As Syria burns, the United Nations again bashes … Israel
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault this week called the bloodshed in Syria, where Bashar al-Assad is butchering civilians, “a descent into Hell” and demanded an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the situation “horrific.”
The Security Council didn’t act — but the UN General Assembly managed to pass six resolutions targeting Israel.
One of them even calls for putting more people under Assad’s thumb, demanding that Israel cede the Golan Heights to Syria.
Another echoes the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s attempt in October to deny any Jewish (or Christian) ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount — a holy site in Judaism for 2,000 years — by using only its Islamic name.
It was all part of the General Assembly’s “Palestine Day,” a yearly festival of Israel-bashing that only serves to highlight the United Nations’ ludicrous bias and mock its stated goal of promoting peace.
Mark Twain once reiterated that “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” And former president Jimmy Carter has made a post-presidential career out of lying about Israel. The latest is this doozy, which appeared in his November 29 op-ed in the New York Times: “Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories…Most live largely under Israeli military rule…”
Not only is that a lie, but Carter knows it’s a lie. The former president has visited Ramallah , the Palestinian Authority’s capital city with a population of more than 57,000 residents, on numerous occasions — most recently in May 2015, when he placed a wreath at the tomb of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat there. He has seen with his own eyes that there are no Israeli troops occupying that city, or any of the other cities where 98% of the Palestinian Arabs reside.
Carter knows that the PA, not Israel, rules those areas. He knows that the PA, not Israel, runs the schools, the courts, the police department, and all other aspects of daily life.
Since Carter used the figure 4.5-million in his op-ed, he must have been including Gaza in his accusation. Yet he knows there are no Israelis occupying Gaza. He knows that Hamas rules that area.
So how can the ex-president knowingly tell such blatant lies? The same question might be asked about many of his past statements about Israel:
IsraellyCool: WATCH: My First Look Inside An UNRWA Refugee Camp
A couple of weeks ago I toured Israel with Tommy Robinson. I’ve written about him before, for some he’s controversial, for me he’s a good friend I’d vouch for anytime. The best introduction to Tommy is the review of his book I posted here a year ago. All I will say from having spent a week with him is that none of the mainstream media lies about him hold up to any kind of scrutiny.
One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to one of the three UNRWA Refugee camps in Bethlehem. After our visit Tommy recorded this interview with our local guide.
He says what most of us already know, Western governments are prolonging the suffering of these people who are used as tools to keep the crony government workers and political leaders flush with cash.
Tommy Robinson interviews a Palestinian from Bethlehem UNRWA Camp
After visiting one of the UNRWA Refugee camps in Bethlehem, Tommy Robinson interviews the guide who showed us round
I invited Tommy Robinson to Israel for two reasons. I wanted to show him the real boundaries of Zionism today and give him a glimpse of the almost unfathomably deep connection between Jews and Israel.
I achieved both on our first day, starting from the beach in Tel Aviv, swinging through Arad and driving all the way north across Judea and Samaria along the west bank of the Jordan river, passing Massada and the Qumran caves as we headed to our destination on the shores of the Kinneret.
Tommy certainly has a colourful past and it’s all explained in his book, Enemy of the State. I’ve known him years but hadn’t met him till I arrived to pick him up from the beach in Tel Aviv where I told him and his friends to wait for me on the first morning of our trip.
Tommy learned of the amazing links between Jews and our land over the next few days. He saw Jewish and Christian history and our obvious, deep love for our land. He saw the stunning country we built out of the diseased ruin it had become under a succession of emperors, sultans, caliphs and Imperial British troops.
Since his earliest days opposing supremacist Islam on the streets of Luton, Tommy knew most of what he heard about Israel in the mainstream press was distorted. He knew how badly his own story had been twisted and could see the same being done to Israel.
Turkish authorities asked a court in Istanbul on Friday to withdraw pending lawsuits against Israeli officials involved in the 2010 raid on the Gaza Strip-bound Mavi Marmara.
Ten Israeli commandos were injured and 10 Turkish nationals were killed in the raid, which plunged Israel-Turkey relations into a severe crisis. Jerusalem and Ankara resumed full diplomatic relations only in recent months, naming new ambassadors to each other’s capitals.
Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported Friday that withdrawing the lawsuits was part of the reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey. The legal compromise further includes Israeli compensation of around $20 million to families of raid’s victims.
Lawsuits were filed in 2012 in the Istanbul court against then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazi; Israeli Navy Commander Vice Adm. (ret.) Eliezer Marom; Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin; and Air Force Intelligence chief Brig. Gen. (res.) Avishai Levy.
The Ecuadorean representative to the United Nations equated Zionism with Nazism in his speech last week during the celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at the United Nations General Assembly.
“We repudiate with all our strength the persecution and genocide that in its time unleashed Nazism against the Hebrew people. But I cannot remember anything more similar in our contemporary history than the eviction, persecution and genocide that today imperialism and Zionism do against the Palestinian people,” Horacio Sevilla Borja said on Thursday, quoting a speech from late Cuban President Fidel Castro at the UN in 1979, the Jewish news service Iton Gadol reported.
On Monday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Ecuadorian embassy’s third secretary, Enrique Ponce, for an “urgent meeting,” to complain over Sevilla’s remarks.
At the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ministry’s deputy director-general for Central and South America, Modi Ephraim told Ponce that Jerusalem “strongly objects” to Sevilla’s UN address, “which is full of inaccuracies and historical distortions.”
During the meeting, Ephraim relayed an official request for “clarification” from Quito. Ponce promised to report the matter to his office immediately.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a note to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa urging him to apologize publicly for the libel against the Jewish people and calling for Sevilla’s expulsion from diplomatic service.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Mideast Countries Regret Not Leaving Some Jews For Their Kids to Expel (satire)
Community elders throughout the Muslim Middle East voiced wistfulness today at the realization that present and future generations in their countries will never know the pleasure of kicking Jews out, since almost none remain anymore.
Once-thriving Jewish communities across the region suffered precipitous decline in the decades since the establishment of the State of Israel, as local Muslims, with government sanction, made Jewish life all but intolerable, and official policy led to the confiscation of Jewish-owned property and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the lands that had been home to them for thousands of years. Now all but bereft of Jews to persecute and expel, Muslims in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and elsewhere who remember what it was like to participate in pogroms, looting, or random anti-Jewish mayhem against their Hebraic neighbors expressed some regret that because of their thoroughness in conducting such activities, their children and grandchildren will never know the visceral pleasure of raping Jewish women and beating their husbands and fathers to a pulp for trying to prevent it.
“The people of Iran are fortunate,” opined Mustafa Massikr, 78, of Sanaa, Yemen. “They have thousands of Jews they can still dump on, and against whom they can take out whatever frustrations they might have. But here in Yemen we have maybe a few hundred, and they’re hardly worth the trouble. I wish I could give my descendants the same thrill and sense of vitality I felt when I helped my older brothers torch those Jewish shops in response to Israel’s declaration of statehood. Good times.”
Dutch police arrested several suspects in connection with jihadists’ unrealized plan to attack a synagogue in the country’s capital city a year ago, a local daily revealed.
The main suspect belonging to the ring, which is connected to Amsterdam’s Arrayan Sunni mosque, is a man in his 40s of Moroccan descent with a goatee and a receding hairline who possesses considerable knowledge of Islamic writings and drives a white Audi, according to a police document obtained last month by the Telegraaf daily.
The Dutch police’s TCI counter-terrorism unit had been watching the suspect in connection with his alleged plans to strike with accomplices a synagogue in southern Amsterdam last January, according to the Telegraaf report, which said the suspect calls himself “Abdelhakim.” Several Muslims have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the alleged plan.
Two right-wing Dutch lawmakers, Louis Bontes and Joram van Klaveren, last week queried the justice ministry with critical questions on actions taken to protect Dutch Jews.
The report on the alleged terrorist plot by members of the Arrayan mosque community came amid discussions on replacing the permanent police protection at some Amsterdam synagogues with a cheaper video surveillance system that is favored by the municipality. The Jewish community of the Netherlands opposes the plan, citing elevated risk.
The leader of one of New Jersey’s largest mosques is heading to court to fight from being deported after federal authorities say he lied on his green card application about being detained by Israel more than 20 years ago.
Imam Mohammad Qatanani told his congregation at the Islamic Center of Passaic County that he will return to court on Monday, after the Department of Homeland Security appealed an immigration judge’s decision not to deport him eight years ago after finding no credible links to terrorism, The Record (http://bit.ly/2gYYpqX ) reported.
Qatanani came to the US from Jordan. He was born in the West Bank and said that he was detained by Israeli officials while visiting there in 1993.
Federal officials say that he didn’t disclose being convicted in Israel for being a member of Hamas, but Qatanani denies that he was ever part of the group classified as a terrorist organization by the US government. He says that he was only detained like many others at the time and was never told that he was convicted of anything.
His brother-in-law was a senior Hamas military leader killed by Israel, but Qatanani said in 2008 that he did not participate with him in political activities.
Delegates to Fatah’s Seventh Congress voted Saturday to elect a new central committee for the movement that spearheaded Palestinian nationalism and nominally rules the West Bank.
Perhaps more important than the actual results of the polling, which were yet to be announced, is that by conducting the election, the congress is formalizing a split in Fatah between the majority that backs President Mahmoud Abbas and a significant minority of backers of Muhammad Dahlan, the former Gaza security chief and one-time favorite of Israel’s defense establishment who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates.
Dahlan was expelled from Fatah in 2011, but has managed through a combination of political savvy and largesse using UAE money to build up a considerable support base in Gaza and more recently in refugee camps in the West Bank.
In the run-up to the Fatah conference, Abbas rebuffed suggestions by the Arab Quartet (UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) that he allow Dahlan back into the Fatah fold. Moreover, the weeks preceding the conference were marked by expulsion or suspension of Dahlan supporters, who were branded as “delinquents” from the movement. Hundreds of Dahlan backers, many of whom had participated in the previous Fatah conference in 2009, were excluded from participating as delegates in the current meeting.
On the eve of the conference, Dahlan backers made clear that they considered it to be an illegitimate gathering and that they would not recognize any of its decisions, including the election of the new central committee. But Abbas went ahead with a congress that in effect purges Fatah of Dahlan’s followers.
Four Palestinians have been found dead in a smuggling tunnel linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, local officials said Sunday, accusing the Egyptian military of flooding it.
The four men aged 22 to 45 “were found dead after the tunnel they were working in was flooded nine days ago by the Egyptian army,” local authorities in the Gazan city of Rafah near Egypt’s border said in a statement.
Earlier Sunday it had been reported that two bodies had been found, while another two Palestinian men remained missing.
The report did not say if the men belonged to the terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, or to one of the numerous other armed factions that operate there.
Egypt has not confirmed the information, though it has destroyed hundreds of tunnels in the area, alleging they are used to transport arms and militants.
Gazans use such tunnels to smuggle goods and weapons into the Palestinian enclave that has been under Israeli and Egyptian blockade for a decade following Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip and its use of the area as a launchpad for attacks on Israel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: We’re Not ‘Post-Truth’ Because We Palestinians Never HAD Truth By Saeb Erekat (satire)
When I say “my culture,” you immediately assume I have one, and you further assume it has an ancient pedigree, because we and our allies have conditioned you to believe that. But in fact a distinct Palestinian Arab culture is so recent that without the word “Arab” in there, any time before 1948 the term “Palestinian” was used, ninety-nine times out of a hundred the speaker or writer meant a Jew living in the Holy Land. But our narrative shoved that truth aside, and now you think those Jews came in and supplanted us indigenous people. There never WAS a truth to Arab Palestine to which a “post-” could be meaningfully appended.
This phenomenon is so pervasive that we and our supporters unself-consciously spread images of “Palestine-this” and “Palestine-that” institutions from before the establishment of the State of Israel, as if that proves the existence of a sovereign Arab political entity, and many of those supporters or activists seem blissfully unaware that those images depict Jewish institutions, organizations, or sites. To a culture that values truth, such moves would constitute embarrassing gaffes, and, if we were honest, lead us to reexamine the invalid assumptions that govern our worldview and goals. But since truth is one of the farthest things from our minds – one of the others being our actual material self-interest – those mistakes, if they are mistakes, get repeated endlessly, because we don’t actually care what the truth is: we’re just looking for a way to shoehorn our narrative into the public consciousness and shout down anyone who disputes it.
If that doesn’t work, we shoot them. But then we call it resistance to occupation, and you folks buy it. It’s about the only thing that was established long ago as authentically Palestinian Arab.
In the aftermath of the mass walkout at Ryerson University, in order to prevent the motion from achieving quorum, Students for Justice in Palestine denied any involvement, despite many eyewitness accounts that SJP leaders were spearheading the effort.
However, Students Supporting Israel at Ryerson University got its hands on a recording of a recent SJP meeting, where an SJP executive lays it all out.
The recording discusses how SJP plotted to oppose the motion, unless it were to be amended to include awareness of the “Palestinian Genocide.”
Hear for yourself how antisemitism and anti-Zionism overlap.
Ontario has become the first Canadian province to introduce legislation rejecting the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel. Motion 36 rejects “the differential treatment of Israel, including the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement,” the Canadian Jews News reported Saturday.
The legislation passed with a vote of 49 in favor and five against, with almost half of the 107 members of the Provincial Parliament absent, including Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is currently on an official visit to Asia.
According to the report, the motion, introduced by Ontario Provincial Parliament member Gila Martow, who represents the Progressive Conservative Party, came six months after the Ontario legislature voted against a bill seeking to bar the Ontario government and official province institutions from doing business with companies that endorse BDS activities. The bill, which defined the BDS movement as “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel globally,” was defeated by a vote of 39 to 18, and criticized for being “too ambitious and vulnerable to court challenges,” the report said.
The Canadian lawmaker behind a newly passed anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion said the movement should be treated as the KKK and other hate groups, by being barred from operating on college campuses, CJN News reported, ahead of the vote on Thursday.
According to Progressive Conservative member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Thornhill Gila Martow — who introduced the Standing Firm Against Intolerance motion to the Ontario legislature — college students:
incur hostility and see demonstrations that demonize the Jewish community and Israel. That affects their psychological well-being and makes it difficult for them to continue their studies. We would not be here supporting the Ku Klux Klan on our campuses, so why are we allowing [the] BDS movement and other anti-Jewish and anti-Israel organizations to have demonstrations and use our campuses, which are taxpayer-funded?
The BDS movement, she said, is “actually not just boycotting Israel,” but “boycotting voices. It’s telling people, ‘You can’t support Israel.’ It’s telling people, ‘You cannot do advocacy work on campuses.”
A group of pro-Israel student leaders at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) slammed a documentary film screening event on campus that was hosted Nov. 30 by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and attended by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, an outspoken anti-Israel activist.
The documentary film — “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War on the United States” — is produced by Sut Jhally, a communications professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and narrated by Waters.
The film, which focuses on pro-Israel public relations efforts in the US, seeks to explore “how the Israeli government, the US government and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor,” a description of the event on Facebook said.
In an open letter published in UCLA’s Daily Bruin student newspaper, the pro-Israel students write that the film peddles in “centuries-old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” that “a group of powerful, manipulative and domination-obsessed Jews have gained control of politics and media through a combination of wealth, power, influence and deceit.”
“By choosing to screen this film, Students for Justice in Palestine has unabashedly endorsed and legitimized this perception of the Jewish people,” the statement added.
A newly passed US Senate bill advancing the fight against antisemitism will have a “ripple effect” on educational institutions, the head of a Jewish legal-rights organization told The Algemeiner on Friday.
Kenneth Marcus — president and general counsel at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law — was referring to the unanimous passage on Thursday of the bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2016, which identifies the phenomenon as a “persistent, disturbing problem in elementary and secondary schools and on college campuses.” It also demands that the Department of Education take into consideration the definition of antisemitism set forth by the State Department and its Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism.
According to the bill:
Awareness of this definition of antisemitism will increase understanding of the parameters of contemporary anti-Jewish conduct and will assist the Department of Education in determining whether an investigation of antisemitism under Title VI [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964] is warranted.
“At every university, the general counsel will need to advise the administration on this new federal guidance,” Marcus told The Algemeiner. “And university policy will need to be revised to reflect it.”
A teacher faces a classroom ban after he allegedly “condoned” the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in front of pupils at a Tower Hamlets school.
Hamza Jalal Tariq, 28, effectively said during a lesson that the victims murdered by Islamist gunmen “should be killed for insulting the prophet”, a professional conduct panel ruled.
The panel heard Tariq made the comment in response to a student just days after 12 people were murdered in the French satirical newspaper’s Paris office in January last year.
Tariq was a teacher at Tower Hamlets PRU, which has four sites across the east London borough, since 2013, but resigned after the accusations surfaced.
They were presented before a National College for Teaching and Leadership professional conduct panel this week, which has found the Charlie Hebdo incident proven, along with a host of other allegations which it said amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.
The Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem has reportedly sacked palestinian Archibishop Attalla Hanna. And he’s not a happy camper.
Archbishop of the Sebastian Greek Orthodox Church Attalla Hanna
Patriarch Theophilos III of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem has sacked Archbishop of Sebastia Attalla Hanna, a statement issued by the office of the Archbishop said yesterday.
“Patriarch Theophilos and his Holy Gathering decided today to stop the salary of Archbishop Attalla Hanna,” the statement said, noting that Hanna is the only Palestinian archbishop in the Greek Orthodox Church.
The statement cited “the latest stances” of the Archbishop Hanna and his “clear support” for many other issues, stressing that this measure aimed to “blackmail him and put pressure on him and all the Arab clergymen.”
Meanwhile, the statement noted that the salaries of other Arab clergymen were “arbitrarily stopped” by the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox in Jerusalem.
The New York Times magazine publishes an in-depth article by author Rachel Kushner, describing her experience of visiting the Shuafat refugee camp in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
Kushner writes that she was “invited on an extensive tour of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and was asked to choose a subject to write about, for a book to be published next year.”
When asked in an accompanying Q and A, Kushner expands:
I had been invited, totally unexpectedly, by Ayelet Waldman, Mario Vargas Llosa and Michael Chabon, to take a trip there, in mind to contribute to a book of essays that Chabon and Waldman are editing on the occupation of the West Bank.
What neither Kushner nor the New York Times includes is the information that the visit and the book is a joint initiative with the Breaking the Silence organization.
Dec. 4, 2016 Update Appended to End of Article: AFP’s Nasser Abu Baker Runs For Fatah Revolutionary Council
May 24, 2016 — “Objectivity is a difficult goal to achieve. The mere unavoidable organisation of facts can influence a reader’s judgement. However, this does not prevent us from pursuing our policy of rigorous neutrality. According to its remit, AFP is independent of the French government and all other economic or political interests.” So state the lofty principles enshrined in “Agence France Presse’s Values.”
How, then, does one explain the fact that Nasser Abu Baker, the chairman of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, the leading force for the boycott of Israeli journalists and media, also writes for the influential French news agency?
Nasser Abu Baker, wearing a Palestinian Authority military uniform (Source Facebook, Jan. 31, 2016)
In January 2016, the board of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate appointed Nasser Abu Baker, also spelled Abu Bakr, chairman. Previously, he held the title of deputy chairman of the organization for many years. During this period, and dating back for more than a decade, Abu Baker has also worked as a reporter for AFP covering Israeli-Palestinian affairs. Two Israeli journalists who cover the Palestinians confirmed to CAMERA that Abu Baker continues to work for the news agency. One of those reporters checked his information with three Palestinian journalists, who also confirmed that Abu Baker still reports for AFP while he serves as a senior official at the PJS. Abu Baker’s Facebook account also indicates that he works for AFP.
The book “How to Protect Yourself from the Fitnah of the Women” by Shaykh Majdi Ibn Atiyah Mahmood, deals with the challenges men are facing when interacting with women, including sexual provocation, sins, immorality, indecency, slackness and vileness.
The first chapter states that “the majority of the inhabitants of the hell-fire consists of woman [sic]”.
CIJnews obtained a copy of the bookl that was purchased at one of ICNA Canada’s bookstores in the Greater Toronto Area. The following are excerpts from the book (translated by Taalib Ibn Tyson Al’Britaanee):
The (Prescribed) Punishment For The One Who Commits Zina (Fornication Or Adultery)
The Polish culture minister denied any involvement in an anti-Semitic event though its organizers said he helped put it together.
Piotr Glinski’s statement Friday was over a discussion in Lodz last week about a 2014 book titled “The Jewish Political Lobby in Poland.” Far-right activists advertised the discussion about the book, which features many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, as having been co-organized by Glinski.
“We would like to clarify that Professor Piotr Glinski was not informed about the event with Marian Miszalski, author of the book,” his office wrote in a statement Friday night. The minister “does not identify with the theses of this author, which he demonstrated on numerous occasions by persistently denouncing all forms of anti-Semitism as a manifestation of evil in the social and political space.”
However, a spokesperson for Glinski, who is also the First Deputy Prime Minister of Poland, is quoted as telling the Gazeta Wyborcza daily that Glinski’s office had been in contact with the event’s organizers during the planning stages. He said this did not mean that Glinski endorses their worldview.
A solar electricity generator and storage batteries are providing constant electricity for the first time ever to Nkaiti Medical Center in Minjingu, a Tanzanian village of about 7,000 Masai subsistence farmers and cattle ranchers – thanks to the Tel Aviv University chapter of Engineers without Borders (EwB TAU).
“There’s power!!! There’s a light!!” reported team member Gal Aviram gleefully on Facebook on October 25, seven days into the group’s two-week working trip to Tanzania.
Since Minjingu is not connected to the national grid, the medical center struggled to provide basic healthcare services, lacking the ability to store vaccinations, sanitize the equipment, use electrical appliances and operate during nighttime, the students explained in their crowdfunding campaign literature.
Hoping to bring an immediate and long-term improvement to the community’s quality of life, EwB TAU students planned the project and 10 of them flew out to install the generator and batteries in cooperation with local companies and volunteers.
When Mandy McCracken lost her lower arms and legs three years ago, she never thought she would ride a bike again.
But a unique event in Melbourne this week has made it possible.
Ms McCracken is one of 10 people living with a disability, who set challenges for teams of volunteers at Australia’s first Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) event.
Engineers, designers, mechanics and IT specialists donated their brain power and practical expertise for the 72-hour Makeathon at Swinburne University of Technology.
Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for “repairing the world”.
The not-for-profit movement began in Israel, spreading across the globe in less than three years.
Instruction manuals for devices invented at TOM Makeathons are put online for anyone to access for free.
“If we solve someone’s challenge here in Melbourne, anyone around the world who has the same challenge should be able to go on to our web platform, download it and make it for themselves back home,” TOM’s creator of opportunities Michal Kabatznik said. (h/t IsraellyCool)
Unmanned Vehicles in the IDF
When Bollywood star and Indian fashion icon Sonam Kapoor appeared on the cover of the June-July issue of Harper’s Bazaar Bride, India, she did so wearing a sheer pink confection and a radiant smile.
Behind her sprawled the Old City of Jerusalem.
It wasn’t happenstance. The Israeli government — keen to tap into a growing Asian middle class who are armed with passports and eager to explore the globe — has thrown its weight behind a number of creative efforts to promote Israel as a destination for tourists from India and China.
Kapoor, a fixture in Bollywood films and the daughter of renowned Indian actor and producer Anil Kapoor, came to Israel in May as a guest of the Israel Tourism Ministry. The hope is that A-list celebrity endorsements, in the form of social media posts, will translate to millions of shekels in tourist visits down the road.
In the two years since the Gaza War, with tourism still sagging and hotel stays 22 percent lower than in the months before the war, the Israeli government has doubled down on its efforts to woo Asian visitors. Call it the new frontier for Israeli tourism: When it comes to courting visitors, there is no doubt that the Holy Land is looking east.
“India and China both have a huge economic potential, a huge number of people, and have shown huge growth in the number of people traveling overseas,” said Pini Shani, the director of the Overseas Department at the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.
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