Why the Golan Should Remain Israeli
Many international legal scholars oppose US recognition. Some posit that the US has not recognized territory captured by military means since World War II, and such a move would add to a growing trend of America reshaping its relationship with post-World War II norms, possibly prompting more international instability. Eugene Kontorovich, a constitutional law professor at Northwestern University and director of the international law department at Jerusalem’s Kohelet Policy Forum, contends those scholars have short memories. He will testify to that effect before the subcommittee next week in Washington, D.C.
“America recognized Vietnam as being the sole country in the Vietnamese peninsula. How did that happen under international law if there used to be a South Vietnam that was taken over militarily by North Vietnam?” Kontorovich said in a telephone interview. “Not to mention the State Department has expressed openness and sympathy to leaving West Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, and Morocco got that by invading and conquering in 1975 and that wasn’t a defensive war, like the Six Day War.”
To support their position on the Golan, international law experts cite the October 1970 UN General Assembly Resolution 2625, which says: “no territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.”
Here too, Kontorovich finds a weak link in their arguments. “Based on my research, it is very hard to find clear recognition of such a norm in fighting a defensive war, so I can’t see this applying to Israel retroactively.”
The standards for Israel are always different, of course. Also, the Trump administration may be hesitant to grant Israel another unilateral prize following the May embassy move to Jerusalem, so as not to prejudice Arab reaction to its own upcoming framework on Arab-Israeli peace.
However, Kontorovich contends he sees no downside for the US if it were to recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights. “It’s easy to say the whole Arab world will be angry, but most of the Arab world is against the Iranian axis, of which Syria is part, and I think they would support anything that makes that axis weaker.”
Congress is renewing efforts to press the Trump administration into recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region on Israel’s northern border with Syria, bucking efforts by GOP leadership to kill the effort, according to conversations with lawmakers.
The House’s National Security Subcommittee, led by chairman Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine how recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the territory could bolster U.S. national security efforts to stem the flow of terrorists in the Jewish state and elsewhere in the region by giving the Jewish state unilateral control over the Syrian territory, where Iranian-backed fighters and other jihadists have been spotted since the start of a bloody civil war.
The push to have the Trump administration formally recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territory comes following a Monday afternoon press conference between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladamir Putin, where the two leaders discussed efforts to decrease tension in Syria.
When DeSantis and other Republicans pushed a congressional resolution recognizing Israeli control over the Golan Heights in May, it was nixed by GOP leadership who were seeking to prevent such a vote on the heels of the Trump administration’s successful effort to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The resolution had won support from Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and others.
DeSantis expressed disappointment at the time in comments to the Free Beacon.
“I don’t know why my Golan Heights amendment was not made in order and thus denied a vote,” DeSantis said. “It was a germane amendment that would have provided the House with a chance to add clarity to the broader U.S. policy vis-a-vis Syria. How could we even contemplate supporting anything other than the application of Israeli sovereignty to such a strategically significant area, especially given the plethora of malevolent forces that undermine security in the region?”
In an antisemitic column published January 10, 2018 in the Kuwaiti Al-Anba daily, Bassem Al-Shati, who is also a lecturer at the Religious Faith and Preaching department at Kuwait University, quoted extensively from the Quran to prove, he said, that the Jews are cheating, corrupt, miserable, aggressive, and envious murderers of the prophets and are also responsible for all the corruption and licentiousness in the world. He added that the Muslims must protect themselves against these traits in the Jews.
The following are highlights from his column:
“The Jews are known for loathsome traits, mentioned by Allah in His Book [i.e. the Quran]. These traits are deeply rooted in all the Jews, forever and ever, and the Muslims must protect themselves from them. These traits include fraudulence, treachery, and violating contracts and agreements. Allah said: ‘So for their breaking of the covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages… [Quran 5:13].’ History attests that they have violated contracts and agreements. They violated the contract with the Messenger of Allah [Muhammad] and more than once attempted to kill him. The last time [they tried this], they served him poisoned lamb as an offering. He chewed a piece of it, and then suffered years from this poison.”
To view a MEMRI TV clip of a version of this story told to children, click here or below:
“What is happening to our brothers in Palestine is the greatest witness to the Jews’ violation of contracts. There is no use in signing contracts or agreements with the Jews, because they recognize only the language of force…
“They [the Jews] are murderers of the prophets, peace be upon them. They killed Yahya, Zacharia, and other prophets and messengers. Allah said: ‘They have been put under humiliation [by Allah ] wherever they are overtaken, except for a covenant from Allah and a rope from the Muslims. And they have drawn upon themselves anger from Allah and have been put under destitution. That is because they disbelieved in the verses of Allah and killed the prophets without right. That is because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed [Quran 3:112]’.
“The imam Ahmad said in his collection of traditions [of the Prophet Muhammad] according to a hadith by Abdallah bin Mas’oud that the Prophet said: ‘The one who will be punished with the harshest possible punishment on Judgment Day are those who were killed by a prophet or killed a prophet [that is, the Jews].’
New York socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked Israel in a recent interview on PBS’s “Firing Line,” calling them the occupiers of Palestine and later admitting that she has no idea what she is talking about regarding Israel.
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks came in response to a question from host Margaret Hoover, who asked her to explain comments she made about Israel after she attacked them for defending themselves against an attack from Hamas terrorists.
Ocasio-Cortez, who called the shooting a “massacre,” said that she thinks that Israel has the right to “exist,” adding, “but I also think that what people are starting to see, at least, in the occupation of Palestine, is just an increasing crisis of humanitarian condition. And that, to me, is just where I tend to come from on this issue.”
Hoover then pressed Ocasio-Cortez, “You use the term ‘the occupation of Palestine.’ What do you mean by that?”
The 28-year-old socialist struggled, “Um… I think what I meant is … like … the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes.”
Hoover: “Do you think you can expand on that?”
Ocasio-Cortez fumbled, “Yeah… I mean, I think … I’d … also just— I am not the expert on geo-politics on this issue.”
July 15, 2018 Ocasio-Cortez: “I’m not the expert on this geo-politics (Israel/Palestinian) issue.”
May 14, 2018 Ocasio-Cortez: “ Israel massacred Palestinian protesters” pic.twitter.com/q8S4avp94r
— The Right Wing M 🇺🇸 (@TheRightWingM) July 16, 2018
The first of three articles in the Forward about the Iraqi-Jewish archive by the culture editor, Talya Zax, makes depressing reading. (For full background to the case, see under ‘Jewish archives’). As well as claiming that the ownership of the archive is up for debate, the article disturbingly claims that the status of the archive is ambiguous because Iraqi Jews ‘left voluntarily, if under duress’. Apparently it is not a violation of international law for a government to have seized its citizens’ property. Should the Iraqi-Jewish community bring a lawsuit against Iraq, it is also unclear if the case could be heard in a US court. However, successful Holocaust restitution does set a precedent.
One reason the ownership of the archive appears to be up for debate is that the majority of the Jews who left Iraq did so voluntarily, but under duress. That was also the case for many European Jews who fled the Nazi menace, and the decades-long work of Holocaust reparations has established a mixed precedent as to what can and ought to be done with their property. Ambassador Yasseen declined to discuss the grounds on which Iraq claims ownership of the archive.
I asked Gina Waldman, president of the advocacy organization Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA) how the Iraqi Jewish community can claim ownership of materials left behind when their owners chose to leave. “This was what was considered communal property,” Waldman said. “No one person could sign off and say, well, this synagogue now belongs to the Iraqi government.”
Basri, in an article outlining a legal argument for the United States to refuse to return the archive, refers to U.N. Resolution 242. Passed after the Six Day War, that statute calls for a “just settlement of the refugee problem.” Yet the Iraqi Jewish community has limited legal opportunities, says Patty Gerstenblith, director of DePaul College of Law’s Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law. The State Department, Gerstenblith said, granted the archive a status known as immunity from seizure, meaning that courts cannot hear cases or issue orders about it. “Doesn’t matter if it’s stolen property,” she said.
Evelyn Gordon: The Only Country with No Right to a Normal Foreign Policy
This jibes with JTA’s in-depth report on Hungarian anti-Semitism earlier last month. In light of the data cited above, the fact that the Hungarian Jewish community’s anti-Semitism watchdog, TEV, recorded just 37 anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 (down from 48 in 2016) only shows that anti-Semitic comments are massively underreported. What was noteworthy, however, is that not a single reported incident involved violence.
By comparison, reporter Cnaan Liphshiz noted, the United Kingdom, with a Jewish population only about 2.5 times that of Hungary, recorded 145 physical assaults in its total of 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents in 2017. Austria, with a Jewish population less than a tenth of Hungary’s, recorded five cases of physical violence among its 503 anti-Semitic incidents last year—and, incidentally, that was under a left-wing government led by the Social Democrats. Conservative Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz took power only in December 2017.
Thus, Jews in Britain or Austria were far more likely to suffer anti-Semitic violence than their Hungarian brethren. Indeed, unlike their counterparts in, say, France or Belgium, Jews with beards and kippahs told Liphshiz they feel safe walking Hungary’s streets.
Hungarian Jewish community leaders also said a 2014 revision of the legal code enacted by Orban’s government significantly increased prosecution and punishment of anti-Semitic offenses. “It was a big step forward,” said TEV’s secretary-general, Kalman Szalai. Nor, incidentally, did the Jewish leaders Liphshiz interviewed think Orban’s attacks on George Soros—Exhibit A in most liberal Jewish indictments of Orban—were anti-Semitic (a point I made last year).
In other words, as Szalai said, “It’s not that Hungary doesn’t have anti-Semitism . . . But it also has little to no anti-Semitic violence, and responsive authorities in the judiciary, the police force and also in government.” All of which makes it hard to argue that Orban should be shunned as a dangerous anti-Semite. That is, unless you think, as liberal Jews increasingly seem to do, that right-wing authoritarians are by definition dangerous anti-Semites.
And once you remove the straw man of anti-Semitism, you’re left with the double standard in all its glory: Israel alone has no right to host authoritarian leaders important to its interests, even as other Western democracies routinely host worse leaders with less justification. By insisting that Israel shouldn’t host Orban, liberal Jews are effectively saying that Israel, alone of all the countries of the world, has no right to conduct a normal foreign policy.
Worse still, the guidance says Israel’s “description of itself as a ‘Jewish state’ can cause particular difficulty in the context of deciding whether language or behaviour is antisemitic.”
Really? Why? The implication is that there’s something inherently questionable about defining Israel as a Jewish state. But that’s exactly what it is.
So for the Labour Party, even though it accepts that “the Jewish people has the same right to self-determination as any other people,” it seems that the Jewish nation state of Israel is itself problematic.
The guidance carefully deems it impermissible “to hold Jewish people or institutions in general” responsible for alleged misconduct by Israel. Even more carefully, it says it is “wrong to apply double standards by requiring more vociferous condemnation of such actions from Jewish people or organisations than from others.”
The point is that it is defining antisemitism solely as prejudice against Jewish people (or institutions). It does not define it as prejudice against the State of Israel.
But most of the antisemitism on the left takes the form of obsessive and paranoid falsehoods, distortion and double standards directed at the behavior of the State of Israel, with much of this onslaught echoing the imagery and tropes of medieval and Nazi antisemitism.
It thus singles out Israel for precisely the same unique and potentially exterminatory abuse as has been directed at the Jewish people over the millennia. Yet this is deliberately excised altogether from the Labour Party definition of antisemitism.
Some in the party are pushing back against this. Its Brexit spokesman, Sir Keir Starmer, has said it should adopt the full IHRA definition.
His concern is understandable. For Labour’s refusal to accept that the deranged defamation directed against Israel is totally unacceptable puts the party itself beyond the pale.
The fantastic situation has now developed in which, with the ostensible aim of addressing the problem of antisemitism among its members, the Labour Party has now positioned itself as institutionally antisemitic.
And the Brexit debacle means that the likelihood of this utterly obnoxious party coming to power in the U.K. has just become far greater.
The Melbourne office of a Jewish Australian parliamentarian was targeted with anti-Israel stickers on Saturday night, drawing condemnation from Jewish groups.
The office of Michael Danby, a Labor Party member, was covered with stickers underneath his name saying he was “Silent on apartheid” and “Silent on the mass murder of unarmed men, women, infants, children, medics and journalists.”
Other stickers added, “Silence gives Israel a green light to commit genocide… but only when it happens in occupied Palestine” and accused the MP of being “silent on ethnic cleansing.”
The Brisbane arm of Justice for Palestine shared an image of the attack on its Facebook page, but did not claim the vandalism.
Representatives of the Jewish community condemned the attack.
“We deplore in the strongest terms this repugnant vandalism and anti-Semitic propaganda which is a direct attack on Mr Danby and on democracy, and which has absolutely no place in our nation,” said Dvir Abramovich, chairman of Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission.
“The individuals who committed this cowardly act of hate have crossed the line. We call on leaders across the political spectrum to express their outrage at this vicious and obscene assault against an elected representative and to say that such vile conduct is unacceptable in any circumstance,” he added.
The British Labour party has been warned that its definition of anti-Semitism may breach the Equality Act, a key UK anti-discrimination law, according to a Monday report.
Legal advice from The Jewish Labour Movement argues that the party’s decision to adopt a softer definition of anti-Semitism than that used by the government means it treats Jews less favorably than other groups, The Guardian reported.
The 1999 Macpherson report, issued in the wake of the racially motivated 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, argues that each group has the right to define prejudice against it.
According to the Macpherson report, “A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.” The report adds that, “This definition should be universally adopted by the police, local government and other relevant agencies.”
The Jewish Labour Movement argued that by removing key clauses from its definition of anti-Semitism, the Labour Party rejects the rights of Jews to define perceived anti-Semitism, and thus discriminates against Jews.
Ivor Caplin, a leader of the Jewish Labour Movement (YouTube screenshot)
“The Equality Act is an important and significant piece of Labour legislation, which the Labour family strongly supported. To propose a code of conduct, which clearly breaches the law, is unacceptable,” JLM head Ivor Caplin told The Guardian.
Ms Shah apologised to the House of Commons, and to the Jewish community, professing to having been “ignorant” about anti-Jewish discrimination, and saying that she would “do everything in [her] power to build relations between Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths and none”. Ms Shah was reinstated by Labour’s National Executive Committee in July 2016, with the warning that another such incident would result in her expulsion from the Party.
Ms Shah’s attempts to make amends even resulted in her being subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hustings meeting in Bradford when she defended Israel’s very right to exist, however she has also been caught attending events hosted by Labour activists accused of antisemitism.
However, in the week when the Labour Party published its own rewritten definition of antisemitism, she was one of a number of MPs who signed a letter which seemed to lend support for the creation of a definition other than the International Definition of Antisemitism.
In spite of Ms Shah’s efforts to mend relations with the Jewish community, lending her support to efforts to rewrite the International Definition of Antisemitism and attending events hosted by figures unapologetically embroiled in antisemitism allegations by will surely raise questions as to whether she has truly understood the full extent of concerns over the rise of antisemitism in the UK, and whether she is best placed to fulfil a role which will require acute sensitivity on this point.
Reading the transcript of the debate that took place in the Irish Senate on July 11 before that body voted 25-20 to criminalize commercial relations with Jewish communities in the West Bank, I was struck by how the arguments fell neatly into one of two categories.
Category one: Those who believe that a boycott of Israel is a necessary moral undertaking and seek to introduce such a policy through legislation. Category two: Those who believe that a boycott of Israel is a necessary moral undertaking, but do not agree that enshrining such a policy through legislation is the right way to go about it.
Here are some illustrations of those arguments. Speaking in favor of category one, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile of the nationalist Sinn Fein party invoked no less a figure than Nelson Mandela — who, incidentally, never once described Israel as an “apartheid state” — as he urged his colleagues to consider “what is happening in Palestine, and to look at the will of the House and the majority of Irish people, who want to see us take this mode of solidarity.”
Something approaching a counter-argument was offered by Senator Terry Leyden of the opposition Fianna Fáil party on behalf of category two. “I would certainly boycott products coming from occupied territories sold by the Israelis on the international market, but it is a different thing for a state to involve itself directly in this area,” said Leyden. “I advise caution.”
Leyden elaborated on his advice with several sensible, practical reasons, including one so grave that you have to wonder why no other Irish politician is apparently worried about it at a time when the potential impact of Brexit is already casting a dark shadow over Ireland’s economy. “In 2017 we exported $868 million worth of goods to Israel, from where we imported $63 million worth of goods,” Leyden explained, in a bid to persuade his colleagues that many hundreds of jobs in Ireland are at stake.
Yisrael Medad: The Political Warfare of BDS
An extensive excerpt from an interview (thanks to BT) with with Jeffrey Herf, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Maryland. His books include Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, Divided Memory: the Nazi Past and the Two Germanys, and Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich with Alan Johnson, editor of Fathom:
AJ: What do you mean by the term political warfare?
JH: It’s a term that the British foreign office used in World War Two. Political warfare entails the specific use of propaganda to reinforce an ongoing armed attack. For example, East Germany and the Soviet Union were able to use the United Nations effectively to legitimatise their undeclared war on Israel, through dozens of UN General Assembly resolutions in the 1970s and 1980s in which East Germany played an important role.
Political warfare persists to this day in the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement: never ever mention a terrorist attack on Israel, or, if there is an attack on Israeli citizens, refer to it as a form of ‘justified resistance’. Then, having refused to describe accurately the terrorist attack on Israel, focus instead on Israeli retaliation. And, because you have not discussed the previous terrorist attack, describe this Israeli retaliation as a form of ‘unjustified aggression’. All these rules were set down in this earlier period.
AJ: One fascinating part of the book examines how UN leaders, such as General Secretary Kurt Waldheim, ignored detailed reports from Israeli representatives about this political warfare campaign and about the Arab states’ armed attacks against Israel. Can you tell us about that?
JH: One of my great research discoveries was the extent of the UN’s bias, its unbalanced views and its indifference to attacks on Israel. The UN permits its members to send reports to the Secretary General and the President of the Security Council, which are then circulated to all members of the UN. Gideon Rafiah, Chaim Herzog, Yosef Tekoah and Yehuda Blum, all Israeli ambassadors to the UN during the 1960s and 1970s, made excellent use of this system by sending reports with details descriptions of the ongoing attacks on Israeli civilians to all member representatives to the UN. They are the most detailed record that we have, perhaps anywhere outside the Israeli archives, about the ongoing terrorist campaign that was being raged against Israel in those years. Yet the information in these reports was overwhelmingly ignored in the UN resolutions that were passed.
Monika Grütters of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party, who is the highest-level German government official responsible for cultural policy, lambasted the BDS campaign as “absolutely unacceptable,” and Klaus Lederer of the Left Party, who is the city of Berlin’s top cultural policy official, described the move as “repugnant.” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller of the center-left Social Democratic Party spoke of Nazi-era tactics and said he would do everything in his power in the future to deprive BDS of “meeting space and money for its anti-Israeli agitation.”
The BDS movement is once again calling for a boycott of the festival this year, which is scheduled for Aug. 15-17. Five artists, including the British post-punk band Shopping and experimental American musician John Maus have followed the call so far.
Katja Lucker, director of Musicboard, the city government agency that organizes the Pop-Kultur festival, emphasizes that it is just five out of 150 artists who have been invited. She’s making an effort to keep things in perspective. Still, though, she says: “We asked artists from Beirut, Tunisia and Egypt in advance if they would like to be part of it and they said from the beginning that they did not want to perform for us.” The BDS campaign, it seems, is preventing Palestinian and Israeli artists from being able to meet and talk to each other on neutral ground.
Lucker refuses to be intimidated by BDS, and this year the Israeli Embassy’s cultural department is once again providing a travel stipend, this time of 1,200 euros rather than 500 since more Israeli artists are participating. “Of course, we will continue work with Israel,” she says. Among others, the festival has invited Israeli author Lizzie Doron, who spoke with former Palestinian terrorists and Israeli conscientious objectors as part of the research for her book “Sweet Occupation.” Notably, her critical subject matter did not stop the Israeli Embassy from picking up her travel costs.
“A boycott doesn’t promote dialogue,” says Lucker. “BDS isn’t calling for peace in the Middle East — the opposite is true. The movement divides people and sows hate.” She says she would love to debate with artists who back BDS, but that’s not possible in the current environment. All the overtures she made to hold discussions connected to the concerts where the bands could explain their position, led nowhere, she says.
I have written about CJ Werelman before, given his disregard for the truth and proclivity to lie when it comes to Israel. And until now, I have characterized him as an Israel hater.
I am now going to refer to him as the Jew hater that he most clearly is.
You see, one of the hallmarks of antisemitism is comparing us to the Nazis. But BJ CJ go even beyond that.
Apparently, being a Jew hater is what is needed to “defeat the Islamophobia industry.” Because god forbid people should fear Muslims and tolerate Jews at the same time (and yes, almost 150 people are donating money every month to this Jew hater to spread his bile).
Of course, this is not the first indication of his Jew hatred – it is just that I haven’t been paying much attention to him. A quick look at his Twitter timelines indicates that he’s been at it for a while. For instance, this champion of Muslim rights would not dare write about the numerous Imams and Muslim leaders who refer to the Jews as “the sons of monkeys and pigs.” But he’ll sure as hell find the errant Rabbi who reportedly said something offensive.
From 4 p.m. GMT on the afternoon of July 14th BBC World Service news bulletins led with reports on the day’s events in the Gaza Strip and – to a lesser extent – southern Israel.
A number of recurring themes can be seen in the reports heard by BBC World Service listeners over a period of nearly eight hours:
1) Leading with and focusing on events in Gaza, with concurrent events in Israel mentioned later.
2) Quoting “Palestinian health officials” while failing to clarify that they are actually members of the same terror group organising the months of violent rioting along the border and launching missile attacks.
3) Using the euphemism “militant” in place of the term terrorist.
4) Quantifying the number of Israeli strikes on Hamas targets – e.g. “dozens” – while failing to quantify the terror groups’ rocket and mortar attacks.
5) Qualifying descriptions of Palestinian attacks as terrorism.
In response to Murray’s question “how do you define yourself what is actually authentically Palestinian?” listeners heard a reply from Khan which steers readers towards the view that “millennia” old Palestinian cuisine predates other “influences”:
Khan: “Well you know Palestinian food has evolved through several millennia of different influences, whether they’re Islamic, Jewish, Roman, Persian, Ottoman.”
Later on they heard the following context-free statement:
Khan: “There is no doubt that Palestinians are going through incredible hardship especially in places like Gaza where, when we talk about food, I mean, you know, 80% of them are dependent on food aid to survive, 90% of the water is undrinkable.”
Near the beginning Murray noted that her guest had “worked as a human rights campaigner for a very long time”. Radio 4 listeners were not however told that Khan previously worked for the anti-Israel NGO ‘War on Want’ and is on record as promoting the BDS campaign against Israel and campaigning for an arms embargo on Israel.
Aired on the day that Khan’s cookery book was published, this item obviously includes political messaging that will come as no surprise to those familiar with Yasmin Khan’s campaigning record. Listeners to ‘Woman’s Hour’ were not however informed that Khan is “associated with a particular viewpoint” as BBC editorial guidelines require and hence were unable to put the politically motivated claims and messaging they heard in an item portrayed as being about food into their appropriate context.
However, Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav Meir wrote an article at Times of Israel undermining Rotem’s version of events. Meir cited a statement from another passenger on that flight, who maintained that the delay had nothing to do with the incident involving the switched seats. The journalist also contacted El Al to inquire about the cause of the delay, and the airline’s spokesperson also flatly denied that it had anything to do with the behavior of the ultra-orthodox passengers.
Here’s El Al’s statement:
“The details that were reported about the incident were not accurate, to put it mildly. In actual fact, the delay was totally unconnected to the incident. The plane’s journey to the runway at the airport in New York took about one hour and had nothing to do with the incident. Taking care of the two passengers who refused to sit in their allocated places occurred after the plane had already left the gate and only took a few moments. We will continue to do our best to transport our customers safely, comfortably, and according to schedule.”
After we contacted Indy editors, they agreed to amend the passage to note El Al’s denial.
Here’s the new language (new words in bold):
One passenger claimed the El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed for more than an hour while new seats were allocated to the pair – although the airline later issued a statement saying it had taken staff only a few moments to find the passengers new seats, and the delay in the flight’s departure was completely unconnected to the incident.
Husnain Rashid, a 34-year-old ISIS supporter from Lancashire, has been sentenced to life in prison over his repeated calls to murder British citizens, sending instructions in 300,000 posts on the heavily-encrypted Telegram network in just 18 months.
Mr Rashid, who operated from his bedroom at his parents’ house on Leonard Street in Nelson, a small town of 29,000 people, urged Islamists to wage jihad by murdering Jews, injecting cyanide into supermarket goods, and kidnapping Prince George. He had even sent one contact instructions on how to shoot down aircraft.
As part of his work as a facilitator for terrorism, he published an online library of instructions on committing acts of terrorism, encouraging would-be Islamist terrorists to operate alone using poisons, vehicles, weapons, bombs, chemicals or knives to murder and maim. He was also working on a magazine called Lone Mujahid which police said was “a sort of e-toolkit for would-be lone-wolf attackers”.
Counter-terrorism police swooped in November last year, just before Mr Rashid planned to go to Syria to join ISIS terrorists there. When he threw a mobile telephone over a wall onto a police officer’s foot, and then appeared to faint.
On Friday, he pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to three counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, and one count of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts. He must serve at least 25 years of his life sentence.
International mega sports media company ESPN has removed a participant in its AFL footy tips competition who had registered his screen name “Burnthejews” and has banned the person from reregistering.
The company acted swiftly when this user name was brought to its attention.
A spokesperson for ESPN told J-Wire: “A footytips user created an account name that violated our rules. The language used is offensive and unacceptable, does not reflect our values and has no place on our site.
While we do have significant systems in place to prevent the use of profane, bigoted and offensive language, in this case they did not catch it early enough and we are sorry. As soon as we became aware, the accounts were immediately removed from our site and the users have been blocked from re-registering.”
Peter Wertheim, the co-ceo of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire: “As a leading global sports media company, ESPN reaches audiences in virtually every country in the world.
A new film set in the Auschwitz concentration camp will highlight the perspective of the German witnesses and spectators that stood back as the horrors of the Holocaust unfolded in front of them, IndieWire reported on Wednesday.
The upcoming drama will be directed by Jewish filmmaker Jonathan Glazer, who has yet to release the film’s title. During an appearance on the “A Dash of Drash” podcast, Glazer said about the film’s focus, “I remember being very taken by the faces of the bystanders, the onlookers, the complicit, you know? Ordinary Germans. I started wondering how it would be possible to stand by and watch that. Some of the faces actually enjoy it. The spectacle of it. The kinda circus of it.”
Glazer said Auschwitz will take on more of a character role in his project as opposed to simply being the film’s setting, which is something he dislikes that has been done in past Holocaust movies, IndieWire explained. He noted, “A lot of the stories I’ve seen, I do sometimes think they could be set anywhere actually. As soon as you define a plot, you’re sort of somehow relegating Auschwitz as a place and it becomes a context. For me, I don’t want to do that. I just felt that was wrong.”
Early breast cancer detection may soon become easier because of a new handheld ultrasound device that, when developed, will allow women to monitor their breasts at home.
A former biomedical scientist at NASA, Yehudit Abrams, an ultra-Orthodox Jew now living in Jerusalem, is the brains behind the product.
The ultrasound device, which will vary in size according to tbe woman’s cup size, translates data to an app which can then be analyzed and monitored for change every month, when the scans are performed. To use it, women would need to put the device onto one quadrant of their breasts and leave it there briefly. This procedure is repeated until four scans are done per breast plus the areas under the armpits.
The data is then transmitted through the app to the cloud, where the image is processed and analyzed through comparison to the thousands of images of breast pathologies in the software’s database.
“The moment the software identifies pathological changes in breast tissue, the app notifies the user, and the user can then send, via a secured link, historical images of the breast region in question directly to their physician for review,” Abrams said in an interview with The Times of Israel.
Scottish actor and heartthrob Gerard Butler has been turning heads on the beaches of Tel Aviv this weekend.
Butler, who generally splits his time between Los Angeles and Glasgow, touched down in Israel Thursday night, alongside Israeli-born talent agent Tomer Shmulevich.
A post shared by Yuval Ben-haim (@yuvalbenchaim) on Jul 14, 2018 at 6:23am PDT
Since then – at least according to social media – Butler has been taking in the sun and sites and posing for dozens of selfies with Israeli fans.
The actor – known for his roles in 300, The Phantom of the Opera and P.S. I Love You – has also been spending time with his close friend, Israeli director Ariel Vromen.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took his 4-year-old grandson to a community kitchen housed in the Sydney yeshiva’s complex on Grandparents Day and helped him prepare challah.
Turnbull’s grandson Jack rose to the occasion and went home on Friday with the fruits of his labor.
During the visit, the prime minister presented a $48,000 grant to improve security arrangements for the Harry Triguboff Centre in Flood Street, which currently is under renovation. The center is home to the Sydney yeshiva, the yeshiva school and Our Big Kitchen, a large commercial kitchen that prepares food for needy members of the Jewish community, and in which 150 people were busy preparing food on Friday to be distributed to the needy.
Joined by local state lawmaker Gabrielle Upton, Jack and his grandfather quickly learned the rudiments of challah-making from Rebbetzin Laya Slavin.
Rabbi Dovid Slavin said that the prime minister, in whose electorate The Harry Triguboff Centre is located, had been a visitor many times, but now for the first time as prime minister.
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