September 27, 2021

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06/07 Links Pt2: Dershowitz: New York Is Right To Counterboycott Anti-Israel Boycotters; Pipes: Israel’s new enemy — the international left

From Ian:

Daniel Pipes: Israel’s new enemy — the international left
Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary. But this might be in process of change: as Muslims slowly, grudgingly, and unevenly come to accept the Jewish state as a reality, the left is becoming increasingly vociferous and obsessive in its rejection of Israel.
Much evidence points in this direction. Polls in the Middle East find cracks in the opposition to Israel, while a major American survey for the first time shows liberal Democrats to be more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments have real security relations with Israel while a figure like (the Jewish) Bernie Sanders declares that “to the degree that (Israelis) want us to have a positive relationship, I think they’re going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.”
But I should like to focus on a small illustrative example from a United Nations institution. The World Health Organization churned out report A69/B/CONF./1 on May 24, with the enticing title, “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan: Draft decision proposed by the delegation of Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group, and Palestine.”
The three-page document calls for “a field assessment conducted by the World Health Organization,” with special focus on such topics as “incidents of delay or denial of ambulance service” and “access to adequate health services on the part of Palestinian prisoners.” Of course, the entire document singles out Israel as a denier of unimpeded access to health care.
This ranks as a special absurdity, given the WHO’s hiring a consultant in next-door Syria who is connected to the very pinnacle of the Assad regime, even as it perpetrates atrocities estimated at a half million dead and 12 million displaced (out of a total pre-war population of 22 million). Conversely, both the wife and brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, whose status and wealth assure them treatment anywhere in the world, chose to be treated in Israeli hospitals, as did the sister, daughter, and grand-daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Israel’s sworn enemy.

Alan Dershowitz: New York Is Right To Counterboycott Anti-Israel Boycotters

If properly interpreted and enforced, Cuomo’s executive action would not undermine freedom of speech. The law would only impact those companies that refuse to do business with Israeli or pro-Israeli institutions and individuals. BDS activists would still be free to advocate bigotry—and that’s what singling out the nation state of the Jewish people for boycott is—in the marketplace of ideas. But in much the same way that businesses today are not allowed to refuse to serve someone because of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion, so too would businesses that engage in BDS activities face economic consequences for discriminating on the grounds of nationality or political expression.
In some ways, Governor Cuomo’s anti-BDS executive action mirrors those of several states which refused to do business with North Carolina when that state passed legislation that discriminated against the LGBTQ community. It also emulates the counter boycotts of the 1930s against the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.
Moreover—and contrary to the shrill claims of the pro-BDS punditry—there is longstanding precedent for anti-boycott regulations. Since the mid 1970s, for example, the U.S. has enforced a number of anti-boycott laws through the Export Administration Act (“EAA”) and the Executive Administration Regulations (“EAR”). Among other provisions, the EAA and EAR penalize individuals and companies that participate in boycotts based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality. They have been repeatedly applied to companies participating in the now-defunct Arab League boycott of Israel, and to boycotts targeting other U.S. allies.
To call such regulations McCarthyite is to insult the victims of real McCarthyism who were punished for their ideas, speeches, and associations, not for their actions in refusing to do business based on national origin. Yes, there will be a list of companies that discriminate against Israel, just as there are lists today of store and building owners who refuse to do business with, for example, African-Americans, LGBTQ, or Muslims. There will have to be proof that a business engaged in a discriminatory boycott by singling out Israeli entities, or individuals based on their national origin, or political convictions, and a process for challenging inclusion on any list.
The only McCarthyist blacklist is that which has been complied by BDS enforcers—a list I am proud to be on—of supporters of Israel and of those who seek to “normalize” relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Zionism: An irrational and misunderstood fear

Today, anti-Israelism under the guise of anti-Zionism has become the main expression of anti-Semitism, of enmity to Jews.
An entire nation is targeted, for verbal or physical violence, women, children, elderly, innocent and oppressed alike – simply because of their Jewish nationality, and their demand to be seated at the table of nations with all of their peers. Despite the presence of 22 Arab countries, tied to a single ethnic origin, only the desire of the Jewish people to establish its own sovereign state has been subject to fierce opposition.
Nevertheless, Israel is concurrently a safe haven for millions of persecuted people, those who fled the Nazi genocide, Soviet brutality or violence in many other countries.
Nearly one million Jews, leaving all of their assets behind, were forced to immigrate from Arab countries in the aftermath of the 1948 war.
Yet, Jewishness is not understood in racial or traditional ethnic terms in the State of Israel, unlike its counterparts. It is a country of multiculturalism, one which hosts varying faiths and diverse ethnic backgrounds, in contrast to its Arab neighbor countries. One-fifth of the Israeli population is Arab, while the overall, majority Jewish population is comprised of over 70 cultures speaking 35 languages and dialects. Additionally, Arabic is an official language, alongside Hebrew, in the state of the Jews. The sacred places of all faiths are protected: There are nearly 400 mosques, all safeguarded since the declaration of Independence of the State of Israel.
Despite this fact, Zionism is equated in ever widening circles with a conspiracy to control and exploit the whole world.

Guerilla mockumentarian helps Americans fundraise for Hamas

In a burgeoning golden age of undercover photography, guerrilla documentarian Ami Horowitz is exposing hypocrisy at 25 frames per second.
On the UC Berkeley campus, he garnered support waving an Islamic State flag. In Portland, he collected donations from college students to explicitly support Hamas terror attacks on schools, hospitals and other Israeli “soft targets.”
In face-to-face meetings with war criminals, embedded among neo-Nazis, and in countless other “designed-to-stun” settings, Horowitz enjoys creating polemic cinéma vérité with an often unassuming, humorous edge.
Horowitz, who operates Disruptive Pictures, has no training in what he calls “docu-tainment”; the former investment banker with Lehmann Brothers simply creates pieces inspired by Michael Moore’s films.
A Modern Orthodox Jew and Israel supporter, Horowitz’s end game is to unmask UN obfuscation, anti-Semitism, bigotry and ignorance through humor. His work not only plays widely across social media channels but also airs on television networks where he reaches millions of viewers.
Raised in Los Angeles, Horowitz “attended mostly Jewish schools,” interned at KROQ, a leading rock radio station, and studied political science and philosophy at the University of Southern California.
The son of an Israeli mother and an American father who worked hard to run a small business, the married father of two now lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where his videos have caused him to receive threats mere steps outside his own front door.

Soros-Funded J Street Joins Bernie Sanders’ Call For More Pro-Palestinian Democratic Platform

J Street is pushing Bernie Sanders’ efforts to make the Democratic party platform’s language more “balanced” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with emphasis on recognizing Palestinian rights to Jerusalem and concern over Israel’s settlement policy as “endanger[ing] peace.”
A memo circulated by the leftwing, George Soros-financed Mideast advocacy group seems to highlight that the Israel-Palestinian conflict will become a flashpoint at the national convention in Philadelphia next month, Politico reported.
“The overall tone of the document should establish the party’s deep commitment to meeting the essential needs of both Israelis and Palestinians,” the June 2 memo reads.
J Street also called for the platform to raise “concern about the expansion of settlements, which entrench the occupation and endanger peace,” while the language should reflect “American recognition of the Jewish areas of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, with precise arrangements to be reached in negotiations.”
The liberal group did, however, call on platform drafters to cite the party’s opposition to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Yet Cornel West, James Zogby, and Rep. Keith Ellison – three out of five drafters appointed by Sanders – are outspoken critics of Israel.

U.S. Green Party Presidential Candidate Backs Israel Boycott Movement

The Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, on Monday released a statement in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“The United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law,” the Stein campaign said in a statement quoted by the Jewish Insider website.
“Therefore, the Stein campaign calls for ending military and economic support for the Israeli government while it is committing war crimes and defying international law,” the statement added.
Stein, 64, a physician and a Jewish Chicago native, announced her candidacy for president last February. In 2012, Stein was endorsed by Israel critic linguist Noam Chomsky. She received 456,169 votes (0.36%), mostly in Alaska, Oregon and Maine, noted the Jewish Insider. (h/t Alexi)

Two Paths on BDS for Democrats

The fact that an anti-BDS law is stalled in the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly is a turn of events that shows the ability of the party’s ascendant left wing to thwart the intentions of more centrist members. It is also an indication that the pro-Israel consensus that once prevailed in Cuomo’s party is out the window. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have said they oppose boycotts of Israel. But the clash of the two over criticisms of the Jewish state and the stated desire of Sanders and his backers to change the Democratic Party platform this year from one that is overtly pro-Israel to one that is “evenhanded” and more sympathetic to the Palestinians is one issue on which the differences between the two camps are substantive.
It also helps explain what happened in the California legislature when an anti-BDS bill was effectively stripped of its content to the point where pro-Israel supporters of the legislation have now abandoned it. After passing through three Democratic-controlled committees, the bill was neutered and no longer even mentions boycotts of Israel. Other legislatures, including those of Florida, Indiana, and South Carolina have passed such legislation. But it is hardly surprising that two places where the left is strongest — California and New York — haven’t followed suit despite the sizable and influential pro-Israel constituencies in both states.
Opponents of anti-BDS bills claim they repress free speech. But while there is nothing illegal about expressing an opinion about the Middle East or even being an anti-Zionist, those who participate in campaigns are engaged in advocacy of a form of discrimination. There is no way to defend isolating only Israel without practicing forms of bias that are already illegal under state and federal laws. Nor is it possible to separate BDS from more overt forms of anti-Semitic hate speech that almost always goes hand in hand with pro-BDS campaigns, especially on college campuses. As Cuomo correctly framed the argument for his order, this is a matter of opposing intolerance.
But the willingness of so many Democrats to oppose anti-BDS legislation and, as we’ve seen with the Sanders campaign, engage in wild exaggerations and attacks on Israel that exceed even the propaganda put out by Hamas illustrates the growing divide among Democrats. Sanders’ appointment of anti-Israel extremists James Zogby and Cornel West as his designated champions on the platform committee was a shot fired over the bow of mainstream pro-Israel Democrats. Given the collapse of Democratic opposition to President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal last year, the confidence of the anti-Israel faction within the party is understandable. But while it is by no means certain how the platform battle will play out at their Philadelphia convention, Cuomo’s order is a model for what other governors should do on this issue. It’s also an indication that pro-Israel Democrats are not yet beaten even if they seem on the run on the national stage. Whether Cuomo’s view or those of the leftists that are gaining influence in the party with Sanders’s rise ultimately prevails is a question that should trouble those supporters of Israel who have always supported the Democrats.

Cuomo leads the way: In praise of his executive order to give anti-Israel boycotters a taste of their own medicine

Ordering a boycott of the boycott, Gov. Cuomo on Sunday placed New York State at the vanguard of fighting a drive, steeped in anti-Semitism, to delegitimize Israel.
The governor issued an executive order that bars the state from doing business with entities that back the BDS movement, which calls for boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel for alleged human rights violations against Palestinians.
In addition to ignoring true atrocities by other regimes, BDS at heart views the existence of the Jewish state as illegitimate in and of itself, and thus it inherently tramples Palestinian rights.
“If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you,” the governor declared with pithy moral power.

Cuomo went as far as a governor can go alone. Now, the Legislature must make barring business with BDS-supporting entities state law. Importantly, that move would extend the reach of the governor’s order to the state pension fund — which is where the real money is.

How California’s anti-BDS bill became ‘no longer a pro-Israel bill’

A growing split over Israel within the Democratic Party appears to be spilling over into the California legislature.
Just three months ago, an anti-Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) bill being considered in Sacramento appeared to be on track to become a sure win for pro-Israel politicians and advocacy groups aiming to stem the growing BDS movement.
That bill, AB 2844, finally passed the California Assembly on June 2—but not before a Democratic-controlled Appropriations Committee had transformed it, to the point that many of the bill’s original backers say they will not support it further unless the state’s Senate makes significant changes.
The latest development of AB 2844 is a twist for a law that Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), who introduced the bill, along with other backers, had expected would receive broad support. But AB 2844 had difficulty getting through the Democratic-controlled Assembly’s Committee on Accountability, as well as its Judiciary Committee and, finally, the Appropriations Committee, which is chaired by Lorena Gonzalez (D-Chula Vista).

ProIsraelBayBloggers: New York State anti-BDS law: the day after

In less than 24 hours, New York Governor Cuomo’s anti- BDS directive on Twitter was liked over 2,000 times, and retweeted 1.6 thousand times.
The anti-Israel cru took to social media, expressing their displeasure with their usual blend of subtlety and nuance.
JVP- “Jewish” Voice for Peace and Code Pink responded with….wait for it… a petition, displaying their characteristic moral inversion.
Dear Governor Cuomo:
Repeal your unconstitutional executive order punishing institutions that support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to achieve freedom for Palestinians and protest Israeli human rights abuses.
Boycotts are a constitutionally protected, nonviolent tactic used by social movements to achieve justice and equality.
New York State should not single out supporters of Palestinian rights for a politically-motivated McCarthyite blacklist.

After all, the only state worthy of being singled out is the worlds’ only Jewish state and the only liberal democracy in the region. And boycotts that are meant to protect the Jewish state, our closest friend and ally in the region could never be a “constitutionally protected non-violent tactic”., because, well, just because.
The very rights the Israel haters demand for themselves and their movement, they systematically deny to others
Its enough to make Orwell turn in his grave.

Headless Doll Calling for ‘Death to All Jews’ Among Spate of Antisemitic Incidents at Western Washington University

A headless doll bearing a note reading “Death to all Jews” was among a series of antisemitic incidents experienced by Jewish students over the winter months at Western Washington University (WWU), prompting the school’s administration to form a special task force to combat the phenomenon, WWU’s official student newspaper The Western Front reported.
According to the report, four known antisemitic incidents took place on campus during the recently completed winter quarter. “It is unusual in my office that we would get four consecutive situations so close together,” said Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, head of the Equal Opportunity Office (EOO) and a member of the task force. Information regarding the incidents were obtained through public records requests of EOO reports.
The first instance of antisemitism occurred on January 31, 2016, when a Jewish student living in the Fairhaven residential complex reported that a swastika and racial slurs had been written on a whiteboard attached to his door. Recognizing the perpetrator, the student confronted him and forced him to apologize. In response, school officials held a meeting at the residence hall on February 11, where the Jewish student was accused by other students of being too sensitive. One stated that the swastika was “a peace symbol in some cultures,” the Jewish student recounted.
Three days after the meeting, another Fairhaven resident reported that a swastika had been drawn next to his name on a sign-up sheet posted on the door of the resident director. Following an investigation, a student admitted to drawing the Nazi symbol, but claimed he had drawn it as a joke. The targeted student dropped the matter because he did not want to escalate the situation by having someone kicked out of campus housing, according to an EOO report.

Portland State U President Slams ‘Divisive and Ill-Informed’ BDS Divestment Resolution

The upcoming Portland State University (PSU) student government vote on Monday over divestment from companies doing business with the Israeli military is “divisive and ill-informed,” the school’s president warned in a statement on Thursday ahead of the vote.
President Wim Wiewel came out against the Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) International Affairs Committee-sponsored resolution, which follows recommendations from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to cut ties with Israeli companies that “have been found to profit from human rights violations against Palestinian civilians by the Israeli government.” The resolution — which was officially set for a vote following a May 23 debate — names four companies that “deny Palestinians basic civil rights:” HP, Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar and G4S.
Wiewel issued his statement in response to concerns raised by Hillel International President Eric Fingerhut. In a letter sent to Weiwel on Wednesday and obtained by The Algemeiner, Fingerhut expressed his deep concern for the increasingly hostile environment Jewish and pro-Israel students at PSU are facing. Alongside antisemitic acts at PSU – such as two separate instances of Nazi swastikas being carved on dormitories — Fingerhut warned the “atmosphere [at PSU] will likely be exacerbated by the introduction of the anti-Israel divestment resolution.”
“Our national experience in this area shows that BDS campaigns are typically accompanied by antisemitism on campus. Student backers of such divestment bills often employ hateful and antisemitic rhetoric that intimidates Jewish and pro-Israel students. The charged campaigns also create divisions on campus that inhibit learning, growth and the free exchange of ideas the academy holds dear,” he wrote.

In big Win for BDS, Omar Barghouti brings bag lunch to Tel Aviv University today (satire)

In what experts are calling a huge victory against Israel, Boycott/Divest/Sanctions (BDS) Founder/Qatari Exchange Student Omar Barghouti has decided today to avoid the eateries at Tel Aviv University and instead bring a bag lunch from home. In between trying to replace Israel with a Palestinian State, Mr. Barghouti has found time to matriculate at the Zionist Entity’s Tel Aviv University, where he is a PhD candidate in the Chutzpadik Department (Ha Ha! Just Kidding! But not really!).
Mr. Barghouti, who normally boycotts Israeli media because they have cooties, spoke with the Daily Freier after we put on a Rage Against the Machine T-Shirt and a keffiyeh and tricked him into thinking we were just another goofy Tel Aviv leftist from +972. Mr. Barghouti then explained his moral stand against Israel. “Today I refuse to eat at the campus McDonald’s. I refuse to go to the cafeteria in the Sports Center with the nice ready-made avocado sandwiches. Nor will I go to the Aroma with those cute little chocolates that they give away with every coffee. Nor will I go to that debauched beer cart with all of the degenerates in the middle of the Campus Quad. No, today I take a stand and bring a bag lunch from home consisting of Osem chips, and leftover Burger Ranch from last night. Thus are the sacrifices of a Campus Revolutionary like myself.”
When the Daily Freier told Mr. Barghouti that it was a bit rich to derive benefit from a nation he sought to dismantle, he replied “My studies at Tel-Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.” (NOT SATIRE! HE REALLY REALLY SAID THIS!)
When the Daily Freier asked Mr. Barghouti if he might build on today’s success and continue the food boycott tomorrow, he looked at us with disdain. “And miss out on Taco Tuesday at the University Food Court??? No I don’t think so.”

Daily Mail caption refers to Israel’s security barrier as an “apartheid wall” (UPDATE)

A good illustration of how anti-Zionist agitprop seeps into mainstream news reports can be found in the following photo caption from a June 6th Daily Mail article about the ‘radical’ British graffiti artist (and anti-Israel propagandist) known as Bansky:
Characterizing Israel’s security fence – erected in response to Palestinian suicide bombings during the Second Intifada originating from West Bank cities such as Bethlehem – as an “apartheid wall” is an egregious distortion of the truth, and parrots the incendiary rhetoric of extremist anti-Israel activists.
Suggesting that Israel engages in racial segregation (or “apartheid”) by erecting such a fence fails the most obvious tests of logic and common sense. First, Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank – and are on the other side of the fence – are not citizens of Israel. The fence is based on national differences, not racial ones. Claiming that Israel’s barrier represents “apartheid” is as absurd as claiming that fences separating the US and Mexico, the “peace wall” dividing Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast, or any of the dozens of other examples of countries erecting fences to protect their citizens represent “apartheid”.
We’ve contacted Daily Mail editors asking for a correction to this extremely biased caption.
UPDATE: Shortly after contacting Daily Mail editors, they replied to notify us that they corrected the caption. The word “apartheid” has been removed.

Obscure slot for rare BBC report on Palestinian social issues

As we have often noted on these pages, the framing adopted by the BBC in its reporting on Israel and the Palestinians barely allows for the inclusion of stories which fall outside the subject matter of ‘the conflict’ and the corporation’s journalists overwhelmingly stay away from topics such as Palestinian social issues and internal affairs. Neither does that editorial policy leave any room for nuanced views of relations between Israelis and Palestinians. Hence, when such stories do slip through the net they are all the more remarkable – especially if the BBC’s UK audiences are hearing them for the first time.
On June 5th the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Sunday’ included an item described thus in its synopsis:
“In his first UK media interview, Ed Stourton talks to John Calvin, grandson of the co-founder of Hamas, whose conversion to Christianity meant he had to flee the Middle East.”
The interview is not particularly long but it does provide listeners with very rare glimpses into issues such as the status of women, the indoctrination of children and the treatment of apostates and homosexuals in certain sectors of Palestinian society. The audience also heard an account which is starkly different to the usual BBC caricature of Palestinians and Israelis.

Washington Post Report’s on Israeli Victim but Obscures Palestinian Incitement

Despite abundant evidence of the causes noted above, The Post resorted to uncritically quoting “Palestinian officials [who] blame the almost 50-year occupation—the frustration and humiliation of checkpoints, land seizures, raids, military tribunals and the building of the Jewish settlements” as likely motivation for the “stabbing intifada.” The newspaper briefly noted that “Israeli politicians blame Palestinian incitement,” but failed to provide further details.
The claim that despair or “frustration” causes Palestinian terror attacks has been widely asserted by many in the news media. In repeating it, The Post echoed talking points distributed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in a November 2015 document called “Key Points to Remember while Reporting on Occupied Palestine.” CAMERA-affiliate BBC Watch noted, that PLO document, among other things, encourages reporters to assert that terrorist attacks are the result of Palestinian frustration over the “occupation” (“Reviewing BBC Compliance with PLO media guidance,” Dec. 8, 2015).
The Post article is accompanied by a misleading graphic. Titled “Approximate Number of Deaths in the Past Eight Months,” the chart showed that 30 Israelis have been killed in the “stabbing intifada” and 200 Palestinian Arabs, but does not distinguish attackers from victims. Yet, in the middle of the article, The Post reported that “some 30 Israelis have died in the wave of violence, along with two American visitors. Almost 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israel forces—most during attacks or attempted attacks, other in violent demonstrations.”
The Washington Post provided readers with coverage of the long-term effects on a grieving family of the brutal murder of an Israeli mother. Too frequently, the stories of the victims of Palestinian terrorism, like Dafna Meir, are minimized or ignored by major U.S. news media. The Washington Post followed up admirably in this case. Unfortunately, by claiming that the causes behind Meir’s murder were “obscure,” obscuring the full story in regard to the cause of the murder—Palestinian incitement—it left readers in limbo.

CBC Amends “Occupied Territories” Reference… Well, Sort Of

Following communication by HonestReporting Canada staff on June 3 to senior editors at the CBC, an online report by Mideast Bureau Chief Derek Stoffel was amended to remove an inaccurate reference he made of the existence of ”Occupied (Palestinian) Territories”.
Mr. Stoffel’s report entitled: “Israeli Tourism Ministry drops gay pride plane promotion after activists protest” also focused on how the Tel Aviv Pride Parade drew over 180,000 participants to its annual event.
In Mr. Stoffel’s report, the following inaccurate statement was made: “Some activists have accused the Israeli government of exploiting the country’s relatively liberal attitudes toward the LGBT community in order to distract from its treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.”
As we told the CBC, we took exception to Mr. Stoffel’s reference of “Occupied Territories,” especially as it was in caps, as if these areas are established, recognized and defined. Whereas, Palestinians, at present, do not have statehood and merely claim territory. Furthermore, to imply that all Palestinian claimed territory is “Occupied” is erroneous. Just consider how Israel no longer occupies Gaza when it disengaged its combined armed forces and 8,500 settlers in 2005. As well, in Area A of the west bank, this region is under full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority.

The huge importance of the recent IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

Many authorities, organizations and individuals in Western societies have a vested interest in the minimization and trivialization of anti-Semitic acts. Against this background the recent adoption of a working definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) — a body whose purpose is to promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research — is hugely important. The agreement of all thirty one member countries of the IHRA was required to approve this definition.
This working definition reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
This summary text is accompanied by a much longer explanation. One important element of it is that it also includes discriminatory manifestations targeting the state of Israel, “conceived as a Jewish collectivity.”
The text of the definition and its explanation are not new. The major increase of anti-Semitic incidents in the current century and the intensified verbal attacks on Israel have created an increasing need for an updated definition of anti-Semitism that could also expose its anti-Israel permutations. The definition — now adopted by the IHRA — was presented as a working definition more than ten years ago by a body then called European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC).

Arab Israeli Only Student This Year to Achieve Perfect Score on Jewish State’s SAT Equivalent

An Arab Israeli was this year’s only student to achieve a perfect score on the psychometric exam required by college applicants, the news site Al–Monitor reported on Friday.
Mohammed Zeidan, from the Arab community of Kafr Manda in northern Israel, scored an 800 on the standardized (SAT equivalent) test, used to predict academic performance. Offered in six languages, it contains nine sections, relating to verbal and quantitative reasoning and English-language proficiency.
According to the report, it is unclear in which language Zeidan took the exam, but in the last five years, only two students who completed the test in Arabic scored a perfect 800. Both were from the Mar Elias high school, which Zeidan attends.
Zeidan, whose father is a gynecologist and whose mother is a teacher, told Al-Monitor he plans to study electrical engineering at the Haifa-based Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and then software engineering at a later stage. He believes that degrees in these fields will make it easier for him to find a job and succeed in the future.

Autonomous cars herald new era for Israeli high-tech

GM is tripling the size of its Israeli R&D center and other car manufacturers are looking to Israel.
Last week, NBC dedicated a news item to global auto industry interest in Israel as it searches for new technologies. While the piece suffered from several prejudices common to the American understanding of Israel, it also shone a light on one of the more interesting transformations happening among Israeli businesses in the past few decades.
A senior tech executive in the local industry which we spoke to this week went as far as to designate the change as “the third phase in the life cycle of Israel’s high-tech industry.” The first stage was the government defense companies, which developed a healthy and advanced technology defense sector. In the next stage, technology and manpower trickled down to less-lethal areas to create a thriving commercial sector in the space between startups and large conglomerates, in data security and systems, chip development, ICT, and biotechnology.
Now, he says, “We are on the threshold of a new phase which can position the knowledge-intensive industry in Israel as an innovation center for a significant portion of the global auto industry.”

US Army selects Israel Military Industries for APC active protection system

The US Army has chosen Israel Military Industries to provide it with an active protection system for its armored personnel carriers in a dramatic development for Israel’s defense export market.
The system will be installed on APC rooftops.
It will use a combination of a radar and an electro-optical sensor to detect and intercept a range of incoming missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, IMI corporate vice president of marketing Avinoam Zafir told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
In an official statement, IMI said the US Army “selected our Iron Fist-based Active Protection System technologies,” as part of its “Modular Active Protection Systems.”
After studying and testing it, the US Army chose IMI’s Iron Fist Light Configuration, designed for light- to medium-weight APCs.
When the vehicles come under guided missile fire, the system can jam the threats that have advanced guidance systems and cause them to fall harmlessly to the ground. “Dumb” weapons, such as RPGs, are destroyed using interceptors. Small warheads are fired and explode near the incoming threat, destroying it with a shock wave, Zafir explained.

The artillery brigade that can send missiles into a living room window

The story of the “David’s Sling” Artillery Brigade reflects, in ways few other units do, the radical transformation of Israel’s security environment over the past decades. Today the brigade has the ability to fire a missile through a living-room window.
Originally set up after the 1973 Yom Kippur War to destroy advancing enemy tank formations with antitank missiles, the unit today specializes in precision strikes in urban warfare settings, targeting enemies embedded in Lebanese and Gazan civilian population centers.
“The brigade is not an ordinary artillery unit,” Col. M., commander of the brigade, told The Jerusalem Post recently.
He noted its special components, including the Meitar and Moran units that fire guided surface-to-surface missiles, often hitting with pinpoint accuracy targets beyond the line of sight. The brigade also includes the Sky Rider Unit – the only one in the IDF’s ground forces that operates its own tactical drones.
“The challenge today is targeting an enemy in an urban setting, with all of the restrictions. It is about identifying the enemy and striking it and it only, and not hitting noncombatants. We cannot bring down a whole building because of one suspect who is there. We must be very precise,” Col. M said.

Top New Zealand Executives Visit Israel for Inaugural “Innovation Mission”

A delegation of more than 50 New Zealand business professionals were in Israel from May 29 to June 1 for the inaugural Innovation Mission from the South Pacific island nation to the Jewish state.
The group was led by Simon Moutter, CEO of Spark — New Zealand’s largest mobile operator — and included senior Kiwi executives from sectors including telecommunications, agriculture, government, education, and venture funds. Sir Peter Gluckman, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s chief science adviser, also took part.
The delegation met with Israeli venture capital firms including JVP and Trendlines, heard from legendary Israeli entrepreneurs such as Dov Moran and Jon Medved, spent a day at Beersheva’s CyberSpark cyber-security innovation center, and visited Start-Up Nation Central in Tel Aviv, which connects companies and countries to the people and technologies in Israel that can solve their most pressing challenges.
New Zealand and Israel have many similarities as relatively young, small economies with limited natural resources and a spirit of innovation. The mission was designed to serve as a launch pad for collaborations between the two countries.

‘Come to Canada’: Ontario looks to woo, learn from Israelis

When people think of cutting-edge cities, where innovation and new businesses thrive, they generally think of San Francisco, of Boston, Tel Aviv or London. Not many think of Toronto.
In the world of high-tech, Canada has an image problem, and it’s turning to Israel — the self-described start-up nation — for help.
Toronto and the nearby cities of Hamilton, Waterloo and Kingston feature world-leading research institutions, the Ontario province and the country have a “business friendly” tax code, and Canada has the 15th-largest economy in the world by gross domestic product, according to Gregory Wootton, assistant deputy minister of Ontario’s ministries of Economic Development and of Research and Innovation.
“A lot of effort by the province has been put into creating a welcoming business environment where businesses can succeed and be successful,” Wootton, the self-described “salesperson” for the province, said.
Yet despite those advantages, the Great White North has struggled to transform from a resource-based economy — one that is driven by the discovery and sale of timber, oil and minerals — to a knowledge-based economy, focused on intellectual services, scientific advancement and technology.

Israel Teams with Canada on Long-Range Radar

Israel Aerospace and Rheinmetall will provide Canada’s navy with radar for long-range air and surface surveillance.
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) unit ELTA Systems and Canada’s Rheinmetall have teamed to provide the state-of-the-art, operationally proven MF-STAR radar for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program. The two companies also brought the battle-proven Medium Range Radar (MRR) of ‘Iron Dome’ fame to the Canadian Army. Now, the ELM-2248 MF-STAR will provide the Canadian navy with a built-in-Canada, cutting-edge, fully digital, multifunctional Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) naval radar for long-range air and surface surveillance and tracking. The MF-STAR radar is based on the same radar technology as the MRR currently in production at Rheinmetall Canada’s plant in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.
The MF-STAR antenna includes four fixed faces of active arrays in S-band frequency, delivering a high-quality air and surface situation picture and weapon support – particularly in severely cluttered target, electronic, topographical and environmental conditions. With advanced technology and robust system architecture, the MF-STAR employs unique, proven multi-beam and pulse doppler techniques to extract low RCS targets from complex clutter and jamming environments.

NASA Hopes to Reach Mars by 2030s, With Israel’s Help, Space Agency’s Administrator Says

NASA hopes to reach Mars in the 2030s, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, adding that the U.S. space agency looks forward to working with Israel, whose “incredibly innovative people on the cutting edge of technology” can help NASA successfully launch the first human voyage to the red planet.
Bolden’s lecture was attended by a packed audience at Bar-Ilan University Monday morning. On Tuesday evening, the university will present Bolden with an honorary doctorate. During his visit to Israel, Bolden will meet with representatives of the Israel Space Agency to discuss the 250 experiments taking place during every six-month expedition on the International Space Station.
“We are excited about ongoing relations with the Israel Space Agency and what we can do together on the International Space Station,” Bolden said.
The NASA administrator also praised the growing number of nations who have joined the global exploration endeavor, marking a shift from the past, when a voyage to Mars was considered out of the question due to being too expensive and risky. Bolden said the journey would be worth the risk and expense due to the results achieved, and that risk is part and parcel of any space voyage.
Bolden said that the prospective trip to Mars “puts us one step closer to finding out if we’re not alone, and Mars has shown signs of life at one time. We believe that life existed on Mars and was very similar to earth. At one time it had a magnetosphere, or a protective shell, like earth, but it has disappeared and we’re trying to discover why.”

Cache of Hasmonean-era silver coins uncovered in Modiin

A treasure trove of 2,150-year-old silver coins excavated in the central Israeli city of Modiin apparently belonged to a Jew who had to leave the nearby house but never managed to retrieve his hidden cache.
The 16 coins from the Hasmonean period (2nd-1st century BCE) were concealed in a rock crevice up against a wall of a large agricultural estate, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday.
Excavation director Abraham Tendler said the shekels and half-shekels (tetradrachms and didrachms) were minted in the city of Tyre, now part of Lebanon, and bear the images of the king, Antiochus VII, and his brother Demetrius II.
The finds, discovered prior to the building of a new neighborhood in the city, will be displayed in an archaeological park in the heart of that neighborhood, the Antiquities Authority confirmed.
The discovery of the silver coins provided “compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned. It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it.”

‘Today’ Show Co-Host Kathie Lee Gifford Tells TV Audience About Receiving ‘Builder of Israel’ Award

Today co-host Kathie Lee Gifford talked to her morning show audience on Monday about an award she received the previous night for her demonstration of support for Israel.
Gifford accepted the Builder of Israel award on Sunday night at an event held at New York City’s Chelsea Piers. The event was hosted by Consul General of Israel in New York, Ido Aharoni, in honor of the 68th anniversary if Israel’s independence.
The Today co-host, whose father is Jewish, told her co-anchor, Hoda Kotb, on Monday morning that she was reduced to tears upon accepting the award.
“I [was] crying about it,” Gifford said, as she displayed the award. “Because when you get awards that you don’t deserve, it’s one thing. [But] when you get an award for just doing what comes so naturally to you, it seems like so much more than you could possibly ever deserve. Because I love doing the work I do, and telling people about the land [of Israel], and all the people that live in the Holy Land and how much God loves them.”

Hillel Neuer: The Israeli raid on Iraq’s nuclear reactor, by one who was there

Major-General Amos Yadlin (Ret.), one of the eight Israeli air force pilots who conducted the extraordinary June 7, 1981 raid on Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor, spoke last week at the 2016 UN Watch Gala Dinner in Geneva, Switzerland.
This mission was 35 years ago, which is a lot of time. For 10 years, we were forbidden to talk about it — it was top, top, top secret.
Then after the first Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein wasn’t that big anymore, we were allowed to start and brief about it, mostly in the air force, and some other places in the Israeli military.
And for 10 years, I was speaking about these sorties. After 10 years, I said enough is enough. And the last 15 years, I basically refused to talk about it. But I cannot resist Alfred. [Ambassador Alfred Moses, Chair of UN Watch.]
And since you ask, it is an important mission in the history of Israel, because never before was a nuclear reactor pre-empted to save a nation.

Israeli General Amos Yadlin on Destroying Saddam Hussein’s reactor

The United West: Israel Attacks Baghdad — The Gen. David Ivry Story

The highly complicated technical air attack, code name OPERA, was commanded by General David Ivry (ret). The United West had the unique opportunity to produce the documentary about this “Conductor,” one of Israel’s most significant, heroic leaders. This 15-minute trailer provides an overview of General Ivry’s story. With talents too many to mention this humble Israeli legend is the first to tell you that he was just doing his job and that the real credit for the successful attack is deserved by many others. We agree, it took many to succeed. We also know, that “but for” the leadership of General David Ivry, the Middle East, in fact, the world would be a much more dangerous place then how it stands today. Sit back, enjoy this fascinating look at an extremely important time in the history of Israel, America and the West.


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