Monday, February 05, 2018

From Ian:

Irish anti-Semites and the Israeli Left
The attempt by anti-Israel elements in Ireland to promote legislation that would define economic relations with Jews beyond the pre-1967 armistice line as a criminal offense was unfortunately nothing new. What separated the Irish attempt at a boycott of Israel was a remark by one of the country's officials who promoted the legislation, Senator David Norris. Norris, who for some reason considers himself an Israel "expert," accused Russian immigrants to Israel of ruining the country by making it lean to the political Right.

The similarities between Norris' statement and the beliefs of many on the Israeli Left regarding Israeli Jews from the former Soviet Union are astonishing. Norris, a one-time leading presidential candidate in Ireland, has been riding the wave of anti-Israel propaganda in recent years and prides himself on being anti-Zionist. Israel's haters can at times correctly identify historic milestones. After all, even a broken clock is right twice a day. And so, I am happy to confirm the assessment of Norris, the "expert," that aliyah from the former Soviet Union has, in fact, changed the face of the only democratic country in the Middle East. This huge wave of immigration was the end of the dream of the Irish senator and his ilk of witnessing the dissolution of Zionist Israel.

Before the mass arrival of Soviet Jews, many believed the future of Zionism was in question, if only for demographic reasons. While the Israelis saw this as a threat and the Arabs and their supporters saw this as a blessing, both sides were correct in their assessments. Late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's boast that the womb of the Arab woman was his strongest weapon against the Jews was not disconnected from reality. But immigration from the former Soviet Union served to remove the demographic issue from the agenda. The Jewish majority achieved as a result of this mass immigration allows us to now smile at the bleak predictions in the 1980s of our demise. It was God's gift of immigration that allowed Israel's population to instantaneously increase by 20%, solving numerous problems affecting every aspect of life, from guaranteeing there would be enough recruits for the Israel Defense Forces to providing a solution to the lack of medical, education and elite technology experts.

In Responding to the New Anti-Semitism, Jews Must Refuse to Apologize for Themselves
In his reflections on Holocaust Remembrance Day, the British novelist and essayist Howard Jacobson urges Jews not to internalize the messages of today’s anti-Semitism, which so often come in the form of anti-Zionism:

The modern anti-Semite is more subtle than his great-grandparents. He doesn’t smash our windows or our bones. He insinuates himself into consciences that are already troubled and works on spirits that are already half-broken. And we are too responsive to his serpent insinuations. When the history of Jew-hating in our time comes to be written, Jewish collusion in it will feature heavily. . . .

To the question, . . . “How do any of us, as Jews, fulfill the great task imposed on us [by the memory of the Holocaust]?,” here is my part-answer: stop apologizing and resist the sirens who would lure you onto the rocks of guilt and self-dislike, singing of Jewish materialism, Jewish legalism, Jewish exclusivism, Jewish supremacism, Jewish imperialism, Zionism. . . .

[A]lthough we intone the words “never again”—now as a prayer, now as a supplication, now as a commitment—we cannot rid ourselves of the fear that it, or something like it, might indeed happen again. . . . [W]e now accept that it was wild fantasy to hope that after the Holocaust we’d be left alone. . . . But we thought anti-Semitism itself might take a short break. . . . What no one could have expected was the speed with which they found a way round any such compunctions, not least by denying that anything had happened at all. Holocaust—what Holocaust? . . .

But it’s not those obsessive “deniers” who trouble Jacobson the most; rather it’s those who wish to relativize the Holocaust by means of invidious comparisons:
Stephen Pollard: Snowflakes? They're today's fascists! There's nothing funny about the march of the PC brigade
Last weekend I, along with many around the world, commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day. As editor of the country’s leading Jewish newspaper, The Jewish Chronicle, it is a memorial of particular significance.

Through editing the newspaper, I am confronted daily with the legacy of that unique evil, including the suppression of debate, the distortion of truth and even the burning of books at the heart of that terrible chapter in our history.

I know, too, that the Third Reich’s totalitarian impulse – that only one type of question and one type of answer are legitimate, and all else must be extinguished – is far from unique because repressive regimes the world over continue to ban freedom of enquiry and freedom of expression.

We must be on our guard.

If we close our minds to ideas that upset us, the long-term consequence is that our minds will atrophy. We will no longer be able to think for ourselves, writes Stephen Pollard (photograph of Hitler Youth members burning books, dated 1938)

You might wonder, then, what Friday night’s attack on Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg as he attempted to give a talk to students has to do with this. Or last week’s decision – now reversed in the face of near-universal outrage – by Manchester Art Gallery to remove a pre-Raphaelite painting featuring mild nudity, Hylas And The Nymphs.

These are both an attempt to silence a view because it offends some people. It is for good reason that a new word entered the Oxford English Dictionary last month: a snowflake is ‘an overly sensitive or easily offended person’.

Meet My New Friend Hussein
Why would I be friends with someone who grew up in radical Islamic, antisemitic Egypt? Well, Hussein Aboubakr, whom I met at a recent StandWithUs conference, is different from the rest.

Born in 1989 to a traditional, middle-class Muslim family in Cairo, Hussein relates that he was taught the following narrative – by his parents, in the mosque, in school and via television: “The Muslims are superior to all, with the best values, ethics, traditions and heritage. Anything in the world which is not a direct product of theirs is inferior. Western culture is the infidel, but the super villains are the Jews who are the incarnation and epitome of evil, who seek to destroy all that is good in the world.

These ‘Zionist pigs’ who control the banks, the media and all politics enjoy drinking Muslim blood from the Muslim children they kill. They are the descendants of apes and pigs, and the final redemption will come when we kill all Jews.”

Hussein saw these messages on television regularly, and he recalls how the movies of his childhood were filled with Jewish villains who were stopped by the good Egyptians. The No. 1 comic book character was “Man of the Impossible,” who went around the world destroying Zionist conspiracies. These stories – filled with mythology and fantasy – were captivating for young children, and Hussein took them for granted as truth.

All Egyptian children dreamed of playing their role in this epic battle of good versus evil. Obsessed with the super-villain Jews, Hussein also wanted to contribute to winning this war, so he decided to use his smarts and love for computers toward this end. He resolved to study Hebrew via the Internet, and to then infiltrate these evil plans and provide logistical support to the physical war against the Jews and Israel.

After Hussein learned Hebrew, he began doing research about the Jewish people, and was completely shocked by Jewish history: Here was an ancient Middle Eastern nation indigenous to the Land of Israel, with an ancient connection to Jerusalem. Hussein began to see Jews as people and began reading about the history of antisemitism, which he calls “blind hatred toward the Jews for no reason.”

And then Hussein took a step back, looked as his parents and society around him and asked himself: “Isn’t this antisemitism? Isn’t this blind hatred?”
Fathom: Jewish votes and British foreign policy: The 1930 Whitechapel by-election
The Passfield White Paper was the Labour government’s response to the Shaw inquiry into the August 1929 disturbances in Palestine. Shaw recommended that the government issue a clear statement of the policy they intended to pursue in Palestine, revise immigration policy ‘with the object of preventing a repetition of the excessive [Jewish] immigration of 1925 and 1926’ and announce an enquiry into the possibilities of land development in Palestine.[2]

The White Paper stated that while the British government did intend to fulfil its obligations to both Arabs and Jews, treating them both equally in Palestine, the development of a Jewish national home in Palestine was not considered central to the British Mandate. It also proposed that in future the Jews would need the approval of the British authorities before purchasing any additional land.

The Arabs saw the White Paper as vindication for their demands to halt Jewish immigration and land sales whilst the Jews viewed it as the British government reversing their support for the Balfour Declaration and the aims of the Mandate. There was an immediate international outcry which claimed that the proposals in the White Paper flouted the Mandate and demanded its withdrawal. The Zionists considered that the tone of the White Paper was decidedly anti-Jewish as it criticised both the Histadrut and the Jewish Agency for promoting the employment of Jewish-only labour. The primary aim of the Histadrut was the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine and all its activities were executed with this goal in mind. As the Histadrut was responsible for bringing Jewish immigrants to Palestine and finding work for them it promoted from 1928 onwards a Jewish-only labour policy. When it lent money or leased land for agricultural enterprises, it often inserted clauses insisting on the hire of Jewish labour only. With the booming economy in Palestine in the early 1930s this policy was only partially successful, but became more effective after 1936 when the political situation changed with the Arab general strike and rebellion.

As Britain’s economy was still in a poor state in 1928, 10 years after the First World War had ended, it was thought that support for the Labour Party would increase at the next general election and that the Labour Party might even be able to form the next government. This possibility was of concern to the World Zionist Organisation (WZO) and its leader Chaim Weitzman, as their main political contacts in Parliament were members of the Liberal Party. The WZO did not have the same level of support or connections in the Labour Party. David Ben-Gurion, the leader of the Jewish community in Palestine, saw that this was an opportunity for him to play a greater part in the work of the WZO, which had been previously denied to him, as the Histadrut, the Jewish labour movement in Palestine, already had good connections with the British Labour Party and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
'Israel must fight BDS as it would any other war'
Hundreds of attorneys from Israel and around the world are expected to attend the first international conference aimed at combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, set to be held in Jerusalem next week.

Participants will discuss consolidating legal strategies to fight BDS and establishing a unified international network to further their efforts.

The conference is the result of a joint partnership between the Israel Bar Association, the Strategic Affairs Ministry and the International Legal Foundation. Among those expected to take part in the conference are Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Chief Justice Esther Hayut and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

Attorney Pascal Markowicz, a board member of the umbrella group of French Jewish communities and one of the pioneers in the fight against BDS, is also set to attend the conference.

In an interview with Israel Hayom, Markowicz called on the Israeli government to fight BDS and the delegitimization of Israel as it would a military campaign.

"It is premature to say that Israel has won the battle against BDS. We are on the right path because more and more countries admit practical steps must be taken against this movement. This is a strategic and political war that must be waged like any military war," he said.

Markowicz said Israel should respond to actions of the boycott movement just as it would to missile fire at its territory.
“I Would Have Killed all the Jews in the World”: SJP’s Holocaust Hate
“‘I would have killed all the jews in the world,But I kept some to show the world why I killed them’ -Hitler- #PrayForGaza #PrayForPalestina."
--SJP UWM Activist

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is that time of the year when politicians, pundits and university presidents pretend to care about the mass murder of six million Jews.

And then they spend the other 364 days palling around with their modern counterparts.

In South Carolina, Senator Brad Hutto, a state senator, had managed to singlehandedly stall an anti-Semitism bill to protect Students for Justice in Palestine, an anti-Semitic hate group. Hutto had been the Democrat choice to run against Senator Lindsay Graham. And here was the Democrat’s choice to represent South Carolina in the United States Senate doing everything he could to prevent his state from passing a bill to reject anti-Semitism in time for International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The SJP chapter at the University of South Carolina sent Senator Hutto a message that began, "Thank you for your opposition to the Anti-Semitism bill."

Senator Hutto has been fighting the anti-Semitism bill for at least a year.

Why would Students for Justice in Palestine and its political allies on the left oppose an anti-Semitism bill? The obvious answer is that the campus hate group has a long history of anti-Semitism.

South Africa – Ringmaster in the Theater of the Absurd
Comparing Israel to that racist regime denigrates the suffering of the victims of apartheid and belittles them yet again. Apartheid is unique to the South African experience.

South Africa calling Israel an apartheid state represents an inherent danger. While we know that this is a completely false narrative designed to give a tailwind to the BDS movement and other detractors of the Jewish state, the lie has an impact. The apartheid analogy is the central charge around which BDS has built its campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. BDS is well aware that by comparing the Jewish state to apartheid South Africa, the former will be treated like a pariah in the family of nations. South Africa, by giving the stamp of approval to these accusations, allows this false narrative to flourish in the greater global consciousness.

The enormous tragedy here is that South Africa and Israel share a lot in common and the Jewish state is perfectly poised to help combat some of the great challenges the country is facing. Both countries have overcome tragic histories; both countries are mosaics of multiculturalism and both countries face challenges posed by water shortages. As Israel is lauded over ground-breaking advances in water technology, so South Africa is committing water suicide by refusing the help offered. It would appear that many in the South African government would rather their constituents suffer than accept the help available.

Despite all of this, there is a massive groundswell of support for Israel in South Africa. King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu nation spoke out about the importance of bilateral ties between the two countries and how South Africans could benefit. The sentiment was echoed by the African Christian Democratic Party’s Rev Kenneth Meshoe and many others who advocate for closer ties and have excoriated the ANC-led government for its shortsightedness and downright venom.

It would be in South Africa’s best interest to retire from its role as ringleader in the theater of the absurd and get down to the serious business of contributing towards a more positive future. For both countries.
Michael Lumish: Poster of Rasmea Odeh
This is an image that can serve as a poster for any future vigils/protests at Reem's bakery/cafe that Oldschool was kind enough to put together. I will pass this off to some of the others this week.

Many thanks, School.

UK Labour activist reinstated despite anti-Semitic remarks
A man who defended a late British Labour politician for saying former Prime Minister Tony Blair had been “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers” is among several activists recently offered readmission to the Labour party, the British Jewish Chronicle reported Sunday.

The activist, Mike Sivier, was suspended by the party last year for remarks he made about Jews and Zionism, including a claim that he could not comment on whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust. He said, “I don’t know” when asked about that.

In a post on his website, Sivier had said “it may be entirely justified” for former Scottish Linlithgow MP Tam Dalyell to remark that Blair had been unduly influenced by “a cabal of Jewish advisers”.

Sivier is also the author of The Livingstone Presumption, a book defending former London mayor Ken Livingstone’s claims about Hitler and Zionism.

Livingstone was suspended from Labour after claiming that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler supported Zionism.

Livingstone has repeatedly refused to apologize for the comments, even after being harangued as a "racist, Hitler-apologist" by an MP from his own party.

Sivier and the former London mayor are among dozens of Labour members who have been suspended in recent years over their anti-Semitic statements.
NGO Monitor: NGO Monitor Statement to Danish Foreign Affairs Committee
NGO Monitor is a Jerusalem-based independent research institute, which provides detailed information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas. We are a privately-funded, apolitical civil-society organization, and do not receive funding from any government. We neither have “foreign policy principles” nor endeavor to align ourselves with those of any government.

Unfortunately, some discussions that precipitated this hearing diverted from important issues such as accountability and due diligence in matters related to public funds, and instead attempted to question NGO Monitor’s independence and the credibility of our research. We respectfully, but firmly, note that any such slander during the hearing is entirely unacceptable and unbefitting the honorable setting of this Parliamentary Committee.

Our research is fully sourced – referencing official governmental documents – and is publicly available on our website to all interested parties. For more than 15 years, NGO Monitor has been calling for informed and detailed public debate on accountability and scrutiny in government funding to human rights and humanitarian groups. As documented in our extensive research, some of the organizations active in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict violate the trust of donor governments and promote unacceptable activities, including antisemitism and incitement to violence. Some NGOs also have reported ties to recognized terror organizations.

Recent years have seen more awareness amongst governments across Europe, including the EU, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Spain. We welcome Denmark joining in this call for enhanced due diligence.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Seeing Movement Backfire, Israel Prosper, Other Countries Demand BDS Target Them Too (satire)
Economists and financial experts are advising governments to be targeted by the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement against Israel, as Israel’s economy has flourished since the launch of BDS early last decade.

A report by Britain’s Office of the Exchequer and a European Union investigative committee report this week each highlighted the benefits of having BDS focus a country to call for its diplomatic, political, cultural, economic, and academic isolation. The reports noted that since BDS was formally announced at a conference in South Africa more than 15 years ago, Israel has vaulted to the top tier of the world’s economies and consistently ranks high on innovation, freedom, and prosperity indices. By becoming the focus of BDS attention, argue the report authors, countries can replicate Israel’s achievements and all but guarantee a burgeoning economy.

“We propose that the government work to become a target of the Boycott Israel movement,” read the Exchequer report. “The performance of Israel’s economy during the period of BDS activity indicates that objects of BDS ire prosper more than those whom BDS does not target, and the government must consider the benefits of being subject to BDS.”
NPR Teams Up With an Apologist For the Hamas Terrorist Group
In a recent National Public Radio (NPR) report, listeners were told that while ISIS is a terrorist organization, Palestinian Hamas is not, and were mislead about the “occupation.”

The Jan. 15, 2018, All Things Considered report consisted of a interview about "What Effect ISIS' Declaration Of War Against Hamas Could Have In The Middle East." Kelly McEvers interviewed Tareq Baconi, described as a “visiting scholar at Columbia University's Middle East Institute and the author of the forthcoming book, Hamas Contained.”

Baconi falsely described Hamas as a “national liberation movement that is tethered to a very specific geographic context and that is focused on a very clear political goal, which is ending an occupation that's deemed illegal by international law.” Although his description of Hamas clearly misinforms listeners, NPR failed to challenge or scrutinize it in any way. Host McEvers' response was limited to uttering “right” in approval.
McEvers' acquiescence

Given McEvers' job experience, shouldn't she be capable of distinguishing fact from fiction about the Middle East? NPR states that “Prior to co-hosting All Things Considered, Kelly McEvers was a correspondent for NPR's National Desk. She previously reported from the Middle East as an international correspondent and ran NPR's Beirut bureau, where she earned multiple awards for her coverage of the Syrian conflict.” But nowhere in the report did McEvers question Baconi's false description.

There's no indication that either Baconi or NPR is concerned about the wretched living conditions of the people ruled by Hamas. If Gaza's rulers had invested the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on military and terror infrastructure instead on water and health systems, its people could have much improved lives.
CBC Reporter Whitewashes Palestinian Teen Ahed Tamimi as “The New Face of Palestinian Resistance”
HRC today sent the following complaint to Executive Producer Lianne Elliott and Editor-in-Chief Jennifer McGuire, in light of CBC Mideast Bureau Chief Derek Stoffel’s unfair and biased report on Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who physically assaulted Israeli soldiers, regularly incites violence against Israelis and is a provocateur and actor in the Pallywood industry.

Dear Ms. Elliott,

I am writing to bring our concerns to your attention regarding a Derek Stoffel report published today entitled: “Meet 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi, the new face of Palestinian resistance” (emphasis added) and his CBC Radio and CBC National report also broadcast today.

In the lead of his report, Mr. Stoffel writes: “To Palestinians and their supporters, hers is the face of a hero, a new symbol of resistance. But many Israelis call 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi “Shirley Temper” after viewing videos showing the girl angrily lashing out at Israeli soldiers.”
A Three-Way Headline Bungle
Headlines matter because most people skim them in newspapers, social media feeds and push notifications without reading the full story, and because studies show that headlines frame the way people read and remember the articles. For some issues, you just don’t have the time or inclination to read the article — but you can’t escape the headline.

Here’s a fuller treatment of why headlines matter.

Which brings us to a headline published in the Australian news site,, which also appeared in the affiliated Perth Now.
A closer look at the article, originally by AFP, shows why the headline is flawed, and why some editors Down Under blew it in three ways.
IsraellyCool: Reuters Spits on Grave of Terror Victim
This is absolutely sickening – but don’t look for too much sympathy from Dan Williams of Reuters, who seems to go out of his way to insert his brand of bias into his report about the conviction.

Israeli judges ruled on Sunday that a Jewish settler killed by a Palestinian with whom she was in a relationship was the victim of a political attack rather than a personal one.

Michal Halimi, 29, who was two months pregnant at the time of her death, went missing last May. Her body was discovered outside Tel Aviv in August, and Israeli police arrested Mohammed Harouf, a Palestinian.

Harouf, 30, said in a televised statement to the court in August that he had targeted Halimi “to free prisoners”. His lawyer, Elad Rath, said that Harouf’s plan had been to abduct Halimi and swap her for Palestinians held in Israeli jails, but that when she resisted he strangled and bludgeoned her to death.

Halimi was married and lived in the settlement of Adam in the occupied West Bank. Harouf, from Nablus, was working as a gardener in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, on the day of the murder.

Israeli prosecutors initially treated the case as non-political. Israeli media reprinted a photograph that had circulated on Facebook of Halimi and Harouf embracing and smiling.

But on Sunday, prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain under which Harouf will serve a life sentence for murder.

The amended indictment said Harouf had been in a “personal relationship” with Halimi but that he had attacked her “out of nationalistic motives, as she was Jewish”, in effect designating him as a Palestinian militant.

This means that Halimi’s next-of-kin will be entitled to state stipends given to relatives left bereaved by political violence.

Note the emphasis on the victim being a “settler” (as opposed to a person), and the terrorist’s designation as a “militant” (as opposed to “terrorist”, which is what those who murder out of nationalistic motives are designated). This seems intended to minimize the murderer’s crimes and reduce sympathy for his victim.

Unfortunately, this is par for the course for Reuters and others in the mainstream media.
BBC’s Dateline London facilitates Ramdani’s anti-Israel calumnies yet again
An edition of that same BBC News channel programme, hosted by the same presenter – Jane Hill – was aired on January 27th and Nabila Ramdani was once again on the panel. The first topic of discussion was described by Hill as follows:

“Was anything achieved at the World Economic Forum in Davos?”

The bulk of Ramdani’s contribution to the discussion was as follows (from 06:12 in the video below):

Ramdani: “I think the only group that Trump expressed his usual venal prejudice towards at Davos was the Palestinians. And of course at the time he was sitting next to his ideological ally and close friend Binyamin Netanyahu. And he effectively said that he wanted to stop millions of dollars of aid to Palestinians because the Palestinian Authority showed disrespect – as he put it – towards Mike Pence, his vice-president, during his recent visit to Israel. So essentially Donald Trump accuses the Palestinians of not being polite enough as their land is stolen, as they are routinely murdered in their thousands, imprisoned in their hundreds and undergo in all manners, all manners of human rights abuses. And there was of course no mention of the incredibly provocative decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem while completely ignoring the Palestinian right to East Jerusalem as their capital. And what I found particularly disdainful was the way Trump threatened to wash his hands of the entire Israel peace process, making out that he’d had quite enough of the boorish Palestinians, again signalling that they should somehow accept their fate and also be polite towards the billions of dollars poured into Israel to ruin their lives.”

So what was the reaction of Jane Hill who, the BBC claimed, only six months ago had been reminded of the need to challenge and question contentious remarks “at whatever point they are made during the programme”?
BBC R4 ‘Today’ impartiality fail in item on Polish Holocaust bill
The February 2nd edition of the BBC Radio 4 news and current affairs programme ‘Today‘ included an item (from 02:33:57 here) about the controversial ‘Holocaust complicity’ bill that is currently making its way through the Polish political system.

Listeners may well have been astounded to hear presenter Nick Robinson’s portrayal of the number of people who lost their lives in Nazi camps located in Poland in his introduction. [emphasis in bold added, emphasis in italics in the original]

Robinson: “Hundreds of thousands died during the Holocaust in Polish death camps. I could be imprisoned in Poland for simply uttering those words if a law voted for in the Polish senate is enacted into law. Poland’s prime minister says it’s to lift a slur on his people and his country and to put the blame where it really belongs: on the Nazis. Israel’s prime minister has warned Poles not to try to change history. We’re joined now by Wojciech Roszkowski. He is professor of history at the institute of political studies at the Polish Academy of Science and also by Konstanty Gebert who is a columnist with Gazeta Wyborcza.”
Gaza missile fire continues to be ignored by BBC News
On the evening of February 1st a missile was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The projectile was later located in open land in the Hof Ashkelon district. The following evening another missile hit the Sha’ar HaNegev region. The IDF responded in both cases with strikes on Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip.

The BBC did not produce any reporting on either of those incidents.

The corporation similarly ignored two incidents last month: on January 1st a missile launched from the Gaza Strip landed in the Eshkol district and on January 3rd three mortars were fired at the same area.

Last year the BBC failed to produce any English-language coverage of 86% of the attacks launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. The year before that, just one attack was reported. As we see, that editorial policy – which results in audiences and BBC journalists alike being unable fully understand events and their context when Israel is obliged to respond to rising terrorism – continues into 2018.
Holocaust denier poised to claim GOP nomination in Illinois race for Congress
Since the 1990s to 2016, Jones has jumped in the GOP 3rd Congressional District primary seven times, never even close to becoming a viable contender.

The outcome will be different for Jones in the Illinois primary on March 20, 2018.

To Jones’ own amazement, he is the only one on the Republican ballot.

“And given the fact that I’ve got no opposition in the primary, OK, I win that one (the primary) by default all right,” Jones said during an interview in a coffee shop in Lyons.

That leaves Illinois Republicans saddled with a nominee who is well known for his racist and white supremacist activities.

Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement to the Sun-Times, “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.”

Jones told the Sun-Times he is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee. “Membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent,” he said.

The Anti-Defamation League has been keeping tabs on him for years.

“Arthur Jones, who proudly displays Holocaust denial, xenophobia and racism on his blog and website, has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views,” said Lonnie Nasatir, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Chicago-Upper Midwest Region.

Jones will almost certainly be defeated in November. That’s because the 3rd Congressional District is one of the most heavily Democratic in the state.

The district sweeps in the old Chicago Democratic machine wards of 11, 13, 14, 19 and 23 and meanders through a corridor to wide swathes of southwest suburban turf. The district was drawn to protect Lipinski, whose father, William — a former congressman — is close to House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, who is also the chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

How did this happen?

• Republicans didn’t bother to muster a credible candidate because the district is so Democratic. There is always a debate if parties should recruit candidates to run races they are highly likely to lose.

• Jones could not be knocked off the ballot.
World Jewish Congress calls on Bulgaria to ban neo-Nazi march
The World Jewish Congress has called on Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to ban the annual neo-Nazi march, set for Feb. 13.

WJC CEO Robert Zinger submitted the petition, which was signed by 175,000 people from around the world and 2,000 of Bulgaria's Jews, at a meeting with Borissov over the weekend.

During the march, which has been held annually since 2003 by the neo-Nazi Bulgarian Union, participants carrying torches parade through the capital of Sofia in honor of Hristo Lukov, a Bulgarian World War II general, leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions, and major supporter of anti-Semitic laws in his country. Lukov backed the deportation of 11,343 Jews from Bulgarian territories to the Treblinka death camp.

"There must be no room on the streets of a European capital for a parade that worships a man and an age that represented this most sinister part of our history. In the context of Bulgarian and of European history, permitting the Lukov March would be an abomination," the petition says.

Zinger said he told Borissov, "In our opinion, the Lukov March is not only against the Jews, but above all is directed against the Bulgarian people and their hard-earned democracy."
IsraellyCool: Antisemite Brian Ruhe Disrupts Vancouver “Hijab Hoax” Protest
There have been some “hijab hoax” protests in Canada, organized by the Asian community, following the false claim by a Muslim girl that she was assaulted by an Asian man, and what they see as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s terrible handling of it.

Reader Ed was at one such protest in Vancouver. He tells me that an antisemite by the name of Brian Ruhe showed up to spread his Jew hate there, and was asked by the event organizer to leave. He refused, and the police refused to eject him. The organizer was reportedly so distraught that he arranged for a teenager to follow Ruhe with a sign stating that he was not part of the peaceful protest group.

Later on, Ruhe tried to photobomb a picture and several elderly women asked him to leave. Ed tells me the police cautioned him for coming near Ruhe (this would apparently make Ruhe feel uncomfortable), and that only young teens and elderly women were permitted near him!

The protest does not seem to be the only place Brian Ruhe is able to spread his Jew hatred.
Israeli Company to Provide Data Analysis Services to St. Louis Hospital
Israel-based MDClone, which automatically mines insights for patient care and hospital operations from vast amounts of data, has signed a strategic partnership with the Institute for Informatics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The partnership will introduce a new approach to healthcare data access, privacy, analytics and research.

MDClone’s solution dramatically enhances the utility of data and offers the first solution on the market to eliminate the risk of releasing identifiable patient information when conducting healthcare analysis and research.

The agreement represents the first expansion for MDClone outside of Israel, where in less than two years it has already captured more than 80 percent of the market.

MDClone will install its Healthcare Data Platform at the institute, enabling Washington University clinicians and researchers to extract data and insights in real-time with either original or unidentifiable synthetic data for even the most complex healthcare questions.

“The synthetic data can be analyzed as if it were original data but is 100 percent unidentified, non-human subject data,” said Ziv Ofek, MDClone founder and CEO.
IsraellyCool: Hollywood Mensch Liev Schreiber Returns to Israel
Actor, director and heartthrob Liev Schreiber has landed in the Holy Land - and is poised to really enjoy himself.

Schreiber, best known for his films The Sum of All Fears, The Omen, Defiance, Spotlight, and the TV series Ray Donovan, posted an image of the Tel Aviv beach on Instagram last week.

"Looking forward to warmer weather, good humus [sic], and lots of fizzy bobolah!" he wrote.

Although since he was spotted on a New York red carpet on Thursday night, Schreiber clearly didn't make his way to Israel until later in the week.

So what is the acclaimed and award-winning actor doing in the Jewish state?

Schreiber, 50, has arrived in Israel in order to deliver a masterclass on acting at Tel Aviv University. Israeli actor Ohad Knoller, best known for his roles in Srugim, Yossi and Jagger, Munich and Beaufort, will be hosting the lesson. Knoller posted on Instagram on Sunday night that Schreiber, "the king," is arriving to give the class Monday afternoon.
Jewish schools worldwide to screen Israeli Memorial Day film on wounded soldiers
Dozens of Jewish high schools from around the world will connect with Israel’s military on the country’s Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron, by following the stories of three soldiers injured in recent wars.

The students will watch a screening of the film “When the Smoke Clears: A Story of Brotherhood, Resilience and Hope,” by Imagination Productions, which focuses on three soldiers, each seriously injured during a recent battle or war in Israel and the daily struggles they have emotionally and physically.

The students also will have access to an Instagram account where they can share their feelings about the soldiers, and connect over their stories.

At least 40 schools have signed up to participate in the event, which will take place on Yom Hazikaron, this year on April 18.

The soldiers tell their own stories, from before, during and after their injuries. “When you read in the paper about a soldier that got injured, you say ‘phew, at least he is not dead’. You don’t even think about what it means,” says one of the film’s subjects, Ofer, who was wounded in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. “I don’t think going to war is heroic. I think what is heroic is when I see people who chose to live after what they’ve gone through.”
Gala for Israel’s 70th to be held at Trump’s Mar-a Lago resort
An event marking Israel’s 70th year will be held at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The event scheduled for late March is organized by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which is selling tickets for $1,000 per table, Haaretz first reported.

Speakers at the event will include US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley; Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon; and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In August, nine groups cancelled planned galas at the Florida resort owned by Trump.

Among the cancellations were American Friends of Magen David Adom, the US fundraising arm of the Israeli Red Cross organization. Some of the groups that canceled their events in August cited Trump’s response to the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as the reason for canceling. In other cases, groups said the venue was detracting from the message of their events.

The Boca Raton, Florida-based group “The Truth About Israel” is scheduled to hold its gala at Mar-A-Lago on February 25. Among the speakers will be former Israeli ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon, three Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Ron Desantis, who is running for Florida governor; and Jewish Olympic swimmer, Mark Spitz.

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