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Israel begins implementing plan to force out 38,000 African migrants — Zio-watch, January 8, 2018

From PressTV

Thu Jan 4, 2018 09:00AM
African migrants clash with Israeli soldiers after they left the Holot detention center on June, 27, 2014.
African migrants clash with Israeli soldiers after they left the Holot detention center on June, 27, 2014.

Israel has started the implementation of a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the occupied territories, threatening to detain those who refuse to leave.

“This plan will get underway today,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Based on the plan, nearly 38,000 migrants, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, who entered Israel illegally will have until the end of March to leave, otherwise they will be arrested.

Moreover, the Holot open facility in Israel’s desert south, which currently holds 970 people is set to be closed.

The plan, initially approved by the cabinet in November, has drawn concerns from the UN refugee agency.

The new regulation currently makes exceptions for women, children, parents of children and victims of human trafficking, but such exemptions are temporary.

African migrants walk out of the Holot detention center in the Negev desert in southern Israel on August 25, 2015. (Photo by AP)

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

German bill would allow expulsion of migrants who espouse anti-Semitism

BERLIN (JTA) — Germany’s mainstream conservative parties are proposing legislation that would allow states to expel foreigners
who make anti-Semitic statements, including the refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

The party of Chancellor Angela Merkel – the Christian Democratic Union, and its sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union, have proposed legislation that they say  would take such hate crimes “much more seriously,” according to the German newspaper Die Welt.

Party leaders reportedly hope that the legislation will be passed before International Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, which recalls
the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp by Red Army troops in 1945.

CDU legislator Stephan Harbarth told Die Welt that the move was intended to crack down on anti-Semitism among “migrants with Arab
background and from African countries.” While education and other preventive work are important, the state must be able to wield the
ultimate threat of deportation, he said. “Anyone who incites anti-Semitic hate and rejects Jewish life in Germany cannot stay in our country,” he said.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia policies on Iran ‘would lead us to war,’ French president says

(JTA) — French President Emmanuel Macron said the policies concerning Iran of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia may lead to war.

Macron, who in November said France wished to counter “Iranian hegemony” in the region, made the remarks on Jan. 3 in Paris during a talk with media outlets and diplomats, the Russian news channel RT reported.

“The official line pursued by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are our allies in many ways, is almost one that would lead us to war,” Macron said in his statement, which is unusual in that it lays blame on France’s allies rather than its estranged trade partner Iran for a perceived risk of escalation.

Seyyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, an Iranian military officer currently acting as the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, in September said: “We will destroy the Zionist entity at lightning speed, and thus shorten the 25 years it still has left.” He added:  “Every stupid act will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa into dust.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Report details intense efforts by Trump transition to derail UN anti-Israel resolution

Michael Flynn

Lt. General Michael Flynn at the U.S. Capitol during President Trump’s inauguration ceremony, Jan. 20, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Efforts by the Trump transition team to kill a 2016 U.N. Security Council resolution slamming Israel’s settlement policies were more widespread than was previously known, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The report Friday said the effort encompassed a number of transition officials beyond Michael Flynn, the national security adviser-designate who was previously known to have made the effort.

Also involved in the effort were Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who directed Flynn to make the calls, and Nikki Haley, the designated ambassador to the United Nations who put in a call to her outgoing counterpart, Samantha Power.
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From PressTV

Mon Jan 8, 2018 11:03AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem al-Quds on January 3, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem al-Quds on January 3, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Israel’s cabinet has reportedly established a committee tasked with looking into the construction of offshore artificial islands based on a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu claimed during Sunday’s meeting that the plan aims to ease crowding in Israel.

“We have a coast on which we have built infrastructure such as desalination plants, power stations and other infrastructure facilities. This proposal is designed to build, off Israel’s coast, artificial islands that will absorb all these infrastructures, clear the coasts and – of course – give us more land area,” he added.

The daily reported that many ministerial committees have looked into the issue since 1999 after an Israeli-Dutch team published a feasibility paper on building artificial islands off the coast allegedly for housing airports and large infrastructure facilities.

According to the report, this committee is not connected with a proposal by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to build an artificial island off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, which has been criticized as an attempt to sever Gaza from the rest of the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli premier said that he has been thinking about this idea since his first term in 1996, noting that it was halted due to opposition from environmental groups.
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From PressTV

Sun Jan 7, 2018 02:58PM
Palestinians from the village of Umm Safa, west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, seen in the background, check a vehicle, which was set ablaze on August 9, 2017 in an apparent arson attack by Israeli settlers. (Photo by AFP)
Palestinians from the village of Umm Safa, west of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, seen in the background, check a vehicle, which was set ablaze on August 9, 2017 in an apparent arson attack by Israeli settlers. (Photo by AFP)

An Israeli rights group says the Tel Aviv regime authorities have only filed indictments for about one in 10 ideologically-motivated assaults carried out by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

In an annual report published on Sunday, Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights said it had monitored 225 investigation files since the beginning of 2014 until the end of August last year in the occupied West Bank, adding that of the 185 files processed by prosecution authorities only 21 had resulted in indictments, an 11.4-percent rate.

Although the figures marked a rise over previous years, the rights group said its findings still revealed that Tel Aviv “fails to fulfill its duty to guarantee the safety of the Palestinian public in the occupied territories.”

Yesh Din concluded that police failure in handling such cases had prompted Palestinians to increasingly refrain from turning to police.

Most of the attacks carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property are met with impunity, with those guilty rarely facing consequences for such actions.

Other rights groups, including B’Tselem, have on several occasions slammed the regime in Tel Aviv for its failure in protecting Palestinians from settler violence or investigate attacks.

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From PressTV

Sat Jan 6, 2018 05:43PM
The undated photo shows Moshe Harel, the Israeli ringleader of a global gang involved in a human organ trafficking scandal in Kosovo a decade ago.
The undated photo shows Moshe Harel, the Israeli ringleader of a global gang involved in a human organ trafficking scandal in Kosovo a decade ago.

The Israeli ringleader of a global gang involved in an organ trafficking in Kosovo has been arrested in Cyprus, Kosovan police say.

Moshe Harel is accused of organizing dozens of illegal kidney transplants at the Medicus clinic in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, a decade ago.

“The suspect whose initials are MH was arrested a few days ago in Cyprus following an international arrest warrant,” Kosovan police spokesman Baki Kelani said Saturday.

Poor people from areas in Eastern Europe and Central Asia were allegedly brought to the Medicus clinic after being assured that they would receive up to 15,000 euros ($18,000) for their kidneys.

Recipients, mainly Israelis, would pay up to 100,000 euros for the organs. Some donors never received any money.

The organ scandal came to light in 2008 after a Turkish man whose kidney had been removed was found seriously ill at Pristina airport.
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From PressTV

Fri Jan 5, 2018 11:31AM
An image taken from a video released by the Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists Egyptian on January 3, 2017.
An image taken from a video released by the Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists Egyptian on January 3, 2017.

The Egyptian wing of Daesh Takfiri terrorists has released a new execution video, declaring war on the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement based in Gaza.

The video, released Wednesday, purports to show the execution of a man who Daesh claims cooperated with Hamas’ armed wing.

“Never surrender to them. Use explosives, silenced pistols and sticky bombs. Bomb their courts and their security locations, for these are the pillars of tyranny that prop up its throne,” said one of the militants in the video.

The Egyptian wing of Daesh, known as the Sinai Province, is notorious for its brutal massacres, including the Sinai 2015 plane crash which killed 224 passengers and mass killing of over 300 people at a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest attack in modern Egyptian history.

The video comes as Hamas has been cooperating with Egyptian security forces to restore stability to Sinai, which borders Gaza.

In October, the Palestinian resistance movement arrested four senior Daesh terrorists in Sinai.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya (C-R) and Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar (C-L) attend a rally marking the 30th anniversary of the Palestinian resistance movement in Gaza City on December 14, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Dutch Jews investigate Brooklyn rabbi on molestation charges

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — The umbrella group of Dutch Jewish communities has launched an investigation into accusations that a local rabbi molested children in the United States.

The Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK, announced the probe last week of Rabbi Mendel Levine of Brooklyn, New York, who began serving the community of the eastern city of Nijmegen in 2009. The announcement followed an article in De Telegraaf daily recalling accusations against Levine from 2011.

That year, Meir Seewald, a Crown Heights activist against accused child molesters in religious Jewish communities, published  an online account of the alleged abuse he says he suffered in 2000 as a boy attending a summer camp belonging to the Chabad-run Gan Israel Camping Network, where Levine had worked as a counselor.

Seewald wrote that he had approached Levine “about a cut I had in my private area,” adding that Levine “then touched me there inappropriately. As well he used to walk around the mikvah (ritual bath) with my bunkmates with an erection. Many people claimed it was not molestation, but I can tell you for a fact that in that moment it destroyed my life in many ways until this day.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Report: Egypt asked talk show hosts to downplay Trump’s Jerusalem decision

(JTA) — An Egyptian intelligence officer asked influential talk show hosts in the country to downplay the significance of President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Capt. Ashraf al-Kholi said in the phone calls that Egypt would denounce the decision in public to keep it in line with the other Arab countries, but that problems with Israel were not in Egypt’s national interest, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing four audio recordings of Kholi’s conversations with influential media personalities in Egypt.

Kholi reportedly told the hosts that instead of condemning Trump’s decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it and to consider Ramallah, the current capital of the Palestinian Authority, as the Palestinian capital.

“How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?”  Kholi in the recordings obtained by The New York Times.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Jewish group among 6 put on Israel’s boycott blacklist

Jewish Voice for Peace

Jewish Voice for Peace members protesting at the Jewish United Fund of Chicago, March 24, 2017. (Inbal Palombo)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has placed the left-wing, California-based Jewish Voice for Peace and five other U.S. groups on a BDS blacklist.

Hadashot News, the Israel Television News Company, first reported Saturday night that members of JVP, which has over 200,000 online supporters and 70 chapters, could be banned from entering the country.

The BDS blacklist has 20 organizations on it. The ministry issued the full list on Sunday after the Hadashot news report. BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Sarah Silverman’s birthday wishes to her nephew in the IDF bring out the haters

Sarah Silverman speaking during the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, July 25, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Comedian Sarah Silverman posted birthday wishes on Instagram to her 19-year-old nephew showing a photo of him as a baby and a photo of him as an Israeli soldier, leading to hateful messages in response.

“This baby is now a 19 year old soldier. OY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, @adar_abramowitz_silverman I LOVE YOU A ZILLION!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️” Silverman said in her message posted on Saturday.

Adar Abramowitz is the son of her sister Rabbi Susan Silverman and Yosef Abramowitz, CEO of Energiya Global Capital, who live in Israel. Adar and his brother Zamir were adopted by the couple, who also have three biological daughters.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Why Jews care that Roy Moore’s ‘Jewish lawyer’ is actually Christian

Moores

Roy Moore watching as his wife, Kayla, speaks at a campaign event in Midland City, Ala., Dec. 11, 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — We have met Roy Moore’s Jewish lawyer, and he is Christian. But that doesn’t (necessarily) mean he isn’t Jewish.

Martin Wishnatsky, a lawyer first hired by the former Alabama Senate candidate in 2012, was the so-called Jewish lawyer referenced by Moore’s wife  at a December campaign rally, according to Al.com. Wishnatsky, 73, was raised in a secular Jewish home in New Jersey, but later came to believe in Jesus and converted to Mormonism before becoming an evangelical Christian.

So does that make Wishnatsky Jewish or not? There is no definitive answer. It hinges on an age-old debate: Is Judaism primarily an ethnicity, a religion or a culture?

“You’re both,” said Wishnatsky to Al.com, regarding whether he was Christian or Jewish. “You’re a Jewish person that’s accepted Christ. Jesus was a Jew. Most Jews are not religious. That’s how I grew up.”
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From PressTV

Sat Jan 6, 2018 02:05AM
People take part in a demonstration called up by local and Palestinian NGOs to denounce the US decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital, in the Lebanese capital Beirut on December 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
People take part in a demonstration called up by local and Palestinian NGOs to denounce the US decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital, in the Lebanese capital Beirut on December 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The US has reportedly cut off $125 million in funding for a UN agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees, less than a week after US President Donald Trump threatened to hold back future aid payments to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Axios news website, citing three unnamed Western diplomats, said on Friday that the sum — a third of the annual US donation to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) which was expected to be delivered on Monday — was frozen until the White House finishes its review of aid to the PA.

On Tuesday, Trump, in a number of tweets, threatened to cut Washington’s aid to Palestinians, currently worth more than $300 million a year, alleging that the PA was no longer willing to engage in the so-called peace talks with Israel.

“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” he said at the time.

US ‘denies’ freezing the aid

However, a US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the “(Axios) story is very misleading.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

British government ignoring illegal haredi Orthodox schools, London council charges

(JTA) – The local council of a London area with many Jewish residents criticized the government’s alleged inaction on unregulated educational institutions serving haredi Orthodox Jews.

The Hackney Council leveled the criticism in a report published this week, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

It says new laws should be considered “as a matter of urgency” to regulate unlicensed institutions, which teach an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 boys aged 13 to 18 in the North London borough.

“There are few if any safeguards in place to ensure their safety and well-being or that they are being taught to an acceptable standard,” says the report after more than a year’s investigation by the council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Commission.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Kosovo president: We’d have voted with US on Jerusalem at United Nations

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said his Muslim-majority nation would have voted with the United States against a U.N. resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Thaci said in a recent interview with the Albanian newspaper Express that were Kosovo to achieve full membership in the United Nations, it would vote “all the time” with the United States, including on last month’s resolution on Jerusalem.

The General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution condemning the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Only eight nations voted with the United States; another 56 either abstained or were absent. On Wednesday, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations threw a party for all 64 countries. Among those not voting for the resolution was Bosnia, which like Kosovo is Muslim majority.

Kosovars are overwhelmingly pro-American and also admire Jews. The Clinton administration led the NATO action in 1999 that pushed back Serbia’s repression of its Muslim-majority, Albanian-speaking province, and the George W. Bush administration recognized Kosovo when it declared independence in 2008. Jewish Americans, citing the example of world inaction during the Holocaust, helped spur the U.S.-led intervention in ’99.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Sweden has failed its Jews, ambassador says

Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in Gothenburg, Sweden, Dec. 9, 2017. (Adam Ihse/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Swedish authorities have failed to protect the country’s Jewish community, the Scandinavian country’s ambassador to Israel said following anti-Semitic incidents in Malmo and Gothenburg.

Magnus Hellgren made his remarks in an interview with the Israeli daily Makor Rishon following the attempted torching of the Gothenburg synagogue and cries about killing Jews in Malmo. Both events happened amid protests over President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Commenting on the fear of some Swedish Jews to be seen wearing a kippah on the street due to security concerns, Hellgren told Makor Rishon, “This is the reality of the Jewish community and it’s a failure, it’s not something that should be allowed to happen.” He added: “If a single Jew feels this way, we have failed.”
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Russian is ‘language of Zionism,’ nationalist Latvian lawmaker says

(JTA) — A senior politician in Latvia labeled Russian “the language of international Zionism.”

Alexander Kirshtejns, Deputy Speaker of the Latvian parliament, or Saeima, from the bloc of the National Association, made the statement, which at least one anti-racism activist in Latvia called anti-Semitic, on Thursday, the BaltNews service reported. He said Russian in this regard was tha same as Yiddish and Hebrew.

Kirshtejns, a nationalists who has lobbied for the removal of street signs and monuments for Russian-speakers, said this during a debate on opposition to a government plan to switch all schools and educational institutions in Latvia to Latvian. Approximately a quarter of Latvia’s population of 2 million people are ethnic Russian, according to estimates.

To prove his point about Zionism, he cited Jewish-sounding last names of people he said were involved in protests against the plan to phase out the instruction in Russian in the country’s schools: Zhdanok, Gilman and Pliner.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israel says Uganda agreed to take deported African migrants. Uganda denies it made the deal.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Uganda has denied that it agreed to a deal to accept what could amount to thousands of African migrants that will be deported from Israel.

On Thursday, the African nation’s foreign minister told the French news agency AFP that there is no agreement with Israel, despite reports the previous day that Uganda and Rwanda would take the Sudanese and Eritrean migrants who refuse to return to their countries of origin.

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a plan and a budget to deport nearly 40,000 African migrants. Prior to Wednesday’s approval, the Population and Immigration Authority in Israel notified migrants from Sudan and Eritrea that as of Jan. 1 they must return to their own countries, or to a third nation – reported to be either Rwanda or Uganda – or be jailed until they are deported. Migrants who chose to leave by March 31 will receive a payment of $3,500 as well as free airfare and other incentives.

“Uganda is disturbed by these reports,” Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem told AFP. “We have no such agreement with the government of Israel to send refugees here.”
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