Wednesday, November 04, 2015

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Debating against BDS - and winning
BDS sends a false message to the Palestinian street: namely, that international economic and political pressure can force Israel to capitulate to all Palestinian demands.
BDS opposes any effort at negotiation that isn’t premised on the recognition that Israel is an apartheid state. Indeed, many of its leaders refuse to recognize the right for Israel to exist as a nation-state for the Jewish people. In so doing, they are empowering radicals on both sides of the issue who have no desire to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Many liberal activists such as Mr. Tatchell—whose advocacy on behalf of LGBT rights I greatly admire—have made common cause with BDS, hoping to pressure Israel to end the occupation, and afford greater self-determination to Palestinians in the West Bank. They seem to believe that a movement advocating non-violent tactics is necessarily the best way to achieve a lasting peace. But BDS is radically opposed to any negotiated settlement, and has increasingly begun to regroup bigots of all stripes who feel comfortable with the language used by its leaders, such Mr. Barghouti.
Mr. Tatchell and many pro-BDS academics also feel that Israel has committed human rights violations both in the occupation of the West Bank, and in its prosecution of the armed conflicts in Gaza. During the course of the debate I issued the following challenge to the audience and to my opponent: name a single country in the history of the world, faced with threats comparable to those faced by Israel, that has a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law and seeking to minimize civilian casualties.
I invited audience members to shout out the name of a country. Complete silence. Finally someone shouted "Iceland", and everyone laughed. When the best is treated as the worst, in the way the BDS movement singles out Israel for accusation, the finger of blame must be pointed at the accusers rather than the accused. In the end, the case against BDS won not because of the comparative skill of the debaters but because I was able to expose the moral weakness of the BDS movement itself.
Douglas Murray: Britain's New Racism
This effect -- the Corbynization of British politics -- has already had one notable effect. Last week Sir Gerald Kaufmann, a man with a track record of anti-Semitic comments, said something crazed even by his own high standards. Speaking at an event organized by the Hamas-affiliated "Palestine Return Centre" in Parliament, Kaufman claimed that the Conservative party had been influenced by "Jewish money." Asked why the UK government had allegedly become more pro-Israel in recent years he said, "It's Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party -- as in the general election in May -- support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things bias the Conservatives."
What Kaufman said next is in some ways even more extraordinary. He claimed that the Palestinians "are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn't care." He went on to claim that the recent stabbing attacks on Israeli citizens had been fabricated by the Israeli government in order to allow it to "execute Palestinians."
There have already been complaints about this statement from other MPs, including other Labour MPs. But what can be expected of the Labour leadership? Jeremy Corbyn is an old friend and ally of Kaufman's. They have shared anti-Israel platforms for years. However, whereas ordinarily a party leader would discipline an MP for such outrageous and false claims, nothing has happened -- nor will happen -- to Kaufman. It is a failure that should bring shame on the party. Even the Liberal Democrats managed eventually to withdraw the whip from their Baroness Jenny 'Boom' Tonge, who has repeatedly spread blood-libels about Israel. But Kaufman is part of Corbyn's Parliamentary base, and the kind of people who lap this sort of thing up are part of Jeremy Corbyn's wider base in the country. What is a leader like him to do?
This, then, is one of the already jolting effects of the Corbyn leadership. Wholly predictably, it has begun to mainstream anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, and it has encumbered the political left with few defences to the accusation that it is they who now harbour the proponents of the greatest racism of our time. Is it too much to hope that an alliance of Jews and non-Jews of every imaginable political stripe will push back to ensure this does not happen?
Israeli academic shouted down in lecture at University of Minnesota
On Tuesday afternoon an Israeli academic was shouted down by two dozen protesters as he tried to begin a lecture before about 100 students and faculty at the University of Minnesota. The speaker was Moshe Halbertal, a professor at NYU Law School and a professor of Jewish thought and philosophy at Hebrew University. He was invited to deliver the Dewey Lecture in the Philosophy of Law, which is organized annually by the law school. That the freedom to present a lecture is threatened in this way at a public university is appalling, calling not only for punishment of violations but for a clear statement by university officials defending the free exchange of ideas.
The lecture, which I attended, was delayed half an hour as one by one the protesters stood up to shout denunciations of Israel and were escorted from the hall by university police. One young woman came screaming back into the lecture after having been ejected. Outside the hall, the protesters chanted so loudly that it was difficult to hear Halbertal, much less to concentrate on what he was saying, until 45 minutes after the lecture was to have begun.
The protests were apparently organized by a group calling itself the “Anti-War Committee,” which bragged on its Twitter feed about having disrupted the lecture and complained that the protesters’ “free speech” rights were violated when a few were arrested. It appears that no law students were involved, but many of the demonstrators were college-aged and the protest was endorsed by a group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a university group. According to its Facebook page, SJP “promotes justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people.”
The lecture was entitled, “Protecting Civilians: Moral Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare.” The talk did not directly address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though Halbertal drew in part on his experience helping to draft the Israeli army’s code of ethics. When he was finally able to speak, Halbertal argued that in fighting “asymmetric wars” (typically, wars between professional militaries and insurgencies or resistance movements) professional combatants should err on the side of protecting noncombatants from casualties, even when they thereby increase risks to themselves or to their cause. (h/t Zvi)
Protesters shout down Israeli Professor at U. Minnesota law school
Leora Eisenberg, a high school student who wanted to attend the lecture, posted on Facebook:
So, you think BDS wants peace?
I was lost. I needed to get a lecture by noted Jewish-Israeli lecturer and philosopher Moshe Halbertal on the ethics of war. I had just come from school. I knew I’d be the youngest in the audience, and I was okay with that. I’ve always been precocious, especially for Israel.
I saw one lame protester in front of the building. So, one person showed up to protest the “apartheid regime.” Carry on. Protest. You have your rights.
As I came into the building, I heard some really loud chanting. I mean, really loud. And as a Russian-Israeli Jew, I know loud. I didn’t realize it was in front of the lecture hall. I couldn’t actually get in.
Because if I did, they would probably physically assault me. They championed their slogans of peace… right? (“Hey hey, ho ho, they occupation has got to go!”) But they also had at least three police officers standing in front of the doors and brandished (fake) blood-covered babies and made some vaguely anti-Semitic slurs. (all while holding signs proclaiming that Zionism is not Judaism)
I was afraid to go in. And when I finally could (through the secret back door), I was shaking too hard to focus. At one point, a BDS protester burst in, started screaming and was escorted back out by the cops– at which point, I heard the protesters drift off (and finally be taken outside).
So, you still think BDS wants peace?
Think again. I didn’t realize peaceniks make 17-year-olds girls scared to go to lectures on foreign policy. I didn’t realize peaceniks could be so violent.

Judea Pearl: The UC’s new dilemma: to name or not to name

Dozens of speakers representing a variety of views testified last week at UCLA before a university committee tasked with crafting a University of California systemwide policy to combat anti-Semitism on campuses.
Many of the speakers favored adoption of the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, which includes the demonizing of Israel and denial of its right to exist. They argued that, because the ultimate goal of anti-Jewish assaults on campus is to intimidate Israel’s supporters into silence, adopting the State Department’s definition would somehow temper the venom of those assaults.
Opponents, mostly from the anti-Israel camp, cited “freedom of speech” as a reason for ambiguity over clarity. I believe both camps are missing the point.
The issue is not how to define anti-Semitism, but whether to name the problem at hand, thus contributing to its solution, or to let the problem linger in ambiguity until incitements and hostilities get out of hand. As I have argued previously in these pages, among the phobias that currently drive campus racism, Zionophobia trumps anti-Semitism, and therefore, treating anti-Zionism as the lesser of the two evils gives racist forces the legitimacy to continue their assaults unabated, under the cover of a “political debate,” exempt from norms of discourse that protect other campus groups from similar attacks.
U of Windsor students protest lecture by Israel’s first Bedouin diplomat
A group of anti-Israel students hijacked a lecture by Israel’s first Bedouin diplomat who had travelled to the University of Windsor to talk about his experience as a minority living in Israel because they “refused to allow a Zionist to lead the discussion on such a topic.”
Law student Trevor Sher, who serves as the Jewish Student Association president at the University of Windsor, said Ishmael Khaldi, who has been working for the Israeli Foreign Ministry since 2004, was invited to campus to talk to students on Oct. 21 about his experience as a Bedouin in Israel and about minority rights.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity to provide a forum for intellectual discussion about what is a very complex issue, that is the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Sher said.
“I thought he would be a perfect speaker, as someone who grew up as a minority in Israel can offer an insightful perspective about how minorities are treated and how things really are on the ground for them.”
Sher said he was tipped off that there was going to be a walkout protest of Khaldi’s talk, organized by a campus club called the Palestinian Solidarity Group.
Anti-Semitism and Abuse Is Not Acceptable - Not Online, Not Ever
Students and their unions have always challenged hate speech. We work day in, day out to challenge abuse and harassment and defend free speech. But the price for speaking up and fighting for change is often smear campaigns and ridicule. Now with the coming of age of social media this bullying is resulting in people shutting down their accounts and switching off from what should be healthy and essential debate. The consequences for free speech are worrying but the effects on mental health and self-esteem are startling.
Bullying and abuse online is unacceptable, but the fact that it is online is not the problem. In the last few days alone, my Twitter stream has been a stark reminder of the very real and horrific reality of anti-semitism that Jewish students face in Britain. Izzy Lenga, the education officer at Birmingham Guild of Students, has been subjected to abhorrent abuse and threats for daring to challenge anti-semitism on campus. I'm going to be frank; this is not about being 'offended' by 'views we don't like'. This is people putting up a poster saying "Hitler was right" on Izzy's campus and people tweeting her to say that Jewish people should be "popped back in the oven".
There are the graphics that are constantly shared which call Jews "Zionist racist scum" and suggests the Holocaust was 'invented'. The people who write blogs that 9/11 was an "insurance scam" by "a secret Jewish network". Those who write on Facebook that "Adolf and Co should have finished the job properly", pose questions like "why stop at 6 million?" and the artists who depict Jews as thieves with big noses. This is anti-semitism. It is wholly unacceptable and it should not go unchallenged just because it happens to be online. Not when there has been a 50% increase in anti-semitic attacks in the UK since last year; not ever. My union will always be resolute in our defence of Jewish students in the face of anti-semitism. Now, when some 20% of this abuse is online we have a duty to do more to challenge it in all its forms. We are all incredibly proud of Izzy for standing up to this abuse, but nobody should ever have to deal with it. (h/t Alexi)
'The emperor has no clothes'
So what now?
And what is President Obama to do, as everything he has stood for in the Iran deal collapses so ignominiously? On the right, they say he will continue to capitulate. In their ignorance, and in their hatred of him, they fail to realize that he can simply surrender no farther. OK, they say, so the IAEA will provide Obama with the necessary confirmation by Dec. 15 that the Iranians have done their part. But that is impossible as well. What is demanded of Iran is gargantuan in scale, and it would be far more difficult for the IAEA to fake confirmation when the Iranians themselves are declaring loudly that they are not going to do it.
With every passing day, Iran is more and more in violation of the JCPOA. But neither the Republicans nor the Democrats, nor the media, nor anyone else will acknowledge this, for the implications are too devastating. The agreement is no longer in effect. Its clock is stopped.
But the weeks will pass, and the media and politicians will be forced to admit that this is the case. And the last thing they will be willing to do is to force Iran to meet its obligations. Thus, it appears that Obama's only option, shameful as it is, is to restart the negotiations with the Iranians and talk with them about their leaders' new conditions. As is well-known, this administration advocates diplomacy -- guaranteeing that there will be no breakthrough anytime soon.
This is precisely what will serve President Obama best. All he needs to do is play for time and reach the end of his term with an agreement in hand, albeit virtual -- and negotiations in progress, albeit unending. He will pass this situation on to the next administration.
The success will be all his, and the failure will be all theirs. The media will zealously guard Obama's legacy, and his successor, Republican or Democrat, is too uninformed to protect themselves from this historic maneuver. And it will serve them right.
'Satan’s Confessions': Iran Releases Anti-U.S. Propaganda Film
The office of Iranian ‘Supreme Leader’ Ali Khamenei has released a new video titled “Satan’s Confessions,” a threatening propaganda film that highlights a series of supposed faults of the United States.
The video message, which was uploaded to YouTube, is meant to reinforce the theocratic regime’s argument that the United States is ‘The Great Satan,’ and it follows a tone comparable to the films disbursed by the Islamic State terror group.
The video begins with a clip of U.S. president Obama stating, “if you look at Iranian history, the fact is we’ve had some involvement overthrowing a democratically-elected regime in Iran.”
‘Death to America’ is more diplomatic than you think, says Iran’s supreme leader
When the Iran nuclear deal was debated in Washington, the popular Iranian chant ‘Death to America!’ was a regular point of contention. According to the New Yorker, on one occasion the Texan republican Ted Poe asked John Kerry if the slogan meant that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wanted to destroy the United States:
‘I don’t believe they’ve said that,’ the Secretary of State replied. ‘I think they’ve said ‘Death to America’ in their chants.’
‘Well, I kind of take that to mean that they want us dead,’ Poe quipped.

So happily today, Khamenei has stepped in to clarify just what is meant by the now infamous chant, which first arose in 1979 at the beginning of the Iranian Revolution. Discussing the slogan as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani attempts to improve the country’s relations with America, Khamenei says that ‘Death to America’ doesn’t actually mean death to American people. Instead it simply means ‘death to U.S. policies and arrogance’.
He adds that he cannot forgive the American attitude: ‘The nature of the U.S. attitude is continuation of the same hostile aims from the past, and the nation will not forget this.’
Celebrating Anniversary of US Embassy Takeover, Iran Calls America ‘Same Old Uncle Tom’
On the eve of the 36th anniversary of the US Embassy takeover in Tehran, Iran reiterated its enmity towards the United States, official and semi-official Iranian media outlets reported on Tuesday.
Mehr News Agency reported that in an address to a group of students on Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called the United States the “same old Uncle Tom.”
Khamenei attacked all those in Iran he claims are attempting to mask the United States’ true nature and advocate rapprochement. He stressed that Iran would never see the US as a friend, because Washington would “grab the opportunity to sting and poison [the] Iranian nation with its venom.”
Khamenei justified the attack on the embassy — which loyalists of the Ayatollah Khomeini called the “den of spies” — saying it was active in carrying out “plots against the country,” a clear demonstration that “friendship will never temper Washington’s deep and boiling lust for conspiracy and regime-toppling.”
Thousands of flag-burning Iranians mark US embassy seizure
Chanting “Death to America” and burning the US flag, thousands of Iranians joined protests Wednesday marking the 36th anniversary of the seizure of Washington’s embassy in Tehran.
The outpouring of anti-US sentiment came despite a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and major powers including Washington in July.
The storming of the embassy by students, months after the Islamic revolution, led to a 444-day hostage crisis and a break in diplomatic relations that continues to this day.
Demonstrators gathered outside the former US embassy in Tehran and across Iran for what was declared “national day of the fight against global arrogance” — a term often used by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Protesters held placards with slogans including “Down with USA” and “Down with Israel.”
Iran Arrests U.S. Resident for “Espionage”; Man Had Been Invited to Tehran by Iran’s VP
A Lebanese-born IT expert with U.S. permanent resident status has been detained in Iran and is being held as a spy despite being invited to the country by Iran’s vice president, according to Iranian news sources.
Nizar Zakka, whose LinkedIn page indicates that he lives in Washington, D.C., was invited to Tehran by the office of Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs to participate in a conference on sustainable development, according to the Lebanese news website NOW. The Wall Street Journal added that he was scheduled to meet with several government ministers.
“Nizar Zakka has deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and military establishment,” a source told Iranian state broadcaster IRIB. The Mehr news agency alleged that Zakka’s American military and intelligence contacts refer to him as a “hidden treasure.”
“Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said on Monday the ministry had been discussing ways to combat foreign influence in the country as Tehran begins to implement a nuclear deal that will lift sanctions and open Iran to foreign businesses,” Reuters noted.
‘KFC Halal’ falls fowl of Iran police
Iranian police have swooped in to shutter a fried chicken shop using the brand name of US fast food giant KFC, local media said Tuesday.
“Police closed the ‘KFC’ restaurant as it didn’t have authorization and had been operating under a false license,” reported the news site of Iran’s Young Journalist Club, which is affiliated with state television.
The fast food joint, KFC Halal, had only been open for three days, the site said.
A nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in July has seen several Western countries seek closer business ties with Tehran, where years of punishing economic sanctions could be lifted if the Islamic republic keeps its side of the bargain.
The rapprochement has seen US fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC reportedly explore the possibility of opening branches in Iran, something that has stirred debate among conservative Iranians.
Iran Threatens to Quit Syria Talks Due to 'Negative Role' of Saudi Arabia
The 17-nation talks held in Vienna on Friday were meant to begin an international dialogue about bringing an end to the Syrian civil war. The project has already run into significant trouble due to the longstanding animosity between two of the most important regional powers, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran has begun threatening to quit the talks over what they describe as the “negative role” of the Saudis.
“In the first round of talks, some countries, especially Saudi Arabia, played a negative and unconstructive role,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. “Iran will not participate if the talks are not fruitful.”
He also warned Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir – who survived an assassination plot linked to Iran four years ago – “not to test our patience.”
Reuters adds that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani obliquely chastised Jubeir, calling him “an inexperienced young man” who “will not reach anywhere by rudeness in front of elders.”
Jubeir, who is 50 years old, might be pleased to be called a “young man” in other social contexts, but soon after the Vienna talks, he accused Iran of smuggling weapons to insurgents in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, as well as driving or influencing conflicts in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. The Saudis are currently engaged in an air campaign against Iran-backed insurgents in the latter country.
Hotovely: Those who label settlement products are boycotting Israel
Placing consumer labels on products from West Bank settlements is the equivalent of boycotting Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Tuesday before she embarked on a trip to European capitals to wage a diplomatic war against the selective singling out of such exports.
“The Foreign Ministry is leading the battle against the idea of labeling,” Hotovely said as she stood outside the Barkan Industrial Park in the Samaria Region of the West Bank.
Senior Israeli diplomatic officials have warned of the imminent publication of European Union legal guidelines that would allow member EU states to place consumer labels on Israeli exports produced over the pre-1967 lines in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
Her message, she said, is very simple. “Boycotting products from Judea and Samaria is a boycott against Israel. We do not see any difference between the industrial area of Barkan and the industrial area of Haifa. I came today to show the world what it really looks like, co-existence,” said Hotovely.
She explained that industrial parks in the West Bank where many of the exports to Europe are produced employ both Israelis and Palestinians who work together in the businesses.
Beware of friends bearing boycotts
"Like so many radical causes before it, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement now has its useful idiots."
Since Israelis cannot escape this reality, they have had to learn from it. And the lesson they learned is that there are no simple solutions. They have gradually accepted the stark reality that peace is unlikely so long as so many of their neighbors reject both peace and Israel’s very right to exist.
And yes, this reality is depressing.
Proponents of BDS and all who inhabit their fantasy world need to grow up or shut up. They need to realize that their simplistic scapegoating of Israel not only fails to further peace but actually empowers terrorism.
They need to understand that Israel and the entire West face a tidal wave of hate we did not create and therefore cannot easily abate. And they need to urgently stop condescending to Islamic terrorists long enough to listen to them. What they will hear will wake them up to the realities they are so desperate to deny.
Ambassador: Germany Strongly Opposes Boycott of Israeli Products
German new ambassador to Israel Clemens Von Goetze, his country’s former Foreign Ministry’s political director, told Israel Radio on Wednesday that Germany strongly opposes any kind of boycott of Israeli products. According to Von Goetze, the EU’s initiative to mark products originating in the settlements is merely a technical step.
Israel is anticipating a decision by the EU in the next few days on guidelines for member states to begin labeling goods from the settlements to differentiate them from products made inside Israel’s 1949 armistice border.
After South Carolina, Illinois and Ohio, New York State Senator Pushes for Anti-BDS Law
New York Senator Michael Gianaris vowed on Tuesday to introduce legislation barring the state from doing business with corporations or individuals engaging in the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel (BDS).
Gianaris — whose district represents swaths of the Queens New York borough — said the law would be the most comprehensive legislative measures taken to confront the BDS movement in New York to date, and it follows similar legislation in Illinois, South Carolina and Ohio.
South Carolina’s law, signed by Govenor Nikki Haley in June, does not mention Israel specifically by name, but prohibits state entities from contracting with businesses that boycott those based in or doing business with an area with which the state enjoys open trade.
The Illinois law more specifically required state entities to unload investments in companies known to be engaging in a boycott of Israel, while Ohio’s law was similarly fashioned on South Carolina’s law, and is still awaiting a final vote.
Dry Bones battles against BDS, media bias
Yaakov Kirschen, The Jerusalem Post’s famous Dry Bones cartoonist, is campaigning to raise funds for a very special project he’s designed to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the anti-Israel bias of the media. It’s called the Dry Bones Academy of Cartoon Advocacy.
Yaakov, could you tell us what that academy is?
Certainly. The Dry Bones Academy is my answer to the BDS boycott movement that has infected campuses throughout what we used to call the free world. And I’m reaching out to Dry Bones fans and Jewish foundations for grants and financial support.
How does the Dry Bones Academy answer the challenge of the BDS movement?
By training an army of cartoon activists to fight both the anti-Israel media bias and the propaganda and lies being spread by the campus boycott bullies.
UK Labour leader slams Jewish colleague’s sneer about ‘Jewish money’
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned allegations by a veteran party lawmaker who is Jewish that “Jewish money” dictates government policy on Israel.
Corbyn on Tuesday called the comments made a week ago by Gerald Kaufman “unacceptable and deeply regrettable,” the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported.
“Such remarks are damaging to community relations, and also do nothing to benefit the Palestinian cause,” Corbyn said in a statement. “I have always implacably opposed all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and will continue to do so.”
Corbyn said that at his request, the chief whip has met with Kaufman “and expressed my deep concern.”
Stop the War refuse to listen to Syrians during debate…on Syria
Only Westerners are allowed to talk about Syria
The Stop the War Coalition (StWC) have been accused of preventing victims of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from speaking at an anti-war event.
During a panel event on Monday evening to discuss the case against British military intervention in Syria, StWC included no Syrians on the speaker’s panel and reportedly refused to allow Syrians to speak from the floor.
The meeting was chaired by Labour MP Diane Abbott and featured chair of the Stop the War coalition Andrew Murray, former leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas, Labour MP Catherine West, Tory MP Crispin Blunt MP and SNP MP Tommy Shephard.
According to human rights activist Peter Tatchell, who attended the event, no Syrians were included on the panel and the Syrian activists who turned up to the event were threatened with arrest.
Speaking to LFF, Tatchell said:
“Some Syrian victims of Assad’s brutalities turned up but were not allowed to speak. They eventually shouted out in frustration, turning the meeting into momentary chaos, as they were jeered by some of the audience and as StWC stewards tried to eject them – allegedly threatening that they’d be arrested. The police turned up soon afterwards.”
Malmö, Sweden: Where BDS brings together Islamist and Leftist anti-Semites
In Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, that migrant crisis resulted in a Roma shanty town that was just torn down by police.
For the Jews of Sweden, and Malmö in particular, the collapse came many years ago, long before the current migration crisis.
I’ve been following the situation of Jews in Malmö since 2010. My first post, Malmö Syndrome on February 21, 2010, detailed the flight of Jews from Malmö due to attacks from Muslim immigrants tolerated if not encouraged by anti-Israel leftist politicians:
Malmö is the third largest Swedish city, and now the poster child for what I call Malmö Syndrome, the anti-Semitic violence which results from the shared anti-Israeli agenda of Islamists and leftists.
The result is that Malmö is being depopulated of Jews as a result of street violence by Mulsims and disinterest by left-wing politicians….
Pat Condell: The Rape of Sweden (h/t Cliff)

Pro-Jewish at a German daily - a personal story
Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Daniel Killy
“On January 15th 2014, I became the Executive Managing Editor of the Weser-Kurier, the only independent daily in the major German port city of Bremen. I was responsible for the contents and appearance of the daily edition. As part of my job, I was tasked with converting the very print-orientated mode of editing into a tri-medial news desk where the web edition, apps and the printed daily paper would be equally important.”
Formerly an Executive Editor with Bild, Europe’s largest paper, published by Axel Springer AG, Daniel Killy is a Jewish-German-American publicist, specializing in Jewish/anti-Semitic media issues.
“Bremen has been a tower of support for the Palestinians for many years. Since Germany returned to democracy seventy years ago, the city and the federal state have been governed by the Social Democrats. The Social Democrat left has been taking a very harsh stand against Israel, with one exception — Jens Böhrnsen, who served as President of the Senate and mayor of Bremen from 2005 until May 2015.
“Usually the hatred toward Israel — and the Jews— is barely hidden behind political arguments against the ‘oppression’ and ‘colonization’ of the Palestinians. Bremen is a stronghold of boycott, divestment and sanctions supporters (BDS). This makes it virtually impossible for a newspaper to speak out for Israel. I tried to change that by writing a number of pro-Israel op-eds and editorials.
“Before long, a storm of protest set in. I received anonymous threats, and was told that a leaflet discrediting my life and work had been circulated among Bremen’s politicians. Later I found out that the author of this Nazi-style denunciation was a former Weser-Kurier editor, himself the son of a notorious Nazi editor.
Times of London revives anti-Israel smear over Ethiopian blood donations
The Nov. 4th edition of Times of London includes a review by David Aaronovitch of a new exhibit at the Jewish Museum in London titled Blood: Uniting and Dividing. Aaronovitch explains that the exhibit explores the subject of blood through the lens of Jewish religion, culture, history and antisemitism.
Though the review mostly deals with the exhibit’s focus on the way in which blood has been used to demonize and vilify Jews, Aaronovitch also notes the following:
To its credit the exhibition also reminds visitors that in the 1990s the Israeli blood donation services took blood from Ethiopian immigrants, then routinely discarded it for no other good reason apparently than the race of the donors
However, as my colleague Hadar Sela has demonstrated, the definitive report by former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon, in 1996, into that very incident found that the disposal of Ethiopian blood donations during that time was not motivated by race. Rather, it was merely a failure by the blood services (MDA) to update an earlier (medically sound) directive from 1984 which related to the fear of spreading Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Turks Confused By Media Reporting Jewish Control Of Media (satire)
Consumers of Turkish news media expressed bewilderment today at allegations reported in the media that Jews control the news media, local sources reported today.
Across the Muslim world, conspiracy theories involving Jewish manipulation of finance, media, and governments have always found a willing audience, given the society’s insecurity over its perpetual lag in technology, democracy, and stability. This remains the case even in relatively advanced Turkey, where media outlets often invoke the tropes amid efforts to deflect blame from the government or to distract a restive population from domestic failures. However, the cumulative effect of such invocations now has Turks wondering whether those allegations have any credibility, since, if they are true, it would be counterproductive for the media to mention them.
“If the whole idea is to make people suspect the international Jewish cabal as the source of their troubles, it makes zero sense for the Jews to allow that suspicion to be bandied about in the media,” said Istanbul resident Addont Blivit. “But if it’s not true, then we can’t believe the media, because they keep reporting things that aren’t true. We don’t know what to think. It’s infuriating.”
French state rail company to compensate Holocaust deportees
Holocaust survivors and family members in the US, Israel and elsewhere can now apply for compensation from a $60 million fund for those deported to Nazi camps by France’s state rail company SNCF.
The application period for the French-funded, US-administered program opened Tuesday. The money will be available for survivors of deportations, or spouses or family members of deportees who have since died.
“We consider this a very important day. People have waited 70 years,” Stuart Eizenstat, US special adviser on Holocaust issues, told reporters.
The compensation will be calculated and distributed after the application deadline May 31, 2016, once organizers know how many people are eligible. Eizenstat said officials are considering making some payments to survivors before the deadline, because of their advanced age.
Survivors can expect to receive about $100,000 each, while spouses could receive tens of thousands of dollars, Eizenstat said.
New Index Fund Based On Israeli Tech Stocks Will Be Traded on NASDAQ
The first ever exchange traded fund that tracks stocks of Israeli technology companies has been launched and will be traded on the NASDAQ, the Israeli finance magazine Globes reported Tuesday. It will track the performance of BIGITech Index, a listing created by the American firm BlueStar Global Investors that tracks 65 Israel high-tech companies traded on stock exchanges in Tel Aviv, New York, London, and Singapore. The index, which will be traded under the ticker ITEQ, has a market cap of $72 billion, and features companies in the IT, computer and network security, energy, biotechnology, agriculture, and defense industries.
ITEQ is “the first U.S.-listed index product to focus on the full universe of established, emerging and disruptive technological innovation by Israeli companies,” said Steven Schoenfeld, founder and chief investment officer of BlueStar. “This is a unique opportunity for investors around the globe to access Israel’s dynamic tech sector for their portfolios.”
BlueStar announced the creation of the BIGITech Index in March. Schoenfeld explained to Forbes last week that such a fund is a good way to enable tech companies in smaller markets, such as Israel, to get recognized by investors in major stock exchanges.
Ashton Kutcher team invests in Moovit
Dude, there’s the bus! Actor Ashton Kutcher and talent manager Guy Oseary’s venture capital firm, Sound Ventures, has announced an investment in the Israeli Moovit transit app.
Moovit, which dubs itself as the top transit app in the world with service in over 700 cities, says it will use this investment to advance its growth in promising markets like India and China.
“We’re extremely proud to have Sound Ventures behind us as we continue to grow rapidly,” said Nir Erez, CEO of Moovit. “Investments like these help us to bring more public transit options to markets in need, like India and China, as well as to continue to strengthen our active community of editors around the world.”
Sound Ventures launched at SXSW in Austin, TX in March of this year. The company has invested in numerous other successful technology companies, including Airbnb, Uber, Spotify, Houzz and Zenefits.
Google Israel Flies Out Susan Boyle For Surprise Performance To Employees
In a rather under-the-radar visit, Susan Boyle the gifted singer was recently in Israel.
Creative Community for Peace posted she stopped by the Google Israel offices to give a surprise performance to employees, but it would seem they only got it half right: she did perform for Google, but at the Tel Aviv convention center.
Harvard starting Jewish and Israeli law program
Harvard Law School is set to launch a program on Jewish and Israeli law.
The Julis-Rabinowitz Program in Jewish and Israeli Law, established through a gift from hedge fund manager Mitchell Julis, will bring in visiting scholars, host an annual conference and offer courses.
Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman will be the program’s inaugural director. At 32, Feldman advised the Iraqi government on how to write its Constitution in 2003.
“Jewish law and Israeli law are distinct and different,” Feldman told Tablet. “Yet they also interact and make claims on each other. It makes sense to study them both in the same program, even as we study them independently.”
Harvard’s announcement follows the establishment of Yale University’s Islamic law center, which was started in September with a $10 million gift from Saudi banker Abdallah Kamel.
World’s Tiniest Bible Comes from Israel to the Smithsonian
In a special ceremony held this afternoon at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History in Washington, D.C., President Peretz Lavie, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, presented Smithsonian Secretary David J. Skorton with a Nano Bible, the world’s tiniest version of the Old Testament.
The Nano Bible – the first in the United States – will become part of the Smithsonian Libraries collection, housed in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology at the National Museum of American History.
Conceived of and created by Prof. Uri Sivan and Dr. Ohad Zohar of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion, in Haifa, Israel, the Nano Bible is engraved on a gold-plated silicon chip the size of a sugar grain. Its text consists of more than 1.2 million letters carved with a focused beam of gallium ions, and must be magnified 10,000 times to be readable. At less than 100 atoms thick, the Nano Bible demonstrates how people can process, store and share data through tiny dimensions using nanotechnology.
“The Technion is delighted to give this Nano Bible to the Smithsonian Libraries,” said Technion President, Professor Peretz Lavie. “The Nano Bible is a fascinating confluence of history, culture and cutting-edge science, making it, I believe, a perfect fit for inclusion in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.”
The Mystery of the Missing Jewish Books of Rome
“This book is entirely the work of my hands, for I copied it for my own use. I am Nachman, son of Rabbi Samuel Foa. I copied it in the year 5315, when I was 15 years of age, in the house of the generous person Samuel, son of Moses Kazis.”
A flash of the personal tucked into a colophon; the colophon framed with casual undulating lines; these doodles at odds with the meticulous pages of Italian-style Hebrew calligraphy that follow in young Nachman’s compilation of the work of Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra, the great medieval Spanish grammarian and commentator on the Bible; the text, in several places, blacked out, FBI-style, by Vatican censors, as was commonplace in mid-16th-century Italy; the pages worm-eaten, almost translucent, and bound in creamy velum: Here is an early Hebrew manuscript like dozens—hundreds—of other early Hebrew manuscripts.
Well, not exactly. Sprinkled through the pages of Nachman’s book are a handful of diamond-shaped stamps identifying it as having once belonged to the library of the Jewish community of Rome, a collection confiscated by the Nazis on Oct. 14, 1943, loaded on a freight train headed for Germany, and not seen since.
So, what is this manuscript doing in the Jewish Theological Seminary Library in New York City, and why is there one other like it, an anthology of Kabbalistic and philosophical writings, on a nearby shelf? What happened between 1934, when these volumes were listed in a partial inventory of the Roman collection drawn up by a man called Isaia Sonne, and 1965, its date of accession to the JTS? How did it and its companion survive, these two books nearly alone, from a fabled library that dates back to the Middle Ages?
There are no definitive answers to these questions—not yet, anyway. But they do frame quite a story.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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