Wednesday, May 11, 2016

From Ian:

Daphne Anson: Marvellous Melanie on British Leftist Antisemitism
Nobody tells it better than Ms Melanie Phillips. A must-watch (or listen-to) video.
Nearly an hour's worth of footage, but this wonderful woman is worth every minute.
To quote the uploader:
British Columnist for The Times, Melanie Phillips, critiques attempts
by the Left to equate Antisemitism with Islamophobia, distorting the
truth about Islamism in the process.
JBS exclusive coverage of an
ISGAP program from the ISGAP Center in NYC.

Islamophobia vs Antisemitism


Speakers at University of London event call for the Jewish state’s demise
Just when you think you have heard it all along comes Tariq Ali to lecture Israelis on how the end of the Jewish state will benefit not only Palestinians but Israelis as well.
For Ali the main problem in Europe isn’t anti-Semitism but Islamophobia. He admitted there was some anti-Semitism in the Arab world but it was only brought about by reaction to Israel and that once Israel has disappeared antisemitism will disappear.
Ali was speaking last night at the University of London’s Student Union in front of an audience of 300 alongside anti-Israel author John Rose, Weyman Bennett of Unite Against Fascism, Lindsey German of Stop the War Coalition, Arthur Goodman of Jews for Justice for Palestinians and “As a Jew” activist Walter Wolfgang .
The main message of the evening was that antisemitism is being used merely to attack Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and to silence all criticism of Israel (aka the Livingstone formulation). Both John Rose and Ali then went on to explicitly call for the demise of Israel.
On entering we were handed an unsigned leaflet headed “Labour Jews Assert” which stated that “Some people…are wielding ‘antisemitism’ allegations as a stick to beat the Corbyn leadership”. Luckily, Jonathan Hoffman was on hand to circulate printed copies of the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism. EUMC shows that what these people claim isn’t antisemitism actually is!
Superb Jonathan Hoffman @ULU Malet street 9/5/16
The superb Jonathan Hoffman took to the microphone during the Q&A to articulate Israel’s case under immense pressure.
Last night there was no mention of Hamas and Hezbollah and their genocidal intent to destroy Israel and every Jewish person worldwide. Neither was it mentioned that Hezbollah flags are openly on display at Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop The War Campaign protests in London and that the Holocaust is flagrantly traduced.
This tells you ALL you need to know about PSC and STWC types however “anti-racist” they try to claim they are.




'Israel only country allowed by US to modify new stealth fighter jets'
Israel is unique among America’s allies in that it is the only country on earth that enjoys special dispensation to install modifications on US-made military hardware, according to an Internet report.
The tech magazine WIRED reported this week that not only will Israel be the first US ally to receive the brand-new stealth F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jet, but it will be alone among the Pentagon’s customers that will be permitted to outfit the warplane with its own technological enhancements.
The first Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet, due to be delivered to Israel in December, has entered an advanced production stage.
Jeff Babione, head of the F-35 program at Lockheed Martin, said the plane would upgrade Israel’s tactical and strategic capabilities, and strengthen relations between the company and the IAF, Defense Ministry, and Israeli defense industries for many decades to come.
Israel has purchased 33 F-35A fighters jets at an average cost of $110 million per aircraft. The first two aircraft are due to arrive at the Negev’s Nevatim airbase in December this year, and the air force is preparing to integrate them into its operations.
According to WIRED, Israel will be permitted to install “customized software and weapons” while also allowing the Israeli Air Force to service the planes independently.
Captain America, the UN and the Temple Mount
The movie Captain America: Civil ͏War posits a difficult question: where should moral responsibility reside? Should it be in the hands of an individual (even those with superpowers) — or should it be delegated to an organization that enjoys some sort of collective legitimacy?
Of course, Captain America is not a philosophical treatise, but a Hollywood blockbuster. Still, this dilemma is very real in our current world, where some people do have much more power than others. George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Juilan Assange, Mark Zuckerberg — those are but a few examples.
SPOILERS AHEAD.
It is easy to laugh at the idea that, in our world, any kind of real authority can be invested in an evil and corrupt organization like the UN. But the question is still there, and it is legitimate.
In the movie, Tony Stark signs an international accord that gives the UN power over the Avengers — both because he is hoping to avoid a further escalation of a conflict between the Avengers and the rest of the world, and because he genuinely believes that people like him should not be fully trusted. Steve Rogers (Captain America) freely admits to mistrusting any such authority, and refuses to sign. He believes that his moral judgement, however flawed, is better that “anything devised by a committee.” He also argues that, in the end, following orders from above doesn’t abdicate him or anyone else from personal accountability.
UNESCO's resolution of hate against Israel
UNESCO was created in 1945 after World War II not as a political body but to contribute to peace that would be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.
UNESCO betrayed its own principles and ethos by the resolution, passed by the Executive Board on April 16, 2016. Not only inaccurate historically and factually, the resolution was one partly of self protection for reasons of security, but mainly one based on hatred and animosity to the State of Israel, and on the part of some countries, of antisemitism.
The resolution, submitted by seven Arab countries including Egypt passed by 33 in favor, 6 against, and 17 abstentions. France, Spain, Russia, and Sweden voted in favor; the U.S, UK, and Germany voted against.
The vote of France, which has experienced terrorist massacres in Paris, was particularly surprising and disappointing. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova dissociated herself from the resolution, saying it was a political decision by the economic council and the management council of UNESCO, and she herself was opposed to it.
UNESCO does not have a good record regarding Israel and Jewish holy places.
In 2010, and again in October 2015, resolutions proclaimed that Rachel’s tomb near Bethlehem and the Cave with the tombs of the Jewish patriarchs in Hebron (Ma’arat HaMachpela), which are mentioned in Genesis, were Islamic holy sites. The new 2016 resolution reaffirms that the two sites are an integral part of “Palestine,” and calls on Israel to end its illegal, archeological, excavations there.
French PM: UNESCO vote on Jerusalem was ‘unfortunate, clumsy’
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday said a UNESCO resolution on the Temple Mount that ignores any Jewish connection to Jerusalem was “clumsy” and “unfortunate” and should have been avoided.
The Paris-based UN cultural body adopted the resolution on April 16, sparking outrage in Israel and among Jewish organizations which decried its total disregard of a historic Jewish connection to the holiest site in Judaism. The resolution refers to the Temple Mount area solely by the Muslim terms Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Haram Al Sharif, except for two references to the Western Wall Plaza that were put in parentheses.
“This UNESCO resolution contains unfortunate, clumsy wording that offends and unquestionably should have been avoided, as should the vote,” Valls told the French parliament.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also criticized Paris’s vote in favor of the resolution, telling an event organized by CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, that he does “not take a supportive view of the text.”
The resolution “should not have been adopted,” Cazeneuve said at the event in Paris, adding that the resolution passed “was not written as it should have been,” the Le Figaro daily reported.
Rubio: Israel to Keep Golan Heights in a Permanent Syria Settlement
Israel needs to hold on the Golan Heights “for the foreseeable future” to as a buffer against the instability in Syria, and “the wisdom of that has only increased” since Syria descended into an intractable civil war, former presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in wide-ranging talk at the Hudson Institute on Tuesday.
Rubio, who had recently returned from a trip to the Middle East, offered his views on the war against ISIS, the futures of Syria and Iraq, Iran’s regional aggression, and American global leadership. He argued that American engagement after World War II was essential in developing global peace and prosperity, especially in Asia. While economic shifts have caused some Americans to want to disengage from the world, the vacuums that ensue often end up threatening the United States.
“From the pure selfish national security interest of the United States, we want to see stability in Syria, in Iraq, because in the absence of that stability you are going to have radicalized groups who are going to be using it to stage and conduct external operations against the United States and its interests,” he explained. Rubio clarified that the “radicalized groups” include not only ISIS, but also Iran, which has seized upon American disengagement from the region as an opportunity to expand its sphere of influence and threaten American allies.
Trump says he’ll visit Israel, where he thinks everyone likes him
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he believes he enjoys “massive” support from Israelis as he announced he would visit Israel before the presidential election, in an interview published by an Israeli daily Tuesday.
Trump told the free Israel Hayom tabloid that he had not heard of Israelis disliking him, despite a number of recent polls showing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton as the favored candidate in the Jewish State.
“You are the first person to tell me that there are people in Israel who view me in a negative light, because I enjoy such massive support in Israel,” Trump told interviewer Boaz Bismuth.
His comment came in response to a question on whether he could assuage the fears of Israelis who believe he would be bad for their country for demanding US allies, including Israel, pay for American military assistance.
Trump added, “We are going to defend Israel. Israel will get assistance. Don’t forget that Israel is a bastion of hope for America in the region. Israel is the most important.”
Trump to Israel Hayom: Israel is the US's bastion of hope
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says that if he is elected, "we are going to protect Israel" • "We are going to make sure Israel is in very good shape forever," Trump pledges, declaring that he will be visiting Israel "soon."
Q: As we speak, today, Israel remembers the victims of war and terror. Our memorial day is today and in a few hours we will begin celebrating Independence Day. As you know, the threats facing Israel have not gone away. On the contrary. As Israelis remember their dead, and then celebrate their independence, what message would you like to send the Israeli people?
"I think that the threat to Israel right now is greater than it has ever been because of what happened with Iran and the Iran deal made by President [Barack] Obama. I think it is a horrible, horrible situation that our president has placed Israel in and I think that Obama has been very, very bad for the people of Israel. I just want to tell them that I am extremely strongly in favor of Israel, I respect it and have loved the people of Israel for a long time. I have many friends who are from Israel and we're going to make sure that Israel is going to be in very good shape forever."

Democrats Continue to Endorse CAIR, Despite Knowing Its Ties to Hamas
According to US Senator Charles Schumer, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is known “to have ties to terrorism,” and cutting off contact with the Islamist group “should be government-wide policy.”
Also according to Schumer, D-N.Y., CAIR is to be applauded “for its determination to continue to spread humanity around the world and to cultivate mutual understanding amongst Americans of all backgrounds and cultures … I know that the Council on American-Islamic Relations will continue to serve New York State and the nation for many years to come.”
One of these assessments must be wrong. So which description does Senator Schumer believe?
He’s not saying. Emails and a telephone call seeking comment from his office in recent weeks drew no response.
His comments critical of CAIR came during a 2003 Senate hearing, and in 2009 correspondence with the FBI. The praise came in a letter written for the group’s annual fundraising banquet last Fall.
In 2009, Schumer joined with Republican Senate colleagues Jon Kyl of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma in writing to the FBI to praise reports that the Bureau had cut off all non-criminal investigative contact with CAIR due to its roots as part of a Hamas-support network. The Investigative Project on Terrorism broke the news about the FBI policy to shun CAIR one month earlier.
Al Sharpton Pairs with CAIR to Help BDS Supporters Oust SDSU President
Al Sharpton's race-baiting National Action Network has joined forces with the terror-linked Council for American-Islamic Relations to provide "muscle" to the anti-Israel BDS students on San Diego State University's campus in order to help them oust President Elliot Hirshman.
The call for Hirshman's resignation came from SDSU's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) who were upset that the president didn't rescue them from the "#StopTheJewHatred" campaign posters recently posted on campus by David Horowitz's Freedom Center. On the posters, specific names were listed of prominent student and faculty BDS activists who openly support terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas and Fatah. Members of SJP and the Muslim Students Association considered the posters hate speech and viewed them as threatening to the safety of the students mentioned. Hirshman's less-than-full-throated agreement made him target number one.
After Hirshman issued a statement in support of free speech on the SDSU campus that failed to outright denounce the posters' claims, an incensed mob gathered around him as he tried to leave campus inside the safety of a police car. He was held hostage for hours by the BDS supporters. When they finally let him speak, he softly apologized for anything he said that might have upset them. That appeased them enough to move away and let him leave, but that didn't satisfy their bloodlust.
When ‘antiracists’ are the racists: Left-wing anti-Semitism in Britain
Braunold, though very critical of his former left-wing comrades, is nevertheless too easy on them. The far leftist opposition to recognizing Jews as an ethnic minority, which Braunold suggests is based on a coherent if misguided version of anti-racism, disappears when it’s politically convenient, which suggests a lack of principle. Britain, after all, has a large, vocal contingent of “As a Jews”–left-wing individuals of Jewish descent, typically atheists with no ties to the organized Jewish community, who preface their harsh criticisms of Israel with “As a Jew…” “As a Jews” were mercilessly satirized as “ASHamed Jews” by Howard Jacobson in “The Finkler Question.”
The “As a Jews” are especially valuable to the anti-Israel left, for obvious reasons. I have yet to see any British “anti-Zionist” leftist respond to an “As a Jew” by stating something along the line of, “I appreciate your anti-Israel sentiment, but as a good anti-racist I don’t recognize Jewish ethnicity. Therefore, being that you’re an atheist and all who hasn’t observed any Jewish ritual since at least your circumcision, you’re not a Jew, and it’s highly offensive to cynically use the fact that your ancestors were of the Jewish religion to try to score political points.” Instead, the “As a Jews” are trotted out, front and center, to serve as “anti-Zionist” spokesmen.
This accentuates my point that the far left is, in fact, willing to acknowledge Jewish corporate existence beyond religious ties, but, as a I wrote, only “to the extent Jews rely on their residual memories of collective oppression to aid left-wing liberation movements,” including and especially the Palestinian nationalist movement. As I’ve pointed out before, if you’re only against racism when it serves your broader political goals, then you’re not really against racism.
UPDATE: It’s also worth noting that while the British far left relegates Jewish identity, which has always had an ethnic/peoplehood component, to oblivion except when it’s political useful, it has racialized Muslims, so much so that the Malia Bouattia, who is of Algerian descent and not of especially dark complexion, is said to be the “first Black president” of the National Union of Students. There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this except what’s politically useful.
Who Is Responsible for Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party? Jeremy Corbyn.
In an otherwise excellent column written just weeks before Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, the Scottish journalist Stephen Daisley declared that, “Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. How I wish that he were. How much easier it would make things. We could chalk all this up to the prejudices of one man and we could avoid the raw, awkward conversation we’re about to have.” Daisley didn’t excuse Corbyn; far from it. He argued rather that Corbyn was a “symptom and a symbol” of the left’s “anti-Semitism problem.”
But this too falls into the trap of seeing Corbyn as, at worst, a naïve, left-wing variety of the stereotypical British eccentric. Corbyn, according to this narrative, means well; he just isn’t very perceptive when it comes to the sensitivities of British Jews and, conversely, overly solicitous of radical Muslims whom he views as anywhere and everywhere oppressed by Western imperialism. To believe this explanation for Corbyn’s behavior, however, is to accept the false notion that British anti-Semitism manifests itself solely in the form of Oswald Moseley’s black-shirted thugs, or ageing Tory Lords trading Jew jokes in the backrooms of London’s most exclusive private clubs.
At some point, you earn a reputation for the company you keep and the environment your leadership engenders. It really doesn’t matter that Jeremy Corbyn (as far as we know) has not explicitly said anything anti-Semitic in the literal sense of the term. He has surrounded himself with, elevated, and shielded all manner of people who have, stubbornly backing down only when it has become politically untenable to continue defending them. All the while he denies that his party even has an anti-Semitism “crisis” in the first place. Like a stinking fish, the Labour Party rots from the head, and the head is Jeremy Corbyn.
Jewish UK Labour activist backed to replace Livingstone on party committee
The former president of Oxford University's Jewish and Israel society will likely replace ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone on the UK's Labour Party National Committee, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
Scottish Jewish Labour activist and ex-chair of the Zionist Youth council, Rhea Wolfson, was recommended to the post after winning the support from left-wing political organization Momentum earlier this week.
The move comes following Livingstone's abrupt suspension from the Labour party earlier this month after he said during a BBC broadcast that Hitler supported Zionism.
Momentum, described as a grassroots movement supportive of current UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, released a statement shortly after announcing their pick for the position.
“Rhea Wolfson is a very impressive young woman, committed to fighting for a more democratic party and a credible democratic socialist agenda."
The statement added: “As a young, Jewish Scot, she will provide important perspectives that will improve the running of the Labour Party.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Study Links UK Labor Antisemitism With Days Ending In Y (satire)
An analysis of the scale and drivers of antisemitism in Britain’s Labor Party has found a statistically significant correlation between the phenomenon and days ending in the letter y, researchers have confirmed.
Researchers at the Institute for Demographic Investigation of Objectionable Topics (IDIOT) looking at the prevalence of, and contributing factors to, hate for Jews among members of the country’s center-left party found what they are calling a stunning overlap of days of the week ending in the letter y and manifestations of that hate in public. The results of the study are available in the newest edition of the IDIOT monthly journal, due out in June.
For the study, IDIOT researchers conducted a meta-analysis of existing surveys that looked at prejudice in the ranks of Labor, and looked for common threads. While some correlation exists between increased levels of Muslim membership in the party and antisemitism, the researchers found that correlation to be weak compared to the link between the specific prejudice and days ending in y – a one hundred percent correlation, said lead researcher C. DeForrest Forthtrys.
“It’s rare in statistical studies that anything achieves a correlation of one hundred percent,” said Forthtrys. “That makes it all the more remarkable, because this is not new information. It could have been observed much earlier, and calls into question the judgment and perception of all previous antisemitism studies.”
In France, an uncertain future for Jews
France is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, and its most troubled.
A wave of anti-Semitic violence in recent years has shaken Jews in this country to the point where growing numbers no longer see a future here.
Some have simply left. In 2015, approximately 8,000 French Jews abandoned France for Israel — a record number that has grown with each passing year. Meanwhile, others have decamped to London and elsewhere.
“I don’t have any hope anymore, honestly,” said Noemie, a middle-aged French Jewish woman who appeared in a recent BBC documentary with her mother, who said she no longer even felt safe publicly identifying as Jewish in France. The documentary aired in April.
But those statistics — and the stories behind them — are complicated. Not every case can be attributed to anti-Semitism, and many French Jews who have officially relocated to Israel still spend a portion of every year in France.
There are some Israelis, such as Omer Shatz, a human rights lawyer living in Paris, who consider France safer than Israel, where the prospect of stabbings, bombings and attacks are a seemingly inescapable reality.
“In terms of security, I don’t believe that Israel is a safe place for Jews,” he said. “Or for anyone else.”
But a sense of anxiety nevertheless pervades a community that accounts for just 1 percent of the total French population but nearly half of all victims of what French authorities call “xenophobic” violence.
All Muslim Terrorists are Crazy
A Muslim terrorist stabbed four people at a train station near Munich while screaming, “Allahu Akbar”. In between proclaiming the glory of Allah, he also shouted that his victims were all “unbelievers”. A woman heard him say, “Infidel, you must die”.
The German authorities came to the inescapable conclusion that the attack had nothing to do with Islam. Instead the Muslim terrorist had been “mentally ill” and was probably not even fit to stand trial. The Koran wasn’t to blame. It was the fault of his psychological problems.
This isn’t surprising. It’s a well known fact that there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. Instead there are just a lot of people out there, of Muslim origin, suffering from a unique set of psychological problems that cause them to shout Allahu Akbar while trying to kill people who aren’t Muslims.
This should not however be attributed to the notoriously peaceful religion of peace.
Just last week the FBI busted James Muhammad who had been plotting to shoot up a Florida synagogue for the “glory of Allah”. Muhammad explained that he wanted to murder the men, women and children praying at the synagogue because, “I have a lot of love for Allah”.
Not only did this minor story receive only a fraction of the attention devoted to the truly important news that a Muslim teenage girl had Isis written in her High School yearbook, but Muhammad’s lawyer insisted at a bail hearing that he isn’t a terrorist, just suffering from mental problems.
Hashtags, Periscopes and Vines take over Israel’s Foreign Ministry
Ideally, this entire article would be composed of no more than 140 carefully chosen and tweeted characters.
If that were to prove impossible, the next best option would be for it to be comprised of an interlocking series of 140 character blurbs constituting a tweetstorm.
Barring that, we’ll do our best using an old-fashioned format. The Israeli foreign ministry today hosted an auditorium full of eager journalists, both foreign and local, and senior Twitter executives who were in Israel to announce a $250,000 award to whoever engineers the best global ads api (application program interface: a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications) promoted by the hashtags #startupnation #innovation #promoteprize.
According to Rowan Barnett (@rowbar), Twitter’s Senior Director for Media for countries outside of the United States, this was the first such launch and the first event of its type held in conjunction with a foreign ministry.
Israel’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, launched a scheme for anyone tweeting a pro-Israel message accompanied by the hashtag #IsraelRetweetedMe. Every message chosen would be retweeted by the State of Israel’s 148 official twitter feeds, some of which are followed by hundreds of thousands of people. The first beneficiary was Guy Levy, a technology writer for the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, who started out on Sunday with 250 followers and twenty-four hours later had multiplied that by ten. “I started out addicted to Facebook,” he said, sounding like a recovering alcoholic, and echoing many Israelis, “but now I’ve been turned on to twitter.”
Hillary v. Liberals on BDS
For a presidential candidate to take a pro-Israel stand in the middle of a campaign is not generally considered going out on a limb. So when, at the prompting of a Jewish group, Hillary Clinton wrote a letter opposing the BDS — boycott, divest, sanctions — movement that targets Israel, she was merely doing what almost all candidates, both Republican and Democrat, have done in recent decades. Though it can be dismissed as a transparent pander, Clinton’s statement may do some good. The former secretary of state is a Methodist and by taking such a public stand only a week ahead of that church’s General Conference slated to be held next week in Portland, Oregon, it’s possible that she may shame some delegates into opposing resolutions that support BDS. But while no one should consider Clinton’s letter to be an act of courage, it does illustrate the stark divide within the Democratic Party over Israel and the efforts by some on the left to wage economic war on the Jewish state.
Just days before Clinton’s letter (which was sent to the Jewish Action Network that wrote to her rather than to the Methodists themselves), the Pew Research Center released a new poll that illustrates both the continuing depth of broad-based support for Israel in the United States as well as the widening split within the Democratic Party on the question. The results place Clinton’s statement about BDS very much in the mainstream of American opinion while at the same time as putting her in the minority among the liberal base of the Democratic Party.
The Pew results show that when it comes to the Middle East conflict, a clear majority of Americans still view Israel more sympathetically than the Palestinians. Overall, 54 percent back the Israelis while only 19 percent are on the side of the Palestinians. Israel retains the support of a majority within every age group, all educational levels, and even among the supporters of both major parties and independents. The highest levels of support come from Republicans (75 percent) and conservatives (79 percent).
New York Times Again Downplays BDS Extremism
Not for the first time, The New York Times today downplayed the aims of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, transforming it from an radically anti-Israel group into nothing more than a critic of the country's West Bank policies.
In a brief piece about Hillary Clinton's criticism of the BDS movement, reporter Maggie Haberman asserted that BDS merely is "critical of Israel's policies toward the West Bank."
In fact, there's a virtually unanimous consensus — one including critics of BDS, critics of Israel's policies in the West Bank, and even the movement itself — that BDS is about so much more.
For example, the BDS movement, in a mission statement protesting Israeli policies and supposed "colonialism" since 1948 (that is, long before Israel controlled the West Bank), calls for the Jewish state to be sanctioned at least until it accedes to Palestinian demands for a so-called right of return. This call for an influx of the descendants of Palestinian refugees is broadly understood as a way of eliminating Israel by engineering away the country's Jewish majority.
Omar Barghouti, a founder of the BDS movement, certainly understands this, and has not been shy about admitting his goal is for Israel to be replaced with a "unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority."
 Anti-Israel Week Clouds Holocaust Day at UC Irvine
Several groups of students at the University of California Irvine held anti-Israel events last week, upstaging Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), the annual memorial of the genocide of 6 million Jews during the Second World War.
This year, Yom Hashoah was held on May 4. Anti-Zionism week was held between May 2 through 5.
The anti-Israel events on campus, spearheaded by the Muslim Student Union, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine and the American Indian Student Association, were marked under the title “Anti-Zionism: The Roots of Oppression,” according to UCLA student Shani Shahmoon, writing in the Observer.
Shahmoon writes:
On the UCI campus, several events marked the occasion. Programs denying Israel’s right to exist and condemning Israel over the conflict with the Palestinians were featured. …
Anti-Zionism Week’s activities included a discussion comparing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the dispossession of land from American Indians, as well as a talk by Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, activist and spokesman for the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta.
IsraellyCool: Hillel Commemorating the Nakba: The Only Path to Enlightenment
I got a message from a friend today telling me that Brown-RISD Hillel is commemorating the Nakba tomorrow.
So let me get this straight: Jewish Students are mourning the failure of a genocidal group that tried to annihilate them.
UPDATE 2 (5/10/2016 @10:19pm): The event was not cancelled, as you may have been told. It is to take place in the Hillel building, but is no longer sponsored by Hillel due to external pressure. The organizers, Sophie Kasakove, Ben Williams, and Eital Schattner-Elmaleh, made a new event, this time a private one – only those invited can see it
Study: 1 in 6 Israeli Academics Hides National Identity Due to Fear of BDS
A recent study found that one out of every six Israeli academics hides his or her national identity when submitting drafts of research papers in order to avoid being a victim of the academic boycotts fueled by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“These are the new hidden Jews, the new anusim (forced converts) within Israeli academia,” said International Freedom of Research Center (IFRC) Director Sharona Goldenberg, who presented the study’s findings at a Tel Aviv conference on antisemitism and the BDS movement. “By putting them into a situation where they need to hide their identity, the boycotters are breaching their basic rights.”
The IFRC study, conducted last month, surveyed 500 Israeli academics who live in Israel and abroad. Israeli academics, according to the study, sometimes use only part of their name or a different name when they first submit proposal drafts. At other times, scholars will not use Israeli subjects in survey samples or data related specifically to Israel.
Technion head warns of international BDS attack on Israeli universities
Israel’s most important resource has been under international attack by anti-Israel elements for some time, Prof. Peretz Lavie, chairman of the Association of University Heads in Israel (VERA) and president of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology said this week.
Lavie issued a statement in response to reports that the University of Chile’s Law Faculty student union had voted to approve a BDS resolution against Israel.
“The academic boycott of Israeli universities has begun to metastasize outside the US and the UK,” he said.
“We all have to understand that an academic boycott means a boycott of the strategic advantage of the State of Israel – its human capital. This is our most important resource and it is under international attack by anti-Israel elements for a long time,” he added.
Lavie called on the government to intervene and consolidate its efforts to counter BDS.
At Haaretz, Is Style Guide Just a Suggestion?
About the word "settlement," Haaretz's English style guide states:
In these parts, a word with political connotations. Use it only for a Jewish locale in the West Bank (or former/evacuated settlements in Gaza).
Indeed, in the Israeli-Palestinian context, the word "settlement" refers to an Israeli community over the Green Line and that is how it is most often understood.
Nevertheless, in his Haaretz Op-Ed earlier this week, Moshe Arens uses the term to mean something else. His Op-Ed begins:
In Israel's doorstep -- within mortar range of Israeli settlements and rocket range of Ben-Gurion Aiport -- live two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Arens isn't referring here to a Jewish locale in the West Bank or an evacuated settlement in Gaza. He is talking about Jewish communities in southern Israel, close to the Gaza Strip.
UK Media Watch prompts Guardian and Indy revisions
As we noted recently, a Guardian article by Sian Cain (Michael Chabon witnesses ‘grievous injustice’ in occupied territories, May 6th) included the following paragraph, with background on the “Palestinian territories” Israel “entered” during the 1967 war.
Chabon and his wife, writer Ayelet Waldman, are contributing to and editing the as-yet-unnamed book of essays that will be published to mark the 50th anniversary of 1967’s six-day war, when Israel first entered the Palestinian territories: the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, parts of the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.
As we explained, the Golan Heights were seized from Syria during the Six-Day War and were never ‘Palestinian’ – even in the broadest sense of that often misused term.
We complained to Guardian editors, and they agreed to remove reference to the “Golan Heights” from the article.
Owners of UK Kosher Restaurant Hit by Arson Attack Say They Will Prevail as Police Investigate Crime (VIDEO)
The owners of a kosher restaurant in Manchester said on Tuesday that they will not be discouraged by the recent arson attack against their eatery, which police are investigating.
Amos and Martine Vaisman, owners of Ta’am Grill and Restaurant, said on Facebook that they “worked against the odds” and are “delighted” to announce their restaurant’s grand opening on Wednesday. They added, “We want singing and dancing and lots of enjoyment.”
The Vaizmans planned the grand opening of their restaurant’s new location in Prestwich — a town in Manchester that has a large Jewish community — for Monday. They even placed a full-page ad in a local paper to promote the event. But that was before their establishment was engulfed in flames on Friday night.
Surveillance video footage shows two men inside the restaurant pouring liquid everywhere. A ball of fire then erupts all around the Bury New Road restaurant, followed by an explosion.
Manchester Police received the surveillance footage and confirmed that they have launched an investigation into the attack. Surveillance footage from around the area is also being collected and reviewed, according to Breitbart. A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said the two offenders gained entry into the restaurant by breaking a window and that they used gasoline to set fire to the cooking surface, which caused intense damage to the entire restaurant.
Canada prevents anti-Semitic comedian from entering country
Canadian border services agents in Montreal sent convicted anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala back to France after he landed in Montreal for a series of ten sold-out shows.
The move on Tuesday came following his latest conviction in France only hours earlier for breaking hate speech laws, for which he was fined $11,400.
It also came in the wake of more than two weeks of pressure on Ottawa by Jewish groups to keep Dieudonne from entering Canada based on his numerous convictions in Europe over the last decade for hate speech and Holocaust denial.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre had said Dieudonne was not welcome.
“It would seem that the [Canadian Border Services Agency] made the right decision today,” said David Ouellette of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “Through his incitement to violence, glorification of terrorism, and anti-Semitic vitriol, he was clearly not admissible to Canada.”
Brooklyn Jewish school bus arson investigated as hate crime
Police on Tuesday were looking for five African-American youths seen on video torching a Jewish school bus in a Brooklyn neighborhood marred by race riots in the 1990s.
An 11-year-old boy has already been arrested and charged as a juvenile with arson and criminal mischief in the Sunday evening blaze, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Surveillance video shows a group of boys running off the bus as it catches on fire, police said.
The bus belonged to the Bnos Chomesh Academy, a girls' high school in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, where tensions between the Jewish and black communities living side by side spurred riots in 1991. Police Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said a group of six youths took flat cardboard boxes on the unlocked bus and set them on fire on the seats.
"It was purposefully done with prior planning," Boyce said. "Clearly this was a religious school bus. Anyone in the community knows that."
It was the third incident being investigated by police as a possible hate crime during the past week in the neighborhood. On Friday, a bus driver for a different Jewish school said his side mirror was pelted with a brick and smashed by someone.
Salesforce acquires Israeli startup Implisit for tens of millions of dollars
Companies around the globe are constantly looking for new ways to improve their sales teams’ efficiency, with many methods relating to their CRM (customer relationship management) software. To aid this process, Salesforce has acquired the Israeli startup Implisit, which developed a technological solution for forecasting potential deals through analysis of sales teams’ and their clients’ correspondence and existing documents.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Salesforce has acquired the company for “tens of millions” of dollars, citing people familiar with the matter. Salesforce is in the midst of a startup acquisition campaign, with five different company purchases in the last five months: MetaMind, PredictionIO, SteelBric, MinHash, and now Implisit. The enterprise giant has also purchased Israel startups in the past: In 2011, Salesforce bought Navajo Systems, followed by the buyout of BlueTail a year later.
Implisit has built software that is essentially another layer of analysis on top of the company’s corporate CRM systems. Its technology combines full automation, algorithmic data mining, and intelligent data entry to provide meaningful insights for its client’s sales teams.
Implisit’s system knows how to dig through the sales team’s textual information and help them in every aspect of their CRM activities. It uses emails and different modes of communication between the sales team and the client to estimate the likelihood of a potential sale and provide predictive analytics.
The Lost—and Found—Jews of Crete
During the Nazi occupation of Greece in 1944, the Gestapo rounded up the roughly 300 Jews living on the isle of Crete. They were herded onto a cargo ship headed for the Greek mainland with Auschwitz as their ultimate destination, but were spared the gas chambers in a cruel twist: The British torpedoed the ship. No one survived.
Etz Hayyim synagogue is the only remnant of the Ovraiki, or Jewish Quarter, in Chania, Crete’s second-largest city, which was home to the island’s Jewish community. The building stands in the same place it’s been since the Middle Ages, crammed into the city’s old town, a walled maze of alleys fanning out from a pretty harbor with a medieval lighthouse. The Ovraiki’s Jewish community stretched back some 2,300 years, surviving all kinds of invaders: Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans. Today, though, there are barely more than a dozen Jews left in Crete, and much of the quarter is home mostly to Starbucks and shops selling “I Love Crete” T-shirts.
For decades after Chania’s Jewish community was destroyed, the synagogue stood dormant. It was desecrated. Used as a dump, a urinal, and kennel. Pounded by earthquakes. Filled with dead animals and broken glass, its mikveh oozing muck.
Then, after half a century, Nicholas Stavroulakis arrived and took on the synagogue as his mission, starting reconstruction in 1996. Today, Etz Hayyim holds weekly Shabbat services and hosts a research library with some 4,000 volumes—which began with Stavroulakis’ personal collection. Next month, Etz Hayyim will honor both its past and its future: On June 14, it will host both its annual memorial service for the hundreds of Crete’s Jews lost during WWII, as well as an exhibit marking the 20th anniversary of the reconstruction.
In a recent interview at his family home in Chania, Stavroulakis told me how Etz Hayyim came to be so important to him. “It called out to me,” he said. “It had become a monument to the victory of Hitler and the Nazis. Not only had the Jews all been killed but their very history was being erased. To my mind, it had to be saved at all costs.”
Ernest Michel, Auschwitz survivor and Jewish leader, dies, 92
Ernest (Ernie) Michel, who after surviving Auschwitz and a forced death march went on to become a prominent American Jewish communal leader, has died at 92.
Michel died at his home in Manhattan on Saturday.
He worked as a Jewish communal professional for more than 60 years, joining the staff of the United Jewish Appeal in 1947, according to UJA-Federation of New York. He served as its executive vice president from 1970 to 1989, overseeing the merger that created UJA-Federation of New York.
Michel also served as chairman of the World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and negotiated with the Mormon Church over the church’s practice of posthumously baptizing Jews who died in the Holocaust.
According to an interview printed on Wollheim Memorial, a site featuring testimonies of numerous Holocaust survivors, Michel was born in Mannheim, Germany, in 1923, the son of a cigarette manufacturer. In 1939, he was deported to a forced labor camp and later to Auschwitz. After a forced death march to Buchenwald in January 1945, he was forced on a second death march in April, which he managed to escape.
Inside Israel's Secret Startup Machine
Even in the hallowed annals of teenage hackerdom, this never-before-told story might top them all. In the early 1990s Avishai Abrahami found himself, as required for most Israelis when they graduate from high school, enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces. But Abrahami had been assigned to a division he wasn’t allowed to speak of, not even to his parents–a crack cybersecurity and intelligence team known as Unit 8200.
He was given an assignment that seemed right out of Mission: Impossible. Break into the computers of a country that remained in a state of hostility with Israel. The task contained several hurdles: First, figure out how to get into those computers; second, how to crack the encryption; and finally, the monumental challenge, how to access the “enormous amount” of computing power necessary to decrypt the data.
So here’s what Abrahami did once he thought he could breach the targeted computers: He broke into the computers of two other hostile countries and hijacked their processing power to suck out the data held by the first target. A masterwork of spycraft–and a primitive precursor to cloud computing–done without leaving his chair in Tel Aviv.
“If we had to do it with a computer researcher,” says Abrahami, “it would have taken us a year. It took us a day. I’m trying to think what would have happened if someone had discovered it, what a crisis that would have created.”
But (until now) no one ever did. Which is consistent with a unit whose existence, until roughly a decade ago, had never even been publicly acknowledged or identified.
The public did, however, hear about Abrahami, who’s now 45. After leaving Unit 8200, he cofounded Wix, currently one of the world’s leading cloud-based Web-development platforms.



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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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