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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Jordan’s King Asking UN Help on Syrian Refugees, Offering Lip Service on PA

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The two main concerns Jordan’s King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein brought up in his speech before the UN assembly this week were the need to halt the spread of terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere, and his country’s dire need for help in caring for millions of Syrian refugees that have crossed over from the civil war next door. The king ended his eloquent speech with a scant reference to the Israeli-PA conflict, cautioning that “no injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the denial of a Palestinian State,” and stressing that “Israel has to embrace peace or eventually be engulfed in a sea of hatred.”

Meanwhile, it’s been Jordan being engulfed, as the ISIS hordes have been hammering at its borders from several directions, leaving only one safe border, the one with those bitter fruits of the Israeli-PA conflict. Or, as His Majesty described it, the outlaws of Islam — the “khawarej” — have murdered, plundered, exploited children and rejected the equality of women before God. But he insisted that it was crucial to recognize the difference between that image of Islam and what the religion really teaches.

“False perceptions of Islam and of Muslims will fuel the terrorists’ agenda of a global struggle by polarizing and factionalizing societies, East and West,” the king warned. Islam teaches that all humanity is equal in dignity and that there is no distinction between different nations, regions or races, he said, but the khawarej deliberately hide such truths in order to drive Muslims and non-Muslims apart. “We cannot allow this to happen,” he warned. He explained that those radical outlaws do not exist on the fringes of Islam, but outside it altogether. A new mind-set, new partnerships and reformed methodologies would be needed to confront such a non-traditional enemy. For Muslims it is, first and foremost, a fight for their future.

Admirably truthful and useful ideas, which is why one must wonder how come the king is recommending that, while the rest of the world should be combating these radicals, Israel, his only safe neighbor, should embrace peace with them. It may have to do with the fact that Jordan’s population is 80% “Palestinian,” meaning it is made up of the indefinable hordes who flooded the area from all over the Middle East starting in the 1920s, seeking jobs and safety alongside the Zionist enterprise and under the rule of the British Mandate. Jordan has become a home to many of them who fled Israel during the 1948-49 war, just as it became a home to an estimated 400,000 of them who were deported by Kuwait after the Gulf War of 1991. Indeed, the close to two million refugees who have been invading Jordan in the past five years are no more “Syrian” than the others are “Palestinian.” Those national definitions are synthetic, Western inventions imposed on a region that lives by tribalism.

That was the real message the Jordanian king was sharing with the world in NY City this week, as he put it bluntly in his speech before the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, co-hosted by the US, Jordan, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, Germany and Ethiopia.

“For many years, our country’s security and stability and our citizens’ generous compassion have led desperate refugees to our doors,” King Abdullah II told the summit. “In the past five years the Syrian crisis has sent Jordan’s burden skyrocketing. Some 2.5 million Syrians have crossed into Jordan since 2011. Today we are hosting 1.5 million Syrians, one for every five of our own citizens. Across my country, Jordanians are suffering. No one is justified in questioning our commitment and sacrifices. The economic and social impact has shocked every sector, every community; and it has set back the strides of our economy and has created tremendous problems in our development, job growth and debt reduction. We are spending a quarter of our national budget on refugee-related costs.”

Noting that “all countries agree that the Syrian refugee crisis will be with us all for years to come,” the king warned that “if regional refugee hosts are abandoned and left to fail, the need won’t disappear. The crisis will simply spread further, prolonging the time it takes to end this ordeal. The cost in human suffering will be unspeakable.”

Which is why the takeaway from King Abdullah II’s speech is not about his faint call on Israel to be more peaceful with its terrorist neighbors, but a cry for help in managing the Arab hordes on either side of his gates.

JNi.Media

Prominent Jewish-Turkish Businessman Ishak Alaton Dead at 89

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Ishak Alaton, who served as Chairman of Alarko Holding, one of the largest business conglomerates in Turkey, from 1973 to 15 May 2015, passed away on Sunday, DHA reported.

Born in September 1927 in Istanbul, Alaton attended Şişli Terakki High School until 1942. After graduating from the French Saint Michel High School in 1946, he traveled to Sweden in 1951 and started a career as a weldier at the Motala Locomotive Factory. While working there, Alaton attended night courses to learn technical drawing, and then worked as a draftsman for two years at the same factory.

Alaton returned to Turkey in early 1954 and founded Alarko as an ordinary partnership in a small office of Vefai Han in Karaköy, laying the foundations of Alarko Holding together with Dr. Üzeyir Garih, with only two staff members.

Ishak Alaton was one of the founders of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) and the Open Society Foundation. He also served as Honorary Consul General of South Africa in Istanbul from 1998 to 2012 and was awarded the Order of the North Star, First Class, by Sweden and the Order of Civil Merit by Spain.

David Israel

Consumer Confidence in Israel at -15%, on Upward Trend Since October 2015

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Israeli consumer confidence index in August 2016 stood at -15%, down from -11% the month before, but on a positive trend since October 2015, when it stood at -25%, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics announced Sunday. Consumer Confidence in Israel averaged -22.46 from 2011 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of -11.30 in July of 2016 and a record low of -38.47 in September of 2012.

Israel’s consumer confidence is among the lowest in the OECD countries, but in most of these countries, other than in Sweden, Denmark and Finland, consumer confidence has been negative. This includes Germany and the UK.

The reason cited for low consumer confidence in Israel is the lack of attractive and reliable savings and investments programs.

However, in August 2016, according to the CBS, the relative consumer confidence index stood at 112, showing a trend of improvement since June 2013, when the index stood at 41.

According to the CBS, in Israel, the Consumer Confidence indicator measures consumers’ expectations about changes in their household financial situation; about Israel’s general economic situation; about unemployment levels; and about their household saving plans over the next 12 months. The indicator is calculated based on the combination of responses to 4 questions presented to a sample of 759 people ages 21 and older. Consumer confidence is measured on a scale of -100 to +100, where -100 indicates an extreme lack of confidence, 0 means neutral and +100 stands for extreme confidence.

JNi.Media

Swedish Zionist Federation Assembles Pro-Israel Rally

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

by Ilana Messika
The Zionist Federation in Sweden organized its fifth annual rally on Sunday under the theme of “Taking Back Zionism” in order to attempt to re-acquaint the Swedish public with the original Zionist concept, so as to confront the term’s misappropriation by the media and state institutions.

“The main goal of the rally is to create a safe forum for Jews and non-Jews alike to safely declare their pro-Zionist sentiments,” Swedish Zionist Federation Director Saskia Pantell told Tazpit Press Service.

“The objective is also to re-educate the Swedish population about the meaning of Zionism as the basic human right of the Jewish People to self-determination in their historic homeland. As such, being a Zionist is not confined solely to the Jewish population, but to all political and religious streams,” she added.

“The meaning of Zionism has been distorted; in Sweden it tends to symbolize right-wing extremists,” Jewish Swedish Student Union Chairwoman Nina Tojzner explained to TPS.

“Jewish youth need Israel as a safe haven to secure the future of the Swedish Jewish community due to the direction that anti-Semitism is taking in our country,” elaborated Tojzner. “We have to be able to support Israel openly without fear of harassment.”

In a paper published in June 2016, Swedish scholars Lars Dencik and Karl Marosi noted a significant discrepancy between figures recorded by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2013 and a survey of Swedish Jews conducted that year by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights (FRA).

The ADL claimed that four percent of the population in Sweden exhibited classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, while the FRA survey showed that 60 percent of Swedish Jews considered anti-Semitism to be a fairly-to-very big problem in their country.

The paper, published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry, attributed the disparity to the fact that the criteria the ADL used to record anti-Semitism did not take into account what is now called “new anti-Semitism,” expressed in the form of opposition to Israel and the demonization of Zionism.

“I believe anti-Zionism is the new form of anti-Semitism and thus the institutional disdain for Zionism is actually an extension of classic Swedish anti-Semitism under the guise of political correctness,” Pantell declared.

“For example, most cases of hate crimes do not even make it to trial because they are dismissed beforehand as expressions of ‘anti-Zionism’ rather than expressions of anti-Semitism,” said Pantell. “As such, Jews in Sweden are afraid to express their Jewishness and their Zionism in public.”

Israeli-Swedish relations have been especially strained since Sweden became the first EU member in Western Europe to officially recognize a Palestinian Authority state in October 2014, and since Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström recently declared the Israel-PA conflict to be a causal factor in the Paris terror attacks of November 2015.

“The Swedish media and governmental institutions are decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-BDS and we have already received death and bomb threats that have attempted to disrupt the rallies,” noted Pantell.

“However, this is our fifth rally and there has been a noticeable amelioration in the attitude of the Swedish collective towards Zionism,” Pantell claimed. “It is especially noticeable this year through the participation of Ebba Busch Thor, a member of the Christian Democrats Party in the Swedish parliament.”

A number of Israeli political figures attended the rally, such as the Israeli Ambassador to Stockholm Isaac Bachman and Yesh Atid party chairman MK Yair Lapid. Lapid had also been involved in the March 2016 pro-Israel rally outside the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva as part of his efforts against the BDS movement.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Supreme Court Denies Appeal to Halt Rabbi Mark’s Killer’s House Demolition

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

The Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday denied an appeal against the demolition of the Dura village house belonging to one of the terrorists who carried out the drive by shooting that killed Rabbi Miki Mark and injured his wife and children.

The appeal was submitted by The wife of Mohammad Majid Amaira, 38, from Dura, a member of the Palestinian security forces. Amaira was detained for questioning three days after the murder and confessed he was the driver during the attack, while Mohammed Jabarah al-Fakih, 29, also from Dura, fired at the Mark family car.

Amaira’s wife, his daughters and HaMoked, an Israeli NGO assisting PA Arabs in their troubles with the Shabak, filed the appeal jointly.

According to NGO Monitor, Hamoked’s annual budget as of 2014 was $2,617,980, provided by Norway, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (jointly fundded by Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), UNDP (one of whose officials has just been indicted for being a Hamas agent), Finland, CCFD (France), Misereor (Germany), Trocaire (Ireland), Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), and AECID (Spain).

Rightwing movement Im Tirtzu praised the Supreme Court’s decision to authorize the home demolition, and condemned the “torrent of judicial appeals” submitted by HaMoked on behalf of terrorists.

Im Tirtzu CEO, Matan Peleg, said in an email statement: “Im Tirtzu welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to authorize the home demolition of the terrorist who murdered Rabbi Miki Mark. This decision sends a clear message to European governments, which fund radical Israeli NGOs to submit appeals to Israel’s Supreme Court aimed at damaging the IDF’s deterrence capabilities.”

Peleg added: “Im Tirtzu will continue leading the fight against this phenomenon. The Israeli public has a right to know who’s defending terrorists.”

David Israel

Israeli Leftwing Hooligans Attack Pro-Azaria Rally with Tear Gas

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

A group of extreme leftwing activists who identified themselves as “Antifa,” the Antifaschistische Aktion, a militant extremist extra-parliamentary network in Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and other countries, whose stated goal is to “smash fascism in all its forms,” on Wednesday night attacked a rally of twelfth-graders and a few adults who were marching in support of the medic Sergeant Elor Azaria [who is on trial for shooting a neutralized terrorist] from the Habima theater to the Kirya, where the IDF headquarters are located. Among the injured in the attack was former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari who was evacuated to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.

According to a police statement, the rally was attacked near the Kirya area by “five suspects who masked their faces, as one of them sprayed the marchers with tear gas.” The five attackers were eventually apprehended.

Ben Ari told Walla that “at the Sarona plaza we were suddenly attacked by ten leftwingers. They started to yell at us, they came with a megaphone and yelled, ‘Azaria is a murderer’ and attacked us with tear gas. They poured purple paint on my clothes, something acidy, my whole body was burning. I was smashed on the head with a stick. I’m suffering dizziness now. I hope the police will know how to take care of this leftwing hooliganism.”

Ben Ari accused police of incompetence in handling the attack, saying he had alerted them well in advance of the attack, after seeing the masked men approaching. He said police ignored his warnings that a provocation was about to take place.

The Antifa group boasted on its Facebook page Wednesday night: “Fascists who arrived in Tel Aviv to demonstrate support for Elor Azaria, the murdering soldier from Hebron, were received with a traditional antifascist reception. Kahanism is fascism. The army is a murderer. Those who kicked them away did well. And it’s not the first time. It’s interesting to know when will they learn.”

Ben Ari’s Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Might) group released a statement saying the attack Wednesday “crossed a very serious red line. Were the case reversed (meaning if rightwingers had done the spraying) all the knights of the rule of law would have been shocked and demanded police to apply the full wrath of the law to the rioters. We will not stop acting on behalf of releasing the soldier and hooliganism will not win.”

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir on Wednesday night appealed to the Attorney General to outlaw the Antifa organization. Ben-Gvir wrote: “There is no doubt that police incompetence regarding the activities of leftwingers is encouraging them to attack and to riot. If these were [rightwing organization] Lehava activists there is no doubt they would have been held in jail until the end of the proceedings.”

Ben-Gvir added, “At a time when the Shabak is investing the bulk of its efforts in locating 15-year-olds who walk around with magic markers writing slogans, it would be appropriate to take action and to outlaw the band of thugs who attack youths wishing to march in support of IDF soldiers.”

JNi.Media

Israel’s Sabbath-Observant Woman in the Ring

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

How many people know that Israel is being represented at world muaythai boxing competitions by an observant Jewish young woman who gets into the ring as a professional fighter on a regular basis?

Right.

Well, meet Nili Bock, who competed this weekend against Russia at the 17th IFMA World Championship in Sweden.

Block competed in the 60 kg division, coached by Benny Cogan. Perhaps one could say that like the former Muhammad Ali, she “floats like a butterfly, but stings like a bee.” At least, when she’s in the ring.

Muay Thai is called the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs” because it uses punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact.” Clinches, choke holds and “hugs” are not okay and if you notice in the above footage, the referee (who is female) moves in to put a stop to it. Often. Sometimes she too gets a whack in the (head, arm, side, etc – take your pick) in the process. But the ref usually knows how to block those blows. Like her male counterparts, she’s been trained.

Muaythai boxing differs from other types of fighting, such as boxing with fists — “two points” — and hands and feet fighting, “four points,” that are allowed in other more regulated combat sports because it allows one to use the entire range of one’s limbs.

But how on earth would an observant Jewish girl growing up in Israel connect with such a sport?

Nili Block immigrated to Israel at the age of two years old with her family, like many Jewish children. The change came whe at age 10 she joined her mother in Thai boxing classes. It’s not clear what prompted her mother to sign up for the classes, nor what prompted her to bring her daughter along for the ride, although it is entirely possible that the strong physical exercise and good muscle tone prompted in the classes may have been at least one of the factors. Self-defense in the face of an environment in which terrorism is a daily reality could easily have been another.

By age 18, Nili Block had won the KickBbox World Cup in Hungary, a European Championship title, and a gold medal at the World KickBoxing Championship in Bangkok.

And Block continues to observe the Sabbath and kosher laws even while on her boxing tours.

One of the most popular matches last week in the competition leading up to the Israel-Russia semi-final this weekend was the competition between Nili Block and Jacqueline De Beer from South Africa, which was a qualifier for the 2017 World Games in Poland.

“Nili was full of determination and from the beginning of the match she demonstrated that she will use her full potential to achieve her dream to get to Wroclaw as a part of the IWGA World Games,” noted the IFMA World Muaythai Championship.

The competition — as has been the entire semi-final — was featured on the Dubai Martial Arts Academy website. Nili Block’s name and the nation she represents, is there too, showing just how much the world has changed.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/religious-secular-in-israel/israels-woman-in-the-ring-is-a-sabbath-observant-kosher-kickboxer-muaythai-boxing-champ/2016/05/29/

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