Friday, July 24, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Betraying Jewish history by watering down the Holocaust
The British baroness Ruth Deech, whose family were Jewish refugees from Nazism, recently delivered an impassioned address to the Oxford Jewish community about the way the Holocaust is being evacuated of meaning by memorials and museums in its name.

Her concern was prompted by the controversial plan to build a Holocaust memorial and learning center in London's Victoria Tower Gardens, a small park near the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster council, the local planning authority, has turned down this proposal on environmental grounds. The space is a small, green oasis that would not only be marred by a jarring brutalist structure, but risks becoming submerged by tourist traffic and anti-Jewish vandals alike.

The British government is making extraordinary and arguably irregular efforts to overturn this decision and get this center built. Its insistence is all the more strange given that there are already five major Holocaust memorials in Britain.

Deech's concerns, however, go far deeper than inappropriate positioning. Her sharpest point is that these memorials tend to shy away from the real causes of Jew-hatred. Instead, they are increasingly being used to promote a self-congratulatory and sometimes self-exculpatory image of the country that erects them.

Britain's memorials, for example, do not note how in the 1930s and 1940s, the U.K. government blocked the entry into Palestine of desperate European Jews in flagrant repudiation of the British Mandate to settle Jews there, thus facilitating their extermination in the Nazi slaughter.

"The Holocaust didn't involve "injustices" against the Jews. It involved the attempt to exterminate the entire Jewish people."

Hungary, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries have used Holocaust memorializing to erase their own complicity in the slaughter of the Jews, presenting themselves instead as historic victims of the Nazis or even equating the Nazi killing of Jews with the Soviet killing of other minorities.

As Deech observed, the Holocaust tends to be lumped together with other genocides and examples of racism or persecution, thus watering down its significance. The message becomes a generalized one of avoiding hatred and intolerance.

But that doesn't address or explain the roots of the Holocaust: "Namely, centuries of Jewish persecution; first, on the grounds of religion, and then on the grounds of race, and now on the grounds of a distorted left-wing view of the State of Israel."
Arsen Ostrovsky: Xinjiang Shows We Haven't Learnt a Thing from Auschwitz
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called Chinese government actions in Xianjiang the "stain of the century," and asserted that China is "in a league of its own" on human rights violations.

The Treasury Department has also imposed Magnitsky sanctions on some of the Chinese officials responsible for these crimes, while President Trump has signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, giving the U.S. an even greater array of tools to target Chinese abuses—which the administration has signaled its preparedness to use.

Meantime, there is currently a bipartisan bill before Congress to ensure that goods made with forced labor by the Uyghurs in Xinjiang do not enter the U.S. market.

The next, and perhaps most powerful step, must be to invoke the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against China, which is a signatory.

However, one cannot help but ask, where is the rest of the international community?

The Muslim world has completely turned its back to the cries of their own people being slaughtered. As Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council suggests, they have been entirely outmaneuvered by China, their silence bought with billions of dollars in supposed aid and investment.

Enlightened Europe, which recently managed to secure over 1,000 parliamentarians to sign a letter condemning Israel's proposed application of sovereignty over the West Bank, has not been able to muster more than a whimper when it comes to China.

Meantime, the United Nations, which was created in the wake of the Holocaust to serve a bulwark against genocide and crimes against humanity, has likewise been deafeningly silent, with China's Security Council veto guaranteeing virtual impunity. At the same time, in an abominable act of injustice, China is now set to be elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council, according to U.N. Watch.

In his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel warned us "there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."

Here, too, we cannot remain silent, thereby giving China impunity for its crimes. We must speak up for the Uyghur people.



Trustee in leading UK Muslim charity resigns over anti-Semitic comments
A trustee and former top official in the UK’s largest Muslim charity has resigned after The Times reported Friday that he had posted anti-Semitic comments on social media.

The newspaper found posts from 2014 and 2015 in which Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Heshmat Khalifa said the Jews were “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs,” a common refrain among anti-Semitic Muslims, based on controversial Quranic verse.

In other posts he called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi a “Zionist Pimp” for his support of Israel, as well as a “Zionist pig,” a “Zionist traitor” and a “Zionist criminal.”

He also called the Hamas terror organization, responsible for thousands of deaths of Israeli civilians, “the purest resistance movement in modern history.”

Based in Birmingham, Islamic Relief Worldwide has branches in 40 countries and is one of the largest Islamic charities in the world. Following The Times’ revelation of the comments, Khalifa stepped down from his posts as trustee as well as chairman of Islamic Relief Australia and director of offices in Germany and South Africa.

Egyptian-born Khalifa, 63, has been a British citizen since 2005. He told the paper he regretted his comments, saying they were “my expressions of frustration with the political regime, rather than beliefs that I hold.”
NGO Monitor: Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)
On December 12, 2014 IRW announced it had commissioned an “independent investigation” that found “absolutely no evidence of any links with terrorism” and that “not one of these many audits over many years has found a shred of evidence that Islamic Relief funds terrorism or has terrorist links anywhere in the world.”

In a statement to the media, Israel’s General Security Service (Shin Bet) said it could not respond to IRW’s announcement “without an in-depth examination of [the audit’s] findings, its scope or who it was carried out by.” It claimed the Israeli government’s decision to declare IRW illegal was “based on information that has been accumulated over years, that the fund is a central player in financing of Hamas… [and] on accumulated knowledge and experience in fighting terror and financing of terror organizations.”

In January 2016, the UK-based bank HSBC announced that it was ending all links to IRW, “amid concerns that cash for aid could end up with terrorist groups abroad.”

On June 19, 2014, Israel’s Defense Minister declared IRW to be illegal, based on its alleged role in funneling money to Hamas, and banned it from operating in Israel and the West Bank. (Hamas is a designated terror organization by Israel, the U.S., EU, and Canada.) According to news reports, the decision was made after “the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the coordinator for government activities in the territories, and legal authorities provided incriminating information against IRW.”
Who Is Black Lives Matter?
"Black Lives Matter" is more popular than either President Trump or Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, according to recent polling. The online research firm Civiqs found in June that voters approved of the movement by a 28-point margin. Rasmussen found 62% of likely voters viewed it favorably and 32% very favorably.

This demonstrates that there is a national consensus that the lives of black fellow citizens matter, which has not always been the case in our history. It also suggests strong support for better, fairer policing in minority communities. But that seems far more likely to be because large majorities believe in the principle of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal rather than because they support the agenda of the organization with the innocuous-sounding name, Black Lives Matter.

Fact is, "black lives matter" is a matter of common decency entirely separate from the activist, ideological, left-wing agenda of the BLM group. That organization has stated aims that go far beyond addressing police brutality. Its goals include, without apology, the upending of American society. Yet it has gained massively more attention, support, and money since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis police custody. It is therefore important that the public, much of which thinks that by supporting BLM, they are backing obviously decent and humane reforms, knows enough to make the distinction between the idea and the ideologues hijacking it.

The co-founders of Black Lives Matter are avowed Marxists. At least one names a convicted cop killer among her heroes. A key mentor in building and shaping the group is a two-time vice presidential candidate for the Communist Party USA. The national organization is financially supported through a leftist group whose board of directors includes a convicted terrorist. A 2017 report from Black Lives Matter describes its founders, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, and Opal Tometi, as “three radical Black organizers.” The women espouse Marxism and openly push radical identity politics.

Susan Rosenberg was listed as vice chair of the board of directors for Thousand Currents, BLM's financial sponsor, until the website was pulled down in late June. She had been a member of a radical leftist revolutionary militant group known as the May 19th Communist Organization, which was affiliated with the Weather Underground terrorist group and the radical Black Liberation Army. She was convicted on weapons and explosives charges and sentenced to 58 years in prison, serving 16 years behind bars before being pardoned by President Bill Clinton at the end of his second term in January 2001.
MEMRI: Nation Of Islam Official Ishmael Muhammad: Jews Control Hollywood; They Fueled Slavery, Sold Sheets And Nooses To The KKK; Proposed COVID-19 Vaccine Is Part Of Kissinger's Plan To Depopulate The World
On July 12, 2020, Ishmael Muhammad, the National Secretary to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, delivered a speech defending Farrakhan's July 4, 2020 speech (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 8119.) In his speech, Ishmael Muhammad claimed that Jews have always been spying on black people, that it was a Jew who had first invested in the Ku Klux Klan, and that Jewish merchants sold sheets, guns, and ropes to the Klan. Muhammad also said that the proposed COVID-19 vaccine is part of a plan to cull the world's population in accordance with a plan devised by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Muhammad said that the accusations of Farrakhan being antisemitic are "trickery" intended to promote a "political, economic, and social agenda," and he claimed that the Jews control Hollywood and the music industry. He said that they are the "architects of the filth [that] has led to the perversity of [American] society and culture." In addition, Muhammad encouraged his listeners to thanks celebrities who have publicly supported Farrakhan such as athletes DeSean Jackson and Stephen Jackson, and musicians Ice Cube and Sean "Puffy" Combs.

Jews "Sold Sheets, And Guns, And Ropes To The Ku Klux Klan... Jews Were The Slave auctioneers, The Brokers... Keeping The Slave Economy Oiled..."

Ishmael Muhammad: "You [Jews] have always been guilty of spying on us. What are you afraid of? Why do you always have to deal shrewdly with us?
[...]
"This is your history, you owe us an apology. One member of the Jewish community invested in a new group of white terrorists, known as the Ku Klux Klan.
[...]
"Was it not your merchants, that sold sheets, and guns, and ropes to the Ku Klux Klan?
[...]
"Jews were the slave auctioneers, the brokers, and wholesalers, keeping the slave economy oiled with money, markets, and supplies.
[...]
"You [Jews] Stoned, You Jailed, You Persecuted, And You Killed [God's] Prophets Unjustly... You Will Not Do To Farrakhan What You Did To The Prophets Before".

"Your rabbis created the Talmud and concocted the so-called 'Hamitic Curse' and claimed that black people were cursed by God to be black and ugly and punished to be your slaves forever. This is how you relate to us.
[...]
"This is why it is said in the Book of Revelations: 'Behold I give of the Synagogue of Satan, of those that say they are Jews, and they are not.'


Omar’s challenger Antone Melton-Meaux: Progressive and pro-Israel not mutually exclusive
He said that it is America’s “obligation” to honor the 10-year memorandum of understanding, or MOU, signed in 2016 between the United States and Israel to provide $38 billion in defense assistance to Israel.

Regarding the U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” Mideast plan released earlier this year, Melton-Meaux said it was a “take it or leave it” offer to the Palestinians, adding that “it wasn’t thoughtful.”

He noted that from his experience as a mediator, “any meaningful long-term solution between parties that have long-term disputes has to come from the stakeholders themselves. It can’t come from third parties. We can’t force or implement a peace plan upon the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

While Melton-Meaux pointed out that the Taylor Force Act—passed in 2018 that defunded most U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority for its rewarding of terrorists and their families—was “good legislation,” along those same lines he faulted the Trump administration defunding virtually all humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians.

On Iran, Melton-Meaux called for returning to the negotiating table to deal with the sunset clauses under the 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States withdrew from in May 2018. Since then, the Trump administration has reimposed sanctions lifted under it and enacted new financial penalties in what has been dubbed a “maximum pressure” campaign against the regime.

Melton-Meaux said he supports extending the 2010 U.N. arms embargo on Iran, which will expire on Oct. 18.

“Iran can’t just simply wait out the clock—whether it’s on ballistic missiles or enriched uranium or centrifuges,” he said. “All those things have sunset provisions in them.”

In a letter in May, 387 members—or nearly 90 percent—of the House of Representatives, including Omar, called on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to work with U.S. allies in extending the U.N. arms embargo on Iran.

At the end of the day, Melton-Meaux said that “though my campaign is to represent the best interests of the 5th Congressional District, I’m running to represent everyone in this district. That includes the Jewish community, the Somali community, African-American community, working-class people.”

He added “to the extent that I can be a useful partner on the issue of U.S.-Israel [relations] or how we communicate with each other in a supportive, thoughtful way, especially on issues of anti-Semitism or other race issues, I am proud to be a part of that.”
Omar campaign sends mailer accusing opponent of being ‘in pocket of Wall Street’
The re-election campaign of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) sent out a mailer received by voters last week that accuses her top primary opponent of being “in the pocket of the GOP,” “in the pocket of Wall Street” and “in the pocket of the medical industry,” citing quotes from only Jewish donors.

The headline of the mailer, which was obtained and first reported by VICE News, states “Can We Trust Antone Melton-Meaux’s Money?”

The only names cited in the mailer, which features quotes from MinnPost and BuzzFeed, are Jewish: billionaire Jonathan Gray, retired real estate executive Stanley Weinstein and billionaire hedge-fund owner Seth Klarman.

When asked by VICE News if the congresswoman personally approved the mailer, Omar’s advisers declined to comment on the record.

“Our campaign is supported by a grassroots coalition of people of all faiths, background and ethnicities,” said Omar spokesman Isaiah Breen in a statement to VICE News. “Right-wing donors are going on the record explicitly declaring their hate for Ilhan and desire to unseat her, using overtly xenophobic language. But we will continue to build an inclusive movement fighting for an America where everyone has their basic rights protected.”

JNS has reached out to Melton-Meaux’s campaign for comment. Melton-Meaux is one of four candidates challenging Omar in an Aug. 11 primary for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.

Since entering Congress in 2019, Omar has perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes on social media that has been criticized by Jewish, pro-Israel and other organizations, as well as members of Congress. She also introduced a resolution in Congress that promotes boycotts of Israel, likening them to boycotts of Nazi Germany. (h/t MtTB)


Bitter row over Black Lives Matter, bullying, threats and accusations of anti-semitism at Amber Valley council meeting
A bitter row over Black Lives Matter, bullying, threats and accusations of anti-semitism broke out at a raucous Amber Valley council meeting.

At a meeting on Wednesday, July 22, Amber Valley Borough Council debated a motion formally putting its support behind the Black Lives Matter movement, to recognise injustices faced by black, Asian and minority ethnic residents and to reaffirm its commitment to equality and tackling discrimination.

However, a bitter row broke out with councillors claiming they had been bullied and threatened with being “branded racist” if they did not vote to support the motion.

The Labour administration denied this was the case but said if Conservatives had problems with voting to support it then they did “have something to answer for on this issue”.

They had written in a public letter last month that if Tory councillors felt “forced” to sign on to the statement this was “problematic on so many layers” and “clearly suggests they don’t support the statement and hence don’t ‘condemn all kinds of racism in the world’”.

Cllr Kevin Buttery, Tory opposition group leader said he and his colleagues “oppose discrimination in all its forms” but claimed “antisemitism is still rife in Amber Valley Labour,” citing the Labour leadership.

Cllr Ben Bellamy, deputy leader, said he felt “under personal attack” and that the accusation was “disgraceful and disgusting”.

He said: “He (Cllr Buttery) appears to have accused me of antisemitism and I ask him to withdraw that horrendous, horrendous accusation.”
Wiley must immediately apologise and make amends for antisemitic rant or no respectable label or manager should ever work with him again
The British rapper Wiley has spent the day delivering an antisemitic rant on Twitter, comparing Jews to the Ku Klux Klan, making comments about Jewish power and control of the “system” and insisting repeatedly that “Israel does not belong to you”.

Among the comments were:
“Is it anti semetic [sic] to say Jewish people have power?’
“If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired”
“My ex manager was South Africa/ Jewish and I promise you he taught me so much about how this all works I was shocked [sic]”
“Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law…Work that out [sic]”
“Listen to me Jewish community Israel is not your country I’m sorry”; Jewish community ya too touchy anyway Israel is not yours hold that”; “Israel does not belong to you”; “I don’t care Cos Israel is ours what about that”; and “Israel is ours who wants to talk about that?”; a sentiment also repeated here; here; and here
“Certain people out here actually using hitlers tricks and I don’t like hitler just saying tho [sic]”
“In some cases the oppressed become the oppressor [sic]”
“The Star of David that’s our ting [sic]”
“I’m not anti semetic I am anti slippery people there’s a difference [sic]”

Some other tweets in the rant can be accessed here; here; here; here; here; here; here; here; and here.

Wiley’s repeated claim that “Israel does not belong to you”, accompanied by the assertion that “Israel is ours who wants to talk about that?”, as well as his claim that “The Star of David that’s our ting [sic]”, suggests that he may be espousing views associated with the hateful Black Israelite Hebrews movement, which has been known to harass Jews and has been connected to at least one violent antisemitic shooting in the United States.

Wiley’s racist ramblings, which he apparently referred to as “Black History Lesson For Today”, come after Ice Cube tweeted a picture of an antisemitic mural and several other celebrities have promoted the antisemitic hate preacher Louis Farrakhan.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Likening Jews to the KKK is a hideous antisemitic slur, which Wiley can add to the antisemitic tropes he has tweeted about Jewish power and Jews in business. He joins a number of celebrities who have promoted antisemitic themes or individuals in recent weeks, some of whom have apologised and sought rehabilitation. Wiley must immediately do the same, otherwise no respectable label or manager should work with him ever again.”


British Rapper Claims He’s Not Antisemitic After Twitter Rant Against Jews, Israel
A British rapper who goes by the stage name Wiley went a Twitter rant on Friday about Jews and Israel, but later claimed he was not antisemitic.

The artist, whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie Jr., wrote in a series of Twitter posts about how the Jewish community was “too touchy” and that “Israel is not yours I will not stop saying it I don’t care.”

He said, “Israel is ours who wants to talk about that ?” He then shared a screenshot of a Yahoo Image search for “german no jews allowed sign,” and one enlarged sign that says “NO dogs, colored, Mexicans, Jews, Irish.”

The 41-year-old, who released his album “Boasty Gang” in June, also compared the Jewish community to the Ku Klux Klan.

He tweeted, “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.” He then added, “Infact [sic] there are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why.”

“Is it anti semetic to say Jewish people have power?” he asked. “The Law hides behind the police who are the KKK.”
Is it time for Jews to walk away from universities?
In response to an alarming spike in campus anti-Semitism, the Jewish community is debating whether it should walk away from colleges and universities that once restricted its children with quotas and now openly permits their harassment.

You can talk about systemic and structural racism, but on American campuses, African Americans and other select minorities have powerful advocates for their causes.

Whether through the office of residence life or that of the dean of diversity and inclusion, the slightest hint that the campus environment is unwelcoming in any way to certain minorities will be met with the strongest possible response, even to the point of shredding traditions of free speech or academic freedom in the process.

The very notion of an unwelcoming environment mobilizes the campus bureaucracy and large segments of the student community through "intersectionality" to close ranks, denounce the offense and root out the offenders.

Contrast that with the environment Jewish students face. They receive eviction notices under their doors. They must put up with the phony and vile accusations during "Israel Apartheid Week" that are linked to an upsurge in anti-Semitic incidents, including violence. They can be told, as they are at San Francisco State University, that they are not welcome if they are Zionists.

They can be accused of having undue influence, as a Muslim faculty member at University of California, Berkeley rattles off a list of buildings named after Jewish donors, as if there is something sordid in Jewish donations, while ignoring that Middle East studies departments are flush with foreign money. They must endure endless attempts within student governments to get the institution to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel, known as BDS, that even if affirmed will never be lawfully implemented, knowing that the function of such is to demonize Israel and Jews.

Few administrators speak for them. No part of the intersectionality community will come to their defense. The campus bureaucracy doesn't care if they feel welcome. In fact, a complaint to the dean of diversity and inclusion will often result in a lecture telling them they are responsible of their own harassment.

Courses in Middle East politics are all too frequently taught by Palestinian sympathizers who use the classroom to stir up anti-Semitism by demonizing Israel and Jews.

So, is it time for Jews to leave the university? It isn't a new question. Some 30 years ago, fundamentalist Christians and conservatives began asking themselves the same question. We might talk about diversity but finding a fundamentalist Christian or political conservative in a faculty position in a major university is a rarity. The environment actively discourages them.
This Guardian photo isn't what it seems
The Guardian edit is significant because it describes the police action entirely as “kneel[ing]” on “the demonstrator’s neck”, providing no context, whilst AP’s original caption is more clear in stating that the officer “puts his knee” on the demonstrator “to make an arrest”. In other words, the full AP caption suggests to most readers that the knee represented a momentary snapshot within the context of the police arrest. Our research could find no media outlet other than the Guardian that took the original AP caption and made such edits.

We decided to research the matter further, and contacted the Israeli Police to ask for a comment on the Guardian photo. Sure enough, their international media spokesperson confirmed to us that the protester was only keeled on for literally a second or two whilst being arrested and placed in handcuffs, and that he didn’t suffer any injuries from the arrest.

The police officer in Minneapolis, let’s remember, keeled on George Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes, 46 seconds before he died.

The spokesperson also provided the following statement:
It is a shame that the photo taken presents only a partial picture of a few seconds of the severe violence that preceded the photo that was directed directly at police officers at the scene. During the protest that escalated into a violent incident and disturbances, a police officer was bitten by a female demonstrator who was being evacuated from the road at the time of the protest.

After being bitten, the policeman tried to arrest the woman and several demonstrators jumped on the officer and attacked him, including the demonstrator in the picture who swung an iron bar at the policeman. The iron bar turned out to be a bicycle seat bar and during the incident the demonstrator kicked the officer.

We view violence directed at police officers as a serious incident and will not allow violent protesters to attack officers or border policeman.
In court with the man who tried to kill me as I prayed on Yom Kippur
Across the room sat a man, a murderer, who had tried to kill me and 51 others praying in the Halle Synagogue last Yom Kippur. Responding to question after question from the judge, he espoused the most hateful ideology, showing no shame at his open contempt and cruel rhetoric toward Muslims and Jews, people of Arab and Turkish descent, Black people, women — even other white people who didn’t support his cause.

During the first day of the trial for the Halle attacker, an exchange between the judge and the assailant took well over three hours. As a victim of attempted murder by this person, I had been petrified of this moment. It drained me. Yet rather than feel angry, sad or afraid at his awful statements, I sat there feeling relieved and even empowered.

This man displayed in open court that he was exactly who we thought he was. Even in a court of law, he stood by his convictions and his quest to act on them. This person was rendered psychologically fit to stand trial by psychiatrists; his statements were not born of insanity or delusion. This man possesses a worldview that kills people. And he is not alone.

I decided to be a co-plaintiff in this trial in order to play a role in the fight against right-wing extremism, to bring to surface policy issues in need of systemic change and to seek a form of personal justice. I am the granddaughter of four Holocaust survivors. For the two still living in my home state of New York, not to mention the rest of my immediate and extended family, my choice to live in Germany is complicated.

I am here to help strengthen the Jewish community in Germany, focusing primarily on students and young adults through my work with Hillel Germany, using my credentials as a rabbi and organizer. And I am also here in order to be closer to my personal history and to the emotional reality of miraculous existence. In Berlin, one cannot ignore history. Stepping into a synagogue is an act of counterculture; we are here, persevering, despite the odds. Unlike many of my Jewish peers growing up in New York, this mentality feels natural to me. Here it is a norm.
German Antisemitism Tsar Urges Investigation Into Celebrity Chef Turned Conspiracy Theorist
The German government’s top antisemitism official on Friday called for federal prosecutors to launch an investigation into a celebrity chef who has reinvented himself as a Jew-hating conspiracy theorist.

In a radio interview, Felix Klein — the federal commissioner appointed in 2018 to tackle rising antisemitism in Germany — denounced the behavior of chef Attila Hildmann as “scandalous.”

A self-described “ultra right-winger” of Turkish origin who was brought up by German adoptive parents, the 39-year-old Hildmann is known in Germany for his recipe books and frequent appearances on food programs.

But with the spiraling coronavirus pandemic, Hildmann has swapped his vegan recipes for outlandish claims about the global extent of “Jewish” and “Zionist” power, deliberately using Nazi terms like “parasites” and “subhumans” to underline his point that Covid-19 is a symptom of wider global conspiracy run by prominent Jews such as financier George Soros and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Hildmann’s actions were “scandalous and, in my opinion, relevant under criminal law,” Klein said. He urged prosecutors to probe Hildmann’s record of “antisemitic agitation, relativization of the Holocaust and mockery of Holocaust victims.”
Austria drawing up legislation to ban antisemitism on social media
Austria's government is drawing up legislation to require social media platforms to remove antisemitic material, following the publication of a report which found that TikTok, a platform popular with children, was rife with antisemitism.

On Thursday, Karoline Edtstadler, Austria's minister for the EU and the constitution strongly condemned TikTok for allowing antisemitic messages to be spread via its platform.

“In the past, we were always horrified to find the Shoah played down and profoundly tasteless jokes about the atrocities of the Nazi regime on the internet. Antisemitism and radical ideas are spreading extremely quickly, especially on social media platforms,” Edtstadler said.

“Internet platforms - be they from the USA, China or Europe - have a clear responsibility to act actively against the distribution of illegal content and to abide by our laws if they have users in Austria. Illegal content must be deleted immediately. This is currently not happening satisfactorily. We therefore support initiatives such as the Digital Services Act at European level, but we will go ahead in Austria and enforce clear rules," the minister added.

Her comments came in response to media reports that antisemitic and racist messages are being disseminated via TikTok. In June, a report by Gabriel Weimann and Natalie Masri of the Institute for Counter Terrorism (ICT) found that antisemitic and racist material was widespread on the Chinese-owned platform, but often concealed within modified hashtags or through the use of symbols which are harder for computer algorithms to track. One post depicted Jews with oversized noses, while another shared a video game in which the main character was Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant.

“Antisemites are not born, they are brought up by their surroundings. It is absolutely unacceptable that content of this kind can be put online and shared online free of consequences, on a platform on which children and young people in particular reside,” Edtstadler said.
Holocaust survivor, 90, stabbed to death in her Moscow apartment
A 90-year-old Holocaust survivor was murdered in her Moscow apartment.

The body of Irina Shur, a former professor at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, was found at her apartment late last week, TASS reported Wednesday. She had been stabbed multiple times and had been dead for at least 24 hours.

A 69-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the murder. The woman had been a case worker charged with caring for Shur as recently as 2016. The two women remained in contact thereafter, an unnamed official told TASS.

The door to Shur’s apartment showed no signs of forced entry, leading investigators to believe she knew her killer and opened the door for them. The apartment was found in neat condition with no valuables missing, making it difficult to ascertain the motive, the report said.

One theory being investigated is that Shur was killed by perpetrators seeking to take over her apartment, which is situated in the pricey Dorogomilov district, Moskva24 reported.
Man held over Baltimore attack on teens who say they were called ‘dirty Jews’
A 34-year-old man was arrested in the robbery of four Jewish teens outside a Baltimore mall. The teens said the knife-wielding attacker targeted them for their religious observance.

Baltimore County Police arrested Seneca Rice, an area man, on unrelated charges last week. He will be charged in county court for the July 9 incident outside the Towson Town Center, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The teens said Rice told them they were “dirty Jews” and took one of their kippahs. They also said he took their shopping bags, cellphones and wallets.

Each teen told investigators separately that they felt targeted for their religious beliefs.

Surveillance cameras filmed the incident.

Rice is facing charges of robbery, second-degree assault and theft, according to the report, and is being held without bail.
Exclusive: Leader Of Dylann Roof-Worshipping Neo-Nazi Group Exposed
A prominent white supremacist who encourages acts of domestic terror and who once claimed to have influenced the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter is a 27-year-old restaurant worker in California, a new HuffPost investigation has confirmed.

For years, a man using the pseudonym “Vic Mackey” has been the leading voice in a confederation of neo-Nazis called the “Bowl Patrol,” a reference to white supremacist murderer Dylann Roof’s “bowl cut” hairstyle.

In podcasts, videos and social media posts reviewed by HuffPost, Mackey has called on his followers — including nearly 1,000 on Telegram — to commit hate crimes, threatened activists and journalists with rape and violence and celebrated white nationalist massacres — in Christchurch, New Zealand; El Paso, Texas; Poway, California, and elsewhere — all while keeping his real identity secret.

Though it’s hard to know the exact number of people Mackey has influenced, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League see him as a leader in this network of extremists, some of whom have been arrested in connection with threats or plans of real-world violence in Roof’s name.

Even as so many other white nationalists have been unmasked in recent years — among them cops, soldiers and politicians — Mackey has remained elusive. But in recent weeks, the Anonymous Comrades Collective, a group of anti-fascist researchers, has traced Mackey’s online history and believes he is a man named Andrew Richard Casarez, a 27-year-old pizza delivery driver who lives in a Sacramento suburb.
Neo-Nazi group member pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue
A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to federal charges that he vandalized a synagogue as part of his involvement in a white supremacist and neo-Nazi group.

Yousef Barasneh was 22 when he was arrested in January as part of a nationwide investigation into The Base, which planned to carry out coordinated vandalism of synagogues across the country in an effort the hate group called Operation Kristallnacht, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

Six other men involved in the group were arrested at the same time.

Barasneh spray-painted a swastika and other Nazi imagery, as well as the word “Jude,” German for Jew, on the building of the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine in September. Racine is about 12 miles from his suburban Milwaukee home.

According to the plea agreement approved Friday, Barasneh admitted that he had online conversations with other members of The Base about “acts of violence against Jewish Americans and non-white Americans, Base military training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices,” the Journal-Sentinel reported.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
US Department of Justice takes action against New York village targeting Orthodox Jews
The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York sent a letter Monday notifying the Village of Airmont in Rockland County, N.Y., that they plan to file suit against the village on the grounds that are violating terms of the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).

RLUIPA, as the law is commonly referred to, was created in part to ensure that municipalities did not create zoning or landmarking laws that would discriminate against religious institutions or "unreasonably" limit religious structures or assembly within in a jurisdiction.

The US Attorney's Office said in its letter that the village's zoning code "substantially burdens, discriminates against and unreasonably limits the practice of religion by the village's Orthodox Jewish community."

In a statement, Agudath Israel of America said it is "grateful that the [US] Justice Department is prepared to take all steps necessary to fight religious discrimination and ensure religious liberty."

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Committee also praised the move. In a statement, the OJPCA said that "the Village of Airmont was created three decades ago essentially to abuse government power against Orthodox Jews. Time and again, the DOJ stepped in to stop it, and here we are again because the essence of the village has not changed."

The Village of Airmont is no stranger to allegations that it discriminates against Orthodox Jews. Its establishment in 1991 was considered by some as a way to take control over local zoning ordinances and limit the construction of houses of worship. Since Torah-observant Jews don't drive on Saturday (Shabbat) and most Jewish holidays, they often live within walking distance of a congregation.

By denying the construction of synagogues, many believed that village officials were effectively trying to keep out the Orthodox.
In 1st drill, IDF’s Ghost Unit tests new tactics with jets, tanks and robots
The Israel Defense Forces new multidisciplinary Ghost Unit completed its first major exercise on Thursday, testing a variety of new fighting techniques including a method of having ground troops identify targets for fighter jets, the military said.

The Ghost Unit was created earlier this year as part of the IDF’s multiyear Momentum Plan and is meant to develop and test new combat tactics. Unlike more homogeneous combat units in the IDF, the Ghost Unit is made up of a wide range of capabilities from various branches of the military: infantry troops, fighter jets, attack helicopters, tanks, combat engineering, drones, K-9s and robotics.

Over the past few weeks, the unit held its first major exercise. The recently formed detachment is specifically tasked with improving the IDF’s ability to quickly find and destroy enemy targets and fighters, as part of a general understanding in the military that regardless of the outcome, any conflict that drags on for too long will be considered a loss.

“This drill represents a significant milestone in the process of making the unit operational and demonstrates advancement in the development of innovative capabilities and fighting techniques, along with the integration of ground forces, air power, intelligence and telecommunications,” said Brig. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, head of the 98th Paratroopers Division, which contains the Ghost Unit.
Soldiers and a K-9 from the IDF’s Ghost Unit take part in a weeks-long training exercise in July 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

“We will continue to learn, to change, to improve, to strengthen the preparedness of ground troops for the next war,” he said.

During the exercise, the unit tested out a number of new “breakthrough capabilities that were developed in collaboration with a number of defense contractors,” as well as several “innovative” fighting techniques that brought together disparate capabilities into one effort.
Israeli photographer wins international iPhone photography contest
Since its inception in 2007, the iPhone Photography Awards has never ceased to attract photography enthusiasts and iPhone users from across the globe. Thousands of photos are submitted to the contest every year, but only a handful win.

The contest was launched shortly after the release of the first iPhone and has been running ever since. Every year, three overall winners are selected as well as three additional winners for each of the annually changing 18 categories.

This year, the 22-year-old Israeli photographer, Avishai Futerman, won second place in the Nature category.

Taken in the stunningly beautiful mountainous area of Fiordland National Park, located in the southwest part of New Zealand's South Island, the image depicts a kea bird spreading its wings against the snow-covered mountain peaks of Mount Luxmore. Displaying somewhat darker shades of green, with clear orange streaks on its wings, this majestic bird, captured in mid-flight, is staring directly at the camera.

Former NYT writer Bari Weiss: ‘Jewish values are bigger than any fancy title’
She said that being publicly criticized as a Jew has inspired her to reconnect with Judaism.

“I say this a lot: It’s not enough for a Jew to be an anti-anti-Semite. That’s not what we were put on earth to do. We were put on earth to be Jews. The more deeply I connected to my own Judaism, Jewish history, the stronger my conviction has become. I am just extremely clear on who I am, what I’m about, and what I’m fighting for,” she said.

And that, said Weiss, was what made her decide to leave The New York Times.

“I think a lot of people think [my resignation is] nuts, like, why would you give up the prestige of that? For me, it’s extremely clear: I am part of a line of a people that is about values that are way bigger than any fancy platform or title. That’s really what drives me,” she said.

On a global level, Weiss believes the pandemic has intensified anti-Semitism. She cites people’s need for a scapegoat in times of unrest as one of the reasons; increased screen time also further polarizes people politically, in her opinion, and online interactions facilitate people’s dehumanization of others who they never meet face to face.

What’s needed at this moment is to think “Zionistically,” she said, clarifying that she wasn’t just speaking about supporting Israel, but rather thinking creatively and audaciously.

“Think back to the people living in comfortable homes in Budapest who decided in the 1900s and 1910s, ‘We’re going to put on sandals and move to a swamp.’ If they were capable of that kind of radical imagination, so could we be too,” Weiss said.



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