Trump: Obama ‘worst thing that ever happened to Israel’

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Republican presidential candidate says Iran deal paved a path for Tehran to get a nuclear bomb.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called President Barack Obama the worst thing to happen to Israel.

The GOP candidate was speaking at a rally in Sarasota, Florida on Monday during his last, breakneck day of campaigning before polls open.

“We will stand strong, we have to stand strong with the State of Israel in their fight against Islamic terrorists,” Trump told the crowd, to cheers.

“Barack Obama was the worst thing that ever happened to Israel … Barack Obama was a disaster for Israel,” he added, to loud boos.

“Believe me, the Iran deal, where we made them rich, we also gave them a direct path to nuclear weapons, but we’ll be working with Israel closely, very closely,” he said.

Trump, kicking off an election day blitz, also told the Sarasota crowd that “the system is rigged, but at least we know it.”

He that “our country is a laughing stock all over the world.”

The Republican nominee then pantomimed quotation marks when he said the word “justice” as he hit the FBI and the Department of Justice for their handling of the Hillary Clinton emails case.

FBI Director James Comey notified Congress Sunday that a review of new emails connected to Democratic nominee Clinton’s servers did not produce evidence that would warrant charges.

Original Article: The Times Of Israel

J-Street ‘anti-Trump’ video backfires

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A J-Street video meant to portray Trump negatively for his support of Israeli ‘settlements’ has gone viral.

The organization J-Street, seen as representing the Jewish far-Left in the US, has publicized in recent days a video which attempts to label Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as holding positions equivalent to those of the Israeli Right.

The video, however, may have backfired for J-Street, as it has gone viral – and representatives of the Trump camp claim that it only serves to bolster support for Trump.

Representatives of the Trump campaign in Israel told Arutz Sheva: “We thank J-Street for saving us the budget for another video about the warm relationship between the US Republican Party and the State of Israel.”

Original Article: Israel National News

Governor of Pennsylvania signs anti-BDS bill into law

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Decision makes the state the 14th to pass legislation targeting procurement in entities boycotting Israel.

PENNSYLVANIA – Governor signed a bill Friday preventing the state from contracting with businesses or entities that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The legislation, which has been passed in a number of other states in recent years as well, will “prohibit contracting with BDS businesses” and dictates that an “entity must certify that it will not engage in such boycotting during the duration of the contract,” according to an official statement released by the governor’s office.

The BDS movement supports economic and other pressure on the State of Israel for its perceived ill-treatment of the Palestinians.

Pennsylvania is the 14th state to pass anti-BDS legislation. The other states are California, New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Alabama, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Iowa. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order against doing business with Israel boycotters.

“We must make clear that we are in favor of a peaceful, negotiated solution to this conflict,” Governor Tom Wolf said, “and will not encourage economic punishment in place of peaceful solutions to challenging conflicts.”

Representative Matt Baker, the prime sponsor of the bill, said, “This legislation makes it very clear that companies can either perform a BDS action or they can do business with Pennsylvania. However, they cannot do both,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Several organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Jewish Voice for Peace, expressed opposition to the bill, arguing that it stifles the voices of those who oppose Israel’s policy.

Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and Palestine Legal claimed that the bill hinders constitutional rights to free speech, in a letter to Pennsylvania Sen.Jake Corman, urging him to oppose the legislation.

“The bill’s stated purpose of targeting boycotts of Israel,” the letter read. “Its vagueness, its enormous financial penalty, and its potential for misuse, will chill and suppress speech protected by the United States Constitution.”

Rahul Saksena, a staff attorney from Palestine Legal, said boycotts were a legitimate tool of social protest and should not be stifled.

“The U.S. has a long history of non-violent boycotts as a tactic to advance civil and human rights, including the Montgomery bus boycott in the 1950s and the boycott of Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s,” Saksena said in a statement.

In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a similar bill which prevents companies that boycott or discriminate against any sovereign country, including Israel, from doing business with the state.

In June, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill prohibiting state agencies from investing in pension and annuity funds of companies that engage in political boycotts of the Jewish State. A similar bill was also signed in March by the Georgia General Assembly.

Original Article: The Times Of Israel

FLORIDA: Race narrows for candidates who differ on Israel

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Incumbent Marco Rubio getting support from RJC while Democratic challenger Murphy backed by J Street.

Just over a month ago, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pulled its spending from the Florida race. The nominee there, Rep. Patrick Murphy, was down by high single digits to the incumbent, Sen. Marco Rubio, who was just coming off a failed attempt for the Republican presidential nomination.

According to a knowledgeable Democrat, the DSCC felt there were eight races that were more winnable.

However, with less than a week to go, one of the marquee match-ups between two candidates who both say they’re strong on Israel – but have been pinned by their diametric differences on the Iran deal – is in a dead heat, according to a CNN poll released on Wednesday.
The race reflects not only a seat up for grabs to potentially swing the Senate red or blue, but an important contest for Rubio: A potential 2020 presidential bid by the senator is more likely if he can keep his seat.

“Everybody would love to beat Marco Rubio,” a Democrat close to the senate race said.

Pro-Israel groups are split in their support for the candidates: The Republican Jewish Committee strongly supports Rubio, while J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby, has been Murphy’s top-financial backer throughout the race.

Rubio staunchly rejected the nuclear deal with Iran and was one of the lead senators to write a rebuttal. He also co-authored a letter saying: “Recent UNESCO resolutions that deny Jewish and Christian ties to holy sites in Jerusalem not only reinforce the necessity of withholding American funding from this counterproductive UN organization, but also call into question future US membership in UNESCO.” The letter was sent to President Barack Obama.

“Obviously, he’s been a strong supporter of Israel,” said Martin Sweet, director of Jewish outreach for Rubio’s campaign.

“Growing up within the Cuban exile community and the connections between the Castro regime and Yasser Arafat, he’s always had this kind of mindset about Israel’s place in the world.

It’s been a fairly natural thing for him.”

Sweet noted that Rubio would maintain his support for Israel, regardless of who is president.

“Marco is running his own shop on this thing. I don’t see him remotely capitulating to any president on this kind of thing,” Sweet said.

“Whether that’s Israel or Syria, whether that’s the South China Sea or Venezuela,” he continued, “Marco’s own depth and breadth of knowledge, his understanding of conflict and his understanding of principals at stake – I think they’re unparalleled.

I don’t see him remotely deferring to any president.”

Murphy’s campaign has also noted its candidate’s devotion to Israel.

“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Patrick knows how critical our relationship with Israel is to the national security of both countries.

He recognizes Israel as a partner with shared values of freedom, democracy and peace,” spokesperson Jason Rubin said in a statement for the Murphy campaign.

Similarly, NORPAC, a single-issue pro-Israel group supporting Rubio, notes that Murphy followed his party on the Iran deal.

“As far as I know, by in large nobody considers Murphy a terrible person or a terrible legislator, or terrible on [Israel]; it’s just that I think Sen. Rubio is a friendly incumbent,” NORPAC president Ben Chouake said. “He not only has a good record, but he has an outstanding record on our issue.”

Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Fred Brown said Murphy had gotten “radical, anti-Israel money” in support from J Street. He added that Rubio not only had been a strong supporter of Israel, but was very knowledgeable about the issues.

“Marco Rubio has been a real friend to Israel,” Brown said.

“He actually understands these issues. It’s very complicated in the Middle East.”

Murphy has been J Street’s candidate all the way. The goal of the organization, which does not make endorsements at the presidential level, is to unseat incumbents who opposed the Iran deal, like Sen. Mark Kirk (R) in Illinois and Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in Wisconsin.

“It’s very likely that come next Tuesday, when we look at the outcome of races across the country, we’ll see that almost every single incumbent supporter of this deal will have won despite the fact that they had folks sitting across from them in their offices saying, ‘You can support this deal, but it’s a political third-rail and this will be the end of your political career,’” J Street national political director Ben Shnider said.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Fleeing France anti-Semitism, African Jewish family makes aliyah

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Jewish family originally from the Ivory Coast leaves France for Israel amid anti-Semitism.

As a Jewish family originally from the Ivory Coast, Amy and George Camara and their four children felt somewhat immune to the rising anti-Semitic thuggery in France.

The Camaras, relieved to leave their war-torn African country, settled in the northern French city of Lille in 2012. Because they fit no one’s Jewish stereotype, they said they were able to live as Jews without fear — despite, in recent years, the rise in attacks on French Jews from a small segment of Muslim extremists.

But the Camaras soon discovered that belonging to both the African and Jewish minorities also came with its own set of challenges, said Amy, the 53-year-old daughter of an Ivorian father and a French Jewish Holocaust survivor. The difficulties prompted the family to again pack their suitcases and leave France — for Israel, the only country where this unique Jewish family says it can live comfortably according to their identity.

For the Camaras, whom Amy describes as “proudly Jewish but not too observant,” life in France wasn’t “truly comfortable,” she said.

Precisely because no one from their immediate environment thought they might be Jewish, “people, even friends, would say the most awful lies about Israel and Jews in our presence,” Amy said.

“There was no single incident that made us decide to leave, it’s more of a cumulative effect,” she said.

On Wednesday, the Camaras and their kids — aged 25, 22 and twins who are 15 — landed at Ben Gurion Airport aboard a flight organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

“The bottom line is that Israel is the only place for us to live as Jews comfortably, safely and freely,” Amy told JTA ahead of her immigration, or aliyah, to Israel.

That comfort and freedom was paramount, given the remarkable survival story of Amy’s mother, 78-year-old Solange Shuster. Given up for adoption as a toddler by her French Jewish parents who sought to save her life from the Nazis, she was the only member of her immediate family who survived the Holocaust. She met her Ivorian husband in France and moved with him to Abidjan, the Ivory Coast’s largest city and economic engine, after their marriage in 1967. (Shuster now lives in France.)

Amy Camara recalls a happy and safe childhood in Africa, where she and George, a commercial airline pilot, raised their children as Jews. But life took a turn for the worse in 2002, when the Ivory Coast was plunged into its first civil war. When another armed conflict broke out in 2011, the Camaras decided to leave “because of a combination of factors that meant we could no longer live safely there,” Amy said.

Unfortunately, the Camara family chose the wrong year to move to France.

In 2012, the murder of four French Jews in Toulouse by an Islamist gunman ushered in what the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt, has called a “wave of jihadist murders and other attacks” that has had a deep impact on the feeling of safety of many of the 500,000 Jews living in France.

Amid repeated attacks on Jewish targets — French Islamists have killed 12 Jews in France and Belgium in three major attacks since 2012 — some 20,000 Jews have left France for Israel, including nearly 8,000 people who came in 2015 alone. That figure, a record, was more than four times the number of French Jews who came in 2011.

Aliyah from France has slowed down this year, with only some 4,000 Jews making the move to Israel in the first 10 months of 2016. Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky attributes the decrease to “some improvement in the security situation” due to the robust response by French authorities to anti-Semitic attacks.

On Wednesday, the Camaras arrived in Israel on a flight with some 50 Jews who were also making aliyah. According to Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the Camara family’s story “is a special one that weaves within it the story of the Jewish nation as we go from the Holocaust to rebirth, ending in Israel,” he said.

The day prior to the Camaras’ arrival, the group brought approximately 300 Jews from Ukraine to Israel, including refugees from the rebel-held east. Eckstein’s organization has brought more than 4,000 people to Israel since it began directly organizing aliyah two years ago.

In Israel, Amy and George plan to settle in Ashkelon, a coastal city with some 6,000 Ethiopian Jews — the country’s seventh-largest population of members of that community.

While Amy has heard claims by some Ethiopian Jews that they face discrimination in Israel because of their skin color, she is optimistic that she won’t encounter any racism in the Jewish state.

“I think a lot of it depends on whether you perceive yourself as a victim,” she said. “I’ve never felt excluded by any Jewish community, Sephardi or Ashkenazi, so I expect we’ll integrate easily in Israel, God willing.”

Original Article: Arutz Sheva

Joint Arab List MKs leave Knesset plenum during Netanyahu’s speech

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The first day of the Knesset winter session Monday was marred by petty political demonstrations.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the podium to address the plenum, all 13 members of the Joint Arab List left the hall. This was in response to the coalition’s decision to “boycott” the Joint Arab List MK’s because they chose not to attend the funeral of former President Shimon Peres last month.

Prior to the incident, Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud), announced that the boycott was symbolic and would last one week. But Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said his party would continue the boycott for the duration of the 20th Knesset. Lieberman called the Joint Arab List a “representation of terrorist organizations in the Knesset.”

In a statement, the Joint Arab List said Netanyahu’s instructions to coalition members to remove themselves from listening to their speeches was an “unprecedented” move. It was the first time in the Knesset’s history that the coalition was “boycotting” a large faction representing nearly 20 percent of the country’s citizens.

Original Article: JNS.ORG

Campus Groups on New UC Irvine Recommendations for Combating Antisemitism on Campus: ‘Proof Will Be in the Pudding’ of Implementation

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While the University of California, Irvine is taking a series of “good first steps” towards combating antisemitism, the “proof will be in the pudding” of implementation, the heads of two leading campus organizations told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of campus watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, and Kenneth Waltzer, executive director of the Academic Engagement Network — a group of American college faculty members who oppose the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — were responding to a recent UC Irvine report that issued recommendations on how the school can align itself with and adopt the University of California Regents Principles Against Intolerance.

“On the whole, I found this report to be very positive and I’m very pleased that UC Irvine is clearly committing itself to addressing the problem of antisemitism and antisemitic anti-Zionism in all its forms,” Rossman-Benjamin told The Algemeiner. “That said, the devil is in the details in how they will actually implement the Regents policy relating specifically to antisemitism.”

According to Waltzer — who served as an outside expert consultant on the report — the recommendations “are headed in the right direction” and are “particularly positive signs that UC Irvine is committed” to fighting Jew-hatred. However, all eyes will be on the university to “see how it concretely executes” those recommendations.

The UCI report — published by the Office of Inclusive Excellence under the auspices of Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Douglas Haynes — focuses on three main areas in which to bolster the school’s response to antisemitism: campus accountability; education and training; and responsive engagement.

Rossman-Benjamin told The Algemeiner she believes “education is the key” to getting to the root of antisemitism on campus.

One of the biggest problems many Jewish students face, she said, is that “the campus administration has really great policies on how to deal with other bigotries, but does not treat the concerns of the Jewish community with the same sensitivity or vigor as other minorities.”

“Student leaders, staff and faculty must be trained and educated in identifying antisemitism and antisemitic forms of anti-Zionism and in addressing them,” she said.

Waltzer concurred. “The line between legitimate forms of anti-Zionism and contemporary forms of antisemitic anti-Zionism must be delineated,” he said. “For example, what happened to Rachel Beyda, a UCLA student who was deemed unfit to serve as a student leader just because she was Jewish — that is out-and-out antisemitism. Similarly, when certain posters appear on campus and recycle medieval motifs of antisemitism behind the banner of anti-Zionism, that is bogus and suspect.”

With the release of the UC Irvine report, the other University of California campuses are on notice, both Rossman-Benjamin and Waltzer said.

“UC chancellors need to look at this courageous and important step UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman has taken and do the same thing,” Rossman-Benjamin said. “We cannot file away the Regents statement and let it collect dust. UC has a major problem with antisemitism — which in large part has to do with anti-Zionism — and for the other chancellors to ignore this would be unconscionable.”

The UC system, as reported by The Algemeiner, has come under fire recently for being among America’s campus “hotbeds” of antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

According to a Brandeis report on campus antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment across the US, the UC system ranked among the top colleges at which Jewish students “perceive a hostile environment.”

Original Article: Algemeiner

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked: ‘BDS movement wants to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth’

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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked blasts boycott, divestment and sanctions movement as “agents of ignorance and hatred” • BDS is “deeply rooted in the classical anti-Semitism that has spread throughout Europe over the past few hundred years,” she says.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement’s true objective is “wiping the Jewish nation off the face of the Earth,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked warned on Sunday.

Speaking at the opening plenary of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem, Shaked said the BDS movement is “deeply rooted in the classical anti-Semitism that has spread throughout Europe over the past few hundred years.”

The board, which meets at least three times a year, is the central policy-making body of the Jewish Agency.

Addressing the plenary, Shaked warned “all agents of ignorance and hatred” against testing Israel’s strength and determination to defend itself, Russia’s RT news reported.

She said the BDS movement “has no interest in promoting human rights, only in wiping the Jewish nation off the face of the Earth.”

Addressing a question from one of the board members on Israel’s position on non-Orthodox conversion and the efforts to forge more inclusive prayer practices in the Western Wall compound, Shaked said she and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett both place great importance on finding a compromise that would enable reform that must be acceptable to all Jewish denominations.

In February, the cabinet approved a reform to promote egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall, which includes building a new plaza for non-Orthodox and mixed gender prayer adjacent to the gender-separated Orthodox plaza.

Shaked also thanked the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors for their contribution to Israel, past and present.

Original Article: Israel Hayom

Legislators, pro-Israel orgs fight pro-BDS conference on Virginia campus

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“Anti-Semitism is a throwback to the dark days of Nazi Germany and a reminder of the Holocaust which eliminated over 6 million Jews.”

Lawmakers of the Virginia General Assembly, the board of the International Leaders Summit think tank and other individuals and organizations concerned with antisemitism recently called on George Mason University in Fairfax to stop the group Students for Justice in Palestine from holding its national conference there.

The event, set to take place next month, is hosted by the university’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid group.

In a letter addressed to university president Dr.

Ángel Cabrera, the BDS opponents wrote that they are reaching out “on behalf of concerned citizens and the Jewish community.

“According to published reports and letters sent from state legislators, including our distinguished colleagues in New York, about Students for Justice in Palestine’s actions and statements, the antisemitic and anti-Israel group’s agenda is to promote the total destruction and elimination of the State of Israel,” the letter said. “[It] fuels intimidation and fear among Jewish and pro-Israel students and faculty members.

“According to reports from US college campuses, Students for Justice in Palestine continues to stoke the flames of hatred and incites violence and harassment against Jewish students and pro-Israel students,” it continued. “Criminal behavior on any university campus is unacceptable; it is an assault on individual liberty, the rule of law and the safety and well-being of citizens.”

The signatories of the letter also pointed out that the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate passed a resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Therefore, the group’s attempt to promote BDS on campus goes against the resolution.

“The rule of law and freedom of speech must be upheld,” they wrote. “Hate-filled speeches and the incitement of violence toward the Jewish community and students and faculty showing support for Israel is unacceptable.

“Antisemitism is a throwback to the dark days of Nazi Germany and a reminder of the Holocaust, which eliminated over six million Jews,” the letter continued.

“A group that incites hate, fuels violent behavior and places citizens’ lives at great risk should not be allowed to use any facility in this Commonwealth of Virginia, let alone a taxpayer- funded educational institution,” it added.

Signatories of the letter include Virginia State Senator Charles W. Carrico, Sr., former director of the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs Becky Norton Dunlop, president of Secure America Now Allen Roth and founder of the Endowment for Middle East Truth Sarah N. Stern.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

EU declares Israel boycott protected as free speech

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The European Union’s foreign policy chief recently affirmed the right of EU citizens to boycott Israel, citing freedom of expression and rebuffing claims by Jerusalem that such measures amount to banned anti-Semitic activity.

While upholding the right of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement to blacklist the Jewish state, Federica Mogherini also noted that the EU itself opposes efforts to boycott Israel.
“The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States’ territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory,” Mogherini said in a written reply to a query by an Irish member of the European Parliament last month.

“Freedom of expression, as underlined by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, is also applicable to information or ideas ‘that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population,’” Mogherini said.

She continued: “The EU rejects the BDS campaign’s attempts to isolate Israel and is opposed to any boycott of Israel.”

Despite the EU’s outspoken rejection of BDS, the Palestinians celebrated Mogherini’s statement.

“We welcome the EU’s belated defense of the right of European and other citizens to stand in solidarity with Palestinian rights, including through BDS tactics,” said Riya Hassan, a senior member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, which bills itself as the the “largest coalition in Palestinian civil society” promoting the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Hassan went on to state that the Palestinians expect the EU to take steps against Israel, including, “at the very least, imposing a military embargo on Israel, banning products of companies that do business in Israel’s illegal colonies.”

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem declined to comment on Mogherini’s statement, which came on September 15 but was only published recently.

The statement came in response to a parliamentary question posed on June 24 by Sinn Fein politician Martina Anderson.

Anderson, a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause and strident critic of Israel, had asked the European Commission whether it would “commit to defending BDS activists’ right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression.”

In her query, Anderson — who heads the European Parliament’s “Delegation for relations with Palestine” — also asked the EU Commission to comment on a speech made in March by Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, in which he called for “pinpoint civil eliminations” (Hebrew link) against the heads of the BDS movement. (The phrase he used, sikul ezrahi memukad, has also been translated as “targeted civic prevention effort,” though sikul usually means assassination.)

Mogherini replied by saying that the EU “firmly condemns threats and violence against human rights defenders under all circumstances.” The union regularly discusses with Jerusalem questions regarding the the “protection of human rights and human rights defenders,” she added. The EU “calls on both Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from provocation and to resolutely fight incitement and hate speech.”

Israel’s relationship with the EU has been fraught over the last few years, due to what Jerusalem perceives as a persistent pro-Palestinian bias in the union’s statements and policies.

Last week, for instance, Jerusalem was displeased over a group of senior EU diplomats visiting Palestinian villages in the West Bank that face demolition at the hands of Israeli authorities.

The EU delegation to the Palestinian Authority said the trip’s objective was to learn about “the coercive environment these communities find themselves in, to be informed of recent developments, to demonstrate concern at the humanitarian impact of any demolitions and forced transfer of population, and to express the EU’s commitment to a sustainable future for the Palestinian communities in Area C.”

Area C is the part of the West Bank in which Israel exercises administrative and military control, and in which the Israeli settlements are located.

Israel, which argues that the structures slated for demolition were built illegally, reacted “with irritation to the initiative and the statement,” a senior official in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel.

“We can only wish that the EU would show the same amount of empathy and interest toward the Israeli victims of Palestinian violence and incitement. The root cause of the conflict is the persistent refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognize the legitimacy of our existence as the state of the Jewish people.”

Despite ongoing tension over Israel’s repeated destruction of illegal structures, many of which were funded by the union, a senior EU official dealing with the Middle East last week hailed overall stable bilateral ties.

“Yes, there is a difference of views on issues concerning the Palestinians but at the same time there is no other country in the region the EU has a stronger relationship with than Israel,” said Christian Berger, the outgoing director of the EU foreign ministry’s Middle East and Northern Africa department.

Berger, who over the years has been blamed by Israeli officials for many of the EU’s perceived pro-Palestinian policies, made the comment in a statement he provided to Israel’s diplomatic mission in Brussels on the occasion of his leaving the post.

“I wish the country well,” said Berger. “Israel will continue to prosper but I also hope she will find peace in a troubled region during troubled times. And, I hope Israel will remain a strong friend and partner of Europe.”

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

No Sense Denying the Jewish Connection to Jerusalem

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Archaeologists have uncovered even more evidence of the ancient Jewish connection to Jerusalem — this right after UNESCO and the Palestinian Authority (PA) declared that Jews have no ties to the holy city. Talk about irony.

The latest discovery is a site where the Roman army assaulted Jewish forces guarding the outer walls of Jerusalem, during the Second Temple period. The find further discredits the lies of the UN and the PA.

The Romans were attacking Jewish forces; no evidence was found of any Palestinian forces in the area. The assault took place during the Second Temple period — the temple that the PA says never existed.

Every time archaeologists dig in Israel, another piece of the Palestinian propaganda line crumbles. Earlier this year, scientists unearthed two ancient document seals in Jerusalem, dating to the late eighth century or early seventh century BCE. The script on the seals is in Hebrew, not Arabic or any other language connected to Arabs or Muslims.

One of the seals bears the name of a man, “Sa’adyahu ben Shebnayahu.” The other is the name of a woman, “Elihanah bat Goel” (or Gael). Jewish names. Not Arab or Muslim or Palestinian. The archaeologists note that the names were “in typical Judean fashion for this time period.”

Another important archaeological discovery earlier this year was the discovery of the world’s oldest glass kilns, alongside a railroad track at the foot of Mount Carmel, near Haifa. Professor Ian Freestone of London’s University College, a specialist in the identification of the chemical composition of glass, noted that the kilns prove that “Israel constituted a production center on an international scale — hence its glassware was widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean and Europe.”

The kilns date from around the year 400 C.E., some 300 hundred years after the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, killed an estimated 600,000 Jews, and destroyed more than 1,000 Jewish cities and towns.

Despite that devastation, the Jews were so attached to the Land of Israel that they rebuilt their society, to the point of serving as a glass-production center that exported its wares throughout the Roman Empire. One of the most famous discoveries in this field is an edict by the Roman emperor Diocletian, in which he set the prices for what he called “Judean glass.”

Not “Palestinian glass,” but “Judean glass.” Because everyone knew that Judea was the name of the region. That’s what the Bible called it. That’s what historians have called it for more than 2,000 years.

That is, until UNESCO and the Palestinian Arab propaganda machine came along.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Pro-Israel Groups at UC Berkeley Band Together to Counter-Protest ‘Day of Action’ Against Jewish State

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Two groups at UC Berkeley are gearing up to counter-protest an annual rally whose purpose is to demonize Israel, the head of one of the organizations told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

Josh Woznica, president of Bears for Israel, said that his group and fellow pro-Israel organization Tikvah are “coming together for the first time to present a strong, united front” against Thursday’s “International Day of Action for Palestine” demonstration. In previous years, he said, students at these rallies have gone so far as to openly call for terrorism against the Jewish state.

Woznica said that the counter-protest, which he expects will be attended by over 100 people, is not aimed at anti-Israel students, but rather at the “70 percent who pass by and don’t know anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our intent is to have a silent protest opposing the anti-Israel messaging of the ‘Day of Action,’ highlighting the importance of academic freedom and ending the double standard applied to Israel. We are not trying to convince the other side. We want the students to see there is another perspective. Anti-Israel groups scream and chant really catchy slogans, such as, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ and present a false picture of what is happening in Israel. Our goal is to expose this.”

According to the demands outlined on the “Day of Action” Facebook page, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists are calling, among other things, for the end of “academic complicity with Israeli occupation.”

Calling this “counter-productive dialogue,” Woznica said, “You can’t support academic freedom for everyone other than Israel.”

Pro-Israel and Jewish students at UC Berkeley, he said, “feel like they are in a place where their ideas are not valued and they are targeted for their religion or views.”

The “Day of Action” rally is being sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Bears for Palestine. Speakers include Dr. Hatem Bazian, a notorious anti-Israel activist and SJP co-founder. It comes on the heels of a controversy at UC Berkeley over a recent anti-Israel course, which led — as The Algemeiner reported — to the appearance of fliers on campus warning students about Jewish “bullies.”

Original Article: Algemeiner