PA parliament leader praises terrorist as ‘martyr of Allah’


Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Authority Parliament praises terror attack that killed 2 Israelis, calls for Arabs to follow in footsteps.

Ahmad Bahar, Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, called on the Arab inhabitants of East Jerusalem to follow in the footsteps of the terrorist who murdered two people at Ammunition Hill on Sunday, one a newly-married police officer and the other a 60-year-old grandmother.

Bahar, a senior member of the Hamas terrorist organization, called the family of the terrorist and blessed them for their father’s “martyrdom in the way of Allah.”

He described the terrorist attack as one of the most “significant actions” since the start of the so-called ‘al Quds intifada” one year ago.

Original Article: Artuz Sheva

Hispanic evangelicals emerging as new source of Israel support


When Hispanic-American pastors from around the country met in the nation’s capital last week, the main issue on their agenda was not immigration or health care–it was Israel.

The pastors represented evangelical congregations from Connecticut to Oklahoma. This rapidly-growing portion of the U.S. Latino electorate could have a significant impact on American policy toward Israel in the years ahead.

The mobilization in Washington was the work of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC), an arm of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which represents 40,118 Hispanic evangelical congregations across the country.

HILC president Pastor Mario Bramnick told the purpose of the all-day gathering was to “pray together, to consult with our Israeli and Jewish friends, and to strategize practical ways to help the Jewish state.”

An estimated 160 pastors took part in a morning session Oct. 5 at the Israeli Embassy, where they met privately with Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer. Bramnick, the spiritual leader of the New Wine Ministries Church in Cooper City, Florida, said they discussed “ways to engage the Hispanic-American community and build bridges between Hispanic Americans and Israel.” He said, “[Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and Amb. Dermer clearly understand the importance of reaching out to Hispanics.”

In the afternoon, several dozen of the pastors and other Hispanic evangelical activists held strategy sessions at a hotel in suburban Silver Spring, Maryland.

Among the speakers was Pastor Ruben Mendez, of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. He focused his remarks on the importance of encouraging pastors to become educated about Israel by visiting “and witnessing for themselves the great miracles that God has wrought, just as the Bible promised.”

Bramnick then discussed the HILC’s recent political action initiatives, saying that Christians have a moral obligation to serve as “Daniels, Josephs, and Esthers,” by speaking out for Israel. He cited the HILC’s opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, its successful lobbying to strengthen the Israel plank of the Republican Party’s platform, and its campaigns against Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) efforts in Florida and California.

Bramnick told he and his followers “strongly condemn” the recent resolutions adopted by mainline Protestant denominations, such as the Lutherans and the Presbyterians, calling for divestment from Israel and a cutoff of U.S. aid to Israel.

Bramnick sees a connection between those denominations’ liberal positions on social issues and their turn against Israel. “Just as they have strayed from what the Bible says about family and social matters, so too are they disregarding what God says about the Land of Israel belonging to the Jewish people,” Bramnick said. “Once you reject God’s word on some issues, it’s only a matter of time before you do the same on other issues.”

Jesse Rojo, of the Philos Project, which educates young Hispanics about the Middle East, said that “some young Latinos are confused about Israel as a result of what they hear from the media or on campus.” Nonetheless, he added, “young Hispanics are naturally predisposed to being pro-Israel, because you can’t read the Bible and not see that God wants us to support Israel.”

Several Jewish organizations are working closely with the Hispanic pro-Israel activists. Among the speakers at the strategy session were Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress-North America; Jorge Diener, Hadassah’s director of special projects, and Sammy Eppel of B’nai B’rith-Venezuela, who co-chairs the Latin America division of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.

Demographic trends suggest that Hispanic evangelicals will enjoy increasing political and social influence in the years ahead. According to Bramnick, that bodes well for Israel, “because the number of Hispanic evangelical voters is growing quickly, and for many of them, Israel is an important issue on Election Day.”

Evangelical Protestants are the largest single bloc of Christians in the United States, about 26 percent of the national population. Catholics make up 21 percent, and mainline Protestants constitute approximately 14 percent. While the evangelicals have maintained their percentage of the population in recent years, the number of mainline Protestants has been decreasing.

Among evangelicals, Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group. About 11 percent of evangelicals are Latino and 6 percent are African-American. By comparison, among mainline Protestants, only 6 percent are Hispanic and 3 percent are black. Evangelicals as a whole are becoming more ethnically diverse: 24 percent of evangelicals were members of ethnic minorities in 2014, up from 19 percent in 2007.

Although the majority of Hispanic Americans are Catholic, their numbers have been diminishing rapidly. In 2010, 67 percent of U.S. Latinos were Catholic, but by 2013 that slid to 55 percent. By contrast, Protestants–most of them evangelicals–were just 12 percent of America’s Hispanics in 2010, but reached 22 percent by 2013, according to the Pew Research Center, which tracks and analyzes religious trends in the U.S.

Hispanic adults are an increasingly potent force in American politics. California has the largest percentage of Latinos–more than one-third of its residents–which in presidential races almost always backs the Democrat candidate. But a number of presidential battleground states also have significant Latino populations. In Arizona, they constitute 21.5 percent of eligible voters. In Nevada, 17 percent, in Florida, 18 percent and in Colorado 14.5 percent.

Original Article: JNS.ORG

Distraught U of Michigan Student: Anti-Israel Demonstration on Rosh Hashanah Reflects Wider Exclusionary Attitude Towards Jews on Campus


A recent anti-Israel demonstration at the University of Michigan that was allowed to take place during the high holiday of Rosh Hashanah — when most Jews would be off campus — is reflective of a wider exclusionary attitude on campus, a Jewish student wrote on Thursday.

In an op-ed in the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, Gabrielle Roth said, “We are told we don’t know how it feels to be ostracized and oppressed, and thus can’t participate in conversations revolving around diversity and inclusion.” However, she wrote, “One group’s pain and oppression shouldn’t be measured against another group’s pain and oppression — this is useless and hurtful.”

Roth expressed outrage over the “apartheid wall” and mock Israeli checkpoints erected on campus during the Jewish New Year, which she first learned about while she was at synagogue last Tuesday. She said she was “surprised to hear, between prayers, whispering’s from my peers: ‘There’s an anti-Israel wall in the middle of the Diag.’”

“To have [such a] display on a day when Israel’s advocates can’t adequately respond is conniving and corrosive to the dialogue many students who are passionate about the conflict have worked so hard to establish,” she wrote, adding that this is but one of many instances in which she felt “excluded from the larger narrative on this campus because of my Jewish identity.”

Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) — the anti-Israel group behind the display — “has tactfully chosen to demonize Israel when its Jewish supporters were unable to participate in the conversation,” Roth said.

As reported by The Algemeiner, Jewish students at the University of Michigan said they were “deeply offended” by the SAFE demonstration, which is part of Palestine Awareness Month. Those members of the Jewish community who remained on campus during the holiday were “left to cope…without the support of many of their peers,” the school’s student newspaper reported.

In response to the anti-Israel display, students launched a petition calling on the school’s president, Dr. Mark Schlissel, to condemn the event and its props, writing in part, “We speak on behalf of many students in the Jewish and pro-Israel campus communities and we write that yesterday we felt ostracized and excluded as many of us sat in synagogue unable to share our stories.”

This is not the first time SAFE has sparked controversy at the University of Michigan. In 2015, the group filed an ethics complaint against a Jewish member of the student government, after he voiced criticism of an anti-Israel protest. Following a probe, the Central Student Government decided it would not seek disciplinary measures against him.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Secret 1978 Talks Lay Bare the Hawk That Peacemaker Peres Once Was


‘Jordan is also Palestine,’ the late Shimon Peres tells then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin, declassified minutes of a top secret meeting ahead of Camp David reveal.
“This is a conversation between three people, except for our friend [the stenographer], and it must remain that way” Prime Minister Menachem Begin warned politely at the start of the meeting, on August 31, 1978, with opposition chairman MK Shimon Peres and chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Moshe Arens.

The minutes documenting the meeting, some of which appear below, were classified as “top secret.”

Four days later, Begin flew to the Camp David conference and returned with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s historic signature on a framework agreement for Middle East peace. Just before his trip, he had invited his political arch-rival, the opposition chairman, to update him.
“We want the conference to be successful, Begin told Peres at the meeting. “For the sake of peace, but we have another reason: Carter is taking a risk as the leader of the free world, which we are a part of, and we want the prestige of the U.S. president to remain intact.”
Still, Begin was pessimistic. “It is inconceivable that in six to eight days we can sign a peace agreement. I say to Carter, you’ve been negotiating over Panama for 14 years. I am asking even for four years.”
Begin laid out his red lines for Peres. The settlements in Sinai would remain, the Palestinians would be granted some kind of autonomy; the question of sovereignty would be left open for five to seven years. “If somebody proposes Arab sovereignty, we’ll bring up our demand for sovereignty over Judea and Samaria,” Begin said.

Peres: The question is whether you’d be ready to consider it if they propose territorial compromise.
Begin: I need to hear it first from them…I won’t let them put words in my mouth.

Peres enumerated for Begin the issues they agreed on. “We don’t agree to return to the 1967 borders, Jerusalem must remain unified and the defense of Israel must begin from the Jordan River with an IDF presence in Judea and Samaria.”
Begin: And Gaza.

Peres: I’m talking about Judea and Samaria, and not Gaza, but never mind…we are against a Palestinian state, we insist that the settlements in the Rafah enclave remain.
This, Peres said to the man who would soon return the land on which all those settlements had been built to Egypt.
Peres told Begin that his “opinion through the years had been that for an undefined period there is no choice but a functional compromise” in Judea and Samaria.

Begin: That is, without territorial division?

Peres: I don’t see a map that could be accepted by both sides. I don’t want us to deceive ourselves…I do think that one of these days there will be a need for a partition because we won’t know what to do with the Arabs.
We’ll reach 1.8 million Arabs and I see our situation as getting very difficult and not a matter of police or prison…I see them eating the Galilee and my heart bleeds, because I was one of the founders of Ramot Naftali [a moshav in northern Israel] and I see 300 houses bought by Arabs and that’s the beginning of the process.

They live in houses in Afula and in Acre and they take over entire streets. The moshavim are full of Arab laborers and Jews sitting in their houses and playing tennis and the Arabs are working in the fields. That doesn’t seem right to me.

Peres then told Begin about a meeting he had had with Sadat shortly beforehand, in Vienna, under the auspices of the President of the Socialist International, Willy Brandt.
“Sadat will try to appear as moderate as possible at Camp David because he’s working on public opinion there. In my opinion he wants to get something that bothers me, he wants to get American weapons and has to take this into consideration. I’m very glad they gave us the F15 and F16. I’m glad it happened before Camp David,” Peres said.

Begin then discussed the meaning of the term “Palestinians,” saying: After all, we are Palestinians…it’s true that there’s a country the non-Jews call Palestine. But it’s the Land of Israel.”

Peres: I’ll tell you where you and I disagree: I say that Jordan is also Palestine…I’m against two Arab countries and against another Palestinian country, against an Arafat state. Today 50 percent of the inhabitants of Jordan are Palestinians and that is the Palestinian state..I say our partner is the Jordanians and not the Palestinians…
Arens: I agree with you 100 percent.
Peres told Begin and Arens he believed the Palestinians were not partners for peace “because they don’t want to risk their connections with Jordan on the one hand, and act against the PLO on the other.”

Peres said that even if Israel received a “theoretical right to buy land” he didn’t believe there would be any Palestinians who would sell Israel land.
“We already see how difficult that is. We can buy land here and there by deception but that’s a bother, and worrisome.”
Peres added that he believed the Gazans should be given Jordanian passports and that King Hussein take in Palestinian refugees, to which Begin replied “I agree with you.”
Peres then gave an amazing reason for his preference that Jordan extend its patronage over the Palestinians. “Because they can do to the PLO things that we can never do. Why are schools and students protesting? Because when adults protest – they shoot them immediately.”
Peres told Begin: “In my opinion, and I know I can be accused of optimism, we can reach a separate agreement with the Egyptians with the right words.”
Peres shared with Begin more impressions of his meetings with Sadat, saying he “greatly exaggerates Israel’s technological and scientific capabilities. He thinks that we are capable of God knows what.” We can do a lot, that’s the truth, Begin replied.
The end is known: Begin agreed to a deal at Camp David that led to a peace treaty months later, and ultimately an Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. At Oslo, Peres, once a champion of Jordan as the solution to the Palestinian issue, laid the foundations for a would-be Arafat state.
Original Article: HAARETZ

Shin Bet foils Hamas suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem


Shuafat refugee camp resident was allegedly days away from carrying out attack, directed by Hamas in Gaza; said bombings ‘the way of God’.

An East Jerusalem man was indicted Tuesday for planning to carry out a suicide bombing on a bus in the capital, officials said.

On September 9, the Shin Bet security service arrested alleged Hamas operative Muhammad Fuaz Ibrahim Julani, a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp, a few days before he planned to carry out his attack, the agency said.

Over the past few months, Julani, 22, had been planning to carry out a terror attack on behalf of Hamas, the Shin Bet said.

In September, he told an accomplice he planned to carry out the suicide bombing as “this is the way of God,” according to the indictment.

The Hamas terror group’s operatives in the Gaza Strip had been in contact with Julani through the internet in order to plan the bombing and had also encouraged him to recruit other people to carry out attacks, according to the indictment filed against him Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court.

“This investigation reiterates and highlights the unrelenting effort by Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip to instigate severe terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank,” the Shin Bet said in a statement.

Though Julani ultimately decided to carry out a suicide bus bombing in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, according to the Shin Bet, he said in his interrogation he had also considered a shooting attack with an AK-47 assault rifle near the Hizme checkpoint; bombing a store where he had worked in 2011; throwing an improvised explosive device at the checkpoint in Shuafat; and pipe bomb attacks in high-traffic locations of Jerusalem, like the bus station and the Malha shopping mall.

Approximately a year ago, Julani had also considered carrying out a stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze’ev, going so far as to purchase a 6-inch (15-centimeter) knife and travel to the Jerusalem neighborhood, “but decided not to carry out the attack for fear that his parents’ home would be demolished,” according to the indictment.

Instead, the East Jerusalem resident decided to carry out a suicide bombing after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which was celebrated from September 12 to 16. By carrying out his attack after the holiday, Julani hoped to prevent Israel from restricting Muslims’ access to the Temple Mount during the holiday, according to the Shin Bet.

The NIS 7,000 ($1,850) needed for the operation was allegedly provided by a resident of Hebron, identified in the indictment only as “Abu Muhammad,” who also helped carry out some tests with the chemicals he purchased so that Julani could create his device.

When Julani was arrested on September 9, he had already purchased the materials necessary to create his bomb, including nails that he planned to pack into the device to maximize the damage.

It was his second time he purchased ingredients necessary for a bomb, since when Julani’s father discovered at some point over the summer that his son had been planning an attack, the 22-year-old “begged for forgiveness from his father and threw out the materials he had purchased,” according to the indictment.

At some point in August, Julani again decided to carry out his attack and purchased the materials necessary for a second time, according to the Jerusalem district attorney.

Two members of Julani’s family, Mehmed and Iyad Julani, were also arrested for allegedly helping him hide his illegal weapons.

Julani was charged with planning to assist the enemy in wartime, contact with a foreign agent, being a member of a terrorist organization and illegal use of property for the purpose of terror.

Original Article: The Times Of Israel

Columbia Student Launches One-Man Counter-Demonstration Against ‘Jew-Hater, Hitler-Lover’ at Campus Entrance


A Columbia University student told The Algemeiner on Friday that he launched a one-man demonstration against a “Jew-hater and Hitler-lover” parading around the campus gates on Thursday, “to show we will not stand silently for antisemitism.”

Rudy Rochman, a pro-Israel activist, said that he decided to take matters into his own hands when he saw the outsider holding up a poster that said: “Google it!!! Jews financed black slavery.” He said quickly drew up his own banner — reading: “This is what antisemitism looks like” — and held it up alongside the Jew-hating protester until the other person left the premises.

Rochman told The Algemeiner the individual has appeared at Columbia numerous times in the past with antisemitic signs, but that, to his knowledge, this is the first time anyone has counter-protested.

According to the blog IsraellyCool, two New York Police Department officers showed up about an hour after Rochman, but did not take any action. Some time later, more policemen arrived and told the man to leave. After initially refusing, he eventually complied.

This is but one of many incidents of this nature at the university, located in upper Manhattan. According to a campus watchdog report, Columbia ranked first as the school with the largest increase in antisemitic activity between 2015 and 2016.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Gaza jihadist’s ultimatum to Hamas: Release our prisoners or we fire on Israel


Salafists will escalate violence within 48 hours if its operatives aren’t released.

Violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza could be set to worsen in the coming days, after a Salafi jihadist leader threatened to escalate his organization’s attacks on the country within 48 hours, if his demands on Hamas were not met.

A Twitter account under the name Abu Bakr Al-Makdasi posted on Thursday that he would order an increase in attacks on the Jewish state within the stated time, if Hamas did not release members of his organization from jail, after they were arrested a few days ago.

Reciprocal bombings have flared over the past two days, after the Salafi extremists first fired a rocket and a mortar towards Israeli civilian populations, drawing the IDF to respond by firing tank shells and conducting air strikes on Hamas positions in the North and South of the Gaza Strip.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said during a speech on Thursday evening in Tel Aviv that Israel is not looking to escalate the situation, however any fire from Gaza “will be met with a strong response.”

Israel has repeatedly asserted that it holds Hamas solely responsible for any attacks emanating from its territory. The Islamist terror group has ruled Gaza alone since a coup against the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Splinter groups in Gaza have in the past brought Israel into internal Palestinian conflicts by firing rockets at Israeli towns in the South, as a means to leverage pressure on Hamas.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

United States Criticizes Israel Over West Bank Settlement Plan


The Obama administration on Wednesday castigated the Israeli government for approving plans to create a new Jewish settlement on the West Bank, three weeks after it signed a lucrative military aid package with the United States and just as President Obama was traveling to Jerusalem for the funeral of Shimon Peres.

In an uncommonly harsh statement, the State Department “strongly condemned” the move, asserting that it violated Israel’s pledge not to construct new settlements and ran counter to the long-term security interests Israel was seeking to protect with the military deal, which provides $38 billion in assistance over the next decade.

The new settlement, one of a string of housing complexes that threaten to bisect the West Bank, is designed to house settlers from a nearby illegal outpost, Amona, which an Israeli court has ordered demolished.

The timing of the approval especially infuriated the White House, American officials said, because it came after Mr. Obama met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations. Mr. Netanyahu, they said, gave the president no advance warning, even though Mr. Obama expressed deep concerns about Israel’s continuing settlement construction. The officials declined to speak for attribution owing to the sensitivity of the issue.

“It is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and leaders from the U.S. and other nations prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced that would seriously undermine the prospects for a two-state solution that he so passionately supported,” the State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, said in the four-paragraph statement.

The harsh words also rekindled speculation that Mr. Obama might lay down guidelines for a proposed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before he leaves office, either in a speech or, less likely, by backing a resolution at the United Nations Security Council.

“The administration has been escalating its rhetoric in opposition to West Bank settlement activity for more than a year,” said Martin S. Indyk, who served as Mr. Obama’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. “The government of Israel doesn’t seem to be listening.”

“At a certain point,” said Mr. Indyk, who is now the executive vice president of the Brookings Institution, “the administration may well decide that there needs to be consequences for what it now sees as an effort to close off the two-state solution.”

Mr. Obama, officials said, has kept his own counsel about whether to thrust himself back into the peace process. After two failed attempts to broker an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, the president is leery of getting involved in another hopeless effort, aides say. He would also likely consult with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, were she to win to make sure his move did not complicate her plans.

The plan for a new settlement grows out of a bitter impasse between the Israeli authorities and settlers in Amona, which sits on a hilltop near the Palestinian administrative capital, Ramallah. Israel’s High Court of Justice has ordered the residents of Amona, which is built on private, Palestinian-owned land, to leave by Dec. 25.

The government’s plan is to move them to the newly approved settlement, built on public land, which would initially have 98 houses and eventually could accommodate up to 300 houses. The settlers have so far refused, creating an acute political crisis for Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The Israeli authorities have dealt with other such standoffs by seeking to retroactively legalize the settlements. But because Amona is built on private Palestinian land, it cannot solve the problem with legal machinations. Israeli authorities view the settlement as a “satellite” of another settlement, Shvut Rachel, which itself was retroactively legalized and lies within the redrawn boundaries of an established settlement, Shilo.

“The 98 housing units approved in Shilo do not constitute a ‘new settlement,’ ” Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “Israel,” the ministry added, “remains committed to a solution of two states for two peoples, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state of Israel.”

For American officials, the problem is that Israel is establishing a string of settlements, which the administration’s statement said “effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.” The latest settlement, the State Department said, was “deep in the West Bank, far closer to Jordan than to Israel.”

No matter how strongly worded its condemnations, some former diplomats said, it would do little to change Israel’s behavior. They urged Mr. Obama to lay down his version of a road map to a peace deal.

“Of course he should,” said Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel and Egypt. “These statements are meaningless if there is no action. The U.S. should expect Israel not to do these things, especially as ‘compensation’ for removal of an illegal outpost.”

Israel has a long history of ill-timed announcements on settlements.

In 2010, four months after Mr. Netanyahu had agreed to a moratorium on the construction of settlements in the West Bank, municipal authorities in Jerusalem approved 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish housing development in East Jerusalem that had been excluded from the agreement. The announcement came as Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was visiting Israel, and was viewed in Washington as a slap in the face.

At Mr. Obama’s behest, Mrs. Clinton, then secretary of state, delivered a 43-minute lecture to Mr. Netanyahu over the phone. Officials said the episode angered the president more than Mr. Biden himself.

Settlements have poisoned the relationship between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu from the earliest days of the administration. Mr. Obama demanded that Israel halt construction as a gesture to draw the Palestinians back to the bargaining table. Mr. Netanyahu complained that the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, frittered away most of the 10-month moratorium before sitting down to talk.

The timing of this approval, administration officials said, was particularly galling: Israeli authorities approved the settlement on the day that Mr. Peres, one of Israel’s founding fathers, died — and two days before Mr. Obama arrived in Jerusalem. That raised the possibility that the news could have leaked out while the president was at the funeral, which officials said would have dwarfed the diplomatic uproar during Mr. Biden’s visit.

For Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, it is a bitter coda to a relationship that seemed to end on an uncharacteristically gracious note in New York, when the two men smiled for the cameras, and the prime minister invited the president to Israel to play golf at a course next to his house.

Privately, the president raised concerns with Mr. Netanyahu about settlement construction and what Mr. Obama regards as its corrosive effect on the peace process. On Wednesday, Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said the administration felt misled yet again by the Israelis.

“We did receive public assurances from the Israeli government that contradict this announcement,” Mr. Earnest said. “I guess when we’re talking about how good friends treat one another, that’s a source of serious concern as well.”

Original Article: New York Times

Ex-Portuguese PM on course to become next UN chief


Israel’s envoy welcomes Antonio Guterres pick, hopes it signals end of world body’s ‘obsession’ with Jewish state.

Portugal’s former prime minister Antonio Guterres was poised to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations following a sixth straw poll by the Security Council, diplomats said.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters that Guterres was the “clear favorite” and announced a formal vote by the council on Thursday to confirm the choice of nominee.

Guterres, who would succeed current general secretary Ban Ki-moon on January 1, served as Socialist prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He was president of the European Council from January to July 2000 and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees between June 2005 and December 2015.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Wednesday welcomed Guterres’s likely nomination, saying Israel hoped and expected that the UN under his leadership would “act in the spirit of its founding principles as a fair body able to differentiate between good and evil” and would “end its obsession with Israel.”

“I hope that this change in leadership will bring an end to the organization’s hostility towards the Jewish state,” he added.

Danon called on the next general secretary to appoint a special envoy to combat anti-Semitism.

He also said he expected the UN to take responsibility for ensuring the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who fell during the 2014 Gaza war and whose remains are being held by the Hamas terror group.

According to the UN Charter, the secretary-general is chosen by the 193-member General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. In practice, this has meant that the council’s five permanent members — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France — have veto power over the candidates.

By tradition, the job of secretary-general has rotated among regions and Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe have all held the top post. East European nations, including Russia, argue that they have never had a secretary-general and it is their turn. There has also never been a woman secretary-general and a group of 56 nations are campaigning for the first female UN chief.

Original Article: Times Of Israel

43 UK Campus Leaders Slam President of Country’s Largest Student Union for Repeatedly Dismissing Concerns of Systemic Antisemitism


In an open letter on Wednesday, campus leaders across the UK slammed the head of the country’s largest student union for her repeated dismissal of concerns regarding systemic antisemitism on campuses.

“Over the past six months, the [National Union of Students’ (NUS)] Leadership has rightly come under increased scrutiny for its attitude towards Jewish students,” said the letter, signed by 43 student leaders and directed at NUS President Malia Bouattia.

Referring to a recent interview with the UK’s Guardian — in which Bouattia acknowledged that she applies double standards when it comes to racism against Jews — the student leaders wrote that despite an ongoing discussion about antisemitism within the NUS, the voices of Jewish students have been ignored.

“Time and again Jewish students have not felt safe participating in our national movement, because of the actions and rhetoric of leadership of NUS,” the letter stated.

The student leaders demanded that Bouattia and the organization under her leadership “listen to Jewish students when they say something is antisemitic.”

They also addressed Jewish students in the letter, saying: “We…promise to respect, champion and listen to your concerns. The students movement and NUS is absolutely a place for you.”

Signatories to the letter included 10 members of the NUS’ National Executive Committee, 28 student union presidents and vice presidents, three NUS vice presidents and NUS representatives from Scotland and Wales.

The publication of the letter comes a day after Bouattia failed to apologize for comments widely condemned as antisemitic.

As reported by The Algemeiner, when challenged by BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday about her characterization of the UK’s Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost” because of its large Jewish population, Bouattia was unrepentant.

“I would certainly review my language and would definitely want to explain the political context which I was discussing. I absolutely was not saying the things that it has been interpreted as [being antisemitic], if you will,” she said.

As The Algemeiner previously reported, the Algerian-born Bouattia first attracted controversy when she was running for the NUS leadership position, and comments she had made in support of terrorism against Israel came to light. In 2014, for example, while speaking at a “pro-resistance” event celebrating “Gaza and the Palestinian revolution,” she asserted that it is “problematic” to consider that “Palestine will be free” only by means of “non-violent protest,” and bemoaned the fact that “resistance” is presented as terrorism.

The NUS represents some 600 student groups and 7 million individuals across the UK.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Oberlin Prof Suspended for Antisemitic Posts Accuses College of Scapegoating Her for Being a ‘Black Woman’


An academic under investigation for antisemitic social media postings claimed she is being scapegoated due to her color and gender, the student newspaper The Oberlin Review reported late last week.

Breaking nearly two months of silence, Oberlin assistant professor Joy Karega — who was placed on paid leave in August following an outcry from the Oberlin chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) — said at a campus gathering, “I cannot accept being subjected to arbitrary standards and differential treatment. I cannot accept the way that I have been treated as a black woman on Oberlin’s faculty.”

Karega, a teacher of composition and rhetoric, accused Oberlin ACF of pushing its own agenda and singling her out for scrutiny.

“The review process has stalled because many within and beyond the Oberlin community will not be satisfied with anything less than disciplinary action against me that involves my dismissal,” she told the Review. “I am objecting to the way that I have been treated through the avenues that I have available to me.”

Karega told the Review it is “unfortunate” that she has been subject to investigation for her social media postings. These — which included claims that Israel and Jews were behind the 9/11 terror attacks — were discovered in March and condemned by Oberlin’s Board of Trustees as “antisemitic” and “abhorrent.”

The college, said Karega, has “made it clear to me that I am not a valued and respected member of Oberlin’s faculty.”

Responding to Karega’s claims, Melissa Landa, president of Oberlin ACF, told the Review that the posts “speak for themselves,” and that any professional repercussions Karega experiences will be due to decisions made by Oberlin, not its alumni.

As reported by The Algemeiner in August, Oberlin ACF — part of a national network engaged in combating antisemitism and anti-Israel bias on campus — sent a letter to the Board of Trustees asking for clarification on Karega’s continued employment and the school’s drawn-out investigation into her behavior.

The alumni group’s move came five months after it was revealed by The Tower in March, and also reported on by The Algemeiner, that Karega’s Facebook page was riddled with years’ worth of posts — all of which have subsequently been deleted — invoking traditional antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories found in the notorious hoax, The Protocols of the Elder of Zion.

In March 2015, for example, she accused Israelis and Jews of being behind ISIS, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — and of controlling the world.

Two days after The Algemeiner’s reporting on the outrage surrounding Karega’s continued employment, Oberlin announced it had placed the assistant professor on paid leave until further notice.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Saudi Arabia unblocks online access to ‘The Jerusalem Post’


A reader in Saudi Arabia also wrote on Twitter on Monday that he can now access the site from there on his mobile device.

After years without reliable verification, a Saudi Arabian journalist confirmed on Monday that Saudis can now access The Jerusalem Post online from inside the Kingdom.

A reader in Saudi Arabia also wrote on Twitter on Monday that he can now access the site from there on his mobile device.

It is unclear when the Kingdom stopped censoring, but it apparently blocked access to the site beginning in May 2013. The Post features extensive coverage of Saudi Arabia and its role in the Middle East peace process.

“Traffic in the Kingdom actually went back up in summer of 2014,” Ilan Yogev, the Post’s content collaboration manager said on Wednesday, adding he has not seen any change to suggest that something is different in recent months.

Ahmed Abdel-Raheem is an Egyptian artist and PhD student and lecturer at Al-Lith College for Girls at Saudi Arabia’s Um Al-Qura University.

In 2013, he wrote on the conservative British website The Commentator, “Over the past week I have tried to access the website of the newspaper The Jerusalem Post, but every time I click the link of the paper, I have received the message: ‘Sorry, the requested page is unavailable.’” At the time,’s managing editor said, “Since the start of May, there has been an almost 100% drop in the number of visits to from Saudi Arabia. Up until April 30, we were getting hundreds of visits from Saudi Arabia every day, and now it is less than 10. There is clearly a demand for news from The Jerusalem Post, and it is a shame that the Saudi regime is proving yet again that it is determined to stifle freedom of thought and expression among its own population.”

While it excluded the Post in 2013, the Kingdom at that time allowed other major Israeli news organizations to operate.

All major Israeli news websites are now accessible in the Kingdom, according to recent reports.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post