Wednesday, November 08, 2017

From Ian:

Col Kemp: Israel as a Strategic Asset of the West
This visit came just weeks after the publication of the infamous Goldstone Report – which alleged that Israel had committed war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza.

The contrast was striking: within weeks of the European Parliament endorsing the report, the European Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee was visiting Israel, for the third time in four years, to study ethical methods for dealing with terrorist insurgencies without causing undue harm to civilians.

Why do European countries exploit Israel’s capabilities with one hand and stab her in the back with the other?
One word sums it up: appeasement.

Every European country has a large and growing Muslim population and an increasing fear of Islamic terrorism.
Political leaders believe that a harsh approach toward Israel will give electoral advantage in respect of their Muslim populations and also discourage Islamic terrorists from attacking at home.

A much longer-standing target of their appeasement is the Arab world itself and concern about the negative impact that their dealings with Israel will have on their relations with other countries in the Middle East.
But the balance has been shifting and European diplomacy has struggled to keep up.

For many years Israel has had close strategic relations with two of its main Arab neighbours.

And today in the face of a growing fear of Iran and the rise of radical jihadism, other Arab countries are increasingly, if cautiously and quietly, looking toward Israel for protection and assistance.

The Arab world will not suddenly fall in love with the Jewish State, but the sands are shifting and in their own security interests, Western states also now need to re-evaluate their relationships with Israel and appreciate what is the balance of cost and benefit to them.

Perhaps the time has come for a new Balfour Declaration.
President Trump has called for an overhaul of NATO which he rightly considers obsolete.

The key to making NATO relevant in the modern world is re-focusing its efforts primarily against the central strategic issue of our time, global jihad.

There has been increasing cooperation in recent years between NATO and Israel, and even today there is a NATO parliamentary delegation here in Jerusalem.
The Balfour Declaration symbolised the British government’s recognition of the strategic value of the Jews of Palestine in the global struggle that was then in progress.

A modern day Balfour Declaration could be recognition of the strategic value of the Jewish state in today’s global struggle in the form of full membership of a reformed NATO, which would benefit all of our strategic interests and serve also to undermine international efforts to isolate Israel.
Alan Dershowitz: Berkeley's student newspaper refuses to publish my response to an anti-Semitic op-ed, so here it is
On Nov. 3, the Daily Californian published an op-ed by Matthew Taylor, explicitly accusing me of having “blood on his [my] hands” and being “culpable for the perpetuation of … [Israeli] atrocities.” The article was worse than the cartoon itself. But when I tried to write a factual response to his false accusations, the Daily Californian categorically refused to publish it, thus demonstrating their obvious bias. I have attached my response here so it can be widely read.

Taylor crosses his own line into bigotry By Alan M. Dershowitz

A recent op-ed by Matthew Taylor in the Daily Californian condemns the cartoonist for caricaturing me as a predatory spider. He argues, however, that it was “fair criticism” to portray me with “blood on [my] hands” and “crushing a Palestinian with one foot and holding up an IDF soldier who assassinates a Palestinian civilian.” In support of this conclusion he proclaims, without citing any evidence, that Israel is “in fact an egregious human rights abuser,” murders unarmed and innocent civilians, including “underage Palestinians,” commits “intentional … atrocities” and engages in “pinkwashing.” He calls me a “privileged professor who is culpable for the perpetuation of Israel’s atrocities,” despite my long record of advocating a peaceful two-state outcome.

I would not usually reply to such ignorance and oversimplified ad hominems. But because these false accusations have become a staple of hard-left attacks singling out only the nation-state of the Jewish people for such defamation, I will disprove each of them in turn.
Op. Harpoon: How the Mossad and an Israeli NGO destroyed terrorist money networks
Former government sources have told The Jerusalem Post that Israel’s Operation Harpoon, carried out by a range of Mossad, Shin Bet and other operatives, was revolutionary in that it was “not just about following the money, but about destroying terrorists’ money networks.”

Sources who had close personal contact with Meir Dagan (1945-2016) indicate that the idea of elevating the thwarting of terrorism financing to a primary mission of intelligence agencies was an uphill battle for the legendary Mossad chief and Harpoon founder.

“When Dagan started Harpoon as part of his role at the National Security Council, no one was interested. Not the Mossad, Shin Bet, IDF intelligence..., and there was almost nothing in place to combat terrorism financing,” the sources told the Post.

With his close relationship with then-prime minister Ariel Sharon, his ingenuity and singular will power, Dagan, who later became Mossad chief, turned Harpoon into an operation that dealt Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah’s Yasser Arafat and other terrorist groups major blows.

The development and achievements of Harpoon against terrorism financing, including by groups of lawyers such as the Shurat Hadin NGO, is capturing the headlines now as a new book about the operations and the lawsuits has been released.

Though Harpoon has been previously revealed in its general outlines, Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters, by Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Samuel Katz, breaks new ground on several fronts.

Osama bin Laden's secret diary
So much material, much of it never even translated, cannot be analyzed overnight. But Joscelyn, Roggio and other FDD researchers have begun the process and they've already drawn a few significant conclusions.

For one, it's clear that "when U.S. forces knocked down his door," bin Laden was not, as Obama had portrayed him, in retirement or a mere figurehead. Right up until the last moments of his life he "was communicating with subordinates around the globe."

As for al-Qaida, it was not, as Obama repeatedly claimed, "on the run" or "on the path to defeat." It was expanding and strategically reorganizing.

Perhaps most significant to current policy debates is a 19-page assessment by a senior al-Qaida operative attesting that the Islamic Republic of Iran supplied its "Saudi brothers" in al-Qaida with "everything needed" to battle the U.S. – visas, money, arms and even "training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon."

Iran also provided safe haven for al-Qaida fighters "in exchange for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf." In a separate memo, bin Laden himself makes clear that by 2007 Iran had become al-Qaida's "main artery for funds, personnel and communication."

This confirms what some of us have been arguing for years: that al-Qaida and the Islamic Republic of Iran are not so much enemies as rivals. They compete and quarrel. They have profound theological differences: Al-Qaida is Sunni, Iran's mullahs are Shia. For 1,400 years, no peace process has resolved the split between these two readings of Islam.

But al-Qaida and the theocrats in Tehran do manage to cooperate, collaborate and collude. Both believe they have a religious duty to wage a jihad against "arrogant" – meaning insufficiently submissive – infidels, with Americans and Israelis at the top of their lists.
Argentine Prosecutor Calls for Death of AMIA Bombing Investigator Alberto Nisman to Be Officially Classified as Homicide
The Argentine official probing the death of Alberto Nisman — the federal prosecutor in charge of investigating the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — has formally requested that the case now be treated as a murder inquiry.

Nisman was found dead in his apartment in the Argentine capital on January 18, 2015, the day before he was due to unveil a complaint accusing the government of then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of negotiating a secret pact with Iran to exonerate the Tehran regime for its role in the AMIA atrocity.

Until now, the cause of Nisman’s death has been officially classified as “unknown,” with officials loyal to Kirchner advancing the dubious notion that the prosecutor committed suicide. But on Wednesday, Eduardo Taiano, the prosecutor in charge of the Nisman file, said the death should now be treated as a homicide, following a new police report published in May of this year which determined that Nisman had in fact been murdered by two individuals who broke into his apartment.

The police report concluded that Nisman was beaten and drugged, and placed in front of his bathtub. While one of the attackers held him under the armpits “as in a hug,” the other shot him through the head.
Here's to the "Experts", Terrorism's Great Whitewashers
Never mind that the holy books of Islam quite clearly spell out the doctrine of jihad and the heavenly rewards that await jihadist martyrs. No, according to MSNBC "terrorism expert" Malcolm Nance, Manhattan attacker Sayfullo Saipov's butchery was "anti-Islamic".

According to Nance's theory, every Islamic terrorist in our time somehow overlooked the real lessons of Islam and instead made exactly the same flub, mistaking Osama bin Laden's bloodthirsty lesson of murderous violence for the thoroughly peaceful tidings of the Koran.

To fail to see a continuity between, on the one hand, the Islam of the terrorists, and, on the other, the Islam of forced marriages, honor killings, female genital mutilation (FGM) and the niqab is to engage in denial and a total whitewash. But then, whitewashing Islam is the true area of expertise of so many of these so-called terrorism experts.
JPost Editorial: Free the campus
A left-wing Jewish organization at Princeton University succeeded in preventing Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely from speaking at the school’s Hillel House this week.

Under pressure from the Alliance of Jewish Progressives, Rabbi Julie Roth, executive director of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton’s Hillel, decided to rescind an invitation to Hotovely.

At the last minute, the campus Chabad House provided Hotovely with a venue.

The incident illustrates how a toxic atmosphere inimical to free speech has taken hold on college campuses in the US and elsewhere.

Silencing speakers on campus reflects a broader tightening of academic freedom in general. Universities should be places where there is a free exchange of ideas in an honest pursuit of truth. But for this to happen there must be an intellectual atmosphere of exploration based on commonly held values. Unfortunately, today there are no common denominators, no shared notions of truth and falsehood, no sense of community.

Many departments are dominated by faculty who have abandoned classic liberal positions on intellectual freedom and adhere to an ideology influenced by neo-Marxist thought that holds that there are “right” and “wrong” opinions.

If in the past it was the Communist Party that posited the “correct” political positions, while the “wrong” ones served capitalist, colonialist interests, today it is one’s identity which determines meaning.

The extent of an opinion’s validity and legitimacy depends on who posits it and whose interests it serves.
After snub, Michael Oren calls for sanctions against Princeton Hillel
Deputy Minister for diplomacy Michael Oren on Tuesday called on Israeli officials and politicians to boycott the Hillel at Princeton University after the Jewish campus organization cancelled a speech by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely.

“I call on all MKs, past and present, left and right, not to accept any invitation to speak at that Hillel,” he told The Times of Israel.

Oren, who went to Princeton himself, urged fellow alumni not to donate any money to the university’s Hillel, known as the Center for Jewish Life. He also called for the group’s executive director, Rabbi Julie Roth, to be fired.

“A Hillel director, and a campus, can have political views. But Hillel has to be welcoming to representatives of Israel who are democratically elected. They represent a large, if not major share of Israeli public opinion,” the New Jersey-born Kulanu politician said.
Hillel president apologizes to Hotovely for Princeton slight
The head of Hillel International on Tuesday apologized to Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, three days after the Princeton University branch of his Jewish campus organization canceled her speech there on short notice following pressure from a progressive Jewish group.

Eric Fingerhut personally expressed his regret over the incident when Hotovely delivered a talk at New York University, her office said in a statement.

“Deputy Minister Hotovely, who believes in cooperation with all Jewish organizations in America, explained to him what happened at Princeton was unacceptable, and there must not be an internal boycott against Israeli representatives,” the statement read, presumably referring to the fact that Hotovely was disinvited by a Jewish organization.

Meanwhile, Princeton’s Alliance of Jewish Progressives (AJP) — the group that pressured the Ivy League University’s Hillel to cancel Hotovely’s talk — defended itself against accusations it was seeking to stifle free speech on campus. Rather, the group said in a statement, it acted out frustration over the fact that many of the leftist speakers it would like Princeton Hillel, known as the Center for Jewish Life, to host are rejected for political reasons.

“We recognize that silencing of oppositional voices from both the left and the right is a real and frustrating issue on college campuses. However, we want to make clear that that is not—and has never been—our purpose.”
Morrissey: Israel haters are just ‘jealous’ of the country
Pop icon Morrissey has accused those who "rain abuse" on Israel of doing so because they are "jealous" of the country.

In the lyrics of his new song entitled Israel the former Smiths frontman also accuses unnamed enemies of wanting to instil their own “dark sky” on the Jewish state.

The near six-minute long pro-Zionist ballad is the closing track on Morrissey's new album Low In High School.

In typically hard-hitting fashion, the singer, who has regularly performed concerts in Tel Aviv, sings: “In other climes they bitch and whine/Just because you are not like them - Israel, Israel".

Referencing Israel’s critics, he adds: “And they who rain abuse upon you – they are jealous of you as well”.

Elsewhere in the song Morrissey appears to take issue with non-Jewish religious-based criticism of Israel, referring to "virgin priests”, perhaps a nod to his own uncomfortable Catholic upbringing.
Boy George and the Culture Club play a nostalgic intimate show
The singer then broke into some banter, saying, “We are here to take you on a nostalgic journey – but too much nostalgia is bad for your health,” before treating to the audience to a somewhat new song, called “Black Money,” a sweet and soulful duet with one of the backup vocalists, sung in front of a screen showing old b-roll of footage of the stock market.

The surprisingly funky and soulful show wove in and out of the ‘80s with a mix of old and new songs, peppered with lots of banter. At one point he spoke about “not listening to critics, because everyone’s a critic” and then mistakenly called out The Jerusalem Post for calling him “irrelevant” (it was The Times of Israel).

The band closed their pre-encore set with the classic “Do you really want to hurt me?” Moments after, Dana International popped on stage to warm up the crowd for a lively duet of “Karma Chameleon.” The crowd ate it up.

The rest of the encore consisted of tribute covers of deceased musicians: Prince’s “Purple Rain” and T-Rex’s “Bang a Gong.” Both were funky, soulful and fun George gave a special shoutout to Marc Bolan, “a Jew boy who was the king of glam rock.”
IsraellyCool: Boy George Rips BDS-Holes at Nostalgic Israel Concert
Before his Israel concert last night, pop star Boy George has been rather polite in expressing his opposition to BDS and those pressuring him not to perform in Israel.

But on stage last night – no more Mr Nice Guy.
“When I go to Israel people say you shouldn’t go, you shouldn’t go. F*ck off I go where I like!”

While wearing his Star of David outfit, of course.

He also told the audience he “loved it here” and that there was “such a mad vibe in this country” and he was here “to perform miracles.”
Rutgers University Defends Decision to Employ Ex-Assad Regime Spokesman, Calling Him Expert in International Law
Rutgers University has defended its decision to employ a former spokesperson for the Syrian government, who represented the regime of President Bashar al-Assad as it was accused of massacring, starving, and torturing its own citizens.

Rutgers told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that Mazen Adi — who joined its Political Science Department as a part-time lecturer in 2015 — was hired due to “his expertise in international law and diplomacy, and other fields.”

Prior to working at New Jersey’s largest publicly-funded research university, Adi represented the Assad regime for 16 years starting in 1998, The Algemeiner first reported on Sunday. He served from 2007 to 2014 as a spokesperson and legal adviser for the Syrian delegation at the United Nations in New York City, where his government has been routinely condemned for gross violations of international law.

Since the onset of the Syrian conflict in 2011 — which has left an estimated 465,000 people dead or missing — the United States, European governments, and international observers have charged the Assad regime and its allies with perpetrating multiple war crimes, including industrial-scale torture, mass executions and chemical weapons attacks.

While in Turtle Bay, Adi also joined his delegation in taking aim against Israel — claiming it buried enemy soldiers alive and alleging, according to a translation by a UN interpreter, that “international gangs led by some Israeli officials are now trafficking children’s organs.” (Israeli officials have dismissed charges the country participates in the illicit organ trade, saying they amount to a modern-day blood libel.)
An Anti-Semitic Purge At McGill University
McGill’s BDS Action Network actively campaigned against Lew and two other board members because of their links to Jewish groups and anti-BDS stances. Democratize SSMU shamefully highlighted Lew’s ethnicity as a reason for his removal. An enlightened, progressive school was suddenly transformed into something harking back to the days of Nazi Germany and the Nuremberg Laws.

In October, SSMU’s General Assembly moved to ratify the 12-member Board of Directors. According to Lew, “historically, the Board of Directors had been ratified as a bloc, all 12 at a time.” But BDS activists who showed up for the General Assembly ratification forced the voting to occur on an individual basis rather than a block as was the accepted protocol. In this manner, BDS/ Democratize SSMU activists managed to pick off their opponents one at a time. It was repulsive display leftist-fascist bigotry at its worst. The bigoted BDS provocateurs applauded as Lew and the other two board members were removed from their posts.

But this time, they may have gone too far. Even by BDS standards, their manifestly anti-Semitic campaign antics were beyond the pale. BDS activists generally avoid reference to “Jews” by name because it is impolitic and commonly substitute “Zionists” for Jews even though most of us are cognizant of their true intentions. But in the instant case, McGill’s BDS campaigners dispensed with their traditional charade and overtly launched their attack against Jews.

The vitriolic BDS campaign immediately sparked outrage among watchdog groups and politicians prompting McGill principal, Suzanne Fortier, to announce that the school would be conducting an investigation into the matter. Even SSMU president, Muna Tojiboeva, voiced support for Lew and expressed the belief that antisemitism played a key role in the ousting the three board members.

One can only hope that Fortier takes the issue seriously and conducts a proper investigation, which leads to disciplinary action. Judging by past “investigations” conducted by other schools – SFSU, CUNY and UCI, to name a few – I am not optimistic.
Jewish Studies Professor to Congress: No Anti-Semitism on College Campuses, Nothing Wrong With Comparing Israel to Nazis
Today, the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing titled “Examining Anti-Semitism on College Campuses.” The experts assembled to weigh in on this important subject include the ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Pamela Nadell, the president of the Association for Jewish Studies. They also include Barry Trachtenberg, the director of the Jewish Studies program at Wake Forest University.

So just how bad is it for Jews on campus these days? To hear Dr. Trachtenberg tell it, it’s just a tempest in a teapot.

“It is a factual distortion to characterize campuses in the United States as hotbeds of new antisemitism,” he wrote in his testimony, which was posted to the committee’s website ahead of time. “A recent study by researchers at Stanford University reported that while depictions of rampant antisemitism are reported widely in the press, they do not represent the actual experiences of Jewish students at the campus level. They discovered that campus life is neither threatening nor alarmist, and this corresponds to my own experiences with Jewish students… Much of the testimony you will hear today is likely to describe alleged incidents of antisemitism, and it may cite studies purporting to prove that antisemitism is at crisis levels. I urge you to be skeptical of such claims.”

Anyone who is seriously interested in a dispassionate answer to the question at hand, as academics ought to be, might’ve mentioned that the Stanford survey, by its director’s own admission, “was based on our limited sample that was not a representative sample of Jews on campus,” or cited that other recent study of campus anti-Semitism, conducted by researchers at Brandeis University last year, that had about one-third of respondents report being witness to “some form of anti-Semitic harassment.”
Taxpayer-Funded Bias on Middle East Invades K-12 Classrooms
While much attention is devoted to the politicization of Middle East studies on college campuses, biased perspectives on Western values, Israel, Islam and terrorism are also infiltrating K-12 education.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) recently published a study about the introduction of factually inaccurate and partisan information related to Israel and Middle East politics in public school history curricula. The study focused on Newton, Massachusetts, where teachers used materials recommended by Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

But the problem isn’t limited to Massachusetts. All around the country, educators are being trained to teach politically motivated courses by US government-funded Middle East centers.

As I wrote in The Arab Lobby, Israel’s detractors have become increasingly aggressive at infiltrating K-12 curricula to shape the views of Americans from an early age. Their goals are to demonize Israel and present a sanitized education about Islam. Their willing accomplices are faculty at prestigious universities, many of whom are BDS advocates, who often receive funding from Middle East sources.

The unwitting partner is the American public, whose tax dollars fund Title VI of the Higher Education Act, through which the Federal government supports Middle East studies centers as they conduct the type of public outreach that CAMERA’s report found so deleterious in Newton.
Is Gilad Atzmon a fascist?
Gilad Atzmon has published a new book and, like his last one, it is a profoundly antisemitic work; and it also carries heavy hints that Atzmon is more sympathetic to fascism than his fans on the radical left might appreciate.

Called Being In Time: A Post-Political Manifesto, Atzmon’s new book claims to be a “courageous” investigation of the “post-political universe”, shaped by Brexit and Trump, in which “Left and Right have become indistinguishable and meaningless.” In fact, it is just a jumble of amateur philosophy, conspiracy theory and prejudice.

It contains all the antisemitic soundbites you would expect from Atzmon: “Jewish power is the most effective and forceful power in America and beyond.” “Jews have become a dominant element in Western society.” “Jewish power prevents us from both assessing Jewish power and, more importantly, from discussing its impact.” The American social order has undergone “Jewification”. Identity politics and cultural Marxism “are largely Jewish political schools of thought” and cultural Marxism “is a Jewish problem.” Identity politics is used by Jews “to weaken national cohesiveness”, while Jews promote mass immigration because it “diverts attention from the Jews and also weakens the cohesiveness of ‘White’ working people.” “Cultural manipulation is the way forward as long as the Goyim don’t notice.” And so on.

Atzmon is shameless in his promotion of antisemitism, while claiming that he is not motivated by prejudice. In one astonishing section, Atzmon recommends The International Jew by Henry Ford as the best explanation of “the dark forces within the capitalist apparatus.” The International Jew is a notorious part of the antisemitic canon that was inspired by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It is a book that is only read by antisemites, neo-Nazis and conspiracy cranks. But why, Atzmon asks, “did America remain unaffected by this visionary capitalist and his writings?” Ford was a “shunned prophet” in the Old Testament tradition, apparently.

Atzmon fails to tell us what he thinks of the chapter in The International Jew titled “Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music”. “Jazz is a Jewish creation”, according to Henry Ford. “The mush, the slush, the sly suggestion” – Ford’s description of “Jewish Jazz” could just as easily apply to Atzmon’s politics.
CAA asks Charity Commission to open a statutory inquiry after Finsbury Park Mosque appoints alleged Hamas politburo member Mohammed Sawalha as a trustee
Mohammed Sawalha, a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, one of Britain’s most prominent mosques, is reportedly a member of the political bureau of Hamas, the terrorist organisation that seeks the genocide of Jews worldwide, including in Britain.

Hamas is was listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK in March 2001. It is also banned by the United States and the EU.

According to The Times, Mr Sawalha’s role with Hamas was revealed when it was announced that he was part of a Hamas delegation to Moscow in September which held a meeting with Mikhail Bogdanov, President Putin’s Middle East Envoy and a Deputy Foreign Minister. He was allegedly the former military commander of Hamas in the West Bank and was named in a 2004 indictment against another Hamas operative by the United States.

Last week, Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary, urged Hamas to cease its “violent antisemitic propaganda” and to “renounce terror”.

Mr Sawalha, aged 56, arrived in Britain from the West Bank as a refugee in the early 1990s. He was appointed a trustee of the Finsbury Park Mosque in 2010, making him legally responsible for overseeing its management.

The Sunday Times reported in 2008 that he had been named in US court documents as having previously been “in charge of Hamas terrorist operations in the West Bank.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Sarsour Launches #MeNeither Campaign After Racist Israeli Refuses To Grope Her (satire)
Brooklyn-based women’s and Muslims’ rights advocate Linda Sarsour accused Israel of racism today after an Israeli on the subway had the opportunity to feel her up but declined to do so, prompting the Palestinian-American activist to start a social media effort called #MeNeither to call attention to such racism.

The prominent feminist and Women’s March leader told her followers on Twitter this morning that during a subway trip into Manhattan, the man behind her, speaking Israeli–accented Hebrew, kept his hands to himself despite ample opportunity during that 20-minute portion of the ride as she stood in front of him. Since, as Ms. Sarsour has asserted, Zionism and feminism are incompatible, the man behind her could not perforce be a feminist, which meant only one possible explanation for not acting on his non-feminist, pro-groping sensibilities: he saw an Arab Muslim woman as so beneath sexuality as to remain unworthy of molestation.

“I hereby launch the #MeNeither hashtag so all women can share their dark experience as I have,” she wrote. “Add your story of not being groped, harassed, or assaulted because Israelis are too racist to consider you for such treatment.”

Within minutes, a dozen responses to the original post had come in, some citing a familiar case several years ago when an IDF reservist was called racist because of a lack of rapes of Palestinian women by Israeli soldiers.
NY Times Whitewashes Emirati Intolerance at Judo Tournament
Why does The Times ignore the official Emirati ban of all Israeli symbols, reducing it to the private affair of a lone athlete as opposed to the government's policy? The state policy to ban all Israeli symbols at the international sporting event provides critical information for readers to understand the stark realities that stand in the way of "[t]he Emerates' ultimate aim . . . to promote the capital as a tolerant global city," as Carvajal puts it.

This is not the first instance in which The New York Times has downplayed anti-Israel Arab hostility in international sporting events. In August 2016, when Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby refused to shake hands with Or Sasson, his Israeli opponent, The Times' Victor Mather reported: "There is a history of animosity between Israeli and other Middle Eastern athletes at the Olympics, including in judo," as if the two sides both engaged in animosity.

Mather helpfully went on to cite examples, all of which tellingly pointed to one directional hostility: Arab and Muslim athletes snubbing Israeli competitors. First, he cited the incident a week earlier in which a Lebanese team prevented an Israeli team for boarding a bus. Then, he noted that a Saudi judo player forfeited a match, reportedly to avoid competing against an Israeli. Finally, Mather cited a 2004 incident in which Iranian judoka Arash Miresmaeili apparently binged in order to be disqualified so as to not to face off against an Israeli.

As CAMERA's Snapshots blog wrote: "Israeli Olympians are consistently on the receiving end of Arab and Muslim animosity so why misleadingly characterize the hostility as 'animosity between Israeli and other Middle Eastern athletes'?"
More BBC Balfour Declaration centenary reporting from Yolande Knell – part one
The BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell produced two similar reports – audio and written – concerning the Balfour Declaration centenary, one of which was broadcast on the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour‘ on November 1st (from 14:06 here) and the other published in the ‘features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page on November 2nd under the title “Balfour Declaration: The divisive legacy of 67 words“.

As has been the case in all the BBC’s coverage of the centenary (including a previous report by Knell), her portrayal of the document itself erased from audience view the part safeguarding “the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country” and no mention was made of the 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands.

In the audio version, Knell’s paraphrasing failed to clarify to listeners that the document specifically referred to the “civil and religious rights” of non-Jewish communities.
More BBC Balfour Declaration centenary reporting from Yolande Knell – part two
In these two reports BBC audiences found some very rare references to the issue of British restrictions on Jewish immigration. However, while told that “Britain allowed” Jewish immigration, they were not informed that the terms of the Mandate it was charged with administering obliged it to “facilitate Jewish immigration” and “encourage […] close settlement by Jews on the land”.

Audio: “…Britain allowed waves of Jewish immigration during the early mandate times. But amid an Arab backlash and rising violence, it later forced back many Jews facing persecution, particularly during the Holocaust.”

Written: “During the first half of the Mandate period, Britain allowed waves of Jewish immigration. But amid an Arab backlash and rising violence, Israelis remember how it later blocked many fleeing persecution, particularly during the Holocaust.”

The Mandate for Palestine – with Britain as the administering mandatory – came into effect in September 1923 following ratification of the Treaty of Lausanne. Even before that, the White Paper of 1922 had already expressed the intention to ‘regulate’ immigration and the 1930 Passfield White Paper led to further restrictions being placed on Jewish immigration. Knell’s claim that “Britain allowed waves of Jewish immigration” before the establishment of the quota system severely limiting Jewish immigration by the 1939 MacDonald White Paper is therefore not an entirely accurate and objective portrayal.

In both her reports Knell concluded by suggesting linkage between the Balfour Declaration and the modern-day ‘peace process’.
Congress hears testimony on expanding definition of anti-Semitism
The US House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday heard testimony about increased anti-Semitism on US college campuses, as lawmakers mulled advancing a 2016 bill that would require the Department of Education to adopt the State Department’s working definition of anti-Semitism.

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act (ASAA) would require federally funded education programs to employ the State Department’s standards in assessing whether civil rights laws have been violated when dealing with hate crimes.

The controversy over the legislation stems from its provisions regarding Israel. The ASAA would ban the Department of Education from “claiming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions” and “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

Opponents of the legislation argue the clauses on Israel would infringe free speech on campus.

“It is undeniable that some anti-Israel sentiment is fueled by hostility toward Jews,” Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America said in her testimony Tuesday. “But to declare, ipso facto, that any speech that blames Israel for regional tensions or subjects Israel to a higher standard of behavior constitutes anti-Semitism risks chilling a wide range of speech.”

While Nossel admitted that some who hold Israel to a “higher standard behavior by virtue of its character as a Jewish state that aims to embody religious values and moral standards to which other nations do not hold themselves,” bear “some anti-Semitic taint,” she argued that existing hate crimes laws were enough to protect against a

But other speakers at Tuesday’s hearing said Jewish students were being subjected to increased harassment and federal protections have failed them.
Channel 4 Dispatches goes undercover with British Transport Police to catch antisemitic football fans and showcase the very best in hate crime policing
Channel 4’s flagship Dispatches investigative journalism programme has gone undercover with British Transport Police to showcase how they work to catch racist football fans on trains.

Using CCTV, the programme shows how football thugs on trains subject staff and passengers including children to a torrent of abuse as they travel to matches. For their victims, there is no way to escape as they are often blocked in their seats and even if they move carriage, they cannot leave a moving train.

Some of the most shocking footage shows an elderly Jewish man forced to move carriage as Chelsea fans shout that the “Yids” are “on their way to Auschwitz” and that “Hitler’s gonna gas ‘em again”. As the elderly man leaves, the thugs can be seen looking on “triumphantly”, according to a British Transport Police Inspector who is reviewing the footage following a complaint. Fortunately in this case, another passenger, journalist Tamanna Rahman, was sitting nearby and filmed the incident on her smartphone despite the danger to herself, then provided footage to the police. A plumber, Melvin Kerswell, was identified by police and sheepishly admitted his involvement in the repulsive thuggery, but to the frustration of the police, by the time they had identified him and tracked him down, the deadline for bringing a prosecution had passed.

The programme uses a number of cases to show the impressive lengths that British Transport Police are going to so that offenders can be identified. This tallies with Campaign Against Antisemitism’s experience of British Transport Police, whose record of investigating hate crimes tends to be stronger than that of many other police forces. For example, since passengers often fail to inform the police about hate crime on trains, police now send undercover officers posing as football fans on problematic routes. The programme shows how cases are transformed when police are provided with smartphone footage, as CCTV usually fails to capture the audio that is so crucial, especially in cases of hate crime. It also shows how far officers will go to track down individuals.
Kicked Out of Film Festival Over Israel Links, Top French-Arab Movie Producer Denounces Arab World’s ‘Antisemitic Majority’
A prominent Tunisian-born French movie producer has issued a frank denunciation of antisemitism in the Arab world after being compelled to pull out of North Africa’s most prestigious film festival because of his work with Israelis.

Said Ben Said revealed in an op-ed for the French daily Le Monde on Tuesday that an invitation to preside over the jury of the 28th Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia had been rescinded because of his work with Israeli film director Nadav Lapid and his participation on the judges panel at the Jerusalem Film Festival earlier this year. The 51-year-old Ben Said is seen as one of the brightest talents in international cinema, having produced movies by such directors as David Cronenburg, Roman Polanski, Brian De Palma and Thierry Klifa.

Ben Said said he bore Carthage’s organizers no ill-will, writing that “the festival was probably right to spare both themselves and me a media lynching.” The real culprit, the producer argued, was the prevalence of antisemitism fueled by Islamist extremists across the Middle East.

“No one can deny the misery of the Palestinian people, but it must be admitted that the Arab world is, in its majority, antisemitic,” Ben Said wrote. “This hatred of Jews has redoubled in intensity and depth not because of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but with the rise of a certain vision of Islam.”
India’s Top Business School Launches ‘Israel Center’, Seeks Stronger Academic Ties
One of the leading business schools in India, Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Management (IIM), has set up an ‘Israel Center’ on its campus with the aim to “bridge academic collaboration” between India and Israel.

The center will carry out academic research, and promote faculty and student exchange programs between the two countries. “The Israel Centre at IIM Bangalore will lead to upgrading of academic collaboration between India and Israel, and will make our countries and economies stronger,” said Israel’s envoy to India Ambassador Daniel Carmon, at the inauguration ceremony on Sunday.

“India’s strong aspirational entrepreneurial spirit stands to gain from Israel’s vibrant technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem,” Director of the institute, Professor G. Raghuram said in a statement welcoming the launch of the center.

The news of the inauguration was covered by most of the major newspapers and TV networks in India.
Israeli shekel emerges as world's 2nd-strongest currency
The Israeli shekel is currently the world's second-strongest currency, according to a new report by German global banking and financial services company Deutsche Bank. The report ranked China's yuan as the world's strongest currency.

Deutsche Bank's strategic foreign currency analyst Dr. Gautam Kalani reported that over the past 12 months, the shekel has appreciated 6.1% against the basket of currencies of Israel's main trading partners, such as the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro and the yen.

The report recommended short positions for shekel investors – a technique used when investors predict the value of a stock or currency will decrease in the short term – saying the Israeli currency is nearing historically high levels.

The firm issued a similar recommendation in late June, inspiring a depreciation in shekel rates, mostly over foreign currency purchases by the Bank of Israel. This move is common whenever it appears the shekel may become so strong it could undermine exports.
Magen David Adom Director: Israel has Highest Percentage of Teen EMTs in World
When the dispatcher alerted them about a two-week-old baby who’d stopped breathing, 16-year-old Ori Cohen and his Magen David Adom crewmates were right nearby with their ambulance. Working quickly under the guidance of the crew’s senior emergency medical technician, Cohen and his fellow volunteers restored the infant’s breathing and whisked her off to the hospital. The doctors said she’ll be fine.

“We have the biggest youth corps by percentage in the world, as far as I know,” says Eli Yaffe, MDA deputy director for general training and culture. He adds that in some other countries, youth volunteers are only allowed to do tasks such as patient transport rather than responding to emergencies as youth volunteers do in Israel.

The 50-year-old national emergency response network always accepted teen volunteers but it started a formal youth program in 1993 for 15- to 18-year-olds as an option for fulfilling the Education Ministry’s mandatory 60 hours of volunteering for high-school students.

“We offer a 60-hour training course, so if they just pass the course they’ve completed the requirement. It’s optional to volunteer beyond that,” says Yaffe. About 3,000 teenagers each year do opt to interview for spots on ambulance crews – more, in fact, than there are spots available.

“MDA is an organization where you can really help people, and that’s very exciting,” Cohen tells ISRAEL21c.
Jerry Seinfeld Returning to Israel in December for Stand-Up Comedy Performances
Famed Jewish-American comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld is slated to return to Israel in December to deliver two stand-up comedy performances.

Seinfeld will give back-to-back performances in Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena on Dec. 30. His return to the Jewish state comes two years after he made his comedic debut there in December 2015, performing four sold-out shows at the same Tel Aviv venue.

The comedian also visited Israel in 2007 to promote his film “Bee Movie.” As a teenager, Seinfeld worked as a volunteer on Kibbutz Sa’ar in northern Israel.

Tickets for Seinfeld’s upcoming performances in Israel will go on sale Nov. 15 and range in price from $85-$360.
‘Thank you’ letters to Schindler up for auction
Dozens of letters sent to German industrialist Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie, expressing thanks and support for saving a thousand Jews from the gas chambers are to be auctioned next month.

About 70 letters and cards that were sent to the couple in Argentina are to be sold along with a few of Emilie’s personal effects.

The items are being auctioned by the UK firm of Lawrences Auctioneers on December 8. The letters are expected to fetch £600-700 (NIS 2,700-3.200).

“I was very moved by your courageous self-sacrifice. More importantly, however, I thank you Frau Schindler, for having restored my faith in mankind,” one letter reads.

Another person wrote, on September 23, 1987, “Although I never actually met you, it is an honor and a privilege, as a spiritual heir of those whom you saved, to wish you a very happy and healthy birthday.”
Who’s selling treasures from the Valmadonna Trust Library? Depends who you ask
Joshua Gerstein in the library’s processes department was excited to be handling Valmadonna books not only in Hebrew, but also languages such as Latin, English, Dutch, Italian, Yiddish, Ladino — and even Urdu.

He was moved to come across items such as a 1561 Pentateuch from Trento, Italy, printed less than a century after the Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and “An Apology for the Honorable Nation of the Jews, and All the Sons of Israel” by Edward Nicholas printed in 1648 which argued for the reinstatement of Jews to England.

“You learn so much about the life and histories of communities through the books they printed,” Gerstein said as he showed this reporter a small book of Lamentations for Tisha B’Av printed in Venice in 1599 with handwritten notes in tiny script throughout.
‘The most learned curator of Hebrew books’

Valmadonna expert Hill first met Lunzer in the early 1980s and visited him and his books many times over the next 35 years. Hill wrote the introduction to the Kestenbaum auction catalogue.

“If one didn’t know he was a diamond merchant it would be impossible to imagine he was anything other than the most learned curator of Hebrew books,” Hill wrote of his friend.

“Obsessive, single-minded and meticulous, he acquired books from every place of printing and every printer. Not only was the totality of Jewish book production represented in the collection, but in unique or nearly unique, flawless, deluxe, variant, excessively rare or altogether unrecorded copies, all elegantly bound or restored,” he wrote. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
The Valmadonna Trust Library

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