Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism Is a Form of Idolatry
The Hebrew Bible tends to regard idol worship as the sin par excellence. To Scott Shay, there is an underlying connection between hatred of Jews and Judaism’s rejection of the idolatrous worldview, which, he argues, is not limited to ancient paganism:

Idolatry is the process of attributing superior and inexplicable power and authority to . . . people, animals, and natural processes. Since finite beings are limited by nature, . . . idolatry is by definition a falsehood. Yet this falsehood is the basis for much human injustice, just as the Bible explains. From Pharaoh in Egypt to Sennacherib in Assyria, idolaters built temples, ran pageants, and wrote poems and epics to extol their “supernatural” power and authority. These lies justified their selfish oppression of the masses and their greedy conquests of other peoples. Idolatry underpins all genuinely malevolent power. . . .

Anti-Semitism is the projection of idolatry onto Jews. Anti-Semites are not people who criticize or debate specific Jewish viewpoints or communal decisions in a spirit of mutual respect. They are people who themselves harbor projects of domination and exploitation, but who . . . project their own malevolent intentions onto Jews. In Charlottesville, anti-Semitic marchers who genuinely seek white supremacy shouted, “Jews won’t replace us.” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who wished to bring the entire world under Islamist control, regularly accused the Jews of seeking world domination. Hitler railed against a Jewish conspiracy to destroy Germany, when he wanted to destroy the Jews! . . .

It is not the Jews’ success, nor their actual power that is the source of anti-Semitism. . . . Rather, it is the Jews’ historic connection with monotheism that has made them the central target of this projected idolatry. This has been true even when many Jews have been neither religious nor conversant with the texts [of their faith]. By accusing Jews of malevolent and demonic control over organs of power (media, Congress, banks, etc.), true idolaters (whatever their specific ideology) project their own idolatry onto the Jews and thereby maintain their own delusions.


Melanie Phillips: The shameful abandonment of Asia Bibi
It is hard to think of a more deserving case for asylum than Asia Bibi.

A Christian in Pakistan, Asia Bibi has been freed after eight years in solitary confinement on death row for committing blasphemy, a crime of which she has now been acquitted by Pakistan’s supreme court.

The accusation against her was a travesty. As she picked berries with other Punjabi farmworkers in June 2009, a quarrel developed with two Muslim women after she was asked to fetch water and they said they wouldn’t drink from a vessel touched by a Christian. The women later alleged to a village mullah that Asia Bibi had insulted Mohammed, accusations which the supreme court said were “concoction incarnate”.

The acquittal prompted thousands of violent demonstrators to take to the streets calling for Asia Bibi to be hanged and threatening the supreme court judges with death. The leader of the Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan threatened that if she left the country there would be war.

She is now in hiding for her life in Pakistan after the new prime minister, Imran Khan, succumbed to the pressure and allowed a petition against the court decision as part of a deal to halt the protests. Several commentators have said the refusal to allow her to leave Pakistan effectively signed her death warrant.

It is, of course, astounding that the prospect of freedom for one woman, acquitted of a monstrously unjust claim of blasphemy, can have provoked this murderous hysteria. Apart from illustrating once again the sheer derangement of Islamic fanaticism, it illuminates two other things: the Islamists’ fear that Pakistan may be on the verge of becoming more open and loosening up Islamic law, and Imran Khan’s actual spinelessness in the face of an opportunity to do so.
Even the Women’s March Apology Erases Jewish Women
The Women’s March Statement on anti-Semitism is not nearly enough to begin healing the pain its leaders have caused Jewish women. It’s good to finally hear the March publicly disagree with Louis Farrakhan’s hateful comments on women, LGBTQ communities, and Jews. This is a positive first step. That said, disagreeing with hate is not the same as FIGHTING IT.

The Women’s March leadership must take some responsibility for the situation they have created. Three of the four co-directors have long-standing relationships with the leader of an anti-Semitic, anti-trans, anti-gay hate group. Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez have all proudly declared their friendship and partnership with Farrakhan on various occasions. Beyond Farrakhan, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory have continued to offend and hurt the community by speaking as experts on anti-Semitism despite community opposition, hurling unfounded accusations at the Anti-Defamation League, opining on Jewish history, blaming Israel for President Trump’s Muslim ban and claiming that anti-Semitism isn’t a systemic hatred. They have shown no remorse and no interest in community dialogue.

These leaders of the movement continue to treat calls for accountability and reconciliation from Jewish allies as unfair, personal attacks. In actuality, the criticism they face is the result of their own actions over the course of more than a year, in which they erased, degraded, and marginalized Jewish women and their concerns in the face of the Trump administration and rising anti-Semitism. Jewish women are never even mentioned in their statement. Instead, they remain focused on unfair attacks from the right.

  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad, in partnership with the Council of Jewish Communities in Morocco, is organizing an international conference on "Moroccan Jews: for a Shared Maghreb", starting today and through the 18th, in Marrakech, under the patronage of Moroccan King Mohammed VI.

According to the organizers, the conference aims to "promote the coexistence that has long characterized Moroccan history between different religions, especially between Muslims and Jews, and to ensure that this idea is passed on to new generations and to enable them to take action to combat all forms of exclusion and stigmatization. "

Around 200 Moroccans and expats will participate in the event. They will also include documentaries, art exhibitions and historical exhibitions from Jewish life in Morocco .

It is clear that the king of Morocco is legitimately interested in maintaining the Jewish community there.

One of the comments in the newspaper that reported this was positive, but another wasn't:

Our first priority is solidarity with Gaza, which the Zionists attacked yesterday and left several martyrs. Unfortunately, we talk about co-existence with the Jews at the expense of the blood of the martyrs and an unjust siege in front of the silence of the Islamic world. Allah will all be hold us all accountable for this failure.






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Ryan Ashley is like a long cold drink on a hot summer day. Cool, confident and extraordinarily talented. She made history as the first woman to win Ink Master after eight seasons of the tattooing reality tv show competition which led to her participation in the spin-off show Ink Master: Angels – and despite her prominence in a male dominated industry, she seems to have no arrogance in her.

Ryan is not the kind of woman you would expect to find in Israel. Her visit becomes even more extraordinary when you know its purpose – to use her art to help IDF wounded warriors heal. 

I am very glad I had the opportunity to watch Ryan at work. A natural born artist, she began her career as a fashion designer and when she fell in love with tattooing, flesh became her canvas.

I, who am incapable of drawing a straight line with a ruler, was flabbergasted when she showed me the tattoos on her leg and said nonchalantly: “The cat I did myself, upside-down.”  For her, many of her tattoos are drawings she just felt like doing, as others might doodle on paper in their free time, Ryan creates permanent art for herself and others. 
Israel is becoming more open to tattooing although once it was an absolute taboo. Tattooing is explicitly forbidden in the Torah (Leviticus 19:28): “do not tattoo yourself”. The verse comes in a section of laws that explain how Jews are supposed to live. This verse refers to two practices common to other nations of the time that are both forbidden to Jews as pagan customs are not to be emulated. Modern day Jewish aversion to tattoos was strengthened by Nazis forcibly tattooing Jews with numbers during the Holocaust.

Today it is becoming more and more socially acceptable to get a tattoo. Sometimes parents and their teenage/twentysomething children get tattoos together. Sometimes grandparents get tattoos of the names of their grandchildren.

Healing Ink brings tattoo artists of an international caliber to Israel, to give tattoos to selected survivors of terrorism and war. The session that took place in Haifa’s Museum of Modern Art was dedicated to IDF wounded warriors. At first tattooing and healing might seem like a strange combination but when it’s understood that extreme trauma changes the body and the mind, it makes sense to take back a feeling of control by choosing to tattoo yourself with an empowering symbol or image.

Some of the tattoo recipients choose to cover physical scars with beautiful imagery, turning the ugliness inflicted on them into something they can love. Others choose symbols of strength, freedom and being able to leave the past behind. It is about choice and control over what happens to your own body. 

Ryan, like the other tattoo artists in the group, came to Israel to use art to heal, to lessen trauma with kindness. There was no political agenda involved. Most of the artists who came were not Jewish and had no knowledge of Israel. Their interest was not in politics or an agenda but simply in humanity.

We Israelis are rarely given this kind of human consideration.

Haifa’s Museum of Modern Art had arranged a day for this special tattoo event. The artists, recipients and museum visitors became living art. Tomer, the man Ryan tattooed was not talkative. He obviously felt a little uncomfortable at being an “exhibit” but Ryan’s calm confidence created a peaceful bubble in which he too could relax.



Unlike some of the other recipients, he was reluctant to speak of the trauma he experienced. He was willing to say that it was in one of the Gaza wars and that he hoped the dream catcher Ryan was creating would help. Looking at him no physical injury was visible. Possibly all that is left is trauma to the soul.

It is not often that one can feel the caliber of a person just by being in their presence but, despite his few words, the quality of character was obvious. When the event was over, I asked him how it felt to have such a special woman come across the ocean, just for him. His eyes sparkled and a huge smile lit up his face. In a typical Israeli understatement, it was his expression that gave meaning to the words: “It’s something! Really something!”

As a people, we more often than not, feel very alone in the world. For those carrying the weight of trauma, this feeling is even more extreme. Now, every time Tomer looks at his leg he will see Ryan’s art and know that someone cared about him enough to fly halfway across the world, to give him a piece of herself, just to make him feel better.

That is very powerful.


Hate is very strong. It steals our lives, ruins families, breaks bodies and bends the psyche, damaging the soul but sometimes, art can overcome.    






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From Ian:

Israel indicates acceptance of Gaza ceasefire reached with Hamas
Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip announced that Egypt brokered a ceasefire agreement between them and Israel on Tuesday evening, after over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours.

A senior Israeli diplomatic official appeared to confirm the reported armistice.

“Israel maintains its right to act. Requests from Hamas for a ceasefire came through four different mediators. Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect],” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

The decision to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups in Gaza was reportedly accepted by Israel’s security cabinet.

According to the military, over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted over 100 of them. Most of the rest landed in open fields, but dozens landed inside Israeli cities and towns, killing one person, injuring dozens more, and causing significant property damage.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas prefers to preserve 'achievements' over all-out war
Hamas indicated again on Tuesday that it was not interested in another major war with Israel. Hamas officials are reported to have told Egyptian and UN mediators that if Israel halts its attacks on the Gaza Strip, they too would respond in kind.

After firing hundreds of rockets and projectiles toward Israel since Sunday night’s clash between an elite IDF unit and Hamas terrorists near Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Hamas now feels that it has extracted a “heavy price” from Israel in return for the death of its top commander, Sheikh Nur Baraka, and six other Palestinians.

On the one hand, Hamas wants to show the Palestinian public that it is capable of making Israel pay for its “aggression.’ On the other hand, Hamas also seems keen on avoiding a situation where the incident near Khan Yunis would obstruct efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to reach a truce with Israel.

Judging from the statements made by its senior officials, Hamas does not believe that the incident near Khan Yunis, and the subsequent Israeli response, is sufficient reason for another major war.

Hamas can now boast in front of its people that its military wing has fulfilled its promise of avenging the death of the seven Palestinians killed by the IDF elite unit.
IDF says it hit 70 targets in response to Gaza attacks, including 3 tunnels
The Israeli military threatened Hamas on Monday evening, in response to a barrage of more than 300 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip in the preceding hours, saying the terror group would “feel the power of the IDF’s response in the coming hours.”

The army said it bombed some 70 targets linked to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups throughout the Gaza Strip, including three attack tunnels, in retaliation for the massive fusillade.

“The Hamas terror group is responsible for everything that occurs in and emanates from the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences of the terrorist activities conducted against Israeli citizens,” the military said in a statement.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., terrorists fired a Kornet anti-tank guided missile at a bus parked a few hundred meters from the Gaza border, seriously injuring a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, the army said.

More troops had reportedly been on the bus, but exited before the missile struck.

The soldier was taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center, with injuries throughout his body, medics said.

  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here is a graph showing the number of hate crimes against religions in 2017, just released by the FBI:


Anti-Jewish hate crimes soared from 684 to 938 in 2017, an increase of 37%.

Fully 60% of all anti-religion hate crimes in America were against Jews in 2017.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes, meanwhile, declined from 307 to 273, a decline of 11%.

Hate crimes increased significantly across the board (race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender) but the increase of antisemitic hate crimes outpaced the other increases. In 2016, 11% of all hate crimes of any type were against Jews, in 2017 that increased to 13%.







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"All of this isn’t to say that hate speech doesn’t matter. It does. But white supremacists are not joining the Nation of Islam, not now nor ever."
"Deciding Who We Throw Away," Cassady Fendlay, Communications Strategist, Writer, and Editor


Actress Alyssa Milano made a welcome point when she criticized the Women’s March leaders for not condemning the Antisemitism of Louis Farrakhan. Findlay's evasion of the issue took the form of a personal attack on Milano and anyone associating with her:
Alyssa Milano and all the white women lined up behind her are actually enforcing the power of white supremacy through their misguided attempt to challenge hate speech.
But what is interesting is Fendlay's apparent ignorance of the history of the Nation of Islam and how it has affiliated with white supremacists over the years.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Courier:
Malcolm X admitted publicly that he met with the heads of the Ku Klux Klan [in 1960] to negotiate a land deal for Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm said, “They had some very responsible persons in the government who were involved in it and who were willing to go along with it. They wanted to make this land available to him so that his program of separation would sound more feasible to Negroes and therefore lessen the pressure that the integrationists were putting upon the White man. I sat there. I negotiated it. I listened to their offer. And I was the one who went back to Chicago and told Elijah Muhammad what they had offered.”
The following year, on June 25, 1961, ten members of the American Nazi Party, including their leader, George Lincoln Rockwell, arrived at a Nation of Islam rally in Washington, DC. The Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad was supposed to be the keynote speaker but ended up canceling because of illness.

Instead, Malcolm X spoke, and afterwards led an appeal for donations. Rockwell contributed $20, for which Malcolm X thanked him:



Rockwell spoke too:
You know that we call you niggers. But wouldn't you rather be confronted by honest white men who tell you to your face what the others all say behind your back? Can you really gain anything dealing with a bunch of cowardly white sneaks? The yellow-liberals who tell you they love you, privately excluded you every way they know how. I am not afraid to stand here and tell you I hate race-mixing and I will fight it to the death. But at the same time, I will do everything in my power to help the Honorable Elijah Muhammed carry out his inspired plan for land of your own in Africa. Elijah Muhammed is right -- separation or death! [p.30, footnote 86]
In addition to Elijah Muhammed and Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan has also found White Separatists useful.

The New York Times reported in October 1985 of Farrakhan and a former head of the KKK working together:
The former head of the Ku Klux Klan in California said today that he headed a ''white nationalist'' delegation that attended a speech here last month by Louis Farrakhan, leader of a Black Muslim group, and that talks between the black and white groups have been going on for a year.

The former Klan leader, Thomas Metzger of San Diego, said that he and nine members of his organization attended the Farrakhan rally here Sept. 14 as guests of Mr. Farrakhan and that they contributed $100 to support the Muslim's cause.
At the time, Metzger described himself as the head of the White People's Political Association, which he described as a ''white nationalist'' organization.

Last year, in 2017, the ADL noted a meeting of the minds between the alt-right and the Nation of Islam. A tweet by Farrakhan in favor of creating their own nation met with approval from the alt-right, not only from white supremacist Richard Spencer and Neo-Nazi Mike Enoch, but also from white supremacist Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance:

-----
-----
Farrakhan responded in turn. Though stopping short of accepting dialogue, he did not repudiate these white supremacists either. Instead, he referred to them as "white people of intelligence":
“Do you know white people of intelligence feel the same way? Somebody told me that the alt-right, Mr. Trump’s people, had a tweet or something – we kinda like what Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam is saying, we with them to separate in a land of their own. I said: very good, alt-right, ya’ll want to talk about it? Talking has been done, nothing to talk about because now it’s either separation or death.”
And why should Farrakhan repudiate them?

After all, they are unified in their hatred of Jews.

But why work together?

In his article in Vice magazine, Sam McPheeters suggests what the Nation of Islam and Rockwell's American Nazi Party saw in each other:
Rockwell and Muhammad saw each other as authentic, as people willing to speak the truth—their versions of it—no matter the cost. Their marketing to their constituencies depended on this image, and each man drew legitimacy from the appearance of being a straight shooter. Rockwell's existence was useful to the NOI as a recruiting tool, his physical presence a testament to Muhammad's own authenticity.
Following the success of Martin Luther King using non-violence, Rockwell doubled down on his hate while Malcolm X softened his tone.

And as for Farrakhan and his connection with Metzger on the one hand and his refusal to condemn the white supremacists who offer dialogue on the other, maybe Elijah Muhammed understood Farrakhan best:
"We cannot ignore him," Mr. Muhammad said, adding that he feared that undue attention could fuel Mr. Farrakhan's movement because "it is not only the media that have to live off sensationalism."




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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Most Palestinian media is studiously ignoring the fact that the person killed in a Hamas rocket attack on Ashkelon yesterday was a Palestinian.

Mahmud 'Abd al-Hamid Abu' Asba, 48, from Halhul near Hebron, was killed and 11 others were injured after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a residential building in Ashkelon.

Abu' Asba was a construction worker, one of tens of thousands who work in Israel during the week.

The only Palestinian media outlets that did mention him called him a "martyr." The western-funded Ma'an site's headline says "The martyrdom of a worker from Halhul by the bombing of Ashkelon."

Jews killed by Hamas rockets aren't "martyred" but Arabs are.

Abu Absa, who was the father of six, was reportedly working together with his wife in the fourth floor of the residential building when it was hit. She was injured.






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  • Tuesday, November 13, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Hamas issued a warning to residents of Ashkelon, telling them to stay away from the entire city since "The army uses the city in its criminal operations against us, and therefore we will respond to that, so it is preferable to stay away from the city as much as possible."

The graphic includes a depiction of an Israel Aircraft Industries facility in the city.

The only indication I could find of an IAI facility in Ashkelon was a command and control center set up during Operation Cast Lead to tell civilian rescue forces where to go when Hamas shoots rockets at the city - in other words, a place to help save civilian lives.  It is not a military site.

Hamas will use this graphic to claim that they are "warning" Israeli civilians the same way Israel warns Gazans to get out of buildings minutes before they are bombed.

But Israel issues warnings to save civilian lives. Hamas issues warnings to terrorize Israelis. It isn't humanitarian - it is part of Hamas' war.






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Monday, November 12, 2018

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism watchdog Canary Mission exposes Jewish Voice for Peace in new report
As we’ve highlighted in several prior posts, Canary Mission has come under attack and its been controversial from the start with accusations that its website echoes “long-discredited and horrific blacklists of the McCarthy era” and that publicizing the outrageous rhetoric and conduct that BDS-affiliated college students engage in could damage their careers if prospective employers found out about it.

As a result, there have been multiple attempts to deplatform Canary Mission and to discredit those who fund it:
Twitter suspends anti-Semitism watchdog Canary Mission after campaign by anti-Israel activists (UPDATE)
Anti-Israel blacklisters complain they are unfairly being blacklisted


But as we noted, Canary Mission is reviled precisely because it’s so effective:
It shines a bright light on the dirty underbelly of the anti-Israel movement in the most shattering way possible: By quoting what they actually say and showing what they publicly post online.”

Released last week, the group’s new report covering the fringe radical group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a perfect example of the “huge public service” that Canary Mission provides by pulling the mask off so-called social justice groups and activists who profess to work for peace and human rights but in reality do little to advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution or to improve the lives of Palestinians and just work to “make life hell on campus for Jewish students.”


Below I provide a short overview of Canary Mission’s new report on JVP and its two accompanying videos. I also flag some JVP activities that Canary Mission’s new report missed, but that we’ve covered in earlier LI posts.
Canary Mission’s Report on Jewish Voice for Peace

Canary Mission released its “long-awaited, exhaustive, and biggest campaign yet” covering JVP this past week, posting to its website and social media accounts a new short blog post each day from Monday, November 5th through Friday, November 9th.

Each blog post exposes a different aspect of JVP’s activism with the aim of “proving that they truly are not for ‘Peace’.”

Here’s the five-part series:
  • JVP’s Funders: Promoting an Anti-Israel Narrative
  • JVP and SJP: Supporting BDS, Supporting Each Other
  • JVP and Anti-Semitism
  • The Anti-Birthright Coalition
  • JVP’s Connection & Collaboration with INN
Hebron observer force fails to meet its own code of ethics, official says
The international observer mission in Hebron is tainted with corruption, which its officials are ‎tirelessly working to cover up, a former officer ‎with the organization recently alleged.‎

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron, or ‎‎‎TIPH, is a civilian observer mission that was established ‎‎‎in the wake of the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs ‎‎‎massacre, in which Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein ‎‎‎killed 29 Muslim worshippers and wounded 125 others ‎‎‎as they gathered for a prayer service inside the ‎‎‎holy site. ‎

The TIPH mission, which comprises personnel from ‎‎‎Italy, Norway, ‎Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, was ‎‎‎originally launched at the invitation of the Israeli ‎‎‎government and the Palestinian Authority, with the aim ‎‎‎of monitoring and recording any violation of ‎‎‎international humanitarian law.‎

Recently, however, there has been a growing number ‎‎‎of complaints alleging its members are ‎violently targeting the Jewish ‎‎‎community in Hebron. ‎These allegations have been ‎compounded by accusations made by a former TIPH ‎officer, suggesting that mission officials are embroiled in fraud and perjury, which they spare no ‎effort to cover up, including by smuggling TIPH ‎members out of Israel to evade punishment.‎

Last week, Bennet Nygaard Solum, who served as ‎TIPH's chief procurement and financial officer twice in the last decade, testified before an Oslo-based notary ‎that "the TIPH fails to meet its own code of ethics. It ‎disregards Israeli and Palestinian law in Hebron and ‎prefers to protect its own members from any ‎allegations of wrongdoing, with all that that ‎entails."‎

Roger Waters’ anti-Israel message ignites ‘wish you weren’t here’ campaign by Latin American Jews
Jewish institutions in Argentina have launched a campaign against former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters over his support for the boycott Israel movement.

Waters’ “Us +Them” tour has been traveling throughout Latin America for the past month and will continue into December.

The Argentina Zionist Organization’s online campaign urges residents of the region to reject the British singer’s presence and upcoming concerts. The campaign calls Waters “one of the great anti-Semites of our time” to protest what it called his hate speech.

“We, Latin Americans, say to Roger Waters – we wish you weren’t here!” – echoing the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here,” its Change.org campaign says.

Officials at the Simon Wiesenthal Center officials called on the tour’s corporate sponsors, including Entel, Cencosud, Grupo Aval and Bac Credomatic y Citibanamex, to withdraw their financial support. The center also said Waters’ Latin American hosts should denounce his abuse of their hospitality and his message of hate.

On Friday, Waters participated in an event of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel in Buenos Aires, a day before performing there.

“We must insist to our local governments to pressure Israel, in favor of the human rights of the Palestinians,” he said at the program titled “A World Without Walls,” organized by BDS Argentina.

Waters at his shows has displayed a pig with a Star of David.

  • Monday, November 12, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The first sentence of this article in Al Madenah News, by Dr. Mustafa Yousef Alddawi, to mark the centennial of the end of World War I, is one of the most absurd things I've ever read in Arabic media. And that's saying a lot.

"There is no doubt that Palestine was the greatest victim of the First World War," it begins.

During WWI, Palestine had a population of 800,000.

The number of people killed during the war was between 15-19 million.

The Ottoman Empire, Germany, France, the British Empire, Russia, Italy and Austria each lost more people than the entire population of Palestine.

Obviously he is claiming that the division of the Arab world by the victors of the war, which included allowing Jews to return to a sliver of land where they are the indigenous people, is the most catastrophic thing to ever happen to anyone, ever.

Palestinians are the masters of making everything about them. They are the biggest victims of the Holocaust, they are the biggest victims of both world wars, they are the biggest victims of "colonialism," they are the world's biggest victims, period.

They actually used to be able to make headway with these arguments in the Arab world. Those days are gone.

The article ends with a threat against the world:
The Palestinian cause will be the cause of future wars, the effects of which may be no less than the world wars....  It has been a hundred years since the founding of the Palestinian cause, and it is still burning and burning, and it will remain so until the Palestinians regain their rights and return to their homes.
Yes, this Palestinian writer is saying that unless the world gives the Palestinians what they demand - the destruction of Israel - we can expect a World War III that could dwarf the others.

I've seen lots of mob-style threats from Palestinians, but this one takes the cake.



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One of the best books of 2018 provides some answers to those bewildered by the crazy happenings on college campuses, Israel-related and not, over the last few years. 

The Coddling of the American Mind, written by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt expands on an article the authors wrote for The Atlantic in 2015, proposing an explanation for anti-free-speech phenomena they then saw metastasizing on college campuses.

Lukianoff is the President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization created to fight attempts to stifle free speech at colleges and universities.  Historically, the group supported students dealing with campus speech codes being imposed by college administrators. But starting in the early 2010s, Lukianoff began to notice that many demands to limit what people could say or think were coming not from those attending, rather than running, schools.

Such attacks on free speech have taken on many forms, from attempts to label impolite or insensitive behavior as “microagressions” that required redress (and sometimes punishment), to “trigger warnings” alerting students that dangerous ideas were about to be read or discussed, to “de-platforming” speakers with controversial things to say.

Lukianoff also noticed how explanations students provided in their demands for controls of (and over) what could be uttered were couched in the language of safety.  “Safe spaces” where students could protect themselves against ideas they didn’t like is one example of what he observed, but he also noticed how controversial ideas were being branded as a form of violence, against which students needed protection.

In addition to his professional work, Lukianoff spent years working through depression with the help of a technique called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  Part of CBT involves identifying “cognitive distortions” that adversely impact reasoning.  These include “catastrophizing,” magnifying the significance of small setbacks in ways that maximize personal psychological damage, or “jumping to conclusions” interpreting other people’s behavior in the worst possible light. As anti-speech activists on campus talked about words as a form of violence, or interpreted simple rudeness as punishable bigotry, Lukianoff and his co-author began to see destructive cognitive distortions playing out within whole communities, rather than individuals.

That co-author was Jonathan Haidt, best-selling author of The Righteous Mind and The Happiness Hypothesis, who was just the person to elaborate on the broader meanings behind the kind of misbehavior we have seen unfold at school after school during the last decade.  A thoughtful social-science researcher struggling to help society move past the “we vs. they” mentality that is destroying individuals and institutions, Haidt shares his co-author’s goal of containing and, ideally, turning back the tide of horribles currently infecting centers of learning.

“Why now?” the authors ask as they searched to discover the source of behavior not seen before start of this decade.  What happened that might explain not just student actions but the language of danger, violence and safety ascribed not to acts but to ideas?

The generation of students who entered college during this period were not Millennials, but a post-Millennial generation that had grown up with different historical touchpoints than most of you reading this.  Infants and toddlers at the time of 9/11, this generation understood the War on Terror as a slogan that seemed to have gotten American into intractable, inexplicable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The Cold War was history, not a living memory, much like World War II is to my generation.  If political identity begins to form during adolescence, this generation’s identity evolved during an era of increasingly heated rhetoric and uncompromising ideology Haight warns could destroy democracy. 

This generation also grew up when parenting practices were changing to embrace what the authors call a culture of “Safety-ism” in which keeping children safe at all cost spread from protecting them from physical harm (such as being kidnapped or hurt in a fight) to protecting them from psychological dangers (like poor grades or the fallout from interpersonal disputes between peers).  Previous generations had to suffer the consequences of their actions, but in an age of Safety-ism, adults and authority figures were there to smooth the way if anything went wrong in a young person’s life.

Changes in parenting behavior led to changes in what this generation experienced during childhood as free, self-organized play was replaced by “playdates” scheduled between parents, and activities where children got together to engage in sports, arts or other fun planned and supervised by adults.
The Internet fits into the story as well.  As careful researchers, Haidt and Lukianoff are not ready to propose theories beyond what early research shows about the impact smartphones and social media are having on the young.  But it’s hard to not notice how many stories they tell involving “thought-crimes” originating in Facebook postings and mobs being organized on Twitter.
Moving from this background, the authors tap a number of ideas I’ve written about previously, such as a Culture of Victimization trying to supplant a Culture of Dignity.  For in a victimhood culture, people are fighting for as high a position in the hierarchy of victimhood as possible, while also being ready to turn to authority figures (such as college administrators) to provide them the protection other adults have afforded this generation their entire lives.

In addition to providing cogent analysis, the authors also include a detailed appendix of recommendations for parents, universities and the wider society to help kids develop the kind of anti-fragility that should be the nature of all young people hoping to become genuine adults. 
Fights over Israel and the Middle East that have roiled campuses for several decades are not addressed specifically in the book, but the insights of Coddling can be combined with other analysis to help better flesh out what’s happening on campuses and, ideally, what can be done to solve this problem.  And it is to this analysis that I shall turn to next.





We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Israeli special forces officer killed, another injured in Gaza raid
An Israeli special forces officer was killed and another was moderately wounded during a night-time operation in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the army said. The incident sparked intense clashes between the Israeli military and the Hamas terror group.

At least seven Palestinian terrorists were killed in the firefight and airstrikes that followed the Israeli raid, including a senior Hamas commander, according to Palestinian officials. Six of the Palestinian fatalities were said by Hamas to be its members. The seventh was a member of the Nasser Salahdin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, Hamas said in a statement.

Israeli officials later indicated that the incident was an operation that went awry but not an assassination attempt.

The military censor barred news of the IDF officer’s death and the second officer’s injuries from being published for several hours until their families could be notified. The names of the soldiers were not immediately released.

The fighting set off a massive round of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and by morning 17 rockets or mortar shells were fired at southern Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Sunday he would cut short an official state visit to Paris and return to Israel immediately.

Israeli Fire Kills Seven During Undercover Raid in Gaza, IDF Officer Killed
Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in air strikes and an undercover raid that Hamas said targeted one of its commanders and the Israeli military said left one of its officers dead.

The Israeli incursion and air attacks drew rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled enclave, with sirens sounding in Israeli communities along the border. The military said its defenses intercepted two of the launches. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage on the Israeli side of the frontier.

The violence prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a visit to Paris, where he had been gathering with world leaders for a World War One commemoration.

Hamas said the incident began when assailants in a passing car opened fire on a group of its armed men, killing one of its commanders. Hamas gunmen gave chase as the car sped back towards the border with Israel, Hamas said in a statement.

During the pursuit, Israeli aircraft fired more than 40 missiles in the area, according to witnesses.

Medics and Hamas officials said at least seven people were killed, four of them militants, including Hamas commander Nour Baraka. It was unclear if the other fatalities included gunmen.


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