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fire in israel
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

B'nai B'rith Europe wishes to help Israel after the fires that forced thousands of people to evacuate, many of them having lost their homes and businesses.


Pyro-Terrorism Fueled by Social Media

Daniel S. Mariaschin

Daniel S. Mariaschin Daniel S Mariaschin is the International Executive Vice President of B'nai B'rith

November 28, 2016, 8:15 pm
Source: Time of Israël

The outbreak of fires in Israel is already being termed "pyro-terrorism," as at least 24 persons have been arrested over the past several days in connection to the blazes. With hundreds of homes destroyed ( by some estimates, half a billion shekels in damage in Haifa alone) and tens of thousands displaced, the total acreage burned now exceeds that which was destroyed in the Mt. Carmel fires six years ago.

Aiding and abetting those who may have started these fires have been messages carried by social media, praising the outbreak: according to Ynet News, one Tweet said "All of Israel's neighbors must aid it — I suggest they send planes filled with gasoline and rain it down on the burning areas. I want to inhale the smell of barbecue from the Zionists."

According to Haaretz, the hashtag #israelisburning included, among the thousands being sent, one from Fatma Alqu ("What a good day"), and another from Kamil ("Israel burns and I love it! What will you do VS Allah's power you zionist (sic) dirt-bags..."). The Israeli media has published many others, from the Palestinians territories and the Arab world.

While the messages celebrate the wildfires, they also serve to exhort others who might want to join the party. But while this social media campaign is tied to the rash of blazes, the language used is from the same canon that has fueled incitement against Israel and Israelis for decades.

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the one constant on the Palestinian side has been incitement. Called upon to end it when the agreement was signed, it has remained a daily weapon deployed by Palestinian political and religious figures, the media and in schools. By now, the incitement roster is well known, including most recently, charges that Israel is poisoning Palestinian water supplies; has no connection (Israel and the Jewish people) to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall; and denies medical care to Palestinian in the territories, a libelous charge if ever there was, given the hundreds of Palestinians treated in Israeli hospitals daily.

Indeed, a Palestinian baby born on the day the Oslo Accords were signed is now a 23-year-old adult raised on daily doses of hatred. So it should come as no surprise that this new (and surely there are others to follow) hashtag campaign is punctuated by the language of hate and a desire to see Israel's end.

To be fair, the Palestinian Authority sent 50 firefighters to Israel to help extinguish the fires, a gesture which produced many Tweets from Israelis and others expressing appreciation (they joined more than 300 foreign firefighters from many countries, including Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called PA President Mahmoud Abbas, to express thanks for the assistance, which the latter described as "humanitarian." The Prime Minister's office also noted that both Jews and Arabs opened their homes to victims of the blazes.

Perhaps the deployment of the firefighters is the gesture that breaks the ice over the stalled peace process. Whether it is, or is simply an aberration, time will soon tell. A new presidential administration will surely have its own assessment about the "process" and more broadly, the chaos and strategic wildfires burning out of control in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and by Iran's unabashed support for terrorism and creeping hegemonism in the region.

The social media incitement and the #israelisburning campaign may not have originated in the PA's Ramallah offices. But the years of incitement emanating from there, spewing out over so many years, provided the tinder for the matches of hatred thrown out on Twitter and Facebook during the course of the wildfires in Israel.

The PA and its leadership, if they were ever serious about a negotiated peace with Israel, have frittered away the past 20 years by, on the one hand, inciting its own people against Israel, and on the other, by counting on international support for the Palestinian narrative. The current hashtag campaign, and its incessant use of the United Nations and its agencies to further the Palestinian narrative, are the fruits of their labor. In the process, increasing numbers of Israelis ask if there is a serious partner for an accommodation — of any kind. Perhaps the fires in Israel and the language of the hashtag campaign are a wake-up call for those who have looked the other way at incitement against Israel. It is not a winning strategy. But past history would not be a cause for optimism on this point.

The social media revolution has given us the ability to immediately reach out to the public, to government officials and to colleagues, family and friends in unprecedented ways. It has also given those who hate the unimpeded opportunity to injure and maim in 140 characters or less, and to exhort others to join the fray, oftentimes, as we have now seen, with violent and dangerous consequences.

The social media campaign connected to the pyro-terrorism that has played out in Israel in recent days is a new strain of a growing virus.

Until now, the Palestinian leadership has seen no need to "educate for peace." It should look at the content of the fire-related Tweets, and contemplate what that nihilistic policy has wrought.
After years of refusing requests by 1972 Munich Olympic Israeli athletes' widows to mark a moment's silence for their murdered husbands, IOC inaugurates Place of Mourning for every Olympics and observe moment's silence in Rio de Janeiro ; Wife: 'This gives us closure.'

Source Ynet

Widows of two of the 11 Israelis killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics got the recognition that they had so long sought with a ceremony and minute's silence at the Olympic village in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Ankie Spitzer's husband Andre, a fencing coach, was killed along with weightlifter Joseph Romano, whose wife Ilana Romano was also at the ceremony led by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

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Ilana Romano, center, and Ankie Spitzer, right, widows of Israeli Olympic athletes killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, attend a memorial in their husbands' honor, ahead of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (Photo: AP)

"This is closure for us. This is incredibly important. We waited 44 years to have this remembrance and recognition for our loved ones who were so brutally killed in Munich," Spitzer told reporters at the newly established Place of Mourning. "That they would be really accepted as members of the Olympic family. It is what we wanted because they were members of the Olympic family."

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A tree filled with ribbons stands as part of a memorial in honor of Israeli Olympic athletes killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics (Photo: AP)

On September 5, 1972, members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage at the poorly secured athletes' village by Palestinian gunmen from the Black September terror organization.

Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five Palestinians and a German policeman were dead after a standoff and subsequent rescue effort erupted into gunfire.

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A memorial in honor of Israeli Olympic athletes killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics stands in the Olympic Village ahead of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (Photo: AP)

Relatives of those killed have long demanded a minute's silence at the opening ceremonies of Olympics Games, only to be turned down by the IOC.

Instead, Bach inaugurated the Place of Mourning, which will now be a feature at every Olympics, with two stones from ancient Olympia encased in glass in a leafy part of the athletes' village.

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IOC President Thomas Bach inaugurates the memorial (Photo: AP)

"Today, the inauguration of the Place of Mourning give us the opportunity to remember those that have passed away at the Olympic Games," Bach told a small crowd that included IOC officials, Israeli team officials, athletes and Spitzer and Romano.

"We chose the Olympic village as the location...because it symbolizes the unity of the Olympic family."

He then read out the 11 names of the Israeli victims, the German policeman as well as the name of Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed on the eve of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in an accident in the sliding centre.

Romano said: "I never believed it was going to come. After 44 years I am happy for this moment of history."

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IOC President Thomas Bach, back to camera, embraces Ilana Romano, right, and Ankie Spitzer (Photo: AP)

Bach, in tears, embraced Romano and Spitzer, who praised the IOC's decision.

"I cannot explain to you how emotional I am and how much this means for us," Spitzer said. "We went through a lot. We always got a No (from the IOC) and this time we not only got a Yes but a big Yes."
B'nai B'rith is appalled that a joint Palestinian-Jordanian draft of a resolution that questions Jewish historic ties to Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem was presented to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee in Istanbul. The draft resolution that was submitted to the 21-member committee includes references to the Temple Mount solely by its Arabic name and describes it only as a Muslim holy site, thereby seeking to erase and supplant the fundamental history of Judaism. The resolution also refers disrespectfully to the Western Wall (the Kotel, in Hebrew) in quotes while claiming it as part of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Attempts to change the facts of Judeo-Christian history by relabeling universally established names for holy sites with only Arabic or Muslim names have been ongoing at UNESCO. Similar Palestinian-backed resolutions at UNESCO's Executive Board over the past year have led to a public outcry over the blatant, frontal attack on Judaism and the Jewish people. In spite of the outrage, the Palestinians continue to put forward the same inflammatory language, hoping that the repetition will eventually become an accepted narrative.

The World Heritage Committee is tasked with preserving the common history of humanity and cannot allow itself to let the Palestinians pervert this goal for political ends. This resolution would do lasting damage to the reputation of UNESCO.

B'nai B'rith urges international leaders to strongly repudiate this outrageous resolution.


By Gilberte JACARET

Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub, Leaving 50 Dead

ORLANDO, Fla. — A man who called 911 to proclaim allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, and who had been investigated in the past for possible terrorist ties, stormed a gay nightclub here Sunday morning, wielding an assault rifle and a pistol, and carried out the worst mass shooting in United States history, leaving 50 people dead and 53 wounded.

The attacker, identified by law enforcement officials as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old who was born in New York, turned what had been a celebratory night of dancing to salsa and merengue music at the crowded Pulse nightclub into a panicked scene of unimaginable slaughter, the floors slicked with blood, the dead and the injured piled atop one another. Terrified people poured onto the darkened streets of the surrounding neighborhood, some carried wounded victims to safety, and police vehicles were pressed into service as makeshift ambulances to rush people to hospitals.
Joel Figueroa and his friends "were dancing by the hip-hop area when I heard shots, bam, bam, bam," he said, adding, "Everybody was screaming and running toward the front door."

Law enforcement officials said the suspect in the attack on an Orlando nightclub on Sunday had been monitored for possible terrorist ties, but was still legally able to buy guns.

The shooting began around 2 a.m., and some patrons thought at first that the booming reports they heard were firecrackers or part of the loud, thumping dance music.
Some people who were trapped inside hid where they could, calling 911 or posting messages to social media, pleading for help. The club posted a stark message on its Facebook page: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."

Hundreds of people gathered in the glare of flashing red lights on the fringes of the law enforcement cordon around the nightclub, and later at area hospitals, hoping desperately for some word on the fates of their relatives and friends.

More than 12 hours after the attack, anguished relatives paced between Orlando Regional Medical Center and a nearby hotel as they waited for word. They were told that so many were gunned down that victims would be tagged as anonymous until the hospital was able to identify them.

At least 30 people inside were rescued, and even the hardened police veterans who took the building and combed through it, aiding the living and identifying the dead, were shaken by what they saw, said John Mina, the Orlando police chief. "Just to look into the eyes of our officers told the whole story," he said.

It was the worst act of terrorism on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and the deadliest attack on a gay target in the nation's history, though officials said it was not clear whether some victims had been accidentally shot by law enforcement officers.

The toll of 50 dead is larger than the number of murders in Orlando over the previous three years. Of an estimated 320 people in the club, nearly one-third were shot. The casualties far exceeded those in the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, where 32 people were killed, and the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people died.

"In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another," President Obama said in a special address from the White House. "We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us."

The F.B.I. investigated Mr. Mateen in 2013 when he made comments to co-workers suggesting he had terrorist ties, and again the next year, for possible connections to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, an American who became a suicide bomber in Syria, said Ronald Hopper, an assistant agent in charge of the bureau's Tampa Division. But each time, the F.B.I. found no solid evidence that Mr. Mateen had any real connection to terrorism or had broken any laws. Still, he is believed to be on at least one watch list.

Mr. Mateen, who lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., was able to continue working as a security guard with the security firm G4S, where he had worked since 2007, and he was able to buy guns. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Mr. Mateen had legally bought a long gun and a pistol in the past week or two, though it was not clear whether those were the weapons used in the assault, which officials described as a handgun and an AR-15 type of assault rifle.

A former co-worker, Daniel Gilroy, said Mr. Mateen had talked often about killing people and had voiced hatred of gays, blacks, women and Jews.
Around the time of the massacre, Mr. Mateen called 911 and declared his allegiance to the Islamic State, the brutal group that has taken over parts of Syria, Iraq and Libya, Agent Hopper said. Other law enforcement officials said he called after beginning his assault.

Hours later, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, claimed responsibility in a statement released over an encrypted phone app used by the group. It stated that the attack "was carried out by an Islamic State fighter," according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

But officials cautioned that even if Mr. Mateen, who court records show was briefly married and then divorced, was inspired by the group, there was no indication that it had trained or instructed him, or had any direct connection with him. Some other terrorist attackers have been "self-radicalized," including the pair who killed 14 people in December in San Bernardino, Calif., who also proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State, but apparently had no contact with the group.

The Islamic State has encouraged "lone wolf" attacks in the West, a point reinforced recently by a group spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, in his annual speech just before the holy month of Ramadan. In past years, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda ramped up attacks during Ramadan.
American Muslim groups condemned the shooting. "The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence," said Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Blaming Muslims After Attack, Donald Trump Tosses Pluralism Aside

Hillary Clinton's and Donald J. Trump's responses to the massacre in Orlando, Fla., highlighted their differences on gun control and immigration.
Donald J. Trump left little doubt on Monday that he intends to run on the same proposals on immigration and terrorism that animated his primary campaign, using his first speech after the massacre in Orlando, Fla., to propose sweeping measures against Muslims that pay little heed to American traditions of pluralism.

Without distinguishing between mainstream Muslims and Islamist terrorists, Mr. Trump suggested that all Muslim immigrants posed potential threats to America's security and called for a ban on migrants from any part of the world with "a proven history of terrorism" against the United States or its allies. He also insinuated that American Muslims were all but complicit in acts of domestic terrorism for failing to report attacks in advance, asserting without evidence that they had warnings of shootings like the one in Orlando.

Mr. Trump's speech, delivered at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., represented an extraordinary break from the longstanding rhetorical norms of American presidential nominees. But if his language more closely resembled a European nationalist's than a mainstream Republican's, he was wagering that voters are stirred more by their fears of Islamic terrorism than any concerns they may have about his flouting traditions of tolerance and respect for religious diversity.

Mr. Trump, who drew criticism last fall, including a sharp rebuke from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, for first suggesting a constitutionally questionable ban on Muslim immigration, on Monday described Islamic extremism as a pervasive global menace that was penetrating the United States through unchecked immigration.

Citing the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 by two men with ties to Chechnya and instances of radicalization in Minnesota's Somali immigrant community, Mr. Trump painted a bleak portrait of the country as under siege from within and abroad.
"They're trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful ISIS is and how wonderful Islam is," Mr. Trump said, referring to the Islamic State. "And we don't know what's happening."

"They didn't turn them in," Mr. Trump said, "and we had death and destruction."

Mr. Trump carefully read his remarks from a teleprompter and offered more detail than his stump speeches generally contain, but his speech was still rife with the sort of misstatements and exaggerations that have typified his campaign.

He repeatedly stretched the facts, for example, in describing the United States as overrun by dangerous migrants. He claimed the country has an "immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country," brushing aside the entire customs and immigration enforcement infrastructure. And he asserted that there was a "tremendous flow" of Syrian refugees, when just 2,805 of them were admitted into the country from October to May, fewer than one-third of the 10,000 Syrians President Obama said the United States would accept this fiscal year.

Mr. Trump described the gunman in the Orlando shooting as "an Afghan," though he was born an American citizen in New York City to parents who had emigrated from Afghanistan to the United States over three decades ago.

Mr. Trump assailed the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, accusing her of favoring immigration policies that would invite a flood of potential jihadists to the United States, which he warned could be "a better, bigger, more horrible version than the legendary Trojan Horse ever was."
Mrs. Clinton, speaking in Cleveland earlier in the day, argued that engaging in "inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric" made the country less safe. Delivering the sort of conventional speech that most presidential contenders would offer in the wake of tragedy, she did not mention Mr. Trump. But, while saying the "murder of innocent people breaks our hearts, tears at our sense of security and makes us furious," she described proposals to ban Muslim immigration as offensive and counterproductive.

"America is strongest when we all believe we have a stake in our country and our future," she said, calling to mind the bipartisan spirit that took hold after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when she was a senator from New York.

Mrs. Clinton has sought to present herself as the default choice of mainstream voters, including Republicans disturbed by Mr. Trump, and on Monday she stressed the importance of building relationships between law enforcement agencies and American Muslims.

"Our open, diverse society is an asset in the struggle against terrorism, not a liability," Mrs. Clinton said.

As Mrs. Clinton reached for the mantle of statesmanship, Mr. Trump's speech amounted to a rejection of the conventional wisdom that he must remake himself for the November election as a more sober figure and discard the volcanic tone and ethnic and racial provocation that marked his primary campaign.

Yet Mr. Trump has showed little interest in assuaging those concerns. He used the hours after the Orlando massacre to claim prescience about the attack and to demand Mr. Obama's resignation. Then, in a television interview on Monday morning, Mr. Trump darkly suggested that the president was sympathetic to Islamic terrorists.

"We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind," Mr. Trump said. "There is something going on."
Some Republicans said Mr. Trump's determination to play to his hard-line base was undermining his standing as a general election candidate.
"He has to do what Reagan had to do. Reagan eventually had to make a sale that he was not a risk," said Thomas M. Davis III, a former Republican congressman, recalling the 1980 election. "There is time, but the way he's going about it now doesn't do it at all. It keeps him in the hunt, but it doesn't get him elected."

John F. Lehman, a former Navy secretary and an adviser to John McCain's and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns, said he anticipated that Mr. Trump's standing would improve after the Orlando attack.
But he said Mr. Trump's Muslim ban went "too far" and questioned whether he had made any effort to learn about national security.

UN condemn 'reprehensible' Tel Aviv terror attack
Associated Press and Ynet News

Security Council issues resolution condemning Sarona attack as 'acts of terrorism'; Israeli UN ambassador: 'This is an important and moral statement.'

The U.N. Security Council condemned Thursday night the deadly terror shooting attack which which claimed the lives of four Israelis and wounded 16 others in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market on Wednesday night.

The council called for those responsible for "these reprehensible acts of terrorism" to be brought to justice.

The council statement was approved by all 15 members who expressed sympathy to the families of the four civilians killed and those injured in the attack by two Palestinian gunmen, and to the government of Israel.

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UN Security Council (Photo: AP)

Council members "reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable."

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said the council statement was the first official condemnation of "terrorism" in Israel since the current wave of attacks began eight months ago.

He called the condemnation "an important and moral statement" and called on all countries to oppose "Palestinian incitement that directly leads to violent terrorism."

Danon called upon the UN secretary-general and the security council on Wednesday night to condemn the terror attack.

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Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (Photo: AFP)

"Today's attack is sad proof that when the international community refuses to condemn terror against Israelis, the next attack is only a matter of time. Terror in Tel Aviv must be viewed in the same way as terror attacks in Paris or Istanbul," said Danon.

"I call upon the Security Council and the secretary-general to severely condemn the murderous terror attack and to demand from the Palestinian leadership to put a stop to hateful things which incite terror."

Attempted knife attack on IDF soldiers threatened, attacker neutralized

The would-be attacker ran at soldiers alongside the entrance to the Shomron Regional Brigade; the soldiers shot him, avoiding injury to themselves and seriously injuring the attacker.
Elisha Ben Kimon & Itay Blumental
Published: 06.10.16, 17:56 / Israel News

Sweden Choosing to Lose War against Middle East Antisemitism?
by Nima Gholam Ali Pour
May 27, 2016 at 5:00 am

 Who invited this "Salafist megastar," who denies the Holocaust and is known for making anti-Semitic statements, to visit Malmö? What do you do when anti-Semitism in Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, is so normalized that children in a public school can endorse a conference with anti-Semitic elements?
 Anti-Semitism is such a gigantic problem in Malmö that even senior city officials cannot understand how it became so normalized. They seem to dismiss it as part of a non-Swedish culture that, in a multicultural society, must be tolerated, even accommodated.
 If there are children in Swedish public schools today who are promoting an anti-Semitic conference, what will these children do in the future?
 Is Sweden really turning into a country where Jews are no longer welcome, someday to become a country without Jews? And if that happens, what does that say about Sweden? And who will come next after the Jews?

Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, is an important, visible part of Sweden. If you read the Municipality of Malmö's political objectives, which the Municipal Council of Malmö has endorsed, you will see that "racism, discrimination and hate crimes do not belong in open Malmö." The reality, however, is different. Anti-Semitism there has reached bizarre levels -- with politicians and other policymakers in Sweden doing nothing about it.

On April 30, 2016, the Islamic imam and preacher Salman Al-Ouda, who has been described in the Swedish media as a "Salafist megastar," visited Malmö. Al-Ouda apparently inspired Osama bin Laden, has claimed that the Holocaust was a myth, and is known for making anti-Semitic statements.

The first question anyone should ask is: Who invited such a person to visit Malmö?

It turned out that it was a politician from the Green Party, currently part of the Swedish government's ruling coalition, and which also governs in Malmö locally, together with the Social Democrats.
The second question that anyone should ask is: What kind of reception did Al-Ouda receive in such a large Swedish city?

Well, Al-Ouda got to speak at one of Malmö's most famous conference facilities, Amiralen, described on the official website of the Municipality of Malmö as a part of the city's cultural heritage. Al-Ouda was also invited by the Alhambra Muslim student association, at Malmö University. In other words, even though Malmö's policies officially state that racism has no place in Malmö, Al-Ouda, an anti-Semite, was treated as a diplomat.

On May 6, just a week after Al-Ouda's visit, the fourteenth "Palestinians in Europe Conference" was held in Malmö. One of the conference's organizers, the Palestinian Return Centre, has close ties to the Hamas terrorist organization.

The Palestinians in Europe Conference was held at Malmömässan, another famous conference center in Malmö. When a Swedish pro-Israel organization, Perspektiv På Israel, sent an email to the CEO of Malmömässan, Lasse Larsson, to warn him that an anti-Semite was going to speak at his conference center, Larsson replied:

"We, MalmöMässan, do not take positions on the substance of the matter, but have entrusted this to our authorities that have given the go-ahead and therefore we will allow the conference to be conducted."

The problem is that if you allow someone to spread hatred against Jews, you need to have a clear position. Would he have allowed the hall to be used to spread hate speech against African-Swedes or homosexuals or women?

In Malmö, when it comes to Middle Eastern anti-Semitism, there is currently no clear position from any major institution.

When it was revealed that one of the speakers at the Palestinians in Europe Conference was to be the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrim Said Sabri, who has also repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks, an announcement came that two Swedish Members of Parliament, Hillevi Larsson (Social Democrat) and Daniel Sestrajcic (Left Party), would also speak at it. This arrangement appeared to be no coincidence. In October 2015, both of these MPs spoke in Malmö at a rally in which participants celebrated knife attacks against Jews in Israel. Additionally, when the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Malmö in 2013, it was Daniel Sestrajcic, then chairman of Malmö's Municipal Cultural board, who argued that Eurovision should suspend Israel.

After the Perspektiv På Israel organization revealed that Sestrajcic and Larsson were to participate in the Palestinians in Europe Conference with Sheikh Sabri, a known anti-Semite, Israel's ambassador to Sweden wrote a critical op-ed for a major Swedish newspaper -- after which the two MPs cancelled their appearance.

Wait, it gets worse. Prior to the Palestinian conference, a public school class in Malmö participated in an video advertisement promoting it. The advertisement was filmed on the premises of the Apelgårdsskolan public elementary school. The idea that in Sweden a public school openly endorses a Palestinian conference to which an anti-Semite is invited to speak may also sound bizarre, but that is exactly what took place.

As this author also happens to be a member of Malmö's school board, it seemed normal to contact the school's director and the municipal councilor responsible for primary schools, to report the advertisement. The councilor never responded -- but the school's director did. The advertising video, he said, was just a "call to participate in the conference."

What do you do when anti-Semitism in Sweden's third-largest city is so normalized that children in a public school can endorse a conference with anti-Semitic elements?

Although the school director's reply was published in the online magazine Situation Malmö (of which this author is the editor), the media in Malmö was, as always, silent.

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Apelgårdsskolan elementary school in Malmö (up) openly endorsed a conference to which Sheikh Ekrim Said Sabri, who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks, was invited to speak. Right: Hillevi Larsson, a Social Democratic MP representing a district of Malmö, accepted an invitation to speak at the same conference where Sheikh Sabri was scheduled to speak. Larsson is pictured showing off a Palestinian flag and a "map of Palestine" in which Israel does not exist.

The topic of anti-Semitism is so normalized in Malmö that when children are promoting a conference with anti-Semitic elements, it is not something the media even writes about. The omission seems part of an editorial policy of deliberately choosing not to report about Islamic and Palestinian anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism, is, in fact, such a gigantic problem in Malmö that even senior politicians and officials in the city seem not to understand how it became so normalized. They seem to dismiss it as part of a non-Swedish culture that, in a multicultural society, must be tolerated, even accommodated.

It is only in Muslim countries -- and evidently extreme liberal countries such as Sweden -- that a public school could promote a conference with anti-Semitic elements without anyone reacting.
That this happens in one of Sweden's largest cities, means that leading politicians in the country are aware of this rough anti-Semitic wave, but prefer not to do anything about it.
Some of the reasons for this preference are:

 Large-scale immigration from countries where anti-Semitism is normalized.
 A strong pro-Palestinian engagement among Swedish politicians that has resulted in a totally surreal debate about the Israel-Palestine debate, in which Israel is unjustly demonized.
 A desire among political parties in Sweden to win the votes of immigrants.
 A Swedish multiculturalism that is so uncritical of foreign cultures that it cannot differentiate between culture and racism.
 A fear of sounding critical of immigration.
 Important Swedish institutions, such as the Church of Sweden, legitimizing anti-Semitism by endorsing the Kairos Palestine document.
Sweden has officially surrendered to the Middle Eastern anti-Semitism.
The period of April-May 2016, and the visits by assorted anti-Semites to Malmö, show a regrettable pattern. In Sweden in general, and Malmö in particular, there are too many politicians, senior officials, journalists, heads of schools and companies that do not distance themselves from anti-Semitism.
Such a condition cannot only be described as bizarre; it is extremely dangerous.
There are Jewish communities in Malmö and elsewhere in Sweden. Jews are one of Sweden's five recognized minorities. As one of the countries that has joined the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Sweden has an obligation to stop the normalization of anti-Semitism in Sweden.
When politicians and senior officials let children in Sweden's third-largest city endorse a racist conference, with which even the most extreme anti-Israel Swedish MPs refuse to associate, it is obvious that Sweden wishes to lose its fight against Middle Eastern anti-Semitism. Allowing schoolchildren to endorse anti-Semitism deserves nothing but condemnation, whether in Gaza or in Sweden. We expect this pattern in Sweden of indulging anti-Semitism to be fixed.
If there are children in Swedish public schools today who are promoting an anti-Semitic conference, what will these children do in the future? In a European continent where Western values are being challenged by Islamic values and European security is threatened by Islamic extremists, these children are being abandoned and being forced into choosing racist values, because Swedish authorities refuse to say "No" to Middle Eastern anti-Semitism.
The more normalized Middle Eastern anti-Semitism becomes in Sweden, the more you see Palestinian and other Arabic and Islamic organizations pushing the limits of how openly they can express it. You start asking yourself, will Sweden someday become a country without Jews. And if that happens, what does that say about Sweden? And who will come next after the Jews? To cleanse a country of Jews through massive Islamic immigration is no better than doing the same thing through cattle-cars or concentration camps.
Is Sweden really turning into a country where Jews are no longer welcome?
Have the institutions in Sweden really chosen to lose the fight against Middle Eastern anti-Semitism and to let extremist Islam win?
Nima Gholam Ali Pour is a member of the board of education in the Swedish city of Malmö and is engaged in several Swedish think tanks concerned with the Middle East. He is also editor for the social conservative website Situation Malmö. Gholam Ali Pour is the author of the Swedish book "Därför är mångkultur förtryck"("Why multiculturalism is oppression").

The Saudi Solution
Accommodations are plentiful in the kingdom for Sunni Muslim migrants
by Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
May 18, 2016

As European governments slam the gates shut on illegal Middle Eastern immigrants, where can Syrians and others go to, not far from their homelands, for safety and employment? The answer is obvious but surprisingly neglected: to Saudi Arabia and the other rich Arab sheikhdoms.

The more than one million migrants who boated, trained, bussed, and walked to northern Europe in the past year overwhelmed the continent's capabilities and good will. Those large numbers were then exacerbated by crime and disease, an unwillingness to assimilate, a drive to impose Islamic laws, and such outrages as the Cologne taharrush (mass sexual assault) and the attacks in Paris and Brussels.
In reaction, populist and fascist parties (such as, respectively, the National Front in France and Jobbik in Hungary) gained strength. The European mood has so deeply shifted – as shown by the March elections in Germany – that much reduced numbers of illegals are unlikely to get in, no matter what new routes they try, such as via Italy.

This leaves huge numbers of would-be migrants wanting to enter Europe. A European Union (EU) commissioner, Johannes Hahn, counts "20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe. ... Ten to 12 million in Syria, 5 million Palestinians, 2 million Ukrainians and about 1 million in the southern Caucasus." Yes, but that's just a start; I also add vast numbers of Libyans, Egyptians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, and Pakistanis – and not just political refugees but also economic migrants. In all, the numbers of Muslim peoples ready to emigrate could potentially match the 510 million EU residents.
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To where, then, are they to go? One nearby, desirable alternative to Europe exists; indeed, it's a destination so attractive that foreigners already constitute half the population: that would be the six Gulf Cooperation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Let's focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the largest of them in land size, population, and economy.

The KSA has many unique attractions for Sunni Muslims. To begin with, it has 100,000 high-quality, empty fiberglass tents that can house about 3 million people in Mina, just east of Mecca. Fireproof and air-conditioned, complete with toilets and kitchens, this unique resource is occupied a mere five days a year by pilgrims on the hajj.

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Some of the 100,000 fiberglass tents in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
Comparing the KSA to the states of northern Europe, shows its many other advantages:
Culturally, many Sunnis find Saudi's severe strictures more congenial than the West's secular environment. In the KSA, Muslims can exult in a society that permits polygamy, child marriages, wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and beheadings, while only lightly punishing slaveholding and honor killings.
Saudi also permits Muslims effortlessly to avoid such haram (forbidden) features as pet dogs; pork and alcohol; interest payments on loans; lotteries and casinos; Valentine's Day, women in revealing clothes, dating, and gentlemen's clubs; gay bars and gay marriage; the drug subculture; and the public expression of anti-Islamic views.
The Persian Gulf countries have been berated for not taking in "a single" Syrian refugee. Yet the Saudi authorities claim to have taken in 2½ million Syrians. How to explain this discrepancy?
In part, the Saudis are lying. But also, in part, the GCC and other Arabic-speaking states such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria never signed the 1951 Refugee Convention (because they reject the convention's goal of resettlement as applied to Palestinians). Accordingly, they avoid using the term refugee, with its implication of permanence, and refer instead to guests, who stay only temporarily until they return home.
How many Syrians have been allowed into Saudi? One study, by Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, estimates they number in the "low hundreds of thousands," say 150,000. That's a small fraction of the over four million in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan – and just 5 percent of the migrants who could be housed just in Mina's splendid tents.
That wealthy Arab states are so miserly in opening their arms to Sunni Muslims in stress reveals currents of selfishness and hypocrisy. Their unhelpfulness should not be rewarded; it's high time that governments and refugee organizations stop focusing on Europe and instead turn to those Arab countries capable, with relative ease, to take in, house, and employ their desperate brethren.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2016 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
By Gilberte JACARET


-Palestinian woman attempts to stab cop in Hebron, is shot.
-Three hurt in stabbing attack in central town in Ra'anana.
2 killed, 7 wounded in Tel Aviv shooting attack; gunman on loose

2 people in serious condition; gunman at large as police launch massive manhunt after pub, cafe on Dizengoff Street hit with automatic gunfire

Times of Israel By JUDAH ARI GROSS

"In a packed event at New York's 92d Street Y on Thursday, Bernard-Henri Lévy, one of France's top public intellectuals, called for forces of the liberal Left to unite in confronting the growing threat of violent jihad. In particular, he criticized those who have abandoned internationalist liberalism in favor of opposition to America and Israel, or who draw a distinction between ISIS's attacks in France and Palestinian attacks against Israelis.
« Daily stabbings are a form, or cousin, of beheadings. Beheading without the big weapon. Beheading with the weapon you find. But it is the same thing. Those who stab in Tel Aviv have seen, definitely, the propaganda of ISIS, praising beheading, praising the spilling of blood of Jews because they are Jews. And they have read how the propaganda of ISIS declares a total war on the spirit of cities. And Tel Aviv is like New York, like Paris. »

Olmert to go to jail for 18 months after Supreme Court cuts sentence

Justices overturn one bribery conviction but uphold another for disgraced former prime minister, who was originally slated to serve 6 years for his part in the Holyland scandal

Sara Netanyahu to be grilled by police Thursday
BY RAOUL WOOTLIFF December 31, 2015

PM's wife suspected of falsifying expenses; police investigation goes ahead despite her plea to attorney general

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will be interrogated under caution Thursday afternoon by the Israel Police's high-profile crime unit over allegations of spending irregularities at the prime minister's official and private residences.

The investigation by the Lahav 433 unit is scheduled to take place around 4:00 p.m. at the unit's headquarters in Lod, and will go forward despite a request by the family's lawyer to close the probe.
In order to avoid the expected heavy media presence, Sara Netanyahu has been given special permission to enter the compound in her official car, Army Radio reported.

The questioning will focus on a number of alleged financial blunders connected with the residences of the prime minister.

Last week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein rejected an urgent request by Netanyahu's attorney for a meeting ahead of his decision on whether to order an investigation into her conduct.

Weinstein in July had ordered a criminal investigation into the cash management at the prime minister's official Jerusalem residence. He said at the time, however, that neither the prime minister nor his wife were considered suspects.

The decision to launch the investigation followed a recommendation from State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, after allegations were raised in a February report by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira that detailed lavish spending by Netanyahu and his wife at their official residence in Jerusalem and private home in Caesarea. The report also alleged possible criminal misdeeds.

The investigation highlighted multiple suspected irregularities, including in the hiring of electrician Avi Fahima, a Likud Central Committee member. A committee charged with overseeing residence expenditures — and which included the Prime Minister 's Office legal adviser — had ruled against the hiring of Fahima, but he was employed nonetheless.

In the Fahima case, the state comptroller report criticized Sara Netanyahu for ordering the electrician's services at the public's expense without any external audit of the need for those services, or any confirmation that they were carried out.

For several months in 2010, the comptroller found, Fahima did not produce receipts for his labor, and allegedly received fees far higher than those that appeared in his initial cost estimates.

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View of the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on June 23, 2009 (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The report also alleged that between 2009 and 2013 Sara Netanyahu pocketed thousands of shekels of refunds for recycling of empty bottles from the Prime Minister's Residence. What has become known as "bottlegate" is also expected to be included in Thursday 's questioning.

The report on the expenditures came out in the midst of an election campaign and found that the residence operated for years without an audited budget. It raised questions about the use of public funds , which were spent on — among other things — the upkeep of the Netanyahus' pool at their private home.

The report also noted that, beginning in 2013 — when criticism led to heightened awareness of the issue among the prime minister 's staff — a systematic, audited budget was instituted and expenditures declined precipitously.

Separately, several former employees at the official residence have leveled allegations of ongoing abuse by Sara Netanyahu, who they claim is prone to excessive drinking. Two erstwhile employees, former house manager Menny Naftali and maintenance worker Guy Eliyahu, have filed civil lawsuits against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his office over the alleged abusive conduct.

Jewish leaders met with Pope Francis in Rome on the 50th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate

By Sam Sokol, published in the Jerusalem Post October 28, 2015

"Yes to the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity. No to anti-Semitism," the Pope said.

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Later, Francis said, "Since Nostra Aetate, indifference and opposition have turned into cooperation and goodwill. Enemies and strangers became friends and brothers."
The landmark document inaugurated historic changes in the Catholic Church's relations with other faiths. Its 600-word section on Judaism – approximately one-third of the document – rejects the long leveled charge against the collective Jewish people that Jews are guilty of killing Christ
"True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today... Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures," that document read.
The Jewish leaders were part of a delegation of representatives of the World Jewish Congress in Rome, there for a meeting of its governing board.
The meeting focused on the situation of Jews around the world, as well as the current tensions in the Middle East, the refugee crisis in Europe and the Iranian threat.
In St. Peter's Square, Francis effusively greeted a Jewish leader from his native Argentina.
"You're still alive?" the pope greeted Julio Schlosser, head of the DAIA umbrella organization of Argentina's Jewish community, giving him a hug
Prior to the public audience, the pope received WJC president Ronald Lauder in a private audience and met with representatives of the American Jewish Committee.
The AJC issued a statement on Wednesday praising the document as having "transformed Catholic-Jewish relations."
"AJC is proud of the singular role it played in advisement, research and creation of an environment facilitating the Nostra Aetate achievement," said David Inlander, chairman of AJC's Interreligious Affairs Commission.
Speaking to a mixed audience of Christians and Jews in June, Pope Francis said that over the past fifty years "we are able to see the rich fruits which it has brought about and to gratefully appraise Jewish-Catholic dialogue."
"Our fragmented humanity, mistrust and pride have been overcome thanks to the Spirit of Almighty God, in such a way that trust and fraternity between us have continued to grow. We are strangers no more, but friends, and brothers and sisters. Even with our different perspectives, we confess one God, creator of the universe and Lord of history. And he, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, always blesses our commitment to dialogue."
"Christians, all Christians, have Jewish roots," the pope asserted. "The Christian confessions find their unity in Christ; Judaism finds its unity in the Torah. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the word of God made flesh in the world; for Jews the word of God is present above all in the Torah"...

Algerian troops march singing "Kill the Jews"
The Times of Israel, Dec.25, 2015

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A recent video of the Algerian National Gendarmerie in marching drills shows the troops chanting about killing, slaughtering and skinning Jews.
The troops march in formation to an Arabic marching call, responding in turn to lines shouted by an officer.
"Oh, Arabs... sons of Arabs... march on... and turn your guns towards the Jews... in order to kill them... slaughter them... and skin them," they alternate saying.
The clip was posted online on November 1, Algerian Revolution Day, and was recently translated to English by the Middle East Media Research Institute. It didn't specify when the clip was filmed.
"Long live our free Algeria," they sing. "Its land will belong to the Muslims forever."

The EU won't change its mind on labeling of Israeli settlement products
Written by Yossi Lempkowicz
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 08:29

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Although the labeling issue wasn't on the formal agenda of a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council Monday in Brussels, it was raised during the general debate.

BRUSSELS (EJP)---Despite Jerusalem's strong protest against what it calls a ''discriminatory and double standard'' measure, the European Union won't change its mind on the decision to put special labels on Israeli exports from the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
Although the labeling issue wasn't on the formal agenda of a meeting of the 28 EU Foreign Ministers Monday in Brussels, it was raised during the general debate.
On November 11, the European Commission announced that it was issuing an ''Interpretative Notice on indication of origin of goods from the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967'' which contains guidelines for EU members states to label products from Israeli settlements and exported to the EU market.
These products, the EU said in its notice, cannot bear anymore the label 'Made in Israel'' as the EU ''does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel's territory.''
Following the EU announcement, which provoked the ire of Israel, Jerusalem told EU's ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen that it was suspending its diplomatic dialogue for a number of weeks.
Foreign Ministry officials later clarified this decision pertained mostly to Palestinian and human rights related issues, but that the dialogue would continue on other topics.
But Israeli Prime Minister and acting Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went even further when he instructed two weeks ago the foreign ministry to suspend contacts with the EU on issues related to the Middle East peace process ''until completion of a reassessment of the involvovement of EU bodies in everything that is connected to the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.''
Speaking to reporters after Monday's Foreign Affairs Council, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: ''Let me add two short points that were not part of the discussion or of the agenda but were still debated among us. One is related to the Middle East Peace Process, especially after the adoption of the technical guidelines on indication of origin. We had an exchange of views in this respect with the ministers and we commonly decided that it was important also for me to pass this message publicly that the Council and the European Union stay united on these technical guidelines on indication of origin which is in no way a boycott and should in no way be interpreted as one.''
She stressed that the EU Council of Foreign Ministers was ''completely united in our continued engagement in the Middle East Peace Process and in broader bilateral relations with Israel. There is full unity and solidarity among Member States and among European institutions on that.''
Some EU countries, including Hungary and Greece, have recently stated their opposition to the labeling of Israeli settlement products.
Israel considers the EU's labeling decision ''politically motivated'' as it discriminates against the products of one country, Israel, while there are some 200 territorial disputes around the world, such as in Western Sahara and northern Cyprus, for which the EU didn't issue labels.
Many in Israel fear that the labeling is only the first step leading to a total boycott of Israel, particular given the active role of Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) in getting the labeling passed.

An Israeli Gas Pipeline to Turkey? Bad Idea
by Daniel Pipes National Review Online, The Corner
December 20, 2015

News that the Turkish and Israeli governments are about to renew full diplomatic relations after years of tensions causes me to smile cynically – and to worry again about Israeli gullibility.
The two states enjoyed close relations in the 1990s, when a common world outlook led to a strong military bond, growing trade, and exchanges of people and culture. Writing in 1997, I characterized this bilateral as having "the potential to alter the strategic map of the Middle East, to reshape American alliances there, and to reduce Israel's regional isolation."
It flourished for another five years, until the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, or AKP) won the Turkish elections of 2002 and proceeded to move Turkey in an Islamist direction. Among many implications, this meant distancing Ankara from Jerusalem and, instead, warming relations with Hamas in Gaza.
Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish government took one step after another to degrade Israelis and diminish relations between the two states, peaking with its indirect sponsorship of the Mavi Marmara ship to Gaza in 2010. In response, the Israelis did all they could to make things work again, even apologizing and offering to pay compensation for the Turkish casualties aboard the Mavi Marmara. Until now, they were rebuffed.
Then, on Nov. 24, Erdoğan made the disastrous mistake of shooting down a Russian plane that had veered into Turkish airspace for 17 short seconds. This action came, it bears noting, against the backdrop of some 2,244 violations of Greek airspace by Turkish military aircraft in 2014.

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When two bullies clash, the bigger, tougher one prevails.

The almost-unprovoked aggression raised the extreme ire of Russia's President Vladimir Putin. What happened next reprised the school yard scene of a lesser bully foolishly annoying the greater bully. Erdoğan more than met his match in Putin, who showed himself a skilled risk-taker and willing to pay a heavy economic price to win his point.
Erdoğan quickly realized he had riled the same bear that had beaten the Turks in war time and again over the centuries (1568–70, 1676–81, 1687, 1689, 1695–96, 1710–12, 1735–39, 1768–74, 1787–91, 1806–12, 1828–29, 1853–56, 1877–78, 1914–18). He then did what lesser bullies tend to do, scurrying to former friends – NATO on a larger scale, Israel (and Egypt) on a smaller one – eager to patch up differences with them.
A Wall Street Journal report of the Turkish-Israeli negotiations in Switzerland indicates a Turkish readiness to close on the Mavi Marmara dispute, to end Hamas activities on Turkish soil, and (most important) to discuss a pipeline carrying natural gas from Israel to Turkey.
The last makes good sense from Ankara's viewpoint, for Israeli gas would diminish its dependence on Russian gas; but this step hardly serves Israel's interests. Once the Russian threat has passed, Turkish Islamists (will likely be around for a good long while) will resume their old ways, including the bitterly anti-Israel dimension. (Already, since negotiations began, Erdoğan has met with Khaled Meshaal, a Hamas leader.) Because a gas pipeline renders Israel hostage to Turkey into the long-range future, this looks like an imprudent step.
Despite an Israeli reputation for toughness, Jerusalem tends to be too optimistic (think of the Oslo Accords of 1993 or the Gaza withdrawal of 2005), creating major problems for Washington. Therefore, however tempting an Israel-Turkey gas pipeline may appear, Americans should advise and work against such a step.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

China looks to Israel to get its civil aviation industry off the ground
Chinese sign deal with IAI to build development center in Shantou in effort to expand local aircraft manufacturing
BY DAVID SHAMAH December 25, 2015,

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Israeli and Chinese officials at the signing ceremony for the opening of a new Israel Aerospace Industries technology center in Guangdong. (Courtesy)

Just a few days after the Technion broke ground on a research center in Guangdong, a second Israeli institution — Israel Aerospace Industries — announced that it, too, was establishing one in the southeastern Chinese province.
The agreement signed on Tuesday in China between IAI with the Shantou Municipal Government of China, the Guangdong Airport Authority and other Chinese partners will help, Chinese officials hope, turn the region into a center of development for China's aviation industry.
While China has excelled in manufacturing in general, to the extent that it has long been called "the world's factory," the Chinese have had less success in building a civil aviation industry — the crown jewel of manufacturing, worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
While Chinese-made products dominate electronics, apparel, plastics, and many other fields, the country has done far less well in manufacturing planes for civilian use, whether in China or abroad. In 2014 alone, for example, China imported over $100 billion in planes and parts from the US, but managed to export only $3 billion worth of Chinese-made products abroad.
It's a problem the Chinese see as an acute one for future economic growth. Already the world's second largest market for civil aviation, domestic carriers in China are expected to increase their number of passengers by 7% annually over the next two decades, according to US government forecasts. Between 2013 and 2015, construction began on over 100 new airports in the country, and with those new airports comes a need for new planes to carry passengers between them.
By 2020, China's top three airlines — Air China, China Southern and China Eastern — already among the top 10 carriers worldwide – expect to nearly double their fleet, and according to aircraft manufacturer Boeing, the country will spend nearly $800 billion on new aircraft in the next 20 years. As of now, almost all of that will be imported from Boeing or Airbus, the world's biggest aircraft makers.
As to why the Chinese have not been able to make a go of it in aircraft manufacturing, there are a number of theories. A study by the RAND Corporation, for example, attributes it to a lack of skills in aerospace technology, such as avionics and engine design. China has tried various programs – educational and incentive-based – to get workers to train in these fields, but it seems that just as a group of engineers masters the technology, things in the field change, so China is always technologically a generation or two behind – meaning that it can't compete in the world market, or event in its own market.
Can a deal with IAI – one of the world's most advanced companies in avionics and engine design — help change that? The Chinese certainly hope so. As part of the deal, IAI will evaluate and provide recommendations to the local government of Shantou on how to develop local industries in parts production, aero-assembly lines and aviation technical education. In addition, IAI will build a professional training facility and civil aviation development center in Shantou.
The agreement was signed by Science Minister Ofir Akunis and IAI officials on behalf of Israel. Also in attendance were former president Shimon Peres, former Science Minister Yaakov Perry, Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav and Technion President Peretz Lavie. Chinese signatories and attendees included Guangdong Province Governor Zhu Xiaodan, Shantou Mayor Zheng Renhao and Li Ka-Shing, a Hong Kong business investor and one of China's richest men.
The deal is Li Ka Shing's second major involvement with Israeli tech in under a week. Last week, he attended the cornerstone laying of the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT), a technology university that will be operated jointly by the Technion and Shantou University. Li Ka Shing gave $130 million to the Technion to build the research center in China.
TGIT will begin offering undergraduate programs in civil and environmental engineering and computer sciences in the academic year beginning in November. Next year, the new joint project will conduct life sciences research using big data analysis to tackle medical and social issues, including improvements in clinical diagnosis procedures. By 2020, the institute will offer courses in other engineering-related fields, from mechanical to aerospace engineering.
Commenting on that deal, Lavie described the partnership as a major breakthrough and an opportunity to strengthen ties between Israel and China.
"When you combine the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel with the unbelievable scale of China, you have a great partnership," he said.
The IAI deal, too, is a source of high hopes, not just for China, but for Israel as well – giving the company a huge market that it can develop and manufacture for, said Gadi Cohen, head of IAI's Civil Aviation Group, who led the initiative with the Chinese partners.
"The cooperation agreement with the City of Shantou is part of IAI's strategy to locate additional civil aviation growth drivers worldwide and particularly in China," he said. "We are confident that these and other initiatives will open new business opportunities for us and our Chinese partners."

Israel-Indian missile system Barak 8 carries out successful trial in Indian Ocean
Jerusalem Post, Dec.28,2015

"Trial will benefit both the Indian and Israeli navies," CEO of IAI says.

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Illustrative Barak 8 system. (photo credit:ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES)
The Israeli-Indian developed Barak 8 missile system carried out two successful interceptions from an Indian Navy ship over the past day.

Israel Aerospace Industries said that the weapons system successfully hit its target and completed a series of three tests that demonstrate its readiness.

Yossi Weiss, CEO of IAI, said the interceptors were fired from the heart of the Indian Ocean from an Indian Navy ship, striking their targets successfully.

Weiss described the trial as a "most impressive technological achievement" that will benefit both the Indian and Israeli navies, both of which are expected to receive the system in a fully operational mode soon.

The Indian ship used to fire the interceptors is significantly larger than the Sa'ar 5 type Israel Navy corvette used for a similar recent trial of the Barak 8.

The Barak 8 missile system is designed to protect naval ships and offshore gas rigs from hostile aircraft, missiles and rockets.

The system's advanced digital phased-array radar, dubbed Barak Adir by the Navy, is produced by Israel Aerospace Industries, the primary contractor.

IAI also makes the system's fire control station, while the interceptor missile is produced by Rafael.

The project has been in joint Israeli and Indian development in recent years, and is officially due to become operational in both navies within one to two years, he said.

In November, Boaz Levi, IAI corporate vice president and general manager of the systems, missiles and space group, said the Barak 8 radar can detect threats at over 100 kilometers, adding that it could become fully operational in a matter of months.

Once airborne, the missile continues to receive data from the radar system, which predicts the threat's trajectory, and enables the missile to adjust its own path before destroying the target.

The missile deploys its own electromagnetic sensor as it approaches the target, guiding it on its last phase.

The Barak 8 radar can track multiple targets simultaneously, Levi said, dividing its energy to cover half a sphere around a naval ship.

The system is "already installed on at least one Israel Navy ship, and on an Indian Navy ship," he said.

Palestinians: Save Us from the Good-Hearted Westerners!
by Bassam Tawil • January 1, 2016

 Every Palestinian knows in his heart that we do not want a state of our own alongside Israel, but rather instead of Israel. This includes all the land of Palestine and Israel. It means that Jews have no right to exist on even one speck of it.
 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claims he wants to reach a peace agreement with Israel. But at the same time he and his henchmen incite the Palestinians to stab, run over and shoot Israelis to death, while he idealizes, glorifies and finances -- with the funds he receives from the West -- the terrorists and their families.
 The Palestinian people are already almost totally radicalized, even in the West Bank. They do not seem concerned about living under an Islamist regime run by Hamas or Islamic State.
 Abbas's goal is now, with the help of the international community, to impose a solution on Israel. The solution he seeks – a full withdrawal to the 1967 lines – would pose an existential threat to Israel. It would also just be a matter of time before the Palestinian state will be run by Hamas or Islamic State.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is regularly fêted by good-hearted Westerners such as France's President François Hollande (left) and top European Union officials like Federica Mogherini and Jean-Claude Juncker (right).

What can be done with these Americans and Europeans? They always seem pining for a dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians that would end in a peace agreement, yet oddly all of them seem aware that the Palestinians have not, in all honestly, met Israel's most minimal demands: the cessation of incitement (agreed to even under the Oslo accords -- and requiring no funding!) and the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. Many throughout the world still view Israel as potentially the next -- and 22nd -- Arab state.
As hard as it is to say it, the Jews have a point. There is a legitimate concern that without such a stipulation, there will be two Palestinian States: the West Bank and Israel – actually three if you count Gaza.

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