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Post  Admin Yesterday at 7:34 pm

https://honestreporting.com/israel-china-ties-the-sticking-point-with-the-us/
Israel-China Ties: The ‘Sticking Point’ with the US?
BY TYLER KOTLER  JULY 11, 2019
US Israel China
At first glance, Israel and China don’t seem like natural allies. China’s population is 160 times larger than Israel’s, and Israel’s geographic size pales in comparison to China’s. The two countries have distinct histories, cultures, and religions, and their indigenous populations come from areas thousands of miles apart. There are major political obstacles too: The US, China’s greatest competitor, is also Israel’s strongest ally.

Nevertheless, Israel-China ties have grown substantially over the last few decades, centering around mutually beneficial economic exchanges.

As China has risen almost unchallenged as the economic powerhouse of the East, it has pushed forward with an aggressive, imperialist expansion plan. Through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the country has put its full weight behind spreading its economic influence across Asia and into Europe, constructing a vast network of land and sea routes. It has already brought Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and many African nations under its sway, and it’s clear that the government has been eyeing Israel as its next target.

However, this has thrust Israel into the middle of the world’s most prominent great power rivalry, creating a complicated triangle of relations between Israel, the US, and China. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has worked tirelessly to maintain its status as the global hegemon and contain China’s rise to power.

So far, Israeli leadership has been able to walk a fine line between the two countries, but it’s playing a dangerous game that may backfire terribly. With growing concern from the US, the question of whether Israel will fall under the wing of China’s growing influence or remain a loyal enclave of US-oriented foreign policy in the Middle East remains up in the air.

Time will tell. However, the short but eventful history of Israel-China ties can at least explain how Jerusalem ended up in this situation.
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jul 2019, 9:38 pm

HR Executive Director Delivers Antisemitism Petition to New York Times
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JULY 11, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/hr-executive-director-delivers-antisemitism-petition-to-new-york-times/
HonestReporting Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz’s recent trip to the US included a visit to the headquarters of the New York Times.

The publication of an openly antisemitic cartoon in the New York Times international edition, under the guise of criticism of Israel, marked the perfect opportunity to deliver our antisemitism definition petition to that newspaper’s offices as a constructive means of addressing the issue.

Daniel delivered the petition calling on the media to adopt the internationally recognized antisemitism definition to New York Times Editor-in-Chief, Dean Baquet. (You can view the cover letter here.)

The petition has, so far, gathered over 11,500 signatures, taking up 240 pages. And we’re still collecting signatures.

We intend to deliver the petition to other mainstream media outlets in the near future. If you haven’t signed yet, it’s not too late. Please also tell your friends and family to sign as well.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION: IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO TELL THE MEDIA TO ADOPT THE IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM
https://honestreporting.nationbuilder.com/ihra-antisemitism-definition
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ANTISEMTISMIHRAINTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCENEW YORK TIMES

Simon Plosker
With overall responsibility for HonestReporting’s content and output, Simon joined the HonestReporting team in November 2005 following several years working in a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Jewish Agency and the Board of Deputies of British Jews prior to immigrating to Israel in 2001 from London. In Israel, Simon has worked for BICOM and as Managing Editor of NGO Monitor as well as serving for a short period in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. Simon has a BSoc.Sc in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham and a MSc in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics.
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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 4:47 pm

Foreign Editor Invents Trump Peace Plan as ‘Worse Than Apartheid’
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JUNE 24, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/shannon-ebrahim-invents-trump-peace-plan-worse-than-apartheid/
The details of US President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” economic plan to jump start the Palestinian and regional economies has been publicly released ahead of a Bahrain Conference. Anyone can read on the White House website where $50 billion of investment is supposed to go.

Much of the criticism of the plan, including from the Palestinians, surrounds the fact that the plan only deals with economics and not the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The details of a political plan apparently in the works for later in the year have not yet been released.

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But the Foreign Editor of South Africa’s Independent Media, Shannon Ebrahim knows better. While most other mainstream media outlets were commenting on the actual contents of the Trump economic plan and the forthcoming Bahrain Conference, Ebrahim was making it up as she went along based on a clear hatred towards Israel.

According to her:

Under the deal, Palestinians will be squeezed into a tinier fraction of historic Palestine, from 22% (the Green line of 1967) to a meagre 12%, where they will be confined to cantons or Bantustans, stripped of water, resources, the right to a military or any real sovereignty.

The equivalent of bantustans will be surrounded by Israeli settlements. Settlements will no longer be illegal.

The plan kills any notion of a Palestinian state, but formalises the Zionist dream of a Greater Israel, containing self-governing cantons of Palestinians who will not have equal rights to Israelis. The sophisticated system of apartheid will be further perfected.

Within the context of this Greater Israel, Palestinians will be allowed to work only outside their cantons in low-paying jobs in agriculture and construction, and will have to pay Israel for its military protection.

No doubt Israel will continue to collect Palestinian tax and customs revenue, and withhold it as a form of punishment against those living in the cantons.

Israel will easily impose economic blockade on the Palestinian encampments as it has with Gaza for many years, starving them into submission.

The vision is beginning to look like a far worse version of apartheid South Africa, where there is one country but with masses of inhabitants who are disenfranchised, not accorded basic or equal rights, and living under the heavy hand of oppression and exploitation.

We could add more of this hateful rant but you probably get the picture by now.


Related reading: The False Israel-Apartheid Libel

It’s one thing to write anti-Israel hate speech based on nothing more than one’s own misguided and warped opinion. It’s another to claim that this opinion is based on fact – in this case a fully open US plan that anyone and everyone can see for themselves.

The Independent Media’s own Press Code in its clause on accuracy, states:

When publishing opinions, Independent Media shall require that the opinions are based on fact and are honestly held.

Maybe Shannon Ebrahim believes what she writes but her opinions are certainly not based on fact. In this case, attempting to invent parts of a US plan that don’t actually exist is a breach of the Press Code.

That the Foreign Editor of a mainstream media outlet could write such an opinion piece isn’t only unprofessional. It’s embarrassing.


We’ve submitted a complaint to Independent Media and ask that you do the same through its online feedback form.

UPDATE
Since the publication of this post, the story was covered by the South African Jewish Report with considerable input from HonestReporting.

Shannon Ebrahim responded with another vicious opinion piece that appeared in a number of South African printed editions belonging to the Independent Media stable of titles under the headline “Prosperity for Palestine in return for permanent occupation.”

It now appears online under a different headline. Ebrahim used the opening paragraphs to attack HonestReporting and its Managing Editor Simon Plosker. Following an official complaint, inaccurate background details concerning Plosker’s employment history (which is openly available for any journalist to find) have been corrected.

A serious and entirely false charge currently remains:

Plosker’s “Honest Reporting” were so desperate that they sent their article to all the contacts on my LinkedIn account, suggesting a rather sophisticated smear campaign.

HonestReporting is a transparent organization. When we critique media outlets or individual journalists, we do so publicly, including on our website, Facebook and Twitter.  We have never, nor would we, engage in a “rather sophisticated smear campaign” on LinkedIn.  Ebrahim has no evidence that we sent anything to all of her LinkedIn contacts because it simply never happened.

We have demanded a retraction and an apology from Independent Media.
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 11:32 pm

https://honestreporting.com/guardian-recycles-old-discredited-anti-israel-smear-from-independent/
The Guardian Recycles Old, Discredited Anti-Israel Smear
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JUNE 20, 2019

Almost two weeks after The Independent published a baseless smear about Gazan babies dying alone in Israel – a claim swiftly exposed by HonestReporting – The Guardian’s Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha have now repeated the smear.

On June 7,  Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, a member of the British Labour party,  claimed that a Gazan mother was told by doctors over the phone that two of her prematurely-born babies died. In an op-ed published in The Independent, Allin-Khan alleged that the “mother had to return to Gaza days after giving birth,” and therefore was not present when two of the triplets died. It was only months later, wrote Allin-Khan, that the “mother was issued a permit and was able to collect her and take her [remaining daughter] home.

As HonestReporting responded at the time:

According to multiple news sources, the mother was with the boys when they died. Rather than being far away in Gaza, the reports clearly indicated that the mother was actually with her children in Israel until their final moments, and only then returned to Gaza in order to bury them.

Anyone looking into the story online would easily have been able to find these articles – from the Israeli media and the Palestinian media alike – all stating the same thing; that the babies’ mother was actually with them when two of them died, and only returned to Gaza afterwards. Similarly, a quick Google search would have yielded HonestReporting’s response.

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Despite the mass of contradictory evidence available online, the Guardian has now re-run this same story in an article entitled, “A Jerusalem hospital where Palestinian babies die alone.” In the Guardian article, a more detailed version of the claim appears:

In one case, a 24-year-old mother from Gaza was permitted to travel to Jerusalem to give birth to gravely ill triplets two months early. Two weighed less than a bag of sugar.

But Hiba Swailam’s permit expired and she had to return to Gaza. She was not there when her first child died at nine days old, or two weeks later when her second baby also died. She was informed by phone.

This is the exact same story. The only major difference, beyond the inclusion of the names of the family members, is the identity of the writer. This time the story is from a journalist, rather than a politician. Surely journalists are supposed to check their sources? What kind of journalist writes a story months after the event itself occurred, and almost two weeks after another newspaper publishes an article on it? And as if all that wasn’t enough, what kind of journalist disregards the fact that gaping holes have already been punched through the story?

Guardian Hospital Palestinian Babies Die Alone

The Guardian report correctly describes the “vicious political rivalry between the Palestinian political factions in the West Bank and Gaza” that has “deepened a health crisis.” In pointing out that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) “has been accused of cutting medical aid to Gaza to press Hamas to cede control of the strip,” The Guardian mentions an important fact. However, the writers could, and should, have gone further. Not only has the PA cut medical aid to Gaza, it also deliberately drags its feet in processing exit permit requests for the people of Gaza, thus denying them vital medical care.

Indeed, a report in Hebrew published on Israel’s Channel 13 website on May 31 said that:

The hospital repeatedly asked the Palestinian Authority to request a permit from the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories for Shahd’s mother or father to come back to Israel and reunite with their daughter. ‘We tried over and over, but they refused.’

Israeli media also reported that a single permit request was made, which was faulty and therefore denied. Despite the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to re-apply for a permit for the infant’s mother to return to Israel, she was issued a special permit by COGAT following the intervention of the Israeli television channel. None of this was mentioned in The Guardian story.

Beyond the facts of this story, the wider context which is notably absent from The Guardian report. The fact that Gazans with medical permits have been caught providing information for terror attacks and smuggling explosives into Israel underscores the need for vetting. In one case, two sisters from Gaza smuggled explosives disguised inside medicine containers into Israel as they were headed for cancer treatment at a Jerusalem hospital. In another, a Gazan woman with a travel permit to accompany her sister, a cancer patient who received medical treatment in Israel, exploited the opportunity to pass on a phone and instructions to a Palestinian from the West Bank. The recipient then used the phone and instructions to start preparing bombs.

While journalists have every right to document the suffering of individuals in Gaza, circulating concocted and already discredited stories, and neglecting to contextualize the facts by mentioning Israel’s legitimate security concerns, is an insult to journalism.


Please send your considered complaints to The Guardian readers’ editor – guardian.readers@theguardian.com
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 9:40 am

https://honestreporting.com/honestreporting-prompts-improved-guardian-headline-planned-trump-village/
HonestReporting Prompts Improved Guardian Headline on Planned ‘Trump’ Village
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JUNE 17, 2019

With Sunday’s unveiling of a plaque marking the site of a planned village in the Golan to be named after United States President Donald Trump, media coverage was assured, and the vast majority of news outlets managed to keep their comments accurate and fair.

Not The Guardian.

Despite the fact that the plaque unveiling was merely symbolic, the Guardian’s headline informed readers that Israel has in fact already “built” a settlement in Trump’s honor. “Israeli settlement called Trump built on conquered land”

This is, of course, false.  With no budget allocated, no planning done, no final location decided for the project, and not even so much as a binding decision to actually oversee the construction of Ramat Trump, (Trump Heights in Hebrew,) no building whatsoever has been undertaken.

HonestReporting swiftly called the Guardian out on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, and the Guardian consequently renamed the article to more accurately reflect the reality: “‘Trump Heights’: Israeli settlement in Golan named after US president.”

Though the revised headline could make clear that Trump Heights is only being planned at this stage, and has not yet received funding or a government mandate, it at least doesn’t claim that it has already been “built”.

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 Reality: There is no budgeting, no planning, no location for a settlement, and no binding decision to implement the project.

The @guardian: Israeli settlement called Trump built on conquered land.

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Emanuel Miller
Emanuel Miller is a Jerusalem-based writer who has previously worked for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel, and helped establish the English media department of My Truth, an organization that documents the experiences of Israeli soldiers while facing an immoral, cynical enemy. He regularly speaks about Israel, media bias, and Israel's geopolitical complexities to audiences including Birthright groups, student leaders visiting Israel, and for those seeking to get a more nuanced understanding of Israel.

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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 3:59 pm

https://honestreporting.com/fanatic-jews-storm-al-aqsa-mosque-photo-captions/
Success: ‘Fanatic Jews Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque’ Photo Captions Corrected
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JUNE 3, 2019

Hundreds of Jewish visitors ascended the Temple Mount to celebrate Jerusalem Day on Sunday, June 2. The Times of Israel reports how clashes broke out between Palestinian rioters and Israeli police.

The Daily Mail’s Mail Online included a selection of photos in its story of events. A disturbing number of the captions, however, are astonishing in their bias and inaccuracy.

So, according to Mail Online, “fanatic Jews… raid Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Since when are Jews exercising their legal rights to visit Judaism’s holiest site “fanatics?” While it is admittedly unusual for Jews to visit the site during the final days of Ramadan, which happened to coincide with this year’s Jerusalem Day, the status quo agreement allows for non-Muslim visitors at set visiting times.

Related reading: Jewish Ties to the Temple Mount – What’s the Story?

Jews are also prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount and will be detained by the Israeli police if they are caught doing so and, as the Times of Israel video showed, are accompanied by the police on a set route.

How is this described as a “raid” on the Al-Aqsa compound?

The mosque itself is of no interest to the Jewish visitors and non-Muslims are prohibited from entering. So why would “Jews storm the building?”

Putting aside the abysmal copy editing, how is it that Palestinians initiate a riot yet Jews, according to the caption, are the ones who caused the clashes?

This is effectively an inversion of reality.

Much like the rest of the captions, which read as if they have been written by a Hamas media outlet.

We contacted Mail Online requesting changes to the photo captions. To its credit, Mail Online responded positively and the captions were swiftly amended.

The adjective “fanatic” used to describe Jewish visitors has been removed.
It has been clarified that the Jews’ visit was to the compound containing the Mosque, not the Mosque itself.
Jews are no longer ‘storming the building’ and are instead, entering the compound.
Nor are they ‘raiding’ the compound but are now ‘visiting.’
Their entrance no longer “caused” the clashes but “led to” them, a more subtle use of language.
How did this happen?
While the photos appear to be taken from the mainstream Getty Images photo service, further investigation reveals that the real credit lies with Anadolu Agency, an international news agency headquartered in Ankara, Turkey. The agency is state-run.

The series of photos on the Getty Images website is even titled: “Fanatic Jews’ raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.”

The photos with the appalling captions that appeared on the Mail Online site can be found here, here, here, and here.

And the photographer? Faiz Abu Rmeleh, in addition to his work for Anadolu Agency, is also involved with the Activestills organization, which makes no secret of its particular political bias:

Activestills collective was established in 2005 by a group of documentary photographers out of a strong conviction that photography is a vehicle for social and political change. The collective views itself as part of the international and local struggle against all forms of oppression, racism and discrimination. It is composed of Israeli, Palestinian and international photographers, operating locally in Palestine/Israel and abroad.

Activestills approaches the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as one, working to expose the most blatant attack on human rights and freedom within these borders: the Zionist settler-colonial project led by Israel against the Palestinian population. One of our main topics of documentation is the various forms of resistance against the colonial project, on both sides of the Green Line.

So we have a blatantly politicized photographer whose mission is to promote Palestinian “resistance” against Israel, presumably including portraying violent Palestinian riots on the Temple Mount as the result of “fanatic Jews.”

Related reading: Photojournalist Stages News for Profit and Ideology

While we do not know if Faiz Abu Rmeleh came up with the captions, his photos were distributed by the Anadolu Agency. That a Turkish state-run organization would produce anti-Israel propaganda is hardly surprising.

What is disturbing is how Getty Images accepted these captions on their own website while Mail Online’s editors failed to check the veracity of those captions when posting the photos in their own story.

All in all, a perfect storm of anti-Israel hate allied to a lack of vigilance on the part of Mail Online.

Featured image: CC BY-NC Patrick McKay;
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Post  Admin on Mon 27 May 2019, 7:52 pm

LA Times Op-Ed Sweetens the Destruction of Israel
BY SIMON PLOSKER  MAY 26, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/one-state-solution-la-times-destruction-israel/
The concepts of equal rights and justice are embedded in the American psyche. US academic of Palestinian descent, George Bisharat is well aware of this when he makes his case for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the LA Times. But what looks like a winning formula couched in the language of human rights and equality is actually a thinly veiled way of sweetening the pill of advocating for Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state.

Bisharat’s prescription:

The way forward will be difficult, but it could start with a compassionate declaration from Palestinians, along the lines of South Africa’s Freedom Charter, committing to a just society that includes both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Such a declaration should embrace a broad, multi-faceted and contemporary vision of justice for this troubled land.

Without even mentioning the word ‘apartheid,’ Bisharat has conflated the end of the South African apartheid regime with a solution to his Israel problem.

Needless to say, Israel is not apartheid South Africa.


George Bisharat
Bisharat continues:

For example, a Freedom Charter would address the rights of the Israeli Jews who currently inhabit homes of Palestinians seized in 1948, and fear eviction when Palestinian refugees return, as we are legally and morally due. My family, like survivors of the Nazi Holocaust seeking return of their seized works of art, insists that ownership of our grandfather’s Villa Harun ar-Rashid in West Jerusalem should be restored to us.

Again an immoral equivalence and this time an wholly offensive one.  Palestinians became refugees in 1948 as a result of a conflict that they and their Arab brethren initiated. Any homes or property they lost as a result was not “seized” as Bisharat would like readers to believe. This cannot and should not be compared to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who lost everything for nothing more than being Jewish. Palestinians have every right to consider the events of 1948 to be a catastrophe. To turn their misfortune into the equivalent of the Holocaust, however, is entirely inappropriate.

Bisharat’s immoral equivalency then becomes farcical:

The charter should also address rights for women and members of the LGBTQ community, which some Palestinians as well as some Jewish Israelis have been slow to embrace. And it should address environmental issues that will be crucial as global warming puts increasing pressure on the Middle East.

Israel is the most progressive country in the Middle East when it comes to women’s and gay rights. Any suggestion that there is some similarity between Israelis and Palestinians on these values is simply laughable. Indeed, given the fact that openly identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community is a possible death sentence for Palestinians, it’s insulting to intimate that both Israelis and Palestinians need to equally improve their records on this issue.

As for throwing in environmental issues and global warming, Bisharat clearly knows his audience. In truth, these are simply irrelevant to the real conversation. Israel is a world leader in many environmental initiatives including water conservation and agriculture technology. Compare with the Palestinians whose ideas of environmental protection extends to polluting the air by burning tires, torching thousands of acres of forest and fields, and dumping sewage and waste on the land.

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Bisharat then claims that one-third of Palestinians support a one-state solution. However, he then states:

Meanwhile, in the U.S., polls show that about an equal number of Americans support one state with equality as support a two-state solution, with young people leading the way. According to a poll released by the University of Maryland in December 2018, 42% of Americans ages 18 to 35 support a single state, versus 33% for two states. And if a two-state solution is no longer possible, a majority of all Americans support one state with equal rights.

Quite frankly, so what? Why are the views of young Americans even relevant here? Israelis and Palestinians are the people who have to live together in a workable solution to the conflict, not Americans who cannot begin to fathom the practical issues that any solution would entail.

It is only in the eleventh paragraph of Bisharat’s 15 paragraph piece that he openly acknowledges his real agenda:

Of course, an Israel founded on equal rights for all will no longer be a “Jewish state” — just as South Africa, after the fall of apartheid, was no longer a state that institutionalized white supremacy. It was a fundamental misperception of Israel’s founders that a homeland privileging Jews could be accepted in another people’s land.

Bisharat makes a direct link between a Jewish state and white supremacism, essentially branding the concept of a Jewish homeland as a racist construct. Not only racist but illegitimate in its entirety because these Jews are living “in another people’s land.” In Bisharat’s worldview, Jewish self-determination in the land of their forefathers, a land that they have had a continuous connection to for over 3,000 years, is illegitimate.

And because Bisharat is attuned to his West Coast liberal audience, he makes sure to throw in another trigger:

Israeli Jews will not surrender their advantages easily. Privileged groups never do.

Being a professor on a US campus, Bisharat is well aware of the conversation surrounding intersectionality and supposed ‘white privilege.’ So it’s a natural stretch to turn Israeli Jews into a ‘privileged group’ in much the same way as bigoted left-wingers in US politics and academia have branded American Jews as the beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.’

Nowhere in his piece does the author address the glaring problem with a one-state solution from the Palestinian perspective. Palestinians are divided between two administrations, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. Despite numerous efforts to come to an arrangement, these two bodies are in open conflict with each other. Palestinians cannot even unite among themselves. Bisharat expects both sides to come together in harmony in a one-state solution?

Bisharat ends with a call for “the prospect of building a just and genuinely free and democratic society — a true beacon of progress for the region if not the world.” There’s a state of this description already in the region. Its name is Israel. Bisharat knows that Palestinians are incapable of building anything genuinely free and democratic. Far easier to take over the state that already exists through the ballot box and bring an end to Jewish sovereignty.

This call for a one-state solution, while presented in the language of liberalism, equal rights and justice, is nothing more than Bisharat’s politically correct method for bringing about the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian rejectionism has played a significant role in wrecking all initiatives for a Palestinian state living side by side with an Israeli one. Bisharat’s opinion piece is an admittance that his one-state solution is just that – a single Palestinian state where Israel currently exists.


Please send your letters to the LA Times and expose George Bisharat’s real agenda – https://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-letter-to-the-editor-htmlstory.html
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Post  Admin on Wed 15 May 2019, 5:36 pm

https://honestreporting.com/bbc-documentary-almost-gets-gaza-right/
Flawed BBC Documentary Proves Israeli Narrative Right
BY EMANUEL MILLER  MAY 14, 2019
One Day in Gaza yahud
A BBC documentary, One Day In Gaza, examining the events of May 14, 2018, when tens of thousands of people in Gaza protested along the border with Israel, confirmed Israel’s version of events and explanations for what went on that day at the Gaza border.

Directed by award-winning documentary maker Olly Lambert, the program details how events on that dramatic day unfolded.

Despite a number of flaws, One Day In Gaza proves that Israel was not facing mere unarmed protesters, but was dealing with a dynamic in which violent rioters and armed terrorists concealed themselves in large groups of civilians, including women and children, some of whom were willing human shields for their violence.

The Israel-Gaza conflict is an incredibly difficult, and thorny, topic to cover. It has many facets, including Israel’s right to self-defense, the suffering of the Palestinian people under Hamas’ decade-long reign of terror, their legitimate right to self-expression, and the willingness of Gazan civilians to allow themselves to be used as human shields.

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One Day in Gaza addresses all of these in context, giving  people a platform to speak in their own words. It allowed Israeli Adele Raemer to show Israelis are “on edge” and anxious about Israel being invaded. The film demonstrates that some of the Palestinians involved in the protests were potentially violent and extremist, with one young protester sharing his thoughts from the night before the march: “We’re going in, we’ll cross the fence. We’re going in and we’ll give them hell,” and another who speaks openly about his fantasy to “rip a Jew’s head off.”

Israel has long held that the protesters acted as human shields for more violent elements, sometimes willingly. During the program, numerous women spoke and children openly admit their role in enabling terrorists and rioters to get closer to the border: “We line up like a human shield so the men could advance further,” says one Gazan woman. Another tells viewers that previously, “some of us distracted the Israelis with stones and Molotov Cocktails” before cutting the fence.

Similarly, the program showed a Hamas official admitting that, at one location at least, Israeli shooting only commenced as a direct response to armed Palestinians firing on IDF soldiers, finally laying to rest the myth that all of these Palestinian protesters were unarmed innocents and Israel had attacked without cause. Gazan interviewees also reveal that the demonstrations, which originally were grassroots were infiltrated and co-opted by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists groups.

For all this, the program should be praised. However, it was not without its flaws.

Censoring Palestinian antisemitism
The film demonstrated that some of the Palestinians involved in the protests were potentially violent and extremist. A Gazan boy says “the revolutionary songs excite you, they encourage you… to rip a Jew’s head off.” However, instead of translating the Arabic word for Jew, ‘Yahud,’ accurately, the translation is inaccurately rendered, and replaced with a more sterile one – Israeli, thus minimizing antisemitism.

Seth Frantzman of the Jerusalem Post writes:

Arabic media throughout the Middle East does not use the term “Yahud” to refer to Israel, but rather “Israel” written in Arabic letters. On any day numerous articles at newspaper like Al-Ghad in Jordan illustrate this. Even Hamas writes “Israel” in its official press release for media, not “Yahud.”

Yahud is routinely translated directly as “Jew” by the media in almost every other circumstance. In his article, Frantzman contrasts the BBC’s translation with news coverage after a doctor was fired in January following the surfacing of antisemitic tweets.  In its coverage of the firing, NBC noted that: “She tweeted that she would ‘purposely give all the yahood [sic] the wrong meds,’ using the Arabic word, Yahud, which means Jews.”

UPDATE: A BBC spokesperson has responded to the uproar provoked by the mistranslation of the word ‘Yahud’: “We sought expert advice on the translation before broadcast and we believe the translation of ‘Yehudi’ as ‘Israeli’ in this documentary is both accurate and true to the speakers’ intentions.”

Related Reading: Israel’s Existence Lost in BBC Translation

Removing context
The documentary sets out to frame the protest against the backdrop of the US embassy relocating from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In reality, the protests had been occurring on a weekly basis for over a month by this point. The protests of May 14 were originally scheduled to occur a day later, but Hamas deliberately brought the protest forward a day so as to compel the media to cover the embassy transfer in the context of mass riots and casualties. In not mentioning this, the BBC helped Hamas achieved its objective.

Similarly, even if the documentary focused on one just one day, the BBC had a responsibility to explain events preceding that day. It certainly showed the Gazan narrative, in which the day came about as a ‘response’ to the US transferring its embassy to Jerusalem. However, it didn’t show much from Israel’s perspective. In the lead-up to the protest covered in the documentary, Israel was attacked on numerous occasions by terrorists in Gaza.

At previous protests, people had breached the border fence with weapons, and shot at Israeli soldiers. For example, on March 30, in the very first in the series of protests, two men armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades opened fire on Israeli soldiers and then attempted to breach the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip.

 Embedded video

Israel Defense Forces
✔
@IDF
 Moments ago, IDF troops thwarted an infiltration attempt by three terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorists approached the security fence and attempted to infiltrate Israeli territory. In response, IDF troops targeted the terrorists with tank fire

1,655
5:54 PM - Mar 30, 2018
1,093 people are talking about this
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The documentary could have found time to mention another border breach that took place a few weeks before, in which four Palestinians entered Israeli territory and  tried to set fire to a military vehicle before fleeing back to Gaza. Video footage of that incident was shown on Al Jazeera and other outlets, and could easily have been integrated into the program.

The BBC could also have highlighted that only a few weeks before, three Gazans with grenades and knives successfully infiltrated Israel and were discovered near an army base 20 kilometers from Gaza.

Other clips, such as the one below, were freely available on social media.

 Embedded video

(((Emanuel Miller)))
@emanumiller
 This is what a border infiltration from #Gaza into #Israel looks like. See the man (0:30) clutching a meat cleaver? Imagine hundreds like him coming into Israeli territory, hoping to murder as many Israelis as possible.

This is what Israel is up against.
3:49 PM - May 14, 2018
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Where was the footage? Why was there no mention of repeated attempts to lay booby-trapped flags, box-cutters and other tools at the border fence in order to kill or injure Israelis, on one occasion injuring four IDF soldiers after approaching the fence to remove a bomb disguised as a flag? Why was there no mention of the countless flying Molotov cocktails in the form of balloons or kites with petrol bombs attached, causing massive fires?

Showing these videos, or even just describing these events, would have left viewers in no doubt that Israel faced an array of threats, and was genuinely fearful of a mass invasion, with hordes of people intent on causing harm to Israeli citizens and Israeli property.

Israel’s measures to avoid mass casualties
Notably, entirely absent from the program were the measures taken by Israel to avoid mass casualties. Due to the most violent rioters and terrorists concealing themselves within larger groups of protesters, regular Israeli soldiers were taken off border duty, and only snipers were allowed to shoot. The guiding principle was that only a sniper rifle would be accurate enough to take aim at the most violent people without injuring the innocent people around them. Whether or not this was enough is a matter of opinion, but the fact that this was Israeli policy is undisputed and should have been mentioned.

‘Gassing’ Palestinians?
While that may have been missed by most people, watching Palestinians seemingly convulsing in agony towards the end of the program was an assault on the senses. Footage of Gazans suffering from the effects of an unknown gas is shown. Viewers are told that a “drone came and started dropping gas” and the narrator described Israelis deploying “gas” against the Gazan people in much the same way the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons during that country’s civil war.  People are seen writhing, convulsing and crying out, with others appearing flat on their backs, receiving saline solution to their eyes and hands. Some have breathing tubes.

There is no problem in documenting this, the very real result of Israel’s response to the mass rioting and attempted breach of its border. However, no description of the gas is given. All viewers are told is that Israel used “gas.” That the BBC notably failed to say “teargas” as it had done earlier in the program undoubtedly left viewers wondering if Israel was using chlorine or something far worse than a legitimate means of crowd dispersal used by other Western states.

As a result of the failure to define exactly what tools Israel used, a clip taken from the program spread swiftly on social media within hours of the program being aired, purporting to be evidence of Israeli ‘chemical weapons.’

Flawed, but the most balanced coverage so far?
Despite the numerous flaws listed above, One Day in Gaza deserves a degree of credit. It shows that human shields were used regularly, that Hamas deliberately bused civilians into military zones, sometimes against their will, and displays the horrendous embrace of violence by Gazan teens and youths. The program also allowed people on both sides to talk about their frustrations and hopes, allowing the humanity of one Israeli citizen and of numerous Israeli soldiers to come through.

An Israeli soldier, tasked with watching events through security cameras, speaks of Israel’s recognition that “tens of thousands of people aren’t all enemies,” and makes clear that the situation was complex and dynamic. “We’re talking about civilians, and that’s what makes this difficult.” Repeatedly, Israelis state clearly that they genuinely had no desire to hurt anyone innocent, but were forced to react to a military event.

In many ways, the documentary backs up the Israeli account of events that day, showing how hell-bent the protesters were on breaking through the fence and murdering Israelis. It’s just a pity that a lack of context, background and one lamentable translation ruined an otherwise fair program.
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Post  Admin on Mon 06 May 2019, 3:46 pm

From the Scene: Under Fire in Israel’s South
BY SIMON PLOSKER  MAY 6, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/under-fire-gaza-rockets-israel-south/
In November 2018, I had the experience of walking through a bombed-out apartment building in Ashkelon where a Gaza rocket strike had resulted in a fatality. So I had some idea of what to expect when I hitched a ride south again with a group of journalists to see the situation for myself. Over 600 Gaza rockets had been launched into Israeli towns, cities and communities in the space of only a few days.

En route in a small minibus, the protocol for a warning siren was explained. The driver would pull over and we were to get out as quickly as possible and lie down on the side of the road. Sitting at the back of the bus, I contemplated that in the event of a rocket attack, it would be virtually impossible for everyone to get out of the one side door and take cover within the 15 seconds warning time before a rocket fell.


Moshe Agadi
We arrived at the home of 58-year old father of four, Moshe Agadi, killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired at his Ashkelon house. The scene was busy – journalists, IDF soldiers, police, damage assessors, as well as friends and members of the Agadi family gathered in the aftermath of the tragic and appalling disaster that had befallen them.

A crater in the front yard indicated where the rocket had landed. Twisted metal and shattered concrete littered what would otherwise have been an idyllic garden area of trees and shrubbery. While the rocket may not have scored a direct hit on the house, the impact was still obvious.


The crater to the left of a wall shattered by the rocket’s impact.
Pock marks on the house exterior struck by shrapnel; a blown out window; roof tiles dislodged. While Agadi was able to get family members into their safe room in the seconds before the rocket struck, he was killed by the shrapnel in his living room. While the house remained virtually intact and the damage appeared to be superficial, the deadly potential of what so many media have termed “homemade’ rockets was only too apparent.

Damaged roof tiles and shrapnel impact on the side of the house.

A blown out window frame.

The neighboring house was also damaged. We went inside, treading on debris and shattered glass. A double glazed window pane at the other end of the living room served as a graphic illustration of the sheer force of the shrapnel blast. Had that been a human being on the receiving end, the consequences do not bear thinking about.


The results of shrapnel hitting a window inside the neighboring house.
Despite the activity at the site, there was still a surreal calm even as journalists received briefings from the IDF and police spokespeople. Birds chirped in the trees while the journalists took photos and asked questions.

Then the siren
With approximately 30 seconds warning time for Ashkelon, whose population numbers nearly 140,000, the assorted people in the vicinity moved quickly inside. It became clear that the safe room simply wasn’t large enough to accommodate the number of people seeking shelter. Those of us left outside  the safe room crouched down and waited. I positioned myself by a wall in the small service porch immediately adjacent to the safe room. The broken tiles by my feet served as a reminder that this house had already endured one fatal attack. Lightning couldn’t possibly strike twice, could it?

In the ocean, if someone screams “shark,” your immediate instinct is to swim as fast as you can to shore. You don’t know if you’ll make it back or if that shark will grab you but you’ll do your utmost to survive. In this situation, however, there is no shore to swim to. All you can do is tread water and hope that the shark will swim by. All you can do is wait and hope.

As the siren continued to wail, multiple booms and thuds reverberated from outside, the sound of Gaza rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome. It was clear from the noise that the rockets were close. Despite previous experiences, it was still unnerving. Finally, the siren stopped. After waiting a minute or two, we filed out of the house.



(Due to the limitations of a cellphone, the video footage barely does justice to the situation.)

The IDF Home Front Command instructs Israelis to stay in their protected spaces for at least 10 minutes after the end of a siren. Israelis are notoriously hesitant to follow instructions. These instructions are issued for a reason, which we found out only a few seconds after leaving the house as the siren began to blare again.

Another dash back to our previous positions inside the house and more booms. We were unaware that this was a massive rocket barrage aimed at Ashkelon. I was almost back on the minibus when the third siren in only a few minutes prompted yet another run to my now familiar space in the service porch for the limited protection it offered. Strangely, members of the Agadi family, perhaps struck by a fatalism resulting from Moshe Agadi’s death, stayed in the living room almost ignoring the incoming threat.

This time, the sounds of explosions rattled the house and there were audible gasps from the among those huddled in and out of the safe room. The booms felt as if they were literally right outside. I have to admit that it was genuinely frightening. As we eventually hurried out of the house in the aftermath of the siren, I realized that I was trembling slightly. I’ll put it down to the adrenaline but my nerves had most definitely been frayed.

Sadly, Iron Dome was unable to prevent at least one of the Gaza rockets from landing on a factory in Ashkelon’s industrial zone, killing one Israeli man. By the time we reached that scene, emergency services had already secured the factory site and evacuated the casualty, Israeli Bedouin resident of the Negev Ziad al-Hamamda, 47, who left behind a wife and seven children.


The scene from a factory struck by a rocket in Ashkelon.

Emergency services on the scene.

An attempt to visit the residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz on the Gaza border was abandoned after Palestinian terrorists launched a Kornet anti-tank missile at a civilian car on a highway near Sderot, killing  68-year-old Moshe Feder. The road was promptly closed by security forces. As we waited at a gas station north of Gaza to see if the road would be reopened, the sound of booms and thuds in the near distance was incessant. It’s one thing to see the constant alert messages on a cellphone. It’s another to experience it in real time.

Over 600 Gaza rockets during the course of two days is hard to imagine. Being there felt even more intense than previous times such as the 2014 conflict, which stretched over a far greater length of time and breadth of the country. Yet the sheer number and the frequency of the rocket attacks over the southern region during the course of the past few days left me with a feeling of increased vulnerability borne out by the far greater numbers of Israeli deaths and injuries than in past violent flare ups.

I suspect those journalists who visited the scene also left with a new sense of anxiety and vulnerability. How unfortunate that it takes an experience of this nature to understand or even empathize with the suffering of Israelis who have to live through such events.

At this time, calm has been restored to both the residents of Israel’s south and the Gaza Strip. Until the next time.



https://honestreporting.com/gaza-blockade-explainer/
The Gaza Blockade: An Explainer
BY PESACH BENSON  FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Rafah crossing Gaza blockade
View of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
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Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007.

Often overlooked, forgotten or taken for granted in media coverage and public discussion is the reason for the blockade: the threat of Hamas weapons smuggling.

Egypt captured Gaza during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. The Strip would remain under Egyptian military occupation until the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel’s administration allowed Jews to settle in the Strip. (The Jewish Virtual Library expands on historical Jewish ties to Gaza). When Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005, 8,000 settlers were evacuated from 21 settlements. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority managed Gaza’s affairs until 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the Strip, killing and expelling Fatah personnel.

The Hamas takeover destroyed international agreements between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt over Gaza’s border crossings. PA personnel and European monitors manning the crossings fled the violence.

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Since Hamas seized power, Israel has fought three wars in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014). The IDF has foiled a number of attempts to smuggle Iranian arms to Gaza. Egypt has also has also periodically moved against Gaza-Sinai smuggling tunnels. Hamas has an up-and-down relationship with jihadist insurgents in the Sinai fighting the Egyptian military.

(For the sake of brevity, we look forward to addressing the legality of the Gaza blockade separately. For the time being, readers interested to learn more can see International Law and the Fighting in Gaza by Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell.)

The Cairo context
Egyptian flagThe Hamas coup set off alarm bells in both Israel and Egypt and the two countries established a blockade of the Strip. Jerusalem was worried because Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Cairo’s concerns, however, aren’t as fully understood in the West but are a critical part of the Gaza blockade’s background.

Hamas is an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Article II of the Hamas covenant identifies the organization as “one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” The Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, seeks to spread Islamist rule throughout the Middle East. In the years before Israel’s founding, the Brotherhood provided support for Palestinian terror attacks associated with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Egypt’s failure to prevent the establishment of Israel led the Brotherhood to increase its rhetoric against King Farouk and attacks on government officials. Banna’s assassination in 1949 is widely thought to have been carried out by the Egyptian Iron Guard, a royalist movement which Farouk used to settle political and personal vendettas.

Successive Egyptian leaders Gamel Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak suppressed the Brotherhood. But the Egyptian Revolution turned the tables. In 2012 elections, the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party’s candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president. The FJP also won 47 percent of the Egyptian parliament. The Brotherhood sought to draft a new constitution enshrining Islamic law and authorizing the president wide powers to “protect the revolution.” The power struggle came to a head in 2013, when, in the face of mass anti-government protests, the Egyptian military overthrew Morsi, arrested Brotherhood members and seized the organization’s assets.

Despite being crushed in Egypt, the Brotherhood has affiliates in numerous other Arab countries, Europe and even Israel. (The Islamic Movement in Israel split in 1993 over the Oslo accords. The “Southern Branch” accepted Oslo and eventually ran in Knesset elections. The “Northern Branch” rejected Oslo and was outlawed in 2015 over its ties to Hamas.)

Timeline of key events
To better understand the Gaza blockade’s history, here is a timeline of key events followed by background information on Gaza’s three operational border crossings.

Gaza map
Sept. 12, 2005: Israel completes Gaza disengagement, evacuating 8,000 settlers from 21 Jewish communities in the Strip. Israel continues maintaining control of territorial waters, air space and borders. The PA, which administers Gaza, takes control of the Palestinian side of the border crossings, which remain open.

Sept. 23, 2005: Palestinians in Gaza fire first post-disengagement rockets at Israel.

Nov. 24, 2005: European monitors deploy to the Rafah border crossing as part of deal allowing PA control of the Gaza side of the crossing.

Jan. 25, 2006: Hamas wins Palestinian majority of seats in Palestinian legislative elections.

Jan. 30, 2006: The Quartet (the UN, US, EU and Russia) issues a statement demanding the new Palestinian government renounce violence, recognize Israel, and adhere to previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. (The UN Security Council later endorsed the Quartet’s three principles in 2008.)

Feb. 20, 2006: Israel rules out contacts with any Palestinian government in which Hamas has a role.

June 25, 2006: In a cross-border raid, Hamas abducts IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and kills three other soldiers. Israel tightens its closure of Gaza to prevent possibility of Shalit being smuggled out of the Strip. A month-long military operation is waged in Gaza.

March 12, 2007: Islamists abduct the BBC’s Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston. The high profile affair ended with his release on July 4, 2007.

Gaza coup
Hamas gunmen celebrating takeover of Gaza in June, 2007
June 10-15, 2007: The Battle of Gaza: In a bloody coup, Hamas seizes control of Strip, murdering PA personnel and ousting Fatah. As security deteriorates, PA officials and European monitors flee the Rafah border crossings. With the PA no longer manning the border crossings, Israel closes the Karni crossing and Egypt closes the Rafah crossing. (Before Hamas seized power, an average of about 1,500 people a day used the Rafah crossing.) To curb weapons smuggling, Israel and Egypt impose restriction on Gaza’s maritime traffic.

Jan 23, 2008: Hamas breaches border wall with Egypt; hundreds of thousands of Palestinians pour into the Sinai to purchase essentials. The UN estimated that as much as half of Gaza’s 1.5 million population crossed the border.

Feb. 3, 2008: Egyptian forces and Hamas seal the Gaza-Sinai border.

Dec. 27, 2008: IDF launches Operation Cast Lead in response to Gaza rocket fire.

Jan. 2009: Israeli air strike in Sudan destroys a 23-truck convoy carrying Iranian rockets intended for Gaza terror groups.

Jan. 18, 2009: Operation Cast Lead ends with unilateral ceasefire.

Sept. 15, 2009: The UN releases the findings of its controversial inquiry and report (the Goldstone report) on Operation Cast Lead. In April, 2011, lead investigator Judge Richard Goldstone recanted the report’s most contentious conclusions about Palestinian civilian deaths.

May 31, 2010: Israeli naval forces intercept a six-ship flotilla trying to symbolically break the Gaza blockade. Ten Turkish Islamists die in violent clashes aboard the Mavi Marmara.

March 15, 2011: Israeli naval forces intercept the Victoria, seizing approximately 50 tons of weapons, as well as manuals written in Farsi, intended for Hamas.

Sept. 2, 2011: An independent UN inquiry into the Mavi Marmara affair (the Palmer report) criticizes Israeli forces for using excessive force but upholds the blockade’s legality. (See also the Turkel report, the independent Israeli inquiry’s findings, which elaborated on the blockade’s legality.)

Oct. 18, 2011: Hamas frees Gilad Shalit in prisoner swap. Israel immediately frees 477 prisoners plus another 550 in December.

Oct. 23 2012: A Sudanese munitions factory reportedly owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is destroyed in an explosion attributed to Israel.

Nov. 14, 2012: IDF launches Operation Pillar of Defense in response to Gaza rocket fire.

Nov. 21, 2012: Cease-fire ends Operation Pillar of Defense.

March 5, 2014: Israeli naval forces intercept the Klos-C, seizing an undisclosed amount of Iranian-made weapons intended for Gaza terror groups.

Klos C
Weapons captured from the Klos C on display in Eilat on March 10, 2014
July 8, 2014: IDF launches Operation Protective Edge in response to Gaza rocket fire and the Hamas kidnapping/murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

July 20, 2014: Hamas captures the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed in an ambush after a ceasefire had taken effect. Hamas holds their bodies to this day.

July 23, 2014: Israeli engineers and scientists conduct first tests on a high-tech tunnel detection system.

Aug. 26, 2014: Operation Protective Edge ends as ceasefire takes hold.

Sept. 7, 2014: Avraham Mengistu, a mentally unstable Israeli, manages to cross the border into Gaza. Hamas holds Mengistu to this day.

Oct. 24, 2014: Islamist insurgents in the Sinai kill 31 Egyptian soldiers in two attacks on military positions. Among the responses by Cairo was an announcement of plans to expand a buffer zone along the Egypt-Gaza border

Jan. 8, 2015: Having discovered smuggling tunnels longer than expected, Egypt doubles the width of the Gaza buffer zone. Nearly 1,220 homes are demolished and 1,600 tunnels destroyed.

April 20, 2015: Hisham al-Sayed, a mentally unstable Israeli Bedouin, manages to cross the border into Gaza. Hamas holds Sayed to this day.

Sept. 11, 2015: Egyptian military begins pumping seawater into cross-border tunnels.

April 17, 2017: Gaza’s sole electric power plant runs out of fuel for the first time. Hamas and Fatah blame each other. Electricity from Israel and Egypt provides only four of hours daily of power to the Strip.

Jan. 17, 2018: Israel reveals plans for a 40-mile underground border barrier to block Palestinian tunnels into Israel.

March 30, 2018: Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers in the first of weekly “March of Return” violence along the Gaza border.

May 12, 2018: IDF destroys Hamas terror tunnel beneath the Erez border crossing.

May 29, 2018: IDF destroys Hamas terror tunnel under Kerem Shalom crossing that curled under Egyptian territory.

May 27, 2018: Israel announces start of construction of an underwater sea barrier to prevent infiltration.

Nov. 12, 2018: Following a botched Israeli intelligence operation in the Strip, Palestinians fire approximately 400 rockets at Israel, the largest barrage ever in a 24-hour period.

Gaza’s Three Border Crossings
Erez crossing: (with Israel): This terminal, the only crossing point for pedestrian traffic, is primarily used by international personnel such as diplomats, aid workers, journalists and also Palestinians with permits to leave Gaza, usually for medical treatment.

Israel is forced to scrutinize requests for medical permits because Hamas has used Palestinians being treated in Israel to pass messages to terror operatives in the West Bank. And healthy Palestinians trying to leave the Strip have paid doctors to write referrals for treatment abroad.

Further complicating matters, the Palestinian Authority often blocks patients from leaving the Strip by holding up the release of payment vouchers and delaying the transfer of drugs from West Bank warehouses, while cheap black market medicines smuggled from Egypt are fueling Gaza’s opioid crisis.

Erez crossing
A Palestinian woman at the Erez crossing who entered Israel with her children for medical treatment as a soldier assists her.
 

Kerem Shalom crossing (with Israel): Located at the convergence of the Gaza, Israeli and Egyptian borders, this crossing is used by all trucks delivering goods from both Israel and Egypt to the Strip. As other border crossings (noted below) were closed, Kerem Shalom became the sole transfer point. It currently sees an average of 100,000 tons of items delivered to the Strip.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at what 147,540 trucks delivered to Gaza in 2017 per COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit within the Defense Ministry which implements civilian policy in the West Bank and Gaza in liaison with the Palestinian Authority and other relevant international aid organizations).

3,383,440: tons of construction materials
568,744: tons of food
637,111: tons of gas
155,038: liters of diesel fuel
40,696: liters of gasoline
7,044: tons of medical equipment
3,154: vehicles
Further, more than 6.5 million tons of construction materials have been brought into the Strip to rebuild homes, roads, public facilities and other infrastructure since the 2014 Gaza war.

It’s worth noting that goods also flow out of Gaza through Kerem Shalom. Agricultural produce, textiles and other Palestinian exports pass through Kerem Shalom for sale around the world. For example, Gaza exported 36,765 tons of produce in 2015.

In addition, Israel provides Gaza with 125 megawatts of electricity (half of the Strip’s needs) and 10 million cubic meters of water.

Rafah crossing (with Egypt): This crossing for pedestrians is the only direct passage between Egypt and Gaza. Since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in 2013, Rafah is only opened sporadically. Egyptian trucks delivering goods are directed to the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is operated by Israel.

Three other Israel-Gaza border crossings are non-operational. The Sufa crossing was primarily used for deliveries of construction materials and closed in 2008. The Nahal Oz crossing — where underground lines transferred gas and fuel — was closed in 2010. Of all the border crossings, the Karni crossing had the highest capacity for truck deliveries. Its operations were reduced in 2007 and finally closed in March, 2011.

* * *

Images: Egypt via YouTube/ONLINE; gunmen screengrab via military.com; Klos C via YouTube/”Yerushalayim” – TV magazine in Russian about Israel; Erez crossing via YouTube/COGAT;
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Post  Admin on Sun 05 May 2019, 11:02 pm

https://honestreporting.com/dishonest-headlines-parrot-hamas-claim/
Nikki Haley slams Israeli critics’ double-standard: ‘No other country would sit back and take this’
 May 5, 2019
Nikki Haley slams Israeli critics’ double-standard: ‘No other country would sit back and take this’Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (AP/Andrew Harnik)
As Palestinian terrorists rain hundreds of rockets down on the Jewish state,  former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. questions why Israel should “sit back and take” it.
By World Israel News Staff
On Saturday, Nikki Haley responded to Palestinian terrorists’ ongoing rocket fire on Israel with a pointed post on Twitter questioning the double-standard many nations apply to the Jewish State.
“If this was any other country, the international community would raise havoc. No other country would sit back and take this. Why should Israel? #DoubleStandard,” she tweeted.
Former Amb. Haley also shared a video on Twitter showing the devastation caused by Palestinian rockets, which killed an Israeli father of four in Ashkelon, Moshe Agadi, and wounded a number of others severely.
Nikki Haley
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@NikkiHaley
 If this was any other country, the international community would raise havoc. No other country would sit back and take this. Why should Israel? #DoubleStandard

Israel Defense Forces
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@IDF
200+ rockets rained down on the homes of Israeli families today. WATCH:
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The former ambassador is slated to visit the Jewish state at the end of June to serve as the keynote speaker at a forum hosted by daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin are scheduled to attend.
During her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to the the United Nations, Haley proved herself a vocal supporter of the Jewish State.
Former Amb. Haley was joined by other leading U.S. diplomats in condemning Palestinian terrorists for the rocket attacks, with President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt tweeting:
“Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] have engaged in yet another deplorable act of terrorism, indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities. The U.S. stands firmly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense and we call on the international community to do the same.”
In a follow-up tweet, Greenblatt added, “When Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] continue to choose terrorism, they prevent the world from trying to help the Palestinians in Gaza and they cause harm to Palestinians.”
The U.S. State Department similarly issued a statement stating, “The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel.
“We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately. We stand with Israel and fully support its right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks.”
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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 9:58 pm

Facebook Fights Fake News With Biased Gaza Video
BY EMANUEL MILLER  APRIL 30, 2019
Facebook Gaza Fake News
https://honestreporting.com/facebook-fights-fake-news-biased-gaza-video/
A video commissioned by British Channel 4 for Facebook Watch called “Gaza: life in the deadly blockade” shows a horrendously context-free and one-sided portrayal of the Gaza border protests.

The video, uploaded to UK television Channel 4’s Facebook page and promoted through Facebook Watch, fails to mention the deep involvement of Hamas in instigating the violence, even though the vast majority of those killed in the border riots were associated with the organization. The majority of the remainder were associated with a rival terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Instead, viewers are simply told that “these families went to the front lines together,  and came back severely wounded,” and that over “260 people have been killed, 50 of them children.” That some of those minors killed were members of Hamas’s armed wing is not deemed relevant enough for inclusion in the video, naturally.

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Beyond the omission of Hamas’s role in conducting the violence, there is also no coverage in the video of the thousands of explosive filled-balloons, condoms and kites that were launched on a daily basis for months. Nor do viewers see the result of the blazes sparked by these crude firebombs – many thousands of acres of scorched forest, crops and fields.

While covering the human toll is fair and important journalism, totally neglecting to mention the petrol bombs, grenades, and knives with which the more violent protesters equipped themselves lets Hamas off the hook. The video fails to inform viewers of the wider context of Hamas sporadically firing hundreds of rockets on Israeli cities and towns, hiding lethal improvised explosive devices IEDs on the border, shooting directly at Israeli soldiers, and constructing numerous tunnels into Israeli territory with the aim of kidnapping and killing Israelis, leaving Israel with a very real need to clamp down on the Gaza border.

Instead, all viewers are told is that, “traumatized and trapped, life in Gaza is suffocating.”

Hamas wants gullible audiences around the world to believe that its protests are mild and met with unreasonable force by the IDF. It wants to be viewed as the plucky underdog instead of seen for what it is; an aggressive, dangerous terrorist organization seeking to disturb the peace for the sake of political gain. In humanizing the protesters without subjecting Hamas officials or the protesters themselves to probing questions, the piece helps give Hamas what it’s looking for: legitimacy.

It all starts when Israel fires back
In one telling sentence, the presenter, clad in helmet and flak jacket, speaks directly to the camera:

These Friday protests follow a familiar pattern: first, the tear gas comes in, then the live ammunition starts, and then they bring back the injured.

Incredibly, the presenter’s summary simply avoids all mention of the Gazan rock-throwing, tire-burning, and attempts to rush the border en masse that would entail an Israeli response. As per usual, it is Israel that is the aggressor and the initiator of violence.

Romanticizing violence
Asking viewers to “meet Gaza’s young protesters” who are “risking their lives,” the video romanticizes the violence. A young boy tells the camera, “I didn’t have any weapons or gas bombs. I just had a slingshot and a stone, nothing else.” Portraying thuggish behavior as heroic, the video ignores the fact that hundreds of teens and children were allowed or even encouraged to be anywhere near a conflict zone. The video accepts wholesale the claim that protesters wanted to cross into Israel, but doesn’t question what their plans were after breaking through the border fence.

Here’s one video which might suggest the protesters’ true plans and the very real threat to Israeli lives:

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(((Emanuel Miller)))
@emanumiller
 This is what a border infiltration from #Gaza into #Israel looks like. See the man (0:30) clutching a meat cleaver? Imagine hundreds like him coming into Israeli territory, hoping to murder as many Israelis as possible.

This is what Israel is up against.

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Gaza under ‘siege’ claim repeated
Throughout the video, both the presenter and the Palestinians themselves refer to a ‘siege’ on numerous occasions. There is no such siege. Approximately two thousand people travel through the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza each day, and the Kerem Shalom crossing sees approximately 150,000 trucks making deliveries to Gaza yearly per COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit within the Defense Ministry responsible for implementing liaising with the Palestinian Authority and relevant international aid organizations). While there is a blockade on Gaza, it’s maintained by Israel and Egypt in order to negate the very real threat of Hamas weapons smuggling.


Related Reading: The Gaza Blockade: An Explainer

Bizarre ‘explosive bullet’ claim
During the interview, a Gazan resident called Malina Al Hindi claims that a remote Israeli sniper fired an explosive bullet at her leg. If the credulous reporter had bothered to do his job and check claims made by interviewees, the quote would never have been given air-time: there is quite simply no such thing as an explosive bullet. They simply do not exist. There is nothing wrong with Gazans sharing their own perspective, much of which may be hostile to Israel, but journalists should not provide a platform for Gazans to make false claims unchallenged.

Explosive Bullet smear

In telling her story, Al Hindi discloses a crucial piece of context that only locals and those with real knowledge of the situation on the ground would notice: there are multiple fences between Israel and Gaza. Al Hindi admits that “we opened a gap in the third barbed wire fence.” In other words, a group of protesters had broken through not one, not two, but three fences. It was only at this point that she was hit.

It would have been reasonable to ask at this point how many more warnings the IDF should have given Al Hindi and her fellow rioters. Should the IDF have waited till they entered Israel? Should the IDF have allowed her to start actively attacking Israeli civilians? Instead, the video moves on without questioning Al Hindi’s actions in any way.

Combating Fake News?
The irony of it all is that the Uncovered show was commissioned by Facebook as a means to tackle fake news. In June 2018, Facebook announced that it was looking to promote “high-quality and timely news content on the platform” to honor an earlier commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative and local on Facebook.

Uncovered was launched in early 2019, but instead of meeting Facebook’s laudable criteria, Channel 4 has failed miserably with this video. Through missing context, failing to ask even simple questions, and selectively omitting uncomfortable details, the Gaza video fails to show nuanced, accurate picture of what’s really happening.

Concerned about the rise of fake news on Facebook? SHARE this article now
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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 9:50 pm

https://honestreporting.com/cartoon-scandal-new-york-times-keeps-digging/
There was disgust at the cartoon itself (drawn by Portuguese cartoonist Antonio Moreira Antunes, of the Lisbon weekly paper, Expresso) and the fact that it had been published at all. But there was also criticism aimed at the initial response of NY Times editors who tweeted that an Editors’ Note would appear in Monday’s international edition. The note acknowledged how offensive the cartoon was and admitted to an “error of judgment.” It did not, however, apologize.

New York Times Opinion
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@nytopinion
 An Editors' Note to appear in Monday’s international edition.

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Eventually, some level of contrition was expressed in an actual apology.

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New York Times Opinion
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@nytopinion
 We apologize for the anti-Semitic cartoon we published. Here’s our statement.

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The New York Times’ own columnist Bret Stephens was also given the platform to castigate his own newspaper, saying:

The paper owes the Israeli prime minister an apology. It owes itself some serious reflection as to how it came to publish that cartoon — and how its publication came, to many longtime readers, as a shock but not a surprise.

Responding to the Stephens, I asked whether, despite his excellent article, events would lead to any meaningful action on the part of the NY Times or whether it would be soon back to business as usual.


Bret Stephens
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@BretStephensNYT
 · Apr 28, 2019
 The Times published a despicable anti-Semitic cartoon this week in its international edition. Here's my column about the cartoon, and the lessons the Times urgently needs to learn about the episode, in @NYTopinion: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/28/opinion/cartoon-nytimes.html


Opinion | A Despicable Cartoon in The Times
The paper of record needs to reflect deeply on how it came to publish anti-Semitic propaganda.

nytimes.com

Simon Plosker
@SimonPlosker
Thank you for writing this. I fear, however, that you have unavoidably become part of @nytimes damage limitation exercise. Will the paper engage in any self-reflection or will it be back to business as usual with the next hostile screed?

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The answer came quicker than anyone could have believed. Given the firestorm of anger raging around the newspaper, you’d think that publishing another Jewish-themed cartoon would be the last thing that any NY Times editor would even consider.

Think again.

Despite already releasing the Editors’ Note over the first cartoon, this is what appeared in the weekend’s international edition:

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HonestReporting
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@HonestReporting
 This appeared in @nytimes international edition this weekend. Whatever your interpretation of this particular image, we can only conclude that the New York Times is deliberately giving the Jewish community the proverbial finger even while it apologizes for its other cartoon.

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The message and imagery of this cartoon by Roar Hagen, that originally appeared in a Norwegian publication, may be open to interpretation but the subject material and the timing of its publication are astonishing in light of the situation the New York Times was already in.

Who on earth would approve another cartoon featuring Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish or Israeli themes?!

Are the senior staff at the NY Times head office really that incompetent that they could have thrown oversight to the wind yet again? Someone at the international edition clearly has an unhealthy obsession that nobody higher up is dealing with.

Either way, this latest incident is the equivalent of giving the Jewish community the proverbial finger even while the NY Times apologizes for its other cartoon.

The NY Times has reportedly severed its links with the syndication service that supplied the first antisemitic cartoon and has come to the decision not to use syndicated cartoons anymore. While it’s a start, this only deals with cutting off a compromised third party and fails to address the glaring failures within the New York Times itself.

HonestReporting’s many examples of NY Times bias against and utter disdain towards Israel demonstrate that the paper’s problem is institutional and deep rooted.  The past few days’ events were not isolated incidents that the NY Times can apologize for, move on and forget about.

Bret Stephens asks:

How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry?

The reason is the almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper, which has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry.

Some serious self-reflection is most definitely required and someone needs to be held responsible. Heads should roll but some much-needed education is also vital. A good place to start would be for the New York Times to adopt the internationally recognized working definition of antisemitism, as produced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

We’ve been calling on mainstream media to do just that. Please sign our petition – the New York Times will be the first place we send it to. For the paper to ignore it would be pure folly.

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ANTISEMITIC CARTOONANTISEMITISMBENJAMIN NETANYAHUBRET STEPHENSNEW YORK TIMES

Simon Plosker
With overall responsibility for HonestReporting’s content and output, Simon joined the HonestReporting team in November 2005 following several years working in a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Jewish Agency and the Board of Deputies of British Jews prior to immigrating to Israel in 2001 from London. In Israel, Simon has worked for BICOM and as Managing Editor of NGO Monitor as well as serving for a short period in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. Simon has a BSoc.Sc in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham and a MSc in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics
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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Apr 2019, 10:29 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrENoWFf-K4&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=HonestReportingVideos
Sign our petition to demand the media adopt the international definition of antisemitism. Because hate against anyone endangers everyone. Click here: https://honestreporting.nationbuilder...

New York Times Antisemitic Cartoon Shocker
BY SIMON PLOSKER  APRIL 27, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/new-york-times-antisemitic-cartoon-shocker/
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As Jews around the world prepared for the last days of the Passover festival, the New York Times international print edition (available in countries including Israel), published this cartoon:

A blind US President Donald Trump wearing a Jewish skullcap being led by a canine caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was drawn by Portuguese cartoonist Antonio Moreira Antunes, of the Lisbon weekly paper, Expresso. According to the Daily Mail, Expresso deleted the cartoon from its site without an explanation or apology.

The image of Israel leading the US draws upon a classic antisemitic trope of Jewish power and control.

The newspaper that makes a virtue out of promoting anti-racism, minority rights and giving a platform to every possible liberal or progressive cause appears to have no boundaries when it comes to offending Jews.

At least the New York Times has belatedly recognized its disgraceful editorial failure if this tweet is to be believed:
View image on Twitter

New York Times Opinion
✔
@nytopinion
 An Editors' Note to appear in Monday’s international edition.

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How do such ‘errors of judgment’ occur in the first place?

The image is so blatantly offensive, it’s hard to believe that editors at the New York Times international edition failed to see it before the damage was done.

And the damage has been done. The New York Times can issue its Editors’ Note in a future edition but this image has already been seared in the memories of an international audience that had the misfortune to pick up a copy of the paper that day.


Time for the Media to Adopt Antisemitism Definition
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The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism has already been adopted and endorsed by a growing number of governments and organizations (including HonestReporting).

But beyond the governmental level, there’s another sector that needs to adopt the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism: The media.

Help us to get the message out to the media: it's time to adopt the antisemitism definition.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE AND SIGN OUR PETITION
https://honestreporting.nationbuilder.com/ihra-antisemitism-definition
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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Apr 2019, 7:37 pm

https://honestreporting.com/newsweeks-false-notre-dame-fire-al-aqsa-mosque-link/
Newsweek’s False Notre Dame Fire/Al Aqsa Mosque Link
BY DANIEL POMERANTZ  APRIL 16, 2019
Notre Dame
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In a tasteless example of misleading clickbait, Newsweek published this headline, comparing a small and quickly extinguished fire near the Al Aqsa mosque to yesterday’s blaze at Notre Dame.
Complete with video of the blaze consuming Notre Dame cathedral, this article inspired dramatic reactions on social media, as readers had no idea of the truth, which you can find in today’s Jerusalem Post:

“The Fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Hall,” according to the Wafa news agency. The fire was quickly put out by the Waqf with no injuries or interior damage reported.

This is what Newsweek saw fit to compare to the destructive inferno at Notre Dame?

Not only was the fire  a small one that caused no damage to people or property, but it was not even in the Al Aqsa Mosque. The fire was actually in the the Marwani Mosque which the Waqf (the Jordanian body that administers the site) constructed in 1996 by illegally bulldozing a protected archaeological site beneath the Temple Mount. Archaeologists believe the bulldozed soil to have been filled with ancient Jewish artifacts dating back as far as 3,000 years.

You can learn more about the site in our article, Jewish Ties to the Temple Mount.

The journalist, Tom O’Connor, mentioned none of this. He then went on to completely misstate modern history by claiming:

…President Donald Trump recognized the entirety of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017, dismissing competing Palestinian claims to the city and upsetting a broad international consensus.

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In truth, the White House was intentionally vague about Jerusalem’s borders and sovereignty, explicitly keeping the option open for the parties themselves to negotiate borders and the city’s final status, as per the official White House statement:

In making these announcements, I also want to make one point very clear: This decision is not intended, in any way, to reflect a departure from our strong commitment to facilitate a lasting peace agreement. We want an agreement that is a great deal for the Israelis and a great deal for the Palestinians. We are not taking a position of any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, or the resolution of contested borders. Those questions are up to the parties involved. 

You can read more about the details and legal effect of America’s recognition of Jerusalem in our previous article: Trump’s Embassy Move: Behind the Hysteria.

Long time HonestReporting readers will remember that Tom O’Connor has a history of irresponsible journalism, and we have on several occasions had his articles amended or removed. Here are two examples.

 
https://honestreporting.com/new-york-times-columnist-bds-makes-an-effort-to-distance-itself-from-anti-semitism/
New York Times Columnist: BDS Distances Itself from Antisemitism
BY EMANUEL MILLER  APRIL 17, 2019

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It should be obvious to anyone that while the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement portrays itself as ‘merely’ antisemitic, it is in actuality a movement frequently fueled by antisemitic intent and often supported by antisemitic individuals.

Although some may argue that anti-Zionism is not necessarily antisemitism, the reality is that the two often go hand-in-hand.

A sensible writer would at least consider the links between BDS and anti-semitism, but alas Michelle Goldberg, a columnist at The New York Times, totally dismisses the serious charges against numerous BDS leaders and activists.

Goldberg’s most recent NYT column, “Anti-Zionists Deserve Free Speech,” explores the downsides of barring a ‘critic of Israel’ from America, and flippantly claims that BDS leaders seek to distance themselves from anti-semitism.

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HonestReporting
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@HonestReporting
 Utter nonsense from @NYTtimes columnist @michelleinbklyn. BDS leaders have repeatedly peddled in hate speech, stating that Israel has "no right to exist", and often turn a blind eye as activists repeatedly engage in antisemitic rhetoric and narratives to demonize Israel.

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If only BDS leader Omar Barghouti were a mere critic of Israel.

BDS is not criticism
While the article covers “the assault on pro-Palestinian speech” and describes the denial of entry to Omar Barghouti to America,  it fails to acknowledge statements made by numerous leading BDS activists which shed light on the movement’s darker side.

John Spritzler, author, BDS leader and activist:

I think the BDS movement will gain strength from forthrightly explaining why Israel has no right to exist…

As’ad AbuKhalil, California State University Professor of Political Science, BDS leader and activist:

The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel…this should be stated as an unambiguous goal.

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If that wasn’t enough, Goldberg could have researched Barghouti himself, and found that the BDS founder had earlier pronounced:

Definitely most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.

Separately, Barghouti clarifies that to him “Palestine” actually means all of Israel. Are these the words of those simply critical of Israel’s policies? Or are these the words of people with a vision of obliterating the world’s only Jewish state?

Is BDS really against “any exclusionary state?”
Goldberg’s article unquestioningly repeats the BDS claim about its official position:

Barghouti couches his opposition to Zionism in the language of humanist universalism. The official position of the BDS movement, he says, is that “any supremacist, exclusionary state in historic Palestine — be it a ‘Jewish state,’ an ‘Islamic state,’ or a ‘Christian state’ — would by definition conflict with international law and basic human rights principles.”

This may sound good to most people, but BDS is actually guilty of hypocrisy. If it were truly against all forms of discrimination in the area it terms ‘historic Palestine’, it would also call for a boycott against the Palestinian Authority, which outlaws the sale of land to Jews, punishing this heinous ‘crime’ with the death penalty. Is this not the very definition of exclusionary?

By extension, Goldberg is guilty of allowing this hypocrisy to pass unchecked. Why does she fail to query the movement’s motives? Repeatedly, the New York Times sides with those who seek to spread the poison of anti-Israel rhetoric. The New York Times is entitled to its opinion, as is the BDS movement. Yet no newspaper or journalist is entitled to mislead the public. The BDS movement is openly and proudly dedicated to the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state, and is attempting to do so by violating United States law.  If The New York Times supports this, then its editorial board should say so: clearly and unambiguously.

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Emanuel Miller
Emanuel Miller is a Jerusalem-based writer who has previously worked for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel, and helped establish the English media department of My Truth, an organization that documents the experiences of Israeli soldiers while facing an immoral, cynical enemy. He regularly speaks about Israel, media bias, and Israel's geopolitical complexities to audiences including Birthright groups, student leaders visiting Israel, and for those seeking to get a more nuanced understanding of Israel.
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Post  Admin on Mon 18 Feb 2019, 9:00 pm

https://honestreporting.com/guardian-op-ed-uses-eurovision-attack-israel/
Guardian Op-Ed Uses Eurovision to Attack Israel
BY EMANUEL MILLER  FEBRUARY 18, 2019
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Another day, another squalid Guardian op-ed perpetuating the lie that Israel is an ‘apartheid’ state.

With Eurovision, an annual international song contest held across Europe, coming to Israel this spring, anti-Israel BDS activists are in the midst of a massive campaign to smear Israel.

Ever since Israel was tipped to win the 2018 competition with eventual winner Netta Barzilai’s Toy, Eurovision has become the latest battlefield on which the anti-Israel BDS campaign has been fought.  Last month, leading BDS advocate and former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters penned an open letter calling on the BBC to urge relocation of the contest to another country.

A few weeks later, one of the cosignatories of that letter, musician Brian Eno, has written an op-ed in the Guardian, calling Israel an “actively repressive apartheid-like state.” The piece, entitled, “Israel must not be allowed to use Eurovision as a propaganda tool,” is a litany of half-truths and decontextualized facts.

It’s sad that this needs to be stated at all, but words have meaning. Apartheid is a legal system in which laws discriminate based on race or ethnicity. There is no dual system of law in Israel for Jewish and Muslim or Arab citizens.


You can read more about the Apartheid State Libel at HonestReporting’s dedicated resource page.

Under apartheid, black and white people didn’t have access to the same public services. They couldn’t sit on the same park benches and bus seats. They attended different schools, went to different swimming pools, and if black people were seen in certain areas at night, they could be shot on sight. Beaches, taxis, trains, even toilets were totally separated by race.

None of this is true for Arab citizens of Israel. There are plenty of ways to legitimately criticize Israel, but the apartheid claim is absolutely not one of them.
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It’s important to understand the legal distinction between citizens and non-citizens. Arab citizens of Israel are governed by the same laws, go to the same courts, and enjoy freedom of movement throughout the country. This not the case for Arab citizens under Palestinian Authority control. The reason for this is the same as why Canadians in the USA, for example, do not enjoy equal rights to American citizens – they are not citizens. Just as Canadians don’t have the right to vote in America, neither do subjects of Palestinian Authority have a right to vote and run in Israeli elections. Arab citizens of Israel, however, have both these rights.

Nevertheless, despite the ongoing periodical outbreaks of violence between Israel and Arabs under PA control, Israel grants entry permits to many thousands of non-citizens daily. Even then, Arabs who legally enter Israeli territory do not face the kind of discrimination experienced by blacks in apartheid South Africa.

Providing cover for Hamas
Beyond the atrocious apartheid claim, Eno repeats other Hamas talking points wholesale, never stopping to demonstrate a modicum of balance or willingness to address difficult truths.

Eno describes a cultural center in Gaza bombed by the Israeli armed forces last year as, “a place of music, theatre and dance.” The problem isn’t with what Eno says as much as what he doesn’t say; according to the IDF, the site also functioned as a Hamas nerve center, a hub of terrorism, weapons and hate.

Hamas, the terrorist group which seized control of Gaza in 2007 and has reigned with an iron fist ever since, routinely uses civilian infrastructure as a cover for its weapons and command centers. While doing so is in direct contravention of international humanitarian law, Hamas knows that as a sub-state actor, it is seen as the underdog facing the mighty Israel, and will escape censure. As a result, Israel is forced to either avoid hitting an ostensibly “civilian” site and allow Hamas to continue operating unimpeded, or to attack and face strong media and NGO criticism.

In simply categorizing the location of the strike as a mere cultural center, Eno parrots the Hamas line, and provides the terror organization with cover to continue its war crimes, and attacks Israel for defending itself.

Mischaracterizations and Missing Context
Eno uses scare quotes when mentioning that Israel imprisoned a poet for “inciting terrorism.” In reality, there is very little room for argument here. The poem called on people to “resist” and “evict” Israelis at a time when stabbing attacks on Israelis were practically a daily event. This simple fact isn’t mentioned in the Guardian article. Neither is the minor, inconvenient detail that the video released by the poet showed masked Palestinian youths hurling Molotov cocktails and rocks at IDF soldiers. Penning a poem at such a time, and creating a video which glorifies acts of violence, is incontrovertibly an act of incitement to violence and potentially murder.

Beyond that, Eno seeks to portray Israel as excluding Palestinians from the event, writing that “Israel’s myriad restrictions on the movement of Palestinians will ensure that almost all of them are excluded from the Eurovision festivities.” The reality is far more complex. As outlined above, there is no automatic right for non-citizens to enter any country. Despite this, Israel grants many thousands of Palestinians permits to enter Israel daily.

Then there’s the patently false description of the Gaza protests as “peaceful”. In the most recent protest, an IDF officer was injured Friday after an explosive device was thrown at him. Are grenades, machetes and guns “peaceful”?

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(((Emanuel Miller)))
@emanumiller
 This is what a border infiltration from #Gaza into #Israel looks like. See the man (0:30) clutching a meat cleaver? Imagine hundreds like him coming into Israeli territory, hoping to murder as many Israelis as possible.

This is what Israel is up against.

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From start to finish, Eno’s argument relies on numerous exaggerations, missing context, and falsifications. While there is plenty of room for opinion in the media, when the attack crosses the line to being more than slightly economical with the truth, it poisons the debate by sowing the seeds of mistrust and dishonesty.
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Emanuel Miller
Emanuel Miller is a Jerusalem-based writer who has previously worked for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel, and helped establish the English media department of My Truth, an organization that documents the experiences of Israeli soldiers while facing an immoral, cynical enemy. He regularly speaks about Israel, media bias, and Israel's geopolitical complexities to audiences including Birthright groups, student leaders visiting Israel, and for those seeking to get a more nuanced understanding of Israel.

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Post  Admin on Thu 14 Feb 2019, 6:55 pm

https://honestreporting.com/ilhan-omar-arab-muslim-antisemitism/
Ilhan Omar Defender Denies Arab and Muslim Antisemitism
BY SIMON PLOSKER  FEBRUARY 14, 2019
Plenty has already been written about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic tweets. But what was the reaction in her home state of Minnesota?

One standout piece in the local media appears courtesy of the Minnesota Star Tribune where Ahmed Tharwat, described as the host/producer of the Arab American TV show, BelAhdan, writes some very disturbing things in defense of Omar.


Ahmed Tharwat (Screenshot: YouTube)
According to Tharwat:

In the end, Omar caved in, surrendering to the intimidation of a system that demonizes any critic of Israel, a system full of hypes, hypocrisies and dishonesties.

There is nothing dishonest or hypocritical about calling out antisemitism wherever it occurs and the real dishonesty is that of Tharwat for making this incident about Israel and turning Ilhan Omar into the victim.

Omar’s tweet ‘not automatically an antisemitic trope’
But then it becomes patently obvious what is guiding Tharwat’s thought processes. Referring to Omar’s “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” tweet, he writes:

This simply is not automatically an anti-Semitic trope. A reference to $100 bills bearing Benjamin Franklin’s face simply reflects the undisputed role of money in our politics. To suggest that the Israeli advocacy group AIPAC influences some members of Congress to support Israel over the Palestinians doesn’t seem so radical or inherently anti-Semitic; it is actually bragged about by AIPAC on its own website.

Whether deliberately or not, Tharwat has entirely missed the point. Omar’s reference wasn’t about the “undisputed role of money in our politics.” It was specifically aimed at ‘Jewish money’ – a clear antisemitic trope. Omar wasn’t tweeting about AIPAC influencing politicians, which is the right of any political lobbying organization, of which AIPAC is just one of many. Omar was incorrectly claiming that AIPAC was paying US politicians to support Israel.

AIPAC ‘has the Democrats by the throat’
While Tharwat does mention other lobby groups, including”right-wing evangelical Christian Zionist fanatics,” he says:

Omar needs to understand that if AIPAC has the Democrats by the throat, the NRA has the GOP.

This appalling claim that the Democratic Party is somehow under the control of AIPAC in what he says is the same way that the gun lobby has a hold over the Republicans simply doesn’t hold up. While the NRA clearly has more influence over the GOP as a traditionally right-wing cause, AIPAC is bipartisan and lobbies for a cause that has arguably been one that the majority of Americans sympathize with irrespective of their voting intentions.

Antisemitism is only ‘a Western thing’
Then comes the attempts to disassociate any antisemitism from the Muslim or developing world:

But Omar wasn’t talking about “Jewish Money,” reflecting a deep, wicked feeling about “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” This is absurd and it is a Western thing.

Is Tharwat seriously suggesting that this antisemitic trope or antisemitism is limited to the West? While The Protocols of the Elders of Zion may have not have been written there, it has been imported, translated and spread to the Arab and Muslim world where its antisemitism has become accepted by millions.

Antisemitism an ‘alien concept’ and Arabs as ‘indirect Holocaust victims’
He continues:

What lots of Americans don’t understand is that anti-Semitism — the charge thrown causally at anyone who offers the slightest criticism of Israel — is an alien concept for most Muslims, since Arab/Muslims think of themselves not just as Semitic people, but also as indirect victims of the Holocaust atrocity, which led to establishing the Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East, beheading the nation of Palestine.

So much offensive nonsense in one paragraph.

The term antisemitism does not refer to a hatred of people from a linguistic branch (Semites) but was coined specifically to refer to Jews and only Jews. To attempt to redefine it is to attempt to diminish it and excuse hatred of Jews by Arabs.
There’s plenty of antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim world – it certainly isn’t an “alien concept.”
Claiming that Arabs and Muslims are “indirect victims of the Holocaust” is an appalling form of revisionism and diminishes the very real victims of that crime against humanity.
Claiming that the Holocaust was responsible for the establishment of the Jewish state “beheading the nation of Palestine” is a blatant attempt to deny Jewish historical rights in the Middle East, and to falsely present Israel as the product of European “colonization” at the expense of indigenous natives.
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‘Jewish ISIS’
Now that we have established where Tharwat is coming from, his complaints about being dragged into the Ilhan Omar issue by Fox News and the Daily Caller on account of an interview he conducted with her appear to be laughable:

The Daily Caller then published an article with a frantic headline, “Ilhan Omar Gave Interviews To Host Who Called Israel ‘Jewish ISIS’ And Compared Hamas To Holocaust Victims.”

I have no idea how the Daily Caller arrived at this conclusion, I have used “Jewish ISIS,” and “Jewish Taliban,” and “Jewish Jihadists” before, just to respond to the media narrative in which any misbehaving Muslim is labeled “Islamic” — Islamic terrorist, Islamic state, Islamic jihadists, Islamic Taliban.

We took a look at the Daily Caller piece. The screenshots of Tharwat’s tweets in the story speak for themselves as outlined here:

Tharwat has repeatedly described the Israeli government as a terrorist organization, including referring to it as “Jewish ISIS.”

“Zionism is terrorism,” Tharwat wrote in one tweet that described Israeli soldiers as the “Jewish Taliban.”

In another tweet, he wrote: “An antisemitic person these days, is not someone who hates the jew, it is someone hated by the jews.”

“Blaming Hamas for Israeli atrocities, is like blaming the Jew for the Holocaust,” Tharwat wrote in a July 2014 tweet.

After the U.S. began bombing ISIS targets in August 2014, Tharwat wrote on Twitter: “Obama should start bombing the Jewish state of Israel.”

‘It’s not antisemitism, it’s anti-Zionism’
But for Tharwat there is no antisemitism in the Muslim world, it’s simply anti-Zionism:

Anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism. Equating the two is hurtful not just for Muslims/Arabs and Americans but also for lots of fair-minded, peace-loving Jews around the world. As Omar stated in her apology, anti-Semitism is real. But it mostly thrives in Europe and America, not in the Muslim world.

If there was ever an example of using a hatred of Israel to conceal or excuse blatant antisemitism, Ahmed Tharwat is the poster boy. For him, antisemitism doesn’t exist in the Arab and Muslim world, it doesn’t exist in Ilhan Omar’s tweets and it doesn’t exist in his own head.

On all accounts he is utterly wrong and the Minnesota Star Tribune needs to ask how it could give a platform to someone whose lack of credibility is quite stunning.

If this is who Ilhan Omar is relying on to defend her own improprieties, she’s certainly got some very real problems.

Send your letters to the Minnesota Star Tribune either through its dedicated online form – http://www.startribune.com/submit-a-letter-or-commentary/115289839/ – or via direct email – opinion@startribune.com
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Post  Admin on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 7:36 pm

https://honestreporting.com/ilhan-omar-mission-invite/
Massive spike in anti-Semitic violence in Germany in 2018
10% increase in number of anti-Semitic crimes reported in Germany last year - and 67% increase in violent anti-Semitic attacks.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/258999
AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff, 13/02/19 13:33
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Crime scene Germany (Stock)
Crime scene Germany (Stock)iStock

Anti-Semitic crimes rose almost 10 percent in Germany last year, and violent attacks were up more than 60 percent, crime statistics showed Wednesday.

Police recorded 1,646 offences motivated by hatred against Jews, said a government answer to a request by far-left Die Linke party lawmaker Petra Pau.

Among these were 62 violent offences that left 43 people injured, up from 37 physical attacks the previous year.

Germany, like other western countries, has watched with alarm as anti-Semitic and other racist hate speech and violence have increased in recent years as the political climate has coarsened and grown more polarized.

A mass influx of mostly Muslim refugees and migrants to Germany from 2015 fueled the growth of far-right movements and nationalist parties, including the AfD.

Leading AfD members, aside from railing against Islam and multiculturalism, have also made comments that play down the Holocaust.

Party co-leader Alexander Gauland described Nazi Germany's industrial-scale murder of Jews and other minorities as a mere "speck of bird poo in over 1,000 years of successful German history".

Another leading AfD politician, Bjoern Hoecke, has criticized the sprawling Holocaust memorial in Berlin as a "monument of shame".

The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, and other Jewish community leaders have accused the AfD of fomenting hate against refugees, Muslims and Jews.

At the same time, Germany has also witnessed a rise in anti-Semitic attacks committed by migrants from Arab states.

In one prominent case last year a 19-year-old Syrian man was convicted for assault after lashing out with his belt at an Israeli man wearing a Jewish kippa skullcap while shouting "yahudi", Jew in Arabic.

A video of the street assault, filmed by the victim on his smartphone, had sparked widespread public revulsion as it spread on social media, and triggered street rallies in solidarity with Jews.

News of the belt attack coincided with another public outcry, over a rap duo who made light of Nazi death camp prisoners but went on to win the music industry's sales-based Echo award, which was subsequently axed.

Days after the belt assault, some 2,000 people rallied at a "Berlin Wears Kippa" solidarity demonstration, matched by smaller events in several other German cities.

Most anti-Semitic crimes were however committed by far-right perpetrators, reported the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel in an article on the new crime statistics.

Pau in her statement charged that "we are seeing that militant right-wing extremists can openly call for the desecration of Jewish institutions and attacks against Jewish people".

A rising number of people and groups in the "grey zone between conservatism and right-wing extremism are denying the Holocaust and engaging in anti-Semitic agitation," she said.
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Feb 2019, 2:45 pm

The Independent: Enabling UK Antisemitism in the Comments Section
BY SIMON PLOSKER  FEBRUARY 7, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/the-independent-enabling-uk-antisemitism/
Many British media outlets are covering the release of a new report by the Community Security Trust (CST) showing that antisemitic incidents in the UK have reached a new record high.

The Independent chose to focus its attention on the correlation between the one in ten incidents that were “examples of, or related to arguments over, alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

The Independent’s article includes the following:

The CST warned that prevalence of antisemitism in public debate can cause belief that “that the taboo against expressing hostility towards Jews is weakening” adding: “The more people hear and read antisemitic comments and views, the more likely they are to have the confidence to express such views if they hold similar attitudes themselves.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was previously slammed for comments that a group of Zionists had “no sense of irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”

British Jews (and others) will nonetheless note the irony of The Independent’s choice of quotes from the CST report when they take a look at The Independent’s own comments section. There are clear examples of how that media outlet has allowed antisemitic comments and views to proliferate.

Even The Independent’s very story of the CST report includes comments that raise serious questions.

The utter gall displayed by The Independent in allowing the conversation to become so poisonous while at the same time reporting that the normalization of this discourse has directly led to record levels of antisemitism in the UK is truly sickening.

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Down the sewer: Examples of hateful comments
One example draws on the antisemitic trope of dual loyalty, accusing British MPs of being in the pay of their Israeli masters:

This is just part of a longer and vicious post that essentially blames antisemitism on Jews and Israel. It’s signed by Ramzy Baroud & Romana Rubeo. Baroud happens to be a journalist and the editor of the Palestine Chronicle while Rubeo is that media outlet’s news editor.

A response to the post above shows exactly how the taboo against expressing hostility towards Jews has weakened, as the writer blames Jews for antisemitism, claiming that they are “Fifth Columnists.”

A plethora of examples can be found in an earlier Independent story focused on a meeting of Labour MPs that called the party leadership to account for not adequately tackling antisemitism within its ranks.

Simon Plosker
@SimonPlosker
 If you want to see the sort of filth that @UKLabour has unleashed, just take a look at the comments section of @Independent's report on last night's PLP meeting. @GnasherJew https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-antisemitism-mps-jeremy-corbyn-jewish-abuse-a8763171.html

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Labour MPs criticise party leaders over their response to antisemiti…
The row over antisemitism in the Labour Party has reignited after furious MPs condemned party leaders for their "unacceptable" response to anti-Jewish abuse. During a heated showdown between MPs and

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The same “Deanna12” poster also featured in this comments section with a similar charge of dual loyalty:

There are many posters who believe that antisemitism in the Labour Party is simply a “smear campaign.” This one doesn’t even hide his belief that it is the “Jewish lobby” (not the Israel lobby) behind it all:

Of course, it could only be Jews, Israelis or political opponents creating “false flag” operations online:

Or could it be “Netanyahu lovers… trying to interfere with UK politics?”

Let’s be clear – denying there is an antisemitism problem makes one willfully blind and potentially very stupid. It doesn’t necessarily make someone an antisemite.

But indulging in accusations of Jews and Jewish politicians being disloyal to their country or owing their allegiance to Israel is a clear breach of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism:

Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

The IHRA working definition’s examples are illustrative and it could be argued that the level of hostility generated by some of the online comments does indeed amount to antisemitic discourse.

It’s not about freedom of speech
Even trolls have a right to free speech as, of course, do legitimate critics of Israel and its policies. All too often, Israel’s supporters are accused of acting in bad faith and attempting to shut down the discourse, a charge that usually says a lot more about the agenda of the person making it. Turning those accused of hate speech against Jews into the victims of imaginary Jewish efforts to silence them is simply unacceptable.

No doubt, this critique will be judged by those standards by the same commenters who spend their time denying antisemitism and attacking Jews and Israel.

Not all offensive speech is antisemitic. But hate speech isn’t free speech. Those comments that have clearly breached the IHRA definition should not be left online. As for the rest, The Independent should ask itself whether the sewer is the level of discourse it wishes to see on its comments platforms.

* * *

Does The Independent deliberately cater for an audience of readers who are predisposed to hate or did the newspaper create those conditions? That’s another question. Either way, The Independent, while it certainly isn’t the only culprit, needs to take some responsibility for this distressing situation.
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Post  Admin on Sun 06 Jan 2019, 5:17 pm

https://honestreporting.com/idns-01-06-2019-government-shutdown/
US Gov’t Shutdown Imperiling Security Aid to PA
BY PESACH BENSON  JANUARY 6, 2019
Today’s Top Stories
1. Haaretz: The ongoing US government shutdown is imperiling aid to the Palestinian security services.

2. Israel will reportedly seek $250 billion in compensation from eight Arab states that forced Jews to leave property and assets behind during the founding of the Jewish state. According to Israeli media reports, we’re specifically talking Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Iran.

For the past 18 months, utilizing the services of an international accountancy firm, the Israeli government has quietly been researching the value of property and assets that these Jews were forced to leave behind, the TV report said.

It is now moving toward finalizing claims as the Trump Administration prepares for the possible unveiling of its much-anticipated Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal. A 2010 Israeli law provides that any peace deal must provide for compensation for assets of Jewish communities and individual Jews forced out of Arab countries and Iran . . .

The Palestinian Authority has sought over $100 billion in compensation from Israel for assets left behind by Arab residents of what is today Israel . . . .
 
3. Egypt is pushing CBS News to pull the plug on an interview with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. Cairo hasn’t expressed why, but it’s believed the Egyptians are trying to walk back Sisi’s confirmation that Israel is cooperating with the Egyptian military in the battle against Sinai’s Islamic insurgents.

The full interview is due to air tonight over Egypt’s objections.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
In the News
• According to Mideast media reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post, “Kuwait rejected the opportunity to co-host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar because the country did not want to comply with FIFA regulations, where it would have to allow all nationalities to enter the country . . .”

• Egypt’s military announced that it destroyed 37 tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Sinai peninsula in 2018. During the same period of time, the IDF destroyed 15 Gaza tunnels crossing into Israel. Jerusalem Post coverage.

HR Mission to Israel

• The Media Line takes a closer look at the Palestinian Authority’s crackdown on Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs selling property to Jews.

• Hamas arrested five men accused of ransacking the Gaza offices of the Palestinian Broadcast Corporation, the official station of the Palestinian Authority.

• Dozens of incendiary balloons landed in Israel near the Gaza border on Sunday morning.
View image on Twitter

Anna Ahronheim
✔️
@AAhronheim
 Toy drone with countless balloons launched from the #GazaStrip was found by a resident of a southern #Israel community less than an hour ago.

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• Following Muslim protests, a London mosque cancelled a planned Holocaust exhibition linked with Yad Vashem.

• Drip drip drip: The JTA reports on the surfacing of video footage of Jeremy Corbyn applauding a Neturei Karta rabbi’s speech calling for the “dismantling” of Israel in 2011.

The Neturei Karta is a fringe Orthodox sect which, per the Jewish Chronicle, has 5,000 followers internationally, meaning it “makes up just 0.03% of the entire Jewish population.” Rabbi Yisrael Dovid Weiss was most recently in the news for presenting a symbolic gift to Hezbollah‘s Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem in Beirut in March, and is particularly reviled for addressing a Holocaust denial conference in Tehran in 2006 attended by then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and American white supremacist David Duke.
The Golem
@TheGolem_
 · Jan 3, 2019
Replying to @TheGolem_
Attending the event were a number of prominent individuals with a less than admirable record on antisemitism. One of those individuals was 'Rabbi' Yisrael Dovid Weiss, an extremist belonging to the ultra-orthodox Neturei Karta sect.

View image on Twitter

The Golem
@TheGolem_
In footage captured by the blogger Richard Millet, during the event Rabbi Weiss went on an extreme anti-Israel rant in which he calls for the “dismantlement” of the state of Israel. Corbyn (head just in view) lends his support for this statement by applauding his outburst: pic.twitter.com/EDNgu9qsSl

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• New Orleans cancelled its Women’s March, citing the anti-Semitism controversy involving the movement’s national leadership.

• Swastika graffiti was found defacing synagogues in Dublin and Ventura County, a Melbourne elder-care home for Holocaust survivors and a Connecticut condo complex.

• Belgium‘s ban on kosher slaughter has Jews worried about what comes next.

Commentary
• Here are other commentaries I’m reading today:

– David Makovsky, Dennis Ross: We need to talk about Iran and Russia in this Israeli election
– Alan Dershowitz: The New York Times incentivizes Hamas violence
– Detroit News (staff-ed): Good riddance to UNESCO
– Michael Kranz: Why Trump’s withdrawal from Syria is bad news for Israel — and good news for Iran
– Stephen Daisley: The real racism against the Palestinians
– Jonathan Weisman: American Jews and Israeli Jews are headed for a messy breakup
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians’ New Year’s resolutions

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Jason Kuffer; Sisi via YouTube/60 Minutes;
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.
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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Dec 2018, 11:27 am

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-26-2018-russia-strike/
Russia Denounces Israeli Air Strike on Damascus
BY PESACH BENSON  DECEMBER 26, 2018
Today’s Top Stories
1. The skies of Damascus lit up as the Israeli Air Force allegedly struck arms depots belonging to Hezbollah and Iran. A US defense official told Newsweek that several senior Hezbollah leaders were targeted while boarding a plane bound for Iran, though some reports suggested the plane took off just before the strike. The Jerusalem Post examines why Hezbollah personalities were traveling to Iran from Damascus instead of directly from Beirut.

Russian officials denounced the attack, accusing Israel of endangering passengers on two civilian air craft without offering any specifics. One Syrian rocket was intercepted over the Israeli town of Hadera.

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Observer IL -

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-26-2018-russia-strike/
Russia Denounces Israeli Air Strike on Damascus
BY PESACH BENSON  DECEMBER 26, 2018
Today’s Top Stories
1. The skies of Damascus lit up as the Israeli Air Force allegedly struck arms depots belonging to Hezbollah and Iran. A US defense official told Newsweek that several senior Hezbollah leaders were targeted while boarding a plane bound for Iran, though some reports suggested the plane took off just before the strike. The Jerusalem Post examines why Hezbollah personalities were traveling to Iran from Damascus instead of directly from Beirut.

Russian officials denounced the attack, accusing Israel of endangering passengers on two civilian air craft without offering any specifics. One Syrian rocket was intercepted over the Israeli town of Hadera.

 Embedded video

Observer IL -
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Post  Admin on Mon 24 Dec 2018, 10:33 pm

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-24-2018-early-elections/
Israel to Hold Snap Elections in April
BY PESACH BENSON  DECEMBER 24, 2018
Today’s Top Stories
1. After weeks of politics, leaders of Israel’s coalition parties agreed to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections in April. Disagreements over Haredi army conscription and a court-mandated deadline to resolve the issue was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition was left with a barely-there one-seat Knesset majority when former defense minister Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu party quit in protest of an unofficial Israel-Hamas ceasefire in November.

The decision to go to the polls was apparently made after it became clear that the 61-seat coalition, with its one-seat majority, would not be able to pass legislation on the draft of ultra-Orthodox into the army, which had a January 15 deadline. Earlier in the day, opposition parties Yesh Atid and Yisrael Beiteinu made it clear that, unlike previous stated, they did not intend to support the law.

More on the story at the Times of Israel. And as Lahav Harkov points out, despite the agreement for early elections, it’s not official until the Knesset votes to formally dissolves itself. Though it’s unlikely, there’s precedent for MKs to reverse the decision.

Knesset
The Israeli Knesset building in Jerusalem. Photo by Orel Cohen/FLASH90
2. A Gaza terror group called Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades warned the Strip’s 1,300 Christians not to celebrate Christmas.

A verse from the Quran, quoted on the left side of the flyer, warns Muslims “not to go the way of the Jews and the Christians, indeed God is not for the evil people.” The brigades added it is “absolutely forbidden” to celebrate the holidays in any capacity.

3. Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory says white Jews ‘uphold white supremacy.’ The movement’s issues with antisemitism attracted the attention of the New York Times. Mallory is the Women’s March national co-chair.

4. Columbia Professor Dishonestly Smears Israel: We call out Professor Katherine Franke’s calumnies in the New York Review of Books.

In the News
• “The Russian forces currently in Syria will take action to restrain Hezbollah and Iranian activity there, according to understandings reached by Israel, the United States, Jordan and Saudi Arabia with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a Jordanian official confirmed to Israel Hayom.”

• Per Israeli media reports, Honduras is considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem, and sent a delegation of senior officials to explore the possibilities.

HR Mission to Israel

• A recent meeting between PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah raises a lot of questions. Why did the king keep Abbas waiting for three days in Amman? Why did he tell the PA not to take further steps against Hamas? Might US policies force Jordan to absorb some 1.4 Palestinian refugees? Are the Saudis seeking to gain an official presence on the Temple Mount at the expense of the Palestinians and Jordanians?

• “IDF soldiers opened fire at a group of gunmen who crossed the 1974 ceasefire line in the Golan Heights and were approaching Israel’s border fence from Syria, the army said Sunday night.” Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post picked up on Damascus claims that Syrian forces found Israeli-made weapons and medical equipment hidden by rebels in the Quneitra province.

• Qatar is preparing to welcome Jewish and Israeli fans for the 2022 World Cup with kosher food and places for prayer.

• Basketball star LeBron James apologized for an antisemitic Instagram post (subsequently removed).

LeBron James
LeBron James
Commentary
• Here are other commentaries I’m reading today:

– Seth Frantzman: Turks operating in Syria judged differently than Israel
– Jonathan Tobin: Trump just gave the finger to his Jewish voters
– Daniel Pipes: Will Trump divide Jerusalem in three?
– Nadav Shragai: Hamas too close for comfort
– Raphael Ahren: Has Israel made a huge mistake letting a Chinese firm run part of Haifa port?
– Jonathan Tobin: Some things are more important than international good-will
– Alexandra DeSanctis: Women’s March, sponsors silent on anti-Semitism allegations
– Christine Rosen: Antisemites on the (Women’s) March
– James Kirchik: What the EU survey reveals about European antisemitism

 
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Alex Moreno Fuster; James via YouTube/FreeDawkins;
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Dec 2018, 8:45 pm

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-23-2018-syria-withdrawal/
What Does US Withdrawal From Syria Mean for Israel?
BY PESACH BENSON  DECEMBER 23, 2018
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Today’s Top Stories
1. The fallout from the White House’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria continues. The New York Times cited unidentified Israeli intelligence officials saying they felt “betrayed by the US,” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the IDF may expand its activities in Syria if necessary. The withdrawal puts pro-Israel groups in a bind.

Analysts told AFP the pullout is a strategic victory for Iran, allowing Tehran consolidate its “land-bridge” to the Mediterranean. See commentary below assessing what it all means for Israel.
2. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), which administers civilian foreign aid and developmental assistance, notified Palestinian grant recipients that funding may come to an end on January 31. It’s “due to a new U.S. anti-terrorism law that could compel the Palestinian Authority to compensate American victims of terror attacks in exchange for U.S. assistance.” National Public Radio explains:

A U.S. official said the USAID funding cut was not final, and aid money could continue if Congress passes an amendment to the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act after the government shutdown. A Senate aide said there was bipartisan interest in Congress to find a fix to allow funding to continue. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to brief the media on the matter.
The anti-terrorism law could also put an end to U.S. funding to Palestinian Authority security forces, which coordinate with Israel to maintain security in the West Bank. An official in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ office told NPR he believed the U.S. would find a way not to cut security funds.
3. British taxpayers are still funding ‘lessons in hate’ at Palestinian schools where children are made to stage mock executions and read poetry glorifying terror.

The school books, which were introduced in September 2017, teach ten-year-olds that ‘drinking the cup of bitterness with glory is much sweeter than a pleasant long life accompanied by humiliation’.

Terrorists – including Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 ‘Coastal Road Massacre’ in which 38 Israelis including 13 children were murdered on a bus – are described as ‘heroes’.
The books also contain violent poems which extol the virtues of ‘sacrificing blood’.
In the News
• According to Albanian media reports picked up by the Times of Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cancellation of a November visit may have been because of an Iranian plot targeting him and/or Israel’s national soccer team, and and/or Tirana’s refusal to expel Iranian diplomats despite US pressure. On Thursday, Albania expelled Iran’s ambassador and another diplomat for “violating their diplomatic status.”

iranian atom• Iran’s nuclear archive stolen by Israel confirms how a uranium mine and yellowcake production plant in the southern Iranian district of Gchine were originally part of a clandestine nuclear weapons fuel cycle. Yet, the mill never stopped operating and the files directly contradict Tehran’s declarations to the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to a report. The authors explain why it all matters:

A sobering fact is that the issue of Iran’s past and possibly on-going nuclear weapons work is still unresolved. Some try to discount this issue by adopting the stance that everything is known anyway, or that the worst should be assumed and move forward, but the Nuclear Archive makes readily apparent that much remains unknown. In particular, this information matters with regard to any past nuclear weapons effort continuing today.

In the end, the reason to insist on Iran fully declaring its nuclear programs concerns the health of, and compliance of Iran with provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, its comprehensive safeguards agreement, the Additional Protocol, and the JCPOA. This issue festers and raises fundamental questions about the value of these agreements to stop nuclear proliferation and the ability of the IAEA to conduct credible verification.

In addition, the JCPOA is not a permanent agreement. Its provisions will end, leaving Iran well-placed to resume building up its nuclear breakout capability, with an apparently ready military nuclear effort to draw on from the archive it maintains. It could also trade this information to other states or groups, as it has done with missile technology.
Aziz Dweik
• AFP sums up the real reason Mahmoud Abbas is keen to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council, even though it hasn’t met in more than a decade:

Though the parliament has not met since 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian law allows for its speaker to act as interim president should 83-year-old Abbas die in office.
Thus, Aziz Dweik, a Hamas member from Hebron, is technically first in line to succeed Abbas.
• Donorbox, a US firm which makes fundraising management software, confirmed that it blocked the account of the Ramallah-based Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. More at AP.
• Nice scoop for CNN, being the first news service to get an exclusive first-hand look at one of the Hezbollah terror tunnels uncovered by the IDF.

• Drip drip drip: UK Labour MP Ivan Lewis quit the party over antisemitism, saying “I could no longer reconcile my Jewish identity and current Labour politics.” Lewis will continue to represent his Manchester-area constituency as an independent MP.

• Antisemitism allegations are splitting the Women’s March.

• When BDS comes to campus, antisemitism follows.
• Israeli anti-drone technology brought an end to three days of chaos at London’s Gatwick Airport. Everybody picked up on the Daily Mail‘s scoop. British authorities said two people arrested on Friday night are no longer suspects and were released without charge.

• Around the world: Belgian soccer fans sing chant about burning Jews. French imam indicted over antisemitic sermon. Australian school principal poses with children in blackface, Hitler costume. Paris duty free shop apologizes for invoice calling Tel Aviv airport “occupied Palestine.”
HR Mission to Israel
Commentary
• Plenty more spilled ink and burnt pixels weighing in on the US pull-out.
– Raphael Ahren: Trump pullout from Syria leaves Israel alone to battle Iran’s likely resurgence
– Shimon Shiffer: US leaves Israel to fight its battles alone
– Tony Badran: Trump reversal on Syria policy means big gains for Iran
– Amos Harel: Israel left with false Russian promises and volatile US president
– Zvi Bar’el: US exit from Syria could redraw the map of the Middle East’s blocs

Last but not least, Amos Yadlin‘s Twitter thread urges everyone to take a deep a breath and count to 10.
Amos Yadlin
@YadlinAmos
 Trump’s declaration on US forces withdrawal from Syria is a significant step, but there’s no reason to panic.
2000 US troops came to Syria to fight against ISIS and had no authorities to act against Iran.
1/8
108
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• Here’s other commentary I’m reading this weekend:

– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): Why didn’t the IDF’s media blitz lead to UN condemnation of Hezbollah?
– Herb Keinon: Why did Israel got to the UN over Hezbollah tunnels?
– Peter Lerner: The need for a civilian maestro to command the media and diplomatic efforts
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian children: Victims of Arab apartheid
– Avi Bell: Is “East Jerusalem” Palestinian territory?
– Stuart Eizenstat: US companies need relief from BDS pressure
– David Bernstein: Everyone is misreporting the Texas BDS lawsuit
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Post  Admin on Sun 16 Dec 2018, 7:50 pm

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-16-2018-australia-jerusalem/
Australia Recognizes ‘West Jerusalem’ as Israel’s Capital
BY PESACH BENSON  DECEMBER 16, 2018
Today’s Top Stories
1. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australia’s recognition of “West Jerusalem” as Israel’s capital, adding that its embassy would not be moved until a peace agreement resolves the city’s final status. Disappointed Israeli officials diplomatically called the move “a step in the right direction,” while Palestinians blasted Canberra.
Robert Satloff
@robsatloff
 Just to be clear, #Australia’s new policy on #Jerusalem is closer to #Russia’s (West v East, etc) than #America’s, which leaves final disposition of the city’s borders to negotiations and does not commit to an inevitable #Palestine capital there. #Israel https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46576716
9:01 PM - Dec 15, 2018
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Australia: West Jerusalem is Israeli capital
PM Scott Morrison says Australia will not immediately move its embassy from Tel Aviv.
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2. Thousands of Israelis gathered for the funerals of two soldiers killed in a Palestinian shooting attack outside a West Bank settlement outpost last week. Sgt. Yosef Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef were in the in Netzah Yehuda infantry battalion; the funerals drew attention to the haredi soldiers who serve in Netzach Yehuda.
Sgt. Yosef Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef
3. A Pulitzer-nominated Palestinian photographer who works for the New York Times and Time magazine glorified Palestinian terrorism on his Instagram account. 24 News explains:
Wissam Nassar posted pictures of the suspected terrorists behind the Barkan Industrial Estate and Ofra shooting attacks on Instagram, adding the text: “A sad morning that carries with it pride with the martyrs, and honor in resistance. ‘If you lost the way, follow the martyrs’.”
The Palestinian Gaza-based photographer uploaded it as a “story”, meaning it was deleted after 24 hours.
In the News
• The IDF uncovered a fourth Hezbollah tunnel entering into Israeli territory.

• “Moscow is allowing fighters from Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian Shiite groups operating in Syria to carry Russian flags in order to protect them from Israeli airstrikes,” according to Russian media reports picked up by Ynet.
According to the report, Israel complained to Russia that its flags were spotted atop compounds and military convoys belonging to Iran and its allies in Syria. The complaint came ahead of a senior Israeli military delegation visit to Moscow on Tuesday.

According to Syrian opposition leader Colonel Petach Hasson, the Iranians promised to coordinate with the Russian military’s Syrian headquarters in Latakia in exchange for protection for the Shiite militias allied to Iran operating in the war-torn country.

• Is the latest round of terror attacks a sign of Hamas trying to raise its profile in the West Bank? The New York Times discussed the question with analysts.

• Worth reading: The anatomy of a Palestinan riot and Israel’s response

It appears, from watching this and other past protests, that Israel has learned many of the lessons of the previous Intifadas. It has learned to reduce the use of live fire and also to reduce the point of contact between rioters and riot control to a bare minimum of seconds or minutes, so that the number of possible injuries are reduced. This also changes the media war. . . . Israel’s war fighting has become more precise over time, as revealed in reports about the lengths Israel goes to when it warns residents of Gaza about airstrikes, for instance. This precision also appears in the West Bank . . .
HR Mission to Israel

• After the IDF demolished the home of a Palestinian who killed an Israeli soldier, Mahmoud Abbas ordered the home rebuilt. The four-story building in Ramallah’s al-Am’ari refugee camp belonged to Islam Yousef Abu Hmaid, who dropped a heavy marble slab onto the head of St.-Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky during an arrest raid in May.

• A European Union court rejected a Hamas appeal over its terror listing.

• Israel’s security cabinet is reviewing arrangements for a Chinese firm to take over Haifa port operations in 2021 — after the US Navy confirmed it might no longer dock there. The Jerusalem Post explains:

Haifa, the nation’s largest port city, regularly hosts joint US-Israeli naval drills and visits from American vessels. But a 2015 agreement between Israel’s Transportation Ministry and Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) – a company in which the Chinese government has a majority stake – has raised intelligence and security concerns that are only now prompting an interagency review.

That agreement granted SIPG control over the port for 25 years. The Chinese company has committed $2 billion to the project and, according to state-run media, plans to transform the port’s bay terminal into the largest harbor in the country . . .

But it is unclear whether Israel has any recourse to allay US concerns with the China project, which is already sealed and in motion.
Michael Wilner
✔️
@mawilner
 Israel’s inner security cabinet is reviewing its #Haifa deal with the Chinese. “You don’t want a decision that was made ostensibly for business reasons to have an impact on Israel’s relationship with the American navy,” one source said. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/US-Navy-may-stop-docking-in-Haifa-after-Chinese-take-over-port-574414

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US Navy may stop docking in Haifa after Chinese take over port
Concerns prompt ‘review’ of Shanghai agreement within Israel’s inner security cabinet, sources say.

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• The Knesset is going to host Egyptian, Lebanese, Algerian and Moroccan journalists working for European media outlets, per Israel HaYom.

• The US slapped sanctions on a former Israeli military officer and two other people for accused of illicit arms sales to the South Sudanese government. According to the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter), retired Maj.-Gen. Israel Ziv is said to have sold South Sudan “about $150 million worth of weapons.”

• All 10 University of California chancellors condemned the boycott of Israel as a “direct, serious threat to academic freedom.”

• Eugene Kontorovich on the cluck of the Irish . . .
Eugene Kontorovich
@EVKontorovich
 As Ireland moving forward to pass bill making business with "occupied territories" a crime, @IrishTimes promoting vacations in occupied Northern Cyprus. Because under the Irish bill, "occupation" defined to only cover Jews. Sen @frances_black, any comment? https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/take-5/what-can-you-buy-for-150-000-in-kerry-france-cyprus-greece-and-italy-1.3449332
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Take Five: A bungalow in Kilflynn or a house with sea views on a Greek island
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• It turns out the European Union gave £140,000 in public money to the group that organizes London’s annual Al Quds rally. Thanks to the Sunday Telegraph‘s disclosure, the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch) is ending its relationship with the Islamic Human Rights Commission. More at the Jewish Chronicle.
Al Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) was launched by Iran as a day of support for the Palestinians; international rallies on the last Friday of Ramadan feature calls for Israel’s destruction, Hezbollah flags, antisemitic banners and more. This HonestReporting video unpacks in more detail the truth behind Quds Day.
• Drip drip drip: UK Labour suspended senior activist Mohammed Yasin, who shared antisemitic posts and conspiracy theories on social media for more than two years. According to the Times of London:
Labour has been riven by allegations of anti-semitism among members and activists, but Yasin is believed to be the first paid member of staff to be implicated.
• Around the world: Britain’s Chelsea football club questioned its own fans’ ‘brainpower’ over antisemitic chants. (Several fans at Chelsea’s match in Budapest were also photographed hoisting a flag with Nazi symbols.) Swastikas and antisemitic graffiti defaced the Washington DC headquarters of the American Federations of Teachers, a Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki, and tombstones in a French-Jewish cemetery.
Commentary
• Israeli soldier Netanel Felber is fighting for his life after Thursday’s Palestinian terror attack. This attack hits me a little more because he’s an ex-pat from Maryland and because my teenage son is getting closer to 18. As Netanel began his army service, his mother, Judi, wrote “My Son, the Soldier.” It still resonates:

It’s scary to let my little fledgling fly away to the great unknown, with dangers I can’t understand. But, I am also so proud that my son will grow into a man with a purpose bigger than himself, with values of altruism and sacrifice for one’s people. Although I will be so proud when he comes home wearing his new uniform, the mom in me will always have a knot in the pit of my gut until I see him.
Elana Heideman
@elanayael18
 Judi Abramson Felber wrote this about Natanel who is fighting for his life. Our heart is full of hope and our souls filled with prayer.  

Netanel Ilan son of Sheyna Tzipora  נתנאל אילן בן שיינע ציפורה http://israelforever.org/interact/blog/my_son_the_soldier/
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My Son, The Soldier
Parenting can be challenging, but sometimes the hardest part is letting go and watching our children fly off to their next challenge, whether it’s college or IDF.

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• Lebanese writers Khairallah Khairallah and Ali Al-Amin worry Hezbollah will drag their country into war and make the Lebanese public pay the price for Iran’s ambitions.

• Shana Becker, an organizer of Women’s March on Raleigh weighs in on Tablet‘s deep-dive look at antisemitism and bigotry at the core of the Women’s March movement — by calling on the national leadership to resign.
We cannot equivocate in the face of anti-Semitism and violence. We cannot be silent. We cannot give a pass to an elder for inciting anti-Semitism because he has done other great things. Each member of the board of the National Women’s March has done one or more of these things and in so doing has contributed to allowing anti-Semitism to fester within the women’s movement . . .

The board of the National Women’s March reflects on all of the women and allies of the movement. Part of embracing intersectionality is conscientiously listening, talking, and helping address the wrongs we even commit against each other. In this spirit, I am calling in the board of the National Women’s March. Their struggles with anti-Semitism are wounding; stepping down to work together with their Jewish sisters and allies to continue the important dialogue essential in an intersectional movement would be healing. Handing over leadership to other extraordinary women who are free from the specter of anti-Semitism would be uniting.

Women's March

• Here are other commentaries I’m reading today:

– Raphael Ahren: How Israel’s calls for countries to move their embassies boomeranged
– Yaakov Ahimeir: Half-recognition means redividing the capital
– Herb Keinon: Australia’s Jerusalem decision is more like Moscow’s than Washington’s
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Hezbollah, Lebanon and the limitations of diplomacy
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Stopping the wave of terror attacks before the tsunami hits
– Yoav Limor: Hamas is pursuing its endgame
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Israel security agency’s long reach in the West Bank
– New York Post (staff-ed): Palestinian leaders have a disturbing idea of ‘heroism’
View image on Twitter
LTC (R) Peter Lerner
✔️
@LTCPeterLerner
 #Hamas is celebrating 31 years. All of their failures in one image. Generation after generation of child abuse, terrorism, and poor choices for the Palestinian people. Sad.
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– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: Hezbollah tunnels: How far will the IDF go?
– Pinhas Inbari: Iran is also infiltrating Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon
– Evelyn Gordon: UNIFIL deters EU from banning Hezbollah
– Amos Harel: From Lebanon to Iraq: Iran’s new, hybrid threat to Israel
– Samuel Tadros: Mideast Christians are under threat. How do they feel about Jews and Israel?
– David Harris: Why anti-Zionism is malign
– Falyn Stempler: Progressive circles need to listen to Jewish people
– Ashley Perry: What the Ocasio-Cortez coming can teach us
– Douglas Murray: Why are Jewish people ‘wandering’ again?
– Jonathan Tobin: Why are French “yellow vests” protestors attacking the Jews?
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND lukexmartin;
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.
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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Dec 2018, 10:42 pm

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-13-2018-palestinian-shooting/
2 Israelis Killed in Palestinian Shooting Attack
BY PESACH BENSON  DECEMBER 13, 2018

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Today’s Top Stories
*** Breaking news *** Just before this roundup was published, reports broke of a Palestinian car-ramming attack north of Jerusalem.

1. Two Israelis were killed in a West Bank drive-by shooting attack near the entrance to Givat Asaf this morning. Another two were injured — one severely with a gunshot wound to the head. According to Israeli media reports, the suspected Palestinian gunman was wearing an IDF uniform when apprehended.

No names were released when this roundup was published, but the IDF confirmed that both fatalities and one of the injured were soldiers while the fourth person hurt was a civilian woman. The attack was just two km from Ofra, where Palestinians carried out a similar deadly attack (more developments on that below).

In related commentary, Amos Harel and Khaled Abu Toameh argue that Hamas is behind the uptick in violence to fan flames and undermine Israeli-PA security cooperation.

2. Hundreds of Israelis laid to rest the baby born prematurely after its mother was critically injured in Sunday’s Ofra shooting attack. “Shortly before the burial, the baby underwent a symbolic circumcision and was named Amiad Yisrael.”

Meanwhile, Israeli security forces arrested four Palestinians suspected of carrying out the shooting. The Shin Bet said a fifth suspect “tried to harm our forces as he attempted to flee” and was shot and killed. An IDF official later warned that other terrorists may still be at large.

See HonestReporting’s related critique: Murdered Israeli Baby Also Victim of The Independent’s False Moral Equivalence.
 

3. France’s “yellow-vest” protests are taking a disturbing antisemitic turn. Per Ynet, “In recent days, the Jewish community has reported numerous anti-Semitic videos, graffiti and actual threats appearing in central locations and on social media.”

Examples of what worries French Jews include a video whipping up protesters to “understand that the real enemy is the Jews,” and a massive banner on a major highway calling President Emmanuel Macron “a whore of the Jews.”

4. Missing Context in AP Piece Masks IDF’s Humanity: The Associated Press implies Israeli soldiers deliberately targeting Palestinians’ legs for no good reason.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Count on The Guardian for a headline providing your daily dose of moral equivalence on today’s terror attack.

The Guardian

• “An official of “the State of Palestine” was elected to an 8-person advisory committee for selecting judges who would serve on the International Criminal Court on Thursday,” reports the Jerusalem Post.

Bin Hamad’s election could be a direct opportunity for the Palestinians to have influence over future judges who might deal with alleged war crimes cases against Israelis, if Israel fails to stave off prosecutions.

• A two-month manhunt for the Palestinian terrorist responsible for murdering two Israelis in a West Bank industrial park ended. Ashraf Na’alowa was shot and killed by IDF forces after opening fire on soldiers. The Shin Bet said Na’alowa was believed to be planning another attack. The Jerusalem Post reports the IDF also arrested several relatives and alleged accomplices.

In October, Na’alowa gunned down coworkers Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi and wounded another Israeli in the Barkan Industrial Park.

• A Palestinian was shot and killed while trying to stab two border guards in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday morning. Two of the officers were lightly injured.

• In rare testimony before a Knesset committee, a Palestinian recounted PA torture for helping to thwart terror attacks.

HR Mission to Israel

• MEMRI flagged Lebanese criticism of Hezbollah’s tunnels.

• “A Jewish student center at New York University was temporarily closed on Wednesday after an anti-Zionist student issued threatening messages, before reopening during the afternoon.”

Commentary
• Human Rights Watch director Ken Roth is taking flak from the Left for having the nerve to tweet his denunciation of the Ofra shooting attack. One of the uglier replies to Roth’s tweet insisted “Surely there is at the very least some legal ambiguity here” to justify the attack. Bradley Burston slammed the appalling discourse:

It’s called racism, in one of its ugliest forms.

It is exactly that form of racism which perpetuates and fuels lethal, wrongful, unending slaughter.

When leftists here and abroad support terrorist attacks on civilians as a form of legitimate resistance, they are dehumanizing all Israelis in exactly the same racist context.

On a related note, Annika Rothstein gets tweet of the day.


Annika H Rothstein
✔️
@truthandfiction
 Imagine a world where Jewish murder victims won't be described as "settlers", twice removed from any human decency or compassion, but mourned as human beings, given respect and compassion as were we equal to anyone else.

Sari Bashi
✔️
@saribashi
My heart hurts for the baby, mother and others shot yesterday in attack near Ofra. Transfering Israeli settlers to occupied West Bank is a war crime by the perpetrating officials precisely because settlers are civilians. And so they should NOT be targeted. https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-praises-heroic-west-bank-shooting-attack/

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• A Pink Floyd tribute band recently cancelled three Israeli shows in the face of pressure from Roger Waters and BDS. But David Power, frontman of “Pink Floyd Experience” wasn’t comfortably numb with Waters’ insinuation that the tribute band was on board with BDS. Adam Shay unpacks the significance of Power’s reply, which I screengrabbed below.

So it is neither ideological conviction nor support for the Palestinian cause that prompted this cancelation. It was fear, brought on by a frontal assault of abuse and threats, an assault ordered by Roger Waters. Power makes a direct connection between this assault and the cancelation, leaving no room for doubt or a hijacking of the agenda: The cancelation was due to the threat of violence – brought on by Waters.

David Power

• Here are other commentaries I’m reading today:

– Bret Stephens: When anti-Zionism tunnels under your house
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Jihad forces cannot be tamed or appeased
– Harold Brackman: The false argument on antisemitism and anti-Zionism
– Seth Frantzman: Is the Khashoggi affair spotlighting Israel?
– Ido Levy: Three of the many problems with BDS
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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Dec 2018, 8:08 pm

https://honestreporting.com/idns-12-12-2018-arkansas-bds/
Newspaper Challenges Arkansas Anti-BDS Law
BY PESACH BENSON DECEMBER 12, 2018
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Today’s Top Stories
1. The Arkansas Times is challenging in federal court an anti-BDS law that requires state contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel. At stake: advertising accounts with state institutions:

The Times initiated the suit after the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College, which has advertised regularly in the Times and its sister publications, informed the Times that it had to sign a certification that it would not engage in a boycott of Israel if it wanted to continue to receive advertising contracts from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees on behalf of UAPTC. The university imposed this condition because Act 710 requires all state institutions to do so. Times publisher Alan Leveritt declined, and UAPTC has refused to advertise further with the Times. The Times has never participated in a boycott of Israel or editorialized in support of one.

Arkansas State Capitol
2. The IDF uncovered a third Hezbollah tunnel dug from Lebanon into Israel.

3. The FBI arrested an Ohio man plotting attacks on Toledo synagogues. Damon Joseph told officials he was a supporter of Islamic State and was inspired by the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. He was arrested while acquiring two AR-15-style rifles from an undercover agent.

The same day, the FBI also announced the unrelated arrest of a Toledo woman who sought to carry out a mass casualty attack at a bar.

4. The Guardian: Hyperlinking to Hate: An article in The Guardian unacceptably links to the website of MEMO, a propaganda site affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Interpal, two terror-supporting organizations.
In the News
• According to The Australian and SBS News, the Australian cabinet is expected to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but delay an embassy move due to costs. Reports said a consular office would be opened in the meantime.

What is unclear is if it will recog­nise West Jerusalem as the capital, or a broader definition which recognised Jerusalem but without prejudice to future ­borders set in any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. This is regarded as an important distinction, as any future border is likely to involve land swaps.

• Haifa’s Arab deputy mayor stepped down over comments in support of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Haifa
• Palestinian car-rammings were foiled by responding forces in Hebron and the northern Jordan Valley yesterday. No Israelis were hurt in either incident.

• Israeli security forces continue to search for the Palestinians who shot at a group of Israelis at the entrance to the Ofra settlement earlier this week. The Media Line examines the complexities of manhunts in the West Bank.

• At a gathering of Israeli diplomats, several ambassadors criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for budget cuts, poor salaries, and the shuttering of diplomatic missions, per Israeli media reports. Netanyahu also serves as acting foreign minister. Employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have gone on strike in the past, hobbling consular services.

• The Knesset passed a law allowing victims of sexual abuse to speak out without court permission. “Until now, the penal code has prohibited publication of details that could identify the victim unless a judge approved a victim’s letter of consent to publicity or ruled that publicity was permissible because of special circumstances.”

• I can’t imagine clerks at any other city hall in the world dealing with the likes of this:
Jerusalem Municipality Rejects Plea to ‘Practice Animal Sacrifice’ for Future Jewish Temple

HR Mission to Israel
• Factions within Australia’s Labour Party are trying to work out a compromise on granting recognition to a state of Palestine ahead of next week’s national conference. The Australian explains in a nutshell:

Under the deal, conference would pass a motion which “urges” Labor to recognise Palestine, but does not commit a future [Bill] Shorten government to immediately recognize a future Palestinian state if elected.

• Several Birthright trip providers said they’re seeing a sharp drop in US participation. They told Haaretz the reasons could be a change in eligibility for the free trips, or “that young American Jews are growing increasingly disengaged from Israel, and have less and less interest in visiting.”

Birthright
• Around the world: Canberra‘s Jewish community ‘living in fear’ due to anti-Semitic attacks. A Jewish teacher sued a New Jersey Catholic school after pupils “threw coins at him” and decorated desks with swastikas and antisemitic comments. Antisemitic, racist and homophobic graffiti was found at a Boston-area high school

Commentary
• Cheers to rocker Nick Cave for going out on a limb responding to musician Brian Eno’s support for boycotting Israel.

I think the cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful. In fact, this is partly the reason I am playing Israel – not as support for any particular political entity but as a principled stand against those who wish to bully, shame and silence musicians . . .

How far must we have strayed from the transformative nature of music to feel justified in weaponising music and using it to punish ordinary Israeli citizens for the actions of their government. Furthermore, what has brought us to the point where certain musicians feel it is ethically sound to use forms of coercion and intimidation, in the form of ‘open’ letters, on fellow musicians who don’t agree with their point of view?
Nick Cave
• Here are other commentaries I’m reading today:

– Alex Fishman: Failing to deal with West Bank violence is a boon for Hamas
– Benny Avni: Israel’s blitz of Hezbollah’s terror tunnels will help win the PR war
– Amos Harel: Israeli operation against Hezbollah tunnels enters its explosive stage
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): UNIFIL’s moral mandate
– Avigdor Liberman: Nations of the free world must speak in unison on Iran
– Bassam Tawil: UN vote approves terror, torpedoes peace
– Gadi Shamni: It’s time to divorce the Palestinians
– Abe Greenwald: Finding the good in antisemites
– Daniel Schwammenthal: ‘Anti-Zionism’ threatens Europe’s Jews (click via Twitter)
– Michael Keshmiri: Don’t overlook antisemitism cloaked in progressive values
– Ron Kampeas: Here’s why the arrest of a Chinese tech mogul matters for Iran — and Israel

Featured image: CC BY-NC Jurg Stuker; Arkansas CC BY Stuart Seeger; Haifa CC BY-NC-ND Dr. Thomas Liptak; Cave via YouTube/Charles Slane;

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