SINCE THE RAPTURE OCCURS BEFORE THE FUTURE 7 YR TREATY IS SIGNED, I WONT BE AROUND TO HAVE THE ACTUAL TREATY SIGNING. BUT UNTIL THEN THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE BEGININGS OF THE ISRAELI / ARAB PEACE PROCESS. AND AS CLOSE TO THE 7 YEAR SIGNING THAT WE GET BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE SAVED TO HEAVEN. UNTIL WE MEET JESUS IN THE CLOUDS BODILY, AND COME TO EARTH 7 YRS LATER.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

ISRAELI ARMS SALES SKYROCKET 41% IN ONE YEAR.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Germany slams Abbas for ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks; EU calls his speech unacceptable-Berlin's FM Heiko Maas denounces PA president's 'history lesson', says Germany was responsible for Holocaust-By TOI staff and AFP-MAY 2,18
Germany’s foreign minister Wednesday condemned a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which he claimed that the Holocaust was the result of Jews’ own “social behavior” rather than anti-Semitism.Heiku Maas tweeted that Germany was responsible for “one of the worst crimes in history, and, “therefore, we must respond resolutely to any anti-Semitic expression,” he said, linking to an article about Abbas’s Monday night speech.Abbas, who has faced accusations of anti-Semitism in the past, suggested in an address to a meeting of the Palestinian National Council on Monday night that Jews’ relations with banking had led to hostility against them. The speech has sparked outrage in Israel.During his long-winded speech Monday in Ramallah in front of hundreds at a rare session of the Palestinian National Council, the 82-year-old PA leader alleged that the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism, but rather by Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”The incendiary content of Abbas’s Monday speech, which was reported by The Times of Israel late that night, was not included in the official Palestinian news agency’s English press release about his address or in most initial international coverage of his speech.In an unusual move, the European Union also condemned Abbas for “unacceptable remarks” he made in the speech.“The speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered on 30 April contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy,” a spokesman for the EU’s diplomatic service said in a statement.“Such rhetoric will only play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated.”The EU stressed the importance of Holocaust education in minimizing hatred, and rejected any forms of anti-Semitism.“The Holocaust and World War Two have defined Europe’s modern history like no other event. Holocaust education remains central to building up resilience against all forms of hatred in our societies,” the statement read. “Anti-Semitism is not only a threat for Jews but a fundamental menace to our open and liberal societies. The European Union remains committed to combat any form of anti-Semitism and any attempt to condone, justify or grossly trivialize the Holocaust.”The condemnation was unusual, as a few months ago the same body refused to comment on a controversial speech by Abbas, saying it wouldn’t respond to speeches.In a speech in January, Abbas had said that European Jews during the Holocaust chose to undergo “murder and slaughter” rather than emigrate to British-held Palestine.“Our policy is not to comment on comments,” an EU spokesperson in Brussels told The Times of Israel at the time.The EU routinely issues condemnations of Israeli plans to build housing units beyond the 1967 lines, arguing that such moves are illegal under international law and diminish the prospects of peace. The union was also very vocal in condemning the US administration’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Wednesday’s EU statement came shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to condemn Abbas’s speech.“Apparently a Holocaust-denier remains a Holocaust-denier,” Netanyahu said, alluding to Abbas’s 1982 doctoral dissertation, and called on the international community to condemn the speech and its expression of an anti-Semitism “whose time has come to disappear off the face of the earth.”Abbas touched on a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories Monday during what he called a “history lesson,” as he sought to prove the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is false.He said, “Their narrative about coming to this country because of their longing for Zion, or whatever — we’re tired of hearing this. The truth is that this is a colonialist enterprise, aimed at planting a foreign body in this region.”“Those who sought a Jewish state weren’t Jews,” Abbas said, repeating a claim he made in January when he said that the State of Israel was formed as “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism” to safeguard European interests.He said his narrative was backed by three points made by Jewish writers and historians, the first being a theory often criticized as anti-Semitic that Ashkenazi Jews are not the descendants of the ancient Israelites.Pointing to Arthur Koestler’s book “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which asserts that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars, Abbas said European Jews had “no historical ties” to the Land of Israel.“From the 11th century until the Holocaust that took place in Germany, those Jews — who moved to Western and Eastern Europe — were subjected to a massacre every 10 to 15 years,” he said. “But why did this happen? They say ‘it is because we are Jews.’”The “proof” that it was not because they were Jews, he asserted, “is that there were Jews in Arab countries. Why wasn’t there ever one incident against Jews because they’re Jews?” he asked. “Not even once. Do you think I’m exaggerating? I challenge you [to find] even one indecent act against Jews in over 1,400 years — because they were Jews in Arab lands.”He went on to claim that the Holocaust was not the result of anti-Semitism but rather of the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”Abbas claimed that Adolf Hitler, whose Nazi regime was response for the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust, facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel by reaching a deal with the Anglo-Palestine Bank (today Bank Leumi) under which Jews who moved to the British Mandate of Palestine could transfer all their assets there through the bank.Abbas also repeated and elaborated on his previous claim Israel was a European project from the start.He then added that European leaders such as the United Kingdom’s Lord Arthur Balfour restricted the immigration of Jews to their own countries while simultaneously promoting the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel.The 1917 Balfour Declaration endorsed the idea of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.The Palestinian leader has a history of Holocaust denial. His 1982 doctoral dissertation was titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” and he has in the past been accused of denying the scope of the Holocaust. The dissertation reportedly claimed that the six million figure of Holocaust victims was hugely exaggerated and that Zionist leaders cooperated with the Nazis.Abbas, in his Monday address, made no mention of the Jews’ historic presence and periods of sovereignty in the Holy Land.Abbas also reiterated his preemptive rejection of the peace plan that the Trump administration is working on, amid an ongoing and deep rift with the US.He told the PNC that he plans to take unspecified “tough steps” soon against Israel and the United States.Abbas told the hundreds of delegates that he was sticking to his rejection of any US proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal following the Trump administration’s recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and a decision to move the US embassy there in mid-May.“This is completely unacceptable,” he said. “We will not accept this deal, and we will not accept the US as the sole broker” of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

Israeli arms sales skyrocket, increasing 41.5% in one year-Defense exports jump from $6.5 billion in 2016 to $9.2 billion in 2017; most weapons sold to Asian, Pacific countries, notably India-By Judah Ari Gross-MAY 2,18-TOI

Israeli arms sales increased dramatically — by 41.5 percent — from 2016 to 2017, according to new figures released by the Defense Ministry on Wednesday, including a massive missile defense system sale to India.Defense exports brought in $9.2 billion last year, compared to the $6.5 billion in 2016 and $5.7 billion the year before, according to the International Defense Cooperation Directorate at the Defense Ministry, known as SIBAT.“This is an extraordinary achievement in every sense, which was reached thanks to the hard work of SIBAT and the defense industries and due to a number of agreements with foreign countries,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement.This dramatic increase can also be credited to efforts made by the Defense Ministry over the past year to deregulate the arms industry and make it easier for Israeli firms to export their wares.SIBAT chief Michel Ben-Baruch told reporters he expects similar levels of defense exports in 2018.Asia remained the biggest market for Israeli defense exports, accounting for 58% of arms sales in 2017. Europe and North America were Israel’s next largest customers. Africa, which saw a dramatic increase in arms sales in 2016, amounted to just five percent of exports in 2017.Israel significantly increased its sale of missiles — including those used in air defense — in 2017. These exports jumped by over 70% from the year before, amounting to nearly a third of all Israeli arms sales.This can largely be credited to the $630 million sale of Israel’s Barak 8 missile defense system to India, but Ben-Baruch stressed that “it’s not just the Barak 8, but several other deals.”Radars and electronic warfare systems accounted for 17% of arms sales. Cyber warfare products and drones — two areas Israel for which is perhaps best known — amounted to just 5% and 2%, respectively.Though he would not provide a specific breakdown, Ben-Baruch said the majority of Israel’s defense exports were from the larger contractors — like Rafael, Israeli Aerospace Industries and Israeli Military Industries — and not from smaller firms.

Iran denies Morocco accusation of arms delivery to rebel group-Tehran says claims of weapons sent through Hezbollah are pretext for Rabat to cut ties, insists it does not interfere in countries with which it has diplomatic relations-By AFP-TOI-MAY 2,18

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Wednesday denied that it was involved in a weapons delivery to the Polisario Front movement seeking independence for Western Sahara, after Morocco cut diplomatic ties with Tehran over the allegations.Morocco, which has close relations with Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday accused Tehran of using its Lebanese militia ally Hezbollah to deliver weapons to the Polisario Front.Tehran hit back, saying the North African nation had used the allegations as a “pretext” to break off diplomatic ties.“Remarks attributed to the foreign minister of Morocco about cooperation between an Iranian diplomat and the Polisario Front” in Western Sahara are false, Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement.The Islamic Republic respects the “sovereignty and security” of countries with which it has diplomatic relations, and follows a policy of “non-interference in (their) internal affairs,” it added.Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said on Tuesday that “a first shipment of weapons was recently” sent to the Algerian-backed Polisario Front via an “element” at the Iranian embassy in Algiers.Bourita said his country had “irrefutable proof” of Hezbollah’s involvement and said ties were being cut with Tehran in response to Iran “allying itself with” the Polisario.Saudi Arabia on Wednesday expressed support for Rabat’s decision and said it “strongly condemns the Iranian interference in Morocco’s internal affairs.”The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, staunch allies of Saudi Arabia, also expressed backing for the Moroccan move.Hezbollah has rejected Rabat’s accusations and blamed the decision on foreign “pressure.”A senior Polisario Front official also condemned the allegations as “unfounded,” saying Morocco “has not provided any evidence.”“The Polisario has never had military relations with Hezbollah and Iran. It’s a grotesque lie to involve the Maghreb in the Middle East crisis,” Mhamed Khaddad told AFP in Algiers.He accused Rabat of wanting to “shirk the negotiating process just called for by the Security Council” on Western Sahara.The UN Security Council on Friday backed a US-drafted resolution that urges Morocco and the Polisario Front to prepare for talks on settling the decades-old conflict over Western Sahara.The council renewed for six months the mandate of a UN mission that has been monitoring a ceasefire in Western Sahara since 1991 and spelled out steps for a return to negotiations.Morocco maintains that Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony under its control, is an integral part of the kingdom, while the Polisario Front demands a referendum on self-determination.

Danish ruling party risks split over looming vote on circumcision-Almost 50,000 people sign petition to ban non-medical circumcision, calling it a violation of children's rights and antithetical to European culture-By Cnaan Liphshiz-TOI-MAY 2,18

JTA — An impending vote in the Danish parliament on non-medical circumcision of boys risks splitting the country’s ruling party, local media reported.The internal conflict is over an online petition from February calling for a ban on the practice. The petition has received 92 percent of its authors’ goal of collecting 50,000 cosignatories by August. In the likely event of reaching that number in time, the petition will become a draft resolution for parliament to vote on.Last month, Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen of the ruling Venstre centrist party said his party would vote against the draft resolution, the Berlingske newspaper reported. But several members say they would break party discipline and vote in favor, the report said. If they leave the party over the issue, it could jeopardize the coalition.Across Europe, the Jewish and Muslim customs of non-medical circumcision of boys are under attack by liberals who say it is a violation of children’s rights and nationalists who argue it is foreign to European culture.In addition to Venstre, the Liberal Party and the Conservative People’s Party also have said they would oppose the draft resolution based on the petition, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, told JTA Tuesday. But the two additional parties have said they would allow their lawmakers to vote freely on the issue, Berlingske reported.Still, this is “an encouraging sign,” said Goldschmidt, who is in the Latvian capital of Riga this week with his organization’s standing committee for discussions, including on the protection of circumcision and other religious practices in Europe.The debate in Denmark coincides with deliberations in Iceland on a bill that was introduced this year to ban circumcision. Amid intensive lobbying by Jewish groups, a parliamentary committee last week said it is advising parliament to scrap the bill, thus dramatically diminishing its chances of being put to a vote.“The developments in Denmark and Iceland, as well as the lifting of temporary bans in Germany in 2012, show that education and intervention can have an impact on the debate, and I’m sure it will also if the motion is brought to a vote” in Denmark, Goldschmidt said.The issue is “of critical importance because a ban on milah means the end of a Jewish community where it occurs,” added Goldschmidt, using the Hebrew-language word for circumcision.

Ukraine Jewish leader slams US letter critical of anti-Semitism in his country-Josef Zissels under fire for hinting that Moscow could've paid for US congressmen to write statement condemning Ukrainian laws 'glorifying Nazi collaborators'-By Cnaan Liphshiz-TOI-MAY 2,18

JTA — A leader of Ukrainian Jews suggested that recent criticism of his country by 57 US congressmen was part of an orchestrated campaign, possibly paid for by Russia.Josef Zissels, chairman of the Vaad Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Ukraine, was quoted as saying this by the state-run National News Agency of Ukraine, or Ukrinform.His statement made last week triggered angry reactions by other Jewish community leaders in the region, where international cooperation between Jewish groups is suffering as a result of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and tension with other countries that Moscow used to dominate.The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, or EAJC, which is the World Jewish Congress’ affiliate in Russian-speaking countries, declared that it would kick Vaad out of its list of member groups following Zissels’s remark.“It is quite obvious who needs to discredit Ukraine in the United States, and why,” Zissels said in what a EAJC official said was a thinly-veiled reference to Russia. “I know of several [lobbying] firms that are accredited at Congress, and can promote anything for money there. So to collect the necessary number of signatures for them is not a problem,” he said.Zissels was referring to a letter sent last week carrying the signatures of 57 US congressmen to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. In it, they condemned what they called Ukrainian legislation that “glorifies Nazi collaborators.” The letter, the harshest public rebuke in years of anti-Semitism in Ukraine by US elected officials, also says that the world is seeing a “rise of this hateful ideology,” in reference to neo-Nazism.Zissels dismissed it as contrived, saying some congressmen who signed the letter may have not ever read it. “Most of them can’t even find Ukraine on the map,” he said.In Ukraine, the proliferation of hostility against Russia over its annexation of Crimea in 2014 has given rise to laws and state-sponsored gestures venerating allies of Nazi Germany — including some who killed Jews during the Holocaust — because they fought against Russia. In Lviv last week, hundreds of people marched, many carrying Nazi symbols, in celebration of a Waffen SS unit with many local volunteers.Against this backdrop, “Mr. Zissels’ unfounded allegations, which are only the latest in a series of inappropriate statements of a member delegate of the EAJC, are intolerable,” a spokesperson for the group said. He added that delegates from several countries of the 23 represented at EAJC had complained about Zissels’ support for nationalists in Ukraine amid reports of rising anti-Semitism there. Zissels has disputed these reports.Vyacheslav Likhachev, head of Ukraine’s National Minority Rights Monitoring Group and an expert on anti-Semitism who is affiliated with Zissels’ Vaad group, noted Zissels never asserted that the congressmen’s letter was “ordered by a lobby group,” but merely said that “it is possible.” Zissels’ reaction to the letter was “defense against anti-Ukrainian defamation,” Likhachev added.Zissels said his organization had resolved to leave EAJC under Mikhael Mirilashvili some months ago over its “breaking of geopolitical neutrality,” as Zissels called it.A spokesperson for the EAJC said the group’s commitment to political neutrality is at the heart of the decision to disassociate from Vaad, “which seems to have been hijacked to serve Mr. Zissels’ nationalist agenda.”

Anti-Semitic posters hung in Durham, North Carolina-White supremacist fliers sponsored by neo-Nazi group National Socialist Legion removed from walls near Duke University-By JTA-TOI-MAY 2,18

Anti-Semitic and white supremacist posters were removed from downtown Durham, North Carolina, near the Duke University campus.City workers removed the posters on Monday, the local Herald Sun newspaper reported.One of the posters showed a silhouetted man pointing a gun at an image of a bearded man with a long nose, wearing a kippa, with tentacles wrapped around the earth. The poster reads: “Right of revolution. Your ancestors threw off foreign oppression, time for you as well.”Other posters read: “Greedy Jews” and “End Zionist Oppression.”From Durham 2/2 pic.twitter.com/bJnYYl1cCb— (((IsraelMatzav))) (@IsraelMatzav) May 2, 2018-The posters said they were sponsored by the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Legion, which according to the newspaper broke away from the white supremacist Vanguard America organization. The group’s Twitter account has been suspended.The group’s website describes itself as a “Revolutionary National Socialist organization dedicated to protecting the White European Race,” and says that “we perform both activism and readiness for the coming Racial Holy War.”Seen near the Duke campus. But that Durham ban on working with Israeli police wasn't antisemitic. /sarc h/t Sloan Rachmuth 1/2 pic.twitter.com/As0zcjWhWc— (((IsraelMatzav))) (@IsraelMatzav) May 2, 2018-Duke professor Gavin Yamey reported seeing anti-Semitic posters near Duke’s East Campus. He contacted the Duke campus rabbi and other officials, according to the student newspaper the Duke Chronicle.“It’s not subtle—it’s violent anti-Semitic imagery, so I take this obviously very seriously,” Yamey told the student newspaper.He told the Herald Sun: “I was deeply disturbed and, to be honest, frightened. I’m Jewish and these vile anti-Semitic threats, including the image of a gun pointing to a Jew, really rattled me.”“I lost family to pogroms and in the Holocaust,” he added. “Seeing incitements to shoot Jews in my hometown is not something I ever imagined.”The posters appeared less than two weeks after the Durham City Council approved a resolution to bar its police department from taking part in “military-style training” programs abroad, which was directed at Israel.

Lipstadt: With ‘classic anti-Semitism,’ Abbas ending career the way he started-Leading Holocaust scholars take aim at PA leader over speech denigrating Jews, accuse him of 'rewriting history' of 1933 'haavara' deal with Nazis-By Marissa Newman-TOI-MAY 2,18

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt on Thursday branded a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a day earlier as “classic anti-Semitism” and a “rewriting of history” aimed at framing Jews as Nazi collaborators.Leading scholars and activists came down on Abbas after the aging PA leader appeared to attribute the Nazi genocide of European Jewry to Jewish behavior and money-lending.“Here’s a man who started his career denying the Holocaust and now, at the latter stages of his career, seems to be engaging in rewriting the history of the Holocaust and classic anti-Semitism,” charged Lipstadt in a phone interview.In a long-winded speech in Ramallah in front of hundreds at a rare session of the Palestinian National Council, the 82-year-old PA leader alleged that the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism, but rather by the Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters.”In his speech, Abbas also referred to the 1933 “haavara” agreement between the early Zionist leadership, the Anglo-Palestine Bank (today Bank Leumi), German Zionist leaders, and Nazi Germany to permit German Jews to emigrate to the British Mandate of Palestine with some of their assets. With the deal, claimed Abbas, Adolf Hitler, whose Nazi regime was responsible for the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust, facilitated the immigration of Jews to Israel.The PA leader further cited Arthur Koestler’s highly contested “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which asserts Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars, to argue that Jews have no historical ties to Israel, and reiterated his claim the Jewish state was founded as a European colonial project and “those who sought a Jewish state weren’t Jews.”Said Abbas: “Their narrative about coming to this country because of their longing for Zion, or whatever — we’re tired of hearing this. The truth is that this is a colonialist enterprise, aimed at planting a foreign body in this region.”“It’s classic anti-Semitism,” and “classic blame the victim,” said Lipstadt, a prominent American scholar and Holocaust denial expert whose triumph in a libel suit over British Holocaust denier David Irving was adapted into a 2016 film, “Denial.”“This brings one back directly to his dissertation, to his distortion of history,” she added, referring to the PA leader’s 1982 writings. Penned in Moscow under Soviet rule, “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism,” alleges that the six million figure of Holocaust victims was exaggerated and that Zionist leaders cooperated with the Nazis.The Palestinian Authority leader’s tirade was also condemned by US Jewish groups on Thursday.“Laden with ahistorical and pseudo-academic assertions, the Palestinian president’s latest diatribe reflects once again the depth and persistency of the anti-Semitic attitudes he harbors,” said CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.“With public speeches like these, it is not surprising that under Abbas’s leadership, the Palestinian Authority has failed to renounce and combat Palestinian anti-Semitic incitement, including narratives that Jews are to blame for the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic persecution, and which deny or diminish the millennial Jewish presence in and connection to the Land of Israel.”J Street also condemned the remarks that it said “featured absurd anti-Semitic tropes and deeply offensive comments on the history of the Jewish people and Israel.”-The haavara agreement-Negotiated by German Zionists, the haavara deal allowing for the transfer of some funds from German to Palestine trusts was inked with Nazi Germany and the Anglo-Palestine Bank in August 1933.The deal was deeply controversial among the Zionists in the British Mandate of Palestine, pitting David Ben Gurion’s Jewish Agency against Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist movement. Led by Ben Gurion, the agreement’s proponents underlined the pragmatism in allowing German Jews fleeing Nazis to retain some of their capital in a deal that could also encourage Jewish emigration. Critics rejected any dealings with Nazi Germany as tantamount to dealing with the devil.“The haavara system continued to function in one form or another until the middle of World War II,” writes Israeli historian Tom Segev in “The Seventh Million.”“Some 20,000 people were assisted by it, and about $30 million was transferred from Germany to Palestine. Not an earthshaking sum even then, but it gave a certain impetus to the country’s economy and to the Zionist enterprise. The immigrants themselves were forced to wait a long time for their money, sometimes as much as two or three years. They lost up to 35 percent of their capital, but according to calculations by proponents of the haavara, they would have lost more had they tried to transfer their capital in any other legal way.”According to Dr. Yehuda Bauer, 92, one of Israel’s most eminent scholars of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry, just 8 million pounds were transferred through the haavara trusts and German Jews represented only one-quarter of Jewish immigrants at the time.The issue of haavara “is used by anti-Semites and pro-Nazis, including [Abbas], in a way that is unreasonable,” he told The Times of Israel.“There was no shared idea or anything of the kind between Zionism and Nazi Germany. What there was was the desire of the Germans to rid themselves of the Jews, and the desire of the Jews to save themselves,” Bauer said.Similar claims of early Nazi-Zionist rapport were recently raised by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who in 2016 said Hitler initially supported Zionism in the 1930s ““before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”While describing the deal as ultimately being a “pact with the devil,” Lipstadt said it marked an early and “desperate attempt on the part of German Zionists to help Jews get out of Germany.”Abbas’s presentation of the deal, in the context of alleging a European economic conspiracy to populate the territory with Jews, is highly misleading, she said. It’s “part of trying to frame the Zionists of Israel as part of a collaborative effort with the Nazis.“The whole thing is appalling,” she said.-Confronted with questions on thesis, Abbas ‘stammered’-Like Lipstadt, Bauer characterized Abbas’s recent remarks as anti-Semitism and tied it to his doctoral thesis and early influences as a student in the Soviet Union.Over a decade ago, Bauer recalled, he held a meeting with Abbas. Israeli Arab Knesset member Ahmad Tibi served as translator. And then the Jewish historian raised the issue of Abbas’s thesis.“He started to stammer, Abu Mazen [Abbas]. ‘It was in the past, and I don’t really remember,’ et cetera, things like that,” said Bauer.“I am among those who certainly support the establishment of a Palestinian state, but they [the Palestinians] chose a most problematic leadership. Not just [Abbas], but several others around him,” said the historian.Abbas is “super intelligent,” if less than well-versed in Islamic history, opined Bauer, but he is truly “a disciple of the anti-Zionist, anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish Communism.”Times of Israel staff and JTA contributed to this report.

Exhibit shows ordinary Americans knew a lot about Holocaust as it was happening-Opening this month at US Holocaust Museum, 'What did Americans know?' presents a sobering assessment of how citizens reacted to news coming out of Europe-By Ron Kampeas-TOI-MAY 2,18

WASHINGTON (JTA) — When Holocaust historians ask what Americans knew at the time, the focus often is on the politicians and lawmakers whose votes and initiatives may have mitigated the Nazi genocide against the Jews.An exhibit opening this month at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum asks the question “What did Americans know?” On a more literal level: What did American voters, the constituents who may have done more to pressure their lawmakers to intervene, know at the time? The answer — a lot — is less than comforting to those who may harbor a sentimental belief that if only the common folk knew, their leaders may have done more.“Visitors will be surprised at how much Americans knew about Nazism and the Holocaust and how early they knew it,” curator Daniel Greene said in a release announcing the exhibit, which is titled “Americans and the Holocaust.”The exhibit, twisting chronologically along the museum’s first floor, is punctuated by backlit pillars with poll questions spanning the period of Nazi rule in Germany and then throughout Nazi-occupied Europe.Typical is the American Institute of Public Opinion poll from November 1938: “Should we allow a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany to come to the United States to live?” Spin the pillar around and the answer is a resounding “No” at 71 percent.Even until after the war ended, the percentages opposing refugee intake consistently hover in the low 70s — a substantial majority.“Public opinion doesn’t move,” Greene said in an interview while leading a reporter on a tour of the exhibit. (In the same poll, Americans were asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the Nazi treatment of Jews in Germany?” Ninety-four percent disapproved.) An exhibit visitor accrues a sobering assessment of how Americans reacted to the news coming out of Europe. Sympathy for the plight of the Jews is a constant, but so is resistance to the measures that might mitigate the impending genocide, including military intervention and bringing in refugees.It’s easier to pin the charge of apathy on a select group of villains, and many historical accounts in recent years have named them: State Department mandarins, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a media hesitant to emphasize the plight of the Jews, a Hollywood system hesitant to identify Jews as the principal victims.But the exhibit corrects these impressions, or at least places them in the context of populace that did not want to engage at least until it was too late.Did The New York Times bury some of the more shocking reports? Yes, we know it did. But the wire services were unstinting in covering the truth of the Nazis’ persecution of the Jews. Thanks to the stunning results of a museum crowdsourcing initiative launched in 2016, where high school students and others researched Holocaust coverage at local libraries, we know these reports were given prominent play across the country.“You didn’t have to live in a major metropolitan area to know,” Greene said, tapping his finger on the Midwestern portion of an interactive US map and pulling up a front page of the Indianapolis Star, among 15,000 articles in the database reporting atrocities against Jews as they happened.National news outlets, from Time to Cosmopolitan, covered not only the rise of Nazism, but its inherent threat to Jews.Did Hollywood erase Jews from fictional depictions of the Nazi threat? It did: Why were those refugees hanging around Rick’s in “Casablanca”? What drove them across the Mediterranean, exactly? We never know. Why is exposing the Nazi Bund in the United States so personal for Edward G. Robinson in “Confessions of a Nazi Spy”? It’s never made clear.Theories have been advanced recently to explain these anomalies — the Jewish executives in Hollywood were hesitant to appear invested in any Jewish cause, or some of them maintained distribution deals in Germany. What is made clear through the exhibit, though, is that moviegoers were not left out of the loop: If  “Casablanca,” “Confessions of a Nazi Spy,” “Sergeant York” and other movies didn’t mention the Jews, the accompanying newsreels did. A screening room at the museum runs the newsreels that moviegoers would have sat through to get to the main feature — at a time when two-thirds of Americans visited the cinema at least once a week. These current affairs updates do not hold back: The Nazis’ prime victims, it is made clear in the newsreels, are Jews.The exhibit contextualizes — but does not excuse — the Roosevelt administration’s failure to rescue and allow refugees into the United States.“FDR tries to lead opinion on going to war,” Greene said, and eventually succeeds in turning American opinion in favor of intervention in Europe — quite dramatically: Even as late as May 1940, more than 90 percent of the public opposed intervention.“On the refugee issue, he doesn’t lead, he follows,” Greene said. “He spends his political capital on the war.”The exhibit attempts to explain the popular reluctance to intervene, starting with stark representations of America’s own racist legacy — depictions of lynchings, coupled with restrictive anti-immigration laws passed in 1924 — and of the profound economic uncertainties seeded among Americans during the Depression that would have fueled anxieties about taking in large numbers of foreigners.Haunting the exhibit are the similar isolationist trends that helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency and have mitigated action on behalf of the Syrians under massive assault by their government and other populations in crisis. Greene said the echoes are not intentional — the exhibit is five years in the making — but are inevitable.“The questions we ask are resonant today,” he said. “They speak to American responsibility here and abroad. What are our responsibilities to refugees, when do we intervene in a foreign war?”The exhibit closes with an answer to these questions that is achingly poignant.Raphael Lemkin, the Jewish refugee who coined the term “genocide,” is quoted in 1944 as saying “All over Europe the Nazis were writing the book off death … Let me now tell this story to the American people, to the man in the street, in church, on the porches of their houses and in their kitchens and drawing rooms.“I am sure they would understand me.”

Shooting victim’s dad sues deputy who didn’t enter school-Andrew Pollack, father of slain Jewish Parkland student Meadow, targets former sheriff's deputy Scot Peterson for 'cowering in safe place' while gunman killed 17-By AP-TOI-2 May 2018

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — The father of a student killed in a mass shooting at a Florida high school is suing the armed officer who stood outside the building as people were massacred within.Meadow Pollack, who was Jewish, was among the 17 killed on Valentine’s Day shootn a freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Her father, Andrew Pollack, said Scot Peterson, the former sheriff’s deputy and the school’s resource officer, is his main target in the wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday in Broward County.“He let my daughter get shot nine times at point-blank range,” Pollack told the Miami Herald. “He had the opportunity to go in and instead, let all those people get murdered.”The lawsuit also names 19-year-old shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz; the estate of Cruz’s mother, who died in November; and James and Kimberly Snead, the couple who took Cruz in after his mother died. It also names three behavioral and mental health facilities that evaluated Cruz at some point before the shooting.Peterson, 54, was suspended with pay and then immediately resigned and retired on February 23, when video surveillance footage from the school showed he never entered the building when the gunfire began. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel condemned Peterson’s actions, saying he should have gone inside.“Peterson is my main target,” Pollack said. “He could have stopped it. Could have saved my kid. Nobody should be able to not do their job, receive a pension and ride off into the sunset.”The lawsuit details Cruz’s troubled life, saying the teen “suffered from severe mental illness and was prone to violence.”When Cruz arrived at the high school on February 14, the lawsuit claims a “pusillanimous” Peterson “cowered in a safe location between two concrete walls” as the gunman “rained bullets upon the teachers and students.”Peterson, a 33-year veteran law enforcement officer, pushed back against critics in a statement issued by attorney Joseph DiRuzzo shortly after the shooting. “Allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” the statement said.Pollack said he wants to let people know that Peterson is a “coward.”“My daughter died crawling by a doorway — shielding a classmate who also ended up dying — waiting for someone to come help her. Help never came.”

Fire service bans some Lag B’Omer bonfires due to dry conditions-Large section of Carmel region covered by prohibition; Education Ministry cancels approval for fire events; municipalities call on public not to light pyres-By Stuart Winer-TOI-MAY 2,18
Hours before the country was set to celebrate an annual festival that centers on lighting bonfires, the Israel Fire and Rescue Services laid down strict restrictions Wednesday against the practice due to the dry weather conditions, including a blanket ban on bonfires in large swaths of territory in the wooded north of the country.Several city authorities also asked the public not to light bonfires, and the Education Ministry told schools that it would not approve any bonfire events organized by education institutes to mark Lag B’Omer.The cities of Haifa, Nesher, Hadera, Modiin, and Tel Aviv all asked residents not to light fires.Despite heavy downpours in some areas last week, the country has seen mostly hot, dry weather over the past few days, raising concerns that bonfires could spread.The Environmental Protection Ministry said in a statement that the fire service has the authority to prohibit bonfires over safety concerns, as do local authorities.The firefighting service banned fires in wooded areas in the northern Carmel region west of Route 75, north and west of Route 70, and east of Route 4.In addition, fires were banned in the mountainous areas north of Route 77 and Route 79, east of Route 4, and west of Route 90 along the Golan Heights. And in the central regions, fires were prohibited east of Route 38, north of Route 35, and south of Route 443.The fire service also published restrictions on lighting bonfires in other areas, including a blanket ban on fires in open spaces. Even specially designated areas for bonfires within wooded areas should not be used, fire fighters warned.Among the instructions were to light fires in a pit; at least 300 meters away from wooded areas, 60 meters away from natural gas or fuel storage points, 20 meters from telephone lines, and 40 meters from buildings; and to leave a six-meter space between bonfires. Firefighters said bonfires should be no bigger than three meters at the base and not piled higher than 1.5 meters tall.Fires made outside of pits should have increased safety distances, and be at least 500 meters away from wooded areas, the fire service said.The restrictions are to remain in force from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday evening.The one-day Lag B’Omer festival, which falls between the Passover and Shavuot festivals and this year begins on Wednesday night, is embraced by youngsters who spend days or weeks gathering wood for bonfires.Israel Fire Commissioner Dedi Simchi held a situation assessment during the morning that included a review of weather forecasts and available firefighting resources.“I call on all parents and children to follow the safety instructions including lighting [only] small bonfires and maintaining a distance from forests and wooded areas and flammable material that could threaten property or life,” he said.Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted an appeal for the public to heed the safety warnings.The Environment Protection Ministry suggested that due to the harsh conditions, the public find other ways to mark the festival. Those who do decide to light a bonfire should keep it small and put it out quickly, and follow the fire service’s instructions, the ministry said.The Health Ministry issued a statement urging adult supervision of bonfires and observation of safety precautions, including wearing clothes that cover the arms and legs to avoid sparks from the fire or insects that are drawn by the heat.In 2010, a forest fire in the Carmel region killed 44 people and caused wide devastation to forests and property. Although not related to Lag B’Omer, the disaster led to a thorough review of fire precautions in forests and wooded areas.Lag B’Omer is a key holiday in the Jewish mystical tradition. It is said to be the day, in the 2nd century CE, of the sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai’s death, and also the day when he first conveyed the text of the seminal Jewish mystical work, the Zohar. Bar Yohai’s tomb is located at Meron, where each year on Lag B’Omer hundreds of thousands of Israelis converge to light bonfires throughout the night.

Column / Brussels Bytes-Policymakers must be careful on 'platform regulation' By Nick Wallace-EUOBSERVER

BRUSSELS, 30. Apr, 08:49-In response to a few businesses complaining of unfair treatment, the European Commission has proposed a regulation to compel online platforms to publish their policies on third-party sellers and to apply those policies consistently.While it is not clear that new regulation was necessary, the proposal would prevent capricious behaviour without distorting the online economy because platforms would still have full control of their own policies.However, MEPs and member states may be tempted to amend the proposal to create stricter regulations on platforms' dealings with sellers, which would reduce the differences between platforms and force them to reconsider services that compete with third party sellers, limiting consumer choice in both cases.If the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopt this regulation, they should not make drastic changes to it.The commission's proposal would require platforms to disclose their policies on matters such as why they remove sellers' listings and how they rank them, including when platforms have their own competing products, and would enable businesses to seek redress when platforms fail to play by their own rules.But the proposed regulation would not introduce significant distortions to the digital economy because it does not stipulate what platforms' policies should be, besides requiring that criteria for delisting sellers be "objective" and that sellers receive prior notice of changes to the criteria.However, the proposal still has to pass in the parliament and the council, where MEPs and member states may yet amend the regulation to make it stricter. Indeed, some lobby groups have previously called for much more onerous rules.In June 2017, the Commission reported that some companies wanted platforms to share more user data so that sellers could interact with customers off-platform, and some complained about platforms' own products outperforming those of other sellers.In November, the European Games Developer Federation called for a "functional separation of dominant platforms from their publishing and advertising branches," while IndustriAll, a labor union, argued that "web sites that sell products or select information should be mandated to include a fair search algorithm," such as "a concentric search whereby all relevant results are first displayed in random order (this randomness being controlled by third party inspection of the source code)."Forcing platforms to share customer data with sellers, curtailing platforms' ability to favour their own products, or otherwise restricting platforms' flexibility in setting the rules sellers play by would make it harder for platforms to compete and innovate by offering different experiences to consumers.It would also drive away consumers unhappy with the measures platforms would have to implement to comply with the rules.The services platforms provide consumers are in large part determined by the terms their sellers must accept.-eBay, Amazon and Apple-For example, eBay has an open marketplace, Amazon operates a hybrid retailer-marketplace, and Apple curates the iTunes store more strictly.EU digital single market regulation is often heavy-handed, and calls to hobble major online platforms are hardly anathema to some senior officials at the commission, such as the European commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager.It is reasonable to suppose that the reason the commission's cooler heads prevailed this time is a sufficient awareness of the dangers that over-regulation would pose, as well as confidence that straightforward transparency and accountability measures will be sufficient.But political sentiment could still encourage the parliament and the council to introduce stricter measures in the name of reining-in U.S. tech giants and protecting the European companies that rely on them.The commission, for its part, is not exactly apolitical, but nor is it as ideologically-driven as many MEPs of the left and the right, nor as inclined as directly-elected national politicians to ride the waves of what it believes to be public opinion, for better or worse.The feeling in Europe that American platforms have too much market power may predispose some MEPs and member states to support amendments that weaken those platforms' position in relation to their sellers, especially if enough of the sellers calling for tighter controls are small European companies.The fact the regulation will also affect European platforms, such as the travel website Booking.com and the online retailer Bol.com, may help to dispel the most naked examples of protectionism.But it will do little to counter misguided notions about platforms as utilities, as digital-age robber barons, or as the modern incarnations of Standard Oil—natural monopolies that must be regulated or broken up to create a "level playing field" for other businesses.As the Economist pointed out in 2014, calls for such measures are more about protecting companies than protecting consumers, because major platforms competing with other businesses can be good for consumers.For example, Google provides free maps, flight information, and price comparison alongside its search engine.Another example is Amazon's retail service, which supports some competition from other sellers to make the platform more useful to customers, but not to the extent of diminishing Amazon's own ability to compete and offer consumers what they want.Platforms are so diverse that policymakers have struggled to establish an uncontested definition of what a platform is, or even to define the markets that various platforms trade in.That poses problems for any regulation targeting platforms, but the commission's proposal is nevertheless largely benign.Moreover, even if there is no compelling case for regulation, the proposal at least provides reassurances to businesses without harming consumers, which is why MEPs and member states should refrain from inflating it with harmful amendments.Nick Wallace is a Brussels-based senior policy analyst at the Centre for Data Innovation. His Brussels Bytes column deals with the digital single market and data-related policy issues in the European Union.

Senators recommend delaying cannabis bill for a year to address Indigenous issues-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-May 1, 2018

Members of the Senate's Aboriginal peoples committee are recommending the Liberal government hold back on legalizing cannabis for up to a year in order to address its potential for harmful effects in Indigenous communities.The committee, chaired by Liberal Saskatchewan Sen. Lillian Dyck, said in its report on Bill C-45 that the government simply did not consult enough with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities before pushing ahead with its plan to legalize the drug."Many communities are really worried about the potential adverse effects on their members, and especially on their youth, and it may be even worse because of the trauma in their communities," Dyck said, adding existing social issues in Indigenous communities could be made worse by increased drug use.If passed, the amendment would delay the bill's full implementation for up to a year.As currently written, the bill stipulates the law does not come into force until a date is fixed by an order of the governor-in-council — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. A final vote on the bill is scheduled to occur in the Senate on or before June 7, with legalization expected to follow eight to 12 weeks later.The committee said the government should take that time to negotiate a revenue-sharing agreement with First Nations communities.The committee has heeded a request from Manny Jules, the chief commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission, who recommended the federal government and the provinces hand cannabis taxing authority over to First Nations governments so they can impose their own levy on marijuana grown and sold on reserves."The way the bill has been crafted shows there was very little consultation," Conservative Alberta Sen. Scott Tannas told reporters."There was no thought given to the [tax issues], and there are First Nations that are keen on economic opportunities that would come from the legitimate production of cannabis and they feel that they're behind. There are Indigenous governments that want to see economic development and get revenue ... None of that appears to have been considered."First Nations say their governments will face new social challenges from legal cannabis, but they stand to gain nothing from Ottawa's plan.Under Jules' proposal, Ottawa and the provinces would cede ground to First Nations to collect taxes, providing a new source of much-needed revenue to their communities.The committee recommended an amendment to the legislation that would implement "appropriate excise tax collection and sharing measures from revenue generated by cannabis produced on First Nations lands.""The Department of Finance [should] immediately work with interested First Nations and First Nations institutions to allow them to collect cannabis excise tax revenues," the committee report said, calling for an amendment to the First Nations Fiscal Management Act to provide for a First Nation law-making power to levy cannabis excise taxes on reserve lands.The funds could then be used to develop cannabis-related laws and regulations on-reserve, fund campaigns to educate young people about the dangers of cannabis use and bolster First Nations police forces.The recommendation to extend taxation powers to First Nations will now be referred to the Senate's social affairs committee, which will make the ultimate decision on which amendments to the bill should get the green light. The whole Senate would have to vote on the amended bill, which — if approved — would go back to the House of Commons for a final vote.The Aboriginal peoples committee also found there is no "culturally appropriate" educational material ready to ensure Indigenous people understand the new law — which will legalize the drug, lead to the creation of provincially-run retail distribution systems and allow for home cultivation, among other sweeping changes to the country's drug laws.The committee heard from a number of witnesses who said the public education campaign that addresses the health effects of cannabis is woefully inadequate and is rolling out too close to the proposed legalization date — giving people too little time to learn about its harmful effects.It also noted a number of First Nations police witnesses warned they are unprepared for a wave of legal pot.In its report, the committee quoted Steve Burton of the Tsuut'ina Nation Police Service, a reserve outside Calgary, who said his force doesn't have the tools it needs to enforce the act — which actually stiffens penalties for some offences, including giving cannabis to a minor — or to monitor drug-impaired driving."We don't have the people trained, the drug recognition experts. Those are training programs that require extensive time ... For us to arrange that training when we're already low on manpower, we have to find a way to backfill that position or positions with other officers," he said.In an appearance before the Senate's social affairs committee earlier this week, the Canadian Real Estate Association encouraged the government to suspend provisions that will allow people to grow pot at home until there are better regulations in place to avoid property damage and sinking home prices.The Liberal government has said it plans to limit home marijuana growers to four plants per household. The government initially intended to limit plants to 100 centimetres in height, but the House of Commons approved an amendment that removed that restriction.

Victims of Toronto van attack being laid to rest after last week's incident-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-May 2, 2018

TORONTO — Friends, family and strangers came together at a north Toronto funeral home on Tuesday to remember an 83-year-old woman who was among the 10 people killed in a van attack that shocked the city last week.Geraldine Brady — Gerry to her friends — was remembered as an affectionate mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who was willing to welcome anyone into her home as though they were family."She was one of my favourite people to hug," her eldest granddaughter, Jennifer, said at the service. "I will miss how she would grip you tight while giving you a loud smacking kiss right by your ear."Brady, who sold Avon products for more than 45 years and was still going out to visit customers up until her death, was among those hit when a rental van mounted a sidewalk along a bustling street last week and ran down pedestrians in its path.Her funeral saw well-wishers pack the large chapel of the funeral home and spill into temporary seating at the back of the room. Photos of Brady, and a brightly coloured urn were set up at the front of the room, flanked on either side by large wreaths.In the crowd were four strangers who had been with Brady in the moments after the van attack, her family said. The two men and two women had turned up to the service unexpectedly, Brady's daughter, Janice, told mourners.At her urging, they stood up during the service and were met with applause."We would like to say thank you very much," Brady's daughter said. "We know that our mother was not alone. And it took a lot of strength for them to come and talk to us today."The family also expressed their gratitude for all those who had helped them in the days since the April 23 attack."We would like to thank everyone for their unconditional support in what has been a very difficult time for our family, our friends and our entire community," Brady's daughter said in her eulogy.Tuesday's ceremony closed with a recording of "My Favourite Things," from the film, "The Sound of Music." A favourite of Brady's, according to the family, the song's first few notes elicited knowing laughter from the gathering.Earlier in the day, a funeral for Dorothy Sewell, 80, who also died in the van attack, was held at the same chapel.Sewell's grandson, Elwood Delaney, of Kamloops, B.C., has described his grandmother as an avid sports fan who "almost had as much love for the Blue Jays and Leafs as she did for her family.''"To Dorothy the cup was always full,'' an obituary for Sewell said. "She was a very active lady who thoroughly enjoyed life and will be missed by all who knew her.''Sewell's service was private but mourners could be seen gathering outside the funeral home, where a flag flew at half mast, before the ceremony while others signed a book of condolences just inside the lobby.Another victim of the van attack was laid to rest days earlier.Loved ones held a private funeral for Munir Najjar at a Toronto church on Sunday. The 85-year-old Jordanian man was in town to visit family when he was killed."The family wished it to be private, so we did not invite everybody,'' said Harry Malawi, president of the Canadian Jordanian Society, who described the service as "heartwarming.""After this horrible tragedy, it eased the pain,'' he said of the funeral and a public vigil for the 10 victims that followed it hours later.The family plans to repatriate Najjar's body to Jordan, Malawi said.A funeral for Anne Marie D'Amico, who also lost her life last week's attack, is planned for Wednesday.Sixteen people were also injured in the van attack that took place in the city's Yonge Street and Finch Avenue area. Two large makeshift memorials have sprung up where people were struck, with flowers, candles and messages in multiple languages.Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder in the incident, with another three attempted murder charges expected.The Canadian Press.

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