Friday, November 22, 2019

From Ian:

Anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn Is Not a ‘Man of the People’
Last week, the reliably anti-Israel British newspaper the Guardian published a letter signed by 24 prominent citizens—some among them not otherwise known for friendship toward Jews or the Jewish state—stating that they could not vote for the Labor party on account of its leader’s anti-Semitism. Yet, writes Tamara Berens, the media in both the UK and elsewhere continue to portray the Labor leader, Jeremy Corbyn, as a “man of the people” rather than an unreconstructed Communist and to treat his hostility toward Jews as a matter for debate:

When it comes to anti-Semitism in the Labor party, the media have fallen for Corbyn’s deception. . . . Corbyn’s longstanding support for radical causes includes a penchant for Islamist anti-Semites. He invited members of Hamas and Hizballah to the British Parliament as “friends” and was paid perhaps as much as £20,000 (about $27,000 at the time) to appear on Iranian Press TV—the same network that was banned in the UK for its broadcast of a forced confession by a tortured Iranian journalist. In one appearance Corbyn mused that “the hand of Israel” was involved in a terror attack in Egypt.

Anti-Semitism has benefited Jeremy Corbyn politically. When he was unexpectedly elected leader of the Labor party in 2015, the media described an anti-Semitism “row” and “claims” surrounding him. This suggested that Corbyn’s association with anti-Semites was not factual but alleged. Labor’s grass-roots activists rallied around, defending Corbyn from these so-called allegations, and the conspiratorial anger toward his rivals, accused of stoking such “claims,” grew. The pro-Corbyn organization Momentum organized aggressive no-confidence votes against members of parliament who criticized him, including the former Labor Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan.

Today, the party has been purged of almost all of its moderates and Corbyn’s ideology reigns supreme. The Jewish community in the UK is afraid for its future: a recent poll found that 47 percent of Jewish people in the UK would seriously consider emigrating if Corbyn came to power. Yet Labor continues to get away with anti-Semitism. For the British general election, the Labor party has selected multiple candidates with a history of anti-Semitism, including a union official who compared the state of Israel to a child abuser replicating the Holocaust.

New UK Labour manifesto calls to ban arms sales to Israel
The Labour Party has vowed to suspend at least some arms sales to Israel if it wins next month’s general elections in the United Kingdom.

The pledge was included in a section on human rights in the party’s election manifesto, which it released Thursday.

Labour will “immediately suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and to Israel for arms used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians,” the manifesto stated. It was not immediately clear which weapons this pledge would affect.

The party also promised to “immediately” recognize a Palestinian state if it forms a government after the December 12 vote and said it supports a two-state solution that would see “a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.”

Labour has called for halting arms sales to Israel at its annual conferences and party leader Jeremy Corbyn has previously vowed to swiftly recognize a Palestinian state if he becomes the British prime minister.






Jon Lansman is trying to rewrite history over Labour antisemitism
If you’re a Jewish Labour activist during this General Election, don’t go and see a performance of George Orwell’s dystopian 1984.

I did, and it was a traumatising mistake. It seems increasingly like life is imitating art.

The latest example being Jon Lansman’s contribution to the ongoing scandal of Labour Party antisemitism published in the JC this week, seemingly penned on a desk from within the Ministry of Truth.

Like a latter day Winston Smith, Lansman’s task is to rewrite history, consigning the events of the last four years into the memory hole, unthinking all that had happened in the lead into an election that feels like Room 101 for the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community: Corbyn or Brexit.

During the same week that The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were condemned by the Jewish press and Jewish communal organisations for fielding antisemitic candidates, Lansman bizarrely demanded the community be even-handed in its condemnations. It’s an odd formulation to be told by a member of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) that we are whitewashing antisemitism.

Because Lansman’s own record on calling out and campaigning against antisemitism is far from consistent.


Jews Can Leave


Diane Abbott’s Labour pressure group backed antisemite Louis Farrakhan’s entry into the UK in the 1980s
A Labour pressure group co-founded by Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, is revealed to have opposed a ban on the antisemite Louis Farrakhan’s entry into the UK in 1986.

Mr Farrakhan, an extremist American hate preacher, had by that time already infamously called Judaism a “gutter religion” and had claimed that the Jews would face “God’s ovens” if they continued to oppose him, in a sick reference to the extermination camps of the Holocaust. Indeed he had also praised the Nazi leader, saying “Hitler was a very great man”.

Nevertheless, Labour Party Black Sections, a group co-founded by Ms Abbott in 1981, when she was serving as a councillor in Lewisham, opposed the ban imposed by the Home Secretary when Mr Farrakhan sought entry to the UK.

The revelation comes as Ms Abbott faces mounting opposition from the substantial Jewish community in her constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington over Labour antisemitism.




Momentum's Coca-Cola Parody Taken Down After an Hour
Soon after spotting this really decent parody ad from Momentum – riffing on Coca-Cola’s famous ‘Holiday’s are Coming’ Truck advert – Guido was informed by a lawyer that he didn’t think the ad would be allowed by Coke’s lawyers much longer. What else would you expect from the brand that is the greatest symbol of capitalism in the world?…

Before Guido even managed to publish, the ad was already taken down by lawyers. You’re either in front of Coca-Cola’s lawyers or behind…

Coca-Cola have now said:
“We have been made aware of a social post from Momentum which uses footage from the Coca-Cola Christmas advert. The film is in no way endorsed by The Coca-Cola Company…

Whether they end up suing Momentum, we will have to wait and pep-see…
Man screamed “Jews don’t belong here” and physically assaults Jewish couple on bus in Hackney
A man screamed “Jews don’t belong here” at a Jewish couple on a bus and showed them his middle finger, before pulling the man by his hood and the woman by her shitel (a hair covering worn by observant Jewish women).

The incident took place today at 15:10 on the 254 bus in Hackney Central and was reported by Stamford Hill Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer neighbourhood watch patrol. The couple were forced to leave the top floor of the bus and descend to the lower level.

The assailant was reportedly around 35 years old wearing black-framed sunglasses and dark clothing.

Anyone with further information should contact the police on 101 or Stamford Hill Shomrim on 0300 999 0123, quoting reference number: CAD4258 21/11/19.

On 8th December, regardless of religion, race or politics, Jews and non-Jews alike will gather in Parliament Square to declare that they stand together against antisemitism in the face of Jew-hatred in politics and mounting anti-Jewish hate crime.
Britain’s Liberal Democrats drops candidate over posts on Jews
The Liberal Democrats party in Britain suspended a candidate for parliament over social media posts it deemed anti-Semitic.

Waheed Rafiq, a candidate from Birmingham, posted on Facebook in 2010: “shocking to see how the Jewish government call them self Jews when they are wiping out all the people of Gaza,” The Guardian reported Wednesday.

In a post from 2014, Rafiq called on his Facebook friends to boycott WhatsApp because he claimed it was “Zionist backed,” and promoted a trope about the Rothschilds family of bankers, who are Jewish.

“Please note Jeff Rothschild is the Vice President of Infrastructure software and thus also a share holder in Facebook,” he wrote. “There are other non Zionist apps such as the Telegram Messaging App. It’s available on both android and apple users created by two brothers in Berlin. It’s better encrypted, much safer and thus better than WhatsApp.

“Never forget WhatsApp is Zionist backed so all we do and say is monitored and can leave us vulnerable to be exploited later.”

In 2012, he tweeted a picture of a snarling man with a large hooked nose and sharp teeth and a helmet with a Star of David licking a popsicle bearing the colors of the Palestinian flag.
How Buttigieg’s Israel stance falls in between Biden and Sanders
US presidential primary campaigns are fickle: one day, a party candidate could be on the rise; the next, on the decline. A, early lead does not promise eventual victory, nor does a dark horse candidate’s sudden boost in polls necessarily indicate a meaningful shift.

In short, it’s a long road to the nomination.

That said, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the latest candidate to disrupt some of the conventional wisdom about how primaries might play out. Over the weekend, new polling revealed him in first place among Democratic voters in Iowa, the nation’s first caucuses ahead of the 2020 nomination.

The poll released by CNN, the Des Moines Register and Mediacom found Buttigieg’s support at 25 percent among likely caucus-goers in the Hawkeye State, who will cast ballots in February. His main opponents — former vice president Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — are all in a three-way tie for second place at 15%.

Buttigieg’s surge from relatively unknown political commodity to leader in the pivotal early-voting state also reflects a development for the Democratic primary’s Israel watchers: the rise of a candidate whose views on the Jewish state fall somewhere along the ideological spectrum between Biden and his more left-leaning rivals Warren and Sanders.

Whereas Sanders has openly considered cutting American aid to Israel to pressure the nation to roll back its settlement enterprise, enter peace talks with the Palestinians and improve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Biden has called the idea “outrageous” and a “gigantic mistake.”




NY Assemblywoman Tries to Steal $100,000 for Fake Think Tank Using JCC Credentials
Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Brooklyn) tried to receive $100,000 in funding from the NY State Assembly for a Think Tank that would operate under the auspices of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, the NY Post reported Thursday. She said the group would “retrieve community input regarding key social problems,” and the $100,000 would cover a full-time coordinator, equipment and supplies.

But Frontus never registered her think tank with state or federal authorities, which, according to the Post, suggests she was simply planning to keep the money. The Post cited one Brooklyn assembly member who asked, “How do you ask for $100,000 in funding for a group that doesn’t exist and think it’s OK? This request reeks of corruption and raises many legal and ethical questions.”

Kings County Politics suggested that “either Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) is tighter than Ebeneezer Scrooge on the night before Christmas or Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) is the worst political pork hunter to ever hit Albany.”

Back in March, KCP reported that Frontus was going to “convene the first meeting of the Southern Brooklyn Community Think Tank (SBCTT) today (March 21 – DI).” She even named the members of the 8-person group, which was co-chaired by Bay Ridge residents Rachel Posner and Erik Shell. But, reportedly, none of it was real.
Israel Denial in the Academic World
In Israel Denial, Cary Nelson, a professor of English from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and former president of the American Association of University Professors, takes on the most virulent Israel haters, exposing the allegation that "Israel is the world's worst violator of human rights."

This allegation, he writes, "is manifestly obscene. It depends on the fantasy that Israel radiates evil well beyond its borders, empowering a new version of a Jewish aim to control the world."

The core of the book consists of portraits of four individuals with no academic background in Middle East history, whose false declarations and irrational hatred often morph into crude anti-Semitism.

It also includes discussion of courses dedicated to delegitimization, the intimidation of students who raise their voices in protest, and the professional incompetence that accompanies BDS campaigns in academic associations.
Ontario Premier condemns anti-Israel protest
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Thursday condemned Wednesday night’s incident at York University in Toronto, in which pro-Palestinian Arab protesters demonstrated against an event featuring former IDF soldiers.

Footage from the protest showed the protesters chanting “Viva, Viva Intifada” and “Free, Free Palestine.”

At one point, police were forced to intervene to prevent physical violence and injury.

The IDF reservists who took part in the event spoke to students about Israel and their experiences in the army. The reservists' visit to the university sparked a “no killers on campus” campaign organized by anti-Israel student groups.

Flyers protesting the event now cover the walls of the campus, portraying a photoshopped image of an IDF soldier who appears to be strangling a child. Anti-Israel groups have vowed to disrupt the event and are circulating a number of chants students can use to derail the event, such as “From Toronto to Gaza, Globalize the Intifada!”

Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University organized an event on Facebook urging people to show up on Wednesday evening and tell the university’s administration that “we will not tolerate war criminals on our campus.”


Columbia U. students to vote on BDS ballot initiative on Sunday
Columbia College Student Council will vote Sunday on whether to allow a referendum in the upcoming elections cycle that would gauge student support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, according to a report published by the university newspaper, the Columbia Spectator.

The initiative is being presented by Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD).

If the ballot initiative passes and results in a formal referendum on BDS, the referendum will be presented to the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, which evaluates whether most of the Columbia community is in favor of divesting from Israel, and thus warrants a serious discussion on the subject.

This is the third time this referendum or a similar one has been presented to CCSC by CUAD.

The initiative asks the council to poll students on where they stand - “yes” or “no” - with regards to divesting from “companies that profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s inhumane acts against Palestinians,” the report explains.

CUAD’s referendum names eight specific companies, including the defense company Elbit, Bank Hapoalim and even Boeing, which supplies the IDF with F-15 Eagle fighter jets and other plans and ammunition.




Sacha Baron Cohen slams social media as ‘greatest propaganda machine in history’
Baron Cohen has slammed the social media industry and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, saying the site would have let Adolf Hitler post 30-second ads on his ‘solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’”

Cohen made a career out of playing absurd comedic characters, from the dopey Brit Ali G to the Kazakh journalist Borat to the Israeli veteran Erran Morad. He rarely gives interviews and stays relatively far from the movie star limelight.

But on Thursday, Cohen tossed aside the humorous facade to excoriate the social media industry and the “autocracy” he says it promotes in a non-ironic speech.

After receiving the international leadership award from the Anti-Defamation League at its annual conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan, the British Jewish comedian slammed social media sites as the “greatest propaganda machine in history” — reserving most of his 15-minute speech to specifically critique Facebook and its CEO Zuckerberg.
After HRC Complaint, Globe & Mail Publishes Article Detailing Islamic Jihad Rocket Fire
While the Globe’s website did featured coverage and naturally, there are limitations for what is fit for publication in the print edition, but the Globe was the only mainstream paper in Canada (at least in English) that didn’t produce coverage.

Following HRC’s bringing this matter to the attention of the Globe, the following AP wire report was published in print (and online) on November 16:

Of importance, the article acknowledged that “Palestinian militants fired more than 450 rockets toward Israel, paralyzing much of southern Israel…” The article also noted that Israel targeted Islamic Jihad targets and infrastructure exclusively, specifically its rocket-manufacturing sites and military headquarters.

Importantly, while there was room for improvement in the overall editing of this article, including the use of headlines and photos, the article did acknowledge Israel’s concerns that “… Palestinian militants of using civilians as human shields and firing rockets from residential areas. It says militant commanders often have weapons or command centres inside their homes, making them legitimate targets.”
Globe and Mail Claims Israeli Town Part of “Palestinian Territory”
In the Globe and Mail on November 20 in print and online, an Associated Press article contained a place line that incorrectly referred to the Israeli town of “Alon Shvut (as) Palestinian Territory”.

In fact, Alon Shvut is regarded as an Israeli community that the media describe as a “settlement”. It’s situated southwest of Jerusalem, one kilometer northeast of Kfar Etzion, in the “West Bank”, which Israel regards as Judea and Samaria and which Israel claims legal, religious, and historical rights to these lands.

The AP article itself says: “Mr. Netanyahu spoke at a gathering of ecstatic supporters and settler leaders in Alon Shvut, a settlement outside of Jerusalem.”

Importantly, this area is contested and disputed land, and yet, this place line outright claims that these lands are sovereign and uncontested “Palestinian Territory.” In sharp contrast, the AP’s own wire article refers to “Alon Shvut, West Bank”.
Reviewing three BBC reports on the US statement on ‘settlements’ – part one
The first article promotes the BBC’s own standard but partial mantra concerning ‘international law’.
Article 1: “The issue of Jewish settlements is one of the most contentious between Israel and the Palestinians.

About 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel has always disputed this.”


In the second article readers are told that:
Article 2: “The UN regards the settlements as being illegal under international law.”

BBC audiences are not informed that UNSC resolution 2334 dating from December 2016 was adopted under the United Nations Charter’s Chapter 6 and is hence non-binding.

The BBC chooses to describe settlements as follows:
Article 1: “Settlements are communities established by Israel on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.

They have long been a source of dispute between Israel and the international community, and the Palestinians.”

Article 2: “Settlements are communities established by Israel on land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. They have long been a source of dispute between Israel and the international community, and the Palestinians.”

Article 3: “Settlements are Jewish communities built on territory occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.”
Reviewing three BBC reports on the US statement on ‘settlements’ – part two
As we see, both the selected quotes and the BBC’s own commentary steer readers towards the view that the prime obstacle to “a negotiated peace deal” and a “two-state solution” is the Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria and parts of Jerusalem. That framing of course dovetails perfectly with the narrative long promoted by the PLO.

Notably, the BBC made no effort at all to remind audiences of other factors which might affect the chances of a “negotiated peace deal” such as Palestinian terrorism, the Palestinian refusal to recognise Israel as the Jewish state or the fact that the Palestinians are split into various irreconcilable factions and cannot even agree among themselves on a unified approach to negotiations with Israel.

Neither did the BBC bother to ask why, if this latest US statement is so detrimental to the peace process, was absolutely no progress made during the three years prior to Secretary Pompeo’s announcement.

As anyone familiar with prior efforts to bring the conflict to an end is aware, the various proposals have all included annexation of the main blocks of Israeli communities in return for land swaps. Since December 2016, however, the BBC has taken it upon itself to repeatedly amplify the PLO’s maximalist interpretation of the ‘two-state solution’. Sadly for BBC audiences hoping to gain better understanding of the issues behind this story, these three articles do not deviate from that editorial policy.
Church of England report admits Christian anti-Semitism helped lead to Holocaust
The Church of England admitted Thursday that centuries of Christian anti-Semitism helped lead to the Holocaust.

In a major report that was three years in the making, England’s established church cited “the attribution of collective guilt to the Jewish people for the death of Christ and the consequent interpretation of their suffering as collective punishment sent by God” as being among the ideas that “contributed to fostering the passive acquiescence if not positive support of many Christians in actions that led to the Holocaust.”

The report, “God’s Unfailing Word: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Christian–Jewish Relations,” also urged Christians to accept the importance of Zionism for most Jews.

In an oblique swipe at opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, it warned that “some of the approaches and language used by pro-Palestinian advocates are indeed reminiscent of what could be called traditional antisemitism.”

The Church of England stands at the center of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide network of churches. In England, it is the state church and headed by Queen Elizabeth II.

In an afterword to “God’s Unfailing Word,” the UK’s chief rabbi takes the church to task for failing to reject outright the work of evangelical Christians who attempt to convert Jews.

Ephraim Mirvis praises the 105-page report for being “sensitive and unequivocal in owning the legacy of Christianity’s role in the bitter saga of Jewish persecution.”
Reward Offered for Leads in Stabbing of Jewish Man Near Synagogue in Monsey, NY
Security was increased on Thursday in the New York hamlet of Monsey, about 30 miles north of New York City, where an Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed multiple times while on his way to synagogue a day earlier.

The Anti-Defamation League said it is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction in the case.

The Jewish man, a 30-year-old teacher and father of four, was stabbed near the synagogue Mosdos Meharam Brisk Tashnad by assailants who then fled the scene.

Emergency-services worker Israel Altman said the victim was about to enter the synagogue at 2 Howard Drive when he was “jumped and beaten, and stabbed multiple times.” He said surveillance video shows two attackers driving through the neighborhood before injuring the victim.

“He couldn’t describe anyone,” said community activist Rabbi Yisroel Kahan. “They came up from behind him. It was simply unprovoked.”

He added that “no words were exchanged, and they pummeled him to the ground for several minutes.”
Stabbing near synagogue shatters sense of security for ultra-Orthodox in NY town
On the street where a man was stabbed to within an inch of his life on Wednesday, yellow buses waited to ferry young children to elementary school.

Steps away from where his blood had splattered on the asphalt, young men shuffled in and out of a synagogue for morning prayers.

On sidewalks now being monitored by a police vehicle, parents pushed their young children in strollers through this pastoral upstate suburb.

Ramapo wasn’t supposed to be like this. Families who moved here over the past decade or so all say the same things: They came for a little more space, a little more quiet, lower housing prices than in the crowded neighborhoods of Brooklyn. There is some anti-Semitism, yes, but Jewish residents here say life, on the whole, is good.

Then, before sunrise Wednesday, an Orthodox Jew walking to morning prayers on a side street here was stabbed — again and again, his blood running over slashed clothes, until he was nearly dead. Now this community is praying for his survival and confronting the fact that the tranquil life they sought has been breached.
'Anti-Jewish' Museum gives award to anti-Israel German FM
The scandal-plagued Jewish Museum Berlin on Saturday awarded a tolerance prize to Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who permitted his UN ambassador on the same day to condemn Israel seven times at the UN, sparking criticism of the top diplomat.

“A Jewish Museum that isn’t Jewish and does exhibitions denying the Jewish roots of Jerusalem gives a Tolerance Award to German Foreign Minister H. Maas who is a pioneer of intolerance in the social media and supports almost every anti-Israel resolution in the UN – Not my humor!” Dr. Rafael Korenzecher , the German-Jewish publisher of the monthly Jewish newspaper Jüdische Rundschau, wrote on twitter.

The museum has hosted an academic advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and The Jerusalem Post first reported on a pro-BDS tweet from Berlin’s publicly-funded Jewish Museum in June, leading to the resignations of the museum’s director and spokeswoman in the same month.
Germany’s nearly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews tweeted on Tuesday that “Once again, the Federal Republic left Israel out in the rain in the UN. While rockets are fired at Israel, Germany votes seven times against Israel in eight resolutions. Here, the Federal Government failed to stand by Israel at a crucial moment.”
Will an anti-Israel act by Germany’s UN amb. be listed among top 10 worst?
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that the human rights organization is considering including an act by Germany’s ambassador to the UN on its annual list of worst outbreaks of antisemitism and anti-Israel incidents for his dangerous comparison between Israel and the terrorist entity Hamas.

“We are looking at a few dozen candidates that includes serious incidents on both sides of the Atlantic. Among them include the German Ambassador to the UN for equating Hamas and Israeli actions,” said Cooper, referring to Christoph Heusgen. "His outrageous and dangerous statement at the United Nations Security Council in March” puts him in contention to be “on the top 10 list of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents” for 2019.

Cooper said the organization is "in the editorial process" and that the list will be released at the end of the calendar year.
If Heusgen is listed, it would be the first time a German diplomat was included on this list.
Tennessee finds judge not antisemitic despite social media post
A judicial board in Tennessee cleared a judge who linked on social media to articles saying the Jews should “get the f*** over the Holocaust” of being antisemitic, racist and anti-immigrant.

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey, who had also called Muslim immigrants “foreign mud,” was reprimanded by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct for violating judicial codes by making partisan statements.

“After a complete and thorough investigation and under the limited and specific facts of this case, the Board acknowledges that there is no proof that you made any statements that were antisemitic, racist, or anti-immigration,” the board said in a letter dated Nov. 15, the news website Commercial Appeal reported. “However, during the investigation it appears that some of your Facebook posts were partisan in nature, which is a clear violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

Lammey is required to complete an educational program addressing ethical issues and use of social media.
Scotland to host Israel in Euro 2020 soccer play-off
Scotland was drawn Friday to play Israel in Glasgow in the Euro 2020 soccer play-off semi-finals next March.

Scotland, which performed poorly in the main qualifying campaign but did win its final three matches, will fancy its chances at home to an Israel team ranked 89th in the world and which finished fifth out of six teams in qualifying Group G.

That game will be played at Hampden Park on March 26. However, Friday’s draw at UEFA headquarters also revealed which team would be at home in the play-off finals on March 31, and Scotland — which is in Path C — now know it will have to go to either Norway or Serbia and win if it is to reach a first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.

Scotland was in the same Nations League group as Israel last year, losing 2-1 away in Haifa but then winning 3-2 in Glasgow thanks to a James Forrest hat-trick.
Female soccer stars lead US remake of Israeli reality show
Another Israeli TV show is being remade for US audiences: “GirlStar,” a reality show in which a group of celebrities train to beat various challenging teams at soccer.

Think “Dancing with the Stars,” but with soccer and more humor. You can watch an episode, in Hebrew, here.

Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, members of the US women’s national soccer team that won the World Cup this summer, are set to star as coaches and executive produce the remake.

The celebrities live, train and compete together over the course of the season. Each week, the celebrity team has a new challenge and plays against a new squad, ranging from groups of children to national league champions. Here’s a teaser of the most recent season in Israel.

“We are so thrilled to be partnering with real-life sporting heroes Ali and Ashlyn to front a show which aims to increase the visibility of women in football in a fun and original way,” Israeli co-creator Yaron Lictenstein told Deadline. “It’s become a phenomenon in its local territory and we can’t wait to bring ‘GirlStar’ to the US.”
Helena Bonham Carter Learns of Grandfather Who Helped Jews Escape the Holocaust
Actress Helena Bonham Carter discovered that her grandfather helped thousands of French Jews escape the Holocaust in a new TV series starting next week in the United Kingdom.

“My Grandparents’ War,” a four-part series, has Hollywood stars “undertake a fascinating journey into their family’s past by retracing the footsteps of their grandparents” during World War II, according to the show’s synopsis.

The show, produced by British indie Wild Pictures, commemorates the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

In one episode, Carter, 53, who is Jewish on her mother’s side, learns that her maternal grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejon, was a Spanish diplomat who went against his government and helped Jews escape the Holocaust during the Nazi invasion of France, reported Jewish News. The actress also finds out that her British paternal grandmother, a mother of four and liberal politician, fought anti-Semitism as a volunteer air-raid warden.

She said about the discoveries she made that “part of me feels like this was just the beginning because this whole thing was a gift for me.”


The Tikvah Podcast: David Makovsky: What Can We Learn from Israel’s Founders?
The establishment of a sovereign Jewish state just three years after the Holocaust is both a miracle and the achievement of some remarkable women and men. Now that the founding generation has passed on, it falls to those living today to sustain that achievement. But how? In thinking about the careers of prominent Israeli leaders, what lessons, particularly in courage, can we, and today’s leaders, learn from them?

To ponder this question, Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver is joined by David Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a former editor of the Jerusalem Post, and the co-author with Dennis Ross of Be Strong and of Good Courage. Through the biographies of four Israeli leaders, Makovsky and Ross invite us to think about the purposes of Zionism and the qualities of judgment and character needed to act for the sake of Israel’s strategic interests.

In this conversation, Makovsky and Silver discuss—and debate—the decisions and the legacy of two of these remarkable figures: Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin.
The Ethiopian Jews longed for Zion
There is a large and growing school of thought that the word “Zionism” is an ugly word, fraught with ugly connotations; imperialism, and colonialism being the two hot button words anti-Zionists tend to throw around all the time.

Not only is this school of thought wrong, it is idiotic, and assumes a certain amount of miseducation and privilege. Yes, privilege. Because it takes a ton of privilege to sit in an air conditioned college classroom in a first world country and pontificate on how the self-determination of a people is something other than what it is. It takes an insane amount of privilege to gloss over an entire world of people who, after being scattered for 3,000 years, have been and still are gathering from all over the earth to return to a land from where they were scattered. It takes a ton of privilege, even intestinal fortitude, to ignore the fact that no other people in history has been able to accomplish what these people have accomplished, and that even now, the ones that still remain in many of the countries where they were scattered are either trapped or murdered.

It takes a special kind of dumb to take an entire movement that saw the return and safety of millions of Jews worldwide, and label it the opposite of what it actually is. Especially when the other group of people these “activists” seem to be fighting for have a legacy of enslaving, raping, pillaging, and colonizing North Africa. When I say “enslaving, raping, pillaging, and colonizing,” I don’t mean past tense. I mean “-ing.” I mean now. I mean today. Sure, it started in the seventh century, but it continues today. The Arabs (along with many other countries) have successfully colonized Northern Africa, while supposed Palestinian “human rights activists” accuse the Jews of the very sin.

Zionism is the pinnacle of what liberation is supposed to be; it breaks the chains of imperialism and colonialism. It is the liberation movement for the Jewish people. Let us ask ourselves, before we come to our own conclusions about Israel, what the word “Zionism” means to the Ethiopian Jew. I have had the honor over the years of forming many friendships in the Ethiopian Israeli community. They would share with me about the challenges they face in Israel, like racism, discrimination, and an unfair justice system. We’ve spoken and grappled at great lengths about the deep issues in Israeli society and what needs to change in order for the Ethiopian Israelis to continue thriving.




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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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