Friday, May 08, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Israel still suffers virus of hate even as it saves Arab lives
While countries around the world struggle to get on top of the Covid-19 crisis, Israel’s achievement so far has been remarkable.

Its mortality rate from the virus has been vastly smaller, in proportion to its population, than the rate in countries such as Britain, Sweden or the United States. That’s largely because it tackled the virus with the kind of bold, strategic approach with which it defends itself against its physical foes.

This week, with new cases reduced to a few dozen, it started to lift a wide range of restrictions on public activity. Many are fearful, however, that the country’s exit from lockdown is too fast and incoherent, and may send the infection rate soaring again out of control.

That said, Israel’s defense against this invisible enemy has also highlighted something positive that previously wasn’t fully appreciated.

Thousands of Israeli Arab health-care professionals have been putting their own lives on the line by treating virus patients alongside their Jewish colleagues.

There could scarcely have been a more graphic demonstration of equality and indispensability, and it will have been noticed by Israel’s Jews and Arabs alike. It vividly illustrated the prominence of Israeli Arabs in the country’s health system, in which they make up 17 percent of its doctors, 24 percent of its nurses and 48 percent of its pharmacists.

This may have profound political consequences in a society where the status of Israeli Arabs, who form some 20 percent of the population, is a sensitive source of mutual suspicion, exaggeration and denial.

Sharren Haskel MK: Sir Mick simply hasn’t been paying attention
I welcomed Mick Davis’s article in Jewish News last week as an important voice on Israel-Diaspora relations. However, to my great sadness, I strongly contest his grossly inaccurate assertions. Of course, he is welcome to his opinion. If he were an Israeli citizen he would be welcome to vote accordingly. I’m saddened that someone who has held such high office in an important Diaspora community feels it appropriate to publish such distortions.

As a current MK, allow me to answer his accusations. Sir Mick claims Israel needs “a vision for its future with the Palestinians”. He will be pleased to know we have one.

While the vision of the Clinton Initiative has failed time after time for the past 30 years, we continue to stand firm in the face of the ongoing terrorism against the people of Israel. Hours before Sir Mick published his piece, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a 62-year-old woman as she was shopping in my home town, Kfar Saba. The day before, another Palestinian terrorist deliberately ran over a policeman at a junction in Judea and Samaria. These are not isolated incidents or caused by Israeli policies.

They are born of the same hatred that led to the massacre of Jews in Hebron in 1929 – even before the state’s founding.

They are part of an ongoing trend of hatred and violence supported by the Palestinian Authority which continues joyfully to promote anti-Jewish vitriol in their schools, media, and mosques, and proudly pay murderers for the Jewish blood they spill.

Yet, at the same time, we do continue to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict. Without a partner for peace, the current plan led by President Trump offers the Palestinians levels of autonomy, economic development and a higher standard of living than enjoyed by most peoples in the region.

And yes – it offers Israel the chance to establish sovereignty over core areas of Israel.

Sir Mick suggests that Israel’s political echelons have decided that the relationship with the Palestinians can be ignored. Let’s be clear. When we send our children to school, they have an armed guard at the gate. Our shopping malls have metal detectors.

When we send our children to the army, we do so knowing they may well see battle.

Israel is not ignoring the relationship with the Palestinians, we are palpably aware of the situation. But Israel has long made the decision – as have many of our neighbours – that there can be progress on a range of issues, including regional affairs, even in the absence of a resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians.
World Needs New Perspective on Israel
On a recent Zoom call with Jewish National Fund-USA (JNF-USA) in Chicago, The New York Times contributor, Matti Friedman, lamented the immense gap in perceptions between how the world and Israelis see Israel.

"The uninformed perceive Israel as a conflict zone or a place that's unsafe to visit," said Friedman. "This is because whenever there's any instance of violence, it automatically receives saturated press coverage. When I was a correspondent for AP, the size of the bureau covering Israel was 40 people. This was significantly more than their office in China at the time."

Friedman highlighted the media's disproportionate focus on Israel and noting that according to his calculations, seven people in Jerusalem died in violent circumstances in 2019, while in cities of similar size such as Indianapolis, 179 homicides took place garnering little coverage.

"Looking at fatalities is a crass way of doing things," admitted Friedman, "however, it's telling. We can sometimes forget that Israel's conflict is small in terms of global conflict."

Friedman also discussed the often-overlooked differences between the left- and right-wing movements of the U.S. and Israel. "Political terminology in the US is different," said Friedman. "Being on the 'left' in Israel is different from being on the 'left' in the U.S. – and the same is true for the 'right'. Israel's 'left' and 'right' are defined by their respective stances and approaches to dealing with the conflict. The majority of Israelis, throughout the left and right, are in favor of gun control, abortion, public healthcare, and government education. On all these issues, Netanyahu would be considered a Democrat."

Ultimately, Friedman believes the way to bridge the perception gap cannot be done through arguing about press coverage. "We shouldn't get upset. Rather, we need to establish a real connection with the actual country [Israel]. It means getting involved with Jewish National Fund-USA – an organization that is perhaps more involved in the everyday life of Israel than most. The other way to get around it is to get on a plane and spend time here in Israel (when international travel resumes). What's accurate and inaccurate will be resolved by visiting here."
Latma 2020, Episode 5
this time expanded to 15 minutes. The unhinged parents’ Zoom song, meeting of Hendel and Hauser’s immense Derech Eretz faction, Story Time and EU representative Johann Phlegmat’s first guest appearance on the new Latma. Enjoy! (h/t Yerushalimey)

Latma 2020, Episode 6
Latma 2020, Episode 6 with the Judgefather as chief arbitrator, attempts to see the money promised by the Treasury to the self-employed, and the organizer of the Alternative Memorial Day talks about her plans for the future (h/t Yerushalimey)

Number of active COVID-19 cases in Israel drops below 5,000, no new deaths
The Health Ministry on Friday evening reported there were less than 5,000 people in Israel currently sick with the coronavirus, as the number of Israelis to recover from COVID-19 continued to outpace the rate of new infections.

The death toll from the virus was 245, the same figure reported in the morning, although 5 people died in the last 24 hours.

There were 4,962 people infected with the virus as of Friday evening, out of the 16,436 cases recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic. According to the ministry’s figures, there were 55 new cases over the past 24 hours.

The ministry said 78 people were in serious condition, 63 of whom were on ventilators.

Another 54 Israelis were in moderate condition and the rest had mild symptoms.

So far, 11,229 Israelis have recovered from COVID-19.

With the number of new cases steadily dropping, Israel appeared likely to mark two weeks on Saturday night since more than 200 infections were recorded in a 24-hour period.

Amid the sustained drop in infections, the government has increasingly rolled back restrictions meant to curb the outbreak, including opening some schools and allowing many businesses to reopen.
If it reinfects, virus could ‘end humanity,’ Netanyahu reportedly warned MKs (The Times of Israel)
At the height of Israel’s battle against COVID-19 last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned several Knesset members from his Likud party that if reports from overseas of patients who had recovered from the virus again testing positive for it were accurate, humanity could be wiped out, a TV report claimed on Friday night.

“There are reports from overseas about reinfection,” Channel 12 news said the unnamed Likud MKs recalled Netanyahu saying. “If this is true,” the prime minister reportedly went on, “the significance could be the end of humanity.”

Others with whom the prime minister spoke to, the TV report said, do not remember him using that precise phrase, but say he warned that the pandemic could lead to “scenarios of global anarchy.”

The extraordinary quotes were part of a report on the warnings reportedly delivered by Netanyahu and Israel’s Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov to cabinet ministers and others handling the crisis in recent weeks. Imposing stringent lockdown policies since March, Israel has kept its death toll down to 245, and 11,000 of its 16,400 cases have recovered. In the last few days, it has been gradually easing many restrictions.

Netanyahu also expressed concern about reinfection on at least two occasions in public forums.

On April 13, in a speech to the nation, he said: “I would like to share with you one detail that the government of South Korea recently published: It said that 91 people who recovered from the coronavirus were diagnosed again as sick. We are checking this. If it is correct, the reality is far more complex than we formerly believed because it would seem that immunity to the virus is not automatic immunity. It could be that the virus can reawaken and cause infection in wide circles.”
Coronavirus Nazi Comparisons Dishonor Memories of Holocaust Victims
Seventy-five years ago, the most destructive war in history came to an end in Europe. Adolf Hitler’s goal of a 1,000-year Nazi reign collapsed 988 years early and in total ruin, but not before triggering the deaths of tens of millions.

Yet, as the world commemorates the Allied victory and recalls the war’s horrors, some are invoking the language of the Nazi era in response to COVID-19 restrictions. How appallingly inappropriate and insensitive!

Is it possible those involved don’t actually realize what they are saying? Or perhaps they do and proceed nonetheless?

Either way, it cannot be ignored, minimized, or rationalized. Otherwise, words no longer have meaning, history is distorted beyond recognition, and the memories of Nazism’s victims are dishonored.

At a rally in Illinois to protest pandemic restrictions, one demonstrator held up a placard: “Arbeit Macht Frei, JB.” The first three German words — “Work Sets You Free” — refer to the infamous sign at the entrance to the Nazi slave labor and death camp at Auschwitz. The initials are for the state’s governor, J.B. Pritzker, who happens to be Jewish.

This protester may have wanted her job back. If so, entirely understandable. But the Auschwitz sign she invoked was a cruel hoax. It led to a one-way journey into an indescribable hell for an estimated 1.1 million women, men, and children.

A second sign read “Heil, Pritzker” with a swastika displayed in between.

Seriously? Governor Pritzker is a Nazi because he seeks to fight a deadly virus and, like leaders elsewhere, applied the rigorous measures prescribed by public health authorities?

Those measures can be debated, of course. That’s not the issue. No one has a monopoly on wisdom in a crisis of this magnitude and uncertainty. But to compare the current restrictions with the Hitler era? Shameful and sickening.

The minority leader in Colorado’s House of Representatives said that a home sheltering order by the state’s governor, Jared Polis, who also happens to be Jewish, reflected “a Gestapo-like mentality.”

Did this legislator have a clue what he was actually saying? Does he know of the Gestapo’s role in spreading paralyzing fear across occupied Europe and in Germany itself, operating entirely by its own rules, and arresting, torturing, and murdering countless opponents of the Third Reich?
‘World War Z’ author/West Point teacher: Disasters are averted in pre-production
Picture this: With the world menaced by a pandemic, different nations respond with varying levels of effectiveness. Among the early leaders is Israel, thanks to a pragmatic approach that incorporates lessons from its past. While that could be a synopsis of the current COVID-19 crisis, it’s the heart of a different, thankfully fictional, disaster — the zombie apocalypse at the center of author Max Brooks’s bestselling 2006 novel, “World War Z.”

Brooks — the son of legendary comedian Mel Brooks and late Hollywood star Anne Bancroft — has continued to chronicle fictional catastrophes, including in his upcoming novel “Devolution,” about deadly Sasquatches in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, he also teaches real-life disaster preparedness to soldiers in the United States Army at the Modern War Institute at West Point, New York.

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Brooks tells The Times of Israel he is thinking anew about disaster responses, while encouraging best practices in a recent PSA with his father.

The younger Brooks laments America’s performance during the coronavirus response. “After all that planning, all that preparing, all those years and dollars spent getting ready for just this day, our leadership appears to be having a nervous breakdown,” he wrote in an email interview with The Times of Israel.

His long-term prognosis is more hopeful. “We always tend to get caught unprepared,” he reflects. “What happened to Israel in the 1973 war happens to us in pretty much every war, and pandemic, and, well, everything.

“What’s so amazing about America, is our ability to recover. We always get hit hard, but we always get back up, always adapt, always do what we have to do, not just to survive but thrive.”

Brooks is doing his part. “My work at the Modern War Institute at West Point involves the study of non-military threats that could, some day, spill over into war,” he said. “Cyber security, food security, and, naturally, pandemics. The goal is to put these fires out before they get out of control.”
Israel's Pluristem FDA approved for study in treatment of severe COVID-19
Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics’ PLX cells therapy has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for a Phase II study in the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases complicated by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

The study, “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter, Parallel-Group Phase II Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Intramuscular Injections of PLX-PAD for the Treatment of severe COVID-19,” will treat 140 adult patients that are intubated and mechanically ventilated and are suffering from respiratory failure and ARDS due to COVID-19.

“We believe we can complete enrollment quickly and we expect to provide guidelines on the expected study duration a few weeks following the commencement of the study,” said Pluristem CEO and president Yaky Yanay. “In the last few weeks, we have received dozens of applications from physicians and families seeking to participate in the Expanded Access per patient program.”

He said that Pluristem believes its PLX cells will offer a key advantage in addressing the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The primary efficacy endpoint of the study is the number of ventilator free days during the 28 days from day 1 through day 28 of the study.
Until now, Pluristem has been treating patients suffering from severe complications caused by COVID-19 in the US and Israel through compassionate use programs.
FDA approves Israeli start-up Aidoc's AI to detect COVID-19 in CT scans
Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Aidoc received approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their product helping doctors in detection and triage of findings associated with the coronavirus, the company said in a statement.

Aidoc's AI system can detect and prioritize findings from CT scans associated coronavirus. This prioritization helps triage patient urgency and can help manage treading COVID-19 by providing adjunctive information to help further and thoroughly evaluate a patient's condition.

This not the first time Aidoc's AI products have received FDA approval. The company already has four FDA approvals for scans to detect strokes, embolisms, cervical spine fractures and hemorrhaging. However, as the coronavirus outbreak has spread, predictive and analytical programs have become more relevant than ever as doctors become increasingly overwhelmed by the ongoing pandemic.

This is reinforced by recent studies by the universities of Chicago, Brescia and Brussels as wells as a report from New York's Maimonides Medical Center, which have shown that at least 8%-10% of patients that undergo CT scans for other conditions were found by the radiologists to have COVID-19 despite not exhibiting any of the associated respiratory symptoms. Identifying these cases quickly allows doctors to isolate and treat them before their conditions worsen.
In Midst of Pandemic, an Israeli Defense Company Quietly Changed the Face of Hospitals
"Part of the Israeli DNA is to face up to missions together," said Irit Idan, executive vice president and head of research and development at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. "This is our nature as a nation. From the moment that this [coronavirus] incident began rolling, Rafael started floating many ideas on how we can assist the health-care system."

The company sought to upgrade the medical establishment's capabilities and Idan led the company's assistance program for hospitals. She said the first step involved getting a good understanding of what medical personnel on the new frontlines needed most. Rafael's first conclusion was that the principal problem faced by hospitals was the entry of medical teams into hazardous, virus-filled environments during their day-to-day work. This led to a series of groundbreaking solutions.

Rafael made a robotic assistance tool, currently roaming hospital corona wards, that comes into close contact with Covid-19 patients in place of nurses. The robot, which conducts tasks such as food distribution and logistics, can navigate its own way around the hospital and bring trays directly to beds. The robots are also used to enable patients to communicate with family and friends through audio and video links.

A second problem identified by Idan and her team was the need to remotely transmit medical readings of patients back to nurses and doctors to reduce their risk of infection. Critically ill patients hooked up to life-support machines have readings of vital signs that must be constantly monitored.

Rafael fitted ventilators and nourishment machines with communication cables to transmit the readings back to a separate room, or installed a computer card to the back of the machines that sent them to a nurses' room via WiFi. "Now, they can always monitor the patients' readings without needing to go in," said Idan.
New York Times Claims Israeli Army Is Known for ‘Pioneering Cutting-Edge Ways To Kill People’
Israel’s consul general in New York City is mocking The New York Times for a news article that claimed, “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up.”

“The Israeli Defense Ministry’s R&D arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to save innocent lives, with Iron Dome & David Sling among its more famous recent projects,” Ambassador Dani Dayan wrote on Twitter. “I edited it for you @nytimes. Now it’s fit to print.”

Dayan had plenty of company in cringing at the introduction that the Times Jerusalem bureau chief, David Halbfinger, used for an article highlighting the way Israel’s military is using high-tech to tackle the novel coronavirus.

The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, called a Times tweet promoting the article and using the “cutting-edge ways to kill people” language “sensationalist” and “irresponsible.” He described it as “demonizing language that seems to question Israel’s legitimate security needs.”

The Times article begins, “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up, with stealth tanks and sniper drones among its more lethal recent projects. “

The next paragraph of the Times article says, “But its latest mission is lifesaving. Since March, it has been spearheading a sprawling, high-speed effort to unleash some of the country’s most advanced technologies against an enemy of another kind: Covid-19.”

A retired Israel Defense Forces lieutenant colonel, Peter Lerner, who served as a spokesman for the military, tweeted that though he liked the story overall, the “cutting-edge ways to kill people” line was a clunker.

“The defense establishment has been developing weaponry for the defense of the island of Israel that hasn’t had a day of peace since it was established,” he said. “More accurate wording needed like: kill militant enemies.”

NYT Podcast Neglects to Ask Alice Walker About History of Anti-Jewish Comments
A New York Times podcast neglected to ask author Alice Walker about her history of anti-Jewish comments in a wide-ranging interview this week, despite the fact that the paper's news section has described some of Walker's writings about Jews as "blatantly anti-Semitic."

In a half-hour interview on Wednesday, New York Times podcast host and author Cheryl Strayed talked to Walker, the author of The Color Purple, about subjects ranging from coronavirus fears to romantic breakups. But she did not ask Walker about her claims that Jews support the enslavement of non-Jews or her endorsement of a book that draws on conspiracy theories from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Strayed and a spokesperson for the Times did not respond to a request for comment. Strayed wrote on Twitter on Thursday that she was unaware of the controversy. "I had no idea and neither did the producers who make the show," she said, adding that, had she been aware, "I would not have invited Alice Walker on the show." She also said she had removed social media posts promoting the episode.

Walker, a prominent supporter of the anti-Israel "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movement, has compared Israel to Nazi Germany and published a poem in 2017 called "It Is Our (Frightful) Duty to Study the Talmud" which makes numerous false claims about the Jewish text.

She encouraged her supporters to watch YouTube videos about the Talmud that claimed the Jewish religion supports the murder of all non-Jews and advocates raping babies.

"Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only/ That, but to enjoy it?" she wrote.
FBI source in Russia probe called Israelis ‘f***ing spies’ who should be killed
Newly released transcripts from the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election included an agency source referring to Israelis as “f***ing spies” who should all be executed.

The transcript, which was declassified by the Justice Department and shared with a number of US senators on Tuesday, is from November 26, 2016 conversations during an outing in Illinois between a man identified as a “Confidential Human Source” and former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty in 2017 for making false statements to FBI agents.

Papadopoulos was investigated for his ties to Israel as part of the Mueller probe, which concluded there was not sufficient evidence he was acting as an unregistered agent for the Jewish state.

Papadopoulos is identified in the transcript as “Crossfire Typhoon,” or “CT,” in apparent reference to “Crossfire Hurricance,” the name of the FBI’s probe into whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials.
George Papadopoulos, left, the former Trump campaign adviser who triggered the Russia investigation, is guided as he arrives for his first appearance before congressional investigators on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In the transcript, the FBI source repeatedly mentions Israelis and the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency,
Sen. Lee Holding Up Widely Supported Holocaust Education Bill
Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) has placed a hold on legislation meant to expand Holocaust education programs, angering supporters in the pro-Israel community who say the bill was on track to be approved before hitting this roadblock.

The legislation, which was set for approval amid commemorations of May's Jewish American Heritage Month, would improve and help develop Holocaust education initiatives across the country. The bill was approved overwhelmingly by the House with just five dissenters and forwarded by the relevant Senate committees on Thursday, paving the way for a full vote.

However, Lee placed a hold on the bill, meaning that it cannot move forward until the senator's concerns with it are addressed. All senators can place a procedural hold on a bill to block it from moving forward.

Pro-Israel American groups have been championing the Holocaust legislation from the outset, particularly in light of a sizable jump in anti-Semitic attitudes within the United States and Israel. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the situation, as anti-Semitic activists promote claims that Israel and Jews were behind developing the virus. The pro-Israel groups maintain the bill would help educate Americans about the Nazi regime's atrocities and help stem the spread of anti-Semitic tropes.

Lee's office confirmed the senator's hold, saying he is seeking "some really minor changes to some of the wording" and is working with Sen. Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.), a chief sponsor of the bill, to address these concerns. Lee's office would not detail what specifically the senator objects to in the legislation or for how long the hold could last.
Omar Attacked as Insufficiently Anti-Israel
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) is under fire from an unlikely group—the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian activists who once hailed her as their movement's biggest star.

Omar, who has championed anti-Israel causes from her perch in Congress, recently signed on to a congressional letter urging the Trump administration to ensure that an international embargo on Iran's purchase of advanced military equipment is not lifted later this year. In a rare display of agreement with her Republican colleagues, Omar lent her name to the letter, which was spearheaded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation's most prominent pro-Israel group.

The letter, which was signed by nearly every member of Congress from both parties, expressed support for Trump administration efforts at the United Nations to ensure the Iran arms embargo remains in place. If the embargo were lifted, Iran would be capable of purchasing advanced missiles that could strike into the heart of Israel.

Omar's willingness to partner with AIPAC in its efforts to crack down on Iranian terrorism sent shockwaves through the anti-Israel community, eliciting a range of criticism from activists who heaped praise on Omar when she expressed anti-Semitic views and advocated for economic boycotts of the Jewish state.

"It's official, [Omar] got her own taste of the Benjamin's baby! She's now under the spell of [AIPAC]," tweeted Palestinian activist Abbas Hamideh, referring to Omar's past claim that AIPAC wields power by lining the pockets of members of Congress. "It was too hard for her to resist signing a letter stating Iran was a threat to ‘Israel' and the Gulf States effectively voting for sanctions on Iran."

"[Omar] has updated her bio: Mom, Refugee, Intersectional Feminist, and SELLOUT," Hamideh later tweeted, one of several enraged missives he sent on the subject.

"When you sell yourself cheap you get outed by the entire Pro-Palestinian Movement. [Omar] has become the latest example of why identity politics can be deceiving," he stated in another. "She sold out during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Keep that in mind next time when voting."
Taxpayer-funded charity embraces violent anti-Semitism (again)
On May 3, Islamic Relief USA—the largest Islamic charity in the United States, and whose overseas branches are funded by the U.S. government—ran an event with Omar Abdelkafi, a fiery Egyptian preacher with a well-established record of violent anti-Semitism.

It seems unlikely that Islamic Relief was unaware of Abdelkafi’s fanaticism. It has been the subject of international media coverage, mentioned in dozens of books examining radicalization and extremism, and even the State Department has referred to Abdelkafi’s “history of anti-Semitic comments.”

Those comments go far beyond common anti-Semitism. The American Center for Democracy reports that Abdelkafi wrote in 2017:
“O Allah, we complain to you about the Jews, as they can not escape you, O the mighty of the heavens and the earth. O Allah, count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them … Liberate Al Aqsa Mosque from the filth of Jews the aggressors … ”

According to Politico, Abdelkafi has proclaimed that Muslims should refuse to shake hands with Christians or to share sidewalks with them. And MEMRI has reported that in an address following the Paris attacks, Abdelkafi said: “This play, to which the Muslims are subjected ad nauseam across the world, is the sequel to the comedy film of 9/11.”

Abdelkafi’s preaching is blamed for the radicalization of Stockholm suicide-bomber Taimour Abdulwahab.

So extreme was Abdelkafi’s hatred of Jews that Muslim conference organizers in Canada uninvited him after being alerted to his extremism.
Front Page Fake News
The front page headline of today’s Morning Star is a bold lie. Following the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact the Morning Star wasn’t anti-fascist. It was, as it is today, dismissive of the capitalist Western democracies, opposing rearmament and undermining the war effort until 1941. We should never allow the communists to forget…

Whereas democratic socialists like Aneurin Bevan unequivocally backed the war, Communist Party members were resolving their own stances in the wake of the Stalin-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact in August. On instructions from the Communist International’s Moscow headquarters to regard the war as one between imperialist powers for imperialist objectives. The Comintern put the Soviet national interest of the “first socialist state” ahead of the policy needs of individual communist parties and nations elsewhere. Palme Dutt, the Party’s leading theoretician, headed the majority of the traitorous central committee who took the Comintern’s line, of not supporting Britain in an “imperialist war”. The Morning Star’s editorial line reflected the central committee’s diktat, declaring in December 1939 that the war against Hitler was not “a people’s war.”

It was not until the Nazis attacked the Soviets in 1941 that the paper’s editorial line changed. The true history of the Morning Star newspaper is not one of forever fighting fascism.
Independent Arabia columnist fabricates Jews who live 'ordinary lives' across the Arab world
This is the fifth in a series of CAMERA Arabic posts showing how Arabic language news networks, including those affiliated with Western media outlets, frame the topic of Jews who originate from or live in the Mid-East and North Africa, by distinguishing between ‘loyal’ Jews and ‘treacherous’ Zionists. (See part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 of the series.)

The two previous posts in the series focused on the use of falsehoods and half-truths to deny the historical and contemporary connections between Middle Eastern Jews on the one hand and Zionism and Israel on the other:
Post #3 surveyed Egyptian columnist Fatima Na’out and her attempt to decide what the last few Jews remaining in Egypt think without asking them, in order to prove that they “renounce” the “Zionist entity” and are therefore “true patriots” (all while ignoring the thousands of Jews of Egyptian heritage who moved to Israel over the years and live there today).
Post #4 demonstrated how an item by Sky News Arabia used Israel as a scapegoat to indirectly absolve Iraq, Egypt and Yemen of historical responsibility to their own Jewish communities; the item accused the Israeli secret services of sowing strife between innocent Jews and Muslims in these countries so that the Jews would flee to Israel.

To what lengths would Arab writers – willing to empathise with the region’s Jews while at the same time unwilling to be tagged as a normalizer of Israel – go in order to distort reality to better fit their desired narrative?

Compared to Sky News Arabia, which made up historical facts, and Fatima Na’out who fabricated contemporary opinions, the author of the next item we analyze went as far as inventing lively Jewish communities out of thin air, thus refusing to admit they had ever vanished. Amjad As-Sa’eed, a London-based journalist writing for Independent Arabia, is therefore the winner of this dubious competition.
Toronto Star Columnist Linda McQuaig Calls for Canada to Sanction Israel
Leaving aside how morally bankrupt it would be to remove Canada’s sanction regime for these terror-supporting and human rights offending nations, why was Israel singled out by McQuaig? Simply put, Israel plans to apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and 30% of Area C territory per the Oslo Accords of Judea and Samaria (“west bank”) per the Trump peace plan and consistent with past U.S. peace proposals that have understood that Israel will retain these areas in a final peace accord.

Importantly, a nation cannot “annex” land which it has sovereign claims to. Israel doesn’t regard the “west bank” as “occupied” because there was no sovereign prior to the defensive Six-Day-War in 1967. Jordan illegally occupied and administered the land from 1948-1967 after Israel’s War of Independence which was waged by pan-Arab armies seeking nascent Israel’s destruction. Jordan didn’t have sovereignty over the land which was ruled under British Mandatory Palestine. Israel says international law enshrines its rights to these lands, while citing pressing security concerns and biblical, historical and political connections to the land.

Thankfully, P.M. Trudeau is steadfastly opposed to BDS. In 2019 he said: “I will continue to condemn the BDS movement…We have to be very careful as a society and as a government and as a country not to sanction or support this new frame around antsemitism and undue criticism of Israel.”
BBC WS radio’s pick ‘n’ mix Middle East history
At no point in the programme were listeners informed that the unfulfilled task entrusted to Britain as administrator of the Mandate for Palestine included “placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home”. Hence listeners had no idea that “what was then called Palestine” had been assigned by the League of Nations to the creation of the Jewish national home when they heard Hidalgo’s subsequent statements.

Hidalgo: “As the British left, the war that had been simmering for months between the Jews and the Palestinians filled the vacuum.”

In fact, the conflict that began immediately after resolution 181 was passed in November 1947 did not involve just “the Jews and the Palestinians”: foreign forces in the form of the Arab Liberation Army also took part.

Hidalgo: “On the 15th of May five Arab armies invaded and it fell to the United Nations – then just three years old – to try to negotiate a peace. The United Nations had agreed a plan the previous year to partition Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state and to put Jerusalem under international control. The Jews had agreed the plan, the Palestinians had opposed it. Fighting had intensified even before the British left. Now they’d gone.”

Listeners were not informed that the 1947 Partition Plan (UNGA resolution 181) was non-binding and in fact no more than a recommendation, the implementation of which depended upon the agreement of the parties concerned. The plan was rejected – and thus rendered irrelevant – by the Arab states as well as the Palestinian ‘Higher Arab Committee’ rather than just by “the Palestinians” as claimed by Hidalgo.

Vermont political forum with Jewish candidate hit by anti-Semitic ‘Zoombombing’
A forum for Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor in Vermont was the target of “Zoombombing” by individuals who drew swastikas and wrote “hail Satan.”

One of the candidates, Brenda Siegel, is Jewish.

“I am in the middle of the hardest forum of my life,” Siegel tweeted on April 30. “We have been zoom bombed twice with Nazi symbols. I am the Jewish candidate in this race. I am shaken. Holy. That was hard to stay on.

In a statement, Siegel said: “As a Jewish woman and public figure in Vermont, I have experienced a growing number of anti-Semitic attacks since the election of Donald Trump. Long simmering beneath the surface, there is a rise of hate in this state.”

The rapid growth of Zoom videoconferencing due to the coronavirus pandemic has come with a steady increase in reports of intrusions by people spouting racism, anti-Semitism and hate.

The Vermont forum, which was hosted by a local Democratic committee, was disrupted twice. In both instances, one of the intruders stole the screen and drew a swastika. Siegel said she knew what it was “as soon as they turned the first line, since I’ve been subjected to that symbol so many times before.”

The meeting link was widely publicized.
Las Vegas Woman Charged in Antisemitic Stalking Case; Allegedly Called Neighbors ‘Jewish Pigs’
A 57-year-old Las Vegas woman has been charged in an antisemitic stalking and property destruction case, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Wednesday.

Georgina McGarvie is facing charges of felony aggravated stalking and property destruction after police were called Dec. 3 and told she was damaging a neighboring Jewish family’s apartment and defacing it with antisemitic graffiti.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department stated that antisemitic harassment began almost immediately when the Jewish family moved in on Oct. 2.

“Approximately one week after moving in, McGarvie started putting up racist signs in her windows calling (the family) ‘Jewish pigs,’” said the police report.

The family encountered McGarvie outside their apartment, and she described their seven-month-old baby with an obscenity and antisemitic slur.

McGarvie also allegedly wrote “Jewish Pedofiles” on an abandoned mattress, drilled through the family’s drywall, and yelled and banged on the walls every night.
Dutch police hold suspect after window smashed at kosher restaurant
In January, unidentified perpetrators placed a box resembling a homemade bomb on the restaurant’s doorstep.

In 2017, a 29-year-old man waving a Palestinian flag smashed the windows of HaCarmel with a wooden club, stealing an Israeli flag hanging there. Police officers stood by as he vandalized the place but arrested the suspect, a Syrian asylum seeker, when he came out.

He was convicted of vandalism after 52 days in jail while awaiting his trial but was released with no additional penalty. Dutch Jews criticized the ruling because it did not contain a reference identifying his actions as a hate crime.

The attack came on the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to Allied forces in Europe, although there was no immediate indication of a link.

Israel Signs Deal to Lease Drones to Greece for Border Defense
Israel said it will lease drones to Greece to defend its borders, in the first military deal between the two countries which includes an option to buy the system.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense was signed digitally due to the coronavirus crisis.

Under the deal, Israel‘s Defense Ministry will lease the Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, made by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries for three years.

The Heron system, which is used by Israel‘s military and in naval forces around the world, is equipped with both day and night activity platforms, maritime patrol radars and satellite communications.

It will be used by Greece primarily for border defense, the Israeli ministry said in a statement, adding that security relations between Israel and Greece were expanding.

“We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece as well as other European partners, assisting them in addressing security challenges — in times of the corona pandemic and beyond,” Yair Kulas, head of the Israel‘s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, said.
Microsoft to Buy Israel's CyberX for $165 Million
Microsoft Corp. is set to acquire Israeli cybersecurity company CyberX for $165 million, according to sources close to the talks.

CyberX, founded in 2013 by veterans of Israel's elite cyber security unit, is headquartered in Boston.

The company is engaged in Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity for command and control systems for industry.
Top Israeli physician: 100% of all childhood cancer to be curable by 2040
By 2040, 100% of all children who are diagnosed with cancer will survive, according to Prof. Shai Izraeli, director of the Department of Hematology-Oncology at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva.

“I say to every parent that our goal is for your child to become a grandparent,” he told The Jerusalem Post, “which means our aim is to cure every child with cancer.”

When Izraeli was growing up, he said that most children with cancer died. By the time he was in medical school in the 1980s, the survival rate had increased to around 30%. Today, overall, 83% of childhood cancer patients become long-term survivors.

“When you talk about specific cancers, like Hodgkin lymphoma and standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the rate of survival is more than 90%,” he told the Post.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a division of American’s National Institute of Health, improved treatments introduced beginning in the 1960s and 1970s raised the five-year survival rate for children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at ages 0 to 14 years from 57% in 1975 to 92% in 2012. Similarly, the five-year survival rate for children diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at ages 0 to 14 years has also increased, from 43% in 1975 to 91% in 2012.

There are several reasons for Izraeli’s optimism, he said, and the first is improved genomics, which allows doctors to better understand the interactions between genes and the environment and provide a more precise diagnosis.

The second is better diagnostic tools that allow doctors to get a better view into how patients are responding to treatments and improves their ability to provide personalized care.
Stand Strong with StandWithUs - Krav Maga Demo
Have you ever wanted to learn the art of Krav Maga? Well, now's your chance! Krav Maga expert and former naval commando Lior Ofir is ready to teach you new and practical self-defense techniques. Now the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization StandStrong, Lior aims to help empower people and build their self-esteem through self-defense. If you want more after this, StandStrong will also be kicking off a five-part online series that will focus on how to defend yourself using the unique techniques of Krav Maga.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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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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