “apartheid state” analogy, Kramer noted that it appears nowhere in the war diary of Ben-Gurion, or in any scholarly study devoted to Ben-Gurion’s later years.
At this point, it appears as if The Independent – by uncritically citing Falk – has helped circulate a fake quote by the late Israeli prime minister.
The death of South African anti-apartheid campaigner Ahmed Kathrada on March 28th was covered on a range of BBC platforms, including World Service radio programmes, television news and the BBC News website.
The BBC also saw fit to recycle its 2014 ‘Hardtalk’ interview with Kathrada on multiple platforms. The audio version of that programme was rebroadcast in full on World Service radio on March 29th and on the same day the filmed version of the interview was re-shown on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel and re-promoted on BBC iPlayer.
The BBC News website promoted clips from that 2014 ‘Hardtalk’ interview on March 28th, including one titled “Kathrada: I can never be anti-Jewish” which is described as follows in the synopsis:
“But he has never stopped campaigning for the ideals of freedom on which the anti-apartheid movement was based.
Speaking to Hardtalk in 2014 he gave his whole-hearted support to the Palestinians but made clear he was critical of Israel but not anti-Jewish.”
As was noted here when it was first aired almost three years ago, in that interview Kathrada expressed unequivocal support for the practice of indiscriminate killing of Israeli Jews by Palestinian terror groups. He also promoted the false notion of ‘apartheid’ in Israel.
Over the years BBC audiences have been regularly exposed to descriptions of the restrictions imposed by Israel on the import of munitions and dual-use goods to the Gaza Strip and the policies on entry to Israel from that territory that include inaccurate portrayals of the measures imposed and the reasons for them in distinctly partisan language. For example:
“Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade around Gaza aimed at preventing attacks by militants there, though the measure has been condemned by rights groups as a form of collective punishment.” BBC News website, February 13th 2017.
“…the stifling border closures the Israeli government says are for security, the people here say are for collective punishment.” BBC World Service radio, February 1st 2017.
As noted here previously, the BBC has chosen not to report the assassination of Mazen Fuqaha on its English language services and – despite its usually extensive coverage of Gaza border restrictions implemented by Israel – Hamas’ decision to impose closures on the borders and a ban on fishing have also not been deemed newsworthy.
The New York Times itself had accurately reported in its real estate section less than two years ago that the neighborhood “has a populous Lubavitcher Hasidic section.”
That same article, from 2015, also reported, “Single-family homes typically sell for around $800,000 to $1.5 million; two-family homes for $1.2 million to $1.7 million; three-family homes for $1.6 million to $2 million.” One of the city’s “poorer” neighborhoods, indeed.
The New York Jewish Week reported in a 2016 article about Crown Heights that there were approximately “23,800 Jews living there, according to UJA-Federation of New York’s 2011 population study.”
The Times article today doesn’t come right out and call the Jews of Crown Heights interlopers. It doesn’t acknowledge their presence at all. But it’s not difficult to draw that implication. Maybe it’s the lawsuit, not the Times, making the demographic characterization of the neighborhood, but if that is so, the distinction isn’t clear from the sentence in the Times. In any case, if it is the lawsuit making that false characterization, there is no reason for the Times to pass it along uncorrected.
It may seem like a small point. But consider the history of the violent antisemitic riot in the neighborhood in 1991 — a riot that, as former New York Times reporter Ari Goldman wrote, the Times itself failed to cover accurately. Is it really too much to ask today’s New York Times not to omit the Jewish presence from its description of the neighborhood?
Apparently, and unfortunately, it is.
Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadia Savchenko and soldier-turned-member of parliament has spent the last six months alienating most everyone in Ukrainian politics, a process which has culminated with several instances of her making televised anti-Semitic commentary. She has been roundly denounced for her statements by leaders of the Ukrainian Jewish community.
Savchenko, who was captured by Russian led Ukrainian separatists in the intense early fighting in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, was transported over the Russian border (which as illegal by international law of war) where she was made to stand trial in a politicized kangaroo court for the absurd crime of having illegally entered Russian territory. For her principled and stoic stand against Russia in the midst of her political trial, Savchenko became a national symbol of resistance against Moscow, with thousands of Ukrainians, at home and in the diaspora, working on the campaign to release her, including myself (I worked on behalf of her release in 2014-15 and translated some of her prison writings into English.)
During the trial, populist Batkivshchyna party leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko had put Savchenko at the top of her party list for the 2014 elections. She was also made a member of Ukraine’s PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) mission which also ostensibly offered her diplomatic immunity against the Russian trial. The only woman member of the Ukrainian expeditionary force in Iraq, she has an undeniably fierce personality—and by many accounts a troubled one. Having proved to be nonbreakable stoic during the trial, a prisoner swap was quickly arranged in exchange for two Russian GRU intelligence agents who had been captured by the Ukrainian army. Her triumphant release in May of 2016, during which she flew to Kyiv on the president’s personal plane inaugurated a moment where it looked like she was the most popular politician in the country.
MedyMatch Technology Ltd. and the healthcare unit of Samsung Electronics said Wednesday they will collaborate to integrate the Israeli startup’s artificial intelligence software with the South Korean multinational’s medical imaging hardware for emergency use.
The announcement came after MedyMatch said earlier this month it has signed a five-year licensing agreement with IBM Watson Health, which will enable the artificial intelligence heath arm of the US giant to market the Israeli technology together with its other services.
The collaboration with Samsung NeuroLogica Corporation will help clinicians quickly and accurately assess patients in environments in which hospital specialists are not always at hand, the companies said in a statement.
The first area of focus will be strokes, whereby MedyMatch technologies will be integrated into mobile stroke units (MSU), specialized ambulances or other emergency vehicles that are equipped with a Samsung CT (computed tomography) scanner.
Waze’s traffic navigation app already shows ads prodding drivers to swing by fast-food joints like Dunkin’ Donuts and Taco Bell. Now it’s adding a new item to its menu — the ability to place orders at some shops.
On Tuesday, the Google-owned app will start letting drivers purchase coffee and other items from Dunkin’ Donuts for pickup along their way. It’s the first time that Waze has offered this kind of “order ahead” option, but unlikely to be the last.
If all goes well with the Dunkin’ Donuts test, Waze plans to team up with other merchants so its millions of users can order pizza, reserve parking spaces, fill prescriptions and even buy groceries without having to open another app on their phones.
“It could be almost anything that a driver could order ahead and have ready for pick up,” said Jordan Grossman, head of Waze’s business partnerships in North America.
The sky’s the limit for an Israeli drone maker that says it has recently been granted the first certificate in the world to fly a fully automated drone, with no human operator.
“We just made history…It flies itself, it’s completely automatic and the best metaphor I can give is if tomorrow somebody gets that same certification to operate an autonomous car with no driver…it’s huge,” Airobotics co-founder and CEO Ran Krauss, told Reuters.
Self-flying drones have been launched before, but Krauss says the 7.5 kg (16.5 pound) quadcopter, called Optimus, is the only solution to automate the entire operation.
Optimus is capable of carrying a one kilogram (2.2 pound) payload at a 36 kilometres per hour for 30 minutes.
The system, which takes off, flies and lands prescheduled missions or missions on demand, is comprised of three components, – the drone, cloud-based software and an “Airbase”, or docking station.
The Israeli economy grew by 4% in 2016, exceeding projections by 1.2 percentage points and marking the most solid economic performance for the country since 2012, the Bank of Israel said Wednesday.
Israel’s economy grew by 2.5% in 2015 and 3.2% in 2014.
In its 2016 annual report, the bank noted that the gross domestic product hit a record 1.22 trillion shekels ($337 billion); Israel had a record $12.4 billion surplus in its current account balance of payments; unemployment dropped to 4.8% in 2016; public debt dropped to an all-time low of 62.8% of GDP; the number of employed Israelis hit a record high of 3.74 million people; the GDP per capita reached a historic high of $36,800; private consumption climbed by 6%; and Israelis overall standard of living increased by 5%.
At 4%, Israel’s economic growth was double of the United States’ economic growth in the past year; it was 2.3 times higher than the average growth among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members; and 2.5 times higher than average growth in the eurozone.
According to the data, since 2011, the Israeli economy grew by a cumulative 21.6%, exceeding all OECD member states.
Hollywood hunk Adrian Grenier was in Israel earlier this month, and nobody was quite sure why.
But it turns out the ‘Entourage’ star was here to film a Passover ad for the Israeli gift card company BuyMe, complete with a kippa and overbearing relatives.
The ad opens with Grenier donning a big, white, satin yarmulke, then offering a signature grin to the camera. “Happy Pesach,” he says, mastering the guttural “ch” sound perfectly.
Grenier tells viewers that due to his charm, he can get away with offering terrible gifts for Passover, including a car air freshener, edible yoyo and rock replica.
“But you my friend,” he says, “are no Adrian Grenier… you’re not even close.”
Since starring in the popular “Entourage” TV show, Grenier appeared in the “Entourage” film, some smaller movies, and has been involved in a variety of philanthropic efforts.
The commercial hit airwaves in Israel this week, encouraging Israelis to buy gift cards – instead of questionably tasteful presents – for family and friends.
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