Tuesday, April 04, 2017

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Leaving the big tent
The divide between Israelis and American Jews seems to be growing. Indications of the widening gap came last week with reports of a confrontation between an American Jewish activist and four members of Knesset, from across the political spectrum, at a synagogue near Boston.
As reported at The Algemeiner, at the end of a forum at Brookline’s Congregation Kehillath Israel, an audience member named Shifrah told the four Israeli lawmakers, “You are losing me and you are losing many, many people in the Jewish community... I cannot look the other way when three Israeli teenagers are brutally murdered and the response is to kill 2,300 Palestinians [in Operation Protective Edge in 2014]. I want to know what you are doing to make peace with the Palestinians. I want to know what the government is doing to make peace.”
Despite the general fractiousness of Israeli politics, the lawmakers, who spanned the Right-Left spectrum, rejected the woman’s claims. Not one of them was willing to accept her view that Israel was morally impaired for defending itself from Hamas’s terror war against it. Each in his or her own way pointed out that the woman’s question exposed a callous indifference and utter ignorance to the actual situation in Israel.
Speaking last, Likud MK Amir Ohana noted that Israel didn’t enter into its war with Hamas three years ago because of the execution and abduction of the three youths by Palestinian terrorists. Israel went to war against Hamas in Operation Protective Edge because the terrorist regime in Gaza began pummeling Israel with tens of thousands of mortars, rockets and missiles.
And as Ohana noted, “Each and every one of them [was] targeted to kill us.”
Ohana concluded, “If I will have to choose between losing more lives of Israelis, whether they are civilians or soldiers, or losing you, I will sadly, sorrowfully, rather lose you.”
Ruthie Blum: Rasmea's exit, stage left
To add insult to injury, Jewish Voice for Peace pressured the management of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, ‎the venue rented for the hate-filled conference, not to allow a pro-Israel group to rent a separate ‎room in which to hold a memorial service for Odeh's victims. This is a classic case of what renowned ‎law professor Alan Dershowitz calls "free speech for me and not for thee."‎
Yes, as long as Jewish Voice for Peace and its non-Jewish counterparts -- such as Students for Justice in ‎Palestine and Black Lives Matter, which use it as a cover for their anti-Semitism -- have the microphone, ‎anything goes. Even glorifying cold-blooded murder. But when an organization like StandWithUs wants ‎to present an opposing viewpoint, any underhanded tactics to prevent it from doing so are kosher.‎
Ultimately, StandWithUs prevailed and conducted a vigil for Kanner and Joffe during the conference, ‎albeit in a different building of the Hyatt complex. But it was a quiet ceremony, unlike that of Jewish ‎Voice for Peace, which cheered Odeh when she said, "We need you to continue resisting Trump's ‎agenda and to continue challenging the Zionists and to continue providing your solidarity and support ‎to the Palestinian and Arab national movement."‎
Odeh, who was 21 when she played a key role in the terrorist attack, failed to mention that if not for ‎Israeli policy, she would have spent the rest of her life behind bars. Instead, she has been a liberated ‎woman since the age of 32. The now 69-year-old also left out the fact that the U.S. justice system -- ‎yes, in Trump's America -- can take credit for her ability to trade jail for Jordan, where she will ‎undoubtedly be hailed as a heroine. ‎
Good riddance, Rasmea; too bad you can't take your sycophants with you. But, as you surely know, ‎Jordanian law forbids Jews from becoming citizens.‎
Linda Sarsour: NYC’s queen of hate
Women’s March co-organizer Linda Sarsour said in her speech to a Jewish Voice for Peace conference in Chicago on Sunday that she’s “providing a service . . . that I’m allowing the Jewish community to have the real hard conversation that it always needed to be having” about whether it should support Israel.
Thanks! Let me return the favor and encourage Sarsour to have a hard conversation about how she is preaching hatred while claiming to be fighting for equality, and putting women down while saying she’s trying to lift them up.
The Brooklyn-born Sarsour, daughter of Palestinian immigrants, shared the dais Sunday with another darling of the feminist “resistance,” Rasmea Odeh — convicted in Israel of killing two Hebrew University students in a 1969 terrorist attack and of planning an attack on the British Consulate. After her release, Odeh was able to immigrate to the United States by hiding her crime. She’s now being deported to Jordan.
Odeh has become a leftist hero. Sunday night, she and Sarsour embraced, and Sarsour gushed to the audience about feeling “honored and privileged to be here in this space, and honored to be on this stage with Rasmea.”
It’s a curious embrace of terrorism and anti-Semitism from a recipient of a $500,000 taxpayer grant from Mayor de Blasio, as Sarsour’s group, the Arab American Association of New York, was last year. Sarsour, in fact, has been an important ally of de Blasio’s since his election — a role she’s sure to reprise in the mayor’s bid for a second term.

Douglas Murray: On Campus: Minority Priorities
At the end of the same month in which [Charles] Murray and [Jordan] Peterson were prevented from speaking, [Angela] Davis was invited to address Marquette University. Because she does all the boilerplate stuff such as stressing how various rights movements "make a positive difference in the world", and otherwise telling students what many of them want to hear, her lecture at Marquette went off without interruption. Everyone in the packed hall listened politely and applauded her sentiments.
In other words, the approved event was not a lecture; it was a political rally.
Davis has certainly little or nothing new to say that would educate or challenge a hall full of students. Her narrative, like that of so many approved speakers, embeds the idea that there are people with privilege and that they should be persuaded or forced to share that privilege with everyone else.
So it is probably as well that people realise where this narrative leads. When you consistently break down a society along racial and sectarian lines for short-term political and personal gain, there is bound to be a group that must in the end lose out. That group may just turn out to be a minority as well.
Sure enough, the same month that Angela Davis was applauded and Peterson and Murray were silenced, some pamphlets turned up on campus at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Like so many leaflets before them, these talked about the scourge of "privilege". And who did these pamphlets identify as the people with the most privilege? Why, the Jews of course. Or, as the pamphlets put it, "Ending white privilege... Starts with ending Jewish privilege."
As with the Occupy Wall Street movement a few years ago, which also ended up with anti-Semitism at its core, who could seriously not have seen that this would be where all this would end? At present, the people who preach tolerance in the United States and Canada are turning out to be the least tolerant.
And the people who complain of discrimination turn out to be opening the door to practitioners of the oldest discrimination of all.
IRONY: Anti-Semitic Former Terrorist Tells College Students Why Israel Is A Terrorist State
On March 27, former Black Panther member and leader of the Communist Party USA Angela Davis spoke at George Washington University at an event hosted by Students for Justice in "Palestine," the GW Black Student Union, and the GW Feminist Student Union to talk about social justice and the non-existent state of "Palestine."
Davis, who was once on the FBI's Most-Wanted List for providing weapons to her fellow Black Panther terrorists who took hostages and committed a massacre in a Marin County courthouse, falsely accused Israel of committing "ethnic cleansing" and called for its de facto destruction in an attempt to liberate "Palestine." She argued for Israel's destruction under the guises of social justice and "anti-colonialism."
We say no to Israel’s ethnic cleansing strategies. In standing up against the racism of the state of Israel, we are passionately saying no to anti-Semitism as well. This is supposed to be the dismantling of the era of Israeli occupation of Palestine. It has been long and coming.
According to Davis, it is not anti-Semitic to defend the same position of genocidal terrorist groups like Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which have a long history of inciting Palestinians to kill any Jews who are occupying "Palestine." Not only is the "occupation" a fiction, but it also rewrites archeological history that the Jewish people have lived in the land of Judea for over 3,500 years.
Joel Pollak: Odeh and the Appropriation of Jewishness by Anti-Trump Antisemites
On Sunday, convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, a key organizer of anti-Trump marches who was responsible for the murder of two Israelis and lied her way into the United States, gave a defiant address to a Chicago conference.
Odeh will soon leave the U.S. after filing a guilty plea to avoid prison under an agreement with the Department of Justice, which she claims is too “racist” under Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bother resisting in open court.
The most shocking aspect of the Odeh saga is not that the mainstream Arab-American community backed her in her bizarre fight. Nor is it the fact that she has been at the center of the anti-Trump protests over the last several weeks, joining other Palestinian radicals such as media darling Linda Sarsour. And it is almost to be expected that Odeh had worked at the Arab American Action Network, with ties to Barack Obama’s Chicago crony, radical Rashid Khalidi.
Notably, the media have been silent in demanding that the anti-Trump movement distance themselves from the rank antisemitism and actual terrorism at the forefront of their activism and events. The hypocrisy is, sadly, now routine.
No — the most stunning aspect is that Odeh’s cause was supported by left-wing Jews.
Odeh gave her valediction — in which she railed against Trump and “Zionists,” as the guest of a group calling itself “Jewish Voices for Peace” (JVP). The group rejected an effort by pro-Israel Jews to hold a memorial for Odeh’s victims, Edward Jaffe and Leon Kanner. (The Washington Times notes that the pro-Israel activists rented a room at the hotel and held a memorial anyway.)
A BDS Defeat at Columbia
As with so many other campuses across the U.S., the BDS campaign at Columbia is not really about any tangible economic ramification that divestment might have for the State of Israel, but about defaming the Jewish state in an academic forum. This is a battle not of military might or even economic advantage, but of ideas.
This became clear when interlocutors on both sides debated the fairness of the language in which the referendum had been drafted.
Pro-Israel activists made clear that the phrasing of the question, which asked the student body whether or not they supported Columbia University Apartheid Divest’s campaign, was inherently biased since it included the “apartheid” libel. One of CUAD’s members responded, “the word of apartheid is part of our name, we’re not asking you do you think apartheid exists, it’s part of our name.” It was indeed clever for these students to incorporate the label of apartheid into their name, thus making sure every relevant discussion included the term, but a lie told a thousand times is still a lie.
Last night’s victory was no miracle or happy accident. It was the culmination of many late nights and early mornings for Columbia’s Israel activists. Decisions are made by those who show up at the right places, at the right times, and in the right ways. The vote reaffirmed that the best way to advocate for Israel on a college campus is not just to attend rallies or public demonstrations with large signs and raised voices, but to build relationships, network, and articulate your position from multiple vantage points.
Demonstrating the diversity within their own community, the pro-Israel speakers who spoke last night at Columbia were right wing and left wing, men and women, Ashkenazic and Sephardic and Mizrachi, gay, transgender, and straight. They were united in their opposition to BDS, and that unity enabled them to deliver a stunning victory for the students on Columbia’s campus and on campuses around the country that support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.
When a poet confronted Russia with the Holocaust
Very rarely, a poem changes the way a nation remembers its history. Russian dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s “Babi Yar” was one such poem.
Penned in 1961, “Babi Yar” refers to the ravine in Kiev, Ukraine, where more than 33,000 Jews were murdered by the Nazis and collaborators during two unprecedented days of slaughter in World War II. Until Yevtushenko’s poem denounced Soviet authorities for covering up the Holocaust and stoking new forms of anti-Semitism, the genocide had been almost totally repressed in the region where it began.
Yevtushenko died on Saturday at age 84 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was a professor who split his time between the United States and Moscow. Remembered for criticizing the Soviet system in hundreds of poems, he wrote “Babi Yar” after visiting the infamous ravine more than half a century ago. On the site where the largest massacre of the Holocaust took place, the poet noticed that not one memorial had been erected.
Returning to his hotel, Yevtushenko wrote “Babi Yar” in just a few hours.
“No monument stands over Babi Yar,” began the poem. “A steep cliff only, like the rudest headstone. I am afraid. Today, I am as old as the entire Jewish race itself.”
Without literary flourish, Yevtushenko recounted episodes of persecution throughout Jewish history, ranging from the Bible’s marauding Philistines to pogroms carried out on Russian soil. Most provocatively, the poet accused Soviet authorities of denying that a genocide of Jews had occurred, as well as for continuing to harass Jews living under Communist rule.
Dutch couple drops lawsuit for removal of postcard-sized Holocaust memorial
A Dutch couple who sued the municipality of Amsterdam over the placing of a postcard-sized Holocaust memorial plaque near their home have dropped their motion as a result of harsh criticism.
The couple, who live in the upscale Old South neighborhood of the Dutch capital, told the Volkskrant daily on Sunday that the suit prompted criticism in the Dutch media and beyond ever since it was reported Friday.
“We’re shocked by the way in which the publicity regarding this issue has led to misunderstandings,” wrote the couple, who requested anonymity. They added that “because of the death of our child, the stumbling cobblestone is too emotional.”
They were referring to the 4-square-inch brass plaque that city workers put in the sidewalk near their doorway in 2014 bearing the name of Joachim Elte, a Jewish accountant who lived in the couple’s building on 3 Sint Maes St. before he was deported to a Nazi concentration camp during World War II and murdered in 1945.
Michael Curtis: Eddie Izzard confronts Palestinian discrimination
It is ironic that Izzard was stopped from running in the Palestinian marathon. He is in fact well known for his performances in a number of marathons. In 2016 he ran 27 marathons in tribute to Nelson Mandela’s 27 years in prison during the South African apartheid regime. In 2009 he had run 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief.
The bias of the Palestinian organizers is staggering in two ways. First, it made clear their intense animosity and intolerance towards even one who was not hostile: the chief organizer remarked, “Performing in Tel Aviv is equivalent to performing in Sun City during the time of apartheid, and there is no balancing act that can justify violating the Palestinian boycott call.”
For this bellicose individual Izzard was whitewashing Israel’s occupation and apartheid system. The British APUK, said he couldn’t hunt with the hounds and run with the hare. They neglected that Izzard appeals to an international audience. At the Arena in Tel Aviv he performed in a number of languages, including Russian and Arabic.
The second aspect of bias is that the run in question, a 21 km marathon, drawing 5,500 registered runners, started from the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, went through two refugee camps, and alongside Israel’s western wall. Its object was ideological, to point out and emphasize for a wider audience, restriction on freedom of movement of Palestinians.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman speak with US commentator Jeffrey S Wiesenfeld about his fears for the future of US Jewry, and we then hear from Mustafa Akyol, a self-described moderate Muslim on the place of Islam in the modern world.
The fellahs speak with Swedish journalist/politician Nima Gholam Ali Pour on how life for Jews in Sweden is getting worse, and Isi Leibler joins them as usual from Jerusalem.
3 min Editorial: latest Palestinian advocacy
9 min Jeffrey S Wiesenfeld, on US Jewry and Israel
52 min Mustafa Akyol, Muslim US-based journalist
1: 15 Nima Gholam Ali Pour, Swedish journalist/politician
1: 32 Isi Leibler from Jerusalem
Mossad Agents Cheered on 9/11 Claims American Jewish Academic at Anti-Israel Conference in Ireland
Jewish activists in the UK have condemned “deplorable” statements made at a weekend conference in Ireland examining the legal legitimacy of Israel, and urged financial backers to pull their money.
It comes after one of the speakers, American academic Professor Joel Kovel, told the audience that five Mossad agents were “cheering” the destruction of the Twin Towers during the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
“As the towers burned, do you know about the five painters cheering on the process from across the river?” Kovel asked the audience. “They were Mossad agents, six of them actually. They were arrested and disappeared from the face of the earth.” Audience members challenged the statement as “not true” and “anti-Semitic”.
A statement later issued by Jewish Human Rights Watch urged donors to University College Cork (UCC) to pull their funding after allowing a conference featuring Jewish conspiracy theories to go ahead.
“It is deplorable that such lies have been allowed to be spread by UCC, especially as over 400 Jews died out of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians,” the group said.
An open letter to the Cork Conference on Israel’s Legitimacy
Dear fellow participants of Conference Cork
I was asked if I wanted to speak several times this weekend but despite Oren Ben Dor’s assertion that zionists want to be hated, I thought it best to decline. Though, as I am not a European Israeli Jew, that probably confirms his hypothesis. Before the conference I knew that I was never going to agree with most of what was said and I knew there was going to be anti-Semitism. One only has to look at the title of Ben Dor’s paper and his bio in the programme to know he is itching to discuss the “Jewish question”. But what truly took me aback is something that I know very few – if not none – of you will see. I know this as I spoke to several very nice, well intentioned people who genuinely could not see the problem when I discussed it with them.
I heard a lot about love, inclusion, solidarity, engaging with the “other” and living in harmony with your neighbours. My genuine question to you all is: why do you want to be neighbours with a group of people – European Zionist Jews – that were depicted unrelentingly for three days as people – and it was people, not the state – without one redeeming quality. Not one. You could not allow yourselves to afford them one shred of humanity. We heard how they abuse Palestinian children, abuse their own children (by deliberately starving them of affection to harden them up), abuse the land, water, the trees – Palestinians on the other hand are uniquely connected in a deep spiritual way to trees and the land. We heard how they abuse other religions and abuse their own religion. This was a favourite topic indeed. How they simultaneously give true Jews a bad name and express the true nature of the European Jewish tradition. The words of the Passover Seder were scrolled out on screen to show how the Zionist paranoia and desire to be hated is deeply connected to the Jewish need to have an enemy to sustain its identity. Not being aware of the tradition, I have to assume, given the attitude displayed, that “good” Misrahi and Sephardic Jews have different wording in their Passover rituals. We learnt that Ashkenazi Zionist Jews abuse philosophy, epistemology and, through their evil Zionist/US Military Industrial Complex, the entire safety and ecology of the globe. They abuse language. Arabic has been removed as an official language (news I’m sure to Israeli schools where Arabic has become compulsory for Jewish students) and even their own language is suspect. When asked by a rather sweet, naive man whether it might be nice to see some Hebrew/Arabic poetry collaboration both Atif Alshaer and James Bowen were quick to point out modern Hebrew was beyond the pale. Possibly biblical Hebrew might be okay. But that’s a Palestinian language so belongs to the acceptable people. (Palestinians being the original Jews, you understand. European Jews are nothing but foreign invaders notwithstanding that I’m guessing the biblical Hebrew they retained for centuries in Europe came from the same source) But Hebrew in its “colonial guise”? That’s an “other” we can’t engage with.
Pro-Israel Organizations, Not the Knesset, Should Lead the Fight against BDS
The recent Knesset legislation that bans activists affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement from entering Israel has sparked condemnations from a variety of corners in the Diaspora, including from the Anti-Defamation League and a number of liberal Zionists. While sympathetic to the rationale for the law, and for other legislative attempts to fight the activities of anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Gerald Steinberg argues that Israeli politicians have the wrong approach. (Free registration required.)
To their critics, [such] restrictions are assaults on democracy [or] worse. But for Israeli politicians on the right and center of the political spectrum, the BDS visa law, like other measures, was a necessary response to the ugly political war being waged against the Jewish state. Such policies provide headlines for the politicians and show determination to defeat the demonization campaigns that libel [Israel] and cavalierly accuse IDF soldiers of war crimes. Similarly, Israeli politicians repeatedly denounce groups like Breaking the Silence and B’tselem, whose leaders travel the world condemning the IDF, annoying large segments of the Israeli public (not only the right). These attacks are largely ineffective, [however,] and they allow the NGOs to portray themselves as victims of a witch-hunt.
Similarly, for many Zionists around the world who are not interested in domestic Israeli politics, the BDS legislation and similar policies are entirely counterproductive. The use of legislation (especially measures that will not pass scrutiny by the courts), regulations, and other [political] approaches causes significant damage to Israel’s international image. The picture that emerges is one of a powerful, aggressive government harassing weak NGOs. . . .
Leader of anti-BDS group: Israel’s law gives ammunition to its enemies
Despite the partisan sniping at this year’s AIPAC conference, one issue that garnered consensus among the lawmakers and lobbyists was the backing of bills targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
So it might have been jarring for some of the activists to be approached by an avuncular, kippah-clad fellow who lobbied against an anti-BDS law — and even more jarring when they learned that their interlocutor was Gerald Steinberg, the founder of NGO Monitor, which targets the very groups advancing BDS.
Steinberg’s target was not the AIPAC-backed congressional bills that punish businesses that boycott Israel and its settlements — the measure uses penalties in place since the 1970s on businesses that comply with the Arab League boycott. Nor was it the many state laws divesting pension funds from businesses that comply with BDS.
It was an Israeli law, adopted last month by the Knesset, that bans entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting the Jewish state or its settlements. The measure has already scored a hit, keeping out a prominent British pro-BDS activist.
Steinberg argued that the law accomplishes little — Israel, like every country, already has broad discretion about whom to let into its borders.
Bucking boycotts, Ohio to snap up record $61 million in Israel bonds
State of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel said Monday he will purchase an unmatched $61 million in Israel bonds to hit back at the boycott movement against the Jewish state, and because the bonds are a good investment.
The purchase will be the largest single government purchase of Israel bonds in Ohio history and, following acquisitions in previous years, will leave the the state with more Israel bonds than any other US government body in the country.
“First and foremost, we are making this investment because it’s a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio,” Mandel, a retired Marine who served in Iraq, told the Cleveland Jewish News. “Second, we are making this investment in an effort to combat the bigotry of the BDS movement. Third, we are making this investment to stand with the only country in the Middle East that shares American values.”
The purchase was made possible due to a house bill from 2016 allowing the Treasury to raise debt interests in foreign countries from 1 percent to 2% of the state portfolio, Mandel explained.
2/3 of UK Jewish students have been targeted for their religion
Two-thirds of Jewish British university students believe they have been targeted due to their religion and more than a quarter worry about being the victim of an anti-Semitic attack, a new study found.
Twenty-six percent of Jewish university students told a survey conducted by the National Union of Students that they were either “fairly worried” or “very worried” about suffering a physical attack, property damage, verbal abuse or theft because they are Jewish.
The study results released Monday come as the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported at British educational institutions nearly doubled from last year, to 41 from 21, The Independent newspaper reported. It also comes as Jewish students continue to express concern about anti-Semitism within the National Union of Students, or NUS.
Fewer than half, or 49 percent, of Jewish students who responded to the survey said they would feel comfortable attending NUS events, while two-thirds thought the union would not respond appropriately to allegations of anti-Semitism.
BDS Fail: Oxford University to Welcome First Israeli Rhodes Scholars
A campaign to include Israel in the global Rhodes Scholarship scheme has come to fruition with the announcement that Maayan Roichman and Nadav Lidor will be heading to Oxford University at the start of the new academic year.
Canadian couple Larry and Judy Tanenbaum provided the funding for the 113-year old Rhodes Trust to be broadened to include Israel and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has praised the Jewish philanthropists whose donations helped Oxford University include Israelis for the first time.
Addressing representatives of Oxford University he said: “Your decision to add Israeli students is very important. Wherever I travel in the world, I see the admiration for Israel for our education system, and our achievements in innovation, and as the start-up nation. Without natural resources we have had to develop and invest in human resources, and we are very proud of what we have achieved.”
The Jewish News reports Rivlin also praised Oxford University for opening a Tel Aviv office – the first major university to do so – adding that this was “an answer to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement”.
The push for Israeli students to be eligible for the prestigious scholarship has been quietly evolving for many years and is seen as a direct rebuttal of the BDS movement which argued that Israel should be ineligible due to its settlements in the West Bank. Now Israel’s finest young minds will have the chance to study amongst the world’s best and brighest.
Toronto university students adopt broad definition of anti-Semitism
The student union at Ryerson University in Toronto has voted to adopt a broad definition of anti-Semitism.
The definition adopted last week includes the denial of the Jewish right to self-determination, the application of double standards to the State of Israel, the comparison of contemporary Israeli policies to that of the Nazis, and the use of symbols or imagery associated with classic anti-Semitic tropes, according to Bnai Brith Canada.
The definition is in line with the one used by the governments of Canada and Ontario.
“After all of the shameful incidents to occur on campus this year, it was especially important for the RSU to adopt a robust definition of anti-Semitism,” said Tamar Jaclyn Lyons, vice president of communications for Students Supporting Israel at Ryerson. “This definition will prove critical in holding bigots accountable for their actions and preventing these hateful acts from continuing in the future.”
Students Supporting Israel had attempted to convince the Ryerson Students’ Union to adopt a similar definition in 2014, but was rejected.
Ken not expelled
Astonishingly Labour have not expelled Ken, they have merely suspended him for another year. Oh dear…
Ken says: “I apologise for the offence caused by those Labour MPs who lied and said I said Hitler was a Zionist” and tells ITV: “I don’t think anyone expected this result”.
Jewish Labour Movement statement: “One year suspension is insufficient for a party the claims zero tolerance on antisemitism. This is a betrayal of our Party’s values. One year suspension allows for a revolving door for repeat offenders.”
CST: “This decision strengthens real anti-Semites and their fellow travellers, and will leave the Jewish community less confident than ever that Labour is serious in dealing with anti-Semitism.”
Wes Streeting: “So much for zero tolerance approach to antisemitism – this is a terrible betrayal of Jewish Labour supporters and our values.”
Ken Blames Jewish Chronicle
Ken has been on the Today programme to blame the Jewish Chronicle for his Hitler Tourette’s. The JC say:
“Somehow, out of all the coverage his words have received over the past year, he has decided it is all the Jewish Chronicle’s fault. One might wonder what conclusion can be drawn from that.”
He also doubled down on last week’s new slur about Jews collaborating with Nazis, insisting: “Literally there is such a history of collaboration”. Decision expected today – surely Labour won’t let him off, right?
Peretz 'disappointed' in UK Labour leader
MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) on Sunday sent a letter to British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in which he expressed his disappointment over Corbyn's refusal to visit Yad Vashem.
"Perhaps your refusal stems from a problem of personal identity, which clashes with the world of universal values ​​in general and social democracy in particular," Peretz wrote to Corbyn.
"Perhaps this is the result of political opportunism of the lowest kind, which deters you from standing up to anti-Semitic elements, and particularly within your own party, including the harsh remarks by former London mayor Ken Livingstone. It is also possible that this stems from a lack of understanding of contemporary anti-Semitism,” added Peretz, who recently announced that he would run for leadership of the Israeli Labor party.
Peretz concluded his letter by calling on Corbyn to reconsider his refusal to visit Yad Vashem. A copy of the letter was also sent to the British ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey.
Corbyn has come under fire from the local Jewish community, due to his calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.
DaphneAnson: BDS? Did She or Didn't She?
From a website dedicated to BDS:
Balloon Expandable Stent
Invented in Israel by an Israeli!
Preferably before an emergency situation (whereby your judgement may be clouded by urgency and the optimum medical response) please inform your Cardiologist to ensure that a Balloon Expandable Stent is NEVER used. Request open heart surgery!
First things first. B-Stent does not stand for Beyar Stent, although its inventor, Prof. Rafael Beyar, an invasive cardiologist and biomedical engineer at the Technion and former dean of its medical school, did come up with the original design for a metal stent, used to keep clogged arteries open.
There is something truly truly sick about boycotting products intended to save lives just because they are made in Israel, a leader in medical breakthroughs and scientific technology.
There is something truly truly sick about expecting a patient whose life depends on equipment to boycott it because it was the invention of Israeli hands and Israeli brains.
A patient requiring a life-saving operation would have to be fanatical indeed to comply with the above.
Nevertheless, on hearing through the grapevine that Baroness Tonge, who recently underwent cardiac surgery in London, required two stents, I can't help wondering, in view of her two most recent Facebook posts, whether she checked the provenance of those stents first.
PreOccupiedTerritory: New ‘BDS Tour’ Of Israel Allows Travelers To Boycott From Up Close (satire)
A developing trend of socially aware international travel has tourism companies offering packages that cater to those sensibilities, with the latest iteration a trip to Israel that enables participants to embrace the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions strategy through direct and pointed rejection of Israeli goods and services at their source.
Woke Tours, a new initiative by American entrepreneurs, aims to blend comfortable, even luxury, travel with progressive action in support of important causes. Travelers who wish to burnish their progressive credentials by taking part in a prominent display of BDS activism can choose from one-week or two-week packages, both of which blend renowned Israeli hospitality with public snubbing of Israeli establishments selected by Woke’s research staff.
Last month, the group of social activist businesspeople launched Woke via coordinated campaigns in Boston, New York, and multiple college campuses across the US, and has so far attracted dozens of participants. The program takes up to twenty enlightened travelers at a time to Jerusalem, Haifa, and various portions of the West Bank, where, in a move coordinated with the right media outlets, the group vocally refuses to engage the services, or purchase the products of, an Israeli enterprise.
“Staying in a luxury hotel in Tel Aviv is a must for travelers of a certain slice of the American liberal demographic,” explained founder Phineas Barnum. “With Woke Tours, there is no need to sacrifice the world-famous cuisine, culture and beaches of Tel Aviv – a center of LGBTQ life – just because one wants to make a political statement. Woke integrates the best of what Israel has to offer with the progressive mission of the BDS movement, and features the unparalleled customer service and amenities of El Al’s first or business class transatlantic service.”
People who read the news more likely to be Islamophobic, study finds
People who read the news are more likely to feel angry towards Muslims, a new study has found.
Whether liberal or conservative, researchers found more avid news consumers showed both increased anger and reduced warmth towards members of the Islamic faith.
The findings, based on responses from 16,584 New Zealanders from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS), were published in leading international science journal PLOS ONE.
The authors said it showed widespread representations of Muslims in the news were contributing to lower acceptance.
The fact that the study was was based on New Zealanders, who are generally “highly tolerant”, made it particularly poignant, the authors said.
Article in Toronto-based newspaper accuses Israel of anti-Christian plot
The Mississauga-based Arabic newspaper Meshwar features ( March 31, 2017, Issue 179, p. 27) an article penned by the Lebanese journalist George Obeid and entitled “Israel is working to end the Christian existence in the Middle East.”
The following is an excerpt from the article (originally in Arabic):
The plot will be completed and be more established by deliberate displacement and systematic extermination. Israel doesn’t want any Christian presence in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt and it allies with the US and a number of Arab Gulf countries to achieve this goal. By its alliances, and its futile, imaginary and murderous inclusion, it [Israel] continues to kill Jesus Christ, tear his body, and hide his resurrection of the dead in order to establish its existence as the undisputed heir of the promised land. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the existential point which ended and will end the exclusivity of its entity as Allah’s chosen people and will expose its despicable killing of Jesus Christ.
German boy beaten, kicked by Muslim schoolmates after telling them he is Jewish
The case of a British Jewish child forced to leave his Berlin school after being subjected to anti-Semitic violence has provoked outrage and soul-searching in Germany.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named under child protection laws, was beaten, kicked and threatened with a replica gun after he revealed to fellow pupils that he was Jewish.
He endured a campaign of intimidation by Muslim pupils who told him “Muslims hate Jews. All Jews are murderers.”
His British mother, who asked not to be named to protect the identity of her son, told the The Daily Telegraph the school had done little to stop the bullying.
“They told us this is normal for adolescents from this background, that they’re just trying to find their identity,” she said. “But it shouldn’t be normal. I’ve never experienced such direct anti-Semitism before in all the years I’ve lived in Germany.” (h/t Zvi)
New York Education Chief Reverses Stance on Controversial Holocaust Assignment
New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia reversed her stance endorsing a controversial assignment from earlier this year that had asked students to argue both sides on the Holocaust’s directive to exterminate Jews en mass.
A teacher in New York’s Oswego County had asked students to put themselves in a Nazi leader’s shoes and argue for or against the “Final Solution” to exterminate the Jewish people, Syracuse.com reported.
“I think it’s certainly a question where you want students to think on both sides and analyze…which position a person is taking,” Elia had said. “That idea of being able to identify the perspective an article has or a writer has is a very important skill.”
Elia’s statement drew widespread criticism from both Jewish and state government officials.
The Anti-Defamation League’s education director in New York, Beth Martinez, said “no assignment should ever be given that even hints at there being two sides to the Holocaust.”
Elia backtracked Monday, saying the assignment should have never been given.
Holocaust survivor, 91, celebrates her bat mitzvah in Buenos Aires
Eugenia Unger, who usually displays the number tattooed on her arm by the Nazis, covered it with her Shabbat clothes and her talit when she celebrated her bat mitzvah, 79 years late.
Unger, 91, born as Eugenia Rotsztejn in Warsaw, Poland, on March 30, 1926, was identified by the Nazis during the World War II as number 48914.
Now she often talks about her experiences and shows the number on her arm to students due to her involvement with the Buenos Aires Holocaust Museum. She also attends school conferences to talk about the Holocaust.
Unger was called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah on Saturday at the Herzliya Jewish community center and temple in Buenos Aires.
She told the Argentinean radio program, Radio Cultura on Thursday of her upcoming celebration that “the culmination of my whole life is my bat mitzvah; it is a ritual that is very important in Jewish life,” The temple also organized a birthday celebration for Unger on Friday night.
Israeli emergency teams support flood survivors in Peru
Israeli emergency teams have deployed to Peru to support affected communities following floods and mudslides that have eviscerated much of the country’s infrastructure. The Peruvian government said it needed international aid to help hundreds of thousands of people displaced by flash floods and landslides.
IsraAID deployed a team to support affected communities in impoverished and remote areas. Access to the most basic items such as food, safe water, and hygiene kits still remains limited for many, and this is the first priority for the team, said the Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid.
So far, over 100 people have died and some 700,000 are homeless.
The Peruvian government said it needed international aid to help hundreds of thousands of people displaced by flash floods and landslides. Photo by IsraAID
“We were at home when we heard screaming coming from the street- when we ran outside we saw the river and mudslides entering the street in front the house. We thought to try and block the flood so we started organizing, but after about 10 minutes we were struck by another strong mudslide that came from behind our house. The last mudslide left everything destroyed; my house is inhabitable, my garden is destroyed, and my belongings are ruined,” Gloria Sedano Pascual, a resident of Carapongo, told IsraAID.
In Rwanda, Israeli-inspired youth village is walking on sunshine
The field that produces approximately five percent of Rwanda’s energy is so quiet you can hear a bird landing on the grass.
“Yes, you can meditate here,” said Twaha Twagirimana, the plant supervisor of the vast solar field in eastern Rwanda, where 28,360 solar panels are laid out in the shape of the continent of Africa.
Two years ago, Gigawatt Global, an American company based in the Netherlands with an R&D office in Jerusalem, led a conglomerate that built the field, the largest in East Africa. Today, the panels are quietly basking away, tilting four degrees every hour as they follow the path of the sun. The solar field powers 15,000 homes, saving an estimated 12 million labor hours each year that would otherwise have been spent fetching firewood.
But the solar field is not the only forward-thinking initiative in the area. The solar panels sprawl across 700 dunams (170 acres) of land leased from Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, a prestigious and innovative boarding school modeled on Israeli youth villages, especially Yemin Orde in Haifa.
These hilltops in the Rwamagana region of east Rwanda have become a hub for different types of thinking in a country whose culture, despite its difficult history, embraces innovation and change.
How Israeli culture promotes creativity and independence
If you sit for an hour and observe children playing in a typical Israeli playground, you may be struck by the chaos. You will see children climbing up slides rather than sliding down them and scaling the peripherals of jungle gyms instead of using their ladders. You’ll find toddlers boldly standing on swings, running without caution, yelling and never waiting in line.
Even more striking, the adults rarely interfere with the children’s play. They offer no instruction nor correct the children who choose to use the playground equipment in an unconventional manner.
This lack of interference is indicative of two strong characteristics of Israeli culture: 1) high tolerance for the unconventional and 2) what in Hebrew is called a balagan. In the simplest sense, balagan can be translated to words like disorder, mayhem and chaos.
Balagan is the state for which a preordained order of things does not exist. People, and even entire systems, act spontaneously. In Israel, there’s balagan everywhere. And this has been proven to be a good thing.
Section of 2nd Temple-era column found at Temple Mount dig
The capital of a carefully-adorned column that stood on the Temple Mount in the time of the Second Temple has been discovered through the Temple Mount Sifting Project.
The capital, whose size indicates that the column had a circumference of 75 centimeters (30 inches) at its top, is a section of one column that formed part of the double colonnade that surrounded the Temple Mount plaza.
In his book "The War of the Jews," Romano-Jewish historian Josephus describes the columns that surrounded the Temple Mount plaza: "All the cloisters were double, and the pillars belonging to them were 25 cubits in height, and supported the cloisters. ... The natural magnificence and excellent polish and the harmony of the joints in these cloisters afforded a prospect that was very remarkable."
Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, said that "this is a capital in the Doric style, one of the characteristics of the art in the time of the Hasmonean dynasty. This appears to be the capital of a column formed part of the eastern colonnade of the Temple Mount, which Josephus and even the New Testament called 'Solomon's Porch.' A column like this is impressive testimony of the immensity of the structures on the Temple Mount in the Second Temple era, and fits in well with Josephus' narrative, which describes what he saw with his own eyes."
Barkay explained that a 25-cubit column would have stood 12.5 meters (41 feet) high.

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