State Department: Iran Deal Is Not ‘Legally Binding’ and Iran Didn’t Sign It
President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter.
Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement. Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discouraged his nation’s parliament from voting on the nuclear deal in order to avoid placing legal burdens on the regime. “If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to [and passed by] parliament, it will create an obligation for the government. It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it,” Rouhani said in August. “Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”
Report: Europeans Funded ICC War Crimes Submission against Israel
NGO Monitor has issued a report titled “European Funding for Palestinian NGO Submission to the International Criminal Court on Alleged Israeli War Crimes during 2014 Gaza operation.”
The report notes that on, November 23 four European funded Palestinian NGOs, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) submitted a document to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), claiming evidence and testimonies of alleged Israeli “war crimes” perpetrated during the 2014 Gaza war (Operation Protective Edge).
The NGO Monitor report suggests the “lawfare” campaigns of these NGOs seek to erase the context of Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli civilians and to obstruct Israeli attempts at defending against it. And, of course, Al Haq, al-Mezan, PCHR and Aldameer all receive extensive direct and indirect funding from European governments. These governments irresponsibly fund and enable political campaigns with the sole purpose of demonizing Israel under a façade of human rights.
According to NGO Monitor, these four NGOs are all leaders in anti-Israel activities (including boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns), and this submission is part of the ongoing “lawfare” campaign exploiting international institutions in general and the ICC in particular for anti-Israel campaigns. This tactic was adopted at the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, and is an integral part of the Durban Strategy which seeks to demonize and delegitimize Israel.
Anti-Israel group claims discrimination after Co-op Bank closes its account
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign claims it has launched a legal case against the Co-operative Bank after its account was suddenly closed.
The anti-Israel campaign group said the move amounted to discrimination.
The PSC said the bank had cited its own “risk appetite” as the only stated reason behind the decision.
A statement released by the PSC revealed that at least 20 groups affiliated to or working with the organisation to pursue anti-Israel campaigns had been affected. Accounts were closed last month by the bank, or access to funding was denied.
The Co-op angered Israel supporters in 2012 when its supermarket arm extended a boycott policy against Israel. It had refused to stock products from West Bank settlements since 2009, but implemented a bar on any engagement with Israeli suppliers which worked with the settlements.
PSC branches across the country had lobbied the Co-op for the ban and supported the measures taken against Israel.
The NGO campaign against Israel
What is it with the staffers of humanitarian aid organizations who work on issues related to the Middle East? Do they really care about their ability to work effectively and maintain good relations with Israeli officials?
Or are they so hostile toward the Jewish state that they cannot maintain even a façade of politesse and neutrality? It’s been a problem for years.
The most obvious example of this phenomenon is UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness. Gunness recently attacked UN Watch for highlighting the antisemitic internet postings of Palestinians who work for UNRWA. After UN Watch drew attention to the problem, Gunness asked his supporters for information about the organization’s funding.
Eventually UNRWA was forced to admit that some of their employees had in fact violated the diplomatic neutrality rules imposed on UN employees. UN Watch was right, Gunness was wrong.
If Gunness was a true professional, he would have done his job, looked into the accusations right away and then reported his findings. Instead, he tried to shoot the messenger. This sends a terrible message to Israeli citizens who are the targets of antisemitic Facebook rants of UNRWA employees.
Another example of the tendency of humanitarian officials harassing the Jewish state is Tom Getman, a former official with World Vision, a Christian charity. A few years back Getman referred to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a violent and antisemitic terrorist organization, as “a friend.” This is an odd word to use to describe a guy who has stated that he someday wants to destroy all the Jews in the world once they all gather in Israel.
Fred Maroun: JVP top-secret manual discovered
A friend of mine has the patience of an angel. That friend took the initiative to call Jewish Voice for Peace, gently asked them some questions, and did not laugh at their answers. I could not have done it, especially the “not laughing” part.
My friend’s patience and tenacity allowed me to piece together a top-secret document. The document, never previously revealed to the general public, consists of the two instruction sheets that JVP provides behind closed doors to its calling center staff.
The following is my friend’s phone conversation with a JVP call center staff member, which my friend kindly allowed me to listen to while it was taking place.
David Collier: The true level of antisemitism
The article had criticised the ‘overstating’ of the Jihadi threat in a piece of what was clearly gutter journalism. The first response congratulated the poster on placing the article, by the third comment, this same person had mentioned Rothschild, by the fourth, global conspiracy theories. When I teasingly asked for evidence I was handed the oft cited ‘Project for the New American Century’; a think tank document from prior to 9/11 frequently referenced by conspiracy theorists.
Whether he is aware of it or not, I had encountered an antisemite, a person that unable to handle the organised chaos in which he lives, chooses to imagine puppeteers, invariably Jewish ones, forming the world to a shape of their choosing. By extension the Jew becomes an invisible and insidious enemy, one to be reviled, outed and punished.
However, there are other dimensions to this. I believe others in the exchange considered him merely a fruitcake, not recognising the very antisemitism that had just set me apart from the world. In writing those words, he had said to me that I am an insidious enemy of humanity and I need to be rejected.
Each of us react in different ways to such events. Some stand up and shout, others hold their feelings back, some because of the frequency, barely notice anymore. Then there are many who recognise it as antisemitism, but of the inevitable and bearable kind. Whichever way you react, there is nobody keeping score of such occurrences. What would have been clearly racist if the word ‘black’ was used, suddenly becomes something I am meant to accept by default.
David Singer: Israel's history trumps European Union labelling
Accepting this EU expression of magnanimous goodwill at face value – Israel should label Jewish products originating from the “the West Bank” as originating from “Judea and Samaria” – the correct historical, biblical and geographical names used for 3000 years until Jordan invaded and illegally annexed Judea and Samaria – designating them the “West Bank” in 1950.
A few labelling ideas spring to mind:
“Made by Jews in Judea and Samaria – the ancient biblical homeland of the Jewish people” “Produced by Jews in Judea and Samaria – heartland of the Jewish National Home”
Similar labelling could identify the Jewish source of Golan and East Jerusalem products.
The EU’s stated concern for consumer protection would be unequivocally satisfied – without prejudicing Israel’s claims to these disputed territories.
The EU has opened a can of worms.
Building a bomb now easier for us than putting in a contact lens, claims Iran official
Iran is “closer than ever” to the bomb, and completing it would be “easier than putting in a contact lens,” a senior Iranian official was quoted saying on Thursday.
The claim by Hassan Karimpour, an adviser to Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, was reported Thursday in Iranian media, and quoted on the BBC’s Persian language website and Israel’s Hebrew-language Channel 2 TV.
Finishing a nuclear bomb would be “easy to do, as soon as the spiritual ban on nuclear weapons were lifted,” Channel 2 quoted Karimpour as saying.
The Iranian regime has repeatedly vowed that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon, and spiritual leader Ali Khamenei has issued fatwas forbidding nuclear weapons.
According to Fars news, Karimpour also said Iran has 14 missile depots, buried between 30 and 500 meters underground, equipped with automatic launchers, and that any country that dared to attack Iran would be riddled with large numbers of missiles fired from these depots.
UN: No assurance Iran’s nuclear program is all peaceful
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said he cannot guarantee that everything Iran is doing is peaceful, even as Tehran takes steps to reduce its nuclear activities under a deal with six world powers.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano spoke Thursday to the IAEA’s 35-nation board.
Amano said he is “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” and thus cannot conclude that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
His comments reflect IAEA constraints on monitoring Iran. But Amano said Tehran will soon enact an agreement giving his agency greater inspection powers
Khamenei: U.S. Using “Money and Sexual Attractions” to Infiltrate Iran
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the U.S. was attempting to infiltrate Iran using “money and sexual attractions,” the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Revolutionary Guard commanders that authorities should take concerns about “infiltration” seriously and political factions should not use the issue against each other.
“The enemy sets up a network within a nation and inside a country mainly through the two means of money and sexual attractions to change ideals, beliefs and consequently the lifestyle,” he said in comments posted on his website and broadcast on state TV.
Khamenei’s frequent warnings that the U.S. government is seeking to overthrow Iran’s regime are often repeated by Iranian leaders. Before Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was sentenced for espionage, senior Iranian politician Javad Karimi-Qoddusi accused him of sharing information with American officials, and declared that any “rapprochement” with the U.S. would lead to the Iranian government being “toppled within 48 months.”
Khamenei continued espousing stringently anti-American positions even after negotiators reached a nuclear agreement in July. Last week, he accused the U.S. of orchestrating the recent terror attacks in Paris. Earlier this month, he ordered Iranian authorities to block the importation of American goods. In September, he said that Iran would defeat the U.S. in the event of a war. Shortly after the nuclear agreement was announced, he tweeted an image of President Barack Obama with a gun to his head, threatening the “aggressive and criminal U.S.”
Saudi Arabia slaps 12 Hezbollah figures with sanctions for 'terrorism'
Saudi Arabia imposed sanctions on at least 12 senior Hezbollah figures accused of responsibility for carrying out operations for the group, which it had designated a terrorist organization in March of last year, state media reported on Thursday.
"These names were designated today and sanctions imposed on them under the terrorism crimes and financing regime," the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
The statement said the Interior Ministry had also imposed sanctioned on entities that were "investment arms" for what it described as Hezbollah's sinister activities outside its Lebanon homeland.
Sunni heavyweight Saudi Arabia is a leading supporter of Sunni Muslim rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Iran-allied Hezbollah fighters are helping to shore up his forces against groups they call terrorist.
Hezbollah has repeatedly criticized Saudi Arabia over both its military operations in Yemen and its support for rebels in Syria.
Diplomat: Venezuela Sold Immigration Documents to Hezbollah Terrorists
A Venezuelan diplomat in hiding is accusing the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro of selling visas, passports, and even falsified birth certificates out of its embassy in Baghdad to an estimated thousands of Middle Eastern citizens, including at least one confirmed Hezbollah terrorist.
A man identifying himself as Misael López Soto, advisor working out of the Venezuelan embassy in Baghdad, says in a video uploaded to YouTube Wednesday evening that he has had to flee his official position following multiple death threats, after attempting to alert the government in Caracas that its satellite in Baghdad had become a marketplace for falsified documents.
“I have made public how, under the complacent eye of diplomats in the mission [in Baghdad], local employees delivered visas, passports, birth certificates, and other types of Venezuelan documentation to citizens of Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and, in some cases, Pakistan,” he says in the video, noting that most types of documentation cost between $5,000 and $15,000. “In many cases, they were tied to terrorist groups, most of the Shiite variety.” López asserts that he can prove that, in at least one case, a known member of Hezbollah was granted falsified Venezuelan documents.
Who Is Jailing and Torturing Palestinian Journalists?
The Palestinian Authority (PA) sees no need for international intervention to halt its own crackdown on freedom of speech. Nor does it consider the closure of a newspaper office and the detention of journalists as a "war crime."
The report reveals that Palestinian detainees have been undergoing severe torture while in PA detention. During the past few years, ten people have died in Palestinian prisons. As far as we can see, no one from the European community has taken the slightest notice.
The detention of Khalil is seen in the context of the PA's continued effort to silence and intimidate Palestinian journalists who dare to criticize the Palestinian leadership and its institutions.
The PA clearly wants a media that reports only against Israel. The only incitement permitted is the one directed there.
Western human rights groups that regularly condemn Israel for its actions against Palestinians have, as usual, failed to respond to this latest assault by the PA on public freedoms. The PA's crackdown on the media is not going to attract the attention of the mainstream media in the West: the story lacks an anti-Israel angle.
Hillel Neuer: New Canadian PM Trudeau Votes No on 16 Anti-Israel U.N. Resolutions
Canada opposed 6 resolutions yesterday that omitted Palestinian knife attacks & incitement
I applaud Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for voting yesterday at the UN General Assembly to join the U.S. in opposing 6 resolutions singling out Israel, and for being on track to continue without change Canada’s prior policy of firmly opposing repetitive, disproportionate and one-sided resolutions — all drafted by the Palestinians except for two by Syria — that are designed to delegitimize Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy. So far, with final plenary or initial committee votes on 19 of the 20 annual anti-Israel resolutions, Canada’s voting record is entirely unchanged from last year. This upholds the UN Charter’s principle of equal treatment of all nations, and prejudice to none.
Of the 16 No votes on anti-Israel texts so far this year, one took place on November 2nd, still under the Harper government. The rest were decided by the new Trudeau government.
Despite the opposition of Canada, the U.S., and Australia, the UN General Assembly yesterday adopted six non-binding resolutions singling out and criticizing Israel, without any of mention of the spate of Palestinian knife attacks, shooting, car-rammings, and incitement,nor were any resolutions adopted on Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or any other human rights situation.
Obama Tries to Flee Islamic State in Sinai; Egypt, Israel Say No
Egypt and Israel have thwarted an effort by the Obama administration to withdraw U.S. peacekeeping soldiers from the Sinai peninsula. Obama had recently floated the idea of reducing the U.S. presence in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).
However, both Egypt and Israel felt that the timing was wrong, given the advance of Islamic State worldwide. “We said this is not the proper time, during a war on terrorism. It would give jihadists the wrong message,” an unnamed Egyptian official told Reuters.
The 1,900-strong, 12-nation MFO is considered one of the most successful peacekeeping forces in the region. It was created after President Jimmy Carter brokered the Camp David peace accords in 1979. At the time, Egypt and Israel were staunch enemies. Today, they are partners against terrorism in the region. Palestinian Hamas, Islamic State, and a variety of other terror groups use the Sinai to smuggle weapons and stage attacks. A roadside bomb in September injured four American and two Fijian soldiers.
A Russian passenger jet was brought down over the Sinai in late October. Islamic State terrorists have claimed responsibility for the attack, and for another recent attack on a hotel. The Obama administration considered withdrawing U.S. troops in response.
The Associated Press reported in August: “The Obama administration is quietly reviewing the future of America’s three-decade deployment to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, fearful the lightly equipped peacekeepers could be targets of escalating Islamic State-inspired violence. Options range from beefing up their protection or even pulling them out altogether…”.
PBS' Tavis Smiley Hosts Anti-Israel Propagandist Rula Jebreal
Jebreal was also given a platform to rail against "the pro-Israel lobby" which she accused of "bending the policies of the United States to where it's more segregation is actually the liability for the United States and undermines the stature of the United States around the world." This is a popular hoax among conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites, evocative of the notorious forgery "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the "Zionist Occupied Government" canard popularized by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, and supported by the fraudulent scholarship of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer.
And so it goes. Tavis Smiley encouraging, supporting and providing Jebreal with leading questions that become opportunities for her to demonize Israel and its leader. In the alternate universe of Jebreal, truth is turned on its head. It is no longer Mahmoud Abbas who incites his people to violence by urging them to stop the Jews from "defiling" Muslim holy sites with their "filthy feet" and blessing "every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem," as he publicly proclaimed on Sept. 16. It is no longer the Palestinian leadership's continuous hate rhetoric and exaltation of violence against Israel and Jews in the name of Allah that is encouraging young terrorists to plunge their knives into Israeli victims. In Jebreal's inversion of reality, it is Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu who is responsible for "dangerous rhetoric" urging his people to kill innocent Palestinians. And as Jebreal continues to skew the facts and indulge in her own hate rhetoric, Smiley sits back and listens attentively while the identifying caption on the screen seems to sanction her words by crediting as "Rula Jebreal, Award-Winning Journalist."
Tavis Smiley airs on more than 95 percent of PBS stations in more than 200 markets. The major sponsor of this program is Walmart, one of the world's biggest retailers. Unfortunately, Smiley has a long history of allowing anti-Israel and even antisemitic guests to expound without challenge and without any basis in fact. The November 9th example with Jebreal is just one more example. The question that should be asked of Walmart's executive board is whether they feel that supporting Tavis Smiley's skewed and biased program is really the best use of its resources.
PMW: Fatah fighter eats snake in terror promotion video
Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement apparently sees biting and chewing on a snake as a sign of military prowess - and included it in a new terror promotion video it posted on its Facebook page. It seems that the snake eating exemplifies what it takes to be “heroes of a mighty people” - the lyrics of the song in the background as the Fatah fighter eats the snake. [Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Nov. 16, 2015]
The video also shows Fatah terrorists practicing the kidnapping of an Israeli through a tunnel, as well as other images of terrorists in training.
A personal note on the American Anthropological Association’s boycott of Israeli academics
The current action is much, much worse than the 1982 resolution. There is something particularly repellent about calling — in the name of “the promotion and protection of the right of people and peoples everywhere to the full realization of their humanity” — for a boycott of institutions of higher education, which has as its goal the stifling of academic discussion (and, I suppose, the ultimate destruction of those institutions — as if that will really help the Palestinians).
And, for the “inadvertently hilarious” file: Lest you be concerned that this is yet another attempt by academics to stifle free speech and free expression, you will be comforted to learn that, in the words of the resolution, “in implementing this boycott, the AAA will support the rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel/Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.” Good to know that those who support the boycott will be treated so respectfully.
Law students in huge show of support for UT-Austin Israel Studies Prof. attacked by BDS
In the latest development, today The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law has issued a Press Release offering support for Prof. Pedahzur from 18 law school chapters representing several hundred law students:
This morning, students from eighteen Brandeis Center law student chapters issued a statement in support of Dr. Ami Pedahzur, an Israel Studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Pedahzur had been assailed by anti-Israel activists for his effort to host an academic presentation on the Israeli Defense Forces.
November 25, 2015
On behalf of 18 chapters representing several hundred law students of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB), we support Professor Ami Pedahzur, Director of the Institute for Israeli Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and urge the University to address the upsetting disruption of free speech and expression that occurred on its campus on Friday, November 13.. Specifically, an anti-Israel group, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, disrupted an event hosted by Dr. Pedahzur, titled “The Origin of a Species: The Birth of the Israeli Defense Forces’ Military Culture,” featuring Stanford professor Dr. Gil-Li Vardi.
At the event, the student disruptors showed no interest in engaging in dialogue or listening to the speaker. Rather, they argued that they refuse to talk to Israelis because they are all war criminals. They chanted things like, “Long live the Intifada!” and “We want ‘48, we don’t want two states!”
It is incredibly disappointing and frightening that the protestors sought to intimidate and silence this speaker rather than engage with or challenge her ideas. Recently, there has been a trend of anti-Israel groups across the country attacking the free speech rights of pro-Israel speakers.
Horowitz: The Terrorist Propaganda Campaign on Boston Campuses
We live in surreal times. On our most prestigious university campuses, Hamas-designed genocidal campaigns are being conducted by officially recognized student organizations supported by university funds. These organizations – Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) – were created by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas. Hamas, a terrorist party whose official agendas, inscribed in its charter, are the destruction of the state of Israel and the extermination of the Jews. Recently, the David Horowitz Freedom Center published a report naming the “10 Campuses Most Friendly to Terrorists” to highlight the worst of these abuses. Two of the most prestigious schools in the Boston area – Harvard University and Brandeis University – made the list. The full documentation of the Jew-hating, genocidal activities of the student organizations supported by these universities runs for many pages (and is available at www.stopthejihadoncampus.org).
In the spring of 2012, Harvard hosted a “One State” conference about the conflict in the Middle East. “One State” is code for the annihilation of Israel as a Jewish state, one of Hamas’s goals. Speakers included Electronic Intifada executive director Ali Abunimah, who has accused Israel of practicing “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” against the Palestinians; Dalit Baum, a strident supporter of the Hamas-inspired Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and Ilan Pappé, a notorious Israel-hating academic who is a vocal supporter of the second anti-Israeli intifada led by suicide bombers and Fatah terrorists.
JVP has suggestions to make family Thanksgiving just a little more awkward
The "proud to be ashamed to be Jewish" activists at Jewish Voice for Peace have published some suggestions for making your family Thanksgiving dinner just a little more uncomfortable.
Try throwing some international politics into the mix.
Bring up the conflict in the Middle east, but "don't make it a history lesson", JVP admonishes its readers. If you do, you'll lose.
JVP, sounding even more cult-like than ever, suggests you "validate their fears", and "model vulnerability."
And most of all, reframe, reframe , reframe!
Black Friday False Claim "BDS is Working"
On Black Friday, local anti-Israel groups Jewish Voice for Peace and Berkeley Women in Black are organizing a vigil in the San Francisco Union Square Shopping center. Their theme "BDS is working".
Its wishful thinking, on their part.
The Israel economy continues to show exceptional growth.
Buy Israel: Support EU Labeled Businesses
IsrAction Day, a national and international grassroots campaign standing up for Israel, fighting BDS and supporting poor in communities, has come up with a scheme to fight back. IsrAction Day is asking people to go and shop on December 13, for Israeli products, and then donate them to the needy in their communities.
Another grassroots Facebook group, Think Israel – Buy Israel, encourages people to buy and use Israeli products for Shabat meals.
The Rabbinical Council of America has sent an email to its members asking rabbis to organize initiatives in each community as a response to EU labeling. To identify Israeli products, especially those that come from Yehudah and Shomron and encourage members to buy them.
The following is a list of products provided by, Rabbi Allen Schwartz, to his congregation:
BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv
In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS.
Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of time.
This, she said, spurred her to pack up and move to Israel, which has taken her career on a new and unexpected path. For example, she said, her months of experiencing life in Israel as an immigrant and a single woman led her to create “Date Me in TLV,” a show which premiered yesterday (Nov. 25) in Israeli theaters.
Wix Kinda Annoyed About Losing its BDS Clients (satire)
Multiple Pro-Israel bloggers have begun publicizing the fact that Anti-Israel activists such as Max Blumenthal, Code Pink, and Students for Justice in Palestine are using the Israeli Platform Wix for their websites. And Wix is getting a bit annoyed…. at the Pro-Israel Activists! Wix Spokesperson Noam D. addressed the media at a Press Conference today at their Namal Port location.
” So yeah. Jewsnews? Israellycool? Daily Freier? You just publicly mocked clients of ours. Paying. Clients. I know this seems weird to some of you bloggers, but some of us on the Internet actually, like, make money and stuff.”
Noam was asked if she had a message for the Internet’s Israel Advocacy community. “Do I have a message for the Hasbarah Jamboree? Yeah sure I do……Hey guys, STFU!”
When asked for her personal opinion on the BDS organizations using the Wix platform, Noam replied, “Whatever. It’s not like we’re selling FOREX.”
Honest Reporting: CNN Map Depicts "PALESTINA"
'Go back to Auschwitz'; Rabbinical student assaulted in Florida
A 19-year-old rabbinical student was verbally and physically assaulted in Boca Raton, Florida last Saturday, according to reports Wednesday.
WPTV Channel 5 said the student was walking on 2nd Street when the assailant, riding a blue mountain bike, shouted at him that "Jews should go back to Auschwitz. Hitler was right."
The young man, who is studying for his rabbinic ordination at the Boca Raton Chabad center, allegedly then replied: "Why don’t you come back here and say that?”
The cyclist rode back up to the rabbinical student, repeated the anti-Semitic remark, and then began to strike the young Jewish man, who hit his head on the pavement before his assailant fled.
The unnamed victim told Channel 5 that he was still shaken by the incident.
Swastika, Antisemitic Epithets Scrawled on Board in Maryland U Dorm
A swastika and antisemitic epithets were scrawled on a dry-erase board in a dorm at the University of Maryland over the weekend, the university paper the Diamonback reported on Monday.
It was the third such incident in the last three months, university police said. A spokesperson for the police said the swastika was reported to have been drawn in broad daylight, between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., on Sunday.
The residents of the dorm fired back with a note addressed to the anonymous vandals: “To whoever drew the swastika on our door — would you draw that if you knew one of our grandfathers was tied to a wall and shot at by Nazis in World War II just for being Jewish? 2/3 of us who live in here are Jewish. Think about it.”
Many are concerned about a growing trend of antisemitic acts being committed on college campuses across the US, and some groups, like the AMCHA Initiative in California — an NGO devoted to protecting Jewish students from antisemitism — have taken it upon themselves to highlight student reports of abuse.
Italian pundit calls to ban Hebrew in synagogues
An Italian media pundit has sparked controversy after suggesting that Hebrew, Arabic and other foreign languages should be banned from synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship.
Alessandro Sallusti, editor-in-chief of the conservative daily il Giornale, is an ally of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the ex-leader's choice candidate for Milan's mayoral elections next year.
He made the questionable comments Tuesday during a talk show broadcast on Italy's RAI state TV.
"Unfortunately Italy doesn't have a law demanding that sermons be held only in Italian. But I hope we will get one," Sallusti was quoted as saying.
A representative of the Muslim community in Milan, Davide Piccardo, challenged the pundit on the talk show, asking, "would you also ban Hebrew from services in synagogues?"
Sallusti responded that he would support a law forbidding rabbis from giving sermons in Hebrew, though he noted he had no problem with prayers continuing to be recited in their original language.
British bishops call for revision of prayer calling for Jews to accept Jesus
A call by the Bishops of England and Wales for the Catholic Church to amend a prayer calling for Jews to accept Jesus as their savior was greeted warmly by British Jews on Wednesday as a sign of just how far Catholic-Jewish relations have come in the last half century.
The Catholic Herald reported on Tuesday that the bishops appealed to Rome to change the prayer, which is recited on Good Friday, and reads “Let us also pray for the Jews: that our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.”
“The Catholic-Jewish relationship has changed immeasurably for the better since the Nostra Aetate declaration 50 years ago,” Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told The Jerusalem Post.
“We welcome moves, like this liturgical proposal, which embody the spirit of friendship and respect envisioned by that powerful statement.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, likewise, lauded the changed.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Launches Campaign to Combat Internet Incitement, Urges Google and YouTube to Join Battle
The Israeli government has launched a campaign to combat Palestinian incitement on the Internet, Israeli news site nrg reported on Wednesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely held a meeting on Monday with Google’s Senior Counsel for Public Policy Juniper Downs and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to persuade them to join the effort to combat the incitement, which Israel claims is largely responsible for the current wave of terrorism against Israelis.
During the meeting, Hotovely pointed to the use of social media by Palestinians calling on one another to explain the phenomenon of Palestinian youth taking to the the streets with knives in their hands and hate in their hearts.
The Google and YouTube executives informed Hotovely of the methods they had in place to monitor incendiary material, and agreed to enhance their cooperation with Israel’s Foreign Ministry to prevent the online distribution of material inciting to violence.
Egypt's Coptic Pope makes historic visit to Israel
Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II left for Jerusalem Thursday for the funeral of a senior cleric, the first visit by the head of Coptic Christians in decades, a church spokesman said.
He will attend the funeral of Archbishop Anba Abraham, the head of the Coptic Church in Israel who died on Wednesday at the age of 73.
Egyptian Copts were forbidden from visiting Israel by their late Pope Shenouda III, who was traditionally careful not to provoke an already-hostile Muslim majority in Egypt by being seen to stray from the anti-Israel sentiments of most Egyptians.
Shenouda passed away in 2012 after leading the ancient orthodox church for 40 years. His successor Tawadros II has been seen as somewhat more willing to assert himself and the Coptic community in General, throwing his weight behind the army's overthrow of the Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi, and issuing an edict in August banning Copts from joining the Salafist Nour party.
But the Coptic Church played down any political significance to this trip.
Greek PM vows to strengthen ties with Israel
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed to strengthen bilateral cooperation with Israel as he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
"We had the chance to focus our talks on the need to increase the cooperation between the two countries in field of agriculture, water technologies; Israel has very high technology know-how in these fields, as well as in the maritime field," Tsipras said. "One of the main issues in our talks today were the opportunities arising in the field of energy in the east Mediterranean. We were considering ways of cooperation in research, drilling and transportation of gas from Israel to Europe."
Tsipras, on his first visit to the region since coming to power in January, noted that he would opt to broaden energy, tourism and technology cooperation, as well as propose a trilateral summit between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.
Netanyahu voiced appreciation for Tsipras' efforts to improve the Greek economy and added that he would encourage Israeli investment in Greece.
Israel holds Holocaust survivors' beauty contest
Israel held its third annual beauty contest for Holocaust survivors on Tuesday, with organizers and participants hailing it as an affirmation of life.
Sixteen women who survived the Nazi genocide in Europe took to the catwalk in a crowded town hall in the northern port city of Haifa.
Make-up artists and hairdressers attended to each contestant, who said they felt like queens for a day. The elderly women each took a bow to a round of applause and were then given the opportunity to share their personal stories from the Holocaust.
The Helping Hand organization, a privately funded group that aids thousands of the estimated 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel and operates a home for Holocaust survivors, organized the pageant.
Jurgen Buhler, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which supports the organization, said he hopes the event is a way to help heal the wounds of the survivors.
The Arab-Muslim IDF Soldier With a 'Long Live Israel' Tattoo
Samal Ziyad (not his real name), an Arab-Muslim who serves in the IDF’s Bedouin Trackers Unit, could easily compete for the title of the most Zionist soldier serving in the West Bank today.
Such is Ziyad’s exceptional story. He is now an infantry fighter serving at the height of the current wave of terror. He has two tattoos: one featuring various Zionist symbols, including a Magen David, and the second – which he finished recently – featuring the words: “Long live the State of Israel.”
Ziyad is not afraid to be identified, even though he has already had to deal with condemnation from Muslims opposed to his enlisting in the army.
13% more Israeli Arabs volunteered for National Service in 2015
There was a 13% increase in the number of Israeli Arabs volunteering for National Service, said the Shluchot group, which works to encourage such voluntarism.
Despite intimidation by Islamist elements in their towns, Shluchot said that more Israeli Arab youths were making the choice to embrace Israeli society, taking what for many is the “ultimate leap” - signing up for a government program that turns them into “agents of the state.”
The group also noted that the jump in membership was coming at a time of increased tension between Arabs and Israelis. The study covers the entirety of 2015 through mid-November.
Israeli Arabs are not drafted into the IDF, unlike Jews and members of the Druze community, but may volunteer to serve in the army, with most of those coming from Bedouin communities. Otherwise, Arabs are exempt from service.
For those who wish to serve the state but not serve in the army, there is the National Service. Generally taken advantage of by girls from observant families who do not wish to serve in the IDF, the Service also takes in Jewish males who for various reasons are unable to serve in the army or are not qualified to do so, as well as Israeli Arab volunteers. Individuals who serve in the corps receive rights and benefits similar to those of IDF soldiers.
Lone soldiers from North America attend Thanksgiving dinner in Tel Aviv
Some 200 lone Israeli soldiers from North America will attend a special Thanksgiving dinner catered by a former lone soldier from New York.
The holiday dinner on Thursday, at the Beit Hachayal in Tel Aviv, will be hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and the Jewish National Fund. The dinner will allow the young immigrants without family in Israel to celebrate the traditional American holiday.
“When I was a lone soldier, I celebrated Thanksgiving with only a few friends,” said Idan Ianovici, owner of Vici Deli in Raanana, who served in the IDF’s Armored Corps. He will prepare the soldiers a meal that includes cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and other traditional Thanksgiving fare.
The soldiers will be joined by other new immigrants from North America.
Hanukkah lightings to be held at sites of terror attacks
Under the banner "At this time! Lifting the flag of heroism!," public candle lightings during the upcoming Hanukkah holiday have been planned at the sites of various terrorist attacks.
"Let us remember together, throughout the entire country, the miracles of Hanukkah - its light and its strength," the organizers wrote. "We will connect to the light of the Hasmoneans, we will light hanukkiahs in every place our enemies tried to extinguish [our light] and we will raise the flag of heroism together."
The "Lifting the Flag" organization has invited the greater public to help organize and participate in the special lightings which will take place across Israel.
"Now is the time to light the Hannukah candles, the candles of Jewish heroism, and to raise the flag," organizers said. "Not only in our homes but also in the public domain."
"In every place a Palestinian terrorist tried to destroy life, tried to extinguish the light of Israel, together, we will light the eternal hannukiah of our people. We will gather for the mass lightings in every place and we will raise the banner of Jewish heroism."
Chanukah Song Part 4
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