Monday, January 06, 2020

From Ian:

Ben Cohen: The multiple faces of anti-Semitism
Several years ago, in an article for Commentary magazine, I offered a distinction between two kinds of anti-Semitic mindsets. I named the first one "bierkeller" anti-Semitism and the second one "bistro" anti-Semitism, as a way of illustrating the cultural gulf between these two forms.

Bierkellers, or "beer cellars," were the drinking establishments in Germany that during the 1920s and ’30s were the domain of Nazi thugs. They also provided an arena for Adolf Hitler to refine his foaming gutter rhetoric targeting communism, liberalism, and most of all, the Jews. There was no attempt to camouflage or prettify any of this rhetoric, which loudly declared that the Jews were Germany’s misfortune. The thorough dehumanization of the Jews in Nazi propaganda prepared the ground for a decade of persecution that culminated in the Holocaust.

Bierkeller anti-Semitism, then, was unmistakable and instantly recognizable. But "bistro" anti-Semitism – named a bit mischievously in honor of the cozy restaurants and bars where metropolitan intellectuals tend to gather – was, I argued, harder to identify. That is because Jews as Jews are rarely the direct targets of these writings, speeches, parliamentary resolutions and so on. Instead, the bistro mindset relies upon qualifiers, codes and euphemisms that seek to separate "Jews" and "Judaism" from "Zionism," "The State of Israel," "The Jewish Establishment" and the other bugbears of progressives who advance anti-Semitic arguments while indignantly deflecting the charge of anti-Semitism as a reputational smear without foundation.

This contrast between the full-throated anti-Semitism that denies the Jews their humanity and the camouflaged anti-Semitism that denies the Jews their nationality isn’t the only difference. Arguably more important is the observation that the "bierkeller" form of anti-Semitism explicitly aims to visit physical violence upon Jews, whereas in its "bistro" form, protestations against Jewish power and privilege manifest in the main non-violently form: for example, boycott campaigns, demonstrations against pro-Israel and Zionist speakers on university campuses, the constant opprobrium poured upon the Jewish state in the halls of the United Nations, and by leading human-rights NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Still, as the years have gone by, the gulf between crude anti-Semitism and its more polite expressions (between the "bierkeller" and the "bistro") has narrowed considerably. Among the examples I would cite is the British Labour Party, where the anti-Semitic rhetoric that destroyed its reputation over the last five years was, more often than not, of the "Rothschild Bankers Rule the World" variety. (Not to mention blaming Jews for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, accusing "Zionists" of having "collaborated" with the Nazi regime and a slew of other murky fantasies that had nothing to do with Israeli settlement policy.)
Don’t confuse me with facts: It’s always about the ‘occupation’
Like clockwork, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent observation that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law” was immediately denounced by the Jewish left.

The head of the Reform Movement in North America, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, said that the U.S. government’s new position on Israeli settlements will undercut the fight against BDS and the delegitimization of Israel in the United States, specifically on college campuses.

It’s not clear when Rabbi Jacobs was last on a campus, but the debate at North American colleges is not about the so-called “occupation” but about whether Israel has a right to exist, period. Pro-BDS groups, including “Jewish” ones, are talking about the illegitimacy of the 1949 armistice lines, not those of 1967.

Moreover, a recent survey conducted by Ron Hassner at the University of California, Berkeley shows that most students who care strongly about the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories” do not have knowledge of even basic facts on the subject.

Jacobs’s lack of understanding speaks to the divergent lexicon of the conflict, and more pointedly to the growing split between American Jews and Israelis. In many “progressive” circles there is little to no understanding of what areas are even in dispute; witness the continued claims that Gaza is “occupied” by Israel. For the BDS movement, everything Israeli, including Haifa and Tel Aviv, is a “settlement” and hence “illegal.”

Far more than American policy, it is the language of “occupation” that plays a key role in what has become the religion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The main feature of that religion is the Palestinian claim that their (alleged) territories are “occupied” by Israel, regardless of where they are located on the map, much less in any legal sense under international law.

The mantra of “occupation,” and the demand that Israel be shunned until the “occupation” is ended—meaning the time when Israel is dissolved by the implementation of the Palestinian “right of return”—is the key demand of the Palestinians and the BDS movement.
The U.S. Should Stop Ignoring the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Anti-Semitism
In September of last year, Columbia University hosted Mahathir Mohamad—who served as Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and returned to the office in 2018—as part of its World Leaders Forum. This year, Mahathir is expected to host the American president in Kuala Lumpur. Mahathir’s virulent anti-Semitism, notes Isaac Herzog, has never stopped democratic countries or their institutions from giving him this sort of respect—and he doesn’t even attempt to dress up his hatred of Jews as criticism of Israel:

This is a man who openly touts his anti-Semitism, repeatedly claiming Jews “are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively.” [He] has distributed copies of The International Jew—an anti-Semitic diatribe that had a key influence on the Nazis and is still banned in Germany—to his party members. Nevertheless, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle recently visited Malaysia for the Obama Foundation’s inaugural Asia Pacific leaders gathering from December 10-14.

With over 60 percent of its population harboring negative opinions of Jews, Malaysia has the highest rate of anti-Semitic views in Asia, [excluding the Middle East]. This is despite the fact that Malaysia has no geographic proximity to Israel, has never had any conflict with Israel, and does not have many Jewish citizens—the last reported to have fled due to anti-Semitism in the early 1980s.

But the most troubling aspect of the Malaysian example is the warm welcome Mahathir receives around the world. The welcome mat has been rolled out for him time and again in global cities, top universities, and leading media outlets. Time magazine has even named him on its 2019 list of the world’s 100 most influential people for his “core values.”

While the events attended by Presidents Obama and Trump in Malaysia are important global forums, America’s leaders and their counterparts worldwide must at a minimum adhere to and reaffirm their commitment to fighting and condemning Mahathir’s anti-Semitism.



25,000 people march against anti-Semitism in New York
Thousands of marchers assembled in Manhattan Sunday morning, taking to the streets and flooding the Brooklyn Bridge for hours as they crossed into the borough of Brooklyn amid chants of "No Hate, No Fear," the theme of the assembly in the works for days now.

An estimated 25,000 people converged on Manhattan’s Foley Square and made their way to Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza, where they heard from community leaders and organizations that urged Jewish pride and unity in the face of escalating anti-Semitism.

Sponsors included the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Anti-Defamation League, the Board of Rabbis of New York, the American Jewish Committee, and the UJA-Federation of New York.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) each spoke Sunday in Manhattan on streets packed with people holding signs and spontaneously breaking into song. "While we’re here today in the spirit of solidarity and love, government must do more than just offer thoughts and prayers – government must act," he said, adding that he would be proposing a new law for the state of New York that categorizes hate crimes as domestic terrorism.

"Today, we do not simply walk over a bridge, we begin building better bridges between all denominations of Jews, and between Jews and non-Jews," said Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York. "Building bridges means putting aside our differences, religious and political, and calling out anti-Semitism and all forms of hate wherever we see it. The purpose of today’s march is to loudly and publicly proclaim that an attack on a visibly Orthodox Jew is an attack on every Jew, an attack on every New Yorker and an attack on every person of goodwill."
#NoHateNoFear: Israel Rallies in Solidarity with US March Against Antisemitism
A rally in support of world Jewry and the marchers in New York City against the rise of anti-Semitism was held in Jerusalem on Sunday.
"The event in Jerusalem is intended to send a message of support from Israel to Diaspora Jewry in light of the sharp surge in anti-Semitic events in the world and the recent severe anti-Semitic incidents in Monsey, Brooklyn and New Jersey," the organizers said, according to Israel National News.

The event is hosted by the Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The Israeli display of solidarity will be held in parallel of a huge march set to take place in Brooklyn, initiated by the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Federation of New York, under the title “No Hate. No Fear.”


Weiss: Jews Do Not Cause Anti-Semitism
New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss on Sunday said the national media have "absolutely" been slow in their coverage of the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States.

Weiss spoke to CNN's Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter during the Jewish Solidarity March in Brooklyn. She told Stelter that mainstream media coverage of the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City has been marred by analysis which, in search of nuance, veers dangerously toward blaming Jews for the violence.

"It is not complicated. Jews do not cause Jew hatred, and I don't care if those Jews wear funny hats. Jews never cause Jew hatred," Weiss said.

Weiss in particular criticized the media's slowness to cover anti-Semitism by individuals prominently connected to the Democrats or liberal causes. She noted that it "took two years for the mainstream press" to cover the ties between Linda Sarsour—a former leader of the Women's March and surrogate for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam and an infamous anti-Semite.

Weiss also criticized the prominent role in Democratic politics of MSNBC host and civil rights activist Al Sharpton. Sharpton has been a key player in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, as many contenders have met with him to seek his endorsement; New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) recently compared Sharpton—who once called Jews "diamond merchants"—to Martin Luther King Jr.
The full text of Bari Weiss’s address to the “No Hate, No Fear” march




The Prophet
Tragedy transformed Devorah Halberstam into New York City’s most outspoken expert on anti-Semitic crime. Are we listening?

One Thursday night in late November, New York City’s incoming police commissioner, Dermot Shea, days away from his official swearing-in, arrived in central Brooklyn for a meeting with representatives of the city’s embattled Jewish community. More than 200 people turned out for the event, including a delegation of local cops, several members of the department’s top brass, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and representing the public, over a hundred Jews, the primary target of New York’s dramatic increase in hate crimes, who came from across the city’s different sects and denominations.

The event did not take place at one of Manhattan’s grand old synagogues, or in the midtown offices of a prominent Jewish organization, or even at the iconic headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Brooklyn. Instead, the new police commissioner traveled to Crown Heights, in the heart of the city’s Hasidic community, to hold his event at the Jewish Children’s Museum—a tot-magnet filled with biblical exhibits, a pretend kosher supermarket, and a spacious ball pit, that also happens to be the power center for its co-founder, a local woman named Devorah Halberstam.

In 1994, tragedy propelled Halberstam into a unique fate after her oldest child, 16-year-old Ari, was murdered in a brazen ambush on a van full of young Jewish boys crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Ari’s death devastated Devorah, who at the time was working as a secretary in Brooklyn while raising five children. Her grief turned into an obsession when the authorities asserted that her son’s killer, a man named Rashid Baz, was simply beset by a random fit of road rage—and happened to have military-style weapons in his vehicle.

Halberstam devoted herself to finding the truth. She discovered that Baz, a Lebanese immigrant, was motivated by an Islamist political ideology and a strong desire to kill Jews—both of which were amplified in his Brooklyn mosque. By giving up luxuries like sleep, she found time between work and taking care of her children to teach herself about counterterrorism, a field still so new in the mid-’90s that there were hardly any resources. Within a short while, she had intuited that Ari’s murder, far from being an arbitrary local crime, was, in fact, an early expression of a growing global political movement looking to make itself felt through acts of violence both inside and outside New York City.
Do Those Committed to Championing the Downtrodden Have Any Sympathy for Ultra-Orthodox Jews?
As the now routine attacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York City and its environs have become more frequent, and far more deadly, Abigail Shrier reflects on her experience at Yale Law School nearly two decades ago, and the way her classmates treated the school’s sole Haredi student:
Yale Law School was about as secular a place as I had ever been in—an institution where God seemed not only absent but strangely irrelevant. . . . But the open snickers of our classmates surprised me. They imitated how [this student] raised his hand in class (palm a little too rigid and tilted slightly forward). They joked that it looked like a Nazi salute. They rolled their eyes whenever someone mentioned his name.

In an institution pledged to champion the downtrodden, contempt coalesced happily on his head. Most surprising to me was how readily and wordlessly our classmates seemed to have agreed on their target. How did they know whom to kick around? Their defense of minorities stopped at his feet. So many unspoken rules of communication arranged themselves in a target on his back.


Not so different, suggests Shrier, is the way the media and local government have responded to the current epidemic of violence:
The Associated Press tutted in a tweet that has since been removed: “The expansion of ?asidic communities around New York City has led to predictable civic sparring, but also flare-ups of what some call anti-Semitic rhetoric.” This came days after a madman charged the home of a ?asidic rabbi, hacking at Jewish heads with a machete. NBC New York tweeted from the same script: “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.” Some fear . . . what exactly? That the Jews got what they deserved? That the attacks are a logical response to gentrification? Good people on both sides, is it?

This is Bill de Blasio’s New York, but it could just as easily be David Dinkins’s. And perhaps that is why we are seeing this again: the demon of hate, never exorcised, floats freely around. Our sin was to have whitewashed the Crown Heights pogrom of 1991 and lavished its instigator Al Sharpton with respectability.




Neturei Karta on Hand with Anti-Zionist Signs at Mass Jewish Rally in Downtown Manhattan
My good friend and renowned Lower East Side standup comic Dana Friedman posted these images she took of a group of sign-carrying Neturei Karta men who stood at the edge of Sunday’s anti-anti-Semitism rally downtown.

Dana wrote: “These guys were protesting the unity rally. That’s JUST this one little group, not representative of all Chassidic Jews. These are the same ones you see at LGBT Pride, and the Celebrate Israel parade. Maybe they just don’t like marches?”

Michael Fishman commented: “The thing about NK is that most of them couldn’t bother to explain those signs they carry. That is, most of the ones I’ve spoken to don’t even speak enough English to elaborate on the claims their signs make. Apparently they have at their disposal some PR people to make signs for them. But then, the guys carrying the signs? Well, when I tried having a discussion with one of them, he said in very broken Yinglish ‘You can read about us in the tzeitung’ (thanks to Duolingo German, I know that means a newspaper). And the other guy just gave me a business card with their website, refused to discuss anything else with me.
In Latest Antisemitic Incident, Man Attempts to Enter New York Yeshiva, Spits at Woman Outside
Following a month of increasingly violent antisemitic attacks on Jews in the New York area, police are looking for a man who attempted to enter a Queens yeshiva and spat at a woman outside.

The yeshiva was located on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway, the local CBS affiliate reported. The attacker was unable to enter and then approached a nearby car, used antisemitic language, and spat at the female driver.

Ayyash Saleh, who owns a shop across the street, told CBS, “Who would do that? Some things don’t make sense. Who would do that?”

“Hope the police catch them. I don’t know, things like that, no one wants to hear it,” he added.

Another resident, Maria Ascensio, expressed fear of an atmosphere of racial hatred and violence, saying, “I feel like it’s not only the Jewish community. It’s the world that we live in. It’s in every community, black, Spanish, so people are being out of control.”
Teenage boy punched on London bus and told ‘you stupid Jews think you own the world’
A 13-year-old boy was punched in the stomach and told “you stupid Jews think you own the world” in an attack on a London bus.

According to Shomrim, the young boy was travelling towards Stamford Hill just before midday on Sunday when he was attacked.

Shomrim identified the attacker as a man, who shouted antisemitic abuse such as “you f*** Jews”.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it had received a report of antisemitic abuse and an assault. No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.

They added they had not received any reports of serious injuries.

The previous weekend, antisemitic graffiti which made reference to 9/11 was daubed in Belsize Park and Hampstead, including on South Hampstead Synagogue.

A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: “This unprovoked racist assault is sickening. The vile individual who perpetrated this attack must be arrested and subjected to the full force of the law.”
David Collier: Speaker at leftist ‘antisemitism’ vigil – shares antisemitic websites
A few days ago there was a vigil held to stand in solidarity with Jews against recent antisemitic attacks. We all know about the antisemitic graffiti that turned up in the Hampstead area just a few days before the new year. There is no way of being absolutely certain of the political leanings of those behind the attack. However, this is not the US, and 9/11 conspiracy is more prevalent in the hard left of UK politics. In fact, show me a Corbynista and I will show you someone with 9/11 conspiracy theorists for friends. I’ve been researching this for years and it is by far one of the most common of the antisemitic accusations that has spread throughout Labour party forums.

Which made it so odd that the Labour hard left would want to come out in solidarity with the Jewish people over this particular episode. It isn’t as if they have a major problem blaming Zionists for 9/11, and they’ve spent the last 4 years talking down this antisemitism – which leaves them doing little more than protesting the act of graffiti rather than the antisemitism behind it.

They can’t openly stand against all their friends – so they first cast doubt over the 9/11 message. They blamed this act on the far-right. The date of Kristallnacht was put forward as an alternative meaning behind the antisemitic message. Kristallnacht occurred on the night of 9-10 Nov. This seems somewhat absurd although not impossible. Far right antisemites tend to be ‘in your face’ Jew haters. It seems odd that they would leave a message so unclear about what it is they were trying to say. Google ‘9/11’ and ‘Jews’ and you’ll see that this invariably is about the attacks on September 11.
How Labour’s antisemitism changed British Jewry’s attitudes
Over the years many traditional Jewish Labour voters deserted the party. In April 2019, a survey by the Jewish advocacy group Jewish Leadership Council found that 87% of British Jews believed Corbyn to be antisemitic. Rather suddenly, in recent years many British Jews began speaking about possibly emigrating if Corbyn would be elected prime minister. The survey reported the number at 47%. Even if one doubts how many Jews would actually leave the UK in case of a Labour victory, the talking about it was a radical development.

A meeting with Corbyn by leaders of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council in April 2018 concluded that Corbyn’s proposals “fell short of the minimum levels of action.” A few weeks earlier the two Jewish organizations wrote in an open letter, “Again and again Jeremy Corbyn has sided with antisemites rather than Jews.” On March 26, the Board of Deputies organized a demonstration outside Parliament in London.

In July 2018, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish News and the Jewish Telegraph, all rivals, took the unprecedented step of publishing the same front page. It stated that this step was motivated by the “existential threat to Jewish life in this country that would be posed by a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.”

The heaviest price for Jewish opposition against Corbyn has been paid by several Jewish MPs. Ruth Smeeth was not reelected in the recent parliamentary elections. Already at Labour’s annual party conference in September 2016 she had to arrive with a bodyguard after she had received 25,000 abusive messages.

MP Luciana Berger received thousands of hate e-mails by April 2016, some of which threatened her with rape or murder. Later she left Labour and was afterwards defeated standing as a liberal Democratic parliamentary candidate. A third Jewish MP, Louisa Ellman, left the party in October 2019. The only remaining Jewish female Labour MP is Dame Margaret Hodge. In 2018, she called Corbyn a racist and antisemite in the parliament’s lobby.

Soon Corbyn will resign. Chief Rabbi Mirvis has stated that antisemitism is there to stay. In the process, British Jewry’s public attitudes have greatly changed. What came out of the bottle cannot be pushed back in.
Conservative Party Councillor Sol Wielkopolski in antisemitism mess for a second time
Sol Wielkopolski, a Conservative Party Councillor on Cumbria County Council, has caught himself out a second time over antisemitism.

Cllr Wielkopolski reportedly tweeted a complaint that when he began a search with the letters “Ju”, Google suggested searching for “Judaism just another cult” followed by “Junkers 88”. The Junkers 88 was a Nazi-era military aircraft that flew for the Luftwaffe. In reality these were not Google’s suggestions, but searches from Cllr Wielkopolski’s own search history.

Cllr Wielkopolski’s tweet is now ‘protected’ and can only be seen by his confirmed followers.

In a previous blunder, Cllr Wielkopolski tweeted on 5th August 2019: “Why is Corbyn inciting hatred of the wealthy? I guess it’s consistent with his hatred of Jews. The wealthy pay far more tax and create more jobs than his tribe, so should be celebrated and cherished, not derided. Wealth should be a protected characteristic.” By doing so, Cllr Wielkopolski repeated a deeply-entrenched antisemitic stereotype and myth about Jews and money. The negative stereotype that Jews are wealthy is one of the oldest antisemitic conspiracy theories.

On the previous occasion, Cllr Wielkopolski deployed an antisemitic trope in a blundering attempt to defend Jews. His search history adds further concerns.
J Street Co-Founder, Tlaib and Ilhan Defender, Picked as Bernie Sanders’ Jewish Liaison
Joel Rubin, co-founder of J Street and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, was picked on Friday by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign as its liaison to the Jewish community.

Rubin tweeted on Friday: “I’m thrilled to join the Bernie Sanders Campaign as its Director of Jewish Outreach. There’s no better time than right now for us to unite against hate & anti-Semitism.”

Rubin told JTA: “It’s really exciting because Bernie is building a movement here that is one that is essentially engaging the diversity of America. What we’re going to do is make sure that the Jewish voice and community is part and parcel of that movement.”

Back in early September, Joel Rubin supported Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar after Israel had refused to let them enter. Rubin told Fox News: “No, the Squad is not anti-Semitic. Omar has said things about Israel supporters that she has apologized for, but that does not mean that she hates Jews. She hasn’t gone on a tirade attacking Jews, like real anti-Semites do. There’s a difference between being critical of Israeli government policy and being anti-Semitic.”

So, expect more Bernie Sanders endorsements of “I’m not anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist” politicians.
Mastercard, Visa, AmEx all pull option to fund terror group-linked NGO
Credit card holders will no longer be able to use them to donate to a North American NGO that is a front for Palestinian terrorism, thanks to lobbying by the International Legal Forum.

Mastercard, Visa and American Express have all agreed to remove the option to give money to Samidoun, after the Forum presented extensive evidence of Samidoun's ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP). The move follows similar action taken earlier this year by Donorbox, Paypal and Plaid, helping to cut funding to the group.

Yifa Segal, an attorney with the International Legal Forum, said: "We are pleased with this important advancement in the fight against terrorism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel. Many financial bodies have chosen to close the taps to terrorism financing, and I believe that additional companies will join them. We are determined to continue and eliminate all forms of terrorism financing, open or hidden."

A report released by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy in February 2019 – titled "Terrorists in Suits" – listed Samidoun among 13 NGOs worldwide who are acting as fronts for terrorist organizations.

It noted that the NGO, which labels itself “the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network,” is in reality "a leading promoter of BDS."
Honest Reporting: Rejecting Humanitarian Aid in Exchange for Terror
Palestinian "human rights groups" are turning down European Union money. But did you hear about it? It's not just what's in the news.

It's also what's NOT in the news. The media have a duty to report the facts, and when facts such as the Palestinians' consistent refusal to disavow terrorism are not reported, it fundamentally misinforms the public's understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Stop Taxpayer Money From Funding Islamist-Tied Security Agencies
Saturday night’s bloody machete attack in Monsey, New York against a rabbi and his congregants celebrating Chanukah shocked in ways beyond its sheer brutality. This anti-Semitic assault by a man influenced by the “Black Hebrew Israelite” movement comes amidst a spate of crimes against Jews, with the New York Police Department now investigating six hate crimes that occurred during the holiday.

Certainly, churches, synagogues, and mosques are under siege in America, from Pittsburgh to Charleston, and from Los Angeles to Minnesota. However, under the pretense of protecting places of worship and faith-based nonprofits, Congress stands poised to spend millions of taxpayer dollars effectively providing pro-jihadist Islamist groups — with documented ties to overseas terrorist organizations — with their own private armed militias.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and co-sponsor Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) have put forth a new bill, the Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations From Terrorism Act, which provides $75 million annually over the next five years for security to religious groups.

Lawmakers need to address two notable problems as they consider this security bill.

First, the proposal provides funding to 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamist groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim American Society, and the Islamic Society of North America would therefore be eligible for funding under the plan, providing security dollars to advocacy organizations that share a common Islamist ideological heritage. Another network of Muslim nonprofits, including the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim Students Association, would also benefit from the bill despite being tied to Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent South Asian Islamist movement.
Another BBC item promotes falsehoods about Israel’s anti-terrorist fence
BBC audiences however are told nothing of Long’s affiliations and hear nothing about the “funding and particular viewpoints” of the think tank for which she works.

According to its webpage, the BBC Radio 4 programme will be available “for over a year” and so the substantial section relating to Israel – which begins at 43:55 – is worthy of examination. [emphasis in italics in the original, emphasis in bold added]

Long: “And the closer I look the more it seems like border walls run along the hidden fault lines of our liberal democracies. They’re monuments of the political impossibility of balancing national sovereignty with ideas of universal freedom, human rights and equality. That’s certainly the case of Israel – a state that is now almost entirely surrounded by walls. Danny Tirza.”

Tirza: “In 2000 the government decided to construct a security barrier between the West Bank and Israel and that was the project that I was the head of.”


Israel is of course not “entirely surrounded by walls” – in most places the border is protected by a fence. Long began by casting doubt on the information her interviewee had yet to provide.

Long: “For Tirza, the architect of the West Bank security fence, the logic of the barrier is simple and can be measured in the number of Israeli lives he believes it has saved.”

Tirza: “From 2000 till the end of 2006 we had in Israel more than three thousand terror attacks. We lost in this period 1,562 people that were murdered by terror attacks from the West Bank to Israel. At that period we had from Gaza Strip only three terror attacks because Gaza Strip was already fenced before that. But from January 2007 till today we had from the West Bank to Israel only 50 terror attacks and we lost in this period 41 people. You can see the differences.”
Independent Arabia profiles a ‘good Jew’: an anti-Zionist and convert to Islam
As an alternative, this member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council suggests the establishment of a federal Palestinian state under Palestinian sovereignty from the river to the sea with two components [Arabic: Wilaya ولاية], one Jewish and one Arab, and Jerusalem as a special territory under UN administration, based on the 181 partition decision issued by the UN General Assembly. He adds that international law has considered the State of Palestine ‘a sovereign state’ from the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne until now.

Uri explained that this solution is achievable only if pursued gradually, [starting] by defining Israel as a state based on racial segregation in the United Nations, insisting that ‘there is no future to regimes of racial segregation, and that Israel has [so far] hampered its labeling as a state of racial segregation using lies and deceipt.’”

As we’re about to show, Independent Arabia’s Uri Davis item is rather a 700-words hagiography of a rabid anti-Zionist “Fathawi” (a Fatah member), rather than a professional journalistic profile about a political figure of interest:

Biased terminology and tone

The first indication of bias is found in the radical and unusual terminology Mousa, the writer, and his editors use throughout his “news report”, starting from its very headline.

Thus, the “Palestinian state” that Davis calls to be established in the headline is rather different from the internationally familiar concept of such a future state: “A federal Palestinian state under Palestinian sovereignty from the river to the sea with two components [Arabic: Wilaya ولاية], one Jewish and one Arab, and Jerusalem as a special territory under UN administration”.
Our top 10 favourite posts of the decade
As we enter a new decade, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of our more interesting and impactful posts over the past ten years. You’ll note that a lot of those we included in this list are from the early years of our blog. This isn’t because there haven’t been a lot of noteworthy or important posts in more recent years – indeed quite the opposite is true. The reason is simply that that memory fades with time, and, as the editor responsible for the content of our blog since 2010, It’s been fun to go down memory lane and relive some of our early challenges with the Guardian (our sole focus in those years), as well as our accomplishments.

Special thanks to our dedicated group of conspirators/volunteers (they know who they are), and to CAMERA, who, in 2012, took us under their wings and helped take our game to the next level.

8. Independent falsely claims Palestinian kids were tortured, caged for months

2014: The narrative that Israel cruelly targets Palestinian children for abuse (or even murder), is sadly not uncommon within the British media landscape. And, the Independent – which often now competes with the Guardian in its routine delegitmisation of Israel – fully embraced this calumny by claiming that Israeli was literally “torturing” kids. Our post (and follow-up post) demonstrated that this wasn’t true, and led to an improvement in the article.

9. Contrary to Indy charge, Israel INCREASED water supply to Palestinians during Ramadan

2016: We posted a response to an incendiary and completely inaccurate charge in both The Times and Independent that Israel had decreased water supply to Palestinians during the holiday of Ramadan. Our complaint to editors resulted in significantly improved language to The Times piece

10. Indy’s Robert Fisk crosses the line to antisemitism

2019: We’re often asked if we believe the demonisation of Israel in the media is inspired by antisemitism – a question to which we respond by noting that we can never see what’s in a journalist’s heart, and that it’s therefore best to avoid leveling that serious charge unless there’s clear evidence. Well, we’ve come to the conclusion, based in part on a piece he wrote this year that was nearly indistinguishable from the hate you’d see in Stormfront, that Fisk’s animus towards Israel seems motivated by a habit of mind much darker than mere anti-Israel bias.
An overview of BBC Watch prompted corrections in 2019
Once again this year we saw inconsistent use of footnotes to inform audiences of amendments to BBC News website reports and the continued absence of a corrections page on that platform means that those who read reports when they are first published – and are unlikely to revisit them at a later date – all too often remain unaware that information they were given was inaccurate.

Likewise, we saw at least one case this year in which the BBC failed to comply with its own editorial guidelines on “Correcting Mistakes”.

A significant proportion of the complaints submitted by BBC Watch in 2019 did not receive a response in the time frame set by the BBC itself and in some cases a response was not received at all. In August we received a communication from the BBC World Service which included:
“…apologies for evidently yet-to-come replies due to the volume of correspondence and (un)availability of relevant staff. I hope you will understand…”

As we have previously stated:
“Regrettably, in the two and a half years since OFCOM became the BBC’s external regulator BBC Watch has been unable to discern any meaningful improvement in the BBC’s handling of complaints which, in contrast to OFCOM’s opinion, we consider to be far too slow in comparison to other media outlets, cumbersome and lacking transparency.”
Berlin police stop removal of Holocaust urn that angered Jews
Activists said Sunday that Berlin police prevented them from dismantling an art installation that angered Jewish groups after those who erected it claimed it contained Holocaust victims’ remains.

A group calling itself Performance Art Committee said about 20 of its members attempted to cut down a pillar holding an urn that was placed in front of the German parliament by the left-wing Center for Political Beauty last month.

The Performance Art Committee, which goes by the German acronym AKK, said its members include both Jewish and non-Jewish activists.

Berlin police spokesman Martin Halweg confirmed to The Associated Press that a member of the Center for Political Beauty had submitted a criminal complaint for property damage to police.

Officers at the scene recorded the identities of four people and then ordered them to leave the site, which they did, he said.

The pillar remains stable, Halweg added.

The International Auschwitz Committee condemned the installation last month.
Jerusalem Zoo sends money to help fire-injured animals in Australia
The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem is responding to the horrific fires currently raging in Australia by donating veterinary medical supplies meant to be used in Victoria's East Gippsland region, a press release reported on Sunday.

The items will include burn creams, milk replacers, wound sprays and hydration concentrates.

Since September, fires have killed 23 people in Australia and destroyed 1,200 homes, BBC reported. About a million animals have been killed, The Guardian reported.

The fires not only kill animals, but also destroy the plants they need for food and shelter. Since Australia has a unique eco-system, many species which only exist there might perish and become extinct due to the fires.
Quentin Tarantino wins Golden Globe, thanks Israeli wife in Hebrew
Sometime Tel Aviv resident and husband of Israeli singer/model Daniella Pick, Quentin Tarantino, who won a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for the movie, Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, spoke a little Hebrew as he accepted his award at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

After he thanked his cast, he said, “And my wife who’s watching from Tel Aviv, who’s pregnant with my very first child,” then switched to Hebrew to say, “Toda, geveret,” Hebrew for “Thanks, Mrs.” Going back into English, he said, “I love you,” before walking off stage. Pick posted a photo of Tarantino on her Instagram account and wrote, “Overjoyed and so proud of my husband (also for his Hebrew!) @onceinhollywood”

Tarantino met Pick, the daughter of Israeli music icon Svika Pick, when he was doing publicity in Israel for his 2009 movie, Inglourious Basterds, about American and French Jews hunting Nazis during World War II. They married in November 2018.


Israelis take over 9 million trips abroad in 2019, an all-time record
The year 2019 saw a record high in the number of trips Israelis made outside the country – 9,172,600, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics released Monday shows.

According to the CBS, in 2018 Israelis made 8,472,700 trips abroad, which means that 2019 saw an increase of over 705,000 journeys outside the country by Israeli citizens. The number of Israelis traveling abroad has doubled since 2010, with each year (with the exception of 2012) seeing Israelis making an increasing number of trips abroad.

The CBS travel statistics for Israelis included a new figure – the number of Israelis living abroad who visited their native land, which in 2019 reached 182,000. The CBS attributes the jump in the number of Israelis abroad who traveled to Israel last year to the two Knesset elections held in 2019. The return trips of the Israelis who live abroad were included in the Israeli departure statistics.

The vast majority of travelers departed from Ben-Gurion International Airport, with over 8.2 million Israelis flying abroad from the country’s main airport.

However, some Israeli travelers preferred to leave the country by land, with 776,800 citizens crossing the eastern border into Jordan, from where they continued on to other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia. This number is also a record.
The Untold Story of The Corfu Jews
Little is known about the history of harmony and love between Greek Christians and Greek Jews for hundreds of years.

Meet the New York TV producer telling the miraculous story of a single mother who was among the unknown heroes who saved their Jewish friends from the Nazis during the Holocaust.


A Tour of The First Capital of The Israelites
Tel el Ful is located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and though it seems like a deserted hill, according to traditions this is where some of the most dramatic scenes of the bible took place.


City of David archaeologists say 2,000-year-old central Jerusalem market found
A rare Second Temple measuring table was recently discovered in the City of David, and it is causing archaeologists to identify an ancient Jerusalem square as the city’s 2,000-year-old central market, according to Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Ari Levy.

In conversation with The Times of Israel on Monday, Levy said the stone table would have belonged to the market’s manager, or agoranomos, who was in charge of the weights and measures of commodities traded in the shuk.

The measuring table was found in a broad paved central square still undergoing excavation, alongside dozens of stone measurement weights. The sum of the parts has led the IAA archaeologists to conclude that this area of the Stepped Street, a paved 2,000-year-old pilgrims’ path that connects the Siloam Pool with the Temple Mount, would have served as ancient Jerusalem’s main market.

“The volume standard table we’ve found, as well as the stone weights discovered nearby, support the theory that this was the site of vast trade activity, and perhaps this may indicate the existence of a market,” said Levy in a press release.

Today, the path is five meters (16 feet) under ground. Archaeologists and historians call the road that is being excavated under an East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood the “Stepped Street.” In more popular parlance it is called the “Pilgrims’ Path” or the “Pilgrimage Road.” In total, the path stretches some 600 meters long and is eight meters wide. Both sides of the street were lined with shops that were likely two stories high, said Levy during a recent visit there.
Archaeologist Ari Levy at the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem, September 24, 2019. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

It was built starting in 20 CE by the Romans and completed under the governance of Pontius Pilate in about 30 CE. A recent study of 100 coins collected under pavement at the site appears to confirm this dating.

But the Romans, in destroying Jerusalem in 70 CE, covered up all their hard work just 40 years later. For the past decade, Jerusalem archaeologists have been excavating the dirt and debris that cover the near-mint condition Roman paving stones. Along the way, they’ve uncovered untold artifacts, such as this measuring table.



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

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