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Jerusalem Ordered to Release Data on Sara Netanyahu’s Work History – Haaretz

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Court enforces reporters freedom of information request concerning PMs wife

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Beer and music liven up Palestinian town – The Jerusalem Post

Some 4,500 Palestinians and foreigners danced to a mix of Arabic- and English-language music at a concert venue in the Bethlehem area on Saturday, while many firmly held on to a glass. Just meters from an IDF watchtower on the outskirts of Beit Sahur, a Christian-majority town, Shepherds, one of the largest Palestinian breweries, had kicked off its second annual beer festival.

The festival is something of a unique event in the Palestinian territories, where many people do not consume alcohol in accordance with Islamic law. It featured a number of popular Palestinian bands, including Ta3lelah thats not a typo and Apo and the Apostles, and popular Arabic foods, such as shwarma. And, of course, there was beer.

Twenty-nine-year-old Alaa Sayej, founder of Shepherds, feels that beer and the Middle East go hand in hand, as the beverage is believed to have been invented in the region.

Why not make beer in Palestine when it comes from the Middle East? Sayej asked, speaking on the sidelines of the festival.

Beer was first produced in Sumer and Babylonia, located in modern-day Iraq, some 8,000 years ago, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Sayej initially brewed beer as a hobby in his dorm room while pursuing a dual masters degree in finance and investment management in the United Kingdom in the early 2010s.

I was fascinated by all the beers and ales sold in English bars. Every month, there was a new brew, he remarked.

In November 2013, after completing his degree, he established Shepherds in Bir Zeit, a university town north of Ramallah, where he was born and raised. But he did not start selling his product until June 2015 according to Sayej, he faced a number of obstacles.

Israeli customs authorities did not process the import of his brewing equipment in a timely manner, incurring hefty storage charges, and each Israeli supplier demanded that he purchase all of his ingredients from them, he said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authoritys Economy Ministry did not want to register his company because it said the logo a fully-bearded shepherd with the Christmas star off in the distance was the likeness of Jesus, according to Sayej.

I explained to them that it wasnt a picture of Jesus, Sayej stated, but rather a shepherd with the [Christmas] star, which is a reference to the story of the wise men. When that story took place, Jesus was a baby, and theres no baby in the logo.

Once he secured a meeting with then-economy minister Jawad Hirzallah, the PA approved the companys registration.

Today, the brewery employs 11 Palestinians on a permanent basis and produces hundreds of thousands of liters of beer each year. The product is delivered to outlets in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Shepherds previously sold its beers in Haifa, but following a disagreement with a distributor, it stopped. The company wants to renew its shipments to Israeli bars and is looking for a new distributor. It also plans to begin exporting to Italy, the United States and Chile in the coming weeks.

Sayej, who tasted his first beer at the age of 17, said the beer festival was a part of a broader effort to provide Palestinians with opportunities to enjoy a nightlife.

We have a nightlife that is better than Tel Aviv, he stated with a smile on his face. Not many Israelis know that.

While its unclear whether the West Banks nightlife compares to that of Tel Aviv, a robust bar and club scene has been emerging in the Palestinian territories, mostly in Ramallah and Bethlehem.

Back on stage, Apo and the Apostles took center stage. The crowd jumped up and down as the group sang many of its popular songs. It then performed Lina, its best known tune, as the crowd, overwhelmed with excitement, enthusiastically chanted out the name of the song.

Ayoub, a 25-year-old resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan who preferred not to give his last name, said he had experienced nightlife in Israel but enjoyed it more in the Palestinian territories.

I used to go to festivals in Tel Aviv, but I felt like I did not belong there, he said. Here, I feel like this is ours.

Twenty-five-year-old Wajd Abbas, from Kufr Aqab, a neighborhood in the northernmost part of Jerusalem, said that holding a beer festival in the territories showed that Palestinians were like people all over the world.

The outside sees the contradictions, problems and wars in our society, Abbas said. The beer festival is an opportunity for the outside to see we are normal people who love life and want to have fun.

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Beer and music liven up Palestinian town – The Jerusalem Post

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Group of Gazan children get first glimpse of Jerusalem – The Peninsula Qatar

20 Aug 2017 – 21:01

A Palestinian girl from the Gaza Strip takes a selfie outside the Dome of the Rock mosque in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city on August 20, 2017 as he visits the city for the first time as part of an exchange programme run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. AFP / Ahmad Gharabli

Jerusalem: Dozens of Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip saw Jerusalem and two of its holy sites for the first time on Sunday as part of a UN-run exchange programme.

Ninety-one children aged between eight and 14 crossed from the blockaded Palestinian enclave into Israel before visiting Jerusalem, according to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA.

All but seven had never been out of Gaza, said UNRWA’s Scott Anderson.

The children visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried, and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound nearby, he said.

Both sites are in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The children prayed and took pictures at the mosque compound, which also includes the golden-topped Dome of the Rock, an AFP journalist reported.

The compound is the third-holiest in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.

“They were over-the-moon excited,” Anderson said. “There’s really no other way to describe it.”

The children later travelled to Ramallah and will remain in the occupied West Bank, the other Palestinian territory separated from Gaza by Israeli territory, until Friday.

They will visit various West Bank cities throughout the week.

The Gaza Strip, run by Islamist movement Hamas, has been under an Israeli blockade for a decade.

Gazans need Israeli permission to visit the West Bank and Jerusalem, which requires them to enter Israeli territory.

The vast majority of the children on Sunday’s trip had never been to Jerusalem even though it is only some 75 kilometres (around 45 miles) from Gaza City.

Gaza’s crossing with Egypt — the only other country with which it shares a border — has also remained largely closed in recent years.

Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.

UN officials have called for an end to the blockade, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the enclave of two million people.

Israel says it is needed to stop Hamas from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.

The exchange programme, in its first year, included 38 Palestinian children from the West Bank visiting the Gaza Strip a few weeks ago.

UNRWA hopes to carry out more such exchanges in the future.

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Boston ‘Free Speech’ rally organizer presents its side – The Jerusalem Post

A large crowd of people gathers ahead of the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Massachusetts, US, August 19, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Thousands of people in Boston protested a “Free Speech” rally featuring right-wing speakers Saturday, with hundreds of police mobilized to prevent a recurrence of violence that left a woman dead at a Virginia white-supremacist protest last week.

But who exactly was behind the controversial rally itself?

John Medlar, a 23-year-old Fitchburg State University student from Newton and self-proclaimed libertarian, sought to distance himself from the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and alt-right protestors who wreaked havoc in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12.

In an interview with CBS-affiliate WBZ-TV, Medlar, a spokesman for the Boston Free Speech Coalition, who organized the event, suggested racist groups were attempting to hijack the rally.

“The groups that are trying to instigate such violence groups like Identity Evropa, Vanguard [America], the KKK, neo-Nazis we completely condemn all of that,” he said.

Initial reports ranged from descriptions of the event as a “right-wing” rally to predictions of a “white nationalist event similar to the Unite the Right rally in Virginia.”

As many as 40,000 counter-protestors accepted the latter narrative dwarfing the Free Speech Coalition’s turnout. The counter-protesters were composed mostly of left-leaning groups and activists, such as Black Lives Matter.

In a Facebook post, the Boston Free Speech Coalition stressed that it would not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry.”

The group also singled out the Ku Klux Klan.

The rally and counter-demonstrations largely ended peacefully.

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Egypt, Jordan, Palestine say Israel seeks to ‘blur’ Jerusalem’s Islamic, Christian identities – Egypt Independent

Egypt, Jordan and Palestines foreign Ministries released a joint statement on Saturday, in which they called on Israel to respect the Islamic and Christian history of Jerusalem through suspending recent security measures established in the city.

The statement noted that the recent measures are an attempt to change the Islamic and Christian identity associated with the eastern part of Jerusalem.

The request followed a meeting between the three ministries, that took place in Cairo, organizedto discuss the peace process with Israel and ways in which to push it forward.

During the meeting, the ministries agreed to continueArab coordination, as to provide protection for their holy places.

Moreover, they noted that the coordination would continue under the sponsorship of the king of Jordan, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who is the official supervisor and caretaker over both Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem city.

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Former Jerusalem resident arrested by police for supporting ISIS – The Jerusalem Post

Youth walk under an Islamic State flag in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, near the port-city of Sidon, southern Lebanon January 19, 2016.. (photo credit:ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS)

The Israel Police arrested and questioned on Friday a 40-year-old West Bank resident who is suspected of incitement, encouraging violence and supporting a terrorist organization.

The suspect admitted in his questioning that he is a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a police statement released on Sunday.

The investigation into the suspect started several months ago, when police detected his Facebook account, in which he openly expressed his support for ISIS.

The suspect distributed videos of the activities of the organization in different countries, including executions of those who oppose ISIS.

The police statement holds that the suspects social network activity has been going on for over two years, and that a large amount of people were exposed to the content he distributed.

The suspect is a former resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem, recently moving to Hebron where he was arrested.

In light of the findings of the police investigation, the State Attorney’s Office decided to launch a criminal investigation against the suspect.

Police stressed that locating suspects online, arresting, investigating and indicting them is yet another move done by them to prevent incitement and violence.

The fact that we found an ISIS supporter inside Israel, and that he lived in Jerusalem until recently, is making his activities even more dangerous, said a police statement.

The main concern from these kinds of [social network] publications is that someone will be influenced from them, and decide to take action in light of them.

This kind of incitement can cost peoples lives, the statement added.

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New Labor leader seeks sweeping powers – The Jerusalem Post

Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel’s centre-left Labour party, delivers his victory speech after winning the Labour party primary runoff, at an event in Tel Aviv, Israel July 10, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

New Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay announced Sunday morning that he intends to seek increased power for his post ahead of the next general election, including the right to choose four of the party’s candidates for the next Knesset.

Gabbay, who was elected July 10, realized that the post does not give him the power to make key decisions and allocate funds for initiatives that he believes are essential to prepare the party for the next race. At the next Labor convention, the date of which has not yet been set, he will ask to receive some of the authority currently given to the party’s secretary-general, Eran Hermoni.

“To win the next election, Labor must update the tools at its disposal and give its leadership the ability, the resources, and the authority necessary for the party,” Gabbay said. “These changes would give the party a significant boost in its goals of reaching out to the wider public and present a proper alternative.”

The most controversial change Gabbay intends to request is the right to select four candidates in realistic slots for the next Knesset, two of which would be placed in the top 10 on the list. Possible candidates for those slots include former prime minister Ehud Barak, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and MK Tzipi Livni, who formed a joint list with Labor ahead of the last election called the Zionist Union. Channel 10 reported Sunday night that Barak would turn down a reserved slot.

Gabbay has repeatedly said he wants Livni to stay with Labor. But he has never said he would permit her to choose additional Knesset candidates as former Labor chairman Isaac Herzog did ahead of the last election.

The new Labor leader also wants the right to choose Labor’s faction head, Knesset committee chairmen and which MKs will serve on each committee. Because he is not an MK, Gabbay has not had a role in how the faction is run in parliament.

Other proposals by Gabbay include adding transparency over the party’s finances and extending the tenure of the party’s institutions.

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Qatar’s Al Jazeera echoes terrorism – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

The Al-Jazeera Media Network logo is seen on its headquarters building in Doha, Qatar.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

When I accepted a job as Cairo bureau chief for the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera English television news channel in September 2013 I demanded and was assured that my team would remain independent from the networks Arabic channels.

Those assurances went out the window as management breached its contract, dubbing our English material into Arabic reports behind our backs and rebroadcasting them on the networks Arabic Mubasher a channel that an Egyptian court had shut for its national security threat and bias to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group once banned as a terrorist organization.

Unknown to our team at the time, Qatar the tiny Arab state backed by the worlds third-largest natural gas reserves and oil treasuries also later breached the secret Riyadh Agreement, which required that Qatar stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

That accord was reached two months after our team started working out of the Al Jazeera English makeshift office at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.

According to the recent CNN exclusive release of the unpublished handwritten accords, Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim Al Thani joined the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain the same nations that since June 5 have spearheaded a boycott of his country in vowing not to support the Brotherhood terrorist franchise in the region and antagonistic media. The latter is a clear reference to Al Jazeera, which was accused during the negotiations on the Riyadh Agreement of becoming a voice for the Brotherhood and radicals such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian preacher convicted of terrorism while residing in Qatar a man who encouraged suicide bombings and the slaying of Jews and Christians on his weekly show on Al Jazeera, once watched by 60 million people.

Al Jazeera chairman Hamad Al Thani, a cousin of Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, knew about those restrictions in the accords. Yet, he failed to warn my colleagues and me even though Egyptian authorities were indiscriminately going after anyone even slightly suspected of sympathizing with the Brotherhood an environment similar to 1950s American- style McCarthyism.

Huddled in the Cairo Marriott, we a proven team of journalists who did not conspire with Brotherhood terrorists were arrested in December 2013 and referred to court in a case dubbed the Marriott Cell.

Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and I spent more than 400 days incarcerated and maintained our innocence during an excruciating trial that veteran reporter Robert Fisk described on the day we were unjustly sentenced to seven years in prison as a proxy in the war between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

We three journalists committed no crime Al Jazeera did.

In Egypts prisons I interviewed Brotherhood members and non-journalists of the opposition who told me Al Jazeera had supplied them with transmission equipment, cameras and money, a technique I later learned the network applied in conflict zones such as Syria, Libya and Iraq. In a recent interview, Adel Iskandar, an assistant professor of global communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, described to me Al Jazeeras unethical and illegal newsgathering tactics including the distribution of technical equipment that would allow for satellite uplinks for distribution of footage.

This gave Al Jazeera an advantage over their competitors as they were essentially recruiting protesters and fighters to become journalists and information gatherers for their news programming. And since the Syrian opposition (particularly those aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups) was ideologically harmonized with the Qatari policy in the Levantine country, the coverage often went straight to air without verification, clarification, or corroboration.

If citizen journalism was meant to help the Davids triumph against the Goliaths of pro-government media, Al Jazeeras all-out investment in the Islamic output brought back a Goliath on steroids.

A year into the Syrian revolt Al Jazeeras Beirut correspondent Ali Hashem quit and told Russia Today that Al Jazeera smuggled $50,000 worth of satellite communication tools to Syrian rebels (considered terrorists by some) to ensure telephone and Internet connection to get an inside picture information he verified to me.

I believe Al Jazeeras irresponsible approach to newsgathering contributed to the killing and jailing of the networks journalists by repressive governments and extremist groups.

Farag Fathi, the Al Jazeera lawyer defending my two colleagues, quit in court a month before the verdict in 2014 and objected to what he called the networks treachery. He later shared an eye-opening email sent from Al Jazeeras legal counsel in Qatar who shamelessly asked Fathi to defend Gamal Nassar, a Brotherhood spokesman who was being tried in absentia by the same judge presiding over our case but in a separate terrorism trial.

The email also noted that Al Jazeera had just hired Nassar a wanted terrorist.

Egypt should free journalists like Ismael Iskandarani, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, among others unjustly jailed. Qatars Al Jazeera, now banned in numerous nations, can survive calls for its closure only by giving a voice to voiceless Qataris yearning for democracy and refraining from conspiring with groups designated as terrorists such as Hamas, the Brotherhood and Al Nusra Front, the former al-Qaida affiliate in Syria.

The author is an award winning journalist and war correspondent. He is the author of The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairos Scorpion Prison to Freedom.

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Jerusalem gets smart with new digital gadget library – ISRAEL21c

Israels startup community has inaugurated its first gadget library. The Jerusalem venue, called The Device Lab, has cutting-edge technologies and devices on loan for entrepreneurs and students to try out their ideas.

US colleges have long offered their academic communities the opportunity to come try out new and old technologies on an array of gadgets and computers at so-called gadget libraries.

Now, Israeli developers new and veteran have a library of their own in which to tinker about.

Intel Israel, the government, the Jerusalem municipality and a group of young Jerusalemites known as Tzeirim Bamerkaz are backing the new project at 22 Shivtey Israel Street.

On loan are smartwatches and laptops, 3D cameras, smart computer chips, gaming computers, tablets, and Android and iOS smartphones by top brands such as Lenovo, Intel, Asus, Apple, Tag Heuer, RealSense and Edison. The librarys collection will constantly evolve.

Jerusalems gadget lab is a place for exploration without breaking the bank. Photo courtesy of Intel Israel

The new gadget library provides an international starting point for the young and innovative entrepreneurs in Jerusalem. Whoever succeeds in Jerusalem will succeed in the world, Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement.

Jerusalems startup ecosystem is growing all the time. In 2012, there were no accelerators in the city, according to Made in Jerusalem organization for the citys entrepreneurs. To date, there are 15 startup hubs and accelerators in Jerusalem, according to Made in Jerusalem.

With the new gadget library now open, students and early-stage entrepreneurs no longer need to break the bank to try their ideas on new devices.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, center, and other dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting for The Device Lab. Photo courtesy of Intel Israel

An annual subscription costs $212 and devices are loaned out for different amounts of time depending on demand.

Organizers say the library lab will also be a venue for demos, workshops and lectures.

We are very pleased that we have the chance to promote technology and entrepreneurship in Jerusalem, said Shahaf Kiselstein, Intels Vice President for Platform Engineering. A vibrant entrepreneurial community is an important asset for Jerusalem.

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Jerusalem Ordered to Release Data on Sara Netanyahu’s Work History – Haaretz

Home > Israel News Court enforces reporters freedom of information request concerning PMs wife Jerusalem must provide information about its employment of Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as a… Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter.

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Beer and music liven up Palestinian town – The Jerusalem Post

Some 4,500 Palestinians and foreigners danced to a mix of Arabic- and English-language music at a concert venue in the Bethlehem area on Saturday, while many firmly held on to a glass. Just meters from an IDF watchtower on the outskirts of Beit Sahur, a Christian-majority town, Shepherds, one of the largest Palestinian breweries, had kicked off its second annual beer festival. The festival is something of a unique event in the Palestinian territories, where many people do not consume alcohol in accordance with Islamic law. It featured a number of popular Palestinian bands, including Ta3lelah thats not a typo and Apo and the Apostles, and popular Arabic foods, such as shwarma. And, of course, there was beer. Twenty-nine-year-old Alaa Sayej, founder of Shepherds, feels that beer and the Middle East go hand in hand, as the beverage is believed to have been invented in the region. Why not make beer in Palestine when it comes from the Middle East? Sayej asked, speaking on the sidelines of the festival. Beer was first produced in Sumer and Babylonia, located in modern-day Iraq, some 8,000 years ago, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Sayej initially brewed beer as a hobby in his dorm room while pursuing a dual masters degree in finance and investment management in the United Kingdom in the early 2010s. I was fascinated by all the beers and ales sold in English bars. Every month, there was a new brew, he remarked. In November 2013, after completing his degree, he established Shepherds in Bir Zeit, a university town north of Ramallah, where he was born and raised. But he did not start selling his product until June 2015 according to Sayej, he faced a number of obstacles. Israeli customs authorities did not process the import of his brewing equipment in a timely manner, incurring hefty storage charges, and each Israeli supplier demanded that he purchase all of his ingredients from them, he said. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authoritys Economy Ministry did not want to register his company because it said the logo a fully-bearded shepherd with the Christmas star off in the distance was the likeness of Jesus, according to Sayej. I explained to them that it wasnt a picture of Jesus, Sayej stated, but rather a shepherd with the [Christmas] star, which is a reference to the story of the wise men. When that story took place, Jesus was a baby, and theres no baby in the logo. Once he secured a meeting with then-economy minister Jawad Hirzallah, the PA approved the companys registration. Today, the brewery employs 11 Palestinians on a permanent basis and produces hundreds of thousands of liters of beer each year. The product is delivered to outlets in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Shepherds previously sold its beers in Haifa, but following a disagreement with a distributor, it stopped. The company wants to renew its shipments to Israeli bars and is looking for a new distributor. It also plans to begin exporting to Italy, the United States and Chile in the coming weeks. Sayej, who tasted his first beer at the age of 17, said the beer festival was a part of a broader effort to provide Palestinians with opportunities to enjoy a nightlife. We have a nightlife that is better than Tel Aviv, he stated with a smile on his face. Not many Israelis know that. While its unclear whether the West Banks nightlife compares to that of Tel Aviv, a robust bar and club scene has been emerging in the Palestinian territories, mostly in Ramallah and Bethlehem. Back on stage, Apo and the Apostles took center stage. The crowd jumped up and down as the group sang many of its popular songs. It then performed Lina, its best known tune, as the crowd, overwhelmed with excitement, enthusiastically chanted out the name of the song. Ayoub, a 25-year-old resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan who preferred not to give his last name, said he had experienced nightlife in Israel but enjoyed it more in the Palestinian territories. I used to go to festivals in Tel Aviv, but I felt like I did not belong there, he said. Here, I feel like this is ours. Twenty-five-year-old Wajd Abbas, from Kufr Aqab, a neighborhood in the northernmost part of Jerusalem, said that holding a beer festival in the territories showed that Palestinians were like people all over the world. The outside sees the contradictions, problems and wars in our society, Abbas said. The beer festival is an opportunity for the outside to see we are normal people who love life and want to have fun. Share on facebook

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Group of Gazan children get first glimpse of Jerusalem – The Peninsula Qatar

20 Aug 2017 – 21:01 A Palestinian girl from the Gaza Strip takes a selfie outside the Dome of the Rock mosque in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city on August 20, 2017 as he visits the city for the first time as part of an exchange programme run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. AFP / Ahmad Gharabli Jerusalem: Dozens of Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip saw Jerusalem and two of its holy sites for the first time on Sunday as part of a UN-run exchange programme. Ninety-one children aged between eight and 14 crossed from the blockaded Palestinian enclave into Israel before visiting Jerusalem, according to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. All but seven had never been out of Gaza, said UNRWA’s Scott Anderson. The children visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried, and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound nearby, he said. Both sites are in Jerusalem’s Old City. The children prayed and took pictures at the mosque compound, which also includes the golden-topped Dome of the Rock, an AFP journalist reported. The compound is the third-holiest in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. “They were over-the-moon excited,” Anderson said. “There’s really no other way to describe it.” The children later travelled to Ramallah and will remain in the occupied West Bank, the other Palestinian territory separated from Gaza by Israeli territory, until Friday. They will visit various West Bank cities throughout the week. The Gaza Strip, run by Islamist movement Hamas, has been under an Israeli blockade for a decade. Gazans need Israeli permission to visit the West Bank and Jerusalem, which requires them to enter Israeli territory. The vast majority of the children on Sunday’s trip had never been to Jerusalem even though it is only some 75 kilometres (around 45 miles) from Gaza City. Gaza’s crossing with Egypt — the only other country with which it shares a border — has also remained largely closed in recent years. Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel have fought three wars since 2008. UN officials have called for an end to the blockade, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the enclave of two million people. Israel says it is needed to stop Hamas from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them. The exchange programme, in its first year, included 38 Palestinian children from the West Bank visiting the Gaza Strip a few weeks ago. UNRWA hopes to carry out more such exchanges in the future.

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Boston ‘Free Speech’ rally organizer presents its side – The Jerusalem Post

A large crowd of people gathers ahead of the Boston Free Speech Rally in Boston, Massachusetts, US, August 19, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS) Thousands of people in Boston protested a “Free Speech” rally featuring right-wing speakers Saturday, with hundreds of police mobilized to prevent a recurrence of violence that left a woman dead at a Virginia white-supremacist protest last week. But who exactly was behind the controversial rally itself? John Medlar, a 23-year-old Fitchburg State University student from Newton and self-proclaimed libertarian, sought to distance himself from the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and alt-right protestors who wreaked havoc in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. In an interview with CBS-affiliate WBZ-TV, Medlar, a spokesman for the Boston Free Speech Coalition, who organized the event, suggested racist groups were attempting to hijack the rally. “The groups that are trying to instigate such violence groups like Identity Evropa, Vanguard [America], the KKK, neo-Nazis we completely condemn all of that,” he said. Initial reports ranged from descriptions of the event as a “right-wing” rally to predictions of a “white nationalist event similar to the Unite the Right rally in Virginia.” As many as 40,000 counter-protestors accepted the latter narrative dwarfing the Free Speech Coalition’s turnout. The counter-protesters were composed mostly of left-leaning groups and activists, such as Black Lives Matter. In a Facebook post, the Boston Free Speech Coalition stressed that it would not be offering our platform to racism or bigotry.” The group also singled out the Ku Klux Klan. The rally and counter-demonstrations largely ended peacefully. Share on facebook

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Egypt, Jordan, Palestine say Israel seeks to ‘blur’ Jerusalem’s Islamic, Christian identities – Egypt Independent

Egypt, Jordan and Palestines foreign Ministries released a joint statement on Saturday, in which they called on Israel to respect the Islamic and Christian history of Jerusalem through suspending recent security measures established in the city. The statement noted that the recent measures are an attempt to change the Islamic and Christian identity associated with the eastern part of Jerusalem. The request followed a meeting between the three ministries, that took place in Cairo, organizedto discuss the peace process with Israel and ways in which to push it forward. During the meeting, the ministries agreed to continueArab coordination, as to provide protection for their holy places. Moreover, they noted that the coordination would continue under the sponsorship of the king of Jordan, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who is the official supervisor and caretaker over both Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem city.

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Former Jerusalem resident arrested by police for supporting ISIS – The Jerusalem Post

Youth walk under an Islamic State flag in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, near the port-city of Sidon, southern Lebanon January 19, 2016.. (photo credit:ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS) The Israel Police arrested and questioned on Friday a 40-year-old West Bank resident who is suspected of incitement, encouraging violence and supporting a terrorist organization. The suspect admitted in his questioning that he is a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a police statement released on Sunday. The investigation into the suspect started several months ago, when police detected his Facebook account, in which he openly expressed his support for ISIS. The suspect distributed videos of the activities of the organization in different countries, including executions of those who oppose ISIS. The police statement holds that the suspects social network activity has been going on for over two years, and that a large amount of people were exposed to the content he distributed. The suspect is a former resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem, recently moving to Hebron where he was arrested. In light of the findings of the police investigation, the State Attorney’s Office decided to launch a criminal investigation against the suspect. Police stressed that locating suspects online, arresting, investigating and indicting them is yet another move done by them to prevent incitement and violence. The fact that we found an ISIS supporter inside Israel, and that he lived in Jerusalem until recently, is making his activities even more dangerous, said a police statement. The main concern from these kinds of [social network] publications is that someone will be influenced from them, and decide to take action in light of them. This kind of incitement can cost peoples lives, the statement added. Share on facebook

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New Labor leader seeks sweeping powers – The Jerusalem Post

Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel’s centre-left Labour party, delivers his victory speech after winning the Labour party primary runoff, at an event in Tel Aviv, Israel July 10, 2017.. (photo credit:REUTERS) New Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay announced Sunday morning that he intends to seek increased power for his post ahead of the next general election, including the right to choose four of the party’s candidates for the next Knesset. Gabbay, who was elected July 10, realized that the post does not give him the power to make key decisions and allocate funds for initiatives that he believes are essential to prepare the party for the next race. At the next Labor convention, the date of which has not yet been set, he will ask to receive some of the authority currently given to the party’s secretary-general, Eran Hermoni. “To win the next election, Labor must update the tools at its disposal and give its leadership the ability, the resources, and the authority necessary for the party,” Gabbay said. “These changes would give the party a significant boost in its goals of reaching out to the wider public and present a proper alternative.” The most controversial change Gabbay intends to request is the right to select four candidates in realistic slots for the next Knesset, two of which would be placed in the top 10 on the list. Possible candidates for those slots include former prime minister Ehud Barak, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and MK Tzipi Livni, who formed a joint list with Labor ahead of the last election called the Zionist Union. Channel 10 reported Sunday night that Barak would turn down a reserved slot. Gabbay has repeatedly said he wants Livni to stay with Labor. But he has never said he would permit her to choose additional Knesset candidates as former Labor chairman Isaac Herzog did ahead of the last election. The new Labor leader also wants the right to choose Labor’s faction head, Knesset committee chairmen and which MKs will serve on each committee. Because he is not an MK, Gabbay has not had a role in how the faction is run in parliament. Other proposals by Gabbay include adding transparency over the party’s finances and extending the tenure of the party’s institutions. Share on facebook

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Qatar’s Al Jazeera echoes terrorism – The Jerusalem Post mobile website

The Al-Jazeera Media Network logo is seen on its headquarters building in Doha, Qatar.. (photo credit:REUTERS) When I accepted a job as Cairo bureau chief for the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera English television news channel in September 2013 I demanded and was assured that my team would remain independent from the networks Arabic channels. Those assurances went out the window as management breached its contract, dubbing our English material into Arabic reports behind our backs and rebroadcasting them on the networks Arabic Mubasher a channel that an Egyptian court had shut for its national security threat and bias to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group once banned as a terrorist organization. Unknown to our team at the time, Qatar the tiny Arab state backed by the worlds third-largest natural gas reserves and oil treasuries also later breached the secret Riyadh Agreement, which required that Qatar stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. That accord was reached two months after our team started working out of the Al Jazeera English makeshift office at the Cairo Marriott Hotel. According to the recent CNN exclusive release of the unpublished handwritten accords, Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim Al Thani joined the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain the same nations that since June 5 have spearheaded a boycott of his country in vowing not to support the Brotherhood terrorist franchise in the region and antagonistic media. The latter is a clear reference to Al Jazeera, which was accused during the negotiations on the Riyadh Agreement of becoming a voice for the Brotherhood and radicals such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian preacher convicted of terrorism while residing in Qatar a man who encouraged suicide bombings and the slaying of Jews and Christians on his weekly show on Al Jazeera, once watched by 60 million people. Al Jazeera chairman Hamad Al Thani, a cousin of Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, knew about those restrictions in the accords. Yet, he failed to warn my colleagues and me even though Egyptian authorities were indiscriminately going after anyone even slightly suspected of sympathizing with the Brotherhood an environment similar to 1950s American- style McCarthyism. Huddled in the Cairo Marriott, we a proven team of journalists who did not conspire with Brotherhood terrorists were arrested in December 2013 and referred to court in a case dubbed the Marriott Cell. Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and I spent more than 400 days incarcerated and maintained our innocence during an excruciating trial that veteran reporter Robert Fisk described on the day we were unjustly sentenced to seven years in prison as a proxy in the war between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. We three journalists committed no crime Al Jazeera did. In Egypts prisons I interviewed Brotherhood members and non-journalists of the opposition who told me Al Jazeera had supplied them with transmission equipment, cameras and money, a technique I later learned the network applied in conflict zones such as Syria, Libya and Iraq. In a recent interview, Adel Iskandar, an assistant professor of global communication at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, described to me Al Jazeeras unethical and illegal newsgathering tactics including the distribution of technical equipment that would allow for satellite uplinks for distribution of footage. This gave Al Jazeera an advantage over their competitors as they were essentially recruiting protesters and fighters to become journalists and information gatherers for their news programming. And since the Syrian opposition (particularly those aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and similar groups) was ideologically harmonized with the Qatari policy in the Levantine country, the coverage often went straight to air without verification, clarification, or corroboration. If citizen journalism was meant to help the Davids triumph against the Goliaths of pro-government media, Al Jazeeras all-out investment in the Islamic output brought back a Goliath on steroids. A year into the Syrian revolt Al Jazeeras Beirut correspondent Ali Hashem quit and told Russia Today that Al Jazeera smuggled $50,000 worth of satellite communication tools to Syrian rebels (considered terrorists by some) to ensure telephone and Internet connection to get an inside picture information he verified to me. I believe Al Jazeeras irresponsible approach to newsgathering contributed to the killing and jailing of the networks journalists by repressive governments and extremist groups. Farag Fathi, the Al Jazeera lawyer defending my two colleagues, quit in court a month before the verdict in 2014 and objected to what he called the networks treachery. He later shared an eye-opening email sent from Al Jazeeras legal counsel in Qatar who shamelessly asked Fathi to defend Gamal Nassar, a Brotherhood spokesman who was being tried in absentia by the same judge presiding over our case but in a separate terrorism trial. The email also noted that Al Jazeera had just hired Nassar a wanted terrorist. Egypt should free journalists like Ismael Iskandarani, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, among others unjustly jailed. Qatars Al Jazeera, now banned in numerous nations, can survive calls for its closure only by giving a voice to voiceless Qataris yearning for democracy and refraining from conspiring with groups designated as terrorists such as Hamas, the Brotherhood and Al Nusra Front, the former al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. The author is an award winning journalist and war correspondent. He is the author of The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairos Scorpion Prison to Freedom. Share on facebook

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Jerusalem gets smart with new digital gadget library – ISRAEL21c

Israels startup community has inaugurated its first gadget library. The Jerusalem venue, called The Device Lab, has cutting-edge technologies and devices on loan for entrepreneurs and students to try out their ideas. US colleges have long offered their academic communities the opportunity to come try out new and old technologies on an array of gadgets and computers at so-called gadget libraries. Now, Israeli developers new and veteran have a library of their own in which to tinker about. Intel Israel, the government, the Jerusalem municipality and a group of young Jerusalemites known as Tzeirim Bamerkaz are backing the new project at 22 Shivtey Israel Street. On loan are smartwatches and laptops, 3D cameras, smart computer chips, gaming computers, tablets, and Android and iOS smartphones by top brands such as Lenovo, Intel, Asus, Apple, Tag Heuer, RealSense and Edison. The librarys collection will constantly evolve. Jerusalems gadget lab is a place for exploration without breaking the bank. Photo courtesy of Intel Israel The new gadget library provides an international starting point for the young and innovative entrepreneurs in Jerusalem. Whoever succeeds in Jerusalem will succeed in the world, Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement. Jerusalems startup ecosystem is growing all the time. In 2012, there were no accelerators in the city, according to Made in Jerusalem organization for the citys entrepreneurs. To date, there are 15 startup hubs and accelerators in Jerusalem, according to Made in Jerusalem. With the new gadget library now open, students and early-stage entrepreneurs no longer need to break the bank to try their ideas on new devices. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, center, and other dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting for The Device Lab. Photo courtesy of Intel Israel An annual subscription costs $212 and devices are loaned out for different amounts of time depending on demand. Organizers say the library lab will also be a venue for demos, workshops and lectures. We are very pleased that we have the chance to promote technology and entrepreneurship in Jerusalem, said Shahaf Kiselstein, Intels Vice President for Platform Engineering. A vibrant entrepreneurial community is an important asset for Jerusalem.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Jerusalem  Comments Closed


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