Amb. Alan Baker: Is the International Criminal Court Becoming a Palestinian Propaganda Engine?
In July, judges from a pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court ordered a campaign of outreach to Palestinian “victims residing within or outside of Palestine.”
With this unprecedented move, the court is openly turning itself into a Palestinian propaganda engine, similar to the UN Human Rights Council, with a regular reporting regime on Palestine and a distinct section of its website devoted to Palestine.
This is curious in light of the fact that the court has yet to decide whether it indeed has any jurisdiction whatsoever regarding the Palestinian complaints, and whether a non-state can indeed be a party to the ICC statute.
Moreover, this measure ignores the basic question whether, pursuant to the ICC statute, a “State of Palestine” can be party when no Palestinian state exists, apart from in a non-binding General Assembly upgrade recommendation, which is far from being a legal ground for acceptance.
All this indicates that the ICC is venturing far beyond its role and is being politically manipulated – or is manipulating itself – against its own better interests.
Israel has lodged a formal protest with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for launching a campaign last month to reach out to “victims of the situation in Palestine,” an unusual step which Jerusalem officials charge casts doubt on the court’s ability to treat the Jewish state fairly.
In a press release issued in July, three judges, who are members of the so-called pretrial chamber dealing with Palestinian complaints of alleged Israeli war crimes, ordered the court’s registry “to establish, as soon as practicable, a system of public information and outreach activities for the benefit of the victims and affected communities in the situation in Palestine.”
Furthermore, the judges required the registry — a neutral organ of the court providing administrative support — to open an “informative page on the Court’s website” geared exclusively to Palestinians, and to report on the progress of its activities every three months.
This despite the fact that ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has not yet decided whether the court has any jurisdiction over matters related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since it has no jurisdiction over Israel (which is not a member state) and because Palestine is not a state and therefore cannot exercise jurisdiction over the West Bank.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the International Criminal Court in The Hague (AP Photo/Robin van Lonkhuijsen, Pool)
Bensouda has also not ruled on whether there is a basis to investigate Palestinian claims of war crimes.
“The court’s judges are completely ignoring the fact that the court lacks jurisdiction to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that the court’s prosecutor hasn’t made any decision in her preliminary examination,” a senior Israeli legal official told Hadashot TV news.
“The judges’ eagerness to initiate such an anomalous decision leaves in serious question the court’s ability to fairly deal with matters relating to Israel,” he added.
Chicago experienced one of the most violent weekends in the city’s history two weeks ago. It is impossible to escape the context for these killings; one can only try to avoid the problem altogether. But those who are forced to admit the truth say the politically charged policies put in place by the city’s progressives are keeping police from dealing with the violence in both the city’s South Side and West Side neighborhoods. The spike in the number of shooting deaths in Chicago is directly related to these progressive policies.
A similar approach has been adopted toward terrorism. The aim of some left-wing organizations in Israel and around the world is to create a friendly environment for terrorism, to deter the Israel Defense Forces and provide the terrorists with as much freedom of operation as possible. This system, which has been in development for nearly 20 years, is one of legal warfare. The courts, and in particular the International Criminal Court at The Hague, are turning into political tribunals. “Values” and “rights” take the place of the law.
Instead of the rule of law helping enforce anti-terrorist operations, the rule of law has been eroded by the “human rights” warriors, who have in their sights those same people who defend peace and democracy. Take Peter Beinart, an American Jewish journalist who has become an anti-Israel political activist, and who recently completed a disinformation campaign that could serve to deter Israeli security officials from doing their job in the future.
Bethany Mandel: How The Angry Left Turned Me Into A Nazi
I’m not, obviously, a Nazi. But you wouldn’t know that from my Twitter mentions.
A year ago, I wrote a column for the Forward entitled, “We Need to Start Befriending Neo-Nazis.” Over the course of the year, the headline has been screenshot and tweeted by actors with millions of followers, influential progressives like cartoonist Eli Valley and former Al Jazeera editor David Klion. Their intention wasn’t to spark a conversation about the content of my column, but to paint me as a Nazi-loving member of the alt-right.
And after I tweeted about darling of the left Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s refusal to debate Ben Shapiro, the whole rigmarole started again.
The bad faith involved in this campaign is shocking. Far from a piece endorsing Nazism, my piece recounted the story of three individuals, two Jewish and one black, who were able to make neo-Nazis change their ways by responding to their terrible bigotry with kindness.
Of course, I acknowledged that this work is not easy, but also that “the only way we’re going to get our country back is to change minds.”
For this, I’ve been compared to a Nazi over and over again. The insinuation is always the same: For suggesting that instead of beating up Nazis, we try to change their minds, I am complicit in their despicable, hate-filled ideology.
Ronn Torossian: Israel is right to question radical extremists who come to visit
In the UK, there are hate laws whereby enemies of the country are denied entry. The United States has a myriad of laws and systems to ensure that those opposed to America do not enter its boundaries.
Recently, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs announced that those who support boycotts of the country will not be allowed in, with Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan noting: “The anti-Israel boycott campaign seeks not to promote peace but to undermine Israel’s national security and existence.”
Hence, despite the New Israel Fund’s (NIF) outrage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in a repeat of what happened last year to a senior official of the New Israel Fund (NIF), this week two Jewish-American women affiliated with NIF-funded organizations, and radical extremist Peter Beinart were detained upon entry to the Jewish State. It is perfectly justified given that these individuals, and their patron organization, The New Israel Fund continue to openly support a boycott of the country. The NIF is at present under government investigation.
Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “The New Israel Fund is a foreign organization that receives funding from foreign governments and elements hostile to Israel. … The ultimate objective of the fund is to erase Israel’s Jewish character and turn it into a state of all its citizens, alongside a Palestinian nation-state that is free of Jews on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital. For decades the fund has funded anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian organizations, including those who slander IDF soldiers such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, and those who fight for Palestinian terrorists, such as Adalah.”
People affiliated with this organization should be questioned upon arrival – they are hostile to the country they are attempting to visit.
The Shin Bet security service on Wednesday denied as “unfounded” the allegation made by prominent American-Iranian writer Reza Aslan, who said he was detained and threatened by Israel at a border crossing during a recent visit.
The Shin Bet said in a statement that Aslan, a frequent CNN contributor, was held by officers for a “brief interrogation” when he entered Israel from Jordan with his family earlier this month after their “suspicions were aroused.”
“The allegations that threats were made against Mr. Aslan, and that questions of a political nature were asked during the conversation, have been thoroughly examined at your request, and were found to be unfounded and have no basis in reality,” the statement to reporters said.
The Shin Bet defended its security procedures, saying that interrogating foreigners entering Israel has “prevented terrorist and espionage activity in Israel.” The internal security service added that its practices were carried out in accordance with Israeli law.
Jewish-American pundit Peter Beinart was briefly detained yesterday after setting off the Airport’s Sanctimony Detector. Mr. Beinart, the beating heart of the (very) Liberal (kinda) Zionist Movement, was held and questioned by Airport Security personnel after his answers to their questions triggered the Detector. The machine, known as the Sanctimonitor, began beeping loudly as Peter talked about his Solidarity trips to Hebron, his one-way feud with Bibi, and the Amazing Vegan Co-Op at the Reconstructionist Synagogue near his favorite bike path. The Daily Freier spoke with Yael Z., the alert Security Officer who initially flagged Mr. Beinart.
” The interview began normally.” explained Yael. “But then he mentioned his White Privilege, and the machine started to beep. Then he began adding the phrase “As a Jew” to Each. And. Every. Sentence….. and the machine started to go crazy. Then he mentioned ‘Tikkun Olam’. And ‘Tikkun Olam’. And ‘Tikkun Olam’. Did I mention that he said ‘Tikkun Olam’? …Finally, he compared the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to the #MeToo Movement, (Editor’s Note: Of COURSE he really once did this. And of COURSE he did it in the Forward) and the machine sort of exploded a little bit.”
Yael continued: “After we brought him to another room for further questioning, he started reading out loud from a notebook about how betrayed he felt, how things are never going to be the same, and that this might really be the last time. At first we thought it was a Taylor Swift breakup song, but it was actually just his latest article for the Forward.”
When the Daily Freier challenged Yael that she was singling Peter out, she strongly disagreed. “That’s absolutely not true. I mean, just last year we arrested Thomas Friedman for smuggling clichés.”
Linda Sarsour, one of the leaders of the Women’s March, has made a concerted effort to exclude Zionist women from the progressive movement.
The controversy over the trajectory of the Women’s March exploded when it was revealed that the leaders of the Women’s March were associated with and admired Louis Farrakhan, a notorious and open anti-Semite.
The Women’s March tried to deflect criticism, Women’s March Fails to Deal With Its Co-Founders’ Farrakhan Connections:
Women’s March co-chair, Black Lives Matter activist, and gun control proponent Tamika D. Mallory attended a Farrakhan speech in Chicago last month. The Savior’s Day speech, honored Nation of Islam founder Wallace Fard Muhammad.
During the speech, Farrakhan railed against the “Satanic Jew.” …
This isn’t Mallory’s first tango with Farrakhan. It’s not like she curiously attended a speech seeking to broaden her horizons, only to find out Farrakhan was a despicable antisemite. Mallory shared the stage with Farrakhan at a 2015 Savior’s Day speech and eagerly awaited his “hardcore truth.” …
Mallory isn’t the only Women’s March co-chair and Farrakhan fangirl. Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour are also Farrakhan acolytes.
In 2015, Perez and Mallory posed, holding hands with Farrakhan. Perez referred to him as The Minister Farrakhan and said she was “humbled to work with these special people” …
These women have been mentored by Farrakhan for years, so why is this time any different? Mainstream media pressure. Despite copious amounts of information and evidence showing three of four Women’s March co-chair’s involvement with Farrakhan, only now is the press taking an interest.
The reaction from many Women’s March members was to vote with their feet, Women’s March Loses Members Due to Leaders’ Ties to Farrakhan.
A group called Women’s March For All was founded as an alternative.
There’s no doubt about the group’s left-wing and anti-Trump politics.
But what stands out is the refusal to adopt implicit and sometimes explicit anti-Semitic agenda of the Women’s March leadership. The group describes its founding as the reaction to the Farrakhan embrace by Women’s March leadership:
Ilhan Omar, who once called Israel an “apartheid regime” but more recently came out against the boycott Israel movement, handily won the US Democratic nomination in a Minneapolis area congressional district.
Omar, a Somali-born community activist and representative in the US State House, is favored to win in November in the 5th District now held by Keith Ellison, who won the DFL primary for state attorney general. DFL is the state’s Democratic Party.
There were primaries Tuesday in four US states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Vermont.
Omar’s tweets about Israel have earned her notoriety in the pro-Israel community. In 2012, she said that Israel had “hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.” Defending that tweet earlier this year, she said on the same platform that calling attention to the “Israeli Apartheid regime” was not anti-Semitic.
Speaking last week at a candidates’ forum at the Beth El synagogue, she affirmed her belief in Israel’s right to exist and she said she opposed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.
A Palestinian congressional candidate is being celebrated as the presumptive first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress. She also has a lengthy list of anti-Israel comments, as first reported by Algemeiner and The Daily Wire.
Rashida Tlaib, whose parents are from the West Bank, served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives before winning the Democratic primary on August 7 for the seat vacated by former Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). No Republicans are challenging Tlaib for the seat, meaning Tlaib will be Conyers’ successor.
Tlaib’s history of anti-Israel statements include the following:
· Linking to an article on Twitter with the headline “How Israel Is Inciting Palestinian Violence” and writing, “This article is on point. I have witnessed it myself.”
· Tweeting support for Rasmea Odeh, who faces a life sentence in Israeli for murdering two American students in a 1969 supermarket bombing in Jerusalem.
· Tweeting that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meant that Harris is no longer “part of the resistance to racism against ALL people.”
· Telling The New York Times that her Palestinian roots give her “strength” and that she “will fight back against racist and oppressive structure that needs to be dismantled” as she adorned a Palestinian flag.
Rashida Tlaib, the recent winner of a Democratic primary in a Michigan district Republicans aren’t even contesting, said she will “absolutely” vote against continued aid to Israel.
Asked during an interview with Great Britain’s Channel 4 News whether she would vote against military aid to Israel when she goes to Congress, she said “absolutely.”
“Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice,” Tlaib said in a rambling response.
“U.S. aid should be leverage,” she said. “If you’re going to be a country that discriminates on somebody solely based on their faith, solely based on their skin color … to me, that doesn’t fit our value of our country.”
The Jewish Democratic Council of America criticized one of its own party candidates for Congress in Michigan on Tuesday after she suggested she will oppose military aid to Israel if elected.
Rashida Tlaib, a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is likely to win her race in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District after surviving a competitive Democratic primary. Her family remains in the West Bank.
Asked in an interview if she would support cuts in aid to Israel, she replied, “Absolutely, if it has something to do with inequality and not access to people having justice.
“For me, US aid should be leverage. I will be using my position in Congress so that no country, not one, should be able to get aid from the US when they still promote that kind of injustice.
“So much is about, ‘Let’s choose a side,’” she continued. “I am for making sure that every single person there has every right to thrive.”
A white supremacist and anti-Semitic candidate for Congress lost Tuesday’s Republican primary in Wisconsin, but managed to pick up 11 percent of the vote in the state’s 1st Congressional District.
Paul Nehlen lost the GOP nomination for the seat of House speaker Paul Ryan, coming in third behind Randy Bryce, and Bryan Steil who won with over 50% of the vote.
A self-described “pro-White Christian American candidate,” Nehlen has revealed himself to be openly racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic, who often peddles conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the media.
Earlier in 2018, Nehlen claimed a Jewish conspiracy against him on Twitter, posting a list of his critics on Twitter, the vast majority of whom he said were Jewish. Twitter temporarily suspended Nehlen for the post.
As for three other points Jones makes:
1. The gathering Corbyn attended was a “peace conference” in name only. Being in Tunis, there wouldn’t have been any Israelis. Besides, the gathering featured speakers from terror groups glorifying violence such as this:
At the event in Tunisia, top Hamas leader Oussama Hamdan presented a ‘four point vision to fight against Israel’ and praised the group’s ‘great success on the military and national levels’, adding that the violence was ‘magnificent’.
2. It’s fine to show solidarity with the Palestinians. But which Palestinians? Corbyn laid a wreath at the graves of Palestinians responsible for murder of 11 Israeli athletes. Full stop.
3. I remember then-foreign minister Jack Straw’s wreath-laying at Arafat’s grave in 2004. Israelis were upset. But the lack of scandal was because we didn’t expect better of Straw, not because we consider it acceptable to pay homage to terrorists. Years later, Straw’s dramatic antisemitic meltdown in the British House of Commons validated Israel’s attitude towards him.
The more extreme Labour becomes in its Palestinian sympathies, the more it makes itself irrelevant to the Mideast conversation.
It isn’t only Corbyn’s associations that make him an anti-Semite, it’s also his normalization of anti-Semitism in other ways. Recently the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee voted not to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism. “The only other major European party not to accept the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism is Viktor Orban’s populist Fidesz party in Hungary,” Lenarz wrote.
Corbyn’s rejection of the widely-accepted definition of anti-Semitism was, perhaps, out of necessity. Lenarz observed that Corbyn himself possesses a “mindset in which Zionism, the belief that Jews deserve their own homeland is a racist endeavor,” a view that the IHRA defines as anti-Semitic.
Lenarz also blasts Corbyn’s “faithful minions,” without whom he would not have been able to rise to power. These defenders of Corbyn, including political commentator Owen Jones, Aaron Bastani, and Matt Zarb-Cousin have “given birth to a culture in which accusations of anti-Semitism leveled at the party’s leadership are dismissed automatically as propaganda spread by Corbyn’s opponents to remove him from power.”
“No amount of spin, however, can hide the totality of evidence,” Lenarz wrote. “Corbyn is not a man of peace, and he is certainly no friend of the Jewish people.”
While Corbyn’s defenders, “pretend that Corbyn is just the unluckiest, most misunderstood man on the planet,” Lenarz concluded, “But the Jewish community in Britain knows the truth is much more sinister.”
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) August 15, 2018
Can you be sure, dear reader, you haven’t inadvertently indulged lately in a spot of Holocaust denial? A little light Jew bashing? The problem with modern life is there’s so much to remember. Have I got my keys? Have I got my money? Have I apparently become a member of an organisation which is vocal in its support of writer Roger Garaudy – who claimed the murder of six million Jews was a ‘myth’? Have I got my shopping list? No one can be expected to remember every last thing at all times.
We can, then, surely sympathise with Jeremy Corbyn’s discovery only last week that he was listed on its website as an international convenor of the Just World Trust, an NGO described by the Observer as a ‘trenchant critic of Israel.’ It’s the sort of thing that could easily slip anyone’s mind. Likewise the Labour leader’s inability to recall for sure whether or not four years ago he laid a wreath to deceased members of the Black September terrorist group in Tunisia. Most of us can’t remember what we did last week.
Dave Rich, head of policy at the Community Security Trust, points out that Jezza is ‘the unluckiest anti-racist in history. He repeatedly manages to get involved with organisations and people that promote anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, apparently without ever noticing anything is amiss.’ There but for the grace of God go we.
Hours after Jeremy Corbyn finally admitted that he did lay a wreath to honour terrorists responsible for the Munich Massacre, the Guardian published a cartoon by Steve Bell and an op-ed by Owen Jones ardently defending the Labour Party leader whilst smearing his critics.
We’ll deal with Jones’ op-ed in a separate post.
Here’s Bell’s cartoon:
The cartoon is inspired by a twitter battle yesterday between Netanyahu and Corbyn. In his tweet, the prime minister wrote: “The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorists who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone—left, right and everything in between.”
In response, Corbyn tweeted: “Netanyahu’s claims about my actions and words are false. What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.
Unsurprisingly, Corbyn neglected to acknowledge that a large number of “protesters” killed were affiliated with Hamas – who the opposition leader has previously referred to as his “friends” and as “brothers” – and that the violent border riots have included firebombs and other forms of violence.
But, leaving the twitter dispute aside, note how Bell not only takes Corbyn’s side in the debate, but employs imagery attempting to associate Israel’s prime minister with apartheid – a smear based, in part, on a gross mischaracterization of the new Jewish Nation-State law – and even white supremacy.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing criticism once again, this time after it was revealed that the opposition leader used a military submarine to lay a wreath on Osama bin Laden’s grave at the bottom of the Arabian Sea.
The controversy surfaced after video emerged of Corbyn – who previously called bin Laden’s death a tragedy– exiting the submarine in full scuba gear with a wreath and placing it on the spot where bin Laden was dropped into the sea on May 2, 2011.
Corbyn – already under fire for laying a wreath on the grave of the terrorists behind the murder of 11 Israeli Olympians at the 1972 Munich Olympics – acknowledged that he was present at bin Laden’s wreath-laying but would not comment on whether he participated.
“I mean, yea, I took a submarine to the spot in the Arabian Sea where I believe that the martyr, I mean bin Laden, was buried,” Corbyn told The Mideast Beast. “But I honestly don’t remember whether I actually placed the wreath on his grave site or simply cheered while I watched someone else do it.”
On August 2, the Forward published the first of what is now a series of two articles about “covert tactics targeting Israel’s critics,” by Josh Nathan-Kazis. (“A New Wave Of Hardline Anti-BDS Tactics Are Targeting Students, And No One Knows Who’s Behind It.”) This article mainly discusses the work of the Israel on Campus Coalition, both generally and with respect to a BDS resolution at George Washington University this past spring – even though the author tacitly admits that he can’t be sure that ICC was even connected to the anti-BDS effort at GWU.
Much of the information about ICC is poorly sourced from “a Jewish communal official who asked not to be named.” A bigger issue, however, is the overall tone of the article. It suffers from an apparently deliberate choice to portray this information in such a way as to make it sound like ICC is engaged in a shady conspiracy. For example,
After three years of development, shadowy pro-Israel actors are rolling out a suite of new tactics to oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that are more aggressive, more sophisticated, and more secretive than anything before. …
The people behind these new tactics are going to great lengths to hide their identities, though they seem to be working in concert with each other. They are conducting surveillance on BDS activists. They are creating anonymous pop-up websites that attack activists and student government representatives. They are hiring top-level political strategists and opposition researchers. And in Canary Mission, they are running a long-term campaign to blacklist student activists.
All political movements monitor those working at cross-purposes, but the Forward claims that pro-Israel groups are “conducting surveillance.” Exposing people’s actual actions is termed “blacklisting,” even though Canary Mission does not advocate taking any particular action against the BDS activists — who in fact advocate to blacklist others. Calling such groups “shadowy” is simply a gratuitous slur.
In a 10,000 word diatribe in The Guardian, freelance writer Nathan Thrall derides Israel as a violent, apartheid state while promoting the BDS (Boycott Divestment, Sanctions) movement as a legitimate “last resort” to achieve basic Palestinian rights.
There’s just one problem: in order to make his point Thrall has to hide, bend or even break the truth: over and over again.
Three recurring themes particularly stand out: BDS wants to destroy Israel. Palestinian “non-violence” is actually violent. And all Israeli citizens have equal rights.
1. BDS aims to destroy Israel
Over and over, Thrall justifies BDS as a movement for Palestinian equality. Three of the founders and heavyweight leaders of BDS disagree.
Omar Barghouti, founder, BDS:
Definitely most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.
(Separately he clarifies that “Palestine” means all of Israel.)
As’ad AbuKhalil, California State University Professor of Political Science, BDS leader and activist:
The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel…this should be stated as an unambiguous goal.
John Spritzler, author, BDS leader and activist:
I think the BDS movement will gain strength from forthrightly explaining why Israel has no right to exist…
The BDS Cookbook does an excellent job of researching and precisely sourcing dozens of similar statements from BDS founders, activists and leaders.
None of this should be surprising, given the stated position of the Palestinian government: that all of Israel is actually occupied Palestine. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas clarified this point when he stood in front of a map of Israel in a public address last January and said:
This is our country.
Thrall mentions none of this.
American BDS Activist Anna Baltzer: No Contradiction between Being Jewish and Anti-Zionist pic.twitter.com/Qj8ZCP9Uuu
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) August 15, 2018
A Turkish-flagged cargo ship was turned away from the Tunisian port of Radès after Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists claimed it was linked to Israel. The action followed a call from Palestinian trade unions, a local Tunisian union and international BDS activists to prevent the ship from entering the port.
A spokesman for the Israeli container company Zim told The Jerusalem Post that the ship did not belong to the company, was not rented by the company, and did not contain any cargo belonging to the company.
On August 1, Deputy Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Sami al-Tahiri told a local radio station that the union had received information that a ship “belonging to a Zionist company” was due to arrive in the Tunisian port of Radès under a Turkish flag. He asked the government to verify if the ship was linked to Israel.
TACBI, the Tunisian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said that it would be “extremely scandalous to allow this boat to dock in Radès, especially since last Sunday, the Israeli navy intercepted the Freedom Flotilla in international waters.”
Two days later, Palestinian trade unions reached out to their Tunisian counterparts, claiming they had received reports that Turkish container transport company Arkas was paid by Israeli container company Zim, and the ship was expected the next day in Tunisia’s port.
Hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash has canceled his upcoming Tel Aviv show over security concerns.
“I come from a time and place where music has no creed or color,” the rapper told local production company ICP Live on Tuesday. “It is with great sadness to announce I must cancel my concert in this region over security concerns.”
The rapper, whose real name is Joseph Saddler, has performed three times in Israel in the past. He was slated to appear at the Barby Tel Aviv on September 5.
“We were sad to hear about the cancellation and we promise a full refund to all ticket buyers,” ICP Live said Wednesday.
Grandmaster Flash is the most recent musician to cancel a show in Israel.
In early August, rappers Fat Joe and Tyga said they would not be coming to the Shaka Festival in Rishon Lezion because of the security situation. As a result, the festival was canceled. And last week, Soft Cell’s Marc Almond canceled his upcoming show over accusations of a breach in contract.
A Spanish pro-Israel group announced this week it was taking legal action against the City Council of Villarrobledo over a pro-BDS resolution passed last year.
“Israel and freedom are under siege in Spain, subjected to a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same objective: international ostracism, and the exclusion of free speech from political discourse, evincing a design to reduce Israel to absolute isolation, slandered and defamed for defending its citizens,” ACOM said in a statement.
Referring to the Villarrobledo resolution, ACOM explained, “This discriminatory decision was promoted by Mario de la Ossa, local leader of Podemos party (radical left) in the city, and passed with the votes of the Socialist Party (ruling party in Villarrobledo) and IU (Communist party). Popular Party (center-conservative) abstained.”
ACOM claims credit for the court-ordered or voluntary repeal of 33 pro-BDS municipal resolutions throughout Spain.
Villarrobledo is a city of around 25,000 people located in the Albacete province of central Spain.
A synagogue in the central city of Petah Tivka was vandalized with Nazi graffiti overnight Monday, local residents reported.
Police said Tuesday an investigation had been opened into the swastika and the SS symbol daubed on the outside of the Mikdash Moshe synagogue.
Petah Tikva city councilman Rami Greenberg posted pictures of the vandalism on Facebook, saying it was “shocking to see swastikas spray painted on the oldest synagogue in town.”
“Worshipers who arrived early in the morning for prayer were shocked, like the rest of us, by such severe expressions of anti-Semitism.
“We will not allow anti-Semitism to rear its head in our city, and we will continue efforts to promote love for people and our homeland, as well as tolerance among the Jewish people.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and all major political parties on Wednesday condemned a speech by a minor senator who used the term “final solution” in calling for a revival of a “White Australia” restrictive immigration policy.
In one of the most divisive speeches seen in parliament since 1996 when far-right politician Pauline Hanson declared incorrectly that Australia was being swamped by Asians, Senator Fraser Anning on Tuesday called for a national vote on whether to ban Muslim migration.
Anning said Muslims were responsible for acts of terror and crime and were dependent on welfare. Muslims account for less than 3% of Australia’s population, census data shows.
Amid national outrage Turnbull, who will head to the polls within nine months, quickly condemned Anning.
“We reject, we condemn racism in any form, and the remarks by Senator Anning are justly condemned and rejected by us all,” Turnbull told Australia’s parliament.
Jewish students in Australia have condemned a series of images showing students at a North Adelaide college engaging in behavior described as antisemitic and racist.
The photographs — captured in recent years at St. Mark’s, a residential college affiliated with the University of Adelaide, and exposed on Monday by News.com.au — depict students wearing offensive garb and blackface at parties and similar events.
“Happy Hanukkah from Auschwitz,” reads the caption on one image, which featured two recent students dressed as Nazi concentration camp prisoners, complete with mock hooked noses, identification number tattoos, and yellow Stars of David.
Other photos reportedly taken at the school show a student giving a Nazi salute in an Adolf Hitler costume — a look about 10 people replicated during this year’s Orientation week in February, according to a student who spoke to News.com.au on condition of anonymity.
Previous Orientation weeks have also included costumes that advance anti-Jewish stereotypes, the outlet noted. During a 2015 Orientation quiz night, the “Jew Team” was photographed wearing hooked noses, fake beards, and holding money bags. Other students, outfitted as prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp, were photographed beside two female peers dressed as flames.
Mexican media company Televisa has purchased two more original Israeli TV programs – “Yellow Peppers” and “Mythological Ex” — from Keshet International, the global content and media producer and distributor that’s part of Tel Aviv-based Keshet Media Group.
“Yellow Peppers,” an award-winning series about a family’s journey with autism, was remade successfully as “The A Word” by the BBC in 2016 and subsequently was sold to scores of media outlets including in the United States and Brazil.
In the United States, CBS adapted “Mythological Ex” as “The Ex List” in 2008. It’s a dramedy about a woman who combs through her list of ex-boyfriends to find the one a psychic told her she must marry within a year.
Televisa signed a deal with Keshet in January 2016 to acquire remake rights to four scripted formats over a three-year period. The first two, already airing in Spanish, are four-time Israeli Academy award winner “Loaded” (“Realidad Aumentada”), a comedy about four buddies and their wildly successful video game; and “Easy Money,” about a lottery millionaire.
An Israeli invention will soon help provide clean water to Cameroon in response to a sweeping cholera epidemic there.
Caesarea-based NUFiltration (NUF) will provide its unique water filtration systems to thousands of people in the Central African country who currently have no access to clean water.
A few months ago, Ambassador to Cameroon Ran Gidor made a recommendation to Yuval Fuchs, international development director of Mashav, Israel’s Agency for International Development, to provide NUF’s services to the Cameroon government.
“This was an immediate response to the cholera epidemic and… we were happy to assist,” Fuchs said.
With support of the Foreign Ministry, NUF will provide $15,000 worth of water treatment systems. Each system can convert eight liters of water per minute, providing the average daily water consumption for about 500 people.
Investor Warren Buffett’s company added to its stakes in Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals and Apple in the second quarter while tweaking several of its other stock investments.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed an update on its US stock portfolio with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
The Teva investment was just disclosed earlier this year and has grown to 43.2 million shares from 40.5 million in the first quarter. The initial investment of $358 million raised eyebrows when it was first announced in February.
The decision to pump more money into Teva will likely be seen as a vote of confidence in the foundering drugmaker, at one-time Israel’s biggest company, which has looked to cut costs after falling some $40 billion in debt. A plan in December to streamline operations and cut 14,500 jobs worldwide, including hundreds locally, was met by days of protests in Israel and attempts by the government to intervene, though executives say the plan is moving ahead.
The prestigious Shanghai Ranking of world universities on Tuesday listed two Israeli academic institutions in the world’s top 100, marking a significant rise compared to last year.
The Technion — Israel Institute of Technology — was listed as Israel’s top university for the third year in a row in the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018.
It was ranked 77 worldwide, jumping up from 93 in last year’s ranking.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was ranked 95 in the world, returning to the top 100 after it was knocked out of it in 2017 for the first time in the ranking’s 15-year history.
“The trend of improvement compared to last year’s Shanghai ranking is evidence of hard work and uncompromising striving for excellency,” commented Hebrew University President Prof. Asher Cohen.
“We are proud that again, the Hebrew University is recognized as one of the world’s 100 leading universities,” he said, adding that the competition was getting harder every year due to “significant investment” by East Asian countries in academic institutions.
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