From Ian:

Mohammad Zoabi Breaks His Silence

Mohammad Zoabi has posted his first message since being forced to leave Israel due to threats against his life for supporting Israel and the Jewish people.
Hello everybody.
First of all let me start by honestly, politely and simply saying: I HAVE MISSED YOU SO FREAKING MUCH!!!!!!!
Whew……i feel much better now..!
My dear friends, the last half year was not an easy period of my life. I had to hide, go under ground, keep a low profile like what if i have done a nasty crime.
I simply went and still going through things that teenagers rarely go through. And i do have to say that though i don’t believe that i have done anything wrong by showing my love and loyalty to my country Israel and its people, love makes me blind, and my lovely Israel with all its positive and negative sides blinded me and i was, still and will be ready to pay the price of defending and loving it!
Simply because its my country and i have no other! (h/t Elder of Lobby)

Eugene Kontorovich: Is the International Criminal Court biased against Israel?

In a prior post, I examined the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which contains an important provision directly designed to target Israel.
Now we’ll turn to the Court as an institution. In the wake of the Palestinian turn to the International Criminal Court, several commentators have argued that there is no reason to think the institution is out to get Israel. That is true. Of course, the Court has done so little in its twelve year history, that it is hard to say much with confidence about its inclinations and proclivities. And prosecutions of Israelis (nationals of a non-member state) would be a kind of activity the Court has never engaged in without the request of the Security Council, so there is even less data.
There is no reason to think the prosecutor or Court are eager for Israel/Palestine cases, and a lot of reasons to think they are not, given the disproportionate political headaches they entail.
Yet there is cause to think that the the Court is a most improper venue for sorting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Indeed, even absent any bias, the Court is structured in a way that cannot do equal justice, and is thus properly seen as a Palestinian tool against Israel. Moreover, recent statements by the Prosecutor give troubling evidence that she may be willing to replace legal analysis with the off-the-shelf views of the “international community” on the conflict.

The Miseducation of Chris Gunness

On November 6th 2014, investigative blogger Elder of Ziyon, who is well known for his efficient foot-work when it comes to revealing incitement on social media and the internet, discovered the following alarming story: In 2010, UNRWA announced that it would take excelling Gazan students to the United States, where they would visit New-York City and the US Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. According to the media, Hamas demanded UNRWA to cancel the “suspicious” tour. Apparently, the reasons for the cancellation were far more disturbing, as written by Gaza’s UNRWA union, on February 2011
Let me sum this up: Mr. Da’las, the Deputy Chief of Staff at UNRWA’s Gaza Union, released an official statement that is even more extreme than the statement made by Hamas. In this official statement, he rejects the offer to send Palestinian students on an educational tour to the US, because it includes a “fake trip” to a museum revolving “the alleged Holocaust,” where educators will “try to feed students concepts and ideas about the fake injustices suffered by the Jews” according to a “curriculum on so-called human rights.”
Is it possible that a curriculum that was consisted with Holocaust education content was rejected by a United Nations’ agency official because of a claim that the Holocaust never happened? Ever since this disturbing story was published, I have been trying to get a clarification from UNRWA’s spokesperson, Chris Gunness at the most popular arena of our time for media personnel and news sources to exchange ideas and thoughts: Twitter. I had a good reason to believe that I will get a proper reply since Chris Gunness owns a Twitter account, which he is using on a regular basis to post UNRWA-related updates and interact with others.

Even the Guardian goes where the BBC refuses to tread

Since those reports – which clearly attributed the slow pace of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip primarily to factors linked to Israel – the BBC has not revisited the issue. However, on December 25th the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont published a report which includes the following observations.
“Amid mounting criticism of the pace of the rebuilding effort, the Guardian has established that a controversial UN-designed mechanism to control the supply of building materials – and prevent them falling into the hands of the militant group Hamas – has been widely corrupted. […]
The mechanism for allowing the entry of materials into Gaza – including the monitoring of the distribution and use of concrete – was designed by the UN special envoy Robert Serry to satisfy Israeli government concerns that cement should not be diverted to Hamas for military purposes, including tunnel building. […]
Under the scheme householders are assessed to see if they qualify for rebuilding materials, then registered and issued with a coupon allowing them to buy a specified amount of materials from warehouses monitored by a UN-administered inspection regime.
During a recent visit to cement warehouses in Gaza, however, the Guardian [saw] cement being resold a few feet outside the warehouse doors at up to four times the cost within minutes of being handed over to householders with coupons.”

The Arab oil era is over

And Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority? Well, no one in the Gulf actually donated money to this entity even before the crisis, although there were always festive declarations.
As the year 2015 begins, we are facing a new world: A world of a revolution of information, mind, personal strength, innovation and inventions. And in this world, Israel is a real princess.
The Arab oil era is over, and the global and Israeli mind era begins. It’s a fact that countries which wouldn’t dare approach us in the past – because of the Arab extortion – are now doing so hastily, as if to make up for the lost time of so many years.
Israel is becoming a close friend of countries which were distant in the past but are close today, like India, Japan, China and South Korea. They too understand that those who are not innovative and lack a creative mind will just not be. And in this field, Israel has a lot to offer them, just like they have a lot to offer in return.

When the West Bank becomes Hamastan will the left be so keen on a Palestinian state?

The Left, of whatever stripe, are falling over themselves to promote the Valhallah of Palestine. Whoever promotes Palestine today promotes the rise of Hamas. It’s as inevitable as storms after strong winds.
They may not do this intentionally, but it will be the result.
From radical Marxists to Social Democrats to Laborites, they are all keen to see the dawn of an Arab Palestine.
Despite all being anti-nationalists, they have all devoted their political capital (hardly an appropriate word for the grey economy of Socialism) and clout to cultivate a Middle East in their image, one that will labor in the socialist tradition.
All of them fail to learn from history when leftist activism destabilized a country or a region and left them with serious egg on their faces. They never get the glory they seek. They are among the first to be dragged off the streets and never come back. But like clowns in a deadly circus, they keep on pratfalling.

Protesting Anti-Israel Bias at the UN

Why did members of Activists 4 Israel and Americans for a Safe Israel spend a cold, rainy Sunday protesting at the United Nations in New York City? Because they must! On December 28, they gathered to protest recent actions by the European Union and the United Nations regarding Israel.The group of approximately 40 protestors, holding signs, waving flags, and chanting slogans, accused both international organizations of an anti-Israel bias and of using anti-Israel rhetoric.
Recently, an EU court removed Hamas from its list of terror organizations. This decision has shocked many observers, who view this step as another concession to the growth of radical Islam in Europe.
In an example of what protesters cited as an obvious anti-Israel bias, they cited a statement by High Representative Federica Mogherini offering condolences on the death of Palestinian Minister Abu Ein. Ain was a convicted terrorist, who, in 1979, planted explosives in the city of Tiberias, which left two teenagers dead. The statement claimed Israel was partly responsible for his death, which has been rejected as totally false.
According to protest organizer Maya Friedman, the UN and EU are “rewarding Hamas by removing them from the terrorist list and voting for possibly establishing another Islamic terror state ‘Palestine’ – while condemning Israel numerous times with violations of human rights – despite Israel having one of the best records in the region. That’s unacceptable.”

American Historical Association rejects anti-Israel Resolutions

At the American Historical Association annual meeting in New York City, an anti-Israel group called Historians Against the War sought to present two anti-Israel resolutions (here and here).
Neither resolution called for a boycott of Israel, because they knew that would not pass (the AHA apparently is not controlled by anti-Israel radical activists, unlike the American Studies Association).
So in a strategy we have seen at the Modern Language Association, a resolution condemning alleged Israeli offenses against Palestinian academic freedom was offered. (It failed at MLA, btw.) This is the stepping stone approach — first get a resolution condemning, then later come back with a boycott resolution.
The resolutions were factually inaccurate and engaged in unsubstantiated hyperbole.
But the resolution sponsors missed the November 1 deadline for the resolutions to be considered at the business meeting. Only an affirmative vote at the business meeting could send the resolutions to a full membership vote.

Gay relative of Hamas founder faces deportation from Canada

A gay Palestinian asylum-seeker who converted from Islam to Christianity said he faces deportation from Canada for his close family ties to Hamas, and fears he will be executed if forced to return to the West Bank. He said he feels “like a dead man walking.”
John Calvin (not his birth name) told CTV News in Edmonton, Canada, on Saturday that his family was among the founders of the Islamist terror group, but said he rejected Hamas’s extremist ideology and converted to Christianity at 18.
Calvin, 24, who was born in the West Bank in 1990, said that his family reacted angrily when they discovered his conversion, and that he narrowly escaped several attempts on his life by his father. “I ended up jumping out of the window and I escaped and was helped and headed into a different city in the West Bank,” he told Canada’s Global News.
He eventually fled to Canada, and applied for refugee status in 2011. Shortly after, Calvin enrolled in a Toronto bible college on a scholarship.

Norway funds exhibit erasing Israel from maps

Colorful paintings of maps that erase Israel and label it “Palestine” were recently displayed at an exhibition funded by Norwegian People’s Aid, a Norwegian NGO, whose funders include the Norwegian government and other international donors.
The above map is entitled, “This is the area of Palestine,” and text on the map says the area of “Palestine” is “27,009 square kilometers,” a figure that includes all of Israel. Another map shows “The borders of Palestine,” listing the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. In this map, Israel is also turned into “Palestine.” A third map displays “the cities of Palestine,” and includes the Israeli cities and towns Beer Sheva, Jaffa, Acre, Haifa and Safed.
Norwegian People’s Aid lists the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as donors for its “development cooperation in Lebanon.”

Gilbert caught with a very filthy lie!

Thanks to a very diligent reader and participant of the Vårt Land debate forum , I can now share with you the very filthy lies Mads Gilbert is spreading about Israel.
The reader, a Mr.Gunnar Søyland, has managed to retrieve an interview the newspaper iTromsø conducted with Gilbert, where Gilbert claims to have proof that Israel was using nail bombs in Gaza.

Where’s the Condemnation of America?

The prime example of America killing civilians is the American war on Iraq (2003-2011). The organization ‘Iraq Body Count’ (IBC) calculated that 162,000 Iraqis were violently killed by this 8 year war. Of those 162,000, 114,000 were civilians. This means that circa 70.3% of violent Iraqi deaths stemming from the US invasion were deaths of civilians. The UN states that in the most recent Gaza war, 70% of casualties were civilian (about 1,460 of 2,100). That 70% figure is opposed by the Israeli government for being too high, but even if accepted, the civilian casualty ratio would be no greater in Gaza than it was in Iraq.
For someone who criticizes Israel’s killing of civilians, the above statistic might be explained with the idea of “disproportionate force”: that America was under pressure and had to act as it did towards civilians, while Israel acted with more force than necessary.
To examine that claim, I want to look at the ratio of Iraqi to American casualties of war next to the ratio of Gazan to Israeli casualties of war. In the Gaza conflict this summer, 30 Gazans died for every 1 Israeli that did. Of course, this seems like a curious statistic, but in the American war in Iraq, 36 Iraqis died for every 1 American that did (the accepted number of Americans killed in the Iraq war is 4,475). In other words, the discrepancy in numbers of deaths is not unique to the Israeli-Gazan war, and was actually greater in the Iraq war.

Forcing the NY Times to Print the Truth

As the Palestinians shift the conflict with Israel to the international arena, Israel’s perspective on matters of diplomacy has been largely neglected. While there is no shortage of articles detailing Palestinian demands, little or nothing is being said about Israel’s legitimate efforts for peace and justice.
That’s why HonestReporting has taken the bold step of publishing a full page advertisement in the New York Times to highlight a speech by Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, delivered before the UN General Assembly on November 24, 2014.
“The text of Ambassador Prosor’s speech is required reading for anyone who wants a clear expression of Israel’s case before the world,” said HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams. “Unfortunately, if you want people to read it in the New York Times, you have to pay for an ad.”
The ad features extended highlights from Prosor’s speech, including facts about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians that many at the UN and the media have downplayed or ignored entirely.

Caroline Wyatt’s defence of BBC summer Gaza coverage lacks factual basis

The Jewish Chronicle informs us that, whilst speaking at a recent Limmud session on the topic of the BBC’s Middle East coverage, the corporation’s Religious Affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt stated:
“Looking at the coverage of the Gaza conflict last summer, I think the people reporting it tried harder than I’ve seen before to use language that was not loaded. Jeremy Bowen, Lyse Doucet and others are trying their best to report as impartially as they can. It’s a difficult one.”
The factual basis for Caroline Wyatt’s conclusions is unclear. The content produced, for example, by the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen during and after his brief sojourn in the Gaza Strip in July 2014 included repeated promotion of the notion that Israel was carrying out ‘war crimes’, denial of Hamas’ use of human shields, promotion of the inaccurate claim that the Gaza Strip is under “siege” and pontifications such as “it is clear that the Israelis have some serious questions to answer”. Surely even Caroline Wyatt would have to acknowledge that Bowen’s use of language is in fact highly “loaded”.

Israeli attacked in Berlin by men singing anti-Semitic songs

German police are investigating an attack on an Israeli who was beaten by a group of young men after he asked them to stop singing anti-Semitic songs on the Berlin subway on New Year’s Eve.
Spokesman Martin Dahms said Monday police are still looking for the attackers.
The victim, 26-year-old Shahak Shapira, who lives in Berlin, told The Associated Press that after he asked the seven men to stop chanting anti-Jewish songs, he recorded them on his cellphone.
When he got off at the next stop, the men, who Shapira says were speaking both German and Arabic, followed him and demanded he delete his video. When he refused, some of the men spat on him and beat and kicked him, injuring his head.

Anti-Semites in Belgium are no longer hiding

The growing support in Europe for a Palestinian state, alongside the sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents in most of the continent’s countries, present an alarming picture. What people euphemistically refer to as “anti-Israel activity,” researchers are now defining as “new anti-Semitism.”
Three of the European Union’s five main institutions are located in Brussels. In the city center, near commercial and tourist sites, we heard blatant statements against Israel and the Jews from Belgian citizens. It seems people are no longer afraid to express anti-Semitic sentiments.
“I think in Israel Jews are doing a bit the same sometimes like when they lived in Europe in the past and Second World War,” says Simon de Klerk, a Belgian student. “Now they are building walls and they are putting people in the place that they have been.
“They are putting people in the ghetto in Palestina while they have been put in ghettos themselves, and I think they should think about it and use that position and shouldn’t do that to other people because there are not many populations who have experienced it like them.”

Anti-Semitic message found scrawled in Ohio elevator

Police in the town of Beachwood were investigating the incident in which the words “Jew Floor” were scrawled on an elevator button, according to local ABC affiliate NewsNet5.
Residents of the neighborhood were reportedly “very upset” by the vandalism — which was later removed, police said.
Some 90 percent of the 11,000 residents of the middle-class suburb are Jewish, according to a recent Jewish community study.
Sunday’s occurrence mirrors a similar attack near Philadelphia last week, in which a private home was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Saudi Arabia denies allowing Jews to work in country

Saudi Arabia has denied a report that it would begin allowing Jews to work inside the Gulf kingdom.
In an official statement, the Saudi Labor Ministry denied a report last week in the Saudi al-Watan newspaper to the effect that non-Israeli Jews would be able to receive guest worker visas for the first time, the UK Middle East Eye reported Friday.
Last week’s report came after the Labor Ministry allowed foreign employees applying for a work visa to select Judaism as their religion; however, the statement of denial said that was not tantamount to allowing Jews to work within the kingdom.
Judaism, along with the selections of “Communism” and “no religion,” are among the 10 religions on the Labor Ministry’s website.

4th Air Gun Shooting Hits Paris Jewish Establishment, Police Seeking Suspects

In yet another possible copycat attack against Parisian Jews, unknown assailants fired a pellet gun at a kosher restaurant on Friday, according to the French-Jewish JSS News site.
There were no injuries and only slight damage to the window of Micky’s Kosher restaurant, located in the city’s heavily-Jewish 19th Arrondissement.
However, over a month of assaults against Jewish targets, including a brutal rape during a home invasion in December, and similar shooting attacks against a synagogue and other Jewish businesses, have prompted Chief Rabbi of Paris, Michel Guggenheim, to admit that the near-constant harassment is having “a powerful effect on the community.”
The attacks, which have taken place alongside a wave of stabbing and vehicular terror attacks by radical Muslims in several cities in France, have shocked many in the nearly 500,000-strong community, although Guggenheim added that, “Paris police are taking very severe measures against the phenomena, and, of course, we have no complaints against the security forces.”

As 70th anniversary of Holocaust approaches, Jewish groups fret over hate

As the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II and the Holocaust approaches, Jewish organizations are using commemorations to issue warnings about a resurgence of hate in Europe.
The very future of European Jewry stands in the balance, European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said in a statement Monday announcing a conference on contemporary anti-Semitism during his organization’s commemorations of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp next later this month in Prague.
“Commemoration alone is not enough,” Kantor opined. “To prevent history repeating itself, we need more than speeches about dark chapters of history. We need to deal with the present challenges we face and safeguard our future.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Parliament and other senior EU officials are expected to attend alongside parliamentarians from a number of nations to debate strategies to cope with what the Jewish body characterized as “the rise of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia in Europe.”

Personal Possessions of Jewish Family Slain by Nazis Discovered in Slovakia Attic 70 Years Later

Personal possessions belonging to a Jewish family killed by the Nazis were discovered hidden in an attic in Slovakia 70 years after the Holocaust victims perished in concentration camps, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Friday.
While fixing his neighbor’s leaking roof, handyman Imrich Girasek found the stash of jewelry boxes, documents and pictures between the roof beams of a home located next to a Neolog synagogue in the city of Presov.
“The old roof needed to be checked so I went there because the owners are my friends. They have owned the house since the 1960s,” Girasek, 46, said. “The owners of the house weren’t interested in the things, but I couldn’t bring myself to simply throw them away.”
Among the treasured possessions Girasek found were letters, newspaper clippings, a Jewish songbook, and cutlery stowed away in 1942, the year the deportation of the city’s Jews began. Girasek said all the photographs, which included wedding pictures and family portraits, were dated back to before 1942. The discovered documents were written in German, Hungarian, Yiddish and Hebrew, the Daily Mail noted.

Founder of French anti-Semitism watchdog to move to Israel

Sammy Ghozlan, founder of France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, announced he would immigrate to Israel, calling it “a message.”
Ghozlan, a former police commissioner whose organization is one of France’s leading watchdog groups on anti-Semitism, announced his departure on Monday – shortly after the annual roundup of the Jewish Agency showed that 2014 was the first year ever that the biggest number of immigrants to Israel came from France.
“The departure, it’s a message,” Ghozlan said in an interview about his decision that was published Monday by the news site “Leaving is better than running away. We do not know how things will play out tomorrow.”
France’s growing anti-Semitism problem is believed to be driving the influx of over 7,000 newcomers to Israel from France last year, more than double the figure for 2013. Ghozlan has warned that while most of the hundreds of violent attacks recorded in 2014 were the work of Muslims, the French far-right also is adding to the problem with incitement and attempts to limit freedom of worship.

In WWII love story, Israeli actors face their Bulgarian roots

When “Bulgarian Rhapsody,” the third film in a historic trilogy about Bulgarian Jews, got turned down for this year’s Oscars, director Ivan Nitchev was almost sanguine.
Nitchev, recently in Israel to speak about the film, said he measures success in other ways.
“The biggest competition for art is time,” said Nitchev. “What is going to last and what is going to disappear.”
The film was the first coproduction between Israel and Bulgaria, starring Israeli actors Moni Moshonov and Alex Ansky. The producer, Nissim Levi, is also Israeli.
What Nitchev really hopes is that Israelis will go see the film.
“It’s the audience that really determines a film’s success,” he said. “We left part of our souls in the film and I hope young people are interested in it.”

Israel’s Jump from Water Shortage to Surplus

In 2014 Israel became a country with a water surplus. A century ago, water availability was so scarce that a Kibbutz in the Negev desert only allowed one cup of water per person each day for personal use. This ration included both consumption and personal hygiene.
As of January 1, 2015, Israel saw a 10% drop in the price of water following price cuts last January and July of 2014. This was mostly thanks to streamlining in water companies. For decades, Israeli government and businesses have aggressively worked on closing the gap between domestic water supply and demand. The government has done so by making the water industry more efficient and cheaper through long-term planning, recycling, technology and conservation. This hard work and focus has shifted Israel from a drinking water shortage to surplus. Let’s take a look at how Israel accomplished this goal:

Georgia plans solar field with Israel on its mind

The southeast of the United States is set to get a taste of Israeli-style solar energy technology with the construction of a 17.68 megawatt solar project in Georgia.
It’s the first utility scale solar project in the southeastern US. The project will be built by the US affiliate of Israeli solar company Energiya, and will be funded by Energiya Global Capital, an international solar development firm headed by solar energy pioneer Yosef Abramowitz. The project is worth $30 million, Energiya Global Capital said.
The project, called Project Glynn, will be built on 79 acres in Glynn County, Georgia. The field will be built and ready to deliver electricity by December 31, 2015. In addition to building the solar field, Energiya USA is also creating a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative program in conjunction with its partners for the local Glynn County school system. The program will include after-school enrichment programs with an emphasis on renewable energy.

Japanese PM to visit Israel in mid-January

Fresh off his election last month by Japan’s parliament to serve another term, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to arrive for a visit in mid-January as part of a regional tour.
This will be the first visit by a Japanese prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi visited in the summer of 2006, just prior to the Second Lebanon War.
The visit, which has not yet been officially announced, will come just a couple weeks after the cabinet on Sunday approved a plan to strengthen economic ties with Japan and the investment of “tens of millions of shekels” over the next three years to make it possible.
While a Japanese prime minister has not been to Israel since 2006, then prime minister Ehud Olmert visited Japan in 2008, as did Netanyahu last May. Abe will also visit the Palestinian Authority during his stay.
Netanyahu, at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, stressed the importance of diversifying Israel’s markets, which is heavily based on trade with the EU, it’s largest trade partner, and the US.

Jewish Cartoonist Confronts ‘Holocaust’ of Mideast Christians

One of the more well-known political cartoons in the world comes from Israel.
Dry Bones appears in the Jerusalem Post and has been reprinted in newspapers from The New York Times to the Wall Street Journal.
For more than 40 years, Jewish cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen has aimed his political commentary at topics like Islamic terrorism and anti-Semitism.
Now, he’s targeting what he calls one of the worst problems in the world today: persecution of Middle East Christians.
“Christian communities being totally slaughtered and murdered and driven out and a whole ethnic cleansing of the Middle East, to wipe out Christianity and Western leaders just look the other way,” he remarked.

18 years after she survived bombing, woman joins IDF

The subject of an iconic photo of a 1997 suicide bombing — a wounded baby pulled from a cafe by a cop — was drafted into the IDF on Sunday, and the policewoman who saved her was present to see her off.
Shani Winter, 18, was lightly hurt in the March 1997 Cafe Apropos bombing in Tel Aviv, in which three Israeli women in their 30s — including Shani’s mother, Anat Winter-Rosen — were killed. Winter was saved because she was shielded by her mother’s body.
The image of a policewoman carrying the 6-month-old infant in a blood-drenched clown costume — in honor of the Purim holiday — largely became the defining image of the deadly attack.
On Sunday the policewoman, Ziona Busheri, accompanied Shani to the induction center at Tel Hashomer along with her father, sister, and grandmother.
“It’s very moving for me, very important to me, I’ve also adopted them,” Busheri told Channel 2. “I’ll never forget that day.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)