02/28 Links: Obama’s BDS Bill Stand Hurts Peace; Playground at Beit El comes under sniper fire
Last week, President Obama reluctantly signed into law a trade bill passed by Congress earlier this month that effectively banned U.S. cooperation with entities that support the BDS — boycott, divestment, sanctions — movement that targets Israel. But in his signing statement, he made clear that he would order the government not to enforce the will with respect to BDS campaigns that might target Israeli economic activity in the territories it has controlled since June 1967. He said this was consistent with longstanding U.S. policy on settlements. While the passage of the measure is to be applauded, there were three clear problems with the president’s stand from the point of view of support for Israel and the quest for peace.
The first is that he makes no distinction between isolated West Bank settlements and the blocs of communities that even he has at times conceded would remain part of Israel if a peace agreement were ever to be reached.
The second is that he also fails to draw any distinction between the disputed West Bank and Jerusalem. Though Obama is right that all of his predecessors did not recognize Israel’s control of a united Jerusalem, he, alone, has sought to treat the Jewish neighborhoods built in part of the city that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 as if they were hilltop settlements in isolated areas of the West Bank. In doing so, he has encouraged Palestinians and many of their foreign cheerleaders to believe that Israel’s ancient capital can be re-divided and that the hundreds of thousands of Jews who live in neighborhoods built in the last half-century will be forced out of their homes. Treating those neighborhoods like settlements is not only unrealistic, it alienates most Israelis who rightly view all of the Jewish sections of their capital as part of Israel.
The third is that treating boycotts of Jews in the West Bank and Jerusalem — about which the administration is presumably neutral or perhaps in favor — as somehow different from waging economic warfare against the state of Israel is a dangerous road to go down to. It is true that the U.S. recognizes some territory as Israeli and some not, but in term of boycotts; this is a distinction without a difference. It is also a standard that is not applied to other countries where unresolved territorial disputes linger, such as those of Morocco in the former Spanish Sahara. As it happens, neither the Palestinians nor the Islamist terrorists of ISIS or of Hamas, Hezbollah and their Iranian paymasters recognize any such distinction. Iran will pay a bounty to the families of terrorists who kill Jews inside pre-1967 Israel just as readily as they will to one slaughtered in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Palestinians honor the Arab who shot up a Tel Aviv café in January just as readily as they do those who shoot, stab, stone or incinerate Jews in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Let’s be clear that one doesn’t have to be a fan of West Bank settlements or Israel’s current government to understand that even selective boycotts of Jews in the territories are an attempt to undermine the entire Jewish state, wreck its economy and aid those committing violence against it.
Most important, BDS campaigns of any sort do nothing to advance peace.
A month ago I hosted the management of V15 [the US funded “anyone but Bibi” campaign] or, as it is known by its new name, “Our Way,” in Efrat. As I sometimes do with such get-togethers, I also introduced them to “a representative of our neighbors,” i.e. residents of the neighboring villages, to speak about their “vision” and the reality from their perspective. Not from the standpoint of the media, not from their “non-elected leadership,” but rather directly from them. Regularly, these representatives say that they believe in co-existence.
During this particular visit, one of our neighbors expressed an opinion that shocked the management of “Our Way.”
“By you, your democracy puts a prime minister and president in jail, by us, the president puts the democracy in jail. We don’t want independence, we want to be part of your democracy!” V15 and “Our Way,” who advocate two states for two nations, were shocked upon hearing this statement and went back home with quite a lot to think about. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon declaring in his Bar Ilan speech that he advocates a two-state solution brought upon himself a considerable amount of criticism from the Right and since that time he has reluctantly repeated this statement, but with the attached reservation that “there is nobody to talk to.” It turns out that also opposition leader Isaac Herzog has started to internalize that there is no one to talk to. Yesterday, it was the chancellor of Germany that learned the lyrics to “there is no one to talk to.”
Last week Gadi Taub published an article under the headline “Why would they let us leave?” He tells about a conversation with a Palestinian journalist that surprised him. The journalist said to him, “Why do you think that we’ll let you leave the territories? Who will watch over us?” It seems that Taub was also shocked upon hearing this. Since in the past I was a student of Taub’s, I allow myself to believe in his sincerity.
A children’s playground at the West Bank settlement of Beit El was hit by sniper fire Saturday night. No one was injured in the attack.
According to Channel 10 television, the gunfire is believed to have come from the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Jalazoun. The IDF launched a search in an effort to track down those responsible.
The incident came a day after a Palestinian teenager was shot dead as he tried to stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint close to the settlement. Palestinian sources later said that the youth had American citizenship, and named him as 17-year-old as Mahmoud Muhammad Shaalan, a resident of the village of Deir Daboun, north of Ramallah.
Israeli security forces overnight Saturday arrested a Palestinian man suspected of attacking and critically wounding an Israeli security guard with an ax in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim on Thursday.
The Shin Bet said that in a joint operation with the IDF and Israel Police, it apprehended Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad, born in 1995, of al-Eizariya, adjacent to Ma’ale Adumim. He possessed a permit to work in settlements, the Shin Bet said, and according to reports may have known the victim, Tzvika Cohen, 48.
Cohen, who was unarmed, was attacked at the town’s mall late Thursday night. He was struck multiple times in the head and upper body with an ax. The attacker fled the scene, dropping the ax outside.
Abu Ahmad confessed to carrying out the brutal attack, the Shin Bet said in a statement Sunday. A relative of Abu Ahmad called police on Saturday night and said that the suspect was staying with him and that he was prepared to turn himself in, the Mako news site reported.
A security guard remained in very serious condition Saturday night, almost two days after a brutal terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim left him in a critical state.
A spokesperson for Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem said that the 48-year-old man was sedated and in intensive care after undergoing surgery, Israel Radio reported.
The guard, who was unarmed, was attacked inside the town’s mall late Thursday night. He was struck multiple times in the head and upper body with an ax. The attacker fled the scene.
The victim was taken to Hadassah unconscious and in critical condition, and was attached to artificial respiration.
The family of an Israeli security guard critically injured in a West Bank terror attack last week expressed dismay Sunday as security camera footage of the attack was shared via social media and on the internet.
Tzvika Cohen, 48, who was unarmed, was the target of a brutal attack at a mall in Ma’ale Adumim late Thursday night. He was struck multiple times in the head and upper body with an ax during the attack at the settlement near Jerusalem. The suspected attacker, Saadi Ali Abu Ahmad, fled the scene and was later arrested by security forces.
“Children are passing the horrible, uncensored pictures from one to the other,” the victim’s brother, Moshe Cohen, told Army Radio. “You can see there how he let loose on him with the ax. His children are likely to see this. How can you treat a child after he sees a film like this?”
In the grainy video clip, Abu Ahmad can allegedly be seen swinging wildly at Cohen as he lies on his back on the floor trying to fend off the blows with his arms and legs. The attacker appeared to continue striking Cohen even after he lay prone on the ground.
Palestinian activists on Saturday launched a mass media campaign celebrating the 150th day of the “Al-Quds intifada,” also known as the “knife intifada” as the current terror wave has come to be called.
The media campaign focuses on expressing support for the intifada and it’s “achievements” in the “struggle” against Israel by distributing explanatory material on the internet and on social networks tagged as “Intifada 150.”
The activists called on the public to support the intifada stating that, “The media is one of the most important tools in helping the intifada.”
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from September 13, 2015 to February 26, 2016, 33 people were killed, and 359 people were injured by Palestinian terrorists.
The attacks included 192 stabbings, 75 shootings and 39 vehicular attacks.
The majority of Palestinians interviewed in the street by Fatah-run Awdah TV said they were against children participating in stabbing and other terror attacks. Most opposed child-terror in principle, while a few opposed it because they view it as ineffective.
All those included in the broadcast likewise blamed and condemned television for inciting children to commit stabbing attacks. One person specifically accused Palestinian TV, condemning “our TV channels.” The moderator summarized the broadcast with a call to end “incitement on TV screens… enough spilling the blood of our children.”
Palestinian Media Watch has reported that Palestinian schools also incite children to kill. Children in “many schools from the Ramallah and El-Bireh district” were presented with a terrorist stabber as a role model when they participated in a football tournament named after 13-year-old terrorist Ahmad Manasrah, who stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli and nearly killed him. [Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 23, 2015]
Palestinian citizens oppose children’s terrorism and blame TV for inciting
The official border between Israel and Lebanon was breached 589 times in 2015, according to a report that Israeli Ambassador the U.N. Danny Danon submitted to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the weekend.
Danon’s report noted there were 2,374 violations last year of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which had brought the 2006 Second Lebanon War to an end. These violations included two cases in which the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah attacked Israel.
Danon told Ban and the U.N. Security Council that the Lebanese government was doing nothing to prevent Hezbollah activities in southern Lebanon prohibited by Resolution 1701.
After a ceasefire negotiated by the US and Russia went into effect Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered tempered support for the halt in the fighting during remarks at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
“We welcome the efforts to achieve a stable, long-term and genuine ceasefire in Syria. Anything that stops the terrible killing there is important especially from a humanitarian standpoint,” said Netanyahu.
But the Prime Minister was quick to emphasize that Israel would not allow Iran to use the ceasefire as cover to build up military assets along the Golan Heights, demanding an end to Iranian activity in the area.
“It must be clear at the same time that any agreement in Syria must include a halt to Iran’s aggression toward Israel from Syrian territory.”
In particular, Netanyahu noted to recent movement of heavy weapons from Iran to Hezbollah via Syria. The placement of advanced Iranian weapons along Israel’s border would not be accepted by Israel, implying the Jewish state would be prepared to intervene should “the red lines” be crossed.
Egyptian Member of Parliament, Tawfik Okasha, has revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mediated between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and US President Barack Obama following the military coup that took place in Egypt in July 2013.
On his show “Egypt Today” that was broadcast Saturday night on the Farareen TV channel, Okasha called for normalization with Israel, claiming that “Egypt is a very beautiful bride for Israel, and if Israel does not marry Egypt, it will destroy it.” He emphasized that today “Israel is trying to besiege Egypt in different arenas.”
Regarding Israel’s mediation between Egypt and the American administration, the Egyptian MP said: “After the 2013 military coup, I was invited to a discussion regarding the American refusal to recognize the newly-installed Egyptian regime. I told them that we should communicate with the Israelis and ask them to mediate between us and the American administration over US recognition of Sisi’s regime.”
Okasha added that after his opinion was accepted and Egypt had communicated with Israel, Netanyahu traveled to meet Obama and convinced him to recognize the July 2013 military coup.
An Egyptian lawmaker on Sunday struck a fellow parliamentarian with his shoe to protest the latter’s meeting last week with the Israeli ambassador to Cairo, Egypt’s state-run news agency said.
The MENA agency reported the parliament session was adjourned for 10 minutes as the two lawmakers were ejected.
Tawfiq Okasha, a popular TV talk show host and parliament member, has been engulfed in controversy since Thursday when Israeli ambassador Haim Korem posted a picture on the embassy’s Facebook page of the two of them meeting the evening before.
Egypt has full diplomatic relations with Israel, but directly dealing with the Jewish state remains deeply taboo in Egyptian society.
Okasha’s meeting with Koren has been heavily discussed on public affairs shows, and MENA said the parliament on Sunday decided to form a special committee to investigate Okasha’s visit.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: The Israeli Yearning For Peace
Larry Frisch, a former reporter who covered the Arab-Israeli conflict over several decades, has created a short film about the Israeli yearning for peace.
In the wake of revelations earlier this month as to the extent of the European Union’s involvement in promoting illegal Arab construction in Judea and Samaria, the Knesset’s Land of Israel Lobby issued a sharp condemnation of the EU, demanding it respect Israeli law.
The lobby, which includes 20 MKs from the Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beytenu, United Torah Judaism, and Kulanu parties, sent a letter to the European Union Ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, rejecting EU protests against Israeli demolitions of illegal Arab buildings.
Lobby chairmen Yoav Kish (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) demanded the EU halt its support for illegal Arab construction, calling the body’s actions an illegitimate attempt to forcibly create borders in Judea and Samaria without negotiations, in violation of the very principles the EU has promoted in backing a negotiated settlement.
“No government entity in the world has the right to construct buildings illegally in territory under the legal control of another country,” the letter reads.
“So long as the EU wants to be thought of as an honest broker in regards to conflicts in our area, it cannot participant in attempts to forcibly and unilaterally delineate borders without negotiations. That’s both the goal and end result of the illegal building project that you are advancing in area C”.
A Palestinian newspaper is reporting on Sunday that at least five members of Hamas’ military wing were injured when a tunnel they were in collapsed underneath the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio said.
The radio network cited a report on the website of Al Quds which said that a Hamas-built tunnel collapsed in the Zeitoun quarter of southeastern Gaza City. There has yet to be official confirmation of the report.
The newspaper reported that Hamas authorities in Gaza are searching for the people trapped in the tunnel collapse.
If the report is accurate, it would mark the fifth time in recent weeks that a tunnel built by Islamist forces in the Gaza Strip crumbled.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Therapist To Help Hamas Men In Collapsed Tunnel Who Feel ‘Trapped’ (satire)
The Ministry of Health in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip dispatched social workers and a therapist last night to help treat a group of fighters who were in an underground tunnel when it collapsed, and now complain they feel “trapped.”
At least five people were killed and an unknown number of others confined to the subterranean space Saturday night when the walls and ceiling of a passageway dug to conceal Hamas fighters from Israeli soldiers suddenly caved in. The situation has placed the survivors under intense psychological and emotional pressure, and authorities sought to react swiftly to help ameliorate their sense of imprisonment.
By itself the incident would attract little notice in the coastal territory, but economic circumstances have recently played an outsize role in a series of high-profile suicides there, and the ministry now confronts a greater sense of urgency to help treat emotional stress of the millions of Gazans who feel trapped. When the call arrived to help those who complained of such sentiments underground last night, officials wasted no time in sending the team, who also have a psychiatrist on call.
A ministry representative urged patience. “It is never easy to coax people out of their sense of being trapped,” cautioned Meff Fagher, Second Assistant Undersecretary for Mental Health Bureaucracy. “This is especially true in acute cases of such psycholgogical and emotional isolation. It may yet take time to even get a response from those undergoing this treatment. So far they are still so consumed by their situation that they evidently have not felt disposed to giving the social workers or therapist the time of day. Their first goal will be to induce some kind of responsiveness.”
As you can see, Hussain refers to his Palestinian “friend” Nura, who he claims had been living in the same east Jerusalem home since 1953, and is allegedly being kicked out by Israeli settlers.
Hussein is almost certainly referring to Nura Sub Laban, a Palestinian featured by Associated Press (AP) and New York Times stories about the “evictions” of Palestinian families from east Jerusalem. However, as corrections prompted by CAMERA (based on a careful examination of relevant court documents) to both stories show, claims that the Sub Labans had lived in their home continuously since 1953 are simply not true.
CAMERA provides background on the building in dispute:
before the 1948 war, the building was “owned by a trust for Kollel Galicia, a group that collected funds in Eastern Europe for Jewish families in Jerusalem.” When Jordan occupied Jerusalem in 1948, the property fell under the control of the Jordanian administration and was rented to the Palestinian Sub-Laban family in 1953. Following the 1967 war, when Israel gained control of eastern Jerusalem, the property was, according to the AP, “handed to an Israeli government department, the General Custodian. Palestinian residents were recognized as “protected tenants,” provided they continued to live in the apartments and pay rent to the Custodian.”
The student body at Canada’s McGill University has failed to ratify Monday’s controversial Israel boycott vote by the general assembly of the student government.
According to the McGill Reporter, the online vote recorded 57 percent of students voting against the boycott motion and 43 percent voting in favor. This represents the fourth time since 2009 that the effort to persuade the student body to adopt an anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement resolution at McGill has failed.
Following the results, McGill’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier issued a statement to the McGill community, reading, in part:
The University as an institution has not commented publicly until now out of respect for the student governance process. Students respect our governance processes; we do not interfere with theirs, or their right to put such motions within the context of their affairs.
Now that the online vote is complete, I wish to explain why the University’s administration continues to steadfastly oppose the BDS movement, of which this motion is a part.
We have reported on several such recent disruptions, including at University of Minnesota Law School, UT-Austin, Kings College (London), U. Windsor and an LGBTQ Shabbat Event in Chicago. Even events that are not disrupted are protested, such as the appearance of actor Michael Douglas and human rights hero Natan Sharansky at Brown University
The purpose of the disruption is to make it uncomfortable to express pro-Israel feelings in public on campus. And on many campuses, such as Vassar and Oberlin, pro-Israel students are silenced for fear of being singled out. Pro-BDS faculty put their thumbs on the scale by co-sponsoring blatantly anti-Israel events.
Now we have another example of the disruption tactic.
At the University of South Florida, a lecture by two Israeli army reservists was disrupted by protesters. (Since most Israeli Jews serve in the army, most 20-something Israeli Jews are “reservists” after active service ends).
Ynet News reports:
A group of BDS supporters disrupted a lecture by two Israeli students at the University of South Florida earlier this week….
The Israeli students, Shir and Yitzhak, gave a lecture to American students on behalf of StandWithUs, an organization working for Israeli hasbara (public relations) abroad, in order to “present the humane side of the IDF.”
During the lecture on Wednesday, some 25 supporters of the boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel entered the lecture hall waving Palestinian flags and banners, interrupted the lecturers, and shouted at them.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, gave a talk to students at Florida International University (FIU) yesterday (Friday).
A group of pro-Palestinian activists walked out in protest while Danon was speaking about the situation in Gaza. “Hamas in Gaza is planning for the next conflict with Israel, building attack tunnels and purchasing weapons technology and rockets,” he said. At this time, the students left the room while wearing keffiyehs and raising a fist in protest.
Danon continued his talk and blamed Hamas for causing humanitarian harm to the residents of Gaza. “The State of Israel allows hundreds of trucks to enter with humanitarian supplies to rebuild Gaza. Hamas steals a large portion of the concrete and the construction materials in order to build an infrastructure of terror tunnels.”
Pro-Israel activists called out at the protesters “Good riddance,” and clapped at the end of the talk.
Ruhr University Bochum—one of Germany’s largest public academic institutions—is slated to hold in March a Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) lecture targeting the Jewish state from a Palestinian official.
The news website Ruhrbarone first reported on Friday on the BDS event with the headline “Advertisement for Jewish Boycott on the Ruhr University.”
According to the website Bochum Alternative, the invitation states that Salah Al-Khawaja, a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian National Committee BDS, will speak on “Palestinian civil resistance against the Israeli occupation power and settler politics as well as the Stop the Wall and BDS campaigns.”
The invitation says Al-Khawaja is an executive committee member and coordinator of the People’s Committee of the Stop the Wall Campaign.
The Ruhr University Bochum, which was founded in 1962, had just over 44,000 students enrolled in 2015, making it one of the five largest academic campuses in Germany.
The findings of that investigation – conducted by Labour Students, the party’s student wing – were handed to the Labour Party last week.
According to an email seen by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Labour Students national chair Michael Rubin told OULC members that the report would be released as early as February 23.
“The severity of the allegations requires a comprehensive, but swift review, so we are therefore aiming to publish the findings of our investigation on Tuesday 23rd February,” the email read.
But in a surprising move, the report has never been published. Instead, the Labour Party has recommissioned yet another investigation, headed by a more senior party figure – causing many to question whether the party leadership is trying to protect several rising stars who are implicated as the organizers of anti-Semitic activity at Oxford.
In particular, the investigation is believed to have implicated two senior Labour Party activists close to party leader Jeremy Corbyn as key instigators of anti-Jewish “harassment and intimidation” at Oxford.
A pro-Palestinian student group co-run by the son of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has performed a play widely described as antisemitic as part of Israel Apartheid Week.
York University’s student Palestinian Solidarity Society staged two productions of “Seven Jewish Children – A Play for Palestine” on Thursday afternoon.
Tommy Corbyn, who is studying electrical engineering at York, is the society’s events manager.
The play, written by Caryl Churchill as a response to an Israeli attack on Gaza, was first performed in 2009. In seven short scenes, totalling only 10 minutes, it examines modern Jewish history.
The JC’s theatre critic described the work as antisemitic, highlighting a moment when one Jewish character appears to be glorifying in Palestinian suffering.
Author Howard Jacobson described it as “Jew-hating, pure and simple”.
Saudi Arabia on Friday extended sanctions on Hezbollah, in its latest action against the powerful Lebanon-based Shiite militant group fighting in support of Syria’s regime.
The kingdom froze the assets and prohibited dealings with three Lebanese nationals and four companies.
It named the individuals as Fadi Hussein Sarhan, Adel Mohammed Sheri and Ali Hussein Zuaitar.
Saudi Arabia also sanctioned Vatech Sarl, Le-Hua Electronic Field Co Ltd, Aero Skyone Co Ltd and Labico Sal Offshore.
The United States Treasury Department last year sanctioned Beirut-based Sarhan and his firm Vatech Sarl, along with Sheri, of Shenzhen, China, and his firm Le-Hua Electronic Field Co.
Hezbollah supporters in Lebanon took to the streets in violent protest after a television comedy show parodied leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Rioting began on Saturday night and continued on Sunday with Hezbollah backers burning tires and blocking roads around the capital Beirut as well as areas in east Lebanon.
The uproar began after Saudi-owned TV station MBC broadcast a short clip on Saturday night poking fun at the rambling speeches given by Nasrallah.
In the clip, the pseudo-Nasrallah, clad in his target’s signature black headgear and square glasses, assures his audience of Lebanon’s independence while simultaneously kissing the proffered hand of an offscreen overlord, apparently representing an Iranian cleric.
“Iran will not order us to do anything,” he declares. “But… we will learn, decide and sometimes ask for their guidance.”
Reformist allies of Hassan Rouhani won all 30 parliamentary seats in the Iranian capital, handing the moderate president a major boost on Sunday in elections seen as vital to his government.
The List of Hope, a pro-Rouhani coalition of moderates and reformists, was on course to wipe out its conservative rivals in Tehran with 90 percent of ballots counted from Friday’s vote.
The clean sweep was a major fillip for the president, signalling overwhelming public backing in the capital for his landmark nuclear deal with world powers last year that ended a 13-year standoff.
The rout was completed when state television said the head of the conservative list, Gholam-Ali Hadad Adel, a former parliament speaker, was lagging in 31st place and set to lose his seat.
In a dramatic move, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, announced the winner of its annual “Taqiyya Award”. Organized by the Iranian Leadership, the award is given to exceptional infidels whose actions helped Iran’s policies of supporting terrorism around the Middle East, suppressing women’s rights, and expanding Iranian influence to other countries.
Khamenei, commenting on the decision in a closed press briefing, said: “Hussein Obama is helping our Islamic Republic greatly, and together with his administration is doing everything possible to help our interests. He bent down on every claim he made during the the Nuclear Talks despite worldwide opposition. He’s giving a free pass to grant us billions of dollars despite the fact we’re still testing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). His administration sides with our Islamist friends in Occupied Palestine against the Zionist entity. We’re lucky that this secret Muslim was voted into the White House”.
He went on; “We know a lot of people say ‘Hey, but doesn’t he pour billions of military aid into Saudi Arabia and Israel, your two biggest rivals. And didn’t he back that military coup that put a secular government back in charge of Egypt. And then they’re like, and don’t forget how American cruise missiles and aircraft assisted the successful removal of Gaddafi. But you know what I say? Bite me.”
A British charity that raises money for a Dubai-based Muslim missionary TV channel faces a fine as high as £250,000 ($347,000) over broadcasts containing anti-Semitic content.
According to The Times of London, the Islamic Research Foundation International, based in Birmingham and indirectly funded by UK tax breaks, has given most of its charitable income in the past two years to Peace TV.
The station is headed by Zakir Naik, a Muslim preacher who is also a trustee of the foundation, and who was banned from Britain in 2010 over extremist statements that were “on their face supportive of Osama bin Laden, anti-Jewish and otherwise unacceptable,” according to court documents quoted by the Times.
Last week, Peace TV was reprimanded by British broadcasting authorities over the broadcast last year of lectures by an Islamic scholar named Israr Ahmad, who died in 2010, that seemed to blame Jews for the Holocaust.
A group of youths accosted an Italian Jewish sportscaster after their team lost a key match in London.
In a blog post, David Guetta, known as the radio “voice” of the Florence soccer team Fiorentina, reported that about 20 youths had accosted him Thursday night as he waited for an underground train after Fiorentina lost to the English team Tottenham Hotspur.
The loss ousted Fiorentina from the European League championships.
“They recognized me and started to chant ‘David Guetta, a train for Mauthausen awaits you,’” he wrote. The chant rhymes in Italian.
The shameful thing is, he wrote, that the youths who accosted him “almost certainly do not really know what happened at Mauthausen. Or at Auschwitz, Dachau, Treblinka.” He added that he would have liked to have had the encounter in Florence, “in front of the memorial plaque that recalls the Florentines who left with these trains that today they want for me, and who never returned.”
Amir Haddad, who competed in the fourth season of Israel’s ‘A Star is Born’ and came in third place in France’s ‘The Voice,’ will sing ‘J’ai Cherché’ at the 2016 Eurovision song contest in Stockholm this May.
Israeli singer Amir Haddad, who participated in the fourth season of Israeli singing competition “A Star is Born” a decade ago, has been chosen to represent France at the Eurovision song contest, which will be held in Stockholm this coming May.
Haddad, 32, is a Paris-born dentist who immigrated with his family to Israel when he was eight years old.
Two years ago, he competed in France’s version of “The Voice,” coming in third place. Since then, he has become a popular singer in France and a year ago he released his first single under the moniker “Amir.”
Haddad will attempt to reclaim France’s lost musical fame at the European singing competition, most likely with the upbeat song “J’ai Cherché” (“I Searched For”), which was debuted on French TV on Thursday.
More reliable than underwater cables, easily expandable, and capable of almost limitless communication – that’s the promise of a new nano satellite-based network being developed by Israeli satellite start-up SkyFi.
“Not only will we be able to develop a worldwide Internet, we will be able to enable any type of communication between two points – telephone, digital, and even television – with the satellite network we are planning to put in space,” said Raz Itzhaki Tamir, co-founder and CEO of SkyFi.
Based in Tel Aviv, SkyFi, which presented its technology for the first time publicly at Microsoft Think Next last Thursday, announced that it had raised $3 million in an investment round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners, one of Israel’s leading venture capital firms. Liberty Israel Venture Fund, a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, also participated in the round.
Though the Internet reaches around the world, there still some 4 billion people who are not online because they live in rural areas where there are no connections, either wired or wireless. Providing access to those areas has become an important goal for both Google and Facebook, both of which are spending hundreds of millions on systems that will bring Internet access to far-flung areas via drone or balloons.
Son of Saul,” a Hungarian film about the Holocaust, picked up the Best Foreign Film Award at the 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.
The movie, which has already garnered several international awards and is expected to take home an Oscar Sunday, tells the story of a Jewish concentration camp inmate forced to help cremate his fellow prisoners.
Producer Gabor Rajna, director Laszlo Nemes, actor Geza Rohrig, and cinematographer Matyas Erdely were on hand to collect the trophy during the ceremony on a Santa Monica beach.
“It means a lot to us that the language of film — the grammar of film — is not something that stopped evolving, and we want to explore,” Nemes said during his acceptance speech. “I think it’s an encouragement.”
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