2015 and beyond. Hate, hate and more hate!

COMMENT

“Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists – they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.” – Pope Francis.

 

by Alan Simons

   by Alan Simons

During 2015 in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories nothing has drawn these two peoples more devastatingly apart than the extreme violence and evil perpetrated by the thirst and willingness to kill young children, pregnant women and the elderly. Egged on by an abhorrent president, who was originally elected in 2005 for just a four-year term, and ten years later, with two thirds of the West Bank demanding his resignation, we must face the reality that while Israel will proudly continue to harness their inventive power to design and produce solutions to the world, the vast majority of Palestinians under Abbas, will persist to be lost souls, full of jealousy, wallowing in hate and unrestrained pleasure in detesting everything that is Israeli. Pity! Palestinians living in the West Bank and in Gaza, at one time, were amongst the highest educated of all Arabs. No longer! For 2016 they deserve more from their government.

Unfortunately in 2015, Israel the West Bank and Gaza had vastly different agendas. The disparity between them, as seen in the following quotes, grew as the year concluded. 

December 2015

Israel

– Haifa team IDs activity of proteins linked to memory loss. Using this discovery, University of Haifa scientists will attempt to develop drugs delaying the onset of cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

– Israel to open world’s first aviation cyber innovation center. International Air Transport Association asks Tel Aviv University’s Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center to invent safety and security techs.

– Self-healing ‘electronic skin’ may not be sci-fi much longer. Israeli scientists used a new synthetic polymer to develop a self-healing, flexible sensor that mimics the self-healing properties of human skin.

– Forbes to hold Under 30 Summit in Israel. 600 young entrepreneurs and game changers from across the world to take part in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv events in April 2016.

– China wants Israeli robotics technology. First Chinese investment in Israeli robotics puts $20 million toward development of robots for manufacturing, security, tourism and other sectors.

Palestinian Territories

– Abbas’ Fatah movement chose to celebrate 51 years of violence and killing to mark the 51st anniversary of its founding.  On Facebook, Fatah’s official page cheered the results of its terror attacks – what it calls “sowing terror” among Israelis – and posted a picture of a masked Fatah fighter with the words: “Half a century of sowing terror in the eyes of the sons of Zion.”

– Child killer. The new Palestinian superhero Samir Kuntar who murdered a four-year-old Israeli by smashing her head with the butt of his rifle, is the newest PA – Fatah hero and role model. “The [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs established a house of mourning for the most senior of Arab prisoners, Martyr (Shahid) Samir Kuntar, who Israel assassinated… Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake stated: ‘Martyr Samir Kuntar is a Palestinian symbol

November 2015

Israel

– Colombian farmers welcome Israeli bugs for pest control. BioBee’s microscopic predatory mites are naturally effective at wiping out insects that plague crops.

– Germany woos Israeli entrepreneurs. Berlin offers €150,000 to Israeli teams looking to set up shop locally for at least a year.

– Discovery about ovary formation sheds light on fertility. Novel pathway in the development and maintenance of the ovary has implications for diagnosing and treating infertility and lack of puberty.

– Japanese companies seek Israeli innovations. New Israeli Trade mission inaugurated in Osaka; Toyota hosts Israeli innovation day.

– CBA signs MoU with Chief Scientist of Israel. Australia’s largest bank to test Israeli cybersecurity and big data analytics technologies in new collaboration venture.

Palestinian Territories

– Terrorist Muhannad Halabi murdered two Israeli civilians and wounded the wife and infant of one of them, in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem in October. Now, the Yasser Arafat Youth Center in Jenin has named a football tournament after the murderer.

October 2015

Israel

– NASA signs historic agreement with Israel Space Agency. Science Minister Akunis: Historic agreement with tremendous implications for the Israeli space community.

– World’s largest space conference to land in Jerusalem. Despite violence, some 3,000 participants — including heads of world’s space agencies– to attend International Astronautical Congress.

– The new Silicon Valley emerging in Israel’s desert. In the wake of our article on Beersheva becoming the cyber capital of the world, Forbes picks up on the theme.

– Facebook to launch Israeli satellite to bring Africa online. Social media giant partners with France’s Eutelsat Communications to launch AMOS-6 satellite and expand internet access everywhere.

– MediWound awarded US contract for burn treatment. Valued at up to $112 million, the government contract positions NexoBrid as a tool for mass casualty preparedness in the United States.

Palestinian Territories

– A senior official of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement posted on his Facebook Page that Fatah was accepting responsibility for yesterday’s murder of a young Israeli couple, Eitam and Naama Henkin, in front of their four children. Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul posted: “Palestine Today: The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah, accepted responsibility for the Itamar operation (i.e., murder of Eitam and Naama Henkin), carried out against settlers, leading to their deaths.”

September 2015

Israel

– SodaStream offers 1,000 jobs to Syrian refugees. Israeli company SodaStream offers Syrian refugees an opportunity to create a new life in Israel.

– Israeli aid workers rescue drowning refugees. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Israeli volunteers dove into the water and saved Mideast refugees after their boat’s engine exploded.

– Novocure files for $300 million IPO. FDA has approved the Israeli company’s device for treating brain tumors using an electric field.

– John Lewis partners with Cimagine. UK’s leading retailer will use Israeli augmented reality technology to create a virtual showroom and enhance shopping experience.

– Israel ranks 6th in global healthy life expectancy study. Life expectancy climbs worldwide but people spend more years living with illness and disability.

– Amazon picks Israeli firm to help it conquer India. Internet retail giant aims to conquer the Indian market with the help of Israel’s MobCo Media.

Palestinian Territories

-Dozens of Palestinian schools are named after terrorist murderers. The official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA now reports that the naming of state schools “is under the authority” of the PA Minister of Education.

August 2015

Israel

– Tel Aviv University’s valedictorian is Egyptian. ‘We must always question our assumptions. Being here in Israel has taught me…that things are often not as they are made to seem’ — Haisam Hassanein.

– $75 million autism center to open in Jerusalem. Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center plan to host Mideast region’s first interdisciplinary university-based autism center
– Israel delivers emergency aid to Myanmar. Food, medicines, mosquito nets and hygiene packs provided to flood-ravaged Tharrawaddy region.

– 15 Nobel laureates, 400 science prodigies head to Jerusalem. Leading academics and students from 71 countries taking part in 1st World Science Conference Israel.

– ElMindA, Consumer Physics, Novocure awarded Technology Pioneer by world body. World Economic Forum chooses three Israeli life sciences and health companies among the ‘world’s most innovative companies.’

– 7 lifesaving pediatric transplant operations in 48 hours. Schneider Children’s Medical Center doctors perform back-to-back surgeries to give children ages four-to-16 a new lease on life.

Palestinian Territories

– Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi, who teaches Islam twice a week in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, taught in his most recent class that Jews own 95% of the pharmaceutical industry and therefore train doctors to create new diseases in order to increase profits for the industry.

July 2015

Israel

– World’s biggest generic-drug empire created. Teva Pharmaceuticals makes history with $40.5b deal; Allergan purchase is the largest-ever acquisition by an Israeli company.

– Israelis perform lifesaving heart surgery on 10 Tanzanian children. Pediatric surgeons with Save a Child’s Heart charity give children with congenital heart defects a new lease on life.

– Microsoft, Facebook on $380m shopping spree of Israeli start-ups. ironSource acquires Supersonic mobile app monetization in deal worth some $150 million.

– Germany-Israel mark 50 years of collaboration with innovation day. ‘We must work together to nurture and to promote innovative businesses in both our countries and to maximize our shared advantage.’

– Samsung, Intel launch accelerators in Israel. International technology giants seek further Israeli ingenuity in connected devices, mobile, IT, IoT, wearables, big data and robotics.

Palestinian Territories

– The Palestinian Authority continues to present murderers as heroes to the Palestinian public. One of the two killers who murdered four worshippers in a synagogue with butcher’s knives and guns and later a policeman last November in West Jerusalem, was honored as a “Martyr” in recent reports in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and WAFA, the official PA news agency. The attack was referred to as “the synagogue operation”

June 2015

Israel

– Israeli biologists find enzyme that produces ‘smell of the sea’. Weizmann Institute scientists point to Alma1 redox-sensitive enzyme behind familiar salty seaside odor.

– Israel and World Bank collaborate on global water issues. New agreement to support Israeli activities in the developing world, create more exposure to Israeli best practices.

– Fraunhofer SIT announces Cybersecurity center in Israel. Europe’s biggest cyber-tech company says hub will pave way for new products to ‘protect freedom and democracy and benefit both societies and their economies.’

– Google CEO praises Israeli high-tech for not following the rules. ‘Israel is booming in terms of entrepreneurship because you have a culture to challenge authority and to question everything. You’re not going by the rules,’ — Eric Schmidt.

– Technion to help build desalination plant in Jordan. Multinational team including Israeli researchers wins a $125,000 USAID grant to build a joint groundwater treatment plant in Jordan.

Palestinian Territories

– More than 150 children “of Martyrs and prisoners” participated in the camp “Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine” run by the PA’s National Security Forces in coordination with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah’s youth movement “the Lion Cubs and Flowers of Palestine.”

May 2015

Israel

– Nepalese see Israel as source of inspiration. How several Israeli professionals are giving Nepal villagers tools to rebuild their houses and their lives after the earthquakes.

– World’s first – Israeli scientists grow lymphatic cells in the lab. Breakthrough by Weizmann Institute researchers reveals how lymphatic system develops in embryo and solves longstanding riddle.

– Queen Elizabeth honors BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi. Buckingham Palace bestows appointment of honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire for scientific and academic relations between the UK and Israel.

– Biomed companies in Israel hit record numbers. IATI Biomed 2015 conference in Tel Aviv attracted the cream of the healthcare-industry crop from 45 countries.

– Israeli researchers use supercooling to revolutionize delivery of drugs. Process of crystallization through rapid-cooling could improve timely drug release and provide more effective nanoscale drug encapsulating system.

– Ziv Av Engineering to design, supply electric vehicle battery switching facilities in China. Israeli company signs cooperation agreement with China’s Bustil, responsible for electric vehicles infrastructure in Nanjing, China.

Palestinian Territories

The official PA daily has claimed that Israeli prisons have a “system called ‘slow death”’ to do away with prisoners, and has compared Israeli treatment to the medical experiments of Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who experimented on Jews in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

April 2015

Israel

– Israeli innovations save lives in Nepal. Israeli medical devices and technology help teams locate and treat victims, says United Hatzalah paramedic in charge of a three-organization relief effort.

– Beating the malaria parasite at its own game. Israeli scientists develop a novel method to suppress malaria parasite’s virulence genes so that it cannot evade the immune system.

– Israeli technology can sniff out stomach cancer. NaNose technology, already proven as effective tool in detecting early-stage lung cancer, shows effective in gastric cancer detection.

– Scientific breakthrough as Israelis find cancer-suppressing proteins. The ubiquitin system produces two substances that greatly restrict the development of cancerous tumors.

– Israeli scientists develop all-season grapes. Researchers announce new seedless grapes all year round, seedless eggplants, and a new method to limit height of date palms.

Palestinian Territories

– Hamas does not intend to foster peaceful relations with Israel. Hamas’ Ministry of Interior posted a photo on its Facebook page of a little boy, no more than five years old, posing in military uniform and holding an automatic rifle. The text beside the photo explained that children under Hamas rule grow up learning “the love of Jihad” – religious war for Islam – and aspire to die as Martyrs for Allah.

March 2015

Israel

– Make-a-thon harnesses technology for people with disabilities. Tikkun Olam Makers seek to solve unmet social challenges in disadvantaged communities and nations, fulfilling the traditional Jewish value of repairing the world.

– Alibaba invests in Israeli cyber-security. 5,000 people from 50 countries are in Tel Aviv for Cybertech 2015 International Conference & Exhibition.

– South Korea likes Israeli natural pest control. Minister of Agriculture visits Israel’s BioBee to learn how natural predators such as sterile fruit flies can reduce use of chemicals on food crops.

– Israeli start-ups in New York raise over $1 billion in 12 months. WeWork, Taboola lead funding rounds; majority of money comes from venture capital firms.

– PayPal to buy CyActive cyber security firm. Online payments company makes second Israeli acquisition with $60 million buyout.

Palestinian Territories

– Palestinian Authority TV broadcast a school activity whose stated framework was to use culture to teach children to boycott Israeli products. However, the boy whose interview PA TV chose to broadcast said he was also learning through the school theater that Jews should be killed.

February 2015

Israel

– Apple CEO Tim Cook: “We have an enormous admiration for Israel.” President Reuven Rivlin celebrates opening of new Apple center in Herzliya.

– Tel Aviv is world’s 3rd best place for technology business. Savills’ research looked at business environment, tech environment, quality of life, talent pool and property affordability to come up with an overall score.

– Infosys buys Panaya for $230 million. Indian IT giant makes first acquisition in Israel with buyout of SaaS provider; plans to turn Ra’anana office into R&D center.

Palestinian Territories

– In Friday’s sermon on official Palestinian Authority TV, the cleric demonized Jews as “apes and pigs.” “Many Muslims are being harmed these days by a group whose hearts were sealed by Allah. ‘He made of them [Jews] apes and pigs and slaves of deities’ (Quran, 5:60). They are harming the livelihood of the believers [Muslims]… They withhold their [the Palestinians’] money and collect interest on it.”

January 2015

Israel

– Israeli cancer geneticist wins first Olav Thon Foundation prize. Tel Aviv University’s Prof. Yosef Shiloh honored for research on cell survival and DNA stability.

– World’s smallest, cheapest patch pump for diabetics. TouchéMedical is developing a low-cost ‘smart’ patch pump designed for patients of all ages with diabetes, Parkinson’s and other chronic conditions.

– Turns out anti-inflammatory protein can kill bacteria in immune-compromised patients. BGU researchers discover Alpha1-antitrypsin combats infections and eradicates bacteria.

– Compugen teams with Johns Hopkins University on immune checkpoints. Collaboration to assist Israeli drug discovery company in further substantiating potential of its novel proteins as targets for cancer immunotherapy.

Palestinian Territories

– Following the terror attacks against the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish store in which Muslim terrorists killed 17 people in France earlier this month, columnists writing for the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida have claimed that Israel was behind the attacks. This view is shared by the vast majority of Palestinians, according to a poll conducted by Ma’an (an independent Palestinian news agency). The poll found that 84.4% support the claim that “the operation (i.e., terror attack) was suspicious, and that Israel may be behind it,” while “only 8.7% believed that the murder of the French [citizens] in Paris was a natural result of the spread of Islamic extremism in Europe.” [Ma’an, Jan. 19, 2015]

To quote from the Midrash: “Kingdoms arise and kingdoms pass away, but Israel endureth for evermore.” 

Amen.

(Media credits: Israel 21c | Palestinian Media Watch. Photo credit, verysimplethoughts)

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER -

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

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The stench of hate, pure evil and foul disease continues unabated

SPECIAL REPORT

Hamastan celebrates with a Satanic holiday

by Alan Simons

by Alan Simons

Over ninety years ago, in 1923, David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister of Britain, was quoted as saying:

“Of all the bigotries that savage the human temper there is none so stupid as the anti-Semitic. In the sight of these fanatics, Jews of today can do nothing right. If they are rich, they are birds of prey. If they are poor, they are vermin. If they are in favour of war, that is because they want to exploit the bloody feuds of Gentiles to their own profit. If they are anxious for peace, they are instinctive cowards or traitors. If he lives in a strange land, he must be persecuted and progrommed out of it. If he wants to go back to his own land, he must be prevented.”

Jump to 1937. In Lord Peel’s Palestine Royal Commission Report of July 1937, alluding to Arab nationalism it states in part:

“The ugliest element in the picture remains to be noted. Arab nationalism in Palestine has not escaped infection with the foul disease which has so defiled the cause of nationalism in other lands. Acts of  ‘terrorism’ in various parts of the country have long been only too familiar reading in the newspapers… intimidation at the point of a revolver has become a not infrequent feature of Arab politics. Attacks by Arabs on Jews, unhappily, are no new thing.” (Chapter V, item 45)

The Report adds that what the Jews, “most fear is a crystallization of the National Home as it is, leaving the Jews in a permanent minority in Palestine, exposed to the possibility of Arab domination or even, in certain not inconceivable circumstances, of suffering the fate that befell the Greeks at Smyma or the Assyrian’s in ‘Iraq.”

And now, here we are in 2014. During these past days in Jerusalem and beyond we have seen women and children murdered and today a terror attack on a synagogue, the result of which was lauded by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri who said in a statement. “Hamas calls for more operations like it.” In a separate statement Islamic Jihad added, “Islamic Jihad salutes the operation in Jerusalem which is a natural response to the crimes of the occupier.” The two terrorists killed four rabbis and a policeman died of his injuries this evening. The terrorists used a gun and meat cleavers. At least eight other people were injured.

And right on cue, this noxious act, orchestrated by the devil, became a Satanic holiday in Hamastan.  

Obama responds, sort of!

President Obama in one statement today explained it this way. “This is a tragedy for both nations, Israel and the United States.” He added, “Too many Israelis have died. Too many Palestinians have died.” According to news sources, Obama made no acknowledgement to the identity of the terrorists, who have been identified as Palestinians from east Jerusalem. Thank you for nothing Mr.President!

And to round it off, what did Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have to say. Well, The Times of Israel reported that Abbas condemned the “fatal terror attack against worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning, as a senior member of his Fatah party justified it as a reaction to Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the West Bank.” Oh yeah?

PA and Abbas support terror in Jerusalem

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), “In an interview on November 5, 2014, during the current period of Palestinian terror attacks and riots in Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Abbas’ advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash assured Palestinians that PA Chairman Abbas and the PA leadership support the riots, unrest, and terror attacks that killed civilians.  Al-Habbash said on camera:

First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out Ribat (religious conflict/ war over land claimed to be Islamic) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem… We are behind them. The leadership is with them… We are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” [Official PA TV, Nov. 5, 2014]  

He stressed that the PA knows Abbas “may have angered the Israelis… that the President is inciting the Palestinians from Jerusalem.” He then confirmed this and said: “Yes, we are inciting the people in Jerusalem to [perform] Ribat.”  

Al-Habbash used the term Ribat to describe the recent actions by Palestinians in Jerusalem – a term that signifies religious conflict/war to defend or reconquer land defined as Islamic.”

In addition, PMW recorded on October 28,2014 that “Palestinian Authority TV produced a short video of Mahmoud Abbas calling for Palestinians to prevent ‘in any way’ Jews from going to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Significantly, PA TV then broadcast it 19 times in 3 days. For this video PA TV chose the part of Abbas’ speech of Oct. 17 in which he implicitly calls for Jerusalem’s Arabs to use violence against Israelis. Jews’ presence at the site which is holy to Jews and Muslims, Abbas said, ‘defiles’ the Islamic holy site and must prevented ‘in any way.’ Palestinian Media Watch has reported that expressions like ‘in any way’ and ‘using all means’ are common PA euphemisms for various degrees of violence and terror.”

Back to 1937. In concluding the 396-page Palestinian Royal Commission Report, Lord Peel wrote: “Numberless men and women all over the world would feel a sense of deep relief if somehow an end could be put to strife and bloodshed in a thrice hallowed land.”

Seventy-seven years later, he is not alone. 

One year earlier, in 1936, Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster was re-branded as CBC/Radio-Canada. It has served Canada with distinction, respect and clarity for many years. Times have changed. Canada’s dear, old and I’ve-lost-my-direction CBC featured today the following disgraceful headline, “Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack.” Honest Reporting Canada referred to it prominently by demanding “CBC Must Apologize for Disgraceful Headline in Jerusalem Terror Attack Coverage.” I agree! Here’s the link. >Click here<

Later this evening CBC Radio News, in a similar story, were referring to “Jewish rabbis.” As if there were any other kind! Who is writing this garbage? 

(Photo source: pmo.gov.il)  

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

 Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

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Latest International News for May 13, 2014

What Others Are Saying

Never the twain shall meet?

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey reports: Iranians, Israelis rush to Antalya. The first four months of the year saw a rise in Iranian and Israeli tourists to Turkey’s southern holiday mecca of Antalya. According to a report released in May by the Antalya Touristic Hotels and Businesses Union, the number of Iranian tourists who visited Antalya skyrocketed by 464 percent between January and April, while visitors from Israel soared by 146 percent. The number of Iranian visitors surpassed 53,000, whereas the number of Israelis visiting Antalya was more than 39,000. The rise in Iranian and Israeli visitors outstripped some of the top Antalya-loving countries during the period, in which the overall number of foreign visitors rose 5.1 percent to 1.32 million… Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year over the Mavi Marmara incident gave a boost to Turkey’s allure for Israeli holiday markets.

“Judenfrei” sign posted on the gates of nursery school in Latvia

Riga Latvia bLatvian news site Vesti Segodniya reports the Pucite School, owned by Imants Paradnieks, [who has in the past made anti-Semitic statements] posted a sign reading “Judenfrei” (free of Jews) on the gate at the front entrance of the school. The school was in the news two years ago for bringing in men dressed in Waffen SS uniforms to show the kindergarten class what they called a patriotic lesson. In a video taken of that lesson, children are shown World War II era weapons such as grenades, pistols, rifles and machine guns.

‘We feel the Nazi frost in the air’: Sweden

The Local, Sweden reports: Two of Sweden’s most prominent politicians have asked their European counterparts “to wake up”. Cecilia Malmström and Birgitta Ohlsson argue that it is time to fight “Hitler’s ideological heirs, who are marching towards our legislative assemblies”.  On May 9th, 1945 there were celebrations across Europe as the Third Reich capitulated and the second world war finally ended. Last week, some 200 Nazis from the Party of the Swedes demonstrated in Jönköping. They protested against the EU and brandished the slogan “Sweden for the Swedes”. Through the duration of the demonstration, church bells rang out across the southern Swedish town.  It was the first time since 1939 that the churches rang their bells to warn of danger.  School students across our country have this spring been met by Nazi hate propaganda. Some dismiss the scrawled swastiskas and hateful words as pranks. But we feel the frost in the air. 

BBC’s Addis Ababa correspondent decides who is Jewish

BBC Watch, UK reports: Here’s a heart-breaking story which was broadcast on BBC World News television and promoted on the Middle East and Africa pages of the BBC News website… Presenter Emmanuel Igunza reports: Shouts of praise for the holy scrolls but make no mistake; this is not Israel. Welcome to Gondar – an ancient historic city in northern Ethiopia and home to the Falash Mura: the last Jews of Ethiopia. They spend their days living according to Jewish tradition, passed onto them over hundreds of years. The tranquility here betrays the emotional turmoil that many feel, not able to join their families in Israel. Stories of siblings separated, children allowed to settle in the Jewish homeland while their parents remain behind. Under the Israeli government criteria, only those Falash Mura who can show evidence of Jewish ancestry on their mother’s side are allowed into Israel and granted citizenship… The problem with Emmanuel Igunza’s story is that he has left out some very critical details, the most obvious one being that the Falash Mura are Christians whose Jewish ancestors were converted by Western missionaries from around the end of the nineteenth century.

Peres barred from entering Swedish airspace

The Jewish Chronicle, UK reports: Israeli President Peres was held up in mid-air on Sunday after Swedish authorities refused to permit the plane he was travelling in from entering their airspace. The president had been en route to Norway in a private jet, owned by the company Kishrev Teufa, when he hit problems over the Baltic Sea.
According to Haaretz, his flight was 15 minutes away from Swedish airspace when the pilot was told that the country’s air traffic authorities had no prior knowledge of clearance being given. After circling the area, the plane was finally re-routed through Danish airspace, making Mr Peres 50 minutes late for his arrival in Oslo. Although the Foreign Ministry blamed the problem on the fact that a private company had been transporting Mr Peres, his office has criticised the Swedish authorities. A spokesperson at the President’s Office said: “It was a technical problem. The Swedes immediately gave approval, but later revoked it for reasons unknown to us.”

Jewish boat making waves ahead of Amsterdam gay parade

JTA reports: Its maiden voyage is months away and will only take a couple of hours, but the Jewish boat of Amsterdam’s annual gay parade-on-the-canals is already making international waves. On Monday, the Jewish boat got the thumbs up from the British actor Stephen Fry, who described it on Twitter as an “Ace event for LGBT Jews worldwide,” adding: “As one of each I wish I could be there!”  The Jewish boat for the Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade 2014 is scheduled to hit the murky waters of Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht canal on August 2. It was one of approximately 80 boats to win a March lottery ensuring its participation in the world-famous event, believed to be the world’s only aquatic pride parade. Other winners included the first boat for Moroccan gays. The 18-year-old annual event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators who huddle along the canal to watch the decorated, themed vessels chart a west-east course through one of the Dutch capital’s main waterways. The Jewish boat, and an international Jewish LGBT conference that immediately precedes it, are being organized by a group called Exodays, whose board is made up of several young Jewish activists.

Israel says to normalize relations with Turkey

Kuwait News Agency reports:  Israel announced on Monday that it will begin normalizing relations with Turkey in a matter of days after the return of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from his visit to Japan. The normalization comes after four years of tension between the two countries caused by the Israeli attack on the Turkish (Mavi Marmara) flotilla carrying Turkish activists supporting Gaza in May 2010, killing and injuring dozens of those on board. Turkey withdrew its Ambassador to Israel after the incident, and demanded the same from the Hebrew state. Israel has agreed to pay compensation of USD 21 million to the victims’ families, according to Radio Israel. The two sides will reach a final agreement regarding compensations once Netanyahu has returned, the radio added. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said that Israel must pay the compensation and end the siege on Gaza, if it really wanted to normalize relations with his country. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meanwhile said in a press conference that the Turkish-Israeli negotiations are coming out with positive results and have solved big issues between the two countries.

Israel’s creation is “the greatest crime known to humanity” writes official PA daily op-ed

Palestinian Media Watch reports: To coincide with Israel’s Independence Day last week, the official Palestinian Authority daily published an op-ed describing Israel’s creation – “the occupation of Palestine” – as “the greatest crime known to humanity.” Other terms of demonization used to refer to Israel’s creation were “a monstrosity was born” and “an despicable mission.” Jewish fighting forces in the War of Independence were referred to as “the Zionist gangs.”

Syria jihadists ban mannequins in shops

Gulf News, UAE reports: Militants in Raqa also ban men and women shopping together unless he is her husband, father or brotherSyria’s most extreme jihadist faction issued a ban Monday on mannequins in shop displays and the sale of women’s underwear to male customers, a monitoring group said. The decision by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in their northern stronghold of Raqa also bans men and women shopping together unless he is her husband, father or brother, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Observatory also said ISIL has decided that traditional garments on sale must be neither “tight, transparent or ornate”. Raqa is the only provincial capital in Syria to have fallen from the hands of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, and it is now completely under Isil control. Isil is believed to be holding some 1,000 hostages in Raqa, rights groups say, many of them peaceful activists, rival rebels or civilians caught committing “crimes” such as heresy or smoking. The group also carries out frequent public executions, with some victims reportedly crucified in Raqa.

West ‘stupid’ to expect Iran missile curb: Khamenei

Gulf Times, Qatar reports: Iran’s supreme leader described as “stupid and idiotic” Western expectations for his country to curb its missile development, striking a defiant tone ahead of a fresh round of nuclear talks. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles and said the nuclear negotiations were not the place to discuss Tehran’s defence programme or to solve the problem of sanctions damaging the Iranian economy. “They expect us to limit our missile programme while they constantly threaten Iran with military action,” Khamenei was quoted as telling the Irna news agency while on a visit to an aeronautics fair held by the Revolutionary Guards. “So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation … The revolutionary guards should definitely carry out their programme and not be satisfied with the present level. They should mass produce. This is a main duty of all military officials.”

We thought Rouhani was supposed to be moderate? Iran censors, shuts down two newspapers

AlBawaba, Jordan reports: Iranians expecting to buy Thursday’s edition of reformist newspaper Ghanoon were disappointed not to find it on news stands as the publication has been forced to close by the Iranian Ministry of Culture. The latest closures bring the total number of Iranian media outlets shut down by the Ministry of Culture to at least five since the election of President Hassan Rouhani in August. Ghanoon, the Persian word for “law,” was shut down for its coverage of the arrest of Mohammad Rouyanian, the former chair of the Persepolis soccer club and member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp. Rouyanian, who was arrested on fraud charges in March, was head of Iran’s powerful Management Transportation and Fuel Center under controversial former Iranian PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad. “The newspaper published false reports aimed at disturbing public opinion, and (articles) against the Islamic values,” read the Ministry of Culture’s statement. The statement is posted on Ghanoon’s still-operational website. Ghanoon’s article was just a reprint of a report published by Iranian news agency Dana, which the Ministry of Culture also shutdown when that fact became apparent.

Warsaw’s Jewish Heritage on Show

The Warsaw Voice reports: A new exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews offers a glimpse of Warsaw as it was before World War II, when the city was home to the world’s second-largest Jewish community after New York City. Entitled Warszawa, Warsze, the exhibition comprises archival documents, paintings and photographs. Arranged in chronological order, the exhibition begins with items from the late 18th century. The primary focus of Warszawa, Warsze are Warsaw’s distinctly Jewish neighborhoods, such as Muranów and Nalewki Street, where Yiddish was spoken and the streets bustled with sidewalk stalls, stores and craftsmen’s workshops. Visitors to the museum can see how the elegant Senatorska Street and the Tłomackie Street area, a favorite meeting place for progressive intellectuals, once looked. The exhibition also delves into the shady atmosphere of Gnojna Street and Iron Gate Square, and brings to life the Jewish microcosm of Warsaw’s Praga district, whose local horse fair attracted many Jews in the 18th century. The exhibition also takes in the Vistula River, which used to be a popular bathing spot and which simultaneously served as a trade route for Jewish merchants dealing in grain and other products.

Quilliam releases new report on online extremism

A new report by Quilliam entitled ‘Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter it’ is released today. The report maps Islamist extremist usage of the Internet and explores the role extremist materials online play in the radicalisation process. It also focuses on how online extremism can be countered, offering a comprehensive range of counter-measures.

Key findings of the report include:

• The vast majority of radicalised individuals come into contact with extremist ideology through offline socialisation prior to being indoctrinated online. This challenges popular discourse about ‘lone wolf’ actors radicalised solely through the Internet.

• Although governments are increasingly relying on censorship and filtering methods to counter online extremism, this report found that negative measures, or censorship in general, was not only ineffective and costly but also potentially counter-productive.

(Photo credit Vesti Segodniya)


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