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HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 03 May 2017, 9:52 pm

Hamas Charter: New Language, Same Terror
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. In an effort to soften its image, Hamas released a new charter which nevertheless calls for “the complete liberation of Palestine,” advocates violence, and refuses to recognize Israel. In other words, nothing’s changed. The Jerusalem Post reports:

The document labels as “a national consensus” the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state along pre- 1967 lines with the return of refugees to their homes in Israel. However, it also “rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” . . .

While the new document appears to bring Hamas somewhat closer to the international consensus of a two-state solution, it clearly reaffirms Hamas’s approval of armed conflict with Israel.

“Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws,” the document states. “At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people.”
The Israeli government dismissed the document as a ploy. Here’s the charter’s full text.

More at Ynet and the Times of Israel, with plenty of commentary below.

See also HonestReporting’s response to the news coverage: Media Goes Kumbaya For Hamas. And sign our petition demanding the media stop whitewashing Hamas.

Why are some media portraying Hamas' new manifesto as motivated by a desire for PEACE? Hamas is still a terror group https://t.co/sTx3Szh1AW
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 3, 2017
2. UNESCO rejected Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem. On Israeli Independence Day, no less.

The Arabs enjoy an automatic majority, but Israel claimed a moral victory in the numbers. The vote passed 22-10 with 23 abstentions and three countries absent, meaning more countries abstained than voted with the Arabs. You can see the full text of the resolution.
3. As this roundup was published, Presidents Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas were due to meet at the White House. According to Haaretz, Trump will ask Abbas to stop paying stipends to the families of terrorists. The Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, NPR, Foreign Policy and Ron Kampeas also previewed today’s jaw-jaw.

Abbas and Trump
Mahmoud Abbas and Donald Trump

Israel and the Palestinians
• The warm fuzzy feelings for Hamas didn’t reach the offices of Human Rights Watch. After years of radio silence on the fate of two Israelis held captive by Hamas, HRW finally denounced the Islamists for holding Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed, both Israeli nationals with mental health issues who wandered over the Gaza border in 2014 and 2015. More at Ynet.

• Regarding Hamas efforts to plug its new charter, AP’s Fares Akram noted this:

Hamas delays for 2hours presser after Intercontinental hotel in Qatar apologizes to host event for fears of US Treasury Department sanctions
— Fares Akram (@faresakram) May 1, 2017

• Israel reprimanded Sweden’s ambassador for being the only European country to vote for the resolution.

• After UNESCO vote, Israel cuts another $1 million from UN budget

• According to a new UN report, Palestinian in-fighting is exacerbates the Gaza crisis.

I didn’t need a full 26 page report to tell you that, but UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov says the Strip “is facing a downward spiral of de-development, while the people in Gaza are caught in a cycle of humanitarian need and perpetual aid dependency.”

• Memri flagged Jordan’s Prime TV’s look at the Protocols of the Elders of Ziyon. The Protocols are one the ugliest, most enduring anti-Semitic screeds ever written, yet the Jordanians treated it as authentic.

• Israel refuses to extend visa of critical Dutch journalist. The NRC Handelsblad daily accused the Government Press Office of trying to silence Derk Walters, while the GPO cited an administrative technicality and said Walters refused to comply with requests for clarifications. See Haaretz and JTA coverage.

Around the World
Hassan Nasrallah
Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

• Bogged down fighting in Syria, Hezbollah is nearly bankrupt, though Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and other top leaders are managing to pad their wealth. The Times of Israel picked up on a German media report.

Despite $1 billion in aid that Israeli security officials estimate Hezbollah receives each year from its patron Iran, which is said to cover some 70 percent of the group’s annual finances, the increasing financial toll from its military involvement in Syria and lack of additional assistance from Tehran has forced the group to resort to extorting not only its “donors” in the country, but also Lebanese expatriates in Africa, South America, Europe and the United States, according to the report.

The blackmail has reportedly led to discontent within the Shiite group’s ranks and among its supporters, as Lebanese Shiites in the country have been forced into selling their assets and property in order to prop up Hezbollah and fund its operations . . .

Die Welt also reported that members of the terror group’s leadership have used Hezbollah funds for their own enrichment despite its dire fiscal situation, including the son of the organization’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, who is said to have taken money to fund a chain of coffee houses in Beirut.

In addition, Nasrallah himself is said to be worth some $250 million, according to Die Welt.
• Does the end of the Turkish democracy also means the end for the country’s Jewish community?

Malia Bouattia
Malia Bouattia’s farewell speech to the NUS

• Confirming everything we already knew about Malia Bouattia, the controversial UK student leader ended her term as president of Britain’s National Union of Students with a tearful shout of ‘free, free Palestine.’ Watch the video (skip to 10:19); backstory at The Algemeiner.

‘Nuff said.

• Wisconsin U. student government blames Israel — for police violence against African-Americans!?

• Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee is trying to mend Israeli-Zealand ties.

• USA Today: On Yom HaZikaron, a Rutgers fraternity honored the legacy of Ezra Schwartz, who was shot and killed in a 2015 Palestinian terror attack.

• Plenty of broken reeds and burnt pixels over UNESCO, the Hamas charter and the Abbas-Trump meeting.

– Amb. Daniel Shapiro: Abbas in Washington: dancing in place or moving forward?
– David Makovsky: Low expectations for Abbas visit
– Aaron David Miller: What Trump’s meeting with Abbas means for the Middle East
– Grant Rumley: Can Trump make Mideast peace without Gaza?
– Nadav Shragai: UNESCO and fighting for the truth
– Herb Keinon: Losing at UNESCO isn’t everything
– Senators Chris Coons and Marco Rubio: Every Senator agrees the UN must change (click via Twitter)
– Jonathan Cristol: Don’t be fooled by Hamas’ rebranding — they’re still committed to anti-Semitism
– Andrew Bolt: Terrorist Hamas claims it’s now more moderate
– Adam Ragson: The new Hamas charter — no moderation here
– Kobi Michael: The new ‘softer’ Hamas position is nothing more than a front for plans of domination
– Maher Mughrabi: The new Hamas charter explained
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yossi Dahan: How Israel’s government caved to settlement boycott
– Ben-Dror Yemini: With ‘Zionists’ like that, who needs enemies?
– Doron Hindin: The UN’s campaign against business in Israel makes no sense
– Sima Kadmon: What was Netanyahu’s real reason for snubbing German FM?
– Mitchell Bard: The ‘occupation tour’
– Gary Rosenblatt: Confessions of a once-distant Zionist
– Johanna Meckel: My name is Marla Bennett
– Charles Bronfman and Susie Gelman: A first step to peace: Calm angers, then talk

• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Tareq Baconi, Daoud Kuttab, Mairav Zonszein and Jibril Rajoub.
Featured image: CC0 unsplash; Abbas CC BY-NC-ND European External Action Service; Trump CC BY-SA Gage Skidmore; Nasrallah via YouTube/Sayed Hasan; Bouattia via YouTube/National Union of Students UK; quill CC0 Pixabay/Ashreila;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 01 May 2017, 10:03 pm

Israel Battles Against Tomorrow’s UNESCO Vote
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago

Flags lay on graves of fallen Israeli soldiers on Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on April 28, 2017. Israel begins a 24-hour period of honoring it's fallen soldiers and those who died in attacks when Memorial Day begins on April 30 at sundown. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel is battling the Palestinians over tomorrow’s UNESCO vote on a resolution expected to deny Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Adding to the symbolism, the vote takes place during Israel’s Independence Day, and ahead of Mahmoud Abbas’ upcoming visit to the White House. Jerusalem Post coverage.

The Palestinians have an automatic majority on the board, but the PA and Israel are battling for the support of the 11 EU member states. Their votes have come to represent a “moral” political victory.
Related tweet of the day goes to Seth Frantzman.

@KhaledAbuToameh @AvivaKlompas The PA didn’t properly develop Battir despite it winning UNESCO status. It was a “world heritage” site barely anyone goes to today
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) April 30, 2017
2. Jerusalem Post: It’s unconfirmed if German President Frank-Walter Steinmeir will meet with representatives of Breaking the Silence in his upcoming visit to Israel. Steinmeier arrives in Israel next week for a three-day visit.

Israeli-German ties took a hit when German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel met with members of BtS over Netanyahu’s objections. Breaking the Silence a left-wing non-governmental organization collects testimonies anonymously from Israeli soldiers about what it calls “the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.”

A representative at the German Embassy said that Steinmeier’s schedule is still being put together, and there was no formal decision yet on with whom, or with what organizations, he will meet.
See responses by Ben-Dror Yemini and Spengler.

3. Abbas will continue to pay Palestinian prisoners, PA minister says.

4. Newsweek’s Capital Offense: Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital.

5. Likud Becomes “Far Right” According to The Independent: For some journalists, applying labels like “hawks,” “hardliners,” “ultra-nationalists,” and “firebrands” is a favorite pastime.

6. HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz joined MK Merav Ben-Ari, Al-Monitor’s Akiva Eldar and host Ami Kaufman on i24 News’ The Spin Room for a spirited discussion on rocky Israeli-German ties, President Donald Trump’s expected visit to Israel, the Hamas-Fatah split, and more.

THE SPIN ROOM | Member of Israeli parliament… by i24news-en

Israel and the Palestinians
• Who are the possible successors to Mahmoud Abbas? The Wall St. Journal looks at four emerging leaders.

• Worth reading: Bereaved families of fallen soldiers share their stories.

• Egyptian energy companies were ordered to pay $2 billion in compensation to the Israel Electric Corporation. “Repeated attacks by terrorists on Sinai pipeline to Israel caused collapse of gas deal, forced Israel to use more expensive and polluting fuel.”

• Israeli media picked up on an Al Jazeera documentary about the Hamas drone-maker assassinated in Tunisia, Mohammad al-Zawahri.

• Pathetic Reuters “coverage” of what Hamas is billing as a new and improved not anti-Semitic charter. Fortunately, Haaretz has more realistic coverage. Last word goes to Julie Lenarz.

#Hamas also denies new document will replace its genocidal charter. Terrorists then & now. https://t.co/99r9mIicu9 pic.twitter.com/py1RnCMkFf
— Julie Lenarz (@MsJulieLenarz) May 1, 2017
Around the World
• The Irish Army wrapped up a $2 million deal to buy aerial drones from an Israel company. Critics say the purchase “may damage Ireland’s ‘honest broker’ role in Middle East peacekeeping duties,” the Ireland’s Sunday Independent.

• David Collier was on hand as Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev spoke to London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

But the story of the visit by Mark Regev to SOAS, is far bigger than a few bigoted student activists.
• Was 2014’s Operation Protective Edge a “war” in Gaza, or a fight against “terror”? That’s the $7 million question being posed in a California court. The USA Network, which was filming the miniseries, “Dig” in Israel, was saddled with unexpected expenses when it was forced to relocate much of its production to New Mexico.

When the network tried to claim $7 million in insurance, the Atlantic Insurance Company balked, insisting the conflict was a war, while the TV network called the conflict terror. A hearing is set for May 22. More at the Jerusalem Post.
Behind the scenes during filming of the miniseries “Dig.”

• The Front door of a Milwaukee Jewish elementary school was hit with bullet on Friday morning. The glass door was broken but the bullet didn’t enter building. Nobody was injured. Police it was a stray bullet and that the Yeshiva Elementary School was not deliberately targeted. More on the story at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and JTA.

Marwan Barghouti in 2006

• Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, got op-ed space in the New York Times to unpack the truth behind the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger-strike.
Unstated, but understood, is that the paper’s mending fences with Israel after the Times sanitized the terror background of hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti.

Mr. Barghouti seems to hope that being chosen to succeed Mr. Abbas will lead to his release from prison. But he faces competition from several rivals and recently failed to secure a senior position in a round of political appointments of Fatah leadership. The hunger strike is another step in his campaign to position himself as Mr. Abbas’s successor. The political nature of the strike is a main reason the leaders of Fatah’s rival, Hamas, have not backed the strike.
• A Yom HaZikaron op-ed by Col. Richard Kemp, Maj.-Gen. Jim Molan and Arsen Ostrovsky wonders where is the world’s outrage over Hamas holding the bodies of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul?

Holding the bodies of soldiers killed in action and refusing their return to their next of kin for burial is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law. As is using the soldiers’ bodies as bargaining chips, which Hamas continues to do.

Only last week, the terrorist group released a morbid video including a song in Hebrew, taunting the families of Goldin and Shaul, again in breach of international law.

To this day, almost three years since their abduction, Hamas refuses even to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access.
Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul
Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul

• Yom HaZikaron’s on my mind . . .

– Haviv Rettig Gur: In our forgetfulness, we turned our children into heroes
– Hassan Shaalan: ‘The pain persists’
– Col. Itzik Cohen: The promise to forge ahead
– Eitan Haber: The moment life was shattered
– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: Cause and effect
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): The cost of freedom on Israel’s 69th birthday
– Jack Schwartz: Israel was not born of the Holocaust

• As Israelis remembered their fallen soldiers and terror victims, Ofir Gendelman draws attention to the IDF’s Muslim soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

130 Muslim IDF soldiers have fallen defending Israel. They fought alongside their Jewish brothers in arms. We remember their sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/C2ASR50Y40
— Ofir Gendelman (@ofirgendelman) May 1, 2017
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Amb. Ron Prosor: UNESCO trying to impose a fake history
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Embattled, weak Abbas comes to the White House
– Josh Rogin: If Trump has a strategy on Israeli-Palestinian peace, it’s remaining a secret
– Elliott Abrams: Teaching Palestinian children to value terrorism
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: Does anyone here care about Muslim women?
– The Australian (staff-ed): Abbas visit rekindles hopes
– Robert Fulford: In a restless Germany, a new generation tires of the shame for Nazi crimes

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 30 Apr 2017, 10:13 pm

Israel Blames Germany for Hostile UNESCO Resolution
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago

Israeli soldiers stand at attention and bow their heads as siren heard during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City, April 14, 2013. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel blames Germany for EU support of UNESCO’s latest anti-Israel resolution, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Israel believes that Berlin led the charge for an amended resolution — submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan — which European Union states are likely to vote “yes” on, or abstain.

Now that the 11 EU member states on the 58-member UNESCO Executive Board have given their tacit approval for the document, diplomatic sources said, it would be difficult for Israel to sway other nations to oppose it.
More on the story at Haaretz.

2. As Yom HaZikaron approaches, Israel prepares to mourn its fallen soldiers and victims of terror. See below for more on the story.

3. Israel and North Korea in war of words after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called Kim Jong Un’s regime a “crazy and radical group.” Haaretz explains why there’s no love lost between Jerusalem and Pyongyang:

North Korea is considered one of the world’s most hostile nations toward Israel. In the last decades, it has provided training, arms and various technologies to entities considered enemies of the Jewish state, including Iran, whose missile program benefitted greatly from North Korean assistance.

According to foreign reports, North Korea was also involved in helping Syria build a nuclear reactor, which was destroyed in an attack attributed to Israel in 2007.
4. Six-Day War: 50th Anniversary Resource Primer: The 50th anniversary of Israel’s remarkable victory in the 1967 Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem is fast approaching. HonestReporting has compiled a Resource Primer to mark the event.

Dedicated to the memory of legendary Israeli photojournalist David Rubinger, we’ve gathered background information from a wide variety of sources to give a deeper understanding of how circumstances developed over the weeks and months leading up to the war. Sections will be continuously updated as more relevant content, educational materials, analysis and news items become available. Click here to enter.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Could an Israeli-Turkish pipeline begin transferring natural gas to Europe in the next two-three years? Hurriyet News and columnist Selin Nasi take a closer look.
• The Wall St. Journal visited Eliad, an area of the Golan Heights adjacent to Islamic State-controlled Syrian territory and the Jordanian border. Click via Twitter.

“My grapes are just 10 meters from the border fence. Sometimes I hear the booms on the other side. Sometimes I see people on the other side. They look like shepherds, but who knows,” said the Israeli winemaker. “It’s crazy.”

So far, Islamic State hasn’t bothered his vineyard. “I am here all alone on my tractor at night and I am not afraid.”

• On Sunday night and Monday day, Israelis pay tribute to fallen soldiers and terror victims on Yom HaZikaron. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the Memorial Day based on Haaretz and government figures.

– 23,544: Total number of fallen since 1860, when Jews began moving outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
– 60: soldiers and security personnel who died since last Yom HaZikaron.
– 37: wounded veterans who succumbed to injuries since last Yom HaZikaron
– 11: civilians killed since last Yom HaZikaron
– 9,157: bereaved parents
– 4,881: widows
– 1,843: orphans under age of 30.
– 2,895: Israeli civilians killed in Israeli in hostile acts since 1948
– 122: foreign national civilians killed in hostile acts in Israel since 1948.
– 100: Israeli civilians killed in terror attacks abroad

Israel also remembers the Druze, Bedouin and Christian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the state.

• On Monday night, the solemnity of Yom HaZikaron gives way to Independence Day. Ahead of Israel’s 69th birthday, here’s a by the numbers look at Israel’s growing population based on Central Bureau of Statistics via the Times of Israel.

– 8,680,000: overall Israeli population
– 74.4%: Israel’s Jewish population
– 20.8%: Israel’s Arab population
– 4.4%: other ethnic groups in Israel’s population
– 174,000: babies born in last 12 months
– 44,000: deaths in last 12 months
– 30,000: new immigrants in last 12 months
– 1.9%: population growth in last 12 months

Around the World
• Jewish officials hail Austria’s decision to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism already accepted by Israel and the UK.

• Turns out a terror suspect arrested with a rucksack full of knives outside the British parliament building on Thursday was an alumnus of a 2010 Gaza convoy. Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, a 27-year-old British national, joined the “Hope to Gaza” convoy, which ran parallel to a separate Viva Palestina overland convoy organized by British politician George Galloway. More on Ali’s arrest at The Guardian and Daily Mail.

• Daily Mail: London Metropolitan police armed with machine guns threw Jewish audience members out of a pro-Palestinian event in the parliament building after they asked “disruptive questions.”

• Bad news for BDS efforts on campuses:
– Bath University students reject Israel boycott.
– New Jersey university students vote down BDS resolution.

• Anti-Semitic incidents are at record levels in the UK but declining in France. Why?
• Holocaust denial posters continue to be found posted at Australian universities.

• Former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams backs move to get David Irving’s Holocaust-denying books off Manchester University public shelves. More at The Guardian.

Rowan Williams
Former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels about Israel and UK academia.

– Brendan O’Neill: This never-ending meltdown over Israel is the distress of fools
– Amb. Mark Regev: I accepted invitation to speak at SOAS to put forward Israel’s case
– Daniel Sugarman: Malia Bouattia has gone, but the NUS still struggles with anti-Semitism
– Daily Telegraph (staff-ed): Student groups must stop targeting Israel

• More broken quills and busted keyboards about the alleged Israeli airstrike on an Iranian arms depot last week:

– Jonathan Schanzer: Russia risks showdown with Israel over Hezbollah in Syria
– Benny Avni: Did Moscow green-light an Israeli attack in Syria?
– Alex Fishman: Greenlighting an Israeli attack on Iran in Syria?
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Israel’s covert war against Hezbollah’s artillery

Israeli Air Force jet in 2015

• Writing in the Arizona Law Review, Abraham Bell and Eugene Kontorovich examine the issue of “Palestine, uti possidetis juris, and the borders of Israel.”

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yossi Melman: Don’t forget the foreign fighters who sacrificed for Israel’s independence
– Mayor Nir Barkat: Jerusalem rooted in 3,000 years of history.
– Avi Issacharoff: Eyeing his trip to Trump, Abbas takes on Hamas, reins in hunger-strike protests
– Thane Rosenbaum: Palestinians are rewarding terrorists. The US should stop enabling them.
– Ruthie Blum: Birthday suit
– Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman: Mahmoud Abbas goes to Washington: What is at stake?
– Dennis Ross: Common threats offer new opportunities for Israel-GCC cooperation
– Melanie Phillips: The British Foreign Office remains true to type
– Gabe Friedman: Why Radiohead’s Israel show matters
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): Getting away with murder

• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Hanan Ashrawi and James Zogby.

Featured image: by Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90; flags CC BY-NC-ND Avital Pinnick; jet CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces; Williams CC BY National Assembly for Wales;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 27 Apr 2017, 4:19 pm

PA Halts Gaza Electricity Payments to Israel
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Raising the stakes in its power struggle with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority notified Israel that it will no longer cover the costs of electricity that Israel provides to Gaza. Ynet explains:

Israel supplies the Gaza Strip with electricity through 10 power lines that produce 125 megawatts, about 30% of the electricity required in Gaza. The cost of electricity consumption in Gaza is estimated at NIS 40 million (around $11 million) a month—a sum which Israel deducts from the Palestinian Authority taxes.

If the PA refuses to cover Gaza’s electricity bill, payments can also be made through the international community or private entities.

2. BBC News reports that the UK Charity Commission, which registers and regulates British charities, will take a closer look at student unions supporting BDS. What’s the basis for the scrutiny?

Since 2010, students’ unions have become registered charities, meaning they have a legal duty to represent the interests of their members.

According to guidance, public comment should also be limited to matters that affect the welfare of the union’s members as students.

The BBC understands these issues have been raised with the Charity Commission, which is assessing them to determine if any regulatory action should be taken.

A Charity Commission spokesperson said concerns about links to the BDS Movement would be “assessed consistently” and, where appropriate, it would “take regulatory action”.

David Holdsworth, from the commission, said students’ unions must not be discriminatory towards students “of a particular faith or race”.

3. Israel fears new UNESCO resolution will contest its sovereignty over western Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Israel is concerned that the new draft, co-authored by Europe, will include the clause rejecting Israeli sovereignty over Western Jerusalem, a move which threatens to delegitimize the government of the Jewish state, according to diplomats.

Israel’s main governing bodies — its parliament, prime minister’s office, foreign ministry and supreme court — are all located in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem.

They could not help noting that the cynicism of passing such a resolution on Israel’s Independence Day.
More on Israel’s efforts against the resolution at Ynet.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel reportedly struck an Iranian arms depot near Damascus International Airport early Thursday morning. More at Ynet.
• Israeli tanks destroyed a Hamas position along the Gaza border after soldiers doing routine security work came under fire this afternoon.
• President Donald Trump will reportedly recognize entire Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during a visit in late May.
• Hamas tackles fake news:
• Israeli intelligence minister to Reuters: Israel seeks an understanding with the US that Iran must be prevented from setting up a military presence in Syria.
Around the World
• Massachusetts Democrats are moving to kill a proposal for a state party committee to declare Israeli settlements illegal. Party officials said the proposal was unbalanced and would cost Democrats Jewish votes. Boston Globe coverage.
• Minnesota Legislature approves anti-BDS measure
• Critics slammed City University of New York for inviting Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour to give a commencement address, reports the JTA and Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter).

Sarsour made waves in March when she declared that there’s no room for Zionism in the feminist movement.

• A UK Liberal Democrat candidate was sacked over anti-Semitism allegations. In recent years, David Ward posted a blog comparing the treatment of Palestinians by “Jews” to the Holocaust, questioned the right of “apartheid Israel” to exist, and suggested he was ready to fire rockets at Israel from Gaza. Daily Telegraph coverage.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Raphael Ahren: Why Netanyahu gave Germany’s FM the Silence treatment
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: This is how we intimidate journalists
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Who’s afraid of Marwan Barghouti?
– Kobi Richter: In Mideast peace efforts, Israel must deal its own cards
– Teodora Coptil: EU-Israel relations: Trojan horses, snakes, ladders and boycotts
– Yossi Melman: North Korea and the Jewish question

Featured image: CC BY Robert Couse-Baker; light bulb CC0 Pixabay; money CC BY-NC-ND Bryan Jones; Sarsour CC BY Festival of Faiths;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 5:04 pm

Abbas to Shut Off Money to Gaza and Hamas?
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Sources close to Mahmoud Abbas told the Times of Israel the PA chief may cut off all cash to Gaza. The ultimatum to Hamas: Accept our rule or we’ll stop paying your bills. This “would constitute official recognition of the split between Gaza and the West Bank, a divide that over the past decade Fatah and Hamas refused to acknowledge.”

Consequences on the ground would include making the Strip’s energy crisis even more acute, an end to Gaza medical transfers to Israel currently paid by Ramallah, and the possibility of Hamas sparking a new conflict with Israel to divert Palestinian attention.

2. The Trump administration is planning a major revamp in the way US foreign aid is disbursed as well as various cutbacks. Foreign Policy obtained a copy of the 15-page State Department document. Parsing the numbers, Haaretz reports that Egypt and Jordan would face deep cuts while the Palestinian Authority would see a modest increase:

The documents are an internal budget plan that seems in line with the administration’s stated goal of a deep cut of more than a third of the State Department and USAID’s total budget. They show major cuts in foreign aid to numerous countries in all continents, but a small rise of 4.6% in foreign aid to the West Bank and Gaza, which would go up to $215 million for the 2018 fiscal year . . .

The document proposes a 47.4% cut to Egypt’s aid – a surprising policy in light of the warm and friendly way in which Trump has treated Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi. It also proposed a 21% cut to foreign aid to Jordan, whose leader, King Abdullah, is the only world leader to have been invited to meet the president twice since his inauguration.
Former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro weighed in:

3. The US is gearing up to defeat another Israel-bashing resolution due for UNESCO debate next week, according to Israeli media reports.

Next Monday, UNESCO is set to vote on a resolution that includes clauses denying any Jewish connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, and that attacks Israel for the killing of children in Gaza, Israel’s Channel 10 news reported Monday.
Meanwhile, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova denounced her own agency’s governing board for passing resolutions in recent months denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites.
Israel and the Palestinians
Sigmar Gabriel
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

• UPDATE: As this roundup was being published, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Netanyahu’s talks with Gabriel were cancelled.
According to Israeli media reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel against meeting with representatives of left-wing non-governmental organizations B’tselem and Breaking the Silence.

According to Channel 2 news, when Netanyahu learned of his planned meetings with representatives of the leftist organizations, his office sent a message to the German delegation that this was provocative behavior.

However, in an attempt to compromise with the Germans, Netanyahu’s office made it clear to Gabriel that it would not object to a junior representative meeting the organizations on Gabriel’s behalf.
Gabriel said in response that his meetings with the two NGOs would go on as scheduled and that it would be “regrettable” and “unthinkable” if the Prime Minister’s Office scrapped his time with Netanyahu.

• Worth reading: The Daily Telegraph takes a closer look at whether imprisoned Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti can lead the Palestinians to peace, and also what’s motivating his current hunger strike:

But Israel’s government sees something bigger than prison issues in the strike. They believe Barghouti is flexing his political muscles and sending a message to Palestinian leaders by showing how he can unite prisoners from different political factions under his leadership.

“Barghouti’s strike is motivated by internal Palestinian political motives and therefore includes unreasonable demands regarding prisoner conditions,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s public security minister.
See Khaled Abu Toameh‘s related tweet of the day.

• IDF soldiers thwarted a Palestinian stabbing attack near a West Bank army base this afternoon.

• The Jerusalem Post picked on a report by the European Union Institute for Security Studies suggesting a link between rising summer temperatures and Mideast violence. The EUISS calls it a “heat hypothesis.”

• Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: Security of Israel is a key in Canada’s fight against Islamic State.

• Regarding yesterday’s stabbing attack at the Qalandiya checkpoint . . .

• Jerusalem Post: “IDF Military Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Sharon Afek hinted strongly on Tuesday that he will approve a wider range of Lebanese targets than were approved in the 2006 Lebanon War in the event of a new war with Hezbollah.”

While legal advisers like the MAG never completely share their hand in advance of a war of what targets they will approve, it is even rare for such advisers to publicly and specifically cite a potential targeting issue . . .

However, since 2006, Israeli officials have said that Hezbollah has taken deeper control of the state and that the Lebanese state is now more directly supporting even Hezbollah’s military efforts.
• I’m not sorry to hear Abd al-Rahim Ahmed Atik now rests in pieces:

Terrorist who commanded infamous 1987 glider attack killed in Syria

• A Knesset ceremony marking Yom HaShoah shined a light on overlooked Sephardi victims of the Holocaust as MKs read the names of murdered family members from North Africa, Turkey and Greece. I had no idea there were 17 North African Nazi camps located in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

Around the World
• BDS founder Omar Barghouti received the Gandhi Peace Award from the Connecticut-based group Promoting Enduring Peace. The New Haven Register reported that

. . . Yale University officials issued an unusual statement distancing the university from endorsing the Gandhi event despite the fact it took place in a Yale building.
Although Barghouti is under investigation for tax evasion, an Israeli judge allowed him to travel abroad. Haaretz adds that Barghouti also spoke at New York’s Columbia University and scheduled a pair of events with Jewish Voices for Peace.

Last but not least, the New Haven Register gave an op-ed soapbox to four Connecticut Jewish leaders unpacking why Barghouti isn’t fit for any peace awards. Honoring those like Barghouti will make ‘enduring peace’ much less attainable.

Omar Barghouti
Omar Barghouti, 2011

• Times of Israel: Scholar whose work was used to justify Palestinian terror tapped to head US air force.

• Pro-Palestinian academics and students snowflakes at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies are trying to force the cancellation of a speaking appearance by Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. More at The Guardian.

• Flyers making anti-Semitic, racist and anti-immigrant statements were found in several locations around the Princeton University campus. More on the story at the Daily Princetonian and JTA.

• Administrators from several Australian universities condemned flyers questioning the historical accuracy of the Holocaust which appeared on a number of campuses Down Under.

• Britain’s National Union of Students is in a new anti-Semitism row over a series of offensive tweets in which candidates for top positions in the union posted messages mocking and insulting Jews. The Independent explains:

In online posts seen by The Independent, one current member of the union’s National Executive Council shared a video mocking Jews as having big noses and being tight with money, while another publicly suggested Jewish people are tight-fisted and said he wanted to destroy Israel.

A third, who is seeking a position on the union’s executive in elections being held this week, wrote an offensive Twitter message referring to Jews and using the phrase “Heil Hitler”.

The Independent can also reveal that, during her time as a student at York University, Malia Bouattia, the current NUS president, was involved in hosting a play called “Seven Jewish Children” that has been widely criticised as anti-Semitic.
• I’m glad Seth Frantzman picked up on something I was wondering myself:

86% Rise in US anti-Semitism? Half of it was caused by one Jewish Israeli.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Jonathan Tobin: Does Iran have a veto on Israeli-Palestinian peace?
– Jamal Barakat: Marwan Barghouti is a convicted murderer. Nothing more.
– Elliott Abrams: The need to change Palestinian political culture
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: The battle over the Golan Heights
– Charles Wald and Michael Makovsky: The two faces of Qatar, a dubious Mideast ally
– Jennifer Rubin: The least surprising statistic
– Avi Dichter: Thou shalt not take the Holocaust in vain
– Marc Schulman: Two takes on what the Holocaust means today
– Giora Eiland: Hitler Youth members must take responsibility for their actions

Featured image: CC0 Craig Dennis; money spigot vectors from Vecteezy and freedesignfile; Gabriel CC BY SPD Schleswig-Holstein; Barghouti via YouTube/rabble.ca News for the rest of us;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 11:05 pm

French Jews Wary as Marine Le Pen Heads to Final Vote
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. French Jews are worried about the continuing electoral success of far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Meanwhile, Russian Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar called on French Jewry to leave France if Le Pen wins a May 7 runoff against Emmanuel Macron, a centrist independent candidate.

Le Pen and Macron
French presidential finalists Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron

2. It turns out that the 18 year-old Palestinian terrorist arrested for injuring four Israelis in yesterday’s Tel Aviv stabbing attack had entered Israel on a one-day “peace pass.” The passes, which are issued to groups fostering relations between Israelis and Palestinians, have been suspended pending an investigation. More at the Times of Israel.

3. Israel marked Yom HaShoah. See below for related articles remembering the Holocaust.

4. Hearing the Politics of Despair For Ourselves: HR’s Field Trip to the Gaza Border Region: Following an HonestReporting tour of the Israel-Gaza border, an award-winning journalist shares her thoughts.

In the News
• A Palestinian woman stabbed a soldier at the Kalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem this morning.

• The terrorist accused of killing a British student will be paid £800 a month by the Palestinian government which receives £25m-a-year UK foreign aid

• Australian piercing shop declares, ‘No Israelis served here.’ Owner Mark Bryce explained his stance to the Cairns Post.

• UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres: Denial of Israel’s right to exist is a ‘modern form of anti-Semitism.’

Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

• Social media fuels rising UK anti-Semitism, report finds.

Remembering Yom HaShoah
• The BBC examines Yad Vashem’s race against time to identify the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. The memorial center has so far identified by name 4.7 million of the murdered Jews.

“Every new name we can add to our database is a victory against the Nazis, against the intent of the Nazis to wipe out the Jewish people. Every new name is a small victory against oblivion.”
• Secret UN files reveal Allied leaders knew about Nazi death camps ‘long before D-Day.’

• Video: Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) Siren 2017: Israel came to a complete standstill this morning.

• Israel’s oldest Holocaust museum recasts lessons as ‘a warning sign.’

• Here’s what else I’m reading about Yom HaShoah:

– Efraim Zuroff: The real danger: Holocaust distortion
– Ronen Bergman: And Netanyahu remains silent
– Yoaz Hendel: It’s time to recover from the Holocaust

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Amos Harel: Hezbollah’s PR provocation on border comes at a good time for Israel
– New York Post (staff-ed): End the US taxpayer subsidy for Palestinian terror
– Denis MacEoin: How new is the new Hamas charter?
– Jonathan Schanzer: Time for the US to stop Qatar’s support for terror
– Jim Molan: Puppet-state Lebanon a pawn for ambitious Iran
– Ali Alfoneh: Hezbollah battlefield deaths defending Assad mount up

Featured image: CC BY KellyB.; Le Pen CC BY-SA Global Panorama; Macron CC BY-NC Mutualite Francaise; Guterres CC BY-NC-ND UN Geneva;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 9:49 pm

Syrian Mortars Hit Israel
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
BREAKING: a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv has left several wounded. At the time of publishing this IDNS we are still in very early stages and information is limited, but apparently the attack took place either near or in several hotels at the Tel Aviv waterfront and a Palestinian suspect has reportedly been placed under arrest. The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz have continuing updates.

According to journalist Seth Frantzman, Palestinian media is reporting this as an attack on “settlers” in “occupied Palestine.” To be clear: they’re talking about Tel Aviv.

1. Several mortar shells from Syria landed inside Israel this week. Israel responded by attacking the locations from which the mortars had been fired. The IDF said:

The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel or the security of its residents and will see the Syrian regime responsible for what happens within its territory.
These sorts of events have happened from time to time, and it is not always clear whether the fire into Israel is accidental or an intentional attempt to test Israel’s responses. In either case this calls to mind a quote from Mario Puzo’s classic novel and movie The Godfather:

Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.
Indeed, Israel’s consistent, strong responses seem to have caused fighting parties in Syria to be especially careful about not letting their conflict spill across the Israeli border.

2. The Palestinian terrorist accused of killing a British student last week will be paid £800 (about $1,000) per month by the Palestinian government. To put this in perspective: an average Palestinian worker earns about $450 per month, which means that in reward for one day of terror, Hannah Bladon’s murderer will receive more than double a typical full time Palestinian salary, every month for the rest of his life…or at least until the world finally puts a stop to this practice.

The Palestinian Authority government, in defiance of international pressure, is actually increasing its budget for salaries to terrorists: in 2016 it was up to $180 Million. That budget is funded in part by the UK which provides £25 million (about $32 Million) per year in foreign aid. In other words, UK taxpayers are actually paying a salary to the terrorist who murdered one of their own citizens. This issue grew in visibility after the near murder of UK citizen Kay Wislon, who’s would-be murderers reportedly receive £9,000 per year. Wilson survived only because the terrorists had believed she was already dead.

In case you missed the story when it first came out: Last week Jamil Tamimi had stabbed a UK exchange student to death on Jerusalem’s light rail train. The victim, 21 year old Hannah Bladon, was a student University of Birmingham and had been doing an exchange program at Israel’s Hebrew University.

3. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to meet with US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday. One topic that will feature prominently on the agenda will be Israel’s concern about Iran establishing a permanent base in Syria the day after the civil war there ends. Many of us have been so preoccupied by the horrors of the Syrian civil war, that it is easy to forget the dangers yet to come after the fighting comes to an end. In this case, Israel may have a number of receptive ears: Mattis and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have echoed similar concerns about Iran’s influence in Syria, as has US ally Saudi Arabia

Israel and the Palestinians
• Gaza is suffering an electricity shortage, and it turns out to have nothing to do with Israel but rather political rivalries between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Here’s how it works: Israel provides fuel for electric plants to the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank (the “PA”), who then sells it to Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that rules in Gaza. Yet Hamas has stopped paying its electric bills to the PA, and the PA has decided to stop providing fuel until the bill is paid. Meanwhile, Hamas seems to have no shortage of funds for its continuing construction of terror tunnels, which cost roughly $3 Million a piece. The real losers in all of this? The people of Gaza, who are about to face a typically hot Mediterranean summer with limited electrical power. This background will be worth remembering when the inevitable blaming of Israel begins to hit the news.

• The May Fair Hotel in London has refused a request by the Palestinian Authority government to screen a movie called “Marwan: A film about the life and struggle of Marwan Barghouti.” Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for terrorism and murder, is also a co-founder and leader of the the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an internationally recognized terror organization that targets Israeli civilians for violent attacks. The PA government had requested the screening to take place on Yom Hashoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. In case you didn’t know the meaning of the Yiddish word “chutzpa,” this is pretty much it.

• One of two Palestinian women from Gaza who tried to smuggle explosives into the Israeli hospital where she was receiving cancer treatments has been released by Israeli authorities. Apparently, authorities concluded that she was duped into carrying an object that contained explosives without her knowledge. However, the other suspect is still being held.

Around the World
• The Israeli cabinet is expected to ratify an agreement on Sunday with China relating to the employment of Chinese workers in Israel. Israel and China engaged in negotiations for several years over an agreement on Chinese citizens coming to work in Israel. In 2015, the talks faltered over China’s demand that Chinese laborers in Israel not be employed in the settlements. The official reason given by the Chinese was concern for the workers’ personal safety, but officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed the view that the real reason was political, relating to the fact that China and the rest of the international community view the settlements as illegal and their locations as occupied territory. While this is not an unfamiliar story, it does carry a certain irony: many of the construction workers who do work in West Bank settlements are Palestinian.

•. For some time, European leaders and the United Nations have been pressuring FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football – that’s “soccer” for you Americans…) to take action against Israeli soccer teams based in the West Bank, while Palestinian leaders have been pressuring FIFA to exclude Israel from competition entirely. It appears the issue is once again on FIFA’s agenda and the pressure may be about to work, as a cable from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to various embassies leaked by an anonymous official to Haaretz, seems to indicate:

Our growing assessment is that the FIFA Congress is liable to make a decision on suspending six Israeli teams that play over the Green Line, or even on suspending Israel from FIFA.
Israeli diplomats in a number of countries have reportedly been directed by the Foreign Ministry to try to persuade host countries to ask FIFA to take the matter off the agenda.

• As we approach Yom Hashoah (Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day) Israeli MK Einat Wilf discusses a modern counterpart to Holocaust denial: Zionism denial. She points out that when President Obama spoke directly to the Arab world at Cairo University in 2009:

…he did not understand that by reaffirming the dangerous equation that the global legitimacy for Israel is rooted in the Holocaust, he fanned the motivation to engage in Holocaust denial for those who continue to believe, as they always have, that Israel is not a legitimate state.
In what may be the most succinct summary of what Zionism truly is (at least that I’ve seen in a long time) MK Wilf explains:

Israel exists not because the Europeans dumped the surviving Jews in the colonially controlled Middle East. Israel exists because the Jews willed it into existence. The modern state of Israel exists because the Jews who created it believed themselves to be descendants of the Israelites and Judeans who were sovereign there in ancient times and paid a high price for preserving their separate existence as a people.
• Journalist and analyst Tom Gross weighs in on Donald Trump’s decision to carry out a limited bombing campaign in response to Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons. At this point the topic is not a new one, but some of Gross’s insights are. Worth a look…

• It’s been a while since Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been front page news, with much argument over whether Iran truly is working to develop nuclear weapons now that the JCPOA (the “Iran nuclear deal”) is in place. Jenna Lifhits analyzes Iran’s current centrifuge activity and concludes that the nuclear ambitions remain as alive and active as ever.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Jamie Dettmer: Iranian Militia Role in Syria, Iraq Prompts Alarm
– Dani Dayan: Support for Israel Must Not Become Partisan
– Elliot Abrams: Stop Supporting Palestinian Terror

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 6:15 pm

Israel Calls Out Syria on (More!) Chemical Weapons
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. According to Israeli defense officials, Syria still has up to three tons of chemical weapons. Earlier this month a chemical attack in Syria killed over 80 people in a particularly gruesome manner. Director-general, Ahmet Uzumcu of the international chemical weapons watchdog the “Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,” said laboratory tests had provided “incontrovertible” evidence that victims and survivors of the April 4 attack in northern Syria were exposed to sarin nerve gas or a similar banned toxin, while Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman said that he had “100 percent certainty” that Syrian President Bashar Assad was himself directly responsible.

In 2014, the United States negotiated the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons supply, culminating with then Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement:

With respect to Syria, we struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.
However, roughly a month after Kerry’s statement Israel announced that it had evidence that Syria was continuing to hide “significant” amounts of chemical weapons in breach of the agreement, and earlier this month Israel’s assessment proved to be (tragically) correct. Now Israel is once again warning of Assad’s weapons arsenal.

The lesson of recent history? It is a good idea to take Israeli assessments on this particular topic very, very seriously.

2. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that Iran could “follow the same path as North Korea” in pursuing nuclear weapons and putting global security at risk. US President Donald Trump made contradictory promises during the campaign as to what his policy would be toward Iran, but his positions and actions regarding Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan seem to indicate that he is open to creating deterrence through military actions. Somewhat paradoxically, at about the same time the Trump administration has notified Congress that Iran is complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former President Barack Obama, and says the U.S. has extended the sanctions relief given to the Islamic republic in exchange for curbs on its atomic program. See our Commentary/Analysis section below, for Michael Oren’s thoughts on the issue.

3. More than 100 Boston-area researchers in health care and life sciences released a statement in defense of “the liberal ideals which have shaped our democracy” and in support of “the free flow of ideas and information” that is central to their work. Why take the time to re-affirm something so obvious? To stop academic blacklisting by BDS (the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement) which targets Israeli academics and universities. At a time when some liberals have adopted anti-Israel positions, it is refreshing to see this reminder that Israel exemplifies liberal ideals, and that support for Israel ought to be natural for one who believes in such values.

4. The agenda driven Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence hosts tours for foreign journalists which paint a misleading picture of Israel’s reality. In this case, The Irish Times has published an essay by author Eimear McBride, in which she buys the NGO’s message “hook, line and sinker,” with no independent research or balance. HonestReporting examines in this critique.

Israel and the Palestinians
• US President Donald Trump will be hosting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Whitehouse on May 3. According to White House spokesman Sean Spicer:

They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel.
• Yet another ramming terror attack: this time at a bus stop at the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank. One pedestrian, a 60 year old man, was treated for a head injury. The attacker, 21-year-old Suhaib Mashahra, from the village of Sawahreh near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, was shot and killed by Israeli troops while carrying out the attack. As usual, the Reuters coverage emphasizes the death of the terrorist over the attack itself and, of course, makes no mention of the words “terror” or “terrorism.” It could be worse: in the past Reuters has neglected to even mention that the attacker was…well, attacking.

Around the World
• According to a new poll by the Anti-Defamation League, a majority of Americans are concerned about violence against Jews and Muslims. Of the 5,100 people who were interviewed, 52% were troubled by anti-Semitic violence. Seventy-six percent of those polled were disturbed by violence against Muslims. While most do not believe Trump is personally anti-Semitic, about half believe he should have done more to discourage anti-Semitism during his campaign. An overwhelming 95% of Americans say Trump is anti-Muslim and 53% say he is anti-Latino. At the risk of injecting a bit of reality into the discussion, FBI figures show that in 2015 (the most recent data available) 51.3% of religion based hate crimes were directed against Jews, while less than half that number, 22.3%, were directed against Muslims. At just under 5% each were crimes against Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants and others.

• With all the attention focused on chemical weapons in Syria and nuclear tests in North Korea, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and current MK Michael Oren penns an op-ed entitled, “We’re turning a blind eye to Iran’s genocidal liars.” Oren goes on to explain that while North Korea and Syria breached their respective agreements,

[the agreement with Iran] is so inherently flawed that Tehran doesn’t even have to break it. Honouring it will be enough to endanger millions of lives.
Oren explains that the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration) allows Iran to make significant progress toward becoming a nuclear power without even violating the terms of the deal, all while enjoying billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Thus, when most of the deal’s provisions conclude in roughly ten years, it will be essentially impossible for international powers to stop Iran from quickly going nuclear. This is assuming that Iran doesn’t breach the JCPOA sooner. However, Oren provides a note of hope, along with a warning:

How can the US and its allies pre-empt catastrophe? Many steps are possible, but they begin with penalising Iran for the conventions it already violates, such as UN restrictions on missile development…in responding forcibly to North Korean and Syrian outrages, President Trump has taken a major step towards restoring America’s deterrence power. His determination to redress the flaws in the JCPOA and to stand up to Iran will greatly accelerate that process. The US, Israel and the world will all be safer.
If you are unable to read the original op-ed in The Australian due to the paywall, a copy is available on this private blog from Joseph Wouk. (HonestReporting has no relationship with, and does not endorse this blog: the link is provided for convenience only).

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Reuven Ben-Shalom: No Nelson Mandela
– Jim Michaels: How the U.S. Helped Win a Battle Against ISIS in Libya
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Barghouti Is Intentionally Lying
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 8:28 pm

NYT Publishes Terror Leader’s Op-Ed
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. In tandem with a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, The New York Times published an scathing anti-Israel op-ed by convicted murderer and notorious terrorist Marwan Barghouti. In addition to not calling out Barghouti for any of his incorrect facts, the New York Times described him in the “by-line” merely as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” In fact, Barghouti is a notorious convicted murderer and terrorist, head of the Tanzim terror group and a co-founder of the associated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is designated as a terror organization by (among others) Canada, the EU, the United States and Israel.

Originally published on a Jewish holiday (we don’t know if that was on purpose) Barghouti’s op-ed was soon followed by responses from Israeli MK Yair Lapid and PM Netanyahu.

Netahnyahu’s statement included this point:

Calling Barghouti a ‘political leader’ is like calling Assad a ‘pediatrician.’
while Lapid’s statement clarified that:

Barghouti doesn’t only believe in violence, he also believes that its permissible to lie. The attempt by the New York Times “to be balanced” amuses Barghouti.
(Both statements are worth reading in their entirety, by clicking on the links above).

To their credit, the New York Times have appended an “editor’s note” to the op-ed with some of the missing context, and their Public Editor Liz Spayd penned a strong response to the op-ed, which she also shared on Twitter:

While the New York Times response is welcome, it did not come soon enough to prevent numerous other publications from quoting Barghouti’s op-ed without appropriate context and without even mentioning the New York Times corrections.

2. In a bid to spur international criticism of Israel, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have begun a hunger strike. Demands include: increased family visitation rights, improved medical services, ending administrative detention and greater access to educational materials (an ironic demand coming from strike leader Marwan Barghouti – see item #1 above – who had so much access to educational materials that he completed a PhD from within Israeli prison). It should be noted that Barghouti is positioning himself as a potential successor to Mahmoud Abbas, as head of the Palestinian Authority government. Barghouti (already a prisoner in Israeli jail for several counts of murder and terrorism) has since been placed in solitary confinement.

3. Turkey has long been known as a unique example of a Mulsim country that is also a secular democracy, with significant freedom and diversity. However, a sweeping referendum changes Turkeys fundamental constitution, and consolidates greater power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While the country remains highly divided and the result is still contested, some critics see this as the end of the modern day, secular Turkey envisioned by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and even a return to the days of the Islamic empire of the Sultans. In March 1949 Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to recognize the State of Israel and despite tensions in recent years, Turkey has remained an important ally and conduit to the Muslim world. For these reasons, the future of Turkey is of critical importance to Israel.

4. HonestReporting follows up on the New York Times op-ed by Marwan Barghouti, exposing his lies, half truths, and the New York Times journalistic failures: sanitizing of a terrorist by giving him a public platform while failing to provide readers with critical facts and context. Check our article on this topic for regular updates.

5. The Times of London is one of the numerous publications that slams Israel on behalf of terror leader and convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti, while sanitizing his bloody history. HonestReporting critiques.

Mideast Matters
• A senior Hamas official says threats by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cannot force the group to cede control in the Gaza Strip. Seeking to put pressure on Hamas, Abbas has slashed the salaries of thousands of former civil servants in Gaza and imposed a tax on fuel shipments to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Though details are currently sparse, this is a story worth watching: it will undoubtedly unfold in the weeks and months to come, with far reaching consequences.

• A young Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom, was stopped in an airport in the Philippines at the request of Saudi Embassy officials in Manila, while she was en route to Australia where she planned to seek asylum. In Saudi Arabia women face tremendous oppression and among other things, travelling abroad without a male companion is a crime. In a video Lasloom says:

If my family come, they will kill me. If I go back to Saudi Arabia, I will be dead. Please help me.
Strangely, Manila Airport General Manager Eddie Monreal told the AP he had no knowledge about the case and an immigration official reached by the AP said the airport’s immigration officers neither detained nor held any passenger under that name, yet reports out of Saudi Arabia indicate that she has already been returned to her country of origin.

• Three people were injured in clashes between local tribes and members of Islamic State in the Sinai. The unrest started when Islamic State forces shot at a truck smuggling cigarettes into the area, where the Islamic State imposes a strict version of Islamic law that prohibits the sale of tobacco, tribal sources said. For some time Egypt has been fighting against Islamic State and other terror groups in the Sinai, including Hamas. Israel recently issued a travel warning to Israelis against visiting the region which remains chaotic and not under clear control by any one group or government.

• Newly released historical records show that the Allied powers knew about the Nazi death camps much sooner and to a much greater extent than ever realized, yet they still failed to act. The Allies also prepared to bring numerous prosecutions against lower and mid-level Nazis for war crimes, many of which were never pursued. British historian Dan Plesch points out that we can learn much from the failures and successes of World War II and apply that knowledge to reduce the suffering in modern day Syria.

• Even in the wake of mass genocide and poison gas attacks in Syria, the spread of Islamic State, a refugee crisis that has spread as far as Europe, and the utter meltdown of numerous countries throughout the Middle East, most Arab (and even many Western) leaders continue to absurdly claim that the conflict between Israel and Palestinians is central to the region, if not the world. Writing in the Australian, David Suissa fiercely debunks that persistent myth, with a critical review of established facts and current events.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Barbara Kay: How academics portray Islam as a’ victim’ of oppression — even as they defend violent Islamists
– Olivia B. Waxman: The U.S. Intervened in Syria in 1949. Here’s What Happened
– Benjamin Weinthal: How Iran Enables Syria’s Chemical Warfare Against Civilians

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Apr 2017, 4:47 pm

Israel/US Blame Assad for Syria Chemical Attack
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. One of the worst chemical bombings in Syria turned a northern rebel-held area into a toxic kill zone on Tuesday, inciting international outrage over the ever-increasing government impunity shown in the country’s six-year war. The United States has blamed Bashar Assad while Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that he has “100 percent certainty” that Assad himself was directly responsible for the attack:

The murderous chemical weapons attacks on citizens in Idlib province in Syria and on a local hospital were carried out on the direct order and planned by the Syrian president, Bashar Assad, using Syrian planes.
Syria has denied responsibility for the attack, so the US accusation and Liberman’s statement (presumably based on Israeli intelligence) are significant. Liberman also said Israel would not become involved militarily to stop the bloodshed, but called on the international community to help do so. Some in Israel have urged that the country “do something,” in some cases invoking comparisons to nations who stood idly by during the Holocaust. We touched on this topic in yesterday’s IDNS, and pointed out that while it’s simple to generically call for Israel to “do something,” what that “something” could realistically be is a more complex question. Several issues to consider:

Full scale invasion/occupation of Syria isn’t a realistic option for Israel acting alone;
Even limited attacks on Assad’s forces or resources without international backing could put Israel into the dangerous position of being in combat against Russia, who has been backing Assad militarily;
A power vacuum left by an attack on Assad’s forces may be filled by Islamic State (ISIS), Al Qaeda linked groups, or others: unless Israel were to take an active role on the ground to prevent that;
Limited pinpoint strikes on specific military targets would more or less replicate what the international community has already been doing since 2011, apparently to little effect;
Diplomacy and pressure also seem to have been ineffective: in 2014, in what was claimed to be a diplomatic victory of sorts, the Obama administration announced that removal of chemical weapons from Syria had been “completed.” Obviously, that was not, and still is not, the case.
This is not to say that there isn’t some action that Israel acting alone could potentially take, but it is not at all clear what that action might be. When the world acts together, the practical options become significantly greater.

2. A series of explosions were heard at a military compound belonging to Lebanese terror group Hezbollah near the Syrian capital of Damascus, local media in Syria reported in the early morning hours of Thursday. According to local media, an “unidentified attack” was also reported against Hezbollah forces and Syrian government troops in a suburb of Daraa in southern Syria, in the Syrian Golan Heights. Reports in the Hebrew-language media said the attack was a battle between rebel fighters and Syrian and Hezbollah forces. In the past, Israel has reportedly attacked Hezbollah positions and weapons convoys in Syria, though there are many rival factions fighting in Syria and attacks can come from any number of different sources.

3. There’s a new Hamas charter…or is there? The “new Hamas charter” is apparently unacceptable to Hamas leadership in Gaza. (Hamas has leadership in Qatar as well as in Gaza). This begs the question: can this charter actually be adopted without leadership support, or will it merely fizzle and disappear? As if there weren’t enough questions already: it is not even clear whether the charter is actually a charter at all (which would presumably replace the Hamas Covenant document of 1988 which calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews), or whether it is merely a “political document” that does not replace the existing charter, as some sources have indicated. In any case one thing is already clear from leaks of the text: the new document calls for a Palestinian state based on “pre-1967 borders” but paradoxically, also calls for the total destruction of Israel. When interest groups inevitably use this document as an excuse to cast Hamas as “reasonable” or “moderate” in the days and weeks to come, it is worth keeping these points in mind.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas offers clemency to “Israeli collaborators” after killing, as it probes the murder of one of its officials in Gaza that it blames on Israel. As we discussed in a previous IDNS, senior Hamas figure Mazen Faqha was assassinated last week in Gaza and Hamas has taken the position that the assassination was carried out by Israel with local collaborators in Gaza, however Israel has not confirmed this and Defense Minister Avidgdor Liberman has indicated that the assassination was carried out by Hamas rivals. Apparently, if Israeli allies and collaborators in Gaza turn themselves in within a week then in return Hamas will spare their lives. The interior ministry said in an official statement:

The doors of repentance will be open for one week, from Tuesday, April 4 to Tuesday, April 11
Palestinians who have any relations with Israel are considered traitors to their people and believe death is the appropriate punishment.

• An Israeli soldier was killed and another lightly wounded in a car-ramming attack in the central West Bank on Thursday morning, officials said. The Palestinian driver of the car was captured by the Israel Defense Forces, an army spokesperson said. Of the two victims, the one who died was named as Sgt. Elhai Teharlev, 20, from the settlement of Talmon. The two victims were standing on the sidewalk near a bus stop when the terrorist driving a silver Audi struck them. Some claim that Palestinian terrorism is a struggle against oppression, yet there is a certain dark irony when one “struggles against oppression” by making a weapon out of such a high-end luxury automobile.

• Israel’s Labor Party has delayed its primaries due to the Britney Spears concert. Yes, you read that right. The official word is the concert will require so many security guards and generate so much traffic that it will leave insufficient resources for the primaries. Is it also possible that some party members merely wish to attend the show? We won’t even speculate on that…

Around the World
• New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman says Anti-Semitism on rise in New Zealand, and is particularly prevalent on social media.

A lot of anti-Semitism comes out of ignorance and thinking this is a fashionable thing to do…I don’t think that legislating really works. The real issue is education.
Recently, New Zealand colleges and universities such as Queenstown Resort College had posters and flyers promoting nazi-fascism and containing anti-semitic slurs. Alt-right groups have spoken out on social media claiming that the tearing down of posters is a violation of free speech.

• In the UK, MP Ken Livingstone continues to make headlines, as he doubles down again and again on his anti-Semitic rhetoric, and it is raising ire from within his party. One hundred Labour MPs attacked their party’s failure to kick out Ken Livingstone yesterday as he gave a series of defiant interviews defending his Hitler comments. Tom Watson, the deputy leader, and Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, were among a string of senior figures who said they were “ashamed” that Mr Livingstone had not been expelled. Yet party leader Jeremy Corbyn is apparently less ashamed, holding to his decision to suspend Livingstone for one year rather than to remove him from the party. Perhaps it is because Corbyn is actually sympathetic to Livingstone’s positions: Corbyn has a history of making Jewish leaders uncomfortable by, among other things, frequently defending his associations with leaders from the Hamas and Hezbollah terror organizations.

• Outside the this year’s AIPAC conference was a mass of protesters. Why? And what do they want? A thoughtful analysis by Daniel Gordis entitled, “American Protesters’ Cause Isn’t Clear to Israel” takes a detailed look at some of the primarily young, American groups that are highly critical of Israel. Some claim to be “pro-Israel” even as they act in a way that appears antagonistic: including in some cases supporting BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) against Israel. Gordis concludes that in some cases the groups are more interested in “venting anti-establishment rage” than actually engaging in real advocacy: ready to list everything they oppose, but short on practical ideas they might wish to see implemented. In one example, the ADL’s Jonathan A. Greenblatt invited protesters outside his office from a group called “If Not Now” to come inside and discuss their grievances: the group refused, preferring to remain in the lobby and create a disturbance in order to be publicly arrested. Other groups profess to be against “the occupation,” but upon closer inspection, they prove to be referring to the “occupation” that began in 1948, meaning that they are against Israel’s existence at all. Gordis examines numerous examples and provides much thoughtful analysis, while also raising critical questions about how this may impact the future relationship between American Jews and Israelis. Worth a read.

• The Guardian wrote a scathing indictment of Livingstone’s anti-Semitism in the form of a staff editorial, one of the most supportive pieces of journalism regarding the UK Jewish community we’ve seen in years. Among other criticisms, the staff editorial does not hesitate to call out Livingstone and the labor party in general for disguising anti-Semitism as if it were legitimate criticism of Israel. Here are a couple highlights, though the entire editorial is certainly worth a read:

A presumption can take hold that … the left is opposed to all racism. Warped logic then unfolds: anti-racists cannot be guilty of prejudice against Jews, so it follows that Jewish complaints about prejudice are dishonest. The offence is pushed back on to the people who thought they had been offended. It is reconfigured as a plot to discredit political foes; part of a hidden agenda connected to Israel-Palestine.
Mr Livingstone’s statements and unapologetic stances ooze contempt for the Jewish community. He has had every opportunity to moderate his language, rephrase his opinions and seek conciliation. Instead he has chosen gleeful defiance.
Every significant Jewish community body, every respectable historian, and every organisation that studies the Holocaust, to learn its lessons, has said that Mr Livingstone’s language is unacceptable. Most Jews think it was hurtful. But a Labour committee has decided not to mind their pain.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Daniel Polisar: Do Palestinians Want a Two-State Solution?
– John Rossomando: Panelists Prove That Jewish Voice for Peace Is Neither
– Evelyn Gordon: ISIS Borrows a Tactic from Hamas

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Apr 2017, 7:44 pm

Syria’s Gory Present and Threatening Future
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. With so much focus on tragic and immediate events in Syria we may be overlooking an important element relevant to the country’s future, and the future of the entire Middle East. Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz tells the Jerusalem Post that as world powers focus on toppling ISIS, Iran is quietly gaining traction in Syria – posing a direct threat to Israel, eastern Mediterranean countries and the entire Arabian Peninsula. Steinitz continues:

It’s very easy and convenient to focus on ISIS, but we have two challenges in Syria: one is ISIS and one is Iran.
It is possible that the end of the Syrian civil war is in sight, which means that Israel and the other countries in the region are facing serious questions about their own security: in the face of an expanded Iranian presence, the growth of a battle hardened Hezbollah, an uncertain role being played by Russia, and perhaps a re-cementing of the power of Bashar Assad. According to Steinitz:

The greater threat is coming from Iran, and not just from its nuclear program. The most immediate and urgent threat is the Iranian plan to transform Syria, after this horrible, brutal civil war is over, into some kind of extension of Iran.
2. More on the chemical weapons attack in Syria: In an apparent attempt to exonerate the Syrian government, Russian Defense ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, said in a statement early Wednesday that Russian military assets registered a Syrian air force strike Tuesday on rebel weapons depots and an ammunition factory on the eastern outskirts of the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Konashenkov said chemical weapons produced by the factory were used in Iraq. He added that the same type of chemical weapons had been previously used by the rebels in Aleppo, where they had caused symptoms similar to those seen in images from Khan Sheikhoun. The Russian statement follows an international outcry over what was described as a chemical weapons attack on Khan Sheikhoun. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 58 people died, including 11 children. Both Russia and Syria both have denied launching the chemical attack, though as we reported in yesterday’s IDNS, there is also reason to believe the attack was carried out by Bashar Assad’s Syrian government.

3. Britain’s Labor Party has been facing a problem of anti-Semitism in its ranks for some time, but the most dramatic example is certainly MP Ken Livingstone. With frequent comments like “Hitler was a Zionist,” the Telegraph suggests that party head Jeremy Corbyn could be facing an internal mutiny of sorts for failing to expel Livingstone entirely from the party. However, British Colonel Richard Kemp (Ret.) opines on Twitter (somewhat sarcastically) that perhaps Livingstone shouldn’t be expelled, as his anti-Semitism perfectly fits the party’s current (and unfortunate) ethos.

In a previous IDNS we shared an image of a recently re-discovered telegram from Hitler’s deputy Himmler to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, promising him Nazi support to fight Jews. So while Hitler may have wanted Jews to leave Germany (before later trapping them inside Germany to be killed in death camps), Hitler and his government were also prepared to kill Jews in the land of Israel. This is Ken Livingstone’s definition of “Zionism?”

Israel and the Palestinians
• For the first time in years, the UN Security Council will not focus its monthly debate on the Middle East on Israel and the Palestinians, said U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who presides over the Council for the month of April. Haley continues:

We are not going to support the Palestinian actions here at the UN until they came to the table.
• As expected US President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have discussed the possibility of holding an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in the United States this summer. Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, reportedly raised the initiative with Arab officials. As is typical in such discussions, there seems to be no actual input from Israelis or Palestinians, which makes it difficult to determine whether these discussions will result in meaningful future actions.

• A Palestinian man who allegedly trained in Syria to carry out terror attacks in Israel on behalf of Hamas was arrested by the Shin Bet security service in February after he returned to the West Bank, the agency said Wednesday. Malek Nizar Yousef Qazmar, 23, is said to have joined the terrorist group in August 2015 when he was living in Jordan. Originally from Qalqilya in the West Bank, the Palestinian man lived in Turkish Cyprus for many years. In January 2016, Qazmar was sent to a military training camp in Syria, the Shin Bet said.

• Israel appoints its first female Muslim diplomat: Rasha Atamny, 31, from Baqa al-Gharbiya, will be heading to Ankara, Turkey. Atamny, who is completing the final months of the ministry’s cadet course, will serve in a diplomatic position in the embassy’s called “first secretary.”

Around the World
• A Jewish community group in Sweden has decided to close down, after their location was targeted with swastikas and daubed with messages like “we know where you live”, and a car was vandalized. Local members of the community said the authorities had been unable to provide enough security. It seems Nazi themed anti-Semitism is on the rise in some parts of Sweden. Isak Reichel, secretary general of Sweden’s central council of Jewish communities explains:

We’ve had problems with neo-Nazis in Gothenburg and Umea, but in other cities like Stockholm we feel safer
• Canada, in an effort to improve its cyber security industry has been taking a hint from Israel. Documents obtained by Canada’s National Post detail a series of meetings last September between the top members of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, a unit inside the the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, and senior federal government officials, including Daniel Jean, who is the national security adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

• In the wake of a chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria, Israeli columnist Marc Schulman writes in Newsweek that Israel should take a more active role. But (self-interest aside) what role could Israel realistically play that would have a meaningful effect on the safety of civilians? These are difficult questions, both practically and morally, and it’s easier to ask them than to answer them.

• YNet’s Ben-Dror Yemini responds to Richard Gere’s statements about Israel and Palestinians of several weeks ago, saying what while Gere’s humanitarian intentions may have been good, his lack of any effort to truly understand the situation has rendered his statements no more than a perpetuation of familiar lies and rejectionism. Gere’s visit to Hebron was guided by Breaking the Silence, an agenda oriented activist group that is highly critical of Israel.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Zalman Shoval: The lessons of the Arab summit
– Ariel Ben Solomon: Is Iran a Paper Tiger?
– Rafael Medoff: American Jewish Committee Lobbied US to Cover Palestinian Authority’s Unpaid Bills

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 3:16 pm

Iran Manufacturing Arms in Lebanon
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Iran is manufacturing arms inside Lebanon according to Chagai Tzuriel, director- general of the Israeli Intelligence Ministry. If true, it would mean the Iranians and Hezbollah are trying to get around the difficulty of transferring arms over land through Syria to Lebanon by manufacturing them locally instead. Israel reportedly, on a number of occasions, has attacked convoys moving potentially “game-changing” armaments over land through Syria.

2. The Syrian Coalition, an opposition group based outside the country, said Syrian government planes carried out a chemical weapons strike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, south of the city of Idlib, a provincial capital. A report last January drafted by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons determined for the first time that Assad and his younger brother Maher were tied to several chemical weapons attacks carried out in the country in 2014 and 2015. In February, Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian government of conducting at least eight chemical attacks in Aleppo using chlorine gas. The Abu Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia put the number of dead at 67, although unconfirmed reports said over 100 were killed. The nature of the substance has yet to be confirmed, but a British doctor at the scene tweeted that the chemical released was sarin gas. Video footage from the scene reportedly shows images consistent with a chemical weapons attack.

3. The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is at it again: after releasing a report last month declaring Israel an “apartheid regime,” the body is now preparing to release a new report equating Israeli “occupation” to historical American slavery. The prior report enraged not only the United States but also UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, and resulted in the resignation of one UN official and the removal of the report from the commission’s web site. The negative feedback has apparently not deterred ESCWA, which is comprised of 18 Arab member countries, and which has its headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jail have threatened a hunger strike. Hailing from both Fatah and Hamas parties, the prisoners, lead by Marwan Barghouti, issued 13 demands to security officials: including access to phones and easing restrictions on family visits. In the past, hunger strikes have proved effective in pressuring Israeli authorities as they garner significant international pressure. In 2016 Israel’s high court found a law allowing the force feeding of prisoners to be permissible, however the use of such powers tends to harm Israel’s image abroad as much as a hunger strike itself. According to a 2015 Knesset bill introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked,

Mobile phones have become a key method of connecting the operational requirements of those planning attacks with the experience possessed by those behind bars.
• Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub renewed calls for FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) to exclude Israel over games played in “settlements on occupied land,” expressing disappointment at FIFA’s recommendations. A FIFA commission chaired by South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale previously presented its recommendations for compromise to Palestinians and Israelis but none of the recommendations included the desired Palestinian outcome: sanction and suspension of the Israeli football federation. FIFA has previously stated its position that, “FIFA is not a border demarcation body” which means that admitting Palestinian or Israeli teams does not imply an official FIFA political position on territorial disputes or recognition of statehood.

Around the World
•A new report published by the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS), found 26 per cent of Jews in further or higher education were either fairly worried or very worried about being subjected to a physical attack, property damage,verbal abuse or theft as a result of their religion. Apparently the fear has a real-world basis: more than one in four Jewish students (28 per cent) have been subjected to personal abuse on social media or other communication channels. In a confusing turn of phrase, the Independent writes, “Almost two-thirds of Jewish students had not been the victim of crime at their place of study.” We understand this to mean that over one-third of Jewish students have been victims of hate crime at their places of study.

• The United States Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether corporations may be sued in American courts for complicity in human rights abuses abroad. The case concerns Arab Bank, which is based in Jordan and has been accused of processing financial transactions through a branch in New York for groups linked to terrorism. Specifically, the question is whether the bank can be held liable for attacks in Israel and in the Palestinian territories by Hamas and other groups. Holding banks liable for actions of their clients as well as applying US law to events that occurred outside the United States are both tricky areas of law, however there is precedent to support such a decision.

• Making his first official visit to Washington, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s meeting this week with U.S. President Donald Trump would be a significant step as Sisi was not welcomed by the Obama administration. There has been no official word on the specifics of the wish list el-Sisi is taking to Washington, but expectations include more military aid, designating el-Sisi’s nemesis — the Muslim Brotherhood — as a terrorist group, and restoring the kind of strategic partnership Egypt enjoyed with the United States for more than 30 years. It is also expected that the two will discuss Arab league ideas for an Israeli Palestinian peace process.

• Columnist Balbir Punj says that the upcoming state visit to Israel by Indian PM Narendra Modi,

…will correct a long tale of neglect and even diplomatic rejection of a friendship on offer for six long decades merely to please the Arabs abroad and cater to the appeasement of the Islamic lobby at home.
Punj points out that India was a land of refuge for Jews numerous times throughout history: including during the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman emperor Titus after the Jewish revolt in 70 CE, as well as a destination for Jews who found refuge in Hindu kingdoms during the Holocaust. Punj notes that unlike the Arab nations whom India has tried to appease, Israel has stood by India when faced with Islamic terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

• Hamas is about to publish its new charter, but according to Avi Issacharoff the group remains as hostile as ever: to Israel and to Jews. Some portions of the document have leaked, revealing a certain contradiction: on the one hand Hamas agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, but on the other hand it proclaims:

There is no alternative to the liberation of the entirety of Palestine, from the river to the sea, no matter how long the occupation persists…
A glance at a map will reveal that “liberating Palestine” from “the river to the sea” is a clear reference to eliminating all of Israel. It also unclear at present whether the new charter will supplant or merely supplement the existing charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of all Jews. A bit of research by elderofziyon.blogspot.com suggests that the document is not a new charter at all, but merely an unrelated “political document” that leaves the existing charter intact. Given that the document has not yet been released, it is difficult to understand exactly what it is…and what it is not.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Peter Beaumont: Israel’s medical marijuana pioneers look to cash in on $20bn market
– Justin Cohen: Keeping Ken (Livingstone) would hurt Labour’s ties to British Jews
– Daniella J. Greenbaum: A BDS Defeat at Columbia – How to engineer a defeat for BDS

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Apr 2017, 5:25 pm

UN Pulls Staff from Gaza
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process (UNSCO) will not send staff to Gaza until further notice, a source close to the organisation told AFP on condition of anonymity, after Hamas imposed tough new restrictions following the assassination of one of its members. In particular, Hamas’s closure of the Erez border crossing has made it difficult for people and aid materials to enter Gaza. Next time one hears Hamas complain about being blockaded it’s worth remembering that at least in this case, their blockade is self-imposed.

2. Two civilians and a policeman were injured in the second knifing this week in Jerusalem. The teenage terrorist was shot and killed by Israeli police and was celebrated by Hamas as “heroic.” Not surprisingly, the attacker’s death made headlines around the world, while the open praise for his violence from within Palestinian society, did not. Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh shares this Tweet:
3. Israel’s parliament is considering two bills that would silence mosque loudspeakers, at least during night hours, on the grounds that they cause an unnecessary noise disturbance. In a response typical of Arab criticism of these bills, Talal Abu Arar, a member of the Joint Arab List, the Arab party in Knesset said:

For hundreds of years the call to prayer did not bother anyone, and now suddenly it does? This is part of the incitement against Arabs and Muslims in general. We will not honor this law, and continue calling to prayer as usual.
This begs the question: for exactly how many “hundreds of years” has the Muslim call to prayer been using loud speakers? And would it really violate Islam to do the nighttime calls to prayer the old-fashioned way, with a human voice instead of modern electronics?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of the staunchly pro-settlement Jewish Home party, indicated Sunday that he accepts the restrictions on settlement construction approved by the government late Thursday as a goodwill gesture to US President Donald Trump.

• A Palestinian author has fled his home after his book was banned by the Palestinian attorney general and he received death threats. Abbad Yahya, 28, has for several years been writing books that meet with criticism from within Palestinian society for including sex and politically unpopular opinions. Yet the young author says he was surprised to find such serious opposition this time, describing his home of Ramallah to be a “lively, open-minded West Bank city” where he has always felt free to write what he wants.

Around the World
• U.S. policy in Syria is no longer focused on removing Bashar al-Assad from power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters on Thursday, indicating a reversal from the previous administration. “You pick and choose your battles and when we’re looking at this, it’s about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.”

• Five members of the Israeli parliament held a town hall-style discussion in the United States Wednesday night with Jews from Greater Boston to address growing anti-Semitism and strengthen the future of the American-Israeli partnership. Sponsored by the Ruderman Family Foundation, the MKs who took part were Rachel Azaria of the Kulanu party, MK Tali Poskov from Yesh Atid, MK Mickey Levy from Likud, MK Amir Ohana, and Zionist Camp’s MK Ayelet Nahmias Verbin.

• On Friday, White House officials said Mr. Trump did not consider it constructive to air disputes over human rights publicly. His approach, they said, would be to handle such issues in a more discreet way. The topic came up in the context of a question about Aya Hjazi, a humanitarian worker arrested in May 2014 in Egypt, on what have been widely viewed as trumped-up charges of trafficking and child abuse. The US has always walked a delicate balance between supporting necessary allies vs taking an active role in defending human rights around the world and every president seems to struggle with the dilemma in a slightly different way. Does this statement signal an element of Trump’s overall approach to the Middle East?

• According to the UK’s former Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Baroness Warsi, British citizens who volunteer for the Israeli army should be prosecuted. It is currently possible for anyone in Britain to join the Israel Defence Force (IDF) through the “Mahal” program if they meet specific background and age requirements. Comparing the IDF to the forces of Syria’s Bashar Assad, the Baroness said the UK government’s current policy on the issue was not “brave enough.” In 2014, Warsi resigned from her position as a minister in the government’s Foreign Office, saying its policy on the war in Gaza was “morally indefensible”.

• In an article from the Jewish News Service entitled “Stop denying the Israeli consensus on the Palestinians” Jonathan Tobin writes:

The majority of Israelis, including some who vote for the ruling Likud party, would be happy if a two-state solution were possible. Most would probably embrace painful territorial sacrifices resulting in the uprooting of some settlements if they thought it was the required price for actually ending the conflict. But after the last quarter century, during which the Palestinians have repeatedly demonstrated their unwillingness to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn, they understand that the kind of withdrawal favored by former President Barack Obama and other Israel critics makes no sense. They have no appetite for a West Bank replication of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian state in all but name in Gaza.

Israel’s critics should pay attention to what Lapid said because it demonstrates that there is a consensus about peace and territorial withdrawal. Those who ignore this consensus are seeking to overthrow the verdict of democracy, and forgetting that the Israeli electorate has a much firmer grasp of the security situation than that of foreign kibitzers who want peace now.
(emphasis added)

• Alan Dershowitz dissects the impact of “intersectionality” on the Western world. Intersectionality is a popular political philosophy among young adults, which many understand to be a form of opposing racism in all forms. Dershowitz, however, sees links from intersectionality to anti-Semitic and anti-Western views that the millennial generation has deemed justified, for reasons of what they term white, male, and Jewish “privilege.” Dershowitz (a life long liberal Democrat) demonstrates how this newly popular political philosophy actually embodies several forms of racism (including anti-Semitism) while disguising itself as progressive liberalism.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Daniel Shapiro: All Signals Point Once Again to War in Gaza
– Jerusalem Post Editorial: Trump’s Peace Push
– Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah: The Chinese Approach to Radical Islam

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Post  Admin on Fri 31 Mar 2017, 4:36 pm

Bill Against Iran
Israel Daily News Stream24 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Democrats and Republicans have introduced a bipartisan bill, the “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017,” with seven co-sponsors from each party. The act establishes new sanctions targeting Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles and its backing for terrorism, and also seeks to block the property of any entity involved in the sale of arms to or from Iran. It does not reintroduce sanctions lifted from Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. The underlying philosophy seems to be that the JCPOA (often known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal”) is not going away but the United States needs to confront Iran in other arenas.

2. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed it to slash Two Million Dollars from its budget to the United Nations as a result of the anti-Israel resolutions passed last week, and instead to spend the funds on aid programs to friendly nations.

3. The Israeli cabinet is set to approve a new settlement for evacuees of Amona. The move would appear to fly in the face of US President Donald Trump’s demand of Netanyahu, at their joint press conference last month, that Israel “hold back” on West Bank settlement construction, and despite the failure of several efforts since then to formulate a coordinated Israeli-US position on settlements but Netanyahu said, “I promised from the beginning that we would build a new settlement…I think I first made that commitment in December, and today we’re fulfilling it.”

Israel and the Palestinians
• Last August, a worker for the World Vision aid organization Mohammad El Halabi, was arrested and charged with passing millions of dollars to the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Judge Nasser Abu Taha held a mediation session on Tuesday between El Halabi’s lawyers and the Israeli prosecution, and apparently the judge told El Halabi that he has “little chance” of being found not guilty. As Australia is a significant contributor, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said an internal review into World Vision funding in Gaza has uncovered nothing to suggest any diversion of government aid funding to Hamas. However, Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma said on Twitter that Australia would defer to the Israeli legal process

• A Hamas-linked video threatens to kill Israeli security leaders. Times of Israel reports that the video published Wednesday by a Hamas-affiliated news site, threatens to kill senior Israeli defense officials in revenge for the killing of a senior Hamas terrorist last week. Available on the Shehab News Agency’s official YouTube page, it has only about 10,000 views as of the writing of this IDNS, but it may have received a wider audience on television.

Around the World
• British MP Ken Livingstone is at it again: last year he claimed Nazi policy had the ‘effect of supporting Zionism.’ Livingstone is now doubling down on his prior claim, referring to Jews as “SS trained.” Livingstone is attempting to defend himself against accusations of anti-Semitism before Britain’s National Constitutional Committee this week. His 17 page defense raised questions due to dubious sourcing, including a Wikipedia page entitled “Israel and the Apartheid analogy.” Livingstone’s claims ring especially ironic at this particular moment given the recent re-discovery of a World War II era telegram from Hitler’s deputy Heinrich Himmler to the grand mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, in which Himmler promises that the German Reich will stand behind the Arabs of Palestine and support their struggle against “Jewish intruders.”

A telegram from senior Nazi Heinrich Himmler to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, probably dating to 1943, found in the archives of the National Library, March 29, 2017.

• The Ambassadors Against BDS group held a series of presentations at the United Nations this week, including at the General Assembly. As most participants are not professional diplomats or politicians, the effort is a special event and a point of personal pride for participants and their supporters. Among, them was Mark Halawa, who will be speaking to the HonestReporting Mission in May 2017 about his experience growing up as an Arab Muslim in Kuwait before becoming Jewish and moving to live in Israel.

• In a message to Trump, Arab leaders renew calls for a Palestinian state. At their annual meeting the Arab League issued a communique, calling for a fresh series of peace talks and renewed an offer of “reconciliation” with the Jewish state, if Israel returns Arab lands it has occupied. According to the communique, that would pave the way for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel. It is a bit tricky to understand exactly what this sentiment really means, given that many in the Arab world see all of Israel as “occupied Arab lands.” However, the communique is vague on the definition of “occupied Arab lands,” and it may be a sign that the Arab world is willing to play a constructive role in an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

• The top US military official in the Middle East Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of the US Central Command, calls Iran a ‘destabilizing’ force,’ and suggests US ‘disrupt’ regime by military means. Votel explains, “I believe that Iran is operating in what I call a gray zone…and it’s an area between normal competition between states — and it’s just short of open conflict.” This is a departure from the thinking surrounding the JCPOA (the “Iran Nuclear Deal”) and it is unclear how much weight this sentiment will carry among decision makers in Washington.

• In the complete remarks by Nikki Haley to a meeting at the UN opposing the Palestinian-led “Boycott, Divest and Sanctions” (BDS) movement, the US Ambassador to the UN says, “How tragic is it that, of all countries in the world to condemn for human rights violations, these voices choose to single out Israel. We should boycott North Korea. We should sanction Iran. We should divest from Syria, not Israel. It makes absolutely no sense. And it has no connection to any reasonable definition of justice.”

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Luke Tress: Ahead of Passover, Western Wall cleared of all notes.
– Dr. Emily B. Landau: Lessons on Iran from North Korea’s Nuclear Threat
– Michael Knights: The Role of Iraqi Security Forces in Defeating the Islamic State

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Mar 2017, 7:27 pm

Nikki Haley at AIPAC
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Nikki Haley at AIPAC: the new American Ambassador to the UN was interviewed before the conference by conservative foreign policy staple Dan Senor. She plowed no new policy ground, nor conveyed much detail but what she said was a spectacular hit: endearing herself to the crowd and raising expectations of a new, more positive working relationship between Israel and the US at the United Nations.

2. Hamas searches for assassins: Hamas launched a manhunt in Gaza for what they termed ‘Israeli assassins’ who gunned down one of its leaders. It is not clear who actually carried out the killing, though it was apparently highly professional and Israel has not confirmed or denied involvement. In any case, Hamas has Gaza on lock down as it hunts for the killers of Mazen Faqha, the Hamas leader who was shot dead on Friday. There’s a certain irony in all this: if it was in fact an Israeli operation, it is unlikely the assassins are still in Gaza at all.

3. Israel has warned its citizens to immediately leave Sharm el-Sheikh and Egypt’s other Red Sea resorts, saying there is an imminent threat of an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) attack against tourists. Despite the recent violence in the region, the Sinai Peninsula remains a popular destination for Israeli travelers, especially during the Passover holidays. Israelis consider Passover a convenient time to travel because of the national days off from work and school, yet I wonder if they ever notice the irony of traveling to Egypt on the holiday when we celebrate the exodus…from Egypt. While Israeli tourists are always a prime target for jihadist attacks, the government believes they may be especially in the cross hairs because of reports that Israel has carried out drone strikes against Islamic State in the Sinai.

Mideast Matters
• Arab leaders are set to meet in Jordan on Wednesday for their annual summit with no expected breakthrough on resolving conflicts or terrorism in the region. With plenty else on their plate this year, they will also be discussing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, are also expected to be present.

• Though many Latin American countries have been siding with Palestinians and Arab states in recent years, Israel and Nicaragua have finally renewed ties after a seven-year freeze. Does this signal a change in the overall approach between Latin America and the Middle East? Time will tell.

• Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned visit to Israel this summer, the first by an Indian head of state, has not led to any protest from the Arab world, according to Bobby Ghosh, editor-in-chief of the mass circulation Hindustan Times. This is clearly a sign of growing ties between Israel and India, but is it also a sign of shifting relationships between and among India, Israel and the Arab world?

Around the World
• Is the UK warming up to Israel at the UN? Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary, has condemned the UN human rights council criticism of Israeli bombing of Hezbollah positions in the Golan Heights as “absolutely preposterous” and “a profound absurdity.” This, along with the encouraging words from American Ambassador Nikki Haley seems to be a marked change from the UN atmosphere of prior years. Hezbollah is considered a terror organization by most of the Western world, and its activities on the Golan and Syria are often understood as preparations to militarily threaten Israel.

• Ontario-based relief group linked to Hamas heads to court to get off Canada’s terrorist list. Is the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy truly a charity or really a front for terror activity? Canadian auditors call the group an “integral” part of the Hamas, organization, saying it had transferred some $14.6 Million to the terror group.

• Lawrence Solomon believes that with an Arab NATO and a contained Iran, Trump is changing the Middle East. But can it work?

• It’s not recent news that Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik penned an eloquent response to Linda Sarsour’s assertion that one cannot be a feminist and also a Zionist. Yet the Jerusalem Post’s Gil Troy sees something more: the makings of a truly heroic figure, and even a possible reconciliation between Zionism and American liberalism.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Gershom Gromberg: How an Israeli historian led me to do the best things I’ve ever done
– Michael Wilner: U.S. Weighing Israeli-Palestinian-Gulf Peace Summit
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Israeli-Palestinian Coordination Against Hamas

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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 5:16 pm

Exiled Israeli-Arab MK Confirms Meetings With Hezbollah Chief
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Exiled Israeli Arab MK Azmi Bishara confirmed he has met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah several times since he fled Israel in 2006. Israeli police wanted to arrest Bishara on suspicion of collaborating with Hezbollah during the Second War in Lebanon. Ynet picked up on the former Balad party lawmaker’s interview with the Qatari paper, Al Arab.

Bishara insisted he shared no secrets with Hezbollah or anyone else and that he now opposes Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon and Syria.
Azmi Bishara

2. Fewer and fewer British schools are teaching students the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Guardian explains:

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment says only one school out of 170 chose Israel-Palestine as a GCSE option . . .

So why the lack of take up? For a start, teaching the history of an ongoing conflict is a sensitive topic and some teachers worry it could spark factionalism among their students. Sharon Booth, of Solutions Not Sides, an education programme that brings Israelis and Palestinians into schools, says many teachers are nervous.
It’s okay, because British kids will use the UK press and social media to fill in their gaps of knowledge . . .

3. New Zealand’s Broadcasting Standards Authority set a nice precedent, ruling that the Israeli blockade of Gaza cannot be termed “illegal.”

HonestReporting reader Juliet Mozes filed a complaint after the TV New Zealand show, Te Karere, profiled a Maori MP about her experiences on the Women’s Boat to Gaza. The video is in Maori with English subtitles.

Mozes argued that the UN’s Palmer report, which upheld the legality of the blockade, was the leading document on the issue. Shalom Kiwi aptly fills in the rest of the details. Bottom line from the BSA?

Broadcasters should refrain from making unequivocal statements of fact on issues that are the subject of international dispute, to ensure viewers are not misled. This is particularly so in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where a broadcaster’s use of labels and descriptions can have a significant impact on the audience’s understanding of, and views on, the conflict.
4. New York Times to Israel: Let Terrorists Be: Even the terrorists disagree with the disgraced Israeli journalist who got a New York Times soapbox.

5. Washington Post’s Richard Cohen: ‘Jewish-Only Roads’: Columnists are allowed to have opinions, but they still have to get their facts straight.

6. Gaza’s “Sole Border Crossing With Israel?”:
Israel’s still transferring aid into Gaza, even though Hamas closed the Erez border crossing.

Israel and the Palestinians
Islamic Jihad
Islamic Jihad preparing to launch rockets from Gaza in 2009

• According to Israeli media reports, Hamas has developed a more powerful short range rocket capable of carrying heavier explosive loads.

The rockets, which were first reported on Army Radio, weigh dozens and even hundreds of kilograms each, and have a range of up to 10 kilometers. The range and the weight of the rockets suggest they are designed to maximize damage to Israeli towns bordering with the Strip.
• Ahead of this week’s Arab League meeting, ministers are pushing the organization to make a distinction between “terrorism and legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation.” The ministers are taking a page from BBC Brasil . . .

• US Ambassador-designate David Friedman isn’t expected to formally take up his post in Israel until June, according to the Times of Israel.

• Although Israel and the United Arab Emirates don’t have diplomatic relations, Air Force pilots from both countries are participating together in a multi-national Greek aerial exercise.

• Lebanon appeals to UN as maritime energy dispute bubbles to surface.

At issue is a roughly 860 square kilometer (332 square mile) triangular patch of the Mediterranean Sea where oil and gas reserves are predicted to generate up to $600 billion over the next few decades.
Meanwhile, Defense News reports that the Israeli Navy wants its newest surface ships under construction in Germany to double their Iron Dome defenses in order to protect offshore rigs from Hezbollah rockets.

• The IDF arrested a top Hamas figure in the West Bank town of Tulkarem on Monday.

• Israeli Arab arrested for allegedly transferring funds to Islamic State.

• According to Israeli intelligence, 3,000 members of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority have joined al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups in Syria. Ynet coverage.

Around the World
• Swastikas, ‘white power’ painted on Phoenix high school; hate-crime squad investigating.

• Teen apologizes for twisting neighbors’ menorah into swastika.

• Israel’s former ambassador, Ron Prosor, discusses the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item 7, which mandates council discussion of Israel’s human rights record at every session.

No other nation is singled out as a standing agenda item and every other country’s human rights record is addressed under Agenda Item 4

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Ben-Dror Yemini: Mosul, Gaza and the world’s hypocrisy
– Mohammed Al Shaikh: Hezbollah and the gullible Arabs
– Dr. Shaul Shay: Targeted killings as calculated risks
– Dr. Col. (res.) Moshe Elad: Hamas is vengeful, but careful
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Does the assassination of a senior Hamas member in Gaza mean escalation?
– Mitchell Bard: Why don’t supporters of Palestinians care about PA abuses?
– Uzi Rabi: Expanding the ‘Hezbollah model’
– Cathryn Prince: Pro-BDS contributions to Jewish groups — a Trojan horse?
– William Jacobson: Rasmea Odeh was offered similar plea deal three years ago – why is she taking it now?
– Wall St. Journal: Pay for slay in Palestine (click via Twitter)

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Post  Admin on Mon 27 Mar 2017, 8:42 pm

Embassy Move Back on the Table
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Is the American embassy moving to Jerusalem? American Vice-President Mike Pence indicated that the topic is apparently back on the table, saying on Sunday that President Donald Trump was seriously considering the matter. Meanwhile, Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer says there is ‘no daylight’ between the countries for first time in years. Both were speaking at a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where Dermer said there was “a meeting of the minds” when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington DC in February. Dermer made specific reference to defending against Iran, security cooperation, and defense of Israel at the UN.

2. With Iranian President Rouhani travelling to meet with Russian President Putin in Moscow, various forms of cooperation between Iran and Russia, Russia and the United States, and Russia and Israel are making the Middle East into an increasingly complicated place. What does this mean for the role of Hezbollah in Syria and for Iran throughout the Middle East?

3. Hamas partially re-opens the key Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza. The Erez crossing is the main channel for movement of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. While Israel has closed the crossing for brief periods in the past over security concerns, this is the first time it has been closed by Hamas, in apparent retaliation for the killing Friday of major Hamas figure Mazen Faqha, which at least one Hamas spokesperson has blamed on Israel. It is not yet clear who actually carried out the killing, but even if the closure is some form of retaliation against Israel, is it unclear how the action actually harms anyone other than the residents of Gaza.

4. In the wake of a deadly attack at the British Parliament, which the BBC unambiguously identified as a “terror attack,” the Brazilian division of the BBC took a different approach: suggesting that the terrorists might actually be “freedom fighters.” HonestReporting critiqued the matter in English, as did HonestReporting Brasil on its Portuguese language Facebook page.

British Colonel Richard Kemp (Ret.), who is widely followed in the UK and throughout the world, shared the critique on Twitter:

Israel and the Palestinians
• In yesterday’s IDNS we reported on the close range assassination of major Hamas figure Mazen Faqha. Though it is not yet clear who is behind the killing it seems to have been especially professional, and is already increasing tensions between Hamas and Israel. Non-wartime Israeli actions in Gaza have typically been limited to air power, raising two questions: could this have been an Israeli action? And if so, does it represent a new mode of operations for Israeli forces in Gaza?

• Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ bitter political rivalry with Mohammad Dahlan and the deep hatred Abbas has towards Dahlan has resulted in a massive search by Palestinian security forces for hundreds of Palestinian youths who participated in several conferences organized by Dahlan for Fatah activists in Ein a-Sukhna, Egypt. Some of the students were located and interrogated, and ten of them were transferred to administrative detention, accused of having attempted to co-operate with Egyptian intelligence in an attempt to overthrow the PA chairman.

• Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has (again) vowed to capture all of Israel, reiterating that his group will not abandon a “single inch” from Palestine, while also calling for ending the inter-Palestinian rift and achieving national reconciliation. Haniyeh made the statement in an address during a visit on Wednesday to the house of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City to mark the 13th anniversary of his death. This stands in contrast to a Hamas statement several days earlier, hinting that Hamas might be open to negotiations based on 1967 lines. Does either statement carry any meaning of new significance?

• Writing in The Jerusalem Post, David Brinn describes a conversation with Palestinian Authority figure Jabril Rajoub. Rajoub has in recent years developed somewhat of a reputation for being flexible, pragmatic and willing to engage with whom he calls, “rational Israelis.” Yet Brinn describes a discussion filled with mixed messages that left him with an uncertain feeling. Here is a video of some of the conversation.

• Does the assassination of a senior Hamas member really signal escalation? Or does it serve as a de-escalating warning? Or is it perhaps just “business as usual” between Israel and the various terror elements of the Gaza Strip?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Netanyahu: We Will Defeat Radical Islamic Terror Much Quicker If We Work Together with Other Threatened Nations
– Ron Prosor: The UK Cracks Down on the UN’s Anti-Israel Dishonesty
– Elliott Abrams: What’s the Palestinian Contribution to Peace?
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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Mar 2017, 11:53 pm

Will Israel-Gaza Calm Hold After Hamas Assassination?
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and Gaza are on alert after a senior Hamas figure was assassinated on Friday night. Mazen Faqha, who was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, was tasked with bolstering Hamas’ terror infrastructure in the West Bank, according to the Times of Israel. He was being assisted by other detainees from the West Bank who had been freed in the prisoner exchange but exiled to Gaza.

Faqha was shot in the head by a handgun equipped with a silencer; Hamas blames Israel but has offered no proof. Israel hasn’t commented on Faqha’s death. However, Hamas closed Gaza’s side of the Erez crossing.

2. Looks like American University in Beirut ran afoul of US anti-terror laws. The university, which receives funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), settled a lawsuit and will pay $700,000 after the school “admitted to training representatives of al Nour Radio and al Manar TV, media groups that the U.S. Treasury Department lists as branches of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.” More at Reuters.

3.The UN Human Rights Council adopted a series of anti-Israel resolutions on Friday, prompting Britain to condemn the UNHRC. Take your pick of coverage at the Times of Israel, Ynet and Jerusalem Post.

Separately, the Washington Post reports that the US no. 2 diplomat at the UN, Michele Sison, blasted the UN’s bias against Israel during a closed door session of the Security Council.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist who failed to disclose her conviction and prison time to US immigration officials, agreed to a plea deal with US prosecutors. Under the terms of the agreement, Odeh will plead guilty for lying to immigration officials, lose her US citizenship and be deported to Jordan, avoiding prison time.

Odeh was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and was convicted and sentenced to life in jail for her role in a pair of bombings in February, 1969 — one targeting a Jerusalem supermarket, killing two, the other targeting the British consulate but caused no injuried. Israel released Odeh in a 1980 prisoner swap.

Rasmea Odeh
Rasmea Odeh addressing supporters in 2014

• According to Arab reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post, the US and Russia reportedly agreed to help Israel “expel” Iran from Syria.

• Clearing the final Congressional hurdles, the US Senate approved David Friedman as Ambassador to Israel.

• Iran is sanctioning 15 major US companies for “alleged human rights violations and cooperating with Israel.” But i24 News points out this:

The decision, which is largely symbolic because the firms do not do business with Iran, comes two days after the US announced sanctions on a number of foreign firms accused of collaborating with Iran’s armament program.
• Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan discussed Israel’s fight against BDS in a wide-ranging Jerusalem Post interview.

• Israel will host its largest aerial drill in the autumn. Defense News reports that air force pilots along with 100 air craft and support crews from the US, Greece, Poland, France, Germany, India and Italy will participate in Blue Flag, a biennial training exercise. Thank Russia and Syria for the heavy interest.

“People are seeing there’s a lot to learn from Israel. In our tiny airspace and in the environment around us, things are so intense. The Russians are here. … Many of the world’s air forces are passing through here on their way to operations in Syria and elsewhere in the region. So we provide a sort of battle lab in which forces can hone a spectrum of skills needed to combat growing threats,” Hecht said.
Meanwhile, a joint Israel-Cyprus exercise just wrapped up.

Around the World
• On Capitol Hill, bipartisan legislation against BDS was introduced to both the Senate and House of Representatives. According to the Jerusalem Post, the bill “would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in its prohibitions on boycotts against ‘allies of the United States’ those fostered by NGOs against Israel.”

• Texas lawmakers advance anti-BDS legislation.

• I don’t believe there’s any teeth to this, but the student senate at California’s De Anza College passed a resolution calling for divestment from companies “benefiting from Israeli settlements.”

• Not very peaceful: The president of Ireland’s only on-campus Israel society was assaulted at ‘Peace Week’ bake sale.

• Google pulled a Hezbollah YouTube channel after The Register told them about ads for potentially lethal drones (hat tip Elder of Ziyon).

• Anti-Semitic posts go up on social media every 83 seconds, according to an excerpt of a study by the World Jewish Congress.

. . . an overwhelming 63 percent of all anti-Semitic content online can be found on Twitter.
• York U. in Toronto was evacuated after a bomb threat targeting the Jewish campus community was discovered scrawled on bathroom wall.

• As London picks up the pieces from last week’s terror attack, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published a collection of in-depth commentary on lessons from Israel’s response to terror. Here’s a selection of them:

– Dore Gold: Is the terror against Europe different from the terror against Israel?
– Fiamma Nirenstein: Resilience, the Israeli people’s weapon against terror
– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: The national security aspect of fighting terror
– Dan Diker: International legitimization of terror groups
– Prof. Asa Kasher: Democracy facing terrorism: Human rights and military ethics

• What they’re saying about the Hamas assassination:

– Yossi Melman: Israel’s new approach to Hamas?
– Elior Levy: Israel is the prime suspect, but not the only one
– Yoav Limor: Containing tensions is key

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Is British security up to Israeli standards for preventing London-style attacks?
– Prof. Louis Rene Beres: Are Israeli raids on Syrian targets legal?
– David Brinn: PA leader contradicts ‘common knowledge’ about settlement blocs
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Mahmoud Abbas against freedom of expression
– Alan Dershowitz: The origin of “fake news” in Holocaust denial
– Rosie DiManno: Richard Falk, the evangelist for anti-Semitism strikes again
– Michael Rubin: Just how out of touch is BDS?
– Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin: I am not at peace with Jewish Voice for Peace
– Alexis Papachelas: The benefits of a strategic Israel-Greece relationship
– Ben Sales: Jewish bomb threat suspect undermines groups’ narrative on anti-Semitism

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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Mar 2017, 9:26 pm


US-Israeli Citizen Arrested in Ashkelon For JCC Phone Threats
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. A 19-year-old dual US-Israeli citizen was arrested in Ashkelon on suspicion of carrying out a wave bomb threats made to JCCs and other Jewish institutions around the world. The Jerusalem Post reports what’s known so far after an Israeli judge lifted a gag order on the case:

There are still few details available about the suspect’s profile, but he is not in the IDF, not ultra-Orthodox, and at some point made aliya and possibly has psychological and social problems . . .

It is unknown how many others might have worked with the suspect, but it is believed that he was the main operator of the scare-spree and might have even acted completely on his own.
The suspect may be indicted in Israel, so one question being asked is, Will he be extradited to the US?

2. London reeled from yesterday’s terror attack outside the British parliament building. Police haven’t released the identity of the man who deliberately plowed into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge and left his car to stab people before he was shot and killed by police. A policeman, a Spanish teacher and a man whose name has not been released, were killed while 40 people were reported injured. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and BBC are live-blogging the latest updates. Israel joined other countries offering condolences and solidarity against terror.

3. Concerned about their advertisements appearing alongside extremist and offensive content, several major US advertisers pulled their ad accounts with Google and YouTube. More on the story at the Times of London, USA Today and TechCrunch.

4. Which Country is Missing From AP’s Vehicular Terror List?: Failing to acknowledge Palestinian car-ramming attacks as similar terror in other countries feeds false narratives and erases Israeli victims of terror.

5. MSN News Promotes Anti-Israel Water Libel: MSN News photo caption falsely claims that Israel reduces the flow of water to the Palestinians during periods of conflict and pursues discriminatory water policies.

6. HR Prompts US News Tel Aviv Correction: Tel Aviv is certainly not Israel’s capital.

Israel and the Palestinians
• According to Israeli media reports, Israel rejected a request from the Trump administration to halt construction in isolated West Bank settlements.

According to several Hebrew media reports Wednesday, Greenblatt set out terms under which the US would not oppose the construction of new homes in Jewish neighborhoods over the pre-1967 lines in East Jerusalem, and would accept an agreed number of new homes each year inside the major settlement blocs, while no new homes would be built in isolated settlements. Building in the blocs would be within an agreed annual quota, Greenblatt proposed, according to Channel 2.

Israel “was surprised” by the stringency of the demands, and rejected them, the report said.
• An Israeli police officer was suspended after he was caught on film beating a Palestinian truck driver in eastern Jerusalem.

• AP: Arabs protest UN’s withdrawal of Israel ‘apartheid’ report

• Israeli Foreign Ministry cadet course to include first Muslim woman. Rasha Uthmani, 31, “is currently nominated to be Israeli Embassy in Turkey’s spokesperson,” according to Ynet.

• Reminder: Daylight savings time begins in Israel. Clocks “spring forward” one hour at 2am Thursday night (Friday morning). In the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians change their clocks the next night.

• Before this ends, Ken Livingstone and Hitler may yet do a lot of damage to the UK Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn. The former London mayor insists he’ll take Labour to court if he loses a party disciplinary hearing over anti-Semitic comments he made last year.

• As Israel’s former ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor is worth listening to when he argues that reforming the UN will only happen if democracies stand together. After lauding Secretary General Antonio Guterres and US Ambassador Nikki Haley for getting an “Israeli apartheid” report withdrawn, Prosor writes:

Guterres deserves credit, but it will take more than one resignation to bring real change. Reforms are long overdue but desperately needed if the U.N. is to shed its reputation for bloated, ludicrous hypocrisy and restore trust and credibility to international institutions . . .

For too long, democracies have gone along with what they knew to be a farce. Only if we are honest, courageous and determined in calling out this abomination, will the world get international institutions that are credible, dependable and fit for purpose. It is time for democracies to stand up. It is time for change.
Prosor’s not a lone voice in the wilderness: A staff-ed in The Australian also weighs in against the UN farce.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Dr. Col. (res.) Moshe Elad: Hamas fundraising: Follow the money
– Norman Bailey: Gulf states weigh Israel options
– Yossi Melman: How worried are Israel’s leaders about Putin’s Syrian warning?
– Elliott Abrams: What’s the Palestinian contribution to peace?
– Orly Azoulay: Why is Trump so obsessed with Israeli-Palestinian peace?
– Amos Yadlin , Kobi Michael: The Palestinian “internationalization” strategy: End of the road?
– Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher and Orni Petruschka: Peace in Israel will only come through a two-state solution
– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: Linda ?Sarsour and liberal Jews’ hard choices
– Dov Maimon: Europe’s Jews becoming collateral damage in continent’s civilization clash

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Post  Admin on Wed 22 Mar 2017, 3:18 pm

Turkish Aid Worker in Gaza a Hamas-Trained Explosives Expert
Israel Daily News Stream33 mins ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. The Times of Israel and Ynet takes a closer look at what’s known about head of the Turkish government’s humanitarian aid organization in Gaza who was arrested by Israel for working for Hamas.

For a “humanitarian aid” official, you have wonder about Muhammad Murtaja’s expertise in manufacturing advanced explosives.

Among other things, it turned out that in the past two years, Hamas asked the Turkish IHH organization for advanced mapping programs to improve rocket attacks on the Israeli home front, and especially on strategic sites . . .

Murtaja said that he was supposed to fly to Turkey to receive a disk-on-key intended for Hamas, which consisted of improved and elaborately detailed maps of various sites in Israel, which were based on Turkish technological data acquired following Turkey’s involvement in the satellite launch project.

Murtaja said in his interrogation that he witnessed the transfer of suitcases laden with cash from the IHH organization in Turkey (which was responsible for the Gaza flotilla) to senior Hamas officials, including senior Hamas operative Raed Salah, Ismail Radwan and Ismail Haniyeh.

This case is unusual compared to previous similar affairs, since this time, [Murtaja] was groomed in the military wing, trained with the regiments of the Shati refugee camp and operated alongside the battalion commanders. As an engineer, he became an expert on TNT and the manufacturing of advanced explosives and explosive devices.
Muhammad Murtaja

2. Pass the popcorn: Iran accuses Russia of giving Israel codes for Syrian air defenses.

According to the source, Damascus and Tehran “were shocked” every time the Russian-made air defense system did not work to defend Syria’s airspace, or even give notification that the air space had been penetrated in order to evacuate outposts prior to the airstrike.
3. The Jerusalem Post reports that Iran is accused of tracking, and possibly planning an attack on the head of French-Israel business group and other prominent European Jews.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Syrian rebels report Wednesday morning Israeli airstrikes near Damascus.

• The IDF fired artillery at three Palestinians suspiciously approaching the Gaza border fence. One, who was 18 was killed while the other two were wounded. It wasn’t clear why they entered a no-go area towards the Israeli border. Ynet reports that army investigators want to determine whether the three sought to plant an explosive device. Reuters points out this:

No Palestinian militant group claimed the men as members, a sign, local residents said, that the three may have been trying to cross into Israel under the cover of darkness to seek work.
• UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had an anti-Israel exhibition removed from the organization’s New York headquarters, Israel HaYom reports.

The showing included paintings with slogan reading “Free Palestine” scribbled alongside the image of an Israeli soldier shooting at civilians while the Palestinian flag is waving in the background; as well as a Palestinian girl, frightened by Israeli fighter jets. The exhibition also featured cartoons of U.S. President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
• Kuwait’s trying to get the Knesset expelled from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a Geneva-based organization that fosters contacts and coordination among parliaments and parliamentarians around the world. According to the Jerusalem Post, Kuwait unsuccessfully sought to out the Knesset from the IPU last year.

• Micah Avni and Arnold Roth, who lost loved ones to Palestinian terror attacks, spoke out against two recent outrages:

– Bereaved son slams terrorist’s father UN speech.
– Father of Jerusalem bombing victim vows to keep pushing for terrorist’s extradition.

Around the World
• Former UN human rights official Richard Falk — an anti-Semite, Israel-basher, and conspiracy theorist — is leaving a trail of chaos as he visits British campuses to plug his latest book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Middlesex U. cancelled one speaking appearance citing safety concerns while things got ugly during his visit to the London School of Economics (see David Collier‘s eyewitness account). And a pro-Israel professor withdrew from a contentious conference at Ireland’s University College Cork after learning Falk was invited to give a keynote address.

Gotta love this Times of Israel headline: In Britain, protesters shut the Falk up

Richard Falk
Former UN human rights official Richard Falk in 2012

• Upcoming German BDS events featuring well-known anti-Semitic speakers were cancelled in Bonn and Frankfurt.

• Ohio State Hillel drops Jewish LGBT group for co-sponsoring event by pro-BDS group.

• A Minnesota public high school has been rented out for a “Palestine Day” event featuring a speaker whose organizers and speakers have expressed support for terrorism against Israel, according to The Algemeiner.

• In a demonstration of solidarity against hate, hundreds of people gathered outside Virginia Tech University’s Chabad house after dozens of swastika-emblazoned leaflets were found littering the student center’s front lawn. Blacksburg police are investigating.

• Toronto hate crimes increase, with Jews targeted the most.

• The Nieman Lab picked up on a study that says a lot about fake news, as well as the news bubbles and echo chambers we create for ourselves on social media. People increasingly trust news based on the person who shared it, not on who published it.

“People are often not aware of how much they are influenced by the identity of the sharer,” the researchers write . . .

In light of growing concerns about “fake news” spreading on social media, this experiment confirms that people make little distinction between known and unknown (even made-up) sources when it comes to trusting and sharing news. Even 19 percent of people who saw our fictional news source would have been willing to recommend it to a friend.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Giora Eiland: In its talks with Trump administration, Israel must focus on Syrian arena
– Amos Harel: At risk of angering Russia, Israel works to keep Iran away from its border
– Benny Avni: Team Trump is already kicking butt at the United Nations
– Gil Troy: An open letter to anti-intellectual, anti-Semitic anti-Zionists

Featured image: CC BY Nicolas Alejandro; Knesset CC BY israeltourism; Falk via UN Photo/JC McIlwaine; cobweb CC0 Pixabay/Geralt;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 7:23 pm

Israel, Lebanon on Collision Course Over Offshore Gas?
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and Lebanon are on a collision course over offshore gas, with Hezbollah deliberately escalating the problem. Globes reports in articles one and two.

The establishment of a new government in Lebanon, however, has completely changed the situation. Through the Lebanese political parties associated with it, Hezbollah has made sure that the distribution of rights in the southern marine area, which are close to the border with Israel, are under its control. Geological assessments are that discovery of a natural gas reservoir on the scale of the Tamar reservoir in the Block 9 licensing area, the southern part of which is in the disputed area, is very likely. Such a gas reservoir is likely to provide Hezbollah with economic power for many years, except that Israel will not allow this to happen.

No Western company will conduct gas explorations in the area when Israeli warships are patrolling nearby, but a Russian company might do it, and an Iranian company certainly will. Inflammable natural gas could set the entire region alight.

2. BDS founder Omar Barghouti was arrested and charged with failing to report $700,000 in income over the past decade.

3. Israel arrested the head of a Turkish aid group in Gaza for financing Hamas. The charges against Muhammad Murtaja are bound to strain Jerusalem-Ankara ties. Details at the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.

According to the security agency, Murtaja took advantage of his position in TIKA in order to direct funds and resources away from “meaningful humanitarian projects” and toward Hamas’s military wing.

4. Success: HR Gets Apartheid Slur Story Removed: When the International Business Times promoted an Israel apartheid libel based on questionable sources, HR managed to get the report removed.

Israel and the Palestinians
• An IDF investigation into Thursday night’s Arrow-3 launch against a Syrian missile concluded that the Syrian SA5, which was carrying 200 kg of explosives, was going to hit the Jordan Valley. Ynet explains

“We didn’t care if it was a surface-to-surface missile or a surface-to-air missile. There were no dilemmas or doubts, no budgetary considerations. The missile was supposed to hit the Jordan Valley. The Arrow was chosen in accordance with the level of threat and the availability of the defense systems on hand. There was no other option except to intercept . . .

The official also added that the Syrian missile was outdated and did not pose any threat to the F-15s that carried out an attack shortly beforehand in Syria. “I assume the Syrians did not intend to fire the missile as a ballistic threat, but that’s not the point,” he said.

Arrow 3

• Hezbollah claims to have seized an IDF drone.

• The Associated Press talked to Hamas insiders to get a better sense of what the new Hamas charter will look like. Expect the new document to soften Hamas on being anti-Semitic and distancing itself from the Muslim Brotherhood. Otherwise, it’s just window dressing an agenda to destroy Israel. The omissions are glaring:

In referring to a Palestinian state, Hamas does not spell out whether it considers this an acceptable solution to the conflict with Israel or a stepping stone to its longstanding goal of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine, including what is now Israel.

It makes no mention of recognizing Israel, which its political rival, the Palestine Liberation Organization, did in 1993. At the time, the PLO was led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ predecessor, Yasser Arafat.
• A delegation of UNESCO envoys visited the Temple Mount for a first-hand look at the complexities of the Jerusalem holy site.

During the visit, Kenyan Ambassador to UNESCO Professor George Godia said the “challenges and complexity” Israel faces were now clearer to him and he was impressed with how the country was handling them.
• To the delight of Christian pilgrims ahead of Easter, the first round of restoration work at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre finished up. The Edicule, where Christians believe Jesus was buried, was stabilized and cleaned up. AP details what was done and what’s next for the church:

Now, money is being raised for another round of restorations — consolidating drainage and sewage pipes underground, around the tomb, to stabilize its foundations — so renovations won’t be needed for years to come.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Pilgrims visiting Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 2010

• An Australian probe “found no evidence taxpayer money was misused by the World Vision NGO in the Gaza Strip,” after Israel charged one of the aid group’s senior staffers of diverting money to Hamas. More at ABC News (Australia) and AFP.
• This is just satire.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Ron Ben-Yishai: The battle over the next war
– Ruthie Blum: Falsehoods and false hopes
– Prof. Efraim Inbar: President Trump Wants a Peace Process Too
– Naftali Bennett: Good schools aren’t the only secret to Israel’s high-tech boom
– Dr. Ruth Nemzoff: Not my feminism
– Benjamin Gladstone: It’s time for intersectionality to include Jews
– Marisa Fox-Bevilacqua: Do anti-Trump feminists value terrorists more than Jewish women?
– Sarah Stern: Ahlam Tamimi: More than just a matter of justice
– Rabbi Avi Shafran: Let’s keep quiet about anti-Semitism in America

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Sophie; Arrow 3 via US Dept. of Defense; Holy Sepulchre CC BY-NC-ND Michael Privorotsky;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 10:23 pm

US Boycotts UN Human Rights Council Debate on Israel
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The US boycotted a session of the UN Human Rights Council discussing Israel and the Palestinians. AP explains:

State Department spokesman Mark Toner in a statement took aim at a recurring agenda item at the council, which focuses on Israel and the Palestinian territories — the only one of its kind to focus on a single country at every HRC session. It was taking place Monday.

Toner also said the United States would vote against every resolution that might be put forward under the agenda item.

2. Israel reportedly hit Syria with more air strikes. According to unconfirmed Arab media reports, in one of the attacks, Israel hit a Hezbollah arms convoy, Syrian military sites and other unspecified targets along the Syrian-Lebanese border.

A separate Israeli air strike on Sunday killed Yasser Hussein Asayeed, who was identified in various reports as either a civilian, a member of an Iranian-backed militia, or a Syrian air defense commander. Israeli officials refused to confirm or deny the reports.

Tensions between Israel and Syria have risen since Thursday night, when Israel struck a Hezbollah weapons convoy near Palmyra. Syria fired several surface-to-air missiles; one SAM was intercepted by an Arrow-3 missile. No Israeli jets were hit in the strike, which Israel did confirm.

Israeli F-35 jet, in 2016

3. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisors are flying to Washington for talks regarding settlements. According to Ynet:
The importance of the mission is evident due to the fact that the two consultants did not join Netanyahu on his trip to China . . .
Israel is seeking approval to build in the area of municipal jurisdiction which consists of 8 to 10 percent of the West Bank. The Americans oppose this notion, though agree to construction within already existing residential areas. They are also emphasizing the need to form a collaborative mechanism regarding Israeli announcements on the settlements so as to avoid embarrassment to the Trump administration.
More on the diplomatic dance at Haaretz and the Times of Israel.

4. Palestinian Media: Fake News, Real Harm. But Why?: Chewing gum that causes sterility, fake raids on the Al Aqsa mosque, flooding from dams that never even existed: why is there so much Palestinian fake news? In this case it’s not just wrong: it costs lives.

Israel and the Palestinians
• The PA gave its highest award to Rima Khalaf, the Jordanian UN official who resigned over her agency’s shelved report accusing Israel of apartheid. The Associated Press picked up on the story.

• Visiting Beijing, Netanyahu met with political and business leaders. Rounding up today’s business, the Times of Israel reports the two countries signed three bilateral agreements — one of which will provide for 20,000 Chinese laborers to work on Israeli construction sites. Other agreements involve a free trade zone, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Shanghai, and economic, scientific and technological cooperation.

• Jerusalem Post: Israel is already preparing for the end of a UN ban on Iranian missile activity.

Around the World
Maria Maalouf

• Lebanese TV reporter took to Twitter to urge Israel to take out Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. The Jerusalem Post picked up on Maria Maalouf’s two tweets that had Lebanon buzzing.

“If Israel really wants peace, then it should prove it and sign on agreements with Hezbollah. Because, to this day we have not gotten rid of Hassan Nasrallah, who is deluding us in his fight against Israel,” Maalouf wrote in her first tweet.

Shortly after, Maalouf tweeted again, this time taunting Israel and claiming that it could not really deter its enemies if it didn’t take more extreme measures. “If Israel sees Hassan Nasrallah as its enemy, why doesn’t it carry out an air strike that would rid us of him, thus gaining our faith and protecting itself?”
• Posters comparing Gaza to Auschwitz continue to spread on Illinois campus.

• Anti-Semitic messages were found spray painted on historic Barbados synagogue. The Nidhe Israel Synagogue — Bridgetown’s only synagogue — is a designated UNESCO-protected property within the World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison area. More at Barbados’ Nation News and the JTA.

• Baltimore Jews spoke out after a swastika was found painted on sign outside Baltimore’s historic Lloyd Street Synagogue. As one of the oldest synagogues in the US, the synagogue also doubles as a museum of Maryland Jewish life.

• Hundreds of clients withdraw from Google’s advertising network after anti-Semitism sting.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Amos Harel: Israel’s growing tensions with Syria, Lebanon and Hamas leave little room for maneuvering
– Khald Abu Toameh: Abbas’s empty promises
– Nahum Barnea: All Trump wants is an Israeli-Palestinian deal
– Emanuele Dalla Torre: Italian academics reject anti-Israel boycotts
– Sary Zananiri and Idan Ben-Barak: Palestinians under occupation reduced to a spectacle
– Lara Prendergast: Israel’s now the land of ‘Trumpportunity’ — but who for?

Featured image: CC BY-ND michael davis-burchat; jet via YouTube/Israeli Defense Forces; Maalouf via Facebook/Maria Maalouf; YouTube logo CC BY-SA Rego Korosi;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 7:22 pm

Today’s Top Stories
1. A senior UN official quit after her agency pulled from its web site a report labeling Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “apartheid.” Reuters explains in a nutshell:

United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Rima Khalaf, announced her resignation at a news conference in Beirut after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked for the report to be taken off the ESCWA website.

ESCWA, which comprises 18 Arab states, published the report on Wednesday and said it was the first time a U.N. body had clearly charged that Israel “has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric explained to reporters:

“The secretary-general cannot accept that an under-secretary general or any other senior U.N. official that reports to him would authorize the publication under the U.N. name, under the U.N. logo, without consulting the competent departments and even himself,” he said.
Palestinians slammed the UN for withdrawing the report.

2. Israeli planes returning from an air strike in Syria were fired upon by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles. One of the SAMs was intercepted by an Israeli Arrow-3 missile, which the IDF recently deployed to counter long-range missile threats — primarily high-altitude intercontinental ballistic missiles.

According to Arab media reports, Israel had attacked an arms convoy for Hezbollah near Palmyra, far deeper into Syria than previous airstrikes attributed to the Israeli Air Force. Wreckage from the missile intercept was found in neighboring Jordan. Two other SAMs landed in Israel in open areas, causing no damage.

Israel has rarely confirmed or denied specific attacks on Syria, only saying it won’t allow game-changing weapons to be transferred to Syria. But the IDF confirmed the air strike after the sound of the intercept was heard in Jerusalem and a rocket alert siren was triggered in parts of the Jordan Valley.

Israel denied Syrian claims that any aircraft were hit. One question Israelis are asking: “why did Israel choose to fire a costly ballistic missile to shoot down an antiquated surface-to-air missile?” See below for more commentary and analysis.

IAF F-15
F-15 taking off in 2009

3. Israeli-Arab MK Bael Ghattas reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in which he admitted smuggling cell phones and SIM cards to Palestinian security prisoners, agreed to give up his Knesset seat, and serve a two-year prison term. Jamaa Azbarga was due to be sworn in today to replace Ghattas

4. Toulouse, Twitter, and the Media Incitement Factor: On the fifth anniversary of the Toulouse massacre, I’m dusting off this post which is as relevant today as it was in 2012.

Toulouse massacre
Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his sons Gabriel and Aryeh, and Miryam Monsonego

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel blacklisted the PA-linked Palestinian National Fund as a terror group. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman accused the fund of channeling “tens of millions of shekels” every month in stipend to to Palestinian security prisoners as well as to their families.

The Palestinian National Fund is said to contain billions of dollars from wealthy Arab donors and profits from various investments. It is run by Ramzi Elias Yousef Khoury, a high-ranking member of the Palestinian Authority.

There is little transparency or oversight in the management and use of the fund, which is ultimately controlled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas — something that grants him considerable influence and power.
• Worth reading: Ynet interviewed at length, Amos Gilad, who recently retired as the head of Defense Ministry’s Political-Military Affairs Bureau and as a secret emissary to Arab countries.

• Hamas court sentences two Gaza drug dealers to death

• Netanyahu arrived in China accompanied by a delegation of 90 business executives.

Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China

Around the World
• Chancellor calls burnt mezuzah on doorpost of University of California, Hastings student’s dorm room a ‘cowardly act of anti-Semitism’

• ‘Cowardly’ graffiti on Belfast mural to Irish Zionist who fought in WWI being treated as a hate crime

• German MPs are investigating pro-Hezbollah and pro-Hamas academic Norman Finkelstein’s lectures as anti-Semitic.

• Argentinian Jews and Israeli diplomats gathered in Buenos Aires on Friday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Israeli embassy. In an attack widely believed linked to Iran, a car bombing killed 29 civilians and injured 242 more.

• Plenty of commentary about the Israeli airstrike on Syria:

– Yaakov Katz: Israeli missile defense systems now protecting fighter jets
– Alex Fishman: The winds of war are blowing on Israel’s borders
– Selin Nasi: Will Putin sell Iran out?
– Avi Issacharoff: No offense to the ‘Arrow,’ but greater threats loom from the north
– Amos Harel: With missile fire, Assad trying to change rules of the game
– Anshel Pfeffer: The role Russia played in the Israel-Syria missile clash

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Ruthie Blum: To Falk’s discredit
– Raphael Ahren: Donald Trump stuns the Middle East by sending an honest broker
– Amb. Alan Baker: The legal veracity of the Balfour Declaration
– Douglas Feith, Sander Gerber: The department of pay-for-slay
– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: European anti-Semitism: The devil is in the details

Featured image: CC0 Pixabay/USA-Reiseblogger;; F-15 CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces; Great Wall of China CC BY-SA Jonathan Corbet; jet via YouTube/Stealthb2777;


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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 10:01 pm

Uproar Over UN Report Accusing Israel of ‘Apartheid’
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. A new UN report smearing Israel is raising a stink. This one’s from the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and authored by Professor Richard Falk, a former UN human rights official (with his own history of Israel-bashing, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories). US Ambassador Nikki Haley demands the report be retracted.

The report, titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” says that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.”
The New York Times notes that the Beirut-based ESCWA is “composed entirely of Arab member states; most do not recognize Israel,” adding:

It appeared to be the first time in a United Nations report that the term apartheid had been used as a central description of Israeli policies toward Palestinians.
Meanwhile, AP quoted BDS leader Omar Barghouti as hoping the report will be a springboard for sanctions against Israel.

HonestReporting expanded on the report and what to watch for in your local coverage. UN Body Promotes Apartheid Libel

2. Kuwait Airways faces legal action over its discriminatory policy of refusing to fly Israeli passengers. The complaint seeks to “shut down the carrier’s layover flights that link Europe with non-Arab League countries, such as India and Thailand.”

The plaintiff in the latest case booked a ticket on Kuwait Airways to fly from Frankfurt to Bangkok, with a layover at Kuwait International Airport. Just before the first flight, according to the Lawfare Project, the airline — Kuwait’s flag carrier — cancelled the ticket after learning the plaintiff held Israeli citizenship.

3. Jordan rejected a US demand to extradite Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, who was convicted of masterminding a deadly 2001 suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Fifteen people, including two Americans citizens were killed in the attack.

After being released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, Tamimi, a journalist by training, returned to Jordan. Over the years, Tamimi has proudly boasted about her involvement in what Israelis refer to as the Sbarro massacre.

4. Tired of seeing Israel portrayed as a brutal occupier in the media? Here’s an exclusive opportunity to travel with HonestReporting and see the reality for yourself. Join us for an exclusive day of military and security briefings on Wednesday, April 19 with IDF Col. (Res.) Grisha Yakubovich. Our day will focus on the policy, economics, infrastructure, society and security, both from a historical perspective, the present, and what to expect for the future.

Advance registration is required. Click here for more information and to register.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel and US working towards an “agreed-upon policy regarding settlement construction.” More on the story at Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post.

• If you want a sense of how much the Arab world ranks the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among the Mideast’s other problems, look no further to the White House, where President Donald Trump hosted Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman. While the US is trying to draw the Saudis into a greater involvement in the peace process, the Times of Israel writes:

A statement by a senior adviser to Salman on the meeting carried by Bloomberg News made no mention of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, beyond accusing Iran of “obstructing of any deal to settle the Palestinian issue.”

The adviser also said the two had discussed problems with the Iran nuclear deal.
More at Haaretz.

• A Palestinian rammed her car into a group of Israelis at a bus stop in Gush Etziyon yesterday. This is what a car-ramming looks like. The Jerusalem Post reports that, incredibly, no Israelis were actually injured.

• In response to Wednesday night rocket fire, the Israeli Air Force hit two Gaza targets on Thursday morning. Ynet reports one of the targets was a Hamas training facility. The Palestinian rockets landed in an open area, causing no damage.

• Visiting Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano reaffirmed a commitment to stand up against UNESCO resolutions denying Israeli ties to the Temple Mount.

• During a visit to Israel, Canadian YouTube personality Gavin McInnes — one of the original founders of Vice News and Rebel Media — had one hell of a social media meltdown. More on the story at the Times of Israel and Haaretz and National Observer.

“In one video posted Saturday, McInnes, sitting in what appears to be his hotel room, says he thinks his trip was funded by the Israeli government and private Israeli donors “that assume we’re going to listen to all this shit we get fed.” But, he added, “That’s having the reverse effect on me: I’m becoming anti-Semitic.”
In a separate video titled 10 Things I Hate About Israel (originally titled 10 Things I Hate About Jews) features an apparently drunk McInnes ranting on a Tel Aviv street clad in an undershirt.

On returning to Canada, McInnes posted this video explaining that his trip was funded by contributors to Rebel Media and not the Israeli government, that his comments were taken out of context, and that he doesn’t like Nazis. Draw your own conclusions.

Gavin McInnes
Gavin McInnes in Tel Aviv

Around the World
• You know BDS has a problem when a German mayor compares its language to Nazi propaganda.

• Police in Detroit are investigating after Walk for Israel website hacked and anti-Semitic messages were posted. According to local reports, the FBI may join the investigation.

• A London artist apologized for a “beware of Jews” sign near a synagogue in London’s Stamford Hill. Franck Allais said it was part of an art project involving other signs and didn’t intend to cause any offense.

• Administrators at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology said they’re investigating a Facebook post calling Jews “rodents” ahead of an anti-Israel event on campus. It’s related to an incident in which protesters at a diversity festival covered an Israeli flag with an Algerian one. More at the Toronto Sun and The Algemeiner.

• Britain’s Sussex U. investigating ‘Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Jews’ graffiti found on campus.

• Worth reading: Writing in the Fathom Journal, Einat Wilf argues that as long as the Arab world views Israel as a temporary aberration to be conquered, Israel will stand fast

A simple counting of 50 years of military occupation might lead reasonable people to believe that it can no longer be considered temporary. But that fails to take account of an alternative time frame: the Arab and Muslim countdown until the end of Zionism and the State of Israel. That countdown reflects the prevailing Muslim, Arab and Palestinian view that Zionism is a historical aberration that will not – and must not – last . . .

It is necessary to demonstrate to the Muslim-Arab world that their view of history is wrong, and that rather than constituting a second crusader state, Israel is the sovereign state of an indigenous people who have come home. This can only be achieved through Jewish power and persistence over time. And given the vast numerical imbalance between Jews and Arabs, it can only be achieved if those who truly seek peace support the Jewish people in sending the message to the Arab world that the Jewish people are here to stay.
• Tweet of the day goes to Emily Shire. She was plugging Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik‘s take on the tensions between Zionism and feminism.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Ben Lynfield: Like Israel, Saudis pinning hopes on Trump
– Aaron David Miller: The wildest Middle East peace process yet
– Alan Dershowitz: Why must women choose between feminism and Zionism, but not other “Isms”?
– Dennis Ross: US should warn Russia to keep Iran and Hezbollah away from Syria-Israel border
– Gil Troy: ‘Team Jew’ World Baseball success celebrates Jewish nationhood and power

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Jason Kuffer; McInnes via YouTube/Rebel Media; flag CC0 Pixabay/edu_cas

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:16 pm

US Seeks Extradition of Hamas Terrorist From Jordan
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
*** Breaking news *** Just after this roundup was published, reports broke of a possible car-ramming attack in Gush Etziyon.

1. For the first time, the US seeks the extradition of a terrorist who killed Americans in Israel. Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, who was a Jordanian student journalist working in the West Bank, began working for Hamas and masterminded a 2001 suicide bombing in a downtown Jerusalem pizzaria.

Fifteen people — including seven children — were killed and around 130 people injured in what was known as the Sbarro massacre. Two of the fatalities, Judy Greenbaum and Malka Roth had US citizenship. In 2011, as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, Al-Tamimi was freed and sent back to Jordan.

She is currently a television host in Jordan, has hosted Hamas member Saleh Arouri (who ordered the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers in June 2014), bragged of her involvement in other murders of Israelis and is considered as a symbol of the Palestinians fight.

Jordan will have to decide between honoring its strong alliance to the US, and trying to avoid offending its majority Palestinian population and an anti-extradition trend in its court system, according to Shurat Hadin which is representing the family of the victim Chana Nachenberg who was grievously wounded in the bombing and remains in Israel to this day in a coma.
Indeed, Al-Tamimi’s proud of killing Jews — Palestine Media Watch documented several of her boastful interviews, including this one.

2. British MPs denounced Google and for not removing an anti-Semitic YouTube video by Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke titled, “Jewish People Admit Organising White Genocide.” But Google executive Peter Barron told astonished lawmakers the video didn’t meet guidelines for removal.

The 15-minute YouTube clip accuses “Zionists” of having “ethnically cleansed the Palestinians” and planning to do “the same thing to Europeans and Americans”. . .

[Barron] admitted the Duke video was “anti-Semitic, deeply offensive and shocking”, but insisted: “It doesn’t meet the test for removing under our guidelines. We are in favour of free speech and access to information.”
Judge Duke’s video for yourself.

3. Intel’s $15 billion deal for Mobileye is raising hopes that Israel can become an automotive tech hub. The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) explains why:

From cybersecurity to artificial intelligence, Israeli entrepreneurs have turned this Mediterranean country into a global innovation hub. Now they are disrupting almost every element of the car manufacturing chain, using local expertise to create cutting-edge technologies in everything from combustion engines to quick-charge batteries.

The country has come to occupy a prominent position in the global automotive supply chain despite not having much of an auto industry at home.
Meanwhile, Globes profiles other rising Israeli auto-tech start ups you may be hearing about in the near future.

4. If you’re in the Boca Raton area tonight, don’t miss HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams as he discusses defending Israel from media bias. Admission is free but advance registration is required.

Where: 17590 Military Trail, Boca Raton, 33496.
When: Wed. March 15 (tonight!!!), at 7:00 PM
Registration: Click here or call 561-994-6257.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Following US envoy Jason Greenblatt’s meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Haaretz reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects to reach a deal with the US for “restrained settlement construction.” Will a little creative ambiguity between the prime minister, his coalition partners give a nudge to peace talks?

Another formula discussed in the Prime Minister’s Bureau was unlimited construction in the large settlement blocs such as Ma’aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel, together with a quiet, unofficial freeze on construction in isolated settlements. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is in favor of that idea and believes it serves long-term Israeli interests. However, Netanyahu is concerned that moving ahead on it will lead Habayit Hayehudi to bolt the coalition and cause the government to fall.
Around the World
• March 17 marks the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, and for the first time, an Argentinian president, Mauricio Macri, will meet with a delegation of Israeli survivors and relatives of victims, the JTA reports.

In 1992, 29 people were killed and 242 were injured when a suicide bomber rammed a pick up truck laden with explosives into the embassy. Hezbollah and Iran have been linked to the attack, along with a separate 1994 bombing of the headquarters of the Buenos Aires Jewish community, which killed 85 people.

Buenos Aires
Israeli president Shimon Peres laying flowers at the site of destroyed Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires 16/11/2009 (Photo Moshe Milner GPO/FLASH90)

• ‘Punch a Zionist’ tweeter quits last McGill student government post.

• An ex-Israeli army vet who spoke out against Islamic extremists in Melbourne gets death threats – but won’t be silenced.

• A British Columbia man convicted of hate crimes for posting anti-Semitic conspiracies online was banned from using the internet. Arthur Topham, 70, managed to avoid a potential two-year sentence according. More at the Prince George Citizen and CBC.

Topham appeared unrepentant, telling the court before sentencing that it was ‘his duty … to alert the … public to the imminent threat …. [of] the Jewish lobby.”
• You can add Vienna hotels to the list of venues cancelling BDS events.

• JTA: Is the Turkey-Netherlands row a foreboding sign for Jews?

• Team Israel ran out of magic, losing 8-3 to Japan just before this roundup was published. The blue and white was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, but it was fun ride. USA Today’s baseball columnist Bob Nightengale gets the last word.

• Over at Ynet, Professor Edy Kaufman and Gal Hacohen examine whether Costa Rica, which has no army, could be a model for a demilitarized Palestinian state.

In Costa Rica, the disbandment of the army was not a dictate or demand by an enemy neighbor. The Patio de Agua declaration was self-proclaimed and popular. In interviews conducted with political, civil society and activist leaders in the West Bank, we found that there is overwhelming support for this idea. The main reason they support a Palestine without a military is simple: they want to be a democracy. They do not want to be another Arab a kingdom or a military dictatorship. Many hope to be much more like Israel than other Arab countries.
Costa Rica
Costa Rican children celebrate Independence Day, 2006

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– David Horovitz: Advice for Trump’s would-be peacemaker
– Herb Keinon: Trump’s envoy, bareheaded, walks into the lion’s den
– Ron Kampeas: Trump the change agent looks positively traditional on Mideast peace
– Nadav Shragai: Understanding Israeli interests in the E1 area
– Andrew Silow-Carroll: The false choice between Zionism and feminism
– Marc Schulman: Warily welcoming a high-tech deal
– Michael Rubin: Does Iran really respect Jews?
– Suzanne Nossel: Beware the Ides of leaving the UN Human Rights Council
– Bassam Tawil: The real Hamas: Sorry, folks!

Featured image: CC0 WDnetStudio; Mobileye via YouTube/Mobileye; Costa Rica CC BY Bruce Thomson;

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