Friday, January 03, 2020

From Ian:

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: The keys to understanding American anti-Semitism — and fighting back
The shocking events in Monsey, together with those in Jersey City, Poway, and Pittsburgh, are proof that the darkness has returned. It has returned likewise to virtually every country in Europe. That this should have happened within living memory of the Holocaust, after the most systematic attempt ever made by a civilization to find a cure for the virus of the world's longest hate - more than half a century of Holocaust education and anti-racist legislation - is almost unbelievable.

Cyberspace has proved to be an effective incubator of resentment. The Internet is particularly dangerous for loners, people in whom the normal process of socialization - learning to live with others who are not like us - has broken down.

When bad things happen, bad people ask, "Who did this to me?" They cast themselves as victims and search for scapegoats to blame. The scapegoat of choice has long been the Jews. For a thousand years, they were the most prominent non-Christian minority in Europe. Today, the State of Israel is the most significant non-Muslim presence in the Middle East. It is easy to blame Jews because they are conspicuous, because they are a minority and because they are there.

Anti-Semitism has little to do with Jews - they are its object, not its cause - and everything to do with dysfunction in the communities that harbor it.
Melanie Phillips: Anti-Semitism is the ultimate marker of cultural derangement
Victim culture originated from the West’s pathological reaction to the Holocaust. The realization of its magnitude did not eradicate Western Jew-hatred; it merely drove it underground.

This set up a terrible resentment that people could no longer blame the Jews for the crimes of which the anti-Semitic West believed they were guilty. The claim of anti-Semitism was perceived to give the Jews a free pass for their misdeeds.

A deep jealousy of anti-Semitism therefore set in. Identity politics sprang up to define groups as victims in order to gain similar impunity.

But there was an enormous difference. These “victim groups” wanted a free pass for actual misdeeds. But the Jews’ perceived threat to humanity existed only in the warped imagination of anti-Semites.

Not only has real Jew-hatred accordingly been denied, but the attention currently given to it has bred yet more by multiplying the resentment. So the anti-Semitism prevalent in black, Muslim or Palestinian discourse has been ignored and white people blamed instead.

In Britain’s Independent, Rivkah Brown wrote that Prime Minster Boris Johnson—a social liberal—was the “acceptable face of white supremacy,” and that the anti-Jewish monster “rising from the slime” was not Corbynism but “white nationalism.”

Similarly, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio previously blamed the upsurge in anti-Semitism on “the forces of white supremacy” and “the right-wing movement.” And U.S. President Donald Trump, arguably history’s most pro-Jewish occupant of the White House, is himself accused of inspiring this explosion of Jew-hatred.

Such preposterous claims are the product of a culture that has abolished objective truth and thus reason itself.

The Jews always get it in the neck during periods of cultural turmoil. But more to the point, the Jews produced the moral compass the West has now lost.

So it’s no surprise that they find themselves the principal targets of this madness. This open season against them will only end if Western society abandons its decadent ideologies and recovers its center of moral gravity.

But liberals are descending ever deeper into the vortex of unreason and moral inversion. Anti-Semitism is the ultimate marker of cultural derangement. And so this threat to the Jews isn’t going to end anytime soon.
Caroline Glick: When will American Jewry wake up?
One of the most powerful caucuses in the House is the Congressional Black Caucus. Its leading members publicly support Farrakhan despite his role in propagating anti-Jewish bigotry in the black community.

In the 2016 presidential race, Trump faced near-daily demands – which he met – to reject the endorsement of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and denounce him. The liberal Jewish establishment refused to accept Trump’s repeated renunciations of his support as genuine.

In the 2008 presidential race, then-Senator Barack Obama was asked once to reject Farrakhan’s endorsement. He refused. 88 percent of American Jews voted for him, and declared him "the first Jewish president."

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio passed radical bail reform policies that give thugs get-out-of-jail-free cards. Accordingly, last Saturday a woman arrested after violently assaulting three Jewish women in Brooklyn was released from jail without bail. She was arrested again Sunday after attacking a fourth woman, and promptly released again.

DeBlasio blamed the Monsey attack on Trump.

As far as progressive Jewish activists are concerned, DeBlasio’s policies are anti-black. Last week they criticized DeBlasio’s announcement that he was augmenting police patrols in Jewish neighborhoods claiming, "This is what dividing vulnerable communities looks like."

This sort of crazy talk is not cost-free. It is dangerous. Inconvenient truths will not go away just because they are unpleasant.

It is a fact that leftist and black anti-Semites are just as great a threat, if not greater threats to the Jewish community than white nationalist anti-Semites.

It is a fact that the Republican Party rejects anti-Semitism in all its forms and expels anti-Semites found in its ranks, and the Democratic Party enables and advances leftist and black anti-Semites and anti-Semitism.

So long as the liberal Jewish establishment and its members refuse to accept these facts, the attacks against America’s Jews can be expected to increase in frequency and violence.



Jews From Around Globe Pledge to Participate in #JewishandProud Day Initiative on Monday
Jews from 28 countries around the world have committed to take part in an initiative on Monday led by the American Jewish Committee, the organization announced.

The AJC has designated Jan. 6 as #JewishandProud Day, and is encouraging people to sign up to participate in the “worldwide affirmation of Jewish pride” by wearing with pride something that is identifiably Jewish, such as a kippah, or sharing on social media a photo of them holding a sign that features the hashtag slogan.

“Whether you have a kippah, a necklace with a Jewish symbol, a t-shirt written in Hebrew, or anything else identifiably Jewish, wear your Jewishness publicly and proudly, in the United States or abroad, in cities big and small,” said the AJC. “Even if you don’t have something identifiably Jewish to wear, print our #JewishandProud sign or make your own image featuring the #JewishandProud slogan and post a photo of yourself with the image and hashtag on social media.”

Those who are not Jewish are invited to use the hashtag online or submit a message at AJC.org/JewishandProud about what they will be doing in 2020 to support the Jewish community.

The participants will include one resident of North Carolina who has vowed to wear a kippah on Monday, as well as a Jewish man in California who said, “I will walk all over the city with my big kippah and I will speak all day with everybody only in Hebrew [so they will] ask what kind of language that is. I will explain to them the importance of being Jewish and the pride of the Hebrew language for the people of Israel.”
Commentary Magazine Podcast: The Anti-Semitic Wave
The shock over the violence against Jews on the streets of New York City and in its suburbs might be welcome but, we ask on today’s podcast, where were people when all this started two years ago? Where were the media? Where were the Jewish organizations? We also discuss Iran’s shenanigans in Iraq and how the Democratic party is slouching toward nominating Joe Biden. Give a listen.
Stop Blaming Jews for Anti-Semitism
There have been a number of repulsive articles over the past few weeks blaming New York’s Jews for precipitating violence that is, um, “seen by some” as anti-Semitic. Yet, this piece by NBC News, which insinuates that icky ultra-Orthodox Jews bring some of this misery on themselves by having the temerity to move to the suburbs, might be the most tone-deaf of them all:
For years, ultra-Orthodox Jewish families pushed out of increasingly expensive Brooklyn neighborhoods have been turning to the suburbs, where they have taken advantage of open space and cheaper housing to establish modern-day versions of the European shtetls where their ancestors lived for centuries before the Holocaust. (The irritated italics are mine.)

I grew up in suburban Long Island, a place where nearly every Italian, Irish, and Jewish family I knew had, at some point, moved out of one of New York City’s boroughs to take advantage of “open spaces.” In those days New Yorkers were fleeing rampant criminality, litter, and mismanagement, rather than gentrification and high prices, but it was always about easier living.

Oftentimes, the refugees from the city would import the ethnic character of their neighborhoods to their new towns. Many suburban enclaves were mostly inhabited by one tribe or another, including the predominately Jewish “Five Towns.” Jews — and especially orthodox Jews who won’t drive on Sabbath — live near synagogues and form close-knit communities around them. This is nothing new. Yet no one, as far as I can recall, ever made the argument that Cedarhurst was a modern-day European shtetl.

Yet there is this from a (now-deleted) tweet from NBC:
With the expansion of Orthodox communities outside NYC has come civic sparring, and some fear the recent violence may be an outgrowth of that conflict.

There is certainly no way any reporter would hold a job very long if they suggested “black expansion” or “Hispanic expansion” or “Muslim expansion” — “expansion” being a euphemism for “moving into a neighborhood” — had somehow engendered violence against a minority community. They would, rightly, fold that resentment against the minority group into the larger problem of bigotry. Framing the spike in violence as an outgrowth of this “civic sparring” intimates that Jews have helped trigger the criminality by their very existence.
Anti-Semitism is a symptom
Three major groups of Americans targeted Jews in the late 19th century: agrarian rebels caught up in the Populist movement, patrician intellectuals in the East, and the urban poor of bustling cities. Manifest differences distinguished these Kansas farmers, Cambridge intellectuals, and Manhattan day laborers from one another, but all looked upon the Jew as the cause of their misfortune. Once again, anti-Semitism reveals much more about American society’s fears and forebodings than it does about Jews.

Following World War I, as Americans grew disillusioned with internationalism, fearful of Bolshevik subversion, and frightened that foreigners would corrupt the nation’s values and traditions, manifestations of anti-Semitism multiplied. Much of it bore the imprimatur of a national hero, automaker Henry Ford. In his newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, and in books entitled The International Jew, he described a worldwide Jewish conspiracy based upon the notorious anti-Semitic forgery known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The ills he projected – unraveling family bonds, new styles in dress and music, changing sexual mores, Hollywood “lasciviousness,” and the “filthy tide” sweeping over the theater — reveal little about actual American Jews, but a great deal about Ford himself and the fractured culture of the 1920s.

A century later, with anti-Semitism back on the front page, these many historical examples of Americans targeting Jews and other out-groups during eras of intense social and cultural strain demonstrate the importance of distinguishing symptoms from diseases. America has experienced eras of crisis before, and Jews in America have been victimized before. In each case, anti-Semitism has been the symptom of larger social maladies, revealing more about the parlous state of American society than about Jews.

There are ways of mitigating symptoms of social stress: policing, education, vigilance, and the like. To repair the fabric of American society for the long-term, however, will require fresh leadership and a renewed commitment to shared values.
Ha'aretz: We Thought Anti-Semitism Was No Threat to U.S. Jews. We Were Wrong
Anti-Semitism is back, and Jews everywhere in America are concerned. Jews have been in this movie before, and their antennae are up. America was supposed to be different, but now the possibility is beginning to emerge that it is not.

Anti-Semitism is not a single phenomenon with a single source, but multiple things happening at once. There is the anti-Semitism of white nationalism, a bigotry of the right. There is the anti-Semitism of intersectionality, a bigotry of the left. There is the anti-Semitism of jihadism. There is the anti-Semitism rooted in anti-Zionism. People hate Jews for a variety of reasons, and that is as true in the U.S. as it is elsewhere.

Bottom line: Anti-Semitism never disappears from the human heart. And we must fight the deadly toxin wherever we find it.
NY Democrats condemn anti-Semitic attacks, but say unclear what’s fueling them
In the wake of several attacks on Jews in the New York area in recent months, seven House Democrats representing districts of New York City held a news conference to emphasize that they are committed to stamping out anti-Semitism.

But in addition to discussing initiatives designed to help decrease anti-Semitic attacks, the lawmakers admitted that finding specific root causes of the recent incidents is proving difficult.

Representatives Max Rose, Yvette Clarke, Eliot Engel, Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks, Carolyn Maloney and Grace Meng held the conference at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a Holocaust remembrance museum in lower Manhattan. Evelyn Cruz, the Brooklyn district director for Representative Nydia Velazquez, was also at the event.

“It’s not clear what is going on, but we are going to get to the bottom of it, and that’s why you’ve seen African-American leaders like [representatives] Greg Meeks, Yvette Clarke, [Brooklyn Borough President] Eric Adams, and myself step up to speak out and to say we’re not going to tolerate this in our community,” Jeffries told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency after the event.

The lawmakers did not address the specific motivations behind recent attacks in the area, which have included a shooting at a kosher market in Jersey City and a machete stabbing at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, a suburb of New York City. Jews have been harassed and sometimes violently assaulted on the streets of Brooklyn for months.
NAACP New Jersey Official Slams Chassidic Jews, Insisting They Receive Privileges Over Blacks
A local NAACP leader in New Jersey slammed Chassidic Jews at a community forum earlier this week in the town of Montclair.

James Harris, chair of the education committee of the Montclair branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), began his speech on Monday by saying that he was speaking as the chair of the New Jersey Association of Black Educators.

The local news site Tap Into Montclair first reported his remarks.

In Lakewood, Harris said that “the Jewish community controls the board of education and the city council, but they spend huge amounts of money sending their kids to the yeshivahs, and they’ve gutted the budget for the black and Latino students who are left in public schools.”

He continued, saying that “$15 million went for transportation to send the Jewish kids to the yeshivahs when they couldn’t get the additional funding for regular public schools.”

He then made a comparison to a budget deficit in Jersey City, where three people, two of them Chassidic Jews, were killed at a kosher supermarket on Dec. 10. He said he visited Jersey City after the tragedy, which he called “the unfortunate murder.”
New York Jewish Federation names former NYPD expert new security chief
UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York announced that Mitchell D. Silber – former director of intelligence analysis at the New York City Police Department – has been named executive director of the Community Security Initiative, a new position created as part of UJA and JCRC-NY’s $4 million plan to help secure Jewish institutions in the New York region.

The move was done in partnership with the Paul E. Singer Foundation, Carolyn and Marc Rowan, and several foundations, according to UJA in a statement announcing the move. Silber will begin on Feb. 3.

"The recent wave of anti-Semitic crimes over the past week, including the horrific attack in Monsey, NY, during a Hanukkah celebration, demonstrates the urgent need for additional levels of security for Jewish institutions," said UJA CEO Eric Goldstein in the statement. "With his extensive frontline expertise protecting Jewish communities, Mitchell D. Silber is uniquely qualified to lead this team and work with Jewish institutions and city, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies to address the threats facing New York’s Jewish community."

In the new role, Silber, 49, will lead a team of an additional five new security professionals to help provide the highest level of protection to Jewish religious and cultural institutions in all five boroughs of New York City, in Westchester and on Long Island. This will include developing the infrastructure to support and train professionals in synagogues, Jewish community centers, and schools.

He will work closely with JCRC-NY’s David Pollock to lead a team to guide institutions to enhance their security, access government security funding, and build an enhanced communications system that will bind this work into an effective and efficient security network.
Hanukkah stabbing suspect was questioned in previous Monsey attack
The man charged in the machete attack on a Hanukkah celebration north of New York City had been questioned by local authorities in connection with an earlier stabbing of an Orthodox Jewish man in the same town, police said Thursday.

Grafton Thomas faces state and federal charges in Saturday’s Hanukkah attack, which wounded five people at a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York.

That attack came as police in the same town were investigating a November 20 stabbing in which a man was critically injured while walking to a synagogue.

Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said police questioned Thomas based on video evidence that suggested a Honda Pilot may have been involved in the November stabbing. Thomas’ mother drives a Honda Pilot, and authorities said they seized and searched that vehicle following Thomas’ arrest in Saturday’s attack.
Further Antisemitic Assaults in Brooklyn Reported as Jewish Community Readies for Solidarity March on Sunday
A Jewish teenager wearing a kippah was identified as the latest victim of the spate of antisemitic attacks in New York over the holiday season.

Zachary Hershkovich, 15, was riding the B83 bus in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn on Tuesday when he was set upon by two strangers who taunted him with antisemitic barbs. They then flashed a knife and snatched his kippah and earbuds.

The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident — the 11th antisemitic attack in New York in recent weeks. Other incidents have included a spate of physical assaults on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as the knife attack on a Hanukkah celebration in the town of Monsey in which five people were wounded.

Commenting on Tuesday’s attack on the Jewish teen, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned “this repugnant act.”

Said Cuomo on Twitter: “It’s exactly why I am increasing State Police presence in Jewish neighborhoods around the state and why I visited Williamsburg to show solidarity and love for our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
Manhattan DA Declines to Prosecute Anti-Semitic Attack as Hate Crime
Update Jan. 3 2:33 p.m.: Following the Washington Free Beacon‘s initial report on the decision by the Manhattan DA not to prosecute the attack as a hate crime, which prompted a fierce backlash on social media, the Manhattan DA informed Lihi Aharon's lawyers that they will now present the case as a hate crime before a grand jury in the coming weeks.

"We just received word that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office is reversing course and will be presenting this matter as a hate crime to the grand jury," the Lawfare Project's Goldstein informed the Free Beacon Friday. "We were heartened to see the Jewish community and our allies mobilize so quickly in support for Lihi and grateful the DA took notice of the overwhelming public response."
Media victim-blames Jews for anti-Semitic attacks
Anti-Semitic attacks are increasing at an alarming rate in the New York area, and NBC New York seems to think Hasidic and Orthodox Jews have somehow created this problem by … living there.

In a now-deleted tweet, the media outlet shared a story and claimed “the expansion of Orthodox communities outside NYC” has resulted in “civic sparring,” and “some fear the recent violence may be an outgrowth of that conflict.” NBC New York deleted the tweet shortly after, but the story, originally reported and written by the Associated Press, itself isn’t much better. In fact, it might be worse.

The growing Jewish presence in New York’s suburbs “has led to predictable sparing over new housing development and local political control,” the article states. Some communities have even passed zoning ordinances to make themselves less attractive to Hasidic Jews, since they have “special needs” such as “housing for large families and residences within walking distance to a synagogue.” This creates “demands that are counter to many of the communities they’re residing in,” according to Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

That should have been the part of the interview where the AP's reporter interrupted Day and pushed back on his incredible claim that Jewish needs are outside the scope of Rockland County’s responsibilities. Instead, the network went out of its way to justify what he was saying!

“In small towns everywhere, resentment against newcomers and ‘outsiders’ isn't uncommon,” the story states. “Proposals for multi-family housing complexes in sleepy communities of single-family homes often trigger fervent opposition complete with lawn signs and rowdy town board meeting crowds.”

Civic disputes in Jewish communities are indeed a reality and should be reported as such. But to turn them into some kind of rationale for anti-Semitic violence is to insinuate that Orthodox Jews brought it on themselves — that they could have prevented these attacks by not engaging in said civic disputes and simply accept that they cannot live in certain counties.


A fake Twitter account stirred tensions between Jews and African Americans. Trolls celebrated
Trolls on the online forum 4chan celebrated on New Year's Day as a fake Twitter (TWTR) account seeking to stoke tensions between Jewish and black Americans amid a string of anti-Semitic attacks in New York provoked outrage. Even as the trolls celebrated, the account went unchecked by Twitter for hours despite dozens of users saying they reported the account to the social media company.

The incident is more evidence of how trolls work to increase racial division in the US. It also raises questions about Twitter's commitment to combating hate on its platform and how quickly it will respond to fake accounts seeking to stoke such divisions during an election year.

"As a fellow Jew who was frightened by the string of anti-Semitic attacks, I am frightened," the fake account, which used the name "Elaine Goldschmidt," tweeted Wednesday. Using the n-word to describe black Americans, "Goldschmidt" added they "were supposed to be on our side. Now, we have lost control of them."

The account bore clear hallmarks of the kind of fake beloved by racist trolls: It used a supposedly stereotypical Jewish name, its bio contained extreme statements that trolls use to parody liberals, it was just set up on Wednesday, and its profile image was a stolen picture of a real person -- a Scottish comedian who's been a 4chan target and who did not authorize the use of her photo.

Still, the tweet picked up hundreds of likes and retweets. And Twitter users who reported the account Wednesday were told by the social media company that the account did not break its rules.
The JC apologizes to Col Richard Kemp
We published an article on 11 December 2019 that could have been interpreted as suggesting that Colonel Richard Kemp, the former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, discriminates personally against Muslims and promotes the hate and intimidation of Muslims.

We would like to clarify that neither of these suggestions was intended or is true.

Colonel Kemp has a long and proud record of defending Muslims. He was awarded medals by two Muslim countries, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, for defending their people in 1990 and 1991.

He was also awarded a bravery decoration in 1995 by the Queen for risking his own life to protect the lives of inhabitants of a Muslim village in Bosnia, an act that was recognised by the Muslim leader of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Colonel Kemp has rigorously condemned Islamic extremists who threaten Muslims and non-Muslims alike over many years but has not spoken against Muslims in general.

Our article also suggested that Colonel Kemp was removed from an event in London organised by the group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism because of “Islamophobic” comments he had allegedly made in social media.

No comments made by Colonel Kemp could reasonably be interpreted as “Islamophobic” and he was not removed from this event; in fact he withdrew himself due to conflicting commitments.

We would like to apologise to Colonel Kemp for any misunderstanding, damage, distress or embarrassment to him and his family.
Palestinian Conflict: Is 2020 ground zero for West Bank annexation?
Israel is likely to have an unprecedented window of opportunity over the next ten months to apply Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank settlements in Area C.

The actualization of annexation, small or large, could make 2020 one of the more pivotal junctures in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At issue is not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future, but rather US President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and his persistent courting of the right-wing Christian and Jewish voters.

Trump’s support for Israel, particularly his relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, is so central to his reelection campaign that it is part of his stump speech at most of his rallies.

So it’s hard to imagine his administration risking losing voters by picking a fight with Israel over the annexation of West Bank settlements in the next ten months.

The Trump administration has already signaled that such a presumption could be correct. It has never chastised Netanyahu for his annexation pledges or made it appear in any way that such talk had created tension with Washington. The only difference of opinion has been on the technical issue of whether he had discussed those plans with the US.

Netanyahu’s ability to so bluntly speak of annexation comes in the aftermath of at least two years of increasingly supportive US statements with regard to the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.
Israel inks mega gas pipeline deal with Greece, Cyprus
Israel, Greece and Cyprus on Thursday signed an agreement for a huge pipeline project to ship gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe despite Turkey’s hostility to the deal.

The move comes amid tensions with Turkey over its activities in the area and a maritime deal with Libya expanding Ankara’s claims over a large gas-rich area of the sea.

The 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) EastMed pipeline will be able to carry between nine and 12 billion cubic meters of gas a year from offshore reserves held by Israel and Cyprus to Greece, and then on to Italy and other southeastern European countries.

The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has sparked a scramble for the energy riches and a row between Cyprus and Turkey, which occupies the northern part of the Mediterranean island.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades joined the ceremony at which their respective energy ministers signed the deal in Athens.

“This a big day for Israel, which is becoming an energy power. We signed supply agreements with many neighbors, this strengthens the [Israeli] economy,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying after the signing by the Kan public broadcaster.
Greece, Israel and Cyprus Call Turkey’s Planned Libya Deployment ‘Dangerous Escalation’
Turkey’s bill allowing troop deployment in Libya marks a dangerous escalation in the North African country’s civil war and severely threatens stability in the region, a joint statement by Greece, Israel and Cyprus said late on Thursday.

“This decision constitutes a gross violation of the UNSC resolution…imposing an arms embargo in Libya and seriously undermines the international community’s efforts to find a peaceful, political solution to the Libyan conflict,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said in the statement.

The Turkish Parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill that allows troops to be deployed in Libya, in a move that paves the way for further military cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli but is unlikely to put boots on the ground immediately.
One killed in Paris stabbing, assailant shot dead in suspected terror attack
French police shot dead a knife-wielding man who killed one person and injured at least two others in a park in a suburb south of Paris on Friday, police and sources close to the inquiry said.

The man had attacked “several people” in a park in Villejuif before he was “neutralized,” the Paris police department said.

Sources close to the investigation told AFP one of the victims had later died.

The attacker was shot dead by police in a neighboring suburb.

Local mayor, Vincent Jeanbrun, told broadcaster BFM-TV that the attacker assaulted people in a park in Villejuif, then fled to a shopping center in his area, L’Hay-les-Roses, and was shot by police there.

Police union official Yves Lefebvre said officers fired repeatedly because they feared the man was wearing an explosive belt and might blow himself up.

At least two other people were wounded, one of them seriously, a source added.
Iron Dome defense system notes 85% success rate in 2019, IDF says
The Israeli military on Thursday released data on operational activity on all fronts in 2019, showing that its "campaign between the wars" – an ongoing Israeli military and intelligence effort to disrupt the force buildup of the Iranian-Shiite axis throughout the Middle East – is nowhere near winding down.

The Gaza Strip sector continued to be highly volatile, as terrorist groups fired 1,295 projectiles at Israel. Some 729 rockets hit open areas, while the Iron Dome defense system intercepted 478 shells, noting an 85% success rate.

The IDF struck 900 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror targets in the coastal enclave last year.

The defense establishment continued making progress on Project Hourglass – the construction of an underground barrier meant to neutralize Hamas' grid of terror tunnels.

Israel is currently building a 60-kilometer (40-mile) barrier some 250 meters (820 feet) from the Israel-Gaza border. At 80 centimeters (30 inches) wide, the barrier has a system of advanced sensor and monitoring devices to detect tunnels, while above ground there will be a fence 6 meters (20 feet) high, similar to the one which runs along the Israeli-Egyptian border. The expected cost of construction is over 3 billion shekels ($870 million).

In 2019, the IDF was able to complete 22 kilometers (13 miles) of the barrier. Brig. Gen. (res.) Eran Ofir, who oversees the project, said he was confident the barrier would be concluded by the end of 2020, as planned.

IDF data further showed a decrease in terrorist attacks across Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem – 51 in 2019 compared to 76 in 2018.
How they protect their people from Islamic terror
I travelled to the West Bank to take a look at what IDF soldiers are doing. A soldier showed me what they're protecting, while a local Jew shares a story of the horrific murder of his neighbour by a Jihadi. The Jewish man also shows us the risk of living next door to terrorists, the bullet holes through his home. Then we decided to show our support to the local heroes. (h/t vwVwwVwv)


Abbas warns PA on the verge of 'explosion' over withheld tax revenues
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that Israel’s decision to withhold $43 million of the tax revenues it transfers to the PA, commensurate with the amount the PA pays to convicted terrorists, would lead to "an explosion."

The PA pays some $11 million a month to terrorists in Israeli prisons and to their families, as part of a policy that has become known in Israel as "pay for slay."

According to a Channel 13 News report, PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh told Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon during a meeting on Tuesday that the Israeli decision "has stirred emotions," and that the PA in Judea and Samaria "is on the brink of an explosion."
Palestinian Boys Are Raised to Be "Martyrs"
In a video that Fatah posted on its official Facebook page, a young Palestinian girl describes how a little boy excitedly awaited a gift that his mother promised him.

But instead of handing him a toy, his mother hands him a rifle and says:

"My son, we were not created for happiness.... Jerusalem is ours, our weapon is our Islam, and our ammunition is our children. And you, O my son, are meant for martyrdom."

Is this anything but child abuse? The PA has been brainwashing Palestinian children to aspire to martyrdom for more than 20 years.

The ICC recently announced that it is considering investigating Israel for "war crimes," while the real criminals - the Palestinian Authority leaders - are abusing children, raising them to kill and be killed, right in front of the many international organizations that claim they are concerned about the well-being of Palestinian children.
Palestinian 'Moderates' Celebrate Terror
It is worth noting that the published statements made in the past few days by the Fatah group in the Gaza Strip are almost entirely consistent with the Hamas ideology [of replacing Israel with an Islamic state through violent jihad (holy war)].

"We will continue the struggle until the liberation of the entire Palestine lands from the filth of the Zionist occupation." – Fatah, Kataeb Shuhada Al-Aqsa - Liwa' Al-Shaheed Nidal Al-Amoudi, November 13, 2019.

Those who continue to refer to Fatah as a "moderate" Palestinian faction need to take into account that it speaks in different voices in Arabic and English and sends conflicting messages as to its true intentions.

Either... Fatah members in the Gaza Strip are convinced that the talk about a two-state solution is purely a ploy to gain international funding and sympathy, or because they want to ensure that Abbas continues to provide them with financial aid....

One thing remains clear... Abbas and the Fatah leaders who are talking about a two-state solution are at the same time endorsing the strategy of their military wing to destroy Israel.

Palestinians confirm receiving Ottoman State land documents
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday confirmed that it has received from Turkey a copy of the Ottoman Empire Archives, including land registries from the territories under its control between 1516 and 1917.

The Palestinian Center for Heritage and Islamic Research (METHAQ) said that it received the documents from Turkey in April 2018 and is keeping them for the “purposes of scientific research and documentation of the Palestinian historic narrative.”

Khalil al-Rifai, director of the center, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that the documents would be used to “confirm Palestinian ownership of lands in light of the [Israeli] settlement offensive and attempts to seize Palestinian properties.”

METHAQ, which belongs to the PA’s Religious Affairs Ministry, said that the Palestinians received the documents from Turkey in accordance with a “memorandum of understanding” signed between the PA Foreign Ministry and the Turkish authorities.

Rifai said that the documents are "certified electronic copies, and anyone can view and benefit from them in scientific research of the Palestinian lands."


The Young Women in the First Auschwitz Transport
On March 25, 1942, 997 Slovakian Jewish teenage girls and unmarried young women were deported on the first official transport of Jews to Auschwitz. Told by Slovakian authorities that they would be going away to do government work for just a few months, the Jewish girls and women were actually sold by their government for about $200 apiece as slave labor. Very few of them survived the war. Their story is told in the new book, 999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz, by Heather Dune Macadam.

When these previously sheltered young women arrived at Auschwitz, there was little there, and the young women were forced to build the camp under grueling conditions. With bare hands, they cleared land, dismantled buildings, moved materials and did agricultural work. It wasn't long before many of the girls started dying from accidents, disease, malnutrition or suicide on the electrified fence.

The women of the first transport had an advantage over the Jews who arrived later, many of whom were immediately sent to the gas chambers - including many of the girls' own family members.


Auschwitz Museum condemns Polish school’s reenactment of Nazi gas chamber
The Auschwitz Museum condemned a school ceremony in which students enacted a scene depicting the gassing of concentration camp victims.

At a ceremony last month, seven-year-old children from the school in Łabunie in eastern Poland portrayed victims of the Nazis. The students dressed in striped uniforms and when the “gas” in the form of steam appeared on the stage, they fell to the floor simulating death in a gas chamber.

The incident was first reported by Polish Newsweek.

“Nazi Germany was a country which broke the rules of natural law and which was instead based on the norms of law created by man,” Mariusz Kukiełka, the mayor of Łabunie, told the children and their parents.

“Today,” she continued, “we still have to contend with various people, with leftist groups, which are bent upon creating a new man, a new godless society.”

The ceremony was linked to the dedication of the school’s new name, The Children of Zamojszczyzna, which references the deportation of 110,000 Poles, including 30,000 children, in 1942 and 1943, as part of a German attempt at ethnically cleansing of that area of occupied Poland. Some of the children from the area were later brought to Majdanek and Auschwitz.
Two men arrested for vandalizing graves at a Jewish cemetery in Germany
German police arrested two suspects in the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in the town of Geilenkirchen.

The suspects, ages 21 and 33, allegedly knocked over more than 40 gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday. The men, who were reportedly wearing hoods, also defaced some of the graves with blue paint.

A witness called the police, who arrested the suspects.

Meanwhile, on Sunday night two hooded men vandalized a Jewish cemetery in the town of Geilenkirchen in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The suspects, ages 21 and 33, allegedly knocked down more than 40 gravestones and defaced some with blue spray-paint.

The incident comes amid an increase in antisemitic incidents in Germany. In May, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office reported that the number of antisemitic attacks in the country had risen from 1,691 in 2001 to 1,799 in 2018. Most acts of violence were motivated by right-wing sentiments. A small percentage are ascribed to left-wing extremists and Islamic extremists.
MEMRI: Amazon Sells And Promotes Antisemitic Literature in French, In Direct Violation Of French Hate Speech Laws
The following report reviews the sales of antisemitic books in French on Amazon.fr, with a focus on French antisemitic writer Hervé Ryssen. Amazon's platform is available to antisemitic authors writing in many languages, including French. In France, Amazon.fr contravenes the French hate speech laws which aim at protecting individuals and groups from defamation on the grounds of identity.

Indeed, Amazon appears to be the largest library of antisemitic books online. Not only does it enable readers from all parts of the world to buy the books, but it also encourages purchases as Christmas gifts during the holiday season, offers free shipping, and in the same way that it routinely offers additional books to its clients based on their preferences, suggests a wide range of additional antisemitic titles, with the caption: "the clients who bought this item also bought [the following items]," followed by a series of antisemitic titles which it offers for sale.

However, Amazon does not only promote antisemitic books on its own platform. An online reader of a newspaper posting ads might come across an offer to buy antisemitic books if they had at one point showed some interest in them on Amazon. This is the same means Amazon uses to promote ordinary items.

Additionally, Amazon promotes these books with the openly antisemitic text that it adds to describe them. The following are examples of antisemitic books and authors promoted on Amazon.fr. Some books are originally in French and others are French translations of well-known antisemitic works, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This report provides an overview and is not a comprehensive survey.


Belgian 13-year-old takes European media to task, starts Israel advocacy group
When 13-year-old Gabriel Pais and his friends in Brussels, Belgium, play basketball, their moves aren’t observed only by the referee: The boys are watched by Belgian soldiers and private Israeli security guards. It’s a reality the teen says he’s gotten used to in an era of violent anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks worldwide. But for his bar mitzvah project, Pais hopes to change that — which is why he launched YAFI, or Young Advocates for Israel.

The group’s purpose, Pais told The Times of Israel over the phone as he wrapped up a busy two-week trip to the Jewish state, is to reach out to fellow European young people and give them a more complete picture of Jews and Israel than what they might see in the media. This, he said, could go a long way towards helping familiarize people with the true Israel and combating racism.

In the six weeks since YAFI was launched, Pais’s videos — which he posts to the group’s Facebook page — have gotten tens of thousands of views, and he was even invited to meet with Israel’s ambassador to Belgium. He also spoke to multiple Israeli and Hebrew-language media outlets over the course of his Israel trip.

“I didn’t think it would go so fast on the social networks,” Pais said. “All day long I’m getting notifications on social media from people who have seen my posts. I had no idea so many people would see them so quickly.”
Palestinian nurses from West Bank and Gaza hone their skills at Israeli hospital
A group of Palestinian nurses from the West Bank and Gaza Strip quickly huddled around a high-tech mannequin at a hospital in central Israel that, for the sake of the exercise, had gone into a cardiac arrest. One of them carefully placed an oxygen mask on the $100,000 blonde-haired dummy and another started to perform CPR on it, while a third set a pulse oximeter around its finger.

Communicating in English to each other, the nurses continued to attempt to resuscitate the mannequin, as their Israeli instructor observed them. Minutes later, the “patient” woke up from its cardiac arrest and its condition stabilized.

The nurses were taking part in a four-day medical simulation course that has been held for Palestinian health professionals at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan a few times annually for the past ten years.

“I have learned many things during this experience, which I will bring back with me to my community,” said a 42-year-old nurse from Gaza City, who teaches clinical nursing at a hospital in the coastal enclave and asked to remain nameless. “It is important because it has enabled me to work on improving my skills without fear that a real patient will be harmed.”

The course took place from Monday to Thursday at Sheba’s Israel Center for Medical Simulation and included various exercises with mannequins related to trauma management and resuscitation.

The program also featured sessions on managerial skills, focusing on how to deal with tense situations. In one of those sessions, for example, the nurses were asked to speak to an individual posing as a relative of a patient who was frustrated about the treatment his family member received.

Amitai Ziv, the founder and director of the Center for Medical Simulation, said that the courses at the facility aim to allow the health professionals to learn in a safe atmosphere.

“The message embedded in the programs here is let us err and reflect on our errors in a safe environment,” Ziv, who was a pilot in the Israeli Air Force, said in an interview, arguing such experiences make health professionals more competent at their jobs. (h/t Zvi)




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