Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (White Freemason) visits US Holocaust museum

(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his wife visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Tillerson, his wife and two other family members, accompanied by a small security detail, toured the museum’s permanent exhibit on Saturday, the Washington Post reported.

The visit comes days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer apologized for saying that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons in a discussion of Syrian leader Bashar Assad, and called Nazi concentration camps “Holocaust centers,” raising the ire of Jewish groups around the world.

The White House also angered Jewish groups in January when it failed to mention Jews in its statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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JEWISH WOMAN SUES DAILY STORMER FOUNDER FOR HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN

 

A Montana Jewish woman, backed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is suing a neo-Nazi white supremacist for launching a harassment campaign against her and her family.

Tanya Gersh, announcing her lawsuit Tuesday against Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer website, said in a conference call that she has lost income and has suffered because of the attacks unleashed on her after Anglin posted her personal information on his neo-Nazi website in December.

 

“We got terrorized,” she said, describing multiple death threats, including photoshopped pictures of her and her 12-year old son being murdered by Nazis, and phone calls that included gun shots.

“I’m no longer working, I’m in trauma therapy twice a week, I’m losing my hair,” she said. “I’m having anxieties I never had before. Most importantly I’m never feeling safe.”

At times during the call organized by the SPLC, a hate groups watchdog, she broke down.

The federal lawsuit seeks compensation for Gersh’s losses and punitive damages and cites Montana state and federal laws protecting individuals from the invasion of privacy and from “intentionally inflicting emotional distress,” according to an SPLC release. It does not list damages, but in the conference call, Richard Cohen, the SPLC president, said: “We’re going to also seek a very, very substantial monetary damage award to punish Anglin.”

Anglin launched the campaign against Gersh after Sherry Spencer, the Whitefish, Montana-based mother of another white supremacist, Richard Spencer, posted an article on Medium accusing Gersh of threatening her with harassment if she did not sell the commercial building she owns in the town. Richard Spencer spends time in Whitefish, and there was talk at the time of staging protests outside the building.

Gersh, a realtor, contends that Sherry Spencer initiated contact, seeking to sell her building to head off the protests and to calm the town roiled by the rising profile of her son, who garnered media attention for his support of the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

Nothing in the email exchanges Sherry Spencer attached to her Medium post suggests Gersh was trying to coerce Spencer; instead, Gersh’s tone is deferential and sympathetic, and she says she is cutting her commission to the lowest percentage possible in order to facilitate the sale.

Anglin, on Dec. 16, a day after Sherry Spencer’s claims appeared on Medium, posted a screed titled “Jews Targeting Richard Spencer’s Mother for Harassment and Extortion – TAKE ACTION!”

He included Gersh’s home address and phone, her husband’s business contact information, and the Twitter handle of her 12-year old son, whom he referred to in abusive terms.

“Please call her and tell her what you think,” Anglin said. “And hey – if you’re in the area, maybe you should stop by and tell her in person what you think of her actions.”

Referring to Gersh’s son, Anglin advised his readers to “hit up” the boy’s Twitter account. “Tell them (sic) what you think of his whore mother’s vicious attack on the community of Whitefish,” Anglin wrote.

Anglin, in a subsequent post three days later, accused the “lying Jew media” of distorting his original post, citing liberal news websites that reported that he had called on his followers to harass Gersh and had posted her home address.

He said he “purposefully” left out home addresses, although the address he included is listed as the Gersh residence, and insisted, “I called for people to express their feelings about these threats and this harassment and extortion to the people responsible – and somehow I’m the threatener and harasser!”

JTA asked Daily Stormer over Twitter if it had any comment. There was no reply.

ANALYSIS: BARGHOUTI POISED TO WIN IF HUNGER STRIKE SUCCEEDS

 

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Analysis-Barghouti-poised-to-win-if-hunger-strike-succeeds-488290

 

As many as 1,500 Palestinian security prisoners marked a second day of a hunger strike Tuesday in what promises to be a protracted battle of wills with Prisons Service authorities. At the heart of the strike is Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah leader serving five life sentences plus 40 years for his role in the murdering and wounding of Israelis, who called it for the stated goals of improving prisoner conditions and ending administrative detentions.

The key question to which there is no easy answer is to what extent are the reasons for the strike to be taken at face value and to what extent is the action a reflection of the ambitions and interests of Barghouti. The same ambiguity hung over his role in the period following the outbreak of the second intifada in October 2000, when he emerged at the forefront of the unrest as an organizer and firebrand spokesman.

 

His role in the second intifada and his imprisonment over the last 15 years have turned him into the most popular Palestinian leader, someone who would likely defeat PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniye if elections were held today.

The striking prisoners, mostly from Fatah, are exposing themselves to harm, much as did the youths attacking Israeli checkpoints in 2000. This time, however, Barghouti is physically leading the charge and, if he sustains the strike, may be putting his own life on the line.

Barghouti spelled out his reasons for the strike in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Monday. “Palestinian prisoners and detainees have suffered from torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and medical negligence,” he wrote.

Some have died while in detention.

According to the latest count from the Palestinian Prisoner Club, some 200 Palestinian prisoners have died in prison since 1967. Palestinian prisoners and their families also remain a primary target of Israel’s deterrent policy of imposing collective punishment.”

“Through our hunger strike we seek an end to these abuses,” he wrote. Kadoura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, elaborated some of the demands in remarks to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. He said that due to a restrictive policy adopted at the height of the second intifada, thousands of first-degree relatives are being denied prisoner visits on security grounds, including parents of prisoners in their seventies and eighties.

The prisoners want visitation rights expanded. There are health concerns, with prisoners waiting for years for operations and diagnosis being a protracted matter, he says. Prisoners are also demanding the installation of public phones, which Fares says could still be monitored and tapped by prison authorities.

Another demand is to reinstate study programs for matriculation exams and correspondence courses.

The Prisons Service denies charges that security prisoners are mistreated.

It seems that some of these demands would actually not be that difficult to meet and that authorities could yield to them rather than face a possible wave of violence in the West Bank and international scrutiny that would come if prisoners lives become endangered or if they die. On the other hand, authorities will want to avoid an appearance of having lost or caved in to the strikers.

Those who believe the strike should be taken at face value and is not a Barghouti gambit for ulterior motives note that Barghouti is already the most popular Palestinian leader and say he does not need a strike to catapult him into that status.

“I think the main motive is the basic demands they raise. Israeli attempts to accuse them of a political agenda is a way of diverting attention from their legitimate demands,” says Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Bir Zeit University near Ramallah.

But there is no denying that the strike, especially if it forces Israeli authorities to back down, will further enhance Barghouti’s popularity. The contrast between Barghouti actively opposing the authorities and casting himself at the forefront of a struggle against oppression and Abbas’s perceived passivity in the face of Israeli rule is unlikely to be lost on the public.

If the strike is successful, it could also raise Fatah’s standing in its rivalry with Hamas, which has taken an ambivalent posture toward it because it is a Fatah initiative.

The strike also promises to put the Palestinian cause back on the regional and international agenda, where it has taken a back seat over the past six years due to the Arab Spring and the internal fighting in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen, according to Mkhaimar Abusada, a political scientist at al-Azhar University in Gaza. “If it goes on for a long time and if anyone dies, it will definitely bring more sympathy and support for the Palestinian cause,” he said.

Abusada does not believe Barghouti has called the strike to improve his standing, but he does predict that could be the result of it. “No question he will succeed in gaining more privileges if he’s able to stay alive and he’ll definitely be much more popular and much more credible among Palestinians.”

NEW DOCUMENTS REVEAL ALLIES KNEW OF HOLOCAUST YEARS BEFORE PREVIOUSLY ASSUMED

 

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/New-documents-reveal-Allies-knew-of-Holocaust-years-before-previously-assumed-488233

 

Newly released documents provided by the United Nations revealed on Tuesday that the Allied Powers were well aware of the Jewish Holocaust at the hands of the Nazi regime at least two-and-a-half years earlier than commonly thought, according to The Independent.

The documents, not seen for more than 70 years, showed at the same time that the Allies, made up of the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom, had prepared war crime indictments against Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and his top subordinates.

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Never-before-seen document penned by Nazi leader Himmler uncovered in Israel

A full year before America entered World War II, the West knew that the Third Reich had already massacred two million European Jews and were planning to eliminate five million more in concentration camps spread throughout the continent, the records showed.

Despite this, the Allied Powers did little to stop the genocide, with one minister in the UK war department, Viscount Cranborne, commenting that Jews were not a special case and that Britain was burdened with too many refugees as it was.

Speaking with The Independent, Dan Plesch, a professor at the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS University of London who analyzed the documents, said that “The major powers commented [on the mass murder of Jews] two-and-a-half years before it is generally assumed.”

“It was assumed they learned this when they discovered the concentration camps, but they made this public comment in December 1942,” he added.

Plesch discovered during his research that the testimonies of numerous camp prisoners were smuggled to Allied forces, prompting the triumvirate to make a joint deceleration on the Jewish slaughter to the British parliament.

“The German authorities, not content with denying to persons of Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule extends, the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people,” UK Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the legislative chamber.

Antisemitism in the US State Department, however, stopped efforts to help the Jewish victims, who were more concerned with preserving America’s economic ties with Germany after the war.

Former US president Franklin D Roosevelt’s envoy to the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC), Herbert Pell, would later go public with the information, “embarrassing” the State Department to move forward with prosecutions against Nazi war criminals culminating into the Nuremberg trials.

“Among the reason given by the US and British policy makers for curtailing prosecutions of Nazis was the understanding that at least some of them would be needed to rebuild Germany and confront Communism, which at the time was seen as a greater danger,” Plesch said.

The documents were finally released after former US envoy to the UN, Samantha Power, lobbied for the archive to go public, according to The Independent.

Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum stated on its website that “information regarding mass murders of Jews began to reach the free world soon after these actions began in the Soviet Union in late June 1941, and the volume of such reports increased with time.”

“Notwithstanding this, it remains unclear to what extent Allied and neutral leaders understood the full import of their information,” it adds. “The utter shock of senior Allied commanders who liberated camps at the end of the war may indicate that this understanding was not complete.”

MACRON FIGHTS FOR FRANCE’S JEWISH VOTE

 

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Macron-fights-for-Frances-Jewish-vote-488269

 

PARIS – Across France’s largest cities, where the nation’s remaining Jews are concentrated, up to 10 armed guards protect each synagogue on a daily basis ever since a national emergency went into effect over two years ago.

The number of guards increases on major holidays, such as this past week’s Passover holiday, as well as on the Sabbath. Indeed, French Jews have been fleeing the country in fear of violence against them for Israel and the United States in a consistent pace since the mid-2000s, and French authorities fear that a new, high-profile attack against Jews or their institutions will guarantee the departure of the rest.

 

Emmanuel Macron fears this as well. The 39-year-old presidential candidate – an unknown quantity here just two years ago– is campaigning for the Jewish vote, keenly aware of the threat. But when France goes to the polls on Sunday, its Jews will face a unique choice: To vote in the spirit of Jewish Americans, prioritizing principles of welfare and liberal democratic values, or in the Israeli posture, with security first in mind.

Macron is betting on the former, appealing to Jewish community values shared with the French Republic of liberty, equality and fraternity.

“He knows there is a real danger from a double extremism – from the far-Right with Marine Le Pen, and from the far-Left,” said Gilles Taieb, a prominent member of the French Jewish community who joined Macron’s En Marche! campaign in August. “He understands the specific needs of the Jewish community.”

Senior campaign officials told The Jerusalem Post that Macron considers Le Pen (National Front) a threat to French Jews, woven from the same cloth as her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who famously minimized the Holocaust during his own political rise.

For years, Le Pen tried to distance herself from her father’s comments, seen as an acknowledgment that veiled antisemitism would not bode well for a candidate launching a serious national campaign.

Yet in recent weeks, she has made comments of her own that suggest she shares her father’s views.

Le Pen’s efforts to recruit French Jews revolves around her open hostility to the Muslim community here – roughly 8% of the population– which even liberal politicians say is responsible for the majority of acts of violence and vandalism against French Jews. She claims substantial Jewish support based on her promise to crack down on immigration. But her views of “Frenchness” and “cultural otherness” pose risks to the Jewish community as well.

Le Pen says that Jews will have to choose between retaining French citizenship and obtaining Israeli citizenship: They will not be allowed to maintain both if she has her way, as she seeks to eliminate dual citizenship altogether. As she strives to rid French Muslims of the right to wear the veil, she has also suggested that French Jews should “sacrifice” the kippa in their embrace of pure French secularity. And just this month, she denied France’s role in a major round-up of Jews during the German occupation that has come to signify French coordination with Nazis during the Holocaust.

Macron claims that an equally significant threat to French Jews comes from the Left, from which Jean-Luc Mélenchon, founder of the communist Left Party, is running as an independent.

Mélenchon is highly critical of Israel and vocal in his support of the Palestinian cause. He questions the extent to which antisemitism has spread across France, and has been accused of minimizing the tragedies that have befallen the French Jewish community in recent years.

“Since 2001, there’s been a new antisemitism rising in France– the traditional one, like that of Marine Le Pen’s father on the far-Right, and a second and third one from more far-Leftists and from the Muslim community,” said Alexandre Amiel, a journalist and documentarian who recently completed a film on Jews in France. “Macron occupies a place somewhere between the right side of the Left and the left side of the Right, and has been quite sensitive on the issue of laïcité (secularity).”

In the past, Mélenchon has called for a right to return for Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948 – a policy that Israel says would undermine its status as a Jewish state in one fell swoop – and characterized the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “colonial” in its dimensions, fundamentally questioning Zionism and Israel’s right to exist. During Israel’s operation in Gaza in 2014, he defended rioters in Sarcelles who targeted Jewish businesses and a synagogue.

“Mélenchon is not antisemitic– he’s not close to that at all,” Amiel said. “But in his political neighborhood, there are people with huge problems with Israel. And a lot of those people are hiding the fact in their anti-Israelism that their real problems are with Jews.”

In 2014, a liberal European think tank called Fondapol identified three “foci of antisemitism” in France: The far-Right, represented by the National Front; the far-Left, represented by Mélenchon and his followers; and France’s Muslim community. Macron’s focus on two of these threats fits neatly with his political challenges.

Together with the only conventional candidate left in the running – Republican candidate Francois Fillon, who is currently mired in scandal over a public payments scheme he set up for his family members – Macron, Mélenchon and Le Pen appear to be splitting the vote in a four-way race entering the first round of voting, ahead of a runoff scheduled for May.

With all four polling within mere points of one another – and with only the two highest vote-getters able to proceed – every vote will count this weekend, including those few Jewish voters who chose to stick around after riots in Sarcelles, a massacre of Jewish children in Toulouse and the targeting of shoppers in kosher Paris marketplaces..

But the highly publicized, violent attacks are not what French Jews worry most about, Taieb says. It is, rather, the daily incivilities and intimidation tactics that prevent these French citizens from living full Jewish lives in the land they have come to call home.

“Jewish community values are of tolerance, humanity and anti-racism,” Taieb said. “The role of Jews here is to support Republican candidates who support French values.”

Macron, a banker and former economy minister, has become the subject of antisemitic cartoons and trolling online. One cartoon came from Fillon’s official campaign, which spread an image of Macron caricatured as hook-nosed as he carried a sickle and cigar. Macron called the image an antisemitic appeal to populist impulses.

“All of this contributes to the debasement of public life,” Macron said at the time, filing a suit against the Republicans over the attack.

France is the third-largest home to Jews outside of the US and Israel, but its status as a haven for the community has dwindled in light of an increase in threats, real and perceived, from all sides.

“You hear ‘Jews, it’s not your home,’ or see attempts at attacks on synagogues such as in Sarcelles,” Taieb added, describing the tense environment. “Macron is very sensitive to racism, and he is conscientious about the trauma the Jewish community feels.”

“You hear ‘Jews, it’s not your home,’ or see attempts at attacks on synagogues such as in Sarcelles,” Taieb added, describing the tense environment.

“Macron is very sensitive to racism, and he is conscientious about the trauma the Jewish community feels.”

Several campaign aides told the Post that Macron opposes the BDS movement targeting Israel and would combat boycott efforts as president. He would also preserve dual citizenship for French-Israelis and encourage and protect those donning a kippa, they said.

“We are at an historical moment for France, and for the world, where populism is taking power,” said Taieb. “Mélenchon and Le Pen are real dangers for democracy and for the Republic.”

ISIS-CLAIMED ATTACK NEAR SINAI MONASTERY KILLS ONE, INJURES FOUR

 

CAIRO – Gunmen attacked security forces near St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt’s south Sinai on Tuesday, killing at least one police officer and injuring four others, the Health Ministry said, just a week after two deadly church bombings killed 45.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a police checkpoint about 800 meters (yards) from the entrance to the monastery, one of the world’s most important Christian sites.

The attack comes just 10 days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt and just over a week after two deadly suicide bombings on Christian churches, also claimed by Islamic State, plunged the country into mourning and marked one of the bloodiest days for the country’s Christian minority in decades.

St. Catherine’s, founded in the 6th century and located at the foot of Mount Sinai, is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is part of the Eastern Orthodox church.

Egypt’s Christian minority, which makes up about 10 percent of the country’s 92 million people, has increasingly been targeted by Islamist militants, with three deadly church attacks in the span of four months.

Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the Sinai peninsula, Egypt. Credit: MOQUETTE AT ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the Sinai peninsula, Egypt. Credit: MOQUETTE AT ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA

In February, scores of Christian families and students fled North Sinai province after a spate of targeted killings.

A successful assault on St. Catherine’s would be the latest challenge to President Abdel Fattah Sisi, who has pledged to protect the religious minority as part of his campaign against extremism.

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated northern Sinai, which gained pace after the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Attacks in Egypt’s southern Sinai, a popular destination for tourists dotted with Red Sea resorts, are by contrast rare.

Security sources told Reuters that security had been put on high alert at tourist facilities across southern Sinai after the attack.

The attack in southern Sinai comes as Russia is expected to make a long-awaited decision on whether to restore flights to the Sharm el-Sheikh resort after a Russian airliner was downed in 2015, dealing a serious blow to the area’s tourism industry, which relies heavily on Russian visitors.

Egypt’s tourism industry, a crucial source of hard currency, has suffered in the years of turmoil that followed the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, as well as from the suspected bombing of the Russian plane, which killed all 224 on board.

Israel took the unusual step earlier this month of barring its citizens from crossing into the Sinai peninsula, saying the threat of attacks in the area inspired by Islamic State and other jihadi groups was high.

New book says Hitler was an indicted war criminal at death (LOL…..)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new book that examines previously restricted files from the UN War Crimes Commission cites documents showing that Adolf Hitler had been indicted as a war criminal for actions by the Nazis during World War II before his death — contrary to longstanding assumptions.

The book, “Human Rights After Hitler” by British academic Dan Plesch, says Hitler was put on the commission’s first list of war criminals in December 1944, but only after extensive debate and formal charges brought by Czechoslovakia, which had been occupied by the Nazis.

The previous month the commission determined that Hitler could be held criminally responsible for the acts of the Nazis in occupied countries, according to the book. And by March 1945 — a month before Hitler’s death — “the commission had endorsed at least seven separate indictments against him for war crimes.”

Plesch, who led the campaign for open access to the commission’s archive, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the documents show “the allies were prepared to indict Hitler as head of state, and this overturns a large part of what we thought we knew about him.”

A Dec. 15, 1944 document submitted to the commission by Czechoslovakia accuses Hitler and five members of “the Reich government,” including his deputy Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler, one of the Nazis most responsible for the Holocaust, of crimes including “murder and massacres-systematic terrorism.” A photocopy is included in the book.

In this Oct. 6, 1938, file photo, Adolf Hitler, second from left, stands in front of the barbed wire fortifications at Kreuzbuche, Germany after German troops advanced and occupied the second zone of Sudetenland.  (AP, File)

The United Nations War Crimes Commission was established in October 1943 by 17 allied nations to issue lists of alleged war criminals — ultimately involving about 37,000 individuals — and examine the charges against them and try to assure their arrest and trial.

Its unrestricted records, related to more than 10,000 cases, were put online in July 2013 by the International Criminal Court after an agreement with the UN. Three months later, then US Ambassador Samantha Power announced that the restricted files — which contain some 30,000 sets of pre-trial documents submitted by national and military tribunals to the commission to judge whether a case should be pursued — would be given to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

According to the book, legally certified documents, government transcripts and interviews with torture victims “prove beyond doubt” that the US and British governments were told about Hitler’s extermination camps in the early years of World War II.

Plesch said both governments acknowledged their existence but did almost nothing to stop the mass killings.

The earliest condemnations of Nazi atrocities were made in a joint statement by the Czech and Polish governments in November 1940.

In 1942, the American, British and Soviet governments led their allies in a public declaration “that explicitly condemned Hitler’s ongoing extermination of European Jews” and the book says that condemnation was far stronger than commonly believed.

“The records overturn one of the most important accepted truths concerning the Holocaust: that, despite the heroic efforts of escapees from Nazi-occupied Europe, the allies never officially accepted the reality of the Holocaust and therefore never condemned it until the camps were liberated at the end of the war,” Plesch wrote.

“The book documents not only that the extermination of the Jews was condemned officially and publicly by the allies but that specific features of the extermination were publicized, including a favored method — lethal gas — and the central place of execution — Poland,” he said.

Plesch wrote that it was beyond the scope of the book to assess why public condemnations of the extermination of Jews aren’t prominent in public and scholarly narratives of the Holocaust.

One possibility, he said, is that “significant parts of the governments in the United States and the United Kingdom were directly opposed to doing anything to help the Jews or to support war crimes prosecutions.”

Nonetheless, he cited material from the commission’s restricted archive which shows that hundreds of German “foot soldiers of atrocity” were indicted while the Holocaust was still underway by states where the crimes took place — and it shows that these national indictments were endorsed by the War Crimes Commission up to its final meetings before it was closed in March 1948.

One chapter analyzes country-by-country the indictments that began to be made early in 1944 for anti-Jewish persecution by Germans. It includes 372 cases submitted against Germany by Poland, 110 by the Netherlands, 91 by France, 52 by Czechoslovakia, 30 by Yugoslavia, 21 by the United Kingdom, 18 by Belgium, 14 by Denmark and 12 by Greece.

The book also notes cases brought against German allies Japan and Italy.

“Ultimately thousands of soldiers were tried for war crimes after World War II,” the book says. But Plesch wrote that “the commission’s files contain indictments against thousands of Nazis who were then allowed to go free.”

Netanyahu rips New York Times for Barghouti op-ed

http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-rips-new-york-times-for-barghouti-op-ed/

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday slammed The New York Times for publishing an opinion piece written by jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti without noting he is serving multiple life terms for the murder of Israelis.

The prime minister said that referring to Barghouti solely as a politician, as The New York Times did, would be akin to calling Syrian President Bashar Assad “a pediatrician.”

“I read, on Sunday, the article in the New York Times that presents arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a ‘parliamentarian and leader,’” said Netanyahu on a visit to the southern city of Dimona. “Calling Barghouti a leader and parliamentarian is like calling [Syrian President Bashar] Assad a pediatrician.”

Netanyahu was corrected by a member of his audience who pointed out that Assad actually trained as an ophthalmologist. The six-year-long civil war in Syria has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions.

Barghouti wrote his New York Times piece Sunday in defense of the mass hunger strike by Palestinian security prisoners he initiated on Monday.

A man holds a photo of convicted Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti calling for his release during a rally supporting those detained in Israeli jails after hundreds of prisoners launched a hunger strike, in the West Bank town of Hebron on April 17, 2017. (AFP Photo/Hazem Bader)

The Times issued a clarification on Monday, saying, “This article explained the writer’s prison sentence but neglected to provide sufficient context by stating the offenses of which he was convicted. They were five counts of murder and membership in a terrorist organization,” the paper wrote. “Mr. Barghouti declined to offer a defense at his trial and refused to recognize the Israeli court’s jurisdiction and legitimacy.”

The prime minister said, “The paper retracted it because we pointed [the errror] out to them.”

Barghouti is the former leader of the Tanzim armed wing of Fatah and the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a Fatah terror group. He was convicted in an Israeli civilian court in 2004 on five counts of murder and one attempted murder, and was implicated in and held responsible for four other terror attacks. He is serving five life terms for the murders, and an additional 40 years for attempted murder.

The prime minister continued, saying, “The [jailed terrorists] are murderers and terrorists. We will never lose our sense of clarity because we are on the side of justice and they are on the side that is neither just nor moral.

“This moral clarity, the readiness to defend our country, the readiness to fight those who would destroy us, is one of our greatest strengths, alongside love of Israel.”

Meanwhile Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint (Arab) Party, visited Barghouti’s wife and lawyer on Monday to show his solidarity with the hunger strikers.

“I’m meeting with Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of Marwan Barghouti, his lawyer Elias Sabag and the team for the struggle for prisoners,” he wrote.

In an apparent reference to Barghouti, Odeh ended his post with a demand for “freedom for political prisoners” and an “end to the occupation.”

Other Israeli politicians had already criticized the New York Times for failing to say why Barghouti was jailed.

In an op-ed published in The Times of Israel on Monday, Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid decried what he called The New York Times’ “intentional deception” of its readers by omitting any mention of Barghouti’s past.

Yesh Atid leader MK Yair Lapid addresses the crowd during a “'Taking Back Zionism”' rally for Israel at Raoul Wallenberg Square in Stockholm on August 28, 2016. (AFP/Jonathan Nackstrand)

“Anyone who reads the column without prior knowledge of the facts will come to the conclusion that Barghouti is a freedom fighter imprisoned for his views. Nothing is further from the truth. The missing part of the column is that Marwan Barghouti is a murderer,” he wrote.

Lapid said The New York Times had been exploited by Barghouti. “The attempt by The New York Times ‘to be balanced’ amuses Barghouti. He understands that this sacred attempt at balance creates equal standing between murderer and murdered, terrorist and victim, lie and truth,” added Lapid.

MK Michael Oren at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting in the Knesset, November 19, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Former Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren called the op-ed “a journalistic terror attack” and called on Israel to take steps against the New York Times. “We need to defend ourselves” he told Army Radio.

Oren, currently a deputy minister and a Kulanu MK, noted the op-ed was published on a Jewish holiday, which meant that the Israeli government could not respond to the article, which he said “was full of lies.”

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which manages day-to-day relations between the IDF and the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also attacked the newspaper for omitting Barghouti’s history.

A post on COGAT’s Facebook page read: “By referring to him only as a political figure, the Times failed to point out that after a fair trial in 2004, Barghouti was convicted of murder and carrying out terrorist acts and was therefore sentenced to five life sentences and an additional 40 years in prison.”

“Barghouti is a murderer of Israeli civilians,” it added.

Barghouti has remained politically active from behind bars, and is often touted as one of a few likely successors to the 82-year-old Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Many Palestinians see Barghouti’s move as chiefly an internal power play in an attempt to send a message specifically to the Fatah leadership and to Abbas, who excluded Barghouti’s loyalists from a recent Central Committee meeting and did not give Barghouti the anticipated position of deputy head of the PA.

Zuckerberg vows work to prevent next ‘Facebook killer’

SAN FRANSISCO — Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday vowed to work to keep the world’s leading social network from being used to propagate grisly acts like the murder of an elderly man on Easter Sunday.

Zuckerberg’s comment came during the opening of Facebook’s annual developers conference in the heart of Silicon Valley, where he focused on technology tools intended to promote stronger communities.

“We are going to work on building common ground, not just getting more opinions out there,” Zuckerberg said.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin, Sr.. We will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”

He conceded that Facebook has “a lot of work” to do and “we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this.”

The US man wanted for killing Godwin in Ohio and then posting a video of the murder on Facebook fatally shot himself Tuesday after a brief pursuit in neighboring Pennsylvania, police said.

Steve Stephens, 37, had been the subject of a nationwide manhunt in the wake of Sunday’s killing in Cleveland. He was wanted on murder charges in the killing of Robert Godwin Sr., 74, a former foundry worker and father of 10 who was picking up aluminum cans on Sunday when he was shot.

Pennsylvania State Police look over a car as they investigate the scene where Steve Stephens, the suspect in the random killing of a Cleveland retiree posted on Facebook, was found shot dead Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Erie. Pa. (Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via AP)

The incident was the latest grisly crime posted on Facebook, reviving questions about videos posted on the world’s largest social network, and how — or if — they can be monitored.

Facebook said it removed the video of the shooting 23 minutes after learning of it. The company has since announced it is launching a review for reporting harmful content.

“This is something that should not have been shared around the world. Period,” Cleveland’s police chief said.

Jewish candidate vies to ride anti-Trump tide in Georgia special election

WASHINGTON — Voters went to the polls Tuesday in a special election in Georgia where a novice Jewish politician is the favorite to win and, many Democrats hope, become the harbinger of a growing anti-Trump movement.

The congressional race to succeed former Georgia Rep. Tom Price (R), who was selected by US President Donald Trump to serve as secretary of health and human services, has been receiving national attention for what many believe will be its larger implications in the 2018 midterm elections.

Leading the crowded field of 18 candidates battling to head to Capitol Hill is Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide.

The neophyte politician — he has never held elected office — has ran on an unambiguous and unequivocal anti-Trump message. His slogan to woo voters: “Make Trump Furious.”

He may have already accomplished that goal. As polling gives him a heavy lead, the president has already gone on attack mode against him.

“Democrat Jon Ossoff would be a disaster in Congress,” Trump tweeted early Tuesday. “VERY weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes. Say NO.”

Trump also sent a recorded audio message in a robocall to district voters. “Liberal Democrats from outside of Georgia are spending millions and millions of dollars trying to take your Republican congressional seat away from you,” he said. “Don’t let them do it.”

Ossoff’s lead in the polls is something of a surprise and a worrying sign for Republicans, who, for the last 39 years, have had few reasons to worry about Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, an affluent and quiet suburban area just outside of Atlanta.

Since 1978, that House seat has been held by a Republican, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, none of whom has had to fight too hard against their Democratic opponents in the general election.

US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, April 13, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

But last week, an Emerson College survey showed Ossoff with 43 percent support from likely voters, while the closest candidate behind him, former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, polled at 17%.

Right now, that’s not enough for Ossoff — who is of Russian Jewish and Lithuanian Jewish descent — to claim victory. The special election rules require the winning candidate to receive a majority of votes.

“We are certainly going for an outright win here today. But a special election is special. It is difficult to predict,” Ossoff said Tuesday on CNN.

“It will come down to turnout. Because it’s all about turnout — the most important thing people can do is get to the polls.”

Ossoff, who is leading a field of 18 candidates, also tried to lessen the perception that he is spearheading the anti-Trump charge, saying that the race is about local economic issues “before it is about the national political circus.”

“Everyone is looking for national implications, but all politics is local,” he said.

If no candidate crosses the 51% threshold, the top two vote-getters will move on to a runoff election on June 20.

Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff speaks to volunteers in his Cobb County campaign office on March 11, 2017," (AP Photo/Bill Barrow)

Ossoff is well-poised for a longer campaign. So far, he has raised more than $8.3 million in campaign donations, mostly from out-of-state contributors.

The Georgetown University graduate has unquestionably benefited from the help of celebrities seeking to bolster his campaign.

The Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson released has helped out Ossoff, urging voters to show up and defy the current president.

“Remember what happened the last time people stayed home,” he said in one radio ad. “We got stuck with Trump. We have to channel the great vengeance and furious anger we have for this administration into votes at the ballot box.”

The line “great vengeance and furious anger” is an allusion to a famous monologue he delivered in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film “Pulp Fiction.”

National GOP groups have launched their own attacks as well. The Congressional Leadership Fund, which is aligned with the Republican Party, has spent more than $2 million in negative ads against Ossoff.

The Georgia contest comes a week after another special election in Kansas’s Fourth Congressional District, in which Republican Ron Estes squeaked by his Democratic opponent James Thompson. Ordinarily, a GOP candidate would face little challenge in the Midwestern conservative area.

That election was held to replace former Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump’s new director of the Central Intelligence Agency.