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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

UK Labour Politician Warns ‘Israel is a Terrorist State Like ISIS’

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

A London politician campaigning for mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan was forced to apologize after sharing a Facebook post warning that “Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS,” according to a post on the Guido Fawkes political website.

The blog post quoted a piece in the British Jewish News Online that was published with an apology from the aforementioned politician, another Labour Party member who is also the leader of Brent Council.

Muhammed Butt, who is the Lead for Equalities at London Councils, shared a clip on social media that appeared to show a young girl from the Palestinian Authority in a conflict with an Israeli soldier. The clip was captioned at the bottom with the words, “Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.”

Anti-Israel clip shared on FB page of British Labour politician Muhammed Butt, appearing to show Arab girl in conflict with Israeli soldier - caption says Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.

After being ‘outed’ by the Jewish News Butt issued the standard politician’s apology, saying in a public statement: “I apologize for sharing this on social media. I do not agree with these views and as Leader of Brent Council I have championed diversity, tolerance and respect for all faith communities, and will continue to do so.”

He removed the post after it was brought to the attention of the public – and his political party – by the Jewish News.

But as with the other politicians of late, one questions how it is possible for him “not to agree with these views” if he shares the clip on his Facebook page, where it gains prominence.

The Labour Party has seen at least two politicians benched this past week as former London Mayor Ken Livingston joined MP Naz Shah in being suspended over rampantly anti-Semitic statements. Shah was suspended after a number of posts on her Facebook page from 2014 were ‘outed’ – including an entire graphic in which she advised the relocation of the state of Israel into the United States of America, including a list of reasons and benefits to everyone, especially the Arab world if that could take place.

Livingstone – who has also campaigned for Sadiq Khan – was also suspended when he commented that her actions were “over the top” but not anti-Semitic. To add insult to injury, he referred to Adolf Hitler “supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

Moreoever, Livingston refused to retract his statement, insisting in an interview with LBC on Saturday that Hitler was a Zionist and that he was simply stating a fact. “I never regret saying something that is true,” he said. How can I have hurt and offended the Jewish community when the prime minister of Israel said exactly the same thing?”

The reference is to a remark last year when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem that Hitler’s original intent was to expel all the Jews, rather than annihilate them; the slaughter came at the initiative of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Hussseini, who argued that expulsion would result in all the Jews arriving in the Holy Land, where no Arab wanted them. Livingston contends that Hitler up to that point was a Zionist; furthermore, it was Netanyahu who made the point, he said.

The entire mechanism of the “final solution” clearly has utterly escaped his notice.

There appears to be a crisis developing in the Labour Party with regard to anti-Semitism which is apparently galloping out of control. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn claims to have been an “anti-racist campaigner” all his life – but he has also been a self-declared “friend of Hamas and Hezbollah” as well, and has protected his brother Piers after he made anti-Semitic comments as well.

Meanwhile the upcoming elections for mayor of London are fast approaching – and Labour candidate Sadiq Khan is becoming less and less likely to win the seat, given those who have been his greatest supporters.

In addition, the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons has just launched its investigation into anti-Semitism in the UK, even with its newly-suspended member still listed on its website. MP Naz Shah still appears as a member of the committee, and her photo and bio still appear on the website.

Hana Levi Julian

A Soldier’s Mother: A Vacation Day in Israel

Friday, April 29th, 2016

There is nothing like Chol Hamoed in Israel. There are two major holidays in Judaism that have what is considered a “holy” day at the beginning and a “holy” day at the end, with what is referred to as the “intermediary” days being considered as…wait for it…half-holy. What this means is that the first and last days are like the Sabbath – we don’t drive, use electricity, phones, computers, etc. and have special prayers. These two holidays are Sukkot and Passover (Pesach). The intermediary days are called Chol HaMoed and while you are allowed to drive, use electricity, phones, etc. it is considered holiday-like and hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of Israelis take vacation and take to the parks, the beaches, the streets.

It isn’t about shopping; it’s about just relaxing. Some families go different places every day; others use the time to catch up on resting and just doing nothing. Yesterday, we went north.

For once, I’ll use pictures to speak, rather than words. It was an amazing day…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paula Stern

British Labour MP Naz Shah Suspended Over Anti-Semitic Posts

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

British Labour MP Naz Shah has discovered a “heartfelt” apology is not enough to get her off the hook for anti-Semitism, even in the UK, even three times repeated.

The Bradford West parliamentarian was ‘outed’ by the Guido Fawkes political website for serious anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Facebook posts she made two years ago.

In a statement she read this week in the British House of Commons, she offered a “profound apology” which she then also posted on Twitter. Shah said that she “made these posts at the height of the Gaza conflict in 2014, when emotions were running high around the Middle East conflict. But that is not excuse for the oofense I have given, for which I unreservedly apologize.”

Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, who has caught more than a few critical comments himself in recent weeks for the rising anti-Semitism in his party, warned her about the “offensive and unacceptable posts.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said the comments were “simply appalling” and called for an urgent meeting “for clarification of her views on Israel and the UK Jewish community.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative Party member, simply called for her suspension.

“Jeremy Corbyn and Naz Shah have mutually agreed that she is administratively suspended from the Labour Party by the general secretary. Pending investigation, she is unable to take part in any party activity and the whip is removed,” said a Labour Party statement that followed.

But being unable to take part in any party activities did not indicate whether in fact Shah would ultimately be allowed to remain as a Member of Parliament.

Minutes before the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Corbyn had issued a statement defending Shah, saying that her social media posts were made before she became a lawmaker.

“Naz has issued a fulsome apology,” he said. “She does not hold these views and accepts she was completely wrong to have made these posts. The Labour Party is implacably opposed to anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.”

Perhaps, but individual members of the party, more than a few, are not – and the number of those who feel free to express those views is rising, particularly under the leadership of Mr. Corbyn. His own brother, Piers, took aim at Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman — and brother Jeremy defended his right to do so. At the time, Ellman had called for Labour to clamp down on anti-Semitism in the party – but Piers Corbyn called her remarks “absurd” and said, “Zionists can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine.”

Nevertheless, there were Labour Party MPs who called for Shah’s suspension, including MP Lisa Nandy. Labour MP Kate Hoey told the BBC that Shah should resign “right away” from the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is tasked with investigating the rising anti-Semitism in Britain.

Prominent British politician Lord (Michael Abraham, Baron) Levy recently sounded the alarm that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party itself, and not in the UK in general, and has threatened to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide. A son of observant Jewish parents, Lord Levy warned that Corbyn is presiding over what appears to be a resurgence in the party’s acceptance of anti-Semitism.

Hana Levi Julian

Pro-Israeli Danish Journalist Ejected from Temple Mount

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Pro-Israeli journalist Jane Kyle was ejected from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Thursday morning by the Jordanian Islamic Waqf with the assistance of the Israel Police.

The Waqf complained that she was not allowed to be present on the grounds because she has published articles against them on the Internet, according to the Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Arab men under the age of thirty are being allowed to enter the compound at the end of the day, TPS reported, in spite of prior regulations prohibiting their entry.

Less than two weeks ago, Jordan decided not to make good on its promise to install cameras on the grounds of the Temple Mount.

The agreement was reached in October last year together between Jordan and Israel with the encouragement of the United States after countless Arab riots and terrorist acts on the site due to Islamic incitement in the mosques, claiming Israel was “changing the status quo.”

The so-called “status quo” forbids Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount – the holiest site on earth in Judaism – but allows complete freedom of worship for Muslims, who have built not one, but two mosques on the site.

Jordan’s Minister of State Information, Mohamed al-Moumani, declared Amman would install cameras inside the mosques and out on the grounds to “document Israeli trespasses.”

Radical Islamists fear Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount because it contradicts the belief in the supremacy of Islam.

But after incessant screams by the Arab faithful the project was rolled back to an installation of cameras only around the grounds, to ensure the Arab worshipers would not have their “privacy” violated.

Naturally, the preparations of Arab terrorists within the mosques would not be seen either.

It is within the mosques that Arab attackers stockpile the rocks, bottles, fireworks, explosives and other items needed for preparing firebombs (Molotov cocktails) and similar IEDs (improvised explosive devices) hurled at Israeli police and others during riots.

Nevertheless, outdoor cameras might still detect Arab operatives sneaking the needed supplies into the grounds – and therefore the protests continued unabated until Jordan was dissuaded from installing cameras altogether.

Amman said it would work to attain the goals of the cameras through “other means.” Foreign news sources reported the decision.

Hana Levi Julian

Shakeup in PA: Governor of Shechem Sacked by Abbas, Then Lashes Out

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

The Palestinian Authority governor of Shechem (Nablus) was dismissed “without warning” by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, according to a post on the governor’s personal Facebook page. General Akram Rajoub, the now ex-governor who recently made headlines for staging a walkout in protest of Jewish settlers attending a Samaritan Passover sacrifice, then took to social media to blast Abbas.

In an unusually bitter and snarky attack, Rajoub derided Abbas for “considering himself a mighty Fatah leader and bragging that he knocked me out,” referring to Abbas’ Fatah party. “Patience has its limits,” Rajoub ominously concluded.

It is not yet clear whether the dismissal is related to Rajoub’s dramatic walkout last week in protest of Jewish settlers attending a Samaritan Passover sacrifice or is due to internal political wrangling within the Palestinian Authority leadership.

Rajoub himself told the Palestinian Authority Ma’an News Agency that he had “no idea” why he’d been fired.

Rajoub, a former high-ranking Palestinian Authority intelligence figure, has criticized Abbas in the past for allowing Abbas loyalists in Nablus too much leeway.

“My positions and principles are not up for negotiation,” Rajoub wrote in a Facebook post after being dismissed, adding that he “will not retract a single political, national, or party position” he has taken.

In a sign of recent tension, a firefight erupted several weeks ago in Nablus between Palestinian Authority police forces and gunmen of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the military wing of Abbas’ Fatah party, after the police attempted to arrest a murder suspect in the Old City of Nablus. The incident and subsequent pressure from Abbas loyalists in Nablus may have contributed to Rajoub’s ousting as governor of the city.

Rajoub’s dismissal comes on the heels of his walkout during a Samaritan Passover ceremony held in Nablus in protest of the presence of local Jewish settlers attending the event. The Samaritans are a tiny, ancient sect who practice a unique form of Judaism. They live mostly above Nablus on Mount Gerizim, the holiest site in their religion and the place where they conduct the annual Passover sacrifice.

The ceremony, officiated by the Samaritan high priest, was attended by local Jewish settlers and a Palestinian Authority delegation, including Rajoub. However, Rajoub and several other Arabs dramatically walked out in protest as Samarian Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan began to speak.

“We respect and appreciate the Samaritans and consider them part of the Palestinian people, but we cannot accept the presence of settlers,” Rajoub told the Palestinian Authority Ma’an News Agency. “We are unwilling to talk to settlers because their presence is illegal and unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, Dagan posted a video of his speech on Facebook, commenting that he wished a happy holiday to “the Samaritan community, IDF soldiers, and anyone who wishes to live alongside us in tranquility.”

Dagan added that Rajoub and the other Palestinian Authority representatives “fled the ceremony” because “they apparently didn’t really like hearing the simple truth—the nation of Israel lives.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Does an ISIS Affiliate Have Chemical Weapons on Israel’s Syrian Border?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Israel is currently investigating the possibility that the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, an ISIS-affiliated group fighting in Syria’s civil war in the southern Golan Heights region, possesses chemical weapons, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 10.

Israel’s concern is largely based on reported chemical weapons attacks by ISIS in eastern Syria and western Iraq, two regions where the border is porous between both countries. However, there is also some concern that the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade might have also been able to get hold of remnants from the Syrian government’s chemical weapons arsenal.

The Syrian government had agreed to relinquish its chemical weapons as part of an arrangement initiated by Russia in September of 2013. In return, the US agreed to abort a potential strike against Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack by regime forces a month earlier.

There is speculation that the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade intends to conduct tests with tactical chemical weapons such as artillery shells with mustard gas.

The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigades continues to concentrate its focus on fighting with the other rebel groups in the surrounding areas, including the Al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

However, the prospect of an ISIS affiliate possessing weapons on the Syrian-Israeli border is no doubt concerning to Israel’s defense establishment, which reportedly intends to prepare for the possibility that the group will shift its attention towards Israel.

ISIS has repeatedly threatened to attack Israel. In a menacing video released in October, a masked ISIS fighter speaking fluent Hebrew warns that the terror attacks Israel has suffered from the Palestinians will be “child’s play” compared with what ISIS is planning, and that “not one Jew will remain in Jerusalem or the entire country.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Report: Israel McDonalds Offering Passover Meals in Leavened Restaurants

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The owners of the fast food chain McDonalds’ Israeli concession have been selling on the week of the holiday “Passover Meals” which website Kikar Hashabbat claims are simply not so, thus apparently misleading customers who believe their restaurants have been cleaned for Passover.

Cleaning a restaurant (or any kitchen) for Passover requires a thorough removal of all traces of leavened substances in the manner by which they had been absorbed — so that stoves and ovens must be scrubbed and then fired, metal utensils dipped in boiling water, wood utensils and clay vessels removed completely and replaced, and preparation surfaces made from marble or wood completely covered — and that’s the bare minimum required to make a kitchen “kosher l’Pesach.”

Instead, according to Kikar Hashabbat, McDonalds is selling its customers hamburgers in unleavened buns, using their year-round utensils and vessels, in spaces that have not been cleaned for Passover. In other words, the chain is apparently serving meals which aren’t kosher for Passover to clients who believe they are in keeping with Jewish law. In addition, the chain offers its year-round condiments, declaring that they are not kosher for Passover, and letting the customer decide whether or not to use them.

That last part would suggest that the average McDonalds customer is not really expecting a kosher meal, and the entire presentation is a legal fiction intended to allow the chain to operate on Chol Hamoed (intermediary days) Pesach without violating Israel’s Chametz Law, which prohibits selling leavened products in public during the seven-day holiday. Most Israeli non-kosher restaurants, especially in the more secular-leaning cities, simply ignore the law, and Israeli Jews who want to can get their pizza and falafel in pita on Passover, too. McDonalds might be too big to fail, so to speak, and cannot risk violating state law.

The chain issued a statement saying it runs two kinds of restaurants on Passover: those which are marked in blue have actually been kashered by rabbis and are, indeed, kosher for Passover. The other restaurants have merely switched to buns made from potato flour and to chicken from kosher for Passover plants, and all those good are turned thoroughly chametz on the customer’s plate.

It should be noted that while year-round kashrut requires a minimum portion of non-kosher ingredients to declare a food un-kosher, the Passover requirements are absolutist and forbid any presence whatsoever of leavened food.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-israel-mcdonalds-offering-passover-meals-in-leavened-restaurants/2016/04/27/

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