Posted by Albert Gersh - July 06, 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the bonds of suffering that unite the Rwandan and Jewish people when he toured the Kigali Genocide Memorial in the Rwandan capital on Wednesday.
In a joint press conference with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the prime minister referred
to the memorial as “exceptionally moving, jolting even.” “My people know the pain of genocide as well,” Netanyahu said. “This is a unique bond that neither one of our peoples would prefer to have…Today, Israel and Rwanda are successful states and models for progress...Genocide is preceded by incitement to mass murder. Words matter. They have the power to kill.” Because of this danger of incitement, “when we see leaders in Gaza calling for the murder of every Jew around the world, we all have a duty to speak up. When we hear the supreme leader of Iran calling for the annihilation of Israel, we have a duty to speak up.” Netanyahu also laid a wreath at mass graves in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsi victims of the Rwandan genocide are buried.
Rwanda is the third country that Netanyahu has visited in East Africa this week, after Uganda and Kenya. He is scheduled to address the Ethiopian parliament on Thursday. Jerusalem hopes that increased ties with African nations will lead to a shift
in their voting trends at the UN and other global forums, thus improving Israel’s diplomatic standing and reversing what Netanyahu called “the automatic majority against Israel.” Rwanda abstained
in December 2014 from a Palestinian resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling on Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines and create a Palestinian state by 2017. Rwandan Ambassador to Israel Joseph Rutabana said that he voted that way because “Israel is our friend.” Rwanda similarly abstained in a 2011 vote on a UNESCO resolution to admit “Palestine” as a state and a 2012 General Assembly vote that would give the Palestinians non-member observer status, and voted against an Egyptian proposal at the International Atomic Energy Agency last September calling for the international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear installations. Rutabana told The Jerusalem Post
last month that “Israel’s achievements are really spectacular. It is a country that in less than 70 years had become a first-world state. We want to learn how they achieved it.”
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein declared Tuesday that there was strong evidence that Iran-backed Shi’a militias had committed atrocities in the recent battle to reclaim the Iraqi city of Fallujah from ISIS.
More than 900 men and boys from heavily Sunni Fallujah remain missing, and may have been kidnapped, from areas that were captured by the Shi’a militias, known as Popular Mobilization Forces or PMFs. Forty-nine people who were kidnapped have been executed by Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of the PMF militias, which the United States designated a terror group in 2009 and was among the groups that killed American soldiers during the Iraq War. Prisoners released from Kata’ib Hezbollah’s captivity have described scenes of torture and abuse. “This appears to be the worst – but far from the first – such incident involving unofficial militias fighting alongside [Iraqi] Government forces against ISIL,” Zeid said in a statement.
The Popular Mobilization Forces have been a key part of the Iraqi government’s strategy for defeating ISIS, but this has meant empowering Kata’ib Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups. The U.S. was originally opposed to the presence of PMFs in in anti-ISIS operations, but has since relaxed its stance, effectively allowing Iran to use the militias to dominate large swaths of the country. Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that Iranian efforts in the country have been “helpful.”
Many analysts fear that Shi’a militias like KH could worsen sectarian divides in Iraq and prevent Sunnis from reintegrating with the central government in Baghdad, possibly leading to more violent reprisals against Shi’a civilians. (via TheTower.org)
Thousands of amateur sports writers across 13 countries are using the 90min and 12up platforms from Israeli sports media and technology company Minute Media to produce, publish and share more than 15,000 pieces of curated interactive content in 10 languages every month.
Call it the BuzzFeed of the sports world. The precursor of Minute Media, FTBpro, was founded by Asaf Peled in 2011 in Tel Aviv. The company has raised a total of $45 million in venture-capital funding. “We saw a space in the global sports market for user-generated content and foresaw the way journalism was going toward the likes of HuffPost and BuzzFeed,” says Matan Har, Minute Media VP of growth and content. “We didn’t see anyone in the sports space doing this. And since we eat, breathe and sleep sports, it was a natural fit for us.” 90min, its first platform for football (soccer) citizen journalists in Europe, South America and Asia, has more than 110 million users engaged through social media monthly, 70 percent of them under the age of 25. 12up was launched in May as a media platform for fans of American sports. In private beta for two months, 12up built up to reach more than four million unique users, mostly through mobile and mostly between the ages of 18 and 24. (via Israel21c