December 15, 2018

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11/18 Links: UK Parliament hosts Israeli-hating MP despite her once praising the murderer of seven schoolgirls; What Is SJP Hiding?; Record number of tourists visit Israel in 2018

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/11/1118-links-uk-parliament-hosts-israeli.html

From Ian:


Parliament hosts Israeli-hating MP despite her once praising gunman who killed seven schoolgirls as ‘a hero’
A Jordanian politician invited to a House of Commons event last week once hailed the gunman responsible for the slaughter of seven Israeli schoolgirls ‘a hero’.

Dima Tahboub, an MP for Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, rubbed shoulders with Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who is also Minister for Women and Equalities, at the inaugural Women MPs Of The World Conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to stand for election to Parliament.

Unusually, MPs agreed for the floor of the Commons to be used for the event, but most of the delegates from more than 100 countries would have been unaware of Ms Tahboub’s support for terrorist atrocities.
Dima Tahboub, an MP for Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, had previously stated that Israel – and all Israelis – were ‘the enemy’

Dima Tahboub, an MP for Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, had previously stated that Israel – and all Israelis – were ‘the enemy’

She previously stated that Israel – and all Israelis – were ‘the enemy’, including seven Israeli girls, aged 13 and 14, gunned down by Jordanian border guard Ahmed Daqamseh in 1997.

A military tribunal rejected Daqamseh’s claims that the girls had mocked him and jailed him for 20 years.

But Tahboub, pictured, who has a PhD from Manchester University, celebrated his release last year calling him a ‘hero’.

Netanyahu: Early elections could bring Intifada-level disaster

Holding an early election could have disastrous results, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday, even as his coalition partners continued to insist it was unavoidable.

“In a sensitive period for our security, we don’t need [an early election] and we know what happens when elements in a right-wing government led to the government being toppled, like in 1992 and in 1999, which brought us the disaster of Oslo and the disaster of the [Second] Intifada,” Netanyahu said at the opening of a cabinet meeting.

In 1992, Yitzhak Shamir was voted out of office and replaced by Yitzhak Rabin, and in 1999 it was Netanyahu who was followed by Ehud Barak as prime minister.

Netanyahu’s comments continued on a theme the Likud began on Thursday, warning coalition partners of the dangers of bringing about an early election.

The prime minister plans to meet with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Sunday evening. Kahlon was the first to call for an early election after Avigdor Liberman resigned from the Defense Ministry and pulled his Yisrael Beytenu party from the coalition.

The cabinet is expected to vote on increasing pensions for police officers, along with NIS 22bn. in cuts across all ministries to pay for the raise, to which several ministers expressed opposition. Some see the cuts as an attempt to convince Kahlon to remain in the coalition, in that police officers would vote for his Kulanu party because of the new policy.

However, some in the coalition said an election would be inevitable.

Netanyahu said set to appoint foreign minister, hand out other portfolios

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will appoint a foreign minister in the coming days, according to reports on Sunday, amid a coalition crisis that is threatening to bring down his government and hasten elections.

Hebrew-language media reported Sunday that Netanyahu would likely appoint a Likud member as foreign minister, a post that he currently holds. Channel 10 news said Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz were being considered for the position.

Shortly after the reports were published, the Likud party released a statement saying the prime minister would “appoint ministers in the coming days,” without elaborating. Currently, the prime minister holds the foreign affairs, defense, health, and immigration absorption portfolios.

Shortly after the announcement, the Jewish Home party said Netanyahu’s announcement of the appointment of a foreign minister “does not change anything” regarding its demand Naftali Bennett be made defense minister.

“This is a government that is nominally right-wing but acts left-wing,” the right-wing coalition party said in a statement. “The government is a government with leftist policies, a collapsed deterrence against Hamas, the failure to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar, a weak policy toward terrorists and their families after terror attacks.”

PMW: Fatah and Hamas mock Israelis fleeing rocket fire

Last week, Israelis living near the Gaza Strip had to cope with hundreds of rockets being fired into Israel by Hamas and other terror groups. The response by Abbas’ Fatah Movement was to mock Israelis seeking cover from those rockets:
Posted text: “Going down to the shelters, their hearts filled with fear” [Official Fatah Facebook page, Nov. 13, 2018]

The photo shows Israeli ambulances and an emergency medical team in the street at night, apparently in one of the towns affected by the hundreds of missiles that were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Nov. 12 and 13, 2018.

Likewise, the following two images emphasize the terrorizing aspect of the missiles aimed at Israeli civilians who, according to these images, are forced to flee their towns, which in turn become “ghost towns.” The images were posted by the Palestinian Information Center, an independent Palestinian news website aligned with Hamas:

Posted text: “The Palestinian resistance is turning the occupied settlement of Ashkelon into a ghost town as a result of the repeated missile attacks.”
Text on upper street sign: “Ashkelon is a ghost town”
Text on lower street sign: “Emigration from Palestine under the resistance’s missiles”

[Facebook page of the Palestinian Information Center, independent Palestinian news website, Nov. 13, 2018]

The image shows a woman sitting with a doll in a rocking chair with ghosts around her in the middle of a street. As if to emphasize Hamas’ power to scare Israelis into fleeing, the Hamas-affiliated news site took the image of the woman in the chair from the cover of the 2013 American horror movie The Conjuring.

Hailing US vote against UN resolution, PM says Golan will ‘always’ be Israeli

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed a US decision to vote for the first time against an annual UN resolution condemning Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights.

“I would like to thank President [Donald] Trump and Ambassador [Nikki] Haley on this important and just vote that is completely in keeping with my policy,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

“Israel will always remain on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will always remain in our hands,” he said.

The United States voted against the United Nations resolution on Friday, dropping its practice of abstaining and signaling a dramatic shift in policy toward the territory.

Despite the US move, the non-binding text was adopted in a General Assembly committee by a vote of 151 to 2, with the US and Israel the only two countries opposing the measure. Fourteen countries abstained.

Haley called the resolution “useless” and “plainly biased against Israel,” citing concerns about Iran’s military role in Syria to oppose the measure.

Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon also thanked the US for the shift in policy, and said the world body should “deal with Syria’s civil war, not meaningless decisions that won’t affect Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights.”

Ambassador Richard Grenell Drops Bold Challenge On UN General Assembly

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell issued a direct challenge to the U.N. General Assembly following a resolution criticizing Israel for actions affecting the “human rights” of Palestinians.

Attacking the resolution with the hashtag #heightofhypocrisy, Grenell tweeted, “Show me the Gaza City or Damascus Pride Parades – because Tel Aviv’s celebration of equal rights for gays is massive.”

Grenell, who is gay himself, followed up with another tweet along the same lines.

“Someone should call for a UN General Assembly vote on whether or not being gay is a crime,” he challenged, saying, “It will out the human rights hypocrites.”

The peace activists who fuel the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The complicated conflicts in the Middle East have drawn thousands of Western activists’ attention to the region. However, this attention has generated a trendy kind of attraction in this field.

I recently attended an event organized by some Norwegian “experts” discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the main focus on civilians, especially children. Soon the atmosphere was embellished with the watery eyes of this young European expert explaining the conflict in a simplified non-factual way; at one point, she reports her statistics in regard to the number of affected Palestinian families in the area that she accumulated her expertise, saying there were “many, many families.” If a presentation concerning an international matter of such deep complication is held and the speaker is actually an independent observer, it should be easy to add a pinch of facts to the emotionally poignant storytelling.

This event was small, however, such scrawny occurrences are countless in the western and northern Europe. I have been to a few and they are all very similar to each other. It went on and on with no sign talking about the Israeli civilians and kids suffering from the horror that they deal with. The horror of being killed by an Iranian missile fired by notorious terrorist groups such as Hamas; the rocket sirens that often replace a lullaby for Israeli children, or a spontaneous knife diving deep in the body of an Israeli civilian.

Let’s take a look at the statistics of the violence against the Israeli civilians as well. Since September 2015, there have been 198 stabbing attacks, 213 shooting attacks, 68 vehicular (ramming) attacks, and one car bombing. The result is that 70 innocent people have been killed (including one Palestinian), and 1,057 have been wounded. In addition, since 2015, a total of 772 rockets and mortars have been launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory. This part of the conflict as well deserves a few sentences in any presentation that claims to be unbiased, impartial and independent.

2020 Democratic hopefuls keep distance from Israel anti-boycott bill

A bipartisan bill combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement making its way through Congress has earned the support of a majority of senators, save for a handful that share one thing in common: plans to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

No senator who has expressed an interest in running for president this cycle – Senators Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York – has joined 57 of their colleagues to cosponsor the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

The bill would shield Israel and Israeli businesses by criminally penalizing US persons seeking to participate in international boycotts of the state, and marks the most significant federal effort to legislate against the BDS movement to date. It follows on a model adopted by several US states, including New York, Texas, California and Florida, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of national origin.

Lawmakers drafted the legislation in 2017 as a response to a decision from the United Nations Human Rights Council to “blacklist” companies operating in the Palestinian territories, defined by that body as all territory beyond the pre-1967 war Green Line.

A companion bill has proceeded in the House of Representatives.

Over the summer, Democrats successfully pushed for edits in the spring to ensure free speech protections amid concerns from civil rights groups that the bill would infringe on the constitutional right to protest. Senators Ben Cardin of Maryland, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican, accommodated several Democratic requests to broaden support for the bill.

But that has not been enough to earn cosponsorship from the most ambitious senators planning to run in a primary expected to be highly competitive and determined by the party’s liberal base.

Hijabs and kippas may be allowed in Congress for first time since 1837

Democrats in Congress are looking to roll back a 181-year-old rule banning head coverings under the Capitol dome, allowing Jewish skullcaps and Muslim headscarves to be worn by legislators.

The rule change, part of a larger reform package, is being pushed by Ilhan Omar, one of two female Muslims who became the first to be elected to Congress this month.

Omar, a Somali-born Minnesotan, wears a hijab, a head covering favored by some religious Muslim women. Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, the other Muslim woman elected to Congress earlier this month, does not wear a head covering.

“No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It’s my choice—one protected by the first amendment. And this is not the last ban I’m going to work to lift,” Omar wrote on Twitter Saturday.

The proposal, which is backed by top Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, the incoming rules chairman, would create a religious exception on the no-head covering rule, according to Roll Call magazine.

Aside from hijabs, Jewish skullcaps, also known as kippas, would be allowed, as well as other religious headgear, according to the report.

JVL: Jewish whitewashers of Labour anti-Semitism

Small radical Jewish political organizations can obtain disproportional publicity in several ways. Taking strong anti-Israeli attitudes is one such tactic. Non-Jewish anti-Israelis look out for these Jews as legitimizers of their incitement. In the process radical Jews receive far more attention than they can get by themselves or merit because of their size. Another way for such Jewish organizations to get exposure beyond their weight is by helping to fend off antisemitic accusations against organizations which contain Jew-haters.

In recent years the UK Labour party has been in dire need of such a Jewish organization. A small group of Jewish leftist extremists realized the opportunity. In 2017 they created the Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL). This movement should not be confused with the much older and far bigger Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). The latter has been very involved in fighting antisemitism in their party.

John Lansman is a key figure among Labour leftists. He is a member of the party’s nine member National Executive and the founder of Momentum. This grouping is the main supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Yet Lansman has come out on various occasions against JVL. He is quoted as saying that the very existence of JVL is inflaming tensions between Labour and the Jewish community. One of his associates said Lansman believes that senior JVL figures claim to speak for the entire Jewish community while they in reality only reflect the views of a small faction of anti-Zionist Jews.

JVL’s techniques of whitewashing antisemitism should be analyzed. This enables one to understand how some of these methods are also used in other Western environments. After lengthy discussions this summer, the Labour party accepted the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). This is the world’s most widely agreed definition of antisemitism. It has been adopted for internal use by a number of countries including the UK and Germany. Like any such text it is not perfect, yet it is much better than anything else that has been suggested until now.

MP who heads Labour Friends of Israel is ‘concerned’: Corbyn might become PM

In a bustling cafe at the House of Commons, I ask the Labour MP Joan Ryan whether she would be happy to see Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of her party, win the next general election and become the prime minister of Great Britain. Ordinarily, the question would be absurd. But these are not ordinary times. She does not say yes. “I’ve got concerns,” she answers.

I also ask Ryan, a no-nonsense northerner and a lifelong Labour Party activist, who heads the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) parliamentary group and who is not Jewish, whether she thinks Jeremy Corbyn is, as the former chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has charged, a dangerous anti-Semite. She says she doesn’t know. She is sure he is “very, very upset that anybody thinks he’s an anti-Semite,” but “if he doesn’t want people to believe he’s anti-Israel, and that that is related to this anti-Semitism, then the solution lies entirely within his hands.”

These are toxic times in British politics, and Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis is among the more ignominious and surreal aspects. Theresa May’s governing Conservative Party has been about five points ahead of Labour in opinion polls, but the government’s handling of the central political crisis of the hour, Britain’s imminent Brexit departure from the European Community, is overwhelmingly unpopular. Two senior ministers resigned on Thursday, May faces an overt leadership challenge from within her party, her government is tottering, and her power, as one newspaper headline put it, is draining away.

Were May and her colleagues regarded as doing a competent job, Corbyn’s Labour would have little chance of taking power. Were Labour led by a more widely trusted leader — May scored 38% to Corbyn’s 24% in a recent poll on who would make the best PM — Labour would be a shoo-in. Instead, all bets are off, but Labour’s reputation and credibility are clearly overshadowed by its anti-Semitism problem; 46% of respondents to a poll in September said that anti-Semitism was the most common subject people associate with Corbyn’s party.

What Is SJP Hiding?

Among the criticisms of the National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) conference this weekend at UCLA has been their policy of selective exclusion.

Apparently, this policy extends to certain journalists, as I was repeatedly rejected by SJP from covering their conference.

I contacted them on Sept. 26 on the possibility of covering the conference; on Oct. 12 they sent me a link to apply for the conference. Those that get a reply within a couple of days after sending in the application are allowed in; no replies mean that you didn’t.

I never got a reply. I have since followed up with them twice: once last Friday, and again on Wednesday this past week. Still no response. A prominent Jewish leader on campus told me the conference is “hermetically sealed.”

My question: Why is SJP being so secretive about a conference they have proudly promoted with such colorful materials? What are they hiding?

Jewish man said accidentally attacked by left-wing protesters in Philadelphia

A Jewish man was attacked Saturday by left-wing protesters in Philadelphia who suspected him of being part of a small far-right rally, according to activists at the scene.

The man, identified only as “Zachary” after asking that his name be withheld, had wandered across a tiny conservative rally of some 30 activists and a counter-protest of several hundred left-wing activists across a police cordon in Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, site of the city’s iconic Liberty Bell and outside the building where the American Declaration of Independence was signed.

The far-right rally, dubbed the “We the People” gathering, was organized by the Proud Boys activist group. The rally was smaller than expected. As one counter-protester, New Yorker Michael Bartolone, who had traveled to Philadelphia to take part in the counter-protest, complained to the Washington Post, “I kind of wonder if they were just screwing with us, that they made some event to get other people to waste their day.”

But despite the low numbers, tensions were high between the groups, and hundreds of police officers were deployed to separate the sides.

According to local news outlet Billy Penn, it was in the middle of that tense standoff that 34-year-old Jewish resident Zachary was mistakenly identified by some counter-protesters as a Proud Boy, and was attacked by several people who were present.

New York Times Jew-shames Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

The New York Times took aim at Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump on Saturday in a story citing them as symbols of division within the American Jewish community: “Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews?”

The article, by Amy Chozick and Hannah Seligson, cites liberal critics of the Trump administration within the Jewish community who argue, effectively, that Kushner and Trump ought to be excommunicated for their roles at the White House.

For example:
“They certainly won’t be banned, but I don’t think most synagogues would give them an aliyah,” said Ethan Tucker, a rabbi and president of the Hadar yeshiva in New York, referring to the relatively limited honor of being called to make a blessing before and after the reading of the Torah. (Mr. Tucker is also the stepson of Joe Lieberman, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party ticket in the U.S.) “I don’t think people generally honor people they feel were accomplices to politics and policies they abhor,” Mr. Tucker said.

The article also appears to blame the growth of the Lubavitch Chabad movement for the divisions in the Jewish community: “The growth of Chabad correlates with fierce divisions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a small but growing contingent of American Jews who prioritize Israel above any other political or social issue.”

It is not clear why the authors associate Chabad with divisions over Israel, as the movement has been growing rapidly for several decades, long before the advent of J Street and other left-wing Jewish organizations that oppose the Israeli government.

In Zuckerberg Coverage, New York Times Defines Antisemitism Down

The New York Times is suddenly swarming around Facebook and its two top executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.

On Thursday the paper published a long investigative piece about Facebook. The article carried the bylines of five Times reporters.

On Friday the Times followed up with four more articles, carrying the bylines of six different reporters, plus an editorial. There was an op-ed column declaring, “It was staggering to learn that Facebook had hired a Republican opposition-research firm that sought to discredit some of the company’s detractors by linking them to George Soros — exploiting a classic anti-Semitic trope — while at the same time lobbying a Jewish group to paint the critics as anti-Semitic.”

Having read all five articles, I have to confess I don’t quite understand what the big deal is. For our purposes, though, the newsworthy aspect of it is that it confirms something we’ve been writing about here at The Algemeiner for quite some time: the way The New York Times uses accusations of antisemitism to advance its political agenda, rather than out of concern for the Jewish cause.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan had a phrase called “defining deviancy down.” What the Times is engaged in might be called “defining antisemitism down.” By the Times‘ definition, a mild and accurate criticism of George Soros somehow counts as utterly outrageous and despicable antisemitism. Yet using classical antisemitic imagery against Zuckerberg and Sandberg gets a free pass. What matters, according to the Times, is less the action than who is engaging in it, who is the target, and whether each one meets with the Times‘ approval. It’s antisemitism not as actual bigotry, but rather as a situation-dependent tool to be used as a weapon when it might be useful and overlooked when it might be convenient.

Man who shouted ‘Heil Hitler, Heil Trump’ in Baltimore theater apologizes

The man who shouted “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump” from the balcony during intermission of a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” in Baltimore, apologized for his outburst and said the comparison came out wrong.

Anthony M. Derlunas II, 58, caused some members of the audience to panic and flee the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore on Wednesday night. They feared an attack similar to one three weeks ago at a synagogue building in Pittsburgh that left 11 worshippers dead.

In an interview on Friday with the Baltimore Sun, Derlunas acknowledged that he had been drinking heavily before the show.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is the story of a Jewish family facing persecution in tsarist Russia and is based on Yiddish short stories by Sholem Aleichem. Prior to the intermission, the Russians stage a pogrom against the Jewish residents of the village of Anatevka during the wedding of the main character’s daughter.

Derlunas was removed from the theater by security and turned over to the police. He later told police officers that he yelled the slogans because the final scene before intermission reminded him of his hatred for US President Trump, the New York Times reported.

Jewish Leader Says Germany Dragging Heels on Looted Art

Germany is shirking its responsibility for the Holocaust by dragging its heels on returning art confiscated by the Nazis, and failing to crack down on resurgent antisemitism, the head of the World Jewish Congress said on Sunday.

Ronald Lauder told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that other countries, including Britain, the United States and Austria had a far better record in documenting art in their collections that had been confiscated by the Nazi regime and returning any looted pieces to their rightful owners.

The United States has extended the federal statute of limitations for seeking restitution of such art to six years from the time of “actual discovery” of its identity and whereabouts. Britain has put its entire collection of paintings online at Art UK, and is adding items daily, he said in an interview with the newspaper.

Germany, by contrast, was moving too slowly to digitalize art collections and research initial owners, said Lauder, who also said he was concerned about neo-Nazi marches in parts of Germany.

“One country that has done too little is Germany. Germany has a historic responsibility to do the right thing. We all know that the Holocaust had its origins there and was spread from there,” he said.

New Israeli technology can turn human waste into biofuel

Just in time for World Toilet Day (November 19), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev publicized results of a pilot study demonstrating that raw human excrement potentially can be converted into a safe, reusable fuel and nutrient-rich fertilizer.

According to the groundbreaking study published recently in the Journal of Cleaner Production, researchers at the Ben-Gurion University Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research refined a process using hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) to heat solid human waste in a special “pressure cooker” to create hydrochar, a safe, reusable biomass fuel resembling charcoal.

Last year, ISRAEL21c reported on BGU’s similar research using turkey and other poultry excrement.

This new development, say the researchers, addresses two challenges prevalent in the developing world: sanitation and growing energy needs.

Record number of tourists visit Israel in 2018

The number of tourists visiting Israel in a single year reached new heights over the weekend, surpassing last year’s record 3.6 million visitors to the Jewish state.

The Tourism Ministry expects entries to exceed four million by the end of the year, with the domestic tourism industry already benefiting from NIS 18 billion ($4.85 billion) in revenue since January.

The new record, set on Friday, comes on the heels of another achievement reached in October – the record all-time month for incoming tourism.

Approximately 486,000 tourist entries were recorded in October, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, breaking the country’s previous all-time incoming tourism set in April 2018 by some 19%.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin praised the statistics, attributing recent records to the innovative marketing activities of the Tourism Ministry.

Since January, entries from certain European countries have soared in comparison to the same period last year, including an increase of approximately 90% from Poland, 40% from Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary, and 35% from Italy.

Israel’s Glass Ceilings Fall To Druze Anchorwoman

The folks at Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation must have had some concerns about seating Druze news anchor Gadeer Mreeh in a glass paneled broadcast set given her propensity for shattering glass ceilings. Originally assigned to the Arabic desk, Gadeer herself was the story when she became the nation’s first non-Jewish woman to anchor the Hebrew news broadcast.

Wife and mother of two young children, Gadeer has defied a daunting array of cultural, religious and political reasons legislating against her undeniable success.

[Gadeer spent time at The Media Line bureau speaking with colleague Felice Friedson about her journey and the barriers that remain. – ed.]

Felice Friedson, TML: Journalist, reporter, anchorwoman, nothing new so far…but within our profession, Gadeer Mreeh has gone where no one before her has. A Druze woman anchoring Israel’s television news on a main Israeli channel. Welcome.



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