October 20, 2021

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09/20 Links Pt2: Pal Journo: Arafat Told Me He Went Along With Oslo Accords Because It Would Make ‘The Jews.. Leave Palestine Like Rats Abandoning A Sinking Ship’; Book reveals depth of French collaboration with Nazis


From Ian:

MEMRI: Senior Palestinian Journalist: Arafat Told Me He Went Along With Oslo Accords Because It Would Make ‘The Jews… Leave Palestine Like Rats Abandoning A Sinking Ship’
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, Palestinian journalist Abd Al-Bari Atwan, editor of the online newspaper Rai Al-Yawm, revealed in an article that the late Palestinian Authority (PA) president and PLO leader Yasser Arafat had told him in confidence that he did not believe in the Oslo Accords path but that he was going along with it because it was an opportunity “to bring the PLO and the resistance back to Palestine” and to drive out the Jews “like rats abandoning a sinking ship.” Atwan also noted in his article that Arafat had cooperated with, funded, and armed members of Hamas, and had coordinated with Hizbullah to dispatch ships bringing weapons to the Gaza coast. Arafat, he added, paid for this with his life, because he had “caused the outbreak of the armed Second Intifada and brought weapons from everywhere possible.”

The following are excerpts from Atwan’s article, which was published on September 13, 2018:
“A quarter of a century ago today, the PLO leadership and the Palestinian people walked into the biggest trap in modern Arab history, set for them by the Israelis and their Western allies and some Arabs [as well]. They walked into it with their eyes open, believing the lie of peace and of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state – a lie exposed later by the facts on the ground.

“We were three friends of a minority that doubted the credibility of this celebration of mendacity and self-deception, and publicly opposed it. The first was the great poet and author Mahmoud Darwish; the second was [PLO Executive Committee member] Abdallah Hourani, and the third was this writer. Darwish quit the PLO Executive Committee, and Hourani followed him. I found no way to express my opposition to this mistake except for penning an editorial for the paper I edited at the time [the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi] on the subject of the situation in Somalia, for publication on the morning of the day of the signing [of the Oslo Accords], when there would be handshakes and smiles on the White House lawn…

“President Arafat was isolated from most of the Arabs, particularly in the Gulf countries, because he had supported Iraq during its invasion of Kuwait… The Gulf countries, Egypt, and Syria were hostile to him, and he was being pressured by several lobbies, some of them Palestinian financiers and some of them Arabs, as well as some Europeans. He maintained that the Oslo track, whose architect was [current PA President] Mahmoud Abbas, could protect the PLO, extricate it from its isolation, bring it back into the international arena and plant in it the first seeds of the Palestinian state.

PMW: Belgium cuts PA funding based on PMW report

In response to PMW’s report that the Palestinian Authority had named two schools after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, Belgium reacted promptly by severing all financial support to the PA Ministry of Education. PMW exposed that Belgium had forced the PA to rename a school funded by the Belgian government due to it being named after a terrorist, but on the very same day the PA had named two other schools in the same neighborhood after the same terrorist.

In response to the PA’s mockery of Belgium, the Belgium Ministry of Development Cooperation has cancelled all funding of PA schools until no schools are named after terrorists, not only those funded by Belgium.

The Belgian Ministry of Development Cooperation announced that:
“Belgium regrets the naming of the two other schools, which were not built with Belgian funds. The glorification of terrorism or perpetrators of terrorist acts is not acceptable under any circumstances. Our country has repeatedly conveyed the Belgian position to the Palestinian Ministry of Education.
As long as terrorism is glorified through school names, Belgium cannot continue to cooperate with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and budgets for school building will be suspended.”
[Joods Actueel, Sept. 4, 2018]

In September 2017, Palestinian Media Watch published a special report exposing that the PA Ministry of Education systematically name schools after terrorists and has named at least 32 schools after terrorists and 3 after Nazi collaborators. 41 school names glorify “Martyrs” and “Martyrdom”.

PMW also reported that one of the schools named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who led the murder of 37 civilians, was built using money from the Belgium government. Initially the school was named “The Beit Awaa School,” and subsequently was renamed the “Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School” without the Belgium donors being notified.

The government of Belgium immediately condemned the use of its funding for the purpose of glorifying terrorists, and demanded that the name of the school it had funded be changed.

Bassam Tawil: Funding UNRWA: Are European Taxpayers Being Taken for a Ride?

Iran’s average annual contribution to UNRWA in recent years has been $2,000.

Iran does spend billions of dollars a year outside its borders in the Middle East. Iran provides weapons and cash to terrorist groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Iran helps these groups because they want to destroy the “Zionist entity.” Iran is now devoting huge resources in Syria to help dictator Bashar Assad in his fight against the rebels, as well as substantial sums of money helping Houthi militias in Yemen.

Lebanon’s laws treat Palestinians as a special group of foreigners, even denying them the same rights granted to other foreigners. Palestinians in Lebanon are not only denied basic rights enjoyed by Lebanese citizens and other foreigners, but also denied rights as refugees under international conventions.

Arab and Muslim states could start to think of ways to help Palestinians achieve a better life and improve their children’s future instead of sitting in refugee camps and waiting for handouts from the UN and other Western countries. Or is continuing to beg non-Arabs and non-Muslims for money the better deal?

Investigation Finds That Dutch Program Aided Terror-Tied Groups

When “Driss M” left his home in the Netherlands to join the fight in Syria, he was, he said later, heading there to fight against ISIS with the Free Syrian Army. He returned in 2017, expecting a hero’s welcome. Instead, he was arrested, charged with supporting the Jabhat al-Shamiya terrorist group, and sentenced to three years in Holland’s high-security prison exclusively for terrorists.

Now it seems that the government that convicted him may be guilty of the same crimes.

Extensive investigative reporting by Dutch newspaper Trouw and news program Nieuwsuur revealed that the government sent support to 22 armed groups in Syria — including Jabhat al-Shamiya — to the tune of €25 million (almost $30 million).

The goal of the Dutch program, which began in 2015, was to provide “non-lethal support” to the Free Syrian Army — of which Jabhat al-Shamiya is a part. That support has included sending pickup trucks, cameras, satellite telephones, food, uniforms, medical supplies, and even laptop computers to rebel groups. The shipments, indeed much of the program, has been conducted “in the deepest secret,” Trouw reports.

But Jabhat al-Shamiya, or the Levant Front, is not just part of the Free Syrian Army: it is a partner of Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist militant group founded by a former Al Qaeda member; and the group has committed attacks with Al Qaeda in Aleppo and elsewhere. More significantly, even as the Dutch government was sending the group millions of euros in aid, the country’s federal prosecutor had already declared the group a terror organization.

More worrisome is the fact that alarms were sounded previously. In 2017, online news site Novini reported warnings by Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders that such aid could land in the hands of ISIS and related terror groups. Other warnings had come from aid groups like Human Rights Watch, as well as the United States, where Hawaiian Congressman Tulsi Gabbard proposed the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” fearing that US aid could also land in the wrong hands.

A New Low for BDS? Impeding Student Travel to Israel

A teacher writing a letter of recommendation for a student is a commonplace event. Teachers refusing such requests may also be common, but when it happens, we assume it is because the student is asking for an endorsement they don’t deserve. But what are we to think about a refusal that is based in prejudice, rather than lack of merit?

That’s the upshot of a disturbing incident at the University of Michigan that was revealed this week.

John Cheney-Lippold, an associate professor working in Michigan’s Department of American Culture, had promised a student (who chose not to reveal her identity) that he would write a reference required for her to take part in a semester-abroad program in Israel. But a few weeks later, Cheney-Lippold wrote back to tell the student that he had changed his mind.

Rather than having misgivings about her qualifications or worthiness for the program, the professor said his refusal was about what he termed “politics.”

He wrote her:
I am very sorry but … as you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine. This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there. I should have let you know earlier, and for that I apologize. But for reasons of these politics, I must rescind my offer to write your letter. Let me know if you need me to write other letters for you, as I’d be happy.

Is he within his rights to act in this manner?

While the student government at Michigan passed a pro-BDS resolution, the university’s board of regents rejected the measure with six of its eight members. After the student referred Cheney-Lippold’s communication to university president Mark Schlissel, he told The Algemeiner that the criteria used by the professor was wrong. “Teachers shouldn’t have a right to inject their personal viewpoints about this.”

Schlissel went on to say that BDS is “false” and “anti-Semitic,” and misrepresents Israel.

He’s right about that, but was Cheney-Lippold breaking the law?

The International Criminal Court: A Failed Experiment

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is “already dead to us” National Security Adviser John Bolton told the Federalist Society recently. The U.S. will, he said, resist the court “by any means necessary.”

Why would the Trump Administration take such a hard line against “the world’s court of last resort”? Founded in 2002, in the wake of the Rwandan and Yugoslavian genocides and mass rapes, the international body was supposed to try evildoers who would otherwise escape justice due to broken legal systems in failed states.

Opposing the court is not a new position for the U.S. or Ambassador Bolton. The Bush Administration refused to sign the court’s implementing treaty in 2003, contending that it would lead to trials of U.S. soldiers and spies by a politically turbo-charged body located in Europe. At the time, many European leaders opposed President Bush’s war in Iraq and questioned its actions in the war on terror, including rendition and holding prisoners indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay. Ambassador Bolton was even more prescient. He warned, in 1998, when the formation of body was first being debated in Rome, that it would be ineffective, unaccountable and overly political.

Now, U.S. soldiers may face charges for activities in Afghanistan. While the U.S. is not a signatory of the treaty, Afghanistan is, and the court claims jurisdiction over any actions taken there. If the ICC begins prosecuting American “war crimes” abroad, commanders will temper their battle plans, soldiers will become gun-shy and civilians will refuse to serve. America’s sovereign right to defend itself will be weakened. Israel is also expected to be another target, as the Palestinian Authority has agreed to the court’s jurisdiction and has already requested a probe.

In practice, the International Criminal Court is a failed experiment.

Corbyn scores an own goal! Labour leader demanded boycott on Arsenal FC – who he supports – over club’s Israeli tourism sponsorship deal

Jeremy Corbyn demanded a boycott of Arsenal football club after it accepted sponsorship from the Israeli tourist board, MailOnline can reveal.

The Labour leader, who is known to be an Arsenal supporter, demanded that fans abandon his own club after Israeli holiday destinations were advertised at the stadium.

‘We must campaign against and boycott Arsenal football club for their arrangement with the Israeli tourist board,’ Mr Corbyn told the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Trade Union Conference in 2006.

‘It is wrong to treat both parties [Israel and the Palestinians] as equals,’ he said, adding: ‘The situation is the running sore of US foreign policy.’

The £350,000 deal was approved by Dubai-based Emirates airline, Arsenal’s main sponsor, before going ahead. The UAE is known for its hostility to Israel and has never recognised its right to exist.

The revelations will further embarrass the Labour leader as he struggles to contain the ongoing anti-Semitism row as party conference looms.

Jeremy Corbyn reviews the new Eichmann Movie (satire)

Today we look at the newly released film “Operation Finale“, the sad tale of a rogue nation taking so-called justice into its own hands. This movie recounts the story of Israel’s illegal and extra-judicial kidnapping of Adolph Eichmann from Argentina, a lovely country that is also home to the Malvina Islands. Apparently, Mr. Eichmann had some sort of role in the Holocaust. Now let me say clearly that the Holocaust was a tragedy (although truth be told some of my friends in Hamas whom I have hosted for tea would agree to disagree. Also, they would have put quote marks around the word “Holocaust.”) Yet Israel’s all-too-familiar use of force was to compound a tragedy with a tragedy, much like America’s illegal execution of one Mr. Bin Laden (Real World Non-Satire Alert: He Really Really said this about the death of Bin-Laden). Truly, if Mr. Eichmann were in fact guilty of a crime, why not simply notify the nearest Argentinian constabulary?

The movie depicts the commendable efforts Mr. Eichmann had made to open himself up to other cultures, to include learning the local language, and adopting the lovely Spanish name of “Ricardo Klement.” And in a singular act of proletarian solidarity, he took the bus to work every day. Yet Mr. Eichmann’s earnest attempts at multiculturalism failed to impress the Mossad, which took upon itself the task of kidnapping him and trundling him off to “Israel” for trial. And if being kidnapped by the Mossad wasn’t unpleasant enough already, Eichmann then had to fly on EL AL..

Israel then tried and executed Eichmann, another sad tally on its list of victims. Just to add insult to injury, Israel then spread his ashes in the sea, precluding any future graveside memorials, like the wreath that I specifically did NOT lay at the grave of Black September activists.

PayPal shuts German NGO account with links to Palestinian terrorists

The US online payment service PayPal has closed the account of the Germany-based NGO International Alliance – an organization that sympathizes with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization and supports boycotting Israel.

The Jerusalem Post launched an investigation in early September into the funding stream of International Alliance (Internationalistisches Bündnis). The PayPal payment service for International Alliance had been available for several weeks in September. On Thursday, International Alliance’s PayPal account stated: “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

The Post reported on September 1 that German bank Sparkasse Witten shut down the NGO’s account.

While many German banks have terminated accounts with organizations that boycott Israel or support Palestinian terror entities such as Hamas and the PFLP, PayPal’s closure of International Alliance is believed to be the first shut down of an online payment service account in the federal republic for a group involved in BDS and with links to supporters of the PFLP.

Journalist Stefan Laurin wrote in an August Ruhrbarone news website article titled “Sparkasse-Witten: Account for sympathizers of terror” that “International Alliance is an association of different organizations: In addition to the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany and the Maoist youth organization Young Struggle, the sympathizers of the PFLP belong to this alliance.”

International Alliance wrote on its website: “We are in favor of canceling the PFLP from the politically instrumentalized terror list… We see it as our democratic obligation to condemn the Israeli occupation policies of the brutal massacre in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military in May of this year.”

The US and the EU classify the PFLP as a terrorist organization.

IsraellyCool: Richard Silverstein (Partially) Blames Me for His Suspension From Twitter

Following the murder of Ari Fuld, it was upsetting and infuriating, though unfortunately not surprising, to see many in the Israel hate crowd say things along the lines of “He had it coming.”

None more so than DouchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein. I won’t reproduce all of his tweets, but if you feel like exposing yourself to his hate and bile, it is all on his Twitter timeline.

After seeing what he was tweeting about my friend, I asked my followers to let him all know what they think. I assume some also reported the tweets to Twitter, because..good news. His Twitter account was locked on the grounds of hateful conduct, and boy, is he pissed.

Bonus: he partially blames me!

How Pro-Israel Goons Rule Twitter
Two sites incited their followers to engage in this online ambush. @TheMossadIl and Israellycool were the key culprits. The former account even tweeted encouragement to his followers to report my account. Ironically, that tweet which I reported was not found to have violated Twitter rules.

I would ask you if you have a Twitter account to tweet to @twittersupport (or e mail support@twitter.com) your disagreement with my suspension. My twitter handle is @richards1052. If you are a journalist or blogger media coverage would prod Twitter to review and resolve this matter faster. The account will be locked (meaning I no longer have any access to Twitter) for at least a few days while a human (or hopefully one) reviews the algorithm’s decision to lock my account.

On a related matter, it is far past time to acknowledge that Israeli settlers are a cancer on Israeli society.

I think it is clear Silverstein’s hateful tweets about “settlers” falls under Twitter’s hateful conduct policy. Despite his protestations, it is also clear he is justifying terrorism against Jews living in Judea and Samaria. Note how he even calls them a cancer.

Unfortunately, Silverstein will be back on Twitter in no time, and will continue to spread his lies and hate. But I will also be there, ready to expose, mock and deride him as I have until now.

Virtual Unreality for The Guardian

The Guardian reports on an exhibition at the Israel Museum “that gives Israelis the chance to experience a Palestinian family’s living room – by wearing virtual reality goggles.”

The context? The “entrenched separation of two societies that live side by side but, increasingly, worlds apart.”

According to reporter Oliver Holmes:
Israel has built a concrete barrier and barred most Palestinians from entering.

He also refers to “the wall that divides the West Bank.”

Given that over 90% of Israel’s (as yet uncompleted) security barrier is a chain-link fence, the description of a “concrete barrier” or “wall” is grossly misleading and inaccurate.

Holmes continues:
It [Israel] has banned its own citizens from entering Palestinian-controlled West Bank cities. Gaza, which is geographically disconnected from the West Bank, has been put under blockade and few can leave.

Why is it illegal for Israelis to enter “Palestinian-controlled West Bank cities?” It’s not because Israel has decided to prevent Israelis and Palestinians from mixing together.

Sadly, it’s a necessity to prevent Israelis from being murdered or kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists, a piece of context that has been omitted. Likewise, the only reason for a blockade of Gaza is for security reasons.

CBC Ombud Claims Identifying Dead Palestinian “Medic” as a Hamas Member was Unnecessary

On May 18, HRC published an exclusive report which exposed how several Canadian media outlets, CBC most prominently, had wrongly identified a dead Palestinian as a “medic,” whereas in fact, he wast a member of the Hamas terrorist organization.

The dead terrorist was named Musa Abuhassanin and he was reportedly shot and killed (allegedly by Israeli snipers) after having helped Canadian Doctor Tarek Loubani, a well known anti-Israel activist.

Hamas itself identified Abuhassanin as being a “Captain” of Hamas’ “Civil Defense Service” which belongs to the Hamas Ministry of Interior which is responsible for all “security” services.

In its coverage on CBC National, As It Happens and Online, Abuhassanin was described only as a “medical volunteer,” “medic,” and a “paramedic”. At the time, HRC called on Canadian media outlets to properly identify Abuhassanin as a member of the outlawed terror group Hamas.

On August 27, CBC’s Ombudsman published a review which concluded that it was not necessary for CBC to identify Abuhassanin as a Hamas member. The full review can be found appended below or online here.

CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin claimed that Abuhassanin “was working as a paramedic” that day, even though there’s no way to substantiate this claim. Who is to say he didn’t take part in terrorist activities as part of his Hamas duties?

UKMW prompts Daily Mail correction to article claiming Israel “killed” 11 year old Gaza boy

Last Friday, the Daily Mail published an article (original here) claiming that Israeli troops shot and killed a a young Palestinian boy during violent riots on the Gaza border (Israeli troops ‘kill three Palestinians, one of them an 11-year-old boy’ during violent protests at Gaza border, Sept. 14).

Israeli soldiers today killed three protesters at the border including an 11-year-old boy, Palestinian medical officials say.

The army is said to have wounded at least 248 others taking part on Friday in weekly protests at the fortified Gaza Strip boundary.

The Israeli military says it used force necessary to repel 13,000 Palestinians who massed at several points at the fence.

However, as we argued in a complaint to Daily Mail editors, the article relied entirely on claims by “Gaza health officials”, and didn’t include a statement by the IDF alleging that the boy was killed when a rock thrown by a Palestinian protester hit his head – information that AP published before the final edit of the Daily Mail article. Further, several days after the incident, the Gaza Health Ministry backed away from their original assertion that the boy was killed by Israeli fire, stating instead merely that he died of a (non-specified) head injury.

Following our communication with the Daily Mail, they made substantive changes to the article, including an addition of the following bullet point to the strap line:

Israel’s military say their evidence shows he was hit by protester’s rock

BBC News website ignores fatal terror attack in Gush Etzion

The BBC News website did not produce any reporting whatsoever on that terror attack.

In fact, the only reference we have found to the incident in BBC coverage comes in a report by the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen on a different topic which was aired in the September 18th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘World Update’ and later the same day repeated in the BBC WS programme ‘Newshour’ and the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The World Tonight’.

After listeners had heard the sound of singing at Ari Fuld’s funeral – begging the question of whether or not a BBC representative was there to make that recording – Bowen told listeners (from 08:36) that:
“…the conflict grinds on. Hundreds of Jews at the funeral of an Israeli-American stabbed to death by a 17 year-old Palestinian boy and more Palestinians killed on Gaza’s border with Israel.”

It is of course difficult to imagine that BBC coverage of a fatal terror attack in a shopping centre in the UK would amount to an 18 word mention in a radio report on another subject and that there would be no coverage at all on the BBC News website.

This is the second fatal terror attack so far this year that has been ignored by the BBC News website.

BBC WS radio programme on Hebron omits vital background

When Pelham visited a museum, listeners heard an account of the 1929 Hebron Massacre which whitewashed the fact that “violence broke out” because of incitement by Arab leaders against Jews and gave listeners to understand that the death toll in Hebron alone was the total number of Jews murdered “all over the country” while highlighting the fact that people who did not describe themselves as “Palestinian” at the time stepped in to help their neighbours. Notably, the record of the ruling British administration was erased from Pelham’s account.

[14:19] “The story ends with massacre in Hebron of the Jews in 1929. This was a watershed moment in Jewish history as the riots ended the continuous Jewish presence which had lasted in Hebron for millennia. In August 1929 violence broke out all over the country. Sixty-seven Jews were murdered and over a hundred wounded. Bodies were mutilated, 350 Jews were saved by their Palestinian neighbours. During the Passover of 1968 when the Jews reentered Hebron…they wanted to reestablish a Jewish presence in the West Bank city. So in a way, the reality of hostility and separation really started then.”

Perhaps most significantly, listeners to this programme around the world were denied an explanation of the 1997 agreement which brought about the division of the city into two areas – H1 (80% of the city) under Palestinian Authority control and H2 (20%) under Israeli control.

[19:30] “In this tug of war over who Abraham belongs to and who should live in the city of the patriarchs, life goes on on both sides as it has been since the 1997 Hebron Protocol. It followed one of the bloodiest events in Hebron’s current history. In 1994 Baruch Goldstein turned a machine gun on Muslim worshippers in the Cave of the Patriarchs. The Jews and the Muslims until then prayed together in the Mosque-Synagogue without the barriers and checkpoints.”

In other words, in her entire 27 minute report about “this tense, disputed city” Lipika Pelham did not bother to clarify to BBC audiences that Israelis live in specific areas of it because the Palestinians agreed to that arrangement over twenty years ago.

New book reveals depth of French collaboration with Nazis

A new book and documentary have revealed the lengths to which the French wartime Vichy regime went to please the Nazis during the German occupation of France.

The new research carried out by historian Laurent Joly and filmmaker David Korn-Brzoza uses previously unseen documents to show how the French police and top officials were willing collaborators in the rounding up of tens of thousands of Jews.

During World War II some 75,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi death camps, where almost all were murdered.

Joly’s new book “L’Etat contre les Juifs” (“The State Against the Jews”) uses a previously unseen register compiled by the French collaborationist police to target “foreign Jews” in France.

Tens of thousands had fled to the country to escape the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany and Eastern Europe in the years leading up to the war.

Joly told AFP that Paris police had “one of the most sophisticated systems in the world to classify foreigners”.

Some 125,000 Jews were recorded in a roll based on the census the Nazis demanded in 1941 which Joly said has “curiously remained unknown until my research”.

It was this list which was used during the infamous Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of 13,000 foreign-born Jews on July 16 and 17, 1942.

Rock hurled into Polish synagogue during Yom Kippur prayers

A rock was hurled into a synagogue in Gdansk in northern Poland, shattering the glass of one window while worshipers, including children, were inside.

The assault on Gdansk’s New Synagogue occurred on Wednesday, during Yom Kippur, one of Judaism’s holiest days, the Jewish Religious Community in Gdansk wrote on its Facebook page.

The rock fell “in the atrium where women waiting for neilah — the final prayer of Yom Kippur,” the statement read. “There were children around. The rock flew several centimeters from where women were standing.” No one was hurt in the incident.

The perpetrator has been identified on camera and the police are said to be dealing with the attack as a matter of the highest urgency, the World Jewish Congress wrote in a statement, in which it strongly condemned the attack.

Police released a video of the incident and asked the public for any information that could lead them to the perpetrator.

In his statement, Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz referenced his city’s recent past as the birthplace of the anti-Communist trade union and said: “I categorically reject the behavior of the perpetrators and count on them being rapidly caught. I apologize to the Jewish community of Gdansk. In the city of Freedom and Solidarity, we respect all religions and do not accept acts of hooliganism.”

Brazil: Neo-Nazis who assaulted Jews sentenced to prison

Three neo-Nazis who attacked a group of Jews on a Brazilian street in 2005 were sentenced to prison.

They were charged with attempted aggravated murder; the charge also reflected the fact that one of the crime motivations was religious, reported Folha de S. Paulo newspaper about the Wednesday trial, where Nazi flags with swastikas and other Nazi material were displayed.

“On the day the Jewish community celebrates Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Judgment, three skinheads were convicted of the 2005 aggression. It brings the feeling that justice was done,” said Zalmir Chwartzmann, president of the Rio Grande do Sul state Jewish federation. He added that the unprecedented decision raises awareness about the dangers of hate speech and intolerance.

The Jewish men wearing kippahs were attacked when walking on a street in Porto Alegre. The skinheads spotted them from inside a bar and came out to beat them and stab one of them in the stomach.

While the Jewish men were being assaulted, three skinheads prevented other people from intervening to help the victims. Each attacker was given a slightly different sentence due to the kind of participation in the attack. Nine have been formally charged; after Wednesday six more will still face a judge.

“My mother has received calls in which nobody said anything, only played a German march,” declared one of the victims in court.

Swedish ambassador, Jewish leaders met to discuss rise in antisemitism

Rising antisemitism in Europe and a surge of it here in America brought together the new Swedish ambassador to the United States and leaders of Minnesota’s Jewish community.

(TNS) Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter has sought out meetings with Jewish leaders across the US since taking office a year ago, seeking to address the problem head-on and discuss ways that Sweden is trying to counteract it.

On Tuesday — hours before the start of Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur — Olofsdotter met with Minneapolis Jewish Federation CEO James Cohen and Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

She said asylum-seekers and refugees from the Middle East who have settled in Sweden sometimes bring anti-Jewish feelings with them.

“We’ve seen a rise of antisemitism in the big cities,” Olofsdotter said. “People don’t change when they cross the border. They carry their old values.”

Sweden’s national plan to stamp out antisemitism includes research, education and coordination that reaches into the classroom, the criminal justice system and even on social media. “That is where a lot of hate flourishes,” she said.

Prince William unveils statue of man who saved thousands of Jews

At a ceremony in the town of Stourbridge this week, the Duke of Cambridge unveiled a statue of Frank Foley, a British spy who helped save thousands of Jews during World War II.

On Tuesday, Prince William took part in the ceremony alongside MP Ian Austin, who was raised in a family of Jewish refugees and spearheaded the movement to honor Foley, along with the Holocaust Educational Trust.

“This message goes out from here about the bravery of Frank Foley, and about his stand against persecution,” said Stephen Higgs, a great nephew of Foley, during the ceremony, “which is still a very valid message in the modern world today.”

Foley, who was named in 1999 as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, was a British spy with MI6, who was stationed in Berlin in the 1930s and then in Norway when the war broke out. During the Holocaust, Foley worked to save more than 10,000 Jews, by hiding them in his home, helping people find false passports and even visiting concentration camps to rescue victims. He issued thousands of visas to German Jews fleeing Nazi persecution, bending British law and risking his own life by operating in Germany right under the nose of Nazi officials.

After the statue’s unveiling, Prince William met and spoke with family members of Foley, as well as some of those who had been saved by his bravery.

Defense firm Elbit awarded $173m. Asian naval weapons deal

Haifa-based defense electronics firm Elbit Systems has been awarded a five-year contract worth $173m. to supply remote-controlled naval weapon stations (RCWS) to an Asian-Pacific country, the company announced Thursday.

The company will provide the unnamed country’s naval forces and coast guard with 12.7mm machine guns and ammunition, Elbit Systems’ advanced fire control system and modular electro-optic suite.

Shares in Elbit Systems Ltd. at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange rose by more than 3.5% following the announcement.

The company, which is listed on both the Tel Aviv and Nasdaq stock exchanges, is engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world.

Elbit System’s RCWS product is designed not only for naval platforms, but can also be used on ground stationary and mobile platforms, such as armored fighting vehicles and tanks.

According to the company, the system can be equipped with day and night cameras, range finders, laser designator and markers and beam spotlights.

Israeli telecom equipment maker ECI considering London IPO

The Israeli telecom equipment maker ECI Telecom said on Thursday it is considering an initial public offering of shares on the London Stock Exchange.

The firm is seeking to raise some $230 million in a bid to pay off debt and increase visibility, Reuters reported.

“The offer would be comprised of new shares to be issued by the company, to raise gross proceeds of approximately $230 million, and a potential offer of existing shares to be sold by the selling shareholder,” ECI’s registration document said, according to Reuters.

The company, operating since 1961, is a provider of products and solutions for communications and data transmission networks for service providers, infrastructure and government entities, as well as defense and security customers. ECI is headquartered in Petah Tikva and had over 250 customers and operations in more than 70 countries worldwide as of the end of 2017, the company said in the document and in a statement in Hebrew.

The company changed its strategy a few years ago to focus solely on optical solutions and data transfer solutions, and since then has released a new set of solutions and products, which now constitute the majority of its sales. Some 87% of the company’s R&D personnel are software engineers, the Hebrew statement said.

Since 2007, the company has invested more than $1 billion in research and development to develop new networking products and software solutions for communication, the statement said.

Germany’s SAP’s Israeli R&D center gets boost from cloud venture with Alibaba

The Israeli R&D center of SAP SE, a German software firm, has recruited “dozens” of new employees to work on the new collaboration between SAP and China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

SAP said on Wednesday it is teaming up with China’s Alibaba to offer SAP’s products on the cloud infrastructure of the Chinese e-commerce giant, to help customers transition their operations to the cloud and build more intelligent businesses.

SAP’s R&D team in Israel will lead the setting up of the SAP cloud infrastructure in China for its customers, in close cooperation with Alibaba Cloud, SAP’s R&D center in Israel said in an emailed statement. The R&D center has recently recruited “dozens” of employees for the project, CEO of the center in Israel, Orna Kleinman, in the statement.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang and SAP CEO Bill McDermott outlined the expanded relationship on Wednesday at the Computing Conference 2018 of Alibaba in Hangzhou, China.

“The project in China is an example of how SAP’s Israeli R&D center is leading strategic projects in the company’s core business, ” Kleinman said.

SAP and Alibaba first joined forces two years ago to supply enterprise cloud solutions in China through Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, to help customers adapt to fast-changing market demands, the two companies said in a separate statement.

Chabad sends hundreds of pounds of kosher food hours before Yom Kippur to NC

Jewish families in Wilmington, North Carolina were able to eat a kosher meal before the start of Yom Kippur after the Chabad synagogue in nearby Charlotte was able to arrange the arrival of a helicopter carrying 150 pounds of kosher food.

After days with no contact due to Hurricane Florence, Rabbi Yossi Groner of Charlotte’s Ohr HaTorah was able to speak by telephone to Rabbi Moshe Leiblich of Chabad of Wilmington on Monday. Leiblich requested that he find a way to send kosher food, the Charlotte Observer reported on Wednesday.

A truck full of kosher food sent from Raleigh after the hurricane first hit had been turned away by authorities because of dangerous road conditions.

Groner’s son, Ben Tzion, contacted a friend who is a helicopter mechanic and was able to secure a helicopter for Tuesday morning. It arrived at the airport in Wilmington at 1:30 p.m. carrying kosher chicken and dairy products as well as ready-to-eat meals, which were delivered to families preparing for Yom Kippur, the newspaper reported.

“It was tremendous, and certainly a relief,” Leiblich told the Observer. “It gave us kosher meat until the stores are back to normal.”

11 gorgeous pictures that capture the beauty of Sukkot

Green is the color of fall in Israel, green with a hint of yellow. It’s been that way for centuries, though not on account of the mild Mediterranean climate. The colors of fall in Israel are steeped in Jewish tradition and a commandment from the Torah that Jews commemorate the time our ancestors lived in the desert, in temporary shelters called sukkot, as they journeyed from Egypt to the Land of Israel.

This year, the weeklong festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles, in English) begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 4, with the rise of the full moon of the Jewish month of Tishrei.

The holiday comes at the height of the harvest season, when farmers in times past built sukkot in their fields in order to spend the night close to their crops and maximize the hours of reaping.

The sukkah can be made of any material but according to Jewish practice the roof must be made of a natural material (such as branches or bamboo) with enough gaps so that the sky is visible to the people inside.

In Israel today, the harvest includes not only produce grown for food but also for the components of the arba’at haminim, the four species — etrog (citron) fruit, aravah (willow) and hadas (myrtle) branches and lulav (palm fronds) — which combine to form the central symbol of the holiday.

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