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Monday, August 21, 2017

From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: If You Condemn Antifa, Are You Excusing Neo-Nazism?
There are two measures we must examine in terms of any moral comparison between Antifa and neo-Nazis. First, there’s the ideological. Then, there’s behavior.
Let’s begin with the ideological. Antifa has no clear-cut ideology, but they seem to be a mashup of communists and anarchists. Neo-Nazis are white supremacists who believe in the innate inferiority of non-Caucasians, and therefore believe that they have the right to oppress other groups. It’s fair to say that Nazism is a uniquely evil philosophy, more evil than the communist philosophy, even though the communist philosophy of Antifa was responsible for tens of millions of deaths globally. So if we were to say that communism is as evil as Nazism, we’d be wrong. By the same token, if we were to whitewash communism, we’d be even more wrong.
Then there’s the question of violence. When conservatives condemn Antifa, they’re pointing out that use of violence in response to peaceful protest by evil people is more dangerous than peaceful protest by evil people. Those who initiate violence in a free society are a bigger problem than those who preach evil; the whole point of civilization, as Max Weber stated, was to give the state a monopoly on the legitimate use of force other than in self-defense. Breaking that compact and equating speech with violence is a serious threat to a civilized country. Condemning Antifa for their violent tactics in Boston, for example, should be required of all decent citizens in the same way that condemning Nazi ideology should be.
But this whole argument is a fraud anyway. Very few Americans stand in favor of Nazism, and the Left’s game of broadening out the label “Nazi sympathizer” is merely a political ploy. Antifa is evil. So is Nazism. Two things can be evil at the same time. Anyone who doesn’t believe that should do a little historical research on Stalin and Hitler.
But there are far more Americans condemning Nazism in the last two weeks than Americans who seem willing to condemn the breakdown of law and order. In fact, many mainstream Leftists are now defending Antifa. And that may make Antifa and its attendant violence a serious threat to the social fabric.
Anti-Israel Leaders Hosted at State Dept. Seeking to Drive Wedge in U.S.-Israel Alliance
A State Department official confirmed the meeting took place, but would not specify who the American Muslim leaders met with and what exactly was discussed.
"The Department regularly hosts groups representing different constituencies in America to explain USG policy and hear their perspective," the official told the Free Beacon. "The group was interested in U.S. policy on Jerusalem given events on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif last month, and met a cross-section of working
level officials from different offices in the Department."
Asked if administration officials were aware of the group's anti-Israel views and ties to Hamas, the official said that State Department views Hamas as a terror organization and opposes boycotts of the Jewish state.
Noah Pollak, a political consultant who works with a range of pro-Israel organizations, criticized the State Department for hosting what he described as extremists who reject Israel's right to exist and openly endorse terrorist groups.
"AMP is a front for jihadists, and doesn't try very hard to hide it. Some of its founders were involved with the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas fundraising front that was the biggest terror finance case in U.S. history," Pollak said. "Its founder called for an ‘intifada' here in America. Maybe next time there's a flare-up of Palestinian violence the State Department can cut out the middle man and just meet directly with Hamas."
Other pro-Israel insiders expressed concern over the meeting, but cautioned against putting too much stock in efforts by these Muslim American groups to drive a wedge into the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Mohamed Fahmy: Qatar’s Al Jazeera echoes terrorism
When I accepted a job as Cairo bureau chief for the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera English television news channel in September 2013 I demanded and was assured that my team would remain independent from the network’s Arabic channels.
Those assurances went out the window as management breached its contract, dubbing our English material into Arabic reports behind our backs and rebroadcasting them on the network’s Arabic Mubasher – a channel that an Egyptian court had shut for its “national security threat and bias to the Muslim Brotherhood,” a group once banned as a terrorist organization.
Unknown to our team at the time, Qatar – the tiny Arab state backed by the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves and oil treasuries – also later breached the secret Riyadh Agreement, which required that Qatar stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
That accord was reached two months after our team started working out of the Al Jazeera English makeshift office at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.
According to the recent CNN exclusive release of the unpublished handwritten accords, Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim Al Thani joined the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – the same nations that since June 5 have spearheaded a boycott of his country – in vowing not to support the Brotherhood terrorist franchise in the region and “antagonistic media.” The latter is a clear reference to Al Jazeera, which was accused during the negotiations on the Riyadh Agreement of becoming a voice for the Brotherhood and radicals such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian preacher convicted of terrorism while residing in Qatar – a man who encouraged suicide bombings and the slaying of Jews and Christians on his weekly show on Al Jazeera, once watched by 60 million people.

UN Watch: Andres Roemer, Recipient of 2017 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award
Dr. Andrés Roemer is a renowned author, humanitarian, and one of Mexico’s most internationally recognized public intellectuals.
The Harvard Club of San Francisco recognized Dr. Roemer for “having the courage to stand up for his beliefs.” As the former Ambassador of Mexico to the UNESCO, he took a principled stand—costing him his job—but ultimately succeeding in changing the position of his country.
At a UNESCO Session in Paris, Dr. Roemer refused to cast a vote in favor of a resolution on Jerusalem that denied the Jewish people’s historic connection to the Temple Mount and the ancient city.
The San Francisco Chronicle called him a “rare public figure who deserves to be called a Renaissance man.”
Dr. Roemer previously served as Consul General in San Francisco, where he has played a crucial role in enhancing the partnership in education, culture and innovation between Mexico and the United States.
U.N. Watch: Seeds of terrorism
Despite video, photo and social-media evidence of Palestinian children, some as young as 8, engaging in terrorist acts against Israeli citizens, the United Nations turns a blind eye to the bloodshed, according to a human rights group.
The secretary-general's 2017 annual report released earlier this year maintains there's “limited information … about the recruitment or use of children,” The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Yet in the aftermath of attacks in the fall of 2015 that left two Israelis dead and nine injured, the Palestinian U.N. representative declared at the U.N.'s headquarters, “We are so proud that in this popular uprising that has started almost two months ago, that the backbone of this uprising are the youth of Palestine,” according to the group Human Rights Voices.
This month the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced legislation, the Taylor Force Act, which would cut U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops its “pay to slay” policy. Reportedly advanced by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the policy distributes millions of dollars in monthly payments to terrorists and their families. The legislation is named after an American killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel last year.
Trump supporter wearing Israeli flag told to 'get the f--k out' of Boston by hecklers
Among the eclectic throng of demonstrators in Boston on Saturday, a supporter of President Trump found himself surrounded by protesters who yelled profanities at him.
A man wearing an Israeli flag as a cape can be seen in a video shared by Univision's Jessica Weiss, walking through a crowd of protesters. One person rips off his "Make America Great Again" and throws it away.
Amid the obscenaties directed at him, one protester shouted, "Get the fuck out of our fucking town." Another person can be heard urging the other protesters not to be violent.
Weiss asked why he was in Boston to demonstrate, and the man replied, "I want to show that people shouldn't be afraid to voice their other views and voice their opinions."
"You shouldn't be afraid to go outside and say you're conservative," he added "And it's pretty sad that things like this happen."
Thousands of protesters descended on Boston on Saturday, including a "free speech" rally organized by some right-leaning groups. These groups were reportedly far outnumbered by groups of counter-protesters.
Petition Asking White House To Recognize Antifa As Terrorist Group BLOWS UP online
A petition formally asking the White House to classify violent leftist group Antifa as a terrorist organization has blown up online, reaching over 140,000 [197,719 now] signatures since its inception on August 17.
The petition explains that Antifa engages in terrorism — “the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims” — and thus should be declared a terrorist organization.
The left-wing anti-capitalist political movement styles itself a fighting force against "fascism" and "Nazism," justifying action — including violence — against anyone whom they claim fall into such categories; this has been proven to include essentially anyone on the Right, even if they are active participants in combating neo-Nazism on the so-called "alt-right."
Antifa has become increasingly active in the past two years, attempting to or succeeding in shutting down speeches from right-wing or liberal speakers by triggering a heckler's veto. Last weekend, Antifa appeared in Charlottesville to "punch Nazis" at a rally-turned-riot where a man with white supremacist ties murdered 32-year-old Heather Heyer by driving a vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters.
The group also participated in violent acts against police officers and free speech rally participants in Boston on Saturday, attacking cops and tossing bottles filled with urine at groups of law enforcement.
"AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States," reads the petition. "It is time for the pentagon to be consistent in its actions — and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group — on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety."
And Yet President Trump, in His Classically Inartful Way, Was Absolutely Right
I just did something fascinating. I just watched the President’s entire 14-minute impromptu news conference at Trump Tower on Monday that sparked all the latest barrage of anti-Trump screeds from the left media that will criticize him every day, no matter what he does, augmented by the “Never Trump” Republicans and neo-conservatives who will not rest until they can re-conquer the political party they lost because of three terms of two failed Bush presidencies, followed by the two failed Presidential candidacies of Sen. John McCain and of Gov. Mitt Romney.
Not the reportage about the conference, but the entire 14 minutes unedited, uninterrupted. I found myself agreeing with his every word. I did not find his tone or demeanor “unpresidential” in the least. He sharply and explicitly condemned the Nazis and White Supremacists unequivocally. He also condemned the extreme leftists who premeditatedly came armed with weapons to smash up a demonstration that, rightly or wrongly, had been granted a legal permit. (I personally wish that ACLU liberals were not so proactive in advancing the right of Nazis to get permits to rally at public venues, but the demonstration had a permit. Meanwhile, the Antifa Alt-Left thugs came with flame-throwers, bats, and shields, and they came to fight.) All the while, the police did nothing for much too long. Chaos and violence ensued.
The media get exercised when President Trump does not parrot their scripts, but they never minded that Barack Obama would not call out leftist rioters and violent leftist organizations by name. As inner cities would burn, with innocents watching their life savings go aflame as mobs would burn down their inner-city stores in cities from Baltimore to Ferguson, the Obama Administration avoided planting blame or naming hate groups. When a Jihadist murdered Americans serving our nation faithfully at Fort Hood, Obama attributed the murders to “workplace violence.” Obama never could articulate the term “Radical Islamist terrorist,” as though he were Lou Costello fearing what would happen to him if he said “Niagara Falls.” When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot by her own former supporter, a mentally ill clinger who had backed the Democrat, the media blamed the violence on Republicans like Sarah Palin. When Rep. Steve Scalise was shot, and others were wounded, by a Bernie Sanders supporter who had set out to kill Republicans, the media avoided pinning blame on a left ideology and overheated rhetoric of leftist hate. But when the President of the United States rightly excoriated law-breakers and thugs on all sides of a street conflagration, he came in for a torrent of media abuse, forcing even level-headed bystanders to take cover.
KKK: “We’re Freedom Fighters, Not Terrorists” (satire)
Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke has released a plea for empathy to FOX News earlier today. “The KKK are not terrorists. We are freedom fighters lawfully resisting the illegal occupation of our Beloved South, and the genocide of the Indigenous Whites.
“The real terrorists are the Zionists, Black Lives Matter people, and Antifa, who are destroying our statues and monuments that sustain our cultural and historical heritage. To remind everybody, the Confederacy was unlawfully invaded by colonialist Northerners and has been unlawfully occupied for the past 150 years.”
Mr. Duke also defended Alex Fields, “allegedly” responsible for injuring 19 protesters and killing 1 after ramming his car into a group of counter-protesters at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” protest. “James Fields was a freedom fighter in a legitimate resistance movement, not a terrorist! He should be immediately released by the tyrannical Jew-appeasing regime. We will be paying his salary and compensating his family for the entire period of his illegal imprisonment.”
When asked by reporters if he was a racist, Mr. Duke added, “I’m not a racist. I just have a problem with Negroes, Kikes, Beaners, and A-rabs immigrating, living in our country, and building houses here. As long as they keep building settlements in Occupied Charleston, we can never live in peace!”
David Duke further explained, “White supremacy and national socialism are peaceful ideologies. You can’t judge us by the violent minority. We clearly teach our children peace.”
Michael Lumish: I am going to court
I have a court appointment in one week on Monday the 28th and my guess is that I should shut the fuck up for the moment.
But, in truth, I have never been very good at taking my own advice.
Possible Restraining Order (Updated)

Officials From Largest US Islamic Charity Promote Antisemitism on Social Media
Senior officials working for Islamic Relief, the largest Muslim charity in the US, have promoted antisemitism, according to new evidence uncovered by the Middle East Forum (MEF) think tank’s Islamist Watch project.
Khaled Lamada, chairman of Islamic Relief’s US branch (IR-USA), has posted antisemitic content and publicly expressed support for the Muslim Brotherhood — the parent group of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas — on his social media accounts since 2013.
In numerous social media posts written in Arabic, Lamada “appears to hate Jews and admire violence against Israel,” Islamist Watch said; he has also praised the “Mujahidin of Egypt” for “causing the Jews many defeats.”
Further, Lamada has peddled various antisemitic conspiracy theories, including videos that claim Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is a Jewish agent working to sow division and promote sexual promiscuity among Egyptian Muslims.
In July, Islamist Watch uncovered antisemitic social media posts by other IR-USA senior officials, including Yousef Abdallah, who posted content glorifying “martyrs” who provided weapons to “kill more than 20 Jews” and “fire rockets at Tel Aviv.”
Organizers of Annual Holocaust Commemoration Slam Racial Justice March On Yom Kippur As ‘Monumental Injustice’ Against Jews
The organizers of an annual Holocaust commemoration that culminates with a procession at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland have strongly criticized the forthcoming March for Racial Justice for selecting Yom Kippur — the holiest day in the Jewish calendar — as the date for a show of unity along the National Mall in Washington, DC.
“By choosing a day in the Jewish calendar that Jewish people cannot participate in, you have effectively turned your March for Justice into a monumental act of injustice against the Jewish people,” declared Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, the president of the March of the Living, an annual intensive program that takes participants to Poland and then to Israel to commemorate the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis.
The March for Racial Justice is scheduled to take place on September 30, when many American Jews will be fasting and attending all-day synagogue services in observance of Yom Kippur. The date was chosen in honor of the victims of a white supremacist riot in Elaine, Arkansas, on the same date in 1919. More than 200 black Americans were murdered during the violence, including former servicemen who had just returned from the battlefields of World War One in Europe.
Last week, a statement from march organizers noted that “the March for Racial Justice did not realize that September 30 was Yom Kippur when we were factoring in these and other considerations and applying for permits.”
Israel-Bashers Target Jews on Their Holidays
When it comes to Israel and/or Jews, their opponents frequently do not even honor the idea of respecting their holidays. On the contrary, rather than let them observe in peace, anti-Semites and anti-Israel activists frequently target Jews on those days.
That includes targeting them with physical violence. The parade example is the Yom Kippur War, launched by an Egyptian and Syrian sneak attack deliberately scheduled to take advantage of Israel’s weakened defensive posture during the holiday observance.
Yom Kippur 1973 also fell during Ramadan. Eighteen years later, during the 1991 Gulf War, the Chicago Tribune reported that Egypt pressured the United States to conclude hostilities before Ramadan “citing a need to keep the holy month free of fighting.” The claim would be funny if it were not so tragic.
Israel has also been targeted for terror attacks disrupting holidays. On March 27, 2002, a suicide bomber massacred thirty people and injured another 140 enjoying a Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel, their celebration turned into mourning.
Not only do opponents of Jews and the Jewish State exploit holidays to launch physical attacks. More recently, they have used such times as occasions for launching political, economic, and propaganda attacks designed to impose mental and emotional stress on Jews as they celebrate.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Australian BDS ‘Activists’ Hit New Low With Bullying Of School Children (Updated)
They seem to be everywhere, and no matter where they are, they reveal their true, ugly side – which has nothing to do with wanting or encouraging peace.
I am, of course, referring to BDS-holes.
In the latest act to hit the Interwebs, a bunch of them in Perth, Western Australia have held a demo – in front of a Jewish day school.
Think about this for a second. They decided of all places to chant “Free, free Palestine” in front a school for Jewish kids (and yes, the kids are there – it is Winter in Australia now, not Summer vacation).
Update: I have been told it took place on a Sunday but nevertheless, this was a Jewish day school. And there were some kids there, per the Rabbis’s account below. So the bullying of schoolchildren did happen.
BBC R4’s ‘Today’ fails to give full account of Western Wall story
Although uninformed listeners would not know it, what Bateman describes as a “temporary […] egalitarian prayer space” has in fact existed for seventeen years and – despite the impression given in this report – it continues to be open to anyone wanting to use it.
As was explained here last time the BBC reported on this subject, the aspects of the ‘Kotel deal’ of January 2016 which were affected when it “fell apart” as Bateman puts it are plans for a communal entrance to all the various prayer areas at the Western Wall and plans for a joint committee to run the mixed gender prayer area.
This report did not inform audiences that even before the ‘Kotel deal’ fell apart, the issue had been taken to the High Court.
Alternative Facts Under NY Times Editor Matt Seaton
A few years ago, an Egyptian lawyer and part-time conspiracy theorist sued his former president, Hosni Mubarak, for failing to "reclaim" the bustling Israeli city of Eilat for Egypt.
He is hardly the only Egyptian who wants to divvy up Israel. In a country raised on hatred for Jews and their state, and where a majority believes the mere existence of Israel violates Palestinian rights, it not surprising that many are drawn to the claim that Eilat is rightfully Egyptian. Some Egyptian leaders, more magnanimous in their immoderation, have rebutted these calls: The city is not Egyptian, they say. It is Palestinian.
The Middle East's rejectionists have always had a hard time agreeing on who gets to feast on which parts of Israel's carcass. But those promoting Egypt's ambitions to Eilat can now turn to none other than The New York Times for support. In a recent Op-Ed about Egypt's transfer to Saudi Arabia of two islands in the Gulf of Tiran, writer Ahdaf Soueif attached a peculiar history lesson to her geography lesson when telling readers that "at the top of the gulf is the Israeli port of Eilat, once the Egyptian port of Umm al-Rashrash."
CJN Contributor Ignores Jewish Claims to Judea and Samaria
There’s an important line separating legitimate opinion that enhances public discourse, from fatuous rhetoric that interferes with constructive dialogue.
In her latest commentary published on August 17 in the Canadian Jewish News entitled: “Israel is losing its way,” columnist Jean M. Gerber admonishes Israel for “50 years of occupation” of the “West Bank”. See the commentary in full appended below or read it only on the CJN’s website. The piece was headlined: “Palestinians are occupied, and we all suffer”.
Gerber’s claiming that the “West Bank” is “occupied” Palestinian land, fundamentally erases from the historical record a continuous 3,000+ year Jewish presence in what was called until a few decades ago “Judea and Samaria.” Jews have never ceded their rights and importantly, you can’t occupy your own home.
Art comparing immigrant crisis to Holocaust draws German Jews' ire
A planned performance art installation titled "Auschwitz on the Beach" has sparked the ire of the German Jewish community for comparing Europe's current immigration crisis to the Holocaust.
The installation will begin on August 24 in the German city of Kassel as part of the Documenta 14 exhibit, an international modern art exhibition considered one of the most important in the world.
The performance installation will be presented by Italian and Brazilian artists and is based in a poem written by the Italian Marxist philosopher Franco "Bifo" Berardi, a known radical leftist.
According to Berardi's explanation of the performance, which will be presented in English on Thursday and Saturday and in Italian on Friday, "Europeans are building concentration camps on their own territory, and are paying their Gauleiter [the ruler of a Nazi province] of Turkey, Libya, and Egypt to do the dirty work on the coast of the Mediterranean where saltwater has replaced Zyklon B."
"Extermination is the word accurately defining the sentiment and behavior of the majority of the European people and the political action of the European governments," Berardi claims.
Michigan man sentenced to probation for threatening to kill children and Jews
A Michigan man who used Twitter to threaten to kill children and Jews in mass shooting attacks was sentenced to two years of probation.
A judge in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday gave David Lenio, 29, the probation sentence after giving him credit for the four months he served in jail after his February arrest, which ended after his trial in June.
A jury in June acquitted Lenio of two felonies – aggravated stalking and using a computer to commit a crime, and convicted him on the lesser charge of malicious use of telecommunications. He was released from prison on his own recognizance following the June trial.
In addition to probation, Lenio was ordered to stay away from synagogues and schools and to not use computers, Fox17 in West Michigan reported.
Lenio’s father said his son suffers from mental illness, Fox reported.
He was arrested in 2015 in Montana for making similar threats, and released to his parents in Grand Rapids with the condition that he not use social media.
Teens who made menorah into swastika sentenced to meet survivor
Three teens pleaded guilty to criminal damaging charges for twisting a large decorative menorah in the front yard of an Arizona family’s home into a swastika.
The teens, who were arrested in March and charged as juveniles for the December incident in a residential neighborhood in Chandler, Arizona, offered the guilty pleas on Thursday in Maricopa County Court.
They were sentenced to serve 30 hours of community service, along with writing an apology letter to the victims and paying restitution. They also must meet with a Holocaust survivor and write an essay on what they learn about the Holocaust and how their desecration of the menorah affected the community, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix reported.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has not yet decided how to charge the fourth vandal in the incident, Clive Jamar Wilson, 19, who posted an apology to the family on Facebook after he was arrested.
Oregon highway overpasses eclipsed by anti-Semitic banners
Signs with anti-Semitic messages were hung on highway overpasses in Oregon, which is welcoming visitors hoping to experience Monday’s rare solar eclipse.
The banners were hung on two northbound highways, which were heavily traveled by California tourists heading to the state to get a better view of the celestial event, according to local reports.
The banners read, “UNJEW HUMANITY,” “Eclipse Whitey,” and “Jewish Financing Available,” the Oregon Statesman Journal reported on Saturday. They were taken down later on Saturday.
Beth Dershowitz of Sacramento told the Oregonian in an email that the banners upset her, her husband Michael, and their children during their family road trip on Saturday. She said her husband took photos of the banners to show state transportation officials.
“I cannot believe that we still have to face this vicious anti-Semitism in such a public place in 2017,” she wrote. “We want to expose this hatred so people stop pretending like it isn’t happening in our own backyards.”
Graffiti activists in Berlin turn Nazi symbols into art
Horrified at the sight of swastikas scrawled on walls, children's playgrounds and building sites, a group of graffiti artists in Berlin is transforming the Nazi symbols into colorful artwork such as flowers, cars and animals.
The swastika, which was adopted by Adolf Hitler's Nazi party, is banned in Germany, where right-wing sentiment has risen due to an influx of more than a million migrants in the last two years.
Ibo Omari, who runs a graffiti shop and 'The Cultural Heirs' youth club, encourages young people to look out for swastikas in their local area and then creatively paint over them - after getting permission from whoever owns the defaced property.
"It was important to spur young people into action and to encourage them to take responsibility so they don't just ignorantly walk past such symbols of hatred," Omari told Reuters.
"It offends the whole neighborhood if someone in our midst paints swastikas in a children's playground and I take it personally," the 37-year-old said, adding that they also wanted to show graffiti had nothing to do with racism.
Omari and 'The Cultural Heirs' decided the best way to respond was "with humor and love" so they came up with designs such as rabbits, birds and a Rubik's Cube to cover swastikas.
Volunteers from 7 countries clear historic Jewish cemetery in Poland
An international group of 18 volunteers from Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic and Turkey with the help of seven volunteer Polish scouts from Poznan are cleaning a Jewish cemetery in Warsaw.
The work on the Jewish cemetery at Okopowa Street in Warsaw began on August 16 and will continue through August 24. The organizer of the project, the Cultural Heritage Foundation, has been carrying out cleaning work in this cemetery for three years. This year, together with the One World Association, the foundation invited young people from abroad to participate.
Participants will take part in discussions, lectures and thematic walks connected to Jewish culture in Warsaw, as well as visit the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Warsaw synagogue.
“The cemetery is largely undiscovered, and access to many cemetery quarters is hampered by wild plants. Thanks to the help of over 100 volunteers, we managed to organize almost 3 hectares of the cemetery,” coordinator of the volunteer projects of the Jewish Heritage Foundation, Ola Waszak, told JTA.
Cleaning work consists mainly of cleaning of the oldest part of the cemetery and removing broken tree boughs and plants. Preliminary cleaning of the cemetery is essential to allow qualified conservationists and visitors to gain access to historic gravestones. All work is supervised by the director of the cemetery, the Jewish Community in Warsaw and the Jewish Historical Institute.
57 years after Eichmann's famous flight, El Al will fly again to Argentina
The Argentinean and Israeli national air carriers signed an agreement to begin flights between Buenos Aires and Tel Aviv.
Aerolineas Argentinas President Mario Dell’Acqua and an El Al vice president met on Friday at the Argentinean embassy in Tel Aviv to sign the final agreement between the two national airlines.
El Al and Aerolíneas Argentinas flights will begin next month. Currently a visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Argentina in September as part of a visit to Latin American countries is in the planning stages and, if confirmed, Netanyahu will announce the first flight during the visit. The visit, tentatively scheduled for September 12 and 13, would be the first visit of a sitting Israeli prime minister to Argentina and Latin America.
The president of Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella DAIA, Ariel Cohen Sabban, and the group’s vice president, Alberto Indij, participated in the codeshare signing event. “We celebrate the historic event, which means that more Argentineans can travel to visit Israel and also we are happy to see the Argentinean flag in the Israeli sky soon,” Cohen Sabban told JTA from Israel.
To trigger the agreement, in March Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra and Israeli Ambassador to Argentina Ilán Sztulman signed in Buenos Aires a framework agreement. The Argentinean Foreign Ministry wrote then on its web page that the agreement “was made possible by the excellent relations that exist between aeronautical authorities, in addition to the historical bonds between both countries. It will be supplemented by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will enable the immediate operation of scheduled flights by the designated airlines.”
Jewish funnyman Jerry Lewis, 91, has died, but his signature laugh lingers
Jewish-American actor, comedian, director, inventor, philanthropist and one of the last links to vaudeville Jerry Lewis has died at the age of 91. The world just got a little less funny.
Lewis, born Joseph Levitch in Newark, New Jersey, grew up in a show business family. His father, Daniel Levitch, was a vaudeville entertainer and his mother, Rae, was a pianist who worked for the (still existent) WOR Radio. At the age of five, so the legend goes, he made his stage debut singing “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and accidentally kicked out one of the footlights. His surprised reaction got the audience to laugh, and this set him on his path toward comedy.
By age 15 he had dropped out of high school and was honing his stage act. His best known routine was a bit in which he’d put a phonograph on and give an exaggerated lip synch. Sounds simple, but if you’ve seen the way Jerry Lewis could contort his face, you can understand why this would become popular. He worked the Jewish “Borscht Belt” in the Catskills Mountains (Brown’s Hotel in Lake Sheldrake was a big break) and, in 1945, at the age of 19, he hooked up with Dean Martin.
The handsome Italian-American singer (born Dino Crocetti) was the perfect straight man to Lewis’ zany, anarchic man-child persona. Their stage show was built on improvisation in which Lewis would bring mayhem to an otherwise smooth Martin vocal performance. Martin and Lewis quickly became successful as a nightclub act, on radio, the early days of television and eventually in Hollywood in feature films. Their first movie appearances were as part of an ensemble (1949’s “My Friend Irma”) but very quickly they were the stars.
Was Jerry Lewis a Genius?
Jerry Lewis is considered a comic genius in France. It’s a punchline I remember hearing over and over again growing up, a statement both of pride and deprecation: the French? Those chain-smoking existentialist intellectual beret wearers who think they’re so fancy? Look who they think is funny! Jerry freaking Lewis, shouting “Hey laaaadeeee”! So maybe Americans aren’t so stupid after all!
But was Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday morning at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 91, actually a genius? He was certainly, if nothing else, something of a comedy of prodigy, dropping out of Union High School in Irvington, New Jersey at the age of 16 to pursue a professional comedy career. By the time he was 19, he was a married father (of his oldest son, Gary Lewis, who would later be the front man of the band Gary Lewis and the Playboys, of “This Diamond Ring (Doesn’t Shine For Me Anymore)” fame), and he was already tooling around on nightclub stages with the up-and-coming crooner Dean Martin, honing what would become the act that propelled them both to Hollywood stardom in an astonishing 13 films together. Their combination of “sex and slapstick,” Lewis’s term for their relationship, was, for those looking at it with the right kind of critical eye (or oeuil, as the case may be), a fascinating juxtaposition of the two prevailing images of comic-tinged American manhood in the post-war period: Martin (who Lewis idolized) the smooth, world-weary ladies’ man, always ready with a rueful quip and another glass of whiskey, and Lewis, a drooling (sometimes literally) idiot man-child, crashing around and creating chaos while somehow charming all those around him with the sheer absurdity of his inexplicable incompetence. (Should you doubt the influence of these comic personae, consider the fact that the two of them combined into a single character basically forms the basis of every hero of an American comedy of the past twenty years, in which an immature male with no conceivable prospects manages to nab a hot professional woman and bring her down to his level.)
When his partnership with Martin—who, chafing at Lewis’s increasing bid of artistic control behind the camera, not to mention his difficult personality, decamped for the more forgiving environs of the Rat Pack—ended in 1956, Lewis began his career as an auteur, an endeavor he called “Total Filmmaking,” writing, directing and starring in films, arguably comedy classics, like The Bellboy, The Ladies’ Man, and perhaps most famously, The Nutty Professor.
IsraellyCool: When Jerry Lewis Visited Israel
“I’ve been trying to get here [Israel] since I was born 55 years ago. As a matter of fact, I was booked on a flight out of London the night before the Six Day War.”
– the late and great Jerry Lewis, who just passed away, after stepping off the plane in Israel in 1981. He was here for a telethon to raise money for handicapped children.
May his memory be a blessing.

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From Al Khaleej (Gulf):

Qatar grants free citizenship to Israelis and 220 scholarships to Jewish students

According to media sources from within Qatar, "the government granted Qatari citizenship free of charge to Israelis, opened its universities to its students, gave them scholarships and allowed them to travel to Israel for the weekend."

"Due to the low number of local students, Qatar seeks to attract foreign students, including the Israelis, through scholarships worth $ 35,000 per student, awarded by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development," said a Georgetown University faculty member in Doha.
Yeah, this sounds perfectly accurate.

The Gulf states are not yet so accepting of Israel that they are past using hate of Israel and Jews to demonize their enemies, and Qatar is now the enemy.

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From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: When Suicide Attacks Are Bad
The emergence of ISIS-inspired groups in the Gaza Strip has long been an open known secret. This is the inconvenient truth that Hamas has been working hard to conceal for the past few years.
Obstinately holding on to an imaginary dream, some political analysts and journalists have misinterpreted the Hamas document as a sign of "moderation" and "pragmatism," and argued falsely that the Islamist movement is ready to join a peace process with Israel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar could not be clearer on this point.
Hamas, as we all know, is hardly opposed to suicide bombings. Yet when the boomerang returns, suddenly the attacks become "cowardly terror" actions perpetrated by "outlaws" and "intellectually and religiously and morally deviant" terrorists. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and ISIS may disagree on many issues, but targeting Jews and "infidels" is not one of them. On that point, they are in savage agreement.
Col Kemp: What Europe can learn from Israel in its war against vehicle attacks and lone wolf terror
In Israel, you will find there is heavy presence of security, both uniformed and not, at major sites, as well as concrete reinforced barriers at key landmarks and bus stops, to prevent vehicular rammings.
As unpalatable as it may be to European sensitivities, they must begin to apply profiling risk assessment as a measure of precaution and prevention. The stark reality is that a Caucasian mother does not fit your profile of a typical terrorist in this scenario, with all terrorists in the car rammings so far being male Islamic jihadists between roughly the ages of 20 and 40.
However, for profiling to be successful, Europe would do well to again follow the lead of Israel in this case, which does not apply a blanket profiling of entire ethnic groups; instead, security personnel are trained to observe body language, physical signs and other clues to erratic behavior. The curtailing of some personal freedoms will be a small price to pay for the lives of many.
There are other steps European leaders ought to consider as part of their overall strategy to prevent lone-wolf attacks, including refusing re-entry to those who have gone to Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to fight for Isis and stripping citizenship of dual nationals caught committing acts of terror on European soil.
As difficult as it may be to accept, the dream of Schengen open borders cannot continue in its current form, with unfettered borders and lax security checks, where terrorists can freely move from one country to the other without so much as a glance from authorities.
Europe also cannot be serious about fighting terror on the one hand and embracing Iran on the other. Iran continues to be the foremost global state sponsor of terror. Their support of Assad regime is a primary cause of the Syrian refugee crisis and the spread of Isis, as well as of Hezbollah operatives roaming freely across Europe. Tehran is not a partner in the war on terror, it is one of the primary instigators of global terror.
Preventing ‘lone wolf’ attacks 100 per cent of the time is simply not feasible, but greater steps can be taken to minimise the threat.
This will require bold leadership and a recognition that whether it is in Barcelona, Nice, London, Berlin, Stockholm or Jerusalem, terror is terror and the West must stand united, in unwavering solidarity and commitment, if we are to defeat this global evil.
Combating 21st century terror: What Europe can learn from Israel
Intelligence is the first level at which terror must be fought. But the war is now also on the streets. Urban centres are the new battleground. As an Israeli counter-terrorism official (who cannot be named due to the sensitivity of his work) told me: ‘simple things, like placing bollards and barriers at strategic points in major centres can almost eliminate the possibility of vehicle rammings’.
But the most important changes must come at the level of education. A principle problem with terror is that it forces us into ever more intrusive legislation. An educated public can relieve the burden. As the counterterrorism official explains: ‘In the 21st century we have witnessed the new phenomenon of the lone wolf: Someone not part of a cell, someone who doesn’t buy guns or explosives and is therefore much harder to track.’
If someone can now be radicalised just by going on the internet, what can be done? Well, for a start, in Israel, the police have a dedicated Facebook page where people can report terrorist content they find posted on social media, and, critically, all of which is checked. It has saved lives.
Combating the threat of the lone wolf – and avoiding more draconian anti-terror legislation – comes with greater public awareness.
‘If, for example, you see your neighbour going out at 3am every night or see him or her buying a lot of knives, or carrying a suspicious backpack. Look at Anders Breivik,’ the counterterrorism official concludes, ‘all the red flags were there before and no one did anything. People need the courage to speak up. Every tip can lead the authorities to something much bigger.’

PMW: It`s beneath Palestinian dignity to compete with Israelis, says Palestinian Olympic Committee
The Palestinian Olympic Committee forced a Palestinian boxer to forfeit his match and give up his chance to win a bronze medal rather than compete with an Israeli Druze boxer. The boxer told the official PA TV that it was not his decision but rather his superiors, including the Palestinian Olympic Committee, who forced him to forfeit:
Official PA TV host 1: "Let's talk about Sultan Abu Al-Haj, a Palestinian boxer who refused to compete with an Israeli boxer and lost a bronze medal."
Host 2: "Sultan, why did you make this decision? You lost a medal!"
Palestinian boxer Sultan Abu Al-Haj: "I didn't make the decision. My trainers and the [Palestinian] Olympic Committee made the decision, and as a competitor I cannot oppose them... The decision was reached that it is forbidden to compete with [Israelis], because it's beneath our dignity to compete with them and recognize them as (sic) the State of Israel." [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 17, 2017]

Palestinian boxer Sultan Abu Al-Haj refused to compete and forfeited his match against Israeli Druze boxer Amit Madah on Aug. 8, 2017 in the under 54 kg division at the Youth Muay Thai World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand. This was the first time that the Palestinian Authority sent an athlete to compete in this tournament.
This Palestinian Olympic Committee's demand that a Palestinian athlete not compete with an Israeli violates the spirit of the Olympics and possibly the International Olympic Committee's Code of Ethics, Article 1.2, which demands "respect of the principle of the universality and political neutrality of the Olympic Movement." Although this was not an Olympic event, it was the Palestinian Olympic Committee, which is a member of the "Olympic Movement," that made the decision not to compete with Israelis.

Melanie Phillips: American violence and the threat from North Korea
Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network the significance of the Charlottesville violence, the incipient violence now stalking a heavily polarised America, and the developing crisis with North Korea.

Spain’s Jihadis Are Awakened
The horrific series of events in Barcelona is yet another macabre example of what is starting to feel like Europe’s new normal. This is the era of frequent, low-tech, mass casualty Jihadist attacks, in which any ideologically driven fanatic can jump in a van or pick up a knife and inflict carnage on the streets of our cities. The former head of Mi5, Lord Evans, has predicted that the battle against this form of terrorism is likely to last for a generation.
Yet there is a certain added grotesque irony to the attacks in Barcelona. This current wave of Islamist terrorism, the so-called leaderless Jihad, has its origins in Spain. When that van sped through Barcelona’s iconic Las Rambles, plowing down innocent pedestrians, the latest incarnation of Jihadism was coming home to roost.
This kind of terrorism, increasingly familiar across Europe, was, in fact, masterminded by a Spaniard. A veteran Jihadist called Abu Musab al-Suri. Formerly part of al-Qaeda, he is understood to have parted with Osama Bin Laden. In 2005, he published what would turn out to be a hugely significant text: “the Global Islamic Resistance Call.” It would be some years before western countries would feel the full effect of the strategy outlined in this document, but it is precisely the tactics developed by al-Suri that have gone on to form the basis of Islamic State strategy and the strategy for the IS inspired attacks that we are now seeing in the West.
Abu Musab al-Suri has had a decades’ long involvement in modern Jihadism, and particularly with Islamist terrorism in Spain. The Spanish authorities have wanted al-Suri since 2003, for his role in establishing the country’s first al-Qaeda cell in the mid-1990s. However, Al Suri’s role in terrorism in Spain goes back to well before this. Spain also wants al-Suri in connection to the 1985 Madrid bombing by the Islamic Jihad Organization, in which a restaurant frequented by US servicemen was blown up leaving 18 people dead. But it is also believed that he may have had a connection to the far more devastating 2004 Madrid train bombing, which killed 191 people.
The West must wake up
The impending fall of Islamic State will only bring more painful terrorist attacks everywhere the group has sympathizers. Attacks like the ones in Spain bring about copycat attacks, and raise the enthusiasm of those ready to accept similar missions. The attacks will be shocking and cruel. There is nothing stopping such murderous rampages, and the trend will become more pronounced as Islamic State suffers defeats on the battlefield and loses territory. Today, there are sleeper cells of operatives and supporters in Europe, Africa, and other continents. They will shock and surprise us. They have collected experience, they are fearless, and they will act vengefully.
All this will continue until operatives are cut off at the source by security agencies and are dealt with in a framework of international cooperation, in the same way that terrorist ideology crosses borders.
Unfortunately, most European countries have yet to wake up to the issue and its solution. I am writing this after an extended stay in several countries, including during the last two weeks. To my chagrin, we do not see security forces where they are needed. Some Europeans still do not believe that such things can happen, and laws have still not been passed to enable the intelligence services to tackle the massive job awaiting them. There is still no security coverage for mass events and in public places, nor is there enough coordination between intelligence and law enforcement agencies -- police and other forces. The West must wake up, and the sooner the better.
Catalan police said to kill Barcelona van attack terrorist
Spanish police on Monday killed a man who could be Younes Abouyaaqoub, the alleged fugitive driver of a van that mowed down crowds in Barcelona, a source close to the probe said.
“They have shot dead a suspect who could be the perpetrator of the attack,” the source, who declined to be named, told AFP.
Police in Catalonia confirmed that a man wearing what appeared to be a suicide belt had been killed in Subirats, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) away from Barcelona, but did not identify him.
Abouyaaqoub, 22, is suspected of plowing a van through throngs of tourists and locals on Thursday on the busy Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona, killing 13 people.
He fled the scene on foot and stabbed to death a passerby, hijacking his car to escape the city.
Man who fought Finland stabber leaves hospital to pay respects
Finland observed a minute of silence on Sunday for the victims of a stabbing attack that left two people dead in what is being investigated as the country’s first-ever terror attack.
Another eight people were wounded in the stabbing spree on Friday in the southwestern port city of Turku.
The suspect, an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker, was interrogated on Sunday and is due to appear before a judge early Monday to be remanded in custody, police said.
At the market square where the attack happened, several hundred people gathered Sunday to hold a minute of silence at 10 a.m.
Among those present was Hassan Zubier, a visiting British paramedic who was injured in the attack after coming to the aid of a woman who later died.
He arrived directly from the hospital, attending the ceremony in a wheelchair.
Israel condemns Finland terror stabbing, expresses ‘shock’
The Israeli Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed “shock” at Friday’s deadly stabbing attack in Turku, Finland.
“The Israeli government expresses its shock and strongly condemns the terrorist attack in the city of Turku last Friday in which two people were killed and eight wounded,” it said in a statement released Monday.
Finland observed a minute of silence on Sunday for the victims of the stabbing attack in the southwestern port city, in what is being investigated as the country’s first-ever terror attack.
The Israeli statement went on: “Israel expresses its solidarity with the people of Finland, and sends condolences to the families of those killed and wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.”
The suspect, an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker, was interrogated on Sunday and is due to appear before a judge early Monday to be remanded in custody, police said.
One dead after car hits people at Marseille bus stops
At least one person has been killed in Marseille after a car crashed into people waiting at two different bus stops in the southern French port on Monday, police sources told AFP, adding that the suspected driver had been arrested. Another person was left seriously injured.
Marseille’s prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said that investigators had no “element pointing to a terrorist attack” and that the driver was believed to suffer from “psychiatric” problems.
“He was found with a letter from a psychiatric clinic and we are leaning towards treating it as a mental health case,” Tarabeux told AFP.
The incident took place at around 9 a.m (0700 GMT), one source said, asking not to be named. It comes with police across Europe on high alert following the car-ramming attacks in Spain.
The Renault car first drove at speed toward a bus stop in the city’s 13th district, leaving one person seriously hurt, before targeting another stop in the 11th district, causing one fatality.
Not just in Israel: Australia to erect security barriers
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled a plan aimed at better defense of public spaces against terror attacks.
The New York Times reported that the plan entails installing more barriers in public spaces to prevent the entry of vehicles into crowded areas, in an attempt to guard against vehicular attacks. Turnbull said on Sunday that the barriers could include posts, steps, and even works of art.
“We will never be cowed, nor will we bow to terrorism,” Turnbull asserted. “But what we must do, of course, is take every step we can to protect Australians from the threat of terrorism and terrorist attacks.”
Turnbull’s statements came after twin ramming attacks in Spain on Thursday night claimed the lives of 15, including 14 who were hit at La Rambla and a woman who was struck at Cambrils just hours later. A total of roughly 130 people were injured during the attacks.
Turnbull said that the plan had initially been conceived after the attack, claimed by ISIS, in Nice last year, when a terrorist rammed a 19-ton lorry into revellers enjoying Bastille Day fireworks on Nice's seafront Promenade des Anglais. At least 85 were killed in that attack, and at least 434 injured. The plan is being implemented now, ostensibly in light of the recent attacks in Spain.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Islamist Apologists Less Practiced At Excusing Murders Of Finns Than Of Jews (satire)
Pundits and politicians accustomed to explaining away violence against Jews as either overblown or justified have stumbled in their efforts to make the same excuses for the recent terrorist attack in Finland, having not nearly as much experience explaining why Finland should have expected such violence.
Commentators on the BBC, in the Guardian, the Times of London, the New York Times, and other outlets following a well-trodden path of rationalization when Israel or Israelis are attacked, confessed today they felt awkward trying to apply the same approach to terrorist acts directed at Finland, where a Muslim immigrant stabbed several people to death over the weekend.
“Well, what do you expect after fifty years of brutal – no, wait, that’s not right,” began Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist, in an interview on CNN. “I had this all reasoned out before, and I’ve practiced it, but it’s not coming out right. Do you mind waiting a few minutes while I try to recreate this?”
“A people under occupation has the right to… to…” trailed off Yolanda Knell of the BBC. “Can I get back to you on this, Roger? I was going to lay out for our audience why blame for this attack ultimately lies with the nation attacked, but I thinkI got confused with all the other times I did this, when it was someone else.”
David Singer: Trump Must Question Abbas-PLO Commitment to Peace with Israel
If Abbas and the PLO can’t provide satisfactory answers – then Trump will be wasting his time trying to jumpstart negotiations – stalled since April 2014 – between Israel and the PLO – since those negotiations will assuredly end up going nowhere like previous PLO – Israel negotiations conducted during the last 24 years. Jailed PLO terrorists and families of deceased terrorists still receive life-time payments for murdering Jews – rebuffing Trump’s demand they cease.
Trump has shown no compunction jettisoning poor performers like Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci and Steve Bannon who failed to deliver.
Abbas and the PLO could suffer the same fate if they show no genuine commitment to resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict after 50 years of relentless rejectionism.

JCPA: Foreign Ministers from Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority Prepare for U.S. Delegation
The foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and Jordan met on Saturday, August 19, 2017, in Cairo for a preparatory meeting before the visit of an American diplomatic delegation for the upcoming peace talks scheduled to take place in the coming days. The ministers emphasized their commitment to the “Arab initiative,” especially the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines as a basis for peace. The meeting was initiated by the Palestinians, and it reflects their fear that the Trump Administration has not yet expressed support for the principle of two states. The Palestinians believe that remobilizing Arab support for the two state principle is critical to convince the Americans to adopt it. The Palestinians suspect that the Arab states may be dragged into a regional solution, which will bring about the realization of an Arab-Israel entente without the establishment first of a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines.
It should be noted that Saudi Arabia did not take part in the meeting. This is because Saudi Arabia usually does not participate in such meetings and because Saudi Arabia is dissatisfied with the neutrality of the Palestinians and Jordanians in Saudi Arabia’s bitter confrontation with Qatar. Saudi Arabia is anxious to get through the current Hajj to Mecca without calamity. Recently, both Qatar and Iran tried to undermine Saudi Arabia’s position as the Guardian of the Holy Places, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei also called to transfer the Hajj to Karbala, a Shiite holy city in Iraq.
To avoid tension, the Saudis agreed to ease the pressure on Qatar, including allowing pilgrims from Qatar to arrive on the Hajj.
Netanyahu to attend West Bank event celebrating 50 years of settlement
Next Monday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to attend his first West Bank celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the settlement of Judea and Samaria.
The Samaria Regional Council, which announced Netanyahu’s attendance, will be hosting and organizing the August 28th event at the Barkan Industrial Park.
Ministers and parliamentarians will be among the attendees. This includes Likud ministers Israel Katz, Ofir Akunis, Gila Gamliel and Tzahi Hanegbi as well as Bayit Yehudi ministers Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel.
The event takes place two weeks prior to the formal governmental ceremony scheduled for September 13th at Kfar Etzion in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.
The Samaria celebration coincides with the first visit of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Israel and the Palestinian territories on August 28th and 29th. A US delegation led by US envoys Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner and US Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell is due in the region in the next nine days.
On Sunday Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a visiting Meretz delegation led by its party head MK Zahava Gal-On that he has met some 20 times with envoys from the Trump Administration.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Observers At Abbas-Gal-On Meeting Unsure Which More Irrelevant (satire)
Aides and other officials present at a meeting yesterday between Meretz Party Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spent much of the encounter and its immediate aftermath wondering which of the two figures represents a less relevant faction that the other, but were unable to reach firm conclusions.
Gal-On and Abbas met at the latter’s presidential compound in the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah Sunday to discuss prospects for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, a conflict in which Abbas is widely thought to represent a moderate, compromising approach to Israel, and Gal-On to represent the conciliatory camp of Israelis willing to relinquish strategic assets to reach a peace agreement. In practice, however, others in attendance at the Muqat’a noted how small a slice of their respective constituencies the two leaders actually represent, then attempted to determine which of the two has a more laughable claim to relevance.
“Wow, I’m not sure either of these people can speak for more than a small fraction of their respective polities,” realized Sur Reel, a Muqat’a administrative staff member. “Their factions haven’t held sway in long time, but they’re still acting as if they matter. It’s kind of pathetic.”
“What are we doing here again?” wondered Laurel Evanti, a Meretz functionary. “I know Ms. Gal-On feels important for a change when she gets to meet with a ‘world leader’ such as Abu Mazen, but really? This is the last man in the world with anything useful to say about how Israelis and Palestinians are going to settle their differences once and for all, if they even can. And this is the last woman in the world to convince Israelis to make painful concessions after twenty years of Oslo’s violent failure.”
Seth Frantzman: Richard Spencer, ‘Goy, Bye’ and ‘court Jews’
The story of Icarus is he flew too close to the sun. He was arrogant and dismissive.
Laws of nature didn’t apply, he thought. Something similar happened in America over the weekend. On August 18 The Washington Post ran an article by Dana Milbank with the headline “The Trump administration’s three ‘court Jews’ disgrace themselves.” It is not entirely clear if the words “court Jews” were originally in quotes; the original headline can still be seen in the hyperlink of the piece. However, the newspaper has now changed it to “Trump administration’s more prominent Jews disgrace themselves.”
So why did the Washington Post run this headline? The article is full of anti-Semitic tropes about “court Jews,” presented as inside dope by “one of us” calling out our uncle toms. “We have seen such a character before in Jewish history,” the article claims.
“The shtadlan, or ‘court Jew,’ existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king.”
Who are the “court Jews? I wouldn’t have known that Gary Cohn, the chief economic adviser to President Donald Trump, is Jewish, unless this article told me. But this article names and shames the “Jews” it has found in the administration, like one of those far-right conspiracy websites that always names the Jews it claims are behind everything. Gary Cohn, Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin are targeted by Milbank.
Why does our major media feel so comfortable attacking “court Jews”? You’d think that if an op-ed writer wrote such an incendiary article that potentially stokes antisemitism, someone would say “isn’t this a bit much? Let’s tone down the ‘court Jews’ terminology and keep the rest of the argument.”
Washington Post Singles Out Trump’s ‘Court Jews’ in Anti-Semitic Attack
It’s not so complicated, really. In a Sunday essay he published, titled “The Trump administration’s three ‘court Jews’ disgrace themselves,” Milbank reduced three rather admired gentlemen: Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner, to their most base common denominator: they are Jews.
Singling out Jews for condemnation based on their ethnic affiliation is as old as ancient Egypt. Of course, Milbank, who prides himself on being unpredictable politically—sometimes he favors Republicans, other times Democrats—didn’t think he was using an ancient anti-Semitic technique. He felt that the fact that these three men with their impressive business record were Jewish compelled them to act one specific way in response to their boss’s views on the Nazis and the rest of the scum from last week’s Charlottesville riots.
“All three let it be known through anonymous friends and colleagues that they are disturbed and distressed by what Trump said,” Milbank reports, “but none is speaking publicly about an outrage that makes millions of Americans feel as though they are living a nightmare.”
One of the most blatant forms of racism is to refer to an individual from a particular ethnic group as the representative of his or her entire race. Members of minority groups experience this every day – for the most part it’s a mild form of racism, borne by the other person’s ignorance. Human beings are just built this way. Occasionally, especially after some dramatic incident, all Blacks become potential looters, all Muslims blow up buildings, all Jews crave money, and, yes, all Japanese Americans are thrown into concentration camps.
Milbank’s guilt by ethnic affiliation button must have been set to 11 on Sunday. The three “Trump Jews” actually reminded him of what he called “the stadlan.”
Report: Bannon Pushed for Moving Embassy to Jerusalem, Boycotted Meeting With ‘Terrorist’ Abbas
In the wake of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s ousting, reports detailing his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have started to emerge.
Bannon aggressively petitioned President Donald Trump to relocate the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vanity Fair reported on Sunday.
Trump promised to relocate the embassy during his election campaign in 2016, but he signed a six-month waiver June 1 to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv — in line with every president’s actions since Congress passed legislation calling on the US to move the embassy in 1995.
Bannon also reportedly lobbied Trump to take a more aggressive stance regarding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. When Abbas visited the White House in May, Bannon reportedly boycotted the meeting, sending a text message to a friend stating that he would not “breathe the same air as that terrorist,” according to Vanity Fair.
Zionist Organization of America Triples Down: H.R. McMaster Backed by 'Left-Wing Israel Bashers'
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the U.S., upped its campaign against under-fire National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster Tuesday, alleging McMaster is backed by what it calls “left-wing Israel bashers.”
The ZOA has previously highlighted McMaster’s ties to such groups, as well as its concerns that McMaster is anti-Israel. On Monday it responded to a defense of McMaster by U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman by outlining its concerns and defending its call for McMaster’s firing
ZOA’s concerns about General McMaster stems from many issues including his firing Trump loyalists who support Israel and oppose the Iran Deal; his hiring many who oppose Trump’s policies especially on Israel and Iran; his refusal to acknowledge that the Western Wall is in Israel; his refusal to state that Israel’s response to the terrorist group Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israel was “ethical”: his refusal to acknowledge that Iran has violated the Iran Deal; his refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” and much more.
But on Tuesday the group focused on those who have chosen to back McMaster. In addition to mainstream establishment Republicans, McMaster has found backing from a number of far-left organizations, many of which the ZOA notes are anti-Israel.
“Supporters of McMaster also include the radical Islamic anti-Israel group CAIR, left wing, Trump-hating, Soros-funded anti-Israel group Media Matters, anti-Israel TV commentator Van Jones and others,” the organization said.
H.R. McMaster-Endorsed Book Calls Jihad Peaceful, Al-Qaida Terrorism 'Resistance' Fails to Label Hamas a Terrorist Group
A book on terrorism endorsed and touted by H.R. McMaster, the embattled White House National Security Adviser, calls Hamas an “Islamist political group” while failing to categorize the deadly organization as a terrorist group, and refers to al-Qaida attacks and anti-Israel terrorism as “resistance.”
The work frames jihad as largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” such as waking up early in the morning to recite prayers. It argues that groups like al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations have hijacked the concept of jihad to wage warfare using such tactics as suicide bombings.
The book, reviewed in full by this reporter, was authored by U.S. military officer Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, and is titled Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat.
McMaster provided a glowing blurb for the book jacket, referring to Aboul-Enein’s book as “an excellent starting point” for understanding terrorist ideology. McMaster also promoted the book in ARMOR, the journal of the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, published at Fort Benning, Georgia, where McMaster served as commanding general at the Ft. Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence.
McMaster wrote in his blurb for the book: “Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
Adelson expresses support for ZOA efforts to depose McMaster
Sheldon Adelson in an email to Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein expresses support for efforts by the ZOA to get National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster removed from his position.
But Adelson added that he is not “looking to get deeply involved in this debate.”
“I don’t know enough about the McMaster case nor do I want to say I know about your attack and that I supported it financially and morally. Up until recent articles, I had no knowledge of anything about McMaster — just what I read in the newspaper,” Adelson said in the email provided to JTA by Klein.
The ZOA issued a report earlier this month alleging that McMaster is anti-Israel and charging that he is undermining Trump’s Middle East agenda and the US-Israel relationship by firing officials supportive of the Jewish state and critical of the Iran nuclear deal.
JCPA: The Temple Mount Affair: What Has Changed?
This summer’s tensions around the Temple Mount reflected the gap between the Israeli-Western discourse, which focused on the security problems, and the Palestinian-Islamic discourse, which is rooted in the belief that Israel wants to take control of the Temple Mount and saw the security moves as part of this plot.
This unbridgeable gap prevented the possibility of compromise, and Israel’s decision to restore the situation to its former status (taking down the metal detectors) was interpreted as a Palestinian achievement and an Israeli embarrassment. This established a situation in which Israel cannot take substantial security measures on the Temple Mount without coordination and agreement with the PA and Jordan.
The Palestinians, led by Mahmoud Abbas, who justifiably claims ownership of the success, are trying to leverage the achievement of the removal of the metal detectors in front of the United States, Hamas, and the Palestinian public in the PA.
On the regional level, the solution to the tensions represents an achievement for the pragmatic Arab elements, and especially Jordan. Turkey and Iran failed in their attempts to use the events to embarrass the pragmatists and exacerbate the tensions, hoping to win points in the regional arena and strengthen their ally Hamas.
Yisrael Medad: NIF's Liel Does the Temple Mount
Over at Globes, excerpts from an interview with Rachel Liel, the outgoing New Israel Fund executive director in Israel:-
Isn't that the method of governments, to avoid being confronted by questions?
"Absolutely. We saw it only recently with the story of the Temple Mount and the metal detectors. Instead of answering questions they said 'they are inciting against us' and 'acting against us' and they always look for the scapegoat - and we at NIF are an excellent scapegoat. The Likud has been in power for so many years, yet it still feels as if it is a persecuted minority and a victim and doesn't give answers to people that ask sensible questions."

What questions?
Three Israeli Arabs, resident of Um Al-Fahm (and I won't ask of they attended NIF-sponsored programs), form a terror cell and murder two Israeli policemen, Druze, and the most logical thing to do is first, assure security. Jews go through metal detectors at the Western Wall and all over so why cannot Arabs?
As for the feeling of a persecuted minority? Minority, no but quite persecuted.
Errant gunfire from Sinai hits Israel; no injuries reported
Gunfire from the Sinai Peninsula struck Israel on Sunday night, in what the military said was accidental spillover from fighting across the border.
A military spokesperson would not say where specifically the errant fire occurred, however, Palestinian media reported it was in the area of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which sits near the borders of Israel, Gaza and Egypt.
There were no reports of Israelis injured or of damage caused by the gunfire in Israel.
The northeastern Sinai has seen increased tension between Hamas and local Islamic State affiliates since Thursday, after a suspected IS member killed a Hamas guard, along with himself, in a suicide bombing in southern Gaza, near the Egyptian border.
The suicide attack occurred as forces tried to stop the man from infiltrating into Egypt, members of the Hamas terror organization said.
Jordan demands Israeli apology, indictment of Israeli guard
The Kingdom of Jordan is insisting that Israel issue a formal, public apology for the shooting deaths of two Jordanian citizens in Amman following a stabbing attack on an Israeli security officer near the Israeli embassy.
On July 23rd, a Jordanian national stabbed an Israeli security official in his apartment near the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan.
When the guard opened fire on the attacker with his personal sidearm, the attacker was killed instantly, and a second Jordanian national, the owner of the property, was fatally wounded by a stray bullet.
Following the incident, Amman officials demanded Israel waive the guard’s diplomatic immunity and surrender him to local police for interrogation. Israel refused, leading to a diplomatic standoff between Jerusalem and Amman.
While the guard and the rest of the Amman embassy staff were ultimately returned to Israel, Jordan has refused to permit their return until Israel issues a formal apology for the deaths of the two Jordanian nationals.
According to a report by the Jordanian daily Al-Rad Sunday night, Jordan’s position remains unchanged, with the Hashemite kingdom insisting that the Jewish state publicly apologize for the two deaths before the embassy staff are allowed back into the country.
Israeli Web Company Fights Back Against Hezbollah in Social Media Wars
After Lebanon-based, Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah took to social media to threaten Israel with another war using a series of intimidating memes, a boutique Israeli web design company fought back on the same platform by cynically advising the Islamist group on what to expect should it go through with its threat.
The original campaign by Hezbollah supporters, entitled “Time for the Victory,” tells Israelis what to equip themselves with for the “upcoming war,” including anti-anxiety pills “in order to keep your composure,” running shoes “for a quick escape,” gas masks for when “ammonia plants are attacked with rockets” and a flashlight in the event that Israel’s “electricity plants are attacked with rockets.”
“We went through the difficult wars and we carry with us memories and open wounds from those years. We are loyal to the IDF, to the state and to the city in which we live,” said one of the initiators of the Israeli campaign from Web Yourself, a web design company based in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona close to the Lebanese border. “We don’t think it’s right that their futile threats go without a response.”
Below are images gathered by Ynet of both Hezbollah’s campaign and Web Yourself’s counter-campaign.
Israeli general mocks Abbas for sending medical aid to Venezuela
An Israeli general sharply criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday for sending medical aid to distant Venezuela while cutting down on help to the beleaguered Gaza Strip.
“We draw the Palestinian Authority’s attention to the fact that traveling from Ramallah to Gaza is only one hour, while the distance between Venezuela and Ramallah is more than 10,000 kilometers,” wrote Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Yoav Mordechai on his official Facebook page.
COGAT is the Defense Ministry department in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs.
On Sunday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and PA Health Minister Jawad Awwad announced they were sending three truckloads of medical supplies to Venezuela, including antibiotics, drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases and “everything necessary for emergencies.”
Palestinian Authority threatens to sever Gaza electricity — report
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly threatened Sunday to cut off all financial support to the Gaza Strip, unless the Hamas terror group which controls the coastal enclave works together with Abbas’s Fatah party.
The comments came during a meeting with Israeli lawmakers, during which the Palestinian leader also said the Trump administration was in chaos and not moving forward on peace efforts.
According to Israel’s Channel 2, when MK Zahava Galon, of the dovish Meretz party, chided Abbas for having cut payments for Israeli electricity earlier this year, Abbas responded that he might not stop there.
“We transfer $1.5 billion a year, but after Hamas declared its own government, we discontinued 25 percent of our support to Gaza,” Abbas said, according to the report.
“We fear that if there is no change soon, that will gradually reach 100%,” he said.
Palestinian Authority threatens to cut all funds to Gaza
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday threatened to gradually cut all funding to the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to reconcile with Fatah.
He declared his intentions during a meeting in Ramallah with Meretz head Zehava Gal- On, whose office later reported his statement.
“We transfer $1.5 billion a year [to Hamas in Gaza],” he said, adding that he had already cut 25% of that amount.
Abbas is in the midst of a push to regain control of Gaza, a decade after Hamas took over the Strip from Fatah in a bloody coup.
He has imposed a series of stiff economic sanctions, including reduced funding for electricity.
Abbas told Gal-On that if the situation with Hamas did not change soon, “we’ll gradually reduce our [financial] support to Gaza by 100%.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Iran: US Allowing Criticism Of Nuclear Deal Violates Nuclear Deal (satire)
Diplomatic and political officials in Iran lambasted American foreign policy today and threatened to abandon the agreement that regulates the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons program, asserting that the agreement includes a provision that bars the US government from permitting Americans to express opposition the deal.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif told Russian and Iranian media organizations Sunday morning that continued criticism of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) concluded between the Obama administration and Iran, among others, in 2015, specifically prohibits the US government from tolerating objections by American citizens or media to the provisions of the agreement – and that the Trump administration has done nothing to prevent American groups or individuals from voicing such criticism. If the trend continues, threatened Zarif, Iran would renounce the deal and develop nuclear weapons without international monitoring.
“We and Secretary Kerry worked hard to hammer out this agreement, and are not about to let the successor administration violate it,” declared Zarif at an address broadcast on Russia Today and FARS, the official Iranian news agency. “The secretary knew we would never agree to the program and the way it guts the inspections and sanctions regime unless there were some way to guarantee it would never hamper our nuclear program. Kerry agreed to implement a censorship regime in the US, and to some degree succeeded with his echo chamber, but those enforcement efforts have petered out since Trump took office, and that is unacceptable.”

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Today there was another car ramming attack in Marseille, although police are not calling it a terror attack.

There is as of yet no universal English phrase for these types of attacks. "Vehicle attacks," "vehicular attacks," "ramming attacks" - all are dependent on the still evolving style guides of different news agencies.

But there are well-accepted phrases describig vehicle attacks in Hebrew and in Arabic.

In Hebrew, there is a specific term for these kinds of attacks as well: פיגוע דריסה, "pigua drisa" meaning "ramming attack." But in Hebrew the word "pigua" specifically refers to terror attacks.

I saw the story reported in Arabic but the Google Translate phrase for the type of attack was not accurate. Google Translate has not yet caught up with common usage. In Arabic, the consistent term for vehicle ramming attacks is عملية دهس, "eamaliat dahs" which literally means "ramming operation." 

In Arabic, these are akin to military operations. In Hebrew, they are terror attacks.

The reason, of course, is that Palestinians were the ones who innovated these kinds of attacks, and they were reported in Arabic media in terms of being heroic military operations against Israelis. The phrase stuck even when reporting on Nice or Barcelona, since the shorthand that implicitly finds these attacks to be heroic remains as part of modern Arabic.

The first vehicle attack I am aware of was indeed Palestinian. It was in 2001 when an Arab bus driver aimed his bus at a group of soldiers at the Azor junction, killing seven soldiers and one civilian and injuring 26.

It was the first "heroic ramming operation." It occurred some nine years before Al Qaeda first recommended that tactic in its "Inspire" magazine.

Every time that the media reports on these types of attacks and pretends that they are a new European phenomenon, they are purposefully obscuring the fact that these attacks are yet another gift that Palestinian terrorists have given the world.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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Along with the Egyptian siege and the Gulf Arab siege comes the siege by the Palestinian Authority itself:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly threatened Sunday to cut off all financial support to the Gaza Strip, unless the Hamas terror group which controls the coastal enclave works together with Abbas’s Fatah party.

The comments came during a meeting with Israeli lawmakers, during which the Palestinian leader also said the Trump administration was in chaos and not moving forward on peace efforts.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, when MK Zahava Galon, of the dovish Meretz party, chided Abbas for having cut payments for Israeli electricity earlier this year, Abbas responded that he might not stop there.

“We transfer $1.5 billion a year, but after Hamas declared its own government, we discontinued 25 percent of our support to Gaza,” Abbas said, according to the report.

We fear that if there is no change soon, that will gradually reach 100%,” he said.

Earlier this year, Abbas said he would stop transferring some money to Israel to pay for electricity in the Strip. Israel refused to make up the difference, leading to fears of a looming humanitarian crisis in the impoverished enclave already beset by problems providing drinking water and treating sewage.
 Yes, the head of the Palestinian Authority is threatening nearly half of its population with a complete loss of electricity, medicine, and funding for teachers and other critical infrastructure.

The Egyptians have essentially shut down their border to Gaza, except for some Hajj pilgrims, for four months now.

The Gulf Arab states have declared Gaza's de facto rulers to be terrorists and (with the exception of Qatar) have stopped providing funds for the Gaza Strip.

The only people who actually seem to be trying to help the citizens of Gaza from sickness and starvation are - Israeli Jews.

Galon had told Abbas she disapproved of steps taken by the Palestinian leader to isolate the Gaza Strip as a means of pressuring Hamas, the de facto ruler of the enclave.
Israel's left-wing parties are more pro-Palestinian than Palestinians are.

The only country that Amnesty and Human Rights Watch and the UN single out for Gaza's problems is the country that has been sending electricity and fuel and aid to Gaza and that has been treating its patients. All while most fellow Arabs have told Gaza's citizens to drop dead.

The irony is almost too perfect, and yet invisible to the world's NGOs and media.

(h/t Yoel)

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Sunday, August 20, 2017


From Al Rai:

The head of the Islamic Movement inside the occupied Palestinian territory, Sheikh Raed Salah, was subjected to verbal and physical abuse inside the Israeli prison.

A member of the defense of the President of the Islamic Movement inside the 1948 Palestine, lawyer Khaled Zbarqa, told Al Rai about the fear and anxiety for the life of Sheikh Salah and his safety as he was attacked and threatened by Jewish prisoners inside the prison, and this is indicative of the fact that the inflammatory rhetoric that the Sheikh has been exposed to by Netanyahu personally and his ministers in his government, created a hostile atmosphere  to the sheikh  through threats and abuse. He confirmed that the attack included verbal and physical beatings by Jewish prisoners inside the prison. 
The guy whose entire life is built around inciting Arabs to kill Jews is complaining about Israelis inciting to kill him.

Of course, Raed Salah has no evidence of incitement by Netanyahu, and the amount of evidence of his incitement could fill volumes.  And here is a nice cartoon he posted on Facebook just last month:

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