Monday, July 23, 2018

From Ian:

The ‘If Only Israel’ Syndrome
The “If Only Israel” (IOI) syndrome is the misguided notion — peddled in the name of Israel’s “best interests” by some in the diplomatic, academic, and media worlds — that if only Israel did this or that, peace with the Palestinians would be at hand. But since Israel doesn’t, then the Jewish state constitutes the principal, perhaps the only real obstacle to a new day in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Striking, isn’t it?

Poor Israel. If only it had the visual acuity of these “enlightened” souls, including, most recently, a slim majority of Irish senators, then all would be fine. After all, according to them, Israel holds all the cards, yet refuses to play them.

The thinking goes: Why can’t those shortsighted Israelis figure out what needs to be done — it’s so obvious to us, isn’t it? — so that the conflict can be brought to a screeching halt?

If only Israel reversed its settlements policy. If only Israel understood that Gaza’s tunnel-diggers and kite-flyers are just exercising their right to “peaceful protest.” If only the IDF restrained itself. If only Israel stopped assuming the worst about Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas. If only Israel went the extra mile with President Mahmoud Abbas. If only Israel got beyond its Holocaust trauma. If only Israel ______. Well, go ahead and fill in the blank.

The point is that for the IOI crowd, it essentially all comes down to Israel. And IOI syndrome has only been strengthened by its adherents’ assessment of the current Israeli government, of course.

After all, many media outlets, from the Associated Press to CBS News to Der Spiegel, branded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “hardline” from the get-go. Their word choice simply reinforces the notion that the conflict is all about alleged Israeli intransigence, while generally avoiding any descriptive judgement of Abbas and his entourage.

David Collier: Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, so much love, so much hate
21 July 2018. Saturday morning, 5am and I am on my way to spend the weekend at the Tolpuddle Martyrs festival. I don’t get to choose these dates, and my wife is none too happy about me missing her birthday. Three years ago, Bournemouth Action for Israel had a stall at the Tolpuddle event. On the Saturday they faced some poisonous verbal abuse. When they turned up for the Sunday, they were told it was advisable to leave as ‘their safety’ could not be guaranteed. They’ve been denied a presence ever since.

I wonder how Tolpuddle reconciles the contradiction between the core history upon which the event was built – the 1834 arrest, on trumped up charges, of a group of workers uniting to strike – with the organisers failing to protect the rights of a group of Zionists who were there to defend themselves from people making wild accusations against them.

Silencing those Zionist voices, denying the right to free speech and bowing down to intimidation from those who hold power, is EXACTLY what the Tolpuddle festival is meant to oppose. Instead, like most of what is happening on the left these days, the movement itself has become a corrupted and perverse inversion of it’s own core value system.

This weekend those Zionists are returning. They are going to stand with banners, flags and leaflets as the march walks past. For my research into antisemitism inside the Labour camp, I could not miss this opportunity.

Here is what happened:
Ireland's Anti-Israel Bill and the Muslim Brotherhood
Classified cables exchanged in 2006 between the State Department and the US Embassy in Ireland -- and published by Wikileaks in 2011 -- revealed that the administration of George W. Bush was trying to find out whether the European Council for Fatwa and Research and other such groups were working to legitimize Sharia (Islamic) law in Western Europe.

According to James Kenny, the American ambassador to Ireland at the time, a certain journalist claimed that outside of Qatar, Ireland had the strongest Muslim Brotherhood presence, and that al-Qaradawi "runs Islam in Ireland."

The White House's concern may have been warranted concerning some Muslim Brotherhood zealots in Ireland. But there are other Irish Islamic leaders who are more willing to compromise with Ireland's values, if not assimilate. In his 2014 book, Islam and Education in Ireland: An Introduction to the Faith and the Educational Challenges It Faces, Dr. Ali Selim -- the ICCI spokesman and secretary general of the Irish Council of Imams -- called for a reform of Ireland's education system, to make it more "inclusive" for Muslims. Among the changes he advocated was gender segregation in gym, music and art classes, where there could be "a clash of values" with Islam. Selim was interviewed in the Irish press and asked whether he favored Sharia to be implemented in Ireland. He responded that only in the case where Muslims are a majority is Sharia likely to be enacted.

Nor is Islamic extremism in Ireland limited to the ICCI campus alone. The leaked US Embassy cables also indicated that even some Irish Muslims refer to a certain mosque in Dublin as "Tora Bora," a cave complex on Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. One of the mosques imams, Yayah al-Hussein, originally from Sudan, is a member of Hamas, and many of its congregants are Bosnian and Afghan jihadists.

That jihadist groups feel comfortable in Ireland is understandable, given the country's genuine societal openness to Islam in general and Muslim immigrants in particular. In addition, Irish politics tend to favor the narrative of Palestinian Arabs in their conflict with Israel. This is due, in part, to their viewing -- inaccurately -- the plight of the Palestinians through the prism of their own history of occupation by England. But the Irish never aspired to displace Great Britain.



The Aussie boy who's at home spruiking for Israel
When Mark Regev saw Israel for the first time on a visit with his father, the Melbourne-born 16-year-old immediately felt at home.

"We saw the country from top to bottom and I felt very inspired and a sense of belonging and a desire that this is something I need to be involved in."

Now, 42 years later, Regev struts the world stage as Israel's ambassador to Britain, and one of the strongest international voices in favour of its sometimes contentious policies. What fuels him is a profound sense of mission about his adopted home.

"Australia's a wonderful country. You've got this nice life in Australia. And yet the Jewish state is facing very serious challenges," he tells Fairfax Media from his office at the well-guarded Israeli embassy in the plush London suburb of Kensington.

"Is it right that you stay here and enjoy Australia, and people are fighting and dying?
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"It's like a play going on and you can either be in the audience and watch ... or you can be a participant. And I decided I wanted to be a participant."
'Where I came from'

On a sideboard in Regev’s London office sits a photograph of his father and uncle among a group of 30 Jewish pupils. It was taken in either 1938 or 1939. Just four of the children would survive the Nazi regime.

"It's important to understand where I came from,” says Regev, holding the picture.
Israeli masochism versus Dutch hypocrisy
There are radical cultural differences in how countries, even if they are democracies, teach their past. I learned much at school in the Netherlands about the Dutch Indies – later called Indonesia – which was then still a colony. Yet we were not taught at all about the Java War in the mid-nineteenth century when the Dutch military killed two hundred thousand locals, tens of thousands of whom were civilians.

In contrast, my eldest grandson attended a Jerusalem high school and was asked to write about the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre. During intense fighting, about 200 Arabs, including civilians, were killed by Irgun Zvai Leumi fighters. The atrocities were greatly exaggerated for political reasons by both Jews and Arabs. Why was my grandson given this assignment? Deir Yassin was not typical of the way Israel fought a war of survival.

Many extreme Dutch war crimes were hidden or minimized in history teaching in the Netherlands. I learned a bit about the 1873-1914 war in Atjeh in the Dutch Indies. The colonizers killed an estimated one hundred thousand locals and wounded half a million.

Hendrik Colijn was a lieutenant there. He would later become Dutch prime minister five times. In November 1894 he wrote to his wife that, in line with general policy, he had ordered his soldiers to kill nine women and three children who asked for mercy. This is just one example among many.

Last year, the Dutch-Swiss historian Rémy Limpach published an 870-page book – including 2,419 footnotes – about Dutch war crimes that took place in the two so-called “police actions” in 1947 and 1948 in the Dutch Indies against independence fighters and criminal bands. He concluded that Dutch war crimes there were structural and not incidental as had been claimed before. The book gives many examples of the Dutch committing arson, and torturing and shooting prisoners, as well as killing women and children. It received several reviews but there were no major reactions in Dutch society.
France’s Reputation Is at Stake Again Over the Murder of Sarah Halimi
For the second time in 20 years, France basked in the accomplishment of winning the World Cup with a team whose diverse backgrounds were as much a symbol of national unity as the creative brand of soccer they played. By any reckoning, a team made up of names like Mbappe, Pavard, Hernandez and Pogba is a near-perfect representation of the inclusive republican ideal that France’s leaders say they aspire to.

But when it comes to actual results, politics is rarely as definitive and inspiring as sports.

Since he took office last year, French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to combat the antisemitism that, all too often in France, underlies acts of violence against Jews that are bestial in nature.

Other French politicians, such as Macron’s predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Franҫois Hollande, as well as former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, have all made similar promises, arguing with genuine conviction that hatred of Jews is a direct threat to France’s republican and democratic traditions. All of them have uttered, and repeatedly, some variation of the sentence that “France without its Jews is not France.” And yet, not only does the violence continue, French Jews can’t be sure of justice even when the perpetrators are caught.

On July 11, lawyers for the family of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish pensioner viciously murdered in her Paris public housing apartment in April 2017, were informed of a new development by the city magistrate investigating the case. A panel of psychiatrists had compiled a second report on the mental health of 27-year-old Kobili Traore, Halimi’s killer. The reported concluded that Traore’s supposed lack of discernement — essentially, mental awareness of his own situation — means that he is unfit to stand trial on a charge of murder aggravated by antisemitic prejudice.
Albert Einstein’s Judaism
lbert Einstein, the greatest physicist since Isaac Newton, was a Jew. That is a simple and obvious statement, but what does it mean?

Einstein’s relationship with his Judaism evolved as did his science — slowly over time, in complex fashion. The General Theory of Relativity was not born overnight, and neither was Einstein’s eventual strong affiliation with Judaism and Israel.

Walter Isaacson writes in his magisterial biography that both of Einstein’s parents were Jewish and traced their ancestry back more than 200 years in Germany. They had assimilated into German culture and were completely secular. Albert was born in 1879, and they were going to name him Abraham, but decided that it sounded too Jewish.

Albert attended a Catholic elementary school. Although the teachers did not discriminate against him, his fellow students did. They insulted him and beat him. He learned at an early age that being Jewish in Germany was to be an outsider.

In high school, a Jewish teacher was hired to provide Jewish students with instruction in Judaism and — initially — Albert took to it enthusiastically, keeping kosher and Shabbat. That did not last long.

Einstein encountered antisemitism when he launched his career as well. After graduating from university, and even after earning a doctorate and formulating the Theory of Relativity, he received no job offers and ended up working in a patent office in the Post and Telegraph building.
Claude Lanzmann and the Brutality of Facts
As the years passed, and as Shoah became both the altar dedicated to the memory of European Jewry and a righteous shield against the return of the plague—whose symptoms seemed to reappear nonetheless—did the artist discover he could not walk away from his creation? Was he a prisoner of the dead?

“You only like Jews when they’re dead,” the Auschwitz survivor and filmmaker Marceline Loridan Ivens, Joris Ivens’s widow, once told Lanzmann without hiding her contempt. Unfair and untrue as the accusation was, Marceline may have a point in noting the trap into which Lanzmann had fallen. To become the tyrant such a film needed in order not only to exist but to impose itself turned out to be the only freedom available to its director.

We all know the stories—at times funny, at times obnoxious, most of the time both, especially if you witnessed them yourself. How, in the Italian restaurant where he was a regular, he would send back all the antipastos one by one until the poor waiter, in despair, would bring him a whole kilo of the best burrata, which he would then eat before eating the same amount of pasta. How he’d call friends at all hours to make fantastical demands that it was out of the question to refuse. And then there were his troubling relationships with women—the former girlfriends he’d maniacally follow in the streets, or the female border guard he attempted somewhat clumsily to assault at Ben Gurion airport, with the result he—the author of Shoah—was denied entrance to Israel.

During the last years of his life, even his own ethical and aesthetic predicaments were sacrificed to the rule of tyranny. He betrayed his own stand against Spielberg that Auschwitz cannot be recreated through fiction and endorsed films and novels that were disputable at best. And, in Israel, after presenting The Last of the Unjust—which portrays favorably the Rabbi Benjamin Mumelstein, whose role in Vienna and Theresienstadt is at best controversial—he ended up insulting some of the spectators in the audience who had known Mumelstein in the camp and had a darker view of him than Lanzmann’s.

It was difficult not to think of all this last week in the courtyard of Les Invalides where he was given a public hommage. Of course, as solemnly un-Jewish as the ceremony was —with its soldiers of the Garde Républicaine and its military orchestra and its Napoléonien decorum—there’s no question that Lanzmann himself would have loved it. And, of course, in the context of the unending anti-Semitism in the country right now, for the French government to honor someone as Lanzmann—after Simone Veil—may seem beneficial, even necessary. But is it, really? Do we still need personal, heroic legends? Or, to the contrary, isn’t it time, at last, to free Lanzmann from his masterpiece and take our turn facing the brutality of the facts?
March honors Warsaw's Jews, activist who warned of genocide
Israel's Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari on Sunday joined hundreds of Warsaw residents Sunday in recalling the first mass deportations of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto and in honoring a Jewish activist who took his own life while despairing over the world's indifference to the Holocaust.

The March of Remembrance began at Umschlagplatz Memorial, the site where forces of Nazi Germany occupying Poland started in July 1942 putting Jews on trains to the Treblinka death camp. Some 300,000 Jews were sent to their deaths that way.

In April 1943, young Jews took up arms against the Jewish ghetto's liquidation but were crushed by German troops, which then raised the ghetto to the ground.

Marches have been held by the Jewish History Institute each year since 2012 in memory of Warsaw's Jewish community, which was Europe's largest before World War II.

This year's event was dedicated to Szmul Zygielbojm, who killed himself in London in 1943 after the fall of the ghetto. After fleeing Poland, Zygielbojm publicly relayed what he was hearing from the resistance movement about the Jewish genocide in Nazi-occupied Poland and begged allied leaders to help.
Victor Deloya, Oslo Children leader, dies
Victor Deloya, one of the main organisers of the migration of Jewish children from North Africa to Israel via Norway in 1949, has died.

Victor Deloya was born in Casablanca, the eldest of eight children. He left Morocco to teach, and while in Marseille became the first Moroccan to serve the Hanoar Ha'Aliya Zionist youth group.

He was the father of four children, and grandfather of eight. At the time of his death he was living in Miami and New York, while continuing to work for Israel. He was the president of the Sephardic Moroccan community in New York, and took care of his small synagogue as a technical officer while working on his family's genealogy.

In 1949 at the age of 18, after a long stay in Norway, he brought back 200 North African Jewish children (the children of Oslo) to Israel.

Victor Deloya was forced to leave the country following the illness of his wife Anne-Marie. She was also involved in the Children of Oslo project. She suffered from multiple sclerosis, and lived in Norway until her death a few years ago.
Dem Candidate Touts Human Rights Watch Past as National Security Experience
Democratic congressional candidate Tom Malinowski is touting his time at the left-wing organization Human Rights Watch as national security experience.

Malinowski is running in New Jersey's 7th district to replace Republican Rep. Leonard Lance, who was first elected in 2008.

From 2002 to 2008, Malinowski was a registered lobbyist for Human Rights Watch, but the group amended it later to show his time as a lobbyist there ended in 2007.

While working for HRW, Malinowski campaigned against American support of the Israeli military. Malinowski opposed the United States supplying the Israeli Defense Forces with cluster munitions and asked then-Senator Hillary Clinton to not support Israel's construction of an "illegal" wall in the West Bank.

Additionally, Malinowski lobbied against armored bulldozers from America being sent to Israel and urged Israel to stop construction of so-called settlements in order to continue to receive military assistance from the United States.

Human Rights Watch is well known for its anti-Israel bias. Longtime director of HRW, Kenneth Roth, tweeted an article last year comparing white supremacy to pro-Israeli views. HRW has also been called out by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for working with other organizations to undermine measures by the Trump administration which would reform the United Nations Human Rights Council's frequent attacks on Israel, while countries with legitimate human rights problems go untouched.

In addition to his work at Human Rights Watch, Malinowski worked under Secretary of State John Kerry as the assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labor from April 2014 to January 2017.
A Question for Democrats How will they deal with anti-Semitism in their party?
Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, announced last month that he would not seek reelection, instead choosing to run for state attorney general. State representative Ilhan Omar, whose legislative district in Minneapolis sits squarely within the state’s fifth congressional district, won her party’s endorsement for Ellison’s seat at the special June 17 convention held in the wake of the congressman’s announcement. An August 14 primary looms. Omar faces four opponents, but by any reckoning is the heavy favorite.

Omar has star quality until she opens her mouth, at which point a hectoring tone betrays her condescension and hostility. A Somali refugee who came to Minnesota by way of Kenya when she was 12, Omar rarely, if ever, expresses gratitude to the United States for receiving her and her family; on the contrary, she portrays herself as a daily victim of discrimination by the country that rescued her.

The fifth congressional district, one of the most heavily Democratic districts in the country, comprises Minneapolis and inner-ring suburbs; the winner of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party primary next month will win the election this November. Omar symbolizes the changing demographics in the district, which is home to a large share of the Somali immigrants who have arrived in Minnesota over the last 25 years. She won her seat in the Minnesota legislature by defeating 22-term incumbent Phyllis Kahn in the 2016 DFL primary. Overnight, she became something of an international celebrity, which has helped her overcome the controversy involving her peculiar marital background— she legally married a man who may be her brother after “culturally” marrying the man who is the father of her three children and whom she represented as her husband. She has yet to answer questions about any of it.
Michael Lumish: Jews Should Walk Away
There is a small, social-media movement known as #walkaway that is annoying the Washington Post.

In a piece by Abby Ohlheiser awkwardly entitled, "The #WalkAway meme is what happens when everything is viral and nothing matters," the Post laments:
"The pro-Trump Internet is really good at convincing its audience that going viral signals popular opinion, that its movement is and always will be #winning. In this case, #WalkAway is the answer to the possibility of a Blue Wave in the 2018 midterms. It doesn’t need to be true to be effective. After all, the hashtag has now become an article in The Washington Post."
{I do not know about you, but I find all these #hashtags annoying.}

In truth, the foundation of the Walk Away Movement - to the extent that you can even call it a "movement" - is the idea that decent Democrats should leave the party not out of allegiance toward Donald Trump or conservatism or the Republican Party, but because the party simply no longer represents their interests. Some people, like Ohlheiser, see it as an opportunistic ploy for the Republicans.

I see the Walk Away Movement as an expression of disgust.
Labour peers to vote on adopting IHRA definition of anti-Semitism
Labour peers are set to vote on a motion to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, day’s after the governing body of the party rejected it.

The Chair of the Labour Peers’ group, Lord Toby Harris, confirmed to Jewish News he will “put to the next meeting of the Group on 5th September that the Group adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism and its associated examples unamended into the Group’s rules.”

This comes after Labour adopted its new code of conduct on anti-Semitism at the latest meeting of the National Executive Committee, but did not adopt all working examples of the IHRA definition because some were deemed to threaten free speech on Israel.

This sparked anger from the community, with Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge confronting the leader Jeremy Corbyn, and reportedly calling him “an anti-Semite and a racist.”.
UK Labour MPs to challenge party’s anti-Semitism code at meeting
The long-running dispute in Britain’s opposition Labour Party over racism in its ranks is bubbling over again amid complaints that the party’s new anti-Semitism code does not go far enough.

A parliamentary Labour Party meeting is set for Monday with some legislators challenging the code backed by party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s executive committee. There is also a dispute over whether leading Jewish lawmaker Margaret Hodge should face a disciplinary review for calling Corbyn an anti-Semite.

Hodge, who has long roots in the Labour Party, lost family members in the Holocaust. She has challenged Corbyn in recent days and told the BBC on Monday she would not leave the party despite a spate of abuse.

“I am going to fight within the Labour Party and it is terrible that in 2018 I have to do that,” she said.

She said she had been slow to conclude that Corbyn was an anti-Semite but would not back down.
Jewish community has lost faith with Labour


Indy publishes op-ed opposing antisemitism definition by leader of group that has promoted antisemitism
The Indy published an op-ed by Rebecca Vilkomerson, of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel, and Richard Kuper, of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. The July 22nd op-ed’s distortions, in defending the Labour Party’s rejection of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, begins in the very headline.

The headline was inspired by a paragraph in the op-ed which accuses proponents of the IHRA Working Definition of “dangerously conflating opposition to Israel’s discriminatory policies with anti-Jewish racism”.

However, nobody has charged that merely accusing Israel of racism or discrimination is itself antisemitic.

The part of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism the op-ed is referring to defines as antisemitic the claim that Israel is inherently a racist endeavor – that is, that Zionism is racism. The IHRA definition also includes the important proviso that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”.

The deceptions continue in the opening sentence, by further distorting the IHRA Working Definition and smearing those who criticised Labour for rejecting it.
PreOccupiedTerritory: We Find The Use Of Profanity In Calling Mr. Corbyn Antisemitic More Troubling Than His Antisemitism By UK Labour (satire)
When an MP from our party whose family members were killed in the Holocaust stood up in Parliament on Tuesday and called our chairman a “@%$&ing anti-Semite,” we were appalled that the situation had deteriorated to the use of such language. Not so much by what prompted it.

As Labour members and as Britons, we pride ourselves on a rich cultural and political tradition that values civility in rhetoric almost as much as it values antipathy toward Jews. When both sets of values are violated – by a Jew, no less; imagine the insult! – at once, we cannot stand by in silence. This is an outrage.

Our party’s rejection of an antisemitism definition that every major Jewish organization, the British government itself, and numerous European countries have adopted – one that would force us to reckon with the abiding hatred for Jews in our ranks that sometimes masquerades as opposition to Israeli policies – has brought together Jews of many stripes who under other circumstances would never give one another the time of day. Most institutions would take such a development as an impetus to sober up and take antisemitism seriously, but that would mean admitting that we progressives have an antisemitism problem, and we find that ontologically impossible It must be the Jews who are wrong.

Consequently, if the Jews are wrong – and their coming together to oppose our rejection of that which would accept their fears of discrimination makes it easier to treat them as the monolith we like to see – then the parliamentary outburst becomes merely a disturbing breach of decorum, not the product of legitimate grievance, and must be denounced. Such unpleasantness. Don’t the Jews know their @%$&ing place?
The Real Problem With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Forget her Israel gaffes and focus on her disinterest in observable reality, a troubling feature of her entitled generation

This week, the purveyors of political pelology found themselves a new concern with which to muddy the already plenty murky waters of our public discourse: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her tenuous grasp of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last month, the 28-year-old Democratic Socialist activist pulled off a major upset when she won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district, defeating the entrenched incumbent, Joe Crowley. Ours being a breathless sort of culture, she was immediately crowned the future of her party, and invited to share her thoughts with a parade of TV hosts. One of them, PBS Firing Line’s Margaret Hoover, asked Ocasio-Cortez to explain a tweet she had written during her campaign and which referred to the actions of the Israel Defense Forces on the Gaza border as a “massacre.” Ocasio-Cortez fumbled her way through some platitudes, and when pressed for specifics smiled and said, “I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue.” It was the admission that launched a thousand angry Facebook posts, all positing that Ocasio-Cortez’s utterly bland statements—she repeatedly identified herself as a supporter of the two-state solution and a believer in Israel’s right to exist—portended a new torrent of anti-Israeli intolerance on the left.

We have much bigger problems.

What was overshadowed by Ocasio-Cortez’s unremarkable comments on the Jewish state—she sounded no different than most mainstream Democrats these days—were her thoughts on a subject much closer to home. When Hoover asked the young candidate to address the unemployment rates—currently at a 17-year low—Ocasio-Cortez took issue with the facts. “The numbers you just talked about is part of the problem,” she said. “You look at the figure and say oh, unemployment is low, everything is fine. Well, unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week, and can barely feed their kids.”
The ‘Occupation’ and the Old-New Romance of Socialism
At only 28 years old and with nothing but an upset primary win in a New York City congressional district on her résumé, being anointed as the “future of the Democratic Party” was quite a burden to place on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Since beating Rep. Joe Crowley — a veteran incumbent, as well as the boss of New York’s Queens County’s Democratic Party — on June 26, Ocasio-Cortez has become something of a political rock star, according to Democratic National Chairman Tom Perez, who gave her that title.

Perez might be right about Ocasio-Cortez and his party. But if so, there are two things about her that are actually of greater interest than the fact that she is a charismatic figure who embodies the Democrats’ hopes of generating a massive turnout of young voters this fall for the midterm elections. One is that she ran as a “Democratic Socialist,” rather than a garden-variety Democrat. The other is that she’s already on record libeling the State of Israel and has struggled to back up or even give a coherent explanation for those views.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders proved during the course of his surprisingly effective 2016 presidential campaign that “socialist” was no longer a dirty word for American liberals. For those who have grown up in the three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reality of what that term has actually meant during the 20th century is as remote to them as the collapse of the Roman Empire. For many young voters, socialism is a catchall phrase embodying their resentment of a rapidly changing global economy, and a claim of wanting to make the world a better, fairer and more equitable place.

In a Democratic Party drifting to the left with figures like Sanders and now Ocasio-Cortez appealing to the sentiments of its liberal base, the stigma that had rightly attached itself to socialism has faded.
SFSU Not Planning Further Action After Professor Refuses to Remove Declaration Rejecting Zionist Students
San Francisco State University will not take further action to remove a post visible on an affiliated social media page that rejects welcoming Zionist students, drawing criticism from an antisemitism watchdog group.

The Facebook post in question was published in February by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi — founding director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) program — in response to a public apology issued by SFSU President Leslie Wong for past comments affecting the Jewish community.

Wong’s statement — which included an assurance that “Zionists are welcome on our campus,” following past equivocation on the subject — was characterized by Abdulhadi as “a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians.”

The AMED Facebook page shared Abdulhadi’s message shortly after it was published. That same day, the phrases “Zionists not welcome,” “Zionism = racism,” and “Judaism =/= Zionism” were found written in chalk and on an employee bulletin board on campus, prompting strong criticism from 60 education, religious, and civil rights organizations.

In a March letter coordinated by the watchdog group AMCHA Initiative, the coalition called on Timothy White, chancellor of the California State University system, to denounce Abdulhadi’s “incendiary” post.
Stanford's Hamzeh Daoud physically threatens Zionist students.
Writing on his Facebook page, Hamzeh Daoud , a member of Stanford's Students for Justice in Palestine and a former University Senator declared "i'm going to physically fight zionists on campus next year".

The Stanford College Republicans responded to this call for violence by asking for the University to take disciplinary action against Daoud.

SCR is disgusted by a threat of violence issued by Hamzeh Daoud, a rising junior at Stanford University, toward pro-Israel students. Daoud, who is active in Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine, a former ASSU Undergraduate Senator (Hamzeh Daoud for ASSU Senate), and who will be a Residential Assistant in one of Stanford’s dormitories in the 2018-2019 school year, vowed on his personal Facebook page to “physically fight zionists on campus next year.” Threatening to assault other students who hold a different point of view is anathema to a free society and any kind of education, let alone the operation of the premier research university in the world.

Stanford should take disciplinary action against Mr. Daoud and SCR demands that Stanford terminate Daoud’s position as a Residential Assistant in the Norcliffe dormitory immediately. Mr. Daoud’s statements reveal him to be a danger to the safety of students on Stanford’s campus, and such an individual should never be put in any position of authority over other students, particularly in a dormitory that includes freshmen. Moreover, while we are disturbed by Hamzeh Daoud’s statements, we find it unsurprising that a member of SJP, an organization with financial ties to terrorist affiliates, would issue a call to violence against pro-Israel students.
No BBC coverage of sports anti-discrimination move
Readers may recall that last October the Israeli delegation to a judo competition held in Abu Dhabi was barred by the organisers from displaying the Israeli flag, competing under the name ‘Israel’ or playing the national anthem. However, as was noted here at the time:
“The BBC Sport website (which usually displays an interest in reporting bigotry and discrimination in sport) has no coverage of that story either on its home page or on its Judo page. The BBC News website’s Middle East page similarly did not find this story of blatant discrimination in sport newsworthy.”

The International Judo Federation subsequently took steps to end such discrimination.

That story has been reported by a number of Israeli media organisations as well as by CNN and the BBC associate news agency AFP. Visitors to the BBC Sport website, however, found no mention of the IJF’s decision either on the main homepage or on the ‘Judo’ page and no mention of the story is found on the BBC News website’s ‘Tunisia‘ and ‘UAE‘ pages.
Boro Park activists: Hit-and-run was a hate crime
Boro Park, New York, activists are pushing for New York police to recognize a hit-and-run as a hate crime, COLLIVE reported.

The ramming occurred on Saturday and injured three Jews, all of whom were transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

Two of the victims were father and son, and one of the victims suffered broken ribs and required numerous stitches, YWN reported.

The suspect, Juan Paulino, 27, was arrested after the "Shmira" civilian patrol group tracked down the vehicle, which surveillance cameras showed as deliberately ramming the pedestrians.

He is currently being charged with leaving the scene of an accident.


UK neo-Nazi teen boasted he wanted to kill Jewish MP
A UK teenager was sent to prison this week on a terrorism conviction after earlier boasting of wanting to kill a Jewish lawmaker.

Jack Coulson, 19, from Mexborough, Yorkshire, was sentenced on Monday to four years and eight months after pleading guilty in Leeds Crown Court to possessing a document or record for terrorist purposes. Court records showed that last year he was found guilty of constructing a pipe bomb in his bedroom, which was filled with Nazi and extreme right-wing memorabilia.

His arrest came after he boasted that he wanted to shoot Jewish MP Luciana Berger in the head.

According to the Mirror newspaper police questioned Coulson over the threats to the MP for Liverpool Wavertree but did not press charges on that occasion.

The Mirror said Coulson admitted to being in possession of “The Big Book Of Mischief,” which, the court heard, “demonstrates the techniques and methods used in a number of countries to make hazardous devices.”
Toronto: 'Achtung' sprayed on sign promoting Holocaust education
The word "Achtung" was spray-painted over a sign promoting Holocaust education outside Toronto's Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, CityNews reported.

The sign belonged to the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of Greater Toronto.

“We were deeply disturbed to learn of this incident at a synagogue in Toronto, where the word ‘ACHTUNG’ was spray-painted over a UJA sign promoting Holocaust education,” said UJA Federation Vice President of Philanthropy Sara Lefton.

“As we witness a rise in anti-Semitism, racism, and hate, UJA’s investment in Holocaust education is as important as ever. Every hate crime reminds us that we must strengthen our efforts to educate the next generation about the dangers of intolerance and hate.”

“It is appalling that in a city as diverse and welcoming as Toronto, the Jewish community continues to experience the highest number of hate-motivated crimes, year after year,” said Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Toronto Vice President Noah Shack.
Anti-Semitic graffiti found in two Bosnian cities
Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray painted on buildings in two cities in Bosnia where members of the Jewish community live.

Jewish leaders in Bosnia expressed concern over the incidents in Sarajevo and Tuzla, which were discovered on Thursday night, according to local reports. The graffiti included swastikas and the word Juden, the Inside Sarajevo news website reported.

“We received this news with regret and bitterness, aware that these incidents will not violate the good neighborly relations that Bosnian Jews have built with their fellow citizens from other ethnic and religious groups. We appeal to the competent authorities to identify and punish the perpetrators,” the Jewish community said in a statement on Friday.

Sarajevo Mayor Abdulah Skaka in a statement condemned the incidents. “Sarajevo citizens have cherished cultural diversity for decades. Respect for different faiths has protected Sarajevo in the most difficult times. I am convinced that a majority of Sarajevo citizens will never condone such actions, no matter their ethnic or religious affiliation. I call on the authorities to identify the culprits, sanction them and inform the public about that,” Skaka said.
Tunisian police arrest 6 men photographed barbecuing in Jewish cemetery
Tunisian authorities arrested six men last week on suspicion of desecrating a religious burial ground, after they were photographed barbecuing in the Jewish cemetery in the coastal city of Souse.

The arrests took place after Tunisian Jewish businessman Elie Trabelsi posted the photos on Facebook on Thursday, according to local media [Arabic].

Tawfiq al-Oreybi, the mayor of Sousse announced that the arrests took place as part of an investigation into the incident, and vowed to take “appropriate action.”

The cemetery has reportedly has become a local hangout.
Jerusalem earmarks $130 million to boost biotech startups in holy city
The Jerusalem Affairs Ministry along with the Jerusalem Development Authority have chosen the LR Group, an operator and manager of projects in the field of agriculture, water and health, to set up a new $130 million Jerusalem Biotech Fund.

The fund will invest in life-sciences companies that do research and development or production activity that is based in Jerusalem.

The initiative will be set up as part of Jerusalem’s five-year development plan called the “Jubilee” plan, which the Authority operates for the ministry and in partnership with the municipality of Jerusalem. The idea is to help boost the establishment of tech companies in Jerusalem with millions of shekels of incentives, the ministry and the authority said in a statement on Sunday.

The Jerusalem Development Authority will be a limited partner in the new biotech fund, marking the first time in a decade that a government authority has set up a fund in which it invests as a limited partner.
Israel Electric Corp. sets up cybersecurity center in New York
Israel Electric Corp. on Thursday set up its first cybersecurity training facility in New York with the aim of helping US companies and utilities to fend off hackers. The center is modeled on other sites the utility has already set up in Israel, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The idea behind the so called Cyber-Gym training program is to duplicate real-world conditions in which hackers might try to break into the company’s systems — with teams simulating real-time scenarios and others practicing company reactions.

The training program targets companies operating in critical industries like energy, manufacturing, infrastructure firms, banking, finance and insurance enterprises — which are under constant threat of hacking and where a successful attack could prove catastrophic.

The Cyber-Gym program was set up in 2013 by the Israel Electric Corp. together with Israeli cybersecurity company Cyber Control to protect critical systems in critical industries.

The program provides services to the IEC, training it to fend off the millions of cyber-attacks it experiences a month, the company said in a statement, as well as international firms that are already using the firm’s training tools. The services are tailor-made for each client and international companies are already using them, the statement said.
Israel’s youth basketball team crowned European champions
Israel’s national under-20 basketball team won its first European championship on Sunday evening in Chemnitz, Germany, beating the previously undefeated Croatian team 80-66.

After losing their opening game to Germany earlier this month, the Israeli team won six consecutive games in order to bring home the gold for the first time in the country’s history at an International Basketball Federation (FIBA) event.

The game was coach Ariel Beit-Halahmi’s first opportunity to take the European championship and the second year in a row in which the Israeli team overwhelmingly defeated France in the semifinals, this year by a score of 83-57.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Beit-Halahmi following the victory and congratulated the team: “To defeat France and Croatia sounds like the World Cup, it’s a wonderful achievement and we are all proud of you.”

Though the win was unexpected, the Israeli team led for the entire game. Points scored by players Michael Brisker, Gil Beni, Gavriel Chachashvili, Yuval Zussman and Deni Avdija put the team up by 11 at the half, with a score of 45-34.
How Israeli Technology Helped With Thai Cave Rescue




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