Friday, June 26, 2020

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The silent American Jews
The silence of the Jews of America in the face of rising anti-Semitism is stunning.

Over the Shavuot festival on May 30, members of Black Lives Matter, (BLM) carried out a pogrom in Fairfax, the oldest Jewish community in Los Angeles, largely populated today by ultra-Orthodox Jews. They vandalized five synagogues and three Jewish schools. Most of the Jewish businesses on Fairfax Avenue were looted.

As Daniel Greenfield reported at Frontpage, Allyson Rowen Taylor, a co-founder of StandWithUs shared an account of the riots in which they chanted, "F**k the police and kill the Jews."

Aryeh Rosenfeld, whose store was looted, told the Jerusalem Post that when he came to defend his store there were people driving through the streets screaming, "effing Jews," at the Jewish store owners.

Greenfield revealed that the Jews were not incidental victims in a larger night of "anti-racist" rioting by BLM. BLM in Los Angeles is led by outspoken anti-Semites with intimate ties to the virulently anti-Semitic Nation of Islam.

Over the past several years both the BLM-Los Angeles head Melina Abdullah and her daughter Thandiwe Abdullah, who is the co-founder of the BLM Youth Vanguard, have racked up long records of anti-Semitic rants and fawning praise for Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan. Farrakhan who has praised Hitler, recently called Jews "termites," and obsessively rails against Judaism and Jews.

As its charter makes clear, BLM itself is structurally anti-Semitic.

While accusing Israel of committing "genocide," BLM blames Israel for the US war against militant Islam. Its charter states, "The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people."

According to the BLM charter, US military aid to Israel is the foundation of America's problems. Because of US military aid to Israel, BLM alleges, "Every year billions of dollars are funneled from US taxpayers to hundreds of arms corporations, who then wage lobbying campaigns pushing for even more foreign military aid. The results of this policy are twofold: it not only diverts much needed funding from domestic education and social programs, but it makes US citizens complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government."

In other words, Israel is the root of America's troubles at home and abroad.

The charter accuses Israel of being an "apartheid state," and supports the anti-Semitic boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign against Israel. It calls for local, state and federal action against Israel. Among other things, BLM demands that the US military budget be cut by 50%, "which will lead to the closure of over 800 US military bases in the US and around the world, and the elimination of the sale of weaponry to violators of human rights, reduces the use and stockpiling of nuclear weapons and return all troops back from the current theaters of war."

So for BLM, anti-Semitism isn't a bug. It is a feature. Hatred of Israel and the Jews is part of its DNA.


Melanie Phillips: Jews’ lives matter
The Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, has sacked the party’s shadow education secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, for tweeting a link to an interview in which actress Maxine Peake gave vent to an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Peake repeated the baseless claim that has been bouncing round the internet that the tactics used by American police on George Floyd, who died under the knee of a police officer pinning him down, were “learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services”.

This is a malevolent falsehood. As the Israeli police have said: “There is no tactic or protocol that calls to put pressure on the neck or airway”.

The original source of the claim, which has been repeated in recent weeks by Palestinian activists and supporters, was a 2016 article by the viciously anti-Israel Amnesty International which accused Israel of training US police forces in abuses of human rights.

Israel certainly trains foreign specialist officers in counter-terrorism, but that’s very different from training ordinary police officers. Bryan Leib, former national director of the Americans Against Antisemitism watchdog, called these allegations “disgusting and completely false”.

“It’s true that special operations teams in local and state law enforcement like SWAT do train with Israel but the average police officer has never received training from Israel!”

Long-Bailey’s sacking by Starmer marks a decisive and welcome change from the extreme reluctance by his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, to take condign action against the antisemitism that has engulfed his party.

Starmer’s office said today he had made it his first priority to deal with this. Good for him. However, the scale of the challenge he faces has been demonstrated by the reaction from within his ranks.


David Collier: Doxing minors, intimidation and the toxic hatemongers on the hard left
The smears, lies, fear and intimidation of the hard-left. A Statement:

Those who read this blog or follow me on Twitter or Facebook are well aware that I am used to being harassed and abused online. To be honest, given what I do, there is a certain expectation of a response. But fighting these people is no war of words. My website has been hacked, I have been physically assaulted twice (1,2) and I have lost count of the number of times my social media accounts have been attacked or cloned. None of this has worked to silence me, nor will it, so this week they turned to doxing my children. The twisted desperate action of the weak minded and morally lost.

There were two blogs published independently. I won’t link to them here. Both follow exactly the same formula. They are full of empty smears and are written by people who know that they are spinning lies. You can see by the desperate links they try to build. They are trying to get people to hate and fear me by painting me as a rabid, far-right extremist with ties to Britain’s first, the EDL and neo-Nazis. To set me up as a legitimate target for attack.

Intimidation and images of minors
It wasn’t the words however that was different this time. It was the photographs they had included. In the first there was an image of my son. He is still a minor now but was just twelve when the photo was taken. Who puts an image of the target’s child into an article of hate?

The second attempt at intimidation was even more insidious. A worthless, rambling, conspiratorial article which used my inactive membership of a Facebook group with 24,000 members to label me a hard-core extremist. The person who wrote this should seek urgent help.

Inside the piece was an image of my daughter. I think the photo is from 2017, so my daughter was 15 and also a minor at the time. On this occassion the author took a Facebook post I had published without an image (I don’t upload images of my children for obvious reasons) and deliberately edited it. She photoshopped onto the post an image she had of me and my daughter at an event, to make it look as if she was just sharing a genuine Facebook post of mine.

It is unlikely to be a coincidence they were published within days of each other. Both these smear articles contain images of minors and both have been shared online by an ex-Corbynite MP with 50,000+ followers.

Both of these incidents are now with the CST and the Police.



BLM, Israel and the Dangers of Intersectionality
Anti-Israel rhetoric is antisemitic. But intersectionality constructs an arena where antisemitism can thrive behind the veil of supposed social justice. Because the rhetorical flaws of intersectionality erase social and historical nuance it also feeds the tribalized discourse that America has fallen prey to. Particularly among liberal circles, the Jewish self-determination has been irresponsibly translated into a narrative of Jewish oppression, and colonialism — a gross misrepresentation. But I am not writing to address those inaccurate accusations against Israel.

I’m writing to discuss how I can negotiate the contradiction of supporting the BLM movement, while recognizing how it is often misused to disseminate false information about Israel. In tribalist fashion, do I abandon my support of BLM because its surrounding discourse has perpetuated anti-Zionism (and antisemitism)?

No, I don’t, because I won’t abandon my Black American brothers and sisters in their cause. Nevertheless, in the spirit of honesty and self-examination, that I hope becomes the zeitgeist of our time, I look at the parallels that are drawn between Black Americans and Palestinians, despite their inaccuracies, and try to learn something:

In Israel, is the Palestinian/Israeli dynamic one in which Palestinians experience racism? Do Israelis view the Palestinian individual as a threat? In the Palestinian territories, anti-Jewish/Israeli hatred is academically and systemically indoctrinated. Martyrdom is encouraged and glorified. Palestinians have consistently launched or attempted to launch terror attacks against Israelis, including via rocket fire, suicide/homicide bombings, car rammings and stabbings. As such, Israel must constantly identify and subdue legitimate and violent threats from Palestinians, while still not succumbing to stereotyping and racism. Does Israel always succeed with this balance? I hope so. But I don’t know.

I do know, however, that Israeli/Palestinian conflict was not engendered from Israeli racism and colonialism, as BDS asserts. The situation, including Palestinian suffering, was borne from a complex historical reality too long to describe here. But in addition to Israel’s involvement, the Palestinian leadership has greatly contributed to the challenges both groups face by exploiting its own people and rejecting multiple opportunities for peace and economic betterment.

Still, to eradicate racism, should Jews look inwardly and question if they view Palestinian bodies differently than they view Jewish and Israeli bodies? Yes, absolutely. That type of self-examination is a constructive result of paralleling Black Americans and Palestinians. But that is where the constructive nature of it ends.
Israel Is Not to Blame for the Tragic Killing of George Floyd
Actress Maxine Peake gave an interview with the Independent in which she claimed: "The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd's neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services." Peake's bizarre claim originates in a Morning Star piece from June 1 headlined: "Minnesota cops 'trained by Israeli forces in restraint techniques.'" The newspaper was founded by the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The piece seems to be solely based on a short article on Minnesota Public Radio, which noted that 100 officers attended a conference hosted by the Israeli consulate eight years ago. The conference was not about policing or restraint techniques though, but was instead focused on counter-terrorism and mainly looked at techniques to prevent terrorist acts, such as suicide bombings. None of this appeared to trouble Shadow Education Minister Rebecca Long-Bailey though, who glowingly re-tweeted the interview.
Ami Horowitz: Does the Black Community Support Abolishing the Police?
We go to the Leftist East Village as well as Harlem and ask residents their opinions on abolishing the police.


Anti-slavery statue defaced in Amsterdam-area Jewish cemetery
A statue that is seen as commemorating the suffering of slaves was vandalized inside a Jewish cemetery near the Dutch capital.

Orange paint was splashed on the statue titled “Elieser” on Wednesday at the Beth Haim Portuguese cemetery in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, the oldest Jewish burial site in the Netherlands. The letters WLM, possibly an acronym for “white lives matter,” were written in orange, the Dutch national color.

Police are looking for two white men in their 20s with short hair who were seen near the statue shortly before the incident.

The statue is of “the good slave Elieser,” who is believed to have been brought over to the Netherlands in 1610 by his Jewish master, Paulo de Pina, who fled the Inquisition in Portugal.

Elieser was converted to Judaism at some point and buried in 1629 alongside some of the richest and most prominent members of the Portuguese Jewish community of the time. He became part and parcel of the de Pina family, according to Lydia Hagoort, a historian who researched his story.

The unusual case of Elieser, one of several slaves buried at the cemetery, made his grave an icon for Dutch people with origins in Suriname, a former colony in South America where many slaves from Africa had worked. Dozens visit his grave each year.

In 2015, a statue of Elieser was inaugurated at the Jewish cemetery with help from the Opo Kondreman organization, which commemorates the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Vandals spray “Nazi” and Antifa symbol on statue of Nancy Astor in Plymouth
The statue of Nancy Astor in Plymouth has apparently been spray-painted with the word “Nazi” and a circle with three arrows, an Antifa symbol.

Lady Astor was the first female to take a seat in the House of Commons, and a crowdfunded statue was unveiled last November outside Lady Astor’s home by former Prime Minister Theresa May to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lady Astor’s election.

While Lady Astor was a trailblazer for women’s rights and participation in politics, as well as other reforms, she also held deeply intolerant opinions, including antisemitic views, for example reportedly telling a Jewish MP that “only a Jew like you would dare to be rude to me.” She was also a supporter of appeasement and is said to have indicated sympathy for the Nazis prior to the Second World War.

The vandalism comes at a time of scrutiny of historical monuments and statues, particularly of those believed to have held racist views or profited from racist practices or businesses.

At the time of the unveiling of the statue of Lady Astor, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Nancy Astor was a trailblazer for women in politics, and in that respect it is fitting that her statue was unveiled by our second woman Prime Minister. However, Lady Astor also held appalling views on Jews and Nazi Germany. Therefore it is vital that context should be provided for passersby about not only her achievements but also her virulent antisemitism. Hopefully that will serve as a lesson that in our time we must not sacrifice our solidarity with a minority community for other priorities, however worthwhile.”


Twin Peakes: How antisemitic conspiracy theories about the death of George Floyd are shared by far left and far right
Rebecca Long-Bailey has lost her job as Shadow Education Secretary because she tweeted her support for an interview by the actor Maxine Peake, in which Peake said that “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services” The implication was obvious: that Israel is somehow partly, if not fully, being held responsible for the death of George Floyd. The claim is as outrageous as it is dangerous, taking the issue of systemic anti-black racism in the United States and laying it at the door of Israel, and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer correctly identified it as an “antisemitic conspiracy theory”.

It’s a classic conspiracy theory, insofar as it takes two totally unrelated events, in this case the killing of George Floyd and the relationship between American and Israeli police, and tries to link them. This is how antisemitism works: at its heart antisemitism is a constant striving to place Jews and/or Israel at the centre of all that is wrong in the world, be it wars, economic downturns, terror attacks or in this case the murder of a black man at the hands of American police. Even something as enormous as racism in America, and as specific and long-standing as American policing of minorities, gets twisted to fit this conspiracy thinking.

This antisemitic conspiracism is not isolated to one particular ideology and can take root at both extremes of the political spectrum. Activists and ideas from the far right and the far left have often found themselves occupying the same spaces. This was evidenced in CST’s report with Hope Note Hate that exposed The Keep Talking Group, an antisemitic conspiracy group that brought together neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers with former Labour Party members and trades unionists, united by a common belief that everything in the world can be explained through conspiracy theories, and that Jews, or Israel, are usually to blame somewhere in the mix.

The death of George Floyd has sparked a flurry of articles that have been quick to highlight the relationship between American and Israeli police. Many of these have come from pro-Palestinian as well as left wing media outlets. Below are just two examples from Middle East Eye and the Morning Star:
Why it is antisemitic to claim that Israel was to blame for the killing of George Floyd
Rebecca Long-Bailey was sacked for sharing an article in which the actress Maxine Peake claimed that Israel was to blame for the racist killing of George Floyd. Ms Peake is reported in The Independent to have said: “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

Some people are wondering why this claim is antisemitic.

The idea that American police officers learned the techniques that caused Mr Floyd’s death from their Israeli counterparts is popular on the far-left. Sometimes reference has even been made to an Amnesty USA article that some, including the rapper Lowkey, the columnist Owen Jones, Novara Media’s Aaron Bastani and the expelled Labour member and antisemite Jackie Walker, understood to be evidencing the theory. In its interview with Ms Peake, The Independent also referenced the article, but mistakenly attributed it to Amnesty International.

However, not only did the Amnesty USA article not say that American police forces had learned specific policing techniques from Israel — merely that American police train with Israeli police, as police forces across the world do — but Amnesty International released a statement explicitly denying any linkage between Israel the death of Mr Floyd, saying that “the precise nature of the training offered to US police forces by Israeli officials is not something we’ve documented. Allegations that US police were taught tactics of ‘neck kneeling’ by Israeli secret services is not something we’ve ever reported and the article in question has rightly been amended to acknowledge that.”

The architect of the bilateral training programmes between American and Israeli police forces has also rejected the theory as “not only false, but dangerous,” elaborating to say: “Despite suggestions to the contrary, there is no field training involved in either the conferences or trips, and no training on holds or arrest mechanics. The exchanges, which are hosted by the Israel National Police, focus on effective techniques in thwarting terrorism. Participants learn how Israeli law enforcement deters, disrupts, and responds to terrorist attacks. They explore the ideology of suicide bombers and other attackers, ways to de-escalate an ongoing incident, and the intelligence-gathering and -sharing process.”

The theory is, therefore, without evidence, and accordingly a conspiracy.




Tahir Ali signs up to International Definition of Antisemitism in the presence of the Opposition Chief Whip, leaving Labour’s Grahame Morris as sole sitting MP not to endorse it
Tahir Ali, a new Labour MP, has become the second last of all sitting MPs to sign up to the International Definition of Antisemitism, according to the All Party Group Against Antisemitism, which organised the campaign. But he reportedly only did so in the presence of the Opposition Chief Whip, which suggests the Labour Party may have placed him under significant pressure.

Mr Ali was recently discovered to have been a member of a Facebook group backing Rebecca Long-Bailey for the leadership of the Labour Party – a group replete with antisemitic material.

Mr Ali’s signature means that of all the sitting MPs only Labour’s Grahame Morris has declined to sign the Definition.

Sinn Fein’s seven MPs have also not signed up, but they do not take their seats in Parliament.

Signing up to the Definition is an important first step in tackling antisemitism, however the Definition must now be used and appropriate policies adopted and implemented by all public bodies, local authorities and universities in order to combat anti-Jewish hatred.
Leader of Social Democratic Party retweets a video referencing ‘New World Order’ and the Rothschilds
The leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has retweeted a video referencing a ‘New World Order’ and the Rothschilds, two tropes commonly associated with antisemitism.

William Clouston, who became leader of the minor party in 2018, retweeted a video in which a British man reads a poem called “The Right to Hate”. The caption in the tweet that Mr Clouston retweeted said: “This man is absolutely nailed on with this. Some really powerful points in this.”

Although Mr Clauston’s Twitter biography says “RTs [retweets] are not endorsements,” in this case it is difficult to understand how it could be anything other than an endorsement as there are no other tweets providing any other explanation.

The poem is dedicated to “all those globalists out there” and criticises the “global New World Order”. The poem’s narrator also complains of being called an antisemite but insists that “the Rothschilds are the richest banking family in this world and that’s got nothing to do with them being Jewish and everything to do with them being multi-billionaires who really do influence the dollar, pound and yen.”

The video was also shared by the SDP’s official North East account.
Libel case begins over Corbyn’s ‘English irony’ interview with Marr
A libel case against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn brought by the Jewish activist Richard Millett was adjourned on Tuesday so that the judge could consider new submissions from lawyers.

The libel case revolves around an appearance by Mr Corbyn on the BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show in September 2018, when he was questioned about his remarks on “Zionists” who, he had previously claimed, “do not understand English irony”.

Tuesday’s hearing at the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court was held to enable Mr Justice Saini to determine whether the meaning of Mr Corbyn’s remarks on the show justified a libel action.

On the programme, Mr Corbyn was asked about a speech he had made in 2013 at a meeting convened by the Palestinian Return Centre. There he had commented on an event in Parliament days earlier, where the guest speaker was the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, Manuel Hassassian.

At the PRC event Mr Corbyn complained some present at the meeting in Parliament were “thankfully silent Zionists” who had behaved in a “very, very abusive manner” towards Mr Hassassian.

He added that not only did they “not understand history”, but that “they did not understand English irony, either”, despite having lived in Britain for a long time.

Footage subsequently emerged of Mr Corbyn’s speech in 2018 with newspapers, including The Times and the Guardian, reported the “English irony” remarks and identified Mr Millett as having been present at the meeting.

Mr Corbyn was a guest on the Andrew Marr Show one month later and said that the Zionists to whom he referred had been so “disruptive” that the police wanted to throw them out, but that he had said they should remain.




JPost Editorial: Coronavirus sparked a new wave of antisemitism
A study published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry this week shows that a worrying wave of antisemitism inspired by the coronavirus is sweeping across the world.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a unique worldwide wave of antisemitism,” the report states. “The new wave of antisemitism includes a range of libels that have one common element: The Jews, the Zionists and/or the State of Israel are to blame for the pandemic and/or stand to gain from it.”

The study, based on hundreds of reports from researchers in 35 countries around the world, says that coronavirus-inspired antisemitism has gone viral on social media, with claims that Jews either created the disease or were profiting from it. Jews and Israel have even been depicted in countless cartoons and graffiti as viruses themselves.

One example cited is a French caricature of the former minister of health Agnès Buzyn (portrayed with a large nose signifying she is Jewish) smiling as she pours poison into a well, echoing the well-poisoning libel during the Black Plague.

“These common motifs perpetuate antisemitic accusations from previous generations and other global catastrophes, once again presenting the well-known image of the Jew,” says Prof. Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center. “However, the antisemitism generated by the coronavirus is fiercer and more intensive.”

This antisemitism, according to Porat, has continued unremittingly for several months, and reflects “a high level of anxiety and fear” in many populations. The report found that coronavirus-related antisemitism is strongest in the US and the Middle East – particularly in Iran, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority – but is also prevalent throughout Europe and South America. “While in the US, accusations come mainly from white supremacists and ultraconservative Christians, pointing the finger at Jews in general and haredi [ultra-Orthodox] Jews in particular, accusers in the Middle East mostly blame Israel, Zionism and the Mossad for creating and spreading the virus and intending to make a vast fortune from medications and the vaccine they are already developing,” it says.
UAE confirms virus teamwork with Israeli firms, though not with Netanyahu gov’t
Private companies from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will join forces to research and develop technology to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the two countries, which have no official diplomatic ties, said Thursday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke the news of an impending collaboration between the Jewish state and the Arab Gulf country, saying an announcement from the two governments’ health ministries was imminent.

The UAE then confirmed a joint project between private companies, but notably did not mention the government collaboration announced by Netanyahu.

“In a few moments, the health ministers of the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel will announce cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus,” Netanyahu said at a graduation ceremony for the Israel Air Force’s pilot course.

“This cooperation will be in research and development, and technology, fields which could improve the health security of the entire region. This is the result of continuous and intensive contacts over the past few months. It will be a blessing for many in our region,” Netanyahu said.
Roger Waters Apologizes for Accusing Adelson of Being ‘Puppet Master’ Behind Trump Admin
Former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters issued an apology for his June 20 remarks on the Hamas-affiliated Shehab New Agency in which he called Jewish philanthropist and GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson the “puppet master” of the Trump administration.

Waters had said, “Sheldon Adelson, who is the puppet master pulling the strings of Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and what’s his name … the ambassador [to Israel], Greenberg [sic] I think his name is. Sheldon Adelson is the puppet master pulling all of the strings.”

He went on to call Zionism “an ugly stain and it needs to be gently removed by us.” Waters also accused Israel of teaching the knee-to-neck technique that was used on African American man George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

In a statement posted to his website on June 25, Waters apologized for his comments.

“During the Interview, in expressing my total solidarity with and support for the Palestinian people, when referring to Sheldon Adelson’s support for the racist policies of both Trump and Netanyahu, I used words that evoked metaphorical imagery which, my friends said, were ‘harmful to Jewish people and to the movement for Palestinian rights’ — and for this, I’m very sorry,” Water said. “At the time, I had no idea that I was evoking an anti-Semitic trope. I regret any harm or hurt my use of words caused Jewish people, and also any ways it may have reinforced damaging lies about Jews. Nothing could have been further from my intentions. I have only respect and compassion for my Jewish brothers and sisters in our collective struggle for a more just and peaceful world.”

He also admitted he was wrong in accusing Israel of teaching the knee-to-neck technique to United States police officers.

“A friend I called for guidance on this, who is an acknowledged expert on the police exchange programs and connections between American and Israeli state violence, agreed that Israel’s militarizing influence on the U.S. and around the world is a grave and concerning fact,” Waters said. “He also confirmed that law enforcement exchange programs with Israel facilitate the sharing of racist practices and repressive technologies that enhance and normalize mass surveillance, criminalization, racial profiling, and the violent repression of communities. But, he told me that Israel does not train US police in tactics, like those used to kill George Floyd. They don’t have to.”
South Africa chief justice under fire for Israel remarks to ‘Post’
The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s governing political party, has called on the speaker of the parliament to censure Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng over his expression of support for Israel in a webinar hosted this week by The Jerusalem Post.

During the live webinar on Tuesday, Mogoeng lamented his country’s adoption of a lopsided attitude toward the Israel-Palestinian conflict and said that it would have greater influence if it displayed a more balanced approach.

Mogoeng said that his nation’s history of forgiveness and understanding should have informed its approach to peace making, adding that as a practicing Christian he believed that those who curse Israel will themselves be cursed.

Mogoeng took pains to emphasize that the policy of the South African government was binding upon himself and that he was not seeking to reject it.

But, he said, as a citizen he was entitled to criticize laws and policies and suggest changes. South Africa Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein also participated in the Post’s webinar.

“As a citizen of our great country, we are denying ourselves a wonderful opportunity of being a game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian situation,” said Mogoeng.
The American University of Beirut No Longer Deserves America’s Financial Support
This golden era, in which students from all over the Middle East and beyond flocked to Beirut for an American education, did not last long, as I have previously noted. Soon, the university became the intellectual hub of a pan-Arab nationalist movement that was pro-Soviet and hostile to the United States. At the height of the Lebanese Civil War in the 1980s, the campus fell prey to anti-American terrorist activity. In the span of two years, one president was kidnapped and taken to Iran while another was murdered on school grounds. The AUB is still painted by supporters in the Middle East and the United States as an embodiment of the American, liberal values it was founded on. But it has changed, as institutions do.

Today, there are no Jews at the college. Indeed, any contact with Israelis, who make up roughly 45 percent of the world’s Jews, is forbidden by law in Lebanon. A lawsuit was filed against the American University of Beirut last year when a prospective online student found that the university did not list “Israel” as a nationality on its enrollment page. The AUB’s charter and accreditation are filed in the State of New York, which could make this a violation of U.S. state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

What about the AUB’s teachers and teachings? The university has an American Studies department with a chair endowed in the memory of the Arab–American scholar Edward Said. Venerating Said is not itself unusual, given that many professors in the United States still teach Orientalism, his critique of the Western academy’s treatment of the global East, as a foundational text. But those whom the university has selected to hold the chair that bears his name should give us pause. From 2015 to 2017, Steven Salaita occupied the Said Chair. Salaita had previously made headlines when the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign withdrew his tenure-faculty appointment after he was found to have issued a series of incendiary tweets relating to Israel and the Palestinians, including one that read, “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible to something honorable since 1948.” Before Salaita, the chair had been held by Lisa Hajjar, a sociology professor with a long history of harshly criticizing Israel and American counter-terrorism policy who had expressed support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Though private institutions can teach what they want and hire whom they want, the U.S. should not pursue the worthy goal of liberalizing the Middle East by underwriting illiberal universities. Foreign-affairs expert Robert Kaplan has argued that American Arabists — the military attachés, diplomats, scholars, and intelligence agents whose work brings them to the region — are concerned less with political power than with “good deeds.” But good deeds do not always make for good policy. If the American University of Beirut has become American in name only, it no longer deserves America’s support.
NGO-Monitor: Letter from NGO Monitor to Netherlands Ambassador to Israel Hans Docter and to Foreign Minister Blok
Dear Ambassador Docter,

CC: Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

We are writing in connection with NGO Monitor’s recent conference on “human rights and antisemitism,” held on December 18, where you were scheduled to appear but had to cancel, as we were told by your Embassy, due to illness.

Your planned participation in this important event became the subject of parliamentary questions in the Netherlands, to which Foreign Minister Blok provided a written response.

The Foreign Minister’s responses contain a number of incorrect allegations and characterizations regarding NGO Monitor. (https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/kamervragen/detail?id=2020D00609&did=2020D00609) Some are attributed to and copied directly from pseudo-research by an organization calling itself the Policy Working Group. An independent effort to verify the claims would demonstrate that these are defamatory and inaccurate.

NGO Monitor publishes fact-based research about a variety of civil society organizations in accordance with the principles of accountability, transparency, and universal human rights. Neither the Foreign Minister nor his predecessor has provided examples of “selective quoting, half facts and insinuations” or “vague accusations.”

If such examples are claimed, we would respond substantively and factually. However, as seen in recent examples of our research, including information on multiple NGO employees arrested for membership in an active terror cell, the burden is on those who dismiss our research.
Dexter Van Zile: Are Pro-Israel Dissenters Safe at UMASS Amherst?
Parents might want to think twice about letting their kids attend UMASS Amherst in September. Maybe a gap year is a good idea, especially if their child has political beliefs that run counter to those that dominate the campus at UMASS Amherst.

Why?
Linda Sarsour speaks in favor of BDS at a session that took place during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion on Novmber 19, 2017. Sarsour, who has said ugly things about women with whom she disagrees, has appeared twice at UMASS Amherst in recent years. (Dexter Van Zile)

Judging from a $27 million lawsuit being prepared against UMASS Amherst, the school may not be a safe place for learning, free inquiry, and ideological nonconformism. For all the lip service the school’s faculty gives to free speech and the right to dissent, there’s evidence the school is not such a good place for students who disagree with the anti-Israel, anti-American, and anti-Western narrative that has taken root in higher education in the United States.

Outside agitators like Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour are allowed to promote their radical politics at UMASS Amherst while students who pay tuition and attend classes at the school must either toe the party line or keep their mouths shut. If they actively protest the agenda, they might be driven out of school by a coalition of students, faculty, and administrators.

According to attorneys Karen D. Hurvitz and Ilya Feoktistov, that’s what happened to former UMASS student Louis Shenker. According to Hurvitz and Feoktistov, Shenker was driven from the school by a network of students, faculty members, and administrators who disagreed with his politics and smeared him as a white supremacist. One commentator has called the events recounted in legal documents sent to UMASS by Shenker’s attorneys a “witch trial.” The story has also made The American Spectator and Legal Insurrection.

Shenker’s problems at UMASS Amherst began on Dec. 6, 2018 when the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), which represents graduate students at the school, held a rally. The rally was ostensibly organized to protest an uptick of racist and antisemitic graffiti being painted in the school’s dormitories.
German court rules travel portal can ‘discriminate’ against Israelis
A court in the southern Germany city of Munich affirmed on Wednesday the right of a travel portal to deny service to an Israeli passenger because of a stopover in Kuwait--a regime that boycotts the Jewish state.

The Israeli Shmuel M, who lives in Germany, wanted to travel in 2018 from Munich to Sri Lanka, with a layover in Kuwait in. His ticket was cancelled because the Kuwaiti monarchy boycotts Israelis. Shmuel, whose last name was listed in the DPA wire service report, filed a lawsuit against the travel portal.

The court concluded that the travel portal can deny Israelis service based on Israeli nationality and “because of the actual impossibility” of the trip.

The Jerusalem Post learned that the online travel portal, which was not identified in the German media, is the German branch of the US-based Expedia. Expedia Group's headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington.

Kuwait Airways has barred other Israelis from service in Germany.

Nathan Gelbart, a Berlin-based attorney who represents Shmuel, told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday that "the Bavaria Supreme Court unfortunately has adopted the plaintiffs view that boycotting Israelis is no discrimination against Jews. With other words, discriminating Jews on German soil is fine as long as they are Israelis.
Far-left magazine makes allegations of 'Mizrahi-washing'
It was bound to happen: the Israeli far left, through its mouthpiece at +972 magazine, is making accusations of 'Mizrahi-washing'.

An article by Lihi Yona, who is a student at Columbia university in New York, comes as 'push-back' against the writings of Hen Mazzig and Nave Dromi. Yona claims they are 'hasbara-niks' in the service of Israel, working to make the Jewish state look better than it deserves. According to Yona, Israel indulges in 'Mizrahi-washing'. That is to say it exploits Mizrahim as it does gays through 'pinkwashing':Israel allegedly promotes its tolerance and protection of lesbians and gays only in order to obscure its 'oppressive' treatment of Palestinians.

Yona admits that it is good to recognise the existence of Mizrahi Jews, but only if they can be portrayed as victims of 'white' European Jews. Thus she lumps together examples of Israeli police or army brutality against Mizrahim, Ethiopians and Palestinians, without spelling out the particular circumstances leading to each death. And why not add instances of historic discrimination into the mix - when Israel 'dumped' Mizrahim into tent camps and 'kidnapped' Yemenite children?


BBC’s Hardtalk fails to ‘build understanding’ in interview with ICC president
In March 2020 the process was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, “more than seven countries and more than 120 international organizations and independent scholars of international law submitted so-called amicus curiae (friend of the court) documents, offering their views on whether “Palestine” is a state that can transfer criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague”. Those countries include Germany, Australia, Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Uganda.

At the end of April Bensouda announced that “the Prosecution has carefully considered the observations of the participants and remains of the view that the Court has jurisdiction over the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

The issue now lies with the pre-trial chamber, which in late May “asked the Palestinian Authority to clarify PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s statement about terminating all agreements with Israel, and whether it applies to the Oslo Accords as well”.

In other words, Stephen Sackur’s claim that the ICC’s chief prosecutor “decided to open a formal investigation” in “December 2019” is only partly accurate because she conditioned the opening of that investigation on the ruling of the pre-trial chamber. The ICC president’s claim that no investigation has been launched is currently accurate, as are his statements concerning a “pre-preliminary procedure” in order to determine whether or not the court has the jurisdiction to handle the case.
New Statesman corrects on 'annexation deadline'
On June 18th, we tweeted the New Statesman’s international correspondent, Ido Vock, to alert him of an error in the first sentence of his article on the possible application of Israeli law to parts of the West Bank (“Four consequences of Israel’s plan to annex West Bank territories”, June 17).

However, July 1st is merely the earliest Israel’s parliament can begin the process of ‘annexation’.

It’s a significant error because it amplifies misleading media reports suggesting it’s certain that Israel will, on that date, apply sovereignty (‘annex’) to all the territories in question – representing 30% of the West Bank. However, it’s not clear which territories, if any, Israel will annex, as both the US and Israeli governments are still intensely debating the issue, and the Israeli public is mixed on the wisdom of the plan.

To his credit, the journalist promptly replied and agreed with our assessment, thanked us for flagging it and corrected the sentence, which now correctly notes that July 1st is merely the earliest the legislative process can begin.
Nazi documents stashed in armchair take author on trail of ‘ordinary’ SS officer
In 2011, historian Daniel Lee met “Veronika,” a young woman who had spent the past several decades sitting on what would become the subject of his new book, “The SS Officer’s Armchair: Uncovering the Hidden Life of a Nazi.”

Shortly after arriving in Florence, Italy, to pursue a research project, Lee was asked by Veronika to help her solve a mystery. Lee, a senior lecturer in modern history at Queen Mary, University of London, and a specialist in the history of Jews in France and North Africa during World War II, readily accepted.

She told Lee that an upholsterer in Amsterdam had discovered a cache of swastika-stamped papers inside a chair she had regularly sat upon as she did her homework while growing up. Her mother, “Jana,” who brought the chair for repair, had purchased it in Prague in 1968.

The family had no idea the Third Reich documents were inside its seat cushion — nor who would have stashed them there.

All Lee, 36, could initially determine was that the papers — passports, diplomas, stock certificates, and other personal documents — belonged to someone named Robert Griesinger who appeared to be a German living in Prague toward the end of the war. But Lee spent years following Griesinger’s trail, eventually discerning that he was a member of the Nazi party and an SS officer.

Lee’s determined and thorough research proved that Griesinger was a Nazi lawyer posted to the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Even Griesinger’s own children knew extremely little about him, including the details of how he died at age 38 in the chaotic aftermath of the Prague Uprising in 1945.
German church goes to high court to take down perverse anti-Semitic carvings
They date back to the late Middle Ages and irritate to this day: The Judensau (literally “Jewish sow”) is a Christian folk image that depicts Jews sucking on the teats or peering into the anus of a pig.

Mostly found in the form of reliefs or gargoyles on the exterior of German churches, some of them major historical landmarks, the images have been the subject of increasing public debate in recent years. And now Germany’s highest court will weigh in on the matter when it hears the case of a Jewish man who says one such sculpture insults him personally.

Michael Duellmann has already lost his bids against St. Marien Church in Wittenberg in district court and on appeal.

“This is the first case regarding a Judensau that is going to the Federal Supreme Court,” Duellmann’s attorney, Christian Rohnke, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

In fact it may be the first Judensau case to go to court at all, but it’s certainly not the first time a German church has tried to lance this abscess. Last week, a landmarks commission in the town of Calbe ruled against a local church that was seeking to retire its Judensau, which had been removed temporarily for restoration. The commission insisted the sculpture be put back on the church facade. The church has not decided whether to appeal.

There are assumed to be about 40 Judensaus in Germany, the oldest dating to the 13th century. Intended to teach lessons about sin and virtue, they were usually placed inside where Jews would not see them.

But beginning in the 14th century, churches also placed them outside, according to the late Israeli historian Isaiah Shachar. In a 2017 interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Shachar said there are Judensaus in Portugal, France, Poland and Sweden, but most are in German-speaking countries.
Eldery French Jewish Woman Left Traumatized After ‘Antisemitic’ Assailants Hurl Block Into Her Paris Home
An 84-year-old Jewish woman is suffering from severe trauma after a concrete slab was hurled through a ground-floor window of her home in a suburb of Paris.

The National Office for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BVNCA) — an independent Jewish communal agency that works with victims of antisemitism — reported that the outrage occurred on Monday.

The woman, who has not been named, was watching television in her living room when the object smashed through a glass window.

The woman was not physically hurt, but she was “deeply shocked and remains traumatized,” the BVNCA said.

The BVNCA identified the attack as antisemitic because the woman kept a visible mezuzah on the front door of her residence.

The agency added that the woman had now filed a complaint with the police.

Without divulging details, the BVNCA said it had heard from a witness to the attack that the perpetrators were “European types … probably affiliated with the leftist movement and the anti-Israeli BDS.” The Algemeiner was not able to verify this claim independently.
Teenage brothers guilty of rabbi attack
Two teenage brothers have been found guilty of an antisemitic attack on a rabbi.

The boys, aged 15 and 16, shouted “F*** Jews”, “Dirty Jew” and “Kill the Jews” as the man walked through Amhurst Park in Clapton, north London, on 29 November.

Prosecutors said the pair ran off laughing after repeatedly kicking the victim, named in court papers as Joshua Lazenga, 54, to the ground.

Lazenga, who had travelled to the UK from Israel to attend a wedding, had his glasses knocked off and suffered an injured back and bleeding finger.

The teenagers, who are from Hackney, east London, but cannot be named because of their age, handed themselves in to police after Scotland Yard released CCTV images.

They were found guilty of racially or religiously aggravated assault by beating on Thursday following a two-day trial at Stratford Magistrates’ Court, and will be sentenced on 21 July, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Prosecutor Peter Alexandrou said: “This was an unprovoked and despicable act against a Jewish man who was holidaying in the UK.
Mayim Bialik teams with DC Comics to create children's science book
Actress Mayim Bialik will channel the DC Comics character the Flash to turn kids on to science.

DC Comics announced Thursday that “Flash Facts,” a collection of stories featuring DC characters such as the Flash, Batman and Superman, will be published in February.

The anthology curated by Bialik, working with science writers and DC illustrators, will answer burning questions such as what’s at the bottom of the sea and which tools do forensic scientists use to solve a crime?

The book “provides a helpful bridge between the lessons taught inside the classroom and our everyday lives,” DC said in a statement.

Bialik, who has a doctorate in neuroscience, is best known for portraying the neuroscientist Dr. Amy Farrah Fawler in the hit television show “The Big Bang Theory.”

She currently serves as host for a 10-episode TBS series, “Celebrity Show-off,” which features celebrities as they create original video content from their homes.

Bialik also is working on the screenplay for a comedy-drama feature film titled “As Sick As They Made Us,” which will deal with mental illness. It will be her screenwriting and directing debut.
In prank gone awry, many believe ‘Back to Future’ photo is 1950s Israeli couple
Last week, thousands of Jews in Israel and beyond responded to a plea for help in identifying a couple pictured in a yellowing photograph from 1955.

“Everyone, I need help. I found this picture on a Tel Aviv street,” Ariel Plavnik, a 43-year-old tourism salesperson from Kfar Saba, Israel, wrote in Hebrew and Spanish in a Facebook post with the photograph. “I want to return this old, beautiful photograph. If you share it, maybe we can find the owners! Thanks to all.”

More than 7,000 people shared the photograph, a portrait whose many blemishes do little to dim the radiant smile and beauty of the young woman in it. She leans against a man with confident eyes, his cheek pressed to hers.

Perhaps demonstrating world Jewry’s preoccupation with genealogy, several Jewish Facebook groups devoted to the subject posted the picture on their pages. So did my aunt, a 64-year-old teacher from Israel who takes high school students on tours of former death camps in Poland.

It was a good thing she did because I was able to identify almost immediately the mystery photo subjects. I doubt they’ll care much, though — the couple are the actors who portrayed the parents of Marty McFly, a character from the 1980s sci-fi comedy trilogy “Back to the Future.”

The Year 1939: Why did Britain Abandon the Two-State Solution on the Eve of World War Two?
Using documents in the National Archive, including German documents photographed and sent to Whitehall by an American spy, Yaakov Lappin looks at why Britain reversed policy and abandoned partition, or what we now call the two state solution, and imposed strict limits on Jewish immigration to Palestine in 1939. ‘The engine powering policy reversal against partition‘ he concludes, was ‘the German, and to a lesser extent Italian, threat to British interests in Europe and in the Middle East, and the subsequent potential for the Arab bloc to abandon the British camp’ on the eve of war.

In the late 1930s, in the space of a few short years, the British government conducted a dramatic policy shift, first abandoning its 1937 acceptance of a proposal to partition Mandatory Palestine between Jews and Arabs, then rejecting the proposal altogether in 1938, before releasing a 1939 White Paper that called for establishing a joint Arab-Jewish-governed state, opposed the establishment of a sovereign Jewish state in Mandatory Palestine, and called for limiting Jewish immigration to a further 75,000 arrivals over the next five years, with any further immigration dependent on Arab consent.

In the National Archives in Kew, London, I studied official British government documents from meetings in the cabinet, the Foreign Office, the Colonial Office, and others. They shed a fascinating light into some of the main considerations behind the change in policy, illustrating how the British government, caught between the demands of two competing national movements, became alarmed by the prospect of Nazi Germany recruiting the Arab Middle East to its side. This fear, more than anything else, drove the British decision to publish its 1939 White Paper.
Peel’s View

The Arab revolt of 1936 had been the first step in internationalising the Arab-Jewish conflict in Mandatory Palestine. Arab Palestinian nationalists were able to capture the attention of, and support for their cause from the wider Arab Middle East, and to turn their campaign against Jewish immigration into a pan-Arab affair.

Britain’s Colonial Office and War Office led the initial policy response, which was to establish the Royal Peel Commission to examine the causes of the disturbances and draw up recommendations. The Foreign Office launched a campaign to push the Peel Commission to meet Arab demands in Palestine, and took a dim view of partition.
The Yom Kippur War and British Politics
Thousands of posters of Golda Meir appeared in the windows of Jewish homes; money poured in to fundraising appeals; and synagogues set up blood banks to provide Israel with urgently needed supplies. The Zionist Labour leader of the Opposition was Israel’s most loyal and ardent friend while a Europhile Conservative Prime Minister was seen as betraying the Jewish State in pursuit of European unity and Arab oil. The year was 1973 and the Yom Kippur War, launched by the Arab states against Israel, was dividing Britain’s two main parties, galvanising the Jewish community, and the following year would even influence the outcome of the general election. The story is told by Robert Philpot, author of Margaret Thatcher, Honorary Jew: How Britain’s Jews Helped Shape the Iron Lady and Her Beliefs, (Biteback, 2017).

On 28 February 1974, Britain went to the polls in an election triggered by Edward Heath’s determination to win a mandate to defeat the industrial unrest sweeping the country. In her north London seat of Finchley, one of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet was feeling distinctly nervous. Her initial optimism about the election, Margaret Thatcher later wrote in her memoirs, had been ‘replaced by unease’.

If the Education Secretary was uneasy, her young Liberal opponent, Laurence Brass, was beginning to feel that he might be on the verge of pulling off a famous victory. That feeling only grew when ITV called to ask him to appear on its results programme the next day. The broadcaster was, a producer explained, expecting him to be one of the night’s shock victors.

But Mrs Thatcher’s difficulties in Finchley were not just the result of the unpropitious backdrop against which Heath had chosen to call an election – the country was suffering soaring inflation and, thanks to the miners’ strike, industry had been forced on to a three-day week – but were also rooted in events in the Middle East some five months earlier.

Finchley had the highest proportion of Jewish voters in the country, and – both there and throughout the country – they were preparing to render a harsh verdict on the Heath government’s handling of the Yom Kippur war.

Mrs Thatcher herself had established a strong relationship with local Jewish voters. She had rooted out antisemitism in the local Conservative association, become a familiar figure at local community events, and had always been staunchly supportive of Israel. The future Prime Minister had first visited the Jewish state in 1965 and returned full of admiration for it. Two years later, she had been full-throated in her support of Israel in the Six Day War, declaring at a rally shortly after its victory that it should ‘not withdraw from her new territories until she has her borders guaranteed. You cannot ask a nation to withdraw from the only bargaining point she has’.
Reflections on the Six-Day War




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