Thursday, November 28, 2019

From Ian:

Greg Sheridan: We must resist foul Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-Semitic tinder
(click link in tweet below)
Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has electrified his nation’s election by calling out the Labour Party as anti-Semitic. “A new poison,” he says, “sanctioned from the top, has taken root in the Labour Party.”

Former Labour MP Luciana Berger, who resigned from the party in protest some months ago, says the Labour Party is now “systematically anti-Semitic”.

Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim leaders expressed solidarity with the Chief Rabbi.

At the political level, it is important that Boris Johnson’s Conservatives win this election to give effect to Brexit. To deny Brexit is to deny democracy in the form of the 2016 referendum, which all mainstream parties promised would be binding. And to reverse Brexit would be a humiliating and long-damaging British capitulation to EU bullying.

But the whole Brexit issue is secondary to the overwhelming consideration of Corbyn’s manifest unfitness for office. He has a long record of praising anti-Semites and praising specific examples of anti-Semitism, and of supporting terrorists and dictators. He is essentially an unreconstructed communist surrounded by unreconstructed communists. He is the most foully unfit person ever to be contemplated for leader of a major Western nation.

The rise of Corbyn is a pointer to the gravely disordered state of political culture in the West.

Before he became leader Corbyn was a figure of the extremist fringe. He undertook numerous paid appearances on Iranian and Russian television. On Iranian TV he denounced the BBC’s pro-Israel bias (yes, the BBC’s pro-Israel bias) evident in its reporting which indicated that Israel had a right to exist. He praised savagely anti-Semitic murals that depicted hook-nosed Jewish capitalists breaking the backs of the poor. He hailed as friends vicious terrorists dedic­ated to killing Jews.

As leader, Corbyn installed a hard-left cadre of trained and experienced far-left apparatchiks to run the party and its organs. And he attracted hundreds of thousands of young people.

Nothing is a more powerful indictment of the culture of youth activism than that it could fall for an extremist like Corbyn. An ideological attitude within the liberal arts that sees everything in the West as evil, that holds traditional political process in contempt and that acclaims ever greater intensity of outrage against the West’s sins, produces a generation, or at least a slice of a generation, for whom Corbyn is the natural leader.



Bret Stephens: Yes, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism
The following was adapted from remarks recently delivered on a Munk Debate podcast.

There is a common misconception that anti-Zionism amounts to nothing more than very strong criticism of Israel, and I’d like to begin by dispelling that notion. People who don’t like the Netanyahu government, that includes me, are not anti-Zionist. That is part of the normal democratic debate. People who oppose Israel’s settlement policies or its policies, vis-a-vis Gaza or anywhere else, aren’t necessarily anti-Zionist. There are many patriotic Israelis who feel just the same way. Anti-Zionism is unique because its view is that the Zionist enterprise, that is to say, the state of Israel, is misconceived, it’s wrong, and at the end of the day, it isn’t simply Israeli policy that has to change, but it is Israel itself that has to go.

This is unique when you think about other countries around the world. Many of us are critics of China’s occupation of Tibet, or Russia’s occupation of parts of Ukraine. Some people are aware that Turkey is occupying northern Cypress, in violation of international law and putting down settlements there too. But none of those critiques extend to calls that are now increasingly pervasive around the world, not only for Russia, China, or Turkey to change their policies, but for the states themselves to disappear, to be eliminated. So even if you accepted the premise for one second that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, you have to come to grips with the eliminationist ideology that is at the heart of anti-Zionism.

Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. It’s anti-Semitism because it singles out the Jewish state for opprobrium, and with a prescription that anti-Zionists, with very few exceptions, apply to no other state. So, if you just happened to be opposed to the concept of the nation state altogether, nation states like Denmark or other nation states, then it’s plausible you can just simply be an anti-Zionist in the same way that you’re against all states founded on nationhood. But otherwise, it is singling out a Jewish state for treatment that isn’t applied anywhere else.

The second point that’s very important, is that anti-Zionism tends, very frequently, to traffic in images, tropes and libels that have a long history in an anti-Semitic tradition stretching back for thousands of years. For example, when you hear that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, which it of course manifestly is not, you are abusing that word and trafficking in a classic anti-Semitic trope, suggesting that the Jewish people have a particular kind of bloodlust. Or if you say that Israel or Israeli leaders have hypnotized the world to get them to do their bidding, that again, goes back to an old anti-Semitic trope.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Who can speak for American Jews against anti-Semitism? Not the ADL
To its credit, the ADL has been all over the problem of anti-Semitism on the far-right. Even on that score, however, it has staked out ground that makes it hard to be a unifying factor. Greenblatt’s unrelenting animus for President Donald Trump and his efforts to blame him for anti-Semitism have failed to properly credit the U.S. administration as the most pro-Israel in history.

Anti-Semitic trends that couldn’t be connected to Trump by even the most rabid liberal were swept under the rug. Its belated response to the targeting of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn by African-Americans has been too little and too late, and bespoke more of a group that is addicted to playing politics than a national defense organization.

Just as bad is the fact that under Greenblatt, ADL has been slow to recognize the threat from the left as basically uninterested in it. That’s hardly surprising given Greenblatt’s role in an Obama administration that helped normalize anti-Israel sentiment within the Democratic Party. Whereas under his predecessor one of ADL’s prime functions was to defend Israel, now it is generally found among the Jewish state’s critics on a variety of issues, often going out of its way to demonstrate solidarity with liberal foes of Israeli policy, whether or not it has anything to do with ADL’s anti-hate brief. That has helped to mute its voice when dealing with BDS advocates who target American Jewry far more than Israel.

It’s also a function of the way Greenblatt has helped transform ADL into a partisan organization—not merely supporting liberal values, but by intervening on issues like Supreme Court nominations in order to mollify left-wing donors eager to keep the organization aligned with Democratic Party priorities.



The shame of Labour’s liberal supporters
This nexus rests on two instincts: one fundamental to Labour politics and the other an import from progressive identity theory. The Labour impulse is home to a burning certainty that politics is a struggle between good and evil in which one side is Elect and the other demonic. This is why Labour supporters have vilified chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s reluctant intervention. Can’t he see Labour is on the side of the angels and the Tories foot soldiers of wickedness? If not, it must be because he too is from the ranks of the reprobate. The other conviction, born of the Jew-exclusionary theories of racism that took hold in the universities in the 1980s and on the broader left more recently, is that anti-Semitism is a lesser form of racism because Jews are beneficiaries of ‘white privilege’. The recent attempt to slander Rachel Riley as a racist for highlighting racism against Jews was no fluke; intersectionality only intersects with Jews on its own terms.

History tells me to look glumly on the prospects that, for once, we might do right by Jews. We don’t always side with their persecutors but we almost never side with them when it matters. If the anti-Semites win on 12 December, their victory will belong to the nexus of complicity, from the people who know exactly what they are doing to those who one day will feign ignorance and deny the role they played.

But these things they should know: Know that you were warned. You were warned and you turned away because the Tories are evil and Labour’s heart is in the right place. Know that Jews pleaded for your help. They pleaded for your help and you offered warm words then worked to put their tormentors in power. Know that you are culpable. You are culpable for what happens next, for every Nefesh B’Nefesh flight that takes off from Heathrow, for how Corbyn’s supporters take out their frustrations when his government begins to falter, for every British Jew who accepts that his countrymen have abandoned him and acquiesces quietly in his new status as civically less than others. Know that you will be remembered. You will be remembered and counted among the plentiful persecutors of the Jewish people and the even more plentiful bystanders. Your children will teach their children not to be like you. Know that while you may win in the moment you will lose in eternity. Know this: Am Yisrael chai. The Jewish people live and will go on living forever.
'Zionist world domination' is no trope, Mr Corbyn
Finally, painfully, he allowed that it was “an antisemitic trope”. Neil banked that and asked, so if the Chief Rabbi was wrong, why was Moore still in the party? After a short eternity of bluster (the transcript makes almost unbearable reading) Corbyn finally answered “Look, I don’t know the process that is involved with him.”

The man, a Labour council candidate, tweets out neo-nazi conspiracy theories about Jews, is then endorsed as a candidate by his local party, his antisemitism is described as “inappropriate”, a year later is still in the party and the party leader and putative prime minister, under intense criticism for just this, says “Look, I don’t know the process that is involved with him.” And, of course, there are plenty of others.

This week somebody who I quite like told me on social media that maybe the problem is that people unspecified seem to seek “special status” for racism aimed at them and perhaps that’s the problem.

We know who the people are. As for “special status”? I should cocoa. There we have activists attempting to purge entire universities of micro-aggressions and cultural appropriation because of their racist or colonial implications, but if you publish it that Jews seek to rule the world you get told off in today’s Labour Party for being “inappropriate”.

Inappropriate is farting in a lift. Inappropriate is asking an unpregnant woman if she’s expecting. As the great historian Norman Cohn said of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, accusing Jews of a massive world conspiracy is a warrant for genocide.

Come on Jenny Manson, Naomi Wimborne Idrissi, Jonathan Rosenhead, Miriam Margolyes and the rest of you in the Asajew roundrobinocracy – explain this one case to me. Explain to me why in an “anti-racist party” led by a man who “abhors all forms of racism” it was the Jewish MPs Luciana Berger and Louise Ellmann who were the targets of their Liverpool comrades’ venom, and not the antisemite?

Apology? You can keep it. (h/t Zvi)
Maajid Nawaz: Labour is institutionally anti-Semitic
Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters need to stop obfuscating, strawmanning and deflecting
Today, British Jews and their allies are accusing this Labour Party under Corbyn of being “institutionally anti-Semitic”. This means precisely that the party’s mechanisms, procedures and institutions lead to racist outcomes against its Jewish members.

This does not mean that every Labour member is racist. It also does not necessarily imply that even Corbyn is (although he might be). Rather, it points to the failure of Corbyn’s ship, with him as captain, to steer away from anti-Semitism; sincere individual intent is not a condition here.

What British Jews are (correctly) alleging is that the Labour Party discriminates against them, as a party machine, and that the outcomes in that party no longer protect them against racism. This is an institutional failure.

Any instinctive defence, any “Whataboutery” response or or even allegations of hypocrisy — like “why aren’t you doing more to address racism in your own party?” — all entirely miss the nature and seriousness of what is accurately alleged.

British Jews and their allies are not in a state of alarm because Labour has individual racists in it (which is bad enough as it is). No. The Tories, Lib Dem’s, Brexit party others all have bad apples.

The issue very precisely and seriously is that, under Corbyn, Labour seems not only to have ignored the problem, or denied it, but in many cases doubled down on it and — worse still — even blamed the victims for reporting it. In other words: the Labour Party machine has been co-opted by racism.
Anthony Julius: An open letter to Sir Richard Evans: Labour’s anti-Semitism cannot be disregarded
In 1996, Anthony Julius and Richard Evans defended the author Deborah Lipstadt against libel accusations by the Holocaust denier David Irving. Here, Julius responds to Evans’s expression of support for the Labour leadership.

Dear Richard,

I see that you made an intervention yesterday [25 November] in the election. You tweeted your support for Labour. You will vote for the party notwithstanding the “cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected” it. Later in the day, you tweeted that responses have prompted you to ask your Labour candidate “for her views on the controversy about anti-Semitism in the party”. You have not asked me for my views, but in the spirit of the exchanges we had when you were an expert in the Lipstadt case, let me give them to you anyway. Please think again about how you cast your vote.

Let me remind you, on the subject of the Jews, the party has become cruel, malicious, stupid and dishonest. The cruelty has been persistent and extreme – death threats, shouted abuse at branch meetings, online trolling. The malice has been patent, incontinent and pervasive. As with Trump, we are inured to party (and Corbyn) outrages, because they are so frequent. But recall Corbyn's disparagement of “Zionists who, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony”. My friend David Hirsh got it right: Corbyn was enjoying the old, sneery English view of Jews, and he was doing it to humiliate the Jews he was talking about. They live among us but they’re not really one of us. This wasn’t Corbyn’s usual political anti-Semitism, it was a spillover into ordinary old-fashioned English anti-Semitism. It was as if the political requirement to humiliate the “Zionists” found its words in the anti-Semitic subconscious of an English middle-class man. This, from the “lifelong campaigner against anti-Semitism”, as a Labour spokesperson described him, following the Chief Rabbi’s recent intervention.

Anti-Semitism is stupid. It makes people stupid. It is not a coincidence that the least accomplished leader of the Labour Party is also its only anti-Semitic one. If you live in a world of conspiracies, if you think the world is divided into the blamelessly good, the victims, and the unqualifiedly evil, the oppressors, then anti-Semitism is for you. It is the commonest outcome of just such conspiratorialist, Manichaean thinking. As for the dishonesty, look at party equivocations on the number of disciplinary cases against members. The unapologetic Corbyn says that there are none left to resolve (“we’ve investigated every single case”); by contrast, a spokesperson is only able to quibble over the precise number outstanding. Corbyn’s ignominious career in relation to Jews has been recast by a party spokesperson as the career of a “lifelong campaign against anti-Semitism”. Is anybody really fooled by this? Is there anything more threadbare – indeed, Trumpian – in the insouciance of the party’s response to its own anti-Semitism? This is not a party that cares about the concerns of the Jewish community, save insofar as those concerns might have a damaging impact on its electoral fortunes.
James Delingpole: 'Why I'm Still Voting for Antisemitic Labour,' a Cambridge Nazi History Professor Explains...
A Cambridge historian has announced that he has overcome his concerns about Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitism and that he’s still going to vote Labour in Britain’s general election.

Lefty professor from lefty university says he’s going to vote for the lefty party: dog bites man story, surely?

Yes, except for two key details. First, Sir Richard Evans is no random academic, but Cambridge’s Regius Emeritus Professor of History – with a knighthood to boot.

Second, his area of special expertise is the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. So you might think that Evans would have a better idea than most of the dangers of voting a routinely anti-Semitic party into power.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is probably the most anti-Semitic party in Britain since Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.

And this isn’t — whatever Shami Chakrabati may have implied in the, I am certain, thorough and rigorous inquiry she wrote just before her surprise elevation to the House of Lords — a case of a few bad apples spoiling it for the rest. Corbyn’s Labour is riddled with anti-Semitism because it is intrinsic to hard-left ideology that Israel is the enemy, that it’s an ‘Apartheid state’ which should be erased from the map, that the Palestinians are saintly martyrs, that Jews are at best suspect ‘Zios’, at worst a verminous pest and the justifiable butt of sly, ugly jokes in which hook-nosed men with names like Rothschild secretly run the world…

No wonder that fully 80 percent of Britain’s Jewish population — including the Chief Rabbi — are terrified of Labour winning the election.

Yet still, Sir Richard Evans, the Regius Emeritus Professor of History at Cambridge, has overcome his distaste and is happy to tell the world that he is going to vote for these Marxist anti-Semites.
UPDATE:


Rabbis back chief rabbi's attack on 'mendacious' Labour leadership
The Chief Rabbi’s unprecedented intervention in politics has drawn sympathy from across the religious spectrum, although some have taken a more nuanced approach.

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi of the S&P Sephardi Community, was most direct in his support, saying: “I stand with him and his message.”

Reform’s Senior Rabbi, Laura Janner-Klausner, said the issue of antisemitism in Labour was “not only a Jewish matter. What is happening is a warning that applies to all minorities.”

As Rabbi Mirvis had indicated, “it is not our place to tell others how to vote,” she said. “It would be deeply regrettable for 2019 to be remembered only for conversations about antisemitism and we hope that all issues of racism and discrimination will be considered.”

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, chair of the Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors, said Rabbi Mirvis had “echoed the fears that many of us within Liberal Judaism and the Jewish world hear daily… We respect his bravery in stepping into the limelight.”
Israeli president praises UK rabbi in veiled swipe at Corbyn
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has praised Britain’s chief rabbi and expressed support for an article he wrote this week that offered scathing criticism of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s record on anti-Semitism.

Rivlin met with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in London on Wednesday. His office says he expressed support for Mirvis’ work, including his recent article in The Times newspaper in which he said “a new poison, sanctioned from the top, has taken root in the Labour Party.”

Rivlin said there is “no room for anti-Semitism in the halls of power.” He added that Mirvis’ “clear voice and leadership, particularly in the last few days, fills us all with pride.”
Len McCluskey Condemns Chief Rabbi, Says Jewish Community is 'Causing Hurt'
In an extraordinary interview on the World at One, Unite leader Len McCluskey said that the Chief Rabbi’s decision to speak out was “wrong and quite extraordinary.” After hitting out at the Rabbi, McCluskey went on to say:

“The reality is this. Everybody should be concerned and sorry about the type of hurt that has been caused by the Jewish community.”

Perhaps he saw Corbyn refuse to apologise to the Jewish community and thought it must be their fault. Not quite the line…
New Poll: UK’s Conservatives Set for Decisive Win Over Corbyn-Led Labour Party
Britain’s Conservative Party is on course to win its biggest majority in parliament since 1987 at a Dec. 12 election, according to a new poll, which would give Prime Minister Boris Johnson a mandate to take the country out of the European Union.

The model developed by pollsters YouGov that accurately predicted the 2017 election result, showed the Conservatives are set to win 359 seats out of 650, which would be their best result since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1987.

Johnson has pledged to deliver Brexit by Jan. 31 if he wins after nearly four years of political crisis that has shocked allies of a country once considered one of the pillars of Western economic and political stability.

Since Britain voted to leave the EU in a June 2016 referendum, Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May have both tried and failed to get deals to leave the 28-member bloc through parliament because they lacked a majority.


Haaretz’s Gideon Levy on British Jewry ‘Let Them Flee’
“If there is anti-Semitism, it must be fought,” opines Haaretz‘s Gideon Levy today, even as he himself ironically peddles in outright antisemitic tropes. Responding to British chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ unprecedented column positing that the UK Labour Party leader is “unfit for high office” because of the rampant antisemitism flourishing in his party, Levy is himself guilty of promoting canards which fall under the Working Definition of Antisemitism published by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (“The Contract on Corbyn“).

Engaging in the age-old dual loyalty trope, which calls into question the loyalties of Jewish citizens, Levy writes:
About half of British Jews are considering fleeing if Corbyn is elected. Let them flee. The survey that showed this could actually encourage anti-Semitism: Are the Jews of Britain conditionally British? To whom is there loyalty?

The IHRA definition of antisemitism, which is accepted by numerous countries, Britain among them, includes the following:
Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Levy than goes on to blame Jews themselves for antisemitism, citing Israeli policies as the “strong motive” for antisemitism. Levy draws a distinction between anti-Israeli versus antisemitic charges, and continues:




Scottish Labour reportedly drops candidate Safia Ali in Falkirk over antisemitic social media posts
It is being reported that the Scottish Labour Party has dumped its candidate in Falkirk over antisemitic social media posts.

Safia Ali will no longer represent Labour in the seat at the general election.

A Labour spokesperson said: “Safia Ali is no longer the Labour Party’s candidate for Falkirk. We have taken immediate action on this matter. We deeply regret Safia Ali was selected.”

Scottish Labour’s general secretary, Michael Sharpe, said: “I deeply regret the people of the Falkirk constituency will no longer have a Labour candidate to campaign and vote for on December 12. There is no place for antisemitism, or any form of racism and bigotry, in our party. That is why Labour is taking robust action to root it out of our movement and wider society. The Party has significantly strengthened our procedures, with swift suspensions, new processes for rapid expulsions and an education programme for members. While I cannot go into details about individual cases, I can confirm that the Party has acted immediately and decisively to remove this candidate.”

Ms Ali is the third Labour candidate to be withdrawn in connection with antisemitism, following Gideon Bull in Clacton, England, and Kate Ramsden in Gordon, Scotland.
Labour accused of election 'dirty tricks' against equalities watchdog investigating its antisemitism
Labour has been accused of waging a pre-election “dirty tricks” campaign against the equalities watchdog currently investigating the party over antisemitism.

The JC has learned of growing frustration over Labour’s failure to supply “large quantities” of evidence requested by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to allow it to effectively carry out its probe

There are also serious concerns over the amount of redacted or edited evidence being supplied by Labour’s legal team to the investigation. Labour’s lawyers are alleged to have also refused to hand over documentation which is claimed to be “irrelevant” or “out of the remit” of the EHRC’s powers.

The EHRC confirmed to the JC on Wednesday that their investigation into claims Labour is institutionally antisemitic “will not be concluded before the end of the year”.

The JC understands that the investigation will not now be concluded until July next year at the earliest.

Labour appeared to mount an open attack on the EHRC on Tuesday when the party’s Race and Faith manifesto was launched, containing a commitment to make the organisation “truly independent” if in government.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Stop Calling Labour Antisemitic – Barely More Than Half Of Us Hate Jews by Ann Teasemythe, party activist (satire)
Slander of our anti-racist political organization as racist against Jews continues despite the fact that only fifty-six percent of our members harbour such animosity towards those of the Hebrew persuasion. The libel must end.

A few bad apples will occur in every group of significant size, and with a roll of 485,000, we can expect a handful, just statistically speaking, of cranks and bigots in our otherwise upstanding party. That handful of antisemites doesn’t even exceed 272,000. But disingenuous, tendentious elements continue to characterize Labour as “institutionally antisemitic” and demand that Jeremy Corbyn apologize for the Jew-hate that comes from that small number of exceptions to our tolerant rule.

Moreover, that figure of 271,600, give or take, fails to convey the nuance necessary to understand whatever antisemitism does occur among Labour members: it all has to do with Israeli policies, which makes it justified and not really a problem. Boris Johnson’s Tories are the real bigots.

Jeremy Corbyn’s mother was at Cable Street! That alone should be good for a few thousand cases of Labour members sharing Nazi and KKK propaganda without it being a big deal. His repeated declarations that our party opposes violence of all sorts, racism in all its forms, should outweigh any minor incidents such as prominent party figures including the chairman himself participating in discussions that liken the Jewish state to the Nazis. We are the party of anti-racism, as I stated. That much is clear.
University of Warwick backs lecturer Dr Goldie Osuri who told students Labour antisemitism claims are “an Israeli lobby kind of idea”
The University of Warwick has backed a lecturer who dismissed concerns over Labour’s ongoing antisemitism crisis by saying such concerns are “an Israeli lobby kind of idea.”

In a lecture on 11th November, Dr Goldie Osuri posited in a recording obtained by Campaign Against Antisemitism that “the next time they say that the Labour Party is antisemitic, you know there are some people possibly that are possibly antisemitic, but this idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea.”

Her conspiratorial comments, alluding to supposed outsized Israeli power and interference in British politics, and dismissal of antisemitism in Labour as a smear, left Jewish students outraged.

Rather than some shadowy conspiracy, Labour’s institutional antisemitism is very real. Indeed on 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

Dr Osuri was challenged over her remarks by the Warwick Jewish Israeli Society who said in a statement released jointly with the Union of Jewish Students, said that “there can be no excuse from an academic at such a prestigious university to spread conspiracy theories associated with classic antisemitism.” They went on to point out that Dr Onsuri’s comment “belittles and diminishes the fears, experiences and concerns of the Jewish community and spreads the antisemitic conspiracy that Jews control the media”.




Tarek Fatah: Hatred towards Jews on full display at York University
Last Wednesday’s attack on Jewish students meeting at Toronto’s York University was no surprise for many of us who have seen the rise of hostility against Jews on university campuses across Canada.

The Jewish students meeting had the required permission from university authorities. However, despite that they were accosted by members of York’s ‘Students Against Israeli Apartheid’ (SAIA), comprising mostly of Muslim students of Arab and Pakistani heritage along with their leftist allies; an alliance sometimes described as the ‘Sharia-Bolsheviks.’

A near brawl ensued with one student injured. Videos posted online show anti-Jewish protesters — some concealing their faces in niqab-style scarves — shouting “viva, viva Intifada,” which gives Hamas slogans a Che Guevara panache.

The violence against Jewish students at York University was roundly denounced by human rights Jewish group Bnai Brith. Michael Mostyn, their CEO, said: “Enraged mobs cannot be allowed to prevent lawful and peaceful gatherings from taking place on campus,” he added.

Mostyn added that: “Further investigation is required into how a registered student group was permitted to glorify terrorism and attempt to intimidate those peacefully assembling on campus. There must be consequences for violent behaviour.” (h/t Zvi)
What ZOA’s legal victory at U of North Carolina means for Jewish students across the country
Those who care about Jewish college students should be celebrating a landmark legal victory in the fight against campus anti-Semitism.

The victory stems from a civil rights complaint filed against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by our organization, the Zionist Organization of America. Triggered by the complaint, UNC agreed to take several crucial steps to address anti-Semitic harassment on the campus under the supervision and monitoring of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or OCR.

This legal victory is good news for Jewish students at federally funded schools everywhere, and should give Jewish students confidence that if they are harassed or discriminated against based on their Jewish ancestry, and their schools fail to address the problem, then OCR will vigorously enforce U.S. civil rights law to protect them.

UNC and schools across the country also should appreciate the significance of this important development: If they fail to provide Jewish students with a learning environment that is physically and emotionally safe, they will face serious legal consequences that could include the loss of federal funding.

Filed with OCR in April, the ZOA’s complaint alleged that UNC sponsored a one-sided anti-Israel conference in March titled “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities.” The three-day conference included a performance by the Arab-Israeli rapper Tamer Nafar that we and many others found offensive and anti-Semitic.
Columbia University To Vote On Divesting From Israel
Pro-Israel student group Aryeh called the decision to hold the referendum “appalling and reprehensible,” noting Jewish students’ concern “for their safety and well-being on Columbia’s campus. Having to defend the right for Jewish self-determination for the third time in four years has made the Jewish community feel targeted and isolated.”

Brian Cohen, the executive director of Columbia/Barnard Hillel, emailed, “It is disheartening that [the] student council agreed to move this vote to a referendum and crazy that students need to deal with this again. Our leaders will continue to educate their peers on the consequences of BDS, the danger it poses to both Israelis and Palestinians, and the negative ways it impacts the campus community.”

And that is the key at this point. The coalition of pro-Israel students at Columbia that fought valiantly on Sunday night — including the campus’ Hillel, Students Supporting Israel, Aryeh, and J Street — will need to educate their fellow students in the coming months. Explain why this resolution is unjust, as it unfairly (and antisemitically) holds Israel to its own separate standard, and why it must be defeated.

Students Supporting Israel president Ofir Dayan told The Federalist that her organization “will do everything we can to prevent it.” Dayan remains hopeful that the resolution won’t actually be implemented but acknowledged, “We are worried about the symbolic stance that would further alienate Jewish students who already feel very uncomfortable.”
‘Victims Becoming the Perpetrators’: Remarks about Jews at Elite Private School Spark Outrage
Remarks by a guest speaker at an elite New York City private school who charged that Jews have fallen into a historical cycle in which the oppressed become the oppressor have sparked internal controversy—and elicited the condemnation of the Anti-Defamation League.

Addressing high school students at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School last Thursday, A. Kayum Ahmed, the director of access and accountability at the Open Society Foundations and a former CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission, said he had observed "the fluidity of those who are victims becoming the perpetrators."

"I use the same example in talking about the Holocaust, that Jews who suffered in the Holocaust and established the state of Israel today perpetuate violence against Palestinians that are unthinkable," Ahmed said.

David Rutz breaks down the most important news about the enemies of freedom, here and around the world, in this comprehensive morning newsletter.

Though Ethical Culture Fieldston is among the most liberal of New York City’s elite private schools—the school says it is committed to providing students a "progressive education" and a series of "Awareness Days" on issues like "Undoing ‘Slut’ Shaming and Sexual Bullying"—Ahmed’s remarks sparked outrage from some students and parents.

A spokeswoman for Fieldston declined to comment.


Jewish Writing Professor at Syracuse Receives Threatening Antisemitic Emails
A Jewish professor at Syracuse University in New York received a threatening anonymous email last week containing antisemitic language and references to the Holocaust.

The email that Genevieve García de Müeller—a professor of writing, rhetoric and composition–got on Tuesday morning had a subject line that read “Jew,” and in the body of the email she was told to “get in the oven where you belong, you monstrous looking kike.” She tweeted a screenshot of the message.

Müeller called the Department of Public Safety after receiving the email, and DPS directed her to the Syracuse Police Department because the incident occurred while she was off-campus.

She said on Thursday via Twitter that the FBI and local police are working on the case, and they have increased police patrols in her neighborhood. The professor added that she has barely left her home and cannot return to campus yet.

“Immediately, I thought of the safety of my family,” Müeller said of the email. “I don’t know who would’ve sent it. I don’t know who knows I’m Jewish. It’s not something I talk about in class necessarily, but it was very personal to me.”

The university last week suspended all fraternity activities for the rest of this semester following a series of at least 12 hate crimes or bias-related incidents that have been reported since Nov. 7, according to campus student newspaper The Daily Orange.
Guardian revives lie that there are Palestinian “political prisoners” in Israel
A Guardian article (“Lawyer criticises secretive Israeli case against Gaza aid worker”, Nov. 28), by their Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes, included the following claim:
More than 4,700 Palestinian security detainees and political prisoners are held by Israel, some of them under administrative detention, which allows authorities to detain people without charge or trial.

However, there are no Palestinian “political prisoners” (a term widely understood as referring to people “imprisoned for their political beliefs”) in Israeli prisons. And, in fact, the source cited in that sentence, the anti-Israel NGO B’tselem, doesn’t cite any “political prisoners” in their list of prisoners.

Amnesty International, in their 2017/18 annual report, does list one Palestinian, Ahmed Qatamesh, as a “prisoner of conscience”, but this doesn’t appear to be true, as reports at the time noted that he was arrested because he was a “senior member” of the terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
McGill Daily Begrudgingly Publishes Pro-Zionism Letter from Pro-Israel Groups
The McGill Daily, a campus paper accused of antisemitism for its anti-Zionist stance, known for singling Israel out for exclusive condemnation, and whose content is created in part by anti-Israel groups, today begrudgingly published a letter to the editor from several pro-Israel groups which took the paper to task for its discriminatory and bigoted policy of barring pro-Israel commentaries from its pages.

The letter by Am McGill, Chabad at McGill, Hillel McGill and Israel on Campus at McGill, was prefaced by an editorial comment written by the Daily that asserted the following:

Our letters policy contains a clause that allows the editorial board to reject letters “whose content displays racial, ethnic, sexual, and socioeconomic prejudice.” The definition of these terms is subject to interpretation by McGill, as per our Memorandum of Agreement. The Daily’s editorial board feels that the letter below contains the prejudice outlined in its letters policy, but the McGill administration disagrees, which is why it is appearing in the paper, and why others with similar content may appear in the future.

The Daily will not be engaging in an argument about the definition of Zionism in response to this letter, because the editorial board believes that in attempting to spark these conversations, the authors of such letters are drawing focus away from the human rights violations being perpetrated against the Palestinian people. The Daily’s Editorial Board would instead like to reaffirm its position, which is one in support of Palestinian people.”


To parse the Daily’s statement, the letter from these pro-Israel groups was deemed by the Daily as being prejudicial and was implicitly a form of racism and while the Daily acknowledges supporting the Palestinians people, they don’t support Israel and seem to not care about the human rights violations being perpetrated against Israelis by Palestinian terror groups.
AJC Criticizes Seattle Leaders’ Handling of Anti-Semitism
American Jewish Committee (AJC) Seattle Regional Director Regina Sassoon Friedland criticizes political leaders in Seattle, Wash. over how they handle anti-Semitism in a Nov. 22 Seattle Times op-ed.

Friedland wrote about an instance in June, when then-City Council candidate Ari Hoffman – who ran on a platform opposing several of the city council’s progressive polices – received anti-Semitic death threats online. AJC urged Seattle Mayor Durkan to condemn those threats.

“A full eight days later, the mayor issued an important statement on anti-Semitism, but it was sent only to me, not issued publicly,” Friedland wrote. “Our repeated requests for the mayor to share her statement on the city’s website, on the mayor’s page or in her weekly Friday newsletter so the general Seattle community could be made aware of the problem of anti-Semitism and the need to combat it were ignored.”

Durkan did issue a statement saying that she condemned “any anti-Semitic attacks and threats of violence on Mr. Hoffman and his family.” Hoffman criticized her for taking a week to provide such a statement.
Leading US Rabbis Denounce Lithuanian Government’s ‘Contempt and Derision’ Over Jewish Heritage Coin
A Jewish heritage commemorative coin issued by the Lithuanian government to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of eastern Europe’s greatest rabbis continued to attract controversy on Thursday, as a group of US-based rabbis accused the government in Vilnius of showing “contempt and derision” toward Jewish history with its nationalistic branding of the coin.

The government of the Baltic state announced on Nov. 22 that the ten-euro coin had been minted to mark 2020 as the “Year of the Gaon of Vilna and Jewish Heritage.” The coin ostensibly pays tribute to arguably Lithuania’s best-known Jew, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman — revered as the Gaon of Vilna. But several commentators have pointed out that the coin features a menorah atop a local symbol known as the Columns of Gediminas — the seal of an illustrious 14th-century grand duke that has now been adopted by elements of the Lithuanian far-right.

According to the Vilnius-based Jewish scholar Dovid Katz, writing on Nov. 5, “the coin is a pudding of identity theft, disrespect for a culture largely annihilated in the Holocaust, and the total exclusion of the Yiddish language from the English/Israeli Hebrew text surrounding the far right’s recent prime symbol.”

In its statement on Thursday, a New York-based group of rabbis also highlighted the Lithuanian government’s continued commitment to building a sports complex on the grounds of the old Snipiskes Jewish cemetery, where thousands of Jewish graves, including that of the Gaon of Vilna, are located.
Rights groups challenge anti-kippah, hijab law in Quebec
A law that prohibits public officials in the Canadian province of Quebec from wearing religious symbols at work – including kippahs, hijabs and turbans - has been challenged in court, Al-Jazeera reported on Tuesday.

The law, known as "Bill 21," and titled "An act respecting the laicity of the state," was passed by the parliament of the French-speaking province last June. It specifically covers public employees in a position of authority, such as teachers, judges and police officers.

Among the organizations challenging the bill before the Quebec Court of Appeals are the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). Their request for a suspension of the implementation of the law was rejected by the Quebec Superior Court in July. They presented an appeal to the decision.

"The fact that a person wearing a kippah can't become a teacher in Quebec in 2019 is a disgrace to this province's proud tradition of defending its fundamental freedoms," said Mustafa Farooq, NCCM executive director during a news conference on Tuesday, as reported by Al-Jazeera.
How a Muslim Albanian family saved Jews during the Holocaust
The role of Muslims saving Jews during the Holocaust is not well known.

For Xhemal Veseli, a Muslim Albanian who has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, hiding seven Jews during the Holocaust was not even a question for him or his family.

“Muslim religion says, ‘If people are in need of help, no matter who they are, or what they are – whether it’s Muslim, Orthodox Christian or any religion, Islam tells us that we should help these people,” the 89-year-old said. “This was also told to me by the elders, my grandfather, father and mother.”

In a new video released to The Jerusalem Post by From the Depths commemoration group founder Jonny Daniels, Veseli told his remarkable story of why and how he saved the Mandil and Ben Yosef families. The Mandils escaped the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, fleeing to Kosovo province and later Albania, which at the time was occupied by Italy.

“My brother was a photographer in Tirana when he met a group of Jews who arrived from Kavaja to Tirana,” he said. “It was a coincidence that one of them from the group was a photographer, too; he was going to look for a job at a photographer’s shop in Tirana.”
Israel Search and Rescue Team in Albania after Earthquake
Israel Rescue and Service team from Mevo'ot HaHermon Regional Council sent to Albania, continue their search for survivors Wednesday, in the city of Durres, following a 6.4 on the Richter Scale earthquake that shock the Balkan nation on Monday and resulted in at least 26 dead, more than 650 injured and dozens more still missing.

This was the strongest earthquake to hit Albania in decades and it is feared may be the deadliest as well.

The epicenter was 30 Km west of the capital and was felt in the Balkans and Italy.

The quake in Albania Tuesday was followed by a smaller one in nearby southern Bosnia and a 6.1 magnitude temblor Wednesday off the coast of the island of Crete in Greece. No significant damage or injuries were reported from either quake.

Rescue teams and other disaster experts arrived from more than a dozen countries including France, Italy, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, and the United States. (h/t Zvi)
Israeli stamps show the first Torah scroll flown in space
A new set of Israeli stamps shows the first Torah that was flown in space.

The commemorative stamps also feature Jeffrey Hoffman, the astronaut who first brought the Torah into space in 1985, Space.com reported Monday. He was the first Jewish-American man to enter space.

The Israeli post office produced only 200 sheets of the stamps. Sheets are being sold online for $100 to $360. The proceeds will go toward the production of a film about Hoffman bringing the Torah into space.

“It kind of blows me away, to be honest. I’ve never been on a stamp before,” Hoffman, now a professor in aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Space.com.

Hoffman brought a number of ritual items with him on that 1985 mission, including a mezuzah with a Velcro strip that he would attach to his bunk and a prayer shawl with weights to keep it from floating away in zero gravity.
Israel, Ghana to co-chair U.N.'s Science, Technology and Innovation Forum
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon has been appointed by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to co-chair the council’s Science, Technology and Innovation Forum, alongside Ghana’s Ambassador Martha Pobee.

The ambassadors met recently at the UN headquarters to coordinate their plans for the forum’s activities in 2020, deciding to focus on advancing women in science and technology; using agricultural technologies; and environmental innovation for the coming year. Their appointment means that Israel and Ghana will together lead discussions, take part in the selection of speakers and prepare receptions.

“For the first time in its history, Israel will hold the reins of the UN’s Innovation Forum,” Danon said. “Israeli innovation brings us closer with the nations of the world, who see it as a great force that can improve our global situation. This is further proof of Israel’s strengthening its position at the UN.”

Neither of the countries has previously led the forum. The senior appointment also makes Ghana the first African nation to hold the post. Their joint selection is recognition of Israel and Ghana’s numerous collaborations in economic transformation, food innovation and agricultural technologies, all areas that advance the UN’s stated goals.
Global kaddish planned for neglected exile of Arab, North African Jewry
The little-known story of the expulsion of one million Jews from Arab countries and Iran following the establishment of the State of Israel, representing the eradication of the oldest communities in the Diaspora, will be commemorated this Shabbat - Parshat Toldot (Generations) - with a global kaddish prayer being recited in 50 synagogues in Israel, Britain, the US, Canada and elsewhere.

The memorial day was chosen by former MK Shimon Ohayon, who drafted a bill to establish an official day for commemorating the fate of Jewish communities who fled Arab lands and Iran in 2014. This was done “because it was a day after November 29, 1947 when the UN Partition Plan was passed, and the Arab League and its member countries increased the persecution in their Jewish countries.”

Since then, the annual remembrance has spread. British businessman and philanthropist David A. Dangoor, who grew up in Baghdad and serves as vice president of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq, told The Jerusalem Post that last year, at the initiative of an Iraqi Jew living in Montreal Sass Peress, the global kaddish was recited in 12 synagogues around the world.

“So far, to the best of my knowledge almost 50 synagogues will be participating this year, the overwhelming majority of which serve communities whose congregants are from the Middle East and North Africa,” Dangoor said, stressing that they “strongly believe that this should become an annual event for all Jewish communities, just as other days are.”

Commemoration is always important and “if we single out one community whose history is not deemed worthy then we are not being true to ourselves as a people.
Sigd Holiday Brings Thousands to Jerusalem to Celebrate
Thousands of Ethiopian- Israelis, known as Beta Israel, traveled from across the country to the Haas Promenade facing the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday to celebrate the Sigd holiday together with the community’s elders, senior ministers, MKs and the mayor of Jerusalem.
Sigd, whose roots are found in the biblical Book of Nehemiah, is marked 50 days after Yom Kippur.

The day of prayer and fasting culminating with a banquet began with the recitation of traditional prayers and excerpts from the Bible, followed by addresses from Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, and a video message from President Reuven Rivlin.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post at the event, Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel Rabbi Reuven Wabshat said that after the mass immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel the decision had been taken by the community to continue to celebrating the holiday, even though its essence is about the yearning to return to Jerusalem.

Wabshat said that the decision was made so that the community would not forget the “powerful heritage of Ethiopian Jewry,” and to help Israeli society understand the travails experienced by the Ethiopian Jewish community throughout their history in Africa before their return to Israel.




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