Friday, September 09, 2016

From Ian:

The last acceptable hatred
All the major Swedish news outlets reported this week that the city of Malmo is investing in a comprehensive educational effort, initiated by the Jewish community, aimed at countering the rise in anti-Semitism that has plagued the city for many years. As part of this effort, 288 teachers are receiving specific education on the topic of anti-Semitism, and newly produced educational materials in the form of books and movies will be handed out to the pupils to "facilitate a conversation" and teach them about the issue of Jew-hatred historically and currently.
More anti-Semitic hate crimes are reported in Malmo, Sweden's third-largest city, than in any other city in the country, and the Jews who live there have become used to constant harassment, having eggs thrown at them and being yelled at, degraded and even physically assaulted on a regular basis. The Chabad rabbi of Malmo, Shneur Kesselman, reported 80 anti-Semitic attacks between 2004 and 2010, and although there are no official numbers since then, it can be assumed that things have not improved.
After World War II, the Jewish population of Malmo reached a high of 4,000. In recent years, because of the city's failing economy and the rise in anti-Semitic incidents by the influx of Muslims, the city has been losing its Jewish population. Today the city's organized Jewish community has only 550 members, with more leaving for Stockholm, the United States or Israel each year.
Any effort to lessen the anti-Semitic hate crimes in Malmo is a good thing, but I am saddened that children and adults need to be specifically educated not to hate and attack Jews and, perhaps even more so, that after all these years of persecution the initiative for this comes from the Jews themselves, rather than from the political establishment.
An Inherited Culture of Hate
"I hate Christians and Jews. I don't know why. I don't have any apparent reason to hate them but I always hear my mom talking badly about them. She hates them too, and this is why I hate them, I guess. Mom has always told me that Muslims are Allah's favorite people," — F., a 15-year-old Tunisian girl.
"They said that non-Muslims deserve to die; we should have no pity for them. They will burn in hell, anyway." — M., a 16-year-old Tunisian boy.
People who do not read tend to fear things they do not know, and this fear can turn into suspicion, aggression and hate. These people need to fill the void, to remove the discomfort, so they turn to terrorism to create a goal in their lives: defending Islam.
As most Tunisians do not read, they watch TV a lot. "After watching 'The Sultan's Harem,' I wanted to be one of the Sultan's concubines, to live in the Ottoman Empire era; I wanted to be like them," said S., a 14-year-old Tunisian girl.
World’s Oldest Working Journalist, 90-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Noah Klieger, Fears Nazi Genocide Will Be Forgotten in 50 Years
One of Israel’s best-known Holocaust survivors told a packed audience in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening about his genuine fear that the Nazi genocide will not be remembered 50 years from now.
Noah Klieger expressed this concern at an event that doubled as the release of a documentary film about his having staved off the gas chambers at Auschwitz by lying to the SS about being a professional boxer and a celebration of his 90th birthday.
Klieger, who is still on the staff of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot — making him the oldest non-retired journalist in the world — described a bleak view of the future.
“Young people don’t know about the Bar Kochba revolt, so I’m worried the Holocaust won’t be remembered either,” Klieger said, referring to the second century Judean war against the Romans. “But as an optimist — something I’d have to be to have survived what I did and be standing here today — I hope I’m wrong.”
The biographical film, which Klieger said he was seeing for the first time with the hundreds of people gathered in his honor — among them members of the Israeli government, the media, ambassadors, rabbinical leaders, fellow survivors, IDF brass and soldiers — gave a moving overview of the trials and tribulations of a Strasbourg-born Jewish boy robbed of his youth by Hitler and his henchman.



World Vision lays off contractors in Gaza after Israel allegations
Christian aid group World Vision has laid off about 120 contractors in the Gaza Strip following allegations by Israel that the agency's operations manager in the territory had diverted funds to the Islamist group Hamas.
In an Aug. 29 letter handed to contractors at a meeting in Gaza, the NGO said its bank accounts in Jerusalem had been frozen by Israeli authorities and it was no longer able to transfer money to Gaza, making it impossible to pay them.
The letter said World Vision was living through a big crisis and its sources of funding had been affected. It was written in Arabic and a copy was sent to Reuters.
"Because of the crisis, we have frozen all our activities in Gaza. Our bank accounts in Jerusalem were frozen by the (Israeli) authorities, which also prevented us from making any transfers to Gaza.
"Because of these conditions that are beyond the control of World Vision, we will not be able to keep your job at the present stage because we will not be able to transfer any salaries or any other payments."
A spokesman for World Vision spokesman would not confirm that the contractors had been laid off, saying only that the agency's operations in Gaza had been suspended following the accusations against the operations manager, Mohammad El Halabi.
US lawmakers hosts first-ever anti-BDS conference
U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday hosted a unique conference to support the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise and denounce anti-Israel incitement and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement's activities on American university campuses. It was the first time Congress has hosted an event of this kind.
More than 100 people attended the Capitol Hill event, including Republican congressmen Louie Gohmert and Pete Sessions of Texas, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota; local Jewish leaders; Judea and Samaria community heads; and public opinion leaders, Jewish and non-Jewish, who sought to learn more about the disconcerting BDS phenomenon, its scope, and how it can be countered.
The conference was the product of two years of intense activity by the Shomron Regional Council's foreign relations office aimed at Republican congressmen known to be avid Israel supporters.
The panel discussed legislative activity to outlaw BDS activities on U.S. campuses. Thirteen states, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Alabama, Arizona and Colorado, have already imposed restrictions on the movement's anti-Israel propaganda, and four others have outlined restrictions on business ventures with groups that support boycotting Israel.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan was quoted by Jewish affairs news website The Algemeiner as saying, "BDS activities sabotage the only real example of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East. ... Employers in my area give work to thousands of people, both Jews and Arabs. BDS is not happy about Jews and Arabs working together."
Yehuda Bauer sets the record straight on Hitler and Zionism
One of the world’s leading Holocaust historians has attacked the BDS movement, and denounced anti-Zionism as antisemitism.
Yehuda Bauer, professor of Holocaust Studies at Hebrew University, was in conversation with Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, at the JW3 Jewish community centre on Tuesday night.
He was brought over from Israel by the Yachad organisation, which describes itself as working “to build active support for a two-state solution in the British Jewish community.”
Professor Bauer said the boycott movement wanted "not a better Israel, they want no Israel.
“Now of course, they love Jews. Especially dead Jews. The ones who died in the Holocaust, they’re marvellous, they were terrific. Live Jews is something else.”
He added: “Anti-Zionism is a slogan, there’s nothing real behind it. It’s anti-Jewish, it’s antisemitic.
“They want to destroy the Jewish state; they want to destroy it because it’s a Jewish state. That means you are an antisemite.”
A Hip Leftist Hub is Hosting an Anti-Semite Today. Here’s What Progressives Must Learn From That.
The Brooklyn Commons, according to its Facebook page, “is a community & educational center dedicated to healthy communities, individuals, [and] environment.” It provides office space and venue support to a number of progressive organizations, including Jacobin magazine and the Right to the City Alliance. And today, by virtue of who it is hosting, the neighborhood hangout is also dedicated to exposing 9/11 as a “deception imposed on our nation by the Israeli/Zionist and Neo-Conservative cabal that controls our government and media.”
The speaker the Commons is hosting to promote this bit of slander is one Christopher Bollyn, a prominent anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist whose website finds a Jewish connection behind everything from 9/11 to the Kennedy assassination. This event was spotted by Daniel Sieradski, founder of the progressive Jewish website Jewschool.com, who has been organizing other members of the progressive community to condemn Bollyn and urge the Commons to cancel his event. But the Commons has spurned these calls—possibly because, as Sieradski uncovered, the proprietor is herself a 9/11 truther.
This is of course distressing. But much as we might like to, it is probably impossible to eliminate every instance of anti-Semitism—or racism, or sexism, or Islamophobia—from our communities. Often, what matters more is not the incident itself but how the community responds to it and what we learn from it. And Bollyn’s invitation to speak at a progressive institution like the Brooklyn Commons carries with it several lessons for progressives (and non-progressives) concerned with the fight against anti-Semitism.
How the Left is propagating Anti-Semitism without knowing it
But the accusation of anti-Semitism in Labour ranks isn’t just hyperbole or political invention. Labour has been warned for years that there were elements in the party who were espousing anti-Semitic attitudes. And if Ken Livingstone’s and Naz Shah’s comments do not demonstrate, and if the apparently 50 Labour councillors’ public utterances don’t prove it, then read countless forums over the internet in the United Kingdom as Labour supporters defend the indefensible by merely making the same arguments over and over again.
And let’s not forget the back-handed compliment style of anti-semitism.
Comments such as the one I heard once said by a woman attending a multi-faith event “Oh I don’t know why people are so horrible to the Jews. They are such good businessmen and help the economy such a lot…”
Which as someone said to her in response, is the same as saying “I love black people. They are so good at dancing…”
Antisemitism has always been much more of a conspiracy theory about power, with the Jews as the convenient scapegoat for whatever is wrong in the world at that particular moment. It’s why it’s been so easy for elements on the far left to pick up antisemitic tropes, sticking “Zionist” in where the word “Jew” or “elder of Zion” would have been, often apparently oblivious to their genesis.
But the fact remains everyone deserves a place where they can call home, where they can run if their life is endangered because of their identity, or where, even if they are not at risk, somewhere they can go and not be made to feel like an outsider because of the skin they were born into.
Being constantly defined in opposition to, as other than, the self-defined mainstream, being insulted throughout your life because of who you are, is psychologically damaging. To be free from that – to be able to think of yourself as just a person, without the prefix and its historical load, is incredibly liberating.
George Galloway's anti-Semitic slurs
Many other statements by Galloway are on the periphery of the definition of anti-Semitism. One of Galloway’s techniques is to lump together Zionists with people generally perceived as evil. After losing in 2015 his Bradford West seat to Labour MP Naz Shah, he said in his concession speech, “There will be others who are already celebrating: the venal, the vile, the racists, and the Zionists will all be celebrating. The hyena can bounce on the lion’s grave but it can never be a lion and in any case, I’m not in my grave. As a matter of fact I’m going off now to plan the next campaign.”
One of the ways to demonize Israel is to call it an Apartheid state, which Galloway has also done when he refused to debate with an Israeli student at Oxford. This calumny indeed should have been included in the IHRA definition of anti-Semitic slurs. The lie that Israel is an Apartheid state has been dismantled in detail by former Israeli foreign office legal advisor Robbie Sabel, as well as others. Also on the periphery of the definition of anti-Semitism is Galloway’s defense of Ken Livingstone who said that “Hitler supported Zionism.”
The IHRA definition says that “anti-Semitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others.” Galloway did exactly this with Israelis when he proclaimed that no Israelis should be allowed in Bradford saying, "We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone. We don't want any Israeli goods, we don't want any Israeli services, we don't want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college, we don't even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, even if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same."
One may think that Galloway is in the margins of society, however, he had the elective support of two constituencies with substantial Muslim populations - Bradford West beating out Labour by more than 10,000 votes and winning the Bethnal Green and Bow where he was elected with 15,801 votes. In the London mayoral elections he received 37,007 votes. His twitter site has 256,000 followers. This shows that even such an extreme producer of anti-Semitic aspersions still has support that is far from negligible.
When teaching anti-Semitism it is preferable to start with analyzing extreme examples of those who utter anti-Semitic smears, such as Tonge and Galloway. Those who want to fight anti-Semitism can learn easiest from them to apply this methodology to others who produce such calumnies.
Europe’s Most Notorious Jew-Baiter? It’s a Tie
Jew-baiting these days is a globally competitive field. The Middle East, Latin America and Asia could all put up credible candidates for the title of most notorious Jew-baiter. But if you ask me, it’s in Europe, the continent where modern antisemitism crystallized, where you’ll still find the most able and determined baiters.
Now, if I had to pick someone from that particular field, I’d have to conclude that it’s a tie for first place.
From Hungary: step forward Zsolt Bayer, journalist, fascist apologist, a founder of the ruling Fidesz party, and a confidante of that country’s Putinesque prime minister, Viktor Orban. From Great Britain: step forward Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, darling of Islamists both Shi’a – Hezbollah – and Sunni – the Muslim Brotherhood – and literally obsessed with the claim that the Zionist movement collaborated with Adolf Hitler during the 1930s. (His obsession has lasted so long, one wag on Twitter commented that he’d devised a drinking game where he downed a shot of gin every time Livingstone mentioned Hitler, with the result that he’s now living in a dumpster.)
I get that there are others who could stake a claim to the “most notorious” title. Like French comic Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. Or the leaders of Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn Party. Or the former British parliamentarian George Galloway. But I choose Bayer and Livingstone because together they neatly encapsulate the thematic fixations of post-war antisemitism: the undue political and economic influence of wealthy, powerful Jews, the insinuation that Jews invariably choose tribal conspiracy over national loyalty and the contention that the Jews themselves actively assisted the Nazi genocide that led to Auschwitz and Treblinka.
The latest controversy around Bayer erupted when the Hungarian government awarded him the prestigious Order of Merit of the Knights Cross. More than 40 previous recipients of the award returned their medals in protest at the honor being shared with Bayer, among them Andras Heisler, a senior Hungarian Jewish communal leader, and Katrina Lantos Swett, daughter of the late and much revered Congressman Tom Lantos, who survived the Holocaust in Hungary.
British lawmaker who shared anti-Semitic posts under investigation
A British lawmaker who was suspended from the Labour party for anti-Semitic comments posted on social media is being investigated by police.
Naz Shah, who was readmitted to the party in July, could be charged with inciting religious hatred, an offense punishable by up to seven years in prison, the Daily Mail reported Monday.
Shah, 42, one of nine Muslims in Parliament, was suspended in May for sharing a post on Facebook suggesting Israel’s Jews should be relocated to the US and tweeting the hashtag “#IsraelApartheid” and a quote saying, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” Another post called on her friends to back a poll criticizing Israel.
The posts had appeared in early August, 2014, during the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas. She later apologized for the posts.
Black Lives Matter Benefit Is Canceled Over Stand on Israel
A popular Broadway cabaret club has canceled a concert benefiting Black Lives Matter, citing the movement’s criticism of Israel.
The owners of Feinstein’s/54 Below, a small performance venue just north of Times Square, this week emailed ticket buyers to the event, informing them of the cancellation. In a separate message to participants, the owners cited a platform released this summer by a coalition of groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement that declared “Israel is an apartheid state” and denounced what it described as “the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”
The concert was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11, and would have been directed by the actress Tonya Pinkins (“Caroline, or Change”).
In the note to participants, 54 Below said that its owners and managers “strongly believe in and support the general thrust of the goals and objectives” of the Black Lives Matter movement.
It continued, “However, since announcing the benefit they’ve become aware of a recent addition to the B.L.M. platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions.”
The statement said, “As we can’t support these positions, we’ve accordingly decided to cancel the concert.”
WATCH: Pro-Palestinian Activists Disrupt NY City Council Meeting During Israel Boycott Debate
The Jerusalem Journal reports: Pro-Palestinian activists and members of the Black Lives Matter movement on Thursday continuously disrupted a hearing held by the New York City Council Committee on Contracts on a resolution that condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the state of Israel.
The resolution, sponsored by Council Member Andrew Cohen and co-sponsored by 33 of the 51 members, condemns “all efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the people of Israel.”
Jewish community leaders, pro-Palestinian activists, and representatives of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta testified at the hearing held in the City Council Chambers in downtown Manhattan.
As Conference of Presidents Chairman Stephen Greenberg testified, several members stood up, holding up Palestinian flags or posters of Palestinian children and chanted “Zionism is racism,” “Israel is a terrorist state” and “Free Palestine” before they were escorted out by security guards.
The scene was repeated almost a dozen times in the course of 20 minutes.
Head of World’s Largest Jewish Student Organization: BDS Activists Resorting to Violence on Campus Due to Effectiveness of Pro-Israel Efforts (INTERVIEW)
Anti-Israel campus activists are resorting to violent behavior due to the effectiveness of the pro-Israel community in combating their efforts, the head of the world’s largest Jewish student organization told The Algemeiner.
“We saw a real reduction in the number of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions last year,” said Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International, in reference to a finding from a recent report on anti-Israel campus trends. “Alongside this, there was a dramatic uptick in disruptive and even violent behavior targeting pro-Israel programs and students.”
This radicalized conduct, Fingerhut told The Algemeiner, is in reaction to the pro-Israel community’s “successful engagement of the BDS debate.”
According to Fingerhut, today’s campus antisemitism is in some ways the “outgrowth of tolerance of an increasingly virulent form of anti-Israel behavior.” Jewish students are coming under attack “regardless of what their individual commitments and relationships are to the state of Israel,” he said.
“What started as a normal form of debate and dissent about Israel — to which Hillel International wanted and needed to respond — has clearly become an excuse for conduct that has absolutely crossed the line into antisemitism,” he told The Algemeiner.
This “broad base” attack against Jewish students, Fingerhut said, has “led the nature of anti-Israel discourse on campus to become non-rational and has changed campus environments to become havens for antisemitism.”
Syracuse Professor: Canceled Invite of Israeli Filmmaker Shows New Tactics of Boycott Campaign
The decision to disinvite an Israeli filmmaker from an upcoming film festival at Syracuse University reflects a change in tactics of the anti-Israel boycott campaign on campuses to “stealth boycotts,” Miriam Elman, an associate professor of political science at the university, wrote in an op-ed in Haaretz on Wednesday.
Ben-Gurion University president Rivka Carmi recently expressed her fear that faculty members were being subjected to informal boycotts by anti-Israel academics. This fear was realized, Elman wrote, Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan was disinvited last week from an upcoming film festival because a Syracuse faculty member was concerned that inviting him would subject her to “ideologically motivated retaliation” by colleagues promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
M. Gail Hamner, a tenured professor at Syracuse’s Religion Department who was organizing a festival about “The Place of Religion in Film,” explained to Dotan, who had made a largely critical documentary about the Israeli settlement movement, that she had been warned by other faculty members that the “BDS faction on campus will make matters very unpleasant” for both her and Dotan if he attended.
Hamner apologized to Dotan, who was invited to present his film at the university at a different forum. Furthermore, Elman wrote, Syracuse subsequently “responded admirably by reasserting the university’s commitment to free speech and its opposition to ‘any ‘boycott of Israeli academic institutions or faculty.’”
But the incident raised a number of questions, Elman argued, including whether Hamner had “to ‘vouch’ in the same way for other films in the conference – or was it just the product of an Israeli national that required special scrutiny? Are a group of anti-Israel colleagues exercising subtle veto power when it comes to academic programming related to Israel?
Activists demand EU withdraw support from Israeli-run water conference
Roughly 40 European trade unions, environmental groups and human rights networks are demanding that the European Commission withdraw its support from an Israeli-run water conference slated to take place in Italy at the end of September.
The conference in question is WATEC Italy 2016: Water Technology and Environmental Control Exhibition and Conference, scheduled to take place from September 21-23 in Venice. The convention is organized by the Or Yehuda-based group Kenes Exhibitions, the same company responsible for the biennial WATEC Israel exhibition, which typically draws some 10,000 visitors from 90 countries to Tel Aviv every other year, according to the firm.
“We, the undersigned European trade unions, human rights and right to water organizations, are alarmed by the European Commission’s sponsorship of an event that includes the participation of companies involved in and facilitating violations of international law,” said the letter, sent to European Commission President Jean- Claude Juncker and Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella.
“As documented by international organizations, UN agencies and EU institutions themselves, Israel exercises strict control over Palestinian water resources and denies access to the Palestinian population, which has led to ‘stark inequalities’ in access to water between Israelis, including settlers, and Palestinians,” the letter continued, citing a January 2016 European Parliament briefing.
Prominent neo-Nazi spotted at Israel boycott rally in Berlin
A prominent neo-Nazi activist from Berlin was spotted holding up a banner at a demonstration organized by the city’s chapter of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement against Israel.
Marc Kluge, who in 2010 was identified by the anti-Israel website Indymedia as a central figure for neo-Nazis in Berlin and a former candidate for the far-right NPD party, was photographed on August 25 on Alexanderplatz holding a banner that read: “I boycott Israel, not the Jews! Racism kills! Made in Israel,” the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism on Wednesday reported on its website.
In Germany’s 2007 regional elections, Kluge was the NPD’s official candidate in the northern Saxony-Anhalt region. Kluge, who was not elected, often speaks at NPD and other far-right rallies.
Collaboration between anti-Israel activists from the BDS movement, who in Europe often belong to far-left circles that include many individuals from Muslim families, and far-right ultranationalists like Kluge is rare and unpopular in both camps.
U.N. records contradict key Rasmea Odeh claim in motion to prevent mental examination
Thus, unless the U.N. Report is fabricated or false as to Rasmea having testified, which seems unlikely, then the U.N. records squarely contradict the key representation in Rasmea’s motion that:
While Ms. Odeh did give an interview shortly after her release from prison almost 40 year ago, she did not speak in detail about her torture, and not at all about the sexual assaults. Ms. Odeh has discussed the specific details of her torture, and specifically about the sexual assaults only with Dr. Fabri.
Even if the U.N. testimony was in writing (there’s no indication of that), it still would be contrary to the defense’s assertion.
It will be interesting to see how the court reacts, since defense counsel was very pejorative towards the judge in its papers, portraying him as a dupe who mindlessly accepted the government’s representations.
There is another aspect of the motion that lacks a reality check. Rasmea testified at the trial, and was instructed by the Judge not to mention the torture allegations as those went to whether she was properly convicted in the Israeli trial, not whether she lied on her immigration forms. Nonetheless, Rasmea was so eager to tell the jury about the torture that she worked it into her testimony in defiance of the Judge, who reprimanded her as I reported in Rasmieh Odeh Defies Judge’s Order, Claims Torture to Jury. That doesn’t strike me as someone who would be “triggered” by having to talk about it in front of strangers.
The government has not yet responded to the motion. We will bring you the government’s position when it is filed.
Terror Collaborating Journalist Gets the Boot
Italian journalist Michele Monni was fired this week for dishonesty: specifically for claiming that he was working for the Italian ANSA news agency when he was really working for the terror organization Hezbollah.
Last month HonestReporting wrote about the incident:
Monni was among the various reporters working on documentaries in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War. (That was the conflict triggered by Hezbollah’s kidnapping of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser).
As part of his documentary, Monni interviewed ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni, ex-defense minister Amir Peretz and two former soldiers about their memories of the abduction and subsequent 2006 conflict.
After Monni conducted these seemingly ordinary interviews, something strange happened. As broken by Ynet, Monni’s work was aired, not by Italian television, but by al-Mayadeen, a Lebanese TV station aligned with Hezbollah.
Al-Mayadeen is known in the Arab world as part of the “axis of opposition” media, which includes Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station. This Shiite media axis staunchly supports Bashar Assad and Iran, and also prides itself on countering Al-Jazeera’s Sunni-leaning agenda.
UCC Peacemakers Promote Antisemitic Organization
There are a lot of problems with a recent “peacemaking” document produced by the United Church of Christ "peace" activists, but one problem stands out like a sore thumb — it highlights the work of “If Americans Knew” an organization that has been denounced by the far-left group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
The document is produced by the United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network (UCC PIN), which is affiliated with the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. (The Massachusetts Conference processes donations to the UCC PIN.) Titled “Promoting a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel: A Guide for United Church of Christ Faith Leaders,” the text purports to educate UCC pastors about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Predictably, the document omits crucial information that reasonable people would need to know about the Arab-Israeli conflict before expressing an opinion about it. For example, the text describes Israel as having “conducted full-scale bombardments of Gaza in 2008, 2012 and 2014” without even mentioning the rocket attacks that preceded these war.
Moreover, the word “Hamas” appears nowhere in the text, which is so indifferent to violence against Israel that it seems as if it is produced with the intent of sparking outrage on the part of American Jews and their leaders.
Jewish people stole my Christ movie, Mel Gibson reportedly tells Glenn Beck
Conservative firebrand and radio talk-show host Glenn Beck revealed on a broadcast last week that during a recent conversation with controversial Hollywood director and actor Mel Gibson, the thespian claimed "Jewish people" had stolen an early copy of The Passion of the Christ movie and used it to attack him before the film's release.
According to Internet publication The Daily Beast on Thursday, Beck had spoken to Gibson for some 90-minutes following a late August screening of the the latter's new film, Hacksaw Ridge, which has reportedly garnered rave reviews at the box-office in recent weeks.
The conversation meandered on a number of different topics, finally settling on "The Passion," which, according to Beck, was the beginning of Gibson's downward trajectory and his ultimate "undoing."
According to Beck, Gibson claimed the movie was stolen before its release date, allegedly by "Jewish people," in order to slander the director as an anti-Semite.
Recalling Gibson’s comments, Beck said: “And then some Jewish people—I guess some rabbis or something, I didn’t get into it—somebody stole a copy of the movie before it was shown to anybody… And then they did a deal in The New York Times with all these rabbis trashing him as an anti-Semite. And he said, ‘I couldn’t believe it… Nobody was really upset that these guys stole the movie."
Australian School Apologizes as Visiting Jewish Students Met By Pupil Dressed as Hitler
A school in the Australian outback town of Alice Springs has apologized to a delegation of visiting Jewish exchange students after they were confronted by a young boy who, dressed as Adolf Hitler, was taking part in a school project.
The principal of St Philip’s College, Roger Herbert, made the profuse apology and said his school deeply regretted the incident. It came after a group of exchange students from a Jewish school in the Victoria state capital of Melbourne, some 1,400 miles away, witnessed a special assembly for Book Week led by a student dressed as the Nazi leader.
According to the ABC, the boy was applauded as one of the “best dressed” people at the assembly.
“We got them together and apologised and they were fantastic, absolutely fantastic, and accepting,” Mr Herbert told 783 ABC Alice Springs. “We also contacted the school to say look, this had happened, please understand.”
The student had been given permission from a teacher prior to arriving at the school dressed as Hitler.
Canadian Kids Greeted by Swastikas on First Day of School (VIDEO)
Parents and children in Canada were shocked to find swastikas spray-painted on school buildings at the start of the academic year, Canadian media reported.
In Ottawa, police have launched an investigation into a red swastika that was found spray-painted at an elementary school, news talk radio 580 CFRA reported on Tuesday.
The Nazi symbol was found on a shed at St. Theresa Catholic School. Several signs were also vandalized at the school, the report said, with the words “welcome to hell” spray-painted on them.
Staff Sgt. Dave Zackrias of the Ottawa Police Diversity and Race Relations Unit called the appearance of the swastika “disturbing,” and said despite its presence, parents should “feel comfortable leaving their kids in school knowing that [they] are going to be safe.”
In Vancouver, a large swastika accompanied by a racial slur was discovered by students at the entrance to the Johnston Heights Secondary High School, CTV News reported on Tuesday.
Sophia Loren to bring her ‘trunk of memories’ to Tel Aviv
The ever-glamorous Italian actress Sophia Loren is coming to Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium on November 25 at 9 p.m., as part of her one-woman worldwide tour.
During the show, the 81-year-old Loren will share memories of her fabled Hollywood career and her life in Italy, while playing clips of some of her favorite film scenes and then engaging the audience in a Q&A session.
The moderator of the show is Bill Harris of “Entertainment Tonight,” who has been traveling with Loren throughout the tour.
The bold and beautiful star of dozens of timeless movies, including “Two Women,” “Marriage Italian-Style” and “El Cid,” told the Palm Beach Post ahead of her March 2016 visit that she initially didn’t want to do this “kind of thing” because she is a very shy person. She also said that this kind of stage performance is more of an American “kind of thing” and not European in nature.
US police delegation visits Israel to learn counter-terrorism techniques, hold 9/11 ceremony
Citing Israel’s preeminence in counter-terrorism – and the fact that it is the only country outside the United State to have a 9/11 memorial honoring every victim – a US police delegation said it wanted to visit the country on the 15th anniversary of the attack.
Fifty-two officers from seven states arrived on Wednesday for one week to train with multiple units, visit the new state-of-the-art police academy in Beit Shemesh, and hold a ceremony at Jerusalem’s 9/11 memorial on Sunday.
The US delegation was coordinated by Commander Diane Eldad-Sheetrit, head of the International Cooperation Department of the Israeli National Police.
Commander of Israeli Police National License and Permit Unit, Chief Superintendent, Yoni Zeitak, said on Thursday that the visit marks the first time that a police delegation from the US came to Israel to hold such a memorial.
New Ken Burns film spotlights little-known Holocaust rescuers
In 1940, as he was being transported to safety in the lower deck of a ship, the Jewish author Lion Feuchtwanger asked Waitstill Sharp why the American Unitarian minister had bothered to rescue him from the Nazis.
Sharp and his wife, Martha, had spent much of the previous two years smuggling Jews out of Nazi-controlled territory. Saving people from persecution, the clergyman had told Feuchtwanger, was what any able person should do.
“I think something frightful, in addition to what has befallen Europe, is going to befall now,” Sharp later recalled saying. “I’m not a saint. I’m just as capable of the sins of human nature as anyone else. But I believe that the will of God is to be interpreted by the liberty of the human spirit.”
It’s an intimate moment in “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War,” a documentary co-directed by the renowned filmmaker Ken Burns that takes a highly personal look at the American Christian couple who left a quiet life in New England, traveled to Nazi-occupied Europe and smuggled hundreds of Jews to safety.
The movie, which relies on written recollections of the Sharps (Waitstill is voiced by Tom Hanks), archival footage, and interviews with survivors and historians, premieres Sept. 20 on PBS.


Israeli Schools Schedule Annual Commemoration of Jewish Refugees from Muslim Countries
Israeli schools will follow a government committee’s recommendation to commemorate Jewish refugees who were forced to leave Muslim-majority countries every November 30, the country’s Education Ministry said Wednesday.
The Biton Commission recommended earlier this year that studies of Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews, those who trace their ancestry to Spain and the Middle East, be made mandatory in Israeli schools. Ancient Jewish communities in Iraq, Syria, and other Muslim-majority countries were ravaged by a wave of anti-Semitic violence following Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. In total, some 850,000 of these Mizrachi Jews were forced to flee from their homes, and they and their descendants make up the majority of Israeli Jews today.
“Around November 30, the day marking the exodus of Jews from the Arab lands and the lands of Islam, a focused week of study should be held on the Jews of the East, including enrichment activities and tours in museums and at sites,” suggested the commission, which was led by Erez Biton, the first Mizrahi poet to win the Israel Prize. It also recommended that students meet with Israelis who “perpetuate the heritage of the Jews of the East and Spain, who will tell the students the whole story as they experienced it during the exodus and deportation from the Arab countries in the moments of truth of the pogroms….The students will also learn about the rich heritage and culture of…the Jews of the East and Spain and their aliyah to and integration in Israel.”




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