Tuesday, June 13, 2017

From Ian:

Shunned anti-Semitism film shown for 24 hours only at Bild website
A new much discussed documentary on European anti-Semitism has been leaked on the website of the Bild Zeitung, Germany’s biggest newspaper. The leak, whose source remains anonymous, is illegal.
Titled “Chosen and Excluded – Jew Hatred in Europe,” the film by German producers Joachim Schröder and Sophie Hafner covers the various forms of Jew hatred that prevail in contemporary Europe. Although it was approved by network editors, for the past five months it has been withheld from the public by the Franco-German public TV networks Arte, which owns its broadcasting rights.
One of the reasons given for the highly controversial decision to shun the movie, which was commissioned by the German public WDR network on behalf of its partner station Arte, was that it would include too much footage from Israel. The documentary also includes a segment on anti-Semitic Israel bashing, which, as the film strikingly shows, is often supported by tax-funded European NGOs.
The public TV channels’ refusal to broadcast the film has been harshly criticized by public figures, among them scholars, politicians and artists who acclaimed the documentary. Now Bild is leaking a web link to the film for 24 hours, beginning Monday night and ending Tuesday at midnight.
Antisemitismus in Europa (Dokumentation neu) ARTE (h/t Gastwirt)


David Collier: Boycotting Gal Gadot. Antisemitic, discriminatory. BDS in action
Gal Gadot is the new ‘Wonder Woman’. Gal Gadot is also a proud Israeli. Gal’s nationality, religion and political opinion are hers to hold. BDS once again shows that it is little more than a Jew hating lynch mob, that everyone with a conscience should refuse to engage with.
It isn’t surprising that Lebanon wanted to boycott the Wonder Woman movie. The Arab boycott against Israel existed decades before the Arab Palestinians were even recognised as a separate people. Arab nations have always had a problem with advertising successful Israelis and Gal Gadot is a very successful Israeli. When you want to spread the propaganda that your enemy is the devil incarnate, it doesn’t help when Israeli citizens are successful scientists, sports people, academics and movie stars. Boycott makes the intended distortion easier.
Jordan’s suggested boycott of the movie is less understandable. After all, is there any point in Israel signing peace treaties with these nations? Perhaps for some of the Arab nations, the boycott is an excuse. After all, having Gal Gadot as a champion on screens in a deeply misogynistic society presents its own internal difficulties. Boycott is perhaps a back-door method of rejecting female-positive messages within the movie.
I always argue that the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement is hypocritical and deeply antisemitic. I compare it to a lynch mob, ruled by the evil intent of those at the front. It does not matter if you are a social justice warrior, fooled into believing BDS is some meaningful humanitarian escapade. All you are doing is empowering the mobsters. After all, as a movement gains momentum, it doesn’t constantly need your permission to act.
We have to be thankful that as a mob that is driven by uncontrollable hate, BDS activists often show us exactly how hypocritical, discriminatory and antisemitic they are. Which brings us to the boycott of Gal Gadot. This an image from the Palestine Project:

The Irrelevance of Antisemitism
Whereas other forms of racism tend to demean people because of their race, ethnicity or sexuality the Jews are hated because they are considered omnipotent therefore responsible for all the evils of the world.
But the antisemitism expressed by members of the British Labour Party didn’t stop the electorate voting for them in their millions. Even on election day a woman was filmed at a polling booth in a Jewish area calling on people to vote Labour “to get the Jews out.”
And in the end the Jews were powerless to help themselves. In the end the leader who brought all this antisemitic controversy with him to the fore was returned with more seats than his ethnically Jewish predecessor. I suppose it’s testament to the faith British Jewry has in the British people that they assumed the reporting of incidents of antisemitism would disgust their fellow citizens enough to put them off Corbyn. Instead we’ve seen many come to believe that the reports of antisemitism are a “plot” to “smear” the exalted leader Corbyn to hold him back.
All this reminds me of a statement made by a demonstrator attempting to prevent Hen Mazzig from speaking at UCL in Central London. While standing in a crowd of screaming demonstrators who were just appalled that a small group of Jews might want to hear a talk by an Israeli officer in the IDF she said “in the 21st century we don’t need no Jewish majority state”. Of course this whole sordid affair demonstrated perfectly why, even in the twenty first century, we do.
Many people lecture Jews about what they’re allowed to believe, what they’re allowed to be offended by, what they’re allowed to be concerned by, what does and does not constitute antisemitism against them and few are listening to what Jews are saying about it. Furthermore many people are shocked and appalled, not by the antisemitism, but by the attempts by Jews to defend against it. “Smear” they shout, “plot” they scream. motivated by their own twisted morality they go to great lengths to scream from the rooftops that there’s no antisemitism, that it just doesn’t exist, it’s a conspiracy don’t you know!



Tillerson: PA has ‘changed policy,’ will stop paying terrorists’ families
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told senators on Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority has changed its policy and intends to stop paying the families of terrorists jailed for attacking or killing Israelis.
“They have changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others,” Tillerson said. “We have been very clear with them that this [practice of paying terrorists] is simply not acceptable to us.”
Tillerson’s comments were made during a public hearing on Capitol Hill with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the US State Department’s budget. US President Donald Trump has proposed cutting the State Department funding levels by 28.7 percent.
Asked about US foreign policy going forward, specifically pertaining to the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying terrorists, Tillerson said that both he and Trump discussed the issue with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during their recent meetings in Washington and Bethlehem.
“The president raised it, and I had a bilateral meeting with [Abbas] later and I told him — you absolutely have to stop this,” Tillerson said.
Kay Wilson: An Open Letter To The Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan About Al Quds Hate Day
Dear Mr Khan,
This is not the first time I have written to you concerning events with a Jihadist and/or unbalanced agenda taking place in London. I hope that this time, my letter will warrant a response from you.
As a British-born survivor of Islamic terrorism, I am both flabbergasted and frankly outraged that you continue to give the green light to Islamic terrorism in London, by either telling your constituents that “terrorism is part and parcel of living in a big city,” and now, by ignoring a petition of almost 6,000 signatories protesting the Al-Quds Day March to be held in the city of London this Sunday, 18th June.
It hardly need be said, that your lack of action in allowing people who support Jihad to march through London, also stands to ignite antisemitism against the British Jewish community and more unabated hatred against Israel, the sole refuge for Jewish people in the Middle East.
I have never met you, so I am unable to ascertain if your lack of leadership concerning Islamic terrorism is due to personal passivity, disinterest or something else. Whatever it is, your abdication from your responsibility as Mayor of London, is not only deeply grievous to myself – a survivor of this Islamic terror the marchers endorse, but is also a slap in the face to the families of London’s and Manchester victims – whose blood has only just been mopped up from London’s streets.
Kay Wilson
Justice for AMIA The worst Iranian-sponsored terrorist attack in Latin America
It’s a terrorist attack: 85 killed. Hundreds wounded. Decades go by and no one is brought to justice. Finally, that may change.
An important bill that has just been introduced in the Argentine Parliament aims to enable the trial “in absentia” of those accused of having perpetrated the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building, the worst terrorist attack ever suffered by a Latin American country. As is widely known, the accused, some of whom still have strong ties with the Iranian government, have successfully eluded the Argentine justice system for 23 years.
The proposed law would also apply to other serious crimes contained in international human rights treaties, that have acquired constitutional status in Argentina (such as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons), as well as to crimes contained in conventions to which Argentina may accede and give constitutional status in the future.
The idea of allowing trials in absentia in Argentina gained momentum in 2013, when the government of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed the infamous “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) with the Iranian regime.
Proust and Dreyfus
The Dreyfus affair was an event with European, indeed global resonance. Chekhov and Mark Twain wrote about it. In the Swabian backwater of Hemmingen, Baroness Spitzemberg, the widow of Württemberg’s envoy to Berlin, noted in her famous diary after Dreyfus’s second conviction in 1899: “It is incredible how the question has whipped up feelings even in the lowest classes: Often the farmers come to the post office late in the evening to pick up the local papers and read the news of the trial, rather than waiting to get them in the morning.” The discussions in Germany and Austria were a complex subject unto themselves. The astonishing spectacle of Wilhelm Liebknecht, doyen of German social democracy, publishing a series of harsh anti-Dreyfusard articles in young Karl Kraus’s journal Die Fackel can be put down to a mistrust of the liberal press and the fear that the German Reich might use the affair as an excuse to take a hard line toward a discredited France.
A little book published in 1935 still gives what may be the best sense of what the Dreyfus affair was and how it felt. It is called Souvenirs Sur L’Affaire, and its author is Léon Blum. Readers may know him as the great French statesman who succeeded Jean Jaurès as one of the leading figures of French socialism, a man whose name is now associated chiefly with the Popular Front governments between 1936 and 1938. The front populaire achieved several epochal social reforms, introducing such things as paid vacations. An elderly worker once wrote to Blum to thank him for the opportunity to see the sea once in his life.
After France was defeated during World War II, Blum openly opposed right-wing collaborationists and called on the socialists to respond with resistance; when the Vichy regime tried him in February 1942, he and his co-defendants pulled off such an impressive and elegant defense that the trial was ultimately called off—strikingly echoing the acquittal of the Communist Dimitroff in the Reichstag fire trial. Blum’s life was spared because he and several other prominent figures were kept as hostages until the end of the war to be used as security in the event of negotiations with the Allies.
Richard Dawkins: Islam Is ‘The Most Evil Religion In The World’
Evolutionary biologist and popular new atheist figure Richard Dawkins doesn’t mince words when it comes to the threat Islam poses to Western civilization. In a speech at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the U.K., Dawkins slammed the moral idiocy of cultural relativism, arguing against the ill-conceived notion that all religions are more or less the same.
“It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not,” he stated.
Refusing to submit to de facto blasphemy laws, Dawkins then dropped the bomb.
“If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam,” he said in no uncertain terms.
The fact that Dawkins will likely require a round-the-clock security detail to protect him against retribution by religious fanatics is testament to just how bold such a public declaration can be in the West.
Islamic State urges followers to stage worldwide Ramadan attacks
The Islamic State group is calling on supporters to carry out terrorist attacks all over the world during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began two weeks ago.
In an audiotape circulated Monday on Islamic State's channel on the encrypted messaging application Telegram, the jihadi terrorist group's spokesman, Abu Hassan Muhajer, praised last week's dual attacks in Iran's capital, saying Tehran is "weaker than a spider's web."
Muhajer called on followers to launch terrorist attacks in the United States, Europe, Russia, Australia, Iraq, Syria, Iran and the Philippines.
"Oh, lions of Mosul, Raqqa and Tal Afar, God bless those pure arms and bright faces, charge against the rejectionists and the apostates and fight them with the strength of one man," Muhajer said. "Rejectionist" is a derogatory term used to refer to Shiite Muslims.
"To the brethren of faith and belief in Europe, America, Russia, Australia, and others. Your brothers in your land have done well, so take them as role models and do as they have done."
London mayor sought counter-terror advice from Israel after attacks
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has sought advice from Israel about how to better combat the urban terrorism of the Manchester and London Bridge attacks.
In an exclusive interview with Jewish News after addressing more than 1,000 guests at Jewish Care’s annual dinner, Khan revealed that both his office and Met Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of national counter-terrorism policing, have been in touch with officials in Israel.
“My office has been in contact with not only Tel Aviv but other places as well,” he said.
Mayor Khan said he and his colleagues had learned “lots of things, things like putting in place the barriers we have done in London. There are other things and we are using the advice we receive.
“Just like the terrorists evolve, we have to find new ways to protect ourselves,” he added.
He said police visit Israel and are in regular touch with their contacts.
Media Still Pretending It Doesn't Understand Why Omar Mateen Shot Up Pulse Nightclub
Nobody does anything for one reason; that's not how humans work. However, the media continues to focus on periphery behaviors and circumstances in order to explain Mateen's motive, while the primary inducement is plainly obvious. They are afraid to say that Mateen killed 49 people because he fetishized radical Islam, and the punishment for homosexuality in radical Muslim belief is death.
Why is the media afraid? Because to criticize radical Islam is to criticize Islam itself, and therefore a religion the adherents to which number 1.8 billion.
How does one define the term "Radical Islam"? The definition can be found in the men and women who have carried out attacks against the United States, the U.K., Germany, France, Israel, and numerous middle eastern nations. These men and women proclaim the Quran as their justification.
These individuals follow the more violent Quranic verses, like Surah 9:5, which states: "And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful," and Surah 8:12, which states: "I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip."
Radical Muslims believe these verses substitute earlier verses that called for peace through a process known as "abrogation," in which certain verses can be augmented or even fully replaced with later verses.
Surah 2:106, the primary verse that advocates abrogation, reads: "Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?"
WashPost Celebrates Pulse Massacre Anniversary. Never Mentions Islamic Terror.
Sure, the story was just a fluff piece on the anniversary of the shooting, talking far more about an event at the site and plans for turning it into a memorial and museum. But perhaps it's worth reminding everyone that the attack was Islamic terror in America.
As a teen, Mateen cheered the hijackers during the September 11 attacks and claimed Osama bin Laden was his uncle, saying he taught him how to shoot AK-47s, the Post earlier reported.
ABC News reported that on the day of the attack, Mateen posted on his Facebook page: "The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west ... You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance. He also wrote: "America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state." His final post was "In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the usa."
What's more, during the attack, Mateen called 911, CNN reported, pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State and referenced the Boston Marathon bombers. The Post also reported that "he had carried out the Pulse attack for the Islamic State".
Yes, the story had a different focus. But not clearly identifying Mateen as an Islamic terrorist is exactly why nearly 7 in 10 people think newspapers and networks are full of "fake news."
Linda Sarsour Is the Last Person Who Should Be Lecturing Us About the Plight of LGBT People in America
If you’re bored on a Sunday night and aren’t sufficiently angry from whatever political grievance you might hold, I suggest taking a look at Linda Sarsour’s Twitter account. From afar, everything looks relatively benign. This weekend, the Palestinian-American activist commemorated the year anniversary of the horrendous Pulse Nightclub shooting, which left 49 dead and 58 wounded.
As was repeatedly noted shortly after the incident, the target of the attack—a literal “safe space” for Orlando’s gay community—was clearly deliberate. The more we learned about the perpetrator, Omar Mateen, the more we learned about how he had a psychotic hatred for homosexuals, part of which was fueled by his devotion to a radical interpretation of Islamic theology.
Thus when someone like Sarsour, whose history of praising sharia law (and therefore the persecution of gays) and nations that routinely imprison and murder homosexuals is well documented, begins lecturing everyone on the hardships the LGBTQ community faces in the United States, one must raise an eyebrow. While it’s important to honor the dead and remember that some of America’s most vulnerable can be targets for Islamic terror, that’s all the credit Sarsour can get.
How can one rectify her supposed sympathy for hate crime victims with the political ideology and theology she constantly preaches, which directly contradicts with her various hashtags and supposed commitments to equality?
The facts don’t lie: In dozens of Islamic-majority countries, homosexuality remains a crime. Caught loving the wrong person in Saudi Arabia or Yemen and you could get the death penalty (although imprisonment or some form of public humiliation is more likely).
Linda Sarsour Claims Sharia Never Imposed on Anyone. Really?
In response to anti-Sharia law demonstrations held in cities across the U.S., Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour tweeted: “There is NOT ONE example of Muslims trying to impose Sharia on ANY ONE. No legislations. Anti-Muslim rallies playing on the gullible.”
Lest her memory fails her, here is a partial list of locations where Muslims — including entire Muslim countries — impose sharia law on others including in the United States:
  • UK
    A student from Florida was brutally beaten in October of 2013 by a Muslim sharia patrol in London. The “crime” of the student, an American citizen who was in England to advance his studies, was drinking a beer on the street. The patrols that began appearing on London’s streets in 2011, are mainly followers of radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary, whose goal is to enforce sharia law even in non-Muslim countries.
  • Germany
    A sharia patrol roaming the streets of Wuppertal, Germany was caught telling those walking by not to engage in activities forbidden by sharia law (drinking alcohol, using drugs, gambling, listening to music, etc.). The patrol also handed out notices to passersby telling them the area was a “Sharia Controlled Zone.”
    Despite the fact that the group was dressed in bright orange vests labelled “Sharia Patrol,” the court decided the group had not violated Germany’s laws on uniforms and public gathering.
  • Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia employs religious police, mutaween, officially tasked by the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. The force, which comprises of 3,500 officers and thousands of volunteers, is often accompanied by a police escort as its officers arrest those they deem to not be in compliance with sharia law.
    Infractions include: unrelated men and women socializing, homosexual activity, not being dressed according to Islamic dress codes, stores open during prayer times, consumption of alcohol or pork, etc. The religious police even stopped women in a park from using the swings, claiming “the swing could tempt passers-by to harass or attack them.”
NGO Monitor: NGO Monitor: Swiss Parliament Vote to Bring Landmark Change to NGO Funding
The resolution passed today in the Swiss Council of States will have a dramatic effect on government funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The final vote today follows three years of NGO Monitor publications and presentations documenting the issue of unchecked and unaccountable NGO funding by Switzerland. The resolution directs the government to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations” to prevent funding to NGOs “involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions.”
“This decision marks a fundamental change – when we first approached Swiss government officials, including the Foreign Ministry, their response was denial,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president at NGO Monitor. “For the first time, a European country has passed legislation to end funding for NGOs that are vehicles for incitement and hate speech, specifically including antisemitism.”
The resolution before the Council of States, the upper house of the Parliament, is a slightly modified version of a bill, initiated by Swiss MP Christian Imark, approved by the lower house of the Swiss Parliament (111 to 78, 4 abstentions) in March. The Swiss media has also covered the issues extensively.
NGO Monitor notes that a primary channel for Swiss funding to NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict is the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (“Secretariat”), a joint funding mechanism of Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The Secretariat has funded over 40 Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, including groups that engage in “lawfare” against Israeli officials and companies that do business with Israel, promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, exploit the false “apartheid” analogy to demonize Israel, and/or promote antisemitic propaganda.
BDS Is Continuing To Spread Hate And Anti-Semitism Across The US
How did this happen? The BDS playbook developed in the UK has been exported to the rest of Europe and to America, and its success here has followed like clockwork (I’ll speak more about this in my next op-ed).
Many in the American Jewish community ignored this threat when it first emerged. Some have even accepted BDS’ claims that it was simply a human rights movement and had nothing to do with anti-Semitism.
Anyone who spends the time to dig a little deeper discovers the truth. BDS has made clear time and again that their goal isn’t to exert international pressure to change Israeli policies: it is to destroy Israel, and demonize any that support it.
The maps that BDS groups publish of the region make clear that they seek Israel’s elimination, depicting a single Palestinian state that extends from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with no trace of the Jewish state. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, has said publicly that he’s working for Israel’s “euthanasia.” Hatem Bazian — the other major co-founder of BDS in America — has called for an armed struggle, an “intifada,” against the United States and spouted anti-Semitic stereotypes from his pulpit as a lecturer at UC Berkeley.
Those who see BDS for what it is — a sophisticated hate movement committed to the destruction of the Jewish people — are the only ones equipped to defeat it. The time has come to put the delusions behind us, but we cannot be successful without courage, conviction, and unity. If you want to join me in this fight as a philanthropist or volunteer, CLICK HERE to fill out a sign-up form to tell us more about your background and motivation. We will connect you to organizations doing important work in this space, according to your talents and interests. We must stand up and fight BDS now — with all the tools and all the strength that our community can muster — before it’s too late.
Lesson 2 in Fact checking: Rabid Dogs & The Gaza Pyramids


Lesson 3 in Fact checking: Lions Eating Palestinians & Israel's National Anthem


PreOccupiedTerritory: 10s Of Thousands Of Palestinians Bravely Defy BDS To Work In Israel (satire)
Cars and buses from Palestinian-administered territories line up at this security checkpoint northeast of Jerusalem each morning into rush hour so that thousands of day-laborers and other workers may gain entry into the Israeli capital where they can earn a living. In so doing, note a number of them, these brave souls risk the ire of the BDS movement, which seeks to isolate Israel politically, economically, and culturally.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians cross the 1967 Armistice line each morning and evening on their ways to and from work in Israeli businesses, where generous pay enables them to support their families. The Palestinian workers persist in this routine despite its resulting support for what BDS calls “normalization of the Occupation.” It remains unclear what manner of sanctions BDS might call for against these flagrant violations of its aims.
Ahmad, 40, a construction worker, displayed the permit he holds that allows him to enter areas under full Israeli control. “I can earn six times on the other side of that wall than on this side,” he explained, gesturing toward the separation barrier. “There are people who think I should be letting my kids starve to make a political statement? Wow. That’s inhuman. Who are these people?”
“Bee Dee- what?” added Jameel, 22, who works in the hospitality industry. “I get to eat on the job as I wash dishes and do some short-order cooking at a restaurant in Jerusalem, when no such work is available back in Ramallah, or anywhere else under Palestinian administration. Who are these [expletive] who think they can dictate how I live my life?”
The “Pro-Con” Con: Curating Criticism of Israel
You can call it the "'pro-con' con": A range of presentations that are meant to give the impression of balance, but that are in fact curated to reinforce a narrow message.
Jane Eisner's views were certainly known. As NPR's Michel Martin explained in his broadcast, Eisner was invited to speak to discuss her column, recently published in the Forward, about the war's anniversary. That column argued that Jews "must figure out how to hold two very different narratives simultaneously, even though they conflict at their cores." As a journalist in particular, Eisner says, she feels "duty-bound to understand other perspectives."
Prompted to elaborate about her "conflicted feelings," Eisner delivered as would be expected. The victory in the Six-Day war felt like a miracle about which she is "proud and grateful." On the other hand, she argues, it means Israel shares in responsibility for Palestinian suffering. She says she's seen young Israeli soldiers act "kind of brutally," and references the occupation as "a moral stain."
So, too, would A.B. Yehoshua's views be known to NPR. The New York Times once described the famed Israeli author as "a long-standing critic of the occupation," albeit one who "doesn't lionize" the Palestinians. Robert Siegel did his research, telling Yehoshua during the interview, "You place the settlements on the West Bank as a central obstacle to peace with the Palestinians." ("Yes," the author responded, before criticizing Israeli "blindness" and Palestinian "stubbornness.")
In short, NPR looked to two outspokenly self-critical Jewish or Israeli guests to opine on the Six-Day War anniversary. This type of self-criticism, though, was absent from All Things Considered's interviews with Palestinian guests. In the segment with Omar Omar, NPR's Daniel Estrin set the scene thusly: "Since 1967, as hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers moved in, Palestinians have faced life under occupation. Over time, that meant army checkpoints, road closures, nighttime arrests, clashes."
The Washington Post: We Print ‘Commonly Used’ Falsehoods
The Washington Post defends its use of inaccurate language on the grounds that its use is frequent.
As CAMERA has noted (“The Washington Post’s Troubling Trend Towards Israel”) a May 29 Post report (“A daily commute through Israel’s checkpoints”) claimed that “The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip began 50 years ago in June [emphasis added].”
However, as CAMERA pointed out to Post staff: The status of the territories is disputed and no Palestinian state has ever existed. The Post itself noted as much in a Sept. 5, 2014 CAMERA-prompted correction, among other instances. That correction stated, in part: “The Israeli-occupied territories are disputed lands that Palestinians want as a future state.”
Despite this acknowledgement, the paper continues to inaccurately describe the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as “Palestinian land”—including in a Jan. 2, 2015 article that appeared within three months of the correction noted above (“When is a Correction an Error? When The Washington Post Says So,” CAMERA, Jan. 9, 2015).
When CAMERA contacted The Post about the May 29, 2017 report, it pointed out that a story in the June 6, 2017 edition rightfully stated, “The status of Gaza and the West Bank are still in dispute, with the Palestinians hoping the two territories will eventually make up an independent state."
Radio 4’s Hugh Sykes joins the BBC’s ‘it’s all down to the occupation’ binge
After a recording of music playing, Hugh Sykes begins his item. Curiously (but, given BBC editorial policy, predictably) Sykes’ descriptions of the second Intifada do not include any mention of the word ‘terror’.
Sykes: “A saxophone player on Jaffa Street [sic – Jaffa Road]. People sitting at café tables under parasols on a sunny spring day here in Jerusalem. The first time I walked here 15 years ago the shops had security guards with automatic rifles checking your bags. There was a wave of almost routine suicide bombings, many of them killing dozens of people on buses here in Jerusalem. Between 1989 and 2008 across Israel altogether 800 people were killed by Palestinian suicide bombers.”
Sykes’ information – apparently gleaned from Wikipedia – of course does not tell the whole story. In just five of the 19 years cited by Sykes – 2000 to 2005 – 1,100 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks that included – but were not limited to – the suicide bombings on which he has chosen to focus. He continues:
“Since then the security barrier – the walls and the fences and the extensive checkpoints –have been put up, cutting off the West Bank; the main source of the suicide bombings. Though the counter argument is that the bombings have stopped because the Palestinians have largely stopped trying to send suicide bombers here, partly because it led to the security barrier being put up and their lives being made much more difficult. So, it’s calm here now. But this is an illusion Daniel Seidemann tells me. He’s an Israeli lawyer specialising in the geo-politics of Jerusalem.”
Of course BBC regular Daniel Seidemann is not just a “lawyer”: he is also the founder of two politicised campaigning groups – ‘Ir Amim’ and ‘Terrestrial Jerusalem’ – both of which receive foreign funding including, in the case of the latter, from the UK tax payers listening to this programme. Despite the existence of BBC editorial guidelines stating that the “particular viewpoint” of contributors should be made clear in advance to audiences, Hugh Sykes makes no effort to clarify Seidemann’s political agenda and links to politicised campaigning NGOs to listeners before they go on to hear that contributor’s cliché-ridden statements.
BBC’s Hugh Sykes tells R4 listeners that Jews rejected the Partition Plan
Sykes then presents listeners with an inaccurate claim relating to the 1947 Partition Plan.
Sykes: “And 70 years ago in 1947, the UN General Assembly passed the partition resolution, recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states with economic union and an international regime for a shared Jerusalem. The two-state resolution 181 seventy years ago was rejected by Palestinians and by most Jewish organisations.”
The non-binding recommendation known as UN GA resolution 181 of course limited ‘corpus separatum’ status of Jerusalem to a period of ten years, after which “the whole scheme shall be subject to examination by the Trusteeship Council in the light of experience acquired with its functioning” and “the residents the City shall be then free to express by means of a referendum their wishes as to possible modifications of regime of the City”.
The Palestinians – in the form of the Arab Higher Committee – did indeed reject the Partition Plan outright – but so did the Arab states; unmentioned by Sykes. While some groups such as Etzel and Lehi expressed opposition to the Partition Plan, the organisation officially representing Jews in Palestine – the Jewish Agency – both lobbied for and accepted it. Sykes’ attempt to portray the plan as having been rejected by both Arabs and Jews is egregiously inaccurate, although unfortunately not unprecedented in BBC content.
Anti-Israel message stuck to door of Colorado Chabad center
Two men were caught on surveillance video putting a sticker with an anti-Israel message on the door of a Colorado synagogue.
The message stuck to the door of the Chabad Lubavitch of Southern Colorado in Colorado Springs early Saturday morning read “Fight terror, nuke Israel,” the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
One of the men took a photo of the sign before leaving the scene. The message has been removed.
Rabbi Moshe Liberow of Chabad told the newspaper that police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“He seems very proud and happy with his hate,” Liberow said of the vandal who took the picture.
Warren Buffett raises $200 million in Israel Bonds
Business magnate Warren Buffett is encouraging the purchase of Israel Bonds at private events in New York.
Guests attending the events with Buffett on Thursday have pledged to buy $1 million to $5 million in Israel Bonds in order to meet the American billionaire, whose net worth of $75.6 billion makes him the second richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
Buffett, CEO of the American conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, hosted an event last November in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, that led to investments of $60 million in the Jewish state. Buffett also bought $5 million worth of Israel Bonds at the event.
Israel Bonds said that following Thursday’s events, Buffett was expected to have helped bring in about $200 million in bonds investments.
“Israel Bonds is proud to call Warren Buffett a friend,” Israel Maimon, president and CEO of Israel Bonds, said Monday in a statement.
“By supporting the Israel Bonds organization through these events and investing directly in Israel Bonds himself, Mr. Buffett is helping to ensure that the State of Israel will continue to prosper, and will continue to be a model of innovation and economic growth for decades to come,” Maimon added.
Buffett spoke highly of the Jewish state at the November event.
Rock legend Rod Stewart lands in Israel ahead of Tel Aviv gig
British rock legendary Rod Stewart landed in Israel on Tuesday ahead of his much-anticipated concert at Tel Aviv's Park Hayarkon on Wednesday.
The 72-year-old musician last performed in Israel in 2010 at the Ramat Gan stadium.
As part of his worldwide ‘HITS 2017’ tour, Stewart will naturally be performing all the massive hits from his incredible career, classic rockers like “Maggie May,” “Baby Jane”and “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” through to big ballads such as “Sailing,” “You’re In My Heart,” and “Tonight’s The Night.”
“I’m looking forward to performing in Tel Aviv in June. I promise to deliver a fun, energetic show. I’ll be playing your favorite hits, with a few surprises too. I give you fair warning – fasten your seat belts. I’m pulling out all the stops,” Stewart said months ago in a recorded video statement.
Despite facing calls to cancel his performance in Israel, Stewart remained steadfast in his decision to take the stage in Tel Aviv.
4,000 Indian Jews expected to attend PM Modi address in Israel
Approximately 4,000 Jews of Indian origin, now residing in Israel, are expected to attend a keynote event hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day visit to the Jewish state in July.
According to Indian newspaper The Economic Times, preparations for the large community event, due to take place on July 5 in Tel Aviv, are in their final stages. Organizers are hopeful that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attend.
“We expect a crowd of around 4,000 Indian Jews, who migrated to Israel, to attend the program,” India's foreign policy department head Vijay Chauthaiwale told the newspaper.
The event at Tel Aviv's Convention Center is similar to Modi addresses during previous foreign visits, aimed at local residents of Indian origin. In a November 2015 visit to the United Kingdom, Modi appeared before an impressive audience of 60,000 at London's Wembley Stadium. Similarly large gatherings have been held in the US and South Africa.
Swedish airline SAS to relaunch direct flights to Eilat
Decades ago, Swedes used to enjoy escaping from their long, cold winter with a direct flight to the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat, where they often would spend some time soaking up the sun as the first stop en route to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
That came to an end when direct flights from Sweden to Eilat ended some 15 years ago, because of the Second Intifada.
But the Stockholm-Eilat route is now recommencing, thanks to an agreement signed by the Israel Airports Authority and the Tourism Ministry with Sweden's national air carrier, SAS.
The agreement is part of the Tourism Ministry's "winter flights" program, under which airlines are paid 45 euros ($50) by the Tourism Ministry and an additional 15 euros ($16) by the Eilat Hotel Association for each passenger they bring in. Tourists will be able to purchase week-long package deals, from Saturday to Saturday.
Israeli aviation officials believe the agreement will also allow Israelis who want to visit Sweden to enjoy discounted flights from Uvda Airport, just outside Eilat.
Houston mayor seeks direct flights, stronger business ties with Israel
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is visiting Israel this week, heading a delegation of his city’s top executives to drum up business and create collaborations in the fields of energy, life sciences, and smart cities.
“It has been a very productive and successful trip, packed with meetings,” Turner said in a phone interview with The Times of Israel on Tuesday.
Israel and Houston can collaborate “on many different fronts,” he said, including on developing new technologies for the oil and gas industries and doing joint research and development in the medical field.
Turner, 62, an attorney and politician, has been mayor since 2016 of a city said to be on track to becoming America’s third-largest city after New York and Los Angeles.
To encourage greater collaboration between Israel and his city, Turner is pushing for direct flights from Houston to Tel Aviv, and he raised the subject in his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Natural Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz.
U.S. Holocaust Museum Launches Kickstarter to Preserve Diaries
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., launched today a Kickstarter campaign to catalog, preserve, and digitize 200 diaries from victims and survivors of the Holocaust; three of them will also be transcribed and translated. The USHMM chose to launch the fundraiser on June 12 because it’s the birthday of Anne Frank, who would have been 88 years old today.
The museum is hoping that the accessibility of these diaries will serve as educational resources for generations to come. Dana Weinstein, the museum’s director of membership and new audience engagement, said that Anne Frank’s story is a catalyst for younger generations looking to connect with the Holocaust. “They can identify with a young girl’s hopes and dreams,” she said.
As of this publishing, the campaign, called “Save Their Stories: The Undiscovered Diaries of the Holocaust,” has collected over $23,000 of its stated goal of $250,000. If the USHMM reaches its fundraising goal, all 200 diaries will be safeguarded and made available online, but the money only goes so far: Just three of these diaries will be transcribed and translated. They are:
The diary of Joseph Strip (formerly Stripounsky), a young boy who wrote about his family’s harrowing experience over the grid-lined pages of his math notebook.
The papers of Lucien Dreyfus, a journalist and schoolteacher from Strasbourg, France, who was deported to Auschwitz in 1943. His collection includes letters to his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter who escaped to the United States in 1942.
The diary of Hans Vogel, who fled Paris with his family while his father was interned, which contains hand-drawn and colored maps of their journey.

When asked whether the campaign had anything to do the White House’s proposed budget cuts to the museum, its representatives said, adamantly, that it does not. “We’ve been talking about this project since last summer,” said Weinstein.
Einstein letters on God, McCarthy, Israel go up for auction
A collection of letters written by Albert Einstein is set to go to auction next week, offering a new glimpse at the Nobel-winning physicist’s views on God, McCarthyism and what was then the newly established state of Israel.
The five original letters, dated 1951 to 1954 and signed by Einstein, reveal a witty and sensitive side of the esteemed scientist. They were sent to quantum physicist David Bohm, a colleague who fled the United States for Brazil in 1951 after refusing to testify about his links to the Communist Party to the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Bohm’s widow’s estate put the documents on the block after she passed away last year. One of the yellowing pages, bearing Einstein’s signature and embossed seal, and a handwritten general relativity equation, opens at $8,000 and is expected to sell for at least twice that. In all, the collection is expected to fetch over $20,000.
Einstein and Bohm became friends when they both worked at Princeton University. Their letters touch on quantum physics, the nature of the divine and Bohm’s miserable time in Brazil.
An Ancient Artifact Contains Clues about Synagogues during the Second Temple Period
Discovered in a 1st-century-CE synagogue on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, the Magdala stone is a rectangular block not much bigger than most microwave ovens. One side is engraved with a menorah—the earliest such depiction ever found in a synagogue—and other objects from the Temple; the opposite side is engraved with wheels in an apparent reference to the angelic beings described as surrounding the divine chariot in the book of Ezekiel. Engraved on the other two sides are gates, perhaps those of the Temple or the gates of heaven. Since archaeologists agree that both the synagogue and the stone predate the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the artifact has special significance. Lawrence Schiffman presents his own interpretation:
There appear to be flat, indented areas on [the stone’s] four top corners that could have supported poles. It has been suggested that this object was the base for what was then called a teyvah (a “chest”), the ancient synagogue furnishing that served both to hold the Torah scroll [like a modern-day ark] and as a lectern upon which it could be read. This beautiful object would have been part of a synagogue furnished and decorated more extensively than any other from the 1st century CE that has been excavated in Israel.
But this stone has an enormous significance, way beyond its beauty and rarity. It is the earliest post-biblical evidence we have for the notion that a synagogue is a mikdash m’at, a “small sanctuary,” a [talmudic description] drawn from Ezekiel (11:13), where it refers to God. Specifically, the decision to decorate the base of the teyvah on which the Torah was read with symbols of the Temple [implies] that the synagogue was intended to function as a local, admittedly less sanctified, version of the Temple. This object was decorated richly with such symbols to show that the prayer, Torah reading, and study that occurred in this building were likened to the sacrifices offered in the Temple. What this means is that the concept of the synagogue as a replacement for the Temple did not come into existence as a reaction to the latter’s destruction; rather, for [those] Jews who lived too far away to visit Jerusalem regularly, it existed long before.



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