Wednesday, January 27, 2016

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016
From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Lessons for today
Lessons for today International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorated today, is an occasion not just to reflect on the past but to marvel at the persistence and adaptability of Jew-hatred.
The day falls on the anniversary of the liberation by Soviet troops of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest German death camp. But Holocaust remembrance ceremonies – particularly in Europe – tend to focus as much on current events as on the horrors of Nazi genocide.
It is no secret that Jew-hatred is rampant in Europe.
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in London rose more than 60 percent during the 12-months ending November 15 over the same period a year earlier. Incidents in France were up 84 percent in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke this week of the dangers of Jew-hatred, particularly among “youth [from] countries where hatred of Israel and Jews is widespread.”
A new book based on surveys of 724 French Jews called L’an prochain à Jérusalem? (“Next Year in Jerusalem?”) found the French-Jewish community is “living with a strong feeling of insecurity.” Sixty-three percent of those polled reported being insulted for being Jews, and more than half reported being subjected to anti-Semitic threats.
Europeans have struggled to combat anti-Semitism but have met with little success. Why? Part of the answer has to do with longstanding, deep-rooted anti-Semitism.
The Holocaust started with words, not mass killings
Today, against the new propaganda of hatred, our challenge is to harness the power of new communication technologies to empower pluralism and human dignity for all, to combat anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
This new war for hearts and minds can be won only if we update and upgrade the tools of education, culture, science, and communication. Unesco was created 70 years ago for this purpose, and it leads a global programme for Holocaust education and genocide prevention, working with governments and teachers to instill this history in classrooms.
Bombs and bullets alone cannot defeat political poison. We must also win the battle of ideas. Schools, museums, and the media must help young people develop critical thinking skills.
Intellectuals, artists, and public figures must highlight the danger of indifference toward groups espousing intolerance and exclusion. Political leaders should encourage social integration and mutual understanding. This is how we can pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust — not only to lament the dead, but also to empower the living.
Sara Bloomfield is director of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Irina Bokova is director general of Unesco.
Netanyahu: World must stand with Israel ‘not for our sake, for theirs’
Jews are again being targeted for being Jews, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of International Holocaust Memorial Day.
“Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is more important today than ever, for in this period of resurgent and sometimes violent anti-Semitism, it is commemorations like this that remind us all where the oldest and most enduring hatred can lead,” Netanyahu said in a statement released Tuesday evening.
“Around the world, Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear. We see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state. Israel is targeted with the same slurs and the same libels that were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.”
Netanyahu said that “Islamic extremists incorporate the most outrageous anti-Semitism into their murderous doctrines,” citing the Gaza Strip, Syria and Iran. He also criticized the “obsession with the Jews – the fixation on the Jewish state.”
He said the fact that there is an independent Jewish state means “we can protect ourselves and defend our freedom.”
“When a state like Iran and movements like Daesh (Islamic State] and Hamas openly declare their goal of committing another Holocaust, we will not let it happen,” Netanyahu concluded. “But Europe and the rest of the world must stand up together with us. Not for our sake, for theirs.”



Netanyahu: Where's Europe when Iran, ISIS, Hamas call for another Holocaust?
The Jewish people is no longer powerless, but the international community needs to stand up against calls from Iran, Islamic State and Hamas to destroy the Jews, “not for our sake, but for theirs,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.
Netanyahu, in a taped message marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, said that anti-Semitism – “the oldest and most enduring hatred” – has not died.
“Unfortunately in Europe and elsewhere Jews are once again being target once again just for being Jews,” he said. “Around the world Jewish communities are increasingly living in fear as we see anti-Semitism directed against individual Jews, and we also see this hatred directed against the collective Jew, against the Jewish state,” he said.
Netanyahu said that today Israel is targeted with the same slurs and libels that “were leveled against the Jewish people since time immemorial.” Not only is “the most outrageous anti-Semitism” finding its way into the doctrines of the extremist Islamic movements, but “ even respected western opinion leaders become afflicted with hatred for the Jewish people, and the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu said that “the obsession with the Jews, the fixation on the Jewish state” defies any rational explanation. For instance, he said, while Islamic militants are brutalizing entire populations across the region, raping and enslaving women and murdering Christians and Gays, the UN Human Rights Council condemns Israel more than North Korea, Iran and Syria combined.
It is the Jews, however, who have changed, Netanyahu said, adding that Jews no longer need to beg for a safe haven or for protection.
EU head tears into 'Holocaust deniers sitting in EU parliament'
The President of the European Parliament has hailed the "miracle" of Jewish life reemerging in Germany once more, while warning that "the demons of the past" were making a return to the shores of Europe in the form of rising anti-Semitism.
Speaking in Brussels on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Martin Schulz told the assembled Jewish and European leaders that the fact that "more than 100,000 Jewish people live again in my home country, in Germany, for me it is a miracle."
But he warned that "miracle" was under threat, with increasing numbers of Jews leaving Europe as anti-Semitism continues to rise.
"It pains me that in today's Europe Jews again fear for their lives; that they ask themselves 'will I be safe going to a synagogue, or a Jewish job? Will my children be safe in a Jewish school?'
"It saddens me deeply... when young people are in doubt whether they can raise their children in Europe, whether it is right to stay. Some consider leaving Europe for good because they no longer feel safe."
 Chance discovery gives new life to little-known tale of Shoah salvation
In fact, no one knew of this Holocaust story until the Prague-based Matyášová uncovered it in 2010 through her work at Lidové Noviny, the oldest Czech daily newspaper.
The initial discovery came as part of an initiative to mark the 10th anniversary of a Holocaust education program in Czech schools. But the story grew into a five-year investigative journey, which in turn resulted in a book by Matyášová and a documentary film by the Jerusalem-based Dudinski.
The film, “Into the North,” a Czech-Israeli co-production, is screened this month in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on January 27, under the auspices of the Czech and Danish ambassadors to Israel, will mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The history of the Kindertransports that brought Jewish children from Czechoslovakia and other Central European countries to safety in England is well known. The same is true of the efforts of the late Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized the rescue of 669 Jewish Czech children on the eve of the war.
What is little-known, however, is the history depicted in “Into the North,” which portrays how 320 Jewish teenagers from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia found refuge in Denmark through the Youth Aliya program and thanks to the kindness of hundreds of Danish families.
On Holocaust Anniversary, Pope Francis Says People of Israel Are God’s ‘Treasured Possession’
On a world day of commemoration of the Shoah, Pope Francis spoke of the history of the people of Israel and God’s special bond of love toward them.
In his weekly audience Wednesday, Pope Francis compared God’s love for the Jewish people to that of a father toward his son, or a man toward his wife. “Through His servant Moses, God leads Israel in the wilderness as he would a son; he educates them in the faith and makes a covenant with them, creating a strong bond of love, like that of a father with his son or groom with his bride,” he said.
January 27 marks the “Day of Remembrance” to commemorate that same date in 1945 when the allies liberated the concentration camp at Auschwitz, and revealed to the world the horror that transpired there. It is celebrated to remember the Shoah, the holocaust of the Jewish people.
In his address, the Pope spoke of the singularity of God’s love for Israel, in setting the people apart as his own special possession.
God offers the Jewish people “a special, exclusive, privileged relationship of love,” Francis said. And when giving instructions to Moses regarding the covenant, God tells him: “Now, if you obey me completely and keep my covenant, you will be my treasured possession among all peoples, though all the earth is mine.”
US Army Officer Among Non-Jewish Honorees at Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony in Washington for ‘Righteous Among the Nations’
Four gentiles who risked their lives to save Jews during WWII will be honored posthumously on Wednesday at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC.
The ceremony, coinciding with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, will recognize these men as “Righteous Among the Nations” — a title awarded by Yad Vashem on behalf of the state of Israel and the Jewish people to non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.
One such righteous American, US Army Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds of Knoxville, Tennessee, “could no more have turned 200 of his men over to Nazi persecution than he could stop breathing,” a soldier who served under him told The Algemeiner this week.
Lester Tanner said Edmonds was “defiant in the face of the enemy at the risk of his life.”
Tanner and Edmonds were taken prisoner by the Germans and placed in a POW camp. Edmonds’ actions in defiance of German officials ended up saving the lives of both Jews and non-Jews at the camp.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Stop Using the Shoah to Attack Israel
Today, January 27, the United Nations will observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the date when the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was liberated in 1945. The creation of an International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005 was not the only monumental event in the fight against antisemitism to take place that year. In 2005, the European Union also formulated a working definition for antisemitism. This document — which also served as the basis for the US State Department’s definition of antisemitism — not only outlined classic examples of Jew-hatred, but also recognized the existence of modern antisemitism directed at Israel as the Jewish nation-state, specifically by “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”
Unfortunately, in the 10 years since, little progress has been made towards eradicating antisemitism. In fact, the EU backtracked from these guidelines, much to the delight of anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and activists. To no surprise, the use of Holocaust terminology to delegitimize Israel has risen: Zionism is compared to Nazism, Israelis are labeled Nazis, and the Star of David has been transformed into a Swastika on countless flags.
Sadly, the past year has only provided more examples of how anti-Israel organizations and activists hijack the memory of Holocaust victims to wage political and economic war on Israel. Many BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) activists have adopted this strategy, attempting to compare the Holocaust to the founding of the State of Israel, referred to by Palestinians as “the catastrophe” — the Nakba.
27 Jan 1969: Remembering the Baghdad hangings
Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Although the event is not remotely comparable to the mass extermination of six million Jews, it is also 47 years since the Ba'ath party regime hanged innocent nine Jews in Baghdad's Liberation Square. Percy Gourgey OBE z"l was a tireless campaigner for Jews in Arab lands. This is the text of a speech he delivered 17 years ago in London at a memorial event for the hangings.
"Thirty years ago today nine innocent Jews were publicly hanged in Baghdad's so-called 'Liberation Square,' falsely accused of spying for Israel. This atrocity shocked the civilised world and focused world attention on the cause of Jews of Arab Lands with all that implies especially in terms of human rights.
In London the day after the hangings with lurid photographs in the press, there was a mass protest demonstration outside the Iraqi Embassy in Kensington, London of over 5,000 people, organised by the Board of Deputies, the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue and other communal bodies. So effective was it that the Iraqi authorities summoned the British ambassador in Baghdad to complain about it and he replied that Britain was a free, democratic country and people were free to express their sense of outrage at such incidents.
Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Contest Had 16 French Attendees Last Year
Iran’s supreme leader Khameini, who has ultimate control of affairs of state, has repeatedly questioned the holocaust. The holocaust is “an event whose reality is uncertain and, if it happened, it’s uncertain how it happened,” said Khameini during a sermon in 2014.
The fact that European cartoonists attending the event were French more than any other nationality highlights an ongoing problem with anti-semitism that has caused many Jews to leave France altogether. Anti-semitic attacks in France saw an 84 percent increase between January and May 2015, compared to the same time period in 2014. The problem has become so rampant that Jewish leaders have told Jews to “hide” themselves when going out in public.
A prize of $50,000 is to be paid to the winner of the June contest.
Knesset Speaker: Hypocritical of Italy, France to host Rouhani on Holocaust Memorial Day
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and European Jewish leaders decried the "hypocrisy" of France and Italy hosting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, president of a Holocaust-denying regime, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday.
"I have no words for the hypocrisy of the presidents of countries, like France, that on International Holocaust Remembrance Day host the President of Iran," Edelstein said in the plenum. "We will have to continue our struggle to make sure the Holocaust is remembered and so that others' consciences will speak to them."
Edelstein mentioned the Holocaust cartoon contest sponsored by the Tehran municipality this week, carrying a $50,000 prize, saying: "We all thought the president of Iran was a cruel and insensitive person who hosts a Holocaust denial exhibition.
"It turns out that he is a very sensitive man, and all the [nude] statues in Rome had to be covered up in order not to offend him. And if you thought he's not cultured and doesn't respect science and culture, well, it turns out that on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he is going to give a speech at UNESCO," Edelstein remarked sarcastically.
The Value of Tolerance
Today is "Wear a Kippah Day" - Il Foglio Wants Your Selfie
The point is profound. We are, without protest, surrendering our formerly formidable demand for tolerance. If one religion wants members of OTHER religions to hide themselves -- not behind a veil but by appearing WITHOUT a veil, or a kippah or a cross or a turban -- that religion demands the surrender of others.
Il Foglio demands that we not surrender.
The question is not whether a Jew wears a kippah. It is whether others -- Jews and non-Jews -- insist that Jews have a RIGHT to wear a kippah -- and Christians a cross -- and whether non-Jews join Jews in wearing a kippah as a test of tolerance. Failure to do so would bode ill for Western civilization and its built-in requirement for tolerance.
Il Foglio has it exactly right. By providing the kippah, by asking readers to send "selfies" with their kippot, by holding Wear a Kippah Day, Il Foglio challenges its readers to express their support for tolerance.
Will you please wear a kippah today, January 27? Do it for Freedom of Religion for all of us. Send Il Foglio -- kippah@ilfoglio.it -- your selfie!
Why a Kippah Generates Hate
The implicit demand in the stand articulated by Bauman, which echoes past attacks on Israel by European artists and intellectuals, is that Jews may only render themselves safe from anti-Semitism if they disassociate themselves from Israelis seeking to defend their state and their lives. But as this latest incident shows, merely joining the lynch mob against Israel may not be enough for Jews. They must also strip themselves of any identifying characteristics that are openly Jewish lest they be confused with criminal Zionists. It’s not enough to oppose Israel; now Jews are to be asked to stop practicing their religion. One doesn’t need to be a student of 20th Century European history to see where this path ultimately leads.
This raises an important point about the current cultural crisis in Europe. In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks that included an assault on a kosher market and many other violent incidents, the focus for those worried about anti-Semitism has understandably shifted to Muslim immigrants to Europe and those who sympathize with international terror groups like ISIS. But as serious as that threat may be, the problem isn’t limited to Muslims or immigrants from North Africa.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted this week in advance of the international day of commemoration for the Holocaust that “anti-Semitism is more widespread than we imagined.” She’s right but the need for “intensive action” to combat the spread of the virus of hate can’t be limited to those that come from countries, as Merkel noted, with cultures “in which hostility toward Israel and anti-Semitism are a common practice.” The increase in anti-Semitism across Europe cannot be measured solely by counting the attacks on Jews by Muslim immigrants. The frightening spread of anti-Jewish terror from the Middle East to the streets of European cities is shocking. But the traction gained by those seeking to marginalize and single out Jews and supporters of Israel for opprobrium is as much a function of the prejudice articulated by academics, artists and those, like Brauman, who label themselves human rights activists, as it is the actions of Muslim immigrants. So long as such persons are allowed to pretend to be the more civilized face of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish actions, the spread of the virus of prejudice will not be halted.
French Jews treated 'like second-class citizens'
Speaking to Arutz Sheva from the European Jewish Congress General Assembly in Brussels, Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) President Roger Cukierman warned of the twin dangers of Muslim extremism and the French far-right, which he said are leaving French Jews feeling cornered.
Jews have lived in France "for 2,000 years," he noted, adding: "to see now that we are like second-grade citizens, having to be protected by the police and by the army, is pretty unacceptable."
"As if it was not enough, we have also the danger of a growing extreme right," he said of the National Front party. While the National Front no longer spews the anti-Semitic sentiment it was once notorious for, French Jews are extremely suspicious of its claims to have rehabilitated itself under the leadership of Marine Le Pen.
"All the descendants of the collaborators of the Nazis duirng the Second World War are within this party, and it complements a very bad atmosphere for the Jews in France," said Cukierman, who is also Vice-President of the EJC, while praising the French government for "fully backing the Jews" and providing protection at Jewish institutions.
Londoners tell us who's the worst human rights abuser: Israel or ISIS
We took to the streets of London to ask who has the worst record for human rights, Israel, ISIS, North Korea, Iran or Saudi Arabia. What people said will shock you.


European Officials Claim Spike in Anti-Semitism Due to “Reading Chart Upside-Down” (satire)
Amid fears that anti-Semitism is beginning to rear its ugly head on the once fertile, Jew-hating soil of Europe, an exodus off the continent has begun. Jews are starting to treat Europe like a bagel shop that ran out of lox, with more and more leaving every year. Many theories have been put forward as to why this migration is starting to take off, though most people cite increased anti-Semitic incidents. But it seems that European authorities have a different view, and say that anti-Semitism can’t be the root cause – not because anti-Semitism hasn’t increased, but because it has actually decreased.
“You see,” says French Police Chief Pepe Lepew, holding a chart in his hands, “you’re holding the chart showing the number of anti-Semitic incidents like this [Lepew holds the chart normally], when you should be looking at it like this [Lepew flips the chart upside-down].” The result of this Hilary Clinton-level flip-flop is that the chart’s anti-Jewish mountain has become a deep Jew-loving valley. Chief Lepew insisted to TMB reporters that this was the proper way to read the chart despite our objections that the axes and labeling were clearly upside-down. “Statistics aren’t science – like building a rocket, “responded Lepew, “they’re art- like painting a rocket. Look, I can hold this paper at all different angles, all resulting in different anti-Jewish trends. Actually… now that I think about it, if I hold the chart like this [flips chart around to the blank side], then we don’t have any idea how Jews are being treated! See? Problem solved!”
Iran says warns U.S. warship to leave waters near Strait of Hormuz
Iran's navy warned a U.S. warship on Wednesday to leave waters near the Strait of Hormuz where the Iranians were testing submarines, destroyers and missile launchers, news agencies reported.
The commander of Iran's fleet, Rear-Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, told Tasnim news agency the U.S. ship was trying to collect information in the Sea of Oman - an area close to the Strait, a vital oil and gas shipping route - and said it left quickly after the alert.
There was no immediate reaction from Washington which this month joined other world powers in lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic after Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear program.
In the days before that deal, Iran briefly detained 10 U.S. sailors after their boats entered its waters because of what they said was a navigational error.
Rouhani: ‘Israel lobby’ blocking friendlier US-Iran ties
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the “Zionist lobby” of torpedoing potentially positive ties between Tehran and Washington Wednesday.
Rouhani ‘s comments, which coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, were made to reporters in Italy before he took off for France during his first trip to Europe as president.
“It’s possible that Iran and the United States might have friendly relations. But the key to that is in Washington’s hands, not Tehran’s,” he said, according to Reuters.
“The Zionist lobby AIPAC is very active” and influential in the US, he said, in remarks translated by Channel 2.
He added that it was in Washington’s interest to no longer isolate Iran given the geopolitical reality of the region, saying it shouldn’t be pressured by what he called the Israeli and Jewish lobby.
Italians angered as nude statues covered to save Iranian blushes
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi came under fire on Tuesday after ancient nude statues in Rome's Capitoline museum were covered up to avoid any possible offense to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who is visiting the country.
Italy and Iran will sign up to 17 billion euros of business deals during the two day visit of the Iranian delegation which began on Monday, but Italian opposition leaders and commentators said Renzi had gone too far to please his guest.
Politicians on the Left and Right said not only had Renzi made almost no reference to Iran's human rights record during a joint news conference, but had also "surrendered" Italy's cultural identity by hiding the nude statues of women.
"Respect for other cultures cannot and must not mean negating our own," said Luca Squeri, a lawmaker in former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia party. "This isn't respect, it's cancelling out differences and it's a kind of surrender."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Vatican Covers Nudes But Pope Still Kisses Rouhani’s Ass (satire)
Officials in the Roman Catholic Church expressed shock and disgust today upon discovering that despite extensive preparations to make the artwork at the complex physically modest and welcoming to Iran’s president by covering many of the nude statues and paintings, the pope upended those efforts by kissing and licking the buttocks of his Muslim visitor.
A group of cardinals and Vatican staff privately voiced frustration over Pope Francis’s osculation of Hassan Rouhani’s backside yesterday, saying they felt they had toiled for nothing, and that the Holy Father had deemed worthless all the work they had done in preparation for the state visit. The staff and administration of the Holy See put in days worth of effort to conceal the numerous statues of unclothed or only partly clothed human figures that feature in the many classic works of art on display in the Vatican, and to do so in a simple, dignified fashion. Nevertheless, the Bishop of Rome for some reason saw fit to defy all those modesty measures by bending over and kissing the tuchus of Iran’s president by asking him to help fight terrorism in the region. Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
“I felt violated,” confessed Father Michelangelo Buonarotti, a custodian of some of the statuary. “I oversaw, and physically participated in, the assembly and installation of plain white covers to conceal some of the nude or mostly nude figures so that our guest would not be made uncomfortable by the ostentatious display of the human form. And then the Holy Father crouched down and kissed Rouhani’s butt with his remarks. I felt at that moment that I needed to vomit, and I’m still reeling from the episode a day later.”
“It was obscene, there is no other word for what he said and did,” echoed Cardinal Hans Tuchuslekker, a Vatican administrative official. “It would be one thing to just diplomatically say nice things, but to lick Rouhani’s tush like that, as if the guy doesn’t represent and enable the murder of thousands, including Christians – that was beyond the pale. I’m having a crisis of faith now.”
'Day of Action' launched for release of convicted Palestinian terrorist in US
Pro-Palestinian organizations in the US launched on Wednesday the "Social Media Day of Action" for the release of Rasema Odeh, a Palestinian-American activist who was found guilty of immigration fraud by an American federal jury.
Odeh was stripped of her American citizenship on 2014, after a Detroit federal jury convicted her of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization for concealing her life imprisonment in Israel.
In 1970, Israeli military court convicted Odeh of an attack that killed two people at a Jerusalem market in 1969, and sentenced her to a life term. Odeh did not serve the entire sentence and was released in 1980, in a prison exchange deal between Israel and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The campaign launched on Wednesday with the Hashtag "Justice4Rasema," aims at exerting pressure on the American authorities to accept the appeal delivered by Odeh's lawyers and let her free.
The LGBTQ Left Has an Anti-Semitism Problem
Not all hostility toward Israel doubles as hostility toward Jews. But when that hostility emerges from a generalized abhorrence of Israel; when it hinges on a theory that assumes Israeli Jews must be motivated by evil; when it finds expression in the angry ambush of two Jewish groups—then the line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism grows especially blurry. I do not think that the Creating Change protesters were vicious anti-Semites. But I do suspect that a majority of them were driven by ideas about Jews and Israel that are rooted in anti-Semitism. The conspiratorial tone of the demonstration, as well as the protesters’ willingness to blame Israel’s misdeeds on Israeli and American Jews, likely sprouted from anti-Semitic paranoia. Even the shape the protest took—an enraged mob assailing Jewish speakers—had ugly echoes of past anti-Semitic aggression.
Creating Change and the National LGBTQ Task Force are not representative of the American LGBTQ community. But they are fairly representative of the LGBTQ left, which holds significant sway within the movement. I doubt that LGBTQ Americans are, on average, more anti-Semitic than their fellow citizens. (Growing up in the South, I learned that many gentiles are comfortable supporting Israel and mocking Jews in the same breath.) But I am alarmed that so many young activists, many of whom have only recently escaped from prejudice and stereotypes, are now foisting prejudice and stereotypes on LGBTQ Jews. Friday’s shameful demonstration can only serve to revive old bigotries and legitimize baseless biases. The LGBTQ left must do better—or risk collapsing under the weight of old-fashioned anti-Semitism, cynically cloaked in the garb of social justice.
The New Israel Fund Disgraces Itself by Implicating Im Tirtzu in Rabin Assassination
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the Israeli NGO Im Tirtzu should feel flattered by the recent attempt by the New Israel Fund (NIF) to portray it as the anti-democratic rabble that was somehow complicit in the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Im Tirtzu recently posted an online video that called out four highly prominent and visible leaders of anti-Zionist Israeli NGOs funded by foreign governments and the NIF, accusing them of effectively being embedded foreign agents.
Using the same imagery in an obvious attempt to copy the original, the NIF released a similar video showing a picture of Rabin with the caption, “They’ve already dealt with this foreign agent.”
The NIF is clearly implying that Im Tirtzu somehow did Rabin in.
Now, the Left is not known for its subtlety of argument and debate. Disagree with it, and you are a fascist, Nazi or McCarthyite. But here the message is even stronger: Im Tirtzu aided and abetted murder.
BBC says it was 'inadvisable' for TV chief to sign letter opposing Israel boycott
The BBC has admitted it was “inadvisable” for former director of television Danny Cohen to add his name to a letter opposing a cultural boycott of Israel.
In a December email responding to a complaint, the corporation said it accepted that senior individuals “should avoid making their views known on issues of current political controversy” and it regretted the “impression” created by Cohen’s name appearing on the letter.
Cohen announced he was leaving the BBC on 13 October, little more than a week before the letter was published in the Guardian. He stopped working at the corporation the following month.
BBC TV chief Danny Cohen to leave corporation

In its response the BBC said that Cohen’s personal opinions on Israel had no impact on the BBC’s output, and while he was told of the corporation’s official stance, no further action was necessary given he had left.
SUCCESS: NPR Ombudsman Explains Map Error, Cites HonestReporting
Following National Public Radio’s (NPR) removal of an illustrative map that included “Palestine” in place of Israel, Elizabeth Jensen, NPR’s ombudsman has explained how the errors came to be, citing HonestReporting’s role:
The map portion of the illustration had a number of mistakes, the most notable being that Israel was labeled as “Palestine.” There were other errors, as well, as an editor’s note details. After the online pro-Israel publication HonestReporting posted a report that focused on the exclusion of Israel, critical emails began coming in. NPR’s editors moved swiftly to remove the map Sunday evening, as they should have.
I asked Marc Silver, the blog’s editor, how the errors came about. He told me by email: “The artist doing the illustration for this post added the map element. It was one of many elements in his illustration depicting what world travelers perceive as potential risks when they are abroad. We should have carefully reviewed each map label for inaccuracies and omissions and failed to do so.”
NPR has worked with the illustrator, Patric Sandri, once before and his portfolio includes work for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Bloomberg News, among others, Silver said. He added that Sandri used his own sources for the map but NPR takes “responsibility for these errors because of our failure to check the map carefully.”
Yahoo Removes Some Hate Sites from News Feed
Two fringe websites that had previously been featured on Yahoo's front page are now blocked from the internet giant's news feed, a Yahoo spokesperson informed CAMERA today.
Readers raised concerns after extreme and inaccurate anti-Israel articles by Veterans News Now and American Herald Tribune, the latter cross-posted by another fringe site called MintPress News, appeared on Yahoo's front-page feed. The sites often publish anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay bigotry, along with Holocaust denial and September 11 conspiracy theories.
After CAMERA yesterday questioned Yahoo about its promotion of a distorted MintPress piece originally authored by American Herald Tribune, a spokesperson replied that "MintPressNews does not uphold the editorial standards of Yahoo and was immediately blocked on January 21."
The spokesperson also noted that Veterans News Now was blocked in December 2014. This was shortly after CAMERA informed Yahoo of VNN's virulent anti-Jewish bigotry.
2 Jewish schools in Florida evacuated after bomb threat
Jewish schools in two Florida cities were evacuated after receiving bomb threats.
The Meyer Academy in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was evacuated Tuesday morning after police responded to a threat to the Jewish day school. The threat also forced the evacuation of the Mandel Jewish Community Center, located next door, according to reports.
Students and employees were sent home for the day.
In Maitland, Florida, located near Orlando, pre-school and elementary students at the Jewish Academy of Orlando were evacuated to a nearby public elementary school after a bomb threat was called in to the school at about 10 a.m. The public elementary school also was locked down as a precaution, according to local media. Parents were informed to come and pick up their children.
The caller said he wanted to hurt as many children as possible, Maitland Police Lt. Louis Grindle told Orange County television station WFTV.
Eichmann begged Israel to spare his life, new papers reveal
President Reuven Rivlin was making public on Wednesday previously unreleased documents, including a handwritten request for clemency from Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann.
Rivlin’s office said in a statement that the request to then president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi would be presented at a ceremony at Rivlin’s official Jerusalem residence to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Although found not guilty of personally murdering anyone, Eichmann was convicted of playing a key role in the genocide of the Jewish people and sentenced to death on December 15, 1961.
In the petition, written after he was brought to Israel in 1960, then tried, convicted and sentenced to death the following year, Eichmann says that the Israeli court overstated his role in organizing the logistics of Hitler’s “Final Solution,” which involved the extermination of six million Jews.
“There is a need to draw a line between the leaders responsible and the people like me forced to serve as mere instruments in the hands of the leaders,” Rivlin’s office quotes the letter as saying.
Sony acquires Israeli chipmaker Altair for $212 million
The Israeli technology industry has notched its first mega-exit of 2016: Entertainment technology giant Sony has acquired Israeli chipmaker Altair for 25 billion yen (about $212 million).
Altair was founded in 2005 and employs 220 workers in Israel and worldwide. The company was a pioneer in modem chip technology and related software for Long Term Evolution, a 4G cellular standard for mobile devices.
Its technology is currently in widespread use for everything pertaining to exporting data from cellular phones. The purchase of Altair gives Sony a technological foothold in the Internet of Things (IoT) field -- which refers to the installation of communications networks in various products and accessories -- and will serve as a springboard for Sony's capabilities in that arena.
How Israel became the go-to place for cyber-security
Most people grumble about how the government spends their money, but a new report on the Israeli cyber industry shows that money laid out by the Chief Scientist’s Office of the Economy Ministry was indeed well-spent. Released by the IVC Research Center, the report highlights the tight interplay between industry, investors, and the government in turning Israel into a center of cyber-security technology. Indeed, it is second only to the United States, according to Gadi Tirosh, managing partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners, which has been one of the country’s most active investors in cyber-security.
"We have a very unique partnership here that has made Israel into a clear number two in cyber-security,” said Tirosh at a press conference introducing the report. “We have hubs of expertise in which cyber-security experts develop new ideas into companies, supported by the Chief Scientist’s Office, and as those companies grow, venture capital investors get involved. The talent here is world-class and Israeli cyber-security will continue to a big part of the solution to our global cyber-security challenges.”
The most interesting part of the report was not the text, but an accompanying cyber-security industry map that lays out in spider-web map form style exactly how much of an impact the Israeli cyber industry has had on the world – to the extent that Israel over the past two years has been responsible for about 10% of worldwide sales in cyber-security solutions. The map was created by Israeli start-up Weave, which, according to company CEO Or Riegler, clearly shows “the importance of the Chief Scientist, as well as the positions of other players in the industry.”
Jewish Actor Abe Vigoda, known for 'Godfather' role, dies at 94
Abe Vigoda, an American actor best known for roles in "The Godfather" and the 1970s sitcom "Barney Miller," died on Tuesday at the age of 94, after spending three decades jokingly refuting rumors of his demise.
Vigoda's daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, said her father died at her home in New Jersey. "He died in his sleep, of natural causes. He was not sick," she told Reuters.
Vigoda, who was adept at drama and comedy with a hang-dog face, slouched posture and slow delivery, played mobster traitor Salvatore Tessio in "The Godfather" in 1972, his first credited movie role. His character was doomed for betraying the Corleone family in the film but had a cameo role in the flashback scenes of "The Godfather Part II" two years later.
His most famous role was as the grumpy and deadpan Detective Sergeant Phil Fish in the "Barney Miller" police comedy series. He picked up three supporting-actor Emmy nominations for the part.
1,700-year-old inscriptions linked to ‘rabbis’ unearthed in Galilee
Three 1,700-year-old funerary inscriptions referring to rabbis written in Aramaic and Greek were recently unearthed in Moshav Zippori, near the Western Galilee, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Wednesday.
The finding was made following a joint effort carried out by residents of the moshav, researchers from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology of the Kinneret Academic College, and the IAA.
According to the IAA, two Aramaic inscriptions mention individuals referred to as “rabbis,” who were buried in the western cemetery of Zippori, although their names have yet to be deciphered.
“The importance of the epitaphs lies in the fact that they reflect the everyday life of the Jews of Zippori and their cultural world,” said Dr. Motti Aviam of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology.
“Researchers are uncertain as to the meaning of the term ‘rabbi’ at the time when Rabbi Yehuda Ha-Nasi resided in Zippori together with the Tannaim, and after him by the Amoraim, the large groups of sages that studied in the city’s houses of learning.”


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