Monday, April 01, 2019

From Ian:

From Gaza classrooms to the DNC, Palestinian female terrorists are all the rage
It was an unexpected sight: A photo of Leila Khaled, the world’s first female airline hijacker, cradling an AK 47, featured in an adulating tweet from a young Socialist leader in the United States celebrating the 49th anniversary of Khaled’s hijacking of TWA flight 840.

Was it possible that an ambitious American political organizer was lionizing a terrorist who blew up a (then-empty) American plane?

The leader in question, Olivia Katbi-Smith, is co-head of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America — the reformatted, millennial version of a once distinguished group whose Socialist roots extend back to Eugene V. Debs, five-time presidential candidate and one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

The membership of DSA has grown fourfold since Bernie Sanders’s presidential run in 2016. Likewise, its average age decreased from 68 to 33 between 2013 and now. After Sanders’s loss in the primary to Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump’s subsequent presidential win, on a national level the DSA’s new, young members marshaled their efforts to help elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI), and Ilhan Omar (MN) to Congress on a progressive platform that promoted Medicare for all, quality housing, and free college tuition.

Since the election, the group has tipped further left and Katbi-Smith is part of a movement that is challenging traditional Democratic governance. But for supporters of Israel, there is a troubling side to her agenda: She helped lead the DSA to adopt a pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) plank in the group’s charter during its national convention on August 5, 2017, at the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. When 90 percent of the 697 delegates voted in favor of the BDS resolution, Katbi-Smith was jubilant. She and the other attendees waved a Palestinian flag and chanted, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.”

The political writer Paul Berman recently wrote in Tablet that, “Lately, DSA has had the misfortune to get taken over by a flash mob of fresh-faced hipsters just out of college. And the hipsters have naturally turned the august organization into a zoo of political fantasies of every preposterous and grisly sort, unto the people who … do not go very far to disguise the fact that they are chanting ‘Death to the Jews.’”
Father of Israeli Terror Victim Calls on Twitter to Shut Down Account of One of Daughter’s Killers
The father of an Israeli terror victim is calling on Twitter to shut down the account of one of his daughter’s killers.

Arnold Roth — whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was murdered in the August 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro bombing — is seeking action against Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, who drove the suicide attacker to the restaurant and now resides in Jordan after being freed from an Israeli prison in the 2011 Shalit deal.

Two of the 15 people killed in the bombing — including Roth’s daughter — held US citizenship, and Tamimi has been put on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.

Roth tweeted on Sunday, “The fugitive @FBIMostWanted terrorist who says she carried out the #SbarroPizzeria massacre, who is wanted in the US on terror charges, who has a busy Twitter account, who lives free in Jordan… still has an active Twitter account. Why?”

He added, “Yes, I’ve already asked @Twitter’s guardians of decency to shut #Tamimi’s account down. Their response so far: ‘You can learn more about reporting abusive behavior here. If we take further action, we’ll let you know.’”

“Are there other fugitive jihadists with @Twitter accounts?” Roth concluded.

Of Tweets and Termites: The mainstreaming of antisemitism
American Jewry is at a crossroads. The vast majority of American Jews will continue to cling to their familiar ancestral belief system; it’s all they know. To change now would be to deny everything their family members and they, themselves, have lived for. But before they bury their heads in the sand once again, they should at least hear these simple truths:

When our enemies came for us during the Holocaust, they did not ask if we were Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or secular Jews. Neither were they interested in any past service we rendered for the state. WE WERE JEWS. That was all that mattered; and if history repeats itself, when our enemies come for us once again in the future; they will not ask if we are Israelis or Zionists. They will not care if we marched in Selma, Alabama; protested against apartheid in South Africa; supported equal rights for women; advocated for the LBGTQ community and campaigned for Hillary or Bernie. It will only matter that WE ARE JEWS.

Today’s anti-Semitism, unleashed by the left and Islamists is so visceral, virulent, vile, vicious, and vitriolic that it can no longer be justified under the guise of anti-Zionism. In form, content, and message, it is EXACTLY what was seen and heard during the heyday of the Third Reich. It is what made the Holocaust possible. What begins with a parade float in Belgium inevitably ends in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Treblinka. This is the fate our enemies want for us. This is why Tehran’s Ayatollah Khameini rejoices that more Jews are moving to Israel – for one grand target.

Meanwhile, most of the Jews will continue entrusting their safety to their religious and political leadership. They will continue to vote for, support, and finance the party and the ideology that will ultimately lead them to their own destruction and that of the state of Israel. Vladimir Jabotinsky recognized that, “The Jew learns not by way of reason, but from catastrophe. He won't buy an umbrella merely because he sees clouds in the sky. He waits until he is drenched and catches pneumonia."

History may yet prove that when it comes to the Jews, Jabotinsky was an optimist.

Gil Troy: AIPAC shows that Twitterdom is Twitterdumb
You gotta hate Congressman Steny Hoyer. In a few lines delivered at the AIPAC Policy Conference, he ruined so many popular narratives.

Actually, just by showing up, the House Majority leader with a 95% rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action proved that liberal Democrats aren’t abandoning Israel, and that AIPAC’s big tent remains broad and welcoming.

When he said, “I am not Jewish, nor do I do represent a large Jewish constituency, but I have visited Israel some 15 times, and I have seen the courage of its people and their enduring spirit to make their country flourish,” he proved that you don’t have to be Jewish – or bribed by lobbyists – to be pro-Israel.

When he said, “When someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me,” and that “I am part of a large, bipartisan coalition in Congress supporting Israel; I tell Israel’s detractors: Accuse us,” he proved that supporting Israel and fighting antisemitism are all-American issues.

When he demanded, “Let’s have debates on policy instead of impugning the loyalty of Israel’s supporters,” he showed that some Washington politicians still focus on substance, not sneering.

And when he ad-libbed a line that “there are 62 freshman Democrats – you hear me? Sixty-two, not three,” he really made a mess, showing that the Democratic Party may not be veering as left as all the fanatics in Twitterdumb – from the Left and the Right – want us to believe.
Stand With Us: Rise of Antisemitism
Antisemitism around the world is rearing it's ugly head and has once again become popular in mainstream society. Silence is not an option. We must stand together against antisemitism and hatred of all forms.

Ilhan Omar can declare victory
Defying the odds, accusations and invective, U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) has won.

At the very least, she has succeeded in shifting the bounds of acceptable debate on the topic of Jewish power and influence. Omar's repeated comments on Jews buying politicians, Israel hypnotizing the world and her promoting the canard of dual loyalty has resonated with a growing faction of the Democratic Party. Such statements have now been translated from fringe rhetoric to unspoken policy.

It came with little surprise, then, that leading Democratic presidential nominees decided to refrain from attending the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference. That list of luminaries included Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke. Their absence was optical: a signal to American Jews and Israelis alike that a growing faction of the Democratic Party is questioning old orthodoxies, starting with Israel.

The move was spurred on by the progressive organization MoveOn, which denounced AIPAC for opposing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and undermining Palestinian self-determination.

In conjunction with earlier comments by Omar (herself an icon of American progressivism), these developments underscore a deeper shift unfolding within the Democratic Party. Although much outrage and condemnation were dispensed in the wake of the congresswoman's comments, the choreographed vitriol proved to be little more than political doublespeak: "We condemn the promotion of Jewish conspiracy theories but, effectively, we will follow your lead." Simply a polished version of the anti-Semitic myths parroted by Omar.
Alexander Joffe: BDS Continues on Campus, While Some Democrats Take on Omar and Tlaib
BDS activity on college campuses increased sharply in March. The most consequential move was the decision by a mixed faculty-student body at Pitzer College to end its semester abroad program with the University of Haifa. The campaign was led by faculty members, over the objections of the university administration and students. During the lead up to the final vote, the voting body limited the number of students who could participate in the vote, and excluded a campus media outlet that had been critical of the campaign. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) also expressed support for the proposal.

In the aftermath, the university president, who had spoken out strongly against the proposal, announced that he would disregard the vote, which produced outrage from BDS supporters. The campaign was clearly designed to create a confrontation between the faculty and the administration, challenging traditions of faculty governance and invoking questions of “academic freedom.”

Like the case of the University of Michigan faculty who announced they would not write letters of recommendation for students to study in Israel, the Pitzer vote implies that individual faculty members are already discriminating against students covertly.

The Pitzer vote also comes in the context of other higher education problems, such as scandals over bribes paid by wealthy families to ensure admission of their children to colleges and universities, the sit-in by students at Sarah Lawrence College demanding additional support as well as the “right” to “review the tenure” of a faculty member, and widespread student support for fossil fuel divestment.

Elsewhere on campus, a BDS resolution was voted down by the student government at Columbia University. But Brown University students approved a BDS referendum (where all candidates for student government had previously expressed support), as did students at Swarthmore College. The presidents of both Brown and Swarthmore rejected the resolutions.
1,000 rabbis accuse Linda Sarsour of 'peddling in antisemitic falsehoods'
A group of more than 1,000 traditional rabbis are calling on American political activist Linda Sarsour to apologize for “peddling in antisemitic falsehoods,” according to reports.

Sarsour called Orthodox Jewish City Councilman Kalman Yeger “a blatant bigot” and demanded a public apology from him for saying that the State of Palestine does not exist. Otherwise, she said, he should be removed from New York's Immigration Committee.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), described as representing over 1,000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, issued a public statement on March 29 in support of Yeger and said that “achieving peace requires we address the reality — and to claim that Arabs have a ‘right’ to take more land from the Jews of Israel inverts reality, in a classically antisemitic fashion.”

The battle between Yeger and Sarsour started last Wednesday when Yeger tweeted that United States Representative Ilhan Omar is an antisemite and then that “There is no Palestine.”

“Palestine does not exist,” Yeger wrote. “There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman Omar is an antisemite. Said that too. Thanks for following me.”

Sarsour then organized a rally outside of Yeger’s office on Thursday to which a handful of protestors turned out. However, some 200 Orthodox Jewish counter-protestors attended the rally in Boro Park, outnumbering Sarsour’s followers 10 to one.

Honest Reporting: Watchdog of the Week: Rebutting Ilhan Omar’s Blinkered Defender
Richard’s was one of two letters published in the Minnesota Star Tribune taking issue with Tharwat’s offensive nonsense. Here’s his letter in full:

Ahmed Tharwat (“In apologizing, Omar caved in to intimidation,” Feb. 14) is entitled to his defense of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s indefensible anti-Semitic tweets, but not his fanciful facts. Odd that if the “average Muslim” in his native Egypt “spoke fondly of Jewish people,” there now remain only about a dozen native Jews living there, when once there were tens of thousands. Even more ludicrous is his assessment that “anti-Semitism does not now thrive” in the Arab lands from which hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled following Israel’s emergence. That represented not the “beheading of the [nonexistent] nation of Palestine,” but the return to Jewish sovereignty in their historic homeland.

Accusations of anti-Semitism are not thrown around lightly. Mere criticism of Israel never makes the cut. Its supporters would welcome serious, informed discussion of its policies and practices, which are more than defensible, but not arguments as to whether or not Israel should exist. Obsessively singling out the world’s one Jewish majority state for constant caustic criticism, or pillorying its supporters with classic anti-Semitic tropes, certainly does merit such opprobrium. Quoting the reprehensible Illan Pappé is particularly pathetic.

Voters in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District deserve much better than Omar’s current bigoted lashing out at Israel and its supporters. That’s why the founders provided the most effective remedy: two-year terms in the House.
Important win for Jewish students against anti-Zionist discrimination at California State and San Francisco State
After years of hostility to Jews and their pro-Israel views at California State University and San Francisco State University, a lawsuit was brought against the board of trustees, faculty, and even the President of the University.

SFSU had been a particular thorn in the side of their Jewish students, more so than other universities around the country. They are rated within the Algemeiner’s list of campuses that are the “worst” for Jewish students.

The hostilities on campus escalated to instances of actual discrimination against Jewish student groups from campus-wide affairs.

In 2017, for example, the Hillel was disinvited from a campus-wide fair on the basis of their Zionist viewpoint. The purpose of the fair was to inform the students of their rights in light of the 2016 presidential elections.

On more than 12 occasions President Leslie Wong was made aware of the “fear and intimidation faced by Jewish students” and those students had claimed he did not do anything concrete to address the problem.

The hostile environment was accelerated after the the mayor of Jerusalem was invited to campus in 2016. As Mayor Nir Barkat attempted to speak he was interrupted by protesters who were purposefully chanting so he could not continue the talk.

Independent Journalist Adopts Palestinian 1948 Refugee Narrative
Two recent articles from The Independent, both by the same writer, have caught our attention. Bel Trew, who has already been featured on this site on a number of occasions in recent months, has penned two articles referring to the Arab exodus in the course of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war in less than balanced terms.

In the first article, about the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return protests on the Israel-Gaza border, Trew described one of the motivations for the weekly violent protests as:

demanding the right to return to their lands they were forced from during the conflict which surrounded the creation of Israel in the 1940s.”

In so doing, Trew portrayed Arabs as being uniformly forced out, and omitted the fact that thousands of Arabs abandoned their properties willingly after being advised to do so by their leaders, while many thousands more fled for safety without being attacked by Jewish forces.

In reality, however, the reasons why Arab residents of the land left their homes were varied. While in some cases it was as a direct result of force and the immediate violence of the outbreak of war between the Arabs and Jews, for others it was a voluntary decision to temporarily vacate their homes until the situation calmed down. For others still, the decision to leave was prompted by directives issued by Arab leaders.
Euphemism and inaccuracy in BBC News website Entebbe report
The report went on:

“The passengers were eventually split up. The non-Israelis were flown to Paris while the 94 Israeli passengers were held hostage.

Alongside the hostages were the Air France crew of 12.”

However that portrayal of the “split up” of passengers is not accurate. As the BBC’s own Raffi Berg accurately reported in June 2016:

“On the third day, the hijackers began calling people’s names and ordering them into a second, smaller, squalid room.

It became clear they were separating the Israeli and non-Israeli Jewish passengers from the rest, immediately evoking the horrors of the Nazi selections in World War Two when Jews were picked out to be sent to their deaths.”

Forty-three years after the hijacking and Operation Yonatan, not only can the BBC still not get the details right but its 2007 conspiracy theory promoting article on that subject is still available online.

Antisemitism Awareness Act Reintroduced by Senate Reps
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) reintroduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act this week, which would require the Department of Education to adopt the State Department’s definition of antisemitism in evaluating incidents on college campuses and at other educational institutions.

“Antisemitism, and harassment on the basis of actual or perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics with a religious group, remains a persistent, disturbing problem in elementary and secondary schools and on college campuses,” the bill states. “Students from a range of diverse backgrounds, including Jewish, Arab Muslim, and Sikh students, are being threatened, harassed, or intimidated in their schools (including on their campuses) on the basis of their shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics including through harassing conduct that creates a hostile environment so severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit some students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by schools.”

Towards the end of last year, Scott sought to insert the measure as a rider into must-pass spending legislation. A 35-day government shutdown ensued, due to US President Donald Trump not getting $5 billion for a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The bill passed the Senate in 2016, but the House of Representatives did not take a vote due to time constraints.

“It is crucial to have clear and concise language defining antisemitism in the event that violence and hatred occurs. The unfortunate rise in these incidents across the country must be met with swift and unwavering condemnation,” said Scott in a statement. “We must stand together against racism and bigotry by ensuring that justice is served against those who seek to divide us.”
US man charged with trying to steal item from Auschwitz
An American visitor to the former Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp attempted to steal a metal part of the historic rail tracks where prisoners were unloaded, officials said Sunday.

The 37-year-old man has been charged with attempted theft of an item of cultural importance, according to Malgorzata Jurecka, a police spokeswoman in the southern Polish town of Oswiecim, which was under German occupation during World War II. The crime can be punished with up to 10 years in prison.

Jurecka said the man admitted his guilt but has been released as he awaits further action.

Pawel Sawicki, a spokesman for the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum, said the memorial museum's security team became aware that the man was trying to remove the metal element on the historic rail tracks and then alerted police.
DC-area school board apologizes for art contest winner seen as anti-Semitic
The superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools in northern Virginia apologized for displaying satirical artwork created by a student that some viewers saw as anti-Semitic.

“For any pain or hurt this may have caused Jewish students, families, or any members of our community, I offer our most sincere apology,” Scott Brabrand said in a March 28 statement.

The offending drawing was part of an exhibit called “Racial Irony,” and the 17-year old artist had hoped to provoke discussion of what she saw as malign stereotypes.

It showed a Jewish man in a skullcap carrying a money bag, standing next to a well. The caricature featured a grim expression and an oversized hook nose. It was captioned, “No Jew in the world understands the importance of money,” in quotes. It was one of a series of eight drawings by the student artist looking at different racial and ethnic stereotypes, but the only drawing of the series to be placed in the exhibit.
Mein Kampf and antisemitic books found at Saudi Arabia book fair
Those who attended the annual Riyadh International Book Fair in Saudi Arabia which ended last week could pick up a copy of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in Arabic along with a host of books bordering on outright incitement such as The Zionist Octopus and the US Administration by Ali Wahab.

In response, a Jewish human right organization is calling on the fair to remove certain books it considers incitement to violence.

"We urge you to adopt the necessary measures to vet participating publishers for all forms of hate, on the same level as offenses to Islam," stated Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations at the the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organization based in the United States and named after Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

"We suggest that a paragraph be included in the contract signed by the stands with the Fair, prohibiting all incitement to hatred and violence," he suggested for next year's fair.

“Of the six Arab Book Fairs we annually monitor, antisemitic texts are sadly the most numerous in Riyadh," he stated in a letter to Saudi Arabian Minister of Information and Media Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabbana. "Our findings in Riyadh are shared with the Frankfurt Book Fair authorities and the United States Embassy to take appropriate steps regarding the 2020 Fair.”

Held every year in March, the ten-day book fair is under the supervision and organization of the Saudi Ministry of Information and includes over one million titles from Saudi Arabia and foreign countries from more than 500 publishing houses.
World Zionist Organization slams Ali Express for selling ‘Lego Nazis’
World Zionist Organization [WZO] official Yakov Hagoel slammed Chinese online shopping platform Ali Express for selling products with the Nazi German Eagle.

The set includes figurines wearing Nazi SS uniforms and includes a Lego Adolf Hitler.

“It is forbidden to honor and provide a spotlight for the enemy of mankind,” Hagoel wrote according to Mako, saying that the Chinese firm must “remove the antisemitic products.”

The set also includes Allied troops and allows the buyer to reenact scenes from the course of the war.

No distinctly Jewish figures are presented.

In 1996, Polish artist Zbigniew Libera rocked the art scene when he created Lego Auschwitz. The model was presented in museums around the world, including the Jewish Museum in New York. He built the infamous Nazi death camp using Lego blocks provided by Lego for free as they didn’t fully understand what he aimed to do.
German train car arrives in New York for Auschwitz exhibit
On a Sunday morning, a crane lowered a rusty remnant of the Holocaust onto tracks outside Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage — a vintage German train car like those used to transport men, women and children to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps.

The windowless boxcar is among 700 Holocaust artifacts, most never before seen in the United States, which are being prepared for one of the largest exhibits ever on Auschwitz — a once ordinary Polish town called Oswiecim that the Nazis occupied and transformed into a monstrosity.

The New York exhibit opens May 8, the day in 1945 when Germany surrendered and the camps were liberated.

German-made freight wagons like the one in the exhibit were used to deport people from their homes all around Europe. About 1 million Jews and nearly 100,000 others were gassed, shot, hanged or starved in Auschwitz, out of a total of 6 million who perished in the Holocaust.

That fate awaited them after a long ride on the kind of train car that is the centerpiece of the New York exhibit.

“There were 80 people squeezed into one wooden car, with no facilities, just a pail to urinate,” remembers Ray Kaner, a 92-year-old woman, who still works as a Manhattan dental office manager. “You couldn’t lie down, so you had to sleep sitting, and it smelled.”
Einstein’s 1939 letter calling for Jewish solidarity sells for over $134,000
“We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause,” Albert Einstein wrote in 1939.

Einstein wrote the 1939 letter shortly before Hitler’s invasion of Poland triggered World War II and the Holocaust – a rallying cry that echoed loudly enough in 2019 to fetch $134,343 at an auction for the original letter, which concluded on March 29.

Bidding for the letter, conducted by Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions, opened at $12,000, but escalated steadily amidst intense competition among 23 bidders.

The final price exceeded by far the previous high sale of $53,504 among 20 Einstein letters offered by Sanders since 2017, according to company spokesman Samuel Heller.

Even the original iconic photo of Einstein sticking out his tongue at pursuing photographers came in second at $125,000.

In line with company policy, Sanders did not reveal the names of the seller or buyer of the letter.
Beresheet spacecraft releases striking photo as it heads toward moon
The Beresheet spacecraft continues to release striking images from space as it successfully completed another maneuver on Monday. Launched from Florida in February, the unmanned Israeli-built craft is scheduled to land on the moon on April 11.

The engineering team of SpaceIL and Israeli Aerospace Industries stated that they remotely performed the maneuver, which started and ran the spacecraft’s engines for 72 seconds.

"The teams are assessing the results of the maneuver to determine if another alignment maneuver will be required before heading toward the moon," they announced.

Monday's move was in preparation for "Lunar Capture" - a complicated maneuver in which Beresheet will enter the moon's gravity and orbit it before landing. For the past several weeks it has been orbiting earth.

The engineering team, located in Yehuda in central Israel, took a rare photograph of the earth from approximately 10,000 miles away, the closest it will still be to earth before embarking on the next part of its journey.

Last week, Beresheet took a staggering video of a sunrise from space and snapped selfie images with earth.

Fuzzy whoppies: SodaStream pranks clients with human-based spritzes
SodaStream released an April fool’s video on Monday in which none other than astronaut Scott Kelly is seen discussing how venturing out to space can give you gas.

Scott confesses that he began thinking of his SodaStream idea back home as a possible way to use such excess CO2, meaning belches, to produce fizzy drinks.

The spoof goes on to present how such an item might be useful when one needs to belch in an elevator or before a romantic encounter; simply direct the gas into the SodaStream device and “produce” soda.

“When life gives you gas,” Kelly says with a serious face, “make sparkly water.”

The video ends with another product designed to help snoring people make soda in their sleep.

On the International Space Station, CO2 exhaled by astronauts is a real issue, as there are no trees in space to absorb it and create oxygen.

The real solution is not a soda stream device but zeolite, a mineral with tiny pores that capture CO2, later being exposed to the vacuum of space to release it, reported.

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