July 2, 2020

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05/07 Links Pt2: Most Israelis Understand That Israel Can Be Right and the Whole World Wrong; Time to Retire the False Palestinian Narrative; Giro d’Italia in Israel: Far more than a cycling race


From Ian:

Most Israelis Understand That Israel Can Be Right and the Whole World Wrong
As the Hamas-led protests at the fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip become increasingly violent, the Jewish state finds itself in the familiar position of facing worldwide condemnation for minimal efforts to defend itself against its enemies. Yossi Klein Halevi, reflecting on today’s situation and its recent historical precedents, reflects on the dilemma Israel faces:

In 2002, when much of the international community was severely criticizing Israel for its tough military response to the wave of Palestinian suicide bombings known as the second intifada, the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, asked with rhetorical exasperation, “Can Israel be right and the whole world wrong?”

Most Israelis would have surely answered: of course. . . .

Israelis view [the current Gaza] demonstrations as part of a wider assault that includes continual attempts, along every border, to penetrate the country’s defenses—whether through tunnels from Gaza, periodic waves of missiles and rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon, or, most worrying of all, threats from the growing Iranian military presence in Syria. Those assaults are part of an increasingly successful Iranian plan to surround Israel’s borders with what Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has called “the golden ring in the chain of resistance.” . . . The presence of terrorist enclaves on almost every one of Israel’s borders helps explain the determination of the IDF to prevent demonstrators from trying to break through the fence. . . .

The promise of the state of Israel to the Jewish people was to end its seemingly eternal otherness and restore it to the community of nations. Part of remaining faithful to that vision is to heed the warnings of outsiders, especially friends, and not withdraw in bitter isolation. But no less important for the fulfillment of Israel’s promise is to ensure that those who seek to destroy it are kept from breaching its borders. How to balance those two imperatives defines the challenge facing Israel today.

JPost Editorial: Giro d’Italia in Israel: Far more than a cycling race

The second stage of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race found riders navigating the coastal plain of Israel. They began in Haifa and rode next to the ancient Crusader city of Acre, then headed south, passing Zichron Ya’acov to finish in Tel Aviv. It was 167 km. of easy terrain. The official site of the race described the main obstacles as “roundabouts, traffic islands and sometimes speed bumps.”

On Sunday, the riders continued to the Negev where they zipped passed Sde Boker and the Nabatean city of Avdat, taking in the vistas of the Mitzpe Ramon crater along the way.

Traveling outside of Europe is a first in the 101-year history of the Giro d’Italia. Israeli-Canadian philanthropist Sylvan Adams, co-owner of Israel’s professional Israel Cycling Academy team, played the key role in bringing the competition to Jerusalem. He said he sought to bring the race to Israel to show how beautiful the country is to the billion television viewers who watch cycling.

“Unlike a soccer match or a basketball game, which takes place inside a stadium, cycling takes place outdoors. So for three days, with 16 hours of TV coverage starting in Jerusalem, our beautiful and important national capital, and then going from Acre in the North all the way down to Eilat, they will literally see all the country,” Adams told The Jerusalem Post.

The coverage of the cycling was only one of many positive outcomes. The attendance of UAE Team Emirates and Bahrain-Meridas was another. Although the riders from these teams are not from the Gulf states, their participation was symbolic. It shows that sports can be a form of diplomacy, as well as a way to put Israel on the map as a place removed from news of the conflict that generally drowns out other coverage.

That doesn’t mean the conflict was entirely ignored. The Guardian noted that Israel was “one of the most contested territories in the world” and said the race took place on a “complex political landscape” overshadowed by violence in Gaza. In general, the unprecedented sporting event appears to have emerged unscathed by political controversy. No boycotts or protests interdicted the riders. This is a testament to the work of the organizers and likely symbolic of the overall change in attitudes toward Israel globally.

Israel Unveils the Middle East’s First Velodrome That Meets Olympic Standards

The Sylvan Adams Velodrome in Tel Aviv, touted as the most advanced indoor cycling arena in the Middle East, was unveiled a few days before the Big Start of the Giro d’Italia road-biking race in Israel, scheduled to begin in Jerusalem on May 4 and reach Tel Aviv on May 5.

The arena, still under construction, will meet the Olympic standards of 250 meters in circumference and aims to develop and promote competitive and recreational cycling in Israel.

Professional cyclists from the Israel Cycling Academy did the first test run of the tracks as Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai watched along with Yoni Yarom, chairman of the Israel Cycling Federation, and Sylvan Adams, co-owner of the Israel Cycling Academy and honorary president of Giro’s Big Start in Israel.

Palestinians condemn UAE, Bahrain presence in cycle race in Israel

Palestinians have expressed outrage at teams from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for taking part in the opening legs of the Giro d’Italia cycling race in Israel over the weekend, which they say undermined Arab solidarity with their cause.

The presence of the Gulf states’ teams in the top cycling race — which has now moved on to its home territory in Italy — broke a boycott of Israel in place since the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948.

In an unusually barbed statement to a fellow Arab country, the Palestinian Olympic Committee said their participation was “a stab in the back to the great sacrifices made by the Palestinian people … and a free service for the occupation.”

UAE officials did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment and Bahrain’s ministry of information referred questions to the team itself. Neither of the teams immediately responded to emailed inquiries.

None of the cyclists in either of the 8-men teams — Bahrain–Merida and UAE Team Emirates — appeared to be Bahraini or Emirati citizens and were almost all European, according to profiles on the event’s official website.

Israel at 70: Time to Retire the False Palestinian Narrative

All the refugee populations in the world come under the jurisdiction of a single UN agency, except for the Palestinians. All other refugees do not pass refugee status on to descendants, only the refugees themselves are counted as such. Only the Palestinians are allowed to count all descendants as refugees, and many have chosen to live off their collective grievance, rather than move on with their lives.

Sephardic Jews, more than 800,000 of whom were expelled or encouraged to leave Arab countries in the years after the creation of Israel, provide a far better and more humane approach for dealing with refugees. Israel absorbed more than 70 per cent of these refugees (France and the United States took many others) and within a few short years, had moved them out of temporary housing and allowed them to start new lives in Israel. I know because my father and his 4 brothers and parents left all of their lives and assets behind when they fled from Iraq and they made themselves a new life in Israel.

Today there are 6.6 million Jews in Israel, and 1.8 million Arabs, more than 11 times as many Arabs as resided within the borders of Israel at the end of the fighting in 1949. So much for the absurd notion of ethnic cleansing. In essence, Israel’s war of independence resulted in a population exchange, something that is very common during wars or when new nations are created. 20 million Muslims and Hindus moved to new countries when India and Pakistan became nations.

The demand for a right of return for millions of Palestinians, including all the descendants of refugees, signals one enduring Palestinian goal — to destroy the state of Israel, by overwhelming it with Arabs from abroad. The Palestinians still do not accept a two-state solution, just as they refused the partition in 1948, but demand a single state they can dominate.

Israel will not commit national suicide to endorse a false narrative of what happened 70 years back.

Virginia GOP says Democrat’s record on Israel is anti-Semitic

The Republican Party of Virginia accused the Democratic nominee for a state congressional district race of being a “virulent anti-Semite.”

Leslie Cockburn received the Democratic nomination for the 5th Congressional District race on Saturday afternoon, during the Democrat’s convention in Farmville, Virginia. She beat out three other candidates and will face incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Garrett in November.

Hours after Cockburn secured the nomination, Virginia’s Republican Party issued a statement saying that former journalist-turned-politician has “a long history of anti-Semitic rhetoric which can be documented over at least the past 25 years.”

The statement noted the book that she authored with her husband, Andrew, titled “Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship.” According to the statement, “Cockburn’s book advocated for the inherently anti-Semitic belief that Israel controls America’s foreign policy.”

The statement cited a New York Times review of the book, which read that “their book, supposedly a history of the secret ties between Israel and the United States, is largely dedicated to Israel-bashing for its own sake. Its first message is that, win or lose, smart or dumb, right or wrong, suave or boorish, Israelis are a menace. The second is that the Israeli-American connection is somewhere behind just about everything that ails us.”

Amid Corbyn Antisemitism Allegations, Labour Party Loses Big in Local Elections in Heavily Jewish District

The United Kingdom’s Labour Party sustained significant loses in a local council election in one of the United Kingdom’s most heavily populated Jewish districts amid ongoing allegations of antisemitism against its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and within the party.

Labour failed to take control of the Barnet council in northwest London from the Conservative Party, where 14 percent of the population is Jewish, with some party activists blaming the antisemitism scandal as a contributing factor in its loss.

Barry Rawlings, a local Labour official, said his party’s antisemitism scandal had “made a difference” in the election results in the heavily Jewish district, the BBC reported.

Adam Langleben, a Labour councillor who lost his seat in Barnet, said allegations of antisemitism were the key reason for the party’s loss.

“I spent countless hours knocking on countless doors speaking to Jewish voters who are Labour voters or were Labour voter,” he told BBC. “But they could not vote for a Labour Party that they see as hostile or dangerous to the Jewish community.”

Added Langleben: “And the Labour Party is seen by far too many people in the Jewish community as being racist right now.”


John McDonnell admitted the anti-semitism scandal hurt Labour at the local elections. Speaking on Marr the Shadow Chancellor said:
“We’ll be meeting some Barnet councillors next week… anti-semitism certainly had its effect, there’s no doubt about it in Barnet itself… I’m hoping the measures we’re putting in place now – the Chakrabarti report implemented in full, Jennie Formby new general secretary – Jeremy Corbyn said to Jennie, your first priority is tackling this issue.”

That response won’t reassure concerned activists and councillors…

Meanwhile on Sky Party Chairman Ian Lavery also admitted anti-semitism cost the party:

An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Mr. Corbyn, since your accession as its leader, the Labour Party has become a podium for increasingly more outrageous incitement against Jews. Despite apparently reluctant steps to stem the tide and a so-called inquiry, the swamp has grown ever more venomous.

It is now two weeks since a House of Commons Debate on Antisemitism. You walked out on Labour M.P. Luciana Berger’s personal testimony as a British Jew, elected to Parliament for contemporary Labour. You thus missed the next speaker, Labour M.P. John Mann, who is not Jewish, but revealed how the antisemite targets, not only Jews, but also their Gentile friends and associates.

Mann recounted how the female members of his family have been threatened with rape, due to his defense of the Jews. His daughter, Heather, in a Sunday Times article, described growing up “in the shadow of antisemitic abuse” aimed at both her parents… “Since my father raised in detail the latest threats against us… nobody from the national party has bothered to check on us. Nobody”… “do I not have a right to the protection of my party?”

Mr. Corbyn, while you are leader of Labour, the Party will clearly show short shrift for the Labour victims of antisemitism – whether Jew or Gentile.

Jews have a name for these who – in the Holocaust – rescued them at their own peril:- “the Righteous”.

In current circumstances, it is hardly an exaggeration to view the Mann family as contemporary “Righteous”, who represent the sadly eclipsed pristine values of the Labour of Cable Street, holding back the Fascists.

Mr. Corbyn, the weeks of your silence since the Mann’s revelations have endorsed a new form of hate: “antisemitic sexual abuse”, where it seems that you have taken your Party to the edge of the abyss.

Director for international relations of the Simon Weisenthal Center.

Treat BDS as the campus scourge it is: The push to vilify Israel too often feeds anti-Semitic rhetoric and conduct

The fact that anti-Semitic BDS rhetoric has an undue influence on young minds, shaping the ideology of our future leaders, is especially worrying. Leading universities, such as Columbia, New York and Harvard, Massachusetts, are the educational institutions of choice for hundreds of world leaders, including more than 10 former U.S. Presidents.

Yet the response from university administrators has been underwhelming. Pro-Israel students at the more than 10 campuses participating in the American Jewish Congress’ “BDS is Anti-Semitism — United Against BDS” campaign have relayed to us that when they reported harassment by BDS activists, university administrators were reluctant to act, claiming that the anti-Semitic rhetoric used against the students did not pose a “clear and present danger of bodily harm” and didn’t constitute incitement.

University authorities have shown an ambivalence to anti-Semitism occurring on their campuses that is concerning. In failing to identify anti-Semitism for what it is, authorities empower the aggressors in their claims that Jews are weaponizing anti-Semitism and the victims are therefore positioned as the perpetrators.

While freedom of speech is an essential universal freedom, when anti-Semitism and incitement exploit our liberal values of tolerance, authorities must find a way of protecting those freedoms without leaving any minority group open to harassment. We need to protect free speech without enabling those looking to promote hate speech. As Martin Luther King said: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Russian-speaking Jews protest BDS at Columbia University

400 young adults from New York’s Russian-speaking Jewish community attended a Limmud FSU conference at Columbia University Sunday.

During the event, an anti – BDS protest took place in the center of the campus, led by Limmud FSU Chairman Matthew Bronfman, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and more.

The conference included dozens of lectures, sessions, panels and performances on wide range of topics, including a lecture by Professor Alan Dershowitz on BDS and Israel.

Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler said: “We’re are extremely happy to be here for the first time ever at Columbia University, on the 70th anniversary of Israel, to celebrate with hundreds of Jews despite the helplessness of BDS efforts to boycott the Jewish state”.

Unfounded and Unrestrained: Norman Finkelstein at NYU

On Thursday, April 26, the NYU Politics Department hosted an event titled “Norman Finkelstein at NYU on the Urgent Situation in Gaza.”

Finkelstein, a man who has referred to Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel as the “clown of the Holocaust” is a well-known political scientist and frequent critic of the Jewish state.

At the event, cosponsored by radical organizations Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Finkelstein unleashed a barrage of verbal attacks and slanders against the IDF. He particularly criticized Israel’s actions since the start of the 2018 Gaza border protests, otherwise known as the “Great March of Return.”

Finkelstein argued that Hamas is not dangerous in spite of the fact that the Islamist group has killed thousands of innocent civilians and is regarded as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union.

Finkelstein maintained that Hamas is merely a weak extremist group and that Israel exaggerates its capabilities in order to justify its actions in Gaza. Furthermore, Finkelstein questioned why Israel did not destroy Hamas’ rockets preemptively in previous operations if it knew the full extent of Hamas’ capabilities, despite the fact that numerous human rights reports have noted that Hamas uses women and children as human shields to protect the rockets, by embedding them, along with its terror tunnels, in civilian areas.

Police escort required for Israeli speakers after US college protest

In a fresh incident of anti-Zionist activity at the University of California, Irvine, a US college notorious for its hostile atmosphere towards the Jewish state, Israeli speakers at an event were escorted off campus by police for their safety after anti-Israel protesters disrupted the proceedings.

The event was a conversation conducted by the Israeli organization Reservists on Duty who were invited by two UC Irvine student groups, Republicans on Campus and Students Supporting Israel to provide support and assistance for pro-Israel students during “Anti-Zionism Week” at the university.

Some 40 minutes into the event, attended by 20 to 30 students, a handful of anti-Israel protesters entered the classroom, complete with Palestinian flags, keffiyehs, and using a loudspeaker to chant various slogans.

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” and “IDF, what do you say? How many kids have you killed today?” were chanted by the protesters.

Durham BDS Activists Employed by Local Synagogues, Federation

Two of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) activists who helped pass a resolution on April 16 in the City Council of Durham, North Carolina that banned life-saving police exchanges and training between the city’s police department and Israel’s military, are employed by synagogues in the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill.

In addition to their roles as radicals promoting anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolutions, Sandra Korn and Lara Haft are both employed in the Durham Jewish community at two area synagogues and the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill.

Haft, a Hebrew-school teacher at the Beth El Synagogue for the Jewish Federation, promotes anti-Israel content on social media. Korn, who spoke at the council meeting in favor of the ban, works at the Jewish Federation as a youth Midrasha teacher, and is a board member and head of adult education at Durham’s Judea Reform Congregation.

Korn often posts anti-Israel and anti-capitalism content on social media, including a re-tweet that stated that the Anti-Defamation League is anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian, as well as a tweet that said she was planning on shoplifting to fight capitalism.

Yona Schiffmiller, North American liaison at NGO Monitor, an organization that tracks the antisemitic activities of organizations such as JVP, told JNS: “[These groups] are a problematic element within the community, particularly because they portray themselves as a Jewish organization and use that to provide cover for groups that are engaged in far more nefarious and odious types of rhetoric.”

Farrakhan-Supporting Women’s March Leader Tours Israel With Soros-Funded Group

The Women’s March leader who was lambasted for supporting virulently antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was in Israel on a tour last week with the George Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights.

“In #Jerusalem for today,” Tamika Mallory tweeted Monday. “Already witnessing the similarities with America.”

Mallory shot to fame as one of the leaders of the Women’s March against President Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, Mallory became embroiled in controversy for attending a particularly rancorous and anti-Semitic speech by Farrakhan in which he called Jews satanic. After receiving widespread condemnation for her refusal to take Farrakhan to task, Mallory eventually deleted photos of herself and the preacher from social media but did not specifically condemn him.

The CCR last week organized a delegation of “mostly black and brown civil and human rights leaders working on domestic U.S. justice issues who have not had an opportunity to visit Palestine and Israel,” the group said.

College students: More funding for all – except ‘Zionist’ clubs

Student groups at California Polytechnic State University led by the Black Student Union are calling on the university to increase the funding of all cultural clubs at the university except those that are “aligned with Zionist ideology.”

The Black Student Union along with other student organizations created a list of demands in the wake of an incident last month in which a member of a campus fraternity wore blackface during the university’s multicultural weekend.

Among the demands by the so-called Drylongso Collective are training for all sororities and fraternities in “Structural Inequality, Sexual Consent, and Cultural Awareness”; devoting more than $55,000 – the cost of security for a 2017 campus lecture by Milo Yiannopoulos- to several ethnic and cultural departments for upgrades in staff and programing; an endowed professorship for the Ethnic Studies Department; and a graduation requirement of courses in ethnic studies.

“We want an increase in ASI (Associated Students, Inc.) funding for ALL cultural clubs, with the exception of organizations that are aligned with Zionist ideology,” the document also says.

The Collective told the Campus Reform news website in a letter that the funding demand is not anti-Semitic.

“To conflate Zionism with Judaism is also highly problematic,” the letter said.

“To attempt to decenter Blackness from our discussion by focusing on an accusation of anti-Semitism based on a false equivalency of Zionism and Judaism is deeply disturbing and speaks of not only the lack of accountability for anti-Semitic acts committed by non-Black/Brown students but also to the coalition work that remains to be done,” the letter said, according to Campus Reform.

Robert De Niro’s Hotel and Restaurant to Open in Israel

You talking to me?

I sure am, BDS-holes.
Boutique hospitality company Nobu Hospitality LLC, co-owned by American actor Robert De Niro, is opening a hotel and restaurant in central Tel Aviv, the company announced Tuesday.

The boutique hotel and restaurant chain was founded by Mr. De Niro, Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and Hollywood producer Meir Teper.

The Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv, situated on Rothschild Boulevard, a luxurious and picturesque street at the heart of the city, will offer 38 rooms, a pool and fitness center, outdoor spaces, and a private rooftop for events.

And the reasons for Nobu choosing Tel Aviv as one of their locations won’t fill BDS-holes with joy either.
Tel Aviv being a major tourist and business destination makes it a perfect fit for Nobu’s global clients, Nobu CEO Trevor Horwell said in a statement.

College adds second hummus brand to pacify anti-Israel group

Swarthmore College will not discontinue the sale of Sabra hummus on campus, its president announced.

Instead, campus dining halls and convenience stores will provide an “alternate hummus brand” on campus.

The Swarthmore “Students for Justice in Palestine” group had presented College President Valerie Smith with a petition signed by hundreds of students requesting that the hummus, owned by the Israel-headquartered multinational corporation Strauss Group, no longer be sold on campus.

The petition claimed it was “morally unacceptable” for the college to allow Sabra to be sold on campus, and called the college an “accessory to the occupation of Palestine,” according to the Campus Reform website. It also noted that Strauss financially supports and sends care packages to the Israeli military’s Golani Brigade, a unit the anti-Israel group slandered as “particularly brutal.”

In a letter to the Swarthmore campus community, Smith wrote that the hummus issue “has revived difficult debates pertaining to Israel and Palestine. Members of our community have been deeply affected by these conversations — some in ways that have led to greater understanding, others in ways that have led to distress.”

Study: 87% of Online Commenters About Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Hold Master’s Degrees in Middle Eastern Studies (satire)

According to Emeritus Professor Susie Brownhole, Chair of the community college’s Political Science and International Relations Department, the phenomenon “of vast numbers of articulate, highly nuanced online users taking to sites like Reddit and various social media to discuss the conflict was an anomaly. We would see what could have been, serious, peer-reviewed essays pop up in the talkback sections of sites like the Huffington Post, the Guardian, or Israel’s Ynet News. Interestingly, we found nothing to resemble the regurgitation of BDS propaganda, which was surprising.”

According to Brownhole, after analyzing a considerable amount of data provided to the research team, what became clear was that almost all people who comment were highly educated and held specialized degrees in the subject at hand.

“There were no comments by religious fanatics. No comments that contained what could be described as hate speech. And no evidence was found of disproportionality. Additionally, only a fraction of ‘statements of fact’ were found to be false, with most properly cited in MLA formatting. There is really nothing parallel to this on the web.”

The results of a second government-funded study by an Israeli university to be released next month, will examine why Israeli policy in the West Bank has gained so much from respect from the European Public.

Jewish lawmaker fired for saying ‘too many Arabs’ in Toulouse

The mayor of Toulouse stripped of his credentials a local Jewish lawmaker who told an Israeli radio station that the French city has “too many Arabs.”

Toulouse city councilman Aviv Zonabend had apologized for his words in Hebrew last month in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio station, explaining he had meant to say Islamists rather than Arabs. But he declined Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc’s demand that he resign as a local city lawmaker. Zonabend was a member of the mayor’s Republicans party.

Following the mayor’s move Friday, Zonabend is still officially a city councilman but he is no longer affiliated with the Republicans and is therefore barred from some votes and functions. He also is barred from any executive post in the city government, Tribune Juive reported Friday.

Zonabend told Army Radio on April 25 that there were “very many, too many” Arabs in the city and “very few” Jews.

ADL report: 4.2 million antisemitic tweets over one-year period

An estimated 4.2 million antisemitic messages were posted to Twitter over a 12-month period starting from January 2017, the Anti-Defamation League found in a groundbreaking new report released on Monday.

The in-depth analysis commissioned by the civil rights organization provides the first-ever snapshot of the trends and themes of antisemitism on the social media platform over the course of a one-year period.

“Using proprietary research strategies to evaluate Twitter for thousands of possible anti-Semitic expressions, including classic stereotypes, code words, symbols and conspiracy theories, and conducting a human review to scan for sarcasm or other non-antisemitic uses of such terms, the ADL’s Center on Extremism found that at least 4.2 million antisemitic tweets were shared or re-shared in English on Twitter over the 12-month period ending January 28, 2018,” the organization said in a statement.
Those 4.2 million tweets were sent from an estimated three million Twitter handles. The margin of error is 3%.

Antisemitism on Twitter (ADL)Antisemitism on Twitter (ADL)

Key findings from the research discovered that the majority of tweets employed classic antisemitic stereotypes, such as claims that “Jews are greedy or that they control banks, media, governments and academia.”

Committee to Protect Journalists (Palestinian Terrorists?)

To mark World Press Freedom Day, on May 2, the Globe and Mail published a feature entitled: “These are the journalists who were killed in the line of duty in 2017 and 2018.”

According to the Globe: “In 1993, the UN declared May 3 an annual date to evaluate the state of press freedom in each country – and to honour the journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

The Globe sourced its reporting to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) who produced a list of journalists killed in 2017 and 2018.

Interestingly, this list included the following two fatalities:
Ahmed Abu Hussein: Voice Of The People Radio, Bisan News Agency April 25, 2018 Israel/Palestinian territories Dangerous Assignment

Yasser Murtaja: Ain Media April 7, 2018, Israel/Palestinian territories, Dangerous Assignment

Importantly, the Associated Press says that Hussein worked for a radio station linked to Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine. PFLP is a considered a terror group by Canada, Israel, the U.S. & EU.

PFLP-linked radio stations do propaganda and incitement, not journalism. Also, according to Israel’s Defense Minister, slain Gaza “journalist” Murtaja was a terrorist on Hamas payroll.

IsraellyCool: Video of Antisemite Mocking Small Jewish Kid Goes Viral

A video of a grown man mocking a young Jewish child with shaved head and side-locks for his appearance was yesterday posted on Twitter, where it promptly became viral (over 1.35 million views, and shared tens of thousands of times when I last looked).

After many of us reported it to Twitter, it was taken down, but not before I captured the video and blurred the young victim’s face, so you can all see just what we are up against.

Warning: Disturbing (mocking and bullying of a young child, and language warning)

The Twitter user who uploaded the video claims they took it down, but I do not believe them. Furthermore, they did not apologize, and in fact have attacked those who took exception to the video being uploaded in the first place.

Also disturbing was the amount of people reacting to this video with laughter and mockery of their own.

German Neo-Nazi, 89, on the Lam After Failing to Appear for Jail Term

A Holocaust survivors’ group is urging German authorities to intensify their search for a notorious neo-Nazi who did not show up for her prison sentence.

The International Auschwitz Committee said Sunday it hopes that Ursula Haverbeck, 89, who has been sentenced to two years in prison for incitement, will soon be found.

Haverbeck was sentenced last year for repeatedly denying the Holocaust — a crime in Germany. She was supposed to start her prison sentence on Wednesday, in the town of Bielefeld.

Committee member Christoph Heubner told the German news agency dpa, “one can only hope that… police are looking for her with high pressure.”

Local paper Westfalen-Blatt reported that Haverbeck’s home in Vlotho in central Germany seemed to have been empty for days, with mail piling up in front of the door.

In first, Argentina sentences neo-Nazi gang to years in jail

Members of a neo-Nazi gang were sentenced to years of jail time in an unprecedented punishment of hate crimes in Argentina.

A federal court in the Argentinian beach town of Mar del Plata, on Thursday sentenced seven of the eight men in the gang, who were convicted of carrying out a series of violent attacks against the city’s LGBT and Bolivian communities, and left a wave of neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic graffiti.

The sentences ranged from nine years and six months in prison to four years and six months in prison. A 19-year-old gang member was sentenced to two years of social treatment and observation, since he was under age when the crimes were committed.

It is the first time that a neo-Nazi gang has received such heavy sentences.

Uber removes driver who kicked out Israeli diplomat in Chicago from app

An Uber driver who ordered an Israeli diplomat to leave his vehicle in the middle of Chicago traffic for speaking Hebrew has been barred from the transportation service.

Israel’s deputy consul general to the Midwest, Itay Milner, took to social media on Thursday night to express his shock and dismay.

In a TV interview with NBC Chicago news, Milner explained that he said, “How are you?” in Hebrew after answering a call from colleague while riding in the cab.

“That was enough for the driver to stop in the middle of Lower Wacker Drive [a major Chicago motorway] and start yelling at me ‘Get out of my car!’ using the F-word,” he said. “It was scary because you saw that he lost it. I saw that he was enraged… He had a look in his eyes that you could see there was a lot of hate.”

Milner asked the driver if he was being kicked out because he was speaking Hebrew and the driver said “Yes.”

“I did feel the danger because I didn’t what this guy was capable of,” Milner added.

How comic books taught American kids about the Holocaust

In 2008, famed comic book artist Neal Adams and Holocaust historian Rafael Medoff teamed up to create a comic about Dina Babbitt, a Czech Jewish artist forced by the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele to paint watercolors of Roma prisoners in Auschwitz. They hoped to bring attention to a little-known figure in the Holocaust.

But their work on the comic, published by Marvel, also led them to ponder a larger issue: the surprising degree to which comic books had addressed the genocide in Europe.

“We were surprised and impressed to discover that a number of mainstream comic books had taken on Holocaust-related themes in their story lines at various points over the years,” Medoff, the founding director of the David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, told JTA in a phone interview last month.

Medoff and Adams — known for his iconic work on DC Comics’ Batman and Green Arrow — decided to explore how a genre aimed at entertaining youths tackled one of history’s darkest chapters.

The results of the research is their new book, “We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust,” which was published last month and co-written with author and artist Craig Yoe.

Worst Time in Modern History to be an Anti-Semite, Study Shows (satire)

When they started, the researchers said they hoped to show that persecuting Jews was as easy as “old times”, noting that “they are the only people on the planet running away from Europe towards the Middle East”, and that the concentration of Jews in once place would be easier to wipe them out, but they discovered that’s not the case.

A participant in the study responded that he felt “now that they had somewhere to go, it was a lot harder to kick them from country to country like we used to”. They also discovered that the creation of the Israeli Defense Forces posed serious obstacles to “sending them back to the ovens”.

The study did note that there was some room for optimism, pointing out that “it’s pretty easy to convince someone you’re anti-Israel not anti-Semitic” with the research showing a severe spike in anti-Semitic incidents on US college campuses, a place where an Israeli flag can garner more animosity than an ISIS flag. He noted: “It’s progress – not much – but we’re getting there. You have to start with the kiddies”.

In 2nd largest ever deal for Israeli firm, IFF to buy Frutarom for $7 billion

The US firm International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) will purchase Israel’s Frutarom, a maker of flavors and fragrances for use in food, beverages and pharmaceuticals, for $7.1 billion, the companies announced on Monday, making it the second-largest purchase of an Israeli company ever after Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye in 2017.

The acquisition of Frutarom would reportedly make IFF the largest flavoring company in the world. Frutarom has until now been the sixth-largest food flavorings maker in the world. Its shares have surged some 64 percent in the past 12 months and it posted record sales of $1.36 billion in 2017.

“Frutarom has had a fascinating journey of accelerated growth, far above our industry benchmarks through our investment in unique technologies and focus on natural products in the growing world of health and taste,” CEO and president Ori Yehuda said in the statement, adding that the companies “are committed to maintaining a presence in Israel.”

“Today, we are extremely excited to combine Frutarom with IFF and together create global leadership in natural taste, scent and nutrition,” he said. “The growth potential for the combined company is substantial and our shareholders will continue to enjoy this upside.”

IsraellyCool: Blast From The Past: Tom Hanks Discussing With David Letterman His Time In Israel
This clip from 1987 made it across my Facebook timeline. It is the first time I have ever seen it, and boy, is it a pearl..

A young Tom Hanks on David Letterman, discussing his time in Israel. Besides clearly being fond of Israel, note some of the politically incorrect things he says, which he would be absolutely roasted alive for today.

Ringo Starr announces second June date for Tel Aviv concert

Beatles legend Ringo Starr has added another show on June 24 at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena after his first ever show in Israel slated for a day earlier sold out.

The performances in Israel are part of Starr’s “Give More Love” world tour. The concerts include songs by the Beatles, alongside his own solo pieces.

His band for this tour will include Colin Hay (vocals, ex-Men at Work), Graham Gouldman (bass, ex-10CC), Steve Lukather (guitar, ex-Toto), Gregg Rolie (keyboards, ex-Santana), Warren Ham (saxophone) and Gregg Bissonette (drums, ex-David Lee Roth band).

The famed drummer has never performed in Israel before, though fellow Beatle Paul McCartney performed in Yarkon Park in 2008. A planned 1965 show by the Fab Four was famously nixed by the Israeli government, which cited the group’s supposedly corrupting influence on youth.

Alibaba CEO calls Israel ‘miracle’ country in university speech

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma lavishly lauded Israel and the Jewish people during a speech at Tel Aviv University on Thursday, May 3.

“Coming to Israel is a dream I’ve had for many years,” he began. Israel’s reputation abroad and rumors about the myriad dangers in the country had prepared him for something quite different from what he discovered upon his arrival: “When I arrived, I saw this is so peaceful. A prosperous economy, and innovative technology.”

“I should come here more and more,” he said. “You should not read about Israel, you should come here, feel it and touch it.”

He drew comparisons between Alibaba’s success story and Israel’s history, saying that “people here are born to believe – ‘Never give up.'” This mentality, he said, is what has made Israel a “miracle in only 70 years.”

He later commended the Jewish “Hutzpah,” and suggested that the toughness of the Jewish people drew them to put so much emphasis on “the brain” and education.

“In my mind, Israel represents wisdom, innovation and persistence. Alibaba’s mission is helping small businesses. We believe small is beautiful, and small is powerful. And Israel proves small is powerful, and it is on the way to small is beautiful.”

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma lavishes praise on Israel

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