December 7, 2022

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11/04 Links Pt2: The BDS Movement’s Close Contact with Terrorists; J Street’s and Ari Shavit

From Ian:

Even Islam admits it
Israel could counter Muslim lies about the Jewish history of Jerusalem by pointing out 10 centuries of Islamic sources that confirm Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, or the Ottoman decrees that guaranteed the Jews the right to worship at the Western Wall.
The earliest Muslim tradition that identified the “place al-Buraq was tethered” with the Jewish prayer site at the Western Wall is from the mid-19th century, when Jewish began bringing ritual object to the Wall and even trying to purchase the Western Wall and the courtyards that surround it from the Waqf.
In Berkowitz’s opinion, it’s almost certain that the Muslims moved the place where Muhammad supposedly entered the Temple Mount compound and the place he tied al-Buraq to the Western Wall as a response to the activity of the Jews. They even started calling it “al-Buraq.” They also built Al-Buraq mosque on the eastern side of the Western Wall, on top of the Berkley Gate, where they display an underground room as the spot where the prophet tied up his horse.
And here is one more important historical tidbit: In the Ottoman Period, the Muslims themselves are the ones who granted Jews fermans that recognized their right to the Western Wall and their right to pray there. The first ruler to do so was Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the second half of the 16th century, and after him the Turkish Sultan Abdulmecid [Abdul Majid] I in 1841. Itamar Ben-Avi, son of the reviver of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, tells of a ferman that was granted to the Jews in 1868 and transferred to the Council of Jewish Bequests in London, only to disappear mysteriously. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

J Street’s Questionable Actions Surrounding Ari Shavit

It’s important to understand Shavit’s status on the Jewish Left. He is the scion of a founding Israeli family, served with distinction as a paratrooper commander in the Israeli army and has been an ardent and erudite Zionist. Unlike with regard to some other leftist figures, very few on the Israeli Right questioned Shavit’s patriotism. But he is also a self-described “anti-occupation peacenik,” and is well-known for his leftist writings and criticisms of Israel’s right-wing politicians. When his book, My Promised Land, came out in late 2013, it was a huge, immediate hit among the international political/press/NGO crowd, whose approval the American-Jewish Left craves. Shavit became a rock star.
He was, apparently, also a predator. J Street knew it back in 2014. Here was a great opportunity to “tell hard truths.” Here was a chance to “speak truth to power.” J Street could have refused “to remain silent” and declare that unwanted sexual advances would not be tolerated on the Jewish Left, which would only mean sacrificing Shavit. Instead, it remained silent. In doing so, the group gave Shavit nearly three more years of access to potential victims.
When presented with the option to sacrificially speak truth to power, J Street passed. It could have stopped him. But that would have deprived its cause of a particularly effective mouthpiece. And to those deeply convinced of the moral necessity of J Street’s work, the cause is always more important than the pawns occupying the world it aims to heal. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

The BDS Movement Maintains Close Contact with Terrorists

Not itself a formal organization, the movement to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel (BDS) consists of a loose network of groups that support its cause. A number of these, write Jonathan Schanzer and Kate Havard, have close ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), officially considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department since 1997:
Rasmea Odeh, a now-infamous PFLP terrorist who was involved in the bombing of an Israeli supermarket in 1969 . . . is now a cause célèbre for BDS activists in the United States. Boycott advocates have rallied to her defense, raising funds for her while she faces prosecution in the U.S. for immigration fraud (for lying about her time in prison). Odeh’s boosters include BDS-supporting groups like Palestine Legal, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine. . . .
The BDS campaign in the United States broadly identifies itself as a nonviolent social-justice movement. But, its connections to the PFLP, a decidedly violent group, are troubling. Founded in 1967 as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary organization by George Habash, the PFLP was known for a series of plane hijackings in the late 1960s and 70s. [Its members also] gunned down civilians and hired assassins to massacre passengers at Israel’s Lod airport in 1970. . . .
In 2011, two PFLP members carried out the murder of a family in the West Bank settlement of Itamar (including a three-month-old infant). They were responsible for a 2014 shooting in west Jerusalem that killed five and wounded eight. . . .
Recently, the PFLP sent its most famous member, the first woman hijacker in history, Leila Khaled, on speaking tours worldwide. In April 2016, she visited the German organization Falestin Beytona, the offices of the Communist party of Sweden in Gothenburg, and the Austrian-Arab Cultural Center in Vienna—all organizations that support BDS. Khaled was also the guest of the BDS movement of South Africa in 2015.

Michael Totten: What the Next President Must Do About the World

Dear President-Elect,
Congratulations on winning the election for the 45th president of the United States, but are you sure you really want this?
The world is a mess, as it usually is, and taking on this awesome responsibility right now is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube that a devious trickster messed with by moving some of the stickers around.
You are not battling a Hitler or Hirohito that you can bomb into submission. Nor are you facing down a Stalinist empire that you can outspend into oblivion.
You and the citizens whom you have been elected to serve are beset instead by a constellation of problems—international terrorism, rogue states, and a renascent expansionist Russia. These persistent features of our international landscape may not be as dangerous as the Nazi rampage across Europe or the threat of all-out nuclear confrontation, but they are much more intractable. They will bedevil us throughout your presidency and beyond.
You will not be able to democratize the Middle East and drain the swamp of its political pathologies by using regime change or any other tool at your disposal. Nor will you be able to diplomatically “engage” your way to being liked by the Vladimir Putins and Ali Khameneis of the world. You can flush the terrorists of ISIS out of their nests and vaporize them with Predator drones, but they’ll pop up again in some other unstable and anarchic part of the world.
I hate to break it to you, but these are problems to be managed rather than solved. At least the Israelis, who have become masters of this art throughout the brief existence of Jewish state, can commiserate with your unenviable role.

David Collier: SOAS Palestine Society and evil Zionists that control the world

03 Nov 2016. I was inside one of the hot spots of radical Islam in London – SOAS. We came to hear Tom Suarez promote his book, ‘State of Terror’. I had not heard of Suarez, and he is a musician, not a historian. The book is published by Karl Sabbagh, who provided one of the speeches at the House of Lords event that saw the Zionists blamed for the holocaust. The only endorsements on the book were from Jenny Tonge and Ilan Pappe. My expectations were low.
My expectations should have been much lower. Suarez is an example of how someone can make a new career out of hating Israel without academic training or even a basic historical knowledge of the conflict. His methodology was clear, ‘I hate Zionists/Jews’, but to write a book, I need to make some citations, and he went off to find some.
Suarez doesn’t come with a backstory or a bio. There is no introduction. From the moment Suarez opened his mouth, until his pillar of sand had been swept aside by several people in the room, Tom Suarez built a narrative that was dripping with hard-core antisemitic undertones.
The basic script was difficult to believe. He has no grounding in history, nor does he seem to have academic research skills. He is clearly not well read, nor does he use diverse source material. What he does is plunder a single archive. Seeking out anything that can seem sinister. This quote, this thought, this demand, then becomes the driving force for the entire Zionist movement.
Creating a Jew hating myth
Suarez needs only a partial record of a conversation. He requires no hard logic. The method of creation is important to understand. Suarez enters a single archive seeking breadcrumbs. It is a Goebbelsesque system of narrative creation that is supported by classic antisemitic tropes of scheming Jews, powerful Jews, bloodthirsty Jews and designed to propagate a myth of a satanic cult of ultimate power that brutally murdered a nation of farmers.

David Collier: Dropping the antisemitic rugby ball at Goldsmiths University

It was a few days ago whilst conducting a regular sweep of recent campus activity, that I noticed Goldsmiths RFC (Rugby club), have become deployed as a political weapon of the anti-Israel movement. As announced by the Palestinian Society:
“We’ve teamed up with Goldsmiths RFC to put our logo and the Palestine flag on their new shirts!”
I had been to Goldsmiths only a few weeks ago at the Palestine Society ‘freshers event’ seeking new recruits. I heard Alessia Cancemi, the President of the society seemingly suggest suicide bombing (blowing up civilian commuters on buses, that sort of thing) is a legitimate act of resistance. At the time I described the talk as one of the ‘most nonsensical, baseless and insane rants I have yet to hear *from a student* on a university campus’. Goldsmiths is not new to regressive hate. Last year, the head of the Goldsmiths Islamic Society resigned following a homophobic tweet.
So I listed Goldsmiths as an active society driven through a marriage of blind hatred and ignorance. No surprise then, that it reappeared on the radar so quickly.
Once I had digested the implications of this latest vile action, I used twitter to highlight my disgust and within an hour or two, Jewish News picked up on the issue and ran an article. Since then everyone has become involved, and the Goldsmiths RFC Facebook page was visited by many Jewish people not willing to sit quietly in the face of antisemitism.

Caroline Glick: Trump’s true opponent

As these lines are being written it is Thursday morning in the US. Wikileaks announced hours ago that it is about to drop the mother lode of material it has gathered on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Previous Wikileaks document drops set the stage for FBI director James Comey’s letter to Congress last Friday, when he informed lawmakers that he has ordered his agents to reopen their probe of Clinton’s private email server, which he closed last July.
One week on, the FBI probe still dominates election coverage. If Wikileaks is true to its word, and even if it isn’t, Clinton and her campaign team will be unable to shift public attention away from the ballooning allegations of criminal corruption. This will remain the story of the election when polls open Tuesday morning.
The focus on Clinton’s alleged criminality in the final weeks of the election brings the 2016 presidential race full circle. Since the contest began in the summer of 2015, it was clear that this would be an election like no other.
After eight years of Barack Obama’s White House, America is a different place than it was in 2008, when Obama ran on a platform of hope and change.
Americans today are angry, scared, divided and cynical.

Exclusive: Trump beats Clinton in Israeli absentee-voter exit poll

Republican nominee Donald Trump won the US presidential vote among American citizens voting from Israel, according to an iVoteIsrael exit poll taken this week, but in an election plagued with low favorability ratings for both candidates, he had a far less impressive showing than past Republicans have in Israel.
As The Jerusalem Post exclusively reported on Wednesday, Trump received 49% of the Israeli-American vote, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton got 44%, according to the poll conducted by get-out-thevote organization iVoteIsrael and KEEVOON Global Research.
The majority of voters in Israel viewed the candidates unfavorably, with Trump receiving a 65% unfavorable rating and 32% favorable, and Clinton seen as 64% unfavorable and 34% favorable.
In fact, 49% of voters in Israel said the main reason they chose their candidate was because of the “danger of electing the other candidate.” More Trump voters (60%) chose this reason than Clinton voters (39%).
Despite Trump winning among Americans in Israel, more of them are registered Democrats (33%) than Republicans (27%). Of Trump’s votes in Israel, 25% came from Democrats, and 10% of Clinton’s votes came from Republicans.

US warns about possible al Qaeda attacks in New York, Texas, Virginia on Monday

US intelligence officials have warned local authorities in New York, Texas and Virginia about possible attacks by al Qaeda on Monday, a day before the US presidential election, CBS News reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.
No specific locations were mentioned, but US intelligence officials alerted joint terrorism task forces about the possible threat, CBS reported.
“The FBI, working with our federal, state and local counterparts, shares and assesses intelligence on a daily basis and will continue to work closely with law enforcement and intelligence community partners to identify and disrupt any potential threat to public safety,” a senior FBI official told CBS.
Reuters could not immediately verify the report, and officials at the US Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UAE Supported Film That Demonizes Israel Shown at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

This past weekend, The Palestine Film Festival hosted a showing of “Open Bethlehem: A Big Film About a Small Town” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
The film is a documentary produced by Leila Sansour, a pro-Palestinian activist who spent her childhood in the city.
The film, which was shown at the MFA on Saturday, October 29, 2016, is about what you can expect from pro-Palestinian human rights activists. It highlights the impact of the security barrier on the residents of Bethlehem without providing any detail about the suicide bombings that prompted its construction early in the last decade. The movie is intended to make Israel look bad and the Palestinians to look innocent. (Apparently, we should all know by now that nothing is ever the fault of the Palestinians.)
Die-hard anti-Israel activists will love the movie, but as a source of usable and meaningful information about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the choices Palestinians must make for their lives to improve, the movie fails, and fails miserably.
The film, which lasts 90 minutes, is pretty self-referential, to the point of narcissism. It’s all pretty underwhelming. Nevertheless, the film got a four-star review from The Guardian in 2014.

Egyptian BDS Activist Rami Shaath on the Actions that Led Orange to Leave Israel

Fifty seven percent of respondents said they regard Israel as an ally of Britain in the Middle East

Fifty seven percent of respondents said they regard Israel as an ally of Britain in the Middle East
The number of Britons opposed to economic and cultural boycotts of Israel has soared considerably over the past year, a new poll made public on Friday shows.
Fifty one percent of respondents to a survey conducted on behalf of the pro-Israeli Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) think tank voiced their opposition to the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, saying they “do not boycott Israeli goods, and find it difficult to see why others would single out Israel given everything else that is going on in the world.”
This represents an eight percent rise compared to last year’s survey. Fifty six percent of respondents agreed that a boycott hurts both Palestinians and Israelis, a nine percent increase on last year.
The BDS campaign is a coalition of organizations inspired by the anti-apartheid movement who say they are using nonviolent means to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence and encourage international economic and political pressure against Israel.

Congressman Warns U of California: Failure to Prevent Antisemitism on Campuses Violates Federal Law

A California congressman issued a warning Tuesday to the University of California Board of Regents that failing to prevent antisemitism in the classroom and on campus “violates federal law.”
Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman sent the Regents a letter, which The Algemeiner has obtained, in response to recent attention the UC system has been receiving for its failure to combat antisemitic anti-Zionism on its campuses.
Citing a 2010 US Department of Education recommendation, which Sherman helped formulate, Sherman wrote that American universities have an “obligation to protect students from antisemitism.”
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, universities are required to “protect students from bigotry based on ‘race, color or national origin,’ including antisemitism,” Sherman wrote. “It is important that the University of California enforces Title VI and prevents antisemitism.”
“The UC system, including the Berkeley campus, has been home to a hostile environment for Jewish and pro-Israel students on multiple occasions in recent years,” he wrote.

Kent State Students Demand Removal of ‘Golda’ Display, Claiming Late Israeli Leader Engaged in ‘Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians’

Students at Kent State University are demanding the removal of a display featuring a photo of and quotation by the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on the grounds that she participated in the “ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
In an op-ed on the independent student website Kent Wired, the president of the university’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Yousof Mousa, wrote that his group — together with the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA), Ohio Student Association and Muslim Students Association (MSA) — consider the display to be a “discriminatory…daily” reminder of racism on campus.
“Unfortunately for black and Palestinian students…while she [Meir] might be a model for some students, her legacy is more complicated for many of us,” Mousa wrote.
Citing the academic research of virulently anti-Zionist “Israeli scholars,” such as Ilan Pappe and Tom Segev, Mousa wrote that Meir “had policies and statements that were expressly racist against Africans,” which “produced many hurtful stereotypes, and we hear about people of color today in the racism authorized in the Trump campaign.”
“For Palestinians, it is doubly hurtful — Meir once said that we don’t exist as a people,” he added.

‘Mysterious’ Westchester Foundation Collecting the Cash for This Weekend’s National Campus BDS Convention

Hundreds of anti-Israel student activists will convene this weekend in Fairfax, Va., for the annual national Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Conference, hosted by George Mason University Students Against Israeli Apartheid.
But the bills for the three-day event will be paid by an entity that may surprise even many close followers of the movement to isolate Israel via boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).
It’s not a traditional Arab-American hotbed like Dearborn, Michigan, or even a left-wing anti-Israel campus bastion like Berkeley, Calif. Instead, it’s a little-known foundation based in Westchester County, New York, a place known more for its golf courses and suburban synagogues than for hard-core anti-Zionist political agitation.
Click the “donate” button of the national SJP website, and you reach a page with a fundraising thermometer showing $13,000 raised out of the $20,000 goal “to ensure that we have a successful conference this year.” A further click brings up a PayPal page that says, “Donate to WESPAC Foundation.”
“We’re the fiscal sponsor of it,” the executive director of the WESPAC Foundation, Nada Khader, told The Algemeiner in a brief telephone interview this week. “It’s aligned with our mission.”

The Protocols of the Elders of SOAS Palestine Society

On Thursday night I was at SOAS Palestine Society to hear a talk every bit as anti-Semitic as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
It was given by Thomas Suarez, an American musician.
Suarez has recently had a book published (which was on sale). The book is published by Karl Sabbagh’s new publishing company. Sabbagh thinks Israel is responsible for global anti-Semitism. He spoke at the meeting last week in Parliament hosted by Tonge (as a result of which she quit the Lib Dems (before she could be expelled).
Suarez’s book is endorsed by blurb from two people – Tonge and Pappe.
You get the picture.
The theme of the talk was that Zionists achieved their objective after the Balfour Declaration by coercion, murder and terror. UN Resolution 181 was only passed because the countries that voted for it were cowed by Zionist terror. Pretty much every antisemitic trope was there, plus several new ones.

PreOccupiedTerritory: EU Mandates Grade-School Courses On How To Be Dhimmis (satire)

A special commission of the European Parliament submitted its binding recommendations to the legislature today on the subject of absorbing the influx of Muslims from war-torn or economically depressed countries in Africa and the Middle East, with the chief recommendation involving the institution of preparatory courses for elementary and high school students in how to conduct oneself as inferior to Muslims.
The status of non-Muslims under Islamic rule, known as dhimma, was the norm throughout the Islamic world since the advent and expansion of the faith from the seventh century CE onward. Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Yezidis, Hindus, and many other non-Muslim peoples were dhimmis, which meant that they enjoyed certain protections, but had their rights and freedoms restricted in comparison to those of their Muslim neighbors. The commission recommended that in anticipation of a further influx of Muslims, a high birthrate among the immigrants, and difficulties in assimilating the newcomers into the host culture, the Continent should instead embrace dhimmi status to make the new arrivals feel welcome.
“Many of the largely symbolic provisions of dhimmitude are not even relevant in modern Europe,” noted the chief of the commission, Vidkun Quisling of Norway. “The ban on dhimmis riding horses has been rendered meaningless. Dhimmis may not carry weapons, but that’s already the case for the vast majority of European citizens. And no Dhimmi may testify in court against a Muslim, but to be honest, who among us isn’t already too intimidated to do so? This commission agreed unanimously that training our young people to embrace this future is the wisest course of action and will smooth relations with our new fellow citizens of Europe.”

Reuters’ Leaky Water Story

Reuters ends by interviewing a UNICEF official who suggests reactivating ancient underground water cisterns from Roman times to help with the Palestinian water supply. All well and good except Reuters fails to mention that among those water projects scuppered by the Palestinians includes sewage treatment works. Thus, untreated Palestinian sewage is left to contaminate underground water supplies as well as polluting both Palestinian and Israeli water sources.
So Reuters went to the effort of interviewing Palestinians and NGO representatives. So why then could the journalist not ask for comment from an Israeli source such as the Civil Administration or the Mekorot water authority?
That Reuters failed to do so is a prime example of imbalanced reporting.
We did, however, ask the Civil Administration for comment:
In the previous years, the State of Israel has raised the water flow to the Palestinian Authority. Just last summer, 11,000 cubic meters of water were added to the water line leading to Bethlehem and Hebron, which is connected to a water pipe leading to the village of Jaba. It should be noted that starting from the connecting pipes, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for regulating the water.
Civil Administration officials are continuously in contact with the residents of Jaba which has raised no complaints regarding the water supply. Also, there have been no demolition orders issued against water facilities within the village.
Due to the regular failure of convening the Joint Water Committee, COGAT unilaterally confirmed over ten projects, such as water and sewer connections in past two years, which are designed to improve the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. One of the projects is a comprehensive upgrade of the water system in the area between Jaba and Tarqumyia, including the replacement of water pipelines, pumping stations and the construction of water reservoirs. This upgrade, is an initiative of USAID and is expected to significantly improve the water regulatory system. The Coordinator has approved the project, and the inattentive to put in required input devices into Judea and Samaria and has urged the Palestinian Authority to promote the initiative, which affects mostly Area B.
Currently Israel supplies to the Palestinian Authority some 67 million cubic meters of water a year, which is a large amount of 30 million cubic meters about that determined in the Oslo Accords.

BBC News ignores Hamas bid to join PLO

As was pointed out at the Tower:
“Accepting Hamas into the PLO without forcing it to renounce terrorism would put the Palestinian Authority at odds with the Quartet’s Roadmap for Peace, which requires Palestinian leadership to issue an “unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate end to all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere.””
One of course does not need too good a memory to recall that the last time such a move was on the cards just two and a half years ago, the Palestinian Authority’s pledges that its ‘unity government’ with Hamas would “abide by previous agreements” and “continue “programmes of peace”” were quickly proven to be worthless.
Hamas is of course highly unlikely to accept any demand to renounce terrorism – as Masha’al’s words illustrate. If the BBC does get round to reporting Hamas’ latest bid to join the PLO, it will be interesting to see whether or not audiences are accurately informed of that organisation’s existing commitments.

‘Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built today’

The American architect who designed the Berlin Holocaust memorial said that such a memorial could not be built today due to rising anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Peter Eisenman said in an interview published last week in the German weekly Die Zeit that the current atmosphere of hate in Germany and the United States would not have allowed him to build such a memorial.
“The social climate has changed. Much of what was long considered to be acceptable is now being questioned,” Eisenman said.
The $14.5 million national Holocaust memorial opened in 2005 after years of debate and discussion about its design and who it was geared toward.
Created at the initiative of a non-Jewish activist, the memorial includes the above-ground, abstract monument designed by Eisenman — 2,711 tombstone-like slabs of stone of varying heights that occupy an entire city block — and a subterranean exhibit that tells the story of the systematic murder by the Nazis of 6 million Jews.

VW denies it fired historian who highlighted company’s Nazi past

German auto giant Volkswagen said Thursday it had appointed a historian to look into the firm’s actions during Brazil’s military dictatorship, following allegations it had allowed the torture of employees critical of the regime.
The move came after former employees filed a civil lawsuit in Brazil last year which claimed 12 workers were arrested and tortured in a VW factory near Sao Paulo during the 1964-1985 dictatorship, and dozens of people there were placed on a blacklist. Volkswagen said in a statement it had commissioned Professor Christopher Kopper of Bielefeld University in Germany “to clarify the group’s role during the military dictatorship in Brazil.”
The announcement was overshadowed however by a spat brewing at home over the sudden departure last month of VW’s longtime chief historian Manfred Grieger, who led efforts to shed light on the group’s actions in Nazi Germany.
Founded in the 1930s by a Nazi trade union, VW has in the past won praise for being open about its actions during World War II, when it used concentration camp internees and prisoners of war as slave labor in its factories.

Internationally Acclaimed Israeli Drama Adapted for Indian Television

The internationally acclaimed Israeli thriller Hatufim has been adapted for Indian television as a limited run series called POW – Bandi Yuddh Ke (Prisoners of War), Reuters reported Thursday.
As with the Israeli original, which was also the basis for the hit American show Homeland, the drama will focus on two soldiers who return home after spending 17 years in captivity.
The 126-episode Bandi Yuddh Ke will be a particular rarity for Indian television, which is dominated by family melodramas that run for years.
Gideon Raff, the creator of Hatufim, spoke of his inspiration for the series from the set of its Indian adaptation, where he was invited to oversee production by director Nikkhil Advani.
“In Israel we are obsessed with prisoners of war, with captivity. When one of our soldiers is captured by a terrorist organisation or country, we go out to the streets. The people strongly demand that the government pay a high price to bring them back,” Raff told India’s Firstpost last week.

French presidential plane equipped with Israeli defense system

The official plane of the President of France, François Hollande, was upgraded and equipped with an Israeli-made anti-missile defense system.
The Elbit-made system, which is estimated to cost $1 million per unit, is considered to be the most sophisticated system of its kind. Recent photos of the presidential plane show the special cell containing the device attached to the belly of the plane, the back and behind the wings. Israeli airline El Al has already been equipped with the system.
Défens’Aéro, a French blog specializing in aviation, noticed the newly installed system after seeing photographs of the plane two weeks ago in Bordeaux.
According to French news agency AFP, an anonymous French security official confirmed the system.
The system consists of smart thermal cameras that identify an incoming missile and targets the missile with a laser beam. The specialized beam interferes with the missile’s targeting system, deflecting it off its trajectory and allowing it to explode at a safe distance from the plane.
Shoulder-fired missiles are now the main dangers facing aircraft, especially in war zones. They are relatively cheap, accessible and easy to operate.

Fleeing France, an African Jewish family makes aliyah

As a Jewish family originally from the Ivory Coast, Amy and George Camara and their four children felt somewhat immune to the rising anti-Semitic thuggery in France.
The Camaras, relieved to leave their war-torn African country, settled in the northern French city of Lille in 2012. Because they fit no one’s Jewish stereotype, they said they were able to live as Jews without fear — despite, in recent years, the rise in attacks on French Jews from a small segment of Muslim extremists.
But the Camaras soon discovered that belonging to both the African and Jewish minorities also came with its own set of challenges, said Amy, the 53-year-old daughter of an Ivorian father and a French Jewish Holocaust survivor. The difficulties prompted the family to again pack their suitcases and leave France — for Israel, the only country where this unique Jewish family says it can live comfortably according to their identity.
For the Camaras, whom Amy describes as “proudly Jewish but not too observant,” life in France wasn’t “truly comfortable,” she said.
Precisely because no one from their immediate environment thought they might be Jewish, “people, even friends, would say the most awful lies about Israel and Jews in our presence,” Amy said.
“There was no single incident that made us decide to leave, it’s more of a cumulative effect,” she said.

2 Israelis to Receive Emperor’s ‘Order of Rising Sun’ Medal From Japanese Government for Bolstering Cultural Ties

Two Israelis will be among 96 foreign recipients of this year’s “Order of the Rising Sun” medal from the Japanese government, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.
According to the report, Prof. Meron Medzini and architect Arie Kutz will be awarded the honor in an upcoming ceremony at the home of Japanese Ambassador to Israel Koji Tomita.
Medzini, 84 — an associate professor of East Asian studies at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a former director of Israel’s Government Press Office — is being granted the honor for his contribution to the promotion of Japanese studies in Israel.
Kutz, an urban planner and chairman of the Israel-Japan Friendship Association, is receiving the honor for his advancement of relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Israel.
The Order of the Rising Sun — established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji and the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government — is bestowed upon individuals who have made unique contributions in international relations, the promotion of Japanese culture, social welfare or environmental protection. The badges of honor are bestowed by the bureau of medals in the Japanese prime minister’s office, in the name of Emperor Akihito, who has served in that role since the death of his father in 1989.

Hollywood salutes IDF soldiers

American Friends of the IDF (FIDF) held a star-studded event in Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel Thursday night to honor IDF soldiers. Some 1,200 arrived from the US and Israel.
The evening was hosted by Israeli-American businessman Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl, who successfully drafted a list of Hollywood stars and American businesspeople to come and show support for the soldiers.
Those in attendance included Oscar-winning movie star Robert De Niro and media personality Larry King, the movie star, bodybuilder and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, actress Joanna Krupa, and actor Gerard Butler.
The event featured 17 soldiers representing a wide spectrum of units within the IDF, and included “lone soldiers” originally from the US who had decided to move to Israel by themselves and join the IDF.
This year, a record 38 million dollars was raised for IDF soldiers.
Haim Saban, the largest private donor to IDF soldiers and Chairman of the annual lavish gala event, said: “This year, we mark a decade since Cheryl and I stand at the head of this exciting event, and we are thankful for the loads of support the event receives every year. We are happy to see that the main mission of FIDF – to provide benefits and educational opportunities for IDF soldiers – continues to harness the LA community.”

Jerusalem’s Glide hatches first camera for Apple Watch

How did a small Israeli company get to design CMRA, the Apple Watch camera band accessory introduced November 2 in a groundbreaking advance for the wearables field?
“When we started playing with the first line of smartwatches in 2013, we realized that we were close to the future of communication but it needed a camera to come to fruition,” says Jonathan Caras, cofounder and COO of Glide, whose free video messaging app is installed on millions of smartphones and devices, including Apple Watch and Android Wear.
Introduced in 2014, Apple Watch has sold some 15 million units, yet hasn’t replaced the smartphone as a primary-use device. The tech giant therefore came to agree with Glide’s assessment that a camera accessory could be game-changing.
“When Apple heard that we were working on a camera-band accessory, they rolled out the red carpet to help us construct CMRA with an Apple feel and look,” Caras tells ISRAEL21c.
Shawn Grening, former technical program manager for Apple Watch, joined Glide to guide the project with Glide CEO Ari Roisman.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, one-third of Apple Watch users regularly buy accessory watchbands, “none of which offer external functionality,” Caras points out. “So we’re coming to market with not just a high-quality band but a whole new dimension to what the product can do.”

A two-inch computer for $55

The 2x2x2-inch CuBox-i is the smallest computer in the world. It sells for just $55 and is made in Israel by SolidRun, a 10-person company cofounded by two Arab-Israeli electrical engineers with a background in the high-tech industry.
CuBox-i is the newest model from SolidRun, which launched its first CuBox low-power, miniature micro-PC and media center at the end of 2011, just a year after going into business. The tiny, yet powerful computer is not designed for tasks like word processing or photo manipulation. It’s mainly meant for the Internet of Things (IoT), among other uses.
Weighing only about three ounces (91 grams) with a built-in operating system and WiFi, CuBox can be your Android TV box, multimedia streamer, networked storage solution and pocket-size personal computer, running Lite Desktop and infinite open-source applications. If you need more juice, you can scale up to the CuBox-i2 ($80) or CuBox-i4 Pro ($140) without scaling up in size.
“As of today, we are the smallest computer in the world,” CEO Kossay Omary tells ISRAEL21c. “You do see computers getting smaller, but no competitor has achieved this extreme size and efficiency. It’s good news that the market is moving in this direction, though, because it validates that we chose the correct path.”

Gal Gadot shines in second Wonder Woman trailer

Fans have been given a second tantalizing glimpse of Israel’s Gal Gadot as the heroic “Wonder Woman.”
Set to hit theaters on June 2, 2017, “Wonder Woman” focuses on a classic DC Comics character already seen in 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
The latest preview opens with the brunette warrior — alias Diana Prince — explaining her reluctance to save the world.
“The closer you get, the more you see the great darkness within,” she narrates with scenes moving from modern Paris, to the lush, fantastical island of Themyscira and onto the horrors of World War I.
The clip promises plenty of action, with Wonder Woman tackling trench warfare, using her Bracelets of Submission to block bullets and even sneaking a sword down the back of an evening gown.

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