September 22, 2017

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08/28 Links Pt2: Sarsour Compares Zionists To Neo-Nazis; PA: Attack a Jew and Get a Passing Grade at School!

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2017/08/0828-links-pt2-sarsour-compares.html

From Ian:


WATCH: Linda Sarsour Compares Zionists To White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis
Last week, Israel hater and faux feminist Linda Sarsour spoke at a rally in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Listen to who she grouped us with…before promising to “put our lives on the lines for justice.”
This is a woman who claims to fight Jew hatred. The problem is she has so many people fooled.

PMW: PA to kids: Jaffa, Haifa, Safed, Tiberias, Acre all in “my country Palestine”

Music and song play an important role in Palestinian Authority political messaging to its children. The PA’s most fundamental message to its people and its children, that all of Israel is actually “Palestine,” is prominent in many songs broadcast regularly on the official PA and Fatah TV stations.
One of these songs depicts a bird that flies over all of “my country Palestine.” The bird “flies over” the Israeli cities Safed, Tiberias, Acre, Haifa, Nazareth, Beit Shean, Jaffa, and Ramle, all of which are depicted as part of “my country Palestine.” [Official PA TV, The Best Home, Aug. 25, 2017]
Palestinian Media Watch has noted this song at least 30 times already during 2017, on official PA and Fatah’s Awdah TV. The most recent time was this week on PA TV in the new version sung by a young girl on the most important Palestinian children’s program, The Best Home.
The following are the full words to the song, that depict all of Israel as “Palestine”:
“Oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful.
Turn to Safed, and then to Tiberias,
and send regards to the sea of Acre and Haifa.
Don’t forget Nazareth – the Arab fortress,
and tell Beit Shean about its people’s return.
Oh flying bird, circling around…
by Allah, oh traveling [brid], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful. […]
Go to Jenin and bring me from its valley
greeting to Nablus, Tulkarem and their soil.
Drink the water of Jaffa’s port,
don’t forget Ramle and Ramallah.
Oh flying bird, circling around…
by Allah, oh traveling [bird], I burn with envy.
My country Palestine is beautiful.”

Palestinian Incitement: Attack a Jew and Get a Passing Grade at School!

The Palestinian Education Ministry has granted any student who was arrested for throwing stones and/or Molotov cocktails at Israeli vehicles a passing grade.
Awarding passing grades to students who commit violent attacks against Israeli motorists is one of many methods of incitement to terror practiced by the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Jewish Press reported.
According to the news site, an Israeli security source told Channel 20:
“One time we stopped a terrorist who threw a Molotov cocktail and took him for interrogation, where we found out that he had decided to carry out the attack because that morning he had a matriculation exam, and it turns out that for them it is customary that someone who is arrested for carrying out an attack on the day of an exam to receive a passing grade automatically.”
“They are frightened of their fathers,” said another security source, “So if they know in advance that they are likely to fail the exam, they choose terrorism in order to get a passing grade.”
The more popular forms of PA incitement include, for example, cultural events glorifying terrorists; naming schools and city streets after terrorists; and TV shows for preschoolers, school-aged children and teens promoting anti-Semitism and lies about the “Zionist entity.”
Desperation to pass the school year is a less common reason for violence; nonetheless, several young terrorists admitted they carried out such attacks for that very reason, the Israeli security source said.

David Collier: The Mandate: From 1919 to civil war, antisemitism and Bergen-Belsen

I have been spending time recently in the British Archives at Kew. I am working on a project (with Jonathan Hoffman) that is due to be published on Sep 4th. It has meant spending time, inside the files that recorded the British view of the events of the Mandate. Engaging with the mindset of those that wrote the documents. This ‘perspective’, and the bias behind the written conclusions, are often missed by researchers. The British records highlight the growing adversarial nature between the British and the Zionists as the Mandate evolved.
It has been an emotional and yet empowering experience. During the research, I found some files not related to the project, that I simply couldn’t leave idling away on my hard drive. So here are a few interesting snippets taken from British Archive files from the 1919-1948 period.
1919: ‘The Whole of Syria is for Syrians’
The British archive file FO 608/99 is full of documentation regarding the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference. It is fascinating because it highlights 1919 attitudes towards the land and the people that are entirely out of sync with the way they are described today.
A dislike of Jews and Palestine, ‘belongs’ to Syria. Arab communities across the globe were not so vocal about their ‘Jew hating’ credentials, but went straight to the point over Syria. From the same file:
The ‘integrity of Syria’. Reading the British description of the inhabitants is also enlightening (Memorandum by Sir Erle Richards, from section 1, ‘territories in question’:
‘As to the Southern Boundary there are a number of different questions. On the one hand, it is contended that the cultivable areas south of Gaza ought to be part of Palestine because they are necessary to the subsistence of the people. On the other hand, this area is inhabited by Bedouins of the desert, who look really towards Sinai and ought not to be associated with Palestine at all…. the remaining area South of Gaza and to the Dead Sea and Gulf of Aqaba should be reserved to the Bedouins and attached to Egypt, since the tribes are identical with those in the Sinai Peninsula’.
These writings illustrate perfectly the land being discussed was devoid of any national identity. And just as importantly the people in the land, were not connected to each other. The Arabs in the South, aligned with Egypt, those in the East with Syria, and Arab Christians in the Galilee, would have aligned with Lebanon.
This fascinating article, apparently printed in a New York newspaper, clearly contains Arab objection to the title ‘Palestinian’.

Palestinian terrorist group campaigns for Bundestag

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an EU and US classified terrorist entity responsible the murders of scores of Israelis, seeks to enter the German Bundestag in the September 24 federal election.
“It should not have been allowed to come to this that an anti-Israel terror organization in Germany formed an election alliance and is an election choice,” said Volker Beck, a Green Party MP.
Beck, who is chairman of the German-Israel parliamentary group in the Bundestag, said “the federal Interior Ministry must quickly act and ban the PFLP.”
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) joined forces with the PFLP to be on the election ballot. Germany’s most recent federal intelligence report, from 2016, listed the MLPD as a “leftist extremist party” that has been “unsuccessful in elections.”
The MLPD has 1,800 members and supporters, the intelligence report noted.
According to an August 16 report by journalist Stefan Laurin in the weekly German-Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine, the federal intelligence agency does not see a problem with PFLP.

Petition Calling for Ban on Hezbollah Terror Group Passes 10,000 Signatures

A petition calling on the UK government to ban the terror group Hezbollah in its entirety has now passed 10,000 signatures and shows no sign of slowing down.
The petition, started by Christians United for Israel UK (CUFI), was launched in the wake of this year’s Al-Quds Day march that proceeded through the streets of the capital. Despite the heavy presence of Hezbollah flags, police allowed the march to go on undisturbed through London’s central business district to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
The annual event, organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, is seen as a profoundly anti-Israel rally by members of the Jewish community.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese-based terrorist organisation banned throughout the world, including by the Arab League, United States, France and Israel, but not in the UK. It calls for global Islamist revolution, has carried out terror attacks for over 30 years, and demands the “liberation of Jerusalem” and for the destruction of Israel. Backed by Iran, it has tens of thousands of rockets that can reach every city in Israel.
CUFI Executive Director, Des Starritt, says “Hezbollah is an anti-Israel, anti-West organisation that should not be allowed in Britain, yet … its supporters marched through central London flying Hezbollah flags.”

Ireland: Don’t do it

Virtue signalling is NOT a good reason for Ireland, or anyone else, to recognise the Palestinian State
This post is a response to Symbolic step of Ireland recognising Palestine would mean so much by T.P. O’Mahony in the Irish Examiner on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017.
Ireland should not recognise a Palestinian State because:
  • It does not fulfil three of the four legal qualifications for statehood,
  • If a state arises it will inevitably bring on war – not simply against Israel but also between Palestinian and Palestinian and others,
  • Recognition would reinforce the Palestinian belief that they don’t have to make the necessary concessions for peace with Israel ,
  • Both the current Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Hamas-led Gaza have disgraceful human rights records, call for genocide and ethnic cleansing – and they pass this on to their children.

Put simply recognising Palestine is not in the interests of Ireland, the world or even the Palestinians. It is an empty gesture. (If you pretend that O’Mahony has the interests of Israel or Jews at heart you’re mad as a box of frogs).
Why not?
Palestine does not have what it takes to be a state

The moron fringe of Labor sticks its ill-informed nose in, again

The WA State Labor resolution today, on the prospective recognition of a new Arab Palestinian state, like similar State Labor resolutions before it, is an ill-informed, irrelevant, ignorable intrusion into the politics of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Thankfully, the well-informed, principled members of the Party, like Senator Glenn Sterle, Tim Hammond, Simon Millman, and others, persuaded the conference to reject a virulently anti-Israel resolution proposed by the wackos – one which would have served no-one’s interests but the terrorists of the region (especially not those of the Palestinian Arabs).
There, we have a region aflame with murderous conflict:
  • 700,00 Syrians have been slaughtered by their own government in a disintegrated Syria;
  • Libya and Iraq have also disintegrated; Turkey and Qatar spread poisonous Muslim-Brotherhood ideology through the media and the barrels of guns;
  • Iran pursues its genocidal, hegemonic agenda, with the threat of nuclear arms, from the Gulf to the Mediterranean

… and the moron fringe of WA Labor, against the interests of the hapless, impoverished Arabs of Palestine, choose to exacerbate and prolong their unnecessary conflict by toying with the possibility of rewarding terrorism and Islamist totalitarianism with the recognition of the Australian Labor Party…. it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad….

We’re losing this cat-and-mouse terror game

I wonder how Mohammad Khan is getting on in his legal action against Virgin Atlantic. Mo — a Muslim, the clue’s in the name — was waiting to board a flight when he started ‘harmlessly’ talking about 9/11. There is no reason to believe he has any connections with extremists, but he was kicked off the flight because of security concerns and had to fly out of the UK with another airline. Although he was later offered a refund, he is now suing, claiming he was ‘racially and religiously profiled’ by the Virgin staff. ‘I know this wouldn’t have happened if I’d been a white man in his sixties,’ Mo complained. No, probably not. But if the world were comprised entirely of white men in their sixties, then 9/11 might not have happened. The world might also be a nicer place to live, although there might be too many bridge tournaments for my own taste.
It is axiomatic that white men in their sixties are privileged oppressive bastards, but it is also true that they have been remarkably quiet of late. No white men in their sixties were suspects in the recent carnage in Barcelona in which 15 people were killed and scores more injured. The police instead were looking for people who look a bit like Mo — Muslim men in their twenties. Nor were older white folk implicated in the knife attack in Turku, Finland, in which two women were murdered and eight people injured. Nor yet in the attack in Hamburg in which one person was killed and six injured.
In all of those cases the police were after people who might well be called ‘Mohammed’. They don’t give out the names of suspects anymore because everybody knows it’s probably someone called Mohammed.

Western leftists need to stop supporting Islam’s regressive elements

The debate around the march of fundamentalist Islam is therefore not about practices that the diehards consider mandatory, but also about promoting a symbolism and culture that supports its apocalyptic and conservative agenda.
This is also seen in the insistence on congregational Friday prayers in schools. Moderates accept that such congregations can be held outside school without compromising religious requirements. Political Muslims, however, campaign to school board meetings for school saturation, to the detriment of the wider school community.
Proponents of this ultraconservative brand of Islam are even bold enough to promote the burqa as a liberating garment. Any objective observer would see the fallacy of such a claim.
When many of these views are challenged, the liberal left and some feminists come out in support of those who promote such regressive strains of Islam.
The consensus from the discussion was that the left is naïve in deeming the fundamentalists and the diehard Islamists as victims, and that while most Canadian Muslims simply wish to get on with their lives like other people, the Islamists have a set agenda to establish the symbols and practices that matter to them.
One fallacy – both by conservatives and liberals – lies in the perception of Muslims as a monolith. While the former consider all Muslims perpetrators, the latter consider them all to be victims of bigotry.
The fact is that the radicals are both perpetrators of hatred and misogyny.
At the very least, their opinions need to be challenged and marginalized rather than enabled through motions like M103.

Christians Who Libel Israel: The Iona Community

The Iona Community, about which I have written here before, is an ecumenical Christian fellowship in Scotland. Its headquarters are in Glasgow, but its main activities take place on the island of Iona in the Inner Hebrides, which is seen as a place for spiritual retreats. It has an international reputation for preaching love, a spiritual vocation, and fellowship among Christians. To me however it is also deeply anti-Semitic through its extreme hatred for the state of Israel and its one-sided support of the Palestinian narrative – according to the definitions of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the US State Department.
Earlier this year, Sammy Stein, chairman of Glasgow Friends of Israel, complained to the group about remarks made at a meeting addressed by Iona’s Leader-Elect, Dr. Michael Marten. Marten had argued[1] more than once that Israeli soldiers routinely and deliberately shoot Palestinian children, while knowing that they are children. In a reply[2] to Mr. Stein, Marten and the Reverend Peter Macdonald, the community leader, asserted that Marten’s statement had been true, and tried to back up their vilification by referencing a number of media and UN reports, including anti-Israel NGOs such as B’Tselem and Electric Intifada. I was asked to respond to their diatribe; the result is the letter below. Will Macdonald and Marten, take in what it says and find a more honest way to express Christian concern, not just for the children of Gaza and the West Bank, but for Jewish children murdered in their beds and at school by Palestinian terrorists?

IsraellyCool: Al Jazeera & The Little Attempted Lyncher

AJ+, the “edgy” version of Al Jizz aimed at millennials, has recently come out with a video lionizing a young palestinian who was hit by an Israeli in a car – after standing in front of it about to throw a rock at point-blank range – immortalized in this iconic image.
Young Omran Mansur survived to tell the tale – to impossibly good-looking AJ+ host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (who we can call Zoolander for short)
Zoolander provides no context as to how Omran was run over, instead giving the boy free rein to spread his propaganda.
Omran claims he just happened to be there that day at a sit-in demonstration, and as he was leaving, “got caught up in an altercation, throwing rocks.” What does that even mean? That he lacked free choice?
He then claims “a settler came out of nowhere,” ran over him and drove away. Yet even the mainstream media at the time, which still painted Omran as a victim, told a different story.

IsraellyCool: AFP And The Samer Ol’ Bias

AFP is running a story picked up all over the place, about Gazans heading to the cinema.
Titled One night only: Gazans head to the cinema for first time in 30 years, the piece does place the blame for a lack of cinema primarily on the shoulders of Islamists and Hamas..but wastes no time in trying to vilify Israel.
Several hundred Gazans went to the cinema on Saturday for the first time in more than 30 years, albeit for one night only.
The long-abandoned Samer Cinema in Gaza City, the oldest in the strip but closed for decades, hosted a special screening of a film about Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
About 300 people of both sexes attended, with men and women not segregated by gender and despite the lack of air conditioning on a hot and humid evening.
The Islamist Hamas group has ruled Gaza for 10 years and there are currently no functioning cinemas in the Palestinian territory where two million people live in cramped conditions under an Israeli blockade.

Facts on the ‘Wall’

One of the most misrepresented and emotionally loaded issues about Israel – and there is a smorgasbord to choose from – is its security barrier. This is one of the issues that featured prominently in a recent programme on Maori TV (One World – He Ao Kotahi) where the narrator travelled around the West Bank. One of the most misrepresented and emotionally loaded issues about Israel – and there is a smorgasbord to choose from – is its security barrier. This is one of the issues that featured prominently in a recent programme on Maori TV (One World – He Ao Kotahi) where the narrator travelled around the West Bank.
The show opens with the narrator admitting that all he knows of Israel is from what he sees in the news and in movies. Then the producers cut to a news clip of Israel bombing Gaza. The narrator also frequently refers to the re-establishment of the Jewish sovereign state in 1948 as the “‘Nakba”, the Palestinian label which literally means “catastrophe” in Arabic. With similar bias, Israel’s security barrier is referred to as the “apartheid wall” in the show.
This is a term used by Israel’s detractors but, as with anything to do with Israel, anyone who has visited there and explored multiple viewpoints, or has the inclination to actually learn the facts, knows that the truth is very different and more complex.
For those who haven’t seen the barrier with their own eyes, or learned the facts, this short video from the Jerusalem Institute of Justice helpfully does the job for you.

Jerusalem Institute of Justice: The Wall? Israel’s response to Palestinian terror

BBC WS Newsday’s one-sided ‘peace process’ reporting – part one

For reasons best known to themselves the production team of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newsday‘ decided that their lead story on August 24th should be a US delegation’s visit to the Middle East. The item (from 00:38 here) was introduced by presenters Lawrence Pollard and Nomia Iqbal as follows:
Pollard: “So can the Trump administration pull the rabbit out of the hat and broker a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians?”
Iqbal: “Huge question, isn’t it? But it’s what the US team on Mid-East tour is hoping to provide the answer to. Led by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, they’ve been to Egypt, Jordan and now Israel for talks with the Israeli prime minister and the head of the Palestinian Authority.”
Pollard: “Behind them is the domestic row in the US over the president’s alleged slowness in condemning antisemitism and racism and ahead of them is what looks like a hardening of positions from both sides. Can the American team jump-start the so-called peace process? That’s our question this morning.”

Failing to provide any concrete examples to back up his claim of a “hardening of positions” on either the Israeli or Palestinian side, Pollard then signposted his interviewee’s legal qualifications, thereby encouraging listeners to regard her subsequent pronunciations on ‘international law’ as credible and accurate. He did not however inform listeners that Diana Buttu – now, among other things, a policy advisor for Al Shabaka – is a BDS supporter who thinks the Palestinian Authority should be disbanded.

BBC WS Newsday’s one-sided ‘peace process’ reporting – part two

Pollard closed the item with the promotion of some questionable linkage between the US delegation’s visit, internal US affairs and (yet again) an unconnected headline in a specific Israeli newspaper.
Pollard: “Speaking from the Arab-American Institute in Washington that was Omar Baddar. Meanwhile, more background to this visit: four prominent US Jewish groups have announced they will not take part in what has become a yearly call between the president and hundreds of rabbis across the country ahead of the Jewish high holidays of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur. They said his remarks around Charlottesville lacked moral leadership and empathy for the victims of racial and religious hatred. Of course that story has been getting a great deal of attention in the Israeli press as well. ‘Trump defends neo-Nazis’ was one headline a couple of days ago. So; the visit of Jared Kushner complicated by so many factors.”
Again we see that ‘Newsday’ coverage of this story focused on promoting the notion that ‘settlements’ are the main issue stalling the ‘peace process’, with no mention at all of relevant topics such as terrorism, the absence of a uniform Palestinian leadership, Hamas’ refusal to accept the existence of Israel in any shape or form or the Palestinian Authority’s payment of salaries to terrorists.
With both interviewees in the two items coming from the anti-Israel side, the complete absence of any mention of such topics is of course hardly surprising but obviously ‘Newsday’ cannot possibly claim to have covered this story in an accurate and impartial manner that meets its public purpose of helping audiences to understand the issue.

Holocaust chic at the Video Music Awards

Are yellow stars the latest fashion trend?
Just days after Billy Joel appeared onstage in New York with a yellow Star of David emblazoned on his lapel, the fashion statement made another appearance – this time at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Nev Schulman, an actor and producer, strolled the red carpet in a red blazer with a bright yellow Star of David on his chest. Above it was another patch – a red heart.
Schulman, who grew up in a Jewish family in New York, is best known for his film and follow-up TV show titled Catfish.
After the awards show, he posted on Twitter: “We cannot tolerate hate against any group or identity. I’m proud to be Jewish. #lovewins.”
Schulman’s costar on Catfish, Max Joseph, made a sartorial statement of his own at the awards show, by wearing a blue T-shirt simply emblazoned with the word “Jew.”
Last week, hit singer Joel came out onstage for an encore at his show in New York City wearing two yellow stars – one on his left chest and the other on his back.

The non-Jewish mezuzah master whose custom cases are affixed to door posts around the globe

If Ric von Neumann’s special-order, handcrafted mezuzahs could speak, what stories they would tell — from their unlikely provenance to their ultimate destinations.
Now adorning doorframes in North America, England and Israel, most of these one-of-a-kind creations took form inside an 85-year-old lakeside log cabin in the wilderness 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Toronto.
But what might be most curious about these beautiful Judaica objects is not where they were crafted, but by whom — von Neumann isn’t Jewish, and didn’t even know what a mezuzah was until well into his adulthood.
Since moving to Canada from the United States in 1998, he has made scores of the religious accessories, working out of his rustic home in Ontario’s fabled Algonquin Park. Far removed from the closest Jewish community, the area is best known for its pristine nature, 2,000 lakes, and as a canoeing paradise.
Von Neumann is a master craftsman, carpenter, and jeweler, meticulous in his work. His mezuzahs are rich in detail and tailor-made to the recipient’s personality and interests. As such, they’re rife with sentimental value for their owners, while serving, according to Jewish tradition, as a symbol of protection.

Israel Announces Airlift of Six Tons of Food for Drought-Stricken South Sudan

Israel has sent six tons of food aid to a drought-stricken village in South Sudan, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
The aid, which was coordinated by the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Israeli embassy in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, was distributed by Israel’s Ambassador to South Sudan Hanan Goder.
Millions are at risk of starvation in the African country which has been hit hard by a civil war that began in December 2013. According to United Nations figures, the war has left thousands dead and some four million people homeless.
Over the years, Israeli humanitarian aid organization, IsraAid, has carried out a number of projects in the country, including efforts to help build programs to tackle social and health challenges, trauma, and sexual violence.

Second Temple coin discovery is actually museum souvenir

For more than 20 years, children visiting the Israel Museum in Jerusalem during the winter festival of Hanukkah have had the opportunity to go home with an “ancient” coin. Struck by the kids on a small mint in the museum’s Youth Wing, the souvenir is an exact, albeit one-faced, replica of an ancient coin.
Perhaps too exact, it turns out.
International media, including this journalist at The Times of Israel, reported last week on the find of a rare 2,000-year-old half-shekel by 8-year-old Halamish girl Hallel Halevy. It turns out that this “coin,” far from being ancient and significant, is one of tens of thousands of these one-faced souvenirs minted at the Israel Museum over the past two decades.
The Times of Israel was alerted to the misidentification on Sunday morning by Dr. Haim Gitler, chief curator of Archaeology and the curator of Numismatics at the Israel Museum.
“There is no chance that it is authentic; it is not an ancient coin. Even to call it a coin is to exaggerate what it is,” Gitler said. He said he is positive that Halevy’s coin was made at the Israel Museum on a recent Hanukkah because all the markings are 100% identical to the mold there.

Signet Jewelers buys Israeli e-commerce firm for $328 million

Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest diamond jewelry retailer, announced Friday that it was acquiring Israeli e-commerce and diamond technology company R2Net for $328 million. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.
The Ohio-based Signet operates some 3,600 stores worldwide. It is a key player in the middle market jewelry segment and dominates the speciality jewelry markets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
R2Net was founded in 2006 by Oded Edelman, James Schultz, Michele Sigler and Dean Lederman, in Herzliya. It is currently headquartered in New York and maintains its technology innovation centers in Israel.
R2Net operates e-commerce jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com and Segoma Imaging Technologies, which develops 3-D technology that magnifies high-definition images of diamonds for online platforms. This allows retailers, manufacturers and consumers to transact digitally without the high expenses and time delays associated with traditional brick and mortar alternatives. The company’s innovative technologies include proprietary 360 Technology and Virtual Ring Sizer and Ring Try-On mobile application.
A statement released by Signet billed JamesAllen.com as, one of the fastest growing online retailers of engagement rings and loose diamonds, which has more than doubled its sales in the last two years.

Gilead Sciences to Acquire Israeli Cancer Curing Kite Pharma for $11.9 Billion

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Kite Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: KITE) announced on Monday that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire Kite for $180.00 per share in cash. The transaction, which values Kite at approximately $11.9 billion, was unanimously approved by both the Gilead and Kite Boards of Directors and is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2017. The transaction will provide opportunities for diversification of revenues, and is expected to be neutral to earnings by year three and accretive thereafter.
Kite is an industry leader in the emerging field of cell therapy, which uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. The company has developed engineered cell therapies that express either a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) or an engineered T cell receptor (TCR), depending on the type of cancer.
Kite’s most advanced therapy candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), is a CAR T therapy currently under priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is expected to be the first to market as a treatment for refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which includes diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL) and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL).

Israelis debate parade concept for 70th Independence Day

Everyone loves a parade. Or do they? Plans for Israel’s 70th anniversary have been stymied for months, specifically over how to fund the celebrations that include a proposal to revive the Israel Defense Forces parade after 40 years.
For 25 years, from 1948 onwards, the IDF parade was an integral part of the Israel Independence Day celebrations and a source of national pride. During those years, the Israeli public flocked to Jerusalem to stand in the blazing sun, watch, wave and cheer the IDF units as they marched by. Due to budgetary reasons, the last IDF parade took place in 1973.
Centurion tanks in the 1965 IDF Parade. Photo by Avraham Amir via Wikimedia Commons
Acting on a suggestion made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2016 Independence Day celebrations, that Israel bring back the military parade, Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev lobbied for funding. The NIS 100 million budget finalized this month will come from taxpayers’ money and the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund. Neither the IDF nor the Ministry of Defense are interested in paying for it.
“The march won’t march,” David Sela, chairman of the Council for Promoting Israeli Heritage and editor of the Nostalgia Online website, told IDF Radio/GLZ last week. “The reason that the parade won’t be held for the State’s 70th anniversary celebration is because the public overwhelmingly opposes it.”
He based his statements on a survey conducted via the Nostalgia Online Facebook page, to which 420 people responded and thousands have commented.

IN PICTURES: Conan visits Jerusalem

Conan O’Brien spent the day Monday exploring the historic Old City of Jerusalem.
The comedian touched down in Israel on Friday, where he will be taping a travel special for his show.
O’Brien spent time in Tel Aviv and continues his travels around the Holy Land as he films his primetime special ‘Conan Without Borders: Israel,’ which is scheduled to air September 19.
On Saturday afternoon, O’Brien posted a photo on Twitter of himself overlooking the beach in Tel Aviv with the words “Shalom Israel.” Later in the day, he went on Facebook Live to say that Tel Aviv is beautiful and he’s “really having a great time.”
Even before he arrived, the comedian was getting into the Israeli spirit.

Conan hangs out with Israel’s buff men and beautiful women

American television host, comedian and producer Conan O’Brien says he is in love with shakshuka, the iconic Israeli egg-and-tomato-sauce breakfast dish.
“You gotta get yourself some shakshuka, and get it today,” he says on a Facebook Live video filmed on the Jaffa seashore in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, the end of his first full day in Israel.
He observed that “all the men are incredibly buff and the women are beautiful.”
O’Brien is in Israel for the first time, filming an episode of his travel series “Conan without Borders.” He’ll visit several locations over the course of five days.
He filmed himself in the restroom on his El Al flight to Israel on Friday, trying to make sense of Hebrew signs.

Netanyahu welcomes Conan to Israel in satirical video

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried out some humor of his own in welcoming American comedian and talkshow host Conan O’Brien to Israel.
In a video posted to social media on Sunday, the prime minister lampoons the funnyman, feigning ignorance about O’Brien and joking to an off-screen assistant to get back to him when O’Brien’s fellow late-night host Stephen Colbert is in town.
But after he is told that O’Brien has a 25-million strong Twitter following, Netanyahu offers an exaggerated welcome to “my friend Conan!”
Slipping in a final wisecrack, Netanyahu asks if O’Brien is the “pale one who melts in the sun.”



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