Friday, December 08, 2017

From Ian:

David Collier: Obsessive and suffocating, 176 anti-Israel events in a month
At the start of a recent event at the House of Parliament, an MP opened his speech by claiming it was necessary to give the argument of ‘Free Speech on Israel’ – ‘a platform’ because apparently criticism of Israel receives no airtime. The first speaker at the event, even claimed it necessary because their argument is not given ‘any form of platform’ at all.

How wrong they both are. What follows is simply a list of events. I produce it here because I believe few understand the scale of, nor the fallout from, the problem at hand.
The larger picture

The research took time, and until the very end, when I stumbled across yet another remote exhibition in a library, I knew I would never provide a complete picture. The image is of a single month, November 2017, and contains all of the ‘pro-Palestinian’ (anti-Israel) events I could find.
The big lies

The list puts paid to the ‘no platform’ lie. Built alongside the straw man argument that ‘all criticism’ of Israel is considered antisemitism, there is a myth that anti-Israel events almost never happen. It plays on the trope of Jewish power and influence, suggesting Jews are manipulating governments into silencing legitimate criticism. This dangerous myth, even being spread by MP’s in parliament, is one of the elements behind the rise in antisemitism.

The list below shows that those claims are simply not true. The list shows how obsessed and suffocating the anti-Israel cause is.

These events are activity from a single 30 day month – November 2017. The list of events is not complete, and I welcome any additions (seriously – contact me). Some street stalls are not advertised, some groups are closed, group names have to be known to be searchable, and some one-off events would never be picked up.
French Antifa calls for ‘striking a blow’ in Paris over US Jerusalem recognition
Amid Palestinian rioting in the West Bank and Gaza, the Paris branch of the far-left Antifa organization appeared to call for Israel’s destruction and for violent protests in that city against the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The call to arms by the Antifa organization in Paris, or Antifascist Action by its full name, came Friday amid widespread rioting in the West Bank, and the death of one Gazan, in protests over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday night.

Noting that CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, “is asking President Emmanuel Macron to also recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, we can strike a blow against the imperialist West from within the belly of the beast,” the Paris Antifa group wrote in a call on Facebook, inviting supporters to a demonstration at Republique square on Saturday “against the colonization of Jerusalem.”

The invitation ended with the words: “Al Quds belongs to the Palestinians, Palestine stretches from the sea to the Jordan River.”
The "Ottoman Balfour Declaration"
In a great, historical irony, ninety-nine years after the Ottoman Empire, the then-temporal and religious leader of the world's Muslim community and Palestine's longtime imperial master, voiced support for "the establishment of a religious and national Jewish center in Palestine," the Palestinian leadership demanded an official apology from Britain for endorsing the same idea at about the same time.

It is true that the Ottoman declaration came too late to make a real impact on the course of regional events and quickly faded into oblivion, in contrast to the Balfour Declaration which was endorsed by the entire international community. It is also true that the Ottoman pronouncement was largely driven by ulterior motives, notably the desire to harness the real or imagined "international power of the Jews" and the economic fruits of the Zionist project in Palestine to the Ottoman imperial interests—as was the Balfour Declaration as well. Yet the fact that support for the Jewish national revival in Palestine was considered the natural quid pro quo for these prospective gains underscores both the pervasive recognition of the historic Jewish attachment to this land and the ability to transcend millenarian Muslim dogmas regarding non-Muslim communities.

If only for these reasons, and having been an alternative option at a time when the war's outcome was yet to be decided and diplomacy was to be foreseen, the "Ottoman Balfour Declaration" needs to be re-examined and highlighted, especially at a time when Islamist intolerance and supremacism rear their heads.



If Israel Were a Normal Country
If Israel were a normal country, having the United States place its embassy in its capital city would not be newsworthy.

If Israel were a normal country, that its negotiating partner regularly threatens violence would stir up outrage.

If Israel were a normal country, the fact that its enemies hijack international organizations in order to deny its history would offend any fair-minded individual.

If Israel were a normal country, everyone would be offended that another country would tell its athletes to throw matches, so they wouldn’t have to face Israeli competitors. People would also be enraged that Israeli athletes could not identify their nation of origin in certain countries. That’s usually an arrangement for a country that violates norms of competition, not a country whose biggest sin is existing.

If Israel were a normal country, its doctors, who have treated thousands of citizens of an enemy country when the rest of the world is allowing hundreds of thousands to die violently, would win the Nobel Peace Prize.

If Israel were a normal country, its critics would recognize that the three times it made territorial concessions for peace — the withdrawal from the major Palestinian West Bank population centers in 1995 was followed by a series of terror attacks in February and March 1996; the 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon was followed by the growth of Hezbollah’s strength and arsenal; the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza emboldened Hamas leading to three wars over the next decade — it paid a heavy price. Even though the withdrawal from the Sinai has led to a stable peace with Egypt, the Sinai has become home to a virulent ISIS franchise.

If Israel were a normal country, it would be recognized for its effort to share agricultural know-how and water technology to impoverished countries. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Defiant Haley chides fuming Security Council members: ‘Change is hard’
At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said President Donald Trump knew his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would raise “questions and concerns,” but that he took it to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I understand the concerns that members have in calling this session,” Haley said. “Change is hard.”

Washington’s move left it isolated as one after another fellow UN Security Council members — Russia, France, the UK, China, Egypt, Jordan and a host of others — condemned the announcement.

The debate unfolded at a largely symbolic emergency meeting of the council — no vote on a resolution was planned, as the US has veto power — two days after Trump reversed two decades of US policy on the holy city.

The meeting was convened by eight of the 14 non-US members of the council. It seemed a vivid show of the discord triggered by Trump’s announcement, which included plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Asked what he expected to come from the UN meeting, one diplomat said: “Nothing.” Another said the session would show US “isolation” on the issue.
Islamist Regimes Take Over UNESCO
The UN agency is currently dominated by the most oppressive regimes on education and culture. There is China, which recently let writer, poet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo die an agonizing death in prison, where he was serving an 11-year jail sentence for his support of human rights and democracy. Then there is Iran, where a dean of journalism, Siamak Pourzand, committed suicide to avoid more persecution by the regime.

"UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to... rewrite global history." — Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel's ambassador to UNESCO.

If UNESCO is really serious about reforming itself, it should immediately issue a statement against the Islamization of Turkey's Hagia Sophia Cathedral, a UN World Heritage Site.
Palestinians to make play for Dead Sea scrolls at UNESCO
In response to U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital Wednesday, the Palestinians are planning to ask UNESCO to recognize the Dead Sea Scrolls as part of Palestinian heritage.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization determines which sites to include in its World Heritage List based on proposals from member states showing that sites have "outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of 10 selection criteria."

The Palestinian Authority, which has state status in the U.N. cultural agency, submits a tentative list each year that includes "Qumran: Caves and Monastery of the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Qumran refers to the area on the western shores of the Dead Sea where the ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were found in the 1940s and later. The scrolls offer some of the earliest proof of Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, "Scroll dates range from the fifth century BCE (mid-Second Temple period) to the first century of the Common Era, before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E." The scrolls include "partial or complete copies of every book in the Hebrew Bible (except the Book of Esther)."

Last week, the Frankfurt Bible Museum canceled a planned 2019 exhibition of the Dead Sea scrolls after German authorities refused to guarantee their return to Israel if the Palestinians challenge their ownership in local courts.
The UN and Israel
Winston Churchill summarized the benefits of the United Nations succinctly: “It is better to jaw, jaw, jaw than to war, war, war!” Nevertheless, the unrelenting bias and prejudice against Israel constantly emanating from the United Nations has caused Israel create cost and pain, not to mention territory and human lives. It is truly shameful that Israel occupies so much time, space and attention in the workings of an international body that faces enormous challenges throughout the world.

The decades of Soviet influence in the United Nations, and in fact in much of the Moslem world, have proved devastating to the cause of peace and reconciliation here in the Middle East. The poison of Soviet anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli policies has seeped so deeply into the fabric of the United Nations that the collapse of the Soviet Union itself did not end its nefarious influence in the international scene.

The Muslim world has suffered greatly from the United Nations even though on the surface it has always been supported by that body, both diplomatically and economically. The refugee problem, now about to enter its eighth decade, has been perpetuated by the United Nations and its committees. The United Nations has to a great extent created the Palestinian Arab refugee camps and their unfortunate inhabitants through its unending support for the Arab countries that refused to integrate their own brothers and sisters into their societies.

We cannot really hope for any sort of lasting settlement of this issue as long as the United Nations remains such a biased and provocative part of the problem. Israel has come a long way in the diplomatic and international world that it is forced to inhabit. Nevertheless, it certainly is wary of the attitudes and resolutions of the United Nations. It helped create Israel but has also attempted numerous times to destroy it as well. Only time will tell whether there will be a change in relations between Israel and the United Nations. I hope it will be for the better but I am not that optimistic.
The Many Lives of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"
On the left, finally, anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongering tends to adopt a more sophisticated veneer but also to be, if anything, more deeply rooted and insidious than its counterpart on the right. Over the past two decades, as James Kirchick has recently documented, “anti-Israel attitudes and anti-Semitic conspiracy made unprecedented inroads into respectable precincts of the American academy, the liberal intelligentsia, and the Democratic party.”

On university campuses, activist left-wing anti-Semitism takes the Mearsheimer-Walt paradigm to its logical conclusion in, Kirchick writes, an “unhinged obsession with the wrongs, real or perceived, of the state of Israel, and the belief”—key to the conspiratorial mindset—“that its Jewish supporters in the United States exercise a nefarious control over the levers of American foreign policy.” In practice, these beliefs manifest themselves through “the harassment of pro-Israel students and organizations, the disruption of events involving Israeli speakers (even ones who identify as left-wing), and blatantly anti-Semitic outbursts by professors and student activists.”
From whichever point on the political spectrum, conspiracy theorizing leads ineluctably to the oldest conspiracy theory of them all.

In certain respects, Kirchick stipulates, “contemporary left-wing anti-Semitism is not altogether different from that of the far right.” But there is also a crucial distinction, and it is one that insulates left-wing anti-Semites, who tend to cluster in the more educated classes, from criticism. Most far-right anti-Semites are perfectly candid about their feelings about the Jews. On the left, by contrast, “every libel against the Jewish state is paired with a righteous invocation of ‘justice’ for the Palestinian people” and, “on the part of those practicing” this mode of anti-Semitism, no less indignantly righteous denials of anti-Jewish motive or intention.

All of this suggests that an attraction to conspiracy theorizing in general, from whichever point on the political spectrum, can lead ineluctably to an attraction to the most venerable and longest-licensed conspiracy theory of them all, about the most conspicuous and traditionally vulnerable group of them all. If the history of the reception of Goedsche and the Protocols tells us anything, it’s that in these turbulent times, no one should be surprised, and that all who care for the honor of the Jews, and for the truth, should be prepared.
IDF bombs Hamas positions in Gaza after rocket attacks
An Israel Defense Forces tank and aircraft carried out strikes on two Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Thursday evening in retaliation for Palestinian rocket attacks.

The strikes came as a terrorist group in the Strip launched a rocket that hit an open field in the south of the country, after two previous attacks that failed to reach Israeli territory, the army said.

The retaliatory strikes targeted Hamas positions even though a different group, the salafist Tawhid al-Jihad, took responsibility for the launches.

“The IDF holds Hamas responsible for the hostile activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement.

A military spokesperson said the incoming rocket alert siren was not activated by the third launch — as it was by the first two — because the system detected that the projectile was not heading toward a populated area.

“When it’s going to an open field, we try not to scare the public,” the spokesperson said.

The first two launches set off the alarm shortly after 6 p.m., in the Hof Ashkelon and Sha’ar Hanegev regions, northeast of the Gaza Strip.
Iron Dome intercepts Gaza rocket as sirens blare in south
The Israel Defense Forces’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel Friday evening, the army said.

Sirens blared in communities near the Gaza border soon afterwards, as a second rocket was fired. The army said it did not identify an impact.

The IDF said there were no injuries or damage from either rocket.

The military said more rockets could follow, and warned residents of the Gaza periphery to remain close to protected spaces and bomb shelters.

Warning sirens were activated in the Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev, Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regional councils, as well as the city of Sderot.

A number of rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on Thursday.
Third rocket from Gaza explodes in Sderot after Israeli strikes
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in the Israeli town of Sderot Friday night.

The rocket was the third launch of the evening, and came shortly after Israel struck Hamas targets in Gaza in response to the previous projectile-fire, reportedly injuring at least 10 people.

The Israel Defense Forces said it hit a training facility and a weapons depot belonging to the terror group..

Gaza health officials said 10 people were wounded in the strikes, and were taken to hospitals.

Although no group has yet taken responsibility for the rockets, Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating from the Strip, which the terror group still largely controls despite handing over some power back to the Palestinian Authority.
No target out of reach
In the current state of affairs, Iran can strike Israel via Hezbollah, Shiite militias or even Islamic Jihad in Gaza, but experience has shown that Israel suffices with dealing a painful blow to the agents, not those who sent them.

Recent developments in the northern sector require Israel to decide whether, for example, in the event of an escalation on the border, a strike on Iran will become a logical part of the equation, and whether Israel is ready for it offensively and defensively, as such a move is bound to have serious consequences.

This scenario may seem far away at the moment, but Israel must prepare for it nonetheless. This requires coordination and a clear definition of the red lines vis-à-vis all the actors in the Middle East theater, some of whom may have a role in defusing the situation in case of an escalation.

Contrary to the obvious instinct of relying on the Americans, it is doubtful whether the current administration has any real interest in the matter. Israel will, of course, have to coordinate any major operation with Washington and also with Moscow, but the key may lie with the moderate Sunni states in the region, led by Saudi Arabia. At this time, they see Israel as their main partner in a potential war against Iran and they are prepared to do more than just talk about it.
Settlers, with kids, return to spot of deadly clash to complete bar mitzvah hike
A group settlers returned with their children to a hilltop outside the village of Qusra on Friday to complete a “bar mitzvah” hike that was cut short last week due to deadly clashes with local Palestinians.

“We came here today to strengthen Elitzur (Libman, the bar mitzvah boy) and his friends. We will continue traveling throughout our land without any fear,” said Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan, who helped organize the trip.

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Joining Dagan and the children were Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and over 200 settlers from neighboring communities.

Dozens of Israeli security forces also secured the event, which the army confirmed had been coordinated with it in advance.

Last Thursday, a group of several dozen youths — chaperoned by a pair of fathers — embarked on a tour of the northern West Bank to celebrate the bar mitzvah of Elitzur Libman. As they hiked past the village of Qusra, they said that dozens of Palestinian residents began throwing rocks at them. One of the armed chaperones opened fire, killing 48-year-old Mahmoud Za’al Odeh.
20 Palestinians Arrested in Connection With Attack on Israeli Children
Twenty Palestinians from the village of Qusra in Samaria were arrested by Israeli security forces Wednesday night in connection with an attack on a group of Jewish children who were hiking in the area last week.

During an overnight raid, Israeli security forces uncovered equipment that was stolen from the Israeli hikers.

“The security forces will continue acting to ensure the safety of civilians in the area,” an IDF spokesman said.

On Nov. 30, a group of Palestinians threw rocks at the Israeli children near Qusra, injuring three.

A parent of one of the hikers, who accompanied the group and was carrying a weapon for safety reasons, felt threatened and fired. One of the Palestinian assailants was critically wounded in the incident and was later declared dead after failed resuscitation efforts.

The children fled to a nearby cave and waited to be rescued by Israeli security forces. When the troops arrived, they administered first aid to the wounded and dispersed the Palestinians.
Government acts to evict MK from illegally built home
The government plans to take steps to remove Joint Arab List MK Juma Azbarga from his illegally constructed home outside the southern Bedouin town of Lakiya, Israel Hayom has learned.

Azbarga continues to live in the home even though legal plots are available and earmarked for him and his family within Lakiya, one of seven long-established and legal Bedouin towns in southern Israel. The town has a municipal zoning plan that allocates legal plots of land to all its residents.

According to the government, Azbarga and his family are refusing to reach an agreement with the government and take the housing plots set aside for them, preferring to remain on the illegal site outside the town borders.

Israel Hayom has obtained aerial photographs showing that no major change would be involved in moving to one of the legal housing plots, which is only a few hundred meters from where Azabarga currently lives.

Law enforcement agencies began taking action this week to enforce the law against illegal housing and evacuate Azbarga and his family from the buildings they occupy, opening cases for evacuation and demolition against the Azbarga family that are expected to proceed.
Turkey: Laundering Billions for Iran
In one audio recording, Erdogan was heard ordering his son to get rid of all the cash he kept at home; and his son, after trying for several hours, tells him there are still millions left. Erdogan denied the authenticity of the evidence and claimed this was a coup d'état against his elected administration. He then purged all prosecutors and police officers investigating the charges.

Zarrab's testimony as a witness, as well as documents displayed at trial "would show that this conspiracy to launder money for Iran was not a rogue operation. It would show the Turkish government at its very highest level understood what was going on -- and approved of it." — Nate Schenkkan, Freedom House, USA.

"Former and current opposition figures already face prosecution and threats should they help publicize corruption allegations against Erdogan. The potential conviction of Turkish government officials plays to Erdogan's growing anti-Western rhetoric. It serves as further evidence, for Erdogan and his supporters, that the West will not tolerate promising, strong leaders who pursue independent foreign policies. This perception feeds popular narratives that Islamists in Turkey and elsewhere hold about Western or American policies in the region. It also resonates well with extremely high levels of popular anti-Americanism in Turkey." — A. Kadir Yildirim, research scholar, Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Iran reportedly operates Yemen-Gaza weapons smuggling ring
The Intelli Times blog reported Friday that contrary to their public statements, Iranian involvement and aid given to Houthi rebels in Yemen runs far deeper than the Islamic republic admitted, with reports of an armament smuggling operation from Yemen to the Gaza terrorist organizations being underway.

Originally, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said last month Iran provided Yemenite rebels with moral support and consultation, partly in response to Saudi allegations the missile launched at the kingdom from Yemen was Iranian-made.

Intelli Times refuted this assertion, however, unveiling the Revolutionary Guards' Maj.-Gen. Qasem Soleimani-commanded Quds Force operative responsible for the Yemen theater of operations.

The blog reported that man was Abdul Reza Shahlai, said to be commander of the Quds Force's elite special-ops Unit 400. Shahlai was previously said to have planned the 2011 plot to assassinate Adel al-Jubeir, then Saudi ambassador to the United States and current Saudi foreign minister.

In addition, he was linked in several media reports to be the brains behind an attack on an American military installation in Karbala, Iraq, which claimed the lives of several American soldiers.
IsraellyCool: Pro-Israel Poster: Anti-Zionist Antisemitism
For anyone brave or foolish enough to call out those who don’t merely criticize Israeli policies but who attack Jews on social media, it is more than likely that in response, someone claiming to merely be “anti-Zionist” has sent them this cartoon:

Aside from the blatant antisemitic imagery in the cartoon itself, the problem is anti-Zionists aren’t just working to “end the occupation.” They are working to destroy the Jewish State and as such, many (most even, but not all) traffic in classic antisemitism. Therefore, we at the JPF decided to update the cartoon to be more reflective of reality and help set the record straight:

Anti-Semitic flyers posted on Princeton University campus
The flyer was addressed to a person named Linda Oppenheim, whom the student newspaper identified as a Princeton local who leads educational programs on intersectionality in the Jewish community.

The flyer reads: “Hey Linda (((Oppenheim))), instead of inciting anti-White animosity with your lines about so called [sic] ‘White privilege,’ why don’t you discuss the real privilege in America? JEWISH PRIVILEGE.”

The flyer also says: “Although Jews comprise less than 2% of the US population they control the mass media, Hollywood, TV, the Federal Reserve, finance, education, the judiciary, foreign policy, campaign financing etc. 48% of US billionaires according to Forbes are Jewish, an overrepresentation of nearly 2,500%. Not to mention that 70% of the sexual predators in the current scandals are Jewish.”

The flyers were posted less than a month after controversy over the appearance of Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, on campus.
Jewish cemetery receives money from anti-Israel activist’s fundraising campaign
Golden Hill Cemetery in Colorado received money from a fund launched by Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour.

The Denver burial ground received a “large check” from the fund, Executive Director Neal Price told the Forward, though he declined to specify the amount. The Muslim non-profit Celebrate Mercy, which organized the fund, announced last month on its Facebook page that it had sent Golden Hill a check for $30,000.

The fundraising effort, launched in response to a series of acts of anti-Semitic vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries around the country, became a source of controversy over the summer when Sarsour was accused of withholding the funds. Following a July report that Golden Hill had not yet received any funds, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind called Sarsour a “fraud.”

Sarsour responded that she was the target of a campaign by “right wing zionists.”
16 UC-Berkeley Faculty Members Back Calls for Dismissal of Professor Who Shared Antisemitic Images
Sixteen faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley “strongly” backed concerns raised by Jewish students at the school over Hatem Bazian, a lecturer accused of sharing antisemitic images on social media.

Bazian shared a tweet in July accusing a “Zionist” of crimes including “genocide” and theft of Palestinian “body-organs.” The tweet also included inflammatory images, one of which featured a stereotype of a religious Jew saying, “I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs & steal the land of Palestinians *yay* #Ashke-Nazi.”

Bazian — a member of Berkeley’s department of ethnic studies, and a cofounder of the anti-Zionist campus group Students for Justice in Palestine — has since apologized for sharing the “wrong and offensive” images, which UC-Berkeley said in a statement “cross the line” into antisemitism. However, a coalition of Jewish student groups at the school dismissed the apology as insufficient and called for Bazian’s removal in a letter sent to administrators last week, pointing to his years-long record “of spreading or justifying anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.”

Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor at UC-Berkeley, told The Algemeiner at the time that administrators would seek to discuss these “important issues” in a meeting with the students.

In a response published by The Jewish News of Northern California on Wednesday, faculty members including George Breslauer — UC-Berkeley’s former executive vice chancellor and provost — as well as faculty directors at the school’s Center for Jewish Studies and Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, endorsed “the outrage expressed by Jewish student groups in the face of a persistent pattern of anti-Semitic expressions (statements, postings, re-tweets) by UC Berkeley Lecturer Hatem Bazian.”

Bazian’s postings stoke “anti-Semitism in its age-old form of demonizing Jews,” they warned.
UC Berkeley ought to hold Hatem Bazian accountable for anti-Semitic discourse
On Nov. 20, UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian got caught retweeting something blatantly anti-Semitic. The founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, Bazian tweeted photos mocking Jews as entitled people who “kill, rape, smuggle organs & steal the land of Palestinians.” The cherry on top was the hashtag “#ASHKE-NAZI” emblazoned on the meme. Another dropped a kippah on top of Kim Jong Un’s head with a caption of “NOW MY NUKES ARE LEGAL.”

UC Berkeley’s response to this particular incident got it right. Speaking for the administration, spokesman Dan Mogulof said, “While we do not believe that all criticism of Israel’s governmental policies is inherently anti-Semitic, the social media posts in question clearly crossed the line”. Bazian indeed did cross that line — a line that fewer and fewer faculty members seem to respect — and was forced to publicly apologize. But was this an isolated case? Unfortunately, no.

Bazian is no stranger to accusations of anti-Semitism. When he was still a student, he allegedly and infamously told an SJP rally, “Take a look at the type of names on the buildings around campus — Haas, Zellerbach — and decide who controls this university.”

And why was SJP holding a rally that day? To protest the dozens of arrests made of SJP activists who disrupted a Holocaust Remembrance Day rally just days earlier.

That Bazian actually apologized this time might be a small miracle, but how can we accept something that was clearly contrived? With his back against the wall and a rare lack of support from UC Berkeley administration, he gave in. But what consequences will he face? Can we honestly say Bazian’s reputation or wallet will suffer for his repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes, disguised behind a veil of supposedly “anti-Zionist” political discourse?
UC Berkeley responds to Jewish groups’ call for action against SJP founder Bazian
A UC Berkeley official has responded to an open letter sent to university administrators by four Jewish student groups that urged “decisive action” in response to anti-Semitic tweets retweeted by Ethnic Studies lecturer and Students for Justice in Palestine founder Hatem Bazian.

In his written response to the Nov. 30 letter, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubon asked to meet with the groups: Chabad Jewish Student Group, Berkeley Hillel, Tikvah and Bears for Israel. He agreed the retweets “crossed the line between criticism of Israel and unacceptable anti-Semitism,” adding that, “there is much debate and disagreement when it comes to where the line between political criticism of Israel’s governmental policies and intolerable, anti-Semitic content that targets the Jewish people can and should be draw… Israel is not just a country; it is a central part of Jewish identity. This makes the struggle to ‘draw’ such a line so challenging, but does not diminish the profound impact of anti-Semitism, which we should call out and denounce when it strikes our community.”

The tweets featured images comparing Jews to Nazis, including a stereotyped image of a Hasidic Jew. UC Berkeley condemned Bazian for the messages, which Bazian later deleted, apologizing for his actions.
Anti-Israel Activists at Columbia University Fail to Condemn Hamas for Executing Gay Palestinian
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Columbia University failed to condemn the execution of a man in the Gaza Strip, during a recent event on “Palestinian LGBTQ+ identity.”

In an edited recording of an October SJP lecture — released last week by Columbia’s branch of Students Supporting Israel — SSI Columbia’s external relations chair Ofir Dayan can be seen asking speakers to address instances of homophobia in Palestinian society.

Dayan called SJP’s presentation “an attempt to ‘pinkwash’” — or deflect — “the homophobia in Gaza, as well as in Judea and Samaria.”

Dayan pointed to the case of Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a commander of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas who was executed by his former comrades in 2016 after being accused of homosexuality. “Three bullets to the chest, he was killed,” she said.

Dayan asked whether SJP would be better served by raising awareness of the challenges sexual minorities face in Palestinian society, “[which is] clearly struggling with helping LGBTQ+ people, rather than just slamming Israel?”

One of the students who presented SJP’s report answered by clarifying that “our intentions were more to highlight the fact that colonialism reproduces homophobia.”

In response, Dayan asked, “and would you condemn Hamas for shooting this person for being homosexual?”
Academic Watchdog Says Georgetown Middle East Studies Faculty ‘Most Anti-Israel’
Middle East studies faculty at Georgetown University are "the most intolerant, ideological, anti-Israel, and pro-Islamist in the United States," charged a new report by an academic watchdog, published Monday.

Titled "Islamists, Apologists, and Fellow Travelers: Middle East Studies Faculty at Georgetown University," the report out of Campus Watch argued that "radical" and "biased" scholarship coming out of the D.C.-based school is of particular concern given the advisory role some professors play for legislators on Capitol Hill.

The faculty listed "underestimate threats to national security" and "misrepresent empirical data," according to Campus Watch, fueled by their propensity for postcolonial theory, a mode of study founded by the late Columbia literature professor Edward Said that considers Israel an imperialist power, and support of "aggressive Islamism."

Georgetown was labeled "an Islamist outpost on the Potomac."

Campus Watch described an "old guard" of scholars, who are now mostly deceased or retired, who founded Georgetown's Islamic studies centers and pursued an anti-Western ideology that would "obfuscate the facts by pretending that radicalization and incitement to jihad do not exist, that jihadists are not real, and that any negative perception of Islam stems, not from the behavior of Islamists, but from the misunderstandings of the American people." This group centered around John Esposito, founding director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), and still an active professor.
Why Is a Harvard University Student Group Honoring Islamist Extremist Nihad Awad?
In a profile of legendary child psychologist, Harvard professor, and civil rights activist Robert Coles, journalist David Swift describes Coles as "one of our great moral visionaries." To honor Coles's legacy, Harvard University's student-led non-profit group, the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) has admirably named a prestigious annual activists' award after Coles.

Less admirably, however, this year the students selected Council on American Islamic Relations' (CAIR) co-founder and executive director Nihad Awad to deliver the 2017 Robert Coles "Call of Service" Lecture and win the coveted award.

Nihad Awad is certainly a significant figure, but he is not a "great moral visionary." Instead, Awad has a long history of promoting and condoning Islamist anti-Semitism, refusing to condemn terrorist organizations, and maintaining close connections with Muslim Brotherhood offshoots.

During the early 1990s, when Awad worked for the (now defunct) organization Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), the organization distributed a pamphlet (stamped with their logo) called "America's Greatest Enemy: The Jew! And an Unholy Alliance!"
IsraellyCool: Pro-Israel Posters: Israel and South Africa
There is a great article on Mida (and shared by the Elder of Ziyon) that puts to rest many lies that are spread about Israel’s alleged relationship with Apartheid South Africa. In order to help counter these lies with the truth, I put together these two easily sharable posters.
If the response to Pearl Harbour had been the same as that to modern Islamic attacks
Conversely, if the response to 9/11 had been similar to the actual response to Pearl Harbour then:
  • The US would have declared war on all Islamic fundamentalists and would not have stopped until Islam was totally eradicated throughout the world as a supremacist belief.
  • The first targets would have been Saudi Arabia and Iran.
  • All Muslims in the USA would have been imprisoned and/or kept under surveillance.
  • The war would only have finished with a prolonged programme of 'de-Islamification' (the de-Nazification programme for Germany took many years to work even though the people had only been indoctrinated for 10 years. Islamists have been indoctrinating Muslims for 1300 years).
Palestinian falsehoods on Christianity amplified by BBC’s Plett Usher
Under the sub-heading “It’s a Christian thing” Plett Usher then unquestioningly amplified historically illiterate Palestinian claims concerning Christianity.

“The face of Mike Pence beaming over Mr Trump’s shoulder during the announcement said it all.

The vice-president was an influential voice in convincing Mr Trump to follow through on his campaign promise, and this illustrates the political power of hardline Christian evangelicals who fervently support Israel.

That was not lost on Palestinian legislator and Christian Hanan Ashrawi.

“My god did not tell me what his god tells him,” she spat out in an interview with the BBC.

“We are the original Christians, we are the owners of the land, we are the people who’ve been here for centuries. How dare they come here and give me biblical treatises and absolutist positions!”

Incidentally, the enterprising Mr Zomlot tried to play the Christian card with his Bethlehem-themed Capitol Hill reception, and has told activists the motto “Jesus is a gift from Palestine” might help translate the Palestinian message to Christian America.”


Palestinian officials of course have a long record of falsifying history in order to negate Jewish connections to the region and the ‘Jesus was a Palestinian’ canard is just one of the themes used to promote that narrative, particularly at this time of year.

Does the BBC really believe that amplifying the blatant falsehoods of professional PLO propagandists such as Ashrawi and Zomlot contributes anything of value to its audiences’ understanding of this story?
Germany was determined to expunge dangerous anti-Semitism. Now it's back
It is honourable of the Michalskis and Lord Wasserman to forego the privacy they would naturally prefer in the circumstances, exploiting their status to force public discussion on the issue. It must be forced, because Merkel’s government and Germany’s liberal elites, including much of the media, are desperate to prove that integration of Muslim immigrants and migrants will proceed apace with time.

Oscar’s experience shows that superficial integration with ethnic Germans is possible. But Jews are a sticking point when there are some Muslims coming to Germany from countries where for generations the government policy and the cultural fabric have been anti-Semitic. The word irony seems inadequate to convey the excruciatingly paradoxical outcome of Germany’s redemptive national impulse gone horribly awry: anti-Semitism; persecution; Holocaust; national guilt; expiation through generous immigration policies; imported anti-Semitism; persecution …

The Michalskis were told “that it wasn’t easy to suspend these children.” But so what if it is difficult? What is the use of boasting about anti-racism policies if, as Gemma Michalski put it to me, “the school won’t defend their values, which are our values”? If there is one country in the world outside of Israel where Jews have a right to feel safe, it’s Germany. The Michalskis did. Now not quite so much.
Human remains dug up next to Jewish cemetery in Poland
Human remains were dug up during construction work next to a Jewish cemetery in eastern Poland.

The remains were unearthed on Tuesday, during work to modernize the power grid for the city of Siemiatycze. The ground where the remains were uncovered is adjacent to the fence of the Jewish cemetery.

The case is investigated by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Siemiatycze.

The Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, said he believes that this is “the worst desacralization of the Jewish cemetery” that he has seen since assuming his post 17 years ago.

“There are no words to describe how this is possible today in a free, democratic Poland,” Schudrich said.

The mayor of Siemiatycze, Piotr Siniakowicz, told the Polish Press Agency that the bones should be respected, but that the rabbi has made too strong of an accusation, since the town does take care of the Jewish cemetery.

The ground on which the bones were found is not owned by the city.
10 dazzling photos of Hanukkah in the Holy Land
One of the unusual architectural features found in the outside walls of many Israeli homes is a small, glass-covered enclosure prominently located next to the front door.

Designed to shelter the interior from wind and rain, these peculiar stone cubicles lay idle most of the year, springing to life for exactly eight days beginning on the 25th of Kislev on the Jewish calendar, the first night of Hanukkah.

It’s an ideal location to place the menorah in adherence with the custom of pirsumay nisa, publicizing the Hanukkah miracle, when the oil burned for eight days instead of one during the rededication of the second Jewish temple in 165 BCE.

This custom is widely observed in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. For eight consecutive nights, the illuminated menorah (hanukkiyah) is placed at one’s doorstep, gate or inside a large picture window facing the street where it can be seen by passersby.



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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