Friday, August 05, 2016

From Ian:

Chloe Valdary: Black Lives Matter’s Jewish Problem Is Also a Black Problem
On Aug. 1, the Black Lives Matter coalition (BLM) of groups and partners published a platform of objectives and demands ostensibly constructed to correct heavy-handed policing, educational negligence, and economic inadequacy in black communities.
That platform did no such thing.
Instead, organizers offered up a hodgepodge of half-baked ideas in the service of creating a new world order, one in which defunding police, releasing all political prisoners from jail, and redistributing of land are imperative.
Moreover, apparently believing that societal reforms in America’s inner cities are somehow related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, BLM included a section on Israel in its list of demands. With trite talking points, the group called for a divestment from the Jewish state as it is allegedly “complicit in the genocide against the Palestinian people.”
What this means is unpleasant to contemplate. An organization formed to confront systemic prejudice against black Americans—which predates the reestablishment of the state of Israel—is now intimating that such prejudice is caused by the Jewish state’s supposed genocidal tendencies (which, according to census reports, have led to a population increase among Palestinians).
Though I find no intrinsic value in “rebutting” crackpot conspiracy theories, it’s worth demonstrating how far removed BLM is from honoring the legacy of its ancestors by reminding readers just how pro-Zionist prominent leaders in the black community have been throughout history—and how Zionism helped shape black politics in America.
Why the Jewish Left Encourages Hate
The Jewish left has a problem. Their belief that Israel is the obstacle to peace with the Palestinians has transformed itself over the last generation from a coherent political position to an obsession that is disconnected from the reality of the conflict. Many are so frustrated with this failure that they are willing to even excuse anti-Semitic comments as long as they are directed at Jews they don’t like. That is the only way to understand Peter Beinart’s recent column in Haaretz, in which he not only sought to justify the disgusting statement of a congressman that compared West Bank settlers to “termites” and criticizing those mainstream and liberal Jewish groups that spoke out against him.
The incident stemmed from a forum held at the Democratic Convention last week by an anti-Zionist group called the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation at which Representative Hank Johnson spoke. The mere presence of a member of Congress at a forum hosted by a group that promotes the anti-Semitic creed of BDS that seeks to eliminate the Jewish state should have been enough to justify condemnation of Johnson by the entire Jewish community from left to right. But taking his cue from the vicious ideology of his hosts, Johnson went further than just endorsing the group’s positions. As the Washington Free Beacon reported, Johnson described Jews living in communities in the West Bank as “termites.” The insect analogy was, as our Daniella Greenbaum noted last week, straight out of the traditional playbook of classical anti-Semitic hate. The point was not merely to oppose the existence of settlements—a position that some Israelis hold–but to delegitimize the people that live there making them, in effect, fair game for the daily terrorist attacks to which they and other Israelis have been subjected.
The ADL and Jewish leaders like Rabbi David Wolpe responded with condemnation and Johnson eventually apologized for what he conceded was “an offensive analogy.” But Beinart is unhappy with Johnson’s critics because he thinks the “truth” about settlements should override any objections to his vile language. Beinart is convinced that settlements really are functioning like insects eating away at the fabric of Palestinian life and preventing peace. Moreover, he worries that American Jewish sensitivity to anti-Semitic language is serving to suppress condemnation of settlements and settlers. From his point of view, the only way to save Israel from itself is to unleash the kind of virulent attacks that will isolate the Jewish state and force it to withdraw from the West Bank and Jerusalem regardless of whether the Palestinians have demonstrated any desire to live in peace with them. If that means making common cause with those who want to destroy Israel and kill its Jews, so be it.
Melanie Phillips: The unused weapon of mass instruction
As a result of this summer’s jihadist terrorist attacks in France and Germany, public discussion has become yet more urgent about how to combat Islamist radicalization.
Over the years, many explanations for Islamic terrorism have been advanced to show that it has in fact nothing to do with Islam.
These have included poverty, social exclusion, Islamophobia and “grievances” over conflicts such as Bosnia, Kashmir, Iraq, Chechnya, Palestine and now Syria.
To the Western mind, these “grievances” have no common factor – even while the terrorists, along with other jihadis burning Christians alive in Africa or slaughtering civilians from London to Paris to Tunisia, scream “Allahu akhbar” as they commit atrocities in the name of Islamic holy war.
The rise of Islamic State, committed to establishing a Muslim caliphate, exposed the vacuity of such thinking. Why were tens of thousands of young Western Muslims signing up to an Islamic supremacist death cult? In scrabbling for an answer, Western politicians still determined to deny the reality of religious fanaticism were sure about one thing. Islamic State was “un-Islamic” or even “anti-Islamic.” Religion couldn’t be the cause of such depravity.
In the wake of this summer’s attacks, fresh explanations have been heard. If the terrorists appear to have acted alone (which usually turns out not to be the case) they are “lone wolves” and therefore not jihadi foot-soldiers. If they appear to have a psychiatric history, they are said to be mentally ill and therefore not jihadi foot-soldiers.



Isi Leibler: US Jewish leaders are on the edge of the abyss
The American presidential elections have created an unprecedented climate of political chaos. Both candidates are reviled by the bulk of the electorate, and many intimate that they intend to abstain from voting.
The polls originally predicted that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide, but the odds have now dramatically narrowed and in this explosive environment, Republican nominee Donald Trump may well be elected.
American Jews are caught in this maelstrom. Regrettably, many of their leaders have seemingly hibernated and failed to speak out even when U.S. President Barack Obama maligned Israel. They justified their silence on the grounds that criticism of the president would shatter what remains of bipartisanship. But these same constraints do not seem to apply when attacking Trump. Nor were there any concerns of bipartisanship when liberal Jews correctly attacked the George H. W. Bush administration for open hostility to the conservative Shamir government.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee paved the way for the current situation by treating bipartisanship itself as the goal instead of utilizing it as a means of achieving the primary objective -- promoting the case for Israel. This was outlined last month in a comprehensive article in the online Tablet magazine by Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon titled "The end of AIPAC's Israel monopoly." The article documents how AIPAC's obsession with retaining the monopoly on Israel advocacy -- in which, admittedly, it had achieved a tremendous track record of success -- began to erode when it remained silent in response to Obama's negative policies and biased condemnations of Israel. AIPAC also failed to speak out against J Street, which undermined it with the assistance of the administration and falsely claimed to represent Jews at the grassroots level.
Fred Maroun: No my friend, you are not right-wing on Israel
I often hear people say “I am left-wing on most issues, but I am right-wing on Israel” to indicate that they oppose the hateful and uninformed anti-Israel rhetoric that is too often repeated by people who define themselves as left-wing.
No, no, no, no, no, no!
By saying that, you are saying that failing to be hateful towards Israel is right-wing. How on earth is that? Is it right-wing to not be racist or to not be homophobic?
How can it be right-wing to be fair towards the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, the only LGBT-friendly country in the Middle East, the only country in the Middle East that aims for gender equality, and the only country in the Middle East that respects human rights?
How can it be right-wing to recognize the Jews’ right to self-determination?
The Definition of Zionism
Have you ever wondered why so many people have been saying so many hateful things about Zionism?
This hatred has to come from somewhere, it has to take root in someone’s mind somehow. People aren’t born hating someone. There’s probably a lot of people out there who hate Jews because they have been raised to hate Zionism, what 99% of Jews regard as the ideology that brought them national self determination.
The MP Naz Shah is a rare example of someone who wanted to understand what the offence she caused was and get to grips with the antisemitism of sharing hateful memes, slogans and rhetoric about Zionists and therefore about almost all Jews.
There are more than a few clues out there as to what’s going on.
Take the words of an organiser of 2016’s al Quds Day parade through London:
“Murdering and killing children…just like last time, that’s their hobby, that’s what they’re about. Zionism stands for killing and brutality: that is the definition of Zionism. That is why. Ladies and gentlemen, we have been joined by the true Jews, the true Jews, you can see, are the rabbis in the front of the procession. They are the true representatives of Judaism. They are the true humanitarians. Zionists are basically a plague. They are a fascist ideology who have nothing to do with the peaceful religion of Judaism. The Zionists – you can see them – some of them have been following us and tracking us along the procession, trying to provoke. That is what they enjoy doing, that is part of their DNA: to kill, to murder, to create chaos and havoc. But this is our message: we are black, white, Indian, Jewish, Christian, Sikh and we’ve got one message, and our message is: In our thousands in our millions we are all Palestinians”
Douglas Murray: UK: A Tale of Two Inquiries
During the course of a hot summer Britain's Labour party is in meltdown on a range of issues. But among the worst parts of its meltdown are those to do with its continuing effort to cover up the party's serious anti-Semitism problem.
As we have pointed out here before, the party's leader -- Jeremy Corbyn -- has such a long history of association and sympathy with some of the world's most extreme anti-Semites that it is hard to see how the party's problems could not trickle down as well as up. Now two developments suggest that the Labour body politic has become so wracked by this problem that it is unlikely to recover.
The first demonstration was the confirmation that one of this year's two "inquiries" into anti-Semitism in the party had been hobbled before it even began. Anyone closely observing this review (ordered by Jeremy Corbyn, after a string of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments by Labour MPs, Councillors and members of the party's National Executive Committee were exposed) knew that it was unlikely to be anything other than a whitewash. The person in charge of this review -- veteran left-wing campaigner Shami Chakrabarti -- had already demonstrated it was unlikely that her review would seriously probe the party's problem; she talked of the problem of anti-Semitism only by also highlighting "Islamophobia and other forms of racism'. This circumlocution -- beloved of Jeremy Corbyn himself -- avoids tackling the specific problem of anti-Semitism and clearly aspires to dilute the problem in a sea of other challenges.
UK Jews slam peerage for author of probe that played down Labour anti-Semitism
Human rights lawyer Shami Chakrabarti was tasked by Corbyn to carry out the inquiry in late April, amid an escalating row about anti-Semitism in Labour that saw suspensions for a string of party members. Submitted in June and heavily criticized by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the report concluded that Labour was not overrun by anti-Semitism or other forms of racism, but did acknowledge an “occasionally toxic atmosphere.”
“It is beyond disappointing that Shami Chakrabarti has been offered, and accepted, a peerage from Labour following her so-called ‘independent’ inquiry,” the Guardian on Friday quoted Board of Deputies vice president Marie van der Zyl as saying.
“The report, which was weak in several areas, now seems to have been rewarded with an honor. This ‘whitewash for peerages’ is a scandal that surely raises serious questions about the integrity of Ms. Chakrabarti, her inquiry and the Labour leadership.”
The peerage for Chakrabarti was the sole honor from the Labour Party among the dozens requested by former British prime minister David Cameron. The so-called “resignation honors,” bestowed by the monarch but chosen by the government, are an established way for departing leaders to reward loyal lieutenants.
JPost Editorial: No endorsements
Throughout the US presidential election campaign, The Jerusalem Post will not endorse a Democratic, Republican or any other candidate.
This has been the paper’s policy in past elections and it will remain so in the present one, despite the possible misperception of some readers.
Part of the reason has to do with the fact that bipartisan support for the State of Israel continues to remain strong in the US. Regardless of whether the Democratic or the Republican candidate is voted into office, we are confident that Israel will continue to have the backing of the US. Ties between the countries will remain unshakably strong.
The two countries share common values and beliefs that are rooted deeply in their respective societies. Regardless of who is elected in November, cooperation between Israel and the US will continue to be close.
Our paper’s reporting strives to reflect this position as well. We make every effort to report fairly and evenhandedly on developments affecting both candidates, rising above the temptation to favor one or the other. Of course, we criticize, analyze and expose the positions of both candidates, particularly on issues of import to Israel or to the Jewish people, as part of our duty to inform our readers.
In which BBC Radio 4 links Israel’s anti-terrorist fence to Donald Trump
BBC coverage of Israel’s anti-terrorist fence has never stood out as a shining example of journalistic impartiality but nevertheless, on August 2nd Mishal Husain – presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme – managed to plumb new depths with the following introduction to an item which can be heard from 44:23 here.Today 2 8
“We hear a lot from Donald Trump about the wall he’d like to build along the US-Mexican border: an idea perhaps inspired by Israel’s security barrier.
Does Donald Trump have anything to do with this story? Obviously not. Does Husain have any evidence-based information which would back up her speculation? Highly doubtful. That however did not prevent her from promoting tabloid-style false linkage between the two unrelated topics. Husain continued:
“Construction began in 2002 after a series of suicide bombings and it is now 60% complete. In the wake of recent attacks on Israelis, the government has promised to reinforce parts of it and make it harder for Palestinians to cross. Katy Watson reports now on what the strategy has achieved.”
The investigation into the terror attack at Sarona Market in June showed that the terrorists had infiltrated via a breach in the fence near Meitar and the government did indeed immediately allocate a budget for repair of the fence in that area.
Georgia Democrat meets Jewish groups after ‘termites’ apology
Johnson, addressing an event organized by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation during last week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia, had said settlements were “almost like termites [that] can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself.”
After criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, he apologized for what he said in a tweet was a “poor choice of words” but added: “Point is settlement activity continues slowly undermine 2-state solution.”
When ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a response that describing settlement as “termites” deserved an apology with no further rationalization, Johnson, in a subsequent tweet, agreed.
“You’re right @JGreenblattADL I sincerely apologize for the offensive analogy. Period,” he said.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Johnson also met with The Atlanta Jewish Times, which in an editorial had condemned his remarks.
Owen Smith gets booed when he tries to tackle antisemitism
I’ve just been listening to the Labour Leadership debate from Cardiff. In general, it seemed that Jeremy Corbyn was being applauded more enthusiastically than Owen Smith. However this pattern changed when a question was asked about how Labour was dealing with the question of antisemitism (40:25).
Both men, of course, condemned it – yet now the applause was louder for Smith, as though Corbyn supporters were less energised by this issue. However they did clap more warmly when he observed (correctly, to be fair) that some of the problems preceded his leadership. Then things got nasty – Owen Smith began to be heckled increasingly aggressively. He pointed out that this in itself might perhaps reflect a problem – a hostile atmosphere in the party. Not surprisingly this observation didn’t go down well.
Corbyn supporters insist that they were not booing Smith’s desire to deal with antisemitism – they claim that they were angry because Smith seemed to be weaponising the issue unfairly, implying the problem only arose with Corbyn, and did not exist prior to his leadership. Yet if you listen to the debate the jeers clearly begin before that point, and cannot be ascribed to any unfair focus on Corbyn himself. In fact Owen Smith could be said to have shown restraint on this topic – he certainly steered clear of some of the controversial episodes in the Labour leader’s past, usefully summarised here by James Bloodworth.
'I was the campus anti-Semite,' says reformed Muslim Zionist
Kasim Hafeez's pro-Israel activism on university and college campuses today, is a far cry from when he was a student himself. "I was the campus anti-Semite," he confessed, looking back to his days as a Politics student at Nottingham Trent, UK.
Hafeez, 32, is a British Muslim of Pakistani origin whose full time job now, is working as the Outreach Coordinator for Christians United for Israel. But some ten years ago, he was busy making noise on his own campus, in the opposite direction: "If Israel even sneezed in the wrong direction we were protesting. We held events with speakers who were blatantly anti-Semitic, but we couched it by saying they were anti-Zionist. I was generally obnoxious, loud and threatening," he admits.
Now living in Canada, Hafeez, is due to speak next week at a conference on anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activity on campus, hosted in Boston by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. There he will share the story of his transition from Islamic radicalism to pro-Israel activism - a subject he has related to students of different religions, ethnicities and backgrounds on campuses across the globe. His departure from the UK was largely due to the shift in his politics, and the huge strain it put on his personal life.
German university denies course used anti-Zionist material
A German university is defending itself against accusations that it promoted anti-Zionist ideology by offering a course whose material gave a one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including accusations that it harvested body parts from dead Palestinians.
Dr. Rebecca Seidler, an academic who had been asked to teach a companion course at the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, contacted the Central Council of Jews in Germany after reading the material for a course on the “Social Situation of Young People in Palestine.”
She objected that rather than addressing a variety of social conditions in the West Bank and Gaza, the course readings focused solely on political and anti-Israel issues.
Defending the course, University President Christiane Dienel said in a statement that “the examination of critical reading material does not imply that a lecturer maintains the views presented as his or her own or promotes them.”
An independent expert commission has now been established to review the course content, and several news articles have exposed the controversy.
German university drops Palestine class amid anti-Semitism claims
A German university is ditching an upcoming seminar that claims Israel harvests the organs of dead Palestinians after local Jewish groups and faculty member accused the institution of promoting anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli content.
The University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) in the northern city of Hildesheim said Friday it is redesigning its teaching on the Middle East conflict and social work in the coming academic year.
The university on Friday announced the seminar “on the social situation of young people in Palestine” would be cancelled and replaced with a more general module on Middle East conflicts.
Earlier this week, the university defended the seminar, saying the course material “only serve[d] as reading materials and are used to train students in critical discourse,” but did not reflect its political views.
But after Germany’s Central Council of Jews, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and a faculty member voiced concern over the course’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content, HAWK decided to pull the seminar from the upcoming 2016-2017 semester.
Head of Israel Advocacy Group Says Human Rights Complaint Against U of Ontario Sends ‘Loud, Clear Message’ to Promoters of Campus ‘Culture of Fear’ (INTERVIEW)
The pro-Israel campus community in Canada will no longer stay silent in the face of discrimination and intimidation, the head of a student advocacy group told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Robert Walker, national director for Hasbara Fellowships Canada, was referring to the official complaint his group filed against the Student Association and Faculty Association of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) for being denied the chance to take part in a “Social Justice Week” event on campus.
“The message we are sending to the anti-Israel activist community is loud and clear: we will not hesitate to take legal action when our rights are denied, and we will fight for Jewish students on campus who are being discriminated against,” Walker told The Algemeiner. “Anti-Israel activists should know that we will not tolerate their discriminatory policies and will use any means at our disposal to challenge them.”
The complaint — filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal — is the first such actions any Jewish student group has taken against a Canadian university.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Cesspool’ of Antisemitic, Anti-Israel, Racist Behavior at U of Tennessee Uncovered by Covert Watchdog Group
A ring of anti-Israel students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) has created a “cesspool” of antisemitism and racist behavior, a campus watchdog group revealed to The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Canary Mission — a secretive group that monitors anti-American, anti-Israel and antisemitic activities on college campuses — said it has uncovered a “disturbing trend” of extreme Jew-hatred and other forms of bigotry at UTK. This, it says, is being spread by members of the school’s branches of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA).
“We know that SJP nationally has an antisemitic agenda to remove Israel from the river to the sea,” a Canary Mission representative, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Algemeiner. “However, they usually attempt to clothe their hatred with a thin veil of human rights. In the case of the University of Tennessee, there is no veil, just raw bigotry.”
The watchdog named six key individuals at UTK responsible for the dissemination and active promotion of antisemitic and racist ideologies: Eyad Hijr, a 2016 graduate with ties to the MSA; Mohamed Ali, a sophomore and member of SJP, MSA and the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; Hesham Annamer, a sophomore affiliated with MSA; Stori Nuri, a junior who is the president of SJP, co-president of MSA and a supporter of BDS; Jordan Welsh, a BDS-supporter who recruits members to the UTK SJP’s Facebook page; and Afeef Youssef Kamah, a student connected to MSA.
Amid BDS Activism, Divestment Falters on College Campuses
It has become a summer ritual to predict that college campuses will erupt in anti-Israel activity, and, after 2014-15’s record number of antisemitic divestment resolutions, the fears were acute. It is too early to predict a trend, but indications are that this past year may have marked a turning point in discrediting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and erasing the perception that it is making headway among students on campus.
While this is not the full measure of the impact of BDS on campus, the record of divestment efforts in 2015-16 is both instructive and encouraging.
This past academic year, 18 divestment votes were taken (counting only the final votes), down from 27 the year before — a 33 percent decrease.
The resolutions were defeated in 11 of the 18 votes. I counted as defeats votes at Northwestern, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Cal State Long Beach because the resolutions that were adopted were watered down so they were not focused on Israel. I’ve also counted as a failure the measure that was tabled at Portland State. Four graduate student votes in favor of divestment were also excluded because they have no impact on the campus, affect a small subset of students, and don’t effect university policy. Moreover, at least one, the graduate student union at NYU, was overruled by the UAW.
If we look at the results from 2005-6 through 2015-16, a total of 88 votes have been taken; opponents have defeated divestment by a 64%-36% margin, with this past year’s margin 61%-39%.
If you are surprised #BlackLivesMatter joined war on Israel, you haven’t been paying attention
So what to make of all this?
My big takeaway from this doesn’t focus so much on the anti-Israel activists. They are nasty, hateful, and in many cases bigoted, people. I expect no less from them than to abuse the American civil rights movement by hijacking it for their own purposes without regard to the damage they do the movement.
My bigger ire is directed at the groups who didn’t understand the nature of the Black Lives Matter movement and didn’t have the guts or honesty to stand up to the lies about the Trayvon Martin and Michel Brown false racial narratives. Those same groups turned a blind eye towards well-documented evidence of infiltration and hijacking by the worst anti-Israel activists.
So, consider this a positive wake up call. No longer can Jewish Community groups like the ADL claim they are unaware. You now know what we’ve known for years — the issue is what you are going to do about it.
The New York Times’ Post-Holocaust Holocaust Obsession Comes at a Price
The New York Times is struggling to this day to try to make up for what its executive editor, Max Frankel, called its “staggering, staining failure” in failing to cover prominently, at the time, Hitler’s war against the Jews.
In recent weeks, in the Times’ pages, this public atonement has taken the form of a 1,300-word dispatch from Amsterdam headlined, “Beyond Anne Frank: The Dutch Tell Their Full Holocaust Story.” It’s taken the form of a 1,400-word story about how a Manhattan museum co-founded by Ronald Lauder deals with artwork that may have changed hands during or just before World War II. Then there was the 900-word dispatch from Berlin: “Saving a Relic of Jewish Life in Germany,” about a house owned by a family that “fled Nazi Germany in 1935.” A 1,100-word Times dispatch from Munich reported on a documentary film about a woman, now 105, who served as secretary to the Nazi official Joseph Goebbels.
None of these stories, in and of themselves, is particularly objectionable. But neither is the Times’ retrospective dwelling on the Holocaust without its own costs. The Times invests its scarce and limited column-inches, reportorial time, and editorial energy into covering the Holocaust. That is a tale that is now nearly three-quarters of a century old, is not controversial in any respectable quarter, and involves Jews playing the popular (among non-Jews, at least) role of victims. But in the meantime, today’s Jews, and the war against them, are covered by the Times erratically, without the attentiveness that the Times devotes to its post-Holocaust Holocaust coverage
Consider just a few of the Jewish-related stories that the Times skipped, chose not to cover or missed during the period that the newspaper was busy dutifully and comprehensively attempting to chase down the aftermath of World War II in Amsterdam, Berlin and Munich:
No charges laid against London, Ont. publisher of Arabic magazine who ran column questioning Holocaust
Canada - No charges will be laid against the publisher of an Arabic magazine in London that erupted in national controversy last month, after it ran a column questioning the Holocaust.
But while London police say they found no evidence of a crime, a law firm for Al Saraha says it will publish a front-page apology in its next issue for the piece, which was condemned by a national Jewish organization and prompted the Ontario premier to yank Liberal government advertising from the monthly.
“Based on information we have, and in consultation with the Crown attorney’s office, a criminal offence has not been substantiated,” London Const. Sandasha Bough said Wednesday.
Abdul Hadi Shala, the magazine’s owner and general manger, wasn’t talking on the record — instead, referring a reporter to the publication’s lawyer.
When the issue blew up last month, after B’nai Brith Canada complained to London police, Shala told The Free Press he didn’t know the facts in the piece, written by an Egyptian journalist for another publication, were incorrect.
“I didn’t mean to reject something that happened historically,” he said in Arabic, translated into English.
“The Holocaust happened historically. The numbers, however, I don’t know. I don’t endorse other people’s opinions.”
Washington Post Treats State Department, Palestinian Allegations as Facts
The Washington Post's “State Dept. condemns Israeli settlement plans” (June 29, 2016) by reporters Ruth Eglash and Carol Morello, repeats a previously acknowledged Post error while misleading on Jewish communities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the real obstacle to peace. The Post failed to give unsubstantiated U.S. State Department allegations proper journalistic scrutiny.
Eglash and Morello present as fact State Department claims that Israel is “systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution” via “settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace.”
In addition to echoing State Department allegations, The Post article also uncritically quoted claims by the Palestinian Authority that “more and more settlements” have been built “in the past few years.” This is false. As Peace Now, a left-wing anti-settlements organization, inadvertently pointed out in a June 2016 Op-Ed in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, “In 2015, as in the preceding five years, almost 90 percent of the 15, 523 individuals who joined the population of Judea and Samaria were the result of natural population growth [i.e. high birth rates, and not newcomers from other parts of Israel].”
Indeed, since taking office in 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has built fewer homes in West Bank settlements than previous prime ministers in the last quarter century (“Exclusive: Settlement ‘expansion' fails to even match natural growth,” Australia Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, July 21, 2016).
UK media silent as party of ‘moderate’ PA president celebrates killing ‘11,000 Israelis’
Though, interestingly, the New York Times covered Fatah’s celebration, no major British media outlets have done so.
Though PMW notes that the number “is a gross exaggeration”, such celebrations over the murder of Jews is common for Fatah and the Palestinian Authority – representing an extremist political culture which the British media almost always ignores.
Let’s put it this way to provide perspective: If Likud held an official celebration to brag that Likud governments had killed thousands of Muslims/Palestinians, is there any question that it would be contextualized by the media as (at the very least) an indication of the dangerous Israeli drift towards the extreme right, ultra-nationalism or even fascism?
Yet, Abbas is still characterized by much of the British meida as a “moderate”.
French embassy worker in Tunisia probed for anti-Semitism
An employee of France’s embassy in Tunisia claimed hackers posted anti-Semitic comments under his name on Facebook, including one about Adolf Hitler’s failure to “finish the job.”
Selim Dakhlaoui, a consulting agent for the embassy, was responding to an outcry following the publication on a French-language blog of copies of anti-Israel messages made under his name, as well as the sentence about Hitler, which has been decried as anti-Semitic.
“Watch out, my account has been hijacked,” Dakhlaoui wrote on Thursday.
On Friday, the embassy called the statements attributed to Dakhlaoui “unacceptable,” adding he was summoned to talks with his superiors. The Foreign Ministry will decide how to handle the affair once it determines whether Dakhlaoui wrote the offensive remarks, the embassy’s statement said.
In October, a comment that read, “Soon it will be the end of Israel” appeared under Dakhlaoui’s name, followed by an icon of a missile. A week later, the same account displayed the message: “Go to hell, Israel.” Earlier this year, it featured a comment reading “Hitler didn’t finish the job” in a discussion about Israel’s alleged involvement in Islamist terrorism.
Himmler diaries reveal chilling details of Nazi wartime life
Wartime diaries kept by top Nazi henchman Heinrich Himmler, serialized this week in Germany’s daily Bild, offer chilling insights into the life of one of the principal architects of the Holocaust.
Himmler, the head of the Nazi paramilitary SS, kept tabs on even the banal minutiae of his daily comings and goings, even as he oversaw the systematic slaughter of six million European Jews.
The journals, unearthed in Russia in 2013 and currently being studied at the German Historical Institute in Moscow, reveal a confidant of Adolf Hitler as a micromanager marked by deep contradictions.
They also “help to better make sense of key events and understand who took part in decision making for the regime,” researcher Matthias Uhl of the German Historical Institute told AFP.
“Now we can say exactly whom Himmler met each day, where he was, and who his closest advisers were.”
Warsaw ghetto’s secret archive goes Hollywood
By the time Serena Kassow appeared in a film about the Warsaw ghetto’s secret archive, she had heard about “the most important untold story of the Holocaust” for the better part of her life.
As the daughter of Holocaust historian Samuel Kassow, the 21 year old grew up watching her father collect stories from local survivors in Connecticut, particularly those from Poland. Years of learning culminated in May, when Kassow joined her father on the set of “Who Will Write Our History?” a documentary based on his book about the Warsaw ghetto’s “Oneg Shabbat” archive.
The day after receiving her theater studies degree from Boston’s Emerson College, Kassow flew to Poland for what she called “an incredibly personal month.” Having heard she was a theater student, the film’s producers cast Kassow as a featured extra. On ghetto sets in Warsaw and Lodz, she portrayed a typist preparing reports for the clandestine archive, from which 25,000 documents have come down to history.
Born in a displaced persons camp in Germany, Samuel Kassow led the creation of two popular galleries at the acclaimed POLIN museum in Warsaw, opened in 2014 to depict 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland. Kassow designed the museum’s pre-war “Jewish street” exhibit, which — like the entire museum — sits atop a storied area of the former ghetto, close to uprising sites and several memorials.
“My father made the ‘Jewish street’ exhibit like he was making it for me and my sister,” said Kassow. “It is made for someone who has not studied pre-war Jewish life in Warsaw, with a lot of artifacts on display about films, sports, magazines, theater, and all the things we are still interested in today.”
France to rescue Europe’s ‘oldest Jewish building’
French authorities allocated approximately half a million dollars toward the preservation of what is believed to be Europe’s oldest known Jewish building.
Restoration works are to begin in October to save the damaged parts of the Sublime House, which some historians believe was the seat of a 12-century yeshiva – a Jewish religious seminary — in the city of Rouen 70 miles northwest of Paris, the newspaper Tendance Ouest on Wednesday reported.
Discovered by accident in 1976 under the parking lot of Rouen’s courthouse, it was dedicated in 1980 and celebrated by Jewish community representatives as one of the most significant archaeological finds about ever made about French Jewry because it shows how ancient it is. The European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage describes it as “the oldest presently known Jewish building in Europe.”
The building — whose floor space is 1,615 square feet and whose walls feature Hebrew inscriptions reading “May the Torah Reign forever” and “This house is sublime” — was closed to the public in 2001 over fears that terrorists might target the building for its significance or to blow up the courthouse above it, according to Tendance Ouest.
Israel proves the desalination era is here
Driven to Desperation
In 2008, Israel teetered on the edge of catastrophe. A decade-long drought had scorched the Fertile Crescent, and Israel’s largest source of freshwater, the Sea of Galilee, had dropped to within inches of the “black line” at which irreversible salt infiltration would flood the lake and ruin it forever. Water restrictions were imposed, and many farmers lost a year’s crops.
Their counterparts in Syria fared much worse. As the drought intensified and the water table plunged, Syria’s farmers chased it, drilling wells 100, 200, then 500 meters (300, 700, then 1,600 feet) down in a literal race to the bottom. Eventually, the wells ran dry and Syria’s farmland collapsed in an epic dust storm. More than a million farmers joined massive shantytowns on the outskirts of Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other cities in a futile attempt to find work and purpose.
And that, according to the authors of “Climate Change in the Fertile Crescent and Implications of the Recent Syrian Drought,” a 2015 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was the tinder that burned Syria to the ground. “The rapidly growing urban peripheries of Syria,” they wrote, “marked by illegal settlements, overcrowding, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and crime, were neglected by the Assad government and became the heart of the developing unrest.”
Similar stories are playing out across the Middle East, where drought and agricultural collapse have produced a lost generation with no prospects and simmering resentments. Iran, Iraq and Jordan all face water catastrophes. Water is driving the entire region to desperate acts.
Israeli NBA Star Omri Casspi Brings Celebrity Delegation to Israel
Israeli NBA basketball star, Omri Casspi, on Thursday brought a group of celebrities to Israel as part of his second annual Omri Casspi Foundation trip.
“I’m so excited for the 2nd annual Omri Casspi Foundation trip to Israel. Our group this year sharing Celebrities from different platforms – NBA, WNBA, UFC, Hollywood, so we can reach the most diverse populations, and show to the world – how beautiful our Israel really is,” Casspi wrote on his Instagram page.
American actor Jeremy Piven from HBO’s Entourage fame, UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, and top ranked poker player, Maria Ho were among the delegation.
Several well-known professional basketball players also on the trip, included NBA players Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Beno Udrih, Rudy Gay, Donald Sloan and Chris Copeland and WNBA players Alysha Clark and Mistie Bass.
Stoudemire recently retired from the NBA and has contracted to play or Hapoel Jerusalem.
TV star Jeremy Piven teams up with Omri Casspi on Israel trip
American Jewish actor Jeremy Piven, best known for his portrayal of lovably ruthless agent Ari Gold in HBO’s Entourage TV series, joined a string of NBA players and other celebrities on a trip to Israel from Thursday, courtesy of basketball player Omri Casspi’s foundation to promote the Jewish state.
The group will spend the coming days visiting locations across Israel, including a planned meeting Sunday with hundreds of children in the mixed Arab-Jewish city of Ramle.
Also on the trip is basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire, who this week signed a two-year contract with Hapoel Jerusalem. According to the Israel Museum, art collector Stoudemire will spend Tuesday touring the institution and meeting with children and local artists.
“I’m so excited for the 2nd annual Omri Casspi Foundation trip to Israel,” Casspi wrote in a Hebrew and English Facebook post on Wednesday.
Israel’s Arabs want more industrial zones
Creating more industrial zones for Arab sector could remedy problem of low participation in Israel's workforce among Arab women; Arab MK: 'The government must fight poverty, improve existing infrastructure in Arab towns.'
Moded Yunis, the mayor of the Arab Israeli town of Arara in northern Israel, recently offered 20 jobs in nursery schools in the town. Although not particularly well-paying, more than 250 women in the town of 23,000 in northern Israel applied.
“Because of the lack of jobs, some women leave their homes at 5am and travel hours to southern Israel to work,” Yunis told The Media Line, saying the town had opened special day care centers with longer hours to accommodate them. “It is very frustrating for anyone who graduated college and then can’t find a job.”
The Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, says that about 60 percent of Israel’s Arabs are poor, and 65 percent live below the poverty line.
Mossawa invited Yunis and other mayors to a conference at Israel’s Knesset, also hosted by long-time Arab parliamentarian Ahmed Tibi, focusing on the need for more industrial zones in the Arab sector. While Arabs constitute than 20 percent of Israel’s populations, just 3.5 percent of all areas designated for light and heavy industry are in Arab towns. These industrial zones bring both money and jobs to the areas where they are located. (h/t Zvi)



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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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