Tuesday, February 11, 2020

From Ian:

Palestinian Child Soldiers Can No Longer Be Ignored
Indoctrination in violence frequently begins in the Palestinian-Arab education system. Countless reports of inflammatory material propagated on official Palestinian Authority- or Hamas-run media have been published, yet have received little condemnation internationally. It took until August 2019 for the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to issue its first ever condemnation of incitement and anti-Semitism found in Palestinian Authority textbooks. The textbooks included glorification of terrorists like Dalal Mughrabi, who viciously slaughtered 38 civilians, including 13 children, during the 1978 “Coastal Road massacre.” Even kindergarteners are not off limits from Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based terror group, even runs terrorist summer boot camps for about 10,000 children.

The tragedy of Palestinian child soldiers — or any child soldier, for that matter — does not end once the child takes off the uniform. Those who survive their ordeal often exhibit severe psychological trauma that hinders their ability to adjust to civilian life. The evil people who turn children into tools of war for their own political gain do not merely rob children of their childhoods; they rob them of the joy of living normal lives.

On February 12, 2020, the word commemorates the annual “Red Hand Day,” which is meant to draw attention to child soldiers. There is no better time to shine a light on the plight of Palestinian-Arab children suffering at the hands of their oppressive, corrupt leaders.

Indeed, some have already to take matters into their own hands. A multi-NGO campaign is underway on social media and college campuses to raise awareness about the nightmare that so many Palestinian-Arab children are forced to endure. This campaign encourages citizens to send open letters to their governments and public leaders. Yet this is merely the first step.

We all have a duty to raise awareness and pressure Palestinian-Arab leaders to cease these exploitative practices. Palestinian-Arabs must know that they can have more to life than death and murder — and are worth more than ammunition. Even if no one else will tell them this, we must.

British government says changes will be made to Palestinian textbooks
The British Government has said “changes will be made” to Palestinian textbooks from September, following a recent meeting in London.

News came from Middle East Minister Dr Andrew Murrison in response to a question on Palestinian education in the House of Commons late week.

Describing “the active role that we have taken to ensure that no inappropriate material is used,” he said: “I spoke recently to the Palestinian education minister. I know that this issue is at the top of his agenda, and in advance of the academic year in September, changes will be made.”

It follows a meeting at the Department for International Development (DFID) on 22 January between Murrison and Palestinian Education Minister Marwan Awartani, who was in the British capital for the Education World Forum.

After a UK call for action, the European Union agreed to lead an independent review of the content in Palestinian textbooks. This is currently ongoing, as is British government funding for Palestinian education.

“In the last year, UK aid has supported 26,000 children to go to school in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and is also helping to educate 500,000 Palestinian refugees across the Middle East,” a DFID spokesperson said.

“UK aid does not pay for textbooks in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are working with the Palestinian Authorities on a thorough review of its textbooks to make sure they do not incite violence.”

In the last year, the UK gave £20 million to fund Palestinian teachers’ salaries and £65.5 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency, which supports the education of 500,000 Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.
Why does PSC laud a man who thinks Israel shouldn’t exist?
Barghouti also makes crank comparisons of Israeli behaviour to the Nazis: “Many of the methods of collective and individual “punishment” [in] the occupied Palestinian territories are reminiscent of common Nazi practices against the Jews.”

His stances are a disgrace. They cause huge offence to Jews here in the UK, let alone in Israel, by denying their peoplehood and right to self-determination, and comparing the actions of a country they feel an affinity with to those of the Nazis who attempted to exterminate the Jewish people.

So why did the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) invite someone who repeatedly makes prima facie antisemitic statements to be the keynote speaker at their AGM on Saturday 25 January and greet him with a standing ovation?

Why did Brian Eno host a gathering for him the next day with musicians and singers?

Why did the PSC and KCL Action Palestine society bring him onto the King’s campus to speak, surreally, as part of a panel on “Forming an anti-racism front”?

Why is a person with these repugnant views being lauded by the PSC and artists like Eno? Why can’t all UK advocates for the Palestinians promote peace instead of hatred and antisemitism? Many do manage to make the Palestinian case without antisemitic tropes or hatred for Israel, its time the PSC learned how to this, and took a lot more care about which voices it promotes.

David Collier: The Methodist Church promotes antisemitic conspiracy theorist
Promoting Stephen Sizer

How on earth can the Methodist Church justify telling believers that one of the key people to listen to when asking theological questions about Israel – is a man who faced restrictions from the Church of England because he kept sharing material from antisemitic hate websites?

It almost goes without saying Stephen Sizer is a member of the antisemitic FB group ‘Palestine Live‘. He was one of the first members, added to the group by Elleanne Green on the day she created it. Over six years later, on 4th February 2020 he is still liking Elleanne Green’s posts:

My criticism is not just about what Sizer shared. It is about where his beliefs find comfort. He swims in the dark websites that those in my research live inside. He gets and shares ideas from toxic conspiratorial hate sites such as the Ugly Truth and Veterans Today. Sizer attends meetings such as the one the PRC held at Westminster, where antisemitic hate frequently bubbles to the surface to remain unchallenged. Sizer’s attitudes are clearly clouded by prejudice. NOBODY should listen to this man on the subject of Jews and yet his thoughts are officially promoted by the Methodist Church.

Someone more familiar with the different theological positions should have a look at the list recommended by the Methodist Church. Naim Ateek, the founder of Sabeel is listed and there are other links to condemnations of Christian Zionism – so perhaps the inclusion of Sizer should not be so surprising.

The list is provided by the ‘Faith and Order Committee’. The Secretary is Nicola Price-Tebbutt. The committee meets every few months and if decisions need to be taken during this period, then the’ Executive’ which comprises of Price-Tebbutt, the Chair and two other committee members, make the call.
World Council of Churches Considering BDS Supporter for Top Post
During the third week of March, the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches, an ecumenical organization with a long history of demonizing Israel, will elect a new General Secretary to replace Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, who recently announced that he will not run for a third term. Tveit, who was elected as Presiding Bishop of the Church of Norway, has served two five-year terms as president.

A WCC search committee has nominated two candidates to replace Tveit. One candidate, is Dr. Elizabeth Joy who currently serves as director of Churches Together in England. She is a member of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. She hails from India. There is little information available on the internet about her attitude regarding Israel.

The second candidate is Dr. Jerry Pillay, Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria in South Africa. Pillay, a member of the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. Pillay previously served as president of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

In 2014, Pillay spoke at an event organized by the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA, which like the WCC, has a long history of demonizing Israel. Pillay’s talk took place during the Presbyterian Church USA’s General Assembly which approved a divestment resolution. The title of this talk was “Apartheid in the Holy Land.”

At the closing of his speech, Pillay declared, “For the sake of just peace we may have to support boycott, divestment and sanctions. We may have to go against those we do not wish to isolate but in the words of Luther we may need to say: ‘Here I stand, I can do no other! So help me, God.’”

Pillay’s willingness to appear at an event organized by the IPMN is particularly troubling. The IPMN has a well-earned reputation as promoting hostility toward Israel and diaspora Jews. In 2012, two years before Pillay spoke before the IPMN audience, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs issued a press release calling on the PCUSA to rein in the organization’s antisemitism. “We have been concerned by the transformation of the IPMN-PCUSA into a gathering place for anti-Jewish tirades,” said JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles.

Joe Biden rejects pressure to boycott AIPAC conference
Joe Biden rejected pressure from a coalition of left-wing groups to have presidential candidates boycott the Israel lobby AIPAC’s policy conference.

An activist with IfNotNow, the anti-occupation group that is leading the initiative, confronted the former vice president in New Hampshire and cast her question in the context of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The activist noted that Biden led the effort to get Congress not to reject the agreement while the American Israel Public Affairs Committee endeavored to scuttle it.

“No, because I’m there to convince,” Biden said in a video of the encounter posted Sunday by IfNotNow on Twitter, “convince them to change their position.”

Among the Democratic presidential candidates, only Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has committed to skipping the policy conference, which takes place at the beginning of March.

Of those who have been asked by IfNotNow, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would not object to attending and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg said he would have to check his schedule.
Andrew Yang retracts saying all Palestinians have ‘right to return’ to Israel
In a recent statement to The New York Times, Andrew Yang expressed his support for the idea that Palestinian refugees and their descendants should be able to return to Israel. Then he took it back.

Last week, the newspaper published answers from the Democratic presidential hopefuls on a number of foreign policy issues, including Israel.

One of the questions concerned whether Palestinian refugees and their descendants should have a right to return to Israel. Elected officials across the US political spectrum have historically opposed the the idea. US President Donald Trump’s recently released peace plan does not offer Palestinians the right of return.

Yang, a long-shot candidate, answered “Yes” to the Times’ question without further explanation. The other candidates responded no or that the issue would have to be part of negotiations between the two sides. Pete Buttigieg did not answer.

But on Monday, Yang backtracked. The former tech executive, whose platform is based around creating a universal basic income, was asked on Twitter to clarify his answer by Eric Weinstein, a managing director at Thiel Capital.

Jewish Dem Thrown Out Of Tlaib Event For Confronting Her Anti-Semitism
Former New York State Democrat Assemblyman Dov Hikind was thrown out of an event over the weekend for confronting far-left Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) over her extensive history of promoting anti-Semitism.

The event, hosted by ‘Muslims4Peace,’ was held on Sunday at Rutgers University and was titled: “A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers – Lessons from the Prophet Muhammad”

Hikind told The Daily Wire that the head presenter for Muslims4Peace introduced Tlaib by saying “I don’t agree with her politically, but we should hear what she has to say.”

“As [Tlaib] started to speak about ‘showing up for allies,’ I decided it was time to take her to task for her recent promotion of an anti-Jewish blood libel,” Hikind said. “I stood up and asked her ‘what about your antisemitism? What about your spreading of a blood libel?'”

“And before I could finish my question, one man jumped at me and grabbed me,” Hikind continued. “I warned him to immediately get his hands off and he complied. The police were waiting on the sidelines and jumped in a second later and forcibly removed me. They did their job, and I have no qualms with them. But Rashida couldn’t answer me to my face.”

Pal Of Comey’s Likens Trump Firing People To The Holocaust. Social Media Crushes Him.
On Sunday, Benjamin Wittes,a journalist who is the Co-Director of the Harvard Law School – Brookings Project on Law and Security, chief editor of the Lawfare blog and a good pal of former FBI director James Comey, issued a lengthy Twitter thread in which he compared President Trump’s firing of various officials and targeting others as reminiscent of the Nazis murdering people in the Holocaust. Wittes has said of the president, ” … a major national security threat has arisen in the form of the functioning of the presidency of the United States under President Trump.” He has described his relationship with Comey in these terms: “We’re friends — we’re good friends.”

Wittes comparison to the Holocaust was obviously cribbing from the famous poem by Martin Niemöller, a prominent Lutheran pastor in Germany who spoke out against Adolf Hitler and spent 1938-1945 in Nazi concentration camps.

Warren: I will reverse Trump administration's new policy on settlements
Responding to a New York Times survey last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pledged to reverse US President Donald Trump's decision in November on Israeli settlements, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would keep the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Warren said that "the continued expansion of Israeli settlements and the increasing normalization of proposals for Israel to annex parts or all of the West Bank are the most immediate dangers to the two-state solution."

"I will reverse the Trump administration's new policy on settlements, which upends 40 years of bipartisan precedent, and make clear that Israeli settlements violate international law," she continued. "And if Israel's government continues with steps to annex the West Bank, the US should make clear that none of our aid should be used to support annexation."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reiterated his stance that he would condition US assistance on Israel not annexing or expanding settlements.

Billionaire Tom Steyer said he would condition US assistance to Israel on settlements, in addition to pledging to reverse Trump's relocation in May 2018 of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Long-Bailey Video Stars 'Holocaust Deniers' Adviser
The latest campaign video from Momentum shows Rebecca Long-Bailey setting out the need to have a “positive vision of Britain can be post-Brexit”. It stars an audience member explaining how the Labour vote was split in both directions by Brexit. Neither Long-Bailey nor Momentum spotted that the member asking the question appears to be Maria Carroll – a former candidate who ran a secret Facebook group advising Holocaust-denying members how to beat charges of antisemitism.

Carroll – who stood as Labour’s Camarthen East candidate in December – was revealed to be running the Facebook group, which contained Labour members who doubted the murder of six million Jews, and others who push the antisemitic trope of an international ‘Jewish conspiracy’. Becky may have signed the Board of Deputies’ pledge, but she’s still attracting these people…

McDonnell, Gardiner, Begum, and Siddiq Endorse Conspiracist Candidate
Aghileh Djafari Marbini is a hotshot candidate for the prize place of being selected for Brent and Harrow, one of Labour’s safest London Assembly seats. The left-winger has been endorsed by Aspana Begum, Tulip Siddiq, Barry Gardiner, and John McDonnell. Her only competition for the selection next week is local councillor Krupesh Hirani. Guido found it interesting that Djafari-Marbini has achieved such high profile endorsements, given that she:

Defended David ‘The Jews’ Ward, saying of his suspension that the Lib Dems “cant tolerated [sic] freedom of speech.”

Shared Russian propaganda calling Israel a “lunatic state”

Celebrated the phrase “Tony Blair can f**k off and die”

Shared an article that:
- Defended the image Naz Shah was suspended over, and admitted was antisemitic
- Defended Ken Livingstone’s language that merely “maybe wasn’t precise enough”
- Put the words “‘antisemitism’ accusations” in inverted commas
- Said Labour’s antisemitism crisis is “transparently a smear campaign” which is “being driven by the Conservatives ahead of the local and Mayoral elections. But they’re also being exploited by the Labour Right to undermine Corbyn’s leadership, and by pro-Israel groups to discredit the Palestine solidarity movement.”

Just another day in the modern Labour Party…
Labour candidate claims he never saw final text of 'Hezbollah has strong support' letter he signed
Labour’s candidate to represent the Borehamwood Kenilworth ward in Thursday's by-election has claimed he “never saw the final text” of a letter he signed arguing that Jeremy Corbyn had “nothing to apologise for” in his meetings with representatives of terrorist outfits Hamas and Hezbollah.

Daniel Ozarow, a senior lecturer in HR Management at Middlesex University, put his name to the 2015 letter penned in the wake of a JC front page which asked Mr Corbyn seven “key questions” about his record of associating with Holocaust deniers, terrorists and antisemites.

Signed by dozens of anti-Israel activists including "Jews in the gutter" campaigner Glyn Secker, and Tony Greenstein, who has been expelled by Labour, the letter said: "There is something deeply unpleasant and dishonest about your McCarthyite guilt by association technique.

"Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary record over 32 years has consistently opposed all racism including antisemitism.

"Jeremy Corbyn has nothing to apologise for in his meetings with representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas was democratically elected in Palestinian elections generally accepted as fair, and Hezbollah also has strong electoral support in Lebanon.”

Dr Ozarow, who was joined by Labour deputy leadership candidate Angela Rayner and Labour MPs Clive Lewis and Sam Tarry while out canvassing over the weekend, told the JC he believed he was "signing a plea for fair coverage during the leadership contest.

Anti-Semitism on US campuses may force schools to choose free speech or bigotry
Long before she stood on a podium with US President Donald Trump, before she became the young woman who sued New York University, she was Jewish college student Adela Cojab, who studied Arabic and liked kanafeh.

Back in 2015, Cojab was a freshman at NYU starting a major in Middle Eastern diaspora studies. As a Mexican-Syrian-Lebanese Jewish woman, she found it both personally and academically gratifying. From the get-go she dove into Jewish life on campus, eventually becoming president of the student group Realize Israel and a member of student government. But each semester her sunny outlook darkened a little more.

“If you’re culturally Jewish and proud of your heritage you’re a target,” Cojab told The Times of Israel as she sat in a basement room of the New York Public Library, her black crystal Star of David glittering under the room’s harsh fluorescent lights.

There were social media attacks against Jewish students and student government resolutions supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), which according to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition, could be interpreted as an anti-Semitic movement.

There was an instance of physical assault against another Jewish student on Israeli Independence Day, and last spring, students in her Arabic class refused to partner with Cojab because of her Zionism.
‘NYU administrators know about antisemitism on campus, don’t do enough’
A New York University graduate who sued the school for antisemitism last year says that the college administration is fully aware of the challenges Jewish students face on campus and is not doing enough about it.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Adela Cojab said that last year after the school awarded Students for Justice in Palestine the President’s Service Award for “student organizations that have had an extraordinary and positive impact on the University community” and Jewish students were upset, she started meeting with administrators every two weeks.

“They didn’t think it was that big of a deal to give a hate group that award - all administrators definitely knew” about what this organization had done to alienate Jewish and pro-Israel students, she told the Post.

Additionally, she said that university administrators told her “not to draw attention to it.”

Cojab said that her challenges with SJP and anti-Israel sentiment on campus came to a peak on Israel Independence Day 2018 when Cojab was not at a barbecue with her fellow Israel advocates but went to a student government meeting instead and that meeting turned antisemitic.
Filmmaker who wouldn't sign Georgia's Israel oath sues state
A documentary filmmaker who refused to sign Georgia's required oath involving Israel is suing the state, saying the law is in violation of free speech rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

A Georgia law passed in 2016 requires some people to sign an oath pledging not to boycott the Israeli government in order to do business in the state.

In her federal lawsuit, Abby Martin says she refused to sign the oath, and her scheduled appearance this month at a Georgia Southern University media conference was then canceled.

"I will not forfeit my constitutional rights by signing this pledge," Martin said at a Monday news conference to announce the lawsuit.

Spokespeople within Georgia's university system referred questions to Georgia Southern spokesman John Lester. He said Georgia Southern hasn't yet seen the lawsuit.

"Ms. Martin's concerns appear to be related to requirements of a state law enacted in 2016," Lester said in a statement.

The law "requires that anyone who wants to contract with the state of Georgia for services worth more than $1,000 sign an oath pledging that they will not boycott the Israeli government," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Georgia.
German university hosts pro-BDS event with alleged antisemite
The Berlin-based Humboldt University, which expelled Jewish academics and students during the Nazi-era, is slated on Wednesday to host an event with a pro-BDS academic who critics allege is antisemitic and has helped mainstream the delegitmization of Israel.

The Humboldt University media spokesman Hans-Christoph Keller plans to moderate the panel titled “Who is an antisemite – a philosophical clarification of the concept.” The HU’s website lists a notice and registration for the Wednesday event with the anti-Israel academic Georg Meggle.

In response to accusations that Keller and the event with Meggle stoke and tolerate modern antisemitism, Keller told the Post "cleary no." He added "The allegation of antisemitism is unfounded."

Keller said "It must be within the scope of freedom of education in a democratic society to be possible on the basis of scientific arguments to discuss with each other in a fair balanced manner. Because this is not just the core of the scientific work processes, but also an important societal one and a task of every university."

He refused to say if antisemitism is an opinion when asked.

The Post also asked Keller if the HU is violating the mayor of Berlin's anti-BDS executive order, stating public facilities are banned from providing space to BDS. The HU receives public funds.

BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi hunter for the human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center and head of the organization's Jerusalem office, said: “Why would would a respectable university give a platform to someone who supports BDS, which is a form of antisemitism, and any such lecture by a spokesman for that cause grants the legitimacy that this movement does not serve.”
Guardian interviewee says terrorist was killed “just for being Palestinian”
A Feb. 8th interview in the Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) of Waleed Zuiatar, a US born actor (of Palestinian descent) who stars in the new Channel 4 series Baghdad Central, included the following quote, which went unchallenged by the journalist:
…it’s actually cool now to say you’re Palestinian. I’m very proud of being Palestinian. My father’s cousin, Wael Zwaiter, a poet, was assassinated for being a Palestinian [he is depicted in the Stephen Spielberg film Munich].

In fact, contrary to Waleed’s assertion, his father’s cousin was assassinated by the Mossad in the aftermath of the Munich Massacre due to his reported involvement with Black September, the terror group behind the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

Here are some good sources:

Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv’s Spies Against Armageddon (pg. 128) notes:
“The first assassination, in October 1972, was that of Adel Wael Zwaiter, a Palestinian intellectual in Rome who worked as a translator for the Libyan embassy but who was a senior coordinator of the PLO/Black September infrastructure. Zwaiter, according to the Mossad’s information, was involved in a failed plot to blow up an El Al airliner.”
AP, Times of Israel Amend Language on PFLP Terror Group
CAMERA secured corrections from the Associated Press and Times of Israel after the news outlets described the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP, as merely a “leftist political party that has an armed wing.”

The Associated Press has documented PFLP terrorism, for example in this AP photo of the aftermath of a suicide bombing on Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market.

The PFLP is responsible for a spate of airline hijackings in the late 1960s and 1970s and, more recently, for deadly suicide bombings on Israeli markets and restaurants and the assassination of Israel’s tourism minister. PFLP’s 2002 attack on a pizzeria, for example, killed three Jewish teenagers. The Associated Press, of course, is aware of PFLP’s terrorism, having covered the group’s attacks.

After CAMERA’s communication with editors, the AP added a passage acknowledging that “Israel, the U.S. and the European Union consider it a terrorist group because of high-profile attacks going back decades, including plane hijackings and the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister in 2001.”

The Times of Israel, whose story was largely based on the earlier AP report, removed the description of the PFLP as a “leftist political party” and instead referred to the “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, which has a history of high-profile attacks going back decades, including plane hijackings and the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister in 2001.”
Swastikas Scrawled on Holocaust Family’s House Highlight Concern Over ‘Resurgence’ of Antisemitism in Italy
A small town in northern Italy was in uproar on Monday after Nazi swastikas were discovered at the entrance to the home occupied by a Jewish family deported during the Holocaust — the second antisemitic incident in the same locality in less than a fortnight.

“This was a despicable act, all the more ignoble because whoever did this understands the significance of that house,” Pietro Valent — the mayor of the town of San Daniele del Friuli, in the northeastern Udine province of Italy — told reporters after the swastika was discovered on Friday.

The Nazi symbol defaced the house owned by the Jewish Szörény family, who lived there prior to their deportation to the Auschwitz extermination camp in 1944. Three members of the family — sisters Arianna and Edith and brother Alessandro — survived the Nazi genocide.

Following the war, Arianna Szörény became well-known in Italy through her willingness to speak out about her ordeal as a Jewish child in Nazi captivity.

Shortly after the swastikas were found, locals covered them with red love heart symbols in a gesture of solidarity with the family.
Man shouts antisemitic epithets in Philadelphia kosher market
A man shouted antisemitic comments inside a kosher supermarket in northeast Philadelphia.

The man later fled in a tractor-trailer he had parked in the parking lot of House of Kosher for an extended period of time, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported Thursday. A nationwide search is ongoing, the report said.

Surveillance cameras caught images of the man as he left the store, got into the 18-wheeler and drove off. A witness saw the license number, Fox reported.

The incident comes less than two months after an attack on a kosher supermarket in Jersey City that left one of the shop’s owners, a customer and an employee dead. Security at area synagogues was increased in the wake of the Jersey City market attack, Fox 29 reported.
Adolf Hitler’s Jewish Neighbor from Munich Is Alive and Well at 101
Alice Frank Stock, who is 101, grew up in Munich, Germany, on the same apartment block as a local celebrity of sorts: Nazi party leader and all around popular fellow Adolf Hitler, who lived next door to her until he became Chancellor, on January 30, 1933, the UK’s Bristol Post reported on Sunday (The Jewish 101-year-old woman who used to live on the same apartment block as Hitler).

“We lived in a small apartment block next to the Prince Regent theater,” Alice recalled. “It was a lovely apartment, with four or five bedrooms, a big salon (living room) and a dining room. The salon was very large and we had two grand pianos.”

She also recalled seeing Hitler going in and out of his apartment on her block a few times, once even escorted out of a car by two SS guards, who rushed the Führer inside. And she also saw him once at the opera.

In November, 1923, when little Alice was 4, her neighbor led the notorious Beer Hall Putsch, a failed coup d’état. Hitler was found guilty of treason and sentenced to five years in Landsberg Prison, where he dictated his life’s work, Mein Kampf to his fellow prisoner Rudolf Hess. Then, after serving only nine months, Alice’s neighbor was released and came home to her apartment block.
Novel Depicting a Jewish-Muslim Romance Sparks Controversy in Saudi Arabia
A bestselling novel about a Jewish-Muslim romance has aroused fascination and controversy in Saudi Arabia, with charges being made that the book was intended to advance Israel’s diplomatic interests.

The Israeli news site Mako reported on Monday that author Raja Bandar’s book, The Foreign Jew, tells the story of a struggling Jewish woman from Yemen who marries a wealthy Arab man. The couple has a child who — because Jewish descent is matrilineal and Muslim descent patrilineal — is considered to be a member of both religions.

The couple divorces and the daughter is raised Jewish, but her mother eventually dies and the girl is sent to live with her father in a very conservative Muslim environment, where she struggles to maintain her Jewish identity.

Response to the book was electric, with some readers charging that it is an attempt to prepare the Saudi public for the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have grown warmer in recent years in the face of a mutual threat from Iran.

Ultra-conservative religious forces in the kingdom have also criticized the book, saying it should not be read because it exposes readers to an intimate interfaith romance between a Jew and a Muslim.

Many, however, have praised the novel, and even saw it as a “source of pride.”

Bandar herself says that she wrote the book out of a lifelong interest in Jews from Arab countries, and that she was aware the novel would be controversial.
Five centuries after expulsion, Madrid to open its first Jewish museum
Spain was once home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, with hundreds of thousands of Jews living and thriving in its empire. The 1492 expulsion presented them with the choice to leave everything behind and flee or to convert to Catholicism, putting an end to centuries of flourishing Jewish life.

This rich and tragic history will soon be presented in a new Jewish museum in Madrid, which is set to open in two years.

Mayor Jose Luis Martínez-Almeida announced on Friday that the municipality has signed an agreement with the Hispanojudía Foundation to grant to it the use of a building in the city center for 50 years to create a Jewish museum.

The building, which extends over 3,000 square meters was previously occupied by social activists who were evicted in November, and is known as ‘La ingobernable’ (The ungovernable).

In the announcement, the video of which was shared on his Twitter account, the mayor specified that they felt it was important that the building would be devoted to a cultural cause and that the decision was especially meaningful because, “Madrid is the only great European capital that currently does not have a Jewish museum” – and also in consideration of the historical ties between the country and its Jewish history and community.

The Hispanojudía Foundation was established five years ago.
Yiddish translation of 'Harry Potter' sells out in only 48 hours
Only 48 hours after preorders became available, the Yiddish translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone sold out its entire first edition run of 1,000 copies, the publishing company Olniansky Tekst Farlag announced on its Facebook page.

Translated by Arun Schaechter Viswanath, of the well-known Schaechter family of Yiddish scholars, and published by Swedish publisher Nikolaj Olniansky, who also founded the Yiddish heavy metal band the Dibbukim, Harry Potter un der Filosofisher Shteyn was the latest translation of the world-renowned Harry Potter series, finally made available in the mame-loshen.

“It’s crazy, it’s hard to believe,” Olniansky told the Forward. “We thought that we wouldn’t be able to sell more than 1,000 copies of a non-Hasidic book.”

Copies have so far been preordered in the US, Morocco, China, Israel, Poland, Sweden and Australia, the Forward reported.

Such success of a Yiddish publication is unprecedented, as few if any Yiddish books published outside the hassidic sector sell 1,000 in the span of a year. New publications in Yiddish are usually self-published or by one of two Yiddish publishers in Israel. Even then, they usually only print a few dozen to a few hundred copies. Due to how obscure the Yiddish language has become over the years, the market for it is drastically shrinking, and authors and publishers often have to market their books by word of mouth.
Israeli judoka makes ‘friend for life’ with Iran champ who fled country
Israeli judoka Sagi Muki posted a photo to Instagram Monday showing him embracing former Iranian champion Saeid Mollaei, who fled to Berlin following the World Championships in Tokyo last summer after the Iranian government ordered him to lose bouts in order to avoid competing against an Israeli.

Muki and Mollaei are now at the Paris Grand Slam tournament, where their very public friendship in the wake of last year’s events was on display.

“Friend for life!!!” reads the caption to Muki’s Instagram photo. “Tag Israel and Iran people for peace!” he urges his followers on the photo-based social network.

Within a day the photo has garnered over 10,000 “likes.” Muki tagged it with “#israel #iran #love #peace,” and wrote, “I met him at Grand Slam Paris. Two world champions but before that two good friends…”

The photo was praised by the host organization of the Paris Grand Slam, the European Judo Union, which responded on Instagram with the hashtag “#judomorethansport.”

Speaking to Channel 12 on Tuesday, Muki said Mollaei’s falling out with the Iranian government had left him appreciating Israel and Israelis.

“I hope that he will come to Israel. I know he really loves Israel and Israelis. And he really appreciated how our people have welcomed him with such a big embrace,” Muki said.
Belarus Jews hold memorial for its famous descendant, Kirk Douglas
The Jewish community of Belarus held a memorial service to honor film actor Kirk Douglas, the Belarusian Jewish community’s most famous descendant.

The memorial was held in Minsk on Sunday, during a joint Limmud FSU/Regional Nahum Goldmann Fellowship meeting. It included a remembrance prayer and a moment of silence conducted by the the capital city’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Shneur Deutsch, and the chief rabbi of the nation’s Progressive Jewish community, Grisha Abramovich.

Douglas, who died last week in Los Angeles at the age of 103, was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York, to Yiddish-speaking Jewish parents Bryna and Herschel Danielovitch from the Mogilev region of Belarus.

“This evening, this community honored the memory of one of its greatest descendants, who in addition to being a world-renowned movie star was first of all a proud Jew,” Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, said at the service.

“Even the young members of the Jewish community of Belarus know about and honor Kirk Douglas, and that is evidence, more than anything else, of the special connection that existed between the star, his Judaism in general and Jewish history in particular,” he said.

Natan Sharansky marks 34 years since arrival in Israel
Human rights activist, former Prisoner of Zion, and Genesis Prize 2020 laureate Natan Sharansky today marks the 34th anniversary of his arrival in Israel after spending 9 years imprisoned in the Soviet Union. On February 11, 1986, after being freed as part of a prisoner exchange, Sharansky flew to Israel, and was reunited with his wife, Avital, who had led the struggle for his freedom.

Sharansky, who most recently served as Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency from 2009 to 2018, was a member in the 14th, 15th, and 17th Knessets, and served in various ministerial positions. He was announced as the Genesis Prize Laureate for 2020 in light of his long struggle for human rights, political freedom, and his service to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The Genesis Prize, which was dubbed “The Jewish Nobel Prize” by Time magazine, will be awarded at a festive ceremony to be held at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on June 18, 2020.

The annual Genesis Prize honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values. In line with the tradition established by previous recipients of the Prize, Sharansky has chosen to forgo the $1 million award, and the Genesis Prize Foundation will donate the funds in his honor to nonprofit organizations to be selected at a future date.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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