June 28, 2022

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06/08 Links Pt2: 3 killed, 5 badly injured, in central Tel Aviv shooting attack; Suspected car bomb outside Israels London embassy


From Ian:

3 killed, 5 badly injured, in central Tel Aviv shooting attack
2 Palestinian terrorists, dressed in suits, open fire in restaurant at popular Sarona center; arrested gunmen are relatives from Hebron area
Three people were killed in a shooting terror attack in Tel Aviv’s popular Sarona Market Wednesday evening.
Three others were seriously hurt, with another person said to be in critical condition.
Police said two Palestinian gunmen were involved in the terror attack.
One shooting was said to have occurred inside the Sarona complex while another was reported on the adjacent Ha’arba’ah Street.
Officials said one gunman was arrested and another was shot by security forces and taken into custody. Police later confirmed they were Palestinian relatives from the Hebron area in the West Bank.
Some unconfirmed reports spoke of a third gunman who escaped, but police and soldiers deployed in the surrounding streets called off the search after an hour.

Terror alert in central London as police carry out controlled explosion of suspected car bomb outside Israeli embassy just 100 yards from Kensington Palace

A controlled explosion has been carried out on a ‘suspicious package’ left inside a car parked outside the Israeli embassy in central London.
Hundreds of commuters were evacuated from Kensington Palace Gardens and High Street Kensington this evening after a ‘suspicious vehicle’ was discovered outside the embassy.
There were reports of a loud explosion and people running as the incident unfolded.
Following the controlled explosion it turned out the ‘suspicious package’ was in fact personal belongings left in the back of the silver Volkswagen Passat.
A police cordon was set up and dozens of police officers remain at the scene.
A Met Police spokeswoman said: ‘A controlled explosion was carried out after a suspicious vehicle was found parked opposite the Israeli Embassy.’
An eyewitness told MailOnline: ‘There was one car with its rear windshield blown in although the rest seems intact.

IsraellyCool: The Failing Independent Takes A Shot At Israellycool And Me

Yesterday the failing Independent “newspaper” in the UK decided to weigh in on the Leanne Mohamad story. In a shocking (not shocking) display of so called journalism, they canonised the little liar and her speech, in the process demonising anyone pointing out the problems with her Israel hating screed.
Articles on the Israellycool website called it an “Isis recruiting video” that amounted to “blood libel”.
Other critics said Leanne did not give evidence for some of her claims, particularly on children’s deaths, and failed to balance her argument with information on terror attacks against Israelis.
The Wanstead High School pupil received widespread support on Twitter but was also labelled an “antisemite” and “advocate for suicide bombers”.
“If the Islamist scum is old enough to be on Twitter and spout lies she’s old enough to be ridiculed,” one person wrote.
As hundreds of people continued to tweet about her speech, Leanne said she had reported online abuse to police.

They mentioned the petition in blind support of Leanne Mohamad and completely failed to mention the petition asking the school to institute some balance (which has gained over 700 signatures).
Yesterday I actually tried to contact the police in the UK myself to see if they want to talk to me. I’d be happy to talk to the police: I would like to explain to them the child abuse going on in their borough.

BDS Cries McCarthyism

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order against BDS, that requires a list of businesses that particpate in BDS to be drawn up. Ben Norton writing in Salon absurdly refers to legislation against BDS as a “neo-McCarthyite movement” that aims to “punish Palestinian human rights advocates.”
It is hypocritical and ironic that supporters of BDS, which publishes lists of companies that invest in Israel to be targeted for boycotts, are complaining when the same is done to businesses that boycott Israel.
But BDS is all about hypocrisy and evading the truth – in this case, its activists hysterically and falsely portraying themselves as victims of McCarthyism and “blacklists.”

Sorry BDS, Your Boycott Isn’t Free Speech

The United States of America has a long history of treating boycotts of foreign nations not as free speech, but rather as a highly sensitive tool of statecraft reserved exclusively to the Federal Government.
Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution contains the “Commerce Clause” which states that, “The Congress shall have Power To…regulate Commerce with foreign Nations…”
One of the earliest applications of the Commerce Clause was the Sherman Act of 1890, which implements the Federal Government’s power to regulate activities related to commerce and to prevent “restraint of trade.”
Years after the Sherman Act, the Supreme Court held that expressive activities which impinge on constitutional powers reserved to the government are not constitutionally protected “free speech.” (United States v. O’Brien). This legal tradition eventually led to the Export Administration Act of 1979.

Washington Times Editorial: Hypocrisy blacklist

The word “Orwellian” was coined by George Orwell in his masterwork “1984” to describe the propaganda society, where up is down and down is up, and anyone who notices the absurdity is politically incorrect. Some people have noticed, however, that the present day resembles 1984. The Orwellians are the masters of deceit, often enforced by violence that cowers those it does not kill.
Last week a coalition of Palestinians and their supporters held a “Global Day of Action” to urge Fidelity Investments of Boston to divest its portfolios from the Internet-based rental properties firm Airbnb unless Airbnb agrees to no longer list rental properties in “illegal” Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Calling themselves the “StolenHomes Coalition,” demonstrators at a rally at Fidelity’s Boston headquarters included members of CodePink, SumofUs and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network. Similar protests were held at other Fidelity offices in Dublin, where organizers delivered petitions declaring that “through earning fees from settlement vacation rentals, Airbnb is directly profiting from the continuing occupation and dispossession of Palestinians.”
Fidelity, a global financial giant with more than $5 trillion in customer assets, values its stake in Airbnb at $69.2 million. Protesters demand that Fidelity withdraw its money out of Airbnb or be blacklisted on a new United Nations database of companies complicit in Israeli settlements on the West Bank.
The database was approved in March by the U.N. Human Rights Council, a reliably pliant tool of the Palestinian war against the state of Israel. The blacklisting of companies doing business with Israel could boost the BDS movement, which encourages (or more to the point, “intimidates” and “threatens”) companies to “boycott, divest and sanction” Israeli companies — or else.

MK Peri to Danish Parliament Speaker: Stop funding BDS

MK Ya’acov Peri (Yesh Atid) presented Danish Parliament Speaker Pia Kjærsgaard with a list of organizations her country funds that promote boycotts of Israel, calling on her to fight the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions movement during her visit to the Knesset Wednesday.
“Denmark is part of the European Union, and it cannot be that it’s government funds anti-Israel organizations. These actions defy the EU’s policies against boycotting Israel,” Peri, the head of the Knesset’s delegation to the European Parliament, said.
The Yesh Atid MK and former Shin Bet chief told Kjærsgaard that Denmark, as well as Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden, send millions of Euros to The International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Secretariat in Ramallah, which supports BDS.
Another organizations calling to boycott the Jewish State, which receives Danish funding, is Al-Haq, which promotes lawfare against Israel, and whose director-general, Shawan Jabarin, is also a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Israel, the EU and the US consider a terrorist organization.

NUS’ £3 Million Financer Votes to Leave

The snowballing NUS disaffiliation campaign got another boost today – Loughborough Union’s trustees have voted to uphold the student referendum to leave the NUS. Loughborough is now the fourth University to disaffiliate, and in leaving will take the £2,822,491 they hand over to the NUS’ services organisation. Throw in a £50,000 annual affiliation fee and revenues from the sale of discount cards, and the NUS stands to lose cumulative revenues of around £3,000,000 from Loughborough alone. Loughborough, which consistently tops the British Universities and Colleges Sport leaderboards, is full of the kind of fun-loving boozy types the NUS hates. Let’s see how the defunded NUS copes without the money…

Can a ‘pro-Israel’ progressive still ignore SJP’s true agenda?

How does the anti-Zionist Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) that traffics in anti-Semitic boycott advocacy, become so popular on US college campuses? Until recently, my talks on campus were a mixture of Middle East history, Iranian nuclear proliferation, the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, with a smattering of warnings about the growing boycott movement. This year and last, almost all of the invitations to speak were from students and parents desperately trying to understand and combat the intimidation of Jewish students by the boycott movement, while college administrators ignore the growing anti-Semitism on many campuses.
Why are SJP’s hateful message and its efforts to deny other people’s free speech by disrupting events not abhorrent to academics, or journalistic elites in mainstream media? Last year I accidentally stumbled into an SJP strategy session before I was to speak at a college campus, and heard them considering their options of whether to shout me down or just ask hostile questions.
When did anti-Semitism under the cover of anti-Zionism become acceptable on the American campus, while all other minority or marginalized groups receive the extra protection of “safe spaces” from politically incorrect “micro-aggressions”? There is a perfect storm on the 21st century campus. The far Left’s cultural relativism and moral equivalence have coalesced and joined the ascendancy of the anti-Israel advocacy within academia.

Netanyahu Thanks Cuomo for Fighting Anti-Israel Boycotts

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to express “‘my deep personal appreciation” for his executive order barring state agencies from doing business with companies that support a boycott of Israel.
Cuomo announced the first-in-the-nation edict at Sunday’s Celebrate Israel Parade.
“Please accept my deep personal appreciation for initiating New York’s pioneering executive order against anti-Israel boycotts,” Netenyahu said in the June 6 letter.
“The Jewish State is facing a systematic global campaign aimed at delegitimizing it and negating its very right to exist.
“The libelous allegations used by BDS organizations as justification for their boycotts betray the blatantly anti-Semitic nature of this campaign, whose stated purpose is to isolate and ultimately destroy the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said in the “Dear Andrew” letter.

Praised and reviled, Cuomo’s anti-BDS order seen as game changer by both sides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order opposing BDS shouldn’t have made a splash — but it did.
A handful of states had already passed similar measures opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. So had the New York State Senate — though the State Assembly version has been stalled since last year. Cuomo’s order, signed Sunday, was merely supposed to speed up the “tedious” voting process, as he said at the signing ceremony Sunday, just prior to New York’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade.
“We want to take immediate action because we want the world to know, we want Israel to know, we’re on their side,” Cuomo said. “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you. If you divert revenues from Israel, New York will divert revenues from you. If you sanction Israel, New York will sanction you.”
Like anti-BDS measures passed in other states, Cuomo’s order bans New York state agencies and departments from investing in companies or groups that, as a policy, promote or engage in boycotts, divestment or sanctions against Israel. The order also requires the state to draw up a public list of companies that engage in or promote BDS.
Cuomo’s order stands out, however, as it enacts opposition to BDS in the fourth-most populous state — and the home to the largest number of Jews in the country. And it places Cuomo, a prominent governor and national figure, at the center of the American debate over Israel.

The AAA Votes Down BDS

Back in November, I wrote about an overwhelming vote – 1040 to 136 — in favor of BDS at the American Anthropological Association. Although the BDS resolution had to go to the full membership for endorsement, I did not think the result was in question. Even if the attendees at the meeting were not exactly representative of the association as a whole, more than 88 percent — 88 percent! — voted for it. Moreover, anthropology is, as I noted then, “among the most politically lopsided fields in a politically lopsided academic world.” Thus, although Anthropologists for Dialogue on Israel and Palestine were putting up a hell of a fight, I rated their chances of winning at barely north of zero.
Either I was wrong, or the resolution’s opponents defied very long odds. The resolution lost 2423 to 2384, with approximately half of AAA’s eligible members voting.
The closeness of the vote notwithstanding, this result is a disaster for the academic BDS movement. Boycott activists have been working for more than three years to pass this resolution and were evidently well-prepared for the November conference at which the resolution was initially adopted. According to the distinguished University of Chicago anthropologist Richard Shweder, “the meeting felt like a political rally with placards and pro-boycott operatives everywhere, perhaps even among the leadership of the association.”
As for opponents of the resolution, what Shweder reported is worth quoting at length:
“What I had not anticipated was the bullying that went on during the debate over an alternative resolution offered by some opponents of the boycott. Dissidents who were lined up and waiting to voice their views were suddenly denied access to the microphone by the president of the association and effectively silenced. Shortly before they were cut off one young scholar did manage this memorable (and chilling) remark: She anxiously prefaced her arguments by saying that she was well-aware that in speaking against the boycott she would probably never get a job in an anthropology department. I wondered whether I could honestly tell her she was wrong.”

The Im Tirtzu movement revealed the involvement of 20 Israeli academics in the proposed resolution of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to join the boycott against Israel.

A stormy emergency session was held Wednesday at the Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, following a report released by the rightwing Im Tirtzu movement that revealed the involvement of 20 Israeli academics in the proposed resolution of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to join the boycott against Israel. The debate revolved around academic politicization and the support given by university faculty members to boycotts against Israel.
The emergency session was called by MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu), who said that “Israel cannot support and budget lecturers who call for a boycott against Israel. The boycott movement is an anti-Semitic movement, and they (the lecturers) cannot hide behind freedom of expression.”
Forer announced his plan to introduce legislation that would allow the State to prevent an institution of higher learning from receiving funds that amount to the salary of a lecturer who calls for a boycott against Israel.
Professor Zvi Ziegler, who heads an inter-university forum to combat the academic boycott, said that “the number of lecturers who support an academic boycott against Israel is so small and marginal – damaging but marginal – that it would not be worth it to deal with them. The damage they cause is a lot less severe than the damage that would be caused to Israel’s reputation as an enlightened and advanced country if we fight them.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Academic Radical Proposes Anthropological Assoc. Discuss Anthropology (satire)

At the headquarters of this 10,000-strong organization, academics are reeling from the suggestion by one of its more extreme members that the American Anthropological Association engage in the heretofore unspeakable practice of studying anthropology instead of debating an academic boycott of Israel.
AAA executives confessed today they are struggling to come to terms with the radical nature of the proposal by Professor Wyer Weheer of Vanderbilt University that the association adhere to its stated mission of fostering greater American knowledge of, and interest in, the discipline of anthropology. Officials within the organization told reporters that many members are calling for the ouster of Professor Weheer from the ranks of the AAA, saying there is no room for such ideological extremism in the group. Others, however, support Weheer’s idea, or at least support open discussion and debate of it.
“There hasn’t been a crisis this big in the AAA since the Vietnam War,” said Executive Director Ed Liebow. “Professor Weheer’s extremist proposal may force this organization to decide once and for all what its mission is, and whether the mission statement we already have, on the basis of which our membership joined, means what it says it means.” He added that the debate would probably be healthy for the association, since engaging with dangerous ideas is what academic inquiry is all about, no matter how taboo a subject may be.

Hillel Can’t Be a Soapbox for Jewish Millenials’ Anti-Israel Crusade

Imagine that it’s your birthday and you’ve planned a big party. Would you invite an estranged relative to come and explain why you shouldn’t have been born?
Me neither.
But that’s exactly what took place at Brown/RISD’s Hillel this month. Three Jewish students organized an event called “Jews Facing the Nakba” at Hillel on the night of Yom Ha’atzmaut — Israel’s birthday. The program featured short films by Zochrot, an Israeli NGO that, even by a charitable assessment, cannot be considered anything but a hardcore opponent of the Jewish state’s right to exist. Originally, the program was sponsored by J Street, Brown Students for Israel and Brown/RISD Hillel, but Hillel withdrew its official sanction for the event after BSI got cold feet and backed out. The organizers apparently weren’t prepared to miss out on a perfectly good opportunity to badmouth Israel, so they held the event in the Hillel building anyway, together with around 70 other students, among them the top brass of Students for Justice in Palestine.
If you’re reading this article, you are probably aware that Israel is not the most popular country at many American universities. That’s why, in order to help its chapters navigate the blurry line between welcome and unwelcome discourse on Israel, Hillel International came up with guidelines for Israel-related programming. The gist of these rules is that that Hillel property can’t be used to host speakers that oppose the existence of a Jewish state or support boycotts of Israel.

Daphne Anson: In Cardiff, Israel Haters Have A Knees-Up (video)

In Cardiff, the Welsh capital, a gaggle of mainly middle-aged and rather elderly women, accompanied by a few men and surrounded by Palestine Solidarity Campaign banners, join with gusto in singing the Arabic song Mawtini (dating to the time of the 1936 Arab Riots in Mandate Palestine and since adopted by the PA and Iraq as their anthems).
Watch the fervour with which some of these women trill out the lyrics (it’s almost like some religious revival meeting in John and Charles Wesley’s day).
The choir mistress, swathed in a large keffiyeh, has a spring in her step that belies her years.
What, I wonder, is it about the anti-Israel cause that makes their juices flow so? After all, many of them are old enough to remember when Arab armies almost wiped the tiny Jewish State off the map, as well as Palestinian Arab atrocities against Israel such as the Ma’alot massacre.
However, not so fervent, it appears, are passers-by, to judge by the forlorn look of that red bucket strategically placed to receive donations.

Ken O’Keefe in the missionary position

In the never-ending saga that is “how much money is Ken O’Keefe asking for today and where did it go?” this blog presents yet another chapter. As anyone who regularly follows this blog knows, Ken O’Keefe is really good at one thing especially, asking other people to financially support him. We’ve simply stopped counting the amount of times he’s opened some kind of Indiegogo or other online form of begging, because there are so many of them. There was Trade for Aid, Tahrir for Gaza, Ferry to Gaza, Aloha Palestine, the Samouni Project, the Gaza Ten and many more, most of them can only be defined as a flop, though the money was sent. However, while one is happy to (and should) give what they can to help the unfortunate, the poor, the victims of oppression and war, which is at least the subterfuge used in some of the “charity” campaigns, one probably should have a little less willingness to “shell out” (Ken’s own words – see photo below – when he started asking for donations/investments for the failed David Icke project he was part of, The People’s Voice, which some refer to as a two million dollar scam) when they don’t know what the money is used for. Obviously, Ken gives them an idea… it’s for the “mission” and as a missionary, he claims that he needs the money to pay his bills, because they won’t get paid by themselves (never mind finding a JOB or actually working!) He considers what he does highly valuable, actually, calls it an investment, and that he makes no bones about his right to also get people’s money for it. Quite clearly, for Ken, Charity, as they say, begins at home.
But, this time, differently from TPV, the project isn’t clear, and he doesn’t really talk about paying the bills, he’s put forward that he’s going to absolutely save the world with what is referred to (in the most amazing misuse of hashtags in the history of the punctuation) as a #solutionary #speech #visionary #artist #worldcitizensolutions #kenokeefe #inspiring #microcosm #macrocosm #bethechange #gamechanger #movershaker #dreambeliever #infinitecreator #standup #stopfundingwar #endwarcrimes #startpeace #samanthabachman #sachastone. You get the idea… it’s the stuff dreams are made of! It’s about peace! It’s about change! It’s a GAME CHANGER of both the macrocosm and the microcosm. Make no mistake.

British Actor Calls ‘Daily Mail’ to Task for Headline Specifying Jewishness of Hikers Stranded on Dover Beach (VIDEO)

British-Jewish actor Matt Lucas took the UK’s Daily Mail to task on Tuesday for its reportage on a group of Jewish teens stranded on a beach.
“What does being Jewish have to do with it? Bizarre reporting from the Mail,” the movie star tweeted on Tuesday, alongside a screenshot of the headline in question.
Some social media users were quick to agree with the Alice in Wonderland and Bridesmaids actor that it was unnecessary for the popular British news website to mention the religious or ethic affiliation of the teenagers. One wrote, “I’ve never understood why religion is brought into articles like that.” Another said, “They can’t report anything without labeling people!”
The Daily Mail article was about 36 Jewish students, believed to be from Stamford Hill in north London, who got stuck on a coastal path below the White Cliffs of Dover while hiking on Monday night. After the group, which included two adults, contacted Kent Police at around 9 p.m., the Coastguard launched a helicopter and lifeboat search with the help of its rescue team. Around 40 volunteers joined in, including some from the Jewish neighborhood watch group Shomrim.

Shaked: Facebook, Twitter removing 70% of ‘harmful’ posts

Facebook, Twitter and Google are removing some 70 percent of harmful content from social media in Israel, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Monday.
Speaking at a press conference in Hungary, Shaked said the social media giants were working to remove materials that incite to violence or murder, the Ynet news website reported.
Shaked was attending a conference in Hungary on combating incitement and anti-Semitism on the Internet.
In a post on her Facebook page, she said: “The Hungarian Justice Minister said correctly that verbal incitement can lead to physical harm and that he is committed to the war on incitement. Anti-Semitic internet sites in Hungary have already attacked him for the existence of the conference.
“A joining of forces by justice ministers from all over the world against incitement and our joint work vis a vis the internet companies will lead to change.

More BBC whitewashing of the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem

Notably, no effort is made to clarify to readers how Jordan came to acquire ‘control’ over the Old City and they are not informed when that began or how long it lasted, meaning that uninformed audiences might well go away with the mistaken impression that Jerusalem was always in Jordanian territory until the Six Day War. As ever, the accurate terminology for the Jordanian presence in parts of Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 – occupation – is excluded from the BBC’s portrayal.
Despite being obliged under the terms of its remit to “[b]uild a global understanding of international issues”, the BBC continues to distort the all important historical context of the dispute over Jerusalem one throwaway line at a time.

BBC’s Middle East editor promotes Paris conference falsehood

However, when Jeremy Bowen reported on that conference to BBC World Service radio listeners in the June 3rd edition of ‘Newshour’ he presented a markedly different picture.
Presenter Julian Marshall opened the item as follows:
“He’s beset by flooding and strikes at home but President François Hollande has nevertheless taken time to host talks in Paris with the aim of reviving Middle East peace talks. But surprisingly, neither Israel nor the Palestinians are attending. Jeremy Bowen, our Middle East editor, is in Paris; so why aren’t they there?”
Bowen: “Well the Israelis don’t wanna come. They think that having an international meeting like this is completely the wrong way to proceed. They say there should be one-on-one negotiations between the two leaders of the Palestinians and of the Israelis. Ah…the Palestinians welcomed the conference but I think the fact that the Israelis aren’t coming meant that they decided to go ahead without either of them.”

In other words Bowen promoted two falsehoods in those four sentences: rather than telling listeners that Israel and the Palestinians were not invited to the meeting, he falsely attributed Israel’s absence to a refusal to attend and then ‘explained’ Palestinian non-participation by means of the myth he has created.

Thousands of items belonging to Auschwitz victims newly uncovered

The Auschwitz museum said Tuesday it has recovered 16,000 long-lost items belonging to Jews killed at the Nazi death camp, decades after they were stored away and forgotten by Poland’s former communist regime.
“In most cases, these are the last personal belongings of the Jews led to death in the gas chambers upon selection at the ramp,” the museum said in a statement.
“These include, among others, thermometers, empty bottles of medicine, fragments of shoes, jewelry, cutlery, watches, brushes, tobacco pipes, lighters.”
Archaeologists first dug up the items in 1967 from the ruins of what had been a crematorium and gas chamber at the former World War II death camp set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

US House calls on Germany to ‘fulfill moral obligation’ to Holocaust survivors

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday evening to pass a resolution calling upon Germany to increase restitution support for Holocaust survivors in what one of the legislation’s sponsors described as a last chance to support the dwindling number of Nazi victims.
The resolution, passed unanimously by a vote of 363-0 with strong support on both sides of the aisle, was sponsored by a bipartisan team of south Florida representatives – Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrat Ted Deutch.
Speaking on the House floor before the vote, Ros-Lehtinen said that around one-quarter of the slightly over 500,000 living Holocaust survivors in the world live in the US, and some 15,000 of those live in south Florida.
Ros-Lehtinen noted that more than half of all survivors worldwide live at or below the poverty level, but expressed hope that Tuesday’s vote would help alleviate some of the pressure.

Actress Helen Mirren Advocates for Holocaust Victims Before Congress; Highlights ‘Moral Imperative’ to Ensure Return of Nazi Looted Art to Rightful Owners (VIDEO)

Iconic actress and Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren declared before Congress on Tuesday that there is a “moral imperative” to ensure the return of Nazi looted art to its rightful Jewish owners.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittees on the Constitution and Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, Mirren testified in support of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act, which seeks to “provide the victims of Holocaust-era persecution and their heirs a fair opportunity to recover works of art confiscated or misappropriated by the Nazis.”
Mirren first highlighted the issue when she portrayed Holocaust survivor Maria Altmann in the 2015 critically-acclaimed movie Woman in Gold, which tells the story of Altmann’s quest to reclaim five paintings by artist Gustav Klimt that were stolen from her family by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Two of the paintings — “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” also called “The Woman in Gold,” and “Adele Bloch-Bauer II” — portray Altmann’s aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer.
Altmann made headlines in 2006 when she successfully won a Supreme Court lawsuit against the Government of Austria, which claimed that Altmann’s uncle, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer — the original owner of the paintings — donated them to the Austrian State Gallery.

Israel honors Japan’s ‘Schindler’ who saved thousands of Jews in WWII

Israel on Tuesday honored Japan’s “Schindler” by naming a street after the Japanese diplomat who issued thousands of exit visas to desperate European Jews, against his government’s orders.
Chiune Sugihara helped about 6,000 Jews escape war-torn Lithuania, the advancing Nazis and an almost certain death with his actions during World War Two.
Sugihara began issuing the visas in late July 1940, writing them day and night until he closed the consulate about a month later. Even as he left, he was writing visas and handing them out the window as his train pulled away, bowing and apologizing to those who still remained on the platform.
Within a year, almost all the Jews in Lithuania had been killed.
The Mayor of Netanya, Miriam Fierberg-Ikar unveiled the new street sign in an official ceremony in the presence of Sugihara’s son, Nobuki Sugihara.
One of those helped to escape by Sugihara, Itshak Tarashansky, said the diplomat gave them visas even though they did not have a clear destination.

Japanese Philanthropist Funds Planetarium in Central Israel

The central Israeli city of Netanya was set to dedicate a $3 million science and space center on Monday. The 11,000-square-foot Madarame Planetarium and Meditation Center was largely funded by Japanese businessman and philanthropist Rikoho Madarame, 79, who is described by city officials as an “Israel lover.”
“During the 1970s, I met American-Jewish business people. We connected, and for the first time I learned about the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people,” Madarame told Israel Hayom.
“Over the years I made more and more Jewish friends, both inside and outside Japan, and I met Elad Levy, who was an attache at the Israeli Embassy in Japan,” said Madarame. “When I asked him where I should invest in Israel, he suggested Netanya. Why? Because the attache’s daughter lives there, and because it was a great city. I then got to know the mayor and I came to visit, and I fell in love, just as he said I would. Now I just have to check out the hummus and my visit is complete. Everyone asks me, not only in Japan, why I am engaging in philanthropy in Israel, and my answer never changes: I have a special place in my heart for the Jews and the state. It is a sentiment that I cannot explain, even to myself.”

Forbes: Israel’s Tech Success Fueled by Turning Limitations into Advantages

Israel’s ability to turn limitations into advantages is one of the factors that has fueled its rise as a tech power, a Forbes analysis explained Sunday.
Because Israel has limited natural resources, it has instead been devoted to “maximiz[ing] the intellectual capacity of its people,” which meant that “its economy naturally gravitated towards knowledge and innovation-heavy industries.” Additionally, Israel’s lack of fresh water forced it to become a global leader in water technologies. And due to an Arab boycott and a relatively small population, “many Israeli companies focus on high-tech industries such as software and Internet where scalability is not restricted by borders or transportation costs.”
Forbes acknowledged the role of the IDF—especially Unit 8200, its signal intelligence corps—in fostering Israel’s high-tech engineers and entrepreneurs. It also pointed out that Israeli universities have created their own tech eco-systems. Beginning at the Weizmann Institute in 1959, Israeli universities established their own technology transfer companies to commercialize the results of their research.
Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is credited with 9,300 patents and has spun off 110 companies in its 52-year history. The licensing of commercialized products generates $2 billion in annual sales with the company earning 3 to 5 percent in royalties, Dana Gavish-Fridman, Yissum’s vice president of marketing, told Forbes. 60 percentof the income is used towards hiring researchers and improving laboratories.

Israeli Firm Wins $640 Million Colombian Highway Bid After $1 Billion Texas Road Deal

Israel’s largest construction group, Shikun & Binui, has announced the financial closing of the Cundinamarca 010 Toll Road Project in Colombia. The project is part of a multinational plan to upgrade the South American country’s road infrastructure system.
The toll road will span approximately 95 miles and is located near the city of Bogota. The scope of the project – including financing, construction costs, rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance – is being estimated at approximately $640 million.
Shikun & Binui also reported that it recently completed the financing for the construction, operation, and maintenance of its toll lanes project in metropolitan Houston, Texas. That deal, announced in March, is estimated at over $1 billion.
In both Texas and Colombia, the construction will be performed by SBI, Shikun & Binui’s international contracting subsidiary.

Meet the ‘Bad Girl’ Who Faces Death Threats for Singing ‘Hava Nagila’ in Kuwait

“I am going to sing songs in Hebrew! I am going to make troubles!”
Thus spoke the defiant Kuwaiti award-winning singer, actress, and humanitarian/human rights activist Ema Shah soon after we met in person for the first time. She risked her life to sing in Hebrew in her own country, and then traveled halfway around the world to continue making mischief. She is a force, with talent to match her courage and determination to strike at the hatred in the Middle East.
On March 10, 2016, Shah said this upon receiving the Pomegranate Award — for her contribution to music and moral courage — from American Sephardi Federation’s Executive Director Jason Guberman. There, Ema performed a number of songs in Arabic, French, and Hebrew, including a vocalization of the theme from Schindler’s List. And “Hava Nagila.” Singing this song in Hebrew in 2010 was the start of her trouble.
Ema grew up in a very religious family, going to a mosque on a regular basis. Nevertheless, her beliefs were constantly challenged by the easy access to the multitude of books her father — a librarian — brought home from work. Her family encouraged her performance talents. She learned piano and guitar; by adulthood she was also an accomplished salsa dancer and puppeteer who wrote and produced her own plays, sang, and acted. Ema was a voracious reader; from a young age, she fell in love with science. Additionally, she was naturally interested in other people’s opinions and enjoyed having conversations with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
By her early twenties, she was a much-loved singer and actress. She represented her country at various music festivals. In 2005, however, her career took an unexpected direction — she stood up for a 17-year-old Syrian actress who was being berated by a noted director from Ema’s theater, Hani Al-Nissat. After being confronted by Ema, Al-Nissat physically attacked her, kicking her in the stomach so hard that she flew across the room. Al-Nissat was stopped by the crowd of bystanders who knew Ema, but he later brought false witnesses to bear against Ema to prevent the matter from going forward in the court of law.
Al-Nissat is still a well-known director. Two years ago he beat a female teacher, yet once again nothing was done. This type of hypocrisy turned Ema off. She walked away from the theater, and despite public adulation, refused to participate in any more festivals.

IsraelDailyPicture: Jewish Festivals – Shavuot The Book of Ruth Recreated 100 Years Ago This feature is one of our most popular posting

This feature is one of our most popular posting
The Jewish holiday of Shavuot – Pentecost is celebrated this week. The holiday has several traditional names: Shavuot, the festival of weeks, marking seven weeks after Passover; Chag HaKatzir, the festival of reaping grains; and Chag HaBikkurim, the festival of first fruits. Shavuot, according to Jewish tradition, is the day the Children of Israel accepted the Torah at Mt. Sinai. It is also believed to be the day of King David’s birth and death.
The reading of the Book of Ruth is one tradition of the holiday. Ruth, a Moabite and widow of a Jewish man (and a princess according to commentators), gave up her life in Moab to join her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, in the Land of Israel. She insisted on adopting Naomi’s God, Torah and religion.
A central element of the story of Ruth is her going to the local fields where barley and wheat were being harvested so that she could collect charitable handouts. She gleans in the fields of Boaz, a judge and a relative of Ruth’s dead husband (as such he had a levirate obligation to marry the widow). The union resulted in a child, Obed, the grandfather of King David.

New Litter of Sand Cats at Tel Aviv Safari Park

Rotem, a rare Sand Cat at the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan, recently emerged with a new litter of kittens. The fuzzy pair, born the middle of May, are not yet named, but keepers report they will both have monikers that begin with ‘R’—like mom.
After Rotem’s partner, Sela, died about two years ago, keepers at the zoo began searching for a young male Sand Cat who could take Sela’s place. After intensive searching, a match was located at a zoo in Sweden, the then-3-year old Kalahari. This is the second litter for the new couple, since their introduction.
The small, stocky Sand Cat (Felis margarita) is a species of great importance. They are classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. There are only 200 Sand Cats in European zoos, and many attempts are being made to breed them with the hope that it will be possible to reintroduce them back to the wild. Habitat degradation is their main threat and is caused by human settlement and activity, especially livestock grazing. Their prey-base depends on having adequate vegetation. The Sand Cat may also be killed in traps, laid out by inhabitants of oases, targeting foxes and jackals or in retaliation for killing their chickens.
The Sand Cat is small with a flat, wide head, short legs and long tail. The cat reaches 24–36 cm (9.4–14.2 in) at the shoulder and weighs 1.5–3.4 kilograms (3.3–7.5 lb). Its head and body length ranges from 39 to 52 cm (15 to 20 in), with a 23.2 to 31 cm (9.1 to 12.2 in) long tail. (h/t The_Kenosha_Kid)

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