Low-level Gaza member touched rockets, setting them off by mistake, Israeli report says; fire came as Hamas chiefs were meeting with incredulous Egyptian mediators”

TIMES OF ISRAEL
Like Monty Python: TV details how Hamas ‘accidentally’ fired rockets at Tel Aviv
by Staff
March 15, 2019

The two Gaza rockets that almost brought Israel and Hamas to war late Thursday were fired by accident, Israel’s Channel 13 news reported Friday, when low-level Hamas operatives “messed with” a Gaza beach rocket launcher that was set up to fire toward Tel Aviv in the event of future conflict. The report said the farcical chain of events that almost led to war was “like something out of Monty Python,” referring to the legendary British comedy group. The report said news of rocket sirens blaring in Tel Aviv broke as Yihya Sinwar and other Hamas leaders were meeting with an Egyptian delegation trying to mediate eased Israeli economic restrictions on Gaza. READ MORE

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“In 2014, Beto O’Rourke was one of eight House members to vote against funding for Iron Dome”

JTA
5 Jewish things to know about Beto O’Rourke
by Josefin Dolsten
March 14, 2019

In 2014, O’Rourke was one of eight House members to vote against funding for Iron Dome. His vote stood out because he was among a small group of lawmakers to oppose the $225 million aid to Israel, which was dealing with a barrage of rockets from Gaza amid a military operation. Meanwhile, 395 members of the House voted for the aid. O’Rourke’s vote angered many in the local Jewish and pro-Israel community; some circulated letters expressing their dismay…O’Rourke was part of a delegation of Democratic lawmakers organized by the liberal Middle East policy group J Street. They met with Palestinians and Israelis, and visited Jerusalem’s Old City and Yad Vashem. READ MORE

HAARETZ The Time Beto O’Rourke Got Burned on Israel “The J Street PAC, which is a rabidly anti-Israel PAC, has raised over $160,000 for Congressman O’Rourke because of his many votes against the nation of Israel,” said Cruz…O’Rourke had supported the Obama administration’s nuclear deal, calling it the best “available way forward to achieve our two primary goals in the Middle East: Stopping Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and ensuring the security of Israel and our regional allies.” He was among the 58 Democrats to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the joint session of Congress, warning about the prospects of a nuclear Iran. O’Rourke also opposed moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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BDSFail College president overrides college council as well as Rep Rashida Tlaib efforts to scrub Israel program

JEWISH JOURNAL
Pitzer President Vetoes College Council Vote on Israel Program
by Aaron Bandler
March 14, 2019

Pitzer College President Melvin Oliver announced in a March 14 statement that he is not going to implement the College Council’s recommendation to suspend the study abroad program at the University of Haifa. Earlier in the evening, the council voted by a margin of 67 to 28, with 8 abstentions to suspend the program until Israel ends its policy of barring boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) supporters into the country. Oliver said he would not implement the council’s recommendation because Pitzer would essentially be taking “an unavoidably political position on one of the most controversial issues of our time.” READ MORE

WASHINGTON EXAMINER Rashida Tlaib pushes California college to end Israel study abroad program Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is promoting an effort to force a California-based college to abandon its study abroad program to Israel. Daniel Segal, a professor at Pitzer College, a Claremont, Calif. liberal arts college, posted a photo of Tlaib posing with a #SuspendPitzerHaifa brochure. He praised the freshman congresswoman’s support for suspending the college’s relationship with Haifa University until Israel met a list of demands. 

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Not Birthright: “Those who go on the J Street tour will probably be a self-selected group who are already radicalized”

JNS
Its planned Israel trip explains why J Street is losing the fight with the far-left
by Jonathan Tobin
March 15, 2019

The announcement from the J Street lobby that it plans to sponsor a free trip this summer for college-age students to compete with the popular Birthright Israel program provoked predictable outrage. Many in the pro-Israel community already despise J Street as a Trojan horse organization that seeks to undermine support for the Jewish state. The idea of it shepherding Jewish kids around the West Bank to meet with Arabs who will trash Israel infuriates and deepens the resolve of some to exclude the left-wing lobby from communal organizations. READ MORE

TIMES OF ISRAEL J Street launches Birthright-style trip to Israel that will include Palestinians After months of chastising Birthright Israel for what it calls one-sided trips, J Street U is launching its first-ever free trip to Israel and the West Bank. Come July, 40 American college students will participate on a 10-day trip courtesy of the progressive group. 

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“The vast majority of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress support Israel because it is a valuable ally that shares fundamental ideals in a volatile region of the world”

THE HILL
The myth of the pro-Israel lobby
by former Congressman Steve Israel
March 11, 2019

There is something deeply troubling, and even dangerous, about the fevered debate over the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on members of Congress. Both the left and the right are locked in a narrative that members of Congress support Israel either because they love that land or because they are gripped by a powerful lobby. But what is missing from the argument is what really motivates most of my former colleagues: What is good for the United States? The current framing, whether by calculated design or simple inference, casts a shadow on the political motives of supporting Israel.  READ MORE

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Berlin Interior Minister: “Freedom of expression is a great good. If, however, the state of Israel and Jews are to be ruthlessly persecuted, the red line has been crossed”

JEWISH PRESS
Germany Revokes Visa, Asks Convicted Arab Terrorist Rasmea Odeh to Leave
by Hana Levi Julian
March 16, 2019

Convicted Arab terrorist Rasmea Yousef Odeh has been stopped from taking the stage in Berlin as an icon of the “resistance” thanks to protesters and those who respect the rule of law. German officials banned her from engaging in political activities and asked her to leave the country over fears of causing incitement against Israel, according to a report posted Saturday by DW News…Berlin Mayor Michael Muller said in a statement that Berlin is a tolerant city with no room for extremist propaganda. “Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic resentments packaged in liberation rhetoric have no place with us,” he said. READ MORE

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Jan Schakowsky “known in the pro-Israel community as “#JStreet Jan” — conveniently played the “Jew card” to excuse Omar’s antiSemitism

DAILY WIRE
The Déjà Vu Of Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s Convenient Anti-Semitism
by Paul Miller
March 13, 2019

As the mother of the modern-day Progressive movement, it would make sense for Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to take her young Democratic colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar under her maternal wing in loco parentis. Defending Omar against accusations of anti-Semitism last week on MSNBC, Schakowsky explained that as a refugee from Somalia, Omar “comes from a different culture. She has things to learn.” Rather than acknowledge that Omar is a bigot, Schakowsky thus invokes the doctrine of unconditional love. But Omar is not “just off the boat.” She came to the United States in the 1990s, according to her official House website. READ MORE

WALL STREET JOURNAL  Omar & the Conspiracy Democrats ? Her colleagues portray the freshman as a naïf. But she has a clear and menacing modus operandi…These are all tactics of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party: First, accuse critics of muzzling anti-Israel speech; then, complain about “disproportionate” attention to anti-Semitism; next, change the subject to bigotry from the right; finally, if forced to condemn anti-Semitism, dilute it with a kitchen-sink list of other prejudices. The true danger to the Jews isn’t a few tone-deaf comments, but a political environment in which conspiracy theories reign.

AMERICAN GREATNESS How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ilhan Omar? But now we have Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslims in Congress, born in Mogadishu, Somalia, brought here as a child, and now representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District as a result of the 2018 midterm elections. Along with her Islamic compatriot, Rashida Tlaib (representing Detroit and Dearbornistan), and the ineffable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (the Bronx by way of Yorktown Heights in Westchester County and Boston), the trio of female radicals has jerked the geriatric-led Democrat Party abruptly far-leftward as we approach the 2020 presidential election, tossing previous political calculations into a cocked hat.

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