Tuesday, March 06, 2018

From Ian:

Tapper: Some Dems Want Positive ‘Association’ With Farrakhan, Don’t Want to Face Public Scrutiny
CNN's "The Lead" host Jake Tapper called out some on the left for wanting to glean any positive impacts of a relationship with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan but not being willing to face any backlash.

Tapper began the segment on Monday by playing a clip of Farrakhan's recet anti-semitic, homophobic speech in Chicago.

"Jews were responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out, turning men into women and women into men," Farrakhan said.

The CNN host noted that "despite the anti-semitism and homophobia inherent in that clip," several leaders of Women's March and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have refused to denounce Farrakhan, despite having previously voiced their support for him. Tapper specifically mentioned Rep. Danny Davis (D., Ill.), who told the Daily Caller earlier in February that Farrakhan is an "outstanding human being."

"I don't regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything; I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate. And he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people," Davis said at the time.

The Illinois Democrat doubled down on those comments over the weekend, saying he "knows" Farrakhan and the "world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question."

Seven House Democrats Have Direct Ties To Notorious Anti-Semite
At least seven House Democrats are known to have direct ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite and racist who has called Jews “satanic” and said white people “deserve to die.”

California Reps. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee, Illinois Rep. Danny Davis, Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, New York Rep. Gregory Meeks and Texas Rep. Al Green have all attended meetings with Farrakhan while in Congress, according to photos, videos and witness accounts of the meetings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

With the exception of Davis, the Democratic representatives have ignored repeated requests for comment regarding their relationships with Farrakhan. (RELATED: Here’s What Louis Farrakhan Has Said About Jews, Gays And White People)

Davis has a personal relationship with Farrakhan and is unbothered by Farrakhan’s position on “the Jewish question,” he told TheDCNF on Sunday. Davis called Farrakhan an “outstanding human being” in an interview with The Daily Caller in February and said he has regularly visited with Farrakhan.

Davis’ office released a statement attributed to the congressman on Monday that attacked TheDCNF for accurately covering his comments. The statement, which did not mention Farrakhan, claimed that anti-Semitism is “antithetical to everything I believe and everything that I work for on a daily basis.” Davis’ attack on reporters covering his claims came after the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, blasted the congressman for praising Farrakhan and called on him to denounce the Nation of Islam leader. As of this article, Davis has yet to condemn Farrakhan.

Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), repeatedly attended meetings with Farrakhan while in Congress, according to photos and videos reviewed by TheDCNF and Farrakhan’s own statements.

Women’s March Leaders Have An Anti-Semitism Problem — Maybe It’s Time To Leave Them Behind
Last week, current Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan—a well-known anti-Semite—gave a speech where he said “the powerful Jews are my enemy” and that he had “pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew and I'm here to say your time is up, your world is through.” Other previous Farrakhan highlights include saying the Jews were behind 9/11 and calling Adolf Hitler a “very great man.”
That alone is a story. But it doesn’t end there.

Soon after the speech, news broke that Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory was in attendance; she even received a shout out from Farrakhan during his address and posted about the event on social media. Meanwhile, Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour has collaborated with the Nation of Islam in the past, and Carmen Perez defended Farrakhan in the past, telling Amelia Harnish in January that there are “no perfect leaders” and that people need to understand Farrakhan’s contributions to Black and Brown circles.

Understandably, the Jewish community — particularly people who have supported the Women’s March and other social justice causes — wanted answers. We also wanted something that most thought would be pretty simple for a bunch of women who spend their days parading around their intersectionality: We wanted them to denounce anti-Semitism and the words Farrakhan said against Jews. This isn’t a new thing; after all, we ask public figures to denounce awful people and hate speech all the time.

To say we didn’t get that is an understatement. Instead, we got Tamika Mallory posting a bizarre series of tweets calling valid criticisms “bullying” and refusing to apologize for her support of Farrakhan and her lack of denouncement regarding his words. Linda Sarsour suddenly decided that she was very cool with silence and just retweeted one of Mallory’s tweets, as did Bob Bland. Carmen Perez took it one step further, quote-tweeting Mallory and saying something about the national organizers’ “lifetime commitment to liberation.” Missing from that? A condemnation of Farrakhan.

American Jews Must Finally Realize There Is No Place For Us On The Left
Possibly one of the oddest wonders in politics is the affinity for the Democratic Party, and the Left at large, among American Jews. In fact, when polled before the 2016 election by the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, 70% of Jews preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. This ratio has remained approximately the same throughout other presidential elections and was the exact same percentage of the Jewish vote won by Barack Obama in his 2012 reelection.

But the question is clear — why? Why would Jews vote for a party that has a long history of anti-Israel sentiments, which continue to grow? Why would they vote for an ideology that embraces anti-Semitic radicals?

Sadly, this is not hyperbole, as there are many examples of anti-Semitic incidents on the Left. Former President Barack Obama was notoriously cold toward Israel for most of his presidency, and showed it often, from lifting sanctions on Iran with the help of Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, to humiliating Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and by abstaining from a crucial U.N. vote demanding any Israeli building in the “occupied territories” cease immediately. In fact, in January, a 2005 photo of Obama and Louis Farrakhan, the notorious anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, emerged, and it was found that the Congressional Black Caucus hid it so Obama’s political career would not be damaged as a result.

But Obama and his administration aren’t the only culprits in this anti-Semitic characterization of the Left. Deputy DNC chair Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, also has a long history of being anti-Israel, including his relationship with Farrakhan. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ellison attended a dinner with Farrakhan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in 2013, although Ellison denies that he knew who would be at the dinner in advance and disavows “anti-Semitism and bigotry in all of its forms."
Meet The School Official Who Loves Louis Farrakhan And The Nation Of Islam
An Illinois school official sparked outrage online in February over his unapologetic endorsement of Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

The Waukegan Public School District appointed Chris Blanks to a seat on the district’s discipline committee and allows him to take students on field trips, according to Waukegan Teachers and Parents United, a district advocacy group that contacted The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“LOVE, LIFE AND LIBERATION TO THE HONORABLE MINISTER FARRAKHAN AND THE NATION OF ISLAM,” said Blanks in response to a post by Waukegan Teachers and Parents United in which the group asserted Blanks refused to withdraw his support for the minister.


Farrakhan has made remarks such as “the Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man,” “they call [Hezbollah] terrorists, I call them freedom fighters,” and “The Mother Wheel is a heavily armed spaceship the size of a city, which will rain destruction upon white America but save those who embrace the Nation of Islam.”
Ryan Bellerose: The Real Reasons The Two-State Delusion Won’t Die…And The Simple Reason It Should
It’s easy.

If you want to appear “fair and balanced,” then it’s easy to say “both sides should have a state.” However, when you actually look at this honestly, you realize that the facts simply do not bear this out. The Arabs have done a great job making themselves look like an underdog but they are in fact the bully. The Muslims control 99% of the land mass in the Middle East, while the Jews who are often accused of colonialism and imperialism control less than 1%. Asking them to give up some of that less than 1% is pretty far from fair or balanced. Also, and let’s be honest here, what have the Arabs in Judeah and Samaria done to deserve a state? Exist? Blow up some airplanes? Kill an old man in a wheelchair? What exactly makes people believe they should have self-determination on someone else’s ancestral lands? Would you want to live in a terrorocracy/kleptocracy? Why do you think Arabs would?
“The Israelis support it.”

The simple truth is that the Israeli Government toes the line for 2 reasons, the main one being that it knows that the Arabs will never agree to a two-state solution, so they can say they do and appear to be more “fair and balanced” in the eyes of the world. And yes, it has worked, but it also has shown the world that the Jews are not strong in their position and will concede if pushed. Secondly, they do not really know what to do with a hostile population within their own “recognized” borders let alone Judeah and Samaria. And if we are really honest, there is a third reason: Jews tend to be far too empathetic and I think many of them simply want the Arabs to be happy and peaceful, but the only way that happens is if Jews go back to being dhimmis on their own land. You cannot meet someone part way when his position is your enslavement or destruction.
Because “everyone else does”

This is simply the worst argument. You should never determine your moral compass by the whims of the majority, that’s literally how every tyranny began. I have shown why it’s immoral to try to pressure Jews into giving up land, it really is that simple. If you have two people, one vastly wealthy and one poor, you do not ask them both to give the same amount, you would be thought of as heartless, so why is it ok to do it to Israel? 99% vs 1%.
Report: Talks between Israel, Poland on Holocaust law fail
Talks between a Polish government delegation and Israeli officials over Poland's controversial Holocaust law have failed, Channel 20 reported Monday.

According to the report, the sides tried coming to understandings before delegations from across the globe visit Poland next month to mark the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Failing to reach such understandings by April, the report said, could create an embarrassing situation in light of the current diplomatic dispute over the Holocaust law – which imposes jail sentences of up to three years for suggesting Poland was complicit in Nazi crimes.

The law has drawn outrage in Israel and harsh criticism from Poland's NATO ally the United States.

Israel's Foreign Ministry denied the Channel 20 report and said: "The talks did not fail. They began on Thursday last week. This is an effort that will be ongoing and will require patience from both sides. We will stand firm on matters that are important to Israel and no one will concede them – but to say this is a failure is not true."
Polish president and PM said unwelcome at White House over Holocaust law
A leading news site in Poland on Monday said it had obtained documents indicating the country’s highest officials were not welcome at the White House over a law limiting discourse on World War II.

The documents, which the news site Onet did not describe in its March 5 report, show that President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will not be received by US President Donald Trump or any other member of his administration, the report said.

Staff from the US Embassy in Warsaw also threatened to suspend funding for joint military projects between the United States and Poland, according to Onet.

The report was denied on Tuesday by Polish government officials.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki said that Washington was expressing “concerns and questions” about the law but that reports of the measures were untrue.

Government spokeswoman Joanna Kopcinska stressed that diplomatic channels remain open, noting that other government officials have visited Washington recently and will do so in the near future.

“Bilateral strategic cooperation with the United States is not threatened, diplomatic contacts remain at the current level,” Kopcinska said.
50 years on, Poles recall student revolt that sparked anti-Semitic purge
In March 1968, a student revolt crushed by Poland’s baton-wielding police was used as a pretext for an anti-Semitic purge by the communist regime.

It began when the communists banned the 19th-century play “Forefathers’ Eve” by poet Adam Mickiewicz, claiming it had anti-Russian elements.

Two students who contested the ban were expelled from the University of Warsaw, prompting their peers to stage a demonstration on March 8.

Backed by other civil groups, particularly workers unhappy with daily life under communism, the pro-democracy protests spread to other cities.

The regime used the student revolt as an excuse to unleash an anti-Semitic campaign that was rooted in a settling of scores inside the Communist Party, which was split into two camps.

There was the older generation of communists — many of them Jewish — who had left Poland for Moscow during World War II and only returned in 1945. Meanwhile, a younger generation of communists had stayed put during the war and fought against Germany’s Nazis.

Interior minister Mieczyslaw Moczar wanted to rid the party of high-ranking members who had returned from Moscow, so he convinced party leader Wladyslaw Gomulka that the student revolt had been led by children of prominent Jews.
Twitter Wars With Pro-Israel Group, Suspends Account Amid Crackdown on Speech
Twitter has been locked in a spat with a pro-Israel organization that recently found its account on the social media network suspended following accusations the group violated Twitter's policies.

Canary Mission, a group that combats anti-Semitism, found itself suspended from Twitter last week in a move that has developed into an ongoing feud between the pro-Israel group and Twitter, which has suspended and reinstated the account several times in the past days.

As the battle intensified, Canary Mission has accused Twitter of having a "Jewish problem" and of targeting pro-Israel groups for suspension while allowing white supremacists such as David Duke and terror organizations such as Hamas to continue operating unfettered on the social media network.

The battle mirrors a larger debate over Twitter's effort to crackdown on accounts that the company views as engaging in hate speech and intimidation. The crackdown on speech has seen several accounts associated with conservative media frozen, and in some cases, booted off the social network.

The suspension of Canary Mission has been particularly puzzling to its leaders, as Twitter and the anti-Semitism watchdog appear to be in agreement over the toxicity of anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate speech in the public sphere.

Canary Mission routinely works to expose anti-Semitic comments by public officials, anti-Israel advocates, and other individuals and organizations. The group's motto, "if you're racist, the world should know," reflects its efforts to expose growing anti-Semitism among advocates who oppose Israel and support boycotts of the Jewish state.

On Feb. 24, Twitter suspended Canary Mission's account "without reason," according to the group. Following an appeal, Twitter informed Canary Mission that it had violated new policies restricting what Twitter calls "hateful conduct."
BIAS: UConn Offers Counseling For Ben Shapiro Speech, But Not For Linda Sarsour
The University of Connecticut will host controversial Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour on Wednesday without offering up any ridiculous special "counseling" services for students who might be offended by her speech. However, showcasing their undeniable liberal bias, the university offered such coddling services for conservative speaker and Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro's January speech.

Sarsour is kicking off UConn's Women's History month lecture series, dubbed "Nevertheless She Persisted," which is being sponsored by the university.

Ironically enough, "feminist" Sarsour has offered her praise of Shariah law and attacked the womanhood of Muslim reformers she disagrees with, notably threatening violence and suggesting human rights' advocate and Female Genital Mutilation victim Ayaan Hishi Ali and reformer Brigitte Gabriel have their vaginas take away.

Oh, she's also called for "jihad" against "the fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House."

Naturally, this is who the Left views as a feminist icon.
Poor Nick Kollerstrom…
Six upcoming events by the conspiracy group Keep Talking have been cancelled following intervention by HOPE not hate

Keep Talking, run by Ian Fantom, is an obscure London-based group for conspiracy theorists of all types, ranging from Holocaust deniers, climate change deniers and 9/11 ‘Truthers’. The group had organised a series of six events at Conway Hall on Red Lion Square in London.

The first event in a run of six – due to take place tonight – was to feature contributions from the infamous Holocaust denier Nick Kollerstrom, who takes organising duties at the meetings. Kollerstom has called the 9/11 attack in New York ‘a constructed, fabricated event’ and argues that the 7/7 attacks in London were a ‘false flag’ terror attack.

However, he is best known for his denial of the Holocaust, after the publication of an article titled ‘The Auschwitz Gas Chamber Illusion’ on the website of the infamous denial organisation the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. In it he claimed that there was “never a centrally-coordinated Nazi program of exterminating Jews in Germany. Lethal gas chambers did not function in German labour-camps, that’s just an illusion.”

On the teaching of the Holocaust Kollerstrom has said:
“Let us hope the schoolchildren visitors are properly taught about the elegant swimming pool at Auschwitz, built by the inmates, who would sunbathe there on Saturday and Sunday afternoons while watching the water polo matches,” and, “Let’s hope they are shown postcards written from Auschwitz, where the postman would collect the mail twice weekly.”
Jewish Group Denied Minority Rights Membership
Last week, I reported on how police were called when pro-Palestinian protesters crashed a panel featuring reserve officers from the Israeli Defense Force. Now a Jewish student group at the same school has gotten denied membership of a minority rights group because of its association with Israel, according to The Cavalier Daily.

The University of Virginia has an organization called the Minority Rights Coalition which, as you might expect, is a kind of almighty behemoth representing all of the various marginalized groups on campus. The Minority Rights Coalition speaks for constituent groups representing black students, Muslims, Asians — who are overrepresented at UVA and many other elite colleges — Native Americans, “queer” students, feminists, and even “Latinx” students, which is apparently the gender-neutral term for Latinos.

The MRC rejected the Jewish Leadership Council’s application for membership because one of the Jewish students’ five groups was Hoos for Israel, a group which aims to teach the UVA community about the culture, history, and politics of Israel.

The MRC said “Many students under the [Minority Rights Coalition] umbrella believed at the time that [Hoos for Israel] operated in a way which made these students feel concerned and unsettled.”

Meanwhile, the Jewish Leadership Council said “We recognize that the Israel-Palestine Conflict is complicated and heavily debated, and that it carries the weight of lived experiences and deep set emotions for many individuals – both in the Jewish community and in the communities represented in the MRC. We deeply understand the need for dialogue surrounding this complex issue, but at the same time we cannot and will not apologize for our right to support a Jewish homeland.”
College Jewish Group Denied "Minority Rights" Membership

IsraellyCool: Top 10 Fail Moments of Berlin’s Jerusalem Exhibition [Photo Essay]
As Jewish Museum Berlin’s Director, Peter Schaefer, stated in our interview for the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, the Museum seeks for its temporary exhibitions, whenever possible, to explore topics of importance to all three major religions (which makes one wonder why it’s called the “Jewish Museum”). No topic captures the interreligious imagination more than Jerusalem, but the “Welcome to Jerusalem” exhibition seems to serve as a platform for the Museum (a public German museum) to subtly impose its political bias regarding Israel, despite proclamations to the contrary.

As someone who has lived, loved, and cried in this troubled and glorious city through some of its bloodiest and most exciting times, I present to you the exhibition’s top ten fail moments:
10. Islam is the rightful heir to Jerusalem.

The Islamic crescent topping the Dome of the Rock is the only religious ornament on the Museum’s brochure and initial city ads. Forget the Jewish star. Forget the cross. In the “The Holy City” section, Conrad Schick’s impressive model of Dome of the Rock takes center stage, flanked by a modest model of the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, thereby giving “Haram esh-Sharif” (or Noble Sanctuary) dominance.

9. Theodor Herzl and Yasser Arafat are moral equals.

In a strange section on dignitaries buried in Jerusalem, Herzl and Arafat are listed side-by-side, as if this intellectual, non-violent Zionist leader and this antisemitic arch-terrorist are moral equals. As if the Zionist cause that turned swampland into civilization is equal to the Palestinian cause that turned nails and screws into shrapnel. No mention is made of Arafat’s role in mercilessly murdering Jews via suicide bombings at bus stops, cafes, and nightclubs. While Arafat’s mausoleum is in Ramallah, the placard suggests he should be buried in East Jerusalem, as the future capital of “Palestine.”
BBC R4’s Bethlehem crime fiction flunks accuracy and impartiality
Audiences are not told that by the time the second Intifada began, Bethlehem had been under exclusive Palestinian Authority control for almost five years.

The main character goes on to introduce a secondary character, describing him as living in “Beit Jala – a Palestinian Christian town just south of Bethlehem”.

Beit Jala is of course located to the north of Bethlehem.

The drama includes numerous additional issues of accuracy, impartiality and omission. While central figures in the story belong to what are described as “the Martyrs Brigades”, audiences are not informed that that terror group belongs to the ruling political party Fatah. Terrorists are repeatedly portrayed as “freedom fighters” while audiences are told that Israel “bulldozes the houses” of Palestinians who “won’t collaborate”. Israeli forces entering Bethlehem after a suicide bombing in Jerusalem are portrayed as “here to take revenge”.

Even the image chosen to illustrate the drama’s webpage lacks accuracy. A person presumably intended to represent the main character is shown against the background of a section of the anti-terrorist fence. The fence is not even mentioned in the story itself and the obvious explanation for that is that the drama is set in 2001 and construction of the fence did not commence until July 2003, when the first section was built many miles to the north of Bethlehem. Nevertheless, the BBC selected that anachronistic image to illustrate this programme.

Obviously the BBC’s claim that this radio drama gives audiences “an insight into life in Palestine in the early 2000’s” is unfortunately diminished by such accuracy and impartiality failures.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Swedish Cabinet To Undergo FGM To Show Respect Before Visit To Muslim Countries (satire)
Following a trip to Iran last year marked by the female ministers of Sweden’s government donning headscarves in a nod to local mores enforced by the mullahs, a similar move will occur later this year when the Scandinavian nation’s female cabinet members undergo genital cutting as a gesture of respect for local culture before setting out on a visit to six Muslim countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, a government spokeswoman announced today.

Svermei Kletors, a spokeswoman for the cabinet of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, convened a press conference Sunday afternoon to alert the media to the development. Ms. Kletors informed journalists that in advance of a July visit to Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Egypt, and Somalia, the six women cabinet ministers scheduled to participate in the visit will have various parts of their external genitalia removed, in keeping with common local customs in the countries they plan to visit.

“It seems only fitting that after leading female European political figures such as EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini and our own Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström have worn the hijab when visiting Iran, we must take the same respectful approach in our handling of state visits elsewhere,” explained Ms. Kletors.

“Just as we want the immigrants from those countries in Sweden to feel welcome, we want want to make our hosts comfortable when we go there,” she continued. The genital mutilation is slated for late May and early June, according to a press release issued at the conference.
BBC ignores PA call to blacklist and punish Arab journalists
The latest visit produced an angry reaction from the Palestinian Authority.

“The Palestinian Authority on Thursday denounced a visit by Arab journalists to Israel and called for punishing them to deter others from following suit. […]

…the PA said that the visit was aimed at “promoting normalization” between the Arabs and Israel. The Palestinians oppose other Arab nations establishing ties with Israel until a peace deal is signed with between Israel and the Palestinians.

The PA Ministry of Information denounced the visit of the Arab journalists and called on Arab media bodies to place them and the media outlets they work for on the Arab boycott “blacklist.”

It called on the Arab Journalists Union to take “punitive and deterring measures” against the journalists and their media outlets.”

Similar criticism was voiced by the Moroccan National Syndicate of Journalists and Morocco’s Minister of Culture and Communication.

BBC journalists protest suppression of free speech in 2014

While the BBC’s charity ‘Media Action’ claims to promote “media freedom and rights” and the BBC News website has a page devoted to the subject of “press freedom”, audiences have seen no coverage at all of the PA’s call to punish and blacklist journalists merely because they visited Israel.

As readers may recall the BBC was similarly silent when, in November 2016, Hamas condemned a group of Moroccan journalists who were hosted by the MFA.
What do BBC audiences know about Abbas’ potential successor?
As CAMERA’s Sean Durns has noted, the man to whom Aloul was “special assistant” was responsible for the murders of scores of people.

“…Abu Jihad oversaw the assassination of US diplomats in Khartoum, Sudan, in March 1973. Abu Jihad was also responsible for perpetrating and planning numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis, including the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 38 civilians, including 11 children, were murdered.

In addition to his involvement in murdering no less than 124 Israelis, Abu Jihad also served as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Fatah’s liaison with the Soviet Union, the Syrian Baathist party and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

An article published by the FDD after Aloul’s appointment as vice-chair of Fatah notes that:

“Within Fatah’s upper echelons, al-Aloul assumed the portfolio of mobilization and organization within the party, and in that role he has had an active presence. He is frequently spotted leading protests in the West Bank, and in November of last year, he gave a speech where he declared: “When we talk about our enemies, we talk about the [Israeli] occupation and the United States.””

However, given that the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s chronic under-reporting of internal Palestinian affairs persists, audiences remain unaware of the record of the man who could replace Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority at any moment.
Democrats Stonewall Ed Civil Rights Nominee As Anti-Semitism in Schools Rises 94%
Democratic obstruction in the Senate has left the Department of Education without leadership in its office of civil rights at a time when anti-Semitism has risen by 94 percent in U.S. schools.

Kenneth Marcus, the Trump administration's nominee to be assistant secretary for civil rights, has been stalled since Oct. 30. Marcus is the founder and president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing civil rights of the Jewish people.

Marcus was not confirmed out of the Senate HELP committee until last month on a party line vote and now awaits confirmation before the entire body.

While the permanent position to lead the civil rights division remains vacant, news broke this week that anti-Semitism is surging throughout America, particularly in K-12 schools.

The Anti-Defamation League released its audit of 2017, finding anti-Semitic incidents overall increased by 57 percent, with a total of 1,986 incidents.

"Anti-Semitic incidents took place in a wide variety of locations, including places of business, private homes, public areas such as parks and streets, Jewish institutions, schools, and colleges/universities," the ADL said. "Although the largest number of incidents typically occur in public areas, in 2017 K-12 schools surpassed public areas as the locations with the most anti-Semitic incidents, at 457 incidents being reported in K-12 schools and 455 in public areas."

This represented a "dramatic increase" of 94 percent in K-12 schools and an 89 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents on college and university campuses with 204 events.

Incidents in K-12 schools included hundreds of reports of vandalism, including swastikas "drawn or scratched into school facilities or drawn on Jewish students’ notebooks."
US: Muslim Calls for Murder Increasing
In December 2017, four imams -- at mosques in North Carolina, New Jersey and Texas -- called for killing Jews. Two of the imams quoted from a hadith that says:

"The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him".

Two other imams, respectively, asked Allah "to destroy the Zionists and their allies, and those who assist them" and "to wreak vengeance upon the plundering oppressors".

Prior to these December calls, in July 2017, two imams in California (Riverside and Davis) also called for killing Jews. One imam quoted the hadith above. He later apologized, claiming that "The last thing that I would do is intentionally hurt anyone, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise. It is not in my heart".

It may not be in his heart, but it was in his mouth, and it is in the Quran and the hadiths, which are filled[1] with supremacist and violent references not only to Jews, but to all non-Muslims.

Yes, other religious books are also filled with hate verses, but as the author Bruce Bawer points out, many "Muslims still live by them."
Monaco’s prince honored for Holocaust apology
A prestigious think tank on tolerance comprising of former European leaders honored Prince Albert II of Monaco for his apology for his country’s treatment of Jews during the Holocaust, among other actions.

The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation on Tuesday bestowed its European Medal of Tolerance on the head of state of the principality sandwiched between France and Italy, who in 2015 acknowledged his country’s rounding up and deportation of 66 Jews in 1942.

“You have found the courage and political wisdom to openly address painful history and difficult memories,” said Moshe Kantor, the head of the European Jewish Congress and the president of the council, whose chair is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The council’s dozen-odd members include Spanish former prime minister José María Aznar; former prime minister of Sweden Göran Persson; and the previous president of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski.

Monaco’s asking for forgiveness for its police’s role in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust was a belated gesture, coming two decades after similar apologies by heads of state in France, Belgium, Italy and Austria. But because of the principality’s size and the small number of victims from its territory, Monaco’s political establishment was not under the external and internal pressure and scrutiny that preceded the apologies in those larger countries and others.

In a speech during the ceremony to award the medal at a conference hall at Monaco’s famed Casino Monte Carlo, Prince Albert II on Tuesday described his apology as a gesture rooted in the need to remain faithful to historical record on the Holocaust.

“Those words, asking forgiveness, were extremely difficult and an obvious sentiment for me to express at the time,” Prince Albert II said during the ceremony. “It was not only to commemorate the victims in the most dignified manner but also because for me, I have too much respect for history and for people. It was not only an act of faith on my part but it is an obvious gesture that I felt the time was right for, to express.”
U.S. government agency honors Albanian PM for Holocaust remembrance
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama received an award for his dedication to Holocaust remembrance, which was presented to him by a US government agency at a ceremony held in the White House on Monday.

The United States Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad bestowed its Cultural Pluralism Award on Rama, recognizing him for “the extraordinary contributions in advancing the cause of Holocaust remembrance, ensuring historical truth and promoting cultural preservation of the sites related to the heritage of American citizens.”

Albania’s efforts surrounding commemoration and education about the Holocaust include its annual observation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

Each year, the Albanian Foreign Affairs Ministry sponsors events to commemorate the Holocaust. This year, on that day, the ministry held an exhibition titled “Noblemen Among Nations,” showcasing the efforts of those who rescued Jews from persecution and annihilation. Junior high and high school students attended the exhibition.

Since 2014, Albania has been an observer country to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Albania protected some 2,000 Jews during the Holocaust, refusing to hand over both its citizens and Jewish refugees, who fled from other European countries, to the Nazis and Fascist Italian authorities.

Albania was the only country in Europe whose post-war Jewish population was far larger than it had been before the war.
In the last 25 years, Yad Vashem has bestowed the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” on 75 Albanians.
Israel's IAI announces innovative aerial defense system
Israel Aerospace Industries has introduced an innovative electronic warfare system designed to protect a variety of aircraft against surface-to-air missiles.

The ELL-8270, – which was developed by the ELTA division of IAI – utilizes a towed decoy as “bait” when an aircraft in flight is in danger of being struck by enemy missiles.

The decoy is towed at a safe distance from the aircraft. By means of a transponder, it diverts any incoming missile away from the plane to prevent the craft itself from being hit.

The device is a completely autonomous, lightweight system that requires minimal pilot control. The battery-operated decoy is dragged by a simple tether from the aircraft and can be reeled back into the plane after it has been deployed or discarded if necessary.

The system, which is active only when a hostile missile threatens the aircraft, can deal with multiple threats simultaneously.

While the decoy is not meant to replace other layers of protection for the aircraft, it does provide a final layer of defense if a missile is launched toward the plane. The expense of the system is said to be relatively low compared to other in-flight defense devices.
Seattle band Alice in Chains to play Caesarea this summer
The pioneering grunge rock group Alice in Chains will play the Caesarea ampitheater on July 17, a first for the Seattle band.

The band, which emerged in the 1990s along with Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, is considered one of the most influential rock bands of its time, with nine Grammy nominations and sales topping 20 million albums.

Alice in Chains’ grunge sound incorporates heavy metal elements, along with harmonized vocals.

The band first featured the vocals of Jerry Cantrell and former member Layne Staley, who died of substance abuse in 2002. Staley was later replaced by William DuVall who took over as lead vocalist.

The band is currently working on a sixth studio album, set for release early this year.
Tickets on sale for Enrique Iglesias’s fifth Israel concert
Tickets went on sale Monday evening for a May 26 concert by Enrique Iglesias in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, a fifth appearance in Israel for the king of Latin pop.

The tickets, which are available from Ticketmaster, range from NIS 225 (for Leumi cardholders) and NIS 285 for seats on the grass to NIS 555 for American Express cardholders and NIS 655 for Golden Ring seats.

The beloved Latino pop star has been on Israeli fans’ minds since his new Hebrew remix of “Subeme La Radio” (“Turn Up the Radio”) with Israeli crooner Rotem Cohen and Cuban musician Descemer Bueno.

Cohen was introduced to Iglesias by Bueno, who first found out about the Israeli musician through Facebook, when Cohen’s manager reached out to him, according to Hadashot gossip reporter Guy Pines.

Cohen and Bueno worked together on “Kol Kach Yafe Lakh” (“Como El Agua”) and Bueno then suggested that Iglesias add a stanza in Hebrew to his summer 2017 hit “Subeme La Radio.”
Mississippi looking to invest in Israeli bonds
The Mississippi Legislature might authorize the state treasury to invest in Israeli bonds.

The House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 2051 Wednesday by a 118-2 vote. If enacted, the law would allow the state to use excess general funds to invest in bonds issued by Israel.

The bill says these investments must be made in U.S. currency and are capped at $20 million.

State treasury Chief of Staff Michelle Williams says the treasury invests most of its excess funds into state banks, then into the U.S. Treasury. The bill would give the treasury another option for investment – one that Williams said is safe but with a higher rate of return.

The bill heads back to the Senate for debate.
Gal Gadot Makes Israeli Graffiti Artist Famous
After 10 years painting in the streets of Tel Aviv’s Neve Tzedek neighborhood and sketching caricatures on the city’s beach promenade, an unlikely event recently catapulted graffiti artist Elior Yosef into the international spotlight – an Instagram post by fellow Israeli Gal Gadot.

Yosef, 30, says the “Wonder Woman” star discovered his work on Instagram and began following him about three months ago. A few exchanges between the two led him to create a special painting on a longboard, featuring an acrylic portrait of Gadot as Wonder Woman.

“She asked to see more of my art, so I told her I would come to show her a special piece,” Yosef tells ISRAEL21c. “When I showed up to bring it to her, her husband asked me if I was a surfer and I said, ‘This surfboard is not for surfing!’ Then I took it out of the case and they were both wowed.”

Growing up by the beach in Neve Tzedek, Yosef spent his childhood painting and drawing superheroes from the comic world. At the age of 18, he began painting caricatures on the promenade, and eventually took to painting on surfboards, cars, motorcycles, clothing and sneakers, he says.

His surfboard series combines stars from “Justice League” such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman with elements from classic works by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and takes about seven months to create, he says.
From Bahrain to Puerto Rico, Online School Offers Jewish Lifeline for Kids
Leo McFarland, 9, of Aquadilla, Puerto Rico, has been riding his skateboard a lot lately. Like other children on the island devastated by Hurricane Maria last September, he missed nearly two months of school due to lack of electricity, water, and other basic services. Although the school he attends finally reopened, powered by a generator, he and his brother, Felix, 6, remained in the dark for five months as far as their Jewish education goes. Without internet service, they were cut off from their primary connection to Judaism: their weekly lessons with the Nigri Jewish Online School.

Their parents, Amy and Brad McFarland, former Peace Corps volunteers, are teachers at the Ramey Unit School on the local United States Coast Guard military base in the northwest corner of the island. Out of nearly 400 students, Leo and Felix, 6, are the only Jewish students. After the hurricane, the McFarlands swung into action to help their neighbors through the Water Filters for Puerto Rico project. “I’ve been giving out water filters together with my mom, and we’ve given out 1,000 water filters so far!” Leo reported.

Before moving to Aquadilla, the McFarlands lived in El Salvador in proximity to a synagogue and a Jewish community. Moving to Puerto Rico seemed reasonable since it has the largest Jewish population in the Caribbean. However, their home is a two-hour drive from San Juan, the center of the island’s Jewish community. Amy realized she would have to make a concerted effort to provide Jewish education for her boys.

Her solution was to enroll them in the Nigri Online Jewish School, which caters to an international student body made up of children in remote places without access to a Jewish school. (h/t Zvi)
How Israel’s kibbutzim are becoming high-tech hubs
Israel’s collective communities, or kibbutzim, were first established as agricultural projects but have changed significantly over their 100-year history, showing an astute capability to adapt to a dynamic economic environment.

Many of them successfully weathered the Israeli economic crisis of the 1980s to develop a solid industrial sector, which as of 2016 accounts for about three-quarters of kibbutz income, while others turned to technology and products, developing profitable businesses.

Others still went down the path of sustainable living, developing innovative and environmentally friendly community designs and living methods.

Now, the kibbutzim, particularly those in southern Israel, are increasingly looking to high-tech and innovation.

“The kibbutz economy has three branches: traditional agriculture, industry, and an emerging branch in high-tech,” says Ofir Libstein, the CEO of the Kibbutz Industry Association (KIA).

In order to develop the third branch, the KIA, the Kibbutz Movement, and other groups have in recent years backed education and infrastructure projects in kibbutzim (the Hebrew plural for “kibbutz”) to foster an environment conducive to attracting high-tech companies. (h/t Zvi)

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