Russian ambassador to Turkey shot and killed by policeman
A police officer crying “Aleppo” and “revenge” shot and killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov during the opening of an art exhibition in Ankara Monday.
The foreign ministry in Moscow confirmed that Karlov died of his wounds in the attack, which came amid roiling tensions over the fate of Syria.
Turkish police shot and killed the gunman, a local policeman, according to Ankara’s mayor.
Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience.
The attacker also smashed some of the photos hung for the exhibition. There was panic as people ran for cover. NTV said three other people were wounded in the attack.
Yelling in Turkish, the gunman shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!”
He then yelled: “Stand back! Stand back! Only death will take me out of here. Anyone who has a role in this oppression will die one by one.”
The media has been abuzz with reports that President-elect Donald Trump intends to honor his pre-election promise to act on the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act –– whose implementation has been deferred by six-monthly waivers invoked by successive presidents, most recently last week by President Obama –– and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Why has the Act, passed by massive majorities in the Senate (93-5) and House (374-37), remained a dead letter for 21 years?
Fear of enraging the Arab street and the Muslim world, most of which has neither reconciled itself to Israel’s existence nor even the peoplehood of the Jews and thus the Jewish immemorial association and claim to the city, is the short answer.
This clamor and fixation on Jerusalem, quite recent in Muslim history, has led many to conclude that Jerusalem is holy to Islam; therefore any U.S move ahead of a peace settlement is premature.
As it happens, however, its a propaganda lie that Jerusalem is holy to Islam or central to Palestinian Arab life. Though possessing Muslim shrines, including the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosques, the city itself holds no great significance for Islam, as history shows.
UN Resolution 242 is oft cited as the basis for requring Israel’s complete withdrawal from territories seized during the Six Day War. For instance, just a few weeks ago, Elder of Moron Jimmy Carter wrote in the NY Times:
Back in 1978, during my administration, Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin, and Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, signed the Camp David Accords. That agreement was based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was passed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
The agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the Parliaments of Egypt and Israel. And those two foundational concepts have been the basis for the policy of the United States government and the international community ever since.
This was why, in 2009, at the beginning of his first administration, Mr. Obama reaffirmed the crucial elements of the Camp David agreement and Resolution 242 by calling for a complete freeze on the building of settlements, constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory. Later, in 2011, the president made clear that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines,” and added, “negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.”
But it does nothing of the sort. The chief author of the resolution Lord Caradon has said:
We didn’t say there should be a withdrawal to the ’67 line; we did not put the ‘the’ in, we did not say all the territories, deliberately.. We all knew – that the boundaries of ’67 were not drawn as permanent frontiers, they were a cease-fire line of a couple of decades earlier… We did not say that the ’67 boundaries must be forever; it would be insanity
On November 28, 2016, 49 Australian MPs signed a petition accusing Israel of committing “systematic” human rights violations. The public letter was the result of lobbying by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), in coordination with the US-based “No Way to Treat a Child” campaign, jointly led by Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCI-P) and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
As highlighted in NGO Monitor’s November 2016 report, several current and former DCI-P officials have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), recognized as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, and Canada. Additionally, both DCI-P and AFSC are leading advocates of BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) tactics. Similarly, the project counts among its partners leading American BDS groups like Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (formerly the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation). APAN is also a BDS supporter.
The petition misleadingly begins by quoting UNICEF criticism of Israel based on a 2013 document, not informing the reader that UNICEF has since updated its information. UNICEF’s 2015 report on detention of Palestinian prisoners, while noting room for improvement, determines that “The Government of Israel has since March 2013, taken a series of initiatives -particularly in terms of military legislation and the reinforcement of standard operating procedures that have addressed issues identified [in the previous report].”
The letter also provides a de-contextualized assessment of the challenges facing Palestinian youth. Any serious discussion of these issues must also address the Palestinian abuse of teenagers as child soldiers, encouraged to participate in violent riots, and incited to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces. Such analysis must grapple with the glorification of terror attacks in Palestinian media even in programming aimed at young children, Hamas-run youth indoctrination summer camps, and the naming of schools after terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians.
Michael Lumish: Kontorovich and Company
At a roundtable discussion held today, Monday, December 19, sponsored by NGO Monitor and the Department of Political Studies and the Faculty of Law at Bar Ilan University, a panel of experts discussed concerns about the future of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the potential impact for Israel following recent developments.
The panel examined the intended withdrawal of African countries from the court, proposed Israeli settlement legislation, possible indictments of American and British soldiers, and the impact of these issues on the ICC’s ongoing investigation into Israel.
According to Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, “The ICC is not an all-powerful forum of international justice, but rather a politically weakened institution that has had numerous countries quit its membership in recent months. Perhaps it is true justice that real countries began quitting the ICC shortly after it accepted a non-country – Palestine.”
Among the leading experts who addressed the event were Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Professor of Political Science at Bar Ilan University and President of NGO Monitor; Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor at NGO Monitor; Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, Professor of Law at Northwestern University; Adv. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, Head of the Program on Law and National Security at the Institute for National Security Studies and former Head of the IDF International Law Department; and Prof. Avi Bell, Professor of Law at Bar-Ilan University and University of San Diego.
A British songwriter notorious for her anti-Israel social media posts, is being sued for her latest ditty, which pokes fun at the Holocaust and its “lying” survivors.
Alison Chabloz is the focus of a suit filed by the UK-based charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) for a June YouTube video, titled “(((Survivors)))” — using the triple parentheses neo-Nazi groups employed to identify and troll Jews online. The suit is what the UK’s Daily Mail said is believed to be the country’s first private prosecution for anti-Jewish racism.
CAA said it decided to pursue the case on its own, after Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service opted not to press charges against Chabloz for her “grossly offensive” song, the lyrics of which include passages such as:
I saw them taking babies and then tearing them in two. The creepy Dr Mengele, he removed my tattoo.
They tried to turn my brown eyes blue, make a lampshade from my skin.
For months I swallowed diamonds, and shat them out again…
Chabloz pleaded not guilty to the charge. An application by the defense to adjourn the case was rejected by the judge, and a trial date has been set for March 24, 2017.
The CAA suit emerged the same week that UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her government will officially adopt a working definition of antisemitism.
Watch Chabloz’s video, still on YouTube, below:
Anti-Jewish boycotts of 1920s-1930s and Arab League repackaged as “social justice” to appeal to Western liberals.
On December 4, 2016, I was a speaker at a national conference sponsored by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), held at Harvard Law School. The conference was co-hosted by HLS Alliance for Israel, and was titled “War By Other Means – BDS, Israel and the Campus.”
My presentation was on the history of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
While I have written hundreds of posts about the BDS movement, including its history, this presentation gave me an opportunity to pull it all together in one place, and to do more research to obtain documentation.
BDS is a direct and provable continuation of the Arab anti-Jewish boycotts in the 1920s and 1930s and subsequent Arab League Boycott, restructured through non-governmental entities to evade U.S. anti-boycott legislation and repackaged in the language of “social justice” to appeal to Western liberals.
While fanatics fume, football fans (mostly) walk on by.
Another glimpse (courtesy of arch-BDSer Alex Seymour) of those “Kick Israel out of FIFA” types, this time during the match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at the former’s home ground, Selhurst Park, at the weekend.
A strange touch is provided by the guy who poses for his photo outside the “Israeli apartheid” signs and then, when asked by Seymour whether he supports the Palestinian cause, reveals that he can hardly speak English and doesn’t know what the demo’s all about.
What’s happening to Jewish and pro-Israel students on many American universities and colleges from coast to coast is horribly ugly. On “hotspot campuses” the problem is only getting worse.
“Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus”, a new 70 minute documentary recently released by the organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance, chronicles the rampant anti-Israel and anti-Jewish activism prevalent on many of America’s institutions of higher learning.
We featured the film’s trailer in a recent post and the movie premiered in NYC on November 30.
Last week, I had the opportunity to watch the film in its entirely. In this follow-up post, I review the documentary’s central themes and take-home messages.
A 10 minute clip prepared by executive producer, director and writer Avi Goldwasser for our use in this post is included below. Also included below is a statement from him exclusive for Legal Insurrection.
Baroness Tonge is being investigated by the Commissioner for Standards in the House of Lords.
The independent peer was suspended and subsequently quit the Lib Dems in October after chairing a meeting at which an audience member compared Israel to Islamic State and suggested Jews were responsible for the Holocaust.
It has now emerged that she is the subject of an inquiry by the Commissioner for Standards over “alleged failure to act on personal honour and alleged breach of rules on House facilities”. The findings are expected to be published early next year.
The Commissioner’s Office would not offer any further details about the probe and it is not known whether it is connected to the event she chaired, which was organised by the Palestine Return Centre. The event hosted by Tonge marked the launch of a campaign calling for an apology for the Balfour Declaration.
She later insisted she didn’t hear much of the “rant” and claimed challenging such ranters only caused them to “go on and on”.
Yesterday, we posted about Downing Street’s announcement that the government was going to adopt a version of the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism (WD) – the most widely respected and recognized official definition of antisemitism. Regarding Israel, the WD’s definition of antisemitism includes comparing Israel with Nazi Germany and denying Israel’s right to exist.
The following day, the Independent published an op-ed by Ben White, a pro-Palestinian activists who rejects Israel’s right to exist, in response to the government’s decision. White naturally opposes the the adoption of the WD. (See our post here)
The following day, the Indy published another op-ed, by Emily Hilton, softly supporting the new definition.
Embedded in the article was the following readers’ poll:
As you can see, the wording of the poll is extremely misleading, as it suggests that the mere criticism of Israel is defined as antisemitic by the WD – reflecting White’s misleading characterization of the definition in his op-d. However, as the WD adopted by Theresa May makes perfectly clear, mere criticism of Israel is not considered antisemitic.
Reuters photo captions about Ahmed Al-Remawi omit the fact that the Palestinian was killed Sunday during violent clashes, limiting information about the circumstances surrounding his death to the fact that the “Palestinian Health Ministry said [he] was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Sunday.”
Given the minimal information, uninformed readers could reasonably conclude that unprovoked Israeli forces shot Remawi Sunday as he did nothing more than sit and drink coffee. (Reports conflict about his age, said to be either 19 or 23.)
But both Israeli and Palestinian sources agree that a mob of Palestinians was violently clashing with Israeli troops, throwing stones, when Remawi was killed
A journalist who has allegedly engaged in activity supportive of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement may not be able to remain in Israel, the Government Press Office told The Jerusalem Post exclusively on Sunday.
GPO director Nitzan Chen said he was leaning against renewing the press card of Antony Loewenstein, a Jerusalem- based freelance reporter who writes for The Guardian and other publications. If the card is not renewed when it expires in March, the Interior Ministry will not allow him to remain in Israel.
“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Chen said. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.
When told by the Post of the office’s intentions, Loewenstein responded that he had provided all the information required when his application for a press card was assessed last March.
Readers may recall that back in November 2012 the BBC News website published a very one-sided account of the sentencing of anti-Israel activist Bassem Tamimi which included extensive amplification of content from a press release put out by the political NGO Amnesty International and – as noted here at the time – was illustrated with a staged image of Tamimi’s daughter.
Nearly three years after that BBC article appeared, Bassem Tamimi went on a speaking tour in the US which included a controversial event at a school. The ‘Legal Insurrection’ website continues the story:
“On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, led by Ariel Gold. We broke the story a couple of days later, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY.
Based on documents produced pursuant to a NY Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request and court rulings, previously we were able to document that the Tamimi event was an anti-Israel propaganda event. At least one third-grade student suffered nightmares and a Letter of Reprimand was issued to the school principal for attempting to cover-up the nature of the event.
Israel ranks about 150 on the scale of countries for size, encompassing only about 10,800 square miles (28,000 square kilometers) and a population under 8.6 million. But its achievements over 68 years of modern statehood have drastically dwarfed its actual size.
Israel is a recognized world leader in many fields, including water and agricultural technology, high-tech, medical devices and humanitarian aid.
ISRAEL21c brings you daily reports of Israeli inventions, innovations, discoveries and altruistic initiatives. Here we’ve chosen 15 of many that made a remarkable impact in the year 2016.
IDF FIELD HOSPITAL RANKED WORLD’S BEST
The portable field hospital flown by the IDF Medical Corps to disaster areas around the world was the first field hospital ever to achieve a Type 3 rating, the highest rank on the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) scale.
A modular, scalable, quiet and odor-free wastewater treatment technology from Israel’s Emefcy recently launched its first operational plants, one locally in the Jezreel Valley and one in the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas. Another will open next year at a hospital in Ethiopia.
Altogether, more than 40 global projects for rural villages, sustainable buildings, hotels, resorts and golf courses are in Emefcy’s opportunities pipeline, says cofounder, managing director and CEO Eytan Levy.
The company’s novel membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology — which reduces energy consumption by up to 90 percent and sludge yield by half compared to conventional aerobic wastewater treatment — was named by WaterOnline as one of the top 10 technologies presented at WEFTEC (Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference) last September.
Emefcy expects to make its biggest splash in China.
These days, it’s nearly impossible to talk about Israel and “peace” without falling prey to warmed-over platitudes and stale talking points. And in an age of political polarization, it can be hard to find voices who speak of the Jewish state out of genuine love, but who also passionately pursue the establishment of a Palestinian state—two opinions that absolutists insist cannot coincide. But on December 6, at the Israel Policy Forum’s gala reception in New York, General John Allen managed to confound these constraints, offering an affecting liberal Zionist account of Israel’s necessity and peace’s possibility.
Allen, a retired four-star general who most recently served as President Obama’s Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, was being honored by IPF for his work designing detailed security arrangements to make a two-state solution both possible and durable for Israelis and Palestinians. But instead of discussing that work at length, Allen, 63, opted instead to deliver a deeply personal speech reflecting on his Zionist upbringing, and the Zionism and philo-Semitism that has long been shared by so many non-Jewish Americans.
“Rather than spend a lot of time on the technical details of the work that we did,” the general opened, “I wanted to speak from the heart about how I came to find myself involved in this way with Israel—and I may be a bit emotional in the process.” The speech did not disappoint:
Gilman, a lifelong Republican from the Hudson Valley, served roughly 40 years in various government positions.
Beginning as Assistant Attorney General of New York in 1953, Gilman opened a private law practice in the 1950s, only to return to public service in 1967, when he won a seat on the New York State Assembly, where he represented the 95th district for six years.
In 1972, Gilman was elected to his first of 15 consecutive terms in the US House of Representatives, serving there from 1973 until 2003.
For six years Gilman, a vocal critic of the Clinton administration and a strong backer of Israel, chaired the powerful House Committee on International Relations.
In 1996, Gilman decried efforts by President Clinton to push Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, then in his first term, to offer concessions to PLO leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
“There are voices who insist that it is incumbent upon the state of Israel to make all the sacrifices for peace,” Gilman and Senator Jesse Helms wrote to Netanyahu. “Do not count us among such people.”
How incredibly fitting: the British army captured Jerusalem on the 24th day of Kislev, in December 1917, on the eve of the Holiday of Lights commemorating the re-establishment of the Jewish Temple. How the Jews of Jerusalem responded can be seen in this flyer distributed on the first anniversary in 1918.
In honor of Liberation Day
From the Ashkenazi City Council
[a precursor to today’s ultra-Orthodox Eida Chareidit]
In the holy city Jerusalem may it be rebuilt soon, Amen.
The Council announces to our brethren in the congregations of the God’s people to honor Thursday, the 24th day of Kislev [Hanukkah eve], the first anniversary of the capture of Holy Jerusalem by the government of Britain – on this honored day, all synagogues and study halls should thank the Lord for the redemption and salvation and pray after the Torah reading the prayer “Who givest salvation unto the King of Great Britain …” [based on the Psalms 144: “Who givest salvation unto kings, who rescuest David Thy servant from the hurtful sword.”]
Hanukkah is a time for celebration. And there are dozens of ways to have fun in Israel during the Festival of Lights, starting this year on the night of December 24.
Just about every theater company in the country is offering special deals to woo audiences, and museums are featuring interactive exhibits and holiday-themed displays.
Bakeries are brimming with sufganiyot (donuts) — by far the most popular Hanukkah food in Israel. Every year, Israelis eat a whopping 24 million of these calorie-heavy, sugar-covered fried treats made especially for the holiday.
This year, Burger King’s Israel franchise has even added the “Sufganiking” to its menu. The Whopper burger on a donut bun will be on sale at all local chains December 25-January 1, at a cost of $4.
Whether you’d prefer to eat holiday foods or get cultured, there are oodles of ways to feel the holiday spirit. In honor of the eight days of the holiday, ISRAEL21c brings you eight ideas for Hanukkah fun in Israel.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.