Monday, August 05, 2019

From Ian:

David Collier: Obsessive, radicalised, antisemitic – Corbyn’s Labour Party
The accusation made here is that the election of Jeremy Corbyn created a toxic environment that has radicalised members of the party and this led to a growth of antisemitism in the UK. There is no need to overthink this. We know that Corbyn comes from a faction that has existed for decades on the fringes of the party. There is ample evidence that *some* of the new membership that joined to support him was antisemitic and extremist. These people were not ‘outsiders’ who ‘infiltrated’, but elements of the leaders own faction who joined to support the new leader.

The new leadership sought to protect its own support base. New media was set up to shield the Corbyn project. Facebook groups proudly shouted out his name. An online environment was created that evicted the dissenters. ‘Zionism’ is Corbyn’s enemy – so ‘Zionists’ were swiftly expelled. Jewish people complained and key Corbyn allies all screamed ‘smear’.

How is a loyal Labour voter to react – especially those who joined Labour because they truly believed in Corbyn as a force for change? As the Labour Party came under attack, ‘Corbynism’ retreated into an ever-shrinking virtual bubble. With a near total rejection of ‘Zionist’ mainstream media, they were reduced to feeding from the scraps of the Canary, RT Today, Press TV or some racist conspiracy junk site from the United States.

Does anyone really believe the average supporter had the working knowledge of Judaism, Zionism and Israeli history necessary to withstand the ideological onslaught?

The Telegraph just ran an piece on this report. The Labour Party responded with a meaningless regurgitated mess that didn’t address the report at all. A wise man would ask how an anti-racist party could dismiss a report on racism that it hadn’t even read properly? But that is not the territory in which this argument is taking place. This message of ’empty smear’ is the one they are deliberately sending to the membership and to the support base beyond. Like a drumbeat – their supporters have been repetitively listening to the ‘Jews are smearing us’ excuse now for over four years.
How we got here: The normalization of antisemitism
WHEN WE allow for the election of an antisemite we tell the radicals exiled to their houses that their Jew-hatred isn’t to be ashamed of, but rather grounds to have you elected to the mother of parliaments. The actions and lack of action by Corbyn’s Labour Party with regard to antisemitism have acted as a catalyst for racists to seep out of their holes and regain platforms to further incite their hatred.

The consequences go far and wide, and the normalization of antisemitism has spread to our campuses. From Nottingham to Bristol and countless places in between, student union officers have been found to be antisemitic by their universities’ investigations yet no action has been taken. After telling a Jewish student to “be like Israel and cease to exist,” Omar Chowdhury’s apology that came as a recommendation of the investigation was accepted as sufficient for Chowdhury to continue in his role as the University of Bristol Students’ Union’s Black and Minority Ethnic officer. Ridiculous right? But this is just one example. There are hundreds of incidents taking place on campus that get no coverage whatsoever because antisemitism is expected, and universities are reluctant to act. And why should they take it seriously when our own electorate and political leaders do not?

Only when we start taking a genuine zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism not just in name, but with substance, will we be able to start undoing all the damage that Corbyn’s Labour Party has instigated. That means not accepting every apology for antisemitism, it means removing antisemites from any position where they can further their agenda, and it means restoring our political discourse to that of civility and fact-based dialogue as we have had with the once proud Labour Party.

For our campuses, there is some hope. Universities Minister Chris Skidmore wrote to vice-chancellors stating that universities must do more to stamp out antisemitism on campus and adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. This is a necessary step in combating the atmosphere of antisemitism swamping our institutions, but this will ultimately depend on the innate nature of vice-chancellors and whether they choose to listen to such calls.

My own experience tells me that just like the cases at Bristol and Nottingham, our entrusted intellectual leaders will be reluctant to act and will hope for cases to blow over, mirroring the same action taken against the highest profile cases of antisemitism. Jeremy Corbyn’s platform to incite has made British society more hostile to Jews than at any other point in the modern era.

UK Labour anti-Semitism ‘fueled by a flow of anti-Semitic tweets,’ says watchdog
A small number of online social media accounts have driven the discourse on anti-Semitism in the British Labour party, a new study by a prominent Jewish watchdog group said.

According to the report, released on Sunday by the London-based Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism and provides security services for UK Jews, “the problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party over the past three years has been fueled by a flow of anti-Semitic tweets and posts on social media, done in the name of the Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.”

The report, entitled “Engine of Hate,” was conducted in conjunction with data science firm Signify.

The report identified what it said were 36 key pro-Corbyn Twitter accounts, which it collectively nicknamed the “engine room.” Each, it said, have “their own, overlapping, online networks that drive social media conversations about anti-Semitism” and “are responsible for encouraging the widespread belief that allegations of anti-Semitism are a smear against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.”

Those accounts frequently use content from a network of alternative media sites that “consistently claim that anti-Semitism is being weaponized as a smear” and “provide the fuel for an atmosphere in which allegations of anti-Semitism are denied, while leading and encouraging attacks against anyone who criticizes the Labour leadership for their record on the issue.”
Corbyn's Jewish Liaison's Toxic Record on Anti-Semitism
Jeremy Corbyn didn’t exactly fill the UK’s Jewish community with confidence when he appointed a Momentum activist and vocal Chris Williamson and Pete Willsman defender to his newly-created role of “Jewish Community Liaison Officer”. Heather Mendick claimed that anti-Semitism was being “weaponised against the Left” and joined the disgraced Chris Williamson for multiple events on his “democracy roadshow” – his campaign to deselect sitting Labour MPs. She also celebrated the notorious Pete Willsman’s re-election to Labour’s NEC, saying that the membership “aren’t buying the smears”…

So it wasn’t exactly a surprise when the CST’s latest report on the online networks behind Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis found that Mendick’s Twitter account was one of the 36 ‘Engine Room’ accounts most associated with online Labour anti-Semitism. Mendick has now deleted her account…

Guido has taken a closer look at some more of Mendick’s online history:

She also describes herself as a “paid up member of Jewish Voice for Labour” – the highly controversial Corbynista fringe group. Says it all that Corbyn thinks she’s the best person to build bridges with the Jewish community…



Seth J. Frantzman: Why Western leftists adore right-wing religious extremists abroad
On a fairly consistent basis people in the West embrace values abroad that they shun at home.

This is particularly odd and contradictory among those who self-identify as “Left” and “liberal” and then embrace movements, leaders, ideologies and religions that are manifestly illiberal and right- wing extremist abroad. For instance American philosopher and gender theorist Judith Butler said in 2006 that “understanding Hamas [and] Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of the global left, is extremely important.”

That contradictory view is emblematic of a phenomenon spanning everything from Michel Foucault’s embrace of the Islamic Revolution in Iran to those “anti-war” activists in the UK who support Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russia’s bombing of civilians.

Why do people who support women’s rights in the US or France excuse the Iranian regime? Why do those who dislike militarism view as romantic people in uniform in Pakistan or Moscow?

Why do those who dislike US presidential candidate Donald Trump find bombastic populists like Venezuala’s Hugo Chavez so endearing?

Why is Assad’s war on terror so good, but George W. Bush’s so bad?
Cary Nelson: Israel and the Left: Three Studies of the Crisis: (3) Israel Denial and the University
A whole system is now in place to grant delusional anti-Zionist claims credibility by giving them a university press imprimatur. Any confidence that this corruption of the fundamental purpose of higher education — the pursuit of truth — will not spread to other areas of inquiry is almost certainly unfounded. Hatred of Israel is beginning to undermine the mission of the academy. Materials establish the positions that shape academic disciplines and inform public policy. Anti-Zionist teaching recruits students to those views and sends them into the world to enter the professions. Academic freedom was defined in the US one hundred years ago to protect faculty members from retaliation when they pursue truths that prove controversial. When faculty teaching is manipulative and faculty publications wholly unreliable, the cost is substantial.

Conclusion: From Discourse to Violence

Everything that happens regarding Israel and Jews in the academy now occurs against the horrific background of the recent Pittsburgh and San Diego synagogue murders. The escalating demonisation of Israel now carries with it a new level of threat. The politics of symbolic protest thus seems newly consequential. Whether it is the chanting of the familiar slogan of choice — ’Palestine shall be free from the river to the sea’ — or the recent demands by BDS advocates to exclude Zionists from progressive causes and organisations, the sense that hostility is intensifying is experienced viscerally by many Jewish people. It is impossible to be certain that unbridled hatred against Israel, with its accompanying claims about conspiratorial American Jewish power, will not have disastrous consequences in the academy.

When BDS intensifies its attacks on Israel, claiming, for example, that Israel is engaged in genocide, it is clear that anti-Zionism has become the socially acceptable face of anti-Semitism. The lesser forms of campus anti-Zionist aggression — from painting swastikas on walls to shouting down pro-Israeli speakers to distributing fake ‘eviction notices’ to Jewish students — have always echoed the long history of anti-Semitism. Or at least they did for those who cared. But events have now made the echoes inescapable. As anti-Semitism increases in Europe and North America, no one on campus can now say ‘It can’t happen here.’ The fact that demonisation of Israel and violence against Jews can feed on one another is inescapable.
Daphne Anson: Islam & Jerusalem: Fact & Fable
It's not brand new, this talk by the eminent Israeli scholar of Islam Dr. Mordechai Kedar: "Jerusalem as a Muslim holy city is the oldest Fake News in history"

But the video's one for all seasons, and for those who haven't seen it, it's well worth watching.


The eminent British scholar of Islam Professor Denis MacEoin observed of it:
"Kedar is spot on. One thing he does not mention is that by the time Muhammad and his followers went to Medina (in 622, the start of the Islamic calendar), Muslims were instructed to pray towards Jerusalem. But about 18 months later, a revelation came down from God, ordering them to turn about 180 degrees to pray towards Mecca, which they have done since then. In other words, Jerusalem lost its significance as the qibla (direction of prayer) and also as a site for pilgrimage. The Qur'an does not even mention Jerusalem or al-Quds, not even in the verses about the night journey to the 'furthest mosque' (masjid al-aqsa). As for the flying horse etc., that is mainly later legend. It's time these facts were presented in international fora (e.g. UNESCO) and that this and other Muslim claims (e.g. calling the Maarat Ha-Mechpela in Hebron 'Abraham's mosque', as if a mosque existed anywhere in the time of the patriarchs."
A War of Words--setting the record straight
Nine part must-read series that details the influence of the propaganda arena in the war between the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews..

Part I
The unending war between the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews is fought on a number of levels. One on the military front; another in the propaganda arena.

As part of this war of words, the Israelis use the Arabs own writings, including the Hamas Covenant and the Palestinian National Charter, their calls for violence against Israel and glorification of Palestinian Arab terrorists found in the media, broadcast on television, preached in the mosques and found in school curricula, as proof the Arabs in Israel refuse to accept the existence of the state of Israel.

The Palestine Authority policy of paying stipends to Palestinian-Arab prisoners and to families of terrorists who have been wounded or killed further demonstrates their commitment to make the country Judenrein. The terrorists know that whether they are killed in combat or imprisoned in Israeli jails, their families will be compensated by the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and/or other Palestinian-Arab terror organizations. In 2019, ignoring otherwise ordinary measures of inflation, the PA increased salaries to terrorist prisoners by 11.8%, according Palestinian Media Watch. They doubled the monthly payment being made to the terrorist mastermind behind the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel.

With the aid of the Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI, Israel documents how terrorists are revered in their society by honoring homicide bombers, bomb makers, hijackers, and organizers of terror attacks, who have public squares, streets, schools and youth centers named after them. A number of the vilest terrorists have been honored on multiple occasions.
Jesus' skin color and Mizrahi Jews' identity are very important.
Islamist activists Linda Sarsour, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and many other radical leftists are claiming that Jesus was a Palestinian, who had brown copper skin color with woolly hair. The point they are making is Jesus is Arab and person of color.

Mark Lamont Hill described Mizrahi Jews as an "identity category” that had been detached from "Palestinian identity”.

The Jew is hated as whatever the anti-Semites hold responsible for their own misfortune. For the Communist, the Jew is capitalist and for the capitalist, the Jew is Communist. For the nationalist, the Jew is globalist but for the globalist, the Jew is nationalist.

According to far leftist activists, white men, white supremacy and white privilege are responsible for the misfortune of Third World and indigenous peoples, responsible for climate change, racism, slavery, terrorism, discrimination against women and economic inequality.

These arguments are the main source of anti-Semitism in the West, especially among blacks and other minorities.
Bryan Cranston Joins Holocaust Denier With Donation to Plame Campaign
Former CIA employee Valerie Plame, who became mired in controversy after tweeting out an anti-Semitic article, has received campaign donations from notable Hollywood figures and a prominent Holocaust denier.

Plame's Hollywood supporters include actors Bryan Cranston, Naomi Watts, and Michael Douglas, producers Doug Liman and Jonathan Nolan, and billionaire Lynda Resnick. Watts played Plame in the 2010 film Fair Game based on Plame's career at the CIA. Liman directed the film, which struggled at the box office.

The donations came despite Plame's attacks on American Jews. She resigned from the Ploughshares Fund board in 2017 after tweeting an article titled "America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars," in which author Philip Giraldi suggested certain American Jews should be given a label when appearing on television "kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison."
...
In addition to the celebrity supporters, Plame received three separate donations from former congressman Pete McCloskey, who once made reference to the "so-called Holocaust" during a 2000 address to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an organization known for publishing Holocaust denial books and articles. McCloskey, who served as a Republican before changing his affiliation to the Democratic Party, added, "I don't know whether you are right or wrong about the Holocaust." He began the speech by noting he came to the conference due to his "respect" for "the thesis of this organization." McCloskey later disputed the accuracy of IHR's transcript of his speech.

McCloskey is also the founder of the Council for the National Interest (CNI), an advocacy group that has been described as anti-Israel. A former member of the CNI board of directors, Abdurahman Alamoudi, stated his support for Hamas and Hezbollah at an anti-Israel rally outside of the White House in 2000. Alamoudi was later sentenced to 23 years in prison "on charges related to his activities in the United States and abroad with nations and organizations that have ties to terrorism."

Plame has won positive press for her congressional bid from the national media. Articles in the New York Times and HuffPost failed to mention her history of publicizing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Plame and McCloskey are both contributors to HuffPost, including a 2016 article in which McCloskey defended a blog written by Plame.
A Sharpton Fan Before It Was Cool
Bill de Blasio has been kissing Al Sharpton’s ring for years. What has he known that the rest of us are only now learning?

Last week, Donald Trump goaded credulous Democratic frontrunners into kissing Al Sharpton’s ring—actions that one hopes will, at some point, cause them some shame. Aside from the grotesque theater, there was another wrinkle in the narrative: Here, finally, was a moment when Bill De Blasio could be considered first in his class.

There’s no indication that New York’s Mayor de Blasio is an anti-Semite motivated by hostility to Jews. Despite his close relationship to Sharpton, De Blasio received support from both secular and religious Jewish communities in his bid for mayor, and has been an outspoken opponent of the BDS campaign targeting Israel. But what is clear is that the mayor of New York City—the largest home to Jews in America—is bound by a set of contradictory demands that leave him unable to confront anti-Semitism honestly or effectively.

Upon becoming mayor in 2o14, following a campaign in which he’d received Sharpton’s backing, de Blasio appointed a former top Sharpton advisor to a newly created position as his wife’s chief of staff inside City Hall. A few months later, de Blasio held a roundtable on policing in which he placed himself at a table between Sharpton and his Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, the top cop and the reverend symbolically flanking the mayor as co-equals. Later that year, when Sharpton landed in legal troubles over unpaid taxes, de Blasio deflected the charges. ”I know a lot of good people who ran into one kind of problem or another with their taxes,” he told The New York Times, calling Sharpton an “important civil rights leader.”


J Streeters duped on alternative tour of Israel
Nonprofit advocacy group J Street has recently been campaigning against Birthright Israel, an educational program that sponsors free 10-day heritage trips to Israel for young Jewish adults. Over 600,000 young adults have participated in the program since its founding in 1999.

J Street charges that Birthright trips lack Palestinians voices, fail to incorporate the Palestinian narrative and neglect to visit Palestinian sites in the West Bank. As an alternative to the traditional Birthright tour, J Street recently sponsored a trip to Israel for 28 participants who visited Palestinian sites in the West Bank and heard from spokesmen for the Palestinian cause.

According to The New York Times, “In the West Bank settlement of Har Gilo,” the J Streeters “received a harsh history lesson from a veteran opponent of the occupation. Then they toured an impoverished, water-starved Palestinian village that Israeli settlers want to demolish, and visited the city of Hebron, where repeated outbreaks of violence have turned an entire Palestinian business district into a ghost town.”

The J Street trip and the Times article about it were highly criticized in a pointed piece in Commentary magazine. The Commentary review noted that there was not a word in either the trip or the Times article “on the murderous Palestinian anti-Semitic violence that necessitates Israel’s policing of such places [as Hebron] to begin with,” “no mention of the kleptocratic Palestinian leadership that’s consigned generations of Palestinians to certain ruin” and “no mention of the fact that the Palestinians have, again and again—and again—refused to make peace with Israel when it was offered.”

However, there was one particular failing of the J Street trip that has not received the attention it deserves.

A favorite stop of anti-Israel activists escorting celebrities on tours of Israeli “oppression” in the West Bank is the now-shuttered Shuhada Street in the Old City of Hebron. Shuhada Street is a half-mile long road in Hebron which used to be the thriving market center of the city, frequented by Palestinians and Israelis daily. Today, it is a virtual ghost town, largely shut down by the Israeli military for security reasons. A visit to Shuhada Street is designed to underscore alleged Israeli apartheid and the cruelty of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank.

However, as discussed at length here, the tale of Shuhada Street is a myth. Shuhada Street was a highlight of J Street’s alternative tour and the group fell for the myth, hook line and sinker. To date, no one has pointed out that the J Streeters were duped on their visit to Hebron.
Letter to the Editor of The New York Times (Unpublished)
Re: Is B.D.S. Anti-Semitic? A Closer Look at the Boycott Israel Campaign (July 27, 2019)

In answering the question “Is B.D.S. Anti-Semitic? A Closer Look at the Boycott Israel Campaign,” (July 27, 2019), the absence of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism is a major oversight. The IHRA consensus document includes examples that attempt to deny “the Jewish people their right to self-determination” and apply “double standards” by requiring “a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” BDS campaigns that single out Israel clearly fall into this category. To date, 17 countries (including Canada and the UK), and a number of international institutions, such as the OSCE, and parliaments (including the EU’s) have endorsed the IHRA text, and a recent resolution adopted by the German Bundestag explicitly references the IHRA definition in determining that BDS is indeed antisemitic. In addition, the U.S. State Department’s definition is very similar to IHRA’s.

Without exposing BDS for what it is — a movement used to delegitimize the Jewish State — it is impossible to counter its impact effectively.
The community unites against biased ethnic studies model curriculum
A draft of the the first state level curriculum on ethnic studies in the country is now available on line through the Department of Education. Public comment will be open until August 15.

From the JNS: Proposed anti-Israel ethnic-studies curriculum in California has Jewish community on alert

Tammi Benjamin, tireless fighter against anti-Semitism on campus has weighed in already:
“[It] is deeply troubling—not only for its shocking omission of any mention of Jewish Americans or anti-Semitism or its blatant anti-Israel bias and praise of BDS, but for its clear attempt to politically indoctrinate students to adopt the view that Israel and its Jewish supporters are part of ‘interlocking systems of oppression and privilege’ that must be fought with ‘direct action’ and ‘resistance.’

From Central pacific regional director (ADL) of the the Anti-Defamation League Seth Brysk:
“This is nothing more than an attempt by fringe activists to highjack the model ethnic-studies curriculum for California high schools in the service of radical political goals.”

From Masha Merkulova the executive director of the nationwide Zionist youth group, Club Z:
|“The proposed California curriculum intentionally excludes Jews as an ethnic group that has faced oppression; presents a one-sided narrative of the only Jewish state; and provides a mouthpiece for the bigoted BDS movement"

From the executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Asaf Romirowsky, the draft represents a “one-sided politicized curriculum, especially as it relates to Israel and the Middle East.”
The California Legislative Jewish Caucus issues a statement against biased model curriculum
The California Legislative Jewish Caucus has issued a statement regarding the initial draft of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), which will be open for public comment until August 15, 2019.

From the Caucus:
Once revised and approved, California’s ESMC will serve as the standard for public classroom instruction across the state. In its current form, the draft curriculum is inaccurate and misleading in several critical respects and reflects an anti-Jewish bias.
We are working with our allies in the legislature and our Jewish organizational partners to improve the current ESMC draft so that we may adopt a curriculum that is appropriate for all of California’s children.
According to the statement, the current draft curriculum effectively erases the American Jewish experience, omits any meaningful discussion of antisemitism, denigrates Jews, and singles out the state of Israel for condemnation

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus concludes:
It would be a cruel irony if a curriculum meant to help alleviate prejudice and bigotry were instead to marginalize Jewish students and fuel hatred against the Jewish community. Without significant edits the ESMC will do just that.
Code Pink National Co-Director Ariel Gold tries to use El Paso shooting against Israel
We have become very cautious in the initial reaction to mass shootings and terror attacks because so often the initial information reported by the media is wrong.

The spread of inaccurate information by mistake is compounded by the deliberate spread of false information enabled by social media.

This initial media incompetence is often fed by an implicit bias to believe that the “right-wing” (however they define it) is to blame before the facts are known. In numerous instances this meant the Tea Party was blamed when the perpetrator turned out to be a leftist, and even in the Boston Marathon Bombing the immediate media reaction was that it was a right-wing attack (which later turned out to be an Islamic terror attack).

We try to exercise this caution where there is a suggestion of an Islamic terror connection until there is substantial evidence to support that conclusion, as there was in the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan theater attacks.

That means we rarely are among the first to blame someone or some group or some movement.


CAMERA Letter in Boston Globe Israel Ended Gaza Occupation in 2005
Commentator Is Wrong on Israel and Gaza

Stephen Kinzer (“Our vacuous presidential debates,” Ideas, July 28) repeatedly refers to Israel’s alleged occupation of the Gaza Strip, apparently unaware that Israel ended that occupation in 2005, when it withdrew every last Israeli civilian and soldier from the territory.

Currently, just two Israelis are known to occupy the Gaza Strip — both of them mentally challenged civilians held hostage by Hamas, the ruling terror organization that has denied them Red Cross visits, in violation of international law.

If Kinzer does not trust Israel, experts in international law, or then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who said in 2006, that “the Israelis do not any longer occupy Gaza,” there’s also the view of Hamas’s Mahmoud Zahar, who said in 2012: “Against whom could we demonstrate in the Gaza Strip? When Gaza was occupied, that model was applicable.”

Substantive presidential debates are built first and foremost on factually correct information.


BB shots fired at Los Angeles Jewish community building
Shots from a BB gun were fired at the Valley Village Community Kollel, a yeshiva for married men, in Los Angeles.

The building was struck on Sunday morning, while the kollel was in session inside, the Yeshiva World News website reported.

No one was injured from the shots, though the window of a car parked outside of the building was shattered.

Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to a call about the incident. Police officers swept a nearby building, where they took a man with a BB gun into custody, according to Yeshiva World News.

It was not clear if the building was intentionally targeted.
58 Jewish groups gather in NY to mobilize against anti-Semitism
Fifty-eight Jewish organizations gathered in New York City on Wednesday for a "National Consultation on Responses to Anti-Semitism" to address ever increasing anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, Europe and around the world.

Organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and hosted at the UJA-Federation of New York offices in Midtown Manhattan, the consultation was attended by Jewish leaders and included two members of the US Administration, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the US Department of Education Kenneth Marcus.

In the last year, deadly mass shootings have taken place at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and Chabad of Poway in Southern California, and just this week, a 68-year-old Jewish man was injured in a drive-by shooting outside a synagogue in North Miami Beach.

Noting that "democracy is not an antidote" to the historical causes of anti-Semitism, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, said "America has proven it is not immune to this cancer that metastasizes everywhere."

"We have reached the end of the age of deniability and innocence. We need to build coalitions everywhere and anywhere," he stated.
Janusz Korczak remembered 77 years after his murder in the Holocaust
It was during the height of the Final Solution that on August 5, 1942, Nazi SS soldiers surrounded the well-known orphanage in the Warsaw Ghetto.

They were there to escort Janusz Korczak, his associate Stefania Wilczyńska (Stefa) and about 200 children from the orphanage to the Umschlagplatz (deportation platform) where they were to board a train bound for the gas chambers of the Treblinka death camp.

They were never heard from again.

Korczak was a beloved children’s author, pediatrician and teacher whose values and lessons have been carried through the generations.

On Tuesday afternoon, Yad Vashem will mark 77 years since his murder with a symposium and a special commemoration ceremony.


S&P affirms Israel's AA-credit rating with 'stable' outlook
International financial services and credit rating agency Standard & Poor's reaffirmed Israel's global credit ratings and economic outlook over the weekend, giving it an AA-score with a stable outlook.

S&P first upgraded Israel’s rating to its current one – the highest rating awarded to the Jewish state to date – in August 2018, and reaffirmed it in February.

In its report, S&P noted it was not "overly concerned" by Israel's substantial fiscal deficit of 53 million shekels (roughly $15 million) – 3.8% of the gross domestic product, despite its exceeding the government’s deficit goal of NIS 40 million ($11 million), or 2.9% of the GDP.

This is the second consecutive year in which the ratio of debt to GDP has increased, but according to the agency, there is a consensus among Israeli politicians of the need to maintain a responsible fiscal policy, as demonstrated by the Finance Ministry's plans to impose a NIS 1.15 billion ($329 million) lateral budget cut on all government ministries between 2019 and 2021.
Nano-vaccine against melanoma developed by Tel Aviv University researchers
Researchers at Tel Aviv University say they may have developed a new way to treat and prevent melanoma, through the use of a “nano-vaccine.”

The new approach to fighting the most aggressive type of skin cancer has so far been effective in mice in preventing the development of melanoma and in treating primary tumors and metastases that result from melanoma, the researchers said in a study.

“Our research opens the door to a completely new approach — the vaccine approach — for effective treatment of melanoma, even in the most advanced stages of the disease,” said a statement by Prof. Satchi-Fainaro, chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and head of the Laboratory for Cancer Research and Nanomedicine at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, who led the study.

The focus of the research, published on Monday in Nature Nanotechnology, is a nanoparticle that serves as the basis for the new vaccine.
Israeli series, 'False Flag', to be remade by Apple TV
The gripping, torn-from-the-headlines Israeli series, False Flag (in Hebrew, Kfulim), will be remade by Apple TV, according to a report from Deadline.

The site said that Apple TV will present this adaptation on its streaming service. False Flag is a prize-winning Hebrew-language TV series created by Amit Cohen and Maria Feldman, and produced by Keshet International.

Its two seasons to date have already aired in Israel, and the upcoming third season is based on true incidents widely reported in the news. Each season is a stand-alone drama, with only a few characters appearing in all seasons.

The first season of False Flag, which first aired in 2015 on Israel’s Channel 2, was inspired by the 2010 assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai, in which the killers took on European identities with no apparent connection to the incident. Images of the passports of these Europeans were broadcast on news media all over the world.

In False Flag, five Israelis from very different backgrounds wake up to discover their faces all over the news and struggle to prove that they had no connection to the killing. But are they all really as innocent as they claim? And can those who are truly innocent trust the Mossad to protect them? That’s the premise of season one.
Israel welcomes 10% increase in tourists in 2019
Nearly 2.6 million tourist entries into Israel have been recorded since the start of the year, representing a 9.8% increase compared to the same period last year, according to new data published Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

Building on two consecutive record-breaking years of incoming tourism, 2.587 million tourists entered Israel between January and July 2019, compared to 2.356 million during the same period in 2018.

Almost half (49%) of all tourists arrived in Israel from the United States (580,000 tourists), France (207,000), Russia (174,000), Germany (165,000) and the United Kingdom (132,000).

Revenue from incoming tourism stands at NIS 13.6 billion since the start of the year, and NIS 1.6b. in July 2019 alone.

Approximately 322,800 tourist entries were recorded during July, 10% more than July 2018 and 19.1% more than July 2017. Significant increases in incoming tourism compared to July 2018 were registered by visitors from China (78% increase), Portugal (54%), Brazil (36%), Italy (34%), Spain (33%) and Mexico (30%).
When Marilyn Monroe Kicked a Ball for Israel (And Sprained Her Ankle)
In 1957, a special telegram was sent to the Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team. Just before embarking on a celebratory trip to the United States on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the State of Israel, the players were asked “Which American would you like to meet during your trip?” The players answered without hesitation: “As athletes, we would like to meet with the Brooklyn Dodgers. As men – with Marilyn Monroe.” This required quite a few strings to be pulled and quite a few phone calls to be made, but eventually the players’ wish came true.

The glitzy event featured a friendly soccer match on May 12th, 1957 between Hapoel and a team of American All-Stars, which took place under the slogan “Long Live the State of Israel!” The venue was historic Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who would move out to sunny Los Angeles later that year. In the stands were New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Abba Eban, senators, cultural figures, representatives of Jewish organizations and many more. To top it all off, none other than Mrs. Marilyn Monroe would have the honor of kicking off the game!

Footage of the Historic Moment:


“Suddenly an open convertible burst into the stadium,” wrote Dan Pachter in the Israeli Davar Daily, “and in the backseat, there she was – the Hapoel mascot – the movie star, Marilyn Monroe!!! Three exclamation points will not suffice to emphasize the enthusiasm of the crowd. Marilyn rose to her feet and waved to every section of the audience – the same fair-haired Marilyn, who so artfully demonstrates her natural mischief. A marching band and a group of cheerleaders strode before her and behind them – the two teams in line.”

But the climax was what happened next: “The blonde movie star appeared on the field in minimal blue attire, featuring cleavage that occasionally tended to delve into dangerous dimensions,” the Herut newspaper reported. “Marilyn had to kick the ball no less than three times – twice for the many photographers who had gathered on the field and once for the soccer players.”



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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