Thursday, January 09, 2020

From Ian:

The ICC and the Orwellian denial of Jewish presence in Israel
This leads to the question of determining who was the first occupant, and implying that historical Jewish presence must be denied and further that, as a corollary, Palestinians need to prove that they were the first occupants. The consequence of this narrative is that anything “Jewish” is erased from the history of the country. For example, recently, Palestinian academics denied archeological evidence of Jews in Israel, part of a narrative to portray Jews as recent “invaders.” More generally, this creates an impossible historical conundrum, since the presence of an Arab population emerged as a notable community in the territory of Israel after the Muslim conquests of the 7th century and that, thereafter, this population always cohabited with the remaining Jewish and Christian communities after those conquests.

More specifically, the aspect of this broad narrative relating to the inherent illegality of Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, implies a certain view of the history of the past century. One could even say that this narrative requires a sort of Orwellian rewriting of the past, to erase key moments that fit uneasily with such a narrative. Indeed, it requires a writing out the recognition of a Jewish right to self-determination that followed the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It ignores the conditions under which Judea and Samaria – as well as Gaza – were occupied respectively by Jordan and Egypt from 1947 to 1967. It ignores the circumstances of the 1967 Six Day War when Israel took control of this territory in a defensive war. It ignores the negotiated terms of the Oslo Agreements in relation to the distribution of authority in Judea and Samaria and the lack of final status of both borders and territories. The wide-sweeping argument of illegality per se also ignores the diverse nature of each individual presence in these territories, in terms of where it is, how it came into existence, what legal authority applies to it, etc.

As in a courtroom, the issue comes down to the identification of competing narratives before the international community acting as a Judge. Each side is therefore faced with the choice of which narrative from which to choose. Some narratives can be reconciled; others cannot. The fact remains that taking the position that settlements are illegal as such, serves a war-like narrative that denies any legitimacy to Jewish presence in the entire territory of Israel, as exemplified by numerous declarations, including a recent declaration by a Fatah official that “Palestinian people will not relinquish a grain of soil from the land of historical Palestine from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.”

The December 20, 2019, announcement by the ICC Prosecutor that she is ready to open a formal investigation regarding “settlement-related activities” at its core, will undoubtedly be seen as a first narrative victory for those challenging Jewish presence in Israel. This can only be countered if another narrative is presented – not just in public discourse – but at the ICC itself, which provides genuine procedural opportunities for participation in the judicial debate, as we noted in an editorial last September.
'Pompeo drove a stake into a vampire by discarding Hansell memo'
Besides the practical issue of the ICC, multiple lawyers and officials stressed the importance of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement that the settlements are not inherently illegal.

George Mason University law professor and Kohelet legal director Eugene Kontorovich said Pompeo had killed a 1978 US legal memorandum declaring the settlements illegal so completely that it was like driving a stake through the heart of a vampire and burying it deep in the ground.
He reviewed arguments that try to frame the settlements as illegal, saying they were exposed as political by the bizarre “scope of illegality” that they try to use as a tool against Israel.

Kontorovich noted that the Fourth Geneva Convention often cited as the basis for viewing the settlements as illegal is meant to apply only in a time of war, not for more than 50 years and to every house ever built in an area where no one was living but which happens to be generally disputed.

Likewise, former Foreign Ministry director-general and current Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs president Dore Gold said it was “obscene” that the Geneva Convention discussion of the Nazis’ forced deportation of Jews to death camps was now being used against Jews who wish to build homes in their ancestral homeland.

The settlements started as an Israeli security measure to prevent invasions, and UN Security Council Resolution 242 explicitly authorized Israel to remain in control of portions of the disputed West Bank land, Gold said.
Historical 'Jewish presence' key to Israel's territorial claims, US envoy says
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman reiterated on Wednesday that the Trump administration did not consider Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria as illegal per se, while also noting Israel's ancient ties to the land.

"Judea and Samaria – the name Judea says it all – is territory that historically had an important Jewish presence," Friedman said at a conference in Jerusalem organized by the Kohelet Policy Forum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Israel's sovereignty and strength as a Jewish democracy.

"As they say, it is the biblical heartland of Israel. It includes Hebron, where Abraham purchased a burial cave for his wife Sarah; Shiloh, where the tabernacle rested for 369 years before the Temple was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem; Beth El, where Jacob had his dream of the ladder ascending to heaven; Kasr al-Yahud, where Joshua led the Israelite nation into the Promised Land and John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and so many other famous locations.

"After the Ottoman Empire fell, Judea and Samaria, along with the rest of what was then referred to as Palestine, became subject to a British Trust which was subject to the Balfour Declaration, the terms of the San Remo Conference, and the League of Nations Mandate. In simple terms, the British were obliged to facilitate settlement of the Jewish people in this land. That's not to say that Jewish settlement was exclusive, that no one else had the right to live there. But Jews certainly did," he stressed, noting that during the 1967 Six-Day War Israel "recovers Judea and Samaria from Jordan" after it had been under Jordanian occupation for 19 years, after "almost no one recognized its [Jordan's] rights to the territory."
David Singer: Israel’s Next Election Must Focus on Judea and Samaria – not Bibi
Should another election deadlock occur for the third time in twelve months – the proposals presented by the respective parties for Judea and Samaria can be the basis for negotiations to form a Government of National Unity.

There will be critics who claim that Israel should not reveal its cards before negotiations actually begin with Arab interlocutors – that by doing so Israel will stymie itself from demanding more of Judea and Samaria.

All proposals should therefore include a rider that the area proposed is the minimum area of Judea and Samaria willing to be accepted in future negotiations and may be increased should changed circumstances to those now prevailing exist when negotiations are undertaken.

Political parties not prepared to inform voters of their proposals can expect to be given the thumbs down by the Israeli electorate. Those who are open and frank in presenting their proposals should find themselves rewarded by the electorate.

Politicians need to resist the temptation to focus their major attention on preventing Bibi – Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister – from becoming Israel’s next Prime Minister as he personally grapples with three indictments laid against him by Attorney General Mandelblit.

Israel’s national interest must incontrovertibly prevail.

Crunch time for Judea and Samaria has arrived – 100 years after reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine was first proposed internationally at the 1920 San Remo Conference.

Realising that 100 year old dream should be Israel’s paramount objective.



EU hastily removes reference to ‘disputed lands’ from settlement condemnation
The European Union’s new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on Thursday issued his first condemnation of the Israeli government’s plans to expand settlements in the West Bank.

An initial version of the statement, issued via his spokesman Peter Stano, urged Jerusalem to cease settlement activity on “occupied or disputed lands.”

A short while after the statement was issued, the EU published a second version that omitted the word “disputed,” now calling on the government in Jerusalem to “end all settlement activity on occupied territories and related actions.”

Stano said the earlier version’s reference to “disputed lands” was due to a “human error.”

While building settlements on occupied territory is considered illegal under international law, doing so on land that is merely disputed is not.

While the Israeli government has been known to call its hold on the West Bank a “belligerent occupation,” officials in Jerusalem have long argued that the area is disputed, since no state had sovereignty over it before Israel captured it in 1967, and that therefore settlements are not illegal.
David Collier: Yes, we should talk about the 'i' word
Trigger warning: If you think you will be triggered by discussion of the word ‘Islamophobia’, then you should not read this article – in fact you probably should not be reading my blog at all. It is too honest for you.
The most offensive article in the history of the world

On December 16th Melanie Phillips wrote an article about the use of the word Islamophobia. The article was 725 words long. Judging by the reaction, Melanie’s article was clearly one of the most offensive pieces of writing that has ever been published. Luckily, as I have both Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on my overflowing antisemitic bookshelf, I felt I had the stomach to have a closer look. I want to tell you what I found:

Words 1-140
The article opens with a general introduction to the topic. Phillips suggests reaction to the level of antisemitism in the Labour party is muted and she lays a platform for the article by suggesting there are two causes for this.

Words 141 – 381
Melanie factually addresses the level of antisemitism in anti-Israel activism. Anyone who still doubts this, has no place in any discussion on anti-Jewish hatred. It has been proven beyond all reasonable argument that everywhere that people gather to demonstrate about – or talk against – Israel – you will have a room at least half full of Holocaust deniers and Rothschild Conspiracy theorists. It is like a high-powered magnet.

Words 382 – 450
Melanie suggests that it is difficult to discuss these attitudes without being called Islamophobic. She then states some of our own Jewish leadership have gone along with this – even equating ‘Islamophobia’ with ‘antisemitism’. When she makes this point, she raises the issue of the levels of antisemitism within Muslim communities. All this is equally well-known factual commentary.
Fighting antisemitism: We can’t win this battle without friends
THE CONUNDRUM we have is not reciting the litany of examples of this epidemic of hate directed at the Jewish community, but at how to push it all back. Defeating it is, of course, a goal, but at the moment the need is to engage in a counter-assault at its purveyors, whom we all need to agree come from the Left, the Right and from Islamic extremists. It takes on all shapes and forms of hate: classic charges of Jewish control of the media, banks and Hollywood, newer charges from anti-Zionists and from the leaders of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement with comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa – and now physical attacks on the streets of New York.

There is a sense that many are apathetic and indifferent to what is happening to us because we are considered to be in a special category. As a successful ethnic group in America, we should be able to withstand these attacks and see them as only glancing blows in an otherwise very positive picture of our place in American society. Such assumptions and indifference are more than troubling.

The antidotes are obvious and yet bear repeating time and again. We need more public officials – not only those in Washington but in city and town halls around the country – to speak up, along with religious figures and community organizers, athletes and celebrities, and others who are seen as role models or who hold important positions in American society, sending the unambiguous message that acts of antisemitism in any form are socially and morally unacceptable. Period.

The media have a responsibility, as well. In the past, there might be an annual story or two about surveys that listed the number of antisemitic incidents that occurred in a particular year, and little else. It took the machete attack in Monsey, New York, to finally bring the problem to the front pages. To those who have access to a bully pulpit – and in today’s world of social media, there are many – the call is to drop everything and join us in this fight against the world’s oldest form of hatred.

I return to my boyhood and the encounters with the taunting I endured. I learned that I had many good friends in my small world who saw the injustice in what was being aimed in my direction and acted in my defense. These were good people and for them, they were doing me no special favors. They spoke up on my behalf or comforted me because they just thought it was right thing to do.

The solidarity march and rally in New York against antisemitism on January 5 was an important event in drawing attention to the problem and in bringing our community together. We are mobilizing to fight the scourge. But as a minority which accounts for less than one-fifth of 2% of the global population, we must look to our non-Jewish friends and allies to join the fight. They are out there in every town and city and on every block and street. We must motivate and activate the many resources that they have, to build the kind of coalitions we’ll need to turn the tide.
To Stop Hateful Attacks On Jews, Oppose The Ideology Behind Them
Twenty-five thousand people marched in New York City on Sunday under the banner “No Hate, No Fear,” ostensibly targeting anti-Semitic violence directed at recognizably-Orthodox Jews. Only two things were missing: Printed signs with the words “anti-Semitism” or “Jews,” and more than a smattering of recognizably-Orthodox Jews.

The two phenomena are related.

Hateful violence emerges from a hateful ideology. The march was not merely useless, but from my perspective it was actually counterproductive; it provided cover for those spreading bigotry to proclaim, “look, we love Jews!”

In reality, it is not difficult to understand why attacks are happening at an alarming rate. Classic anti-Semitism is not merely spreading on college campuses across the nation, but is even welcomed in the halls of Congress.

The classic beliefs of the anti-Semite are simple: That the Jews constitute a supremacist cult who believe themselves entitled to take advantage of others, and most commonly do so by theft, fraud, and deceit. In 3,300 years of Jew-hatred, there hasn’t been an anti-Jewish trope that didn’t trace its roots to this basic idea.

Mark Twain noted, while reporting on Austro-Hungarian battles in the 19th century, that the Jews were opposed by all sides — even though they largely tried to avoid the conflict and keep their heads down. It is no different today.


NAACP suspends official who said ‘Hasidics are generally not too friendly’
On Tuesday, the president of the Montclair NAACP, Al Pelham, announced that Harris was suspended for six months. In his statement, Pelham noted that the group’s mission is to secure equal rights and well-being for all people.

“Some of Mr. Harris’s overall comments and tone that evening were in clear contradiction of the NAACP’s mission and thus the Montclair Branch condemns them,” Pelham said, according to the publication Montclair Local. “There is much work to be done regarding the many issues facing the Montclair Public Schools and the branch does not want this unfortunate issue to be a distraction.”

Harris apologized for the remarks, and expressed his condolences for the victims of the shooting at a Jersey City kosher supermarket, which had taken place about three weeks before his speech. He said his remarks did not represent the NAACP or the New Jersey Association of Black Educators.

“I would like to express my sincere regret and apologize for the remarks I made about the Hasidic community and the development of Montclair, NJ,” he said in a statement, according to Montclair Local. “My personal statement was meant to focus on the impact of gentrification on lower socioeconomic communities in Montclair, NJ. Instead, I used a regional example of Lakewood, NJ real estate and public education funding.
Unfortunately I used terms and examples that have been interpreted as anti-Semitic.”

Over the weekend, Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson condemned antisemitism and racism, and announced that he would convene a meeting of African-American clergy and rabbis to address “the incendiary cloud hanging over our community at the moment.”


Jewish Patrol Group Shomrim Offers Emergency Phones to New York City Synagogues
The volunteer Jewish neighborhood watch group Shomrim is offering New York City synagogues special phones that connect instantly to emergency services following a slew of antisemitic incidents in the city.

The emergency “shul phones” will allow callers to press one button to be connected to 911, the local Shomrim or the Hatzalah ambulance service, according to the New York Post.

The hotline will even be available on Shabbat, when most observant Jewish people do not carry their cell phones and synagogue landlines are inaccessible.

Motty Browner, a supervisor with the Borough Park Shomrim, told the New York Post that as many as 200 synagogues have expressed interest in the special phone.

He added that the phones will be sold at cost, which is expected to be under $200.
Alleged Anti-Semitic Arsonist Released With No Bail In New York
James Polite, who was charged with hate crimes and arson after he allegedly set fire to seven Jewish sites and vandalized a synagogue, was released from jail without bail Tuesday, according to court records.

Polite allegedly wrote “Die Jew Rats” and “Hitler” at the Union Temple of Brooklyn in November 2018. Security footage allegedly showed him setting setting fires at “seven shuls and yeshivas in Williamsburg.”

The incidents led to the cancellation of a Democratic event at the synagogue, with a candidate saying it highlighted the need to vote out “hate.”

Polite is a self-identified queer black man who was taken in by a Jewish couple after his mother left him in “unsanitary” conditions. At a Barack Obama rally, he met then-New York city council speaker Christine Quinn, who hired him as an intern working on anti-hate crime issues and also called him the “adopted child of the Quinn administration,” according to a 2017 New York Times profile that said he “could defy the statistics.”
Cotton Condemns NY Crime Law as Anti-Semitic Attacks Rise
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on Wednesday condemned the rise in anti-Semitic attacks and criticized New York's criminal justice reforms that favor the swift release of criminals.

"Anti-Semitic attacks are a symptom of a larger breakdown of public order in our nation’s cities caused by politicians who are letting dangerous criminals roam our streets," Cotton said on the Senate floor. "While Jews were being attacked in New York City, a law went into effect eliminating pretrial detention and bail for most crimes—including serious crimes like stalking, arson, robbery, even manslaughter and negligent homicide."

"This law was a gift to criminals just in time for the holidays," Cotton added. "In some cases, it came with an actual gift: New York City’s criminal justice system gives goodies like taxpayer-funded movie tickets for criminal suspects just for showing up to court."

New York City saw a rise in anti-Semitic crimes and reported nine attacks against Jews over the holidays, with new crimes being reported nearly every day since.

The Arkansas senator noted an increase by 37 percent of anti-Semitic crimes across the United States since last year. He also explained that anti-Semitic hatred takes various forms.


Rabbi: Americans May Carry Guns to Synagogue on Sabbath for Self-Defense
HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky says Americans can carry guns to the synagogue on the Sabbath for self-defense.

Yeshiva World News reports that the question was specifically framed around having “armed guards” at synagogues, due to an increase in antisemitic incidents.

Harav Chaim spoke against posting guards but made clear that worshipers could carry firearms to the synagogue if the purpose was saving life.

The question was followed by asking if it is allowable to carry guns to synagogue even if a threat against worshipers is only potential, rather than “immediate.” Harav Chaim said it is allowable.


'Islamist' Uber driver 'boasted how he deceived jury into clearing him of Samurai sword attack on police outside Buckingham Palace then went on to plan another attack on tourists in London'
An Uber driver cleared of launching a Samurai sword attack on police outside Buckingham Palace went on to plan another attack on tourists in London, a court heard today.

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, of Luton, Bedfordshire, allegedly boasted to undercover police how he had deceived a jury into finding him not guilty of the attack.

The 28-year-old was 'motivated by dreams of martyrdom for the cause of Islam, and inspired by preachers of hate', a jury at Woolwich Crown Court was told.

Duncan Atkinson QC, prosecuting, said Chowdbury was 'keen to take part in an attack on a high profile and very public target in the UK.'

The targets mentioned included Madame Tussauds in London, the Gay Pride parade, and an attack on tourists on a London open-top tour bus, the jury was told.

'The object was to unleash death and suffering on non-Muslim members of the public who happened to be present, using a firearm, sword and even a van as part of an attack,' the prosecutor said.

Chowdhury told undercover officers that he had indeed been trying to carry out a terrorist attack in 2017 and that he had 'deceived' the earlier jury that acquitted him of it, the court was told.
The scholar who wrote the definition of anti-Semitism says it’s been subverted
Kenneth Stern drafted the “working definition of anti-Semitism” that US President Donald Trump used in an executive order to target anti-Semitism on college campuses. He’s also one of the recent order’s most vociferous critics.

“It’s not the definition that’s the problem,” Stern told The Times of Israel. “It’s the abuse of it.”

Fifteen years ago, as an anti-Semitism expert at the American Jewish Committee, Stern took the lead on formulating a definition that would help disparate countries have a unified understanding of the world’s oldest form of hatred. The purpose, he said, was to better track anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents worldwide.

“It’s really hard for people in different countries to know what to look for without some certain guidelines and a definition,” he said. “There was clearly a need to have some kind of roadmap.”

Now, Stern argues, the Trump administration is using that definition to silence pro-Palestinian speech on college campuses.

“There was never any idea that this would be used as a de facto hate speech code on campus,” he said. “You wanted to train police officials on it and so forth. But to curtail speech on a campus, in particular, is something that was never contemplated.”
‘No Zionists’ and ‘No Straights’: Tweets From Teacher Rattle Elite New York City School
As anti-Semitic attacks proliferate across New York City, the social media postings of one outspoken teacher at an elite Bronx private school are raising fresh concerns among Jewish parents and students.

"Making latkes tonight for my birthday and channukah [sic], text me if you want to come over, no Zionists," J.B. Brager, a history teacher at the prestigious Ethical Culture Fieldston School, tweeted on Dec. 20.

That posting and others singling out straight individuals for criticism and portraying Israel as a genocidal aggressor in its conflict with the Palestinians have caught the attention of Fieldston students and parents, particularly given that Brager is slated to teach an elective history course titled "Nazi Germany and the Holocaust" later this month.

The Ethical Culture Fieldston School, founded by progressive Jews in the late 19th century, has grappled with accusations of anti-Semitism in recent years. Among other issues, the school organizes students into ethnic and racial "affinity groups" starting in the third grade but has firmly refused to establish a Jewish affinity group, a Fieldston parent told the Washington Free Beacon. That has contributed to a perception among parents that administrators at the avowedly progressive school do not consider Jews a minority worthy of recognition, understanding, or protection.

The school’s treatment of Jewish issues has come under increasing scrutiny as a wave of anti-Semitic attacks have set New Yorkers on edge. On Wednesday, congressmen Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) and Max Rose (D., N.Y.) condemned recent remarks delivered at a Fieldston assembly, where a guest speaker argued that Holocaust survivors living in Israel are guilty of perpetrating similar atrocities against Palestinians. The comments by A. Kayum Ahmed, a top officer at George Soros's Open Society Foundations, drew condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League and left many in the community concerned about the school’s direction.
Democrat Congressmen Raise Concerns Over NY School Hosting Speaker Comparing Israel to Nazis
In a January 7 letter to private New York educational institution Ethical Culture Fieldston School (ECFS), Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Max Rose (D-NY) raised concerns about the school hosting a speaker who compared Israel to the Nazis.

The letter was addressed to ECFS school head Jessica Bagby, and Fieldston Upper’s principal, Nigel Furlonge. The congressmen cited a December article from Tablet reporting that Columbia Law School lecturer Kayum Ahmed gave a presentation in the school’s main auditorium in November about apartheid.

During the question-and-answer session, Ahmed reportedly said, “Xenophobic attacks are a shameful part of South African history, but in some ways, it reflects the fluidity between those who are victims becoming 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 — they perpetuate violence against Palestinians that [is] unthinkable.”

Gottheimer and Rose wrote that Ahmed’s remarks troubled them, pointing out that under the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, “By drawing comparisons between the Holocaust and the State of Israel, these statements misrepresent current events while devaluing the horrors of the attempt to eliminate European Jewry. We must object to such abhorrent ideas being excused or becoming normalized.”

They concluded the letter with a list of demands for the school.
“As Jewish members of Congress dedicated to combatting anti-Semitism, we would like to understand how such a speaker could be invited to address ECFS students, what steps the school has taken to hold those responsible accountable, how the school has communicated to students and parents that such rhetoric is unacceptable, and how ECFS will implement processes to prevent future incidents,” Gottheimer and Rose wrote. “We also encourage you to work with groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to pursue dedicated programming to better educate students, faculty and administrators about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism in order to remedy the situation.”
US Ed. Dept investigating UCLA over anti-Zionist SJP conference on campus
The US Department of Education has opened an investigation into the University of California Los Angeles for possible discrimination against Jews as a group, for having hosted a national conference of the anti-Zionist Students for Justice in Palestine organization on its campus in November 2018.

The Zachor Legal Institute submitted a complaint against UCLA at the time. The department’s Office for Civil Rights wrote to Zachor last week to inform the organization that it “is appropriate to open an investigation concerning the Student’s allegations of harassment on the basis of shared ancestry.”

SJP is a vocal and prominent pro-Palestinian advocacy group, which has strongly promoted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and is opposed to the Jewish state.

On its 2018 national conference website, it stated in one of the goals of the conference that “Zionism is a human ideology and a set of laws that have been challenged and can be destroyed,” and that “Zionism is ethnic cleansing, destruction, mass expulsion, apartheid and death.”
Zachor contacted UCLA’s administration to challenge its decision to host the SJP conference, but was rebuffed.
Anti-Israel Group Code Pink Listed as Co-Creator of Annual Women’s March
The anti-Israel group Code Pink is listed as a co-creator for the annual Women’s March in Washington, DC, on Jan. 18.

The anti-war group, which was a partner of the 2019 march, was founded in 2002 by Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, and is known for its posture against the Jewish state, protesting at pro-Israel events on and off Capitol Hill.

It has defended Iran’s nuclear program and supports the actions of the US-designated terrorist group Hamas. It is also against the United States fighting the Islamic State and US involvement in Syria.

Code Pink also supports the anti-Israel BDS movement.

The group said it “stands in solidarity with Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent activists and human-rights advocates working to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to promote the rights of Palestinians. In addition, we work here in the United States to educate Americans about the realities of Israel’s occupation and to change US foreign policy in the region. We feel personally implicated in Israel’s violations of human rights and international law because our tax dollars—$3 billion annually in military aid—subsidize Israel’s occupation.”

The Women’s March did not respond to a request for comment regarding the participation of Code Pink in their activities.


Study Finds Clear Evidence Faculty in 40 Universities Use Classroom to Promote BDS
New research released Wednesday by AMCHA Initiative provides the first empirical evidence showing that faculty who support academic BDS are actively promoting this political agenda directly to students in their classrooms.

The study (Bringing BDS into the Classroom), which examined 50 syllabi at 40 public and private colleges and universities over an eleven-year period, reveals that:

1. Academic BDS-supporting instructors had an average of 78% of their course readings authored by BDS supporters, whereas non-BDS-supporting instructors had an average of 17% of their course readings authored by BDS supporters.

2. The two groups of instructors showed themselves to be qualitatively distinct from one another with respect to the selection of course readings, with almost no overlap of the groups: all of the academic BDS-supporting instructors had a majority of their readings authored by BDS supporters, whereas only 2 of the 35 syllabi of non-BDS-supporting instructors had a majority of their course readings authored by BDS supporters, and none more than 60%. These data demonstrate that the large quantitative difference between the groups is not just the result of a few outliers, but represents a qualitative difference between these two groups of instructors in terms of how they select course readings.
CAMERA Video Why Is NY Times Downplaying Islamic Jihad
Why did New York Times editors scrub a reference to the West’s view of Islamic Jihad as a terror organization?

Why did they later cast the murderous group as “nettlesome” and “unruly,” as if describing a stray tuft of hair and not terrorists responsible for targeting innocent men, women, and children at malls and on buses?

Why do Times reporters feel comfortable noting that a tiny but racist Israeli political party is “anti-Arab,” but not that Islamic Jihad is “anti-Jewish”? Why do they frequently suggest Israeli building in the West Bank is a violation of international law, but generally avoid saying the same about Islamic Jihad’s indiscriminate rockets fired into Israeli towns? And why do they pretend Islamic Jihad opposes the “occupation,” and not… “Israel’s existence”?


Catholic Antisemite Incites Against American Jews and Israel on Iranian Television
E. Michael Jones, a well-known Catholic antisemite who resides in South Bend, Indiana, has spent the past few days giving advice to the leaders of Iran, telling them that they should not regard U.S. President Donald Trump as their enemy, but that their real problem is with Israel and Jews who control American foreign policy in the United States.

He offered this advice in two recent appearances on Iran’s PressTV.

Jones’s cozying up to the mullahs should come as no surprise. Over the years, he has established himself as a booster for the ayatollahs who have murdered thousands of Iranian citizens since the 1979 revolution in that country.

Speaking at a conference in Tehran in February 2013, during which he portrayed Jews as having a corrupt influence on American society, Jones declared, “Iran is the leader of the free world.” He also described the shootings of Jews at synagogues in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Poway, California as a response to the role “the Jews” have played in undermining the moral order. The Christian moral order, Jones says, has been “overridden by an operating system or by software that you would call ‘The Jews.’”

“They’ve been undermining the moral law in the name of liberation,” he said. “That’s what abortion is. That’s what pornography is. That’s what gay rights is. And now, that’s what Zionism is.”
Telegraph corrects article that omitted ICC’s plans to investigate Hamas
Last month, we complained to Telegraph editors about an article (“ICC will investigate alleged war crimes in Palestinian territories”, Dec. 21st) that failed to note that the ICC will reportedly not only investigate possible Israeli war crimes, but will also investigate Hamas for war crimes as well.

We noted to editors that even the Guardian included this information in their report on the ICC investigation.

Though it took over two weeks for editors to respond to our email, they ultimately did uphold our complaint and addressed our concerns by adding the following two paragraphs to the article.
In addition, there is a reasonable basis and evidence to support claims of war crimes against Palestinian armed groups, including Hamas.

Section 94 of Bensouda’s report states ‘there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of Hamas and Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes of: initially directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects. Using protected persons as shields. Wilfully depriving protected persons of the rights of a fair trial. Wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, and/or outrages upon personal dignity.’
Republican Party leader in Delaware blames Jews for Trump’s impeachment
A Republican Party leader in Delaware blamed Jews for being behind the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump.

“What amazes me the most in these theatrical Congress hearings, is to see how many Jews ‘In Name Only’ lend themselves to be in the hoaks [sic] of the pure made up story of Impeachment that the Democrats have woven as spiders catching flies and bugs,” wrote Sussex County Republican Party vice chairwoman Nelly Jordan, whose Facebook page, where she made the remarks, was apparently deleted.

“These jews [sic] have been enrolled to come and testify, to come and interrogate and to be involved in anything that the Democrats enlist them to do to try to look credible to the people of this country,” the post also stated.

Jordan added that Jews were going against the G-d’s will, “as it was in the times of the Old Testament.”

Delaware GOP chairwoman Jane Brady criticized Jordan’s comments.

“Neither I nor the Delaware Republican Party, which I represent, condone any statements that demean or show disrespect to others,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
Spotify says removing playlists that glorify Hitler, urge gassing of Jews
Music-streaming giant Spotify on Thursday said it was removing user-generated playlists that glorify Adolf Hitler, ridicule Holocaust victims and feature hate symbols, including swastikas.

“The user-generated content in question violates our policy and is in the process of being removed. Spotify prohibits any user content that is offensive, abusive, defamatory, pornographic, threatening, or obscene,” a Spotify spokesperson said.

The dozens of playlists are created by users and don’t necessarily have anti-Semitic content beyond the title and art. But they are searchable and available across the platform for any of the service’s over 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Much of the inflammatory content spotlighted in a Times of Israel report on Wednesday had been removed as of Thursday evening, including numerous playlists that called for killing or gassing Jews, mocked Holocaust victim Anne Frank (such as “Songs to snort Anne Frank’s ashes,” and “Getting gassed with Anne Frank”) and the Auschwitz death camp (including playlist “Auschwitz Train Sing Along”), featured Holocaust denial (such as “The Holocaust was a joke”) or praise of Hitler (for example, “Hitler was right”).

The over 110 publicly viewable profiles registered on Spotify under “Adolf Hitler,” and dozens of others listed under other variations on the Nazi leader’s name, were still online. It remained unclear whether the profiles would also be suspended.
Jewish Man Beaten and Subjected to Antisemitic Abuse on Berlin Subway
A 30-year-old Jewish man was punched in the face and subjected to antisemitic abuse while traveling on the subway in Berlin on Tuesday night.

Local news outlet Berliner Woche reported that the man — who has not been named — was disembarking from a train at the Kurfürstendamm underground station just after 9 p.m. Another passenger who was boarding the train at the same time punched him in the face and insulted him with an anti-Jewish pejorative.

The victim, who was traveling with two family members, filed a complaint with the Berlin police over the internet. According to the police, a state security commissioner at the State Criminal Police Office is now investigating the matter.

Antisemitic attacks on Germany’s Jewish community have risen precipitously during the last decade. During 2018 — the most recent year for which statistics are available — 1,799 antisemitic incidents ranging from verbal abuse to physical assault were reported.

Meanwhile, a survey published last October by the World Jewish Congress revealed that more than one in four German respondents expressed agreement with statements that were based upon classic anti-Jewish tropes.
Ethiopian Airlines launches new Boeing 787 Dreamliner named 'Tel Aviv'
Ethiopian Airlines' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner named "Tel Aviv" landed at Ben Gurion Airport yesterday, making it the first foreign airline to name an aircraft after a city in Israel.

The aircraft, carrying around 300 passengers, received a warm ceremonial welcome upon its arrival in Tel Aviv Sunday night - attended by the Ethiopian Ambassador to Israel Reta Alemu, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai as well as many Ethiopian Airline staff currently operating in Israel.

Currently, Ethiopian Airlines operates two daily flights on a direct line from Tel Aviv to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - a regular line that the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner will now operate on - flights that leave at 9:00am and 12:45pm each day, respectively.

In addition, Ethiopian Airlines connects Israel to over 120 destinations spread across five continents, including Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe - with 62 available destinations spread across Africa alone.

Bilan Arpain, the regional director of Israel for Ethiopian Airlines, said that naming the new Dreamliner aircraft after the city of Tel Aviv demonstrates with it the significance and importance Ethiopian Airlines attaches to the destination, to Israel, to the local market and to their loyal Israeli passengers.


500 College Students Come to Israel for "Christian Birthright"
Passages, known informally as a "Christian version of Birthright" for college students, celebrated their fifth anniversary in Jerusalem this week together with more than 500 participants from the United States at an event last Thursday that was attended by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Passages plans to bring a total of 10,000 Christian college students to Israel by the end of this year reaching this amount of students in only five years since it was founded. Introducing them to the roots of their biblical faith and building bridges between Israel and the United States. The students visit numerous holy Christian sites throughout Israel.

“At a time when many academic institutions can no longer be trusted to provide an honest and objective perspective on Israel, it is more important than ever that young student leaders have the opportunity to see the true picture for themselves," Friedman said in remarks.

"Congratulations to Passages for convening such a large and impressive collection of Christian students from around the United States."

The Passages journey is a nine-day trip throughout the country, where students visit the birthplace of Christianity, telling Bible stories in the locations they were purported to have occurred, connecting them to their Christian faith, hearing lectures about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, learning about the history and development of the Jewish State, and connecting to modern Israel.
Watch: Mobileye’s self-driving car on streets of Jerusalem
Intel Corp. has released a video showing a Mobileye self-driving car navigating the streets of Jerusalem using cameras but no other sensors.

The video was released by Intel, which acquired the Jerusalem-based Mobileye in 2017 for a whopping $15.3 billion, at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where Mobileye also announced two new partnerships, with a South Korean city and a Chinese automaker for the deployment and testing of its autonomous-vehicle technologies.

The unedited video shows the self-driving vehicle navigating intersections, turning into streets with with heavy traffic, changing lanes and stopping for pedestrians. A driver sits behind the steering wheel, which turns by itself to navigate the car.

At the event, Mobileye’s CEO and co-founder Prof. Amnon Shashua talked about the car’s use of camera sensors — the firm’s so-called VIDAR solution — alone, and no other sensors, such as radar and lidar, that are typically used in autonomous vehicle technologies. Shashua also explained how the technology can create 3D models from 2D camera images, and how the technology achieves pixel-level scene segmentation that can be used to detect tiny fragments of “road users” such as wheelchairs or open vehicle doors, Intel said in a statement.

At the event, Mobileye also announced two new partnerships, the first with Daegu, South Korea, to deploy and test robotaxis that use Mobileye’s self-driving systems.

As part of the agreement, Mobileye will integrate its self-driving technologies into vehicles, to enable a driverless mobility-as-a-service operation. Daegu Metropolitan City partners will ensure the regulatory framework to support the establishment of robotaxi fleet operation, the statement said.


Palestinian from Gaza reunited with Jewish Israeli mother after 30 years
A man who grew up in the Gaza Strip was recently reunited with his Israeli Jewish mother after she finally manged to track him down, three decades after he was abducted by his Palestinian father.

The man, 30, entered Israel and received full citizenship last week under Israel’s right of return, which grants automatic citizenship to any Jew who wants to live in the country, Yad L’Achim, a nonprofit that assisted in finding the man, said in a statement Wednesday.

“The very first time she called and told me, ‘I’m your mother,’ I nearly dropped the phone,” said the man, identified only as Muhammad. “I barely spoke a word of Hebrew at the time, and I was so shocked that I was speechless.”

The story began three decades ago when the mother, identified only as Rina, at the time a teenage girl, had a relationship with a Palestinian man.

They had a baby together and then one day, when their son was six months old, the father left, taking the infant with him and moved to the Gaza Strip without telling the mother.

For nearly 30 years Rina had no information on his whereabouts or his fate. Then, two and a half years ago, she was encouraged to contact Yad L’achim, an anti-assimilation group, and asked for its help.


The Tikvah Podcast: The Remarkable Legacy of Gertrude Himmelfarb
When Gertrude Himmelfarb passed away on December 30, 2019, a great Jewish voice was lost. An eminent historian of Victorian Britain, Professor Himmelfarb—or, as she was known to her friends, Bea Kristol—analyzed and defended the moral and political virtues necessary for a healthy democratic society. She was interested in how the Victorians consciously built up England’s moral capital and civic confidence when they were in short supply. And drawing from her meticulous historical research, she brought her conclusions to bear on the United States, arguing that Americans too can accomplish what the Victorians did, if we can only learn from their achievements. She also wrote numerous essays on Jewish topics, and especially on the novelist George Eliot’s ideas about Jews and Judaism.

To discuss the legacy of this great historian and theorist of American remoralization, we are joined on this week’s podcast by Yuval Levin, director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and editor-in-chief of National Affairs.




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