Tuesday, November 28, 2017

From Ian:

Judea Pearl: November 29 – the Jewish Thanksgiving Day
For several years now, I have been campaigning to declare November 29 the Jewish Thanksgiving Day; a day where we give thanks to Lady History and to the many heroic players who stood behind the historic UN vote of November 29, 1947, an event which has changed so dramatically the physical, spiritual and political life of every Jew in our generation.

I have argued that Jewish communities in every major city in the world should invite the consuls general of the 33 countries who voted yes on that fateful day to thank them publicly for listening to their conscience and, defying the pressures of the time, voting to grant the Jewish nation what other nations take for granted – a state of its own.

Imagine 33 flags hanging from every Jewish Federation building, 33 bands representing their respective countries and the word “yes” repeated in 33 different languages in a staged reenactment of that miraculous and fateful vote in 1947.

The idea came to partial fruition in 2012, when a spectacular production of “The Vote” took place at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, featuring clergy, speakers, actors, musicians, singers and dancers, commemorated the day when, 65 years earlier, the United Nations voted 33 to 13 to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Efforts to turn this into an annual event worldwide have so far not borne fruit, perhaps because we became overly fragmented, or perhaps we need time to digest our debt to history to appreciate the impact that such a ceremony would have on strengthening the spines of our children and grandchildren.

But I am not one to be deterred by hesitations.
Martin Kramer: Why the 1947 UN Partition Resolution Must Be Celebrated
Earlier this month, the governments of Britain and Israel marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration with much fanfare. From London to Jerusalem, prime ministers, parliamentarians, and protesters weighed in. The world’s major media outlets ran extended analyses, while historians (myself included) enjoyed their fleeting few minutes of fame.

In comparison, notice of this week’s 70th anniversary of the 1947 UN partition resolution, the first international legitimation of a Jewish state—and the subject of my essay, “Who Saved Israel in 1947?”—will be subdued. Why?

A centenary is certainly a rarer thing, and the Balfour Declaration makes for dramatic telling. But the vote over the partition resolution had plenty of drama, too, and some of us, or our parents or grandparents, still remember the suspense that attended it and the elation that followed.

The Israeli novelist Amos Oz is one of them. In an autobiographical passage, he recalled that night in Jerusalem as his father stroked his head in his darkened bedroom:

“From the moment we have our own state [said Oz’s father], you will never be bullied just because you are a Jew and because Jews are so-and-sos. Not that. Never again. From tonight that’s finished here. Forever.” I reached out sleepily to touch his face, just below his high forehead, and all of a sudden instead of his glasses my fingers met tears. Never in my life, before or after that night, not even when my mother died, did I see my father cry. And in fact I didn’t see him cry that night, either. Only my left hand saw.

For those of us who are too young to remember the tears or the dancing in the streets, something of the excitement of the vote is easily retrievable. The balloting at the United Nations occurred in the presence of cameras, and anyone can see it spring to life on YouTube, along with the joyous celebrations that ensued. By contrast, the ecstasy prompted by the Balfour Declaration seems remote. Some 100,000 reportedly turned out in the streets of Odessa, but not even one photograph attests to it.

So why, one asks again, did the Balfour Declaration centenary resonate, while the partition-vote anniversary doesn’t?
UN celebrates 70 years since vote established the Jewish State
The State of Israel is returning to the hall in Flushing Meadows, New York, where the crucial vote to establish a Jewish state was held on November 29th, 1947.

Israel’s Mission to the United Nations is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the historic United Nations vote on Resolution 181 that called for the establishment of a Jewish state. The event is taking place at the Queens Museum that served as UN headquarters in 1947.

United States Vice President Mike Pence will be the guest of honor and deliver the keynote address on the eve of his planned visit to Israel. Dozens of ambassadors will participate in the event, including representatives of the 33 countries that voted in favor of establishing the new state 70 years ago. The main hall of the Queens Museum has be redesigned to resemble the UN assembly as it was in 1947.

Other guests expected at the gathering include Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and more than 50 UN ambassadors and Jewish community leaders. World Jewish Congress president and US Ambassador to Austria Ronald Lauder will address the gathering and Israeli singer Ninet Tayeb will perform.



Israel marks expulsion of Jews from Arab nations, Iran
Next Thursday, Israel plans to mark its annual memorial day of the expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab states and Iran. The issue will also be commemorated around the world in the coming week.

On Thursday, representatives from the Aharon and Rachel Dahan Center for Culture, Society and Education in the Sephardic Heritage at Bar-Ilan University will take part in an event at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem to mark the exodus and expulsion of Jews from Arab countries and Iran.

According to Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel, who initiated the event, "Throughout the 70 years of the State of Israel's existence, the story of Mizrahi Jews has been absent from the history of the Jewish people. We must correct that."

Next week, the Dahan Center will head an academic conference on the subject of Jewish refugeeism from Arab countries at the University of Maryland in College Park, near Washington, D.C. with the aim of exposing the plight of those Jewish communities.

Following the conference, the Israeli Embassy will host a special reception, to be attended by Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and Gamliel.

Events of the Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran will be held in a number of international capitals next week, including in Europe, Latin America, North America and India next week. The events, organized by representatives of the Foreign Ministry, will include lectures, films and musical performances.
PMW: PMW report causes 4 European countries to stop funding Palestinian center
PMW report causes Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Holland to stop funding Palestinian women's committee because it named a center after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi

When Palestinian Media Watch exposed the naming of a Palestinian women's empowerment center after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi this summer, the international donors who had supported the Women's Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) building the center announced they would stop funding it. First Norway, whose name appeared prominently on the center's sign together with that of the UN, announced its withdrawal of funding, then Denmark followed suit, and later the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (HR/IHL Secretariat) - a donor program sponsored by Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland - also decided to stop funding the WATC.

Reacting to the donors' withdrawal of their support, the WATC "condemned" their decision, stating in a press release that:
"The committee considered this to be an adoption of the Israeli occupation's narrative regarding the history of the legal Palestinian struggle as a liberation movement against colonialism and the Israeli occupation that continue to this day, which is identical to all the other liberation movements in history."
[Wattan, independent Palestinian news agency, Oct. 29, 2017]

The WATC said that the donors' political decision is "a dangerous sign... [of] their submission to the false Israeli occupation narrative and its pressures," and rejected it as "political extortion." The head of the WATC board of directors, Samia Bamia, expressed the committee's opposition to the decision:

"We will not agree to erase our memory or condemn our history [in exchange] for funding."

In a radio interview, Samia Bamia stated that the donors' decision to condition funding on the change of the name of the Dalal Mughrabi Center constitutes "a danger," and is an attempt to alter the Palestinian "consciousness" and change Palestinian "identity and history":
BDS as the Spearhead of a Global Anti-Western and Anti-Semitic Movement
Since the 1920s, writes Alex Joffe, Palestinian leaders have sought to internationalize their conflict with Zionism, variously seeking support from other Arab and Muslim countries, from pan-Arab and pan-Muslim organizations, from the UN and related institutions, from the Soviet Union, and from leftist and anticolonial movements. The result has been the subordination of Palestinians’ interests to other causes, as Joffe explains:

Palestinian efforts to internationalize their conflict with Jews, Zionism, and Israel is emblematic of the Palestinian elites’ century-long effort to mobilize international support in place of, and as a means of, nationalizing the Palestinian masses. In the process, however, they lost control over these processes, which became partially driven by the political needs and inherent anti-Semitism of Arab and Islamic countries, as well as by global geopolitics. . . .

[The most recent iteration], in the age of leftist anti-globalization, . . . is the BDS movement. . . . [T]he true origins of the movement go back at least to the 1940s. The Arab League boycott of Israel and American Arab anti-Zionism are important foundations, as are the contributions of the General Union of Palestinian Students (founded in Cairo in 1959 to make Palestine the focus of Arab student life in the Middle East and then Europe)—out of which Students for Justice in Palestine emerged in 2000.

But the contributions of the New Left and especially the Jewish left of the late 1960s and 1970s (partially co-opted by the KGB and the PLO), and the American Muslim Brotherhood network, which has effectively taken over American Muslim institutions since the 1980s, cannot be ignored. The Communist-backed Palestine Solidarity Campaign, founded in London in 1982, and the Hamas-sponsored (and thus Muslim Brotherhood-sponsored) Palestine Return Center in Britain in 1986, are also important.

The BDS movement is thus a red-green synthesis in which Palestinians are figureheads. Arguably, the movement is merely the spearhead of a larger anti-Western juggernaut, in which the dialectic between Communism and Islam remains unresolved. In this sense, the Palestinian cause matters little, except as a means to gain entry and thus dominate institutions such as the UN, international labor, churches, and educational systems. Shared anti-Zionism is a thin fig leaf for shared anti-Semitism and anti-liberalism, messages consumed with increasing vigor by hollowed-out Western institutions.
Douglas Murray: In praise of Trevor Phillips, the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s latest target
One of the nicest things in life is the discovery that one-time enemies are in fact terrific, brave people who you might have been wrong about and have grown to respect. For instance, when I was growing up I had a rather marked dislike of Germaine Greer. Then, in recent years, I discovered she was one of the only adults left in the room. Likewise Trevor Phillips. When he was head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission we often used to find ourselves at loggerheads. I recall a panel many years ago when, sitting in the green room beforehand, one of the other panellists asked me what I did. Trevor butted in, with sad accuracy, ‘Douglas’s job is to try to make me lose my job’. He was always enormously likeable, even when we were in disagreement. But then once again, in recent years as other people everywhere appeared to go weak in the head, Trevor Phillips turns out to be among the few adults left in the room. His interventions in Britain’s public debate these days are always thoughtful, humane, informed and always worth listening to.

So of course the Khomeinists in the preposterously mis-titled ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’ have decided to put him in their sights. Specifically, they recently named him as a contender for their ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ award. I have written about this event a number of times before (for instance here, here and here). I used to treat this annual event with the frivolity and contempt that it deserved. When they nominated me for the title alongside people like Maajid Nawaz or Raheem Kassam it seemed obvious that they were just hilariously demonstrating what anybody with eyes and an attention-span could see – which was that here was a group of people with a very obvious set of goals manipulating a word in an effort to mislead the world.

Then in 2015 I thought even the most biting laughter ought to stop. That was the year in which the IHRC gave the award of ‘Islamophobe of the Year’ to the journalists at Charlie Hebdo who had been slaughtered only a few weeks earlier. During the awards ceremony itself the IHRC’s presenters ‘joked’ about the fact that there didn’t seem to be anybody around to pick the award up. I wrote about this at the time, in a piece which drew a typically illiterate response from the IHRC’s Chair. That man – one Massoud Shadjareh – tried to present his case to my editor that the IHRC which organises the ‘Islamophobe’ of the Year awards is an entirely different entity from the IHRC Trust (which is a registered charity). As I said at the time, Shadjareh must have thought that Britain’s oldest periodical was in fact born yesterday. Anyhow – I dispensed with Shadjareh’s time-wasting here. I will leave it to the British public to decide in what way the IHRC remaining a charity is remotely in the ‘public benefit’. One can see how it is to the benefit of Khomeinists. But most of the British public are not Khomeinists.
We can do it ourselves
"Over the past few days, I received many letters of protests and heard critical voices, mainly from Jewish citizens, against the sponsorship we gave to the Roger Waters concert. I feel that words and arguments will not convince the members of your community, only unequivocal action. I am notifying you, as it is important for me that you believe how important your feelings are to me, that our sponsorship of the concert has been withdrawn. Please see my clear decision as a personal message of trust and understanding."

This letter was sent by a local German television station director to Malca Goldstein-Wolf of Cologne in response to the protest she initiated against the television station's sponsorship of the British musician's concert scheduled for next year.

Goldstein-Wolf had launched the protest online to highlight the anti-Semitic character of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, of which Waters is one of the most vocal advocates. A petition and harsh criticism in the local Jewish community's newspaper followed, before the station decided to withdraw its sponsorship.

Sometime around the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israel stopped defending its historical truth. To justify this dramatic ideological turnaround, which was marked by recognizing the Palestine Liberation Organization – the ultimate enemy of Zionism and the State of Israel – Israel gradually adopted a policy of embracing the Palestinian narrative, in all its falsehoods.
Boycott Roger Waters: Call for End to Pink Floyd Legend's Tour over Anti-Semitism
A petition has been launched in Cologne, Germany asking the regional public broadcaster WDR to drop support for former Pink Floyd frontman Rogers Waters’ upcoming “Us + Them” concert on the grounds of his previous expressions of anti-Semitism.

“I do not want to resign myself to the new hatred of Jews here, I’m sick of it,” said Malca Goldstein-Wolf in an interview with newspaper Bild. Her call to boycott Roger Waters – his concert is set down for June 11, 2018 – came with a petition signed by over 1,300 people, according to the newspaper.

The accusations of anti-Semitism against the British rocker grew after balloons in the shape of a pig adorned in the Star of David were released at Waters concerts in 2013 — though he countered that several political and religious symbols had been used.

More recently he compared the Israeli government to Nazi Germany, saying Israel is “the worst regime in the world,” during an hour-long Q&A session led by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement leader Omar Barghouti.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, throughout that conversation Waters made several bombastic statements challenging Israel’s right to exist while excoriating performers who go to the Jewish state

As a vocal supporter of the anti-BDS movemen, Waters has declined to perform in Israel. As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, he and Brian Eno attacked Nick Cave for playing two shows in Tel Aviv earlier this month by sending an open letter to Cave full of misinformation and outright lies in an attempt to guilt the Australian artist into cancelling the show.
New School Professor Attacks Forthcoming Appearance by BDSer Linda Sarsour on Antisemitism Panel
A leading professor at New York’s New School who describes herself as a liberal has denounced the college for its plans to host BDS activist Linda Sarsour on Tuesday night in a forum on antisemitism.

“I feel betrayed that Tuesday, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism program is sponsoring a panel entitled ‘Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice,’ featuring the hatemonger Linda Sarsour,” Prof. Susan Shapiro wrote in the New York Daily News.

“Sarsour is the left-wing’s new hijab heroine, a Brooklyn-born Palestinian activist who has tweeted ‘nothing is creepier than Zionism,’ and shared a podium praising her friends Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (a virulent anti-Semite) and Rasmea Odeh, a terrorist who spent 10 years in jail for abetting the killing of two Hebrew University students in 1969,” Shapiro – a human rights advocate who co-authored a book with a young Bosnian Muslim on his experience of “ethnic cleansing” during the 1992-95 war – wrote.

“Imagine what would happen if I tweeted ‘Nothing is creepier than Palestinians,’ proclaimed ‘gays can’t be feminists,’ appeared alongside the KKK’s David Duke and publicly boycotted everything Arab-owned or run,” Shapiro continued. “My bosses and colleagues would call me a racist and I’d probably be fired.”
Mort Klein: I Condemn New School for Inviting Anti-Semite Linda Sarsour to Discuss Anti-Semitism
Imagine a college convening a panel to discuss “Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice,” that features a woman who seeks the destruction of the Jewish state, and who publicly stands with and supports a Palestinian-Arab terrorist who was convicted of murdering Jewish college students.

That is precisely what The New School in New York City is doing, by scheduling such a panel featuring Linda Sarsour, the former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, whom a NY Post op-ed dubbed the “Queen of Hate.”

Moreover, the New School panel’s other panelist/speaker is Rebecca Vilkomerson – the head of the virulent anti-Israel group “Jewish Voices for Peace” (JVP), which is a major promoter of anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts. Thus, both panelists on The New School’s purported “anti-Semitism panel” are women who are doing their utmost to destroy the Jewish homeland.

Sarsour (and Vilkomerson) lack any academic or professional expertise in anti-Semitism, except as enablers and perpetrators of anti-Semitism. It is deeply disturbing that a college would give Linda Sarsour and her co-panelist any platform – much less a platform to discuss Jews. As another New York Post editorial noted: “It’s the very definition of Orwellian: a panel titled ‘Anti-Semitism and the Struggle for Justice’ that’s actually meant to promote Israel-bashing.”

Sarsour’s anti-Israel animus is intertwined with her Islamist supremacism.
IsraellyCool: A Story Linda Sarsour Is REALLY Going to Hate
An African-American pastor from Chicago visited Israel and while there, discovered NATAL, an organization treating victims of terror and war suffering from post traumatic stress. He was so impressed, he saw it as his mission to bring it to Chicago to help gun violence victims.

Many Chicagoans may balk at the comparison of our city to a war zone. But Chicago pastor Chris Harris saw some striking similarities when he visited Tel Aviv in 2012.

“I was in the Holy Land and I believe God was revealing to me an assignment that I should take on in my life,” he said.

While there, he discovered an organization called NATAL. It’s a trauma center established to treat victims of terror and war suffering from post traumatic stress.

“A lightbulb went off in my head and if people in Israel in this war-torn area who suffer from PTSD come to this place for trauma counseling, could we not bring this model to Chicago?” he said.

Last February 12, clinical psychologists traveled from NATAL in Israel to Chicago and trained Harris and others pastors on how to treat those in their communities suffering from trauma. Harris said the staggering numbers of shootings and killings in Chicago leave people in trauma and pain, but many don’t seek professional counseling.


Oh boy, Linda Sarsour is going to hate this! I fact, reading it may give her post traumatic stress. She has already come out strongly against Israeli police cooperation with US police, trying to paint it as a tactic to suppress her beloved “people of color” (much like herself, at least when she is wearing her hijab) and thus foster support among BLM supporters for her “Palestine” agenda (part of her “playbook”). But here we have another example of Israeli-US cooperation where it is going to be way harder for her to spin it this way. Plus hearing the pastor speak about the terrorism Israelis face cannot be easy on her ears.

I guess she can always claim the pastor is a Zionist and is therefore really a White supremacist.
Former CIA Operative Who Shared Anti-Semitic Article on Twitter to Give Lecture at Smith College
A former CIA operative who recently shared an anti-Semitic article on Twitter about American Jewish influence on foreign policy will be appearing next month at Smith College, to lecture on the topic of "Social Media and U.S. Foreign Policy."

Valerie Plame Wilson has been invited by the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute of the Massachusetts women's college to speak on Dec. 11 at a 400-seat on-campus auditorium.

The event was announced in the fall edition of the Kahn Chronicle, where she was described as one of "two preeminent speakers" who would participate in a year-long multidisciplinary program considering war. (The other was Claire Finkelstein, director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.)

"Occasional visits by outside experts around the world are essential components of Kahn Institute long-term projects," wrote the Chronicle.

James Kirchick, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, compared the Plame invitation to Smith hosting theoretical events featuring "Harvey Weinstein on gender equality, Richard Spencer on American race relations, and Donald Trump on Social Media and U.S. Foreign Policy," in his column at the online magazine Tablet.

Plame Wilson's Twitter account has been silent since Sept. 24, when she apologized for sharing an anti-Semitic article, titled "America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars."
Anti-Semitism, Duke University Press-Approved
I have written before about Jasbir Puar, professor of women and gender studies at Rutgers University. Puar has lent her scholarly credibility, such as it is, to the claim that Israelis mine the organs of Palestinians for scientific research. In addition, she argues that the Jewish state refrains from slaughtering the Palestinian population because maiming them is crueler, because one can’t exploit dead Palestinians, and because Israelis wish to hog the victim status conferred by genocide for themselves.

In other words, the Jewish State would love to commit genocide, but it is too greedy, cruel, and duplicitous to follow through. This is not so much the blood libel, as the blood libel plus, and it should have earned Puar opprobrium. But instead, many of Puar’s sophistical colleagues defended her, and Duke University Press recently rewarded her by publishing a book that–although it does not, as far as I know, include the explosive organ harvesting claim–otherwise paints Israel as a vampiric regime in the same way Puar has in the past.

The imprimatur of Duke University Press is a help to Puar and the hatred she dispenses. Indeed, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, speaking at a town hall, evidently felt no need to address the Puar’s anti-Semitic assertions in large part because her book “was reviewed independently by scholars around the country. It was then accepted for publication by the Duke University Press, which is a very prominent scholarly press.”

Dr. Barchi should read an op-ed recently published by Peter Reitzes in Durham, North Carolina’s Herald Sun. In it, Reitzes reminds us of Duke University Press’s recent history. Between 2012 and 2015, the press’s official twitter account posted material supporting the academic boycott of Israel using the #bds (boycott, divestment, sanction) hashtag. Some of these tweets can be explained by Duke’s eagerness to publicize the work of pro-BDS author Sarah Schulman, famous for explaining Israel’s gay-friendly policy as a devious plot to burnish its image. Duke has published her work, too, along with that of BDSers like Judith Butler, Fred Moten, and Bruce Robbins. As I noted in 2013, the keepers of the Duke University Press twitter account literally circulated a petition in favor of boycotting Israel.
Opinion: Duke University Press and the demonization of Israel
Perhaps the problem lies within bias in DUP’s own staff and policies. At least eight members of DUP’s Editorial Advisory Board and staff have appeared to publicly support initiatives related to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, appearing as signatories of various BDS-oriented initiatives, and often using social media to promote and defend BDS.

At the time of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, Ken Wissoker, the DUP Editorial Director of Books Acquisitions Group, Tweeted, “Tell Congress: you work for me, not for Netanyahu,” which sounds eerily reminiscent of the anti-Semitic canard that Jews are conspiring to rule and dominate the world. In the same Tweet, Wissoker included a link to a Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) announcement on the Iran issue. The Anti-Defamation League refers to JVP as “the largest and most influential Jewish anti-Zionist group in the United States” and warns that JVP uses language “that veers uncomfortably close to age-old anti-Semitic canards.”

Also on Twitter, DUP Editorial Associate Sandra Korn celebrates “our NEW BDS campaign in Durham !!!!!” Korn is listed as a member of the Facebook group “International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network.” The group explains, “we struggle against Zionism.” One may wonder if part of the mission or agenda of DUP is also to struggle against Zionism. The official DUP Twitter account has made more than 20 Tweets which include “#BDS.” It would to appear to some that DUP is championing BDS on social media.

Clearly there are a large number of personnel involved with DUP who appear to selectively attack Israel and advocate for positions that delegitimize, demonize, and utilize double standards against Israel. Does DUP staff treat other countries in this manner, or is it just Israel, the only Jewish majority country in the world, which receives such treatment?

The sum of these efforts raises the question of whether DUP is pursuing an agenda that at best shows bias, and at worst promotes anti-Semitic discourse. What, if anything, will Duke University do about the demonization of Israel by DUP? Perhaps the Board of Trustees of Duke University might wish to reflect on Duke’s own published “Anti-Boycott Regulations” that states, “If you run across any language which supports the boycott of Israel, it must be reported to the U.S. government by law.”
University of Washington Database moves Israel to Western Europe.
In which the University of Washington's database Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation determines that Israel is located in Western Europe

Interestingly enough, "Palestine" presumably meaning the West Bank and Gaza and therefore adjacent to Israel's borders, is listed in North Africa and the Middle East.

Wrap your head around that for a minute.

Looks like just another attempt to deny our heritage to me.

Let your voice be heard. Contact the Institute:
European Students' Union visits Israel despite campus boycott calls
The European Students' Union began its biannual seminar on Monday in Jerusalem, with 120 student representatives from 37 countries arriving for a week's visit.

Despite political opposition, student unions from the member countries provided enough votes for the seminar to be hosted in Israel. During their visit, the guests will meet with public figures, tour the country and speak with local professionals. The opening ceremony was held Monday night in Jerusalem after the student guests enjoyed a Segway tour of the city. On Tuesday, they were scheduled to visit Tel Aviv-Jaffa to tour Jaffa's Ajami neighborhood, meet the city's LGBTQ community, and attend an evening event on the rooftop of City Hall.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, whose ministry is responsible for fighting the anti-Israel boycott movement, praised the National Union of Israeli Students, "which managed to bring to Israel, on the state's 70th anniversary, student leaders from all of Europe to experience a flourishing Israel, the opposite of the picture painted on campuses around Europe. Unfortunately, boycott and delegitimization organizations against Israel have turned many campuses to vehemently anti-Israel environments in recent years, and I hope that this visit by student union leaders from around Europe and Israel will have a positive influence on the issue."

Ram Shefa, head of the National Union of Israeli Students, said: "The student leaders of today are those who will stand in senior public positions later. I see being a part of this global organization as a real mission for our public diplomacy. Today [European] students are exposed to a misleading picture that doesn't match the complexity of reality here. I hope that this current visit will help change the image of Israel in Europe's young leaders, and despite the opposition, we therefore insisted on hosting the organization in Israel."
International Business Times Peddles Fake News About Mossad's Gal Gadot
Starring as "Wonder Woman," Israel's Gal Gadot has grossed more than any other super-hero origin film, capturing the imagination of untold numbers of fans. She has also captured the imagination of an International Business Times reporter, who, based on an embarrassing photographic error on the part of a Lebanese newspaper, spun her own fantasy tale about the Israeli actress.

Leaving the facts behind, Lauren Dubois wrote yesterday ("Lebanese Newspaper Claims To Reveal Gal Gadot’s Alleged Alternate Identity As Mossad Agent"):
However, at least according to a Lebanese newspaper, Israeli actress Gal Gadot also has another secret identity—as a Mossad agent.

The paper, a daily known as Al Liwaa, published an image of Gadot on their front page Monday, claiming in an unsubstantiated report (via The Times of Israel), that she was actually Collette Vianfi, an agent from Israel’s international spy agency who was allegedly recruited to work with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani, who was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information about political figures.

The report included an image of Gadot from 2011’s “Fast Five” movie, and the report allegedly claimed the photo of her had “circulated” on social media, and hours before the report was published, the image had been shared online with some claiming that Gadot was Vianfi, who was reportedly meant to visit Itani in Beirut this week, before canceling the trip after his arrest.


But Al Liwaa never claimed that Gal Gadot was an Israeli agent or that her alter ego is someone called Collette Vianfi. Rather, it accidentally used a picture of Gadot to illustrate a story covering purported Israeli agent Vianfi.
CNN Sexual Harassment Map: Israel an Arab State
Sexual harassment is a serious topic and CNN should be commended for a feature article “How it stands around the globe.”

However, a map in the section on the Middle East and North Africa contains a careless error.

The map highlights in orange what it terms “Arab States.” Note how Israel is also colored orange.

The only small area that isn’t colored orange is the West Bank / Judea and Samaria. While it is a positive that CNN has not marked this area as an Arab state, including Israel as one is an unacceptable and particularly stupid error.

To be clear, Israel is not mentioned in the text of the story. Obviously, this does not mean that sexual harassment never happens in Israel. This is not about absolving Israel from the problem of sexual harassment but about correcting CNN’s inaccuracy.
More tepid BBC coverage of anti-Israel bigotry in sport
Remarkably, the only explanation listeners to this item received regarding the political background relevant to this story was the tepid and euphemistic observation that “the Islamic Republic does not accept” Israel. Iran’s regular violent threats against Israel and its funding of terror groups dedicated to bringing about the country’s demise did not even get a mention in Franks’ portrayal of this story.

Also on November 27th the BBC News website published an article titled “Outrage as Iranian wrestler ‘forced’ to lose match” in the features section of its Middle East page. The same article – by BBC Trending – appeared on the ‘wrestling’ page of the BBC Sport website which, despite its usually displayed interest in reporting bigotry and discrimination in sport, did not produce any coverage of this story itself.

The political background provided to readers of that article was similarly sketchy:
“Iran does not recognise the state of Israel and forbids its athletes from competing against Israelis at international sports events.”

The article also included a link to a fifteen month-old report by BBC Sport which – as pointed out here at the time – inaccurately named the Israeli judoka Or Sasson as ‘Os’. The same uncorrected inaccuracy appeared again in this latest article.
“Also in the Rio Games, Egyptian Islam El Shehaby was booed by the crowd after refusing to shake hands with Israeli opponent Os Sasson.”

It is of course highly unlikely (one hopes) that BBC coverage of any story about sportspeople repeatedly encountering discrimination, bigotry and state-ordered boycotts because of their skin colour, gender or sexual orientation would be quite as lukewarm as is the corporation’s repeated portrayal of those concerning Israelis.
Jeremy Corbyn appears to say he admires Prince Harry and HEZBOLLAH in incredible BBC subtitles fail
Jeremy Corbyn appeared to congratulate Prince Harry and Hezbollah in perhaps the greatest BBC subtitles fail of all time.

The Labour leader was sending his warmest regards to the Prince and new fiancee Meghan Markle during a visit to Glasgow.

He went on to say how much he admired "Prince Harry and his brother" for their work on mental health.

But the BBC News subtitles must have misheard him - and thought he said "Prince Harry and Hezbollah".

Corbyn has long faced criticism for a speech he gave before he was Labour leader, in which he referred to his "friends in Hezbollah", who were visiting the UK to discuss a peace settlement in the Middle East.

The Nazi Next Door Is Real—and Unspectacular
It described Hovater’s social media habits, which are shared by much of the alt-right—a useful detail for those who may be interested in preventing white nationalists from blending into society without a hitch. The profile explored Hovater’s reading, music tastes, and the evolution of his political thinking. It detailed his affinity for Vladimir Putin, his hatred for the press, and his disgust with United States as it is currently constituted. If you’re interested in identifying neo-Nazis in the wild, this is all useful information. The piece also described Hovater’s life at home, where he minced garlic, cooed over his cats, and talked about having children with his future wife. For the Times’ critics, this was unacceptable. “That evil is also banal is not new,” Klein quipped. Not so. Apparently, for those who were scandalized by this profile, it is.

Undergirding the left’s revulsion over the “normalization” of an American Nazi is the idea that some—not them, of course, but the vulgar multitudes—will be tempted to embrace white supremacy because a welder in Ohio enjoys “Twin Peaks.” This is not prudence but pretension. These liberal critics imagine themselves enlightened enough to know evil when they see it in print, but not you.

This is a censorious impulse. It represents the left’s troubling allergy to moral complexity. A man can have cats, buy barbecue sauce, love and be loved like the rest of us, and also be a beast of unspeakable prejudice and cruelty. Likewise, just because an organization calls itself “antifascist” doesn’t render it morally righteous when bands of “antifascists” form marauding bands with the intent of putting anyone who looks like a Trump supporter in the hospital. And so on.

Increasingly and to its detriment, the left in the age of Trump has convinced itself that its adversaries are, or ought to be, one-dimensional monstrosities with a monomaniacal devotion to undermining all that they hold dear. The New York Times should not be catering to children who lash out when their adversaries are depicted as fully formed human beings. The objection here is not to reportorial standards at the Times but to a set of facts the objectors cannot stand.
Russian Jews slam ‘anti-Semitic myth’ on Tsar’s death
Russia’s largest Jewish group protested a local bishop’s claim, repeated by a justice ministry official, that the country’s last tsar was murdered by Jews for ritual purposes.

Marina Molodtsova, a senior investigator for a special ministerial committee on the 1917 slaying of Nicholas II of Russia, said on Monday during a conference in Moscow that her committee will conduct “a psycho-historical examination” to find out whether the execution of the royal family was a ritual murder, Ria Novosti reported.

At the same event, Father Tikhon Shevkunov, a Russian Orthodox Church bishop, said that, according to “the most rigorous approach to the version of ritual murder, a significant part of the church commission [on Nicholas II’s killing during the Russian revolution of 1917] has no doubt that this murder was ritual.”

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, a Chabad-affiliated group with more than 100 affiliated communities across Russian, called the suggestions a “shocking expression of an anti-Semitic myth” in a statement Monday.

“We all think of this as absolutely unacceptable,” the federation’s spokesperson, Boruch Gorin, told Interfax, and “shocked first and foremost by the sheer absurdity of the allegations.”
Florida man in Jewish center bomb plot ordered hospitalized
A Florida man will be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment and likely serve 25 years in prison for plotting to bomb a synagogue and Jewish school center during Passover last year.

A Miami federal judge imposed that sentence Tuesday on James Gonzalo Medina, a 41-year-old who pleaded guilty to a religious hate crime and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Authorities said Medina planned to attack the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Medina was arrested on April 29, 2016, after approaching the center with a fake bomb provided by an undercover FBI informant.

FBI recordings showed Medina supported the Islamic State extremist group and claimed an obligation to attack Jews in the US. His lawyers say Medina suffers from significant mental health problems.
James Gonzalo Medina, a 40-year-old convert to Islam from Hollywood, Florida, was arrested by the FBI while carrying what he thought was a bomb to the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center in a suburb of Miami (YouTube screen cap)

Court documents also indicate that Medina suffers from bipolar disorder.
Australian rabbi denies saying he feels unsafe after anti-Semitic incident
An Australian rabbi has denied a report saying he does not feel safe in his country.

Rabbi Shmueli Feldman, a fourth-generation Australian, made the remarks about his safety to The New York Times in the wake of a report released Sunday finding a 9 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, as well as personal incidents.

The annual report also found a nearly 20% rise in incidents over the past two years.

While Feldman in an interview with JTA refuted The Times report, the Chabad rabbi also said he dreads another attack on his suburban Canberra home by a group of young white Australians, and “I feel currently a lot less safe in our own home for the first time ever.”

His family’s experience was highlighted in the report on anti-Semitism in Australia released by The Executive Council of Australian Jewry. The report said there were 230 incidents in Australia through September 30.
Turkish security forces seize 700-year-old Torah manuscript
Turkish security forces seized a Torah manuscript earlier this month that is thought to be at least 700 years old and that was up for sale for $1.9 million, Tukish media reported.

Police, acting on an tip, reportedly detained four antique dealers after they tried to sell the manuscript to plainclothes detectives in Turkey’s southern Mugla province.

Three of them were released to house arrest and one remained behind bars.

Police have given the manuscript, written on gazelle leather, to Istanbul’s Fethiye Museum for examination.

In 2012, Turkish police arrested four people in the Mediterranean province of Adana for allegedly attempting to sell an ancient Torah scroll they said was nearly 2,000 years old, the private broadcaster NTV reported at the time.
Rare manuscript describes Jews battling antisemitism in 18th-century Caribbean
A manuscript written by Caribbean Jews in 1798 protesting the ill-treatment of Jews worldwide will be up for sale next week at Christie’s auction house.

The manuscript was written in French by two Jewish merchants – “Jb d Castro” and “David Cohen Henriq” – to Victor Hughes, special agent of the executive directory on the Windward Islands, Curaçao.

It was donated to Christie’s by a private collector, who also contacted Wim Klooster of Clark University. Klooster researched the letter and discovered its significance and the circumstances surrounding it, which he is due to publish in the Studia Rosenthaliana Journal.

According to Klooster’s translation of the letter, the men wrote: “With regret, we see ourselves obliged to send you this letter in the name of the Jews spread around the universe to show our rightful resentment about the scandalous epithet that you [believe you are] authorized to apply to them in a letter that circulates here under your name....”

The letter continues: “You treat the Jews as the scum of all nations, feelings very much contrary to the principles of a nation of which you have the honor to be the representative, the conquering friend of liberty and equality, which it has established everywhere; its invincible arms triumphed, and that has so wisely destroyed fanaticism, the scourge of the universe and preserve of the intolerant.”
Poland, Israel honor Righteous Gentiles
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, and Zionist Union MK Hilik Bar took part at an event in Torun, Poland, on Sunday honoring righteous Poles who endangered their lives to save Jews in the Holocaust.

Bar, who heads the Israel- Poland parliamentary friendship caucus, lost two-thirds of his mother’s family in the Holocaust. His grandfather Ya’acov Kotovsky Pedahtsur, who lived in Poland, survived the war.

“What is more honorable than endangering yourself for someone who is not connected to you and is not even the same religion?” Bar asked a crowd that included Polish ministers and parliamentary members. “The courageous Poles we honor today risked their lives, and many of them were killed. Courage is not merely a lack of fear Courage can also be to fear and yet still do the right thing. That is what these righteous Poles did.”

Bar said his participation at the event was proof of the Nazis’ failure to destroy the entire Jewish people.

“The significance of Israel’s existence is to tell the world ‘Never again,’” he told the crowd. “Never again will Jews be pursued and murdered, never again will Jews hide and have no ability to defend themselves. Never again will Jews have to rely on others to defend them.”
Apple Music ad features electronic sound of Israeli musician Noga Erez
It’s mid-November, and electronic musician Noga Erez is ensconced in Berlin, her base for two months of touring around Europe. It’s been a crash course about life on the road, according to the musician.

“It’s being in a car with people for a very long time every day,” she said. “We’ve become closer, but touring is fun and it’s hard and it’s always a duality. It’s never just fun… You have to let go and let go of control.”

The 27-year-old Erez emerged into the electronic scene in 2016 with her first single, “Dance While You Shoot,” and has become a singular voice — and sound system — in the EDM, or electronic dance music scene worldwide.

These days her music is being broadcast to an even wider audience with a new Apple Music ad, the result of some entrepreneurial emailing on Erez’s part.

She was participating in a music conference as part of an Israeli delegation and sent about 80 emails to see who to connect with from the guest list. Out of the 80, the only answer she received was from the head of the music advertising department at Apple Music, who wanted to work with her.

Now Erez’s latest anthem, “Dance While You Shoot,” is the background of an Apple Music TV commercial.
Israel paves way to boost energy ties to Africa
Israel and the US are scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding next week that will see Israel join the Power Africa initiative, an international program led by the US that aims to connect 60 million households in Africa to the electricity grid by 2030.

Being part of the program will enable Israeli energy firms, including startups, to make use of the tools provided by Power Africa to promote electricity generation projects on the continent, and could lead “to billions of dollars of deal-flow for Israeli firms,” according to Israeli solar energy pioneer Yosef Abramowitz, whose firm, Energiya Global Capital is one of the founding partners of Power Africa. Energiya is already working with the US and Israeli government to deploy $2 billion in solar and wind installations in 10 countries in Africa over the next five years.

Following the agreement, Israeli companies will be able to take part in the Power Africa initiative, and will receive a diverse toolbox to promote electricity generation, including increased access to local government bodies, financial grants, contacts with financing entities, professional and legal advice and feasibility surveys.

“Israel is becoming a partner in one of the biggest aid programs available today, and this initiative is a result of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy to leverage Israeli ingenuity to strengthen diplomatic ties,”said Eli Groner, the director general at Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, who will sign the agreement on December 4 in Jerusalem together with the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Joining Power Africa “is the manifestation of our unparalleled relationship with the US, assisting in the deepening of our ties with African nations.”
Israeli-Jewish Singer Releases Arabic Album Acknowledging Her Family’s Cultural Roots
In Magi’s latest music video, “Alashoo,” from her soon-to-be-released debut album of the same name, young women clad in streetwear — short shorts, belly shirts and sports bras — circle the singer, throwing attitude, caressing each other and drinking Corona.

It has the makings of any girl-powered hip-hop video, but another element takes center stage here: The song is not in English or even in Hebrew, but in Arabic, with the Eastern melody and beats to match.

For an Israeli-Jewish artist who grew up on the streets of Tel Aviv, this may seem like an unlikely twist, but only if you don’t know the real Maggie Hikri.

“I used to steal my older brothers’ CDs, sit in my room and sing for hours. I was always attracted to the thought of singing in Arabic, but the opportunity came to do so professionally when I started working with English music producer Juno Reactor. From there I started to hear and learn the language and my family’s roots,” says Hikri.
IsraellyCool: LISTEN: Morrissey’s ‘Israel’
Morrissey’s much-awaited song Israel, in which he accuses the haters of raining abuse on us because they are jealous, was recently released.

Listen for yourselves.


You were born as guilty sinners
Before you stood upright you fell
Put the fear of many gods
In Israel

Nature gave you every impulse
Who are virgin priests to tell
Who/how to love
How to live
Israel

And they who reign abuse upon you
They are jealous of you as well
Love yourself as you should
Israel


Update: Naturally, the Guardian reviewer does not like this song.
At the other extreme, however, lurks the ridiculous closer Israel, with its overwrought vocal, klezmer fiddle and lyrics that offer Morrissey’s analysis of the labyrinthine complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Don’t worry, everyone, he’s got it all worked out: anyone who criticises Israel’s actions – say, the bulldozing of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories – is “jealous”. Still, congratulations: in the face of pretty stiff competition from both sides of the commentariat, this may well be the single most asinine public statement yet made on the subject.



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