Saturday, July 28, 2018

From Ian:

Israel Helps the West with Its Security Needs; When will the West Allow Israel to Defend Itself?
At the beginning of the month it was reported that an Iranian-backed terror plot in Paris had been broken up and several people, including an Iranian diplomat, had been arrested. Last week, the Israeli media reported that indeed, the Mossad, Israel’s external security agency, had provided security officials in Germany, France, and Belgium the crucial intelligence those countries needed to thwart the attack and arrest its suspected perpetrators.

The reports in the Israeli media are consistent with a claim that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made in January of this year in a meeting with NATO ambassadors, that Israeli intelligence helped foil dozens of major terror attacks across Europe.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that last week, Europol, Europe’s police agency, signed a cooperation agreement with Israel, its first with a non-European state, to fight crime and terrorism.

In these three examples, all occurring within the past month or two, Israel has demonstrated its indispensability to the security of the West.

Israel’s military and intelligence capabilities are especially valuable as it is a Western outpost in the Middle East. And those capabilities have been honed by being targeted by terrorism on its borders, as well as by Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. Being a small country in a hostile region has made improving its military and intelligence capabilities a necessity for survival.

That Israel can use these capabilities to help its Western allies fight threats to their citizens makes Israel an essential ally. It was nice to see so many of those allies acknowledge this much after the rescue of the White Helmets.

One can only hope that this appreciation of Israel’s capabilities into greater sympathy towards Israel when it identifies and defends itself against threats that don’t threaten others.
NYTs [$]: ‘They Spit When I Walked in the Street’: The ‘New Anti-Semitism’ in France
The solemn boulevards and quiet side streets of the 17th Arrondissement in Paris suggest Jewish life in France is vibrant: There is a new profusion of kosher groceries and restaurants, and about 15 synagogues, up from only a handful two decades ago.

But for residents like Joanna Galilli, this area in northwestern Paris represents a tactical retreat. It has become a haven for many Jews who say they have faced harassment in areas with growing Muslim populations. Ms. Galilli, 28, moved to the neighborhood this year from a Parisian suburb where “anti-Semitism is pretty high,” she said, “and you feel it enormously.”

“They spit when I walked in the street,” she said, describing reactions when she wore a Star of David.

France has a painful history of anti-Semitism, with its worst hours coming in the 1930s and during the German occupation in World War II. But in recent months, an impassioned debate has erupted over how to address what commentators are calling the “new anti-Semitism,” as Jewish groups and academic researchers trace a wave of anti-Semitic acts to France’s growing Muslim population.

Nearly 40 percent of violent acts classified as racially or religiously motivated were committed against Jews in 2017, though Jews make up less than 1 percent of France’s population. Anti-Semitic acts increased by 20 percent from 2016, a rise the Interior Ministry called “preoccupying.”

In 2011, the French government stopped categorizing those deemed responsible for anti-Semitic acts, making it more difficult to trace the origins. But before then, Muslims had been the largest group identified as perpetrators, according to research by a leading academic. Often the spikes in violence coincided with flare-ups in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to researchers. (h/t Zvi)

Busting Italy's myths about the Holocaust
Two coins in the fountain of the historical analysis of Italy's role in the Holocaust jostle for which one will be blessed. It remains controversial.

The familiar and prevalent view is a positive one of the "good", benevolent and generous Italians, who sheltered Jews in their country from the "bad" German Nazis.

This view is challenged in a brilliant and important, authoritative new book, The Italian Executioners: The Genocide of the Jews of Italy, (Princeton University Press) written by Simon Levis Sullam, professor at the University of Venice. He regards the positive view as a myth and a misrepresentation of the reality.

He contrasts the increasing attention paid to the Italian Righteous, of whom Yad Vashem in Israel names 671, with the neglect of the story of Italian executioners of Jews which should be placed in the forefront of the narrative. His main aim is to direct attention to the role of Italians in the genocide of Jews in Italy.

Jews have had a long uneven history in Italy, with extended periods of persecution and discrimination. Simon Maccebeus sent an embasy to Rome in 139 B.C. to help the Romans in the fight against the Hellenistic kingdom. A Jewish contingent is said to have attended the funeral of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. However, with the rise of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, the position of Jews declined rapidly, especially during the papacies of Paul IV in 1554, Gregory XIII in 1577, and Urban VIII in 1625.

Jews were segregated and obliged to bear a yellow badge of identification. The Ghetto set up in 1556 was finally abolished only in 1870 after Napoleon's troops had opened it sixty years earlier.

Italy was the last Western European country to grant full civil rights to Jews. They became full citizens in 1861. Assimilated, they entered the professions and the military. In 1910 the Venetian Jew Luigi Luzzatti became prime minister. There were 50 Jewish generals in World War I, and a number of Jews were officials of the Fascist party.



Debunked, but still fit to print on page one
Nothing gives a historian greater satisfaction than correcting a persistent error. And nothing is more frustrating than the resurrection of that error even after it’s been corrected. Especially if it suddenly surfaces on the front page of the New York Times.

In Monday’s edition, on page A1, an article by Max Fisher appeared under the headline “Israel, Riding Nationalist Tide, Puts Identity First. It Isn’t Alone.” This is the lead:

Amid a moment of national euphoria, Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, emerged from retirement in July 1967 to warn Israelis they had sown the seeds of self-destruction.

Israel had just won a stunning military victory against its neighbors, elating Israelis with a sense that the grand experiment of a Jewish state might really work.

But Ben-Gurion insisted that Israel give up the territories it had conquered. If it did not, he said, occupation would distort the young state, which had been founded to protect not just the Jewish people but their ideals of democracy and pluralism.


In the print edition, this claim about Ben-Gurion wasn’t sourced, but the online version provided a link. Where did it lead? To an article by the late Arthur Hertzberg, once a prominent American rabbi, in the New York Review of Books back in 1987. There Hertzberg claimed to have heard Ben-Gurion, right after the 1967 victory, “insist that all of the territories that had been captured had to be given back, very quickly, for holding on to them would distort, and might ultimately destroy, the Jewish state.”

This week, Hertzberg’s report hit the front page of the New York Times, via Max Fisher. That’s too bad, because only three months ago I thoroughly debunked it at Mosaic Magazine. Although the Hertzberg story is often quoted, it struck me as dubious, knowing what I know about Ben-Gurion’s stated, public position in 1967. So I went to the trouble of asking the Ben-Gurion Archives in Sde Boker to help locate the transcript of the talk that Hertzberg attended. They did, and there’s no evidence whatsoever that Ben-Gurion said what Hertzberg claimed he heard.
Incendiary balloons from Gaza spark fires at college and kibbutz
A fire caused by an incendiary balloon flown from the Gaza Strip broke out near one of the buildings of Sderot’s Sapir College Saturday.

Authorities were working on Saturday afternoon to extinguish the blaze, which was one of at least six fires caused by incendiary devices launched from the coastal enclave since the morning.

Firefighters were also battling a massive fire near the close-by Kibbutz Gevim, where an incendiary balloon was found at the site which borders the northern part of Gaza.

Palestinian media reported that an Israeli aircraft targeted a group of Gazans launching flammable balloons from the southern part of the strip. The army said it was unaware of the incident.

On Friday, incendiary balloons sparked at least ten fires near communities along the coastal enclave, firefighters said.

Saturday’s blaze at Sapir was not the first one at the Sderot college in recent months.


Two Palestinians killed as 7,000 riot along Gaza border
A Palestinian man was shot dead by IDF fire and a Palestinian teenager was shot dead by a sniper during violent demonstrations along the Gaza border fence, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said in a statement on Friday.

Identified as 43 year-old Ghazi Mohammad Abu Mustafa, he was reported to have been shot in the head east of Khan Younis and died at the hospital. Another 40 Palestinians were said to have been injured in the demonstrations.

According to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, some 7,000 Palestinians took part in the violent riots in several locations along the Gaza border, throwing stones and explosive devices towards IDF troops. The demonstrators also burnt tires and hurled a grenade at troops, which landed inside the Gaza strip.

The military stated that a number of suspects were identified as approaching the security fence and sabotaged it before they returned to the Gaza Strip. Troops responded with crowd dispersal measures as well as live fire in accordance with IDF rules of engagement.

“IDF forces are deployed in the area of the fence and are ready for a variety of scenarios,” read the statement released by the military on Friday.
UN envoy condemns ‘shocking and tragic’ death of 12-year-old in Gaza clashes
The United Nations envoy for Middle East peace on Saturday condemned the death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said was killed during weekly clashes on the border.

“Yesterday’s killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy by Israeli fire in Gaza is shocking and tragic,” Nickolay Mladenov wrote in a post on his social media accounts.

“Children are not a target! Too many lives have been lost,” he added. “It’s time for this to stop.”

The Gaza health ministry identified the 12-year-old on Friday as Majdi Al-Satra. It said he was shot during confrontations with Israeli troops east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah.

The Israel Defense Forces declined a request to comment on the boy’s death.
US Peace Plans: A Long History of Failure
Over the years, the various US initiatives for the Middle East have always been about two things: promoting peace and upgrading America’s status.

They have always failed on both fronts.

American peace plans are bound for failure because they tend to discount the complexities of the violent Arab-Muslim reality and because they are wedded to oversimplified solutions, wishful thinking and quick fixes.

The plans have been plagued by a never-ending clash between the West’s desire for short-term agreements for the sake of convenience and the need for arrangements that serve real national security interests over the long haul.

The plans have been undone by the volcanic eruptions in the Arab-Muslim world since the seventh century: a violent tribal-religious-ideological fragmentation, intolerance, a lack of regional and local coexistence, minority-led regimes that deny human rights, unstable governments and flawed agreements.

Other factors that doomed those plans include misguided insights that frame the Arab-Israeli conflict as a Middle Eastern conflict, and trace the regional terrorist activities to the Palestinians issue because it is “the root of the conflict.”

The so-called Arab Spring, which had nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue, led to the collapse of these insights. The focus on the Palestinian issues, when the US and its allies face much greater threats, has eroded America’s deterrence, as well as its regional and global status.
Top US Jewish Group Calls It ‘Completely Inappropriate’ for Palestinian Authority to Lead Bloc of Developing Nations at UN
A top US Jewish group expressed “deep concern” on Thursday over the recent news that the Palestinian Authority will take over in January leadership of the Group of 77 — the largest bloc of developing countries at the UN.

“It is completely inappropriate for a non-member state to preside over the G-77,” Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement. “What was once a group created to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations will now be a platform for distortion and incitement, augmenting the well-documented anti-Israel bias in the UN.”

“This bloc helps assure the anti-Israel majority in the General Assembly,” Stark and Hoenlein added.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said earlier this week, according to a New York Times report, “The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations. It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement. This will not promote the G-77’s goals, and encourages the Palestinians to not engage in negotiations for peace.”
Indigenous Rights and Israel: A Historical Perspective
Are Jews indigenous to Israel, and why does it matter today? Take this journey through history to find out.


SPLC Finally Admits Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen Wasn't a Right-Wing Terrorist
On Wednesday, PJ Media discovered that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) — a notorious left-wing smear organization — had silently removed Omar Mateen, the radical Islamic terrorist responsible for the deadliest Islamic terror attack since September 11, 2001, from its report documenting "Terror from the Right." His name just disappeared.

Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, declared allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) and entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, 2016. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 others, dying in a shoot-out with police.

So why did this ISIS terrorist end up on the SPLC's list of "radical-right terrorist plots, conspiracies and racist rampages"? The SPLC's synopsis of Mateen's terror attack suggests an answer:

Mateen called 911 during the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers. He also demanded that U.S. bombing of Syria and Iraq stop. His father initially told NBC News that his son had expressed outrage when he saw two men kissing in Miami. Others described Mateen as a violent, deeply conflicted man who had beaten his former wife and often frequented gay bars. The FBI interviewed Mateen in 2013 and 2014 but reportedly found no evidence that he was tied to terrorism.

The SPLC said Mateen was "right-wing" because he "expressed outrage when he saw two men kissing in Miami." As for the suggestion that Mateen was secretly homosexual himself, the FBI said they found no evidence to corroborate this.

While the SPLC constantly harps against "anti-LGBT hate groups" on the right, Mateen's animus against gay people does not on its own justify listing the ISIS supporter as "right-wing." His father actually attended a Hillary Clinton rally in 2016.
Secure the Temple Mount now
The 100-kg. stone that burst out of the Western Wall this week and came crashing down on a plaza two meters away from a Jewish woman in prayer has raised questions over stability of the entire Temple Mount edifice.

It’s possible, say scientists and archaeologists, that the stone was weakened from its moorings by water seeping through soil behind the wall or by vegetation growing within the wall itself.

But it is also possible the Jerusalem Wakf Islamic religious trust that runs the Mount caused the near-catastrophe. The Wakf continues to conduct illegal digging projects and unsupervised underground renovations on the Temple Mount.

“We need to find out what is happening on the other side” of the wall, said Prof. Eilat Mazar this week. While the use of tractors, trucks and heavy machinery is ostensibly forbidden there, “every time they use an industrial tool – even for drilling – it influences the walls,” she said.

Mazar, of the archaeology institutes at the Hebrew University and Shalem College, has published a monumental survey of every single stone that makes up the Western Wall and Har Habayit (the Temple Mount), and she currently leads digs in the Ophel, south of the Mount.

She feels that the massive Herodian-built Temple Mount superstructure is relatively stable overall, but that there are sections that need closer inspection and preservation. This is especially true of the southeastern corner of the wall, located in the Davidson’s Archaeological Park. Mazar has warned for several years that a big bulge is protruding from the stone wall in this section.

The Antiquities Authority plans a scan of the southern and eastern sections of the Temple Mount walls, but it has not been carried out because everything related to the Temple Mount is diplomatically sensitive. Just getting agreement on who is responsible for inspecting and fixing stones is complicated.
Police enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, clash with worshipers in Temple Mount riots
Police forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque during clashes with Muslim worshipers Friday afternoon that led to an hours-long closure of the Jerusalem holy site.

The highly unusual decision to forcibly expel Palestinians from the mosque was ordered by Jerusalem police commander Yoram Halevi, police said, and came after dozens of people barricaded themselves in the house of worship.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and sits atop the Temple Mount, the most sacred place in Judaism and revered as the home of the ancient Jewish Temples.

Shortly after police announced officers had entered the mosque, the AFP news agency reported the gates to the Temple Mount had been reopened, some four hours after police first shuttered the site.

The compound was reopened, with worshipers flooding in to pray, an AFP photographer said.

The closure of the Temple Mount and decision to clear out worshipers came after police said they were attacked with fireworks and stones following Friday afternoon prayers.
Two Palestinian teens caught sneaking into Israel with bag of guns
Border Police caught two Palestinian teens Saturday afternoon that had managed to sneak several hundred feet into Israel from the West Bank with a pair of home-made machine guns.

The Israeli troops had been carrying out a routine foot-patrol of the “Seam Zone” east of the Green Line and west of the security barrier when they noticed two suspects that had managed to cross into Israeli territory near the Oranit settlement.

They chased down the suspects, who tried unsuccessfully to flee. One of them was carrying a backpack, which the Border Police officers opened after apprehending the pair to find two Carlo-style submachine guns along with bullet magazines.

The suspects, 17 and 18-year-old Palestinians from Nablus, were transferred for questioning.

The incident came just two days after a deadly terror attack in the West Bank, where a 17-year-old Palestinian snuck into the settlement of Adam and stabbed three Israelis.
Arab lawmaker from Zionist Union quits Knesset to protest nation-state law
An Arab Israeli lawmaker from the Zionist Union faction announced on Saturday that he would be resigning from the Knesset to protest the recently passed nation-state bill, which he said officially discriminates against Israel’s Arab minority.

“When the Knesset recess is over my resignation will go into effect, I promise you I will not sit in this Knesset again,” Zouheir Bahloul told Hadashot news.

Asked if his resignation was not too drastic, Bahloul, a popular former sports commentator, said that “the drastic act was the legislation of the nation-state law that makes the Arab population officially, constitutionally outside the realms of equality in Israel.”

Bahloul said this Knesset had recently passed a raft of laws he called “racist and extreme.”

“I can’t sit on the fence, I will need to give an answer to my grandchildren who will ask me what I did and say, ‘I resigned because of this harsh law that should have brought all the Israelis out onto the barricades and we wonder why they have not.'”

Outgoing Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog paid tribute to Bahloul, saying that “the voices of the minorities in Israel have to be heard.”
Undeterred: Haneen Zoabi, the Joint List and new political struggles
Haneen Zoabi was busy in mid-July. As the Knesset debated a cavalcade of bills she had to run back and forth to vote. Between the votes on several controversial bills, such as one which would restrict the ability of organizations critical of Israel to access public schools, she spoke about what she sees as the rise of the Israeli right wing and the unmasking of Israeli democracy.

“Before the control of the right wing in 2009 [the state] felt more self-confidence to pretend this fake and demagogue ‘balance’ between being democratic and Jewish, actually Zionist.” In a real democracy the citizens have the freedom to make a real change she says.

Understanding Zoabi is important to understanding Israeli politics and particularly the mostly Arab voters of the Joint List which Balad is a part of. In 2012 Balad got almost 100,000 votes in the election and in 2015 the Joint List received 446,000, the third largest party in the Knesset.

The new bills passed by the Knesset which many on the Left decried in July, were also concerning to Zoabi. She points to the “Breaking the Silence” bill that would prevent groups that delegitimize Israel from accessing public schools. It prevents debate, censors and silences, she says. That means that part of the education values will “force the violence and coercive values of the army upon the ‘open’, ‘critical’ and ‘pluralistic’ minds of the pupils, something which sounds totally against the ‘values of education.’” Zoabi puts quotes around a lot of things in Israeli society because she sees many of them as merely being a veneer. Democracy is “so-called” here, she says. Much of this critique in another context, say by leftist philosophers discussing France, or Jeremy Corbyn when he was a younger radical angry at British policy in Northern Ireland, might seem normal. But in Israel it is not and Zoabi has been a lightning rod since she was first elected in 2009. She has also become a symbol, initially as the first Arab woman from an Arab party in the Knesset and later because of her active and vocal opposition to Israel’s policies. In 2013 Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said he would not be in a coalition with “a bunch of Zoabis.”
10,000 Israeli Druze hold solidarity rally for community battered by IS in Syria
An estimated 10,000 Israeli Druze gathered to show solidarity Saturday with their community across the border in the Syrian Golan Heights, which has been devastated in attacks by the Islamic State jihadist group in recent days.

The death toll in the coordinated Islamic State attacks in Syria’s Sweida was put at nearly 250 on Thursday. This marked the Druze-majority province’s heaviest loss of life in the seven-year Syrian civil war.

The Israeli Druze solidarity gathering was held at the tomb of Nabi Shu’ayb, a Druze prophet, at Kfar Zeitim near Tiberias in northern Israel, the Walla news site reported.

Sweida, which is mainly government-held, had been largely insulated from the conflict raging in the rest of Syria since 2011.

But the onslaught that began Wednesday shattered the relative calm and showed that IS retains the ability to mount deadly attacks against civilians, despite being ousted from its last remaining urban pockets in recent months.

Four suicide bombers struck the city of Sweida, while other IS fighters attacked villages to its north and east with guns and explosives.
Mattis: US Not Pursuing Regime Change, Collapse in Iran
The United States has not instituted a policy of regime change or collapse in Iran, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday, saying the goal was still to curb what Washington sees as Iran‘s threatening behavior in the Middle East.

Mattis made his comments after days of back-and-forth bellicose rhetoric between Iranian and US officials, with President Donald Trump promising dire consequences for Iran if it continues to make threats toward the United States.

Asked at the Pentagon whether the Trump administration had instituted a policy of regime change or collapse toward Iran, Mattis said, “There’s none that’s been instituted.”

“We need them to change their behavior on a number of threats that they can pose with their military, with their secret services, with their surrogates and with their proxies,” Mattis told reporters during an off-camera briefing.

Mattis’ remarks were the most detailed by a senior administration official about US policy toward Iran following high-level discussions at the White House on Thursday that included the topic of Iran.

Since Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the United States from a 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, Tehran’s clerical establishment has been under increasing US pressure and the prospect of possible sanctions.

As the tensions simmered, an Australian media report appeared to suggest military action was imminent, saying Australian officials believed Washington was prepared to bomb Iran‘s nuclear capability as early as next month.

Mattis on Friday dismissed the report as “fiction.”
US working to set up ‘Arab NATO’ as bulwark against Iran
The United States is reportedly working to set up an “Arab NATO” security alliance of friendly Middle East states as part of its efforts to thwart Iran’s military expansionism in the region.

The alliance — which would include Egypt, Jordan and the six Gulf Cooperation Council states — is aimed at fostering further military cooperation between the countries, such as on missile defense and counter-terrorism, Reuters reported Friday.

The proposed pact, known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance, would also be aimed at deepening economic and diplomatic ties, US and Arab sources quoted by the news agency said.

“MESA will serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism, and will bring stability to the Middle East,” a spokesperson for the US National Security Council said.

According to Reuters, the potential alliance may be discussed at a summit in Washington in October, though the NSC spokesperson would not confirm US President Donald Trump will host such a meeting then.
US said weighing military action amid Iranian threats to Middle East waterways
The United States is reportedly weighing possible military action to keep open key oil shipping routes in the Middle East amid Iranian threats against the waterways.

However, a CNN report Friday citing Trump administration officials said that any military action would be taken by US regional allies such as Saudi Arabia, and not American troops.

The officials said that though the US maintains a naval presence in the Middle East, any military operation would need a long-term commitment from other countries.

The report came just days after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked a pair of Saudi oil tankers traveling through the Bab al-Mandab Strait leading to the Red Sea. The waterway is one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

Iranian leaders have also recently threatened to shutter the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-third of the world’s oil supply passes as it travels from the Persian Gulf.

Following the attack by the Houthis on the Saudi tankers, each with a capacity to haul 2 million barrels of oil, Saudi Arabia temporarily halted oil shipments through Bab al-Mandab.
Yes, Jews are angry – because Labour hasn’t listened or shown any empathy
Still, as I say, this is not really about clauses and paragraphs. If there had been goodwill and trust, Labour could have sat down with the Jewish community and ironed out any wrinkles, perhaps by adopting the IHRA’s definition in full and then adding a couple of caveats explicitly protecting free speech. The trouble is, there is no such trust, and Labour attempted no such thing. Instead it drew up its code of conduct itself, without consulting the organised Jewish community at all.

This, not any particular form of words, is what doomed Labour’s code. It’s as if Labour unilaterally decided to rewrite a widely accepted set of guidelines on sexual harassment, in defiance of opposition from every women’s organisation and without consulting them, and delegating the task to a majority male sub-committee, and then expected women to applaud the new document. Every leftist, every Corbynite, would howl at the absurdity of the party thinking it knew best. (They’d keep howling even if a handful of women intellectuals sympathetic to the party leadership, but out of step with majority female opinion, insisted on talking up the new code as an improvement.)

Yet, when Jews express their disquiet, they are not greeted with empathy and solidarity from the army of self-described anti-racists. Instead, they face an online horde shouting in their faces, accusing them of dishonesty, of smears, of ulterior motives and hidden agendas, of shilling for an Israeli government many of them oppose. And it ends in the dispiriting sight of a good man like Bragg – no antisemite – taking up a position antagonistic to Jews, telling them they need to behave, just to defend the party and the leader.

So yes, maybe that editorial printed in the Jewish newspapers was over the top. But you know what? It reflects the anxiety that many, if not most, in the Jewish community feel. And given our history and the hyper-vigilance it has left us with, it might be an idea to stop wagging a finger and telling Jews, yet again, that they’re wrong – and just listen. (h/t Zvi)


Simon Wiesenthal Center protests Episcopal Church bishop’s anti-Israel stance
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has condemned a bishop of the Episcopal Church, saying that some of her anti-Israel rhetoric borders on a “blood libel.”

According to the Center, Bishop Gayle Harris of Massachusetts called for punitive measures against Israel at the recent General Convention of The Episcopal Church and recounted a tale of Israeli police allegedly storming the Temple Mount compound to try and arrest a 3-year-old Palestinian child.

She reportedly told another story of Israeli soldiers shooting a Palestinian youth in the back several times after he refused to answer a question.

According to a Thursday statement from the anti-Semitism watchdog, both stories are “outrageous fabrications.” The Center said that Harris did not respond to inquiries about her sources.
Bishop Gayle Harris (Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts)

“Christian Churches and their leaders have a historic obligation to fight anti-Semitism, not spread blood libels, invented to stir up animosity against Jews,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “If Harris speaks for her denomination, then The Episcopal Church belongs on the short list of enemies of the Jewish state and her supporters.”

Cooper noted some had spoken up in favor of Israel, but said they were too few.
After Perpetuating Antisemitic Stereotype, Florida Jewish Journal Declines to Publish CAMERA Rebuttal
CAMERA has written previously about the Florida Jewish Journal publishing a columnist’s falsehoods and distortions. In that case, after hearing from many of CAMERA’s members, the publication eventually removed from its website every column it had published by Irwin Shishko.

Now, the Florida Jewish Journal has again promoted an antisemitic stereotype. The column below, rebutting a claim made by Rabbi Bruce Warshal, was submitted to the Journal for publication on July 12. While an editor maintained through July 25 that the piece was still under consideration, to date, the Journal has declined to publish it.

Those Who Wield the Title “Rabbi” Should Not Perpetuate Antisemitic Stereotypes

With increasing frequency, classic antisemitic canards are being directed today at Israel, called by Alan Dershowitz, the “Jew among nations.” So it was disturbing, to say the least, to see an author cloaked in the mantle of “Rabbi,” writing in the Florida Jewish Journal, invoking the antisemitic trope of Jews controlling the government.

On June 18, Rabbi Bruce Warshal wrote that “it appears to Israelis that Trump’s decision [about the Iran deal] came directly from Netanyahu.” (“Reasons for Trump’s decision concerning Iran.”) His evidence for this outlandish assertion?

Chemi Shalev in Haaretz reports: “In Israel these days, Benjamin Netanyahu is king, and Donald Trump is a God. Adrenaline is flowing through the nation’s veins and testosterone could soon spill over. Netanyahu is running the world, his admirers crow, and Trump is the macho-man behind him.”

That may be Chemi Shalev’s opinion, but that hardly qualifies as a “report.” Nor does the cited opinion piece even support Rabbi Warshal’s claim – in the same column, Shalev himself wrote that Trump and Netanyahu’s “relations are more a symbiosis than a one-way street.”
MEMRI: Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah: 'Jihad Necessitates The Conquest Of Europe' By 'Destroying The Capitalist And Secular Order'; The Jews Are 'Hastening Their Own Annihilation' With Their 'Filth And Vileness' – Archival
In an address streamed live on Facebook a year ago, on July 23, 2017, and discovered and translated by MEMRI following his July 24, 2018 indictment in Denmark for calling for the murder of Jews, Imam Mundhir Abdallah, of the Masjid Al-Faruq mosque in Copenhagen, said that "the final solution to the problem of the Levant – after the establishment of the Caliphate and the elimination of the Jewish entity – will be through the conquest of Europe." "Europe must be invaded again," he said, calling for a new Islamic conquest of Al-Andalus, the Balkans, and Rome, in order to fulfill the promise of the Prophet Muhammad. In the address, Imam Abdallah said that the Jews "are hastening their own annihilation by their rampaging, their filth, and their vileness, which reflect the immutable nature of the Jews." He added that he was "not a racist" but that this "has to do with the Jewish character and psyche, with that sick Jewish mentality."

Imam Abdallah was indicted for calling for the murder of Jews in a Friday, March 31, 2017 sermon that was translated and released by MEMRI (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 6013, Copenhagen Friday Sermon: Imam Cites Antisemitic Hadith, Says: Soon Caliphate Will Uproot Colonialist, Crusader Jewish Entity). This is the first time that charges have been brought under a criminal code introduced in Denmark in January 2017. Following that sermon, on May 16, 2017, Abdallah insisted that as soon as the Muslims regain power, they will "erase" and "obliterate" Israel and all the U.S. bases in the region (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 6033 Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah: We Will Obliterate Israel; Terror Attacks In The West Carried Out By Troubled, Desperate Victims Of Western Atrocities).

"[The Jews] Are Hastening Their Own Annihilation, By Their Rampaging, Their Filth, And Their Vileness, Which Reflect The Immutable Nature Of The Jews"

Mundhir Abdallah: "The crusaders – the Americans, the French, the British, and the Russians – have imposed upon the beloved, proud, and blessed Levant, which is the heart of Islam... They have imposed the most despicable of people upon it – 'the people strongest in enmity towards the believers.' The English did not bring the Jews to Palestine out of respect or love for them, but because they wanted to harm the Muslims.

"The Jews – that gang – are doing themselves a disservice.
Munich begins swapping out ‘disrespectful’ Holocaust memorials
Munich on Thursday began replacing the iconic cobblestones commemorating the city’s Jews murdered by the Nazis with new memorials.

The “stolpersteine,” or stepping stones, are small brass plaques memorializing those killed in the Holocaust and are usually placed in sidewalks outside the victim’s last residence. There have been some 67,000 memorials installed in over 22 countries since the start of the project in 1992 by German artist Gunter Demnig.

Though popular among many, Munich city council’s decided in 2015 to phase out the stones amid complaints they were disrespectful, as they easily get dirty and are stepped on. That decision was backed by Bavaria’s supreme court in December.

The new gold-plated memorial plaques, which will be installed outside the last known home or workplace of the 10,000 people from the city murdered in the Holocaust, will an include an engraved portrait and details on the victims.
True to himself
Ziggy Marley brings his authentic reggae sunsplash to Israel.

It’s difficult to comprehend that, at age 49, Ziggy Marley is 13 years older than his famed father, Bob, was when he died in 1981.

The elder Marley almost single-handedly brought reggae music from Jamaica to the rest of the world, as he became the global symbol of fist-waving, ganjasmoking Rastafarian freedom.

Born David, Ziggy has claimed that he gave himself the Ziggy nickname after the David Bowie persona “Ziggy Stardust,” but other biographers say Marley’s dad gave him the nickname.

Soon after his father’s death, while still a teen, Ziggy began performing with his father’s legendary band The Wailers, and in the 1980s established himself as the heir apparent to the reggae crown.

The physical similarities were eerie and the musical talent, passed down a generation, was clearly evident.

Many of Marley’s children, including, Steven, Julian, Damien and Ky-Mani Marley, have chosen musical careers, but Ziggy, although never arriving at the legend status of his father, has been the most successful and truest to roots reggae vision.




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