Jpost Editorial: Wake up Europe
Appeasement might be a tough word and one that Netanyahu uses reluctantly, but he is right. Europe has turned a blind eye to what is happening in Iran and Lebanon for far too long. Sadly, it is unlikely that anything will really change due to Netanyahu’s speech, no matter how good it might have been.
Over a period of decades, Europe has shown that it prefers short-term quiet over confronting challenges and threats that present it and the rest of the world with long-lasting problems. The continent operates like a tactician as opposed to a strategist.
This is evident in the European Union’s continued support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action the P5+1 reached with Iran in an effort to stop the Islamic Republic’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. While the EU might be right that the deal is working today, it will eventually expire and place Iran on the brink of nuclear weapons. And while it is true that Lebanon is today quiet, that will also change the moment Hezbollah decides to unleash a missile onslaught on the State of Israel.
Europe though doesn’t seem to care. While it knows all of this, it prefers not to take steps that could lead to an escalation, diplomatically or militarily. It sits quietly, enjoying the temporary quiet, no matter how much of an illusion it might be.
The problem is that Iran’s nuclear program is still a problem for the world. The same with Hezbollah. Neither are sitting quietly. Hezbollah has amassed an unprecedented missile arsenal that puts many countries to shame and Iran is simply playing the waiting game and will likely one day breakout toward a bomb when it assesses that the price it will pay will be the lowest.
Netanyahu explained that Israel does not need a wake-up call like Europe.
“Despite the best of hope, and there were many hopes around the nuclear deal, this deal did not push war further away. It brought war ever closer to our borders,” he said.
We hope that Netanyahu’s speech will serve as the wake-up Europe desperately needs. The time to act against Iran is now. A first step would be for the International Atomic Energy Agency to immediately visit the atomic warehouse and for Europe to take real steps that will bring change. Appeasement will fail.
Israel developed a partial solution to the rocket problem and, with the help of the Iron Dome system, it has been able to mitigate the threats. Yet we’ve also been attacked with longer-range rockets and deeper underground tunnels. In a practical sense, the situation hasn’t fundamentally changed over the past decade. The Gaza-area communities continue to suffer from Hamas belligerence and the south remains exceedingly unstable. On the diplomatic level, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi certainly helps narrow the scope of Hamas’ initiatives, particularly by controlling the Philadelphi Route along their shared border and the Rafah crossing area, where Hamas’ smuggling capabilities have dwindled. Again, though, taking a broader view, this hasn’t dramatically changed the situation in the south.
Thus, since March, the IDF has used varying degrees of force to counter Hamas’ ploys – whether these include protests, roadside bombs, and occasionally a 24-48 hour escalation consisting of rocket fire at Israeli civilians. Hamas has tried forcing Israel into another tahdiya although it appears this effort isn’t bearing fruit. We can, therefore, expect another escalation in the near future and we will again have to ask: What’s going to change?
The answer isn’t surprising: Nothing will change unless this time Israel undertakes a massive operation to finally alter the situation on a fundamental level. Hamas needs to understand that the next confrontation will be its last. It will not provide hope. And Israel, for its part, needs to be ready to finish the job it left undone 10 years ago. The IDF is certainly ready and capable of this mission; the question is whether the will exists.
A compressive, far-reaching operation would unfold in several stages. The first will aim at isolating high-threat areas and cutting off escape routes for Hamas terrorists. The second will require a massive ground operation in these areas, including in Gaza City, Khan Younis and Rafah, and destroying the terror nests there. These two steps will require several weeks to complete and they won’t be simple. Afterward will come the stabilizing phase, aimed at fully clearing the area of terrorists and their infrastructure and installing systems of governance and intelligence-gathering on the ground. This phase in its entirety should require no more than one year, but it will undoubtedly change the situation fundamentally. Ultimately, Israel will give itself a different array of capabilities to cope with any development, and it will be the one dictating the rules of the game, which is totally opposite the current situation of being captive to Hamas’ whims.
Israel protested to the mayor of Madrid about the festive visit she organized for terrorist Ahed Tamimi, who was convicted of incitement against security forces and attacking IDF soldiers, for which she served eight months in prison.
Tamimi was accompanied by her family at the invitation of the city leaders and the Real Madrid soccer club at the stadium of the Spanish team, Bernabeu.
Real Madrid did not make do with a special tour played by former soccer star Emilio Butragueno, but also prepared a jersey with her name printed on it.
Daniel Kutner, the Israeli ambassador to Spain, sent a letter of protest to Mayor Manuela Carmena. “The move by the Madrid municipality encourages violence against Israeli civilians and undermines any attempt to create a genuine dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians,” Kutner wrote.
Kutner added, “Ahed Tamimi is not an innocent fighter for peace, but an instigator of violence and terror. Any institution that welcomes her indirectly promotes violence and aggression instead of promoting dialogue and understanding.”
Israel could be well served by holding talks with the Palestinian Authority, but it would be best if this point is reached only after things are sorted out in Gaza. A Gaza deal was within reach about a month ago, but it turns out that the Palestinians can’t quite close it. They are worse than the British government trying to figure out Brexit. Both the Palestinians and the British like gridlocks, and both have made Israeli lives miserable over the years.
But Israel’s Gaza approach is not very rational either. For humanitarian reasons, Israel has yet to take the steps necessary to reach a deal that would have strategic implications. Some cabinet members believe that letting Gaza operate a port in Cyprus under Israeli supervision would be a worthwhile concession that would facilitate a long-term modus vivendi with Hamas. Limited regional deals are much more viable than the big peace deals.
“We believe that the Palestinians are going to have come to the table. President Abbas is not helping the Palestinian people at all. He hasn’t acknowledged Hamas,” Haley said over the weekend, while meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She added that Abbas is using Hamas against Israel.
Netanyahu then thanked Haley, who is probably the most popular woman in Israel, for “clearing the air out” in the United Nations, although it will take time to get rid of the anti-Israel stench there, as Netanyahu said in his U.N. General Assembly speech.
The Palestinians, who are renewing their war against Israel through other means, are being used as cannon fodder by the Europeans and the United Nations.
A senior Hamas official on Sunday accused Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas of fomenting violence in the region and pushing Israel toward a new war in the Gaza Strip.
“Abbas wants to control everything in Gaza, war is good for him,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior leader in the Gaza Strip, told Arab media. Al-Zahar is in Cairo as part of a large delegation from Gaza taking part in talks to reach a Palestinian reconciliation deal and a possible long-term truce with Israel.
The talks have been deadlocked in recent months and Hamas blames Abbas who has imposed a series of crippling sanctions on the Strip in a bid to force Hamas to give up control. The terror group has ruled Gaza since it ousted Abbas’s rival Fatah faction in 2007.
Al-Zahar charged that the PA, together with several unnamed Arab states, were trying to persuade Israel to launch a wide-scale campaign in Gaza.
Recent days have seen a fresh upsurge in violence and al-Zahar said the border violence would not subside until they achieved their goals.
“The Marches of Return will not end, no matter how much pressure they put on us,” he said.
Israeli ministers exchanged barbs over the weekend over the escalating violence on the Gaza border, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett slamming the government’s policy on Gaza, saying it was insufficiently aggressive toward the Hamas terrorist group.
In a Sunday statement, Bennett, the chairman of the Jewish Home party blamed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for the continuing violence. Liberman’s coalition Yisrael Beytenu party swiftly responded by mocking Bennett’s “hysteria” and “jealousy.”
“The current situation is a direct result of Liberman’s policies toward the Strip,” said Bennett in a statement carried by Hebrew media. “Under the cover of ‘pragmatism’ and ‘responsibility,’ Liberman has subjected the residents of the south to the whims of Hamas. It’s time to tell the truth. The Liberman-Hamas agreements have collapsed. This isn’t how you manage a defense policy; this is what a failed policy looks like.”
Tens of thousands of Palestinians protested along the Gaza border fence, throwing hand grenades, bombs, rocks, and burning tires in weekend clashes with IDF troops, who responded with tear gas, live fire, and airstrikes. The IDF said Saturday that the previous day’s protests were the worst in two months. Over 100 improvised bombs and grenades were hurled at Israeli troops during the riots, according to the army. The army released footage of the violent demonstrations, showing attempts to breach and sabotage the security fence.
Seven Palestinians were killed, including a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old, and at least 210 Palestinians were wounded, including an 11-year-old boy, who was in serious condition, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. It said 90 of the wounded were hit by live fire.
The protest followed the breakdown of indirect talks with Israel over a ceasefire and warnings that the terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza, was gearing up for another conflict.
Firefighters on Sunday worked to extinguish two blazes in southern Israel sparked by airborne incendiary devices launched from the Gaza Strip and police sappers defused another fire balloon on a highway, as a weekend of violent border clashes was followed by relative quiet.
Since Sunday morning, firefighters have combated two fires caused by incendiary balloons near Israeli towns along the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for the Israeli Fire and Rescue Services said.
A police statement earlier on Sunday said sappers located and neutralized an arson balloon on Highway 35, which caused no damage.
The spate of arson attempts came after over 100 improvised bombs and grenades were hurled at Israeli troops during Friday’s riots at the Gaza border, the military said Saturday. The army released footage of the violent demonstrations, which it said were the worst in two months, depicting attempts to breach and sabotage the security fence.
It also said IDF forces were still engaged in the controlled detonation of unexploded bombs and grenades.
20K Violent Rioters Swarm Gaza Border Fence
Explosive Devices Left on Gaza Border Fence After Hamas-led Riots
This how the surroundings of Nahal Oz community were looking like today after an incendiary kite was sent from Gaza. This is a crime and it must be condemned.
— Sacha Rojtman Dratwa (@SachaDratwa) September 30, 2018
Viewers of the filmed report saw context-free statements from one female interviewee – who was only identified late in the report using the epithet ‘Um Mustafa’ and is apparently the same person who appeared in a radio report by Yolande Knell in August – alongside equally uninformative BBC commentary.
Woman: “Our children suffer to get a bottle of water. The mains water isn’t drinkable. If we don’t have money, they take containers to a communal water supply.”
BBC: “Nidal and Mohammed live with their mother and siblings in Khan Younis refugee camp. At home, their family also suffers from power shortages.
Woman: “The electricity problem means that in every 24 hours we get only three or four hours. When we get electricity we plug in our mobile phones, the water pump and charge the battery so we can use it for lights when the power is cut.”
BBC: “Medicine shortages in Gaza hospitals are another problem. Khaled needs kidney dialysis four times a week. His drugs cost $80 a month.”
Woman: “My hope for the future? We only have faith in God. We don’t have hope from the government or expect anything positive from anyone.”
BBC: “Khan Younis has seen some of the deadliest protests on the border with Israel. When Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israel there were also Israeli air strikes. Um Mustafa, a widow, worries for all her six children.”
Woman: “I hope that when my son goes out to university he comes back safe and isn’t shot by a stray bullet or hot by a rocket fired at an area he’s in or by shelling. I hope we get stability and live in safety.”
As we see, viewers of this report get an entirely context-free portrayal of water, power and medicines shortages in the Gaza Strip. They are not informed that all three of those issues are linked to the infighting between the terror organisation Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
The BBC cannot possibly claim that this report meets its remit of providing audiences with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards” in order to “help people understand” this particular issue.
President Trump walked back his remark that he supports a two-state solution to he supports whatever the parties want. But that isn’t an improvement. For 30 years the parties have not been able to reach an agreement based on what they want.
President Obama tried to remedy that situation by imposing a solution on Israel, to no avail.
Since taking office, Trump has taken a different approach. He is seeking an agreement that ignores the PA, which he is currently destroying, and instead speaks directly to the Palestinian Arabs, who he believes are interested in a better life rather than in destroying Israel.
In addition, he has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and has proceeded to unravel UNRWA, thereby taking two final status issues off the table
Plus, he and his Ambassador to the UN, Nikky Haley, have relentlessly attacked the UN and its agencies for their bias against Israel. Also, he has withdrawn America from both UNHCR and UNESCO.
Finally, inline with his rejection of multilateralism, he is ignoring the Quartet and the UN and going it alone to achieve a deal not bound by the dogmas of the past, but on the possibilities.
The Israel Defense Forces released images on Thursday of Hezbollah facilities in the heart of Lebanon’s capital, saying they proved the Shi’ite terrorist group is trying to build weapon-production sites near the Lebanese capital’s airport.
This development occurred shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to the UN General Assembly that Israel had evidence Iran was assisting Hezbollah with improving its missiles through precision guidance systems.
“In Lebanon, Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles—missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of 10 meters [30 feet],” he said.
The deployment of the facilities near Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport was “knowingly jeopardizing the Lebanese civilian population,” according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
U.N. Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov pledged over the weekend to prevent Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, from using United Nations funds and facilities for terror purposes.
Mladenov’s remarks followed an appeal by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, which detailed how Hamas “is educating and training children in Gaza to carry out terrorist attack by turning terrorists into role models.”
“Unfortunately, it seems that U.N. agencies subscribe to Hamas’ narrative,” Erdan wrote in a letter to the U.N. envoy.
In the letter, the Israeli minister asked Mladenov to denounce Hamas’ ”terrorism summer camps” in Gaza, saying that “it is imperative that the United Nations ensure that neither its funds nor its facilities are used to trample on children’s rights in any way.”
”If the U.N. wants to protect the children in Gaza,” Erdan wrote, “it must first and foremost protect them from Hamas.”
The U.N. took nearly a month to respond to the appeal.
”U.N. offices and organizations operating in the Gaza Strip share your concern that children should not be exposed to violence,” Mladenov noted in his reply.
”The U.N. takes precautions to ensure that no U.N. infrastructure or funding is somehow linked to such actions.”
IsraellyCool: Latest Blood Libel: Evidence? They’ve Got Nada Edition
Last week, a number of anti-Israel Facebook pages shared the story of Nada Ibdah, an Arab teenager who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Haifa last year. Here is one example.
- The claim the incident did not get media attention
- The reference to the driver as a “settler” and Haifa as “occupied”, even though Haifa is within Israel proper and not the so-called “occupied territories.”
- The accusation the hit-and-run was deliberate, part of a “Zionist project” to displace and expel “Palestinian residents” of the city (even though the victim was an Israeli-Arab)
The claim the incident did not get media attention, is an outright lie. Here are just some examples of the death being reported in the Israeli media: Ynet, Walla, Maariv, Israel Hayom, Channel 10, The Times of Israel.
As for the ridiculous accusation, the driver was arrested following intense efforts of technical investigators and road accident investigators, as well as technology. Furthermore, even Nada’s family did not accuse Israel of some genocidal campaign (translation from same report).
“This is not the first time such an accident has occurred on this road,” said the girl’s uncle, Khalil Khatib, and called on the municipality to intervene. “It’s a difficult and unfortunate case that someone decides to take a life and escape, and if he had stopped and offered help, maybe we would have been somewhere else.
Following the tragic accident, the Haifa municipality installed traffic lights at the crossing Nada was killed.
Yet another example of how the haters are so shameless, continually lying in order to drum up support for their farce of a morally bankrupt cause.
A senior Hamas official claimed that Gaza freed itself of the “Israeli occupation” in 2005.
Speaking on Friday at one of the violent Gaza border riots, Ahmad Bahar said the Al-Aqsa Intifada (also known as the Second Intifada – ed.) which began in September 2000 brought about the “redemption of Gaza and the removal of the Israeli occupation.”
He added that the Oslo Accords strengthened the Jewish settlement in and the Judaization of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.
Last week, another Hamas official, Khalil al-Hayya, said that the violent Gaza riots would continue until Israel ceased its “occupation” of Gaza.
Promising that the “Palestinian struggle” would continue and that he would protect the PA Arabs’ rights and beliefs, Bahar called to escalate the intifada, and to develop additional ways of removing the “occupation.” He also praised the illegal Bedouin settlers of Khan al-Ahmar.
Khan al-Ahmar, built illegally on land belonging to a Jewish town, is slated for demolition. Its residents have been asked to evacuate by October 1. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called for all PA Arabs to arrive en masse and oppose the demolition.
Iran’s state TV on Saturday broadcast footage purporting to show a close encounter between the Revolutionary Guard’s navy and the USS Theodore Roosevelt early this year, The Associated Press reported.
The footage, which aired on the Iranian PressTV, reportedly shows an encounter which occurred March 21 in the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
In the video, Guard speedboats are seen closing in on the US carrier. Iranian sailors then warn the Americans over radio communication to “keep well clear” of the Guard patrol boats and say they advise the Americans to “refrain from the threat or use of force in any manner.”
It is believed the footage could be meant as a show of strength amid new US sanctions on Iran and the Trump administration plans to bring Iranian oil exports down to zero.
Campa-Najjar has recounted the alleged suffering he went through in Gaza from age 9 to 13 when he lived there with his parents, how Apache helicopters from the United States supposedly caused killing of his brethren. Then he would have listeners believe he suffered at the hands of Israel and U.S. “I didn’t shed a tear for the 3,000 victims on 9/11,” he says.
These statements were not readily available to the average voter back in San Diego, but were viewable only on Arab websites.
In order for there to be peace he says both sides must make “hard choices” and implies equal culpability for the dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians. He says he doesn’t condone what his grandfather did but he wants to promote peace. During just the last two weeks since this article was written, over 200 rockets were fired into Israel schools, homes and day care centers and innumerable fires were start with drones sent aloft by Gazans like the al Najjars. One would expect Najjar to verbally oppose such activities as they are happening but he doesn’t criticize them at all, instead invoking false equivalency with an imaginary “occupation.”
If he gets into Congress, Ammar Campa-Najjar can get on committees where US National security is at stake.
The worst threat is his appearance in Clifton, New Jersey. When he appeared there before a Palestinian social club, he asked them for campaign money – and was given funds. Why is a resident in San Diego’s 50th congressional district soliciting donation in Clifton, New Jersey? The answer is lso available on Arab websites. Clifton has a sizeable Palestinian community. In fact one street in the city is named Hamas street.
Ammar met at the Center of the Palestinian Community with a number of members of the Council of the Center and some activists from the Arab community in Clifton, like CAIR (Congress has already declared CAIR a Hamas front group)and Clifton Arabs for America. He explained his programs and interests in the topics of medical care for all, and calling for the establishment of infrastructure projects and programs of clean energy, social bromides that appeal to Democratic voters who aren’t aware of the sources for terrorism.
As for the chances of his success in reaching the US Congress, Ammar said that although the region he ran for is dominated by the Republicans, his chances are great and reflected in his campaign for the first place in fundraising, ahead of his Republican rival, as reflected in the number of institutions and institutions which it officially supports.
Then comes the kicker: “As for the role of the community center in his support,” he said, “If you are unable to work in the campaign as a result of the distance (New Jersey to San Diego), I am the one who hopes to serve you when you win.” This gathered the attendees on the need to support young Ammar and work to support his campaign financially through his website. They dub him the “handsome Boy” but what he really is, is the “Handsome pro-Hamas boy”.
Voters need to keep him out of Congress for the sake of national security.
The Democratic candidate for Florida lieutenant governor, Chris King, claimed that he lost his campaign to be president of Harvard University’s undergraduate council, part of the student government election, because he was “nailed to the cross” by the Jewish-majority student newspaper.
King, an evangelical Christian, lost in 1999 after the Harvard Crimson decided not to endorse him, remarking his ticket’s “ties to religious groups have raised concerns among students.”
“I was nailed to the cross,” King told the Newhouse News Service. “And most of the editorial staff that was so hard on me, the vast majority were Jewish.”
King apologized after his comments were initially detected in June by Orlando Rising, a progressive website. “This quote from when I was 20 years old is completely at odds with my beliefs,” the candidate said in a statement. “It was a hurtful and stupid comment, and I apologize.”
King is running alongside Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum against Republican opponent Ron DeSantis.
Malaysia’s avowedly anti-Semitic Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad arrived in London early Sunday morning for the second leg of an international visit, following his trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
Last week, Mohamad delivered a speech entitled “Challenges of Good Governance in the Muslim World” at Oxford University’s Centre for Islamic Studies. He also visited Imperial College London, where he met billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson.
The Daily Mail reported that at no point was the Malaysian premier challenged over his virulently anti-Semitic views and statements.
On Monday, he is to deliver a speech on “Future Democracy in Asia” at the prestigious think tank Chatham House.
A spokesman for the organization denied that hosting Mohamad signaled support for his views.
“Chatham House provides a neutral convening environment. Attendance of a speaker does not imply endorsement,” he said.
A lawmaker for Britain’s Labour Party was questioned by police after he called Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom a “tosser,” the Daily Mail reported Sunday.
The incident occurred last week at a Labour Friends of Israel event held during the annual party conference in Liverpool, attended by Ambassador Mark Regev.
Graham Jones, who is MP for Hyndburn and a vocal critic of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was overheard muttering the word “tosser,” a mild British insult, by one of Corbyn’s aides. Ironically, the aide only referred the incident to police because she thought Jones was directing his insult at her, rather than Regev, the Mail reported.
The aide and Jones were seen arguing, the paper reported, before police intervened.
Jones, who is a member of Labour Friends of Palestine, reportedly muttered the insult as Regev was about to begin his speech.
The MP refused to comment on the incident, but a friend detailed the incident to the Mail.
In the years since the September 11 attacks, scholarship asserting that the U.S.-initiated global war on terror (GWOT) has eroded American civil liberties has burgeoned into a cottage industry. Much of this literature challenges the military-industrial complex surrounding U.S. counterterror efforts and some of it condemns militarized state violence and the increasingly militarized approaches to local policing that the GWOT has facilitated.
It’s certainly possible to question this body of work, which in my view tends to underplay threats to homeland security, is overly skeptical of public-private security partnerships, and in general treats U.S law enforcement agencies with an unwarranted degree of suspicion and hostility.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with JVP’s efforts to bring this scholarship to the attention of the American public—as it does in its new co-authored report and accompanying database produced with RAIA, which cite a few reputable studies on the topic like Nikhil Pal Singh’s Race and America’s Long War.
Bur where these new “Deadly Exchange” campaign materials go off the rails is in attributing America’s post 9/11 policing problems, violence against minorities, criminalization and incarceration rates, and the ongoing problem of racism in the U.S. to Israel and to the Jewish American organizations that host counterterrorism trainings for police officials with their Israeli counterparts—as if a police chief’s participation in a week-long seminar in Israel determines his or her department’s rules of engagement or drives the behavior of cops on the beat.
Bottom line: JVP and the other virulently anti-Israel groups are now trying to convince American liberals that if they care about social justice issues like policing problems or racial injustice, then they must also revile Israel and the American Jews who cause the suffering of U.S. minority communities at the hands of the state. This vicious antisemitic campaign must be opposed by all Americans of good will.
An Arizona law requiring contractors not to boycott Israel was overruled by a federal court on Friday, claiming that it violates the free speech rights of the contractors under the First Ammendment of the Constitution, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The state law “unquestionably burdens the protected expression of companies wishing to engage in such a boycott,” according to US District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa, the first Native American woman to be appointed as a federal judge.
The law, enacted in 2016, states that any contracters that work with state or local government in Arizona must have written certification that they are not and will not boycott Israel.
The ACLU attempted to challenge the Arizona law on behalf of attorney Mikkel Jordahl, who stated that “boycotts are an important way for people to collectively call for social change.”
“It should be clear that we as individuals have a right to engage in peaceful individual boycotts,” he continued.
As an officer in the Israel Defense Forces, Ofir Dayan served in hostile territory in Gaza and Lebanon. But, the undergrad told The Post, nothing prepared her for life at Columbia University.
Ofir, the 24-year-old daughter of Israel Consul General in New York Dani Dayan, said she is harassed and threatened over her background by the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and that the school is failing to protect her.
“SJP is violent,” she said. “I’m worried about my personal safety.”
The political science major had her initial run-in about a month into the fall 2017 semester, when she was in the lobby of Knox Hall — home to the Middle East Institute — having a phone conversation in Hebrew.
“A girl heard me and started screaming, ‘Stop killing Muslim babies! . . . You’re a murderer!’ ” Ofir said. “Then she screamed, ‘Zionist, get out!’ A nearby public-safety administrator did nothing.”
In October 2017, Ofir said, she and four members of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) — she is the vice-president of the Columbia chapter — were leaving an on-campus event for Israeli beauty queen Titi Aynaw. “The moment [members of SJP] saw us, they started screaming their slogans with a microphone to intimidate us. There were at least 50 SJP members blocking the walkway.
“They were really angry and it was scary,” said Ofir, a vocal supporter of the Jewish state. “I believed it would escalate to physical violence.”
Ofir and SSI filed a complaint about the incident to the Student Governing Board (SGB) in January. It described, in part, “horrified and terrified Jewish students huddled together while surrounded by a raging mob . . . [exhibiting] physically threatening behavior.” She also submitted cellphone video that she had recorded of the protesters being “hostile.” (Dalia Zahger, chapter president of SSI, agreed that the incident was “really scary.”)
In a blow to online experts everywhere Facebook has restricted the ability of users to comment on the Arab-Israeli conflict until they have delivered proof of at least four years higher education (six if you went to Tel Aviv University, cause we all know that’s just a party school). Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Bluestein said “we’ve discovered that while we are the perfect outlet for sharing videos of people falling down holes and anything to do with kittens, we are far less useful as a forum for complex current affairs.”
One Facebook fanatic demurred “it’s a known fact that anyone objecting to the fact that former President Obama is a Communist Muslim is a goose stepping, black uniform wearing, furnace owner. Look I’ve picked up 232 likes already.” And British Guardian reader Paul Shire was quick to point out on his stream that “everyone recognizes we are now all brothers in the ‘third Intifada,’ though I grant you I’m a little hazy on what the word ‘Intifada’ actually means.” From Friday, comments on the Arab-Israeli Conflict will be restricted to a minimum 10,000-word essay with supporting notes and a fully referenced bibliography, only to be uploaded after passing a double-blind peer-review process.
Facebook has however confirmed that videos of Hamas fighters blowing themselves up by accident to the “Andy Griffith” theme are still hilarious and welcome.
A front-page New York Times news article, under the headline, “They Spent $55 Million To Tighten G.O.P.’s Grip,” describes Sheldon and Miriam Adelson as “the biggest spenders on federal elections in all of American politics, according to publicly available campaign finance data.”
That’s misleading. Not mentioned in the front-page Times article is Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and a possible 2020 candidate for president himself. Axios reported, “Michael Bloomberg’s spending on House races in the midterms has passed the $80 million he promised for the cycle and is heading toward $100 million as he sees an increasing chance for Democrats to win control.”
The election cycle isn’t over yet, but if Bloomberg spends $100 million and the Adelsons spend $55 million, readers might reasonably wonder why Times editors judge the Adelsons’ spending, but not Bloomberg’s, worthy of a front-page Times article. A hint of a possible answer comes in the Times reference to Adelson’s wife: “Dr. Adelson, who is Israeli.” Dr. Adelson is also an American, which is how she is legally allowed to donate to American political candidates. The Times, alas, doesn’t seem to be able to see past the “Israeli” part. (The Times CEO, Mark Thompson, is British, and its largest economic owner, Carlos Slim, is Mexican, which makes Dr. Adelson more American than either one of those two, if the Times is going to start throwing around these national origin identifiers.)
Instead, the Times article tries to make it seem like the Adelsons are buying Trump’s positions on things such as the Jerusalem embassy and the Iran nuclear deal in a kind of quid pro quo, using phrases like “return on investment” and “deliver major, long-sought policy victories for conservative Jews like the Adelsons.” The Times says, “More than a dozen people who know the Adelsons professionally or personally, some of whom are also friendly with Mr. Trump, said in interviews that the durability of Mr. Adelson’s relationship with the president hinges not on any personal affinity between the two, but on a mutual appreciation for something both men have built their careers on: the transaction.”
Forbes has released their list of The Middle East’s Most Influential Women. Can you guess which Middle East country does not have even one representative on the list?
Note how Australia, UK, Malaysia and India are included, despite not being part of the Middle East.
And “Palestine” has representatives (#48 and #79), a woman in the banking and financial services industry, as well as one in education. As if Israel does not have many such women who are even more influential.
In fact, a list of the 50 most influential Israeli women was published by Forbes Israel just last year. Any of these women deserve to be on this new list.
I guess you could argue women in the other Middle Eastern countries/areas have it so much worse than Israeli women, so their achievements are greater. Or that what Forbes meant was Most Influential Muslim Women. But as it stands, this list does not seem kosher.
A synagogue in Raleigh, North Carolina, canceled some weekend activities after synagogue workers and board members received threatening letters.
Raleigh police and the FBI are investigating the threats against Temple Beth Or, local NBC affiliate WRAL reported.
The synagogue canceled Sunday school and an end-of-summer party last weekend after the letters, which contained a “specific threat,” were received on Saturday evening, according to WRAL.
Synagogue officials would not tell the news station what was in the letters, except to say that they contained “hateful rhetoric.”
Roman Polanski, the famed director and convicted sex offender, is working on a film about a wrongly accused man.
The French-Jewish filmmaker is set to begin shooting a movie later this year about Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, the French-Jewish soldier who was falsely accused of spying for the Nazis. Dreyfus was tried and convicted of treason in 1894, but he was later pardoned, set free and exonerated of the charges. Public opinion and antisemitism were said to play a significant role in the story. The Dreyfus Affair, as it became known, has remained a famous and well-known chapter in history that has been made into dozens of plays and films.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Polanski is slated to begin shooting the movie, called J’Accuse, for Legende Films in Paris in the coming months. The report stated that Louis Garrel will play Dreyfus and Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin will play the officer who proved his innocence.
Polanski has been working on this film project for the past six years. But, in the wake of the #metoo movement, his acceptance in the international film community is more in question than ever.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot is adding yet another new role to her busy schedule: the lead in the upcoming Fox film Death on the Nile.
Deadline.com reportedly exclusively that Gadot was selected by Fox to start in a remake of the Agatha Christie novel, which is already slated for release on December 20, 2019. Christie published the novel in 1937, and it was made into a successful film in 1978, starring Bette Davis, Mia Farrow and Maggie Smith.
Fox is considering the upcoming remake a follow-up to its 2017 Murder on the Orient Express, the adaptation of another Christie novel featuring the detective Hercule Poirot. Kenneth Branagh is slated to reprise his role as both the director and star in Death on the Nile.
Gadot is slated to play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, a rich heiress. The Rosh Ha’ayin native is currently shooting the Wonder Woman sequel, and will be seen in the animated film Ralph Breaks the Internet this November.
In addition, Gadot is set to star in an art heist movie opposite Dwayne Johson titled Red Notice, is producing a film about Fidel Castro and is slated to portray Hedy Lamarr in a miniseries for Showtime.
Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won a gold medal Sunday after coming in first at the Paris World Challenge Cup’s floor exercise.
The 21-year-old Ukrainian-born Dolgopyat scored 14.950.
Dolgopyat’s mentor and trainer, Israeli gymnast Alex Shatilov, 31, came in fourth with a score of 14.500.
The World Challenge Cup is part of a series of competitions known as the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup. The competition is organized by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
Last month, Dolgopyat overcame a mistake in his floor routine to take the silver medal at the European Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.
Dolgopyat scored 14.466 for his routine, which included a penalty as he stepped off the mat in one of his landings. He was beaten to the gold by Britain’s Dominick Cunningham.
That result won Dolgopyat a grant of NIS 28,000 ($7,500) awarded jointly by the Israel Olympic Committee, the Culture and Sports Ministry and the Sports Betting Council.
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