Haaretz senior columnist implicitly calls for a military coup in Israel
Israeli radical left Haaretz daily published on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 an article implicitly calling on the army officers to carry out a military coup in order to save the democracy.
The article was penned by Tzvi Barel, columnist, commentator for Middle Eastern affairs and a board member of Haaretz owned by Amos Schocken. Aluf Benn is the Editor-in-Chief of Haaretz.
Barel said that the military brass will have to determine what is the ultimate threat to the security and existence of Israel: “thousands of missiles and Palestinian stabbers or a government engineering the public to make them become a monster threatening to prey on the basic values of the Israeli democracy.”
According to Barel, Israel is not immune of a military coup and perhaps such a coup has already started. “The army will not be the instigator of a revolt if it happens. By pushing today the army into a spot in which it has to defend itself and its values, the political leadership is the one which will bring about the first Jewish military revolution,” Barel wrote.
Barel added that army does not have to conquer the Knesset (Parliament), the Prime Minister offices and the TV stations in order to carry out the military coup, because it enjoys the support of the Israeli people. (h/t Yenta Press)
Calling Israel an apartheid state is an insult to black South Africans (OPINION)
I am from Zimbabwe and grew up under the strictest regime of apartheid in South Africa. Today, I am an author and law student at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am an avid debater, ranked fourth globally and first in Africa in the World Universities Public Speaking Championship.
I have read the recent guest column in The Oregonian written by Alice Rothchild.
I understand that the Methodist and, later, the Presbyterian Church USA are considering proposals to boycott and divest from Israel.
I believe the Christian faith and the state of Israel are irrevocably intertwined. This is because the Christian faith flows naturally from the Judaic faith.
There are some who would seek to have the Christian churches distance themselves from the state of Israel. There is a call for the churches to join the boycott divestment sanctions (BDS) movement. It would be a big victory, indeed, for the Palestinians to convince some of the biggest allies of the state of Israel to remove their support.
This call is based on the claim that Israel is an apartheid state and, secondly, that negotiations have not been successful as a strategy for peace. These two premises are both incorrect. Allow me to elaborate.
Like Ms. Rothchild, I used to support the BDS movement, but I withdrew my support after I visited Israel and Palestine (the West Bank).
New Statesman: How 'the longest hatred' took root
Succinct analysis of the roots of antisemitism by Brendan Sims and Charlie Laderman, all the more remarkable for appearing the left-leaning New Statesman. Here is the extract from The Longest Hatred about anti-Semitism in the Middle East (with thanks: Lily):
5. Anti-Semitism and the left
As the heir of the Enlightenment and ideals of the French Revolution, the European left championed emancipation, equality and tolerance in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thus, it was regarded favourably by Jews. And yet hostility to Jews animated the world-view of some pioneering socialists. For instance, the late-18th- and early-19th-century utopian socialist Charles Fourier regarded Jews as “parasites, merchants, usurers”. They were agents of capitalism and commerce, personified most powerfully by the Rothschilds. Karl Marx, even though he was of Jewish descent, claimed that Jews had made money the “God of the world” and called for humanity to be emancipated from Judaism. It was these manifestations of anti-Judaism that led the German Social Democrat August Bebel to refer to anti-Semitism as the “socialism of fools”.
That Jewish leftists were heavily represented in the leadership of the socialist and communist movement, from Trotsky down, led right-wing racists to equate Judaism with Bolshevism. At first, the Soviet Union embraced this association. In 1931 Stalin declared that anti-Semitism was “the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism” and that “under USSR law . . . active anti-Semites are liable to the death penalty”. The USSR was the first state to grant de jure recognition to Israel, and supported it with arms during the 1948 conflict. However, it turned sharply against Israel and global Jewry from the 1950s onwards.
In the early 1950s, Stalin launched a major anti-Jewish campaign that culminated in the arrest of Jewish doctors accused of poisoning Communist leaders. In 1952, he told the Politburo: “Every Jewish nationalist is the agent of the American intelligence service.” America was the USSR’s principal enemy in the Cold War and its sizeable Jewish community was believed to be at the centre of a worldwide network that was doing the bidding of the new Israeli state, and which had operatives across the globe, including the USSR and communist-controlled eastern Europe.
This anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist campaign was taken up throughout the communist world. Its anti-Jewish nature was clear in the show trials of Jews and their removal from critical positions in local Communist Parties, accompanied by a barrage of openly anti-Semitic propaganda. The most notorious instance of this was the 1952 Slansky trial in Czechoslovakia, during which the state denounced the defendants, not all of whom were Jewish, as “Zionists”, “Jewish capitalists” and “Jewish Gestapo agents”.
Who’s Really Driving “Grassroots” Anti-Israel Activism in America?
“Israelis have to be bombed… it is wrong to maintain the State of Israel. It is an illegitimate creation” — Taher Herzallah, American Muslims for Palestine National Campus Coordinator
On April 19th Jonathan Schanzer, a former US Treasury Department official, testified in Congress regarding the activities of the anti-Israel boycott movement (BDS) in the United States. In his remarks, he revealed shocking details about how a number of former leaders of organizations with close ties to terrorism, “have pivoted to leadership positions within the American BDS campaign.” In particular, he established clear links between the terrorist organization Hamas and leaders of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) — a politico-religious lobby group which boasts of being “the driving force behind activism for Palestine” in the US. But Schanzer’s testimony revealed only the tip of the iceberg. At the core of this story is not only the shadowy network of religious supremacists behind AMP, but a manipulative campaign to incite hatred among the future leaders of American society.
One of the most prominent faces of BDS in America is Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) — a self-titled “grassroots, human rights organization” with branches at dozens of US campuses. But while it claims to be “resisting racism,” SJP’s 2014 national conference featured a keynote speaker infamous for defending public calls to “shoot the Jew!” This discrepancy between SJP’s stated principles and its conduct is no exception: funded and closely guided by AMP and other political interest groups, SJP systematically exploits the language of social justice to promote a bigoted agenda.
SJP’s ties to AMP run deep, and SJP itself has admitted that, “NGO employees are in powerful positions,” within their movement. AMP chairman and Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian co-founded SJP in 2000 and is credited with “help[ing] to construct [the] successful narrative SJP has produced over the years” (in fact, AMP supplies the infamous “wall” that SJP displays on campuses). AMP organized the first SJP national conference in 2010, and has funded the group’s national conferences ever since. AMP’s own conferences include a “Campus Track” with sessions on “How To Start an SJP”.
Paul Flynn: Anti-Semitism Suspensions are “Moral Panic”
Last month Labour MP Paul Flynn emailed a Jewish constituent claiming the anti-Semitism crisis was a “nasty smear, distorted, exaggerated, wholly untrue”. Today he’s emailed MP colleagues to inform them that the whole row and ensuing inquiry is “moral panic”.
Remember, Flynn was once hauled in by the whips when he accused Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel of having“divided loyalties”. He now claims the recent spate of suspensions were “created by malicious anti-Labour forces”. Exposed, he means…
Film about Jews ‘being everywhere’ mocks French anti-Semitism
Actress Charlotte Gainsbourg is to star in a provocative new comedy that parodies deep-rooted anti-Semitism in France, its director said Thursday.
“The Jews” — titled “They are everywhere” in French — is being shot by Gainsbourg’s partner, the actor and director Yvan Attal, who starred in Steven Spielberg’s film “Munich” about the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympics in 1972.
The satire follows a Jewish man, played by Attal, forced into therapy by growing anti-Jewish feeling around him in France, a spokeswoman for Wild Bunch films told AFP.
His time on the couch is cut with tragicomic episodes showing what the producers called “anti-Semitic stereotypes” that endure in France.
“The film is not about Jews — it is about anti-Semitism,” said Israeli-born Attal.
Al-Qaeda leader urged trainee to target Israelis, Americans
An al-Qaeda operative facing sentencing in a New York court next week said bomb-making instructor Anwar al-Awlaki had encouraged him to target Israeli and US nationals at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Before his death in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen, the US-born al-Awlaki had emerged as an influential preacher among jihadists living in the West, with his English-language internet sermons calling for jihad, or holy war, against the US.
Al-Awlaki was the first American citizen whose killing by drone strike without trial was approved by US President Barack Obama.
Minh Quang Pham, a Vietnamese-British man who converted to Islam before joining al-Qaeda, said al-Awlaki urged him to use his bombs against Americans and Israelis, according to documents submitted to the court and reported upon by the New York Times this week.
Pham has pleaded guilty to three terror-related charges. He will be sentenced on Monday.
Northern Ireland terror threat level raised in Great Britain
The threat level from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain has gone up from moderate to substantial.
It means an attack in England, Scotland or Wales is "a strong possibility".
Home Secretary Theresa May said the level, set by security service MI5, "reflects the continuing threat from dissident republican activity".
The level for Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland remains severe, meaning an attack is "highly likely".
Despite the increase in the threat level from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Great Britain, it remains lower than the threat to the entire UK from international terrorism.
This is set at severe - the second-highest of the five ratings used.
Lawmakers: UNHRC resolution 'assault on Israel'
US Representatives Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA), along with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Trade Representative Michael Froman this week, calling on them to oppose a UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
"We write to urge you to take action to oppose the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) recent resolution calling for foreign divestment from Israel," the letter began. "This latest action is unprecedented in scope and threatens significant damage to both Israel and the United States, thus warranting a vigorous response."
"The UNHRC resolution, passed on March 24th, is notable in several respects. It urges countries to pressure their own companies to divest from, or break contracts with, Israel, and calls for the creation of a “blacklist” of companies that either operate, or have business relations with entities that operate, beyond Israel’s 1949 Armistice lines, including East Jerusalem," it continued. "The UNHRC’s effort, the latest in a long history of singling out Israel for special condemnation, occurs within the larger context of ongoing political and commercial assaults on Israel’s legitimacy, known as BDS – boycotts, divestment and sanctions."
A "blacklist" attempts to "strangle Israel’s economy and coerce Israel into unilateral concessions," as had been done in decades past, they continued - and it sets a dangerous precedent.
How New York can help stop Europe’s rampaging Israel boycotters
In America, the odious boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel remains largely confined to university humanities departments, leaving Europe as the main battleground in the economic war on Israel.
And now a bill in the New York Legislature may be the key to blunting financial and political damage to Israel in Europe.
The Senate passed a robust anti-BDS bill that would penalize European companies engaged in boycott-related activity. The measure is before the Assembly, sponsored by Charles Lavine (D-Nassau).
Nearly half of US states have passed anti-BDS resolutions or laws. New York’s law will be crucial because scores of major European companies and banks are based in the Empire State. The mere threat of legislation penalizing European banks has prompted one major bank to shut down an Austrian BDS group’s account: The Vienna-based financial-services provider Erste Group closed the account held by BDS Austria.
After The Jerusalem Post exposed in February a BDS account held by the DAB Bank in Munich — a subsidiary of the French banking giant BNP Paribas — the account of BDS Campaign in Germany was closed.
Both BNP Paribas and Erste Group have branch offices in New York City. German, Austrian and French banks maintaining BDS accounts are now likely to face greater scrutiny by New York State legislators.
At the state level, US legislators tackle BDS head on
Jewish and pro-Israel groups have been increasingly focused on finding ways to counter what some say is perhaps the biggest threat to the State of Israel today: the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
On college campuses across the United States, the movement’s presence has caused much controversy after clashing with Jewish students in incidents that sometimes even turned violent.
Just last month, the Graduate Student Union at New York University made the decision to join BDS and passed a resolution calling on the institution to divest from Israeli companies and close its program at Tel Aviv University.
While Jewish student groups have taken it upon themselves to try and push back the movement on campuses, policymakers across the US have decided to take the fight to the state level.
Legislatures have introduced anti- BDS bills in 20 states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, California, Massachusetts, Indiana and Ohio.
In seven of the states, the bills have been signed into law: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, and recently, Iowa.
How to combat campus anti-Semitism
In the turmoil of any boycott, divestment and sanctions resolution or "Israeli Apartheid Week" on college campuses few things can be more dismaying to onlookers than the extreme hostility expressed toward Israel.
As the hateful protests rage, various members of the pro-Israel community offer an array of advice on how to move forward.
Sometimes, unfortunately, Israel's supporters argue among themselves, understandably frustrated about how to respond to the hate and lies being spread.
At CAMERA -- the organization where I work -- we join forces with other pro-Israel groups to address the three main actors in the problem of campus anti-Semitism: radical students, radical professors and indifferent administrators.
Mock Eviction Notices Accusing Israel of Host of Crimes Plastered Across Dorms of Connecticut College by Pro-Palestinian Student Group
Students at Connecticut College were greeted with fake eviction notices Monday night in their residence halls, put up by an anti-Israel student organization accusing the Jewish state of a series of crimes, The Algemeiner has learned.
“My original reaction was shock, but this stunt was expected after last semester’s Birthright poster campaign,” Connor Wolfe, a Jewish student at Connecticut College who sits on the board of Hillel, told The Algemeiner, referencing a similar stunt last semester by Conn Students in Solidarity with Palestine (CSSP), in which the student group plastered posters across campus stating, “Taglit-Birthright is settler colonialism.”
“Myself and fellow Hillel board members talked to the administration last semester and warned them that the Birthright posters were the beginning of things to come. We were not sure what would come next: more posters or an apartheid wall like in other schools,” Wolfe said.
“It’s not something you really expect to see walking back to your room at 1 am,” said Wolfe. On the notice, Israel is accused of “occupying” and building “illegal settlements” so that it “can expand past its borders by appropriating Palestinian land.”
“Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes is RACIST, is part of a project of ETHNIC CLEANSING and COLONIZATION, and is ILLEGAL,” the notice states.
Heavy Backlash Forces Brown University’s Hillel to Pull Sponsorship of ‘Nakba Day’ Event
The film being screened at the now private event was produced by the Israeli NGO Zochrot. According to the watchdog group NGO Monitor, Zochrot engages in raising public awareness about the Nakba and stresses the “Palestinian right of return” to all of Israel. The group calls for a “one state solution” and has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing. “This agenda is equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” an NGO Monitor report stated.
Representatives from Brown’s Hillel failed to respond to The Algemeiner’s requests for comment by press time.
UPDATE: Sources have informed The Algemeiner that after Hillel announced it would shut its doors at 7 pm Wednesday evening, precluding their scheduled screening, the student groups behind the private event moved up the time to late afternoon, holding the screening in the Hillel building, allegedly without informing Hillel officials there.
SFSU: The battle cry of the coward is "But I'm the victim".
Its enough to make George Orwell spin in his grave. In a move so cynically twisted and morally bankrupt it nearly defies description, anti-Israel students at SFSU who disrupted a speech by the mayor of Jerusalem are claiming the mantle of victimhood.
At an April 6 talk sponsored by San Francisco State University Hillel Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was prevented from speaking by an unruly crowd, to the intense frustration of those who had gathered to hear him speak. University officials stood by and did nothing.
From Aaron Parker, who was at the aborted talk:
The administrators’ and police’s high profile inaction emboldened the mob, which consequently grew louder and more brazen. We waited and waited for the disruptors to be removed so the event could proceed, but it never happened. Eventually, Mayor Barkat asked us to huddle around him so he could speak to us over the mob’s chants, but it was a lost cause.
American Jewish extremists against Jerusalem
June 5th marks Jerusalem Day, the celebration of the liberation of Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel. This day also marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of a unified Jerusalem and Israel has declared it Jerusalem Unity Year, which will span the 2016-2017 school year.
While the entire mainstream Israeli political spectrum stands with Jerusalem, left-wing extremists– in Israel and the United States – shout loudly that Jerusalem is “occupied” and call for the division of the city. While Israel has yet to publicize its plans for the 50th year celebration, the leftists have created a coalition to organize protests and alternative events to further the fallacious message of colonialist and oppressive Israel. Reports indicated that the coalition against Jerusalem has raised $8 million including from the New Israel Fund.
For organizations claiming to be pro-Israel, these groups spend a lot of time criticizing the country internationally in a myriad of ways. In classic irrationality, this coalition has failed to think beyond the justice they claim to seek. NIF seeks more money from their American supporters such as The Jewish Communal Fund and others, they definitely identified a target, but their plans have been dissected in the press, have actually been tried out within the last two decades, and have been found to be remarkably poorly devised with disastrous results.
IsraellyCool: Why Is The Jewish Communal Fund Supporting BDS?
Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that promotes the boycott of Israel, has always proudly proclaimed that one need not be Jewish to be a member. The group, however, has never been transparent about its funding. Now, thanks to the work of NGO Monitor, we know that many of its funders are non-Jewish, left-wing donors.
Jewish Voice for PeaceAt Legal Insurrection, Miriam Elman’s given a great summary of the NGO Monitor report and discussed the other anti-Israel groups that have common funders with JVP, such as American Friends Service Committee.
There is, however, one notable stand-out on the list of JVP funders: the Jewish Communal Fund.
MEMRI: Anti-Israel BDS Movement In India Targets Iran, Hewlett-Packard, Group-4S, Modi Govt, CIA And Mossad For 'Jointly' Training ISIS
In recent years, an international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel, supposedly as an expression of support for the Palestinians, has been gaining ground, and has recently also expanded to India. The Indian People in Solidarity with Palestine, an Indian BDS forum, held a two-day convention in New Delhi on August 22-23, 2015. The group also organized a convention on March 6, 2016 in New Delhi, whose prominent speakers included were Peggy Mohan, an author and linguistics professor, and several others who are cited in the paragraphs below.
Similar BDS conventions were also held in August, September, October and November of 2015 at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) near Delhi, at Chandigarh in Punjab state, at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University, and at the Ghalib Institute in New Delhi. The BDS convention at AMU on November 23, 2015, included noted Marxist historian Irfan Habib among its speakers. At the August 22-23, 2015 BDS convention at the Ghalib Institute, prominent speakers included Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Sukumar Murlidharan, a senior Marxist journalist who also spoke on the March 6, 2016 BDS event as well. Hindi poet Katyayani recited her poem "Gaza 2015" on the March 6, 2016 BDS convention.
Although these campaigns are being organized in the name of human rights of Palestinians, the organizers do not organize similar events for human rights of, for example, the Baluchis who are brutalized, discriminated and murdered by the Pakistani military every day in Baluchistan, or the Tibetan people who were forced by China to flee their homeland and now live in exile in India. As discussed below, the BDS conventions are organized to target Israel, but the speakers outline a range of issues, including plans to target U.S. computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard and British private security firm Group-4S, accuse Iran of being an ally of Israel, and target Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Israel.
On CBC News, HRC Asserts that Even Palestinians Don’t Want a Boycott of Israel
Writing on the CBC News website on March 16, HonestReporting Canada Executive Director Mike Fegelman lauds Canadian parliamentarian’s for their overwhelmingly condemnation of BDS while calling out BDS activists for what they are: bigots, hate-mongers, and many who are virulent anti-Semites whose very efforts run contrary to the best interests of Palestinians
“No, we do not support the boycott of Israel.… We do not ask anyone to boycott Israel itself.… We have relations with Israel. We have mutual recognition of Israel.”
These words were uttered by none other than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose clarion call to his domestic supporters and to Israel’s detractors abroad sought to dissuade those who would employ this tactic due to its self-defeating and counterproductive nature.
Regrettably, boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) advocates have not paid heed to Abbas’ call. Thinking they’re more Catholic than the Pope, BDSers believe they know what’s in the best interests for Palestinians (and Israelis).
And yet, BDS efforts against SodaStream, an Israeli company which produced some of their products in an Israeli “settlement,” is suspected of having influenced the company to shut down one of its factories. BDS campaigns saw close to 600 Palestinians who were gainfully employed at the SodaStream factory put out of a job. BDS pressure tactics cost Palestinian men and women equal-paying jobs, competitive employment benefits and generous health insurance packages.
Washington Post’s Letter from Israel Should be Marked ‘Return to Sender’
The Washington Post's “Letter from Israel: Outrage and dramatics when famous writers visit hardcore settlers,” (May 8, 2016) by Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth failed to properly identify anti-Israel organizations and persons that are ostensibly the article's topic. In doing so, he defaulted to a “Palestinian-centric” perspective on Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
The Post detailed a trip to Hebron by a “group of pretty famous writers” and a self-styled “human rights activist,” who helps lead an anti-Israel non-profit organization called Breaking the Silence (BTS). According to the newspaper, BTS “accompanied” the writers for a tour of Hebron to “gather material” for a forthcoming book of essays and “to see for themselves how 850 hardcore Jewish settlers, protected by 650 young Israeli soldiers, live among 200,000 angry Palestinians.”
The writers “didn't like what they saw,” The Post told readers.
The Post omitted, for starters, that this was likely the objective of Breaking the Silence's Hebron “tour.” Readers might have figured as much from an outline of the group's funding and methods. But the paper failed to provide one—as it has failed to do in other instances (see, for example “Washington Post Falls for Breaking the Silence ‘Report,'” CAMERA, May 5, 2015).
Reality Goes Missing in Anti-Israel Hill Op-Ed
Sylvia Schwarz (“Stop the tax-deductible status of the Jewish National Fund,” April 13th) misleads readers with an Op-Ed published in The Hill. Hers is essentially an omission-ridden anti-Israel slander.
Schwarz falsely claimed that Israel is “ethnically cleansing” the land of Arabs. Which land, Israel or the West Bank and Gaza Strip? In both the Arab population has grown. In Israel, it prospered.
On the same day Schwarz's fact-free article appeared, Gamil Hakroosh, an Israeli Arab, was appointed as the country's deputy police commissioner (“Amid Violence, Israel Promotes Arab Police Officer,” Associated Press). Israeli Arabs serve on Israel's Supreme Court, have command ranks in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and have their own political list in Israel's legislature, the Knesset. Israeli Arabs, including the Muslim majority, enjoy much greater democratic participation and representation than their brethren in most Arab states. Their income, upward mobility, life span and basic rights, including that of free speech, are superior to those of Arabs living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) that rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip, and elsewhere in the Middle East.
By contrast, the Palestinian Legislative Council has not met for nearly a decade and refuses to hold elections. PA President Mahmoud Abbas is in the eleventh year of his four-year term. There is no independent judiciary in PA and Hamas-ruled areas, where as Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh has noted, Facebook posts critical of Palestinian officials can result in imprisonment. In those prisons, “torture happens” as Rami Hamdallah, the PA's prime minister, admitted in a March 16, 2016 interview with German media outlet Deutsche Welle.
Jesse Jackson ‘didn’t know’ dinner companion was far-right French politician
US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson voiced “disgust” Wednesday at the ideas of French far-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen, after the surprise revelation that they had dined together in Paris.
The pair traded tense Twitter posts after the National Front firebrand posted a picture of them at a restaurant in the French capital at the weekend.
“I did not know him, I’ve never met with him before, and I find his ideas xenophobic and repulsive,” Jackson told AFP, seeking to explain what he said was an inadvertent encounter.
Le Pen and his wife Jany “were invited by the other hosts at the dinner. It was not at all a political meeting,” said Jackson, in France for events commemorating the abolition of slavery.
Le Pen tweeted a first photo of the two men at a Moroccan restaurant, along with a note apparently handwritten by Jackson reading: “May 8-’16. Jean-Marie, (wife) Jany Le Pen, Keep Hope Alive, Continue.”
Dutch soccer club to punish fans who sang about burning Jews
A Dutch soccer club whose fans were filmed recently singing about burning Jews said it would attempt to track down the culprits and punish them.
In the video, which was posted online Tuesday, several dozen fans of the PSV Eindhoven soccer team are filmed at a McDonald’s eatery singing a song that last year brought another Dutch soccer team, FC Utrecht, into disrepute.
“My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best,” the PSV Eindhoven fans allegedly sang.
PSV Eindhoven’s spokesman, Thijs Slegers, told the Eindhovens Dagblad daily that the club will study the footage to see if those filmed belong to the team.
“If that’s not the case, there’s nothing we can do,” he said.
Jewish-Muslim couple’s California cafe to fight Islamophobia suit
A California cafe founded and owned by a Jewish and Muslim husband and wife plans to counter-sue after being accused of discriminating against Muslim patrons.
Urth Caffe, an artisanal coffee shop and restaurant with six Southern California locations, was accused in a suit filed May 2 of forcing seven women to leave its Laguna Beach site in April because they were visibly Muslim.
Announcing plans for a counter-suit last week, attorneys for owners Shallom and Jilla Berkman, who are Jewish and Muslim, respectively, say the lawsuit is “a fraud and a hoax on the courts and the media,” ABC7.com reported.
The cafe has said the women were asked to leave because they violated its policy of giving up a table after 45 minutes during busy periods, while others were waiting in line. The women, six of whom wear Muslim headscarves, assert that the restaurant was not full and that no other customers were asked to leave.
Brussels, Antwerp Jews spar over Holocaust memorial cobblestones
Jews from Brussels demonstrated in Antwerp against the refusal of the city and its Jewish community to use memorial cobblestones to commemorate Holocaust victims.
In a move that highlighted the spreading of Belgium’s binational divide to its Jewish communities, a dozen protesters from the Brussels-based Association for the Memory of the Shoah, or AMS, picketed on Monday outside Antwerp’s city hall while the leaders of Antwerp’s Jewish community were attending a commemoration service with Mayor Bart de Wever at a monument elsewhere in Antwerp.
The protest was over the city’s refusal, with backing from the local Jewish community, to allow the placing of Stolpersteine — the German-language name of small brass stones set into the sidewalks in front of buildings from which Jews were deported. More than 50,000 of them have been laid in 18 countries in Europe.
Brussels received its first Stolpersteine last year, following lobbying by AMS. But Antwerp Jews, who increasingly have been seeking independent representation from Brussels, resist the Stolpersteine, citing concerns that Stolpersteine could lead to potentially undignified situations such as vandalism in heavily-Muslim areas or animals relieving themselves on the memorial cobblestones. The Antwerp-based Forum of Jewish Organizations resists the initiative also because it fears it would unfair to Holocaust victims with no relatives to arrange a stone.
Instead, they favor erecting a monument with the names of all of Belgium’s Holocaust victims.
France restores Nazi-stolen Degas drawing to Jewish owners
France has restored to its rightful owners a drawing by Edgar Degas that was stolen by the Nazis from its Jewish owner in 1940.
In a moving ceremony in Paris on Monday, Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay said that “Trois danseuses en buste” — a late 19th-century charcoal sketch of three ballerinas — was found in 1951 in a cupboard in the Occupation-era German Embassy. It had since remained unclaimed in the Louvre.
Viviane Dreyfus accepted the drawing for her father, Maurice, who died in 1957 without ever speaking of the lost work.
She said she was “extremely touched,” especially because she didn’t know the work existed.
There are 2,000 unclaimed works sitting in French museums, of which at least 145 were stolen by the Nazis.
A new gauze that stops bleeding in minutes
The cloud of war constantly hanging over Israel has one shiny silver lining:groundbreaking advances in woundcare developed for the battlefield and then shared with the rest of humanity.
ISRAEL21c has featured Israeli first-aid innovations such as the world-famous Emergency Bandage that has saved the lives of many US servicemen as well as Arizona Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords after she was shot by an assailant.
Now we bring you news of another novel product designed originally with soldiers in mind but with much broader potential: WoundClot gauze, a flexible and easy-to-handle material made of highly absorbent regenerated cellulose (plant cells).
WoundClot absorbs about 2,500 percentof its own weight in fluids and forms a coagulating gel membrane with platelets from the blood on the open wound.
Israeli app to guide Olympic-goers through Rio streets
The Israeli app Moovit will guide tourists and local residents to the fastest and safest routes to and between competition venues at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
Moovit will provide real-time information in 35 languages on the fastest public transportation routes – buses, trains, subway, light rail transport, ferry boats and cable cars – to some 1.5 million current local users and another 500,000 visitors, according to Rio’s official tourism website (Portuguese).
Fifty kilometers, or 31 miles, of new lines have been mapped with traffic information in order to make transit during the Rio Olympics smoother. The Israeli startup, dubbed “the Waze of public transportation,” will work based on data provided by the Rio municipality database.
“Our city advances in the use of technology through this partnership, which will allow not only the Olympic spectators but also the whole population to access a multimodal travel planner with real-time information,” said Rio’s secretary of transportation, Rafael Picciani. “This is a great achievement for the Games and will remain as its legacy.”
Thousands of African, Asian Students Study Agriculture at Israeli Institute
Israeli farmers are renowned for making the desert bloom. They’re also proving that this desolate area is fertile ground for a new crop of agriculturalists and agronomists.
Midway between the Dead Sea and Eilat, in the heart of the Arava desert, the Arava International Center for Agricultural Training (AICAT) is growing entrepreneurs.
AICAT, located in Sapir, has hosted over 10,000 undergraduates from across Asia and Africa at its 10-month agriculture work-study program over the past 20-plus years.
Students from Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Ethiopia, South Sudan, East Timor, Thailand, and Indonesia come in August of every year.
“They come at plantation time and grow with the plants,” Hanni Arnon, AICAT director, tells ISRAEL21c. “Here – where there are very harsh conditions, geographic isolation, extreme weather, arid soil and a shortage of water — they learn the importance of human capacity. If you want it, you can make a change. We teach that a difficulty is a challenge and you need to find a solution.”
PM strikes playful, conciliatory tone in #AskNetanyahu Q&A
Amid a busy Independence Day schedule of presenting prizes and attending ceremonies, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made time Thursday for a Twitter Q&A session that saw him answer questions on a range of topics from whether he was human or not to Palestinian statehood.
As well as poking fun at some of the mocking responses the initiative has received since it was announced, Netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone in answers to a number of questions about the Palestinians, saying that Israel must “never give up on the quest for peace” and stressing his own personal commitment to the peace process.
Within hours of the announcement the #AskNetanyahu hashtag made it onto Twitter’s “trending topics” list in Israel, but mainly due to a barrage of negative reactions, with thousands of people posting indignant and mocking responses.
Undeterred and even “looking forward to engaging the public and spreading the truth in new mediums,” according to Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes before the event, the prime minister took to the social media platform from his official residence in Jerusalem to answer some of the 41,218 questions tweeted under the #AskNetanyahu hashtag.
Netanyahu opened the online event with a short video, filmed in front of Independence Day balloons hanging in the courtyard of the prime minister’s residence, introducing the project and inviting questions.
“Hey Twitter, I’m happy to be with you today. This is our independence day. Fire away,” he said.
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