Eugene Kontorovich: Federal judge advances lawsuit challenging academic group’s Israel boycott
I noted the case in these columns when it was filed a year ago, and helped advise the plaintiffs’ legal team. Back then, Palestine Legal — an activist group that provided legal advice to the ASA during its adoption of the boycott — claimed the lawsuit was designed to “chill speech supporting Palestinian rights,” and predicted the lawsuit would be would “thrown out by the court.”
Instead, a Memorandum Opinion by Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the defendants’ demands for dismissal of most of the plaintiffs’ causes of action (waste, breach of contract and violation of the D.C. Nonprofit Corporation Act).
The court rejected what was perhaps the defendants’ most vocal contention, which invoked the First Amendment. They claimed the group had a broad “right to engage in a boycott,” and that enforcing the group’s own associations rules, or general provisions of corporate law, would infringe on their free speech. The judge noted the obvious — the dispute does not involve any state action, but rather members of an organization seeking to enforce the group’s own private rules and arrangements. Judicial enforcement of contractual arrangements does not constitute state action, and the defendants were surely unwise to rely on famous outlier cases such as Shelley v. Kraemer. Moreover, the fact that complying with the requirements of the D.C. nonprofit code might make it harder for the association to pass boycotts does not make it a First Amendment issue.
The ASA case will now proceed to discovery, which may shed more light on the full circumstances and considerations that lead a group of academics to adopt a unique boycott of a foreign country’s academic institutions.
Col. Kemp: The chutzpah of Sayeeda Warsi
The chutzpah of Sayeeda Warsi. I mean that in the Yiddish sense of despicable insolence, but likening the Israel Defence Force to the Islamic State is much worse, it is dangerously irresponsible. Warsi excuses IS and Muslims who leave Britain to murder and rape for them yet condemns the IDF and British Jews who serve in their honourable ranks.
Coming from the most prominent Muslim parliamentarian, this will make Islamic jihadists sniff blood. It will encourage UK Muslims to join terror groups and embolden IS. Repeating the lie that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza validates Hamas’s human shield strategy and encourages further violence and killing. She has blood on her hands.
Her arguments are absurd. She obviously doesn’t care about the so-called loophole she demands is closed: allowing British citizens to join a foreign army. If she did, she would apply the same in reverse, condemning the thousands of Gurkhas and Commonwealth soldiers in the ranks of the British forces today.
She would also condemn the hundreds of thousands from her parents’ native Pakistan who served in the British Army, including in two world wars.
Among them were both her grandfathers.
So what is this all about? Warsi objects to the increasing action against hundreds of UK Muslims fighting with Islamic terror groups and wants an excuse to demonize Israel as she’s done before.
Brendan O’Neill: The short path from censorship to violence
The news that Ayaan Hirsi Ali has cancelled her speaking tour of Australia due to ‘security concerns’ should concern anyone who believes in freedom. It is a dark day when a woman who fled to the West to escape the Islamist suffocations of Somalia, and precisely so that she might think and speak freely, feels she cannot say certain things in certain places. That even a Western, liberal, democratic nation like Australia cannot guarantee Hirsi Ali the freedom to speak her mind without suffering censorship or harm is deeply worrying. It points to the mainstreaming of intolerance, to the adoption by certain people in the West of the illiberalism that makes up the very Islamist outlook that Hirsi Ali and others have sought to escape.
Hirsi Ali’s Oz tour, ‘Hero of Heresy’, had been due to kick off this Thursday. She would have visited Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, hosted by Think Inc., an organisation devoted to ‘the promotion of intellectual discourse’. But today, citing, among other things, ‘security concerns’, Think Inc. announced the tour was off.
This isn’t the first time Hirsi Ali has effectively been hounded out of even tolerant nations, made to feel unwelcome in the West because of her strong, critical take on Islam and its treatment of women. She had to leave her adopted home of Holland after receiving death threats for her involvement in the 2004 Islam-critical film Submission (the film’s director, Theo van Gogh, was stabbed to death by an Islamist). She still has heavy security whenever she speaks in public. Certain campuses in the US have made it clear she isn’t welcome, because she’s ‘Islamophobic’. That is, she criticises Islam, which today is treated as a species of mental illness. How perverse that even a woman who has suffered under extreme forms of Islam can be treated as dangerous for daring to ridicule that religion.
Alan Dershowitz: A euphemism for anti-US, anti-Israel and antisemitic bigotry?
What do Hamas and the anti-violence group Black Lives Matter have in common? What does Israel have in common with the Ku Klux Klan? What does the Islamic Republic of Iran, which throws gays off rooftops, have in common with gay right activists? What do feminists have in common with radical Islamic sexists who support the honor killing and genital mutilation of women? Nothing of course. Unless you subscribe to the pseudo-academic concept of intersectionality.
Intersectionality – the radical academic theory which holds that all forms of social oppression are inexorably linked – has become a code word for anti-American, anti-Western, anti-Israel and antisemitic bigotry.
Nowhere has adoption of this radical paradigm been more pronounced than on college campuses, where in the name of “identity politics” and “solidarity,” intersectionality has forced artificial coalitions between causes that have nothing to do with each other except a hatred for their fellow students who are “privileged” because they are white, heterosexual, male and especially Jewish.
Students at the University of Illinois (UIC) recently took to social media to express their distress after flyers were plastered around campus calling for the “end of Jewish privilege.”
The movement points to the boycotts it says brought down apartheid, and argues that this is the way to attack Israel. That belief is simplistic and mistaken. While boycotts were certainly important, they were not as decisive as B.D.S. supporters claim. A combination of factors pressured white South Africa into surrendering power. The most significant was the end of the Cold War, which meant that while black liberation movements lost Soviet support, whites lost the crucial backing of their anti-Communist Western patrons.
During the yearslong struggle for freedom in South Africa, the African National Congress, now in government, refrained from violence against white civilians, with very few exceptions. This was, in large part, a strategic decision to avoid scaring whites into a refusal to yield power. Suicide bombings and murders by ramming pedestrians with vehicles never happened in South Africa. Yet Israel has had them aplenty. Security concerns have dictated Israel’s precautions and responses, not an ideology of apartheid racism.
The most deceptive of the B.D.S. movement’s demands is for the return of Palestinians who fled Israel or were chased out at gunpoint, mostly in the 1948 war. This “right of return” seems reasonable and just, but relatively few people realize that — uniquely among the world’s 65 million refugees — the Palestinians’ descendants are defined as refugees. The original 750,000 Palestinian refugees now number six million to seven million. A mass return would destroy Israel as a Jewish state, which is the whole purpose of its existence.
South African apartheid rigidly enforced racial laws. Israel is not remotely comparable. Yet the members of the B.D.S. movement are not stupid. For them to propagate this analogy in the name of human rights is cynical and manipulative. It reveals their true attitude toward Jews and the Jewish state. Their aims would eliminate Israel. That is what’s at stake when we allow the apartheid comparison.
The Watchman Episode 48: Fighting Back Against Palestinian Terrorism
Host Erick Stakelbeck joins Israel’s elite volunteer counter-terrorism unit for a patrol of Jerusalem’s Old City. Plus, we take an in-depth look at the Palestinian Authority’s support for terrorism and author David Brog discusses his latest book, “Reclaiming Israel’s History.”
There’s a simple way to end global oppression, racism and immediately create a world overflowing with “equality, dignity and human rights,” panelists agreed Saturday morning during a Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Conference in Chicago.
Simply eliminate Zionism from the planet.
“Arguing for a softer, less harsh, nicer version of capitalism, colonialism and racism won’t do it,” said Black Lives Matter leader Rachel Gilmer. “Many liberal Zionists believe that the problem with Israeli apartheid is simply a few bad policies, or Netanyahu, or the wall, but the problem is with the ideological foundation of the state itself: Zionism. Zionism at its core is white supremacy.”
While JVP claims its mission is to “end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians,” the conference so far has failed to mention any plan that keeps Israel intact. That’s not a surprise. JVP prides itself for playing a key role in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that pressures corporations, churches, and colleges and to drop investments in Israel.
“A world without Zionism is a world without oppression” and create “equality, dignity and human rights,” said panelist Lubnah Shomali of the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights. It also would mean Shomali’s claim ignores human rights violations by Palestinian leaders against inside the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority use intimidation to silence journalists who dare to engage in peaceful criticism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in 2016. Journalists face arrest and detention for exposing corruption. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas flout international law by issuing death penalties, using torture and extrajudicial killings.
Activists held an interfaith memorial service for the victims of a female Palestinian terrorist, scheduled to coincide with her speech before a gathering of an anti-Israel Jewish organization, one of the organizers told The Algemeiner on Sunday.
Peggy Shapiro, Midwest director of Israel education group Stand With Us (SWU), said that she rented out a private suite at Chicago’s Hyatt Hotel to hold the event during convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh’s appearance at the closing plenary session of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) National Member Meeting (NMM) at the same venue, because Shapiro believed JVP’s “unconscionable” decision to “honor the killer and erase the victims” could not go uncontested.
“It really can’t get any worse than honoring a murderer, alongside other speakers who are proponents of more genocide,” she said, referring to the panelists featured with Odeh, including Linda Sarsour, who has called Zionism a form of racism.
In the JVP NMM program, Odeh and Sarsour are touted as among “the most dynamic, powerful, and visionary community and faith leaders of our time.”
Shapiro said her program was held in a guest room, because JVP directed the Hyatt to refuse to rent space to SWU at the hotel’s large convention center. The service featured religious exercises led by local rabbis and pastors, and letters from the families of Odeh’s victims, Leon Kanner and Edward Joffe, read by SWU representatives.
Convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh vowed on Sunday to continue the struggle for “the right of return, for self determination, and for the establishment of a democratic state on the historic land of Palestine”, after she will be leaving the United States in the next few months, as part of the plea deal she accepted last week for failing to disclose her terrorism conviction on her US visa application.
Odeh, who was imprisoned in Israel for her involvement in 1969 terror attacks in Jerusalem, made the comments at the closing session of the controversial Jewish Voice for Peace summit held over the weekend in Chicago.
After being released in a prisoner exchange in the 1980s, she moved to the United States, but has been facing the country’s justice system since 2014, for immigration fraud as she concealed her arrest, conviction, and imprisonment for the 1969 bombings.
Last week, she agreed to leaving the country in exchange for no jail time. Odeh said she didn’t disclose her past because of post-traumatic stress disorder from being tortured in prison.
Anti-Israel activists, supporting the boycott or BDS movement, protest in New York, July 24, 2014 (credit: REUTERS)
“A revolution of anger sweeps over me these days and my heart screams against injustice,” she said in broken English, crying at the podium.
Palestinian activist and Stanford University graduate Fadi Quran told the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) conference on Friday night that “guerilla disobedience” is needed against Israel. Quran, who was arrested by Israeli security forces in 2012, told his fellow participants that activism was not enough. Instead, they must become “freedom fighters.”
“We must realize that it’s not enough to be organizations, to be civil society anymore. We must cross the threshold to become resistance movements. And we must realize that it’s not enough to protest anymore. We must transform the equations of power,” Quran said.
“Guerilla disobedience” means copying tactics used by American anarchists to shut down traffic, Quran said. He urged attendees to target Israeli army supply chains and the Israeli economy in order to make occupation costly for Israel. Quran claimed that these tactics are needed to defend Palestinians from Israeli encroachment.
A new “Nakba,” or catastrophe, is underway for the Palestinians, Quran said, and Palestinians therefore need new tactics that go beyond those used in the past.
“We’re going to occupy the occupation; we’re gonna build barricades; we’re gonna bring thousands of people there,” Quran said. “And if we manage to liberate this land, if we manage to stop the plans from going forward there, we will stop them from going forward everywhere.”
Five Minutes for Israel: I just joined Jewish Voice for Peace!
I just joined Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). All I needed was a credit card – not even a real one. They will probably catch on – eventually but I bet they will still number me among the members for a long time to come.
Are JVP Jewish?
There was considerable social media dispute, about whether there were really one thousand Jews, when JVP claimed over 1,000 people gathered at largest ever Jewish pro-BDS conference. Or perhaps the question should be were there one thousand real Jews?
Here’s what I found.
Some are Jews and JVP definitely sprinkle some schmaltzy shtick around (like rewriting the Pessach Haggadah) but their FAQ makes it clear that they don’t have to be.
Do I have to be Jewish to join JVP?
No you don’t. JVP is an organization that is inspired by Jewish values and traditions to work towards peace and justice. We are committed to building an inclusive Jewish community, that, like many of our families, welcomes Jews and allies who share our values and appreciate our traditions, who advocate for an end to Israeli human rights abuses, and who oppose anti-Jewish hatred, anti-Arab racism, and Islamophobia.
Megan Phelps-Roper grew up believing she would arrive in Israel at the end of days to witness the rapture of the Second Coming. She hated Jews and homosexuals, celebrated terror attacks and famine, and picketed the funerals of United States soldiers killed in Iraq.
Instead, she’ll be arriving in Israel next week as the guest of David Abitbol, the Jew who saved her soul by engaging her online. Abitbol and Phelps-Roper — who was recently featured in The New Yorker and described her experience in a TED talk viewed 2 million times — will be speaking together to audiences in Israel for the first time.
You can catch them in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, April 4, and in Jerusalem on Wednesday, April 5, at two events in the Times of Israel Presents series.
Phelps-Roper was raised as a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, founded by her grandfather, Fred Phelps. As a child, she joined her family as they traveled across the United States picketing soldiers’ funerals, synagogues, schools, events and more. There they would spread their message — that Jews killed Jesus, that God demanded the death penalty for homosexuals and that He hated everyone that wasn’t them.
Young and net-savvy, Phelps-Roper led her church’s efforts to spread their toxic message onto social media, targeting, among others, prominent Jews on Twitter. One such person was Abitbol, the Jerusalem-based founder and editor of the Jewlicious blog. He caught Phelps-Roper’s attention after JTA named him as the 2nd most influential Jew on Twitter.
The Texas House State Affairs Committee passed on Wednesday a bill banning state contracts and investments in companies that boycott Israel.
The anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment,Sanctions) legislation, which was spearheaded by Republican representative Phil King, passed unanimously 10-0.
Writing on his website prior to passage of the bill, King said: “Texas will not tolerate national-origin discrimination against Israel, which is precisely what BDS is. Efforts to inflict economic harm upon Texas’ trading partners weaken our state’s ability to conduct trade, and harm our vital social interests. BDS is not only Israel’s problem, its Texas’ problem as well.”
He added,” I am hopeful that Texas will join other states around the country in protecting our economy, our taxpayer dollars and our great ally Israel from national origin discrimination.”
Moshe Weidberg, the CEO of Hashachar Ha’ole responded to an op-ed which appeared in Haaretz calling for a boycott of the chocolate company because of his donations to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
“This is a company that donates tens of thousands of shekels a year to the settlements,” Roger Alpher accused, referring to the company which makes one of Israel’s most popular chocolate spreads. Alpher called the company “tainted” by Weidberg’s donations.
Following Alpher’s column in Haaretz last week, many Israelis took to social media to say that they planned to buy Hashachar Ha’ole chocolate. Weidberg said that it is impossible to know at this time if sales have increased.
“The changes are seen in later stages, and it is important to remember that sales always rise before Passover.”
Weidberg said that he is moved by the support he received from Israelis. “We stand amazed and speechless in the face of the boundless love and support we receive as a result of the call for a boycott of our products.”
A report examining the experience of Jewish students on campus say almost half do not feel comfortable voicing their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in class, but that most don’t worry about hate crime.
Published on Monday, the report is the culmination of five months’ research, and is described as a “first-of-its-kind study” by the National Union of Students (NUS) to help make university life more “inclusive and welcoming” to Jewish students.
Researchers found that while 73 percent of Jewish students polled were not worried about hate crime, two thirds of respondents who said they had been the victims of crime believe they were targeted because of their beliefs, and almost three in ten said they had experienced abuse through social media.
Likewise, 45 percent of the 485 self-defining Jewish students surveyed said that they did not feel confident voicing their views on Israel-Palestine in class.
Other concerns expressed by respondents included lack of access to kosher food on campus (42 percent) and the timetabling of exams and activities over Shabbat and Jewish festivals (59 percent).
CAMERA Prompts Herald Sun Headline Correction on Palestinian Attack
Earning itself an inglorious spot on the list of grossly distorted headlines depicting Palestinian attackers as victims, Australia’s Herald Sun yesterday stated: “Israeli police killed Palestinian man.”
But, as the accompanying Associated Press story noted:
Israeli police say they have shot dead a Palestinian who stabbed three people in the old city of Jerusalem.
Spokeswoman Luba Samri says the man stabbed two Jewish youths Saturday before fleeing, with police forces giving chase. He then stabbed one of the policemen before he was shot and killed. Samri says the victims suffered light to moderate injuries.
Notably, the original Associated Press headline had accurately stated: “Israeli police kills Palestinian who stabs 3 in Jerusalem.”
In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel staff, The Herald Sun commendably corrected the headline. It now reads, “Israeli police kill Palestinian attacker.”
In addition, another News Corp Australia media outlet, The Australian, likewise corrected, starting with the same distorted headline and making the identical change to “Israeli police kill Palestinian attacker.”
As is often the case, the most telling New York Times coverage of the Jews comes not in the news columns or on the editorial page, but in the movie reviews.
The latest example comes in a film review in which a Times critic complains that a Holocaust movie doesn’t contain enough graphic violence or terrifying depictions of “Jewish suffering.”
The Times reviewer, Stephen Holden, complains that the movie, “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” is too “sanitized.” It “avoids graphic depictions of Nazi barbarism,” he writes, disappointedly. It “plays like a medium-gloss rerun of other more gripping depictions of Nazi evil and Jewish suffering.”
The review further complains that the Jewish fugitives “don’t look much the worse for wear.”
Perhaps it’s reasonable of the Times to complain that a movie about the Holocaust is too much of a whitewash. But in making the complaint, the Times risks setting up an ideal that goes too far in the other direction.
IsraellyCool: The Media Taught ISIS How To Fight
This is a big story in the New York Times: New ISIS Tactic: Gather Mosul’s Civilians, Then Lure an Airstrike.
Every single article the media ever wrote about “disproportionate” civilian casualties in Gaza at the hands of the IDF or alleging the same, through quotes of notoriously unreliable “Palestinian sources”, made this ISIS tactic inevitable.
It was always obvious to non-partisan observers that Hamas tried to maximise their own civilian casualties and always tried to declare the deaths of their terrorists as civilians. This nearly always won them uncritically positive reporting.
Now another brand of Islamic Jihadi terrorists are using the same tricks. Only fools or those who believe the old media could be surprised.
These are the fatal results of lethal journalism. Well done press, you’re as complicit in the murder of civilians as anyone could possibly be who wasn’t pulling the triggers.
Two stabbing attacks took place this week in Jerusalem’s Old City. On Wednesday Israeli Border Police shot and killed a Palestinian woman as she attempted to stab them with scissors outside Damascus Gate. On Saturday, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two young men and a police officer, wounding them, before being shot and killed by security forces.
Here’s how the Daily Beast‘s “Cheat Sheet” reported the latest attack:
The victims were “allegedly” stabbed?!
Interestingly, the short article includes a click through to “READ IT AT REUTERS.” Yet, the Reuters report does not use the word “allegedly” to describe the stabbing attacks, which leads us to believe that Daily Beast editors deliberately inserted that particular form of language.
Izzard appeared in Tel Aviv on Thursday night, which is certainly not the Israeli capital.
And to add insult to injury, Jerusalem does get a mention in a photo caption:
Since when was Jerusalem a “West Bank town?”
In any case, the Palestine Marathon took place on the streets of Bethlehem and not Jerusalem.
We’ve contacted Mail Online asking for both of these errors to be corrected. Watch this space.
A Jewish center in northern Sweden decided to close after receiving anti-Semitic threats.
The members of the Judisk Föreningen, or Jewish Association, in Umea decided at a meeting on Sunday to close its building and end the association’s activities, The Local-Sweden reported.
The association has been received threatening emails, and its building was vandalized with stickers of swastikas and spraypainted threats such as “we know where you live,” the report said, citing the Swedish-language SVT News Västerbotten.
“Too many things have happened lately which mean that Jewish parents don’t feel safe having their kids at the schools. Our children shouldn’t live in a world where they have to be ashamed for what they are, but it’s not possible to operate if people are scared,” Umeå Jewish Association spokesperson Carinne Sjöberg told SVT.
Sjoberg told the BBC that the neo-Nazi group Nordfront was responsible for the campaign of intimidation and threats. She said the decision to close the center was made after the windows of one of the community’s members were smashed.
“My mother and father are (Holocaust) survivors, so this is not OK. Enough is enough. It was like stepping into their shoes in the 1930s,” she said. (h/t Zvi)
A US district court has cleared the way for descendants of Jewish art collectors to sue Germany in the United States over objects allegedly obtained from their ancestors under duress during the Nazi era, JTA reported Monday.
The ruling comes three years after a German investigative commission found that the owners of a collection – known as the Welfenschatz, or Guelph Treasure – were not forced to sell it by the Nazis.
In what lawyers for the complainants are calling a landmark ruling, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Friday that claims regarding the collection – which the Dresdner Bank purchased on behalf of Hitler’s deputy, Hermann Goering, in 1935 – can be filed in a US court.
It is the first time that a court has held that Germany can be sued for the return of Nazi-looted art and artifacts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
A document signed by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg that saved a Jewish woman from the Nazis sold at auction for more than $13,000.
On September 22, 1944, an affidavit signed by Wallenberg in Nazi-occupied Budapest saved the life of Zsigmondne Simko, a Hungarian Jewish woman, by declaring that she was under the protection of the Swedish government.
The document was purchased on Thursday for $13,310 (some NIS 48,300) through the Nate D. Sanders auction house in Los Angeles. In keeping with company policy, Sanders did not divulge the identity of the document’s seller or buyer.
Bidding for the “protective” certificate or passport, which exempted the bearer from forced labor or wearing the Jewish yellow star, started at $8,000 (about NIS 29,000) and attracted three other bidders, in addition to the winning collector.
Wallenberg, the scion of an aristocratic Swedish Lutheran family, was sent to Budapest in July 1944, through the joint efforts of the US War Refugee Board and the Swedish government, the latter appointing Wallenberg as First Secretary of its embassy in the Hungarian capital.
With no previous experience as an organizer, the 32-year-old Wallenberg established a network of hospitals, nurseries and some 30 “safe houses,” and issued a stream of “protective” passports and papers to save an estimated 15,000 Jews from almost certain death.
A tiny ingestible robot designed by Israeli scientists may one day have the capacity to slither its way through the small intestine, upgrading the effectiveness of the colonoscopy test.
Created by scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the SAW (single actuator wave-like robot) will have the ability to navigate forward and backward through the cramped terrain of the small intestine thanks to its unique wave-like locomotion. It would be able to analyze the digestive tube using a small camera attached to the snake-like robot, according to a report last week on the Live Science website.
“The external shape of the robot is a 2D projection of a rotating helix.The result is a continuously moving wave. We can simply reverse the direction by reversing the direction of rotation of the motor,” explained mechanical engineer David Zarrouk.
The SAW is constructed using interlocking 3D-printed pieces of plastic that resemble vertebrae.
Aiming to transform the Eastern Mediterranean into a regional energy hub, Israeli and European officials signed a joint declaration on Monday to promote the construction of the world’s longest subsea gas pipeline.
“This is the beginning of our wonderful friendship between four Mediterranean countries – Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy,” National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said at a press conference in Tel Aviv that morning. “This is going to be the longest and deepest subsea gas pipeline in the world. It’s a very ambitious project.”
The unprecedented, $6 billion-$7 billion plan in question involves building a privately-funded, 2,200-km deep-sea pipeline linking Israeli and Cypriot gas to the Greek and Italian shores. With a recent feasibility study indicating that the daunting project would be technically, the energy ministers of all four countries, as well as the energy commissioner of the European Union, came together on Monday for their first quadrilateral meeting to promote the plans.
If all goes according to plans, the ministers hope to see gas flowing through the pipeline by 2025.
Imagine you’re waiting for the bus, and the guy in the watch ad next to you suddenly starts talking to you.
A handful of straphangers in Israel recently enjoyed (if that’s the word) such an experience, thanks to a campaign from Samsung and Leo Burnett Tel Aviv for the Gear S3 smartwatch.
The billboard—actually a live video feed—aimed to play up the classic look of the newfangled timepiece, which at first blush might pass for an analog wristwatch, rather than a miniature internet-connected supercomputer.
The deception relied on passing off the Samsung watch as a fictional brand, “Frontier,” until the reveal, which came as nearby commuters began playing with their phones, and the actor in the billboard used that as excuse to come to life and start demoing the watch’s capabilities, much to their surprise (if the case study video is to be believed).
On March 29, a guy named Ian Brown in the United Kingdom started a Change.org petition titled, “Stop Israeli apartheid against Dead Sea fishermen – make Israel give them a fair deal.” The petition says the following:
Since Israel took control of the West Bank in 1967:
- It has not issued a single fishing permit to Palestinian fishermen for fishing in the Dead Sea.
- Irrigation projects have reduced the supply of fresh water entering the Dead Sea.
- It has allowed millions of Zionist tourists to bathe in the Dead Sea and to remove minerals from it, whilst not a single fish has been legally caught by local fishermen.
This petition, of course, is a gag. The Dead Sea, which is situated between Israel, the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, and Jordan, gets its name because its salt content is so high that it cannot sustain life. The petition also makes fun of Jeremy Corbyn, the leftist Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom’s parliament who referred to the genocidal terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” of his cause. In short, the petition was intended to mock how anti-Israel zealots will find any excuse to blame Israel (read as the Jews) for the Palestinian leadership’s failure to create a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinian-Arabs.
However, many leftists took the bait and started slamming Israel and the “Zionists” for their supposed oppression of Palestinian-Arab fisherman from granting access to the Dead Sea.
Efforts to find artifacts buried in soil removed from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in the 1990s have ground to a halt following financial cutbacks, the project’s directors announced Sunday.
The Temple Mount Sifting Project said it was “on the verge of closure” after the Ir David Foundation pulled its financial support after 12 years. “In the absence of funding we won’t be able to continue searching for archaeological fragments,” it said.
The organization headed by Gabriel Barkay sorts through soil removed from the site during construction between 1996 and 1999. The Temple Mount is considered the holiest in Judaism, the site of two Jewish temples, and is also the third holiest site to Muslims.
The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the institution overseeing the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, excavated a section of the Temple Mount for the building of a subterranean mosque in an area known as Solomon’s Stables. Tens of thousands of tons of dirt — roughly 400 truckloads — were excavated by heavy machinery, without the supervision of archaeologists, and were dumped outside the Old City.
The piles of earth sat in the Kidron Valley for over four years until the project commenced in 2004. Since commencing operations, the Temple Mount Sifting Project said, it’s gone through around 70 percent of the soil removed from the site.
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