No one has a monopoly on values
Since the media is never wrong, it takes care to create an imaginary reality for us in which the citizens of Israel are dying of hunger in the streets, the survivors are fascist occupiers, and those who believe in the sanctity of the land of Israel are messianic or right-wing extremists. There is no other option.
Let’s suppose for a minute that the Left was in power, and senior officers were to take matters of value and morality into their own hands, but in the other direction: to the right. Would the media embrace them in that case, too?
In the reality in which we live, a senior officer (major general) who compares processes taking place here to the Germans in the 1930s is a man of values, but an officer who invites his soldiers to pray before an action in Gaza? That’s darker, even reminiscent of Iran. It’s a shame that Albert Einstein isn’t here to test the theory of moral relativism in our country.
And another brief reminder, not from 1948 or 1973, but rather from March 2015, when Israel held elections. Remember? The people made the media eat dirt, and it can’t forgive them. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Zakia Belkhiri showed up to a rally being held by anti-Islam protesters, and she began taking selfies with those who had gathered. The BBC, Huffington Post, and many other sites praised Belkhiri for dealing with the protesters peacefully and for setting a positive example. A problem arose, however, when people went to Belkhiri’s social media pages and found viciously antisemitic comments. In this video, David Wood discusses Belkhiri’s posts and the double standards of the media.
Zakia Belkhiri’s “Peace Selfies” (and Her Antisemitic Rants)
Among the misconceptions that have been repeated in connection with the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Anglo-French plan to partition the Middle East is the notion—heard from both friends and foes of the Jewish state—that the treaty furthered the Zionist cause. Quite the contrary, writes Martin Kramer:
The Sykes-Picot map . . . constitutes the first partition plan for Palestine, into no fewer than five zones. . . . Many of the most veteran Zionist settlements—Metullah, Rosh Pina, Yesod Hamaalah, Mishmar Hayarden—would be in the exclusively French zone, as would Safed. The internationalized . . . zone would include Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Tiberias, as well as newer settlements such as Tel Aviv, Petaḥ Tikvah, Rishon Letzion, Reḥovot, and Zichron Yaakov. [The pro-British Zionist leader Chaim] Weizmann called this division a “Solomon’s judgment of the worst character; the child is cut in two and both halves mutilated.” Were Sykes-Picot implemented, he protested, “the Jewish colonizing effort of some 30 years [would be] annihilated.”
Second, the agreement gave France a dominant role as far as the Jews were concerned. France would have full control of the Galilee settlements, and would be on equal par with Britain in Judea and the coastal plain. Weizmann regarded France as wholly unsympathetic to Zionism; far from facilitating Zionist colonization, France would block it. . . .
The Mottle Wolfe Show: All Jews Look the Same Through a Scope
What comes to mind if you hear, ‘armored bus’? School bus or Military Vehicle. This past Saturday night my son’s school bus came under fire. It was referred to in the media an armored vehicle. Was this intentional?
A gunman opened fire on an armored Israeli bus traveling in the West Bank on Saturday evening.
No injuries were reported in the incident which occurred near the settlement of Tekoa but the bus sustained some damage.
According to witnesses, the gunman opened fire from a passing vehicle.
Residents of Tekoa received messages instructing them not to leave the settlement as security forces were sweeping the area for suspects.
“Nakba Day” remembers Arab refugees created by the civil war and then invasion of the nascent Jewish state by Arab armies. It was held a week ago, the day after Israel Independence Day.
The “Nakba” has been rewritten by the propagandists as something inflicted upon the Arabs, as opposed to a result of the Arabs refusal to accept the U.N. Partition proposal and the launch of warfare to crush the Jews.
Had the Arabs won, there would have been a wholesale massacre of the Jews and complete ethnic cleansing. We don’t have to speculate about that — that’s what happened when the Arab armies conquered Judea and Samaria. There were no Jews left, not even in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
And there was a massacre of Jews who surrendered:
In his diary on 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, later to be first prime minister of Israel, recorded the events leading to Israel’s declaration of statehood.
It is marked in a handful of words: “At four o’clock in the afternoon, we declared independence. The nation was jubilant – and, again, I mourn in the midst of the rejoicing.”
The cause for grief had been relayed to him at two o’clock that morning – the first entry in his journal. “General Staff Meeting. At 2am a telegram from Fritz [Eshet]: waving a white flag at Kfar Etzion resulted in a massacre of the defenders by the Arabs.”
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: The Palestinian Arab Refugees, 1966
A series where I use history to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
One of the most contentious issues of the Middle East conflict is the plight of the Arab refugees from Israel.
Opponents of Israel regularly claim that the Jews of what was then Palestine systematically expelled and ethnically cleansed approximately 700,000 Arabs there. But according to famous historian Benny Morris:
But this did not translate into an expulsion masterplan; there was no such plan or policy in 1948. Indeed, as late as March 24 1948, the high command of the Haganah had instructed all its units to recognise “the full rights, needs and freedom of the Arabs in the Jewish state without discrimination, and a striving for coexistence with freedom and respect”.
But this pre-1948 transfer thinking had been significant: it had readied hearts and minds in the Jewish community for the denouement of 1948. From April, most Jewish officers and officials had acted as if transfer was the state’s desire, if not policy.
In his recent book, Chosen? Reading the Bible amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the distinguished scholar Walter Brueggemann levels familiar accusations against the Jewish state while also claiming that he has discovered heretofore-overlooked injustices. As for Brueggeman’s theological investigations, Gerald McDermott argues that they reveal the author’s contempt not for any particular Israeli behavior or policy, but for Zionism itself and for the promises of the biblical God:
Brueggemann makes not only [factual errors about the recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] but exegetical and theological ones as well. His most serious is the supersessionist mistake, which claims that the church supersedes Israel, so that for the New Testament authors God is supposedly no longer interested in the Jewish people or the land of Israel. . . . This is the . . . claim that most Catholic and Protestant theologians rejected after the Holocaust made them ask how the most Christianized country in Europe could have murdered six million Jews. . . .
Brueggemann’s real opponent in this book is Zionism, which claims that there is a connection between the Hebrew Bible’s promise of the land and the modern state of Israel. Brueggemann complains that Zionism “disregards the Deuteronomic if”—that Israel will control the land only if she lives up to the terms of the covenant. He suggests that modern Israel has not done so because of its “oppression” of Palestinians, and that the essence of Judaism has nothing to do with land anyway. “Judaism consists most elementally in interpretation of and obedience to the Torah,” which “can be done anywhere.”
Review: Dov Waxman, ‘Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict Over Israel’
Dov Waxman, a professor of political science at Northeastern University, says he has written Trouble in the Tribe to investigate the “internecine battle” waged over Israel in the American Jewish community. What emerges instead is an apologia for radical anti-Israel Jewish organizations and a distorted image of organized American Jewry as intolerant, elitist, and intent on silencing those who dare criticize Israel.
The author’s failure to level with the reader is clear by the second chapter. It’s here that Waxman introduces us to his first example of how a dissenting group was “denounced” and “shunned” by organized American Jewry. That group was Breira, an organization established in 1973 following the Yom Kippur War. Breira means “alternative” in Hebrew, and the alternative it offered was a PLO-run state in the West Bank and Gaza. In Waxman’s telling, the group came from “the heart of the Jewish community” but was smeared by right-wing organizations after it came to light that two of Breira’s members had met with Palestinians with close ties to the PLO (in Israel meeting with the PLO was then illegal).
The trouble with Waxman’s narrative is that neither Breira’s position nor its members’ PLO meet-and-greet was the issue. What did Breira in was not dissent, but flying under a false flag. What was exposed, through a monograph put out by Americans for a Safe Israel—Waxman incorrectly names it American Friends for a Safe Israel—was who was in Breira’s leadership. The group’s first two paid staff members came from CONAME, as did 19 other members of Breira, many of whom held positions on its executive and advisory committees. CONAME originated as a front group for the Socialist Workers Party, and was described by Time as one of the Arab or pro-Arab organizations working in the United States. The group specialized in bringing anti-Israel speakers like Israel Shahak (who called the whole idea of a Jewish state “unjust and absurd”) to American campuses. During the 1973 war, it had joined with Arab and pro-Arab organizations in sending telegrams to Congress urging “no arms to Israel.” When this was exposed, the group claimed lamely that its name had been used without its consent.
David Collier: An open response to the National Union of Teachers
An open letter to Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers. Copy also sent by email on 22/05/2016.
This letter follows on from the original complaint of 16/5 and the NUT response on 18/5.
Dear Christine Blower
Firstly, thank you for your response to my email. However, your letter, including the statement from the PSC, is so absurd that it simply raises further questions both about the PSC and the NUT.
As those who follow my writing know, I never film anything. I go to some very hostile places and cannot openly do anything. My mission at events is effectively to remain unnoticed. I do not believe that there is a single piece of self-shot footage *anywhere* on my blog. So this statement creates additional problems. Why are they suggesting they caught me filming?
What makes this claim more absurd, is the inclusion inside the event programme of a #hashtag (#Nakba68). It seems odd that an element placed to encourage ‘spreading the word’ about the event, would accompany a policy of a ‘media blackout’.
UN exhibit – Israel Mission to the UN with StandWithUs
The Labour Party said last week that Afzal Khan had been “reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour representative,” but that he would face no disciplinary action, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Kahn tweeted in August 2014, during the war with Hamas in Gaza: “The Israeli government are acting like Nazi’s [sic] in Gaza.”
Khan in 2008 received a high national honor, the CBE, for his community and interfaith work, and is co-founder of The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.
“It is staggering how often Labour politicians casually reference the Nazis when discussing the world’s only Jewish state,” Conservative MP Andrew Percy told the Telegraph. “This is deeply offensive, causes a great deal of hurt to the Jewish community in the UK. Labour should move to suspend Afzal Khan immediately and start to take the issue of anti-Semitism more seriously.”
Fellow Conservative Sir Eric Pickles, who is the government’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, told the Telegraph: “Another day, another Labour anti-Semite caught red-handed. [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to even suspend this MEP makes an absolute mockery of his promise to tackle anti-Semitism within his party.”
Clinton had hoped to unite her party after a bitter primary, but many have refused to commit to voting for the former First Lady even in a general election against Republican Donald Trump. But for some Sanders fans, voting for Trump, a former friend and supporter of Clinton, was also a non-starter.
“Listen, I don’t like ISIS, but at least we know that they’d be opposed to Hillary,” another Sanders supporter noted. “Hillary didn’t go to [ISIS Leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi’s wedding. To be honest, the only way I can keep posting anti-Hillary memes after the party conventions are over is if I join the Caliphate and try to stop Hillary by destroying the West.”
Responding to these statements, Clinton said she was willing to support ISIS if that’s what it takes to win over these voters.
“I really don’t care what it takes to make all of this end,” a frustrated Clinton told The Mideast Beast. “I just want to be president already.”
What BtS does, answers to its claims, the parameters of legitimate self-defense, what foreign experts have to say about BtS, who funds BtS and why it fights to keep its informers unidentified.
Questions about BtS tactics, methodology, motivations, funding, disproportionate media attention, and the certainty of future clashes with Hamas, ensures continued scrutiny and discussion.
Gerald M. Steinberg, the founder and president of NGO Monitor, that documents questionable funding and actions of many NGO’s that support Israel-based reporters, explained how BtS operates. With approximately 10 staff members, BtS issues unnamed and unsubstantiated testimonies from Israeli soldiers claiming to have witnessed fellow soldiers committing war crimes. BtS representatives repeat these false allegations in European parliaments, before UN agencies, on university campuses and in the media. They even met with members of the White House National Security Council at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital. A separate meeting was held with senior officials at the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
Those with no combat experience in dealing with terror groups are moved by these disturbing and highly emotional reports. Audiences are left with the impression that the alleged, “errant act of one solider, proven or not, is indicative of the ethos and the norms of the I.D.F. entire. This is false and libelous,” asserts Ron Ben-Yishai, a retired Lt. Colonel in the IDF paratroopers division and a journalist for over 46 years. Of particular concern is the fallacious perception promoted on American college campuses.
NGO Monitor: Breaking the Silence is Not Above the Law
In advance of a court hearing today regarding the refusal of the political organization “Breaking the Silence” to hand over details of alleged military wrongdoings, including the identities of those who claimed to witness such events, NGO Monitor emphasizes that this organization is not above the law. Non-governmental organizations, regardless of their political agenda, should not be shielded from criticism and cannot claim a right to “immunity” whenever it suits their political objectives. Therefore, they must act in accordance with norms of democracy, transparency and accountability.
Breaking the Silence officials have refused to provide details regarding suspects involved in alleged violations of the laws of war, while at the same time have used these anonymous testimonies to promote a political agenda internationally. The NGO’s attempt to prevent the IDF and the Israeli public from being exposed to the whole truth casts doubt on its stated mission of promoting debate on the morality of the IDF. Instead, Breaking the Silence conducts its one-sided discussions outside of Israel, in forums that do not contribute to the promotion of human rights in Israel.
The responsibility for hiding the identities of the alleged criminals is first and foremost on the funders/enablers, especially those that support Breaking the Silence’s Testimony Collection project. This project constitutes the mainstay of Breaking the Silence’s activity. In it, anonymous testimonies regarding IDF activities and decisions, devoid of context or background, are misused in order to promote political campaigns against the IDF and the state of Israel.
In 2014-2015, Breaking the Silence received NIS 4,587,818 (~$1.1 million) directly and indirectly from foreign governments. The “Testimonies” project was funded by the French Consulate in Jerusalem and Broederlijk Delen (a church-based NGO funded by Belgium). In addition, a publication of testimonies on the 2014 Gaza War was funded by the Human Rights and International Law Secretariat in Ramallah (joint funding from Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Switzerland), George Soros’s Open Society Institute, and the church aid organizations Christian Aid (UK), Trocaire (Ireland) and DanChurch Aid (Denmark and the EU).
The future of Breaking the Silence was in the balance on Sunday before the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court, as the state attorney tried to compel it to reveal the name of a former soldier who gave the organization his testimony concerning his military service.
The soldier was a source in the organization’s critical report on IDF conduct during the 2014 Gaza war.
For 11 years, the NGO has delivered anonymous testimonies from soldiers on alleged IDF abuses.
The state attorney demanded Breaking the Silence reveal one of its anonymous sources, saying that solving the crime the anonymous soldier is accused of takes precedence over letting the group maintain his anonymity as their source.
The group has made big headlines over the years dating back to the 2008-9 Gaza war, and was thrust back into the media spotlight when its tactics were attacked in detail in a Channel 2 report in March.
At Sunday’s hearing, the NGO’s lawyer Michael Sfard pleaded with the court to “defend Breaking the Silence, and in doing so, to defend civil society which is very broken and anxious about its future.”
He said ruling against the NGO would be a major blow to Israeli democracy and freedom of speech.
IsraellyCool: Hillel’s Brilliant PR Move: Make #NakbaGate Disappear!
Let’s get back to the UC Irvine story. I am the founder of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Columbia. When we incorporated, Hillel did whatever it could to bring us down, smearing us as a “radical right-wing organization.” When I organized a silent protest of the BDS 101 event at Columbia, with a group standing outside the building quietly with Israeli flags to show we have a presence, Hillel leaders told students I had planned to go inside and shout them down with a megaphone, something that I as a proponent of free speech would never do. They did whatever they could to paint me and SSI as extremist, and because there is nothing extremist about me or SSI, they had to make up lies. And they made up many.
I complained about it in a chat with several SSI Leaders and presidents, and to my surprise, several echoed my sentiments. “It’s a normal part of the process,” I was told. “We are proactive, so we threaten Hillel’s donations by exposing them as a group that does nothing in the way of advocacy, relatively speaking.”
Eventually, when these SSI Chapters gain enough popularity on campus, Hillel extends an olive branch. They start co-sponsoring and funding events, which the nascent SSI begins to rely on and appreciate because the already-established Hillel lends them legitimacy. Moreover, SSI leaders are petrified of burning bridges, and they know Hillel’s time-honored tactics of ostracism and smearing to bring down students they are threatened by (I wish they did that with JVP and SJP, but they sadly legitimize them and are constantly trying to make peace with them).
Many SSI Chapters continuously experience hostility from Hillel, and that olive branch is never extended. These students don’t come out about it because they are desperate for Hillel’s approval, as they are considered the home of many Jewish students who care about issues that affect Jews, those who have the most potential to really contribute to SSI.
“There should be no racism in football” says the first interviewee in this Alex Seymour video from outside the Wembley Stadium before the FA Cup Final last week in which Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2:1.
No, indeed. And that sentiment should extend to the Israel-haters who spend so much of their time working to get Israel thrown out of FIFA.
To quote the maker and uploader:
“Manchester United playing against Crystal Palace, two teams with Football Against Apartheid supporters amongst their fans. We were at the magnificent stadium at Wembley to leaflet and spread the word amongst football’s devotees that Israel, as the only country in the world currently practicing apartheid in both sport and in day to day life, should not be allowed to get away with it and has to be penalized where it will most affect the man in the Tel Aviv street, by being excluded from FIFA, as part of the general BDS campaign to free the people of Palestine from the yoke of Israel’s near 50 year occupation.”
Acclaimed British historian and feminist Catherine Hall announced Sunday that she will withdraw her acceptance of an award allocated by Tel Aviv University for political reasons, 972 magazine reported on Sunday.
Hall was supposed to accept the $330,000 award by the Dan David Foundation at the university on Sunday. However, mounting pressure by the BDS movement on Hall and other recipients aided in Hall’s refusal of the prize.
Hall, who was awarded for her research on the history of gender, race, and slavery, is a well known feminist and political activist. A statement published Friday by the British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), which supports Israel boycotts, said that Hall declined the prize after “many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel and Palestine.”
The prize will instead be awarded to three economists involved in the fight against poverty, three researchers in the field of nano-science, and two historians of social history.
The Dan David Prize is an international prize awarded in Israel every year to excellent candidates for their contributions to society and humanity at large.
PreOccupiedTerritory: To Confuse BDS, Israeli Promoters Advertising Made-Up Acts (satire)
Israeli concert promoters sent former Pink Floyd front man and current promoter of an artistic boycott of Israel Roger Waters on a wild goose chase this week after announcing, with great fanfare, the scheduled appearance of Pimp My Bride in Israel this November, followed by Buck the Sound System and Swayze Train in December. Waters scrambled to demand that the bands refrain from performing in Israel, but failed to realize that none of those ensembles exist.
Bimot Productions, Ltd. has been trolling supporters of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement for months, getting them to waste time and energy denouncing various organizations or individuals who continue to transact business with Israel or engage Israeli society. The BDS activists and groups seek to pressure Israel economically, academically, and culturally into concessions to the Palestinians, with the ultimate goal the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Most of those organizations and individuals, however, exist only in the promotional materials produced for purposes of the trolling.
Avaz Bar, CEO of Bimot, hatched the scheme last year as Waters, Elvis Costello, and other lesser-known or washed-up pop celebrities hounded fellow musicians over planned performances in Israel. Bar figured that if he could embarrass Waters and his ilk, the BDS efforts would cease to be taken seriously, at least on the entertainment front. So far he has notched eleven such successes, often leaving Waters and other BDS supporters unaware they had been punked.
Interestingly, neither Marshall nor Krahenbuhl mentioned those UN findings, the storage of weapons in three schools or the all-important context of the terrorist activity in the vicinity of the damaged schools when they later turned to the topic of the Gaza Strip.
JM: “Syria clearly in the midst of conflict at the moment but Gaza, the West Bank – we’re very much aware of what happened in Gaza way back in 2014 – but…eh…presumably the problem is not as acute any longer.”
PK: “The problem is not acute in the same way because we have rebuilt and repaired all the schools that were damaged or – more largely – destroyed during the 2014 war.”
Whether BBC audiences are in fact “very much aware of what happened in Gaza way back in 2014” is of course debatable given the corporation’s record of reporting in general and its frequent amplification of politicised UNRWA messaging (both during and after the conflict) in particular.
The timing of the appearance of this UNRWA report is – as stated in Doucet’s article – linked to the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit and – as is evident in the final part of the ‘Newshour’ item – UNRWA’s related funding drive. The BBC’s predictable self-conscription to UNRWA’s public relations campaign means that audiences are fed context-free messaging in the guise of ‘news’ – as ever with no critical examination of the organization concerned or its mandate.
A [NYPD] police officer called to the scene began struggling with Conrad, who pulled out a knife. Police officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he continued to approach them with the knife in his hand. At that point, O’Neill said, an officer and a sergeant opened fire on Conrad.
They did not shoot him once. They did not merely aim to neutralize him by shooting him in the legs or his arms. They shot him an incredible nine times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Conrad had displayed “aggressive and belligerent” behavior at a food store by “swearing” and he had threatened police with a knife. For that he was shot nine times. Could this incident possibly be characterized as “disproportionate”?
Had this taken place in Israel, and had this man not been called Gary Conrad, but Mohammed, and had he not been merely an inebriated loon but a terrorist out to slash Jews, international outrage would have poured forth in torrents from the front page of every single news outlet and the mouth of every opinion maker worth his salt. The “disproportionate force” claim would have been thrown about and every self-respecting journalist would have asked why Israel had to kill the man — shooting him no fewer than nine times — instead of simply neutralizing him by shooting him in the legs or the arms and then taking him to hospital.
So far, not a single news report has questioned the judgment of the NYPD. No American liberal has come forth in self-righteous indignation, asking whether killing this man, who, after all, was not threatening to blow up the Food Emporium or stab anyone, may have been slightly on the disproportionate side. But those same liberals lie awake at night and pen heartfelt, emotional diatribes against Israeli “brutality” when Israeli soldiers kill certified terrorists and would-be suicide bombers as a last resort, to protect themselves and Israeli civilians.
Listeners do not get an answer to the curious question of how Mendoza managed to find “a Jewish Israeli” in the Gaza Strip nine years after all the people answering that description were evacuated from the territory, but they do get to hear David Aaronovitch pass the buck to David Hirsh.
DA: “David, how do you respond to that?”
DH: “Well, I think we need to talk about what the Nazis did. The Nazis created a racial categorization of human beings. They created an industrial network in order to round up, identify and gas and murder all of the Jews of Europe. Now, Kerry-Anne’s story about…ehm…one incident in which some people were given long-term contraception is a really good example of how particular incidents are used to kind of demonise Israel. The claim that there was a campaign to stop black people from breeding in Israel is just appalling actually. It’s not true, when in fact black people have been brought and rescued and brought to Israel and are part of Israeli society – a half of Israeli society….
KAM: “But they are not brought and rescued by Israel. They’ve been treated abysmally…”
At that point Aaronovitch interrupts and redirects the discussion elsewhere.
The question which must be asked about this particular segment of the programme (which includes additional material no less worthy of comment) is what impression the average listener would have taken away. On the basis of past evidence one can well assume that the BBC’s response to any complaint on this issue would be to claim that Mendoza’s allegations were rebutted by David Hirsh.
However, listeners would not have understood from David Hirsch’s response that an official investigation had taken place or that it found no evidence of the administration of Depo-Provera to Ethiopian women against their will. In fact, Hirsch’s reference to “one incident in which some people were given long-term contraception” would have prompted the average listener to go away with the mistaken idea that there is a factual basis to Mendoza’s deliberate smears. Moreover, the BBC itself – in the form of its presenter – made no effort to ensure that audiences were made aware of the facts behind that slander and actually left listeners to make up their own inadequately informed minds with regard to who is telling the truth – Mendoza or Hirsh.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Samson Nearly Takes Jawbone From BBC Reporter Instead Of An Ass (satire)
A fearsome Israelite warrior facing a large number of Philistine fighters was unable to tell the difference between a donkey and a journalist with the British Broadcasting Corporation, and as a result almost severed part of the man’s skull before divine intervention redirected him toward the jawbone of an ass lying on the ground, witnesses reported.
Samson the son of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan, came upon an encampment of hostile Philistines, and was gripped by the spirit of the Lord, enabling him to slay a thousand of them using nothing more than the jawbone of an ass. However, immediately before picking up the bone, the warrior first approached a BBC correspondent and attempted to grab the jawbone of the reporter and use it as a weapon. The divine spirit stopped Samson at the last moment from seizing the man’s jaw, and instead showed him where the ass’s jawbone lay.
“It was an understandable mix-up,” said a spokesangel for the supernal realms. “Most prophets understand their visions and inspiration more clearly, but sometimes the comprehension is not the finest. Fortunately, we were able to clarify what Samson was supposed to use in time to spare the reporter’s life.” The angel reassured inquirers that an examination will take place as to why BBC correspondents and asses seem interchangeable.
As a result of the incident, the BBC ran a story on anti-media violence perpetrated by the Israelites, and used Philistine Health Ministry statistics in reporting the incident, such that the BBC’s audience was told that 3,500 Philistines, including children and other noncombatants, were slain. Samson documented a thousand Philistine casualties, all soldiers, but the BBC, Reuters, CNN, Guardian, MSNBC, and Times of London made no mention of the lower figure and the military bona fides of the casualties.
On July 2, thousands of Islamists, radical anti-Israel activists and members of the fringe anti-Zionist group Naturei Karta will once again march in downtown Toronto to for an end to the Jewish State amid frenzied chants of “Zionism is terrorism”, “down, down, Israel” and “Netanyahu you will see, Palestine will be free”.
Jewish Defense League of Canada (JDL) is embarking on a public campaign to recruit supporters of Israel to join a counter-demonstration during which the pro-Israel side will carry signs under the ironic banner “Happy Al-Quds Day” showing graphic pictures of the hanging of gays in Iran, the savagery of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the stoning of women under Shari’a law.
This macabre event, during which Islamists, communists and anti-Israel Jews unite in hate for a few hours once a year, was originally proclaimed in 1979 by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini as a religious duty for all Muslims to rally in solidarity against Israel and Zionism.
In previous years, the Al-Quds rally in Toronto served as a platform for predominantly Shia Muslims to reiterate their unwavering Islamic commitment to “liberate” Jerusalem from Jewish presence. The speakers expressed their virulent hatred of Zionism, called Israel a “cancer which must be eradicated” and referred to Zionists as the “enemies of humanity”.
Vandals have destroyed 14 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Manchester, in what police called a sickening act of antisemitism.
The headstones were knocked over and smashed in the “abhorrent” wrecking spree in Charlestown, north-east Manchester, on Wednesday.
Ch Supt Wasim Chaudhry from Greater Manchester police’s north Manchester division said: “This is a sickening act of antisemitism which we are taking very seriously. I believe this was a deliberate and targeted attack and there is no place for such abhorrent behaviour in our communities.
“All decent members of the public recognise that a cemetery is supposed to be a resting place for people who have passed away, a place of sanctity and dignity where families can come and pay their respects.
“So to have those graves desecrated in such a disgusting and disrespectful way will no doubt cause immeasurable anguish to the families and loved ones affected.”
Rosalie Chris Lerman, a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp who was the wife of the founder of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and a passionate advocate of Holocaust remembrance, has died. She was 90.
Daughter Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer said her mother, who passed away Thursday of natural causes, celebrated her 90th birthday in March.
“She was a vibrant, fully mobile, fully functioning, extraordinary ebullient 90,” Lerman-Neubauer said.
Born in 1926 and sent to Auschwitz as a teenager, she married Miles Lerman, a Holocaust survivor and partisan fighter, in 1945. They arrived in New York City two years later and went on to have a chicken farm in Vineland, New Jersey, and a home heating oil business that grew into a major distributorship.
Miles Lerman was the founder and chairman of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and she became a philanthropist and lecturer. Her daughter said she was one of the survivors who talked about her experience early on, worked to gain access to records about the Holocaust and especially “to document moral choices that people made in the face of Nazism.’
A Holocaust survivor on Saturday fulfilled a life-long dream, singing the national anthem before a Major League baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay.
Hermina Hirsch, 89, belted out the Star-Spangled Banner at Comerica Park in Detroit, a month after she appeared on local television station WWJ and called on the Tigers to allow her to sing. She would not, she said at the time, be nervous singing in front of thousands of baseball fans.
“If I lived through the concentration camp, it couldn’t be that bad,” Hirsch said. “I don’t want to die before I sing at a baseball game.”
After an outpouring of fan support, Hirsch was asked to sing at a game.
Hirsh, who was born in Czechoslovakia, lived through a series of Nazi camps beginning in 1944, at the age of 17. She was liberated in January 1945.
Amid warnings of a fresh campaign of ISIS terror attacks, Heathrow Airport in London is reportedly considering the implementation of a new security mechanism that is employed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport.
According to a British Times report Sunday, the initiative – dubbed “ring of steel” – would see the deployment of plainclothes security personnel throughout one of Europe’s busiest travel hubs.
A revised security regime could reportedly comprise of undercover officers stationed in departure and arrival halls along with reinforcement from custodial and maintenance staff. Increased surveillance of baggage handlers was also mentioned as a potential new measure.
The report on the new security measures under consideration emerged after a senior Israeli intelligence official last week pointed to European airports as potential targets for terrorist attacks.
Israeli-made app, Houzz, is a winner in Google’s newly minted Play Awards for the best Android apps. Houzz, founded in 2009 in Tel Aviv by Israeli couple Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, took top honors in the Best App category.
The Google Play team chose the free platform for home remodeling that brings together both professionals and homeowners via mobile, local and social tools. Other apps in the running in the Best App category included Colorfy, BuzzFeed News, and Yummly.
“Our mission from day one has been to deliver the best technology and experience for home renovation and design by addressing every aspect of the process,” said Adi Tatarko, Houzz cofounder and CEO.
Houzz counts more than 10 million Android users, according to Google Play data.
The United Nations has chosen Unistream, which creates social change by empowering teens from underprivileged communities to build and run their own startups, as one of this year’s most influencing organizations in the world in the field of inter-cultural innovation.
At the Seventh Global Forum of the UNAOC in Baku, the Israeli social entrepreneurial program was selected as one of five finalists from nearly 1,000 applicants from 120 countries.
Unistream was acknowledged for promoting inter-cultural dialogue and understanding using innovative methodology.
“Unistream is proud and honored to represent Israel and be recognized alongside other outstanding organizations from around the globe for granting teens a rare chance for socio economic mobility and the opportunity to realize their potential, as well as planting seeds for a more peaceful society,” Unistream writes on its website.
“Unistream aspires to cultivate a business social leadership that will work to close gaps between those in central Israel and those in the periphery and widen scopes of success, tolerance & personal empowerment.”
The ReWalk system has done wonders for quadriplegics, providing them with a method of being able to walk again – or even run a marathon, as several paralyzed individuals have done while wearing the ReWalk exoskeleton suit. Now, a version of the system will be used to help a much larger cohort – individuals who have difficulty moving about due to stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), old age, or other reasons
“There is a great need in the health care system for lightweight, lower-cost wearable exoskeleton designs to support stroke patients, individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and senior citizens who require mechanical mobility assistance,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk. “This collaboration will help create the next generation of exoskeleton systems, making life-changing technology available to millions of consumers across a host of patient populations.”
ReWalk allows paraplegics to walk, almost the same as an able-bodied person. A forward tilt of the upper body triggers the first step and gets the system going. There are several other exoskeleton systems in development, by ReWalk is the first to receive FDA approval.
The system has been extensively studied and tested in Israel, the US, and Europe, and is in use by people around the world. In addition to providing wearers with the ability to stand and walk independently, clinical studies show that using the ReWalk provides significant mental health benefits as well, with users having a much more positive self-image as they gain independence and control over their movements, according to experts who have studied the system.
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