Thursday, November 09, 2017

From Ian:

Freedom House: Israel is the only Free Nation in the Middle East
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.

Each year, Freedom House analyzes the world's nations and territories, examining the electoral process, political pluralism and participation, the functioning of the government, freedom of expression and of belief, the rule of law, and individual rights. Their results are published in their annual report, Freedom in the World.

Freedom House's 2017 rankings are out. Again, Israel is the only nation in the Middle east that is ranked as "free".

Israel scored 80 out of100 points, and is described in the report as "a multiparty democracy with strong and independent institutions that guarantee political rights and civil liberties for most of the population".

Why is the only nation in the region that is ranked as free subject to such vitriolic rhetoric across the media, in the UN and on college campuses?

Could it be because it is the only Jewish state, not only in the region, but in the world?

Watch: Time to expose the industry of lies
Arutz Sheva spoke to Ben Dror Yemini, journalist and author of Industry of Lies, at the Israeli American Conference (IAC) in Washington, DC about the distinction between legitimate debate and lies about Israel:

"Industry of lies is mainly about media and academia, and how they are lying - lying - about Israel. I'm not speaking about criticism. I'm not speaking about the debate that is taking place in Israel about many issues, which is a legitimate debate. I'm speaking about journalists, activists, scholars, that lie about Israel.

"They manipulate their students, they manipulate their leadership, and so many claims against Israel are actually a modern blood libel, not less than that."

We used to use the word "misconception".

"It's not a misconception, it's something that's much worse, unfortunately. Now I'm not dealing with opinions, I'm not dealing with somebody who is criticizing Israel. Fair enough, do it. Israel has no exemption from any kind of criticism. What I'm talking about is that people lie - blatant lies - about Israel. Sometimes they're not even aware that they are lying. There are blatant lies, like when somebody says that 'Israel is committing an extermination of the Palestinian people by increasing infant mortality among babies. Now.. what?! The infant mortality among Palestinians decreased dramatically - just the opposite.

"But there are some other lies that people are not even aware of. When Bernie Sanders, for example, is saying that Israel disproportionally killed innocent civilians, just like what Richard Goldstone said in his report, they have no idea what they're talking about. Because when you compare, when you check other battlefields - Fallujah, Afghanistan, whatever, you name it - even Kosovo - you find out that Israel is actually killing much less, much less, absolutely proportionally, but people don't know, and they keep on saying that Israel is retaliating in a very disproportional way."

The Merah Family’s Islamist Insanity
Anne, Abdelghani’s former wife, entered the court—a small, frail woman in her 30s, of Catholic background, who met Abdelghani when she was 16, who a few months later, as he introduced her to his mother, was spat upon by Zoulika who called her “a kike and a French,” and who nonetheless stayed in the family and in the Merah house where they all lived—and where Abdelghani used to beat her on a regular basis; who took the trouble to explain to the court, in a tone that sounded like an apology, that she was “not even” Jewish, that it was her biological grandfather whom she had almost never met, only twice, when she was very little (the bit of information had been passed to Zoulika by Abdelghani himself). Her preference at the time, among the Merah siblings, went to Abdelkader, for he was the smartest, and “when I was seven months pregnant and Abdelghani hit me it was Kader who protected me.” She watched TV and fell asleep side by side with Kader on the living room sofa of the family apartment while her husband was out drinking.

Anne thought that Kader had turned violent only once he was of age and became strong enough to confront Abdelghani. He told him that, while he, Abdelghani, had taken over after their father left, his reign was now over—at which point he stabbed his brother seven times. It was to demonstrate that he was now in charge, she explained, that he began to beat up and torture Mohamed on a regular basis and to insult her, Anne, calling her dirty Jew and dirty French, though she felt rewarded when Zoulika, suddenly mellowing, would tell her, “you, for a French, you are still better than some Arabs.”

“Me, I loved everyone among the Merah,” she also said. “I saw them like my little brothers and sisters. I used to get along very well with Souad”—the first to join the radicals. It is surely difficult to imagine a more hellish family, like something out of a particularly grotesque Muslim version of Dickens. The only moments when everyone in the family agreed was when they talked about France and Palestine.

“The sole object of this trial is to determine whether the accused are guilty of the facts that are reproached to them,” presiding Judge Frank Zientara had stated the first day of the trial. But when the last Merah family member left the stand, it was clear that the courtroom had, for a moment, veered from the rational shores of legal issues toward the uncertain seas of terror itself. (h/t Elder of Lobby )
Dutch prosecutors say calling Israeli kids ‘Zionist terrorists’ not incitement
Calling Israeli children “Zionist terrorists in training” and “future child murderers and occupiers” does not constitute incitement to hate, Dutch prosecutors said.

The Public Prosecution Service decided Wednesday not to prosecute Abdoe Khoulani, a city councilman in The Hague, on the basis of a criminal complaint filed against him over statements he made in May about schoolchildren from Israel who visited his city, the Telegraaf daily reported.

The service cited how Zionists are “indistinguishable” from other people by race, complexion or origins. Khoulani would have been prosecuted had he spoken about Jews, the service also said. Furthermore, the decision said, schoolchildren did not complain themselves against Khoulani, making it procedurally difficult to prosecute him for intending to cause them offense.

The youth movement of the Reformed Political Party, which hosted the visiting Israeli Young Ambassadors program in The Hague, filed the complaint with police against Khoulani for hate speech. Facebook has removed the post with his remarks.

But the prosecution service said it would prosecute Khoulani, who represents the Islamist Party of Unity and is Muslim, for repeatedly insulting Anneke Brons, who has defended Israel on social media and criticized his comment about the children.

In one message, he called Brons a “blonde bitch.”
I was just accused of being an Israeli spy in the Dutch parliament
This week, only six months after I became a Dutch citizen, my wife congratulated me for being mentioned in parliament for my reporting on the Netherlands’ relations with Israel.

Flattered, I looked it up, expecting to find praise for my work. I was already kind of drafting, as journalists instinctively do, some grateful Facebook post on my integration success story.

There was just one tiny problem: The mention, which local Jewish leaders later condemned as anti-Semitic, was by a pro-immigrant, Muslim rights party that insinuated that I am a Zionist spy for Israeli intelligence.

The charges appear in a set of questions submitted to the chamber by Denk (“think” in Dutch), a party founded by two Dutch-Turkish politicians. Citing my reporting for JTA and prior service in the Israel Defense Forces, they suggested to Cabinet ministers that as a former member of the military, I am part of an effort by Israel to “spy on pro-Palestine activists in Europe.”

Seeing this elicited a rash of emotions, from disbelief and anger at my accusers to gratitude when strangers publicly leapt to my defense. (h/t Elder of Lobby )
Excusing Jew-hatred in Canada
The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, recently published a disgraceful article defending a Toronto imam who called for the genocide of Jews.

Ayman Elkasrawy is a former teaching assistant at Ryerson University and junior employee at his mosque, Masjid Toronto.

“O Allah! Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them. O Allah! Purify the Al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews!” invoked Elkasrawy in a sermon in 2016. After video of his prayer surfaced, Elkasrawy backtracked, claiming that he misspoke.

The Toronto Star contends that Elkasrawy’s words were twisted.

“As for ‘Purify the Al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews,’ a more accurate translation is ‘Cleanse Al-Aqsa mosque from the Jews’ desecration of it,’ wrote the Star, quoting a supposedly more palatable translation of the Arabic prayer.

Apparently it’s okay to be antisemitic, as long as you’re not anti-semantic.

According to the Star, Canadian Jews can rest easy knowing that this imam does not believe they should be murdered because they are filthy.

But rather, Elkasrawy believes Jews should be annihilated because they are a desecration! But the paper wasn’t quite finished yet. The Star recently published an op-ed by Elkasrawy, in which he now denies ever praying for the killing of Jews. Despite video evidence to the contrary, Elkasrawy blamed some sort of conspiracy by “malicious people” who seek to “divide Canadians.”

Jew-hatred in Canada has gotten so bad that now elements of the mainstream media are defending it.
American Islamists’ Silence on Tariq Ramadan Rape Allegations Speaks Volumes
It’s never fun when one of your favorite celebrities gets accused of wrong-doing. The home team quarterback faces a DUI, or a politician gets caught in a scandal. You can choose to face reality — that the hero may not warrant your devotion — or try to pretend that you never saw it.

When it comes to Tariq Ramadan, heir to modern Islamist thought and one of the world’s most recognizable Muslim scholars, many American Islamists seem intent on looking the other way.

At least four women have accused the Oxford University professor of sexual assault or harassment — making him one of the latest high-profile men to be accused of past misconduct after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s fall last month. Oxford announced on Tuesday that Ramadan is taking a leave of absence “by mutual agreement.”

Compared to Weinstein and others, there are few voices taking up the cause for Ramadan’s accusers. Some of it may be cultural: Ramadan often has urged Muslims to treat controversial religious issues, such as stoning adulterers and female genital mutilation, as an “internal discussion.” But there’s also the fact that Ramadan has been quite helpful to American Islamists over the years.

He addressed the two largest gatherings of Muslim Americans last year, speaking to conventions organized by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and a joint Muslim American Society-Islamic Circle of North America (MAS-ICNA) gathering. That September, he spoke at California’s Zaytuna College, with its founder Hatem Bazian.

The subject? “Resistance: Combatting Oppression, Inspiring Action.”

Rape is a form of oppression.
Being Anti-Nazi in 2017 Doesn’t Require Courage or Conviction
I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of Cryer’s bewilderment. For anyone who hasn’t followed the peregrinations of the Western far left over the past two decades—catalogued no better than in Nick Cohen’s depressingly prescient 2007 book What’s Left?—it would indeed be difficult to understand why people who think the BBC is a “Zionist-propaganda puppet show,” that “Israel is evil,” or that “every f****** Jew that died in the Holocaust was a blessing” would want to join a social democratic party which stood “at the forefront of confronting Nazism” in the 1930s.

But that was the 1930s. Today, the undoubtedly proud anti-Nazi history of the British Labour party is utterly irrelevant to understanding why it has become the most influential anti-Semitic institution in the Western world. Defenders of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn respond to every suggestion that he tolerates or encourages anti-Semitism within his party’s ranks by invoking the “Battle of Cable Street,” a 1936 riot between Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists on one side, and an assortment of communists, socialists, Jews and other ethnic minorities on the other, which has assumed mythological status on the British left. Never mind how little this eight-decade-old street fight—against actual Nazism, not the cosplay of Richard Spencer and his sexually-repressed followers—has to do with contemporary political realities. One of the more perverse twists of recent British politics is that on today’s proverbial Cable Street, much of the Labour Party would be on the other side. Now, British anti-Semitism is almost the exclusive domain of the hard left, which is firmly in control of the country’s second major party.

Paradoxically, while anti-Jewish social prejudice, like saying the words “smelly kike,” for example, or refusing Jews admittance to your country club, has become a serious social crime—the sort of transgression that can destroy careers—actual anti-Semitism (“a cabal of rich Jews secretly manipulates and controls American foreign policy to benefit Israel,” “Israel is an illegitimate foreign colonial implant whose bloodthirsty leadership hates peace and delights in killing Palestinian children”) has become increasingly acceptable, even mainstream on some parts of the left. Standing up to Nazism, as the members of the Democratic Socialists of America valiantly did in Charlottesville, serves as a convenient fig leaf behind which they can hide their institutionalized organizational anti-Semitism, which they giddily expressed just a week prior at their annual convention in Chicago, chanting “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free,” after passing a motion in support of the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment movement against Israel.

Anti-Jewish prejudice, which used to be socially respectable, indeed, even a marker of one’s elite status, has since become something with which respectable people under no circumstances want to be associated, “prejudice” of any kind being the ultimate vice. Today, not even the leaders of Hamas evince the sort of anti-Jewish prejudice upon which Evelyn Waugh once prided himself; Jews, they say, are welcome to live in their future state of Palestine, under Islamic law. Linda Sarsour doesn’t have any problem with Jews, either—just “Zionists.”
Report: British minister who resigned visited Golan IDF hospital
In addition to her unauthorized meetings with Israeli government officials over which she resigned yesterday, former British Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel also visited the Golan Heights during her trip to Israel in August, Haaretz reported.

Patel, a member of the Conservative party’s “Thatcherite” wing, yesterday announced her resignation and offered an apology to British PM Theresa May over her undisclosed meetings with senior Israeli leaders while vacationing in the Jewish state this August.

"I offer a fulsome apology to you and to the government for what has happened and offer my resignation," she wrote in a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Patel also wrote in her letter that there had been a "number of reports about my actions and I am sorry that these have served as a distraction."

On Tuesday, Downing Street officials confirmed that Patel had discussed during her meetings in Israel the possibility of granting British aid to IDF-run field hospitals in the Golan Heights providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

“The Secretary of State did discuss potential ways to provide medical support for Syrian refugees who are wounded and who cross into the Golan for aid,” a government spokesperson said, going on to confirm that British policy has not changed.

“The Israeli army runs field hospitals there to care for Syrians wounded in the civil war. But there is no change in policy in the area. The UK does not provide any financial support to the Israeli army.”

According to a report in Haaretz, Patel also visited a Golan field hospital.
Rod Liddle: Priti Patel is right: Let’s give our foreign aid money to Israel
So, let me get this right. Priti Patel should resign because, while on a private holiday, she did some work – i.e. meeting foreign politicians. BBC PM’s Eddie Mair says she is in serious trouble. Only with arseholes like you, sunshine. The real reason for leftie anguish is that Patel suggested that Israel could possibly receive some of the UK’s foreign aid budget for its humanitarian work in the Golan Heights. Too right, Priti. If we are to have a foreign aid budget I think it should all go to Israel. Especially for its humanitarian work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Support democracy, militate against our enemies. Frankly I’d be delighted if all of our overseas aid budget were to be hypothecated to the IDF. There aren’t many Conservative ministers I have much time for, but Patel is one.
Will resignation of possible May successor boost Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn?
Britain’s international development secretary resigned Wednesday evening following five days of revelations about unauthorized meetings she held during a holiday to Israel this summer.

Priti Patel quit after she was humiliatingly ordered to return to the UK from an official visit to Africa, less than 24 hours after she had departed from London.

Following a brief meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street, Patel released a letter saying she was leaving the government and conceding that “my actions fell below the high standards that are expected of a Secretary of State.”

It had been widely speculated that she would be sacked by May, but the prime minister appeared to have allowed Patel the dignity of resigning.

Staunchly pro-Israel, Patel was seen as rising star on the right wing of the Conservative party and was a charismatic and high-profile supporter of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union during last year’s referendum.

The daughter of Indian immigrants to the UK, the 46-year-old former Cabinet minister had been tipped as a potential successor to May, whose personal authority was shattered following the general election in June which robbed the Tories of a parliamentary majority.
Honest Reporting: There is No Palestinian ‘Ambassador’ to the UK
The UK has not officially recognized a Palestinian state. That is why there is a Palestinian Representative Office in London as opposed to an embassy. It’s website address is “” Manuel Hassassian may proclaim himself an ambassador on the Representative Office’s website but according to diplomatic protocol, his official title is “Representative” or “Head of Mission” rather than “Ambassador.”

The Palestinians do have embassies in numerous countries that have recognized Palestinian statehood, predominantly in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The UK is not one of those countries however.

These media outlets have effectively bestowed statehood on the Palestinians even though they do not enjoy that status in the UK. Aside from being prejudicial, it is simply factually incorrect.

Following complaints from HonestReporting, the Daily Telegraph amended its text to refer to “envoy.” The Times removed the entire paragraph from its story. Yet, in a follow-up story, The Times instead referred to the “Palestinian representative to the UK” having clearly amended its lexicon.

Israeli government has lost its way, says Corbyn’s visiting foreign policy chief (not satire)
The current Israeli government “has lost its way,” UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said Thursday, citing the ongoing “occupation” and the “misery” of the Palestinians.

In an exclusive interview with The Times of Israel, the woman who hopes to become Britain’s next top diplomat explained in great detail why she would unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state soon after coming into office, why she thinks Israel is not a model for other countries in the region to emulate, and why she won’t buy products from West Bank settlements.

Thornberry, currently on a four-day tour to Israel and the Palestinian territories, also discussed the scandal that led to the resignation Wednesday of a UK minister over undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, her position on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), and anti-Semitism charges against her Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“We’re critical of the Israeli government. We’re very critical of the Israeli government. Jeremy would be extremely critical of the Israeli government. But guess what? A lot of Israelis are pretty critical of the Israeli government, too,” Thornberry said. “This is part of being friends. We can tell each other the truth. We think the Israeli government has lost its way.”

While acknowledging that Israel is the Middle East’s only open-minded Western democracy, it is not model for its neighbors, she said firmly.
Meet Azad Ali, formerly a director of MEND and now the group’s Head of Community Engagement. Ali denied the Westminster Bridge attack was an act of terror, calling it a “lone wolf” event. He has written of his “love” of Al-Qaeda operative Anwar Al-Awlaki (a terrorist connected to a string of plots and attacks including 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, the underwear bomb plot). He was suspended from his civil service job at the Treasury after he attempted to justify the murder of British troops. He has also admitted attending speeches by Al-Qaeda hate preacher Abu Qatada (spiritual guide to 9/11 hijack leader Mohamed Atta). Quite a CV, and the sort of person you’d think a party leader would run a mile from…

But check out this speech Ali gave in praise of Jeremy Corbyn just this summer. Ali hints that Corbyn’s own views are more extreme than the Labour leader owns up to in public:

“I actually applaud Jeremy Corbyn for giving a break to the Muslim community, you know he took a lot of the blame and flack. You know when he got called a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ and all of this kind of stuff I was thinking, you know, I’ve known Jeremy from before he became leader and I was thinking you know what, wait until they find other things about him.

“And they tried to smear him day in, day out… but not only that, recently after Manchester, what did he say? ‘We need to talk about foreign policy’. So the opening is there for us.”
Ben-Dror Yemini: Anti-Israel activists have no interest in a dialogue
It was an impressive event, and mostly different. Five Israeli Arabs a Christian, a Muslim, a Bedouin, a Druze and an east Jerusalem resident spoke at an Orthodox liberal synagogue in central Manhattan. We don’t live in an apartheid state, they explained, each in his own way, to the large crowd that attended the event.

It was an opinion-shaping experience since most of those who went there are used to hearing the opposite. Representatives of the pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel groups, from Israel too, are regular guests on campuses and at community centers.

The event, which was organized by Reservists on Duty (an Israeli NGO acting against the BDS campaign), went as planned. The last speaker was Bassam Eid, a former researcher for the left-wing organization B’Tselem. Suddenly, someone emerged from the back, screaming something unclear, and was removed from the room after a two-minute disturbance. It turned out he was a student from the territories studying in the United States. He came to sabotage the event.

Several minutes later, the question and answer session began. “You’re standing here and telling us that Israel is wonderful. So why did Israeli soldiers kill a 12-year-old boy?” someone asked. A group of five anti-Israel activists had apparently infiltrated the auditorium. They weren’t kicked out, and the host courteously promised them an answer.

One of the delegation members tried to reply. It didn’t work. The man who asked the question kept shouting and disrupting him, and the others joined in, cursing in Arabic. There were even swear words like “sharmuta” (a whore in Arabic), and one of the rioters added anti-Semitic chants.

They were not interested in a dialogue. They were not interested in answers. They wanted to sabotage the event. This time they failed. Several minutes into the commotion, they were removed from the auditorium with the help of the New York police.
NGO Monitor: Amnesty-USA’s Newest Anti-Israel Hires
Most recently, in 2017, Amnesty-USA hired Raed Jarrar as Middle East and North Africa Advocacy Director and Allie McCracken as North American Campaigner. These two individuals exemplify the organization’s troubling ideological approach to Israel and retreat from the universal principles of human rights.

Before joining Amnesty, Jarrar served as Government Relations Manager for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), one of the main NGOs in the US promoting BDS campaigns against Israel. The group also encourages Israeli youth to dodge the draft. In July 2015, Jarrar participated in the AFSC conference titled “Acting in Faith with AFSC” where he spoke about supporting boycotts and divestment. On July 29, 2015, Jarrar spoke at a Congressional briefing “Gaza One Year Later: The Quest for Accountability,” to “examine Israel’s misuse of US-supplied weapons in Gaza and call on lawmakers to hold Israel accountable for its violations of US and international law.” The briefing featured speakers from US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (formerly known as US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation), Adalah, and Defense for Children International- Palestine (DCI-P).

On September 9, 2011, Jarrar tweeted a cartoon celebrating the attacks on the Israeli embassy in Egypt, a fundamental violation of international law.

In July 2014, Jarrar promoted a petition to “Charge Benjamin Netanyahu and the apartheid state of Israel for War Crimes against Humanity,” which referred to the 2014 Gaza war as a “genocide by Israel.”
Alan Parsons: I’m No Longer Talking To Roger Waters Because of His Support of BDS
In May of 1972, Pink Floyd filed in to Abbey Road studios to record what would eventually become their greatest masterpiece, “Dark Side of the Moon.” Still reeling from the loss of its visionary leader, Syd Barrett, and turning a profit for the first time since its founding seven years earlier, the band needed a hit. So did the producer assigned by the studio to oversee the recording: 24 years old at the time, Alan Parsons had served as an engineer on a number of big recordings, including some with the Beatles, but hadn’t yet done any work on his own.

“Dark Side of the Moon” was as much his big break as it was the band’s. Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s vocalist, would reportedly interrupt the studio sessions regularly to go watch his beloved Arsenal play football, leaving Parsons to dream up much of the psychedelic soundscape millions of college kids have pondered while stoned. Parsons is the one who put in those nightmarish chiming clocks in the beginning of “Time,” as well as the one who found and recruited the singer Clare Torry, who made “The Great Gig in the Sky” the mind-melting track it is. Parsons and Waters remained friends after the album was released and the producer went on to become a rock star in his own right. But now they’re not speaking, and BDS is to blame.

Waters “did appeal to me to join his appeal for the cultural boycott, but I completely ignored it,” Parsons, who is touring Israel at the moment, told a local TV interviewer. “I have no reason I should not come to Israel. I wanted to come to Israel. I ignored his appeal. And now, he added, “we’re no longer in touch.”
Hundreds of Jewish Students Protest Upcoming University College London Event With Hamas Supporter, Antisemitic Speaker
Hundreds of Jewish students and campus leaders have voiced their objections to an upcoming event at University College London (UCL) with two controversial speakers — one with a history of making antisemitic remarks and another with ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

Miko Peled, an Israeli-American activist who was disinvited from speaking at Princeton University in 2016 after tweeting that “Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves,” is scheduled to speak at UCL on Friday. He will be joined by Azzam Tamimi, a British-Palestinian academic who said at Queen Mary’s University in 2012, “I have a great honor to be close to Hamas.”

The planned event — organized by the school’s Friends of Palestine Society — drew strong objections from the Jewish community, with more than 200 students signing a letter sent to UCL’s provost and vice provost by current and former heads of the school’s Jewish Society and Friends of Israel Society on Monday.

“It is simply unacceptable that a man who has voiced antisemitic views — and an academic associated with terrorism directed against Jewish people — are allowed to speak, completely unchallenged by Jewish students,” the students noted.

They cautioned that the event may have been “purposefully arranged” to take place “on a Friday night — the Jewish Sabbath — in order to deprive the vast majority of Jewish students of the opportunity to challenge hatred likely directed against them.”
Judge Dismisses Suit Alleging Anti-Semitism at SFSU
A federal judge said Wednesday he will dismiss a complaint alleging San Francisco State University (SFSU) has a longstanding, systemic culture of anti-Semitism, but attorneys for the plaintiffs have promised to amend and refile.

U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick said the scope of the lawsuit, brought by a group of SFSU students and members of the local Jewish community, was overly broad.

Amanda Berman, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and director of legal affairs at the Lawfare Project, a non-profit pro-Israel legal think tank, said Orrick directed the team to "pare down complaint and deliver something simple and concise."

Orrick said the complaint as it stands does not "allege specific intent to discriminate."

The plaintiffs have alleged that SFSU has violated the U.S. Civil Rights Act and the First Amendment right to free speech, citing incidents that have taken place since the 1990s.
Student group admits using anti-Semitic propaganda to unseat Jewish campus leader
A left-leaning Canadian campus group admitted to using anti-Semitic attacks to remove a Jewish student from his student government position.

Noah Lew, a Jewish student at McGill University in Montreal, was re-nominated for a position on the Students’ Society of McGill University, or SSMU. But the college’s General Assembly rejected him after he was the target of a nasty, anti-Semitic smear campaign. The controversial vote was carried out without discussion.

“(About) 160 people voted no to a director only because he was Jewish,” the GA president said, “and the discontent seems to be coming from one issue that is political and has nothing to do with work performance.”

McGill has been criticized for anti-Semitism after BDS, the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, formed on campus. An off-shoot of that movement, Democratize SSMU, has admitted highlighting Lew’s Jewish identity to urge students to oppose him. The group claimed he was “actively harming Palestinian students” by letting his politics interfere with his leadership duties.
2 U of Illinois students charged with vandalizing campus menorah
Two University of Illinois students will be charged with a felony for vandalizing the menorah in front of the Urbana-Champaign school’s Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Jacob Bassler and Nicholas Gustafson, both 18, turned themselves in to university police, the local Fox News affiliate reported.

Security cameras caught two people pushing a shopping cart walking by the Chabad center on the southern Illinois campus on October 28 trying to move the entire 9-foot menorah, then breaking off a branch and walking off with it. The broken branch was later returned but was not able to be repaired.

Campus police spokesman Patrick Wade told the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette that the students were cited on a felony criminal charge of damage to property because it took place at a house of worship. He said that alcohol played a role in the crime, and it did not appear to be motivated by anti-Semitism. The teens also were cited for allegedly stealing the shopping cart from a local grocery store.

The university’s Chabad director, Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, said the center is working with an architect to design a steel menorah that hopefully will be up by Hanukkah in December.
After 10 Failures, University of Michigan Activists Launch Another Divestment Campaign Against Israel
Anti-Israel activists at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor recently launched a campaign to convince the school to divest from Israel — a proposal the student body has rejected 10 times since 2002.

Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) announced last week that it was beginning “the 2017 #UMDivest campaign,” which calls for the university’s Central Student Government (CSG) “to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights.”

The companies — according to a SAFE petition that accuses Israel of implementing an “apartheid system” — include “Boeing, HP, United Technologies, G4S, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Co, Exxon Mobil, BAE Systems, Dexia, and Toyota.”

The group quickly began promoting their campaign on campus, including erecting a “separation wall” last Wednesday that featured maps showing purported Palestinian land loss since 1946. The maps — widely shared by anti-Israel activists — have been frequently criticized for containing multiple inaccuracies.

Members of SAFE and a large crowd of their supporters also convened on Tuesday to rally in favor of divestment, where they were met with a number of counter-protesters.
Michael Lumish Podcast: This Week on Nothing Left
This week Michael Burd and Alan Freedman hear from Stan Goodenough, a Christian advocate living and working in Israel who attended the Beersheba commemorative festivities last week, and then hear from acclaimed author, playwright and film producer Tuvia Tenenbom who is visiting Australia shortly.

The guys have a fascinating interview with British political commentator Jamie Palmer on why the Left hates Israel and catch up with Isi Leibler in Jerusalem as usual.

2 min Editorial: Balfour Declaration
8 min Stan Goodenough at Beersheba festivities
26 min Tuvia Tenenbom, author, film producer and commentator
51 min Jamie Palmer, political commentator on why the Left hates Israel
1 hr 30 Isi Leibler in Jerusalem
Nazi victim memorial stones stolen in Berlin, probe underway
German police have launched an investigation into the theft of at least 12 inscribed metal memorial stones embedded in the pavement in Berlin to commemorate Nazi victims.

The stones, called "Stolpersteine" ("Stumbling Blocks"), bear the names of the victims and are set in the ground in front of the last address where they lived before being murdered or detained by the wartime regime.

"It's upsetting and it hurts," Cologne artist Günter Demnig said on Tuesday, the day after the thefts were made public.

Demnig claimed some 600 stones had been stolen out of the total 63,000 laid across Europe since he launched the project in 1996.

Police said it was not clear who was behind the thefts, though a local politician blamed members of the far-right linking the action to the approaching anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom of Jews in Germany and Austria.

A similar theft in the eastern city of Greifswald four years ago also took place on the eve of the anniversary of the attacks when government-backed mobs looted Jewish property, set fires and killed dozens of Jews.
'Anti-Israel activists shouldn't speak at Kristallnacht event'
Prominent Dutch Jews spoke out against what they called a new trend involving hosting activists against Israel at commemorations for the Kristallnacht pogroms of 1938.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, which is the Netherlands’ main watchdog on anti-Semitism, spoke out against the trend earlier this week ahead of the Nov. 9 anniversary of the pogroms in Germany and Austria, which many historians view as the opening shot of the Nazi campaign of violence against the Jews during the Holocaust.

CIDI, whose then-director in 2000 represented Dutch Jews in negotiations for Holocaust restitution, said it was “concerned over the trend in which anti-Israel individuals receive a podium at Holocaust-related commemorations,” according to the CIP website.

The statement followed the invitation to one commemoration of Dries van Agt, a pro-Palestinian Authority former prime minister of the Netherlands who recently said that the Jews “should have been given a piece of land” in Germany instead of in the historic Land of Israel, and the hosting at another of Anne Dekker, an activist who promotes the boycott of Israel and who said that neither Israel nor CIDI legitimately represent Jews.

Van Agt — who has been fighting accusations of anti-Semitism since he declared in 1972 that he “is only an Aryan” in connection to his efforts to free Nazi war criminals – will speak at the main event organized by the Committee for the Commemoration of Kristallnacht, an NGO, at a theater in Amsterdam.
Israel protests Bosnian school named for Muslim Nazi collaborator
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has protested the naming of a school in Bosnia for a Muslim Nazi collaborator who incited anti-Semitic hatred during the Holocaust before he was executed.

The Mustafa Busuladzic Elementary School in Sarajevo dismissed the criticism over its August name change, saying that Israel “has no right to give moral lessons to others” because of the building of Jewish settlements, according to an article that appeared last month in the Klix news site.

Busuladzic, a philosopher and educator, wrote in favor of “fighting the Jews” and their “spirit” in 1943, when thousands of Balkan Jews in what is now Bosnia and beyond were being hunted down and murdered by the pro-Nazi Ustase forces, which comprised Muslim Bosnians, Catholic Croats and ethnic Germans, of the Croatian puppet state.

Whereas “Jews and their deception and speculation disappeared from the marketplace” thanks to “people fighting against the Jews,” Busuladzic wrote in 1943, “in the bazaar remained Jewish spirit of speculation, imposing, charging price and usury to the extent that the corruption of certain traders, regardless of religion, eclipses that of the missing Jews.”
Bomb threat faxed to Orthodox Jewish high school in New York
An Orthodox Jewish high school on Long Island, New York, was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat.

The bomb threat was faxed on Wednesday afternoon to the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, school leaders said in a letter to the school community posted on its Facebook page. The message said that a bomb had been planted on school property.

Following protocol, the school notified police and evacuated the building, taking the students to a nearby synagogue.

4th Police Precinct’s K-9 unit inspected the building and did not find any explosive device. The building was cleared and evening activities on the campus took place as usual, according to the letter.

Police are investigating to find out who sent the letter.

Last Thursday a US House of Representatives committee advanced a bill that would enhance penalties for threats on religious institutions, sparked by a wave of threats on Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions earlier this year.
Germany’s central bank will examine its history, focusing on the Nazi years
The Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s post-war central bank, has announced plans to research the history of the national banking system, including its predecessor institutions, from 1923 to 1969, with a special focus on the Nazi years.

Historians Albrecht Ritschi of the London School of Economics and Magnus Brechtken of the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History will lead the project, which will include examining the history of the Nazi-era Reichsbank, the post-war Bank Deutscher Lander, and the early years of the Deutsche Bundesbank, which was established in 1957.

According to a statement from the Bundesbank, there will be a special focus on the Nazi years, bank leadership, and policies in occupied countries. Researchers plan to explore the bank’s possible impact on war strategy, as well as the influence of a succession of bank leaders on the political systems from the Weimar Republic to the post-war division of Germany.

Ritschi told the global edition of the Handelsblatt newspaper that “some unpleasant questions were not asked” in past historical analyses of the Bundesbank. As a recent case in point, he noted that a volume commemorating the bank’s 60th anniversary included only three pages about the Nazi era.
This German teen stood up to neo-Nazis at her school
A non-Jewish German teenager from Dresden has been honored by the Jewish community for standing up to neo-Nazis at her school.

The 15-year-old, known as Emilia S., received the Prize for Civic Courage against Right-wing Radicalism, Anti-Semitism and Racism on Tuesday from the Jewish community of Berlin and the Association for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

She was recognized for her response to an apparent trend in her school in Dresden, a city in the former East Germany: Classmates had started giving each other points for repeating neo-Nazi slogans when their cellphones were charged up to 88 percent. In far-right circles, the number 88 stands for “Heil Hitler,” since “H” is the eighth letter in the alphabet.

According to the DPA news agency, the game started with code words such as saying “Heilung” (“to your health”) if someone sneezed. Participants would get more points for saying “Heil Hitler” or showing the Hitler greeting with raised arm and flattened palm. Both are illegal in Germany.

They then started including the word for Jew (“Jude”) as an insult to other students and making Holocaust jokes.

Emilia reported the activity to police and filed charges against one classmate for incitement to hate. The police have visited the school, and the boy in question is no longer in Emilia’s class, according to news reports.
Israeli firm to deliver broadband Internet in Latin America
We don’t know the name of the client, but it’s a big win anyway.

Gilat Satellite Networks of Petah Tikva has been awarded a contract to deliver and operate satellite-based LTE backhaul for a major telecommunications service provider in Latin America. The goal is to deliver broadband Internet connection to multiple locations across the country.

In telecom lingo, “backhaul” refers to the intermediate links between the core (or backbone) network, and the small subnetworks on the edges of the entire network. Backhaul often refers to the side of the network that communicates with the global Internet.

Satellite backhaul helps mobile network operators connect rural, mountainous and hard-to-serve areas where building a land-based network of towers and cables would cost too much.

The project includes Gilat’s technology and services as well as management via Gilat’s global Network Operation Center.
After Tel Aviv concert, Boy George says Israel ‘in my heart’
After staging a sassy performance in Tel Aviv for his Israeli fans on Tuesday night, Boy George on Wednesday pushed back against online criticism by Israel boycott activists, rejecting comparisons between the Jewish state and South Africa in the apartheid era.

“So George are you saying you would have played South Africa during apartheid??” a Twitter user with the handle Graham Booth asked the 80’s musical icon.

“I could have an[d] I didn’t. Could have earned well from such a gig. Israel is in my heart. Completely different equation,” replied the Culture Club frontman.

“I play for my fans, not politicians. I have never looked at any political figure and thought ‘yeah, you speak for me.’ The flow of positive energy is the key!” the singer wrote in response to another user addressing his Israel performance.
Man in Black Will Smith ‘chills’ at the Western Wall
In a surprise visit, Hollywood star and rapper Will Smith on Thursday arrived in Jerusalem, where he toured the Old City and prayed at the Western Wall.

“I’m chilling at the Western Wall,” Smith said, adding that he was “honored to be here” and calling the holy site a “very spiritual, very powerful place.”

Smith, the star of the television series “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and films such as “Men in Black,” apparently popped over from neighboring Jordan where he is filming a remake of the Disney classic “Aladdin.”

He was accompanied by several of the cast members and also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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