Category Archives: Israel

Algeria cancels soccer match due to Israeli manager

Algeria’s soccer team have pulled out of a friendly match with Ghana only because the latter has an Israeli head coach.

The Algerian team dropped out of the match to ensure that Avram Grant did not enter the country.

Avram Grant - not allowed into Algeria
Avram Grant – not allowed into Algeria

“The Algerian national team cancelled the friendly match with Ghana because it refused to host Ghana’s Israeli coach, Avraham (sic) Grant,” Algerian journalist Ayman Gada confirmed on Facebook.

Grant, the former Chelsea manager, has been in Ghana for the past two years. He had been the coach of the Israeli national team from 2002 to 2006.

Algeria last played Ghana in 2015’s Africa Cup of Nations, when Grant’s team won 1-0.

Algeria has long been a supporter of the Palestinian cause. The country used to have more than 100,000 Jews, but the vast majority of them left after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and during the country’s bloody war of independence against France.

Algeria has a mixed attitude toward Jews. In 2014 the country announced it would reopen synagogues that had been closed since the 1990s. However in 2015 Algerian Islamists called for attacks on Jews and later that year a video surfaced of Algerian troops marching to chants about murdering Jews.

Algeria came fourth on a list of the world’s most anti-Semitic countries.

World Jewish Congress President speaks out and makes his point… well

The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University on Tuesday honored World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder with the prestigious Guardian of Zion Award for his efforts in the perpetuation and strengthening of Jerusalem.

Ronald S Lauder - speech strikes the right note
Ronald S Lauder – speech strikes the right note

In his acceptance speech, Lauder outlined the challenges facing the Jewish world today and spoke about his vision for contending with contemporary anti-Semitism. “Over the last 20 years, and for the first time since the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is acceptable again,” Lauder said. “Unlike the anti-Semitism of the past, today it comes not just from the Far-Right, but increasingly it comes from the Far-Left. And the new target for this age-old hatred is not the ‘International Jew,’ as Henry Ford called us. Today, it is the Jewish state of Israel, which is constantly vilified throughout the media, on the internet, at the United Nations, and on almost every college campus.”

Lauder went on to say: “Let’s make one thing crystal-clear right now. When someone says they are not anti-Jewish, they are only anti-Israel, that is a lie. When you hold the only Jewish nation to a different standard than any other country, when you make up lies about the only Jewish nation, its past and its present, and when you want the only Jewish nation on earth to disappear, that makes you an anti-Semite. Pure and simple.”

The WJC president expressed disappointment in the United Nations’ resolve at contending with these issues, saying international body was losing legitimacy as it allowed anti-Jewish sentiment to undermine it.

Lauder said that for Jews today, “our destiny is in our own hands.”

The World Jewish Congress had come a long way since its founding in 1936, Lauder said, from the days when it had to turn to the world for help. But now, he pointed out, “the era of the quiet Jew is over.”

Lauder said the WJC was working to engage young Jewish leaders, including the flagship WJC-Jewish Diplomatic Corps program, a group of more than 200 young professionals who assist the WJC in its diplomatic and outreach endeavors as emissaries in their respected countries around the world. “I intend to make our young people, proud of their heritage again. I want them to have the same pride that we had when we were younger.”

Lauder also discussed the WJC’s efforts in combating attacks on Israel in the legal realm and on campuses, and proposed to enhance Jewish public relations efforts, “so that we, not our enemies will define who we are.”

He ended his speech with a plea: “This is the job before us now. We have to help our children and our grandchildren dust off their hearts, we have to help them re-discover that Jewish flame inside them. This isn’t just important for Jews, it’s important for everyone, Jews and gentiles, because for over 5,000 years, that flame has been lighting the entire world.”

The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies was established at Bar-Ilan University in 1995 by US Jewish community leaders Ingeborg Hanna and Ira Leon Rennert as an expression of their heartfelt commitment to the preservation and advancement of Jerusalem’s unique heritage. Integrating studies on the history, archaeology, geography, demography, economy and sociology of Jerusalem, the Rennert Center has become the foremost academic center in the international academic community studying aspects of Jerusalem’s past and present.

This is the 20th year the Rennert Center is conferring the Guardian of Zion Award. Last year’s award was bestowed upon former US Senator Joe Lieberman. Additional recipients have included Jonathan Sacks, James S. Snyder, Dore Gold, Malcolm Hoenlein, Caroline Glick, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes, William Safire, Arthur Cohn, Charles Krauthammer, Cynthia Ozick, A.M. Rosenthal, Herman Wouk and Elie Wiesel.

Follow this link to the original article here.

Recalling the pogrom against Iraqi Jews on the evening of mass terror attack in Tel Aviv

This Wednesday evening, four people have died following a mass terrorist shooting in the centre of Tel Aviv.

Up to six others have been injured in the attack, which took place at a popular open-air food market.

A police commander said two Palestinian gunmen from the West Bank were behind the “harsh terror attack”, and both were “neutralised” at the scene.

Local reports suggest one of the gunmen had been disguised as an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

One of the alleged attackers was arrested, and a doctor has told Sky News that the other suspect is in a stable condition after being taken to hospital for treatment.

Only the bravery of security guards at the market managed to avert a bigger disaster by stopping the attackers from going inside.

 

This news came in as we were preparing an article recalling the 75 years since the Farhud, the two-day pogrom that befell the Jews of Baghdad, in June 1941.

When the Farhud—which means, in Arabic, “violent dispossession”—erupted, there were around 90,000 Jews still living in the Iraqi capital, the main component of a vibrant community descended from the sages who, 27 centuries earlier, had made the land once known as Babylon the intellectual and spiritual center of Judaism.

A monument in Ramat Gan, Israel, serves as a memorial for the Iraqi Jews killed during the Farhud (Arabic for ‘violent dispossession’) in June 1941.
A monument in Ramat Gan, Israel, serves as a memorial for the Iraqi Jews killed during the Farhud (Arabic for ‘violent dispossession’) in June 1941.

By the time the violent mob stood down, at the end of the festival of Shavuot, nearly 200 Jews lay dead, with hundreds more wounded, raped, and beaten. Hundreds of homes and businesses were burned to the ground.

As the smoke cleared over a scene more familiar in countries like Russia, Poland, and Germany, the Jewish community came to the realization that it had no future in Iraq. Within a decade, almost the entire community had been chased out, joining a total of 850,000 Jews from elsewhere in the Arab world summarily dispossessed from their homes and livelihoods.

AntiSemitismWatch comment: The poignancy of yet another unprovoked terrorist attack on Jews, 75 years on from the Farhud, should be clear to all. If you want to do something, pray for all those affected by tonight’s outrage, share the story of the Farhud and stay strong.

Click here to read more about the Farhud.

 

Jewish actress, “I do not see beauty as an advantage against anti-Semitism”

Popular French-Israeli actress Julia Levy-Boeken said that people would be shocked at the anti-Semitic comments people say in front of her, assuming she is not Jewish.

Julia Levy-Boeken (photo from Twitter)
Julia Levy-Boeken (photo from Twitter)

In an interview with French magazine Paris Match, Levy-Boeken, who was born in France, was asked by the interviewer whether her beauty protected her from anti-Semitism? The actress responded strongly suggesting, “
I do not see beauty as an advantage against anti-Semitism.”

However, Levy-Boeken did explain, “It is precisely because of my blond hair and fair skin that many people think I’m not Jewish, and I often hear comments that they wouldn’t dare say if they knew, like, ‘They [Jews] are everywhere’ or, ‘We are no longer the majority here.’ This has shocked me more than anything.”

Levy-Boeken is best known for her roles in the movie “World War Z,” the HBO hit series “Entourage” and the Israeli hit drama Ha-Alufa, where she played an American spy working for the Mossad.

The French-Israeli actress plays a small part in the upcoming controversial comedic movie “They Are Everywhere,” which critically examines anti-Semitism in France. Directed by French-Israeli director Yvan Attal, the film centres on a Jewish man (played by Attal himself) who attends therapy sessions to talk about how he was persecuted by growing anti-Semitism in France. His sessions are punctuated by a series of tragi-comic short stories showcasing the most tenacious anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Latest United Nations farce supported by UK, France and Germany

The United Nations has demonstrated yet again just how unfit it is to hold that name title. Also worrying is how it has been supported in its last farce by the UK, France, Germany.

2016-05-26-16-01-14-267196083These nations, together with other EU states have voted for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that uniquely singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health.”

They further commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.

By contrast, the UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor did it pass a resolution on China, North Korea, Libya or any other world nation.

Out of twenty-four items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item number nineteen against Israel, focused on a specific country.

“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

“Shame on Britain, France and Germany for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, Neuer added.

In contrast to the shocking collaboration of the UK, France and Germany, there is much to commend the principled stand taken by the U.S., Canada, Australia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Micronesia and Papua New Guinea in joining Israel to oppose perpetuating a politicized agenda item.

The U.S. and Canada both took the floor today to strongly object to the anti-Israel exercise.

The vote was 107 to 8 for the resolution, with 8 abstentions and 58 absent.  The resolution calls for reports on a series of alleged Israeli violations, including on “the impact of prolonged occupation and human rights violations on mental,
physical and environmental health” in “the occupied Palestinian territory.”

By backing the measure, EU states effectively adopted an inflammatory report which, amongst other things, blamed the increase in Palestinian traffic accidents on the fear of “being pursued by settlers”; as well as a Syrian submission laced with anti-Semitic conspiracy tropes, yet circulated as an official UN document on the conference agenda, which alleges that “the Israeli occupation authorities” continue “to experiment on Syrian and Arab prisoners with medicines and drugs and to inject them with pathogenic viruses.”

Unable to deny Israel’s medical treatment of thousands of wounded Syrians, the regime accuses Israel of a plot: healing “armed terrorists from Jabhah al-Nusrah” so that they can “resume their subversive terrorist activities directed against the country’s peaceful citizens and its infrastructure.”

The EU states could have introduced their own resolution about how Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of its own people, destroying the health rights of the Syrian people.

Last month, France and Spain voted for an Arab-sponsored UNESCO resolution that contained the wild conspiracy accusation that Israel was “planting fake Jewish graves” in Jerusalem.

With today’s vote, which robs the world health assembly of limited time and resources in order to portray Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights, the entire EU now descends into irrationalism.

By scapegoating the Jewish state for all the world’s health problems, just as medieval Europe once accused the Jews of poisoning the wells, the EU aids and abets the UN and its World Health Organization to betray the cause of humanity and the very principles upon which they were founded.

This article is adapted from one published by UN Watch. Follow the link to it here.

French Prime Minister explodes the open BDS secret

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, gave a speech at Tel Aviv University on Sunday during which he exploded the open secret that underpins the BDS movement.

vallsValls said: “This invitation is…the most sincere response to those who talk of nothing but boycott. Behind this boycott we well know what there is: not only an opposition, but also a loathing of the State of Israel, the loathing of a Jewish home, and therefore of Jews as a whole.”

Valls was addressing an audience during a ceremony in which the George Wise Medal was conferred on him. The medal commemorates Tel Aviv University’s founding President and is awarded to long-standing Israel advocates.

The Prime Minister, who is on a three-day visit to Israel, said that it was France’s ‘role and duty’ to never give way before those that want to ‘hinder a democracy;’ that it was the ‘fight of a lifetime’ against anti-Semitism, ‘a battle of civilisation.’

To applause, Valls said, “When one attacks Jews, one of course attacks France and attacks civilisation.”

 

Belgium refuses teens’ request for financial aid after parents murdered in terrorist attack but nominates terrorist for noble peace prize

Belgium has made a decision to refuse a request for financial assistance from the daughters of an Israeli couple killed in the 2014 terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels
Aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels

Meanwhile, the country’s lawmakers from across the political spectrum have apparently nominated jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Barghouti is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail for his role in murderous terror attacks during the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

Sisters, Shira and Ayelet Riva were 15 and 17 at the time of the attack. Their parents, Mira and Emmanuel Riva were on vacation and touring the museum in May 2014 when Mehdi Nemmouche, opened fire on museum visitors and staff.

belgium 2Nemmouche, a Frenchman, was believed by authorities to have left for Syria via Belgium to fight with jihadists in 2012 before returning to Europe.

Along with the Rivas, a French volunteer at the museum and a Belgian employee were killed in the attack.

The Belgium commission that decides on assistance for victims of intentional acts of violence refused to grant the girls application, saying there was no “urgent need.” Urgent need is defined as a request in the first six months following an attack.

The Riva teens, who live in Tel Aviv, filed their application for the assistance 10 months after the attack. The sisters’ attorney said since the girls were not Belgian citizens, it was more difficult to file the request and took longer.

They had applied for the flat allocation of 15,000 euros, which is generally provided as standard in such cases.

Barghouti has received his support from both the Belgian Senate and House of Representatives who penned a letter to the Nobel nominating committee praising him as a peace activist and key to future talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Barghouti is the former leader of the Tanzim armed wing of Fatah and was convicted in Israel of being the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, another Fatah terror group.

He was convicted in 2004 on five counts of murder and one attempted murder, and was implicated in and held responsible for four other terror attacks.

Barghouti has remained politically active from behind bars, and is frequently proclaimed as one of a few likely successors to the 82-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

belgium 3Barghouti is also seen by some as a potentially unifying force in the divisive world of Palestinian politics, which is split between Hamas, Fatah and several smaller factions.

He is also favoured by some on the Israeli left, as a possible successor to Abbas, for his support of a two-state solution and his supposed renouncement of violence.

United Nations now stoops to redacting world history

The ongoing farce that is the United Nations has managed to stoop to a new low by redacting world history while supported by some of the world governmental powers who should know better.

UNESCO, the United Nations body responsible for protecting historical and archeological sites throughout the world, has changed its language for the Temple Mount, acquiescing last week to a request by the Palestinian Authority that it refer to the site using the term “Al-Aqsa mosque” only.

UN guilty of rewriting history of the world
UN guilty of rewriting history of the world

This means that the organization has de facto accepted the Palestinian position that denies any connection between Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) and the Jewish Temples and rejected Israel’s position that the Temple Mount is the holiest site for the Jewish people.

The decision was taken at the UNESCO Steering Committee’s semiannual conference. The decision passed in a vote of 33 to six, with 17 abstentions. Countries that supported the decision included Russia, France, Spain, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to the UNESCO decision: “This is yet another absurd U.N. decision. UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The U.N. is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”

United Nations doesn’t even follow its own rules in its continued hatred of all things Israel

Last month, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Canadian professor Michael Lynk as “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”

Un-flag-squareEnsuing debate has focused on Lynk’s suitability for the role. Critics of the appointment cite Lynk’s record of significant involvement in advocacy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including with organizations that are clearly biased against Israel.

Lynk’s may have an impressive career background in academia and law, therefore, there is nothing to suggest he lacks the knowledge or experience for such a position. But this is ultimately irrelevant to the question of whether Lynk is a suitable choice for Special Rapporteur.

First and foremost, the UNHRC itself has declared (in resolutions 5/1 and 16/21) that “impartiality” and “objectivity” are of “paramount importance” when selecting mandate-holders. The choice of any activist is a clear violation of this core requirement.

Lynk has served as an advisory board member to Palestinian advocacy organisations like CEPAL and Friends of Sabeel North America. These organisations have slandered Israel as an “apartheid state.”

Lynk has also accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.” He has addressed “one-state” conferences, which — despite academic niceties — are premised on the notion that the world’s only Jewish state should be abolished.

He is on record as saying that Israel and Hamas should both be tried for “war crimes,” an allegation that attempts to equivocate the actions of the only liberal democracy in the region to the same moral level as jihadists who in their Covenant publicly call for the destruction of Israel.

Lynk has urged the president of Western University to reject an award from the Jewish National Fund, one of the oldest environmental organizations on earth. As long ago as 1996, Lynk testified before a parliamentary committee considering legislation to establish Canada-Israel free trade, arguing that the bill was “detrimental to the peace process.”

For decades, he has been actively and formally involved in advocacy initiatives that he would characterize as pro-Palestinian but others, with reason, would characterise as anti-Israel.

Lynk is, of course, entitled to hold strong opinions and advocate for them. But in so doing, he disqualifies himself from meeting the “paramount” test of impartiality and objectivity required — that seems to exist only on paper in the halls of the UNHRC.

All of which is to say that Lynk’s appointment is but one manifestation of the corroded nature of the UNHRC. In its most recent session, the UNHRC passed five resolutions against Israel compared to none against Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Burundi, and China. The Council’s Special Rapporteur for the Palestinians refuses to investigate violations of Palestinian rights by the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. It’s no surprise that 9/11 conspiracy theorist Richard Falk felt at home in the role. Nor can we be shocked the next time a brutal dictatorship like Iran or North Korea is appointed to chair a UN initiative focused on women’s rights or disarmament.

In November, the Trudeau government took a widely noted stand at the UN by maintaining Canada’s opposition to the annual series of General Assembly resolutions singling out Israel. In the same vein, its Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion has commendably raised legitimate concerns with the Lynk appointment and called for a review of the decision. Such a clear positive stance is all too often lacking from other democratic nations.

Indeed, just as hatred of Jews foreshadows the decay of an entire society, anti-Israel bias at the UNHRC reflects broader, systemic dysfunction at the UN — which affects the entire international community.

This article is adapted from an article by Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and published in The National Post.