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DECEMBER 2017

Ignoring Exile of Jews, NY Times Approvingly Notes
East Jerusalem “Was Exclusively Arab in 1967”

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Arab Legion people at the Jewish synagogue they blew to pieces
to flush out the Jews from Jerusalem, May 21, 1948.


Amidst some questionable journalism about the American move to acknowledge the location of Israel's capital, a passage in yesterday's New York Times editorial stands out as particularly stunning and perverse.

The editorial, titled "Does Trump Want Peace in the Middle East," effectively ratifies the cleansing of Jews from Jerusalem's Old City and other formerly Jewish areas of Jerusalem during the 1948 Independence War.

In a paragraph criticizing the return of Jews to what the newspaper describes as "settlements" in those parts of Jerusalem, the editorial bases its disapproval on the fact that "East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967."

It is true that this section of Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967. This is because Jews, long a majority and plurality in these parts of the city, were forced out in 1948, when the area was seized by Jordanian troops. Jerusalem neighborhoods like the Jewish Quarter, Shimon Hatzadik, and Silan indeed became Jew-free, their synagogues razed and their cemeteries desecrated.

To consider the 19-year period during which Jews were exiled from the Old City and surrounding areas as the starting point of history, and to use it as a bludgeon to attack Israel and delegitimize the presence of Jews in eastern Jerusalem, effectively communicates the newspaper's acceptance of the expulsion of the Jews and seeming endorsement of an ethically cleansed eastern Jerusalem.

Read more Camera


Why Trump Is Right in Recognizing Jerusalem
as Israel’s Capital

by Alan M. Dershowitz

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President Donald Trump displays the signed "Presidential Proclamation Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel and Relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem," on December 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Image source: White House video screenshot)


President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a perfect response to President Obama's benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring Judaism's holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a "flagrant violation under international law." It was President Obama who changed the status quo and made peace more difficult, by handing the Palestinians enormous leverage in future negotiations and disincentivizing them from making a compromised peace.

It had long been American foreign policy to veto any one-sided Security Council resolutions that declared Judaism's holiest places to be illegally occupied. Obama's decision to change that policy was not based on American interests or in the interests of peace. It was done out of personal revenge against Prime Minister Netanyahu and an act of pique by the outgoing president.

It was also designed improperly to tie the hands of President-elect Trump. President Trump is doing the right thing by telling the United Nations that the United States now rejects the one-sided U.N. Security Council Resolution.

Read more Gatestone Institute

NOVEMBER 2017

In 1986 letter, Prince Charles blames
‘foreign’ Jews for Mideast turmoil

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In correspondence to a friend, the heir to the throne also laments the unwillingness of US presidents to take on the 'Jewish lobby.

In a newly revealed letter from 1986 , the UK’s Prince Charles implied that the “influx of foreign, European Jews” to Israel was to blame for fueling the Israeli-Arab conflict, and lamented that US presidents were unwilling to take on the American “Jewish lobby.”


Read more Times of Israel

OCTOBER 2017

Exclusive interview @ Arutz Sheva: ‘Son of Hamas,’
the speaker who shocked the UNHRC

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“Hamas, which I know well, is an ideological political organization that views extreme violence as a means to achieve its political ends. In the 21st century an individual or group that tries to achieve its goals by violent means should not be legitimized by anybody. In my definition, Hamas is a terror organization. 

“I have seen how radically different the behavior of democratic Israel is from that of Hamas and Fatah. Hamas is still living in the 7th century, something Europe cannot even understand. Over the years I have realized that due to their religious views, Hamas cannot make peace with Israel. Their interpretation of Islam requires that cease fires alone are possible with infidels, not peace. Such a cease fire can last no more than 15 years. No political solution will ever satisfy Hamas in the long term. It is not about borders but who believes in their God and who does not. Hamas’ target is not just Israel, but for Islam to gain control over all non-believers.”

Read more Arutz Sheva 


SEPTEMBER 2017

Barbie's Newest Doll: Jenna The Hijabi

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The newest Barbie doll made her appearance this week in a look that would be unrecognizable to the original. Jenna, created by a French Muslim mother, is a hijabi Barbie. 
In tradition with Muslim customs, Jenna wears an abaya, a modest dress that covers her collarbone and that stretches to her wrists and ankles. She comes with a matching scarf meant to be wrapped around her hair as a hijab. In addition to looking the part of a Muslim, Jenna will play it as well: she has the ability o recite 4 Quran verses. 

Read more The Jerusalem Post


Despite Protests, US to Return Trove of Jewish Artifacts to Iraq

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A Hebrew Bible printed in Venice in 1568, recovered from the Iraqi Jewish Archive. (Courtesy)

The United States will return to Iraq next year a trove of Iraqi Jewish artifacts that lawmakers and Jewish groups have lobbied to keep in this country, a State Department official said.

A four-year extension to keep the Iraqi Jewish Archive in the US is set to expire in September 2018, as is funding for maintaining and transporting the items. The materials will then be sent back to Iraq, spokesman Pablo Rodriguez said in a statement sent to JTA on Thursday.

Read more Times of Israel


AUGUST 2017

Palestinian Propaganda Is Infiltrating US Public Schools

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Six years ago, a teenager in Newton, Massachusetts — Shiri Pagliuso — asked her father if it was true that Israel tortures and murders women activists in the Palestinian resistance movement.

Then a high school freshman, Shiri had learned the information from her textbook — the Arab World Studies Notebook, a 540-page volume so riddled with unabashed bias that it had garnered a scathing 30-page report from the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

Back in 2011, Shiri’s father — Tony Pagliuso — wasn’t yet aware of the AJC’s report. But he knew outright propaganda when he saw it.

He contacted his daughter’s teacher, the head of the high school’s history department, the principal, and eventually the superintendents — who all defended the Arab World Studies Notebook as essential for sharpening critical thinking skills. They also praised the book for providing a “balanced perspective” and an “Arab point of view.

Pagliuso realized that he was being stonewalled, which got him thinking: If he looked at Shiri’s other course materials, what other dreadful stuff would he find?

Determined to expose the extent of the problem, a bitter multi-year battle ensued that pitted Pagliuso — who was soon joined by a group of other parents and Newton residents — against a shockingly hostile school district.

Together, the parents and residents fought to get school officials to acknowledge their legitimate concerns, provide access to all the curriculum materials as required by law, and to pull the Arab World Studies Notebook and other academically unsuitable materials.

Now, in a new study by CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), researcher Steven Stotsky carefully traces how these partisan materials — many with scant scholarly value — seeped into a nationally prominent public school system.

The 108 page monograph, Indoctrinating Our Youth: How a U.S. Public School Curriculum Skews the Arab-Israeli Conflict and Islam, is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the Newton curriculum controversy.

Read more The Algemeiner

JUNE 2017

Ramallah movie theater follows Lebanon,
bans Wonder Woman film

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After Lebanon decided to ban the new superhero film Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, a cinema in Ramallah has now chosen not to screen the film, which has become a global hit.

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, posted on his Facebook page in Arabic that the movie theater Berg Palestine in the city of Ramallah decided to refrain from screening the film for what appear to be political reasons.

Read more Jerusalem Online


MAY 2017

Hatra’s embattled history, from the Romans to ISIS

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The liberation of most of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made global headlines in April. Largely lost in the coverage of the conflict was the recapture of another significant site at the end of the month: the Roman-period city of Hatra. On 26 April Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces announced they had recaptured the site from ISIS after fierce fighting.

Hatra rises out of the desert some 90 kilometers south of Mosul in the midst of a network of usually dry wadis. Its forlorn location belies its once fabulous wealth. Caught between the twin superpowers of the Roman and Parthian Empires, Hatra was well positioned to make a fortune by taxing trade caravans looking to take a shortcut across the desert.

Read more Apollo Magazine


Returning to Jerusalem: The Yemenite synagogue of Shiloah

Expelled from their homes during Arab riots in 1938, the Jews of Shiloah were promised they would return home. Now, it's finally happening.

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In preparation for the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, Arutz Sheva, together with Ateret Cohanim, are presenting a special project that will focus on the renewal of Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem, the Old City and the village of Shiloah (bordering the Kidron Valley outside the Old City walls).

In this, our third episode in the series, we focus on the restoration of the old Jewish community of Shiloah, in the neighborhood today better known by its Arabic name, Silwan.

Shiloah, adjacent to the ancient City of David and the Old City of Jerusalem, was, prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, a thriving community of Yemenite Jews.

Established in 1882, Shiloah was built on a barren hillside; the area today referred to as Silwan, at the time utterly bereft of inhabitants.

Like other Jewish communities, the heart of the Yemenite village of Shiloah was the synagogue. Named Ohel Shlomo, the synagogue was completed in 1885, three years after Shiloah was established.

For more than half a century, Shiloah was a center of Yemenite Jewish life in the Land of Israel, and Ohel Shlomo the center of life in the village.

But in 1938, in the midst of the Arab Revolt against the British Mandate and the wave of massacres against Jews, the British administrators evacuated the residents of Shiloah – with promises that they would one day return.

It seemed, however, that the Jewish return to Shiloah was not to be. That promise went unfulfilled for decades, with the Jordanian army occupying the area in 1948.

Read more Arutz Sheva 


APRIL 2017

Why Does the West Keep Colluding with Terrorists?
by Douglas Murray

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Only a fortnight after a vehicular terrorist attack in Westminster, London, another similar attack took place in Stockholm, Sweden. On one of the city's main shopping streets, a vehicle was once again used as a battering-ram against the bodies of members of the public. As in Nice, France. As in Berlin. As so many times in Israel.

Amid this regular news there is an air of defeatism -- a terrible lack of policy and lack of solutions. How can governments stop people driving trucks into pedestrians? Is it something we must simply get used to, as France's former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and London's Mayor Sadiq Khan have both suggested? Must we come to recognise acts of terror as something like the weather? Or is there anything we can do to limit, if not stop, them? If so, where would we start? One place would be to have a frank public discussion about these matters. Yet, even that is easier said than done.

There is a terrible symmetry to this past week in the West. The week began with the news that the Somali-born author and human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali had been forced to cancel a speaking tour in Australia. "Security concerns" were among the given reasons. A notable aspect of this issue, which has been made public, is that one of the venues at which Hirsi Ali was due to speak was contacted last month by something calling itself "'The Council for the Prevention of Islamophobia Incorporated". Nobody appears to know where this "incorporated" organisation comes from, but its purported founder -- Syed Murtaza Hussain -- claimed that the group would bring 5000 protestors to the hall at which Hirsi Ali was scheduled to talk. This threat is reminiscent of the occasion in 2009 when the British peer, Lord Ahmed, threatened to mobilise 10,000 British Muslims to protest at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster if the Dutch politician Geert Wilders were allowed to speak. On that occasion -- as on this one -- the event was cancelled. Promises to mobilise thousands of angry Muslims can have such an effect. But the long-term implications often get lost in the short-term outrage.

Read more Gatestone Institute


MARCH 2017

Banksy: Safe Under Israeli Protection

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Famous British street artist Banksy has opened his new nine-room Walled Off Hotel facing the security wall that Israel erected between Bethlehem and Jerusalem to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from blowing up buses and cafes in the Israeli capital. 

But Banksy doesn't care why Israel erected this wall. Detached as he is from reality, and protected by his anonymity, Banksy opened the hotel "with the worst view in the world" to convince Israelis and Palestinians that their bloody struggle is nothing more than a pillow fight between two immature adults.

Speaking to The Guardian, Banksy explained that “it’s exactly 100 years since Britain took control of Palestine and started rearranging the furniture – with chaotic results. I don’t know why, but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.” 

One of Banksy's works featured in the hotel depicts Lord Balfour signing his famous 1917 declaration designating mandatory Palestine as the Jewish home. Balfour is seen sitting in an office resembling an English gentlemen’s club from colonial times.

For Banksy, the West Bank and Gaza are the largest prisons in the world. And the walls, well, for one who has no idea what it's like to lose relatives to a suicide bomb, "the segregation wall is a disgrace."

The truth is that Israelis have long been fed up with these types of self-righteous artists who think for whatever reason that they have the right tell us how to live our lives. Little wonder that Reuven Berko, considered one of Israel's top experts on Arab affairs, pulls no punches in addressing Banksy's latest propaganda stunt. 

Writing in the Hebrew daily _Israel Hayom, _Berko reports:

"[Banksy's] people explain on Facebook that he 'found the most charged scenery and turned the hotel into an anti-occupation presentation … the artistic boutique creates a different reality which invites going out of the automat while melting the walls with courage and wisdom.' These are lofty intellectual words for describing an anonymous and cowardly antisemite … who came from England to work against the Jews. Someone with really courage will notice upon exiting this trippy hotel that it's built in an area safely under Israeli control. What the hypocritical artist most wanted was security. Had he built the hotel deeper inside Bethlehem, Banksy knows well the hotel would have had a different kind of 'ugly view': the ghostly remnants of the once large Christian community that has since been raped, robbed and decimated by terrorist militias."

source: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Newsheadlineslist.aspx


FEBRUARY 2017

Archaeologists get set to dig at Masada, after 11-year hiatus

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For the first time in over a decade, archaeologists are commencing new excavations atop Masada, studying previously untouched areas of the legendary desert mountain fortress, including the residences of Jewish rebels who met their doom in 74 CE. 

A Tel Aviv University team, headed by Roman-period archaeologist Guy Stiebel, will conduct a month-long excavation at the UNESCO World Heritage Site starting on February 5. It will be the university’s first expedition at the site, and the first expedition overall there since 2006.

Masada is a rugged crag in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod, the first-century BCE king of Judea — perhaps best known for building Jerusalem’s Temple Mount complex — constructed a fortress and palace on the mountain. The elaborate waterworks channeling seasonal rainfall allowed the royal redoubt to have a more plentiful supply than Jerusalem, according to ancient accounts.

Read more Times of Israel


JANUARY 2017

‘Trump Restaurant’ in Syria's Kobani: Kurdish gratitude to US

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A Syrian Kurd opened a small eatery for falafel sandwiches last week in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani and named it after the US President-elect Donald Trump.

Waleed Shekhi, the owner of Trump Restaurant, told Kurdistan24 on Saturday his new business was a result of the current war in his country.

“Keeping peace with the current situation in Syria and the US, I decided to name my restaurant after the new US president,” he said.

Regarding the purpose of the name “Trump” for his business, Shekhi said it was an opportunity to express “gratitude as a Kurd to the US for supporting them in the fight against [the Islamic State (IS)].”

Additionally, Shekhi said the difficult living conditions in Kobani lead him to embark on the new business.

“After the liberation of our town from [IS] two years ago, I had to try many hard jobs for my family, but in vain,” he said.

“I am hopeful I will make a profit from this small eatery because my wife and I serve delicious sandwiches, and moreover the name is attractive,” he said laughing.

In September 2014, Kobani was a battleground between IS insurgents, People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces, and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ).

On Jan. 26, 2015, the YPG, along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Peshmerga reinforcements, and US-led airstrikes, successfully liberated Kobani.

Read more Kurdistan24











 











Who should keep Iraqi Jewry’s archives, saved from Saddam, now on tour in US?

The future of a unique collection, salvaged in a ‘Monuments Men-style’ rescue from a secret police HQ in Baghdad, 2003, is up for grabs

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American special forces stormed the basement of the notorious Mukhabarat, the headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s secret police, shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And while they didn’t find the alleged weapons of mass destruction, nor the Iraqi dictator himself, what they did find was a rare collection of artifacts from the Iraqi Jewish community dating back hundreds of years, including a Hebrew Bible and Babylonian Talmud.

The collection was waterlogged and damaged, and the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq placed an urgent call to the United States National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland. With permission from local officials, the treasures were soon airlifted to the US in a special rescue operation.

At a cost of $3 million, the collection of over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries has been preserved, cataloged and digitized. Today, some are being shown in an exhibition touring the US until they are ultimately to be returned to the Iraqi National Archives in Baghdad.

“There is no date,” said US National Archives exhibit director Lisa Royse about the exact time the collection is to be returned to Iraq. “[For now] they are willing to let us extend the archive’s time in the US.”

Read more The Times of Israel



JANUARY 2015

“Put it Back!” Tutankhamun's Beard
 Glued Back On After Mishap

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Tutankhamun may be an ancient mummy, but he received a modern facelift, employees of Cairo's Egyptian Museum stated Friday - after his burial mask's beard fell off, and then was hastily glued back together

It is unclear what caused the mishap, the museum's conservators told BBC, as well as whether the beard was removed intentionally or as part of routine maintenance. 

However, an inquiry is underway over the incident, as an employee was allegedly told to fix the problem and put the mummy back on display instead of sending the 3,000-year-old artifact to a conservation lab.

The blue-and-yellow beard was then stuck back together with quick-drying glue, a museum source told the Associated Press. A separate source added that a colleague had used a spatula to remove excess glue, scratching the priceless relic. 

Photos posted to social media show that the glue is clearly visible on the casing. 

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Read more @ Arutz Sheva


DECEMBER 2014

Last Jew in Pakistan Fights for Jewish Cemetery

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One of the headstones at the Jewish cemetery in Karachi. Photograph: Jon Boone/The Guardian

Engineer Fishel (Faisal) Benkhald, a Pakistani who according to his own estimation is the last Jew in the Muslim country, is struggling to preserve the Jewish cemetery in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city with a population of 20 million.

Benkhald, whose father was Muslim and whose mother was an Iranian Jew, told the British The Guardian last Friday that he grew up in Karachi and identifies as a Jew, even though his Pakistani ID lists him as Muslim.

"I want the government to recognize the Jews as a minority in Pakistan," said Benkhald, who is the only self-declared Jew in Muslim Pakistan, where anti-Semitism is rampant.

Read more Arutz Sheva
Read more The Guardian



JUNE 2014

The Future of the Babylonian Jewish Archives:
Interview with Dr. Harold Rhode by Jerry Gordon

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When we interviewed Dr. Harold Rhode, the savior of the Babylonian Jewish archives, he told the story of how he had found them in the water-logged basement of the late Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat in Baghdad in 2003 and arranged for recovery and restoration by the National Archives and Records Agency (NARA) in Washington, DC. In July 2003, the Coalition Provisional Authority reached an agreement under international law with the Iraqi interim government for return of the restored Jewish archives. 

Read more @ New English Review








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