Friday, July 07, 2017

From Ian:

New York Times Calls Palestinian Terrorist Convicted of Five Murders a “Freedom Fighter”
The New York Times published an article on Wednesday profiling Fadwa Barghouti, the wife of Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian terrorist currently serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli prison for murder.
Written by Shaina Shealy, the article described Fadwa and Marwan’s romance and politics in uncritical terms and even compares Marwan to the late South African revolutionary Nelson Mandela. It warmly portrays Fadwa as a champion for her husband’s freedom, notably failing to mention that she also participated in a 2015 march honoring Abu Jihad, a Fatah leader who was implicated in 125 murders. Abu Jihad masterminded multiple terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians in the 1970s and 1980s, including 1978 Coastal Road massacre that claimed the lives of 38 people, including 13 children.
In defending her husband, “Fadwa repeats over and over that Marwan never killed with his own hands,” Shealy wrote. “He led, she says, but he never killed.” Fadwa’s attempted defense seems to bolster Israel’s case that Marwan helped orchestrate terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of Israelis, rather than carrying them out himself. During his interrogation, Marwan admitted that this was his role.
Marwan was ultimately convicted by a civilian court in May 2004 of his involvement in three terrorist attacks in Israel that killed five people: Yosef Habi (52, from Netanya), Eli Dahan (53, from Lod), policeman Sgt.-Maj. Salim Barakat (33, from Yarka), Yoela Chen (45, from Giv’at Ze’ev), and Greek Orthodox monk Georgios Tsibouktzakis (34, from the St. George Monastery). He was acquitted on charges of 33 other murders due to lack of evidence of direct involvement, with the court noting, “he did not have direct control over the militants but did wield influence.”
Despite this, the Times article still described Marwan as a “Palestinian political prisoner” and, in the headline, called him a “Palestinian freedom fighter.”
Linda Sarsour calls for 'jihad' against American government
In a largely self-congratulatory speech to the Annual Islamic Society of North American (ISNA) this past weekend, Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour called for the "best form" of jihad against the current American administration.
"A word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad," Sarsour declared. "And I hope that we, when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad. That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here, in these United States of America, where you have fascists, and white supremacists, and Islamophobes reigning in the White House."
Sarsour has been a prominent face among left-wing activists, in particular since the election of US President Donald Trump. She was one of the organizers of the January “Women’s March on Washington” held the day after Trump’s inauguration.
But she has come under fire for many of her stances and comments, including her support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. She has said “Nothing is creepier than Zionism,” that Zionism and feminism are incompatible, and has warmly embraced Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist involved in a 1969 bombing that killed two students.
Linda Sarsour Called For ‘Jihad’ Against Trump. Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know About It.
3. Sarsour Praised An Alleged Terror Co-Conspirator At The Outset Of Her Speech. Sarsour proclaims that her words regarding “jihad” should be taken in their least suggestive way — as a mere synonym for Leftist “resistance.” It’s hard to take them that way when she opened her speech by praising Siraj Wajjah, “her favorite person in the room.” Wajjah was listed as a possible unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, and testified on behalf of the Blind Sheikh. Wahhaj has a long history of speaking about jihad in the most traditional way: “I will never ever tell people ‘don’t be violent, that is not the Islamic way.’ The violence has to be selected.”
4. Sarsour Explicitly Rejected Assimilation To Western Values. In the “jihad” speech, Sarsour stated, “Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and to please any other people in authority. And our top priority … is to please Allah, and only Allah.” That’s no shock. She has a long history of advocating for shariah law and tut-tutting terrorism. That context must be taken into account when looking at the use of the word “jihad” as well. What is the end-goal here? Is it stock Leftism? Or is it something else?
5. Sarsour Knew What She Was Doing. Back in 2001, shortly after 9/11, President Bush gave a speech in which he called for a “crusade” against Islamist terrorism. The press went crazy, suggesting that this was the language of religious war. This was approximately a millennium after the actual crusades; the word crusade has been stripped of its religious meaning for centuries. Unlike the word crusade, the word “jihad” is alive and well as a mode of religious violence. Sarsour knows that, and she used the word anyway. Sarsour used the word “jihad” for a reason here: to seek attention, to link it with other “struggles” with which she identifies.

IsraellyCool: Know Your History: Jews Transforming The Land (NY Times, 1890-1912)
A series where I bring to you news from the archives and historical documents to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.
As I keep showing with this history series, there was a time when the New York Times reported honestly, and their reports from the time are very illuminating when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the competing narratives.
The palestinian Arabs and their allies claim the Jews came from Europe, took their land, and then expelled them, the indigenous people of the land. We are also led to believe that had we not come back to our homeland, life would be fine and dandy for the Arabs living here, and the we ruined their lives.
Back in July 1890, the New York Times ran this piece describing just what Palestine was like at the time.
Fabricating the History of the Six-Day War
In his new history of the 1967 conflict, Guy Laron claims to upend previous scholarship by arguing that the conflict was precipitated by war-mongering generals in Egypt, Syria, and Israel; in the last case, these militarists were in cahoots with “settlers” with whom they shared an obsession with territorial expansion. Meanwhile, the pressure of economic problems in Egypt and Israel left President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Prime Minister Levi Eshkol without the political clout to rein in their respective generals. Reviewing the book, Uri Bar-Joseph finds it disorganized, crammed with “too much information about too many irrelevant issues,” and “filled with factual errors,” some of which “show an alarming lack of expertise.” But the book’s real problem lies elsewhere:
Laron’s principal contribution is to advance a narrative so poorly substantiated as to border on conspiracy theory. . . . [It] is based on a biased selection of previously published sources, mostly in Hebrew and thus beyond the independent assessment of most American and European scholars. Anyone familiar with the documentary evidence will instantly recognize his account as groundless. . . .
After Israel was compelled to withdraw from the Sinai in 1957, there was a consensus within the military that acquiring territory was no longer a viable option. . . . [T]he IDF’s goal was simply to compel Syria to stop providing a base for Palestinian terrorists. . . .
But if Israel had no plans to occupy and annex the Golan Heights, why did the IDF prepare only offensive plans for a possible war against Syria? . . . [T]he answer has far less to do with territorial expansion than with Israel’s military doctrine. Due to the country’s small size and severe lack of strategic depth before the 1967 war, this doctrine called for preemptive strikes and, whenever possible, immediately taking the fight into enemy territory. . . .
Modi visit shows Israel can improve foreign ties even without a peace process
By way of contrast, Australia — arguably the most pro-Israel country in the world today — explicitly “affirmed its support for a two-state solution” when Netanyahu visited Down Under in February. (That trip occurred after US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, when the Israeli prime minister had already started avoiding this terminology.)
India, of course, still supports the Palestinian cause. The excellent personal relationship between Netanyahu and Modi notwithstanding, New Delhi refuses to promise to dramatically change its voting pattern at international organizations in Jerusalem’s favor. “We will vote on a resolution based on its merit and not based on friendship,” India’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Pavan Kapoor, told The Times of Israel a few days before Modi arrived.
That a successful visit full of friendly gestures does not necessarily change a country’s long-entrenched views on Israel/Palestine became obvious this week, when Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan — Muslim-majority countries Netanyahu visited seven months ago — voted in favor of a UNESCO resolution denying Israeli claims to the Old City of Jerusalem.
“My hope is,” Netanyahu told Ukrainian President Nazarbayev in mid-December, “that the great partnership that we are building here will also be reflected in international forums like the UN. That’s beginning to happen.”
It obviously hasn’t happened yet.
And yet, Modi’s three-day trip, which included a helicopter ride to Haifa during which Netanyahu showed him “Israel’s narrow waist and explained the area to him,” according to his aides, undoubtedly enhanced the Indian leader’s understanding of and sympathy for the Jewish state.
The fact that he entirely detached his principled support for the Palestinians from his desire to strengthen ties with Jerusalem cannot be seen as anything but a total success for Netanyahu. It marks a certain vindication, too, of his theory that it is possible to strengthen Israel’s foreign relations even in the absence of progress in the peace process.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel is notable on several fronts.
India, the potential global powerhouse now being courted by countries around the world, has moved from an anti-Israel position to a close alliance with Israel in the fields of industry, security, defence, energy, agriculture and medicine.
As the first foreign leader not to visit the Palestinian Authority while in the region, Modi has struck a powerful blow against the morally degraded false equivalence that is the norm in the west between Israel and its Palestinian would-be destroyers.
This alliance with India, following increasing ties Israel is creating in Africa and Asia, signals that it is increasingly pivoting away from hostile Europe towards the developing world and gives the lie to its supposed “isolation”. Countries that want to progress and prosper understand that Israel can help provide them with the means to do so. Demoralised Europe, which is dying on its feet, hasn’t a clue how important Israel is to any future it might have.
There’s a particularly shrewd insight into this transformation of relations between India and Israel by Nirpal Dhaliwal in Ha’aretz (yes, really). He writes:
While Jawarhalal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, fought for freedom from Britain, he and the wider political establishment that surrounded him were very much creations of the British and inheritors of their limited thinking.
A product of Harrow, Cambridge and London’s Inner Temple, Nehru swallowed the grandstanding logic of Britain’s bourgeois Left, adopting their ideas on many issues, from five-year economic plans to India’s foreign policy – including, of course, a coldness towards Israel, refusing diplomatic ties with a ‘colonial’ state and supporting the Palestinians instead.
Israel and India's Not-So-Secret Friendship
So, the time is ripe, and Modi’s Israel visit commenced with much fanfare. There was no sign of the supposed protest from the Muslim community in India, a fear expressed by previous governments to avoid going full throttle with Israel. In undertaking this visit and not going to meet the Palestinians, the Indian Prime Minister has not only sent a message to the international community but also busted some myths domestically. He has exposed the false narrative that insulted Indians of a particular community, doubted their alignment of personal and national interest and showed them as narrow-minded.
It is no secret, despite the best efforts from both sides, that India and Israel have shared a strong and old strategic partnership. But Modi’s visit is an acknowledgement of the realisation of India’s security relationship with the US, of which Israel is a very important factor. In that context, it is one of the most significant foreign policy moves of the Modi government. It could shape the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy and possibly contribute to the idea of an Asian NATO to counter China’s assertiveness in the region.
Beijing’s trade volume with Israel is twice that of India, but on defence, there remain many roadblocks, mostly American. The Indian Prime Minister would do well to leverage this. Israel has supported India, both militarily and otherwise, in wars since the 1960s, even when there were no diplomatic ties. The Israelis were the first ones to call Bangladesh East Bengal and not Pakistan in 1971 — something that even India’s then staunch ally the Soviet Union did not do. When the Kargil war broke out, an Israeli team flew in on a chartered plane to offer help to India.
Modi’s visit is a way to appreciate old gestures and build on them. It was time the world saw the hugs and the handshakes. In Netanyahu’s words, “swagat hai,” welcome, to this new era.
Modi visits without once publicly saying ‘Palestinians’
Narendra Modi, who departed Israel on Thursday after being the first-ever Indian prime minister to visit, spent 49 hours in the country, participated in more than a dozen events, and spoke publicly five times.
And never once did he publicly utter the word “Palestinians.”
There are many reasons why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must have hated to see the departure of his Indian counterpart, the leader of the world’s largest democracy with whom he waded barefoot into the Mediterranean on Thursday.
The trip showcased that Israel – despite anything that Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid might say – is anything but isolated in the world. It diverted everyone’s attention from the Western Wall issue that dominated the news the week before. And it was a vehicle for bringing the India-Israel relationship to the next level.
Indian Prime Minister Modi Bids Israel Farewell in Hebrew
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Israel at the end of a three-day visit on Thursday afternoon, but not before bidding the people of Israel goodbye in Hebrew on his Twitter page.
"I thank the people and Government of Israel for their hospitality. This successful visit will add more energy to India-Israel relations," he wrote in both Hebrew and English to his 31 million followers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bid Modi farewell with a hug and a tweet of his own in Hindi, saying he was happy for the visit and hoping to meet with Modi again soon.

IsraellyCool: Muslim Brotherhood Founder’s Famous Threat To Jews (Kind Of) Comes True
In 1948, Sheikh Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, was quoted by the New York Times as saying:
“If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea.”
Now while the Muslims have clearly not succeeded in driving us into the sea in the almost 70 years since, the existentialist threat they pose has helped drive us to become the innovation nation, leading to…
us driving ourselves into the sea!

Selective documentation
A group of 26 famous, prize-winning writers from all over the world have come together to contribute to a monumental, pretentious literary documentation project. "Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation" is a collection of essays edited by American authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon, who make the lofty claim that they had "no political expectations of these writers." But defining the reality in Judea and Samaria as "occupation" is the very essence of a political predisposition.
But leaving aside for a moment Waldman and Chabon's protestations of innocence, one couldn't really expect the literary-political initiative produced in conjunction with the nongovernmental organization Breaking the Silence to treat Judea and Samaria as the cradle of the Jewish people or as territory that was liberation from the Jordanian occupation that dated from the end of the 1948 War of Independence.
What is even sadder is that throughout the book's 495 pages, settlers and the IDF are almost always demonized as the embodiment of evil. Just like those who co-opted the grief over the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin don't really allow anyone who thinks that Rabin's legacy was a disaster to mourn the murder of the man who was their prime minister, the 26 contributors find it difficult to imagine that settlers, or anyone on the Right, could be enraged and pained at Palestinians being abused or harassed. They can't conceive that I or anyone like me, who see Judea and Samaria as part of the land of Israel and the Israeli state, are gripped with fury and fear when Jewish acts of terrorism or hate crimes are reported, no matter how minor.
Artists against Theater
BDS Boycott -- Israeli Play Will Go on, Lincoln Center Stands Firm
An open letter published by the activist group “Adalah-NY, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel” was signed by, among others, the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwrights Tracy Letts, Lynn Nottage, and Annie Baker; the acclaimed director Sam Gold; actress Greta Gerwig; rock star Roger Waters; and the playwright-actor Wallace Shawn and his My Dinner with Andre costar Andre Gregory. They claim that the scheduled performances of David Grossman’s play To the End of the Land will help “the Israeli Government to implement its systematic ‘Brand Israel’ strategy of employing arts and culture to divert attention from the state’s decades of violent colonization, brutal military occupation and denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people.”
In other words: How dare Israel back a play that isn’t about how horrible Israel is to the Palestinians. And Lincoln Center must steer clear of this moral atrocity by canceling the play. Baker, who is herself Jewish, added, nonsensically, “I think the phrase ‘cultural boycott’ scares people, and it’s important to remember that a) it’s not a boycott against individual artists or nationalities, and b) it has historical precedent as an extremely effective way to call attention to apartheid (yes, Israel is an apartheid state) and influence policy.”
This is straight-up balderdash from the BDS playbook. Boycott? The letter says, “We call on Lincoln Center to avoid complicity with Brand Israel by cancelling these performances.” These artists are free to avoid any play sponsored by any entity they don’t like, but now they are trying to prevent everyone else in New York from seeing this play. This is very much more sinister than a mere boycott.
The point these artists are making is ludicrous on two levels. First, though the play is sponsored by Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs, it’s an anti-war piece, not simple-minded cheerleading for the state of Israel. David Grossman, the author of the novel from which the play is adapted, lost his son Uri to fighting on the last day of Israel’s offensive in Lebanon in 2006. Since then, writes Judith Miller in Tablet magazine in her review of the play, “Grossman has become among the most outspoken Jewish Israeli voices against war and occupation. He has frequently protested the demolitions of houses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
BDS activist tricks authorities, enters Israel against protocol
Ariel Gold, a major boycott, divestment and sanctions activist was able to trick authorities and enter Israel last week despite measures to prevent the entry of anti-Israel activists, Israel Hayom learned Thursday.
Gold is a campaign director for Code Pink, an organization which claims to be a women-led grass-roots organization working to promote peace and human rights initiatives. But her social media accounts are rife with calls to boycott Israel, and recently, she invited anti-Israel Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi to lecture 8-year-olds about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Tamimi is the brother of Ahlam Tamimi, one of the terrorists who perpetrated the 2001 suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem which killed 15 Israelis, including seven children and a pregnant woman, and wounded 130 others.
Last year, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced that BDS activists would be barred from entering Israel. He also urged social media users to come forward if they had any knowledge about BDS activists posing as tourists, saying authorities would act to expel them from the country.
As it turns out, a week prior to arriving in Israel, Gold deleted her anti-Israel Facebook posts, going as far back as 2012.
NGO Monitor: Bread for the World Funds and Promotes BDS, Despite Claims to the Contrary
On June 13, 2017, German church aid organization Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World, BfW) issued a press release in response to a Bild article about the Arte documentary “Chosen and Excluded – the hatred of Jews in Europe” -which highlighted BfW funding to anti-Israel NGOs. The press release stresses, “For Bread for the World any promotion ends with the denial of Israel’s right to exist, calling for the boycott of goods from Israel, or promotion of antisemitism” (NGO Monitor translation).
This would be an important statement of policy, if it reflected the reality of BfW funding.
However, contrary to its claims, BfW has funded a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that lead BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. In addition, BfW has itself promoted the Kairos Palestine document, which calls for BDS and echoes antisemitic supersessionist themes,
Funding for BDS groups:
According to their submissions to the Israeli Registrar for Non-Profits, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) and Who Profits received NIS 565,930 from BfW in 2012-2016. Who Profits originated as a project of CWP “in response to the Palestinian Call for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) on Israel”; it is now an independent daughter organization entirely dedicated to BDS efforts. As of June 21, no information has been made available for 2017.
Malaysia, Indonesia Muslim groups call for Starbucks boycott over LGBT stance
Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia are calling for a Starbucks boycott due to the company's support of LGBT issues.
The Muslim Malaysian group Perkasa called on its members to boycott Starbucks coffee shops this week, the Associated Press reported.
"Our objection is because they are promoting something that is against human instinct, against human behavior and against religion," Amini Amir Abdullah, Perkasa's Islamic affairs bureau chief, told Reuters. "That's why we are against it."
Perkasa called on the Malaysian government to revoke trading licenses for Starbucks, as well as other companies like Microsoft and Apple.
The call came days after an Indonesian Islamic group, Muhammadiyah, also denounced the coffee chain in the nation with the world's largest Muslim population.
According to the Associated Press, shares in the company that operates Starbucks in Indonesia fell and a boycott Starbucks hashtag was popular for a short time.
Israeli guest tells BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ host ‘you rewrite the history’ – part one
Sadly for the BBC’s reputation for accuracy and impartiality, Stephen Sackur’s “little bit of research” obviously did not include familiarising himself with the full background to that UNICEF report and he is clearly unperturbed by the records of political campaigning groups such as DCI Palestine and Human Rights Watch (frequently quoted and promoted in BBC content).
Sackur then came up with the grossly inaccurate claim that led Ya’alon to charge him with “rewriting the history”.
“Your government – that is the Netanyahu government which you loyally served until 2016 – decided not to negotiate with the Palestinians.”
After Ya’alon had clarified that the Palestinians were the party that in fact refused to continue the nine months of negotiations that took place in 2013/14, Sackur tried to sidestep his inaccuracy by invoking yet another political NGO popular with the BBC – ‘Breaking the Silence‘.
“With respect, minister; you’re playing this tit for tat game of who was responsible for the breakdown of talks. I’m trying to dig to something deeper about the morals, the values, the cohesion of an Israeli society that has always prided itself on having the very best of humane values. And I’m putting it to you, if you listen to Israeli soldiers who have served the occupation like Yehuda Shaul of ‘Breaking the Silence’ – a group that is now opposed to the occupation of former IDF soldiers – he says this is the moral consequence of prolonged occupation of the Palestinian people; that is, the corruption of young Israelis who serve that occupation.”
The interview then took an even more bizarre turn which will be discussed in part two of this post.
Israeli guest tells BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ host: ‘you rewrite the history’ – part two
This interview presented an opportunity for BBC audiences to have their understanding of why years of negotiations have failed to produce results greatly enhanced.
However, rather than making the most of the opportunity to allow viewers to hear from an Israeli who has served in key positions – including a three-year post as head of military intelligence – and gain insight into why, like many other Israelis, someone who supported the Oslo process later arrived at the conclusion that it was a mistake, Stephen Sackur was obviously much more interested in aggressively promoting his own patronising opinions, his political agenda and his amateur psychological diagnoses of an entire nation.
Unfortunately for the BBC’s funding public, that has long been par for the course in Sackur’s interviews with Israelis.

AFP's Double Standard on Hebron Massacres: 1929 vs. 1994
When it comes to two brutal massacres in Hebron, one in 1929 and the other in 1994, Agence France Presse coverage displays an egregious double standard.
Today's article, "Palestinians, Israelis square off on UNESCO vote on Hebron," fails to give even the most basic information about the 1929 massacre, stating only:
There had been a Jewish community there for decades earlier, but they were forced out by attacks in British mandatory Palestine.
AFP fails to note who carried out the attacks (local Arabs). It fails to note the outcome of the attack: 67 murdered Jews and 60 wounded. And it fails to note the nature of the attack: an enraged Arab mob wielding knives, axes and iron bars killed all of the Jewish students in the local yeshiva and the mob slaughtered a delegation of Jewish residents on their way to the police station. The mob also broke into the home of Rabbi Ya'akov Slonim, where Jews were seeking refuges, and murdered him, his family and all those sheltering there. Dutch-Canadian journalist Pierre Van Passen described the scene at Rabbi Slonim's house:
we found the twelve-foot-high ceiling splashed with blood. The rooms looked like a slaughterhouse . . . I intended to gather up the severed sexual organs and the cut-off women's breasts we had seen lying scattered over the floor and in the beds.
VOA Corrects Palestine Terminology
CAMERA's Israel office has prompted a Voice of America correction regarding erroneous usage of the term "Palestine." Contradicting what appears to be VOA style and precedent, the July 3 article ("Modi to Embrace India's Growing Ties with Israel") had originally stated that "analysts said India's ties with Palestine remain robust," as opposed to referring to "India's ties with Palestinians," or "India's ties with the Palestinian Authority."
Following communication from CAMERA staff, editors commendably amended the article to refer to "India's ties with the Palestinian Authority."
Moreover, editors took the additional commendable step of appending the following editor's note to the bottom of the article:
UKMW prompts correction to Economist claim controversial book was ‘removed’ from curriculum
An article in The Economist focused on Israeli writer David Grossman, who recently won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for his latest work “A Horse Walks Into a Bar”. The piece (Israel’s artists are celebrated abroad; less so at home, June 24th) suggested that Grossman is less popular at home than abroad due to his left-wing political views, a disparity contextualized as an indication of Israel’s increasing intolerance towards dissent.
Evidence provided by the Economist demonstrating Israel’s putative lurch right includes the recent row over the book Borderlife (a love story between an Israeli and a Palestinian) by Israeli writer Dorit Rabinyan.
Here’s the relevant passage:
Some of Mr Netanyahu’s cabinet ministers offered more generous praise, even if they remain eager culture warriors. Among them is Naftali Bennett, the education minister, whose ministry removed from the state curriculum a novel featuring a romance between an Israeli and Palestinian
However, contrary to The Economist’s claim, the book in question was never on the state curriculum in the first place.
IsraellyCool: Success! Affinity Magazine Removes Antisemitic Conspiracy Article
Following CAMERA and I shining a light on the antisemitic piece published by teen magazine Affinity, they have removed all traces of it from the site.
"error 404"
Of course, the correct thing would to have also issued an apology for publishing something so vile to begin with. But I guess that is too much to expect from these “edgy” teens.
A New Ballet Matches Jewish Jewliet with Nazi Romeo
The director and sole choreographer of show is a white woman named Valerie Mae Brown, a classically trained ballet dancer from San Diego. She freely admits she has no Jewish or Roma ancestry, and no connection to the Holocaust at all, merely a life-long fascination with the subject. “It was my mom who suggested I set a show in this era!” she told me, “and I wanted to give my lead [dancer] a present, you know, and she said: ‘Romeo and Juliet.’”
That’s it. That’s how we get this anti-Semitic garbage fire. Well-meaning ignorance and an utter disregard for the kind of trauma and society-deep sickness that genocide both causes, and requires.
Valerie doesn’t strike me as a bad person. She was smiley, sincere, and bouncy, and willing to answer any question. She created her ballet company to provide opportunities for dancers who were between companies or productions, and about half her dancers have professional backgrounds. The other half are new, or mid-level. She also expressly stated her commitment to having multiple body types cast, which is an issue in the theater and dance world, which sharply limits your opportunities if you’re a woman of color, or too tall, or curvy, or somehow don’t fit a very specific mold. She is genuinely trying to create more opportunity not just for the arts, but for the women and men who face more barriers within the field.
But in her desire to push her creative envelope, Valerie revealed her deep paucity of knowledge about the Holocaust and about Jews as living people, despite her life-long fascination with the subject. It’s a failure of intersectionality and the Jews all over again, which is a running theme these days. Is there anything more cringe-worthy than naming your heroine Jewliet, to indicate her Other-ness? Maybe only by having her love interest be a Nazi.
“Who do you write for?” she asked me.
“Just like Jewliet!”
Yes. Just like that.
Canadian Jewish Human Rights Activist Calls for Stricter Enforcement of Hate Crimes Statutes After Antisemitic Graffiti Found at Ontario High School
A prominent Canadian Jewish human rights activist has called for stricter enforcement of hate crime statutes after graffiti blaming Jews for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was found at an Ontario high school.
Avi Benlolo — the president and CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) — said he believed greater implementation of Canada’s laws banning hate speech would act as a deterrent to behavior like the spray-painting of antisemitic messages on the walls of York’s Woodbridge College High School on June 29.
“Once somebody is caught and the act is determined to be a hate crime, and charges are brought and made public, I think we’d see this type of thing go down,” Benlolo told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
The words “Jews did 911” and a picture of a plane crashing into what appeared to be two buildings, in addition to at least three swastikas, were drawn on school buildings, according to anonymous reports sent into FSWC and B’nai Brith Canada, another Jewish advocacy group.
The images were found soon before Woodbridge’s graduation ceremony was set to take place, and staff quickly scrubbed off the graffiti ahead of the event.
Benlolo said though it’s not extraordinary to find “the odd swastika, in this particular case, they [the perpetrators] went all out.”
He said that he was not aware of any Jewish students at Woodbridge.
Dutch plan to limit Kosher slaughter shelved
The rabbi of the Jewish community in Amsterdam, Rabbi Eliezer Wolf, announced on Thursday that the initiative to limit kosher slaughter in the Netherlands has been shelved.
Earlier on Thursday, the Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands (NIK) said it had reached an agreement with the Dutch government to protect kosher slaughter (shechita) in the country.
NIK President Jonathan Soesman and General Director Ruben Vis, together with representatives of the slaughter industry and the Muslim community, signed an agreement with the minister of agriculture that extended the existing deal protecting shechita made in 2012.
This will mean that the Dutch community can continue shechita, with the new arrangement coming into force on January 1, 2018.
Rabbi Wolf, a member of the Standing Committee of the Conference of European Rabbis, said that following a report against the slaughter by the Vanningen University, the Dutch Cabinet Secretary asked for a bill to limit kosher slaughter to be approved, according to which slaughter would only be carried out for the community, the export of meat slaughtered in the Netherlands will be prohibited and the animal's death shall be determined by a veterinarian.
Hungarian Jews ask PM Orban to end 'bad dream' of antisemitism
Hungarian Jews said on Thursday Prime Minister Viktor Orban's billboard campaign against migration and foreign influence, using the image of US financier George Soros, was a proxy for antisemitism.
They urged the nationalist Orban to halt the campaign. "Please make sure this bad dream ends as soon as possible," Andras Heisler, chairman of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Federations (Mazsihisz), said in an emailed statement.
Orban's spokesman said the campaign had nothing to do with antisemitism but rather sought only to counter what he called Soros's attempts to unduly change immigration policies in Hungary.
Orban has locked horns with fellow European Union members in the west of the bloc over his opposition to immigration and liberal values and has criticized Soros – a major supporter of democracy and human rights causes – in increasingly sharp tones.
Israeli startup takes aim at Huntington’s disease
An Israeli biopharmaceutical company, Mitoconix Bio, has nabbed $20 million from investors to develop a promising drug for the treatment of Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
There is no drug in existence that can slow or stop the progression of such diseases, said Dr. Eyal Neria, CEO of Mitoconix Bio. “This is the Holy Grail of drugs for neurodegeneration, or what’s called disease modifying agents,” he said.
The company was founded in August 2016 by Daria Mochly-Rosen, of Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Mochly-Rosen led a team of researchers that identified the molecular interactions that cause the mitochondria in brain cells to break down into smaller, dysfunctional versions of themselves. Mitochondria are tiny cellular structures (organelles) within cells that produce energy and contribute to other important functions, including regulation of cell growth.
Hebrew U. Student Wins Award for Revolutionary Parkinson’s Detection Test
A doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem won an award for developing a test that could revolutionize early detection of Parkinson’s disease in patients, the university announced on Wednesday.
The Kaye Innovation Award was given to Suaad Abd-Elhadi, who developed a diagnostic approach for detecting a specific protein, alpha-synuclein, which is associated with tissues affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in humans after Alzheimer’s disease. It is usually accompanied by symptoms such as tremors and shaking, and can have effects on behavior and cognitive ability.
The test developed by Abd-Elhadi, who is working towards her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Hebrew University’s medical school, “could lead to earlier detection of Parkinson’s, along with better tracking of the disease’s progression and a patient’s response to therapy,” according to the announcement.
Sniffing out diseases with the Nanose
If there is such a thing as a science superstar, it might be Hossam Haick, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Born and raised in Nazareth, he left Israel after receiving his Ph.D. to study in the United States for a few years, then returned to the Technion, where he is currently a professor of chemical engineering and nanotechnology.
Haick has been working on what he calls the Nanose since 2007. This remarkable device is designed to “sniff out” cancer and other diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, gastric ailments, and more.
Haick is a respected and successful scientific researcher who has received major scientific awards from all over the world, and has managed to raise huge sums of money in support of his work. (“You can do nothing without funding!” he says.)
Earliest mosaic of Jonah and the whale found in Galilee synagogue
Unprecedented depictions of the biblical Jonah and the whale have been found at a fifth-century Roman synagogue in Israel’s lower Galilee. In the recently discovered mosaic, Jonah’s legs are shown dangling from the mouth of a large fish, which is being swallowed by a larger fish, which is being consumed by a third, even larger fish.
According to the team of specialists and students led by University of North Carolina, this is the first known depiction of the story of Jonah in an ancient synagogue in Israel.
This is the team’s seventh season at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq. Beginning in 2012, a series of other prominent biblical scenes, including Noah’s ark and the splitting of the Red Sea, in which Pharaoh’s soldiers are swallowed by large fish similar to the fish swallowing Jonah in the mosaic uncovered this summer, were previously found at the archaeological dig.
In addition to the Roman synagogue, the site also houses remains of what is possibly a Medieval synagogue as well.

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