September 29, 2020

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08/13 Links: HRW Sarah Leah Whitson’s Jewish Problem; Charlottesville And The Charlatan Linda Sarsour

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Sarah Leah Whitson’s Jewish Problem Appears Again at Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s long news release (“Israel: Jerusalem Palestinians Stripped of Status,” August 8, 2017) consists of a compilation of “testimonies” Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem, who are permanent residents of Israel but not citizens.
In the release, and as has been her practice for 15 years, Sarah Leah Whitson, Director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Division, attacks Israel with a stream of false claims and demonization. According to Whitson, “Israel claims to treat Jerusalem as a unified city, but the reality is effectively one set of rules for Jews and another for Palestinians” (emphasis added).
The attempt to portray the situation as Jew versus Palestinian is wrong and reflects an on-going attempt by Whitson to manufacture claims of discrimination. The issue has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity. Rather, the key distinction is whether the individual is an Israeli citizen or not. As detailed in HRW’s own report, Palestinians from East Jerusalem are not citizens of Israel. Israeli citizens who live in the eastern part of the city (roughly considered to be based on the 1949-1967 cease fire lines following the Jordanian occupation), whether they are Jewish or Arab (or otherwise), have the same rights as all Israeli citizens. And notably absent from the HRW report is the basic fact that Palestinians in east Jerusalem have the option to apply for citizenship (thousands have been granted such status), but most choose not to for political reasons.
In addition, permanent residents of East Jerusalem are granted many of the same benefits as citizens including national insurance, health care, and free movement throughout Israel, etc. As in all Western countries, however, and contrary to HRW’s claims, the maintenance of residency status is not without requirements. It is also important to note that Palestinians who are permanent residents also have the right to field candidates and vote in Jerusalem’s municipal elections. (Many choose not to.) Many of the “discriminatory” policies falsely alleged by Whitson and HRW actually result from the failure of Palestinians to exercise their right to vote and elect municipal leaders who will implement their desired policy outcomes.

Anna Baltzer is back with a program to make Blacks hate Jews

Anna Piller was a pretty young woman who had a non-religious Jewish mother and gentile father and who, by her own admission, was not raised Jewish nor did she know anything about the Jewish religion. Anna dreamed of getting a job after college that would allow her to travel with a good income and a chance to be in the limelight.
Ida Piller, Anna’s grandmother, narrowly escaped the Nazis in World War II and was a big supporter of Israel who even had her art displayed permanently in Israel. Anna found that sinecure of her dreams working for Hamas and Palestinian terrorists as a “proud Jewish woman” who supports Hamas against the Jews of Israel.
Her family hid this from grandmother Ida by having Anna change her last name to Baltzer and she went on to tour colleges, law schools, churches, even synagogues accusing Israel of atrocities that did not occur and excusing Arab terrorist attacks as “resistance.”
Ida Piller died recently so Anna was able to use both the names Piller and Baltzer. Anna’s mother at first told her daughter she was “brainwashed” by the Arabs, but later decided to support Anna in her campaign of lies and anti-Semitism because, after all, Anna was acquiring money and fame. Who wouldn’t want that for a child? Never mind that she was helping to further the killing of other people’s children for fascists in Gaza.

IsraellyCool: Terrorist Rasmea Odeh Honored at Chicago Farewell Event

Last night was terrorist Rasmea Odeh’s farewell event in Chicago. If the organizers are to be believed, there were over a thousand there to pay tribute to her.
Some of the event was live-streamed on Facebook, but as usual I have gone through the footage to save you having to wade through all the filth yourself, while shining a light on the sickening lies, terror support, and general moral bankruptcy of these people.
We’ll start with “low-lights” of Angela Davis’ keynote address. Note in particular:
Claims the very real immigration fraud and terrorism charges against her were all just trumped-up
Talk of “resistance to the occupation” (i.e. terrorism)
Calling Chicago “colonized land”
Mention of other convicted murderers as heroes, including Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur (with a parallel being drawn between Odeh and the latter)
Insinuating Trump was only elected because of racists
Mention of all kinds of racism except one kind (guess which!)
Accusing Israel of trying to assert racial domination
Imploring the crowd to follow Odeh’s example
Babies cooing during the speech. Yes, people brought their babies
Calls of Free free Palestine after the speech
Next we have Odeh herself. She is first introduced as a wonderful person and heroine by the speaker, after he also speaks of liberating all of “historical Palestine.” The cheers she gets are truly sickening.

American Jewish Groups and Leaders Unite in Condemnation of White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

The violence perpetrated by white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend has drawn across-the-board condemnation from prominent American Jewish groups and leaders.
“It is utterly distressing and repugnant that such hatred and bigotry still run rampant in parts of this country,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement. “There is no place in our democratic society for such violence and intolerance. We must be vigilant and united in our opposition to such abhorrence.”
The Anti-Defamation League urged President Donald Trump to “clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt stated, “This is a moment that demands moral leadership. President Trump should acknowledge that this is not a matter of equivalence between two sides with similar gripes. There is no rationalizing white supremacy and no room for this vile bigotry. It is un-American and it needs to be condemned without hesitation.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center said Saturday’s car-ramming attack in Charlottesville — in which one counter-protester was killed and 19 were injured — “should be treated as a deliberate act of terrorism.”

Hate in Charlottesville: The day the Nazi called me Shlomo

Here in Charlottesville, the hatred was present and real and would before the day ended apparently kill someone, when a car driven by a 20-year-old Ohio man plowed through counterprotesters.
Among the 500 white supremacists were men and women bearing signs like “Goyim know!” (Know what?) and “Jews are satans children.” There were Nazi flags. There were men all in black, T-shirts and slacks and army boots and helmets, jogging along with plastic shields. There were the men who sang of “blood and soil” as they marched to the Emancipation Park event. And when the white supremacists got their act together and gathered in McIntire Park, they shouted “Jew” every time the name of Charlotteville’s Jewish mayor, Michael Signer, was mentioned.
And of course, the hostility was not confined to Jews: As targets, Jews were not even preeminent; blacks were. There were the “White lives matter” T-shirts. Marching along McIntire Road, the white supremacists shouted out the N-word at drivers passing by. More prominent than the Nazi flags were the Confederate flags and their variants.
The focus on Jews was anomalous: This was supposed to be about the Confederacy and southern heritage, and defenders of the Southern Cause was are not always identified with hostility toward Jews. An hour’s drive away, in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery, a Confederate monument, there’s a carefully tended Jewish section.
And yet here it was, the chants of “Jews will not replace us” (as?). I had two more personal encounters. At Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, a man in a floppy beige sunhat started following me and explaining to me the lie of the Holocaust, the evil of the Jews, the value of DNA in determining purity. I retreated as he ran after me, screaming, “My mother says I’m a Jew! My MOTHER! Does that mean I’m entitled to something?” (I resisted replying, “Your mother’s love.”)
And earlier, filing out of Emancipation Park, a group of youths surrounded and shouted at me, “Take that wall in Israel down! An open border for everyone!” — a reference to a popular theory on the far right that Jews are engineering open borders to bring the United States to ruination while keeping Israel pure. They moved on.
Anomalies like these tend to bemuse, at least me. What the racists believe to be hurtful jibes come across more as non sequiturs, as mouthings of the deluded or the possessed. Why “Shlomo” of all names? What was that about DNA? A wall in Israel?

IsraellyCool: Charlottesville And The Charlatan Linda Sarsour

One person seemingly shocked and infuriated is Linda Sarsour, who came out of a 3-week Tweeting slumber to post about the rally.
Of course, by “people of color”, she is excluding Jews. Remember, an integral part of her Women’s March and intersectionality thing revolves around alienating “Zionists” (Jews who support living in our homeland Israel). She cannot acknowledge Jews are “people of color” because it contradicts her narrative that we are really white, European colonialists who took over the land of the palestinians.
(If she denies this, then I would love to know how she considers us “people of color” – an acknowledgement we are not White Europeans in our ancestry. From where does she admit we are from?)
There is also the really inconvenient fact that so much of the antisemitism we see today comes from the Left, including the likes of these same “people of color” and other allies of Sarsour’s.
I posit that, with this tweet, she means “only what other victims of racism, but not Jews, have been telling you is true.”
Yet Sarsour does make a point of expressing her concern for Jews.

The hypocrisy and disingenuity here is astounding.

Yisrael Medad: I Tweet Linda Sarsour

Here is Linda Sarsour’s tweet from last night:
Sending love to my Jewish siblings. I know watching Charlottesville & the anti-semitism on display was horrifying. We r in this together.
And my counter-tweet:
And Palestinian anti-Semitism and that of American Imams?
On the anti-Semitism from official Palestinian Authority sources.
Not to mention the father of “Palestinian nationalism”, the Mufti.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Authority Grants Honorary License To Charlottesville Driver (satire)

Ministry of Transport officials of Mahmoud Abbas’s government declared today they will award a Palestinian driver’s license to the man who drove his car into protesters countering the demonstration of Neo-Nazis in Virginia yesterday, in recognition of the solidarity and tribute the automotive achievement carries.
Deputy Minister of Transport Rannim Daoun and Licensing Bureau Chief Hittan Rahn convened a press conference this morning to announce the granting of the document, which will be sent to James Alex Fields, Jr., of Ohio after the latter participated in a far-right march in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday, then plowed his vehicle into a crowd of counter-demonstrators, killing three and injuring sixteen. In performing such an act, they pronounced, Fields had lived up to some of the central ideals of Palestinian culture, and therefore deserves recognition appropriate to his heroic deed.
Fields, 20, was photographed wielding a torch at the rally before driving his car into the crowd, and the Ministry of Transport will use either that image or the one from his mugshot for the license. “The technical details are secondary, really,” noted Daoun. “We simply feel the need to show our appreciation for Mr. Fields’s adoption of our Palestinian form of automotive terrorism. He is welcome to visit Palestine and drive on our roads anytime he wishes, provided he ever gets out of jail.” Daoun did not discount the possibility of Fields’s release as part of an exchange of prisoners involving terrorists detained by Israel and Israelis held by Hamas.
“You know what they say about the sincerest form of flattery,” seconded Rahn. “But beyond that, we have a serious affinity for Nazis, as anyone who has studied history knows. The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, wanted to duplicate the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem here in Palestine if the Germans managed to get across North Africa in 1942. That didn’t happen in the end, but his legacy endures, and we, as a culture, do what we can to bring his dream closer to reality, as best we can manage. We salute all those who share our vision, not just in Palestine.”

Abdullah’s friendly reminder to Abbas

According to senior Palestinian official Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Jordanian king’s visit to Ramallah last week is proof that “the Palestinians and the Jordanians speak with one voice.”
Indeed, King Abdullah’s visit appears to have been aimed at bolstering the position of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in light of recent tensions with Israel over the Temple Mount. Arab media outlets reported that the two leaders discussed increasing cooperation between Jordan and the PA, as well as the need to advance peace talks between the PA and Israel.
Despite this public show of solidarity, it seems Abdullah’s visit was in fact aimed at reining in Abbas following his handling of the crisis in Jerusalem. Abbas has been outspoken as of late in his criticism of the understandings between Israel and Jordan, and has effectively been edging Jordan out of the Temple Mount by allowing radical Islamist elements to gain a foothold there.
Abdullah also demanded stability in the West Bank. He knows violence in the Palestinian territories could spill over into the Hashemite Kingdom, and is therefore constantly working to ensure the PA’s continued rule over the West Bank.

The Palestinians’ biggest problem is the Palestinians

The winds of war blowing from North Korea aren’t preventing the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump from sending his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Affairs Jason Greenblatt our way again. If he can’t have peace in the Middle East, then at least let there be winds of peace.
The Palestinian Authority is not thrilled, to say the least, with the imminent American shuttle diplomacy efforts. Israel Hayom correspondent Daniel Siryoti already reported last week on the desperation in Ramallah, where the Palestinians have concluded that the U.S. is “entirely” on Israel’s side. This conclusion is a little odd considering that over the past few months, plenty of people have tried to create the impression that Washington is expected to exert enormous pressure on Jerusalem to make concessions.
The Palestinians’ biggest problem is the Palestinians themselves — they always come up with one excuse or another (Israel, Washington, and then Israel again). Washington is really interested in making progress. Trump said so and he meant it. The Americans are opting to engage with the side that is showing willingness to work together, and, more importantly, displays a desire to give rather than just take.
The old perspective tended to put the Palestinian issue at the center. The new perspective is showing us a different way – the Gulf states, Jordan and Egypt are displaying an air of indifference, each for its own reasons, in regard to the Palestinian issue. No one is being naive; no one expects to see a wave of joy in the city squares of Jiddah, Riyadh, or even Bahrain about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Top PA official: No talks while Netanyahu investigated

A senior PA official ruled out talks with Israel, saying that it would be impossible to conduct serious negotiations with Israel while Prime Minister Netanyahu remains under police investigation, the London based Al-sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.
The official, who wished to remain anonymous, compared the embattled Netanyahu to previous Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, recalling to the Arab daily that “we were on the verge of an agreement, but it failed because of his corruption investigation. How can Netanyahu negotiate a historic agreement while under investigation?”
In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to agree to the creation of an independent PA state including all of Gaza, nearly all of Judea/Samaria, and parts of Israel – a total area equal to 99.5% of the size of Judea and Samaria. He was felled soon after, being forced to resign over the multiple police investigations into his affairs.
The remarks come as President Trump has indicated his intention of trying to restart talks. Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell will arrive in Israel later on this month, for a marathon series of talks designed to jump-start negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Jordan said to demand trial for guard before return of embassy staff

Jordan is demanding Israel bring to trial an Israeli embassy guard involved in a deadly shooting in Amman last month before it allows Jerusalem to send its ambassador back to the country, Jordanian government officials told the media on Sunday.
Jordanian government sources told the Jordanian daily Ad-dustor that Amman sent an official letter to Jerusalem on Wednesday saying Israel’s ambassador to the Hashemite kingdom, Einat Schlein, could not return to her post without “guarantees of a serious and thorough investigation of the embassy guard and the bringing of him to trial.”
The guard, Ziv Moyal, was stabbed by a Jordanian on July 23, whereupon he shot and killed the attacker along with a bystander, sparking a diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Amman. Embassy staff returned to Israel a day later.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the guard a hero’s welcome, infuriating Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who said it was “unacceptable and provocative behavior.”
Israel has since said police would investigate the case.

Iran filling vacuum left by IS retreat in Syria, Iraq, Mossad chief warns

The head of the Mossad warned Sunday that as the Islamic State terrorist group is beaten back, Iran and its proxies are rushing in to take over its territory.
“The areas where Daesh [an Arabic term for IS] presence is decreasing, Iran is working to fill the void,” Mossad chief Yossi Cohen said during a security briefing to cabinet ministers on Sunday.
In late 2014, the terrorist group controlled approximately 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles) of territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria, according to the US-based RAND Corporation think tank. (The group also controlled an additional 10,000 square kilometers in Nigeria, Libya, Afghanistan and Egypt.) It started losing ground in 2015 and currently controls less than half that area, or some 36,200 square kilometers (14,000 square miles), according to the IHS Conflict Monitor intelligence think tank.
Israeli security officials have warned that Tehran may use the area of western Iraq and eastern Syria as a “land bridge” connecting the Islamic Republic to Lebanon, through which it can move fighters and weaponry.
Cohen said Iran is also taking over territory for itself and its proxies in Lebanon and Yemen.

Terror attack thwarted in Jerusalem

Israeli security forces thwarted a planned terror attack in the capital Sunday, neutralizing and arresting a suspected terrorist in the Beit Safafa neighborhood of Jerusalem.
According to an Israel Police spokesperson, the suspect was nabbed during a joint operation of Israel Police and the Shin Bet internal security agency in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa, near Gilo.
The operation was ordered in response to specific and credible threats Israel’s intelligence gathering agencies had received.
Witnesses claim the suspect was shot and neutralized before being taken into custody by the arresting officers.

Jerusalem Light Rail Security Guard Wounded in Palestinian Terrorist Stabbing Spree

A Jerusalem Light Rail security guard was lightly wounded in Jerusalem on Saturday by a female Palestinian terrorist who went on a stabbing spree.
The wounded security guard, a 31-year-old Arab Christian resident of eastern Jerusalem, was evacuated to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital.
Jerusalem police said the terrorist initially arrived at the crossing between Haim Bar-Lev Boulevard and Sultan Suleiman Street in Jerusalem, next to the Damascus Gate station. She quickly walked toward a haredi man, brandished a knife and tried to stab him several times. The haredi man escaped and avoided injury. Yet the terrorist immediately zeroed in on the light rail security guard and stabbed him in his arm. Police officers subdued the terrorist, and she was taken into custody for questioning.
After the attack, police forces raided the terrorist’s home in Sur Baher, a neighborhood in southeastern Jerusalem.

IDF arrests 2 more relatives of Halamish terrorist

Security forces overnight Saturday arrested two more relatives of a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death three members of an Israeli family in Halamish last month, the army said.
The two, who were not identified, were arrested in the Palestinian village of Kobar, north of Ramallah, on suspicion that they knew of Omar al-Abed’s plans to carry out the stabbing on July 21.
Hours after the attack, the IDF raided Abed’s home in Kobar, mapped it for demolition and arrested another one of his brothers, whom officials suspect aided the terrorist in carrying out the attack.
In the ensuing days, the army also arrested Abed’s mother, Ibtisam, for “aggravated incitement,” after she appeared in a widely shared video praising her son’s actions.
Abed’s father, Abd al-Jalil, who was arrested in the initial raid, told the Haaretz daily last month that his son’s actions were understandable.

Jews flee Venezuela amid growing political violence

Jews in Venezuela are increasingly fleeing the country amid the rising political instability and violence under President Nicolas Maduro, with a growing number decamping for Israel.
Speaking at their new apartment in Jerusalem, Estella and Haim Sadna, a religious couple with four kids from the Venezuelan capital Caracas, described the food scarcity and rampant crime that drove them to move the Jewish state.
“Most of the supermarkets are empty. Everything is empty. You can see that all the aisles are completely empty,” Haim Sadna told Channel 2 in an interview aired Saturday.
His wife Estella complained of the difficulty in Venezuela of buying basic products such as milk for her kids, adding that “since Passover we haven’t had bread.”
“We lived in a beautiful home with seven rooms. But we left everything behind. We left the house, we left the furniture, the cars. Everything remained [there],” the couple said. “We brought the clothes that we use. That is what we brought, clothes and shoes.”

Kuwait arrests Hezbollah terrorist cell

Kuwaiti authorities announced Sunday that 12 out of the 23 member Al-Abdali terror cell were recaptured, after a manhunt that lasted weeks.
The cell, which Kuwaiti authorities had first uncovered in 2015, had escaped custody in July, after a June Kuwaiti Supreme Court ruling convicted 21 Shiite Muslims of forming an Iran and Hezbollah-backed terrorist cell, and of stockpiling weapons to be used in attacks against the regime.
Police had pulled out all the stops to find them, raiding suspected hideouts all over the country, and offering sizable monetary rewards in exchange for information on their whereabouts.
Kuwait has linked them to the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a charge the militia adamantly denies,and has accused Iran of complicity. Kuwait expelled 15 Iranian diplomats, and closed the Iranian embassy’s military, trade and cultural missions in retaliation for Iran’s role in the affair.

Hezbollah:Israel detonated spy device before we could examine it

The Hezbollah terror group said Sunday that Israel remotely detonated a spy device the militia uncovered before they had a chance to examine it.
“The Israeli enemy blew up the device when they realized there was a chance it would get discovered” said the militia said in a statement to the groups Al-Manar television channel.
Hezbollah had earlier announced the discovery of a concealed Israeli device in Lebanon’s Beqaa valley.
Israel considers Hezbollah a formidable enemy, and keeps a steady tab on the groups activities.
In 2015, the terror group revealed that Israel had exploded two espionage devices hidden in the Lebanses town of Marjayoun after construction workers stumbled upon them.

PA releases propaganda video in Hebrew to demoralize Jews

An animated music propaganda video with Hebrew lyrics aimed at demoralization was posted recently on a PA YouTube channel. The Middle East Media Research Institute TV Video Project (MEMRI) reported on and transcribed the video.
The video is part of a campaign that has been making the rounds on Palestinian social media over the past few weeks under the hashtag #Rage_For_Al-Aqsa following Temple Mount unrest. It includes footage from stabbing and car-ramming attacks, and includes lyrics such as “I will attack you, rip you apart, stab you” and “I will cleanse my country of every Jew.”
Song lyrics: “Oh Shin Bet agent, soldier, settler, policeman, I will attack you, tear you apart, and stab you. I will do what’s never been done before for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, so that the Jews will know who I am – a Muslim, an Arab, a Palestinian. I will kill you, I swear by my religion.
“Oh Shin Bet agent, soldier, settler, policeman, I will attack you, tear you apart, and stab you. I will do what’s never been done before for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, so that the Jews will know who I am – a Muslim, an Arab, a Palestinian. I will kill you, I swear by my religion.
“An enemy lies in wait for you in every alley. You will be killed, I guarantee. An axe, a knife, a gun, or a rifle will kill you – yes, kill, not take you prisoner. I will cleanse my country of every Jew. I will strive for that with all my might. I swear to do that with my own two hands.

Al-Aqsa preacher: Muslims have ‘exclusive right’ to Jerusalem

Tens of thousands of Muslims prayed on Friday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and listened to the sermon of Imam Ismail al-Nawadeh.
In his sermon, Nawadeh said that the city of Al-Quds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem –ed.) is the holiest place for Arabs and Muslims, and there is nothing like it in its holiness except for the cities of Mecca and Medina.
“The Jerusalem, Palestinian and Islamic awakening that we witnessed in response to the attempt to change Al-Quds’s characteristics and harm it is proof of this (of the sanctity of the city),” said Nawadeh, according to the Hames-affiliated Palestine newspaper.
He stressed that the Muslims have the legal right to Al-Quds and no one has the right to give up this holy place. Nawadeh said that Al-Quds would remain “the key to war and peace.”
Tensions rose recently in Al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount after Israel placed magnetometers and additional security cameras around the entrances to the holy site, following a terrorist attack at the compound in which two Druze police officers were murdered.
The security measures prompted an outcry from the Palestinian Authority, the Jordanian Waqf, and the Jordanian government, which demanded a return to the status quo.

Turkish Airlines offers discount in round trips from Istanbul to Jerusalem upon public demand

Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines has started offering a discount in round trips from Istanbul to Jerusalem following a social media campaign initiated by citizens.
Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi stated in a tweet on Aug. 9 that a round trip from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Asian side to Jerusalem agencies would be priced at $159 at contracted.
The move came after citizens launched a social media campaign demanding a discount for flights to Jerusalem using the hashtag “#ThyKudüseİndirimYap” (Turkish Airlines make a discount to Jerusalem).
Anger had spilled across the West Bank since Israel shut East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque following a deadly shootout July 14. The site is venerated by Muslims and Jews, who call it the Temple Mount.
The mosque was reopened after two days, with Israel installing metal detectors and cameras at its gates.
Three Palestinians were killed in protests against the measures around the holy site. Three Israelis were also killed in an attack in a settlement in the West Bank.

Iran votes to raise spending on missiles, Guards to challenge US

Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to allocate $520 million to develop its missile program to fight Washington’s “adventurism” and sanctions, and to boost the foreign operations of the country’s Revolutionary Guards.
“The Americans should know that this was our first action,” said speaker Ali Larijani, after announcing an overwhelming majority vote for a package “to confront terrorist and adventurist actions by the United States in the region.”
A total of 240 lawmakers voted for the bill, out of the 244 parliamentarians present.
The vote came after fresh US sanctions in July against Iran, targeting Tehran’s missile program.
“The bill is backed by the foreign ministry and the government and is part of measures by the JCPOA supervision committee to confront the recent US Congress law,” deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi.

FIFA to probe Iran’s ban of two soccer players

Soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, is examining the Iranian government’s decision to ban two players from the country’s national team as a punishment for them competing against an Israeli team, i24news reported on Saturday.
The two, Haji Safi and Masoud Shojaei, were banned and will no longer be allowed to wear the national shirt after they played against Maccabi Tel Aviv for their Greek club Panionios in the Europa League third qualifying round.
On Thursday, a government minister announced their decision to ban them from the national team, of which Shojaei is a captain.
The Iranian reaction has prompted the interest of FIFA, whose statues prohibit political interference in the running of its member bodies, which includes the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, noted i24news.
“We are currently monitoring the matter and will request additional information from the Iran Football Federation,” said a FIFA spokesperson told the Reuters news agency on Friday, adding, “We have no further comment for the time being.”
The report said Iran’s decision to punish the players may compromise Iran’s qualification for the next World Cup and could even lead to its suspension from FIFA and thus international competition.
Iran, which does not recognize Israel, prohibits athletes or competitors in other fields from competing against Israelis.

In the Indy, Roger Waters suggests US media conspiracy to silence his anti-Israel views.

Roger Waters isn’t given the opportunity to discuss his anti-Israel activism in the US media or on late night talk shows because of a conspiracy to silence him, according to an interview the former Pink Floyd front man gave to RT, as reported by The Independent.
Here’s the opening of the Indy article by Clarisse Loughrey (Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters says US media ignores anti-Israel sentiment, Aug. 11th):
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has criticised the stances of both the US media, and fellow musicians, on Israel. When asked by RT why the issue isn’t more openly discussed by the US media, he answered with what a producer for PBS reporter Charlie Rose had allegedly told him: “We’re not quite sure, but it comes from above. So, you can figure it out for yourself. It’s not rocket science.”
Now, here’s a clip of the RT interview to hear his response in context, and learn that the question specifically pertained to why Roger Waters’ anti-Israel activism “isn’t more openly discussed” in the media.
First, the complaint by Waters, who has an estimated net worth of $245 million, that he’s being effectively ‘silenced’ is absurd.

Renault-Nissan to open smart car incubator in Israel

Renault-Nissan is jumping onto the Israeli smart car bandwagon. The company announced last week that it was opening a smart car incubator in Tel Aviv.
According to the company, startups selected for the program will be able to plug into a worldwide technology network that is associated with Renault-Nissan, currently the world’s largest automaker. Startups will be able to draw on the experience and resources of other Renault-Nissan research and development centers, and will be able to test their technologies on vehicles in real-world conditions at test tracks belonging to the company.
The incubator, which will be operated in cooperation with the Israel Innovation Authority, will receive up to a million shekels in funding, based on how advanced the startups’ technology is.
This is not the company’s first foray into Israel. In 2016, Groupe Renault established an innovation lab in Israel, with an emphasis on electric vehicle technology and cybersecurity.

We Israelis Have It So Easy Now Compared to The First Aliyah

I’ve just begun reading Rebels in the Holy Land, by Sam Finkel, which is about the “First Aliyah.” The First Aliyah, which took place in the late nineteenth 19th century, predated the more well-known secular aliyah to kibbutzim which is called the Second Aliyah. That was with the advent of political Zionism which began in earnest after World War One.
The First Aliyah was mostly religious Jews from Eastern Europe and paved the way for those who established kibbutzim and all olim, immigrants to Israel, including myself who came to Israel in 1970 and even those who arrive now.
Considering that I’ve only read a couple of chapters of Rebels in the Holy Land, I’m just in awe of those amazing and daring pioneers. It wasn’t just the difficult physical conditions here in the Holy Land. Communication was almost impossible, and what there was took ages. The Ottoman Turks were if anything even more anti-Jewish than the British who occupied the Land after them. Poverty, disease and terrorism were rampant. But still, almost incomprehensibly, there were idealistic Jews who were willing to brave it all and build new lives as farmers in the Holy Land.
Barely a dozen Jews left their families to start a farming community in the Holy Land. The plan was to send for their families after their farms could sustain them all. Promised financial support fizzled even before they left, but they didn’t back out.
This group went on to establish the town of Mazkeret Batya which exists until this day. I don’t think that I’ve ever been there, but I do know people who live there.

Scottish missionary who died protecting Jews in Auschwitz to be honoured

A Scot who gave her life to help protect Jewish schoolgirls during the Holocaust is to be officially honoured in her adopted city 73 years after she died.
Church of Scotland missionary Jane Haining will be the focus of a new exhibition in the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Budapest, Hungary.
Spokesman Zoltan Toth-Heinmann said Miss Haining, who grew up in Dunscore, near Dumfries, was a “unique and important” figure, but her inspirational story had been “neglected” in the city she made her home.
Matron at the Scottish Mission school in Budapest during the 1930s and 40s, she refused to return home despite advice from church officials, saying the children needed her in the “days of darkness”.
She was arrested in 1944, charged with working amongst Jews and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, where she died aged 47.
She was posthumously honoured by the UK Government for “preserving life in the face of persecution”.

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