Thursday, September 03, 2020

From Ian:

Wake Up America, and Smell the Anti-Semitism
What do all these incidents have in common? Not that they are the unique province of “the right” or “the left”—but that they are happening in America on a daily basis and both the mainstream press and the organized Jewish community seem determined to ignore them. Last summer, Armin Rosen documented the “routine” attacks upon the city’s visible Jews. “The increase in the number of physical assaults against Orthodox Jews in New York City is a matter of empirical fact,” he stated, while detailing the steep rise in numbers from the NYPD hate crime unit. The question Rosen raised then was why the country’s biggest wave of hate crimes was apparently not worthy of notice by any of the city’s major newspapers, the mayor’s office, the Justice Department, or civil rights groups; six months after his article was published, it was still the only long piece on the subject.

What became clear to me from the I-405 incident is that America’s Jews don’t see anti-Semitism, even when it’s dangling over a freeway in one of its most liberal cities in broad daylight. But perhaps it isn’t odd that mainstream media haven’t reported on it when American Jews won’t admit that anti-Semitism is a real problem in this country, and when so few of our high-profile Jews speak out against such attacks. Why would the media consider it of public interest if the Jews don’t?

It seems that American Jews don’t see anti-Semitism in America because they don’t want to, not because it isn’t real. They choose not to see it because it makes them uncomfortable. Or they only see it when it comes from the other “side.”

Yet for an outsider, the normalizing of open anti-Semitism in this country on all “sides” is shocking. This past week, in addition to the Delaware Chabad, Nazi symbols were painted on a bus stop in Colorado Springs and Philadelphia’s NAACP President Rodney Muhammad was removed after posting an anti-Semitic meme to Facebook. In the past three months we’ve seen the California Board of Education go ahead with an ethnic studies curriculum that is openly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel as part of its efforts to promote diversity and understanding among cultures. Synagogues have been defaced in Pennsylvania, Boston, Florida, and Cleveland, among other places. And that’s a good week, because nobody was put in a hospital or killed.

While “anti-Zionism” provides a fig leaf for anti-Semitic bullying campaigns, especially on college campuses, the idea that there is some clear line between the new and the old types of blood libel is increasingly hard to credit in an age of hypersensitivity to every other kind of real or imagined slight. At USC, Jewish student Rose Ritch resigned from her position as vice president of the student government after being bullied for her “Zionism”—meaning her refusal to stridently condemn and disavow Israel, a subject that has zero to do with student government at the college.

At least a half dozen synagogues have been vandalized during BLM protests, including one in LA (“Fuck Israel” was sprayed on the side of the building). A BLM protest in Washington, D.C., featured the chant: “Israel, we know you, you murder children too.” There’s been a resurgence of the ugly rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam via figures such as DeSean Jackson, P Diddy, and Jay Electronica, along with articles explaining why Louis Farrakhan is in fact a very important figure in the African American community whose minions provide young minority men with positive role models. Yikes.
Zooming with Terror
Leila Khaled owes her international fame to two things: she used to hijack planes, and female hijackers remain an object of fascination. You can find her face on T-shirts, in part because some advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel love her.

As I’ve written before, that’s strange because, as Khaled has indicated any number of times, she is in favor of violence against Israel, whereas BDS sells itself as a nonviolent movement. It’s almost as if BDS isn’t dedicated to nonviolence, except as an adjunct to violence.

Khaled remains in the leadership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other nations, and still very much in the terror business. A PFLP cell is suspected in a bombing that killed seventeen-year-old Israeli, Rina Shnerb, as recently as last year.

Nowadays, Khaled tours the world (when she is not denied entry) and dispenses the occasional anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

In 2020, thanks to the magic of Zoom, San Francisco State University, whose track record on these matters is not great, can hear from Khaled without worrying about her getting stopped at the border. The event at which she will be virtually appearing is being promoted by an academic program, the cumbersomely-named Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, which sits in SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies. Rabab Abdulhadi, from that program, and Tomomi Kinukawa, from Women’s Studies, are co-moderators.

This event, I think, is protected by academic freedom and, at a public university like SFSU, the First Amendment. But it seems safe to assume that the co-moderators, who examined in April the “direct connections between Israeli Zionism and [a] Japanese far-right government that denies its own history of colonial violence and war-time crimes,” are not there to ask Khaled tough questions. Ethnic studies is a self-consciously politicized field that has no qualms about using the academy to promote radical politics. That’s one reason the adoption of a new ethnic studies requirement at state universities in California should be bigger news than it is.

The real story here is less the event itself—Abdulhadi and Kinukawa’s April event doesn’t seem to have generated much interest, even at San Francisco State—than the mainstreaming of this kind of thing in the academy. Abdulhadi just this year received an award from the American Association of University Professors, even though her career has been dedicated to undermining the distinction between teaching and propagandizing on which the AAUP’s defense of academic freedom relies.
The Pinnacle of Looting Apologia
I am also from recent-immigrant stock. Osterweil euphemizes looting as “proletarian shopping,” and no one from a place that has recently experienced this phenomenon can take seriously her assurance that it can happen justly and bloodlessly. When I think of riots and smashed storefronts, I think of Kristallnacht. I think of American businesses built by penniless immigrants who preferred to forfeit their vacations and weekends for 30 years rather than see their children suffer as they did; I think of these businesses ransacked in 30 minutes and left in ruins. Osterweil at least has the psychology right when she says that looting can be “joyous and liberatory.” I have never seen a sullen looter, but I have seen plenty of shop owners crying next to the smoking remains of their children’s future.

Absent from this book is even fleeting recognition that anyone (or nearly everyone) might prefer the current nonrevolutionary arrangement. Osterweil does not say what property-less system of government or anti-government she prefers, but I suspect it is not democracy, a term she uses only sneeringly. Nor is it clear how she intends to move from the past disgraces and present unrest to her goal, whatever it is, other than by rioting and stealing things until morale improves. What do you do when the free stuff runs out, the businesses and ordinary people who invested in your city decide not to make that mistake again, and—oops!—a few shopkeepers get beaten to death? This messy process is the “new world opening up, however briefly, in all its chaotic frenzy,” she writes. To me it sounds like a prequel to The Road.

Osterweil is unable or unwilling to relate to anyone at all with anything resembling a sense of humanity. Comrades and enemies alike are described without compassion, emotional detail, or distinction as people endowed with feelings or moral complexity. Once cast as a villain, a villain one remains, with no intricacies of the human condition explored under any circumstances. In the NPR interview, Osterweil describes the Los Angeles convenience store where Latasha Harlins was shot to death in 1991 as the location of “white-supremacist violence.” That shooting, which came two weeks after the beating of Rodney King and contributed to riots that killed 63 people, was perpetrated by the store owner, a female Korean immigrant—an irony that surely deserves probing. But Osterweil’s great class war has only two sides, so a working-class Korean woman is effortlessly enlisted on the side of the white-supremacist cisheteropatriarchs. Osterweil quotes a communist magazine: “Just as Jews were in 1965, Koreans in 1992 were ‘on the front-line of the confrontation between capital and the residents of central LA—they are the face of capital for these communities.’” As explanations of communal violence go, this is contemptibly inane.

Brooke Goldstein: The Time Is Now for a Jewish Civil Rights Movement
Successful civil rights movements present cohesive and compelling narratives. Divisiveness, partisanship and our lack of a clear message have crippled us tremendously. A sizable number of Jewish intellectuals have spoken out against the application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to protect Jewish students on campus. We are unable to differentiate between protecting free speech and punishing targeted harassment that singles out Jews due to their ethnic and religious identity. We degraded ourselves when, as a community, we failed to unequivocally support the American embassy relocation to Jerusalem, a city so central to the Jewish culture and religion that we pledge our limbs lest we forget it. To what end were Jewish values compromised to placate our detractors and further partisan politics?

Perhaps our greatest failure has been the absence of significant civil rights advocacy through the courts, or impact litigation. One of the best things about American democracy is the citizenry's ability to effectuate societal change through the legal system. Roe v. Wade codified women's right to choose. Brown v. Board of Education judicially mandated desegregation. Most recently, Obergefell v. Hodges guaranteed marriage equality. You would be hard-pressed to name a seminal Jewish civil rights case, despite the disproportionate number of lawyers in our community.

Until I founded The Lawfare Project, there was not a single entity dedicated to impact litigation on behalf of Jews. The NAACP's Legal Defense Fund has spent nearly a century filing cases to advance the civil and human rights of the Black community. Lambda Legal has played a similar role for the LGBT community since 1971. There is a Muslim Legal Fund of America, and even a Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. We have only just begun, as a minority community, to take advantage of our rights to equal protection under the law by strategically using the legal system to fight Jew-hatred.

Jews have been subjected to every kind of abuse and persecution for centuries, to say nothing of multiple attempted genocides. Jew-hatred is structural and systemic, and it has been a fixture of Western society. It's time to end it. Ending Jew-hatred requires a seismic rewiring of the human psyche, but it can be achieved. It also requires a change of focus internally. No more printing handbooks for Jews about how to organize for BLM and how to advocate for Israel in anti-Semitic spaces. Our handbooks should be teaching Jewish youth how to organize and advocate for policies that enhance our status as a minority community. Our training infrastructure should teach how to introduce social consequences for those who are caught on the wrong side of our issues.

Now is the time to seize the opportunity and launch a movement that ensures Jewish liberation and justice through peaceful direct action. We must impose social, legal and financial consequences for Jew-haters. The Jewish community must no longer tolerate antiquated stereotypes and casual exclusion. It must resist entanglement in Middle Eastern politics and mobilize against the colonization of the campus space. Jew-hatred can no longer be acceptable in our society. The time for a Jewish civil rights movement is now.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Who should Jews fear most during an ‘uprising’?
Let’s specify that the presence of vigilantes is almost always a bad thing. Such persons are no substitute for law enforcement and invariably make bad situations worse.

Yet after three months of riots that some on the left have been candid enough to describe as a general “insurrection,” there is only one word to accurately describe efforts to put the focus on vigilantes, rather than on those who have openly embraced radical positions aimed at thwarting democratic rule as an anti-Semitic threat: gaslighting.

We should never be complacent about anti-Semitism from the far right. But to pretend that the carnage in America’s cities is the work of anyone but the far left, associated anarchists and some elements of the Black Lives Matter movement is not merely false but a transparently politically motivated sleight of hand maneuver.

While Jews have not been a priority target for rioters—instances of vandalism in Los Angeles and Kenosha notwithstanding—the connections between the intersectional ideology that is officially embraced by BLM ideologues, and anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, is a matter of record.

Since the death of Floyd on May 25, dozens have died in violence that was in one way or another connected to the protests, the number of police officers that were injured was reported to be 700 in the first week and has, no doubt, climbed far higher in the months since then. Many of the protesters have also been hurt, though hurt as a result of their engaging in violence against police. Incidents of organized attacks aimed at police, including in one outrageous incident in which left-wing lawyers passed out Molotov cocktails to be tossed at New York cops, have added to the carnage.

To pretend that these acts were somehow committed in equal measure by the inconsequential numbers of right-wing provocateurs, or that it was all inspired by the Trump administration that has sought unsuccessfully to stop the violence against the wishes of their political opponents who govern strife-torn cities, is also gaslighting.

It is hardly surprising that left-wing and liberal groups that have, against the best interests of the Jewish community, endorsed the BLM movement would buy into this myth in order to help their allies in the Democratic Party. But doing so is still an act of breathtaking mendacity.

For three months, much of the mainstream media has either downplayed the violence associated with the protests or encouraged and rationalized it.
Is it Time for Jews to Fight Back?
Why do Jews always have to be on the defensive? Why are we always backed into the corner and humbled to digest the bigotry hurled at us by Jew haters? Why are we always the targeted victims who are forced to fight our way out of dangerous situations…which, sadly, we in this country very rarely do? And shamefully, we seem very comfortable being in that situation. The latest and saddest victim, we and the rest of the nation just found out last week, was for twenty years and still is today, Beth Israel Synagogue (BIS), located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For two decades, this Jewish house of worship has been picketed every Shabbos by a gang of Jew and Israel haters who plant and march with signs reading, “Resist Jewish Power,” “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “No More Holocaust Movies,” “Stop Aid to Israel” and “End the Palestinian Holocaust.” So it’s no secret that those choosing to intimidate and disturb Jews on their Holy Day have been getting away with displaying their contempt for Jews without being confronted or challenged until very recently in court by a private lawyer. And apparently, nary a word of nor even, from what we can determine, a clarion call for help from this institution. Why was this scenario kept under the covers?

And what support, legal, vocal or physical had the local ADL or any other Jewish affiliated organization in this area offered BIS over the years? ADL, headed by Jonathan Greenblatt, a former employee of George Soros and President Obama, supposedly the agency that should be in the forefront of fighting such bigotry, (as it does very readily for Muslim groups) has only a single article on its site merely describing this situation. And it’s dated, August 28, 2019. Where were they for 18 long years? A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the shul by an independent attorney not apparently joined by or supported by the ADL. And yet its page calls for donations with this statement of purpose: “Together We Can Make the Change.” Not necessarily for Jews, that’s for sure.

We note, as well, that Ann Arbor is the home of the University of Michigan that enrolls over 4,500 Jewish students. It seems odd that not one of these young people or their Jewish college clubs had the sense of pride or plain courage to confront these Jew hating protesters as surely would black or Hispanic kids whose churches were being harassed by bigots.
Gov’t okay lockdowns in 30 high-infection cities; Virus czar: ‘A pivotal moment’
Cabinet ministers voted Thursday to impose lockdowns over 30 “red” cities that have high coronavirus infection rates, a day after Israel’s infection numbers reached a new record of over 3,000 daily cases.

Members of the so-called coronavirus cabinet, a limited forum of ministers, decided that lockdowns would take effect on Monday, according to widespread Hebrew media reports.

The restrictions under discussion for the 30 municipalities included banning entry and exit, keeping residents within 500 meters of their homes, stopping public transportation, and closing non-essential businesses and all schools save for daycare facilities and special education programs.

Addressing the country’s spiraling situation in a press conference shortly after the cabinet meting, the government’s coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu, visibly distraught, implored the public to start treating the situation seriously.

“This is a message to all of Israel: No weddings! No mass gatherings! No dismissal [of guidelines] at any restaurant or anywhere!” he said, his voice rising. “I’m sorry to be emotional. This is a pivotal moment… All of Israel is at war. Illness numbers that climb from 2,000 to 3,000 in one day should worry us all.

“Anyone who doesn’t put an a mask and who disregards [instructions] is spitting in the face of doctors and nurses who are working 24 hours a day at coronavirus wards,” Gamzu added.
Ministers told hospitals could be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients in 2 weeks
Ministers of the so-called coronavirus cabinet on Thursday were presented with research predicting hospitals could be overwhelmed within two weeks as the number of virus cases creeps upward.

The study by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers predicted the country would have 600 serious COVID-19 cases in mid-September, up from 426 on Wednesday, setting up hospitals to face their worst-case scenarios of exhausted resources.

The study noted that the government’s health policies this summer had failed to reduce the number of daily cases.

“Since the start of June, there has been no reduction or significant moderation of the number of new cases every day who are in moderate or serious condition,” it said.

Moreover, it said, coronavirus deaths were higher than during the so-called first wave of the virus.

“The present danger requires decisive action,” the report urged.

The presentation of the report to ministers came as the Health Ministry reported over 3,000 new daily cases on Wednesday, for the first time since the pandemic began.
Who has died from COVID-19? Health Ministry provides new data
The average age of the people who have died in Israel from the novel coronavirus is 80.4, according to data shared by the Health Ministry on Thursday.

The number aligns with data provided by the United States. According to Worldometer, three-quarters (74%) of all US deaths from COVID-19 have been people over the age of 65, and half (49%) were over 75.

The data set for Israel included 970 entries – 514 men (53%), 455 women (47%) and one whose gender was listed as unknown.

The oldest person in Israel who has died of COVID-19 was 102. Two 19-year-olds have died.

In the US, some 62% of people who died were male, and 38% were female.

Jerusalem has more than twice as many people who have died from coronavirus (149) than Bnei Brak (73), which has the second most. Tel Aviv is third with 64.

Other cities with more than 15 people who have died include: Ashdod (22), Bat Yam (42), Beersheba (21), Hadera (21), Haifa (18), Holon (30), Kiryat Gat (16), Netanya (24), Petah Tikva (25), Ramat Gan (34), Ramle (29), Rehovot (22) and Rishon Lezion (35).
Face recognition tech ‘nudges’ visitors to wear masks at Sheba hospital
Israel’s biggest hospital, Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, is using software developed by facial recognition startup AnyVision to “nudge” its visitors to wear masks and to wear them correctly.

The software, deployed at the hospital, uses security cameras already deployed at the premises. AnyVision’s system detects visitors who are not wearing a mask, or wearing them imperfectly, and gives feedback on screens with messages like: “No mask kills my vibe” — or “Ooh, I like your style” if the person is wearing a mask correctly.

The idea is based on behavioral economics, in which “nudges” as opposed to hard enforcement are important tools that can be used to bring about changes in attitude and behavior. AnyVision’s system does not identify anyone by name, nor report them to a control center. It simply alerts the visitors to the fact that they are not wearing masks in a place where they are required to, in a manner similar to speed cameras that return negative feedback to drivers who exceed the speed limit.

“In a playful manner we increase awareness regarding masks,” said Alex Zilberman, the chief operating officer at AnyVision, in a phone interview.

The screens calling attention to the person not wearing a mask creates social pressure, he explained, and increases other visitors’ sense of legitimacy in asking that person to don the face gear as required.

The nudging software is garnering interest from other entities, such as those that operate airports, public transportation, and public buildings, he said.
Jerusalem cancels 2020 marathon
Following the second wave of coronavirus, the Jerusalem Municipality, in accordance with the Ministry of Health, has decided to cancel the 2020 Jerusalem Winner Marathon.

The event, which had been delayed since March, was set to take place on November 6. The next Jerusalem Winner Marathon is set to take place March 3, 2021 and will be the 10th annual Jerusalem Marathon.

The Jerusalem Marathon hosts approximately 35,000 participants from Israel and abroad and is a world renowned sporting event.
Barry Shaw: The Dangers to Israel of a Biden Administration
Presidential candidate Joe Biden appealed to American Jewish voters with a promise not to condition US aid to Israel, but his word, based on past history, is disingenuous.

Biden, a Catholic, is also promising Catholic voters that he would represent their ethics and values even as he endorses pro-abortion rights and selected a Vice President who has built a political career funded by the pro-abortion lobby represented by Planned Parenthood.

Biden says one thing but does the opposite. Senator Biden in 1982 threatened to cut off US aid to Israel. In a heated exchange with Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, Biden banged on the table and delivered his threat to which Begin undiplomatically replied,

“Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them, And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”

In an administration that promised “no daylight” between the United States, Obama, Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton did precisely the opposite.

Israel was furious at the Administration for leaking intelligence of an Israeli airstrike on a Syrian facility storing Russian surface-to-air missile systems.

A December 29, 2105 Wall Street Journal article detailed how the Obama Administration conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to discover how the Israeli government would react to their terrible Iran Nuclear Deal. This broke the decades-old bipartisan US policy toward Israel.

The National Iranian-American Council, the de-facto Iranian lobbying force in Washington DC, applauded the DNC’s announcement that they intend to reverse President Trump’s sanctions on Iran if they come to power in the 2020 election.
San Diego Democrats fight over Israel
Could the new center of Jewish hate speech in San Diego be the Democratic Party?

Andrea Beth Damsky: "We heard 14 speakers attempt to Jew-wash thousands of years of hateful history."

“In 2018 we tried to charter a new club called Democrats for Israel,” says Andrea Beth Damsky of La Mesa. “But they shot it down. People protested. They broke into the room with bullhorns.”

She says that club was never allowed to form under the San Diego County Democratic Party umbrella. “They said we can’t have a name of another country in our club name. Meanwhile, they have since approved the creation of the Iranian Democratic Club.”

Damsky, a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee, sent out a press release this week decrying how the latest meeting held via teleconference was overrun with Jew-hating rants. “At this last central committee meeting [August 25] we heard 14 speakers attempt to Jew-wash thousands of years of hateful history...Eight speakers talked about ethnic cleansing and three said Zionists are racists.”

Wait, what? The official local Democratic Party?
Neal Holds on in Democratic Primary Against Anti-Israel Challenger
In a win for the pro-Israel community, incumbent Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) won against progressive challenger Alex Morse in the Democratic primary on Tuesday in Massachusetts’s 1st Congressional District.

Neal, chairman of the US House Ways and Means Committee, received 58.9 percent of the vote, while Morse got 41.1 percent.

Morse, 31, who is Jewish, was endorsed by anti-Israel groups such as IfNotNow and Justice Democrats, as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who upended the US political world in 2018 by unseating longtime Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in New York’s 14th Congressional District.

Morse faced allegations of improper consensual relationships with students when he was an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

He denied them, though acknowledged that he had consensual relationships with male students when he was an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has since apologized to those he made uncomfortable with his alleged misconduct.
Washington DC Committee Recommends Renaming Capital ‘Arafat DC’ (satire)
Noting that the nation’s first president was extremely problematic, a committee has recommended removing George Washington’s name from the nation’s capital and renaming the city after someone less controversial like former PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

The committee, formed by DC Mayor Muriel E. Bowser to examine problematic statues and monuments, noted that Washington was a slaveholder, was not a vegan and was never recorded as speaking out for trans rights, potentially alienating many of the city’s residents.

“A racist homophobe like George Washington should not be honored or remembered,” committee chair and former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said. “In order to be more inclusive and send a welcoming message, we should rename the city Arafat DC, Che DC, Stalin DC or Osama DC.”

President Trump quickly seized on the committee’s recommendations, declaring on Twitter that “politically correct radical leftists want to rename your cities and erase our country’s heroes.”
BBC Investigating Reporter Over Reported Tweets Attacking Colleague for Speaking Out Against Anti-Semitism
The BBC told the Jewish Chronicle (JC) on Sept. 2 that it is investigating a report regarding a series of tweets from a BBC senior reporter’s anonymous account.

The JC had reported the day before that BBC World news reporter Nimesh Thaker used an anonymous Twitter account called “Not That Bothered” to retweet a tweet criticizing BBC 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett, who said during her July 27 show that the rapper Wiley’s anti-Semitic tweets “burn deep” for her because her grandmother fled persecution by the Nazis in Austria and her husband’s grandmother “survived unspeakable torture in Auschwitz.” The Not That Bothered account retweeted a tweet stating that Barnett was engaging in “the same old ‘antisemitism’ excuse whenever people criticize Israel.”

Additionally, during the 48-hour boycott of Twitter over the platform’s handling of anti-Semitism, the account tweeted, “Has the level of hate and political smearing just dropped on twitter or are racists on holiday at the moment?” The account also retweeted a tweet from Jackie Walker, who was expelled from the Labour Party over allegations of anti-Semitism, stating that some of those protesting Twitter had previously engaged “anti-black/Muslim racism.”

The Not That Bothered account also features tweets that call Israel a “racist” and “white supremacist state,” the JC reported.

After the JC report, the BBC said in a statement to the JC, “The BBC takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously, and while we cannot comment on individual staff issues, we have robust processes in place to investigate any such matters with urgency.”
Until Labour shows that zero tolerance is more than a slogan, it is no safe home
Without proof that the leadership is putting its money where its mouth is, there is no way of reassuring Jewish members that they can begin attending local party meetings with any degree of confidence and security.

Will racist, abusive members still be in place?

Will their views continue to be tolerated, even encouraged?

And if racist views are voiced, will they be dealt with?

Big-name Labour players like suspended NEC member Pete Willsman and RMT Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley are still party members, despite widespread coverage of comments attributed to them which appear to be antisemitic.

The leadership’s failure to expel them suggests that it is still equivocating over taking the kind of clear, strong action needed.

What we are actually hearing are the same messages trotted out by former Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby, who in February 2019 sought to reassure observers that Labour was getting to grips with its antisemitism crisis by publishing a series of statistics — including claims that panels were meeting more frequently, and more cases were being seen.

Alice Perry’s note that there are a now “a broader range of sanctions for people shown to be guilty of various offences” should also raise a note of alarm.

For those of us who watched repeat offenders get sent on training courses and given reminders of good conduct again and again despite overwhelming evidence of seriously problematic behaviour, this reads like an organisation still far too cautious and timid to tackle the racists in its midst head-on.

Warwick Uni criticised for lack of action against ‘Israeli lobby’ lecturer
Jewish students at Warwick have criticised their University for saying a lecturer’s link between Labour members’ antisemitism investigations and an “Israeli lobby” was a matter of free speech.

The original comments were made in November last year by Dr Goldie Osuri, an associate professor of sociology, and led to a complaint from the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Warwick Jewish and Israel Society (JISoc).

In a recording heard by Jewish News, Osuri says: “So the next time they say that the Labour Party is antisemitic, or you know there are some people possibly that are possibly antisemitic, but the idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea, the idea that you want to discredit the Labour Party because there is support for Palestine among some members of the Labour Party.”

UJS and Warwick’s JISoc accused Osuri of antisemitism but a University spokesman said at the time that Osuri felt this was “a misrepresentation” of what she had said.

A formal investigation by the head of the department, concluding in January, was labelled “immensely disappointing” and “a shameful abdication of the University’s responsibilities” by Warwick JISoc president Angus Taylor, who also investigators were “biased” and that the University was “set up” to protect antisemitism.

This investigation found that outlined that Osuri’s comments “opened up the space for dialogue and discussion as would be expected in an academic environment and that the statement made in the lecture holds within the principles and values of tolerance and free speech”.
Cambridge Jewish community speaks out on 'suffocating' antisemitism
Though Cambridge is often seen as an accepting, liberal and diverse city, antisemitism is stil a grim reality of life in the city.

Five Cambridge Jews have lifted the lid on the casual antisemitism they face and the feeling of "suffocation" it can create.

In 2019, the UK saw a record high in antisemitic hate incidents reported by Jewish charity Community Security Trust. They state incidents have increased every year since 2015, with a spike in online abuse.

In July, grime artist Wiley sparked outrage with antisemitic tweets he refused to apologise for, and the Labour party agreed to a payout to whistleblowers who drew attention to the party's alleged culture of antisemitism.

In light of this, five Cambridge locals have spoken out about being heckled in the street, graffiti on synagogues, exhaustion and alienation faced, as well as the protection given by the accepting nature of the Cambridge bubble.
French Public Radio Station Ripped for ‘Fake News’ Report Claiming IDF Destroyed Palestinian COVID-19 Treatment Facilities
The government body that regulates electronic media in France has warned one of the country’s largest public radio stations that it must feature a balance of views in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The announcement on Thursday from the regulatory body, the CSA, followed a protest from a member of parliament concerning a report broadcast last April on France Inter, a popular public radio station, that claimed the Israeli military had destroyed medical equipment destined for Palestinian Authority hospitals battling the spread of coronavirus.

In a letter to French lawmaker Meyer Habib — who denounced the entire report as “Fake News” — the CSA acknowledged that “given the differing interpretations of the reported facts, it would have been necessary to inform listeners that the expression of the different points of view was assured.”

The CSA told Habib it had “warned” Radio France — France Inter’s parent broadcaster — about the importance of fair and accurate reporting of the conflict.

Habib had originally taken the broadcaster to task for its April 23 report, pointing out in a letter of protest that its correspondent in the Palestinian city of Ramallah had “spoken exclusively with anti-Israel activists.”
McGill Daily Again Endorses and Promotes Anti-Israel Groups
With the new school year almost upon us, we’re not surprised one iota that the McGill Daily has endorsed anti-Israel groups Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) and McGill Students in Solidarity with Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR).

The McGill Daily, a campus paper accused of antisemitism for its anti-Zionist stance, known for singling Israel out for exclusive condemnation, and whose content is created partly by these anti-Israel groups, produced an article on September 2 by Kate Ellis and Willa Holt entitled “A guide to groups on and off campus” which recommended and promoted these anti-Israel organizations.

Naturally, the Daily didn’t recommend any pro-Israel Jewish groups like Hillel McGill, Israel on Campus McGill, Hasbara Fellowships Canada or Stand With Us Canada.

Author Willa Holt previously accused Israel of “pinkwashing” and “apartheid” and produced another article which maligned Israel.
Globe Reporter Gratuitously Refers to “Sport-Washing” Allegation Against Israeli-Canadian Philanthropist
In an otherwise positive report which profiled Sylvan Adams, a successful businessman formerly from Montreal and now a prominent philanthropist who lives in Israel about his co-ownership of the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team, for some reason, Globe and Mail reporter Paul Waldie dragged in a gratuitous accusation that Adams’ engaged in “sport-washing”.

Waldie’s August 28 article said the following:
Critics have accused him of “sport-washing” and using high-profile events to cover up Israel’s human-rights record. ISN also ran into controversy in 2017 when Turkish cyclist Ahmet Orken, who is Muslim, quit the team after three months because of pressure from his family.

Adams offers no apologies. “When you compare [our actions] with other countries … are we sport-washing? No, we are just participating in sport,” he said. He regretted Orken’s departure and said ISN is open to riders from all cultures and faiths, including Palestinians. Canadian riders, too, are a priority, and next year Mike Woods, one of Canada’s best cyclists, will join the team.

For now, Adams just hopes the Tour will make it to the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and that ISN will prove it has arrived. “We’re bringing Israel into the sport and we’re going to turn some heads,” he said.”
Canary journalist who shared antisemitic tropes is linked to 'Russian propaganda' news site
A staff writer for The Canary website who previously shared antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media has been contributing to a news site that has been removed from Facebook and Twitter over claims it is a Russian-influenced network actively targeting the UK.

Steve Topple - who previously said that Jews should be held responsible for the “growing Zionist cancer” – has confirmed on his own social media profile page that he was working as a “columnist” for PeaceData.

A recent article by Mr Topple for PeaceData on Belarus and its exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya saw him brand her as “little more than a Western regime change puppet.”

But in a statement by Facebook on networks that the platform had removed in August, it was confirmed that PeaceData was among 13 accounts excised over links to the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA).

It added that their “activity focused primarily on the US, UK, Algeria and Egypt.”

Facebook confirmed that it had decided to act after receiving a tip-off from the FBI about Peace Data’s “off-platform activity.”
Sky News errs in claim Israeli occupation is 'illegal'
An Aug. 31st Sky News article (“Historic first direct flight between Israel and UAE in wake of deal to normalise relations”) included the following claim:
The normalisation deal materialised after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to shelve plans to annex parts of the Palestinian territories which it illegally occupies in the West Bank.

However, as we’ve noted previously, though West Bank settlements are deemed illegal by much of the international community, that’s not the case with the ‘occupation’ itself (Israeli control of Judea and Samaria), where there is no such legal consensus.
Kochav Hashachar (Photo by CAMERA UK)

You can read a good short analysis here on why it’s incorrect to refer to the occupation as illegal.

In fact, in 2016, our colleagues prompted a correction at the NY Times on the same issue. Here’s the NY Times editor’s note noting the correction:
An article on Jan. 13 about a divestment action against Israeli banks by the United Methodist Church pension board referred incorrectly to the Palestinian territories, where, the board said, the banks help finance Israeli settlement construction. While most of the world officially considers the territories to be occupied, and the settlements illegal, there is no consensus that the occupation itself is illegal.

Further, also in 2016, CAMERA UK prompted a correction at a British publication on the same issue.

Unfortunately, our efforts to convince Sky News to correct the claim have thus far not been successful.
Another superficial report on Corona in Gaza from the BBC’s Yolande Knell
Listeners to the August 30th afternoon edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ heard a report from Yolande Knell (from 35:05 here) on the same topic which recycled some of the content and themes that appeared in her earlier report for BBC Radio 4. The portrayal of the blockade promoted in the second sentence of the introduction by presenter James Coomarasamy was no more satisfactory.

Coomarasamy: “The Gaza Strip remains in lockdown following the first major outbreak of the Coronavirus there, with tests being carried out to find out how many people are affected. Gaza is blockaded by Israel and Egypt over what they argue are security concerns.”

As in her previous report, Knell implied linkage between the counter-terrorism measures imposed by Israel and Egypt and the state of the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip.

Knell: “Gaza’s hospitals are already overburdened and short on supplies and medical equipment. Since the start of the pandemic, health experts have warned that a big outbreak of Covid 19 here would be a real reason for concern. The Strip’s been under a tight blockade since the militant group Hamas took over more than a decade ago.”

Once again listeners were not informed that the restrictions imposed by Israel on the entry of goods and materials to the Gaza Strip are confined to dual-use items – i.e. those which can be used for the purpose of terrorism – and once again they heard nothing whatsoever about how infighting between Hamas and Fatah – along with Hamas’ prioritisation of terror over civilian welfare – has affected services such as water, power and healthcare in the Gaza Strip.
Swedish Muslims chant about killing Jews at Malmo protest
Demonstrations by Muslims in the Swedish city of Malmo against a far-right lawmaker turned violent and included chants in Arabic about killing Jews.

Some protesters attending at least one of the rallies staged against a plan by Rasmus Paludan, the leader of Denmark’s far-right anti-immigration Hard Line party, to burn a copy of the Quran in Malmo chanted “Khaybar Khaybar oh, Jews, Muhammad’s army will return.”

The chants reference a massacre of the Jews in the town of Khaybar, in northwestern Arabia, in 628 C.E.

In the rioting, several cars were set ablaze and at least 10 people were arrested. Authorities in Sweden prevented Paludan from actually traveling to Malmo.

“We take this incident extremely seriously and call on the police and other responsible authorities to prosecute those individuals who through this act have committed incitement to hatred against ethnic groups,” the Council of Swedish Jewish Communities wrote in a statement.
‘Get Zionism out of Argentina’ is spray-painted in small Argentine city
The phrases “Get Zionism out of Argentina” and “Israel Terrorism” were spray-painted alongside roads in Lujan de Cuyo, a small city in the Mendoza province nearly 650 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.

The city’s mayor, Sebastian Bragagnolo, condemned the vandalism, saying Wednesday that “it goes completely against the values ​​in which we Lujaninos believe.”

Some 3,000 Jews live in Mendoza province, which has a population of 1.9 million.

“It is very uncomfortable to see … it is irritating, but we are pleased by the quick reaction of the local government,” Marcos Horenstein, representative of the Mendoza chapter of the Jewish political umbrella group DAIA, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Last week, posters with the phrase “Jews are the virus” showed up in Neuquen, a city nearly 700 miles south of Buenos Aires.
Teen accused of neo-Nazi terror 'rated himself 9 or 10 on Hitler scale', court told
A teenager accused of preparing for acts of Neo-Nazi terror told police he was "a nine to 10" on a scale with 10 as "full-on" Hitler, a jury has heard.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that the 17-year-old made the comment following his arrest in September last year, after advising members of the so-called Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) on how to convert a blank-firing gun into a live weapon.

The youth was interviewed around a fortnight after his home was raided, and asked to explain gun-making instructions found on his phone, and knives and a home-made gun stock seized from his bedroom.

Describing the police interviews to jurors during the third day of the Crown's opening speech, prosecutor Matthew Brook said the boy, from Rugby in Warwickshire, claimed his actions had "all been a fantasy".

Mr Brook said the boy told police he had been talking to Neo-Nazis on the internet for a matter of months.

The prosecutor told jurors: "They had discussed their extreme dislike for some racial groups and he had also talked to them about making firearms and specifically about using blank-firing guns as a basis to build functional weapons.

"He said to the police that he had held right-wing views for a number of years, but he had recently been talking to more extreme people.

"He claimed that, although he had been discussing with these people about converting guns, it had in fact all been a fantasy and he had not done anything in the real world."
NYPD Launches Hate Crime Investigation After Jewish-Owned Law Firm in Bronx Daubed With Neo-Nazi Slogans
Police were investigating a hate crime in the Bronx borough of New York City on Wednesday after the offices of a Jewish-owned law firm were targeted with antisemitic and white supremacist graffiti.

Unidentified vandals sprayed a Nazi swastika and the words “white power” onto the front entrance of the law offices of Getz & Braverman in the Concourse Village neighborhood.

One of the partners in the firm told local outlet News 12 that he had been in the neighborhood for 45 years and had never experienced such an incident until now.

“My hope is that it was just somebody looking for attention, and no one who has actual cause for a white power or believes that placing a swastika on a Jewish law firm is going to intimidate anybody, because really it’s not,” Michael Braverman told the broadcaster.

Braverman added that he had been deeply disturbed by the episode.

“I was shocked,” he said. “It’s one thing to read reports of it, and be sickened seeing it in other places, but when there’s a swastika in front of your establishment, it’s heart-wrenching.”
Israel, India close to signing billion-dollar deal for AWACs
As tensions once again rise between India and China, the Indian cabinet is set to approve an order of two Phalcon AWACs from Israel.

Indian media have reported that the deal, reportedly about $1 billion, has been in the works for the past few years. It is now nearing the final stage and is expected to be discussed in the next Cabinet Committee on Security meeting.

Mounted on a Russian Ilyushin-76 heavy-lift aircraft, the system has active electronic steering array, L-Band radar with 360° coverage, and can detect and track incoming aircraft, cruise missiles and drones before ground-based radars.

The first three Phalcon AWACS were obtained by the Indian Air Force in 2009 after a $1.1b. deal was signed between India, Israel and Russia in 2004.

Last year, The Times of India reported that New Delhi was likely to approve the deal with Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary ELTA Systems Ltd. to acquire the two AWACs at a cost of $800 million, but the Finance Ministry had objected to the high costs of the new deal.
Israel’s Electra Group Strikes $80 Million Deal With Tesla
The Polish subsidiary of Israel’s Electra Group, Electra M&E Polska, has signed an agreement to perform electromechanical work for American electric vehicle corporation Tesla in a deal valued at more than $80 million.

The work will take place in Tesla’s new factory that is currently being built near German capital Berlin. It is Tesla’s fourth plant in the world, and the first in Europe.

“We are proud to be a partner in a strategic agreement with a groundbreaking company like Tesla, and see it as a significant milestone in Electra’s positioning as a leading player in the electromechanical field in Europe,” said Itamar Deutscher, CEO of Electra.

The new factory outside Berlin is set to manufacture Tesla’s Model Y. Electra M&E Polska recently completed electromechanical projects for German car manufacturing giants Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes in deals reaching more than $75 million.

“This collaboration joins a series of agreements that Electra has signed in the last two years to perform electromechanical work for leading car companies in Europe,” added Deutscher. “The technological knowledge and many years of experience that Electra has gained in managing works in this field, will allow us to express all the group’s abilities and skills at the highest level of workmanship and quality.”
CityHawk: The Flying Car Developed by Israelis

In Israeli-Italian venture, tiny satellite launches into space
The Dido-3 nanosatellite, weighing just 2.3 kilograms (five pounds), was launched into space Thursday morning. A product of Israeli-Italian collaboration, the shoebox-sized space laboratory is designed to perform experiments and gather medical, biological and chemical data.

Designed by Israeli company Space Pharma with the Israeli and Italian space agencies, the Dido-3 was one of 53 spacecraft from 13 countries launched into space on a Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana in South America, where the local time was Tuesday night.

According to a statement by the Israel Space Agency, the nanosatellite allows for experiments to be conducted economically, with multiple tests conducted simultaneously. Four experiments are to be conducted by the spacecraft, each of which is headed by an Israeli and an Italian researcher. The Israeli researchers represent the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Hashomer Hospital, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“Space is an optimal place for conducting biological and chemical experiments, and to develop new drugs … [because] bacteria in outer space develop rapid drug resistance due to the extraordinary stress conditions, and a drug that can be shown to effectively combat these strains is likely to easily outperform similar terrestrial bacteria,” the Israel Space Agency statement said.
Israel and Italy to Launch Nano-Statellite Into Space

Apple TV Releases Official Trailer for New Israeli Spy Thriller ‘Tehran’
Apple TV+ debuted on Wednesday the official trailer for “Tehran,” an eight-episode spy thriller co-created by “Fauda” writer Moshe Zonder.

The first three episodes of “Tehran” will premiere globally on the streaming platform on Sept. 25, followed by new episodes every Friday.

The show is about Tamar, an Israeli Mossad agent, who goes undercover in Tehran to help destroy an Iranian nuclear reactor. When her mission fails and she is trapped under her false identity, Tamar must plan an operation that puts her life, and those close to her, in jeopardy.

Zonder is the show’s creator alongside Dana Eden and Maor Kohn. Daniel Syrkin serves as director, while Zonder and Omri Shenhar are the show’s writers.

The series is executive produced by Zonder, Dana Eden, Shula Spiegel, Alon Aranya, Julien Leroux, Peter Emerson and Eldad Koblenz; and produced by Donna and Shula Productions in association with Paper Plane Productions, with the participation of Cineflix Rights and Cosmote TV.

At popular Jerusalem promenade, archaeologists find a First Temple-era palace
Archaeologists have uncovered majestic column heads from a First Temple-era palace at Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv promenade, with the remnants of the ancient building going on public display for the first time on Thursday.

The owner of the lavish Jerusalem mansion — which would have enjoyed a monumental view of the Old City and the Temple — remains a mystery, but archaeologists were able to date the finds back to the era of the Judean kings, due to the proto-Aeolic features of the soft limestone architecture.

The finds include three complete medium-sized limestone “capitals” and items from lavish window frames, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Thursday.

The column head design will appear strikingly familiar to Israelis — it adorns the five-shekel coin of the modern State of Israel in tribute to the First Temple era.

“This is a very exciting discovery,” said Yaakov Billig, of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “This is a first-time discovery of scaled-down models of the giant proto-Aeolian capitals, of the kind found thus far in the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, where they were incorporated above the royal palace gates. The level of workmanship on these capitals is the best seen to date, and the degree of preservation of the items is rare.”

Experts believe the residence was built between the reigns of kings Hezekiah and Josiah, after the Assyrian siege on the city was lifted. Residents of Jerusalem then ventured outside the walled City of David and expanded the city, said Billig.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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