July 11, 2020

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07/09 Links: UNESCO Has Blood on Its Hands; Radiohead’s singer flips off anti-Israel protesters


From Ian:

Radiohead’s frontman flips off anti-Israel protesters in Glasgow
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke faced off anti-Israel protesters who disrupted a show Friday night at the Transmight Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. The band has been facing massive pressure from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to cancel its upcoming show in Israel, but Yorke has been adamant that the July 19 show in Tel Aviv will take place as scheduled.
Activists from the Glasgow Palestine Action Group, Glasgow Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Radiohead Fans for Palestine protested at the festival’s venue, waving giant Palestinian flags and posters reading, “Radiohead: #canceltelaviv.”
According to fans in the audience, Yorke was visibly irritated by the protestors and just before the band’s performance of their hit “Myxomatosis,” he muttered “some f***ing people” and gestured with his middle finger.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Yorke blasted the BDS movement’s call to boycott Israel as divisive.
“All of this creates divisive energy. You’re not bringing people together. You’re not encouraging dialogue or a sense of understanding. … It’s such an extraordinary waste of energy. Energy that could be used in a more positive way.”Yorke further said it was “patronizing in the extreme” to presume Radiohead is unfamiliar with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pointing out that guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s wife is an “Arab Jew.”

IsraellyCool: Roger Waters’ Antisemitism To Be Subject of Documentary

Roger Waters is about to have his pathological hatred of the Jewish state put under the microscope in an upcoming documentary film.
Waters himself is now the subject of a boycott campaign and a documentary film made by award-winning filmmaker and New York Times bestselling author Ian Halperin.
Halperin’s work includes documentaries on Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. For the past two years, the investigative journalist has been making Wish You Weren’t Here, a documentary examining contemporary anti-Semitism and Waters’ efforts to make Israel a global pariah.

“During my research,” Halperin continued, “I came upon Roger Waters, and I couldn’t believe he was singling out Israel when there are so many truly egregious violators of human rights in the world. Why is he going after Israel? So, I began asking people what this guy has against Israel. To me, an attack on Israel is an attack against the Jewish people.”
Halperin met with psychologists who work with Holocaust survivors and their families. He described the effect of Waters’ floating pig bearing the Star of David as “unforgiveable” for survivors, comparing it to a scene in his film where a three-year-old Palestinian girl is “brainwashed” into believing Jews are pigs.

Wish You Weren’t Here – The Trailer; Film Coming Summer 2017

Outrage as Islamist claims Grenfell Tower victims were ‘murdered by Zionists’ who fund Conservative Party

An Islamist activist has claimed the Grenfell Tower victims “were murdered” by Zionists who fund the Conservative party in an astonishing outburst now being investigated by police.
Nazim Ali, a director of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), is accused of exploiting the tragedy during an anti-Israel demonstration in the days after the fire.
The Metropolitan Police said it was now investigating allegations of anti-Semitic comments made during the protest.
Mr Ali, who is managing partner of a private health clinic in west London which charges patients up to £150 for a GP consultation, told the rally on June 18: “As we know in Grenfell, many innocents were murdered by Theresa May’s cronies, many of which are supporters of Zionist ideology.”
In video footage posted online, Mr Ali goes on: “Let us not forget that some of the biggest corporations who were supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.”

UNESCO Has Blood on Its Hands

The following is a transcript of a speech delivered by Dr. Shimon Samuels — the director of International Relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center — at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee gathering this week in Krakow, Poland.
Mr. Chairman,
As the only Jewish NGO accredited to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC), the Simon Wiesenthal Center speaks for its 400,000 membership and concerned Jews and Christians worldwide.
We have the greatest respect for the WHC’s work and called upon it for the protection of Auschwitz, when a discotheque was opened within its protected zone.
Unfortunately, to paraphrase the German strategist von Clausewitz’s aphorism that “diplomacy is war by other means,” since the Palestinian entry into UNESCO in November 2011, the WHC has become “heritage as war by other means!” — a veritable battlefield.
From 2012 the Church of the Nativity, 2014 Battir (Beitar — the site of the Bar Kochba Jewish revolt against the Roman occupation in the year 132) to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount of Solomon, identity theft is a voracious campaign to validate a Palestinian identity.
At this meeting in Poland, on soil soaked with Jewish blood, to witness the ravages on Jewish affinity to Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, could only be matched by the temerity of an amalgam drawn, on the one hand by a moment of silence for the million Jews — including children — gassed and shot not 70 kilometers from here in Auschwitz-Birkenau. And on the other hand, a second moment of silence in support of “the Palestinians,” many of whom rejoice at the terrorist murder of Jews today — among them children.

Israel to complete east Jerusalem center after controversial UNESCO vote

Israel plans to complete the construction of an internationally controversial Kedem Center for tourists that will be located in east Jerusalem just outside the Old City’s Dung Gate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
“Today I have instructed that procedures be completed for the construction of the Kedem Center for displaying the historical and archaeological findings for the City of David,” Netanyahu said. “This will be an impressive structure with extensive displays. The entire world will see the truth and the first visitors whom I will invite there will be UNESCO and UN delegations,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke in the aftermath of two votes the World Heritage Committee took last week in Krakow Poland. The first disavowed Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. The second inscribed the Tomb of the Patriarchs to the World Heritage in Danger list under the State of Palestine.
“The connection between the Jewish People and Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of purchase and of history which may be without parallel in the history of peoples,” Netanyahu said. “Of course this did not prevent the UNESCO World Heritage Committee last Friday from passing yet another delusional resolution which determined that the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the same Cave of Machpelah, is a Palestinian heritage site,” he said.

Joel Pollak: Palestinians’ Hebron Move Gives Trump Reason to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

The Palestinians’ decision to use the United Nations to claim Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as their own heritage site is a direct slap to President Donald Trump, who is attempting to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Earlier this year, Trump decided to delay the long-promised move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, for fear of upsetting the Palestinians. But that did not stop the Palestinians from making their own move.
The idea that the Tomb of the Patriarchs is “Palestinian” is absurd. For thousands of years — long before Islam even existed — it has been among the holiest sites in Judaism, and also the oldest. According to tradition, the Tomb is the grave of the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs — founders of the Jewish faith, and of monotheism itself: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah. (The fourth matriarch, Rachel, is buried near Bethlehem.)
The title deed to the Tomb is provided by the Bible itself, in Genesis 23. Abraham insisted on buying the site, even though the owner was prepared to give it to him as a gift, precisely so that there would never be any confusion in the future about its ownership. Later, King David established his throne in Hebron (II Samuel 5), and Jews lived there for millennia until they were massacred in a 1929 pogrom, returning after Israel’s victory in the 1967 war.
The Palestinians’ move in Hebron comes as Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has vowed never to end payments to terrorists and their families using U.S. taxpayer money, despite direct requests by President Trump and his emissaries. Clearly the Palestinians have no interest in compromise, nor do they fear the consequences of their provocative behavior, because thus far the U.S. and the world have been unwilling to punish them for it.
Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is a consequence the Palestinians would understand. It need not actually change the status of the city, since the western part of Jerusalem, where Israel’s government is already based, is never going to be under Palestinian control, under any peace agreement contemplated thus far. But it would end, once and for all, the Palestinian and Islamist fantasy that all of Israel will one day fall under Palestinian rule.
Moving the embassy would be a unilateral decision. But as the Palestinians’ own behavior shows, they have no qualms about unilateralism. Ironically, they have given President Trump a perfect opportunity to fulfill his promise.

PM quotes Bible to lambaste UNESCO decision on Hebron

According to the Bible, the burial cave was purchased by Abraham to inter his wife Sara. Later, he and his descendants were also buried there, according to Jewish tradition.
“And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant… And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre — the same is Hebron — in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying-place by the children of Heth,” said Netanyahu wearing a skullcap while quoting verses 16-19 from chapter 23 of the book of Genesis.
The prime minister said the UNESCO motion was “delusional.”
“The connection between the Jewish People and Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of purchase and of history which may be without parallel in the history of peoples,” he said.
Attempts to make legal or diplomatic cases based on Biblical accounts are most often ridiculed or not taken seriously.
Israel reacted furiously to the UNESCO decision, which came despite a flurry of diplomatic activity, and Netanyahu said Friday he would cut $1 million from money Israel gives the UN. He said the funds would instead go toward “the establishment of a ‘Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Kiryat Arba and Hebron’” and to other projects related to Jewish heritage in Hebron.

Arab envoy apologizes for not voting against UNESCO resolution

An Arab ambassador of a country that does not have diplomatic ties has apologized to his Israeli counterpart Carmel Shama-Hacohen for not being able to vote against the UNESCO resolution declaring Hebron’s Old City—and with it the Cave of the Patriarchs—as a Palestinian World Heritage Site.
The Arab ambassador conditioned his support to Israel in a secret ballot vote at UNESCO. But when the vote was held out in the open rather than at a private voting booth, the ambassador had no choice but to go back on his promise.
The resolution passed on Friday with 12 member states voting in favor, three voting against and six abstaining.
“Sorry for today, it was too heated, it is difficult to say it was a secret vote…” the ambassador told Shama-Hacohen in a message, later adding: “No choice…”
“I know my friend. For me, it is like you did it,” Shama-Hacohen responded.

Sky News Misleads on Hebron Holy Site

Sky News reports on the appalling and ridiculous UNESCO vote that declared the Old City of Hebron a “Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger.” It reports:
Israel is particularly offended because there is an ancient shrine in the centre of the town: known to Jews as Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the second-holiest site in Judaism, and known to Muslims as Ibrahimi mosque.
The important religious site, which was built by Muslims in the 14th century, is believed to be the resting place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

To the uninformed, which would be the majority of the audience, the second line implies that the holy site was built by Muslims in the 14th century, when, in fact, the site dates back thousands of years prior to the building of a mosque. The way this story is worded erases this Jewish history and connection and makes casual readers believe that Jews and/or Israelis are claiming a Muslim site as their own.
It is most likely that the journalist meant to relay that the site had been built on and modified over the centuries by whomever happened to be in control of the territory at the time. This is not, however, an excuse for bad copy.

Guardian conveniently omits most important fact about UNESCO Hebron resolution

A recent article by Sabrina Siddiqui and Peter Beaumont published in the Guardian focused on the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. The piece (Nikki Haley: global face of Trump administration strikes delicate balance, July 8th) asserts that the ambassador has led the rhetorical charge against America’s adversaries, and devotes several paragraphs to Haley’s criticism of Israel’s foes at the UN.
The section on Haley’s Israel-related activity includes her criticism of Friday’s UNESCO resolution on Hebron.
Haley entered the fray…on Friday, asking senior UN officials to oppose a Palestinian effort to get Unesco’s world heritage committee to adopt a resolution declaring Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as world heritage sites designated as in danger.
This sentence manages to omit the most important reason motivating criticism over the resolution by Israeli, American, Canadian and Australian ambassadors. As we noted in a tweet last evening, the key word “Palestinian” is omitted between the words “as” and “world”.

BBC’s erases the real story in report on UNESCO’s Hebron resolution

The BBC, however, elected to ignore the statements by Canada and Australia and reports only a selective version of the US representative’s comments:
“The US had argued that the Tomb of the Patriarchs was “under no immediate threat” and that adding it to the list of sites in danger “risked undermining the seriousness such an assessment by Unesco should have”.
It had also warned that the resolution might undermine efforts by US President Donald Trump to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

The real story behind this latest UNESCO resolution is of course the continuing politicisation of that body and the hijacking of its mission for the purpose of delegitimisation of Israel through erasure of Jewish history. BBC audiences, however, are serially deprived of that crucial background information under an editorial policy that fails to comply with the corporation’s public purposes.

UNESCO Declares Katz’s Deli ‘Palestinian Heritage Site’ (satire)

In yet another blow to the Jewish People, UNESCO has declared Katz’s Delicatessen, a well-known Jewish, kosher-style establishment, a Palestinian world heritage site.
“Al-Delicatessen al-Katz is as integral to Islamic history as Mecca, Medina and South Florida,” the resolution states. “Unfortunately, this landmark is threatened by the Zionist De Blasio occupation regime.”
The resolution is the latest in a series of moves that some say are aimed at undermining Jewish connection to historical sites by UNESCO. It follows a decision to recognize Hebron, one of Judaism’s holiest destinations, as an endangered Palestinian World Heritage site, as well as a string of resolutions downplaying the Jewish and Christian connection to Jerusalem.
But while the decision drew criticism, UNESCO was just getting started. On Monday, the organization passed a motion recognizing actor and comedian Rob Schneider as a “Palestinian icon.”

Do Israel Supporters Promote Anti-Arab Hate Crimes?

President of the Arab American Institute, prominent political commentator and anti-Israel voice James Zogby writes in the Huffington Post on recent polls commissioned by his organization. While we have no interest in commenting on domestic US politics and how US President Trump’s campaigning and policies have impacted on attitudes towards the Arab American community, we do take issue with Zogby’s concluding paragraph:
This situation is of deep concern to Arab Americans and American Muslims. We have, in the past, experienced discrimination, been victims of hate crimes, and endured painful political exclusion. It is clear that sustained hostile campaigns either by hardline supporters of Israel or, now, by some leading Republicans have taken a toll on our communities. They must be combated until our political discourse is freed from the scourge of hate, negative stereotyping, and scapegoating.
Can Zogby give examples of “sustained hostile campaigns” by “hardline supporters of Israel” against the Arab Americans and American Muslims?
Given the number of US Jewish organizations that campaign against racism and xenophobia, including against Arabs and Muslims, it is nothing but a smear for Zogby to even insert Israel into this issue. All this appears to amount to is a toxic attitude that sees the hand of Israel and Zionists behind anything negative occurring towards the Arab American and Muslim community.

David Collier: My family are evicted from the #Palestineexpo at the QEII conference centre

The vast majority of the crowd seemed Muslim. I would guess the split was 80/20. Perhaps even higher. The pool of white British anti-Israel activists is limited, so at an event like this they get swamped. The dining area was full, and there was a logistical issue with the kitchen. It was taking a long time to bring food to some of the stalls.
I was spotted by members of a local anti-Israel group ‘London Palestine Action’. I saw an activist called ‘Andrew Nelis’ before he saw me. I then saw Jackie Walker enter the room and start talking to him. They began looking over in my direction. Then Tony Greenstein showed up. I am never confrontational, never impolite. I walked over to say yes ‘this is me’. If they sought engagement. I am always willing to talk. Greenstein didn’t seem to believe I was there for the food. So I went to sit back down.
Jackie Walker chose to come to the table I was sitting at. Greenstein followed. Walker then began to tell the other two attendees already present at the table how I call events like this ‘hate fests’. I was polite, on topic and suggested we meet up for coffee if she wanted a proper discussion. I responded nicely to everything was said. I was there with my family and what I wanted to do was to relax.
I wasn’t going to be allowed to though. A few months ago Walker shared an image of me online, telling people to report me when spotted. Such is the life of being an independent member of the press that these people do not like. A few minutes passed and Andrew Nelis returned. Security was with him. I am asked to leave. I ask on what grounds – none given. “I want to know” I respond. “write a letter” is what I am told.

Daphne Anson: In London, Stephen & David Went to PalExpo

Stephen is an ex-vicar. He is known for his antipathy to Israel and for linking in the past to antisemitic websites, including ones claiming that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 atrocity. As a result, he was suspended by his bishop from posting on social media for six months and was lucky to keep his pulpit. He subsequently resigned that pulpit to become CEO of “Peacemaker Mediators,” an organisation that does more than its fair share of bashing Israel.
To judge by what he has just posted on Facebook, Stephen appears to think of himself as a martyr in the Arab cause:
Jenny is a life peer, a member of the House of Lords. She sits on the International Board of Reference (go figure!) of the so-called “Peacemaker Mediators” organisation. Like Stephen, Jenny seldom wastes an opportunity to demonise Israel. Here’s what she’s posted to Facebook about the benign Palestine cultural event anti-Israel hate fest that’s taken place in London this weekend:

Jordan Valley farmers hit back at BDS

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs will allocate NIS 4 million to ten fairs in the United States and Europe allowing farmers from the Jordan Valley to sell their peppers, spices and grapes to pro-Israel consumers despite a European boycott.
The creative solution comes as a welcome relief to farmers in the area who have been suffering economically for years as a result of boycott efforts initiated by BDS and others. Products from the valley that are targeted for boycott include peppers, grapes, spices, figs and dates.
The economic damage from such activities is significant, with farmers suffering damages totaling roughly NIS 100 million every year.
Residents of the Jordan Valley have previously complained that the Israeli government is burying its head in the sand and not doing anything to protect them. However, for the first time, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, headed by Minister Gilad Erdan, has decided to allocate NIS 4 million to help the Jordan Valley Regional Council.
The budget will be used to organize 10 international events in the US and Europe, where farmers from the area will be able to display their quality produce and proudly say, “Our produce is legally produced and we provide a livelihood for 6,000 Palestinians who are not cared for by the Palestinian Authority.”

IsraellyCool: Reems Bakery Clientele Attack Non-Violent Protesters (Updated)

Yesterday, a group of people, outraged by the mural of terrorist Raseam Odeh hanging in Reems bakery in Oakland, staged a non-violent protest outside.
According to my source, Reem Assil, owner of Reems, called for reinforcements after the protesters showed up. It was like a who’s-who of anti-Israel activists there, including Lara Kiswani of the Executive Director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), Sara Kershnar of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and members of Jewish Voice for Peace.
My source tells me the protesters were assaulted and their signs destroyed by some of the restaurant’s clientele, with his own signs stolen. They even went after his purse.

New Israel Fund accused of supporting pro-terrorist event

An event honoring former Joint Arab List MK Basel Ghattas, convicted and jailed for smuggling mobile phones to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons, turned out to be a New Israel Fund-sponsored platform voicing support for the recent security prisoners’ hunger strike, Israel Hayom has learned.
The event took place at the Jaffa Theater in June and was one of a series of events publicized by the 50 Out website, which the New Israel Fund operates. The website publicizes various events related to “ending the occupation.”
The event at which Ghattas bid farewell to his supporters was called “Notebooks from Prison” and featured letters written by prisoners that were read out under the title “Terms, Testimonies, and Presentations of the Occupation.” One of the participants in the event was the wife of Walid Daka, who is serving a life sentence for his part in the 1984 abduction and murder of IDF soldier Moshe Tamam.
“It has once again been proved that the New Israel Fund, which declares itself to be Zionist, supports terrorists and those who help them,” said Shai Glick, head of the nongovernmental organization Bezalmo, which campaigns for human rights and against anti-Jewish discrimination. “The fund’s support of an event honoring Basel Ghattas and the rest of the murderers is a mark of Cain. I urge the government to do everything in its power to stop all contact with the New Israel Fund, in any form.”
The New Israel Fund denied sponsoring the event.

Frenchman held for planning terror attack with Belgian pair

A 42-year-old French national appeared in court Sunday on suspicion of plotting a terror attack with multiple weapons alongside two Belgian brothers who were charged in Brussels this week, judicial sources said.
According to a source close to the inquiry, the man — whose name was not given but who was known to the authorities for being radicalized — was arrested near the northern city of Lille.
Paris prosecutors have opened an inquiry on suspicions of terrorist conspiracy.
The suspect is believed to be connected to Akim and Khalid Saouti, two brothers who were charged in Brussels on Wednesday with belonging to a “terrorist group” and were believed to be planning an attack with a large stash of weapons including Kalashnikov rifles.
The pair, who were arrested the previous night in the Brussels suburb of Anderlecht, are brothers of convicted jihadist Said Saouti, a member of the Kamikaze Riders, a notorious bikers’ club based in Brussels.

Poland to buy US Patriot system with Israeli-made missiles

A deal Poland is expected to sign with the United States to buy the Patriot missile system includes interceptor missiles from Israel’s David Sling system.
The deal with US firm Raytheon, worth up to $7.6 billion, will see Poland buy eight Patriot missile defense systems by the end of the year.
Poland’s Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz announced the deal on Thursday morning, during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw.
“A memorandum was signed tonight that the US government has agreed to sell Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration,” Macierewicz said in a news conference broadcast on public television on Thursday morning.
The deal is expected to be finalized in November of this year.

Cease-fire in Syrian region near Israel’s Golan takes effect

A “de-escalation agreement” meant to halt fighting in southwestern Syria, near the Israeli border, took effect at noon on Sunday.
Israeli officials were consulted on the pending ceasefire, negotiated over several months by Russia, the United States and Jordan with Amman’s security concerns top of mind. At the Israeli government’s request, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of the matter by phone on Thursday, “in the context of joint efforts against international terrorism ,” the Kremlin said.
American and Russian officials announced the cease-fire plan in Hamburg on Friday after Putin and US President Donald Trump ironed out the details in person – the public takeaway from their first face-to-face meeting. The agreement marks the Trump administration’s first actionable diplomatic initiative, but is simply the latest attempt in a long series of US efforts to stop the bloodshed in Syria’s six-year civil war.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that, by and large, Moscow and Washington have “exactly the same” objectives in Syria, where the two governments have long agreed on delineating terrorist organizations from legitimate rebel groups and on the role of the nation’s brutal president, Bashar Assad.

Netanyahu warns against Iran military presence in Syria

Speaking just as a cease-fire agreement went into effect in Syria on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that Israel would not permit Iran and its proxies to “establish a military presence in Syria in general and in southern Syria in particular.”
The United States, Russia and Jordan reached a cease-fire and “de-escalation agreement” this week with the aim of paving the way for a broader, more robust truce in Syria. The announcement came after a meeting Friday between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit of major economies in Germany.
Addressing the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he would welcome a “genuine cease-fire in Syria,” and added that “I had deep discussions about this last week with U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson and with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account.”
“We will continue to monitor developments beyond our borders,” Netanyahu said, adding that Israel would “strongly uphold our red lines: Prevent Hezbollah from gaining strength through Syria, with an emphasis on the acquisition of precision weapons; prevent Hezbollah — or Iranian forces — from establishing a ground presence along our border; and prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria as a whole.”

Senior minister urges no release of ‘live terrorists’ for dead troops

Following a Lebanese media report of an impending “information for prisoners” swap deal between Israel and Hamas, Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday urged Israel not to release “live terrorists” for the bodies of dead soldiers.
The comments came after unconfirmed reports over the weekend that Israel and Hamas are moving closer to a deal for the return of three civilians and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza in 2014. Israeli and Hamas sources plated down the reports.
Bennett, a member of the powerful security cabinet that would probably be the body voting to approve such a deal, pointed to recidivism among Palestinian captives that had been released as part of the 2011 swap with Hamas for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.
“Terrorists released in the Shalit deal returned to murder many Jews,” Bennett said in a statement. He pointed to Yahya Sinwar, who currently leads Hamas in Gaza and had been released as part of the deal.
“He is completely immersed in the planning of ways to kill Jews. With all the pain, we must stand strong,” he said.

Report: Iran arms factory in Lebanon fortified against Israeli airstrikes

The weapons factory Iran is building for Hezbollah in Lebanon is reportedly going to be 50 meters (165 feet) below ground and fortified to defend against Israeli airstrikes, according to French magazine Intelligence Online.
According to the report, which was quoted by a Syrian opposition site and the Iranian news agency Fars on Sunday, there will be two facilities to the factory.
One facility at the Hermel area, which is in the eastern part of the Beqaa Valley, will manufacture Fateh-110 surface-to-surface missiles with a range of up to 300km and the capability to carry a 400kg warhead.
The second facility will be located on the Lebanese coast between the cities Tyre and Sidon.

Iran seeking nuclear weapons technology, German intel says

Damning German intelligence reports emerged in June and July revealing the Iranian regime’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile technology in defiance of international sanctions and UN resolutions.
A federal intelligence report also said that the Islamic Republic targets Jewish and Israeli institutions with espionage.
According to the German state of Hamburg’s intelligence agency: “there is no evidence of an complete about-face in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016” [after the Islamic Republic signed the JCPOA accord with world powers in 2015, designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief]. Iran sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program.”
Germany’s federal domestic intelligence agency – the rough equivalent of Shin Bet – said in its report on Tuesday: “The State of Israel, its representatives and supporters as well as members of the Jewish religious community are among the declared enemies of Iran. Even the agreement made between Iran and the Western world to settle the nuclear conflict has not changed this attitude. Therefore, Iranian intelligence-related organizations continue to spy on (pro-)Jewish and Israeli targets in Germany.”

Muslim Extremists Are Main Perpetrators of Antisemitic Violence in Western Europe, Major Norwegian Academic Study Concludes

The report also highlighted concerns with the UK — which came second to France with almost 3,900 incidents in the 2005-15 period — and the situation facing the tiny Jewish communities in the Scandinavian countries, above all Sweden. “Measured in number of reported incidents per 1,000 Jews — a measure indicating exposure, or Jews’ chances of being subjected to antisemitic violence — Sweden comes out on top with a score four times higher than France, with Germany and the UK in the middle,” the report stated.
The role of Muslim extremists in engaging in antisemitic violence was the key finding of the report, Gerstenfeld said.
“Antisemitism experts have stated these facts since the beginning of this century,” he noted. “The politically correct Western European establishment has been considering the mention of this evidence about Muslim antisemitic attitudes and criminality a taboo subject.”
In its examination of data provided by law enforcement and communal agencies for France, the UK, Germany and Sweden, the report found that “right-wing extremists, who are often associated with antisemitism, in fact constitute a clear minority of perpetrators. Respondents in all four countries most often perceived the perpetrator(s) to be ‘someone with a Muslim extremist view.’”
The report added: “It is also worth noting that in France, Sweden and the UK (but not in Germany), the perpetrator was perceived to be left-wing more often than right-wing.”

Polish former priest indicted for inciting hatred against Jews

The prosecutor’s office in the western Poland city of Wroclaw issued an indictment against former priest Jacek Miedlar for “public incitement to hatred based on religious and national differences.”
He could face up to 2 years in prison.
On November 11, 2016, during the Polish Independence Day, Wroclaw hosted the “March of Patriots.” According to the prosecutor’s office, Miedlar in his speech to the march, “under the guise of promoting patriotic attitudes,” publicly called for hatred against Jews and Ukrainians.
“He used expressions intended to inspire others to feelings of contempt, strong dislike, anger, disapproval and hostility towards them [Jews and Ukrainians], imputing them hostility towards Polish people and transgressive intentions and encouraging the participants of the march to fight against them,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Międlar did not plead guilty. In his statement he stated that he defended the good name of Poles, whom he said the Jews call “worms.”

France marks 70 years since ‘Exodus’ ship voyage to Israel

Seventy years ago, some 4,500 Jews gathered aboard a rickety old steamer in the French Mediterranean port of Sete, destined for a journey that would help spur the creation of an independent Jewish state.
On Sunday the city marked the audacious attempt to reach what was then British-controlled Palestine in the presence of a few of the remaining survivors of the voyage, along with France’s Grand Rabbi Haim Korsia.
“It’s the last time that we have survivors: in 10 years they’ll be gone,” said Freddy Dran, co-president of the “Exodus Committee” and a representative of the Jewish community in Sete, near Montpellier.
“We’ve found that in Sete and the region, half the population has no knowledge of this event, which had a profound impact on 20th-century history,” he said, calling the commemoration “an educational project for younger generations.”
The plight of those on board was memorably dramatized in the 1960 Otto Preminger film of the same name, starring Paul Newman.

Indian Soldiers Learning How to Defend Themselves Using Israeli Martial Art of Krav Maga

Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
“Krav Maga is all about science of close-quarter battles,” Kapoor went on to explain.
An unnamed Indian commando now taking part in a three-week Krav Mago training session in Delhi told India Today, “We have learnt different kinds of martial arts like karate, boxing and many more, but we found Krav Maga to be the most effective and easy to learn.”
“The biggest advantage in Krav Maga,” he continued, “is that it uses the simple body movements of a human and turns it into a deadly weapon. I don’t think any other martial art in the world has the capability to deal with armed attackers like the Krav Maga has.”

Giro d’Italia route 2018: race to start in Jerusalem

The 2018 Giro d’Italia will start in Jerusalem and become the first Grand Tour to begin outside of Europe, Cycling Weekly has learned.
The announcement should come in August in Israel after Chris Froome (Sky) and the WorldTour peloton finish racing the Tour de France.
The plan is for a Giro big start based around the holy city of Jerusalem. After a possible time trial to kick off the race on May 5, it would continue with two road stages, one to the south, and one possibly ending in Tel Aviv.
RCS Sport organised a Jerusalem sportive ride in 2013 with an estimated 1,500 cyclists so it has the connections and experience. It has previously organised its big starts as far afield as Belfast and Herning Denmark, but never has the Italian tour or any grand tour gone outside of Europe for its start.
Even if the Giro restarts in the south of Italy, the caravan would face a six-hour flight from Tel Aviv. As with recent editions of the Giro d’Italia, an extra travel rest day is expected to soften the journey.

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