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Swastika is a symbol of peace, elite school tells sixth-graders

[quote]Sixth-graders at an elite Bronx private school have been caught drawing swastikas in art class, so administrators met with the kids — talking mainly about how the symbols represent peace in some cultures.

One parent who wishes not to be named said Jewish students have felt unsafe since the images began popping up three weeks ago at Ethical Culture Fieldston School, where tuition costs $45,100 a year.

In addition to the swastikas, a notebook was found at the middle school campus with the words “Hitler Rocks!” scrawled on the front, the parent said.

Administrators decided to address the apparent anti-Semitism by holding a grade-wide meeting.

Parents say teachers spent nearly 12 of the 15 minutes on a PowerPoint presentation on how the swastika was still considered a sacred symbol — while only briefly mentioning how the Nazis had adopted it in the 1920s.

Despite parents’ allegations that at least eight of the Nazi symbols had been seen on campus, school spokeswoman Meredith Halpern would confirm only that one had been drawn in art class.

But she refused to call it a swastika — and instead said that the student “drew a symbol that represents peace.”[/quote]


In diplomatic first, Israel to open mission in Abu Dhabi

[quote]Israel is set to open its first diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.

The mission will not be a diplomatic representation to Abu Dhabi or the UAE, but to the UN’s International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is headquartered in the Gulf emirate, Haaretz reported on Friday.

Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold was in the UAE this week to attend an IRENA gathering, but remained three days in the country to meet with IRENA director Adnan Amin and finalize the details of the new mission.

The Israeli diplomat who will hold the new post, Rami Hatan, is preparing to leave for Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, a ministry source told Haaretz. Offices for the new mission have already been chosen.

Israel’s mission to IRENA will be the only one among the agency’s 145 member states with a diplomatic presence in Abu Dhabi formally defined as a mission to IRENA alone, and not to the emirate or UAE. Sources suggest the Israeli mission will serve the latter role informally.

The Foreign Ministry decided to open the special mission to IRENA because it meant having a public, official diplomatic presence in an Arab state without formal diplomatic relations with Israel. One official described it as a “diplomatic breakthrough.”

In January 2009, Israel cast its vote for Abu Dhabi as the site of IRENA’s headquarters (over rival contender Germany) with the explicit condition that IRENA’s presence in the Gulf state would allow Israel to open an official, publicly acknowledged diplomatic office there.[/quote]



New Canadian PM Trudeau Votes No on 16 Anti-Israel U.N. Resolutions


[quote]Of the 16 No votes on anti-Israel texts so far this year, one took place on November 2nd, still under the Harper government. The rest were decided by the new Trudeau government.

Despite the opposition of Canada, the U.S., and Australia, the UN General Assembly yesterday adopted six non-binding resolutions singling out and criticizing Israel, without any of mention of the spate of Palestinian knife attacks, shooting, car-rammings, and incitement,nor were any resolutions adopted on Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or any other human rights situation.

Surreal barely captures the scene: the world is under assault by terrorists killing in the name of Islam and martyrdom — as Palestinians did this week while stabbing Israeli Jews — and the UN’s response is to reflexively condemn Israel in six separate resolutions, all of which are one-sided.

One resolution condemned the Jewish state for retaining the Golan Heights, demanding Israel hand the land and its people to Syria.

It’s astonishing. At a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own people, how can the U.N. call for more people to be subject to Assad’s rule? The timing is morally galling and logically absurd. [/quote]

Astonishing, is right.

Kerry in Jerusalem: Israel has right, obligation to defend itself

Kerry, who came to Israel after visiting the United Arab Emirates, said his arrival comes at a “very troubled” time.

“Clearly, no people anywhere should live with daily violence; with attacks in the streets, with knives or scissors or cars. It is very clear to us that the terrorism, these acts of terrorism, which have been taking place deserve the condemnation that they are receiving. And today I express complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation,” Kerry stated.

“Israel has every right in the world to defend itself. It has an obligation to defend itself. And it will and it is.”

Washington’s top diplomat, a former senator from Massachusetts, mentioned that “regrettably, several Americans” were killed in the recent violence, paying tribute to Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old from Sharon, Massachusetts, who was gunned down Thursday in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem.

“A young man who came here out of high school, ready to go to college, excited about his future,” Kerry said. “And yesterday his family was sitting shiva and I talked to them and heard their feelings, the feelings of any parent for the loss of a child.” [/quote]


Shocker: Avis Car Rental Bars Israeli Executive from Renting. BDS OR JUST BS?

[quote]On Saturday evening, Dov Bergwerk arrived at the Avis branch on West 76th Street and Broadway. Accompanied by his wife Ruth, the Bergwerks were planning to join friends for dinner in Westchester. Mr. Bergwerk, a senior vice president and general corporate counsel at the Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, got out his driver’s license, reservation number and “Wizard” loyalty card – he’s rented from Avis dozens of times before – and anticipated the usual smooth transition into a nondescript mid-sized sedan.

That’s when the trouble started.

A reservation agent named Angelline declined to honor Mr. Bergwerk’s reservation, saying that it was company policy not to recognize Israeli documents. Stunned, Mr. Bergwerk explained that he had rented from Avis many times, including a car from that very same office on Thursday, November 19 – only two days earlier.

Mr. Bergwerk asked Angelline to access the profile attached to his Wizard card, which shows that he is an executive at a giant multinational company who has no regulatory issues and has rented from Avis, including at that very branch, many times without incident. She refused. They argued.

Eventually, a manager was called. Shamoura took the side of her reservation agent, also refusing to honor Mr. Bergwerk’s reservation or recognize his documents. Stunned and stranded on a Saturday night in New York, Mr. Bergwerk called the Avis main number and got through to customer service. The representative confirmed to him that the Israeli license was an acceptable form of ID and also mentioned that he could show his passport to ameliorate any ID concerns the on-site employees had. Mr. Bergwerk put the customer service representative on the phone with Shamoura, the branch manager, and at this point the story evolved. She now claimed that she was declining to rent the Bergwerks a car not because of the insufficient documents but because Mr. Bergwerk had “argued about the way I was being treated in front of other customers,” according to Mr. Bergwerk.

Avis reservation agent Angelline (white shirt) and her manager Shamoura declined to rent a car to an Israeli executive. Both refused to provide their last names.
The Observer asked Mr. Bergwerk if he felt that, in the heart of Manhattan’s progressive activist community, he was being singled out for being an Israeli.

“While no direct reference was made to being anti Israel, that was my impression almost from the initial moment I presented my license and credit card as I have done over 15 years of business and leisure travel without ever being challenged. The agent stated that the Israeli license did not have the required info in English. I tried to demonstrate that the license had all the required info but she and the manager had no interest. Similarly, the fact that I have had many rentals at Avis and at this location was dismissed as having been ‘done by new employees.'”[quote]


Palestinian Poet Sentenced to Death in Saudi Arabia for Renouncing Islam

Ashraf Fayadh, detained in 2013, had initially been sentenced to 800 lashes and four years in prison, but another judge changed the punishment to a death sentence.

A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a Palestinian poet to death for apostasy, abandoning his Muslim faith, according to trial documents seen by Human Rights Watch, its Middle East researcher Adam Coogle said on Friday.

Ashraf Fayadh was detained by the country's religious police in 2013 in Abha, in southwest Saudi Arabia, and then rearrested and tried in early 2014.

The verdict of that court sentenced him to four years in prison and 800 lashes but after appeal another judge passed a death sentence on Fayadh three days ago, said Coogle.

"I have read the trial documents from the lower court verdict in 2014 and another one from 17 November. It is very clear he has been sentenced to death for apostasy," Coogle said.

Saudi Arabia's justice system is based on Sharia Islamic law and its judges are clerics from the kingdom's ultra conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam. In the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia, religious crimes including blasphemy and apostasy incur the death penalty.[/quote]

[url] http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.687386[/url]

‘Proud pinkwasher’ Assi Azar confronted by US campus protesters. Recounts ‘horrifying experience’

[quote]Azar, a noted LGBTQ activist, told The Times of Israel this week that he had been looking forward to an engaging and productive dialogue with the 70 students who had shown up at the Hillel-sponsored event. But when he noticed that 15 of them had pink duct tape over their mouths, he had a feeling things might get ugly.

As he feared, the event turned out to be highly upsetting for both Azar and many of the students. It was “one of the most horrifying experiences I have ever faced,” Azar wrote on his Facebook page.

According to Azar, when the film was over, the 15 students — apparently from the campus LGBTQ organization — removed the tape and stood up. They chanted anti-Israel slogans and waved signs with various anti-Israel messages, including some accusing Israel of mistreating Palestinian gays.

“These chants were combative and filled with distortions of facts — mostly anti-Semitic,” he wrote.

This was Azar’s fifth tour of US campuses and film festivals with his 2010 film. On this trip he visited Cleveland, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Nashville and Washington, DC, in addition to Baltimore. In none of the other cities, nor on any of his previous tours, had he encountered this kind of disruption and confrontation.[/quote]


Egypt police kill 15 Sudanese migrants at Israel border.

Police say they opened fire on Africans after they ran toward fence ignoring warning shots

Egyptian officials in the Sinai Peninsula say police killed 15 Sudanese migrants and wounded another eight who were trying to jump the border fence into Israel.

The officials say police opened fire on the migrants Sunday after they ignored warning shots and sprinted toward the fence. The security forces arrested another eight Sudanese migrants who were not wounded.

“Fifteen bodies of Africans shot dead were found at dawn on Sunday south of (the town of) Rafah,” said Tariq Khatir, a representative of the health ministry in North Sinai.

“We also found eight Africans who were wounded but whose condition is stable.”

All Egyptian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.


Star-studded US gala raises $31m for IDF, in one night

A fundraiser in aid of the Israeli army brought in $31 million in one night on Thursday, as some 1,200 people turned out for an annual Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gala in California.

The sold-out Western Region Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills was attended by guests from the United States and Israel. Guests included actors Jason Alexander, Antonio Banderas, Liev Schreiber, Jason Segel and Mark Wahlberg, as well as the KISS frontman, Israeli-born Gene Simmons.

“For the past nine years I have watched this gala grow into the preeminent charity event it is today, and I am truly humbled by the funds raised yesterday, which are a testament to the importance of the FIDF organization and its mission. The overwhelming support from the Los Angeles community continues to amaze me,” said entertainment mogul Haim Saban, a national board member of FIDF.

The evening focused on the IDF’s lone soldiers, who leave their families and native countries behind to serve in the army, and included testimonies from the mothers of fallen soldiers. It also featured a presentation from a US veteran on the impact of Israeli medical technology on the lives of Americans.


Posted by grossproffit | Sat Nov 7, 2015, 10:16 AM (1 replies)

Sudanese citizen tried to kill Israeli on int'l flight

Arik, 54, works in an Israeli communications company that operates in Africa. He had intended to travel on to Israel after landing in Addis Ababa.

"About 20 minutes before the plane started its descent the passenger sitting behind me identified me as Israeli and Jewish," Arik told Ynet.

"He came up behind my seat and started to choke me with a lot of force," he continued, "and at first I couldn't get my voice out and call for help.

"He hit me over the head with a metal tray and shouted 'Allah akbar' and 'I will slaughter the Jew.' Only after a few seconds, just before I was about to lose consciousness, did I manage to call out and a flight attendant who saw what was happening summoned her colleagues," Arik added.

According to Arik, most of the passengers on the half-empty flight refrained from getting involved. "After they pulled him off me he hit me and shouted in Arabic. Some of the flight staff took me to the rear section of the plane and two guarded the attacked during the last part of the flight."

A Lebanese passenger was one of the few who came to Arik's rescue. Arik says that after they had already overpowered his attacker, the Sudanese citizen tried to convince the other passengers to lynch him.

"After we landed the Lebanese guy told me that I'd been saved twice, because after they'd overpowered my attacker he said to everyone: 'Let's finish him off.'


Posted by grossproffit | Wed Nov 4, 2015, 09:48 AM (8 replies)
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