November 18, 2019

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08/05 Links: The True Extent of Palestinian Hatred for Israel; Head of Syrian chemical arms research center assassinated;

From Ian:

The True Extent of Palestinian Hatred for Israel
It is clear to anyone who closely observes the reality in Israel that the No. 1 goal of Hamas is the destruction of Israel, not pursuing a viable Palestinian state, which is what Hamas wants you to think.

While Israel tries to minimize casualties, Hamas does the complete opposite. Let us not forget that Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization, infamous for using the Palestinian people as human shields and for using financial incentives to encourage people to become suicide bombers.

During recent protests, Hamas encouraged Gazans to try to storm the border with Israel. Having gotten wind of this plan of action, Israel responded by dropping leaflets beforehand warning everyone to avoid harm by not approaching or attempting to breach the barrier.

Hamas knew full well that it was sending its own people to death since no country would allow a mass infiltration by a mob incited to rampage and kill innocents. But dead Palestinians provide great PR pressure points for Hamas against Israel. After whipping its own people into a frenzy all while knowing that it was a death sentence, Hamas proceeded.

In the aftermath, Hamas painted a very different story of innocent Palestinian victims in a peaceful mob, gunned down by Israel. It and a chorus of international actors then denounced and lambasted Israel.

The Palestinians should immediately halt these cynical games. Until then, Israel has no choice but to do what it must to defend its people.

EU report details international web of Hezbollah terror funding

A newly released European Union report on terrorism states that Lebanese nationals worked with organized crime organizations to finance Hezbollah’s terrorist activities.

The European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2018 wrote, “In 2017, member states carried out several investigations into financing of terrorism. One major investigation focused on a large network of Lebanese nationals offering money laundering services to organized crime groups in the EU and using a share of the profits to finance terrorism-related activities of the Lebanese Hezbollah’s military wing.”

The report added, “The cooperation of these money-launderers and Hezbollah’s military wing was a clear example of a nexus between organized crime and terrorism.”

The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 70-page EU report and found it did not provide any more specifics on Hezbollah’s activities in Europe. Hezbollah has played a key role in aiding Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war that has resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 people.

The EU only designated Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist entity in 2013. US President Donald Trump, former US president Barack Obama and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton have urged the EU to proscribe all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The Iranian regime is the chief financial sponsor of Hezbollah, with an annual $700 million supplied by Tehran to the Lebanese Shi’ite group, according to the US government.

The Post reported in June that Al-Mustafa Community Center in the northern German city-state of Bremen is a major hub for raising funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to a German intelligence report published by the Bremen intelligence agency.

What to do about EU’s pathological relationship with Hezbollah

Europeans have criticized US President Donald Trump for distancing America from her traditional allies in NATO, while favoring his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After relying on America for protection for over 70 years since the end of World War II, Europe is “now more worried about an America withdrawing from the transatlantic relationship than an overbearing superpower”, according to Richard Wike writing in the Atlantic.

Yet when European financial interests were threatened last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized bipartisan congressional legislation that proposed increasing sanctions against Russia because it targeted the European- Russia Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in which German companies are invested.

The legislation toughened sanctions on Russia over its Ukrainian invasion. Mrs. Merkel’s doesn’t seem to realize that she lives in a glass house.

American critics of Europe have focused on European underfunding of their NATO obligation, spending under 2% of their GDP, below their promised commitment.

However equally as troubling to both Congress and the administration is Europe’s associations and protection of the American-designated terrorist organization Hezbollah that operates freely in Europe, raising funds while threatening American and allied interests. The Europeans stick their collective heads in the sand as multiple Hezbollah planned attacks on European soil have been foiled within the last few years.

European appeasement of Hezbollah begins and ends with their failure to designate its political wing as a terrorist organization, despite Hezbollah itself having no distinction between its terrorist and political entities.

Head of Syrian chemical arms research center said assassinated

A Syrian scientist at the head of a research center allegedly linked to the development of chemical weapons and bombed by Israel in the past was killed in a car-bombing, according to Syrian reports early Sunday.

Aziz Azbar, the head of the Syrian Scientific Research and Studies Center in Masyaf, was killed along with his driver in a blast Saturday night, according to reports.

The deaths were reported by a number of Syrian and Lebanese news outlets as well as the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor and a Facebook page purportedly linked to the Syrian military.

Azbar was close to both Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Iranian regime, which was thought to be using the facility for arms development, according to the observatory.

According to some reports, a car Azbar and his driver were in blew up when a passerby managed to attach a bomb to it.

Seth Frantzman: Syrian scientist killing is a message to Assad and Tehran

The killing of a Syrian scientist as he left his house in Hama will be read as a message to the Syrian regime in Damascus. The scientist was allegedly a key part of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC). The center is involved in research and development of chemical weapons and long-range missiles that are produced near Hama.

The killing of a scientist represents a new development in the war in Syria as it changes from an active phase of conflict between the government and rebels to a regional phase, in which the US, Turkey, Russia and Iran play key roles in parts of Syria and Israel looks on with concern.

The scientist, Dr. Aziz Asbar, sometimes spelled “Isbar” or “Esber,” was reported to have been working on a medium- and long-range missile program at the SSRC in Masyaf. News first emerged of his death from a car bomb on Saturday night. “Reports that Aziz Esber, a very senior figure in the Syrian Scientific Studied and Research Center, who worked on missile development and directed R&D facility in Masyaf, was killed in a car bomb in Hama,” tweeted Syrian expert Tony Badran.

The Masyaf facility is a key part of the network of SSRC sites. It has been the target of an air strike that local reports blamed on Israel. It is one of three sites alleged to be involved in chemical weapons production, according to a May report from the BBC. In addition, the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control notes that Masyaf is where chemical weapons are installed on long-range missiles.

JPost Editorial: Gaza’s Future

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed the recent Gaza crisis well. While many Israelis are upset with the ongoing aerial arson attacks which have already burned more than 30,000 dunams, Israel has managed to steer clear of a large-scale military operation in Gaza.

This is part of the government’s understanding that a large-scale military operation in Gaza would not change the reality there. It would weaken Hamas and destroy much of its terror infrastructure, but it would not change the long term reality in southern Israel. Hamas would be deterred for a period of time and would then renew its attacks against Israel and bring us back to the brink of a military clash once again after two, three or four years.

However significant, Israel’s role in all of this is also limited. As long as Hamas does not cease its desire to destroy Israel and does not stop its attempts to do so, there is only so much that Israel can do.

As The Jerusalem Post’s Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh reported recently, Hamas leaders are split on what to do. Some want to reach a deal; others want to continue the conflict.

If Hamas accepts the deal, its rivals will accuse it of selling out to Israel and the US.

On the other hand, rejecting the deal which would lead to the improvement of Gaza living conditions could potentially prompt desperate Palestinians to revolt against Hamas.

Ultimately, the people of Gaza will have to decide. Do they want a better future or one of more war and bloodshed?

IDF Blog: Four misconceptions about Hamas

Misconception #1: Hamas is not a terror organization

Reality: Hamas is a terror organization. Hamas activists are often referred to as “freedom fighters,”- a term that is far from the truth. Hamas is recognized as a terror organization by Canada, New Zealand, Israel, Egypt, Japan, the European Union, Australia, Jordan, and the United States.

If you look at Hamas’ past, you’ll see countless deadly terror attacks in which Israelis were killed. This includes the Haifa bus suicide bombing on March 5th, 2003, which killed seventeen people. On June 12th, 2014, Hamas terrorists kidnapped and later murdered three Israeli teenagers, leading to operation Brother’s Keeper, and subsequently Operation Protective Edge.

It’s no wonder Hamas has carried out these attacks when its original charter, published in 1988, called for the destruction of Israel and for jihad against Israeli civilians.

Misconception #2: Hamas puts providing for its civilians as a top priority

Reality: Considering Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and is responsible for the lives of the millions who live there, it’s expected that the organization, which serves as the strip’s government, would treat providing for its civilians as a top priority. Sadly, when it comes to prioritizing, Hamas isn’t so great.

Since Hamas’ election, the situation in the Gaza Strip has been deteriorating year after year, because of 3 different things that Hamas does:

Hamas continuously uses civilian infrastructure as terror training facilities. The IDF recently discovered that Hamas converted a five-story building, originally meant to be used as a national library, government services, and housing, into a terror training facility. The building, which even had a tunnel dug underneath it for underground warfare training, was struck by the IDF following Hamas’ firing of several rockets at Israel. In the past couple of years, the IDF has also discovered other Hamas military infrastructure in neighborhoods, including next to schools and mosques.

Hamas accuses Fatah of trying to foil truce with Israel

Hamas said on Sunday it was “disgusted” by the stance its rivals in Fatah have taken toward Egyptian and UN efforts to end the crisis in the Gaza Strip, and charged Fatah with wanting Gaza to remain under siege and shelling.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Fatah of instigating tensions in order to thwart the Egyptian and UN efforts to achieve a truce between his movement and Israel. He said that Fatah was waging a systematic campaign of incitement against Hamas.

“Fatah needs to realize that it lost the election,” Abu Zuhri said, referring to the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council election in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Fatah is just another faction and its leader’s term in office has expired.”

The Hamas spokesman was referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also chairman of the ruling Fatah faction. Abbas was elected in 2005, and his term in office expired in 2009.

Fatah leaders and officials have criticized Hamas’s reported readiness to accept a long-term truce with Israel in return for humanitarian aid and economic projects in the Gaza Strip. Fatah argues that such a deal would be considered a “free gift” to Israel. They also claim that the proposed truce is part of US President Donald Trump’s effort to liquidate the Palestinian cause through his plan for peace in the Middle East.

“Hamas is not authorized to sign any agreement with Israel because it has no representative status,” a senior Fatah official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. “The Palestinian Authority is the only legitimate party representing the Palestinians. We believe that the talk about a truce in the Gaza Strip is part of an Israeli and American scheme to pass Trump’s so-called peace plan and transform the Palestinian cause from a political issue into a humanitarian issue.”

JNF speaking tour raising awareness on agriculture devastation kicks off

As widespread agricultural and ecological damage due to flaming projectiles hurled across the border fail to make the news in the United States, Jewish National Fund USA is hoping to rectify that by launching a comprehensive speaking tour across the country to educate the public about the psychological and economical damage the fires have caused.

During the month of August, Gaza border residents will share their personal stories of living along the Gaza border where hundreds of incendiary kites, balloons and rockets have steadily rained down on them for months, destroying thousands of acres of crops and forest – and the ecosystems and wildlife they contain.

Speakers will include Michal Uziyahu, director of community centers in the Eshkol Region, which shares some 30 miles of border with Gaza; Sarit Khanoukaev, a 21-year old at-risk-youth counselor who lives and works in Sderot; and Yedidya Harush, JNF’s representative of Halutza communities (Nave, Bnei Netzarim, and Shlomit) and the entire Gaza border region.

Israel releases first pictures of underwater barrier with Gaza

Two months into construction of Israel’s underwater barrier, the Defense Ministry has released the first pictures of the project meant to stave off Hamas infiltration into Israel by sea.

The 50m. wide by 6m. high barrier is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will stretch 200m. into the Mediterranean from the coast near Zikim, just north of the Gaza Strip.

The barrier is made up of three layers consisting of one layer below sea level, an intermediate layer of armored stone and a top layer of barbed wire. A fence will also surround the breakwater as an additional security measure.

“The construction of the barrier around the Gaza Strip, both on land at sea, is progressing at a rapid and impressive pace, and every day that passes, our counterterrorism capabilities around the Gaza Strip are growing stronger,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

The decision to build an upgraded naval barrier was made after five Hamas naval commandos tried to infiltrate Kibbutz Zikim during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Washington Post Op-Ed Completely Distorts the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

No matter how often one reads about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and thinks that one had heard it all, someone comes along and shocks us with their ignorance, all in the guise of objective analysis.

So it is with an article published in The Washington Post on July 26 by a Norwegian professor, Jorgen Jensehaugen, titled “The Fatal Flaw in Trump’s Plan for Middle East Peace.”

Jensehaugen’s thesis is that the Trump plan, like those of previous administrations, will fail because of a fatal flaw: “Not involving Palestinians in the discussion.” He then traces the long history of calamities between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and attributes them to this flaw.

Between 1947 and 1988, it is true that Palestinians were not involved in negotiations with Israel. But this was primarily because they — and the regional Arab leadership that claimed to speak for them — fundamentally rejected the legitimacy and existence of the Jewish state, had a charter that called for Israel’s destruction, and would have nothing to do with representatives of the “illegitimate” State of Israel.

Palestinian Authority: We’ll foil the plan to close UNRWA

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ office claimed that White House Adviser Jared Kushner’s reported efforts to limit UNRWA activities are “a continuation of the subversive plots to eliminate the Palestinian problem.”

A statement from Abbas’ office emphasized the need to “oppose” and “foil” the US plan.

It is believed that US President Donald Trump’s proposed peace plan will remove the question of PA “refugees” from the negotiating table.

The peace plan, the contents of which have not yet been revealed, was by the PA as “aiming to eliminate the Palestinian problem and negate all of the Palestinian nation’s legitimate rights.”

Abbas’ office emphasized that the “Palestinian nation” is capable of foiling all similar “plots.” It also said that the issue of PA “refugees” needs to be one of the topics discussed in negotiations, and reiterated the fact that the PA will not compromise on its demand for control over Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods.

Negotiations must bring “a just and agreed upon solution in accordance with legitimate international decisions and the Arab peace initiative, which has become part of the international legitimacy and is supported by the international community.”

US Senate votes to lock in aid to Israel, regardless of administration

The U.S. Senate has passed the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, a bipartisan piece of legislation that authorizes U.S. security assistance to Israel for 10 years, regardless of which administration happens to be in power.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted in favor of the $38 billion aid package, negotiated in 2016, allows the U.S. to increase its assistance to Israel and encourages increased weapons stockpiles and U.S.-Israeli cooperative ventures on anti-drone technologies, cybersecurity, and space.

According to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the act authorizes a joint assessment of the kinds of precision-guided weaponry Israel needs to defend itself, allowing the acquisition of such munitions to be fast-tracked.

The act also authorizes the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel for an additional five years and allows the president to add precision-guided weapons to that stockpile for Israel to use in an armed conflict with Hezbollah.

Israel seizes Swedish boat trying to breach Gaza blockade

The Israeli Navy seized a Swedish-flagged sailboat attempting to breach a blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Saturday, the military said.

The 12 passengers on board are mostly from Sweden but also from Germany, Britain, Spain, France and Canada. They are in custody and will be put on flights home, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Immigration Authority said.

The SY Freedom for Gaza was carrying mainly medical supplies and two of its passengers were journalists, said an organizer from a group named “Ship to Gaza,” which organized the trip.

“Ship to Gaza demands that those who have been taken prisoner and the ship and its cargo are returned to the location where the ship was boarded and are allowed to continue their journey in international and Palestinian waters unmolested, in accordance with international law,” the group said in a statement.

Israel imposed a maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip ‎after the Islamist terrorist group Hamas ‎seized ‎control of the enclave in a military coup in 2007. ‎Israel maintains the measure is ‎necessary to prevent ‎Hamas from smuggling in weapons and terrorists into ‎Gaza.‎

Al Monitor: Palestinian’s interview on Israeli program sparks backlash

On July 25, Ibrahim al-Madhoun, a political analyst and director of the Youth Media Center, Hamas’ media wing, appeared on Israeli i24 News in a Skype interview for the 6 o’clock news. His appearance elicited a wave of negative reactions among activists on social media who saw it as media normalization, that is, establishing a dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis through the media. Prevailing opinion in Palestinian society rejects such a relationship.

Madhoun spoke about the negative repercussions on Palestinian refugees of the escalating financial crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency following the Jan. 5 US decision to freeze $125 million in annual aid to the organization. The actual content of the discussion was not enough to shield Madhoun from criticism.

i24News, which began operating in 2013, broadcasts in Arabic, English and French. Arab48, a website focusing on Israeli media, published an article in July 2014 claiming that i24News goal is to improve Israel’s image, especially among Arabs.

CAA reacts to Jeremy Corbyn’s latest contradictory, hypocritical, insincere attempt to whitewash his own role as the author of Labour’s antisemitism crisis

Jeremy Corbyn has released a video in response to the Jewish community’s concerns.

Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Jeremy Corbyn has released yet another bland statement devoid of any apology for his own antisemitism or promises of specific actions. In his Guardian article on Friday he called our concerns ‘overheated rhetoric’ and in this video he says that our concerns must not be dismissed. It is just another contradictory, hypocritical, insincere attempt to whitewash his own role as the author of this nightmare. Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite and under his leadership the Labour Party has become institutionally antisemitic and an existential threat to British Jewry.”

UK Board of Deputies rejects Corbyn’s new definitions of antisemitism

The British Board of Deputies has rejected a possible proposal by UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to adopt three out of the four internationally accepted definitions of antisemitism omitted by the party’s new guidelines on the issue last month.

According to a report in The Jewish News, Corbyn is considering adopting three of the definitions, following a massive backlash against him and the Labour Party from the UK Jewish community, the British media and Labour moderates.

The three definitions are reportedly: the common antisemitic charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their country of citizenship; comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis; and applying double standards to Israeli policy and actions that are not expected of other countries.

The one International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition that is reportedly not being considered for adoption is the claim that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

In response to the report, the Board of Deputies issued a statement on Twitter saying, “We won’t accept a watered down definition designed to let antisemites off the hook,” and pointed out that the IHRA definitions specifically state that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

Slides used during Jeremy Corbyn’s Holocaust Memorial Day event claimed that “Judaism has been substituted by Holocaust religion” with “monopoly on suffering”

Slides used during Jeremy Corbyn’s Holocaust Memorial Day event proclaimed that “Judaism has been substituted by Holocaust religion” with “monopoly on suffering”. According to the slides, under Israel’s “Holocaust religion”, a new Holocaust was being inflicted by Israel, supposedly under the supervision of Nobel Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who the slides said was the “high priest” of the “Holocaust religion”.

Campaign Against Antisemitism became aware of the slides four days ago but only now have activists who were present in 2010 confirmed that they were the same slides used at the event chaired by Mr Corbyn.

Jewish anti-racism activists, including an elderly Holocaust survivor, who attended Mr Corbyn’s event were silenced by him. According to their accounts, when the anti-racism activists remonstrated with the speakers, Mr Corbyn pointed at them and police escorted them out.

One speaker told the event, which was timed to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day, that “Nazism has won because it has finally managed to ‘Nazify’ the consciousness of its victims.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

However, it is clear that the slides do not refer only to Israeli Jews as one of them states that “Judaism has been substituted by Holocaust religion” not exclusively in Israel but “especially” in Israel.

Jeremy Corbyn faces claim he allegedly called Dame Louise Ellman ‘the Honourable Member for Tel Aviv’

A former aide to Jeremy Corbyn has claimed they overheard the Labour leader and other members of his staff describe Jewish MP Dame Louise Ellman as “the Honourable Member for Tel Aviv.”

The Mail on Sunday alleged the “spiteful” jibe was frequently directed at Dame Louise because of her opposition to Mr Corbyn over his failure to tackle antisemitism.

The Liverpool Riverside MP is also vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel organisation – and frequently defended the Jewish State in the House of Commons.

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said the claim that he had called Dame Louise ‘the MP for Tel Aviv’ was “a fabrication”.

But the former aide alleged the slur was used against the 73 year old MP saying: “I was very surprised and when I asked other members of staff they said he often did it in private, though not to her face.”

Act on Antisemitism or Face ‘Eternal Shame,’ Deputy Leader of UK’s Labour

The deputy leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party increased pressure on its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, over antisemitism on Sunday, saying the party could “disappear into a vortex of eternal shame” unless he tackled a growing crisis.

Corbyn has been criticized by Jewish groups for what they describe as his tolerance of antisemitism in Labour, a crisis that has threatened his standing at a time when the governing Conservatives are struggling to unite behind a Brexit plan.

Corbyn again appealed to Jewish members on Sunday, using a video message to press his pledge to drive antisemitism out of the party “for good” after a similar attempt fell flat for several Jewish groups on Saturday. One — the Jewish Labour Movement — called for action, not words.

In an interview with the Observer newspaper, deputy leader Tom Watson took aim at Corbyn saying the party had to “take a long, hard look at ourselves, stand up for what is right and present the party as fit to lead the nation – or disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment.”

“I think it’s very important that we all work to de-escalate this disagreement.”

Corbyn-supporting group says UK Jewish leaders fabricating anti-Semitism crisis

A group backing the left flank of Britain’s Labour Party and headed by a key supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defended a statement by a Labour official accusing British Jewish leaders and rabbis of being “Trump fanatics” who were fabricating “duff information” about anti-Semitism in the party.

John McDonnell, a socialist Labour MP who serves as the party’s shadow chancellor of the exchequer — its finance minister in waiting — is president of the Labour Representation Committee, which published the charges on Friday.

The comments come amid long-running accusations against Corbyn and the Labour Party under his leadership of tolerating anti-Jewish sentiments, often under the guise of or linked to anti-Israel political views.

In a statement on its website, the LRC backed a much-criticized statement by Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, that blamed “Trump fanatics making up duff information without any evidence at all” for the anti-Semitism scandal in the party.

Cory Booker: I was tricked into holding this anti-Israel sign

Booker Says Was Caught Off Guard – And Supports Israel’s Need for a Security Barrier

We reached out to Booker’s office, and by the time they responded just a little while longer, they were seeking to halt the building firestorm.

According to a statement released by Booker’s spokesperson, Booker was leaving Netroots when someone approached him for a photo and handed him a sign he didn’t pay much attention to:

“Just before delivering a speech in New Orleans, Senator Booker was approached by dozens of people for photos. In one instance, amid the rush, he was posing for a photo and was passed a sign to hold — he didn’t have time to read the sign, and from his cursory glance he thought it was talking about Mexico and didn’t realize it had anything to do with Israel. He hopes for a day when there will be no need for security barriers in the State of Israel, but while active terrorist organizations threaten the safety of the people living in Israel, security barriers are unfortunate but necessary to protect human lives,” said Booker spokesperson Jeff Giertz.

Booker’s stated scenario has a ring of truth to it. Anti-Israel activists are constantly seeking misleading photo ops to further their agenda. They understand the power of an image, and if the image is not what it seems, they don’t care. It’s a form of Pallywood.

But is Booker completely innocent here? He was at Netroots pandering to progressives. Someone handed him a sign and he didn’t even look at it? He may not have understood the significance of the slogan, but it should have raised a red flag with him even in that environment.

The best thing to come out of this is that a lot of people have been alerted to the deviousness of USCPR, and Booker reaffirmed the justification for Israel’s security barrier:

“while active terrorist organizations threaten the safety of the people living in Israel, security barriers are unfortunate but necessary to protect human lives”

So the anti-Israel activists scored a goal, but it appears to be an own-goal.

IsraellyCool: Cory Booker Insults Israel…. And Our Intelligence

Let’s break it down for a minute: Booker is approached by a group for a photo and asked to hold up a sign for a photo. He quickly glances at it and decides it is about Mexico and has nothing to do with “Palestine” even though:
  • The word “Palestine” appears at the very top, so is actually easier to notice than the word “Mexico”
  • The word “Palestine” appears right above the word “Mexico,” so it would be almost impossible to notice the latter without the former
  • One of the people in the group giving him the sign is wearing a t-shirt with the words “Palestine is a feminist/queer/refugee/racial justice issue”

Even if what he is claiming is true (which I highly doubt), why would he agree to hold up a sign he does not understand? Is this really someone exhibiting responsible behavior, especially for a potential 2020 Presidential candidate?

Not only that, but the Bobblehead Rabbi Shmuley Boteach actually said in this video something with which I agree (you will just need to get past the constant mentions of how well he knows Cory Booker because, Bobblehead Rabbi) – Booker needs to now condemn the BDS because he sees how deceptive their activists are, given they supposedly hoodwinked and took advantage of him.

Let’s also not forget some of Booker’s recent misdeeds, which include:

  • Supporting the nuclear deal with Iran
  • Voting against the Taylor Force Act in committee
  • Refusing to back the Israel Anti-Boycott Act
  • Condemning President Donald Trump’s proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
  • Trying to humiliate Ambassador David Friedman in his Senate hearings

What seems to be happening here is Booker gearing up for the 2020 Presidential race. And the sad fact remains he sees holding up a sign criticizing Israel as an expedient way towards becoming the Democratic candidate, undoing the “damage” of his past, staunchly pro-Israel ways.

In other BDS News: SodaStream shares skyrocket on ‘most successful quarter’ ever

Doug Henwood, writing for Mondoweiss (no, I don’t link to hate-sites) once asked the question SodaStream: is BDS hitting where it hurts?

The answer is a resounding NO.

The Israel-based company, the subject to BDS ire for daring to promote peaceful co-existence and engagement said sales of sparkling water makers increased 22 percent, to over 1 million during the quarter. Sales of gas refill units grew 17 percent, to a record 9.7 million.

This week, SodaStream stock rose 26 % after its successful earnings report.

According to Investors Business Daily:
Profit spiked 78% to $1.14 a share on 31% revenue growth to $171 million, according to Zacks Investment Research. SodaStream earnings and sales crushed consensus for 71 cents a share and $149 million. It was the fourth straight quarter of accelerating sales growth.

The stock had its best day in over two years.

University of Lethbridge Removes Fall Classes With Professor Accused of Holocaust Denial

A Canadian professor under investigation for Holocaust denial will not teach courses next fall, according to a human rights group who objected to his return to the classroom.

Anthony Hall, a tenured professor of Globalization Studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, was listed as recently as late July on the school’s online course catalog as teaching two classes in the fall 2018 semester — “Capital, Culture and Globalization” and “Globalization and Education,” B’nai Brith Canada said.

Yet school officials have previously indicated that Hall — who has blamed Israel for the 9/11 terrorist attacks and called for “open debate” on the Holocaust in a video for a Holocaust-denying group — would not be allowed to lead classes pending the completion of an internal investigation.

After B’nai Brith complained to the university, “the courses were quickly scrubbed from the website and the Registrar confirmed that Hall would not be teaching” the aforementioned courses, the group said. “No explanation was provided, however, as to why the courses had been listed in the first place.”

Activists ask Trail Blazers to cut ties with Portland company that supplies Israeli forces

Local groups are asking the Portland Trail Blazers to cut ties with Leupold & Stevens, an Oregon company founded in 1907 that supplies sniper rifle scopes to the Israel Defense Forces’ ground arm.

Leupold & Stevens sponsor a segment at Blazers’ games called “Hometown Heroes.”

“Whether it’s the brave men and women of our armed forces, first responders, or everyday heroes who put service before self,” the website about the program reads, “we’re excited to honor a new hero during each regular season home game.”

A coalition of groups, including Portland Democratic Socialists of America, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, Portland’s Resistance and Jewish Voice For Peace — Portland Chapter, sent a letter to the Blazers earlier this week asking the team to “end their partnership with Leupold & Stevens in the upcoming season.”

“Leupold & Stevens manufactures a variety of military and sporting equipment,” the letter reads. “In May 2017 they concluded a contract to supply sniper rifle scopes to the Israel Defense Forces’ Ground Arm. Some 800 of the scopes were in service by the end of 2017.”

Rappers Fat Joe, Tyga cancel Israel show citing ‘security situation’

Famed rappers Fat Joe and Tyga have both pulled out of the upcoming Shaka Festival slated for this week in Rishon Lezion, citing the “security situation.”

The pair of American musicians were set to headline the festival at the Rishon Lezion Live Park on August 9. The acts were to scheduled to be joined by a long lineup of local Israeli hip hop artists.

But on Sunday afternoon, the festival’s publicist announced that both musicians were canceling their appearances “due to the security situation.”

It was not immediately clear what security situation the publicist was referring to. While Israel keeps a wary eye on both its northern and southern borders, things have been relatively quiet over the past few weeks.

The local production company said the entire festival was being canceled, and tickets would be fully refunded.

IsraellyCool: Natalie Portman’s new film set in a Parallel Universe where Natalie Portman doesn’t say dumb sh*t (satire)

Hollywood: Critics and audiences are raving about the new Sci-Fi hit starring Natalie Portman. The Film titled “Being De-Woked“, is set in a reality where Natalie Portman does not feel the need to constantly make statements about current events that make Snooki sound like Margaret Thatcher. In the film, the Israeli Government notices that Hollyweird is turning Natalie dangerously “Woke“, so they dispatch a crack team of time-traveling Frechot Commandos (names: Maytal, Maygal, Roni, Meirav, Moran, and Stav) to find Natalie in the year 2008, kidnap her, and bring her to a secret Mossad laboratory in the Mojave Desert where she undergoes a controversial “De-Wokeification” process, thus preventing the current reality of a “Woke” Natalie from ever taking place. (Spoiler Alert: the mission is almost compromised when Roni diverts the Time Travel machine so she can visit the Duty-Free at LAX).

Natalie’s powerful performance (dare we say Oscar-worthy?) is making critics stand up and notice. “An incredible tour de force by Ms. Portman!” raved The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a magical Universe where a leader of the BDS Movement doesn’t publicly thank Natalie for her support.”

Son of Elie Wiesel Responds to Antisemitic Graffiti on Father’s House: ‘Holocaust Memory and Jews Are Under Attack’

The only child of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel has responded to the antisemitic desecration of his father’s childhood home in northwestern Romania over the weekend.

“Antisemitism exists in Europe. This is not an isolated incident,” Elisha Wiesel told The Algemeiner on Sunday. “What is happening to my father’s home is a small indication of what is happening on a continental level. Both Holocaust memory and Jews are under attack.”

The discovery of the graffiti – scrawled in bright pink paint – has prompted an investigation by local authorities, who also condemned the incident. Among the messages daubed on the small structure in the town of Sighetu Marmatiei was, “Nazi Jew lying in hell with Hitler” and “Public toilet, antisemite pedophile.”

In addition to condemning the attack, Elisha – who serves as chief information officer at Goldman Sachs – offered some practical steps and called on the Romanian government to add his father’s most famous work, his memoir “Night” – about his experiences in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz – as mandatory reading in the country’s national curriculum.

First direct Tel Aviv-Guangzhou flight lands at Ben Gurion Airport

The new route is operated by Hainan, which also operates direct routes connecting Tel Aviv with Shanghai and Beijing

The first direct flight connecting Tel Aviv with Guangzhou, the capital of China’s southern Guangdong province, landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday. The new route is operated by Hainan Airlines Holding Co Ltd., China’s fourth-largest airline company, which also operates direct routes connecting Tel Aviv with Shanghai and Beijing.

114,000 tourists entered Israel from China in 2017, a 41% increase compared to the previous year, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism said in a statement Thursday. 65% of direct flights between Israel and China are operated by Hainan and 70% of passengers on these flights are Chinese nationals, according to Hainan’s data.

A subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co., Hainan intends to launch a route connecting Tel Aviv with Shenzhen, a major business center in Guangdong, by the end of the year, the company announced Thursday.

Coral reef in Eilat, the northernmost reef in the world, is growing

The coral reef in the southern city Eilat, one of the world’s northernmost shallow-water reefs, is growing.

In a world where coral reefs are shrinking rapidly, the coral reef in Eilat has grown thanks to the actions of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority, which minimize negative effects on the reef.

According to Eilat’s official tourist website, the Coral Beach Nature Reserve in Eilat extends 1,200 meters under the sea off the coast of the city. The reserve is “one of the most beautiful and famous in the world due to the amazing coral reef,” the website adds.

The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat published a report on Sunday emphasizing that protecting the reef should be at the top of any agenda to promote development in the Gulf of Eilat, in order to preserve it for future generations.

In contrast to other reefs around the world, an annual multi-year statistical analysis showed an increase of about half a percent per year in animal concentration at the Eilat site.

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