Michael Curtis: The Balfour Declaration and British Leftist anti-Semitism
What is significant is that at the dinner honoring Balfour, attended among others by Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn did was absent.
Corbyn himself is not regarded as anti-Semitic but he is the head of the Labour party that contains a significant section that can be described in this way. Allegations of these members are rife: the modern state of Israel was created by the Rothschilds not by God; Jews control Wall Street; Hollywood; the media; TV networks; law courts; international spying; sex trafficking; and the statement that every Jew who died in the Holocaust was a blessing.
It is disappointing that training sessions over the last 14 months about anti-Semitism for 1,200 Labour Party members have had little effect. Jewish Labour members have been held responsible for a Jewish conspiracy, and control of media.
This also brings up the matter of social media itself. The latest example is a Tweet that said, with uncomplimentary remarks, that Stamford Hill in northeast London was riddled with Jews. It is indeed the case that 20,000 Haredi jews, the largest orthodox community in the UK, live there. Twitter refused to remove the post.
The twin problems seem out of control. Twitter must be held accountable for what appears on its site. And the British Labour Party must root out anti-Semitism once and for all.
Labour is a party which claims the mantle of progress. It is a sad, but telling, state of affairs that a British Lord had a more enlightened attitude to the Jewish people a century ago than many in the Labour Party do today.
Once again, the fact that the armed forces of five Arab countries invaded Israel the day after independence was declared was airbrushed from the BBC’s account, as was the fact that a considerable number of the Palestinian Arabs who left their homes around that time did so at the advice of Arab leaders.
“The British Mandate terminated on 14 May 1948 and the Jewish leadership in Palestine declared an independent Israeli state. In the Arab-Israeli war that followed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled or were forced from their homes.”
The above-mentioned insert of analysis from Jonathan Marcus encouraged readers to believe that there are two “competing narratives” concerning the Balfour Declaration (while of course ‘impartially’ refraining from discussing their validity) but avoided the topic of the Palestinian Authority’s long-standing politicisation of that document.
“Much of the current focus on the Balfour Declaration is due to the fact that it supports the competing narratives of the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership.
For the Israelis it highlights the legitimacy of the Jewish national enterprise, while for Palestinians, it underscores the role of the major powers in helping to create Israel, while – in their view – the legitimate Palestinian aspirations to statehood were ignored or side-lined.
Thus both sides have a very different interpretation of the declaration’s significance – one that serves today’s arguments about one of the region’s longest unresolved struggles.”
As we see from this report and others, BBC coverage of the Balfour Declaration centenary has conformed to a standard formula focusing on unquestioning amplification of PA/PLO messaging while completely erasing the part of the document relating to “the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country” and the topic of Jewish refugees from Arab lands.
Zionism during World War 1 I THE GREAT WAR Special
Zionism, the movement for the establishment of a Jewish homeland, got new momentum during World War 1. Zionists, like Chaim Weizmann rallied for support in their respective home countries, others wanted to actively advance the zionist idea by taking part in the war and fought with the Jewish Legions. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was another step towards fulfilling the idea of a home for the Jewish people. (h/t MtTB)
Battle of Beersheba – Canadian Frustration – Balfour Declaration I THE GREAT WAR Week 171
On the Western Front this week, the Canadians under Sir Arthur Currie attempt to advance once more, whilst Haig remains optimistic about an imminent breakthrough. Following Caporetto, the Italian retreat continues, whilst the British Army enjoys success on the Palestine Front, with a little help from mounted ANZAC troops. With Lenin’s return, the revolution looms over the Russian capital, whilst the Balfour Declaration is issued in Britain. (h/t MtTB)
The Facebook page of Fatah – you know, the party to which our “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas belongs – has marked the 100th year since the Balfour Declaration with this quaint little illustration.
The antisemitic caricature is a nice touch, don’t you think?
But seriously, if they truly saw this as purely a territorial dispute, why the disparaging of Jews?
Dear Mr. Corbyn:
I am in receipt of your communiqué from Wednesday last, in which you made the generous proposal to form a partnership with you in shepherding the UK Labour Party toward victory in future elections.
First of all, thank you for considering me and the movement I lead for such an honorable position. Hamas in general, and I personally, welcome every sign that our cause is not universally reviled in Europe. Our position both at home in Palestine and in the capitals of the Middle East, remains sensitive. With reluctance, then, I am forced to decline your offer, as Hamas needs me at this crucial time to dedicate myself to cultivating and maintaining allies in Tehran, Doha, Sana, Damascus, Beirut, and Ankara.
I look forward to a time when our position has stabilized and improved to the point that we can stand together before throngs of progressive supporters in London and around the UK to call for the destruction of Israel. It warms my heart, and the hearts of all who see the glory and freedom of an Islamic Palestine as values, to see we have such an ally in the fight against Zionist imperialism. It remains my fervent prayer that sooner, rather than later, we can join hands in a victory rally to celebrate both Labour’s assumption of leadership and our seizure of all the land between the River and the Sea that it may be cleansed of Jews.
An Oxford University professor and government adviser on tackling extremism is facing new allegations including sexual misconduct with minors.
Prof Tariq Ramadan was accused of rape last month by a French feminist author. He has denied the allegation and said he will sue for libel.
He is now facing new accusations from four Swiss women who say he made sexual advances to them when they were studying under him as teenagers in Geneva.
One of the women told Tribune de Geneve newspaper Prof Ramadan made unsuccessful sexual advances to her when she was 14 years old.
Another alleged he had sexual relations with her in the back of his car when she was 15 years old.
The other two women said they were 18 when they had sexual relations with him, but accused him of abusing his position of power as their teacher.
Prof Ramadan was accused of rape by the French author Henda Ayari last month.
Since then two more women have accused him of rape. He has denied the accusations and filed a case for libel in the French courts.
In the United States, people who have benefited from Ramadan’s star power have had little to say.
Of course that’s somewhat to be expected. Ramadan is vehemently anti-Israel, so it comes as no surprise that his fans and followers would be, too. Besides, the charges against him describe such heinous behavior – dragging a woman by her hair through a hotel room, repeated beatings and sexual assaults, sexual abuse of a disabled woman and more – that only the Zionists, the Jews, could have come up with them.
Which is why one fan posted on Ramadan’s Facebook page (translated from Arabic) “One of the ways of the Zionists is to use women as a sexual commodity to pressure their enemies and threaten to expose them to become their servants.” Another added, “The Muslim asses are waking up and can see clearly why these accusations are launched against Muslims and especially one who is a proponent of the Palestinian cause.” And yet another wrote from Canada: “[the episode stands in the center] of the whole Emirati war on Qatar, and the war of the Zionist and secular lobby in France.”
Even after the revelations of another rape came to light, Ramadan’s minions remained unmoved. While one admitted that “I don’t believe and I won’t believe what they invent about you even if it happens in front of my eyes, I will lie and believe you,” another posted: “The Zionist lobby realized that the first complaint was not enough to smear Mr. Ramadan’s reputation and integrity, so they fomented another story with a more violent accusation in order to shock the public…. We know Mr. Ramadan and we know as well the Zionist lobby and its Zionist dogs (media and politics) who struggle since long ago to smear Tariq Ramadan’s reputation and academic work… in vain. Mr. Ramadan, we will NEVER let you down, no matter how loud the Zionist dogs’ barking is.”
Others have pointed to the “immodesty” of his accusers: what were they doing going to his hotel room? (He invited them when they requested spiritual guidance.) And why did they not wear hijabs? After all, as Ramadan has taught, women should always remain covered, as protection against the unbridled lust and weakness of men. On Twitter, one follower posted: “France is the capital of vice and prostitution where hookers are cheaper than a cup of coffee. Its [sic] probably lies to sell her book.” And in a diatribe defending Ramadan on Facebook, Mohamad H. Elmasry, an Egyptian-American activist and political analyst, criticized Ayari’s opposition to the hijab, of which she has written, “It is not for women to hide because of sexual and perverted frustration that is unable to control themselves [sic] by the beauty of a woman!”
Laurent ‘Riss’ Sourisseau, Charlie Hebdo‘s editor, said the threats and hate mail had “never really stopped” after the 2015 jihadist attack in which 12 people were gunned down at its offices.
“Sometimes there are peaks when we receive explicit death threats on social media – this has been the case once again,” he told Europe 1 radio.
However, he suggested the climate had worsened. “Calls to murder have become commonplace,” he said.
“It’s always difficult to know if these are serious threats or not, but as a principle, we take them seriously and press charges.”
Jean Plantureux, one of France’s most famous satirical cartoonists, added: “It’s great this drawing. I don’t see what people have against it. He’s got a big d*ck and says I’m the sixth pillar of Islam. They’re just having a bit of fun.”
Princeton University’s Hillel House was forced to cancel a planned speech from Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, after a progressive Jewish group on campus complained Hotovely was “pro-Israel,” and accused the government official of “racism.”
The event was moved to a Chabad, located on campus, but that only barely satiated the angry progressives who campaigned forcefully ahead of Hotovely’s appearance, accusing the foreign minister of all manner of sins, stemming from the bare fact that Hotovely is a member of the Israeli government.
Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life apologized for inviting Hotovely to speak on campus without “properly vetting” her credentials:
The Center for Jewish Life at Princeton decided to postpone the program with Member of Knesset Tzipi Hotovely until we can properly vet the program through our Israel Advisory Committee. We are fortunate that our colleagues at Chabad agreed to host the program today as originally scheduled and we are encouraging our students who are interested to attend. We regret the last-minute change and apologize to Ms. Hotovely for the inconvenience. We look forward to a continued robust and healthy debate around Israel in our community.
The “Alliance of Jewish Progressives” was reportedly responsible for Hotovely’s last-minute move. In an open letter, published in the Daily Princetonian, the leftist Jewish organization, tore into the Center for Jewish Life for daring to bring Hotovely to campus, knowing that she supports the right of Israel to exist, and could have plied students with “pro-Israel literature.”
Chapter 458 in the shameless hypocrisy of Jewish Voice for Peace.
NYU ‘s Jewish Voice for Peace branch is recruiting using a poster with the tagline “Wherever we live that’s our homeland.”
Its meant, of course to deny the Jewish people’s deep cultural and spiritual ties with Israel, our ancient homeland.
Would Jewish Voice for Peace use the tagline “Wherever we live that’s our homeland” for the Palestinians? JVP believes in the mythical “right of return”, and certainly does not consider the generations of Palestinians living in Syria, in Jordan and in Lebanon at “home.”
Why does JVP have a different set of standards for the Jewish people than it has for the Palestinians?
Thats the real Palestine exception.
Here at Harry’s Place we’d like to wish blogger and all around star David Collier a hearty Mazel Tov on being the subject of a smear article by the Asa “through the looking glass” Winstanley for whom no event is too innocuous to be a part of a Zionist conspiracy.
Winstanley seems to have realised what the rest of us have known for a long time, that Collier’s commendable work unmasking the sheer volume of antisemitism prevalent in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and also the Labour Party serves as a threat to antisemites everywhere. Naturally therefore Winstanly rushed in to attack him.
But he has nothing to attack him with so all we’re left to read is an article showing off just how impressive Collier’s work is.
Of course Collier saw this coming a mile away and predicted precisely what Winstanley’s article would look like.
Keep it up David!
If liberals today are really vexed by a lack of civility in public discourse, their failure to condemn the excesses of their compatriots is curious and troubling. President Trump has become a foil for them to deflect responsibility for their own incitement of hatred and social discord, which they euphemistically refer to as “the resistance.” They accuse Trump of fostering bigotry against Jews (despite his history of supporting Israel and Jewish causes), while simultaneously facilitating progressive anti-Semitism by defending it as political speech or artfully blaming Israeli policies for engendering backlash. In so doing, they ignore the role their identity politics has played in creating divisiveness over the last eight years – perhaps more than any policy of Trump in his first nine months in office.
Liberals and Democrats have every right to disagree with Trump, but they should hold themselves to objective standards of honesty. If they are genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism now, they should explain their silence about it during the Obama years – when synagogues were defaced, cemeteries were desecrated, Jewish college students were assaulted, and the administration was complicit, by act or omission, in some of the most vile, anti-Israel resolutions ever passed in the UN. Likewise, they should condemn BDS and acknowledge that a majority of their party has indeed abandoned Israel. And if they truly want to purge their souls, they should acknowledge their failure to chastise fellow progressives for promoting global Jewish conspiracy myths and seeking alignment with Islamists dedicated to destroying Israel and exterminating the Jews.
Most importantly, they need to be morally consistent. President Trump may be prone to gaffes and provocative statements, and he may not have the same oratory skills as some of his predecessors, but when he condemned anti-Semitism in the wake of cemetery desecrations a few months ago, he did not falsely equate it with Islamophobia as Obama’s minions were wont to do. Nor has he ever treated Israel as shabbily as Obama did so blatantly for eight years.
If mainstream liberals are honestly concerned about rising bigotry and threats to free speech, they shouldn’t reflexively lay all blame on Trump and the Alt-right. They should instead acknowledge the left’s complicity – from its long history of anti-Semitism to its current assault on dialogue and dissent – and their own role in enabling both. And they should pledge to do better.
The link embedded in the word “banned”, in the Guardian editorial, takes you to a BBC article from January 2009, which notes a decision by the Israel Central Elections Committee to bar two Israeli Arab parties (United Arab List-Ta’al and Balad) from running in the following month’s election. The ban was prompted by allegations that the parties supported terrorism.
However, as BBC (and other news outlets) reported two weeks later, the Israeli Supreme Court promptly overturned the ban before it could go into effect.
We followed up our tweet with an email to editors.
A couple of days later, we learned that our complaint was upheld.
A Jewish man has said that a police officer told him to “get lost” after he witnessed and reported an antisemitic incident targeting young Jewish girls.
The man witnessed an unprovoked incident on Sunday when children targeted young Jewish girls by shouting abuse at them, leaving them shocked and fearing for their safety. The witness believed this to be motivated by antisemitism and called the police to report the incident which occured in Warwick Grove in Hackney. As a police car arrived, the witness approached it and the window of the police car opened. A police officer allegedly asked the witness “Did you just call police for 10-year-old kids?” to which the witness replied “Yes.” The witness then says that the police officer aggressively replied “Get lost” and sped away from the scene.
There have been numerous incidents in which Jewish children have been attacked by other children, including one case in which a 16-year-old girl was left bloodied for hours after police failed to attend.
Stamford Hill Shomrim, a Jewish community neighbourhood watch patrol, is assisting the witness. They have made a formal complaint to the police and referred the case to Campaign Against Antisemitism for assistance.
Shadow Minister Chris Williamson has tweeted a blog article entitled “Revealed: The Labour Party activists behind the ‘antisemitism’ smears”, which he commended as “really interesting”. Despite its grand use of terms such as “raw data” and “the power of weak links”, the article does little more than to insinuate – on the flimsiest of evidence – that a small number of social media users constitute a “network of hate” and to accuse Councillor Warren Morgan – the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council whose brave stand against antisemitism we applauded in September – of lying, bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, and “regurgitating second-hand fabrications about alleged antisemitism”. It was written by internet millionaire and former Daily Mail journalist Greg Hadfield, whose membership of the Labour Party is currently suspended.
Although one might find it extraordinary that a member of the Shadow Cabinet should take to social media to promote a suspended party member’s attack on one of his own party’s elected representatives, it should be remembered that Mr Williamson has a track record when it comes to the dismissal of complaints of antisemitism as malicious smears (a track record that he shares with Scott Nelson, an expelled former Labour Party member whom he frequently retweets).
In the UK, it is accepted that an incident perceived as racist should be investigated as such. The idea that one particular ethnic group — and one particular ethnic group alone — cannot be trusted to recognise racism when directed against itself is incompatible with the Macpherson principle that underpins the British approach to racism. It would be regrettable indeed if the endorsement of Mr Hadfield’s article by such a senior politician as Mr Williamson were to have the effect of intimidating party members from coming forward with or responding to complaints about antisemitism. The Labour Party’s new rules on hate speech, adopted by near-unanimous vote after a highly controversial conference debate, cannot begin to have an impact on the Party’s undeniable antisemitism problem unless whistleblowers are able to speak out without fear of reprisals.
A French court on Tuesday ordered the return of a painting by impressionist master Camille Pissarro to the family of a Jewish art collector dispossessed during World War II.
The court ruled in favor of the relatives of Simon Bauer, a wealthy businessman whose assets were seized in 1943 by the anti-Semitic wartime French government which collaborated with the Nazis.
“La Cueillette des Pois” (Picking Peas) had been at the center of a dispute with its current owners, American couple Bruce and Robbi Toll, who said they bought it in good faith.
“My clients will be very disappointed not to be able to retrieve this painting, they were very attached to it. They will certainly appeal,” the couple’s lawyer Ron Soffer said.
“They do not consider that it is up to them for pay for the crimes of the Vichy regime.”
Bauer’s descendants spotted an opportunity to retrieve the painting earlier this year when they realized the Tolls, who bought it at Christie’s in New York in 1995 for $800,000 (690,000 euros), had lent it to the Marmottan museum in Paris.
A colossal “sea of plastic” was discovered last month in the Caribbean, with bunched-up bottles and bags stretching for miles.
It reminded one Israeli environmental entrepreneur of the polluted Haifa Bay and Kishon River — with all of its petrochemicals.
“All the plastics, they stay for hundreds of years inside the water. We are the only solution for the Caribbean that can process all the organic waste together, and you don’t have to separately sort it,” said Yuval Tamir.
As a former naval commando for twenty years, Tamir would dive regularly into the contaminated Kishon River for training. Shortly after being discharged, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Tamir doesn’t know whether prolonged exposure to debris caused his cancer, but he battles the disease by founding Infimer Technologies, which seeks to recycle plastic from your household waste.
Some 300 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide annually — from plastic forks and spoons to water bottles and ziplock bags — of which only nine percent is recycled, according to a recent paper in Science Magazine, with another 12% incinerated and 79% accumulating in landfills. Plastic is polluting the world — from commercial fishing and general health to the environment — and it costs around $40 billion annually, according to a conservative estimate from the United Nations Environment Programme.
Israel is sending aid to Madagascar as the Indian Ocean island nation copes with its worst “Black Death” plague outbreak in half a century.
At least 1,800 people in Madagascar have been infected with the disease and 127 have died.
According to the African Independent, the Israeli assistance shipment was organized by the Jewish state’s Foreign Ministry and the Magen David Adom emergency service.
“We expect all packages to be delivered to the International Red Cross in Madagascar in the next few days,” Ayelet Black — Israel’s deputy ambassador to South Africa — was quoted as telling the African News Agency. “The delivery of different medical equipment such as gloves to carry out medical procedures is being coordinated between Israel’s honorary consul in Madagascar, Benjamin Memmi, and Madagascar’s Bureau for Natural Disasters.”
“Israel has a long standing tradition of offering humanitarian assistance and coordinating relief to alleviate disease, hunger and poverty,” Black continued. “We have experience in helping countries going through natural and man-made disasters and will always provide assistance to help those in need.”
French Jewish author Olivier Guez won the Renaudot award, one of France’s top literary prizes, for his book “The Disappearance of Josef Mengele”.
The journalist who writes for various French and international publications spent years retracing the secret post-Holocaust life of the SS doctor, notorious as the “Angel of Death” at the Auschwitz concentration camp for his often lethal experiments on prisoners.
Mengele managed to escape to Argentina and even got a West German passport in his own name in the 1950s so he could return for a holiday in his hometown.
“I wanted to understand what is left of a person after they have done that kind of evil,” Guez, 43, said after winning the prize.
“I wanted to know what Mengele’s life was like afterwards, whether he had been punished or not. I think in Europe today (with the rise of the far-right) we need to understand the extraordinary mediocrity of evil,” he added.
Natalie Portman, a celebrated actress, director and social activist, was named the winner of the 2018 Genesis Prize.
Portman’s award of the so-called “Jewish Nobel” was announced on Tuesday by the Genesis Prize Foundation.
She joins artist Anish Kapoor, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor-director Michael Douglas as a recipient of the $1 million prize, which honors individuals who serve as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through their outstanding professional achievement, commitment to Jewish values and to the Jewish people.
Portman’s prize money will go to programs that focus on advancing women’s equality. The funds will be used for grants to organizations involved in promoting women’s educational opportunities, economic advancement, health and safety, and full participation in policy formulation and political activity. A significant portion of the funds will go to programs advancing women’s equality in Israel, the foundation said in a statement.
Portman was born in Israel and, after moving to the United States as a child, retained a close connection to her Jewish and Israeli roots. She is a noted social activist in such areas as gender equality, combating poverty, microfinance, and animal rights.
To reduce the emissions fueling climate change and develop more efficient ways of generating energy, while focusing on the bottom line, governments and private institutions all over the world have been turning to renewable energy. And while solar and wind energy advance and become more widely accepted, scientists continue to explore the possibility of stabilizing nuclear fusion as a truly renewable energy source that far outperforms current options.
But what if there’s an even better source of energy that’s also potentially less volatile than nuclear fusion? This possibility is what researchers from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago proposed in a new study published in the journal Nature.
This new source of energy, according to researchers Marek Karliner and Jonathan Rosner, comes from the fusion of subatomic particles known as quarks. These particles are usually produced as a result of colliding atoms that move at high speeds within the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where these component parts split from their parent atoms. It doesn’t stop there, however, as these disassociated quarks also tend to collide with one another and fuse into particles called baryons.
It is this fusion of quarks that Karliner and Rosner focused on, as they found that this fusion is capable of producing energy even greater than what’s produced in hydrogen fusion. In particular, they studied how fused quarks configure into what’s called a doubly-charmed baryon. Fusing quarks require 130 MeV to become doubly-charmed baryons, which, in turn, releases energy that’s 12 MeV more energy. Turning their calculations to heavier bottom quarks, which need 230 MeV to fuse, they found that a resulting baryon could produce approximately 138 MeV of net energy—about eight times more than what hydrogen fusion releases. (h/t Zvi)
One of Germany’s biggest automotive corporations, Continental, has announced plans to acquire Israeli startup Argus Cyber Security for some $450 million.
Argus, founded in 2013 by three veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 Intelligence Unit, develops systems that defend cars’ computer systems against cyberattacks, a field considered vital in the dawning age of self-driving cars. The company has offices in Tel Aviv, Detroit, Silicon Valley, Stuttgart and Tokyo, and holds 38 granted and pending patents.
“Argus was founded with a vision to protect all vehicles on the road from cyber threats. We have developed the most comprehensive automotive cyber security offering in the industry,” said Argus co-founder and CEO Ofer Ben-Noon.
Argus will become part of Continental’s stand-alone software subsidiary Elektrobit.
Ben-Noon said that with “millions of connected cars on the road,” Argus cannot think of a better time to become part of Elektrobit.
Continental is the fouth-largest tire manufacturer in the world and the second-largest manufacturer of spare automotive parts in Europe. It employs more than 140,000 workers in 46 countries worldwide.
John Hagee Ministries (JHM) announced a donation of more than $2.1 million to Israeli charities during the recently held 36th annual Night to Honor Israel at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.
Started in 1981, Pastor John Hagee’s Night to Honor Israel is one of the country’s longest-running Christian Zionist events, and has amassed donations of more than $100 million to Israeli and Jewish charities. At this year’s event, Hagee focused a significant portion of his comments on the Iran nuclear deal.
“Every American…should be applauding the efforts of President Trump to change the Iran nuclear agreement or cancel the agreement,” said Hagee, who is also the founder of Christians United for Israel, which describes itself as “the largest pro-Israel grassroots organization in the United States.”
Hagee’s son, Pastor Matt Hagee, who serves as Cornerstone Church’s executive pastor, said that Christians “have a biblical mandate to stand with Israel.”
“As any parent will tell you, the best way to instill values in the next generation is to lead by example, and we hope that when young men and women see JHM’s efforts to support Israel and its people, they will take note and do likewise when they are able,” Matt Hagee said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu surprised Ioana Isac from Romania, who became the 3 millionth tourist to visit the Jewish state this year, by serving as her tour guide in Jerusalem.
Isac and her partner, Mihai Georgescu, set a new record for tourists who visited Israel in a single year by becoming tourist numbers 3,000,000 and 3,000,001 when they stepped off their plane at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin welcomed the couple in the arrival hall in Ben Gurion Airport, and continued to accompany them until they reached the Tower of David museum in the Old City of Jerusalem, where they were surprised to find that their tour guide was none other than Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
During their vacation, they will enjoy an upgrade to a pampering hotel suite, a ride in a limousine, a helicopter tour in the skies of Israel, a unique Dead Sea experience, a sunset tour of the Tel Aviv promenade and a private dinner prepared by Israeli chef Nir Tzuk in his home.
In the period January – October 2017, 63,000 tourists arrived from Romania, compared to 40,100 in the same period in 2016 (increase of 57%) and 37,400 in 2015. The Romanian tourist stays an average of 7 nights in Israel. At the height of the season, there are 64 weekly flights between Romania and Israel, with most of them on the Bucharest- Tel Aviv route. There are also 15 weekly flights from Timisoara, Oradea, Craiova, Iasi and Cluj to Ben Gurion airport, with a new route from Bucharest to Ovdah airport in southern Israel beginning this month. The Tourism Ministry offers incentives to airlines opening new routes into Ben Gurion airport from destinations that have no direct flights to Israel. In addition, the ministry encourages tourism into Eilat by offering airlines a grant of 45 Euros per passenger landing in Ovdah during the winter.
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