Thursday, November 14, 2019

From Ian:

Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Warns of ‘Astronomical’ Level of Antisemitism on US College Campuses
College campuses across the US have seen a “very significant” rise in antisemitism in recent times, Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Dovid Efune warned in an interview with Fox 55/27 Illinois last week.

“According to one study, 54% of Jewish students have witnessed or experienced antisemitism on campuses in the United States,” Efune said. “According to another study at Brandeis University, 75% — I mean, these are astronomical numbers.”

“There’s a group based out in California called the AMCHA Initiative, and the biggest predictor they found of antisemitism on an American college campus is the presence of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, SJP,” Efune explained.

“There’s also a sort of new environment when it comes to white supremacist ideology,” he added. “The rise of different social media platforms that have allowed such hatred to coalesce and to really form communities has also resulted in a rise in hate crimes from the right.”


Deportation of Shakir is a win for democracy
BDS can easily be seen as a type of hate speech associated with no shortage of violent and otherwise illegal acts.

Viewing BDS in this light is perhaps best understood in the context of Natan Sharansky’s “Three-D Test” for identifying anti-Semitism. This criteria, which has been utilized by the State Department, holds as anti-Semitic acts that delegitimize, demonize, or apply double standards against Israel. Sharansky himself has gone on record that BDS fails this test.

Shakir’s pending deportation can also be interpreted through trends in contemporary leftist thought. In recent years, and especially in the same virtue-signaling, “woke” circles that routinely target Israel, it has been all the rage to call for various restrictions on speech deemed offensive to certain communities.

Whether through attempts to ban mainstream commentators like Ben Shapiro from college campuses or outright suggestions that those saying abhorrent things should be prosecuted, there are foundations in progressive thought for Israel to take aggressive action against those engaged in “verbal violence.”

What constitutes verbal violence against Israelis should, of course, be determined by Israelis and not the European Union and other outsiders. In the same way one might be accused of “whitesplaining” for attempting to delineate what people of color can consider racist, Israeli Jews, like other historically marginalized communities, should be afforded the same courtesy in determining for themselves which speech constitutes an attack on their personhood. BDS fits the bill.

From the perspective of mainstream democratic theory to contemporary leftism activism, Israel’s decision to deport Omar Shakir is well within its rights. Like all democracies, Israel has room for improvement. Providing a staging ground for Shakir’s hate speech is not one of them.
DC Charity Is Accused Of Violating Anti-Terrorism Act By Providing Monetary Support To Hamas
A U.S.-based charity violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by knowingly providing monetary support to Hamas and other designated terrorist organizations responsible for launching incendiary devices into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday.

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), a Washington, D.C.-based charity, acts as a fiscal sponsor for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), an umbrella organization that promotes and sponsors Hamas and at least four other State Department-designated terrorist organizations, Tablet Magazine reported in 2018.

The lawsuit, filed by the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), an Israel-based public benefit company, and three U.S. families living in Israel, seeks to hold USCPR civilly liable for providing material support to terror organizations that have caused tens of millions of dollars in damages to victims living in southern Israel.

The USCPR’s role as BNC’s fiscal sponsor enables U.S. citizens to make tax-deductible donations to the BNC, the lawsuit states. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has been widely condemned as an anti-Semitic effort that denies Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. (RELATED: Ilhan Omar Feuds With Nancy Pelosi Over Anti-Israel BDS Movement)

“It is money that flows through to the BNC, which is made up of these terror organizations, and that’s very clear from the documented evidence,” Richard D. Heideman, the senior counsel representing the plaintiffs, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.



Bernie Sanders’ Guardian op-ed in the Guardian has one big blind spot
In his recent Guardian op-ed, US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (“Fighting antisemitism is at the heart of the left’s struggle against oppression”, Nov. 12) aptly defines antisemitism thusly:

“it is important to understand that that is what antisemitism is: a conspiracy theory that a secretly powerful minority exercises control over society”.

Whilst Sanders, whose father left Poland at age 17 due to antisemitism, and who lost family in the Holocaust, clearly has a personal connection to the subject, he also seems to have a big blind spot, as he appears convinced that those who peddle Jewish conspiracy theories come entirely from the political right.

Like other forms of bigotry – racism, sexism, homophobia – antisemitism is used by the right to divide people from one another and prevent us from fighting together for a shared future of equality, peace, prosperity and environmental justice.

Conversely, he sees the left (progressiveness) as, by definition, in opposition to antisemitism.

Opposing antisemitism is a core value of progressivism. So it’s very troubling to me that we are also seeing accusations of antisemitism used as a cynical political weapon against progressives.

He entirely ignores Muslim and left-wing antisemitism, focusing his fury almost entirely on “the right”, the “right-wing media” and “intolerant, authoritarian” right-wing political leaders who “exploit people’s fears by “promoting constant paranoia about foreign plots”.

Yes, we agree completely. Stoking “paranoia about foreign plots” does often evoke antisemitism.


A gratuitous shot at Jeremy Corbyn, you say? No, not at all. This clip is quite relevant, as the Labour leader represents a perfect illustration of the left-wing antisemitism that the Vermont Senator seems so blind to.

In fact, Sanders has been quite open about his support for Corbyn.


Sanders slanders Rabin
Either way, there’s an easy remedy. The senator should take a quick trip to the Middle East. He should visit the PA capital of Ramallah, or other PA-occupied cities, such as Bethlehem or Shechem (Nablus).

He would be in for quite a surprise. He would see streets policed by the Palestinian security forces. He wouldn’t see any Israeli troops or military administration. They left more than two decades ago.

The senator would discover that the Palestinian schools are run by Palestinian Arab principals and teachers. The courts have Palestinian Arab judges. On those rare occasions when the PA holds elections, the candidates and the voters are all Palestinians. Just about the only thing the Palestinian Authority cannot do is import tanks, planes, Iranian “volunteers,” or North Korean missiles.

The situation that currently prevails in the disputed territories of Judea-Samaria is not a perfect solution. But let’s face it: we live in an imperfect world.

Thanks to Yitzhak Rabin, today’s status quo ensures that Israel continues to have a Jewish majority, continues to have defensible borders, and continues to be able to guarantee all faiths free access to their religious sites.

At the same time, Rabin’s strategy allows nearly all the Palestinian Arabs to live under their own government. They live in an entity that is close to statehood in every respect except, of course, for those few aspects that would most endanger Israel’s existence.

Rather than criticize a fictional “occupation,” Bernie Sanders needs to acknowledge the risks Rabin took, and s
Top non-Jewish authors, actors, television and radio presenters, human rights campaigners and technologists unite to denounce Corbyn and Labour over antisemitism
Twenty-three non-Jewish authors, actors, television and radio presenters, human rights campaigners and technologists have written to The Guardian denouncing Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party over antisemitism.

Noting that the Party is now under statutory investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission following legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant, the public figures said that Jews were in “anguish” and being ignored.

They wrote: “We listen to our Jewish friends and see how their pain has been relegated as an issue, pushed aside by arguments about Britain’s European future…now, it seems, is not the time for Jewish anxiety.”

However they warned: “But antisemitism is central to a wider debate about the kind of country we want to be. To ignore it because Brexit looms larger is to declare that anti-Jewish prejudice is a price worth paying for a Labour government. Which other community’s concerns are disposable in this way? Who would be next? Opposition to racism cannot include surrender in the fight against antisemitism…The path to a more tolerant society must encompass Britain’s Jews with unwavering solidarity. We endorse no party. However, we cannot in all conscience urge others to support a political party we ourselves will not.”

The signatories include Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales; actors and actresses Joanna Lumley OBE, Simon Callow CBE, and Tom Holland; authors David Cornwell (who writes as John le Carré), Fay Weldon CBE, Frederick Forsyth CBE, William Boyd CBE, Tony Parsons, Sathnam Sanghera, and Ed Husain; historians Sir Antony Beevor and Peter Frankopan; television presenters Dan Snow MBE, Nick Hewer, Dan Jones, Janina Ramirez, and Suzannah Lipscomb; radio presenter Maajid Nawaz; producer Terry Jervis; journalist Oz Katerji and human rights campaigners Trevor Phillips OBE, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, and Ghanem Nuseibeh.
As a Left-wing Muslim, I cannot vote for Corbyn’s Labour
As someone on the Left and a member of both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party, I should be eager to see the Conservatives finally lose. Britain has seen rising numbers of food banks, homelessness is climbing each year, and we have seen the increasing normalisation of in-work poverty. On top of that the Tory party’s attitude towards Muslims has been troubling.

This should make it an easy choice to support Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. And yet it is precisely because of my identity as a Left-wing Muslim that I can’t support a party that has lost its reputation for fighting racism.

Though the roots of the party’s problem with anti-Semitism predate Corbyn’s leadership, it has certainly accelerated with his rise to power. Indeed, overnight everything changed: just as Brexit empowered some racists, a sense of emboldening euphoria gripped those once marginal Labour figures who held Jews as responsible for the evils of capitalism.

After all, if Corbyn himself is happy to share platforms with Holocaust deniers and anti-Israel conspiracy theorists, why wouldn’t such people feel that he would defend their right to espouse such views within what is now their party?

Polls show that 86% of British Jews have no trust in Corbyn and regard him as anti-Semitic. Their fears are hardly unreasonable when female Jewish MPs have been hounded and abused, the pregnant Luciana Burger so viciously bullied that she left the party.


Orthodox Jew announces pro-Brexit party run in bid for Corbyn’s parliament seat
As an observant Jew, Yosef David was taught to believe in miracles.

That’s a good thing since David, a social worker from London, is going to need one to succeed in his new mission: unseating Jeremy Corbyn from Parliament in the general election on Dec. 12.

David registered recently as a candidate of the right-wing Brexit Party for the Islington North constituency in London, in what the Jewish News of London characterized as a “challenge” in an article Tuesday. In 2017, the district elected Corbyn, the Labour Party’s leader, with 73 percent of the vote. Only 0.8 percent went to UKIP, the party from which the Brexit Party splintered off.

Labour has won in Islington North in every election since 1937. David acknowledges that he’s probably no match for Corbyn.

“I am aware that overturning a 30,000-plus majority would be a miracle,” David told the Jewish News.

So why run?

In the interview, David said it was a way of “highlighting the impact of the anti-Semitism epidemic in the Labour Party on the community.”


Pro-Corbyn UK Labour Figure Claims Jewish Man Concerned About Antisemitism in Party ‘Because He’s an Israel Supporter’
A co-founder of the organization Jewish Voice for Labour, a far-left group created to deflect claims of antisemitism against party leader Jeremy Corbyn, recently sought to explain a Jewish person’s concerns about antisemitism by calling him “an Israel supporter.”

Since Corbyn, long noted for his hostility to Israel, became head of Labour in 2015, the party has been wracked by antisemitism scandals, leading to the suspension or expulsion of numerous members and officials. Polls show that the overwhelming majority of British Jews consider Corbyn to be personally antisemitic.

The Jewish Chronicle reported that during an interview on the LBC radio network last Thursday, Shelagh Fogarty asked JVL co-founder Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi about comments by barrister Jeremy Brier, who had spoken of a “deep-seated and dangerous” problem with antisemitism in Labour.

Wimborne-Idrissi interrupted, saying, “Because he’s an Israel supporter. He told me so.”

Fogarty asked if Wimborne-Idrissi knew “how that sounded” and said she had “reduced a Jewish man with concerns for antisemitism in the Labour party to the word ‘Israel.’”
Labour candidate after candidate embroiled in antisemitism or Jew-baiting scandals in ongoing betrayal of Labour values and British Jews
In Liverpool Walton, Labour frontbencher Dan Carden has been accused of having sung The Beatles’ song “Hey Jude”, substituting the lyrics with “Hey Jews” during a private bus journey last year. Mr Carden has denied the claim, and Jeremy Corbyn has said that he is “looking into it”.

In Coventry South, Labour candidate Zarah Sultana, who has already courted controversy by adopting the language of antisemitic genocidal terrorist groups in advocating for “violent resistance” against Israelis and saying that she would celebrate the deaths of Tony Blair and other past and present world leaders (for which she was forced to apologise and was defended by Labour frontbencher John McDonnell), is now embroiled in another scandal.

It has emerged that in a Facebook comment posted during the 2016 Labour leadership election, Ms Sultana wrote: “the Labour Right are scum and genuinely make me sick. Is there any form of discrimination that they won’t weaponise to politically point score like they’ve done in the past with antisemitism and now with homophobia?”

Ms Sultana has again been forced to apologise, saying that anyone who calls Labour’s antisemitism crisis a “smear” is “wrong and is contributing to the problem. I would not use the word weaponise today and apologise for having done so.”

However, yet further social media posts have been exposed, showing that Ms Sultana accused Jewish students of being on the payroll of Israel’s Prime Minister.




EU's labeling of Israeli products originated with Neo-Nazi, Green parties
The EU’s top court has been engulfed since Tuesday in an antisemitic legal scandal because of its singling out of Jewish, Israeli products from the disputed territories for a punitive labeling system. Critics say the legal ruling is discriminatory.

What has been omitted from the rage over the alleged European Union discriminatory ruling is that Germany’s main neo-Nazi party and the German Green Party advocated a labeling of Israeli products from the disputed West Bank, Golan Heights and east Jerusalem territories as early as 2012 for the Nazi party NPD and for the Greens in 2013.

“The #EUGH [the European Court's German acronym] has judged that products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank + the occupied territories in the #EU must be clearly declared. No more! But not less. For me, it is the right of #consumers to make an informed choice. #Righttoknow,” tweeted Green Party MP Renate Künast on Tuesday.

Künast once invoked a contemporary antisemitic conspiracy theory to describe a German organization as a “Mossad organization” that seeks to advance Israel’s security and stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

“They [the Germans] have a lot of experience of labeling and they should know better, " Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. He called the EU ruling "sheer hypocrisy" because Israel is singled out, and said it is "reminiscent of dark times in Germany" and the Nazi boycott of Jewish products and businesses.

Nathan Gelbart, a prominent Berlin attorney and pro-Israel advocate responded to Künast on Twitter, writing “Hello Renate What about the right to know for products from (really) occupied Western Sahara or from occupied North Cyprus? And what is glued to products of Arab farmers from the West Bank? Right to hypocrisy.”
Europe is failing to implement EU settlement labeling directive, study shows
An overwhelming majority of Israeli settlement goods sold in European stores are currently not being labeled as such, according to a study by a Brussels-based think tank.

Only 10 percent of the 3,089 wines from the West Bank and the Golan Heights located across the continent by the European Middle East Project (EuMEP), a nonprofit critical of the settlements, were labeled according to the instructions issued by the European Commission in November 2015.

Earlier this week, the union’s top court in Luxembourg ruled that these guidelines are legally binding. It had taken up the issue after Psagot, a Jewish-owned winery in the West Bank, appealed to a French court against what it argued was a discriminatory policy singling out Israel while ignoring other territorial disputes around the world.

The Israeli government had urged Psagot to withdraw its appeal, positing that EU member states were not widely enforcing Brussels’s labeling policy, and warning that the European Court of Justice was likely to affirm that the hitherto largely ignored practice was mandatory, thus causing unnecessary problems to Israeli exporters.

The European Middle East Project, a small nonprofit sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, located and analyzed 3,089 wines from localities the EU considers settlements — 22 percent in the West Bank and 78 percent in the Golan Heights — currently on sale on the websites of 189 vendors in 20 EU member states.
Yisrael Medad: European Court of Justice courts BDS
In claiming that there is a failure to indicate the country of origin which then “might mislead consumers into believing that that foodstuff has a country of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin” is itself a misleading claim.

After all, foodstuffs produced by Arabs in the same area, if labeled as “Palestine” (as, for example, the Taybeh Brewing Company does) would be quite misleading as there is no country or state by that name. It is the geographical name of a region. In fact, it became “Palestine” in the modern era, sanctioned by international law, only because of Zionism and the just goal of reconstituting in that area the Jewish national home.

Moreover, Israel legally maintains a belligerent occupation – that is, one whose origin is as a result of hostilities. The hostilities themselves – namely, the 1967 Six-Day War – were of a self-defense nature against aggression. As the court notes, the relevant regulation refers equally to a “territory” and a “state.” To label the wine as made in “Judea” or “Binyamin” or “Samaria” should suffice. Israel surely exercises its “full range of powers recognized by international law” in those territories.

Moreover, as the court notes: "It follows from the very wording of the Union Customs Code that that term [the concept of ‘country of origin’] refers to entities other than ‘countries’ and, therefore, other than ‘States.’ ”

It would logically follow from all that verbiage that labeling a bottle of Psagot wine or dates from the Jordan Valley as “Binyamin, State of Israel” or “Jordan Valley, State of Israel” is not misleading and falls within the geographic definition required. After all, the court, as I understand, agrees with this as so:

“The indication that a foodstuff comes from an ‘Israeli settlement’ located in one of the ‘territories occupied by the State of Israel’ may be regarded as an indication of the ‘place of provenance,’ provided that the term ‘settlement’ refers to a specific geographical area.”

But no, the court insists that its judgment is intended “to prevent consumers from being misled as to the fact that the State of Israel is present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity.” But Israel does exercise its legal sovereign power in being the legitimate occupier of those areas in accordance with international law. Occupation per se is not necessarily illegal.
Calls to Reassess Norwegian Aid to Palestinians as Schoolbooks 'Glorify' Holy War, Martyrdom
Norway supports Palestinian education authorities with NOK 55 million ($6 million) annually and has plans to up its help by another NOK 220 million ($24 million) over the next few years.

Norwegian MPs from across the political spectrum have called to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority after it was reported that new Palestinian schoolbooks glorify holy war and martyrdom as “the most important thing in life”.

A new Palestinian syllabus almost completely omits Israel's very existence and all references to the peace process of the previous years, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) warned in a report citing dozens of examples.

For instance, the Palestinian math course contains the following problem: “The first intifada yielded 2,026 martyrs, and the number of martyrs from the al-Aqsa intifada is 5,050. The number of martyrs in the two intifada is _____ martyrs”, Marcus Scheff of IMPACT-SE told the newspaper Aftenposten.

Another example is Newton's second law that shows the relationship between forces and motion. The picture in the textbook shows a masked person aiming at several soldiers with a slingshot.
CAA urges Birkbeck University to stop Ilan Pappé lecture on why “anti-Zionism is not antisemitism”
Birkbeck, University of London is set to host the controversial Socialist Workers Party (SWP) this weekend for an event entitled “The Big Socialist Weekender”.

Ilan Pappé will address the event on the topic: “Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism.”

Zionism is the movement supporting the right of Jews to self-determination. Self-determination is guaranteed to all peoples under article 1 of the UN Charter.

Ilan Pappe has made several inflammatory comments, claiming accusations of antisemitism have been used “to stifle debate on Palestine” and to “depose” politicians supportive of Palestine as well as ridiculing concerns that the Labour Party has a problem with institutional antisemitism. He has also said that Jeremy Corbyn should not “be afraid” after laying a wreath at the grave of the Black September terrorists who tortured and murdered Israeli Olympians, saying: “as an Israeli Jew I was there [at the same graveyard]…and I paid respect for the freedom fighters of Palestine.”

He also defended Chris Williamson’s claim that the Labour Party is “too apologetic” about antisemitism, arguing that “you can’t satisfy these beasts.”

Mr Pappe has also defended Jeremy Corbyn’s connection to Holocaust denier Paul Eisen and other antisemites as well as his links to terror groups.
White Nationalist Alt-Right Trolls Try To Trap Ben Shapiro; Fail Miserably
During his speech at Boston University, Ben Shapiro is quizzed by two alt-right trolls about “America First” policies and attempt to trap him in his answer. Ben’s definitive response abruptly ends their shallow arguments.


Reuters Corrects Israeli Ownership in Jordanian Border Area Traces Back to 1920s
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a Reuters video which mistakenly reported that private Israeli claims to lands in the Jordanian border area date back to the 1970s. In fact, the private Israeli claims to those lands date back to the 1920s.

In the video entitled “Jordan closes land to Israeli farmers,” about the Jordanian-Israeli border area now returned to Jordan, the narrator erroneously reports (57 seconds): “Israelis trace private ownership rights there back to the 1970s when the territory was part of British Mandated Palestine.”

Of course, Britain’s Palestine Mandate ended in 1948, and private Israeli ownership of the land in question dates back to the 1920s. Indeed, in the preceding sentence, the narrator rights reports that Israeli farmer Eli “Arazi says his kibbutz, or agricultural community, has been growing crops in one of the areas for 70 years.”

Moreover, the accompanying Reuters article by Elana Ringler correctly reports: “Israelis trace private ownership rights there to the 1920s, when the territory was part of British-mandated Palestine.”
Independent Arabia evokes lie that Jews pray at al-Aqsa Mosque
The report continues to survey various positions in Israel (and rather uniformed positions among Palestinians) in regard to the project. Unfortunately, it also quotes Israeli officials in a distorted manner:

“[…] The Israeli government… has been defending the project, considering it [to be] ‘a new source of tourism to the city, as well as [its] assistance to Jewish worshippers in their arrival to al-Aqsa’”

Shehadeh did not provide the name of the specific source in the Israeli government she quoted (though even this putative Israeli government ‘source’, by the way, does not view Jewish prayer at “al-Aqsa” as the “main objective” of the project…).

However, it seems extremely unlikely that such a quote even exists, as it refers to the Temple Mount as “al-Aqsa” (!) and assumes Jews are allowed to pray there (!!). Could it be that this was originally a reference to Jewish worshipers in the Western Wall, and that it was confused with al-Aqsa?
Improved Weather Forecast For Israel At New York Times
Jerusalem, Israel – Despite the headline of this post, media watchdog CAMERA is not branching out into meteorology. When reader James Katz of New York contacted us about The New York Times’ weather feature, it wasn’t the weather conditions that caught our attention (though Israel is experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures). While visiting Bet Shemesh, a city in central Israel, Katz last week logged on to The Times’ home page and found that, according to the weather feature at the top, right-hand corner of the page, his location was “Givat Binyamin, Palestine.”

Givat Binyamin, also known as Adam, is an Israeli community in the West Bank close to Jerusalem, just across the Green Line, about 40 kilometers away from Beit Shemesh.

Katz’s unexpected results prompted a few spots checks which likewise turned up some pretty surprising terminology. Elana Fischberger of the Israeli community of Efrat over the Green Line (the 1949 armistice line between Israel and Jordan) in the West Bank was taken aback to discover that according to The Times’ weather feature, she was located in “Jerusalem, Palestine.” A different reader in Ariel, an Israeli city in the Samaria region of the West Bank, also found herself in “Palestine,” specifically “Ramot Alon, Palestine.” Ramot Alon is another name for the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, just over the Green Line and nearly 60 kilometers (travel distance) from the Israeli city of Ariel.
Europe Backs Iranian Nuclear Breakout
European officials also foiled a terrorist attack that in June 2018 targeted a large "Free Iran" convention in Paris, attended by many high-level speakers such as former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird. An Iranian diplomat and several other individuals of Iranian origin were arrested in France, Belgium and Germany. After a thorough investigation, French officials concluded that the Iranian regime had been behind the bomb plot.

Iran's attacks were also evident in 2018 in Denmark, where officials accused Tehran of attempting to assassinate one of its citizens. Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen emphasized the seriousness of the plot:
"An Iranian intelligence agency has planned an assassination on Danish soil. This is completely unacceptable. In fact, the gravity of the matter is difficult to describe. That has been made crystal clear to the Iranian ambassador in Copenhagen today."

In Albania, two Iranian authorities were expelled from the country for plotting terrorist attacks in 2018.

The Iranian government was also behind major cyber attacks against foreign governments and private companies.

Finally, Tehran shelters members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, and it is reportedly continuing to facilitate the group's operations.

Iran is indeed the world's worst state sponsor of terrorism, due to the government-backed terrorism in the region and beyond. Now imagine if this rogue state obtains nuclear weapons, what kind of destruction could it inflict on the world? The international community, particularly European nations, must take tangible steps to counter Iran-backed international terrorism and prevent it from becoming a nuclear state.
Powerful Iranian hard-liner says Tehran should stop honoring nuclear deal
A prominent member of Iran’s powerful Guardian Council has told The Associated Press that the Islamic Republic should stop honoring all terms of the collapsing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers amid tensions with the United States.

The comments by Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei show an increasing willingness among Iran’s hard-liners to use the country’s atomic program to pressure Western powers.

Nonproliferation experts are already concerned that steps Tehran has taken over the past months away from the accord narrow the estimated year it would need to build a nuclear bomb, if it chose to pursue one.

Yet Iran still allows United Nations inspectors to monitor its nuclear sites and hasn’t pushed its enrichment anywhere near weapons-grade levels of 90%.

Completely abandoning the deal as Kadkhodaei suggests could lead to an immediate confrontation. Israel, which has bombed Iraq and Syria in the past to stop their atomic programs, has repeatedly warned it won’t allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon.
Saudi Arabia condemns Iran’s deception over nuclear program
The Saudi cabinet on Tuesday condemned what it called its rival Iran’s “deception” over its nuclear program, after Tehran’s decision to re-start atomic activities at one of its key sites.

A cabinet session chaired by King Salman expressed its “denunciation of Iran’s continued deception and delays in providing the required information on its nuclear program to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency),” according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said in a report Monday that uranium particles were detected at an undeclared site in Iran.

The report also confirmed that Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment, in breach of a landmark 2015 deal with international powers.
Sweden Jails Iranian Prosecutor Implicated in Mass Execution in Prisons
Activists opposing the government of Iran place the images of victims of state-sponsored executions of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran, on the East Front of the US Capitol in Washington, September 12, 2019

An assistant public prosecutor who reportedly played a key part in the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 has been arrested in Sweden prosecutors announced on Wednesday, November 13.

Hamid Nouri who was arrested November 9 was reportedly a member of the execution committee at the notorious Gohardasht Prison near Tehran at the time.

Witnesses told Persian-language media in Europe that as assistant public prosecutor Mr. Nouri played a key part in the execution of thousands of leftist prisoners and members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq organization Mek in 1988.

Oxford based Iranian lawyer Kaveh Mousavi who is also a plaintiff in the case told Radio Farda that he has asked the Swedish prosecutor to keep Nouri in custody for at least a year, while others prepare evidence for his trial.

The Court in Stockholm has given a month to complainants to present their evidence while Mr. Nouri is in jail in Sweden.
BBC WS radio framing of anti-Iran protests
After an equally superficial discussion of Iran’s involvement in Syria, the conversation turned to Iran’s recent nuclear activities with Wyatt asking “so why is it continuing to risk more sanctions?”.

Naji: “Because it doesn’t have any other choice. It’s come under heavy pressure of US sanctions and they are crippling Iran’s economy. […] So what they’re trying to do is to put pressure on the Europeans particularly and say ‘listen, if you don’t come up and save this deal and do your part of the deal – your commitments in the deal – then there’s no point in staying in this agreement. It’s a cry for help. It’s like saying that we cannot continue like this; come and help us, save this deal, otherwise this deal is going to collapse.”

BBC World Service listeners were not informed what those allegedly unfulfilled European “commitments” supposedly entail before Wyatt closed with a final question about the opinions of “ordinary Iranians” on the nuclear issue and Naji’s reply failing to inform audiences that those opinions carry little weight as far as the Iranian regime is concerned.

Obviously this item presented BBC audiences with a decidedly one-sided view of the story which focused on framing Iran as being “in the crosshairs” rather than the Lebanese and Iraqi people actually being attacked by its proxy militias on the streets of Beirut and Baghdad.
Scoop: Erdogan upends Oval meeting to play anti-Kurd film on iPad
An Oval Office meeting yesterday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a dark turn when Erdoğan pulled out his iPad and made the group watch a propaganda video that depicted the leader of the primarily-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces as a terrorist, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

Why it matters: The meeting hosted by President Trump included five Republican U.S. senators who've been among the most vocal critics of Turkey's recent invasion of Syria and attacks on the U.S.'s Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS.

- Erdoğan apparently thought he could sway these senators by forcing them to watch a clunky propaganda film.
- The senators in the meeting took turns pushing back on Erdoğan, while Trump sat back and watched, intervening occasionally to play traffic cop.
- The meeting comes as Erdoğan is trying to avoid sanctions over the purchase of a Russian missile defense system.

Erdoğan's video "was unpersuasive," according to a source who was in the room. It depicted members of the YPG (the U.S.-allied People's Protection Units) and the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which the State Department has designated as a terrorist group).

- After the film concluded, according to the source, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Erdoğan: "Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you've done?"
- Erdoğan got into a heated back-and-forth with Graham over Turkey's recent invasion of Syria, according to four sources familiar with the meeting. A source in the room said Erdoğan took exception to Graham using the word "invasion" and that Graham also rebutted Erdoğan when he claimed that Turkey had fought ISIS.
Anti-Erdogan Protesters Gather Outside White House As Trump Hosts Turkish President
A large group of protesters gathered outside the White House Wednesday during President Donald Trump’s meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Protesters carrying Kurdish, Syrian and Armenian flags expressed anger toward the Turkish president and his actions against Armenians and Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, according to The Washington Post.

Demonstrators chanted phrases such as “Erdogan is [the Islamic State],” “Long live Armenia,” “Turkey out of Syria” and “Turkey is a terrorist!” Washington Post reporter Marissa Lang tweeted Wednesday.
Turkish Convoy Fires on Stone-Throwing Protesters in Northeastern Syria
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia on Tuesday said several civilians were killed when a Turkish military convoy opened fire on stone-throwing protesters in the town of Kobani in northeastern Syria.

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said the Turkish army “is firing live bullets on Kurdish protesters and killing them in broad daylight, before the eyes of the whole world.”

According to the SDF, the Turkish patrol was the fifth to pass through the area since joint patrols with the Russian military began in late October. In addition to holding a protest rally in Kobane, local residents confronted the convoy and threw stones at its armored vehicles as they passed.

“We as mothers and people of Kobani do not want Erdogan to step on our soil and the blood of our children. We will attack with stones as long as we can and we do,” said one elderly woman caught on video as she heaved rocks at the convoy. She was referring to the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Long live the resistance of the SDF!” exclaimed another female demonstrator.

The Turkish military said the patrol responded to a “provocation” and took action to protect local civilians against “terrorists” mixed in with the protesters. A Turkish Defense Ministry statement said patrols would continue “with due care and diligence for the safety of both civilians and our military personnel.”


Pope Francis Decries Anti-Semitism as ‘Neither Human Nor Christian’
Pope Francis denounced anti-Semitism Wednesday, telling crowds in Saint Peter’s Square that the persecution of the Jewish people is neither human nor Christian.

Reflecting on the biblical book of the Acts of the Apostles, especially regarding the Jewish couple Aquila and Priscilla, who were forced to move from Rome to Corinth after the emperor Claudius ordered the expulsion of the Jews, the pope interrupted his weekly general audience address to speak off the cuff about anti-Semitism.

“The Jewish people have suffered so much in history,” Francis began. “They have been driven away, persecuted… And, in the last century, we saw so many, so many brutalities against the Jewish people and we were all convinced that this was over.”

“But today, the habit of persecuting the Jews is seeing a resurgence here and there,” he said. “Brothers and sisters, this is neither human nor Christian. The Jews are our brothers and sisters! And they must not be persecuted.”

This is not the first time Pope Francis has spoken out strongly against anti-Semitism.

Last March, the pope said he was deeply concerned over a rise in the scourge of anti-Semitism in certain parts of the world and called on Christians to oppose the persecution of Jews.

A “climate of wickedness and fury” is spreading in many places, Francis said, “in which an excessive and depraved hatred is taking root. I think especially of the outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks in various countries.”
German Antisemitism Tsar Urges Amending Criminal Code to Specify Offenses Against Jews
The official tasked by the German government with combating rising antisemitism has urged that the country’s criminal code be amended so that offenses motivated by hatred of Jews can be subjected to harsher punishment.

Speaking in Berlin on Wednesday, Felix Klein — who was appointed as Germany’s first federal commissioner against antisemitism in April 2018 — said that Paragraph 46 of the German Criminal Code, which lays out the principles that inform sentences, should now include an express reference to antisemitism.

Currently, the code says that sentencing will take into account “the motives and objectives of the perpetrator,” specifying acts that are “racist” and “xenophobic.”

Klein stated that he wanted to add the word “antisemitic” to the code. He argued that this would be an “important signal” to the German Jewish community of the government’s preparedness to get tough on antisemitic offenders. The change would also provide “useful guidance” to judges and prosecutors dealing with cases of antisemitic behavior, Klein said.

He added that while his proposal had won the support of some German parliamentarians, he was nonetheless encountering “a lot of resistance,” German news outlet Welt reported on Wednesday.
Teen Turns Himself in to NYPD in Connection to Attacks on Jews in Brooklyn
A 16-year-old teenager turned himself in to the New York Police Department on Friday in connection to a series of attacks on Jewish men in the ultra-Orthodox community of Borough Park in Brooklyn, NY.

The teen was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated harassment, according to PIX 11. A spokesperson for the NYPD would not identify which incident the arrest was related to.

Police said last week that the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force was investigating the string of recent attacks in Brooklyn. Three Jewish people were assaulted in Borough Park on Shabbat evening, Nov. 1, with an additional incident occurring the following night in the same neighborhood, the NYPD confirmed.

Most recently, on Saturday night, a group of youths egged a synagogue, a Jewish girls’ school, a bus and multiple residences in Borough Park.

According to the news outlet Boro Park 24, “the attacks fit a pattern of harassment that has been plaguing the area in recent weeks, with the perpetrators appearing to originate in the South Asian community that borders” the immediate area.
The Great Jewish Fencer Who Served as the Nazis’ Token Jew at the 1936 Olympics
The 1936 Olympics Games, held in Berlin, are best remembered for the American athlete Jesse Owens’ impressive performance, which undermined Hitler’s claims of Aryan physical supremacy. But earlier, the International Olympic Committee had also informed the Third Reich that it couldn’t host the games if it didn’t allow Jews to play, and the Americans likewise threatened a boycott. So the Nazis consented to allow two Jewish female athletes to participate in try-outs. A new off-Broadway play tells their stories. Bruce Chadwick writes in his review:

Helene Mayer, born in 1910 outside of Frankfurt, was one of the greatest fencers ever to live, named one of the top 100 women athletes of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. She was defeating boys at age ten and at just thirteen won the first of her six German national championships. . . . Hitler, who had promised Germany a “Jew-free” Olympics, was, under enormous pressure, forced to relent and Helen was invited to try out for the fencing squad. She made the team, the only Jew in the entire German delegation.

Henry Naylor’s impressive play stars two women, Lindsay Ryan as [Helene] Mayer and Renita Lewis as the Jewish high jumper Gretel Bergmann, who was also invited to try out but did not make the German team. Both give devastating portrayals of the two women athletes who found themselves standing in the vortex of history that summer in 1936.

Helene, [born to a Jewish father and Lutheran mother], fled the Nazis in 1935 and worked at Mills College in California. . . . She knew that she was in for a political whirlwind if she accepted the Nazi invitation to try out for the team, but did so anyway. She had insisted throughout her life that fencing, like all sports, was above politics and that she had to go to the Berlin Olympics for that reason.
US firm Ribbon enters deal to buy Israel’s ECI Telecom for $324 million in cash
Ribbon Communications Inc., a US software and cloud communications firm, said Thursday it has entered into an agreement to buy Israeli communications equipment firm ECI Telecom for $324 million in cash.

The merger transaction will create “a powerful, leading edge solutions provider with anticipated combined annual revenue of over $900 million, serving customers in more than 140 countries and 4,000 employees worldwide,” Ribbon said in a statement.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Ribbon will acquire all outstanding equity of ECI, and will issue 32.5 million shares of its common stock to ECI stockholders and provide $324 million of net cash.

Founded in 1961, the privately held ECI, once deemed one of Israel’s flagship tech firms, is a provider of products and solutions for communications and data transmission networks for service providers, infrastructure and government entities, as well as defense and security customers.

The Petah Tikva, Israel-based firm has some 1,700 employees and over 300 global customers. Total revenue for the 12 months ended September 30 was $376 million, the statement said.
In the footsteps of fighting monks and pilgrims: Touring Israel’s Crusader ruins
When Pope Urban the Second called in 1095 for volunteers to save the Holy City of Jerusalem from its Muslim rulers, the response was fanatical, to put it mildly.

True, His Holiness promised some fantastic rewards: money and property as well as “indulgences” — a reduction of after-life punishment for their sins. But it was also the chance to save holy Christian sites from Muslim infidels that caught the imaginations of the future warriors. With deep religious conviction and immense fervor, peasants and kings set off for the Holy Land.

When they reached the Holy City of Jerusalem they expected the walls to tumble down. Circling seven times, like Joshua of Jericho, they found the walls still standing. Finally the crusaders attacked — and mercilessly murdered every Jew and Muslim they found inside.

Jerusalem now became the capital of a Crusader Kingdom, and Godfrey Bouillon — a cruel and ruthless man — was elected its ruler.
Godfrey of Bouillon, from a manuscript of the Roman de Godefroy de Bouillon (Maître du Roman de Fauvel, c. 1330)

Most of the people who participated in these crusades left for home.

Those that remained began to form brotherhoods to defend both the new Kingdom of Jerusalem (which eventually was larger than the modern State of Israel) and keep the roads safe for pilgrims swarming into the Holy City.



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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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