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HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 9:41 pm

Cease-Fire Holding After Heavy Gaza Violence

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Violence erupted along the Gaza-Israel border with a weekend of rockets and air strikes, but an Egypt-brokered ceasefire has taken hold. Over the course of the weekend, some 200 rockets/mortars were fired at Israel and the IDF struck 40 different targets, including weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, training sites and command centers. Too many developments to summarize so see below for all the details.

2. Unfolding coverage of last week’s Benjamin Netanyahu-Vladimir Putin summit reports that Israel has accepted Bashar Assad rule in Syria in exchange for Iranian and Shiite forces being kept “tens of kilometers” from the Israeli border. The New York Times explains:

With Syrian government forces raising the national flag on Thursday over Dara’a, birthplace of the revolt against Mr. Assad, the endgame of the Syrian civil war seemed to be fast approaching. And with it, time could be running out for Israel to dislodge Iran from Syria by diplomatic means.

Adding to the urgency is a summit meeting on Monday between Mr. Putin and President Trump in Helsinki, where Iran and Syria are expected to be on the agenda. Mr. Netanyahu moved up his meeting in Moscow by several days to make a last pitch to Mr. Putin before the meeting.

But a commitment to keep Iranian forces tens of kilometers from Israel was a far cry from ejecting them completely from Syria, which Mr. Netanyahu has been lobbying Mr. Putin to do. And even that commitment was not confirmed by Russian officials.

Netanyahu conferred with President Donald Trump ahead of the US leader’s meeting with Putin tomorrow.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump
3. JTA: Prominent British journalist Paul Mason is accused of beating a man protesting against Labour anti-Semitism.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Here’s the rundown on the weekend violence, based on Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and Times of Israel reports one and two.

-Friday afternoon: IDF officer moderately wounded by grenade thrown by a 15-year-old Palestinian along the Gaza border. The teenager was killed by responding soldiers. In a separate incident, a Palestinian teenager was shot and killed trying to breach the border fence. Israel retaliated with air strikes on Hamas targets in the Strip, including a site used for manufacturing terror balloons
-Friday night: Hamas responded by firing more than 30 rockets. An Israeli family four was all injured when their Sderot home was hit by a rocket. Another mortar hit the courtyard of an empty synagogue.
-Saturday morning: Israel responded by destroying a terror tunnel and other targets including a high-rise building (it was meant to be the Palestinian national library). Hamas continued firing rockets.
-Saturday night: Hamas announced a ceasefire with Israel brokered by Egypt. This ceasefire reportedly includes a gradual stopping of terror kites. (The ceasefire didn’t take hold right away.)
– Sunday morning: IDF gives all clear to southern residents as ceasefire appears to hold. Later in the morning, the head of a Fatah-aligned rocket unit and his 13-year-old son were killed in a “work accident.”
-Sunday afternoon: Israel strikes Hamas cell launching incendiary kites during ceasefire. No reports of further rocket fire.

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:21 pm

IDF Strikes Syrian Positions After Drone Infiltration

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF struck several Syrian army positions in retaliation for a drone infiltration yesterday afternoon. The drone, which the IDF said appeared to be an unarmed Syrian reconnaissance aircraft, was shot down about 10 km inside Israel by a Patriot missile.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where the two discussed Syria. Take your pick of Jerusalem Post or Haaretz coverage.

Meanwhile, US Senator Lindsey Graham urged Israel not to cut any deals with Moscow at Washington’s expense. Backstory on that i24 News. Netanyahu responded, saying he coordinated with the US.

Ireland3. As expected, the Irish Senate approved legislation that would criminalize the import and sale of products and services from West Bank settlements. The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill now moves to parliament’s lower house. The Irish Times (click via Google News) reports that the US State Department lobbied Fianna Fail, Ireland’s leading opposition party, not to support the bill.

Questioned by the Jerusalem Post, Ireland’s Ambassador to Israel Alison Kelly said the minority government was against the bill, but Israeli settlement activity makes opposition to the legislation difficult.

I liked Eugene Kontorovich’s Twitter thread in response.

4. What is HonestReporting? Check out our new YouTube trailer telling new visitors who we are and what we do.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A Jerusalem judge issued a temporary confiscation order for a pair of Norwegian ships due to participate in a flotilla to symbolically break the blockade of Gaza, reports Ynet. Till now, intercepted ships were towed to Ashdod and then subsequently released.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

• Congressional Democrats demand ‘transparency’ over Trump administration’s review of US aid to Palestinians.

Acknowledging the need to ensure that no tax-payer money “is diverted from its intended purposes, or even worse, inadvertently benefiting the terrorist organization Hamas,” the Democratic lawmakers expressed concern that depriving US funds from the Palestinians could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

• Worth watching: Yael Raz-Lachvani of Kibbutz Nachal Oz discusses Palestinian terror kites with the BBC.

• Along the Gaza border yesterday, an IDF drone opened fire near a group of Palestinians preparing incendiary balloons. The Times of Israel also reports, “In a separate incident, also east of Rafah, Israeli soldiers shot and detained a Palestinian youth who the army said tried to breach the Gaza security fence with a pair of wire-cutters and a bottle full of a flammable liquid.”

• State-owned TV New Zealand apologize and admitted botching its in coverage of Gaza riots. TVNZ mistakenly reported that Israel had killed “hundreds” of Palestinians. As the Israel Institute of New Zealand of pointed out, “the UN has reported 131 Palestinian deaths. And approximately 80% of the casualties have been identified as terrorists.”

The Independent• The Independent has a new Mideast and North Africa correspondent, and she’s off to a nice start. Bel Trew, who I believe is based in Cairo, filed this nice dispatch from Gaza after meeting with some goons from the Resistance Brigades of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

It’s encouraging that The Independent finally has a Mideast correspondent who can openly travel and report in Israel. Beirut-based journalists like correspondent Bethan McKernan file plenty of reports about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without ever seeing it for themselves because Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah are very suspicious of things like Israeli datelines, passport stamps, receipts, etc.

• Worth reading: The Christian Science Monitor visited the Israel-Syria border to learn more about the evolving status quo between the two countries. See more dispatches from the border at the Jerusalem Post and Reuters.

Window Into Israel
• Police arrested four suspects over the kidnapping of an Israel-Arab boy. Footage released by the police shows seven-year-old Karim Jumhour being abducted from the entrance to his home in the village of Kalansua, in central Israel. As this roundup was published, police were still searching for Jumhour. According to Israeli media reports, “the kidnapping is believed to have been carried out by a crime family over unpaid debts.”

• Teen suspect in Duma terror trial released to house arrest.

Around the World
Jeremy Corbyn
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
• UK Labour’s Jewish affiliate is threatening to sue the party over its adoption of a controversial definition of antisemitism. The Guardian reports that A) the Jewish Labour Movement, the only Jewish group to be an official Labour affiliate, never signed off on the party’s antisemitism definition, and B) general secretary Jennie Formby misled Labour’s National Executive Committee to believe the JLM had approved the definition.
British Jews are furious with Labour and Jeremy Corbyn over the party’s recently adopted definition of antisemitism. The party, in essence, took the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and edited out the references to Israel and how certain criticisms of the Jewish state can be antisemitic. The IHRA’s full definition of antisemitism was adopted by adopted by Britain in 2016.

• New Labour antisemitism row as Jeremy Corbyn promotes MP who once called for moving Israel to the US.

• With an eye towards re-establishing “universal jurisdiction,” Spain is re-examining policy that would allow it to put on trial Israeli officials accused of war crimes.

• Argentina asked Russia to arrest an Iranian official linked to the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community headquarters in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people and injured more than 300. Alí Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been implicated in the attack.

Noga Tarnopolsky
 Fun fact from Moscow: Ali Akbar Velayati, the Iranian official sent to meet with Putin on Syria, faces an international warrant for ordering the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. Argentina today asked Russia to arrest him & turn him over. No answer as yet https://www.timesofisrael.com/argentina-asks-russia-to-arrest-iran-official-over-1994-jewish-center-bombing/

11:26 PM - Jul 11, 2018

Argentina asks Russia to arrest Iran official over 1994 Jewish center bombing
Senior adviser Ali Akbar Velayati, in Moscow for meetings with Putin, already has an international warrant against him on suspicion of ordering deadly terror attack

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• California State Assembly candidate accuses Israel of genocide and offers support for Louis Farrakhan

• Norwegian hospitals refuse to assist in circumcisions.

• Greek Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki vandalized for second time in two weeks.

building campaign

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: Israel’s ultimate consideration in shooting down Syrian drone
– Herb Keinon: The message in the Netanyahu-Putin meeting
– Oded Granot: Iran not going anywhere from Syria
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Don’t worry, they are only flying kites
– Karl du Fresne: Israel’s continuing existence a remarkable feat of survival


Featured image: CC0 Pexels; Ireland CC0 Pixabay; Corbyn via YouTube/ITV News;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 2:53 pm

Irish Senate to Vote on Criminalizing Settlement Goods
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Today’s Top Stories
*** BREAKING NEWS *** Shortly after this roundup was published, the IDF shot down an aerial drone that infiltrated Israel from Syria. Developing . . .
1. As this roundup was published, Irish parliament’s upper house, the Seanad, was due to vote on legislation criminalizing the import and sale of goods and services from West Bank settlements. Under the terms of The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill, anyone importing or selling settlement products would be liable to up to five years in prison and a 250,000 fine.
With wide support from independent and opposition parties, bill is widely expected to pass despite opposition from the government itself. The Attorney General says the bill violates European Union trade regulations while the Foreign Ministry prefers what it calls a common EU response to settlement activity.

The bill will also be a source of friction for Irish companies doing business in the US, where Congress has already passed anti-boycott legislation. Orde Kittrie explains:

If enacted, it could force U.S. firms with Irish divisions or subsidiaries to make a costly choice between violating either Irish law or U.S. law. If the companies refuse to join in Ireland’s boycott of such products, they could violate the new Irish law. But if they abide by the Irish law, they could violate U.S. law, which prohibits U.S. companies from participating in foreign boycotts that the United States government does not endorse.

Following the bill’s presumed passage, the legislation will then move to the lower house (the Dail) for debate and vote.

More on the story at the Times of Israel and Irish Times. Tweet of the day goes to Alex Ryvchin.

Alex Ryvchin
 Anti-Israel activists argued that labelling goods from Israeli settlements was about “consumer choice”. Now Irish steps to criminalise such goods, and remove all consumer freedom to purchase them, makes clear that this was just the latest attempt to boycott the Jewish state.

4:30 AM - Jul 11, 2018
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2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu departed for Moscow today for his third meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin in six months. They’ll discuss — what else? — the latest developments in Syria and Iran’s entrenchment there. Haaretz reports this:

Foreign diplomats informed of the details of discussions between Israel and Moscow say that Israel has agreed not to disrupt the Assad regime’s retaking of control on Israel’s northern border and not to assist the rebels except for humanitarian aid, in exchange for keeping Iranian troops and Shi’ite militias away from the border and maintaining room to maneuver against any increase in their strength in Syria.

Indeed, Syria widened its assault on rebels in areas near the Golan Heights.

Democrats3. The JTA takes a deep dive look at the wave of progressive American Democrats who criticize Israel, and the bind it puts on the party’s supporters of the Jewish state. What does the rise of candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Leslie Cockburn mean?

“There’s a lot of evidence that defining liberalism through an intersectional lens has had the effect of casting Israel as an ‘oppressor’ and thus a nation worthy of condemnation even as its actual policies on issues associated with intersectionality are infinitely better than those of its neighbors,” KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College, former Fulbright instructor at Tel Aviv University and regular Washington Post contributor, told JTA in an email interview . . .

“Liberal Zionists,” Johnson warns, “will need to more effectively communicate how Israel’s policies on women’s issues, LGBT rights and civil rights are consistent with a Democratic Party increasingly oriented around identity politics.”

4. Israel Hate Journalist Tweets Old (Fake) News: Reporter Kitty Holland once tweeted that she won’t interact with Zionists. So it’s not a surprise that she’s spreading more anti-Israel poison on Twitter, this time an old and fake “news report” from a fringe website.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• The Israeli Navy intercepted a Palestinian boat trying to break the Gaza blockade yesterday. Eight Palestinians aboard were arrested and the boat was towed to Ashdod. Some of the Palestinians were said to have been injured in recent clashes and seeking medical attention abroad. However, the Times of Israel reports:

The vessel’s purported destination was Cyprus, however the boat lacked the equipment necessary to safely reach the island nation, making it more likely that this was a symbolic act of protest.

• Mufti of Jerusalem issues religious decree prohibiting Palestinians from selling property to Jews.

The fatwa, according to Palestinian sources, came in response to an Israeli bill allowing Jews to purchase land in Area C of the West Bank. The bill, put forward by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi), aims to change a 1953 Jordanian law that prevents foreigners and non-Arabs from directly purchasing land in the West Bank.

Socialist International• Israel’s Labor Party quit the Socialist International after the umbrella organization of socialist parties and organizations adopted a resolution joining the Boycott Divest and Sanction Israel campaign.

I haven’t seen any response from Israel’s Meretz party, which is also a member of the Socialist International.

• The White House tapped former Obama Mideast peace envoy David Hale for a top post in State Department post. A career diplomat, Hale currently serves as US ambassador to Pakistan. President Donald Trump’s peace plan is yet to be released and it’s not clear what role, if any, Hale might have getting Israeli-Palestinian talks back on track. More at the Times of Israel.

Window Into Israel
Shaul Elovitch
Israeli businessman, Shaul Elovitch arrives for extension of his remand in case 4000 at the District Court in Tel Aviv, February 22, 2018. Photo by Flash90
• Media tycoon Shaul Elovitch reportedly admitted to police investigators that he altered coverage of the PM at the request of the Netanyahu family.
Police are investigating whether the PM had an understanding with Elovitch, Bezeq’s majority shareholder, in which Netanyahu gave the telecom giant regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News site.

During his interrogation, which reportedly lasted even longer, Elovitch said he had called Walla’s CEO Ilan Yeshua to change the content of news articles, adding, according to Channel 10 news: “I couldn’t ignore the pleas of [the prime minister’s wife] Sara Netanyahu and the rest of the Netanyahu family. I didn’t want to anger the prime minister. He was my regulator.

“What did you expect? That I would ignore those requests?” Elovitch reportedly told his interrogators. “But I never expected any favors in return. I didn’t talk to Netanyahu about regulatory benefits and there was no bribery deal.”

Netanyahu, who was also grilled by investigators yesterday, said he and his family didn’t get favorable coverage from Walla.

1927 earthquake
Damage to the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City after the 1927 earthquake.
• With earthquakes on the minds of Israelis, today happens to be the anniversary of the last major earthquake to hit Israel. The Jericho earthquake struck on this date in 1927.
Known as the 1927 Jericho Earthquake, the 6.25 magnitude quake lasted approximately five seconds and rippled from its epicenter in the northern Dead Sea region to Jerusalem, Jericho and Nablus, reaching Ramle, Lod and Tiberias – claiming 500 lives and injuring an additional 700 people. It also caused massive structural damage throughout the region.

This was also the last time an earthquake caused significant damage to Jerusalem. Over 130 people were killed and some 450 were injured.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Ori Chudy criticizes Israel’s earthquake preparedness as “inadequate.”

building campaign

Around the World
• In New Zealand, National Party leader, Simon Bridges acknowledged that New Zealand “got it wrong” by co-sponsoring UN Security Council resolution 2334, which denounced Israeli settlements. The resolution was passed in December, 2016, during the waning days of the Obama administration, when the US abstained from the vote rather than veto it.

• Alumni group knocks Columbia U. for ‘disappointing’ response to professor who blamed Israel for “every dirty act in the world.”

Columbia University
• French Jewish family told to remove mezuzah outside apartment.

• Caught between jihadists and neo-Nazis, Swedish Jews fear for their future.

• Looks like The Australian‘s staff-ed shares HonestReporting’s sentiments towards Nabil Shaath and his response to Australia’s decision to cut aid to the PA.

In expressing himself as he did, Mr Shaath revealed how out of touch the Palestinian leadership has become in relation to terrorism against Israel and its citizens. It defies reason that Mr Shaath can seriously believe that any self-respecting country should go on providing aid to the Palestinian Authority amid suspicions that it may find its way into supporting those carrying out acts of terrorism. That is the purpose of the “Martyrs’ Fund” and Ms Bishop has taken the right action.
 Nothing sums up the arrogant Palestinian sense of entitlement more than Nabil Shaath saying Australia is "worthy of being spat on" for sending aid through accountable NGOs rather than the corrupt PA that pays terrorist salaries. #Chutzpah. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/australia-worthy-of-being-spat-on-nabil-shaath-condemns-decision-to-cancel-10-million-in-aid/news-story/6222e9beff77591b7be4f464f7412318

7:55 AM - Jul 10, 2018

‘Worthy of being spat on’
A senior Palestinian Authority official has condemned a decision by the Australian government to cancel $10 million in aid, describing Australia as “worthy of being spat on” and “servants of the US”.

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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: Economics won’t help. The Palestinians will continue with terror attacks
– Avi Issacharoff: Closing Gaza border crossing shows Israel has no clear vision for the Strip
– Alex Fishman: The games at play in Syria
– David Wainer, Jonathan Ferziger, Donna Abu-Nasr: Israel’s support for Sunnis in Syria was not a failed investment
– Dominic Green: Trump’s Mideast ‘deal of the century’ turns out to be a big fat nothing burger
– Keith Kahn-Harris: Without trust, Labour’s new antisemitism code is bound to fail
– Kenneth Waltzer: From ‘intersectionality’ to the exclusion of Jewish students: BDS makes a worrying turn on US campuses

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Alex Moreno Fuster; Dublin CC BY-NC ladyb; Democratic donkey CC BY DonkeyHotey; earthquake via Wikimedia Commons; Columbia CC BY-NC-ND Wally Gobetz;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 10 Jul 2018, 7:45 pm

Israel Designates TV Station As Terror Entity

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel designated the Al-Quds TV network a terror organization. The move bars the network from operating in Israel. The Defense Ministry said the channel acts as the propaganda arm of Hamas. Haaretz explains:

The channel, which first went live in October 2008 and broadcasts from Beirut, has offices in the Gaza Strip as well as in Ramallah and Jerusalem. It makes use of local companies to produce content.

Owners, journalists and photojournalists of a production company which collaborates with Al-Quds and is based in the Arab-majority northern city of Umm Al-Fahm were summoned on Monday morning for questioning.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you

2. The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at divisions within Hamas over international initiatives to rehabilitate Gaza:

Here’s the dilemma Hamas is facing: On the one hand, if Hamas accepts these initiatives, its rivals – first and foremost the ruling Fatah faction – will accuse it of “selling out to Israel and the US,” and giving up Palestinian national rights in return for economic projects and humanitarian aid.

On the other hand, rejecting proposals to improve the living conditions its constituents could aggravate the situation and possibly prompt desperate Palestinians to revolt against the Hamas regime.

3. Since Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on May 18, some 18,000 Palestinians have left the Strip. Who is fleeing and what does this mean for Gaza?

Most of those who are leaving aren’t ordinary Gazans, because getting out of Gaza requires financial resources, political networking, energy and initiative and – above all – somewhere to go to, in a world increasingly hostile towards immigrants. Hence, most Gazans who make it out are necessarily Gaza’s most resourceful, highly-educated, promising, accomplished, and sometimes wealthiest people.

The exit of these Gazans over the last few months constitute a clear attenuation of the territory’s future: A mass brain drain and human capital flight . . .

Hamas leaders dismiss the numbers of emigrants as a “small fringe.” However, had it not been for the Egyptian’s pre-specified capacity to process about 500 people a day (of which 400 are from an endless waiting list and about 100 “coordinated passages” – the result of bribes), the numbers would certainly have been far more shocking.

4. Reaching out to Israeli audiences, Daniel Pomerantz discussed HonestReporting’s work and the nature of media bias on Radio Eretz FM‘s Noam Nir (in Hebrew). Forward to 1:35:55.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A flotilla seeking to symbolically break the Israeli blockade of Gaza was left the Strip today. Organizers say the boats will carry sick and injured Palestinians who have been unable to travel abroad to Cyprus. There was no information about yet about the Israeli navy intercepting the boats when this roundup was published.

Israel enforces a blockade of the Strip to prevent weapons smuggling.

• Reacting to Australia cancelling $10 million in aid to the PA over terror stipends, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath displays a stunning sense of entitlement.

The Australian

• No injuries reported after shots fired at West Bank settlement of Beit El on Monday night.

• Hamas’ Gaza strongman, Yahye Sinwar, broke his arm in a traffic accident. According to Palestinian reports picked up by the Times of Israel, no foul play is suspected.

• Worth reading: The Washington Post takes a closer look at Israeli efforts to reduce Palestinian lone-wolf terror attacks by monitoring social media.

flames• A by the numbers look at terror kites, per figures reported by Ynet.

– More than 100: Days since Palestinians launched the first terror kites
– 678: Fires sparked across farmlands and woodlands near Gaza border
– 9,160: Dunams of land consumed (around 2,263 acres)
– 6,000: Dunams of agricultural produce consumed (around 1,482 acres)
– 15,100: Dunams of Jewish National Fund land consumed (around 3,731 acres)
– 33: Number of fires fought on Monday alone

Window Into Israel
• Another minor earthquake rumbled northern Israel near the Kinneret Lake, “bringing the number of tremors in the area in recent days to more than 40.” Israeli media raised concerns about the nation’s earthquake preparedness:

Out of 1,600 schools deemed three years ago to be in danger of collapsing, just 53 have since been reinforced, Hadashot TV reported Monday.

None of the 108 dangerous material factories, ordered two years ago by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to strengthen their structures, has completed the process, the report added.

They’re taking the earthquake threat seriously in Tiberias. More on the national preparedness at Globes.

building campaign

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had another round of police questioning about the “Bezeq affair.” Police are investigating whether the PM had an understanding with Bezeq’s majority shareholder, Shaul Elovitch in which Netanyahu gave the telecom giant regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News site. Netanyahu denies any wrong-doing.

• Tel Aviv‘s Deputy Mayor Asaf Zamir announced that he’s going to challenge Mayor Ron Huldai in municipal elections. Residents of the White City go to the polls in November.
Tel Aviv
Around the World
• The courtroom battle against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions continues. Legal Insurrection updates the latest on a lawsuit against the American Studies Association, which adopted an academic boycott of Israel.

• We knew all along that Students For Justice in Palestine never believed in a two-state solution. Now SJP confirmed it in an op-ed in the California Aggie, the student paper of U. California, Davis. Backstory at The Algemeiner.

Lastly, it is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists. Underlying this naive fantasy is the belief that a state that engages in racist laws, systematic killings and home demolitions can also function as a beacon of peace. The goal of Palestinian resistance is not to establish “love” with those who are responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian people; it is to completely dismantle those forces at play.

• Muslim Democratic congressional candidate calls Israel ‘apartheid regime,’ the JTA reports.

• Knife-wielding man threatens Zurich Jewish family on way to synagogue.

girl reading paper • Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Tony Badran: Iran’s two-front strategy against Israel
– Amos Harel: Israel tightens Gaza blockade – but ball is in Hamas’ court
– Herb Keinon: Why close the Kerem Shalom crossing now?
– Yossi Yehoshua: Protective Edge deterrence has eroded
– Yaakov Selavan: While you were busy denouncing Israel
– Yoav Limor: Syria strike is a message to Iran ?
– Eytan Halon: What does Boris Johnson resignation mean for UK-Israel relations?
– Daniella Peled: Too little, too late on anti-Semitism from Corbyn and UK Labour Party

Featured image: CC BY Christine Rondeau; flames CC BY palo; Tel Aviv via YouTube/Moshe Tutian girl CC BY-NC Roland Scheerer;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Jul 2018, 8:40 pm

Is Hamas Moving Forces to Calm the Gaza Border?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas forces have returned to the Gaza border in what appears to be a bid to restore calm, according to Israeli media reports. Meanwhile, Israel announced that it is closing the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza because of the terror kites and balloons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is taking other steps, but didn’t elaborate.

On a related note, Qatar’s envoy to Gaza floated a trial balloon of his own, telling Israeli radio that letting 5,000 Gazans work in Israel would calm the border and end the terror kites and balloons.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you

2. Syria blamed Israel for an airstrike last night on a military base. The T4 base, located near Homs, is known to be used by Iranian personnel. After one airstrike on T4 earlier this year, an IDF officer confirmed to the New York Times that Israel had been responsible.

3. South Carolina became the first state to adopt a uniform definition of antisemitism. Columbia lawmakers adopted the State Department’s definition, which adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition.

The IHRA working definition made news in the UK last week when the Labour party adopted a watered down definition, angering British Jewry.

South Carolina
South Carolina statehouse in Columbia
In the News
• The opening of Sara Netanyahu’s trial has been postponed to October 7. Mrs. Netanyahu is accused of fraudulently spending $96,000 on ordered meals at the state’s expense despite the prime minister’s residence having a cook available.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court accepted a request from attorney Yossi Cohen, who sought to postpone the opening hearing in the case due to a clash with another case he is working on.

• Defiant Abbas says he won’t halt stipends to terrorists.

• After Israel arrested a Turkish national suspected of transferring money to Hamas, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu says Ankara will “retaliate.” Israel is taking measures to restrict President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to expand his influence in eastern Jerusalem.

earthquake• Israel’s earthquake preparedness, by the numbers. Based on Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel coverage of an emergency meeting of officials from the Defense Ministry, municipalities and rescue services following a series of light earthquakes in northern Israel.

– Over 10: number of earthquakes striking around the Kinneret in recent days
– 4: Earthquakes felt in northern Israel just on Sunday
– 6.2: Richter scale magnitude of Israel’s last major earthquake in 1927
– 500: Fatalities from the 1927 earthquake
– 74,000: Israeli students trained to be first responders after an earthquake
– 16,000: Expected fatalities in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 100,000: Expected injured in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 10,000: Expected number of buildings destroyed in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 377,000: Expected homeless in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– NIS 200 billion: Estimated cost of damages from a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 80,000: Buildings more than three-stories high that were built before 1980, and not constructed to current standards
– “not much”: What’s been done to strengthen buildings and infrastructure, according to a 2004 state comptroller’s report

• Pakistan’s only officially recognized Jew, Fishel Khalid openly made his case against restrictions on traveling to Israel in a recent Pakistani Daily Times op-ed. His piece caught the eye of National Public Radio, which interviewed Khalid to learn more.

I am raising my children to be Jewish, yes. And mark my words, either Pakistani state allows me or not, I’m going to celebrate Passover next year in Jerusalem, Israel.

building campaign

• North Korea once sought to extort Israel by offering to stop working with Iran on missile technology — if Israel coughed up $1 billion. The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) picked up on the new memoir of a North Korean diplomat who defected.

In a Stockholm cafe one winter’s day in 1999, North Korea’s ambassador to Sweden made a proposal to his Israeli counterpart, according to a former Pyongyang diplomat: Give North Korea $1 billion in cash and we will scrap our agreements to sell our missile technology to Iran and other enemies of Israel.

The Israelis refused, and days later offered food aid instead, according to the account. The talks ended without an agreement. Since then, North Korea has remained a steady supplier of conventional and ballistic weapons and nuclear technology to countries such as Iran and Syria.


• Jewish Syrian wearing a Star of David pendant attacked in Berlin.

• More swastika carvings found in Ridgefield, Conn.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Ron Ben Yishai: Assad’s huge victory and what it means for Israel
– Amos Harel: Syria strike: On eve of Moscow meeting, Netanyahu sends Putin strategic message
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Assad’s Pyrrhic victory
– Manfred Gerstenfeld: Can Labour stamp out antisemitism as long as Corbyn is chairman?

Featured image: CC BY Sjoerd Lammers Photography; South Carolina CC BY Jeff Turner; earthquake via Wikimedia Commons; North Korea via Good Free Photos; Iran CC0 Pixabay;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 10:29 pm

White House Pivots to ‘Gaza First’ Strategy

Today’s Top Stories
1. With peace efforts stuck in the mud, the Trump administration is focusing its efforts on improving Gaza’s living conditions, the Washington Post reports.

[A US infusion of development aid] could demonstrate a commitment to the Palestinian people that could make it more difficult for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to continue to rebuff overtures to engage in the peace process . . .

Israeli officials said they welcome a “Gaza first” approach as a way to both put pressure on Hamas and wait out the rival Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.

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2. According to Israeli media reports, Israel is moving to restrict Turkish activities in eastern Jerusalem, amid concerns that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to expand his influence there through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), a non-governmental organization that also operates in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Turkish aid group is suspected of A) trying to purchase property in eastern Jerusalem, B) transferring money to Hamas, and C) involvement in last year’s Temple Mount protests. That all ties in with the Israel’s arrest of a Turkish national, Ebru Ozkan. She’s accused of trying transfer money to Hamas.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
3. British Jews are furious with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party over its newly adopted definition of antisemitism. The party, in essence, took the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and edited out the references to Israel and how certain criticisms of the Jewish state can be antisemitic.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism, Stephen Pollard, Nick Cohen and Jewish Labour activists Mike Katz and Adam Langleben castigated the party’s watered down definition. The IHRA’s full definition of antisemitism was adopted by adopted by Britain in 2016.

Jonathan Freedland
 So Labour have rejected a definition of antisemitism accepted by UK, Scottish and Welsh govts, 124 local authorities, gov’ts around the world and most Jews. It seems Labour found that definition too stringent - it prohibited anti-Jewish expression that Labour wants to allow

3:20 PM - Jul 5, 2018
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel’s High Court of Justice put a freeze on plans to demolish the illegally built Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.

• Palestinians in Ramallah are accusing the PA of hypocrisy after the police force received 25 brand new American-made jeeps from the US consulate. The PA has boycotted American officials since the White House recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

building campaign

• Foiling a terror attack, police arrested a Palestinian with meat cleaver and knife outside the Beit El settlement on Saturday.

• First cabinet member enters Temple Mount after three years as Prime Minister lifts ban.

Michele Chabin
 #Palestinian media outlets are characterizing the visits of Israeli MKs on the Temple Mount as "storming." You can criticize without lying. 
"To storm" means to "suddenly attack and capture (a building or other place) by means of force." They're walking, not storming. #FakeNews

3:04 PM - Jul 8, 2018
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• Britain to lead review of incitement in Palestinian textbooks, which is expected to be completed in September, 2019.

• South African International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced that Pretoria will not reinstate its ambassador to Israel. Pretoria recalled Ambassador Sisa Ngombane two months ago in protest of Israel’s handling of the Gaza border clashes.

Lindiwe Sisulu
South African International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
• Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s niece was seriously wounded in Friday clashes along the Israel-Gaza border, Ynet reports.

• An incendiary balloon from Gaza landed near a kindergarten in moshav Netiv HaAsara on Sunday, causing light damage on Sunday.

• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) takes a rare look at Palestinian discontent with Mahmoud Abbas and the PA. Call it restless in Ramallah?

“We have never reached this level of weakness in front of our people,” said Saeb Erekat, a 63-year-old top aide to Mr. Abbas.

“At the end of the day, governing is not about how decent you are and how honest you are,” Mr. Erekat said. “You promised your people you do something. You didn’t.”

• Jerusalem denied an i24 News report that Israel hosted a military delegation from the United Arab Emirates “to review operations of the advanced US-made F-35 fighter jets.” The UAE is seeking to procure the advanced stealth fighter, and has openly participated alongside the Israeli Air Force in exercises in both Greece and the US.

A US Air Force F-35 taking off on a Oct. 25, 2017 training flight.
Window Into Israel
• Plans for a mixed prayer pavilion at the Western Wall took another hit when another member of the committee tasked with implementing the compromise plan quit.

Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party announced his resignation from the committee in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he charged that the decision to build the permanent plaza had already been made by the premier ahead of a committee meeting set for Sunday.

Culture Minister Miri Regev and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked resigned from the committee in recent days.

• Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug announced that she will step down from her position when her five-year term ends in November. The 63-year-old Flug is the first woman to serve as the Bank of Israel’s governor. Flug did not indicate why she isn’t seeking a second term. Times of Israel coverage.

Karnit Flug
Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug
• A new right-wing list, the “United” faction, seeks to bring together Jerusalem’s haredi and national-religious residents in the October 30 municipal elections. Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King heads the new faction and joins an already crowded field of people vying to succeed outgoing Mayor Nir Barkat.

Other announced candidates include Deputy Mayor Moshe Lion, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Kulanu MK and former Jerusalem deputy mayor Rachel Azaria, Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai, and activist Ofer Berkovich of the pluralistic Hitorerut faction.

• Northern Israel felt another minor earthquake today. It measured 3.2 on the Richter scale. After a number of minor earthquakes in recent days, a retired IDF Home Front officer warns a warns a major earthquake will hit Israel in the near future.

Around the World
• Progressive Democrats increasingly criticize Israel, and could reap political rewards, ABC News reports.

• French website removes ad for Auschwitz showerhead.

• Australian glasses company under fire for ad campaign filmed at Holocaust death camp.

Saying it was unaware of site’s sensitivity, Valley Eyewear apologizes and takes down pictures and video shot at Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 .@valleyeyewear, perfect for vampire cataract sufferers who love to loiter around Holocaust and WWII memorials.

2:27 PM - Jul 1, 2018
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• Jewish Israel advocate Sergio Kowensky was shot and killed in his Johannesburg work place last week. According to the South African Jewish Report, it’s not yet clear if the businessman, who was chairman of the Likud South Africa Jewish group, was specifically killed for his Zionist activities, or was “just another senseless act of urban violence on the crime-ridden streets of Johannesburg.”

Kowensky, who was 67, is survived by his wife and three children.

• Anti-bullying experts are being sent to 170 German schools in a bid to counter rising antisemitic incidents.

• Two teachers at New York’s elite Riverdale Country School lost their jobs for sharing anti-Israel views with students.

UNRWA• Over at the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) Richard Goldberg and Jonathan Schanzer call on a the White House to declassify a single US document they say would blow the lid on the Palestinian refugee “scam.”

Unrwa labels more than five million Palestinians “refugees”—an impossible figure. The first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, yielded roughly 800,000 Palestinian Arab refugees. Perhaps 30,000 remain alive today, but Unrwa has kept the refugee issue alive by labeling their descendants—in some cases great-great-grandchildren—as “refugees,” who insist on the “right of return” to their ancestors’ homes. Israel categorically rejects this demand . . .

In 2012 Congress ordered the State Department to disclose how many Palestinians currently served by Unrwa fled the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and how many are merely their descendants. The Obama administration classified the report, citing national security—as if revealing foreign census data were a threat to America.

A year and half into office, Mr. Trump hasn’t reversed this policy, but momentum is building against it.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– David Weinberg: Thwart Turkey’s Jerusalem incursion
– Amos Harel: Assad returns to the Israeli border. The big question is who is coming with him
– Zvi Bar’el: As Syrian army heads south, Assad will require new agreements with Israel
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: The end of the Syrian revolution
– Avi Issacharoff: As war edges toward end, Iran faces hard fight to keep its influence in Syria
– Yarden Ben-Yosef: The digital battle over the narrative of the Gaza protests
– Daniel Siryoti: Abbas had better fall into line
– Lahav Harkov: When realpolitik crosses the line
– Yossi Beilin: When BDS has a Jewish face
– Gol Kalev: Are Palestinians ready tell supporters, ‘We’re not your toy?’

• Last but not least, Saeb Erekat is sour grapes after Australia ended direct financial assistance to the PA.


Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Armando G Alonso; Erdogan via Wikimedia Commons with alterations; Sisulu CC BY-ND Government ZA; F-35 U.S. Air Force with alterations; Flug via YouTube/Gazunda – Today’s Finance;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 3:09 pm

Israel Confirms Efforts For Prisoner Swap With Hamas
Today’s Top Stories
1. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed to Ynet that Israel is trying jump-start talks for a prisoner swap with Hamas. He didn’t elaborate on the specifics about reports that Germany is acting as a go-between to facilitate an exchange.

According to the source, the negotiations are being conducted on two levels — via German diplomats in the Palestinian Authority, and a second track working out of Berlin — and that Israel and Egypt both trust the German team. If a deal is reached, the paper reports that Egypt will facilitate the exchange.

Hamas currently holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Hamas also holds captive Israeli civilians Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who both wandered across the Gaza border in separate incidents. Both are mentally unstable.

The last prisoner swap was in 2011 when Israel released 1,027 prisoners for Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped and held captive for more than five years.

From left to right: Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avraham Mengitsu and Hisham al-Sayed

2. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center slammed an Israeli and Polish joint declaration after Warsaw amended a contentious Holocaust law.

Yad Vashem’s statement said the Israeli-Polish declaration contained a number of historical errors, and that it paves the way to continue with legal battles against historians and other Holocaust researchers – even though now these will be only civil and not criminal proceedings . . .

Another controversial part of the joint declaration is its final section, which drew parallels between anti-Semitism and “anti-Polonism and other negative national stereotypes” and condemned both equally.

Poland launched an PR blitz featuring full-page ads in Israel, Europe and the US. (You may ask, Why Germany?)

3. The trial of former cabinet minister Gonen Segev began in Jerusalem behind closed doors. Segev, who served as minister of energy and infrastructure from 1992 to 1995, is accused of spying and transferring secret information to Iran. Take your pick of Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, or Ynet coverage.

Segev is expected to plead not guilty initially, though the prosecution believes that there may eventually be a plea deal.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• There’s a new strain on Israeli-Jordanian tensions. When Britain’s Prince William visited the Temple Mount, Nizar al-Qaissi, a diplomatic working in Jordan’s mission in Ramallah, joined Waqf officials in greeting the royal, to the ire of Israeli officials. According to the Times of Israel:

Israel’s Foreign Ministry and police were opposed to al-Qaissi’s presence and made their position known to organizers of the prince’s visit, a well-placed source told The Times of Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity . . .

An official at the UK Consulate General in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel that “the Waqf invited those to attend and greet” the future king.

The Islamic Waqf, which administers the Temple Mount, is overseen and funded by Jordan. The 1994 peace agreement between Israel and Jordan recognizes the Hashemite Kingdom’s “special role” in regard to Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Raphael Ahren
No Israeli diplomats were present when Prince William visited the Western Wall. But a Jordanian diplomat, stationed in Ramallah, accompanied the future king to Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Official Israel is not pleased. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-irked-over-jordanian-diplomat-greeting-prince-william-on-temple-mount/

11:57 AM - Jul 5, 2018

Israel irked over Jordanian diplomat greeting Prince William on Temple Mount
Ramallah-based Nizar al-Qaissi had joined Waqf officials in greeting royal on 'private visit' to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock

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• If you can’t beat them, join them. Ariel Gold, a prominent backer of BDS and leader of CodePink, is mulling aliyah to get around Israel’s recent refusal to let her enter the country.

• Latest poll finds Palestinians favor jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti as successor to Mahmoud Abbas.

• Worth a listen: London’s LBC Radio talked to an Israeli soldier about his recent experiences on the Gaza border.

• The IDF warned Bashar Assad that any Syrian forces entering the demilitarized zone along the Israel-Syria border will be legitimate targets. The DMZ was established in 1974. International peacekeepers monitoring the border left as the civil war made their work too dangerous.

Meanwhile, a Hezbollah commander in Syria confirmed to Reuters that the terror group commands Syrian soldiers.

“Hezbollah is a fundamental participant in planning and directing this battle,” a commander in the regional alliance that backs Damascus told Reuters. “Everyone knows this – the Israeli enemy, friends, and even the Russians.”

Hezbollah’s role includes directing Syrian forces, the commander said. It has also deployed its own elite forces.

Window into Israel
water• A major study suggests desalinated water raises the risk of heart disease. Researchers said there was a failure to add magnesium to the water, leaving the Health Ministry and Water Authority to point fingers at each other.

According to the Israel Water Authority, only 1% of desalinated water is used for drinking and adding magnesium as part of the production process would be very costly. However, some argue that even the water used for agriculture should be enriched with magnesium because it is absorbed by the produce that people eventually eat, the television report said.

While the idea of introducing magnesium into the desalinated water has been raised in the past, the Water Authority and the Health Ministry have failed to agree on a plan to implement the proposal.

• Former employee at Israeli cyber-weapons firm sought to sell stolen top-secret code on the Darknet.

building campaign

Around the World
• The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign is targeting a Berlin cultural festival because the Israeli embassy among the sponsors.

• Sydney high school students suspended over Nazi salutes and antisemitic bullying of Jewish students.

• Jews in Turkey fear growing antisemitism.

• Polish priest set for sainthood criticized for antisemitism.

Fishel Benkhald
• Unable to visit Israel, Pakistan’s only officially recognized Jew, Fishel Benkhald lays out his beef with Islamabad policies in an op-ed that must be unusual for regular readers of the Pakistani Daily Times:
I am stuck in a real life conundrum. Being a practicing Jewish man, I want the freedom to perform my religious duties, a right granted to me and other minorities in the country by the constitution. However, the reality is that my Pakistani passport states that ‘this passport is valid for all countries of the world, except Israel’. As per the constitution, every citizen has the right to practice their religion, including religious pilgrimages. How then, can the state be justified in prohibiting not only Jews, but Pakistani Christians, Messianic Jews, and even Muslims from travelling to Jerusalem? This self-conflicting sentence on our passports is flawed and inconsistent with our constitution, and it is time to challenge this archaic law.

All I simply want is to invoke my given constitutional right to perform a religious pilgrimage without having the threat of criminal persecution from the state of Pakistan hanging over my head.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Oded Yaron: Hamas’ cyber honeypot exposes Israeli weakness and tech giants’ complicity
– Dan Margalit: Israel to declare a boycott on Viktor Orban? Get real
– Mitchell Bard: How UC Berkeley went from anti-Israel bastion to Israel studies powerhouse
– Sirwan Kajjo: Hezbollah’s indefinite presence in Syria

Featured image: CC BY Bartosz Brzezinski; water CC BY Aqua Mechanica

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 2:06 pm

Hamas Hacked Israeli Soldiers’ Phones
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel uncovered a Hamas “honey pot” network that sought to lure IDF soldiers into downloading infected apps onto their phones by posing as young women. The malware gave Hamas access to the phones’ location, photos, messages and contacts, and allowed the terror group to remotely operate the camera and microphone without the soldiers’ knowledge. As for the extent of the hacking, the Washington Post reports:
While it could not give exact numbers on how many soldiers were allegedly approached or duped into conversation with Hamas’s cyberoperatives, the army said hundreds of recruits reported being approached through their Facebook accounts. About 2 percent of those agreed to download the apps. It is possible that more people will come forward now that the information about the purported cyberthreat has been made public.
Hamas managed to compromise soldiers’ phones in a similar “honey pot” scam last year. See Lilach Shoval‘s take.
2. Israel’s Eurovision win is in jeopardy as a US label claims Netta Barzilai’s ‘Toy’ was copied from “Seven Nation Army,” a 2003 hit by the Detroit rock band, The White Stripes. According to Israeli media reports, if Universal Music Studios’ claim is proven in court, “it could disqualify Toy’s eligibility to participate in Eurovision and strip Israel of its win and hosting rights for the 2019 tournament.”
If you want to listen and judge for yourself, here are links to Toy and Seven Nation Army plus this mashup of both songs. The White Stripes broke up in 2011.
I presume Cyprus — which came in second place with Eleni Foureira’s Fuego— will host next year’s tournament if (and that’s a big if) Israel is indeed disqualified.
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3. An Israeli law professor was tapped to head the UN Human Rights Committee. The JTA introduces us to Professor Yuval Shany of Hebrew University and the Israel Democracy Institute.
The Human Rights Committee is different from the more well-known Human Rights Council, which is generally hostile to Israel. The United States recently withdrew from the council.
The committee, which operates under the aegis of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is a nonpolitical body that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its state parties.
4. The Environmental Impact of War: What exactly is the environmental impact of Palestinian terror kites and what can you do about it?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted a ban on Knesset members and cabinet ministers visiting Temple Mount. The change in policy came after police recommended that parliamentarians be allowed to visit the holy site. See Times of Israel and Haaretz coverage.
The ban was put in place three years ago for security reasons. Lawmakers will be required to coordinate their visits with the police, and are limited to one visit every three months.
• The Palestinian Authority defiantly doubled down on its stipends for imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs” a day after the Knesset passed a law cutting tax revenue transfers to Ramallah.
Mahmoud Abbas
• According to the Israeli security establishment, Mahmoud Abbas is the biggest obstacle to rehabilitating Gaza. Haaretz explains:
In conversations over the past few weeks, Abbas is said to have expressed little interest in the Gaza Strip’s distress. He remains very hostile to Hamas, which he accuses of sabotaging the internal Palestinian reconciliation process and of the assassination attempt on PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a visit to Gaza in March. As a result, the PA chairman has not responded to the feelers that have been put out by Israel, the United States and Nickolay Mladenov, the UN secretary-general’s envoy to the Middle East, about advancing the rehabilitation of the Strip.
• In Paris, IDF chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis briefed French lawmakers on the Gaza situation. According to the Times of Israel:
Manelis’s comments on the Gaza protests may have been meant as a rebuttal to the official stance of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said in a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on June 6 that the violence was caused by the US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.
• Netanyahu to meet Putin in Moscow next week.
• The trial of former cabinet minister Gonen Segev gets underway tomorrow. Segev, who served as minister of energy and infrastructure from 1992 to 1995, is accused of spying and transferring secret information to Iran. Although there’s a gag order, Haaretz looks at what’s known about the affair.
Around the World
• The Israeli Embassy in Dublin denounced a bill making its way through the Irish parliament that would criminalize the import and sale of settlement products. Foreign Minister Simon Coveney opposes the legislation.
Niall Collins
 · 19h
 The @fiannafailparty Parliamentary Party meeting this evening has decided to support the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill initiated by @frances_black https://twitter.com/niallcollinstd/status/1014108695666585600?s=21
The Irish Government has always condemned construction of illegal settlements. But this Bill asks Irish govt to do something it is not legally empowered to do - trade is an EU competence, not an Irish one. FF knows this - so this move is both opportunist and irresponsible.
7:53 PM - Jul 3, 2018 · London, England
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• The British Labour party selected a Ken Livingstone defender as head of its disputes panel. Jewish activists called Claudia Webbe’s appointment “a step backwards” as the party continues to grapple with antisemitism within its ranks, the Jewish Chronicle reports.
• UK Jewish youth group drops Israel teen tour leader who said ‘Kaddish for Gaza’.
• Amsterdam’s oldest Jewish cemetery vandalized with swastikas.
building campaign
• Worth reading: Haviv Rettig Gur weighs in on the “brief but exciting life of the bill to outlaw filming IDF soldiers.” Not only did the contentious bill have no prayer of being passed, the legislation’s principal advocates and critics (including its author) knew it. Hence, the smoke and mirrors of Israeli politics.
The bill was fake from the start, the cabinet committee that “approved” the bill actually killed it, the preliminary vote was an agreed-upon fiction, Liberman’s gloating was a lie and the left-wing activists’ pearl-clutching was a demonstration of either a similar dishonesty or, worse, ignorance . . .
To recap, a bill to outlaw the filming of IDF soldiers has transformed into a bill that increases the maximum sentence for obstructing those soldiers — a crime never prosecuted in Israel’s history — from one year to three. It doesn’t forbid filming. And even as it was gutted, the bill was removed from the Knesset’s agenda for the foreseeable future. In its brief life, it offered left-wing activists a chance to rally to democracy’s defense, and the right’s populists a chance to show their uncompromising defense of Israel’s young soldiers . . .
Israeli soldiers at the entrance to the village of Husan, in the West Bank, on June 23, 2018. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Charles Bybelezer: Planning for when terrorism no longer pays
– Clifford May: The courage to say yes
– The Australian (staff-ed) Good call on Palestinian aid
– Leon Hadar: The Trump-Netanyahu honeymoon appears destined to end
– Raphael Ahren: Does the Israeli-Polish Holocaust law agreement defend truth or betray history?
– Seth Frantzman: Foiled Iranian bomb plot overshadows Tehran’s European charm offensive
Featured image: CC BY PACAF; malware CC BY-SA Christoph Scholz; Abbas via President of Russia;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 8:41 pm

What Does Assad’s Advance on Border Mean for Israel?
Today’s Top Stories
1. As the Syrian army along with an Iranian-backed militia make gains in the southwestern province of Daraa, the Jerusalem Post examines what it means for Israel.

The offensive, backed by Russian planes, is now within 10 km. of Israeli forces on the Golan border and risks opening a new front between Islamic State and the Syrian army . . .

As the regime closes in on the rebels the potential fighting with ISIS could threaten the relative stability near the border.

This is because the ISIS affiliate controls an area very close to al-Rafeed where thousands of Syrian internally displaced persons are clustered. It is also because ISIS could threaten any Israeli humanitarian aid crossing the border or seek to provoke Israel into a clash with the Syrian regime. In addition the Russian air force has consistently said its main role in southern Syria is to strike at ISIS and other extremist groups, which could draw the Russian activity closer to the border. Israel has so far had a working de-confliction arrangement with Moscow.

In addition, if the regime cuts the road from Nawa south the rebels and the civilians in the area near the Golan will be cut off from any aid they had been receiving from near Jordan. This will make them increasingly reliant on Israel for humanitarian aid, increasing chances of a crisis. The Syrian regime and its Russian allies likely know this and they are waging the current battle accordingly.

Daraa Israel DMZ

2. The IDF confirmed that Arab non-governmental organizations from countries that don’t have relations with Israel are using Israel to deliver humanitarian aid to displaced Syrians, Haaretz reported. “Lt. Col. E. refused to specify the Arab countries involved, ‘so as not to complicate things for them.'”

3. Trying to expand its influence in Jerusalem, Turkey is renovating the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, Israel HaYom reports.

Recently, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and the Saudis warned Israel of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meddling in Jerusalem. (His efforts to Turkify the city interferes with their own efforts to Arabize it. They both agree that the latest nefarious move to Judaize Jerusalem is a beyond the pale.

See related commentary by Nadav Shragai.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Western nations held a de facto boycott of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, the day the organization its controversial Agenda 7 debate on Israel. The Jerusalem Post explains:

The silence marked a slim sign of continued success for the Israeli and US campaign to abolish the UNRHC mandate that requires a debate on Israeli actions against the Palestinians at every council session under Agenda Item 7.

All other alleged human rights abuses around the globe are dealt with under Agenda Item 4, save for Israel, which is the only country with a permanent dedicated agenda item.

• When the family of Naftali Frenkel sued Iran and Syria for their connections to his 2014 kidnap and murder, Federal Judge Rosemary Mayers Collyer awarded the family a surprisingly low compensation, “arguing that the family had taken its chances when it chose to live in the West Bank.” But Ynet reports that sanity prevailed after the Frenkel’s appealed the ruling:

About a month ago, the [appellate] court accepted most of the family’s claims and handed the case back to Judge Collyer, clarifying that no guilt should be ascribed to the victim and that the damages should be increased. Collyer is expected to make a decision on the matter soon.

The principle (and possible precedent) matters more than the money as neither Iran nor Syria responded to the lawsuit. Frenkel, a dual Israeli-US citizen along with Eyal Yifrach and Gil’ad Sher, were abducted by Hamas terrorists from a hitchhiking spot at the entrance to Alon Shvut, near Bethlehem.


• Israel passed a law cutting funding to PA over its payments to imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs.” The PA called the Knesset vote “a declaration of war.”

The US froze aid to the PA pending review, and Australia ended direct aid to PA over the issue. More at Reuters.

building campaign

Mideast Matters
• Latest reports put the number of displaced Syrians at 270,000, of which an estimated 11,000 are now encamped along the Israeli border. They’re fleeing a Syrian-Russian offensive against rebels which has so far killed 293 people, including rebels, civilians and children.

• The Times of Israel picked up on Arab reports of a powerful explosion at a weapons depot used by Iranian-backed militias in southwestern Syria today.

• Worth reading: Haaretz visited the northern border to gauge the new Syrian realities facing Israel.

• An Iranian general accused Israel of stealing clouds and snow, and manipulating weather. If Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali isn’t careful, the Mossad may just steal Iran’s sunshine and bluebirds too.


• The Shin Bet is reportedly concerned that Iran may target former prime minister Ehud Barak and other Israelis abroad, per Israeli media reports. Far-fetched? Reuters reports, “An Iranian diplomat has been arrested along with two people suspected of plotting a bomb attack on a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group in France attended by Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Belgian authorities said on Monday.”

Window into Israel
• Orthodox lawmakers are threatening to topple the government after a contentious bill to draft yeshiva students passed its first Knesset vote.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Uri Regev and Yossi Verter weigh in on the yeshiva conscription bill and its implications.

Around the World
• Members of Ireland’s leading opposition party, Fianna Fail, are throwing their weight behind a bill to boycott products from Israeli settlements. More at the Times of London.

• Does a UK High Court ruling spell the end of BDS motions in local governments?

Deborah Lipstadt
Prof. Deborah Lipstadt
• Holocaust expert Dr. Deborah Lipstadt said the UK Labour party is partly responsible for a rise in “softcore Holocaust denial.”
Speaking at the Holocaust Education Trust’s annual conference in Westminster, London, she described how “softcore Holocaust denial” can also crop up in connection with Israel, where people go beyond criticism of policies and strategy and begin to draw comparisons with Nazi Germany.

“To talk about a genocide, or to talk about the Nazi-like tactics of the Israeli army is ludicrous,” she said. “Every army makes mistakes, every army does things wrong. There are things the Israeli army does wrong, but to compare it to Nazis is softcore denial.”

• UK court forces apology from Israeli-born antisemitic activist Gilad Atzmon for libeling a Jewish campaigner.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– MK Elazar Stern: Ending Palestinian ‘pay to slay’ payments for the sake of peace
– Zvi Bar’el: Syria’s Assad has become Israel’s ally
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians beat female journalists; world ‘sees no evil’
– Charles Dunst: Does cozying up to authoritarians make Israel safer?
– Herb Keinon: Will golden age of Israel-Mexico ties continue under new president?

Featured image: CC BY Shironeko Euro; gavel CC BY-ND bloomsberries; clouds CC BY-NC david reid; Lipstadt via YouTube/Nederlands Auschwitz Comité;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 9:45 pm

Australia Stops Direct PA Aid Over Terror Stipends
Today’s Top Stories
1. Australia stopped its $10 million funding for the Palestinian Authority amid concerns that the assistance was freeing up other money for the PA to spend on stipends for imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs.” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement:

I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended. However, I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to activities that Australia would never support.

Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

More on the story at the Sydney Morning Herald and AP.

Australia Israel

2. Seeking to thwart a yet-to-be-released US peace plan, Mahmoud Abbas is seeking to form a new unity government — including Hamas — and arrange Palestinian elections. According to Asharq al-Awsat, Abbas is also looking into the possibility of bringing former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad to lead the new government.

Fayyad was prime minister between June 2007 and June 2013 and was succeeded by current PM Rami Hamdallah. Palestinians haven’t held national elections since 2005 and the 82-year-old Abbas is in the 13th year of a four-year term as President of the PA. Previous attempts to organize elections collapsed amid Fatah-Hamas feuding.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
3. According to the Daily Mirror, Prince William has caught the Mideast peacemaking bug and “has pledged to make peace in the Middle East his ‘lifelong project’ after his historic trip to the region.”

A highly-placed Palace source told the Sunday Mirror that the Duke is determined to solve the region’s long-simmering mutual hostility – a problem which has stumped a series of world leaders . . .

An insider revealed: “The politicians who affect this younger generation’s lives may only be in office for five, 10 or 20 years – but William knows his duty is for life.”

Tradition dictates that royals stay neutral rather than entering the political landscape at home or abroad.

But sources say William wants to play a significant role in bringing “peace and prosperity” to the Middle East and intends to use his global platform as a force for good in the region.

building campaign

In the News
• Anti-Israel activists are pushing the European Union to exclude Israel from research projects that are part of the Horizon 2020 R&D program. Israel HaYom reports that “154 organizations from 16 countries signed a letter urging EU lawmakers to exclude Israeli defense contractors from $117 billion research and innovation program in 2021-2027.” If the boycotters succeed, the exclusion could cost Israel billions of dollars in grants.

Ariel Gold
Ariel Gold
• A prominent Jewish Boycott Divestment and Sanctions activist was barred from entering Israel on Sunday. Ariel Gold, is the national co-director of Code Pink and an unequivocal supporter of BDS.

Gold had reportedly come to Israel on a visa to take part in a Jewish studies program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In interviews, she has spoken of her desire to learn more about Judaism.

However, Israeli officials believed she was actually here to urge support for a boycott of Israel.

• Haaretz takes a closer look at budding Israel-Bahrain ties.

• Palestinian Authority condemns annual Jerusalem Light Festival as “judaizing” the city.

• Kansas judge dismisses lawsuit over Israel boycott ban but orders state to pay legal fees.

• The BDS movement is not only struggling to gain traction in Germany, it faces a surprisingly broad spectrum of opposition. The New York Times examines why.

• Worth reading: Moshe Yaalon (former defense minister) and MK Yair Lapid (who serves on the Knesset Committee on Intelligence and the Secret Services) make the case for why the West should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Their argument boils down to three elements, namely a) historical Jewish claims, b) it’s not in Israeli interests to trust Bashar Assad, and c) taking the Golan away punishes the Assad regime for using chemical weapons without requiring Western boots on the ground.

Golan Heights
An Israeli soldier in the Golan Heights
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: In bid to avoid conflict, Israel unlikely to help Syrian rebels near its border
– Seth Frantzman: Syria challenge: How will Netanyahu act?
– Yoav Limor: Things up north can quickly go south
– Daniel Shapiro: Trump’s appeasement of Putin will backfire on Israel
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Arab states not waiting for the Palestinians
– Gary Rosenblatt: ‘Kill The messenger’: How the Annapolis shooting hits home

Featured image: CC BY daliscar1; Golan CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 8:48 pm

Displaced Syrians Flocking to Israeli Border
Today’s Top Stories
1. Encampments of displaced Syrians sprung up along Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan as civilians fled renewed fighting in the southwestern Daraa province.

Syrian and Russian forces last week launched an offensive against rebels in southern Syria, violating a ceasefire brokered by the US, Russia and Jordan. Israel was not a party to that ceasefire. Of the estimated 160,000 people driven from their homes, 45,000 people have made their way to the Israeli and Jordanian borders. Jerusalem and Amman insist that no refugees would be allowed to enter, though six injured Syrian children were taken into Israel for treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

The IDF transferred humanitarian aid sprung up along Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan and is also bolstering defenses along the unsettled frontier. Reuters also reported that peace talks between rebels and Russia have resumed under Jordanian mediation.

Displaced Syrians explained to CNN and Haaretz why they fled to the Israeli border:

Abu Khaled said they decided to head for the Israeli border “because it’s safest there. It’s a demilitarized zone, according to international agreements, and the regime and its allies can’t attack there with their planes.”

Daraa Israel DMZ

2. An Israeli court ordered the PA to pay $3.5 million compensation to 51 “collaborators” tortured in Palestinian prisons. The Times of Israel explains the precedent-setting ruling:

Many of the plaintiffs were arrested by the PA’s forces from within Israeli territory — mostly East Jerusalem — and/or have Israeli citizenship. The Jerusalem court therefore ruled it had the jurisdiction to preside over the case.

Plaintiffs said while held between 1990 and 2003, interrogators beat them, put out cigarettes on their bodies, pulled out their teeth, forced them into painful positions for lengthy periods of time and withheld food and drink. Several said their genitals were abused, leaving them sterile and impotent.

3. The Palestinian Authority is stepping up activity in eastern Jerusalem in violation of agreements with Israel dating back to 1994. We’re talking about conferences, receptions, youth groups and cultural events organized and/or funded by the PA or Palestinian factions.

The Palestinians claim the activity is legal and that Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has emboldened police to clamp down.

4. Western Wall Confusion in the UK Press: HonestReporting corrected the record when several papers mischaracterized the holy site visited Prince William.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
In the News
• Two Palestinians were killed and another five were injured in a mysterious explosion in a Gaza apartment building. There were conflicting details but the consensus coverage in the Israeli media suggests “mishandling of explosives.”

• Plans to build a permanent mixed-prayer pavilion at the Western Wall were cast further in doubt today when Likud lawmakers balked at joining a committee tasked with implementing it. In recent days, the committee’s chair, Miri Regev (Minister of Culture and Sport) and Ayelet Shaked (Justice Minister) dropped out and have not been replaced. The Jerusalem Post reports that the committee’s last remaining member is Religious Services Minister David Azoulai of Shas, “who will vote against the upgrades.” More at the Times of Israel.

• Government delays aliyah of Ethiopian Jews. Around 8,000 Jews in Ethiopia are waiting to immigrate:

At least 1,500 of those entitled to make Aliyah have been separated from their parents or children.

The Interior Ministry has decided the Law of Return does not apply to Ethiopian Jews due to suspicions that they willingly converted to Christianity after suffering persecution during the last century and later returned to Judaism.

building campaign

• The cabinet approved an Orthodox army conscription bill for passage to Knesset. Judging from the Jerusalem Post, it appears the bill will pass the Knesset and that the religious parties will likely not follow through on earlier threats to topple the government.

• South Africa’s leading Jewish organization is pursuing criminal charges against three online antisemites. “Laden with obscenities, the messages openly threatened Jews and evoked crude antisemitic stereotypes.”

• A congressional bill combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee. The Jerusalem Post explains that the legislation “would shield Israel and Israeli businesses by criminally penalizing US citizens seeking to participate in international boycotts against them.”

• French prosecutors announce investigation into anti-Semitic mosque sermon in Toulouse.

• Dutch Muslim political activist wishes cancer on ‘filthy Jews’ at pro-Israel paper.

• The Spanish city of Sagunto voted to boycott Israel in defiance of court rulings.

Sagunto Castle
• My blood went cold when I first learned of the terrible attack on the Annapolis Capital-Gazette. In memory of the five victims, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith, its worth pausing to remind ourselves of something that’s so obvious, we take it for granted: Journalists tell us the stories of the day — in our hometown, our country, and around the world — so we can be a better-informed, self-governing citizens.

Annapolis Capital Gazette

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: Assad preparing to retake southwest Syria and Israel will Have to decide whether to intervene
– Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, Dr. Nir Boms: Daraa: Will Israel once again turn its back on those who have been on its side?
– Yossi Yehushua: Israeli deterrence against Hamas has ended
– Marc Schulman: This summer, Israel and Hamas could reach a peace agreement — or tumble into war
– Jonathan Tobin: Why Trump and Kushner will never get the Palestinians to the negotiating table
– Daniel Gordis: Can Abbas revive Israel’s left?
– Irish Examiner (staff-ed) Eurovision Song Contest: Sound of hypocrisy in boycott call
– Raphael Ahren: Prince William’s visit a PR coup for Israel, with some royal pain amid the gain
– Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis: Why Prince William’s Israel visit meant so much to British Jews
– Ben-Dror Yemini: The Palestinian paradox: 70 years of perpetuating refugeeism
– Jonathan Schanzer, Varsha Koduvayur: Kuwait best get with the program – or be prepared to face Trump’s wrath
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Alex Moreno Fuster; Sagunto Castle CC BY-ND santiago lopez-pastor;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 12:53 pm

Prince William Visits Western Wall
Today’s Top Stories
1. Prince William concluded his Israeli tour with visits to the Western Wall, Temple Mount and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Duke of Cambridge also visited the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg and a Mount of Olives observation point. Due to diplomatic sensitivities, they were classified as “private visits.” The Jewish Chronicle live-blogged the day.

Meanwhile, Israeli media reported that Prince William refused to meet with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in Jerusalem.
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2. The PA, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have all warned Israel about Turkey’s growing influence in eastern Jerusalem. According to Haaretz, we’re talking about donations to local Islamist organizations, efforts to purchase property, organized tours arranged by Islamist groups, “and the prominent presence of Turkish activists in demonstrations around the Temple Mount.”

According to these officials, the phenomenon reached its peak last year when hundreds of Turkish citizens became a regular presence in and around the Old City, becoming involved in clashes with police officers during Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The defense officials said the Israeli authorities handled the problem with a combination of arrests and deportations of some of the Turkish activists – barring some of them from reentering Israel.

The officials admitted, however, that even though the Turkish activity has quietened in recent months, it is still an ongoing concern.
Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
3. Terrorist killed in attempted Israel-Gaza border breach.

Israel and the Palestinians
• UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres removes Palestinian kite tweet.

• The battle to deport Omar Shakir, a Human Rights Watch official accused of involvement in BDS activity, continued in the Jerusalem District Court. The Jerusalem Post was on hand.

• Haaretz: Concerned about potential Iranian or Hezbollah missile strikes, Israel is boosting defenses at the Dimona and Nahal Sorek nuclear reactors.

building campaign

Mideast Matters
• As Syria and Russia press their offensive against rebels in the southern province of Daraa, appear to be cautious about airstrikes near the Israeli border. The Jerusalem Post explains:

Two major issues now facing the Syrian regime and its Russian ally is how to proceed in areas near the Israeli border and, to a lesser extent, near Jordan. As the number of displaced people reach more than 45,000 and they move towards the border for protection, an increasingly volatile situation will emerge. That includes civilians and fighters packed into a small area, as well as extremists from ISIS further south along the Golan.

The second major concern is the movement of any Iranian- backed militias or Hezbollah units. In the last month, they have been accused of changing uniforms to blend in with local militias, and some Iraqi militias operating in the Euphrates valley were even hit with an air strike, shedding light on how Iranian-backed groups in Iraq use the border to reach Syria.

Israel has said it will not accept Iranian bases in Syria, and that any hint of Iranian encroachment behind the offensive could result in escalating tensions.

The most recent Russian air strikes in the province killed 22 civilians. The offensive breaks a ceasefire reached last year by the US, Russia and Jordan. Israel was not a party to that agreement.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will discuss a full Iranian withdrawal from Syria, among other things, at their July 15 summit. Media reports add, that “According to the diplomat, ‘The US will give Israel the green light to attack any Iranian presence in Syria wherever and however Israel wants to.'”

Window into Israel
• Plans for an expanded mixed prayer area by the Western Wall got unexpectedly complicated. Haaretz reports that cabinet minister Miri Regev resigned from her position as head of a ministerial committee tasked with approving construction plans at the southern end of the Western Wall.

Her conscience does not allow her to convene the committee and approve the work to prepare the historic archeological site for mixed-gender prayer, said her office on Wednesday . . .

Netanyahu is worried that if the committee does not approve the construction soon, the High Court will rule against the government and forbid the work. That could lead to a High Court ruling that would allow mixed-gender prayer in the Kotel Plaza itself – which would lead to a political crisis.

• To address problems associated with African asylum seekers, Israel is going to designate south Tel Aviv a “national priority.” According Israeli media reports, this will millions of shekels in grants and assistance for residents and for rehabilitation of run-down neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in other cities with high concentrations of Africans will also receive this designation.

South Tel Aviv
An African woman walks by colorful graffiti in South Tel Aviv, January 09, 2018. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
• The Manhattan apartment serving as the residence of Israel’s ambassadors to the UN is still registered under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s name, “although it actually belongs to the state and was purchased on its behalf,” Globes reports.

The apartment was purchased in 1986. Netanyahu served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN from 1984-1988.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Ben-Dror Yemini weighs in against legislation restricting the filming of IDF soldiers. See also Shmueli Rosner‘s take on Israel’s conversion dilemma and the “Who is a Jew” question.

Around the World
• The JTA examines how the US leaned on Poland to soften its law on Holocaust speech.

• Citibank and Arab Bank have both stopped servicing a Palestinian non-governmental organization with close ties to a terror group.

• Human Rights Watch chief Ken Roth is being rapped on the knuckles for using an ‘antisemitic dog whistle.’

• This National Review columnist is defending the Spanish Inquisition(!?).

• Activists launched a campaign calling for Ireland to boycott next year’s Eurovision song competition in Israel.

Eurovision 2019

• ‘Boycott’ leader Peter Manning’s role at Australian Labor conference angers Jews.

• A Tel Aviv court convicted an Israeli-American man of making hundreds of hoax bomb threats to North American Jewish schools and community centers. The 19-year-old’s name is barred from publication in Israel.

[His] parents and lawyer have not disputed his involvement in the bomb threats but asserted in his defense that he has a brain tumor and a low IQ.

• Donald Macintyre is certainly impressed with Netanyahu’s deft use of social media to reach out to Iranians. Here’s the PM’s latest message on YouTube in English with Farsi subtitles.

But while Donald Trump’s use of Twitter continues to provoke acres of commentary on his adeptness in reaching his base and making news, it’s arguably Netanyahu who is really out in front as the master user of social media among heads of government.

• This cartoon depicting Prince Williiam wrapping Mahmoud Abbas in an Israeli straitjacket is from the poison pen of The Guardian‘s Steve Bell.

Considering that A) the royal visit to Ramallah is a significant boost of legitimacy for the PA, B) the Duke of Cambridge called Palestine a “country” and C) refused to meet Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat in Jerusalem, the only conclusion I can draw is that Bell is really opposed to the overall royal visit — probably because it’s a new degree of normalization of UK-Israel relations.

Steve Bell

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Bassam Tawil: What Prince William did not see in Ramallah
– Ali Salim: The PA’s suppression of protests and free speech
– Yoav Limor: Next Israel-Hamas clash is imminent
– Max Boot: Trump can’t make a ‘deal of the century’

Featured image: CC BY-SA Tom Woodward;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 27 Jun 2018, 9:41 pm

Syrian Civilians Flee to Israeli Border
Today’s Top Stories
1. As the Bashar Assad’s forces press their offensive against rebels in southern Syria’s Daraa province, civilians are fleeing to the Israeli border. An estimated 50,000 people have been displaced by fighting and Jordan isn’t taking in any more refugees:

Daraa’s residents described living in extreme fear and said many had also headed to the border with Israel, believing it to be safer.

“The safest place is the border with Israel because the regime and Russian airplanes cannot strike the area near the Israeli border,” said Waseem Kiwan, a 36-year old civilian in the village of Tafas north of Daraa city . . .

An Israeli military spokesperson said the IDF “is prepared for a large variety of scenarios and is monitoring the events in the area.”

Question is, what does this mean for Israel?

2. Prince William’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas continued with events in Tel Aviv emphasizing youth activism followed by a a meeting with PA chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The Jewish Chronicle is live-blogging the Duke of Cambridge’s day.

The royal, who is second in line to the throne, will tour Jerusalem’s Old City tomorrow. It’s expected — though not confirmed — that the Prince William will visit the Western Wall, Temple Mount and Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Those would presumably classified as private visits, similar to the protocol of President Donald Trump’s 2017 visit. He will also visit the grave of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, on the Mount of Olives before leaving Israel.

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3. Israel is boycotting the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. “Without any fanfare it stopped attending the daily council session last week after the United States announced that it planned to withdraw from the UNHRC.” The Jerusalem Post explains:

Israel has since gone through a second periodic review in January, the results of which are due to be voted on this Friday.

After that it has time to consider what relationship it wants with the UNHRC in light of the Trump Administration’s announcement, which has not ended what Israel considers to be a slew of biased steps.

On Monday the UNHRC is set to debate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under Agenda Item 7. It is mandated to hold this debate at every session, no other country is singled out in this way. All other country specific human rights issues are debated under Agenda Item 4, save for Israel.

The UNHRC is also working on a black list of companies doing business with Israeli regions over the pre-1967 lines, including east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

4. Bigoted Columnist: Jews ‘Poisoning the Wells’: Accusing Jews of ‘poisoning the wells’ is a classic antisemitic trope dating back to medieval Europe. Columnist Peter Oborne just revived it in one of the world’s most-read papers.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinians fired 13 rockets at Israel early this morning after the IDF targeted an empty car it said belonged to a Hamas operative involved with the production and launching of terror kites and balloons. The Times of Israel explains the emerging dynamic:

In recent weeks, the military has adopted a policy of targeting Hamas positions in response to repeated incendiary kite and balloon attacks from Gaza in an effort to force the group, which rules the coastal enclave, to stop launching the arson devices and to force others in the Strip to abandon the tactic as well.

However, Hamas is attempting to maintain that the near-constant airborne arson attacks, which have burned thousands of acres of Israeli land, do not warrant retaliatory strikes by Israel and therefore accuses Jerusalem of violating the tacit ceasefire between the two sides.

building campaign

• Officials in Cyprus confirmed they are considering Israel’s proposal to set up a port to process goods bound for Gaza. Meanwhile, the PA rejected Israeli and US ideas to help the Strip. Ramallah claims that improving Gaza’s living conditions is “undermining the Palestinian national project.” It’s a very, very hard line:

Some PA representatives said they were hoping that the sanctions would aggravate the humanitarian crisis to a point where Palestinians would revolt against Hamas, which violently seized the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

The Media Line dug deeper into the Cyprus story.

Nebi Qena
• Journalists cried foul after the Prime Minister’s security detail barred an Associated Press reporter from covering Prince William’s meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Nebi Qena, an Albanian citizen, has been AP’s chief television producer for Israel and the Palestinian Authority for three years and is accredited with the Government Press Office:
He said he was repeatedly questioned by security guards about his “ethnic origin.” AP colleagues, on the scene and in the Jerusalem bureau, were asked by Netanyahu aides about Qena’s religion and whether he was a Muslim as they tried to secure him entrance.

Qena had registered for the event ahead of time and been assured he would be allowed to enter. The AP was serving as the video press pool for international media.

“The Associated Press decries this blatant ethnic and religious profiling of an AP journalist and calls on the prime minister’s office to cease such biased practices immediately,” said Lauren Easton, the AP’s director of media relations.

The Prime Minister’s Office subsequently apologized, attributing the mishap to “human error.”

Veteran journalists with government-issued press credentials attending media events with government-issued invitations don’t deserve this. Full stop.

• Nobody bracing for the eventual post-Mahmoud Abbas era ever imagined this. (Reuters deleted the original tweet and posted this update, though not before people poked Reuters with screengrabs.


• “Israel has reversed its ban on Indonesian tourists entering the country, after Jakarta agreed to lift its own moratorium on issuing visas to groups of Israelis, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.”

Window into Israel
Israeli soldier• The IDF ombudsman released what’s being described as a “gloomy” assessment of the military’s readiness for war, listing a variety of shortcomings, Ynet explains.

“If I read you these reports, you would fall over,” Brik said of the report whose content is not made available to the public.

The report is rife with pessimistic conclusions and highlights a series of failures in the IDF apparatus that he says could come to the fore in the IDF’s levels of preparation during the next war.

According to Brik, concerning discrepancies exist between the public declarations and bravado about the IDF’s capabilities and the realities on the ground.

Around the World
• Poland backtracks on contentious Holocaust law, scrapping threat of prison.

[Prime Minister Mateusz] Morawiecki asked the parliament to reopen discussions on the law. According to a statement by his office, the government believes that the law did not achieve its goal of “defending the good name of Poland and the historical truth.” . . .

In its current form, the law makes it a criminal offense to accuse the Polish people or Polish state of being responsible or a partner to the Nazi crimes and outlaws the use of the term “Polish death camps” in reference to death camps that Nazi Germany established in Poland during World War II.

• Johannesburg city councilwoman Mpho Phalatse, who was suspended for calling Israel a friend of the South African city, apologized for her remarks.

• Jeremy Corbyn’s Gaza briefing for Labour MPs accuses IDF of “war crimes.” One Labour MP described the document to the Jewish Chronicle as “disgustingly one sided.”

• A little-known New York Democrat who slammed Israel for Gaza killings is the shock winner of a New York primary election. Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez — a supporter of Bernie Sanders and member of Democratic Socialists of America — defeated influential incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, who many viewed as a potential Speaker of the House. New York’s 14th congressional district is heavily Democratic, making Ocasia-Cortez a virtual shoo-in to defeat Republican challenger Anthony Pappas in the November elections.

• Ten US university presidents visit Israel on trip to promote academic collaboration.

• Bands supporting BDS not welcome in Frankfurt, says deputy mayor.

• J St. chief Jeremy Ben-Ami is entitled to his views on US Ambassador David Friedman. I just find it a odd that this commentary urging Congress to call the envoy onto the carpet was published in a British paper. Exactly what kind of audience is Ben-Ami playing to? The wider US public, or like-minded readers of The Guardian?

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– David Horovitz: Prince William says Israel ties are soaring. But visit signifies more than that
– Roger Boyes: Prince William’s visit is a snub to the camel corps
– Melanie Phillips: HRH, the FCO and the big lie about Israel
– Nadav Eyal: The British interest behind Prince William’s Israel visit
– Daily Telegraph (staff-ed): The significance of Prince William’s visit to Israel cannot be overestimated
– Avi Issacharoff: In Gaza, Hamas is dictating the rules of the game with Israel
– Amos Harel: Netanyahu’s Gaza dilemma: How to avoid a war without being ‘weak on terror’
– Charles Bybelezer: An ‘Israeli’ port in Cyprus: Kicking the Gaza can down the waterway?
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: The Gaza crisis, Israeli hasbara and the ICC
– Yoram Ettinger: Quitting the UNHRC: A message to the free world
– Zev Chafets: Trump’s new deal for the Middle East
– Vijeta Uniyal: ‘Dear Shashi Naidoo: Like you, I too share the desire for peace’
– Yoel Guzansky, Oded Eran: The Red Sea: An old-new arena of interest

Featured image: CC BY-SA The Next Web Photos; soldier CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces; Auschwitz CC BY Juan Antonio Segal;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 26 Jun 2018, 2:58 pm

Iranian Protesters Chant ‘Death to Palestine’

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Iranians chanted “Death to Palestine” as they demonstrated over the collapsing economy and Tehran’s support for terror groups. Protests continued today, with reports of demonstrations in Qom, Mashhad, Kermanshah, Rasht, Shiraz, Isfahan and Hamadan — not all of which were verified.

Videos posted to social media showed protesters chanting: “Death to Palestine,” “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon” and “Leave Syria and think of us.” Chants of “We don’t want the ayatollahs” and “Death to the dictator” were also heard at some rallies.

The demonstrations indicate widespread anger at the regime for spending billions of dollars on regional proxy wars and supporting terrorist groups, instead of investing it on the the struggling economy at home.

More on the protests at the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter). There was a lot of buzz over Sohrab Ahmari‘s reaction.

Sohrab Ahmari
 MUST-WATCH: Crowds in Iran are chanting "Death to Palestine!" Not to Israel. Not to America. But to Palestine.

Hamas and Hezbollah and Palestinian Jihad can kiss their Iranian funding goodbye if the regime falls. https://twitter.com/jalilazizi13/status/1011216813944901633


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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 25 Jun 2018, 6:57 pm

US Quietly Freezes Aid to Palestinians

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Today’s Top Stories
1. i24 News reports that the US has quietly frozen aid to the Palestinian Authority. This comes in the wake of last month’s Taylor Force Act, which is intended to pressure the PA to end its stipends for terrorists and their families.

A Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide told i24NEWS, “Our understanding is that US funding to the West Bank and Gaza is on hold pending an administration review.

“Separately, i24NEWS understands that the West Bank and Gaza office of USAID — the American international development agency — has not received its budget for the upcoming fiscal year and therefore has not been able to put its projects out to tender . . .

The withholding of USAID’s total budget as well as third-party projects means the administration is taking an expansive interpretation of what assistance “directly benefits” the PA, viewing humanitarian projects that would otherwise need to be paid for by the PA as constituting direct assistance to that organization.

A Palestinian official confirmed the report, saying the Trump administration had told the PA in mid-January 2018 that it was reexamining its Palestinian aid budget.
US Capitol
2. Arab diplomats told visiting US envoys they will support the Trump administration’s peace plan regardless of whether or not PA chief Mahmoud Abbas is on board. Israel HaYom explains:

Senior officials in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates met with White House adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt in recent days and reportedly told them that, having become fed up with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ rejectionism, they will not stand in Trump’s way when he presents his Middle East peace plan. . .

A top Egyptian official told Israel Hayom Sunday that the moderate Arab nations’ position was “unanimous” and that Cairo, Amman, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would not oppose an attempt by Washington to go over Abbas’ head in this case.

However, officials in all four nations made it clear to both American envoys that they would not be party to any deal that compromises Palestinian interests.

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3. As this roundup was published, Prince William was due to land at Ben-Gurion Airport for his historic visit to Israel. It’s the first official royal visit to Israel. The Duke of Cambridge spent the day in Jordan.

4. Video: Hackathon at the Gaza Border: Israelis came together to brainstorm creative solutions to Gaza’s terror balloons and kites.

In the News
• The IDF blamed Hamas for having direct involvement in the preparation and launch of terror balloons. The army named names and released surveillance footage of a masked figures preparing balloons from a Hamas position along the Gaza border. More at the Times of Israel and Ynet.

Embassy of Israel
 Hamas terrorists prepare and launch arson and explosive device-laden kites and balloons, targeting Israeli territory from the #Gaza Strip.

Read more:https://www.idf.il/en/minisites/hamas/idf-reveals-the-hamas-terror-organizations-efforts-of-arson-terror-cells/ … 

8:33 PM - Jun 24, 2018
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• The New York Times took a closer look at Khan al-Ahmar. That’s the unauthorized Bedouin town facing a Supreme Court-ordered demolition. The report gives the false impression that Israeli development of the land Khan al-Amar sits on (known as E1) destroys the contiguity and viability of a Palestinian state.

With the start of the Oslo peace process in the 1990s, the Bedouins’ presence took on great geopolitical significance: If Israel were to develop the area, as the government has long threatened, it would bolster Maale Adumim’s contiguity with greater Jerusalem. But it would also effectively slice the West Bank into pieces, isolating Arab East Jerusalem and dividing Ramallah in the north from Bethlehem in the south — leaving a future Palestinian state to try to stitch itself together with tunnels or bridges through Israeli territory.

The West Bank “waistline” between Maale Adumim and the Dead Sea would be roughly 15 km wide. That’s the same width as Israel’s narrowest point, between the Israeli coastal city of Netanya and the PA town of Tulkarem. That waistline has never caused any issues for the contiguity or viability of the state of Israel. The New York Times itself has acknowledged this in a 2012 correction.

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 Whatever one's stance on the legal and moral issues, Israeli development of the land Khan al-Amar sits on (a.k.a. E1) would NOT threaten the contiguity or viability of a future Palestinian state. @nytimes @halbfinger https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/24/world/middleeast/israel-bedouins-demolition.html

3:04 PM - Jun 25, 2018
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• Pro-Assad troops took over an abandoned UN post in the demilitarized area of the Israel-Syria border, according to Israeli media reports.

demilitarized zone

• Bulgaria to put honorary consulate in Jerusalem, but not an embassy, the Jerusalem Post reported.

• Without any advance warning or explanation after the fact, Facebook and Twitter shut down a number of accounts belonging to Hezbollah.

• New Arkansas law takes aim at boycotts of Israel

building campaign

Window into Israel
• Prime Minister vowed to push ahead with Orthodox conscription bill despite threats from Haredi coalition partners to oppose the legislation and even topple the government. The brinkmanship continues . . .

[Netanyahu] brushed off the Haredi threats to the coalition, saying, “I don’t want elections, but I’m not afraid of elections. If there are elections, I’ll be okay.”

• The latest with Sara Netanyahu’s indictment makes my head spin. Ynet has the latest dish on recordings made by a state’s witness:

Recordings made by state’s witness Nir Hefetz, who served as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara’s media advisor, reveal that the family had planned to renovate its villa in Caesarea at the state’s expense, that suitcases filled with clothes had been taken abroad for dry cleaning services, and that the legal advisor of the Prime Minister’s Office had tried to mislead reporters.

• For a sense of the domestic commentary, see Sima Kadmon and Yonah Jeremy Bob‘s takes on Sara Netanyahu’s indictment. David Sedley weighs in on Jerusalem’s upcoming mayoral elections.

• Over at The Guardian, readers’ editor Paul Chadwick weighs in on the paper’s decision to spike a cartoon editors deemed antisemitic and offensive.

royal coat of arms• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Melanie Phillips: Prince Wiliam comes to Israel under a Foreign Office cloud
– Justin Cohen: William’s visit to Israel has been a long time coming
– Ron Ben-Yishai: War or an agreement: Israel’s critical dilemma vis-a-vis Gaza
– Jonathan Tobin: Learning the lessons of Gaza
– Dan Feferman: The Gazan kite offensive and the arc of human progress
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Pressuring the Palestinians from above
– Yaakov Katz: Moving the goalposts: The much-anticipated US peace plan
– Amnon Lord: Ramallah is unavailable
– Yoram Ettinger: Quitting UN Human Rights Council serves US interests
– Denis MacEoin: Bishop Graham Tomlin and the demonization of Israel

Featured image: CC BY-SA tedeytan;; US Capitol via YouTube/US Capitol; coat of arms via Wikimedia Commons;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 6:50 pm

IDF Fires on Aerial Drone From Syria

Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF fired a Patriot missile at an aerial drone approaching Israel from Syria. The army said the drone turned back after the Patriot launch, but wasn’t able to verify if it scored a hit. Syrian and Russian forces recently launched an offensive against rebels in southern Syria. The IDF didn’t disclose any information about what kind of drone or who sent it. More at the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post.

Israel launched extensive air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria in February after an Iranian aerial drone entered Israeli air space.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

2. The Trump administration is prepared to release its peace plan, even if Mahmoud Abbas isn’t willing to return to the negotiating table and questioned the PA leader’s ability to make a deal with Israel. That’s what the president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, told Palestinian media.

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat declared the US plan will fail.

Aaron David Miller
 Kushner interview to al-Quds confirms likelihood that the Trump plan will result in an Israeli yes, but; an Arab maybe; and a  Palestinian no. Trump will say I tried; Palestinians will take hit; and peace process will be parked through midterms.https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/24/world/middleeast/jared-kushner-interview-transcript.html?action=click&module=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=Article®ion=Footer …

11:29 AM - Jun 24, 2018
An interview with Jared Kushner was published on Sunday in the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds.
Transcript: Jared Kushner’s Interview With a Palestinian Newspaper
Mr. Kushner, President Trump’s special adviser on the Middle East, spoke to the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds. His remarks were published on Sunday.

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3. The BBC found Andrew Marr guilty of rules breach over a ‘misleading’ claim that Israel killed ‘lots of Palestinian kids’ in response to complaint filed by Jonathan Sacerdoti.

The Corporation’s extraordinary ruling against one of its most senior personalities is almost unprecedented . . .

Fraser Steel, head of executive complaints at the BBC, wrote to Mr Sacerdoti saying: ‘The BBC’s guidelines require that output is “well sourced” and “based on sound evidence”.

‘In the absence of any evidence to support the reference to “lots” of children being killed at the time of transmission, it seems to us to have risked misleading audiences on a material point.

‘We therefore propose to uphold this part of your complaint.’

4. Video: Hamas Paid Family to Say IDF Killed Baby: On i24 News, our Daniel Pomerantz discussed the media war and the revelation that Hamas paid a Gaza family to falsely blame Israel for the death of their baby.

Israel and the Palestinians
• UNESCO to defer Jerusalem and Hebron controversies at this week’s annual meeting. In previous years, the organization has passed resolutions denying Jewish ties to the ancient cities. The Jerusalem Post explains why is this year’s confab in Bahrain different:

But this year, an agreement has been reached by which the committee won’t approve any controversial texts regarding either city; any such texts will be deferred until next year’s annual meeting . . .

Both the United States and Israel are expected to withdraw from UNESCO at the end of this year to protest the organization’s anti-Israel bias, particularly with regard to its resolution on Jerusalem.

UN• Now that the US has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, Israel is lowering its own diplomatic participation. The Times of Israel explains that “Since Israel is not a member of the 47-nation UNHRC, it cannot follow suit this time. But Israeli sources maintained Wednesday that it was possible and even likely that Netanyahu would soon announce that Israel was ceasing all contacts with the council.” Like most non-member countries, Israel, has observer status.

• Seeking to learn more about why the British royal family has (till now) never paid an official visit to Israel, i24 News filed a Freedom of Information request for UK government deliberations on the matter. And the Foreign Office’s reply?

The UK’s relationship with Israel would “likely” be harmed if British officials’ comments about Israel during deliberations over a possible royal visit to the country were made public, the UK Foreign Office told i24NEWS . . .

The Foreign Office said that officials’ comments about the UK-Israel relationship “could have incorrect interpretations put upon them” and would therefore potentially damage the bilateral relationship.

Prince William
• British Ambassador David Quarrey defended calling Jerusalem’s Old City “part of Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Israeli officials were irked that royal’s visit to the Old City was billed as part of his visit to the Palestinian Authority.

“All the terminology that was used in the program was consistent with years of practice by British governments. It’s consistent with British government policy,” David Quarrey said.

• Hey CNN, neither the state of Israel, nor its democratically elected government, needs a royal imprimatur for its existence. And this 89-word sentence is a crime against editing. To make this sentence easier to follow, I bolded the punctuation.

At a time when Israel is facing international criticism for its use of live fire against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza and its continued settlement expansion, when the international community has overwhelmingly rejected US President Donald Trump’s unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, when Israel’s plans to demolish the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar have drawn condemnation, the first ever official visit from Britain’s royal family is a welcome reprieve, one that adds legitimacy to Netanyahu’s government and to Israel as an ally of the United Kingdom.

• 4 Israeli startups to present innovations to Prince William.

building campaign

• Israel deploys electronic eye to track fire kites and balloons from Gaza.

• Muslim cleanup project ‘illegally disturbed, removed’ ancient soil on Temple Mount, reports the Times of Israel.

Video footage of the multi-day project at the contested holy site shows volunteers with shovels and rakes last week shifting and removing portions of two mounds on the eastern side of the compound made up of earth dumped by the Muslim Waqf custodians during unauthorized excavations since the early 2000s, said Zachi Dvira on behalf of the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount (CPDATM). . .

Due to the highly sensitive nature of the site, archaeologists have never been permitted by Israeli and Muslim authorities to examine the soil in the mounds, and it is unknown what treasures, if any, may be found in the estimated 112 truckloads of dirt there . . .

All unauthorized construction or renovations on the mount are infractions of the fragile status quo that was cobbled together by Israel and the Waqf, the Muslim Jordanian administration of the site, after Israel captured the Old City in the 1967 Six Day War.
Temple Mount
• Cyprus, Israel, Greece pledge deeper military ties.

Around the World
• While visiting Jordan, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said and then tweeted that a Labour government would recognize Palestine as a state.

• Holland’s state TV, NOS, apologized for saying Israel was built on occupied land and threatens to destroy Iran.

• ‘We’re called scum, rats, pigs’: South Africa’s Jews protest soaring antisemitism.

• Tempers rose as far-left IfNotNow members ‘engaged’ Birthrighters at JFK airport.

• Italian hotel removed from Bookings.com after telling Israeli customers “You Jews are never satisfied.”

• Antisemitic slur and swastika found on wall at Boston-area middle school.

Sara Netanyahu
• Plenty of commentary about Sara Netanyahu’s indictment.

– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Sara Netanyahu’s fall brings Attorney General one step closer to indicting PM
– Yossi Verter: What Sara Netanyahu’s embarrassing indictment means for her husband
– Eliad Shraga: Is Sara Netanyahu not mentally fit to stand trial?

• For more commentary on Israel’s domestic scene, Liat Collins weighs in on Gonen Segev, political manipulations and treason. Saar Netanel argues why Eurovision should be in Tel Aviv over Jerusalem.

• Over at the Times of London, columnists squared off on the issue of Ireland boycotting an Israel-hosted Eurovision competition. (Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney ruled out a boycott.) Eithne Shorthall favors boycotting while Eamon Delaney opposes.


• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Dror Eydar: A gift for the industry of lies
– Avi Issacharoff: Economic collapse or war: Hamas’s cynical, desperate bid to pressure Israel, PA
– Dr. Hanan Shai: Fight Hamas with ethics
– Prof. Efraim Inbar: ‘Mowing the grass’ in Gaza
– Amos Harel: Why Jordan is worried about Trump’s peace plan
– Seth Frantzman: How Qatar’s Jewish strategy backfired
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: How to achieve a better life
– Soeren Kern: Spain: Ground zero for Europe’s anti-Israel movement

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Alex Moreno Fuster; Prince William via YouTube/The Royal Family Channel; Temple Mount via YouTube/Air Videos; Sara Netanyahu via YouTube/Newsy; Irish flag CC0 Pixabay;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Jun 2018, 7:01 pm

Sara Netanyahu Indicted for Fraud
Today’s Top Stories
1. Sara Netanyahu was indicted for fraud and breach of trust. She reportedly falsely billed the state nearly $100,000 for meals at the prime minister’s residence.

According to a draft of the indictment, Sara Netanyahu instructed staff at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem to order meals consumed at the residence worth a total of 360,000 shekels ($99,000) from gourmet restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in violation of rules barring the residence from ordering meals from the outside during periods when the residence had a cook on its staff.

Investigators in the case gathered evidence that purportedly shows that the prime minister’s wife ordered that the employment of cook at the residence be concealed and that she was aware that ordering meals from the outside for the residence when it employed a cook was a violation of the rules.

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu visiting China in 2017
2. Hamas paid a Gaza family $2,200 to blame Israel for a baby’s death, according to an indictment Israeli prosecutors filed against a Palestinian related to the child. Mahmoud Omar, a 20-year-old cousin of Layla al-Ghandour, was caught trying to breach the Israel-Gaza border fence and spilled the beans under questioning. The baby’s death triggered furious headlines around the world blaming Israel.

Under interrogation in Israel, Omar, who is Layla al-Ghandour’s cousin, said Hamas leader Sinwar paid the baby’s family 8,000 shekels ($2,200) to accuse Israel of the death of the 8-month-old. The claim came despite the fact that members of the family had previously said that she died of a blood disorder, a condition that the baby’s six-month-old brother apparently also died of last year.

More at Ynet and the Times of Israel.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

3. In solidarity with BDS, the Spanish city of Pamplona declared Israeli officials persona non grata.

Israel and the Palestinians
• As Gaza tensions mount, IDF deployed additional Iron Dome batteries near Strip.

• Booby-trapped Gaza balloons land on trampoline forcing an Israeli mom to tell her kids they’re not toys. Then there’s a separate incident that led to a headline which once upon a time would’ve been bizarre rather than blasé.

Times of Israel

• The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at the possible intelligence fallout from the Gonen Segev affair. Segev, who was minister of energy some 20 years ago, was arrested for spying for Iran. Among other things, Segev is accused of introducing Israelis to agents who were passed off as Iranian businessmen.

In some cases, the best spies are sources who do not even realize they are being exploited.

Furthermore, while Segev can tell the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) everything he told Iran, even he does not know how far the Iranians went with other Israelis he introduced to them.

• The European Union declared that Hamas is violating international law by holding the body of IDF Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, Ynet reports. During the 2014 Gaza war, Goldin was killed and his body seized by Hamas. Hamas also holds the body of Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, also killed during that conflict.

building campaign

• Is an airstrike attributed to Israel on the Syria-Iraq border a signal that the world is getting ready to act against Iran?

• Netanyahu wants Ambassador Ron Dermer to serve another year in Washington, according to Israeli media reports.

Window into Israel
Israeli police• The police investigation of “Case 2000” took a new twist. Israeli media reports that police now suspect that Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan was a go-between for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yediot Ahronot publish Arnon Mozes as they worked out an alleged quid pro quo in which Netanyahu would advance legislation handicapping Israel HaYom in exchange for more favorable coverage.

Milchan is already a key figure in a separate police investigation of the prime minister. In what is known as Case 1000, Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu are suspected of receiving thousands of shekels worth of illicit gifts from Milchan and other wealthy benefactors. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing in both cases.

• The Knesset amended a law “to allow Israeli employees to request not to work on Shabbat even if they are not religiously observant.” The JTA explains that “the Work and Rest Hours Law previously required employees of any religion to prove that they were religiously observant in order to take off work for their day of rest.”

• For commentary on the domestic scene, see Jacob Magid‘s take on a legal ruling regarding Shin Bet interrogation methods. Gershom Gorenberg‘s weighs in on legislation that would restrict the filming of Israeli soldiers.

Around the World
• I want to thank South Africa’s largest trade union, COSATU, for (unintentionally) drawing attention to the existence of Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries after Israel’s founding. The photo in this tweet was taken 1950, in one of Israel’s maabarot (transit camps).

World Refugee Day wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the 850,000 Jewish refugeess forced to leave their homesfrom across North Africa, the Middle East and other areas of Asia.

 Today we commemorate #WorldRefugeeDay

Palestinians are the largest and longest suffering group of refugees in the world says @BDSsouthafrica @UN @RTUKnews

7:11 PM - Jun 20, 2018
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• Britain’s Morning Star, a far-left communist paper aligned with Jeremy Corbyn, deleted an article that blamed ‘Israel’s crimes’ for rising antisemitism. Jewish activists are calling for a full apology. The Jewish Chronicle notes:

Euan Philipps, spokesman for LAAS, said the now-deleted article was “a typically ugly example of the antisemitism that has become normalised across the Labour movement”.

He added LAAS could find “no trace” of “John Elder”, who was listed as the article’s author.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Avi Issacharoff: Hamas’s goal: To convince Israel that tolerating fire kites is preferable to war
– Amos Harel: Hamas, Islamic Jihad just rewrote the rules — and the next Gaza war is staring Israel in the face
– Yoav Limor: Hamas is misreading the situation?
– Shlomi Kofman: Israel has no choice but to defend itself against Hamas attacks
– Eldad Beck: The dangerous weaponization of children
– Raphael Ahren: Israel may follow US in freezing out UN rights body, to some diplomats’ dismay
– Seth Frantzman: Is the UNHRC an ‘old boy’s club’ of dictators?
– New York Post (staff-ed): Leaving the UN Human Rights Council was the moral choice
– Tovah Lazaroff: Is the UN Human Rights Council fated to hate Israel?
– Israel Kasnett: Will Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights be Trump’s next move?
– Moshe Arens: It’s now clear why the Iran agreement was a bad deal

Featured image: CC BY Chris Yarzab; Netanyahus via YouTube/IsraeliPM;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 8:32 am

Former Cabinet Minister Arrested for Spying for Iran
Today’s Top Stories
1. Former Israeli cabinet minister Gonen Segev was arrested and charged with spying for Iran. Take your pick of Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, Ynet or Times of Israel coverage. The latter explains:

The Shin Bet said Segev met with his Iranian handlers in hotels and safe houses around the world and used a special device to send them messages in secret.
He was accused of making contact with Israeli figures in security, defense and diplomacy order to mine them for information to send to Iran. According to the Shin Bet, he tried to make direct connections between his Israeli contacts and Iranian handlers, presenting the spies as businesspeople.

So who exactly is Gonen Segev? He’s a 62-year-old pediatrician who first became a Knesset member in 1992 with the short-lived secular right-wing Tsomet party. By 1995, Segev became minister of energy and infrastructure in Yitzhak Rabin’s government. Segev’s political career ended in 1996 in the musical chairs game of coalition politics when a breakaway faction he was a member of basically disappeared.

Since then, he has served time for electronic commercial fraud, passport forgery and smuggling 30,000 ecstasy pills he claimed he thought were M&Ms. He was practicing medicine in Nigeria where he made his first contact with Iranian agents. Haaretz has a fuller background.

Segev and Rabin
Gonen Segev (L) speaking with then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
2. A mysterious air strike that is said to have killed 50 or more pro-Assad fighters was carried out by Israel, an anonymous US official told CNN. I’m not clear on the specifics, but most of the fighters killed were apparently foreigners. The attack took place near the Syrian town of Abu Kamal, located near the Syria-Iraq border. Israeli officials haven’t commented, but an attack would fit with Israel’s opposition to Iran’s efforts to create a land bridge across Iraq to Syria and the Mediterranean.

US officials have said that many pro-regime militias that are also aligned with Iran operate in the border area between Syria and Iraq.

The area is some distance from Israel and Israeli jets would have had to overcome significant logistical hurdles to strike that area.

3. The UN Human Rights Council may update its blacklist of companies doing business in Israeli settlements. The US has previously threatened to quit the UNHRC if the list is published.

On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said his office would “continue its work on the database of business enterprises engaged in specific activities related to Israeli settlements.” He added that there could be “an update possibly before September.”

4. The Independent Distorts Amnesty Report on African Migrants: The Independent cherry picks Amnesty International’s worst accusations against Israel while omitting the NGO’s discussion of mitigating issues.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you

Israel and the Palestinians
• Turns out the Palestinian killed trying to infiltrate the Israeli border from Gaza wasn’t killed by a “work accident.” Ynet reports “the military has studded the security fence with explosive booby traps” designed to deter infiltrators.

• Here‘s what the Palestinians, uh, conceived of . . .

Eylon A. Levy
 You know where this is going:
1) Palestinians use flying condoms to set fires in Israel,
2) Israel bans import of condoms to Gaza,
3) Gaza suffers a contraception shortage....

Hazem Balousha
Palestinians in #Gaza are using condoms instead of balloons to fly them into Israel with flams.

6:41 PM - Jun 18, 2018
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• CNN takes a closer look at the terror kite threat.

• In an unannounced visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.

• Following international pressure, Netanyahu postponed the demolition of illegal Palestinian homes near Hebron.

The demolition of illegal Palestinian homes in Khirbet Susya is seen as one of the symbols of the Palestinian battle in the West Bank, and Israel has been under heavy international pressure—mainly in recent weeks—to prevent the evacuation which would have received wide international coverage.

The demolition may have also been postponed due to the upcoming visit of US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, and his special advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, this weekend.

• The New Yorker reveals that President Donald Trump signed a secret letter promising not to pressure Israel on it’s nuclear program in exchange for Jerusalem continuing its policy of “ambiguity.” According to the report, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama also signed similar letters.

building campaign

• Israelis ponder the French meaning of “ally.”

• Arab Knesset member attends event organized by terror groups in eastern Jerusalem. Police had banned the conference, which was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PFLP) and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). More at Ynet.

• The US Senate approved $500m for Israel’s missile defense program. Globes points out, “This is the first time that military aid to Israel has been determined under the memorandum of understanding between Israel and the US governing the US aid package for ten years from 2019.”

US Capitol
Around the World
• Amid fears of antisemitism, British Jewish students are not applying to certain universities. Moreover, they, along with an outgoing Labour student leader, told BBC blame Labour’s top leadership for contributing to the antisemitic atmosphere by failing to address the problem in the party’s ranks.

• Norwegian rapper curses Jews at concert celebrating diversity. It’s hard to give the Oslo event’s organizers the benefit of the doubt — the JTA notes that five days before the concert, Kaveh Kholardi tweeted “f***ing Jews are so corrupt.”

• Woman with 10-inch knife screamed ‘I want to kill all you Jews’ as she chased children outside London synagogue.

spy• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Judah Ari Gross: Ex-minister likely a spy who knew too little, but Iran still got an intel coup
– Amos Harel: Enlisting a former Israeli minister is a victory for Iranian intelligence
– Raphael Ahren: If convicted, ex-minister will head long list of top officials revealed as spies
– Ron Ben-Yishai: The Iranian connection: Gonen Segev’s narcissism and potential damage
– Yoav Limor: The highest-ranking spy in Israel’s history
– Ohad Zwigenberg: Photojournalists don’t create reality, they document it
– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gershon Hacohen: Needed: A decisive response to terror kites
– Jonathan Tobin: Why the establishment despises Trump’s ambassador to Israel
– Dennis Ross: A path forward for Team Trump on Israel and Gaza: Follow Nickolay Mladenov’s lead
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Victims of Arab apartheid
– Dr. Dave Rich: Antisemitism is well-defined already

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Adam Fagen; Segev via Government Press Office; US Capitol CC BY-NC Shankar Kuru; spy via Wikimedia Commons;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 18 Jun 2018, 10:33 pm

Israel Retaliates for Terror Kites With Air Strikes

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel launched overnight air strikes on Hamas positions in Gaza in retaliation for continued terror kites and balloons. Palestinians fired three rockets back. No casualties were reported from the air strikes or rocket fire. Take your pick of Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet and Times of Israel coverage. Meanwhile, the Washington Post took a closer look at the terror kite threat.

Be sure to share our related infographic.

2. Iranian ex-pats and exiles are seeking a FIFA ban on Mehdi Tarem, a forward on Iran’s national team at the World Cup, reports Ynet. A year ago, Taremi reposted a tweet by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asserting that Israel wouldn’t exist in 25 years. As word of its surfacing spread, Tarem deleted the tweet — but not before Israeli and Iranian activists made screengrabs. Ynet adds that that the hashtag, #BanTaremi, went viral.

Mehdi Taremi

3. Israel busted a Hamas terror cell near Nablus planning bombings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It was an unusually large terror cell — 20 people were arrested. The Times of Israel explains:

“During the suspects’ interrogations by the Shin Bet, it was determined that the cell planned to carry out terrorist bombings in central cities in Israel and the northern West Bank, including a bombing in Tel Aviv, a suicide bombing and an explosive attack in Jerusalem, a bombing in the Itamar settlement and shooting attacks in the Samaria region,” the security service said, referring to the biblical name of the northern West Bank.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Over at the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council, Britain condemned the organization’s ‘anti-Israel bias’. UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer summed up the rest of the Geneva proceedings in 277 characters.

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Hillel Neuer
 Palestinian rep just gave speech @UN_HRC on "right to participate in peaceful protests" days after their riot police crushed huge protest in Ramallah, beating dozens of protesters including young women, arresting wounded from the hospital, smashing phones & journalist cameras.

12:11 PM - Jun 18, 2018
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• Officials from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab ?Emirates and within the Palestinian Authority are pressuring Mahmoud Abbas to end his boycott of the Trump administration, Israel HaYom reports.

• One Palestinian was killed and three others were injured trying to breach the Gaza border. The IDF said they were “caught in an explosion” while trying to blow up security equipment and denied Palestinian claims that the four had been shot by soldiers.

• Worth watching: Islamic Jihad took CNN‘s Ian Lee into one of its terror tunnels and training camps. After asking the Islamic Jihad commander why rockets are fired at Israeli civilians, Lee summed up the answer this way:

“He admits to me mistakes are made, and yet time and time again, they fire rockets indiscriminately.”

• Colombia’s new president, Ivan Duque, says he’s open to moving his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

• US Ambassador David Friedman rapped Israeli lawmakers who recently called for the US to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, according to Israeli media reports.

The report quoted him as saying that Israelis do not understand that the US has global interests unrelated to the Jewish state, while Israeli politicians have only a domestic agenda.

In private conversations, Friedman allegedly told the politicians that, instead of being grateful after the US recognized Jerusalem and made the momentous move of its embassy to the city, the Israelis immediately asked for more, displaying what he termed “ingratitude.”

• French police blocked Gaza-bound boats from docking in Paris.

Window into Israel
• The Knesset’s moving to roll back the prime minister and defense minister’s authority to declare war on their own without consulting the security cabinet.

A law granting the premier and defense minister the authority to go to war was passed by the Knesset in May as an addendum to another law, drawing criticism over the concentration of power in the hands of just two elected officials.

Under the fresh proposed regulations, approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, the security cabinet will be empowered to declare war.

Liberman and Netanyahu
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
• Would a British ban on Hezbollah have a domino effect in Europe?

• Israel could get hurt in Trump’s trade war with China.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Yariv Oppenheimer weighs in on the Hilltop Youth clash with police.

building campaign

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Avi Issacharoff: In lieu of dialogue, Hamas is playing with fire
– Noah Phillips: The metaphoric kite
– Nadav Eyal: Instead of preparing for post-Abbas era, Israel is kicking PA’s weakening body
– Amb. Alan Baker: The many ways Palestinians violate international law
– Melanie Phillips: Prince William: An FCO hostage in a minefield
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): The royal visit

Featured image: CC BY Pedro Ribeiro Simoes; LIberman and Netanyahu via YouTube/IsraeliPM;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jun 2018, 6:03 pm

US to Imminently Quit UN Human Rights Council?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Efforts to reform the UN Human Rights Council are going nowhere and a US withdrawal is seen as “not a question of if but of when,” Reuters reports. The UNHRC’s next session opens in Geneva on Monday — tomorrow.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, publicly told the Council a year ago that Washington might leave the body unless a “chronic anti-Israel bias” were removed.

The forum, set up in 2006, has a permanent standing agenda item on suspected violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, which Washington wants removed.
UN Human Rights Council
2. The UN is expected to issue a new report bashing Israeli settlements next week, Israel HaYom reports:

The report is an extension of Resolution 2334 and was produced due to pressure on Guterres applied by Sweden and France . . .

According to the resolution, every three months the secretary-general must provide the Security Council with a report on its implementation. Thus far, the secretary-general hasn’t issued a written report, sufficing instead with an oral report from his Middle East envoy, Nickolay Mladenov. In recent weeks, however, the French and Swedes have pushed behind the scenes for Guterres to produce a written report, exploiting the mass protests on the Gaza border and condemnations of Israel to enlist support from 10 Security Council member-states – the number obligating the secretary general to issue a written report.

3. Qatar’s buckling efforts to influence American Jews may have collapsed for good. Nick Muzin, a political strategist and CEO of Stonington Strategies tweeted that his lobbying firm is “no longer representing the State of Qatar.” The backstory described by Tablet‘s includes a complicated lawsuit over hacked emails that “threatens to reveal the architecture of Qatar’s influence operation in the United States—as well as how American Jews factored into it.”

In each instance, pro-Qatar forces, including the ones most eager to influence US Jews, are alleged to have skirted the boundaries of normative public advocacy.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Sunday morning the IDF launched an airstrike on the car of the leader of the Gaza balloon and kite launches. The Air Force also struck two Hamas observation posts in retaliation for balloons carrying rigged explosives. The kites and balloons sparked 20 fires in Israeli areas near the Strip. And just as this roundup was published, there were reports of another air strike on Gazans launching flaming balloons this afternoon.

A booby-trapped balloon was also flown into Israeli territory, landing on a highway in the Sha’ar Hanegev region. Police sappers were called to the scene and destroyed the balloon and the explosive device attached to it in a controlled explosion, police said.

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Judah Ari Gross
 Police sappers destroyed a booby-trapped balloon that had been launched from Gaza and landed on a highway in southern Israel. An explosive device was attached by a string to the ballon.

"I ❤️ you" was written on the balloon because of course it was.


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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 14 Jun 2018, 9:32 pm

UN Condemns Israel’s ‘Excessive Force’ in Gaza
Today’s Top Stories
UNfair1. As expected, the UN General Assembly condemned Israel for “excessive force” against Palestinians during the Gaza border clashes. The resolution — which calls on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to recommend an “international protection mechanism” for Gaza — was approved by a vote of 120-8 with 45 abstentions.

The resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, does not mention by Hamas by name. A US push to include language denouncing the terror group was rejected on procedural grounds. See Times of Israel and AP coverage.

The resolution deplores “any excessive use of force” by Israeli forces, particularly in Gaza, and demands that Israel “refrain from such actions.” It “deplores the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilian areas,” but doesn’t say who is doing the firing.

General Assembly resolutions are not binding and the US has no veto power. I’m giving last word on the matter for now to Einat Wilf.

Dr. Einat Wilf
 As #UNGA discusses Israel's supposed "indiscriminate" use of force, how about using math? if an army fired into a crowd of 45,000 representing population distribution in Gaza, what are odds of killing total of 61 men of whom 53 are Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives (1% of pop.)?

8:34 PM - Jun 13, 2018
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2. Did Hezbollah refuse a Russian demand to leave southern Syria?

3. Jason Walters, a former Dutch jihadist who was de-radicalized in prison is now reaching out to Jews for forgiveness. The JTA explains:

“As a salafi jihadist, anti-Semitism is wrapped up in your entire worldview,” he said.

Which is why Walters chose to speak out for the first time to Esther Voet, the editor-in-chief of Holland’s NIW Jewish weekly, in an unusual interview that also featured an apology to Dutch Jews and other victims, and his advocacy of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders . . .

The “pitfall of anti-Semitism, where I once fell, is becoming mainstream,” he added. “The same stereotypes are back. There’s no more balance in the debate about Jews or Israel.”

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In the News
• Do you suppose the UN General Assembly’s vote slamming Israel has emboldened Hamas to play with fire? Hamas threatened to send 5,000 burning kites towards Israel on Friday. Tomorrow is Eid al Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the month of Ramadan.

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Khaled Abu Toameh
 Palestinians say they will launch 5000 flaming kites to Israel on Eid Al-Fitr (most likely Friday). 

1:50 PM - Jun 14, 2018
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• PA security forces broke up a Ramallah demonstration against Mahmoud Abbas’ sanctions on Gaza. Foreign and Palestinian journalists were roughed up too. Shortly before the demonstration, the PA banned anti-Abbas protests in the West Bank.

Palestinian police dispersed the crowd with electric shockers and batons. Undercover officers dragged others away, arresting about 10 people.

Abbas has cracked down on dissent, and such protests are rare.

• The Israeli habit of bureaucratizing everything in sight just collided with Mideast realities and the World Cup.

Jerusalem Post

• German lawmakers gave a green light to a $1.2 billion deal to lease Israeli-made aerial drones. The Heron TP is Israel’s most advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), capable of reconnaissance and air-to-ground missiles. See Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post coverage.

The deal had faced opposition from the center-left Social Democrats, who are partners in the ruling coalition, because the surveillance drones can also be equipped with weapons . . .

Germany is leasing the Israeli drones until European-built models are ready for operation around 2025, according to the report.

Heron UAV
An Israeli Heron UAV
• Israel unveils kamikaze drone designed to hit complex targets.

• Prince William may visit Western Wall during royal visit to Israel.

• “Norway’s Foreign Ministry this week gave the supporters of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement an unexpected boon by declaring that boycotting Israeli goods produced in Judea and Samaria is not illegal.”

• As we get closer to Turkey’s June 24 national elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s primary political challenger, Muharrem Ince accused him of “signing a secret deal with Israel,” Ynet reported. Bashing Israel to score political points is one of the oldest tricks in what passes for Mideast “democracy.”

• The JTA reports that Holocaust monuments in France and the Netherlands were vandalized. And in Italy, someone torched a car and vandalized a store, leaving behind a message “this shop belongs to a Jew.” (Italian media subsequently reported that the owner of the shop is not Jewish.)

• Congressman Steve King of Iowa taking flak for sharing a tweet by a prominent neo-Nazi.

building campaign

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Raphael Ahren: The silver lining in the UN’s almost-condemnation of Hamas
– Elliott Abrams: Prince William (and the Foreign Office) in Jerusalem
– Jacob Magid: Netiv Ha’avot demolition may be a sign the settlers are winning
– Sima Kadmon: Where is Netanyahu’s leadership move?
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Mahmoud Abbas refuses to ease sanctions on Gaza Strip
– Daniel Laufer: Will BDS win Latin America?
– Jerusalem Post: Geographic divide: Taking the pulse of Jews in America and Israel
– Dr. Eliyahu Shoot: False terminology and the delegitimization of Israel

Featured image: CC BY-NC Ed Stevenson; Heron via Wikimedia Commons;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jun 2018, 6:55 pm

What Does US-North Korea Summit Mean for Israel?

Today’s Top Stories
1. President Donald Trump is due to meet with North Korean President Kim Jong Un in Singapore today. The leaders will discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and Israel is carefully watching developments that could set a precedent for Iran. For liveblogging, see Singapore’s Straits Times and Reuters,

While the Trump-Kim summit is expected to be dominated by smiles and handshakes, what turned out to be a fake Twitter account ostensibly belonging to North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho seemed to pour cold water on Israel.

Ron Ben-Yishai and Anshel Pfeffer weighed in on the summit’s Israel angles while AP noted how its playing in Iran. Tweet of the day goes to Raphael Ahren.

Raphael Ahren
10 Jun
Netanyahu on #KimTrumpSummit: The entire world prays for the success of this summit. >>

Raphael Ahren
 >> Imagine Trump came back with some deal, and UK, France and others applauded it, and Japan & South Korea opposed it.

That’s what happened with the Iran deal. This deal was applauded by many who are not in the missile range of Iran. But Israel and the Arab states opposed it.

5:57 PM - Jun 10, 2018
See Raphael Ahren's other Tweets
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2. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz went to the Western Wall yesterday in an unscheduled “private visit.” The European Union consider the holy site occupied. More on Kurz’s itinerary at the Jerusalem Post and i24 News.

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i24NEWS English
 Austria's Sebastian Kurz visits Jerusalem's Western Wall, Holocaust museum http://i24ne.ws/xGz130kqI1M 

8:53 PM - Jun 10, 2018
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3. Looks like the Israeli government is dropping its insistence that the Eurovision song competition will be held in Jerusalem. According to Israeli media reports, the government will not intervene in choosing the location. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Eilat are seeking to host the contest. To avoid politicizing the event, an inter-ministerial conference call decided to let the Kan public broadcaster choose the venue.

The European Broadcasting Union, charged with producing the event together with local member Kan, has said it will not object to Jerusalem being the chosen venue, so long as a proper tender has taken place, Channel 20 reported.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev — who has insisted that Israel host the Eurovision in Jerusalem or not at all — was conspicuously not involved (frozen out?) in that conference call.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Ynet introduces us to the Firefly, the new IDF drone designed to attack flaming kites — and more.

• Some Israeli children found a Palestinian terror kite rigged with an unspecified “harmful device” in the Sdot Negev area near the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Sappers neutralized the device with a robot; nobody was injured.

• The Media Line takes a closer look at the terror kite threat and how Israel’s dealing with it.

• A bill fighting against PA terror stipends passed one of its legislative hurdles, getting the approval of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The legislation would require the government to deduct the amount of money the PA spends on terror stipends from taxes and tariffs it collects on the PA’s behalf. The Jerusalem Post explains:

The PA paid terrorists over a billion shekels ($347 million) in 2017, and upped the amount to over NIS 1.4 billion ($403 million) in its 2018 budget, according to a Defense Ministry report based on the PA’s budget . . .

The amount deducted will be invested in a fund to pay damages to victims of terror, among other areas.

building campaign

• Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat responded to US envoy Jason Greenblatt’s blistering criticism and call for his ouster. (Greenblatt was responding to Erekat’s previous denunciation of the US and the Trump administration.)

• An 18-year-old Israel girl is in serious condition after she was stabbed by a Palestinian in Afula this afternoon. The suspect, a 30something year-old man from Jenin was apprehended with a knife in his possession. Police are investigating whether it was a terror or criminal attack.

• Let’s see: Iran has previously test fired missiles with the words “Israel must be wiped out,” and created a doomsday clock counting down Israel’s destruction to 2040. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called Israel a a malignant cancerous tumor” that “has to be removed and eradicated.” So with a history like that, what exactly does the ayatollah or AP think needs clarifying?

Associated Press

Window into Israel
• The yeshiva army deferments issue is back in the news as the United Torah Judaism party put together draft legislation and set a June 22 deadline.

Giving his coalition partners an ultimatum, the head of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party said last week that if the proposal is not passed into law by then, when the Knesset summer recess begins, the party will leave the government, likely spelling its untimely end . . .

[Deputy Health Minister Yaakov] Litzman’s ultimatum comes ahead of a September deadline set by the High Court of Justice for the Knesset to re-legislate a previous exemption that the court disqualified.

Around the World
• Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates pledged a $2.5 billion to bail out for Jordan. AP reports that it is hoped the assistance “will help Jordan come up with a new, more-palatable austerity plan to satisfy international lenders and its public.”

• Israel ‘should be wiped off map’, says Al Quds Day speaker as Hezbollah flags fly in London.

The Jewish Chronicle
 Hezbollah flags once again flown at #Quds day 2018, despite its military wing being a proscribed organisation

5:53 PM - Jun 10, 2018
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• An elite New York private school is investigating a teacher over his “diatribe” to students about Israel after the Gaza clashes.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yoav Limor: Hamas naval tunnel and proof of Israel’s intelligence reach
– Avi Issacharoff: Gaza’s financial crisis is sending Hamas back into the arms of Iran
– Alex Fishman: With no more tricks up its sleeves, Hamas has become more dangerous
– Moshe Arens: How to solve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza
– MK Avi Dichter: PA terror stipends: Stop the absurdity
– Gadi Taub: Why Western ‘liberals’ so easily buy into Hamas’ antisemitic blood libel
– Daniel Zimet: The feeble fight against BDS

 Featured image: CC BY Jon S;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 10 Jun 2018, 6:20 pm

US Envoy Calls for Saeb Erekat’s Ouster
Today’s Top Stories
1. Breaking news: Just before this roundup was published, it was reported that the IDF destroyed a Hamas naval tunnel.
Anna Ahronheim
 #BREAKING: #IDF has destroyed a #Hamas naval tunnel which would have allowed frogmen to swim out to sea undetected. The tunnel, which was in northern #GazaStrip, was discovered several months ago and destroyed on June 3rd

2:31 PM - Jun 10, 2018
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2. Here’s a sentence I never imagined writing: US Mideast envoy fisks chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Haaretz, even calling for Erekat’s ouster. (Greenblatt was responding to Erekat’s invective against Israel and the Trump administration last month.)

Dr. Erekat – we have heard your voice for decades and it has not achieved anything close to Palestinian aspirations or anything close to a comprehensive peace agreement. Other Palestinian perspectives might help us finally achieve a comprehensive peace agreement where Palestinian and Israeli lives can be better.

Jason Greenblatt and Saeb Erekat
3. According to Syrian rebels, Iranian-allied militias which left the Israeli border have returned disguised as Syrian soldiers, the Wall St. Journal reports (click via Twitter). The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz picked up on this.

After initially appearing to withdraw, military convoys of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and other Iran-backed militias have returned to both Daraa and Quneitra provinces in Syria’s southwest near Israel, dressed in Syrian military uniforms and under Syrian flags, according to multiple rebel commanders.

The convoys that returned were equipped with rockets and missiles, one of the rebel commanders said.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
4. A Journalist’s Wall of Lies: Reporter Sarah Helm distorts and embellishes facts to vividly support the Palestinian narrative in her stories.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Breaking with European Union policy, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was due to visit the Western Wall today. The Jerusalem Post says it’s “the first time in recent memory that a leader of an EU country will visit the holy site, even for what is being billed only as a ‘private visit.'”

• Clashes continued along the Gaza border on Friday, with Palestinians launching incendiary kites and helium balloons, and as usual, throwing stones and firebombs and trying to breach the fence. The demonstrations coincided with Quds Day, but only 10,000 Palestinians showed up. A few journalists were invited to cover the clashes with the IDF. I liked Nikki Guttman’s dispatch for Israel HaYom and New York Times correspondent David Halbfinger’s Twitter thread.

In a new escalation, Palestinians also launched helium balloons carrying explosives detonated by remote control. No Israelis were injured. In another first, an Israeli aircraft fired a warning shot at Palestinians preparing terror balloons. Meanwhile, one Israeli defense contractor said that it is ‘working on solution’ to Gaza’s incendiary kites.

• For the first time, Palestinians launched terror kites in the West Bank on Thursday.

The kites were flown over the settlements of Matan, Yarhiv and Nirit, three Jewish communities in the West Bank near the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba.

One of the kites caused a fire in a field, which was quickly put out without major damage, while another struck a power line, causing a power outage in the area for several hours.

building campaign

• When Mark Twain said “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt,” I wonder if he had in mind Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Palestinian Authority’s Supreme Sharia Judge and an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas on religious affairs. MEMRI flagged this comment by Habbash denying Jewish ties to the Temple Jerusalem at a conference attended by various ambassadors, religious leaders and other dignitaries:

. . . the struggle in Jerusalem is between the rightful owners of the city – the Muslims and Christians – and “some foreign Western imperialists that have no connection to this soil.” He added that the state of Israel is an imperialist Western enterprise whose purpose is to weaken and divide the Arab world, and that the claim that the Jews have a historical connection to Jerusalem is nothing but a distortion of history.

• Israel has complained to the UN that Hezbollah is helping Hamas set up missile factories and training facilities in Lebanon, according to Arab media reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post and Ynet.

Ronen Manelis
Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis
• It’s very unusual that the IDF is sending chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis to appear before a French parliamentary committee to clarify the military’s response to the Gaza clashes. Since when did anyone from the IDF go and give evidence in a foreign parliament?

Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman and French Jewish MP Meyer Habib came up with the idea of inviting Manelis to address the forum following the most recent meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee, which was also attended by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

According to Habib, although the committee could have focused its attention on any pressing international matter, four out of the six speeches by faction spokespersons “focused solely on Gaza and the slander of Israel.”

• The Los Angeles Times rounded up followup fallout from the Argentine soccer snub.

• Israel’s recent ban on Indonesians threatens eastern Jerusalem travel industry. According to The Media Line, “Ten of thousands of Indonesians visit Israel each year, with numbers until now growing.”

• While in London, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down for an interview with BBC Newsnight. I’m not familiar with the style of reporter Evan Davis, but he frequently wouldn’t let the prime minister answer his questions. Netanyahu was far more patient with Davis than I would’ve been.
Window into Israel
• Globes takes a closer look at the Israeli government’s latest plan for combating drought and raising the water level of the Kinneret Lake, also known as the Sea Galilee.

The plan includes building two desalination facilities, a rivers reclamation plan, connecting isolated areas to the National Water Carrier and replenishing the Kinneret by “pouring 100 million cubic meters of desalinated water a year” into the lake by reversing the flow of water.
Lake Kinneret
Around the World
• Spain’s third-largest city voted to boycott Israel. Valencia’s municipal council declared the city of 1.5 million people an a “Israeli apartheid-free zone.” Related reading: BDS: The Bane in Spain.

• Antisemitic incidents drop sharply in Poland and Hungary, watchdogs say.

• Jewish student films his New Jersey college professor sharing conspiracy theories and antisemitic tropes. Students in Clyde Magarelli’s sociology classes were told, among other things, that Judaism has degenerated into a racist religion, Ashkenazi Jews are not genetically descended from the ancient Israelites, and the moon landing was faked.

Susanna Maria Feldman
Susanna Maria Feldman
• A former Iraqi asylum-seeker suspected of raping and killing a 14-year-old German Jewish girl is in custody. The murder of Susanna Maria Feldman, who disappeared on May 23, has put a lot of pressure on Angela Merkel’s government and the police because A) the suspect, 20-year-old Ali Bashar, was still in Germany despite being rejected for asylum in 2016, and B) Bashar and his family were able to fly out of Dusseldorf even though the names on their identity papers and airline tickets did not match.
Feldman’s body was found outside her hometown of Wiesbaden. Bashar was arrested by Kurdish authorities in Erbil acting on an international arrest warrant.

• Fire ravages Russian Jewish cemetery; police investigating possible arson.

• Boycotting the boycotters: Hampstead Jews vow to avoid new Co-op over chain’s Israel stance

• Guest editors of a University of Sydney student newspaper featured a front page photo of a suicide bomber with an AK-47 who killed Israeli and Lebanese soldiers in 1985. After the Australasian Union of Jewish Students demanded an apology, the University of Sydney’s ­Student Representative Council “passed a motion, 11 to 10, against AUJS on Wednesday night for complaining about the publication.” More on the story at The Algemeiner.

• For the second time now, a German intelligence report has labeled BDS as antisemitic.

• AP picked up on an American Jewish Committee poll which found deep divisions between Israeli and American Jewish attitudes on a range of issues, such as the embassy move, Netanyahu-Trump relations, mixed prayer at the Western Wall, and more.

• Nice to see The Guardian has some semblance of standards. The Jewish Chronicle reports editors refused to publish this cartoon by Steve Bell, who insists its not antisemitic. It features prime ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Theresa May as Palestinian medic Razan al-Najar burns in the fireplace behind them. Najar was killed last week during the Gaza clashes.

Steve Bell

• Plenty of commentary about the Gaza situation . . .

– Vivian Bercovici: When toys become weapons and nobody notices
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Hamas failed, but the Gaza problem is far from resolution
– Haviv Rettig Gur: Gaza is going to get worse before it gets better
– Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Mired in delusions
– Kenneth Jacobson: Feeding Palestinian illusions
– Yaniv Kubovich: Iran’s fighting force in Gaza is the one calling and firing the shots
– Melanie Phillips: The lethal moral confusion of saying Kaddish for Hamas

• Here’s what they’re saying about the Argentine soccer snub . . .

– Ron Prosor: Waging diplomatic counter-terrorism in the wake of Israel-Argentina
– Yaakov Katz: Cut the politics: Regev, Messi and the BDS movement
– Gustavo Perednik: Cry for us, Argentina
– Amotz Asa-El: Crying for Argentina
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Argentina vs. Israel: Not so friendly

Lionel Messi
• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .

– Justin Cohen: Letting Hezbollah flags fly in London is a terrible indictment of our government’s approach to extremism
– Judith Bergman: Marching for terrorism in London? No problem
– Tom Tugendhat: Violence is the purpose of Iranian-backed Hizbollah. Britain ignoring that helps nobody
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Is Jordan burning?
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: Jordan’s protests: Economic or political?
– Sander Gerber, Yossi Kuperwasser: The PA sponsors terrorism, and the Taylor Force Act finally puts it out in the open
– David Weinberg: Hasbara war strategies
– Alex Fishman: An invitation to an unquiet Syrian border
– Cinnamon Stillwell: Zionists need not apply to San Francisco St. Univesity?
– Brendan O’Neill: No, Islamophobia is not the new antisemitism
– David Harris: A tragic anniversary: The end of Jewish life in Libya

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 07 Jun 2018, 4:38 pm

Messi Fallout of Argentine Soccer Snub Roils Israel

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The fallout from the cancelled Argentine soccer match has some tie-ins with Israel hosting next year’s Eurovision competition. Does the cancelled soccer match foreshadow the nixing of future athletic and cultural events in Israel?

2. It’s looking increasingly likely that next year’s Eurovision competition will not be held in Jerusalem, Haaretz reports. It’s complicated because of A) political and security sensitivities now highlighted by this week’s soccer snub, B) religious demands that the competition and its related logistics cause no Sabbath desecration, and C) a growing reluctance among the Eurovision brass who feel that Jerusalem is “too charged” for the event.

3. Did Qatar have a hand in Argentina’s cancellation?

“We’re understanding more and more that the real issue here is not the threats (against the Argentine team and star player Lionel Messi—ed.), which are only an unreliable excuse, but a wealthy Arab state bribing a poor soccer association,” the source said.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev each claim the other was the one to ask to move the Israel-Argentina match from Haifa to Jerusalem.
• Regev threatened to withdraw Israel from hosting Eurovision if the competition isn’t in Jerusalem.

“It will cost Israel NIS 50 million ($14 million) and is designed to market the country,” she said. “So I personally say, if the Eurovision won’t be held in Jerusalem, it’s not right to invest the NIS 50 million in public funds.”

• Israel is calling for FIFA to investigate Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub for making threats against Lionel Messi and his teammates. I’m not aware of Messi publicly commenting on any of this.

The controversy’s key players
Benjamin Netanyahu: Prime Minister
Miri Regev: Minister of Culture and Sport
Jibril Rajoub: Palestinian Football Association chief
Lionel Messi: Argentine soccer star
Mauricio Macri: Argentine president
Claudio Tapia: Argentine Football Association chief
Joseph Shapira: Israeli state comptroller

Meanwhile, the Argentines told AP that the terror threats they caved in to came from Hamas.

A senior official at the Argentine Football Federation said the national team decided to call off the match with Israel after receiving threats from Hamas.

The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns, did not provide evidence or details of the alleged threats.

A Hamas official mocked reports that the group had threatened the players, calling them unrealistic, and saying they don’t deserve a comment.

• Israel’s state comptroller, Joseph Shapira, said he is going to investigate Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev’s handling of the canceled Argentina- Israel soccer game.

building campaign

• A 21-year-old Palestinian who is a member of the Strip’s “kite flying unit” talked to Ynet about his activities, insisting they’ll continue playing with fire.

He revealed the “kites unit” operates like an organization, but claimed it has no connection to Hamas.

“We’re young people from all across the Gaza Strip. We’re divided into groups according to areas, and each group has one person in charge who decides when to fly kites and how many. We have no aid from Hamas and we don’t need it. Preparing each kite, with its incendiary device, costs us three or four shekels,” he explained.

• According to Israeli media reports, drones downed over 350 incendiary terror kites and balloons.

• Ynet picked up on a video purporting to show Razan Najar, the Palestinian nurse killed during Gaza clashes, throwing a gas grenade. The video was posted on Facebook by the IDF’s Arabic spokesman, Avichay Adraee.

Window into Israel
• The Knesset rejected a bill that would have required the government to finish construction of the West Bank security barrier, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Work began on the barrier in 2002 during a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings and shooting attacks. It was never fully finished due to a combination of politics, bureaucracy, budget battles, legal challenges and other priorities. About 60 percent of the barrier’s 790 km route has been completed.

• According to Israel media reports, “female prison guards with the Israel Prison Service have allegedly been sexually harassed by terrorists after being transferred to the high-security ward at the request of an influential inmate.”

argentine soccer• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels over the soccer snub.

– Ben Sales: Why it’s a big deal that Argentina canceled its soccer game in Israel
– Miguel Winazki: Goal for hypocrisy in World Cup soccer
– Raz Shechnik: When politics suffocates sports
– Ross Clark: Argentina, why not boycott the entire World Cup?
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed) Kick politics out of sports
– Anshel Pfeffer: BDS is still a failure – don’t let Netanyahu’s Argentine soccer debacle fool you
– Haim Shine: Terrorism has no place in sports

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Lenny Ben-David: Why Israelis won’t apologize for killing of Gaza nurse
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinian kite flyers: “Burn the Jews!”
– Charles Bybelezer: In distorting US Ambassador Friedman’s message, the media proves his point
– Jonathan Tobin: Ambassador David Friedman’s crude pro-Israel activism devalues US diplomacy
– Einat Wilf, Adi Schwartz: How UNRWA prevents Gaza from thriving
– Peter Lerner: Israel has to talk to Hamas. Otherwise, it’s war
– Norman Bailey: Putin gives Israel carte-blanche
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Iran’s nuke moves are more bark than bite . . . so far

Featured image: CC BY woodleywonderworks;; soccer ball CC0 Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 10:01 pm

Argentina Cancels Israeli Soccer Match
Today’s Top Stories
1. Citing Palestinian threats against star player Lionel Messi, Argentina cancelled this weekend’s friendly pre-World Cup match against Israel in Jerusalem. Israel soccer officials are filing a formal complaint with FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.

Meanwhile, Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub told the Times of Israel that the PA didn’t object to the game’s original Haifa venue, but blamed Israeli officials for moving the match to Jerusalem and making various statements politicizing it. Indeed, some Israelis pointed fingers at each other more than at BDS while Argentine pundits slammed what they described as the hypocrisy of the team’s decision.

More on the story — lots, in fact — at Ynet.
Lionel Messi
2. A preliminary IDF investigation of the death of Palestinian medic Razan al-Najar found that she wasn’t deliberately targeted by soldiers. The military stressed that the investigation is still ongoing. Haaretz and the Times of Israel had the clearest coverage.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that soldiers fired shots in the area, but said that they were not aimed at the 21-year-old volunteer medic, Razan Najjar.

“During the incident, a limited number of bullets were fired and no gunfire was directly or intentionally fired at her,” the army said in a statement.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

3. According to Israeli media reports, the Palestinian Authority warned French officials that Iran was financing and encouraging weeks of violent protests along the Israel-Gaza border.

4. ‘The Week Junior’ Gets an F: Teaching distortions, hate and anger is no way to begin a child’s education about Israel.

5. The 6 Questions About Paywalls You Were Afraid to Ask: I’m seeing a spike of emails about newspaper paywalls, which means it’s time to revisit this post.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• What does this say about the Mideast, the Trump administration and bureaucracy?

US President Donald Trump on Monday signed a presidential waiver that suspends for six months a law mandating the US embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — despite the fact that the embassy officially opened in Jerusalem last month.

Trump’s move was necessitated by the fact that the ambassador’s official residence has not yet been relocated to the capital.

• Worth watching: This Reuters video takes a closer look at Gaza’s burning kites and how Israel’s trying to counter them.
Reuters TV
 Devastating fires in Israel started by homemade 'fire kites' https://reut.rs/2Hod38e  via @ReutersTV

2:20 PM - Jun 6, 2018
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• The Jewish National Fund will sue Hamas in international court for damage to Israeli forests caused by burning kites from Gaza. Good luck trying to collect . . .

• Why are trials against IDF soldiers killing Palestinians falling apart?

• For whatever it’s worth, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert supported Ambassador David Friedman’s criticism of media coverage of the Gaza protests.

• Australian Jewish group complains to ABC News boss over ‘massive omission’ on Gaza rocket attacks.

• Ex-ambassador Michael Oren disputes former White House aid Ben Rhodes’ account of Israel’s reaction to the US-Syria “red lines crisis.”
composite image
Michael Oren, Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama and Ben Rhodes
• A cursed collision with karma, or crazy coincidence? Ahmed Said — the Egyptian radio announcer who claimed troops had reached Tel Aviv and destroyed dozens of Israeli fighter planes during the Six-Day War — died. Associated Press notes that “Said was buried Tuesday, the 51st anniversary of the start of the war on June 5.”

For more than a decade, Said was Egypt’s biggest media personality, working for for Sawt al-Arab (Voice of the Arabs), a mouthpiece of president Gamel Abdel Nasser.

Around the World
• South African radio personality Gareth Cliff is taking flak for defending the IDF’s handling of the Gaza border riots. Listen to Cliff’s comments, see Jenna Etheridge‘s response, then see the Daily Maverick‘s fact-check.

Gareth Cliff
• Jerusalem Post: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund “gave grants to organizations which funnel money and support to terrorist groups, and continued to do so after being told about the NGOs’ activities.”

• Argentine lawmakers are discussing the removal of ex-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s immunity from prosecution over the AMIA bombing and the murder of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. The Algemeiner rounds up the latest from Buenos Aires.

• Ynet: The UN released its first education guide on fighting anti-Semitism, published online by UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

• Police investigating threatening graffiti on U. California San Diego Jewish student center sign.

• Tweet of the day goes to Paul Gross:
Paul Gross
 So Israel can’t host one game against Argentina while Russia - invader of two its neighbors, murderer of political opponents and part of the alliance that’s slaughtered thousands in Syria - gets to host a World Cup?
The world’s screwed-up moral compass strikes again.

6:51 AM - Jun 6, 2018 · Israel
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Chemi Shalev: Israel should stop playing into BDS’ hands or Argentine soccer fiasco will only be the beginning
– Gil Hoffman: When mixing soccer and Israeli politics becomes messy
– Yair Lapid: Israel will not leave the Golan Heights
– Yaakov Lappin: Israel’s ‘active defense’ in Syria won’t be stopped by diplomatic deals
– Herb Keinon: What does Netanyahu hope to achieve on his European trip?
– William Galston: Bibi is bent on taking on Iran alone (click via Twitter)
– Roger Boyes: Israel must decide how it wants to fight Iran
– The Australian (staff-ed): Time for a reality check on Iran
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: The condition of Iran’s withdrawal for Assad to stay
– Daniel Friedmann: As far as Hamas is concerned, Israel was deterred
– Amos Harel: IDF believes Hamas willing to talk, though no signs of negotiations on the horizon
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Holding everyone else responsible
– Simon Waldman: Burning money: the urgent need to rethink UNRWA
– Emily Benedek: Will the world finally turn off the UNRWA spigot?
– Daniel Arbess: Is Trump following a grand Mideast strategy? (click via Twitter)
– Ed Husain: Jeremy Corbyn is pitting Britain’s Muslims against Jews


Featured image: CC BY-SA Estitxu Carton; Messi via YouTube/Henrik Lehmann; Oren via YouTube/MSBC; Netanyahu via YouTube/IsraeliPM; Obama via YouTube/CBS News; Rhodes via YouTube/Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Cliff via Vimeo/Design Indaba;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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