Wednesday, October 07, 2020

From Ian:

Khalaf Al Habtoor: To the Palestinians and My Fellow Arabs: Your Hatred for Israel Achieves Nothing
There is a valid argument that says the Israelis have been intransigent. But the same can also be said for the Palestinians who still insist on the right of return for refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. Never going to happen, and they know that full well.

They would be better off asking the host nations to tear down the camps and allow the refugees the right to work and own their own home. Refugees pass on false hopes to their children along with the keys to the former homes of their fathers or grandfathers and keep a visceral hatred for Israelis alive down the generations. I believe this is unfair for both generations.

There are two million Palestinians, the descendants of Palestinians who stayed in 1948, who have Israeli nationality. Most take pride in their Arab heritage whether Muslims or Christians, yet are content to call themselves Arab Israelis.

It is beyond time for the Palestinians to quit blaming everyone else for their situation today. Instead of condemning long-standing Arab allies, who have stood by them to the tune of billions of dollars, and in the case of Egypt and Syria, waged war with Israel on their behalf, they should first quit feuding with each other.

Hamas and other militant groups must turn their backs on violence that rebounds onto the poor residents of Gaza and is the main reason for the crippling blockade. Arabs should not support a Hamas that is 100 percent Palestinian yet cosies up to Iran.

The beauty of the Abraham Accords is that it greatly benefits all signatories in terms of trade, commerce, tourism, technology and security. Moreover, it cements a united front against Iran, a common enemy working towards manufacturing nuclear weapons with which to hold its neighbors hostage.

Provided this new détente is successful, Israel will want to preserve the agreement, and thus we will gain the ability to push for Palestinian rights from a position of strength. This is basic common sense.

Compromise only occurs when both sides have something important to lose. The more Arab states that join Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain that have peace treaties with Israel, the more influential our bloc will become within the U.S. and on the world’s stage.
Ami Horowitz: The Danger of the Progressive Hate Group, If Not Now
They are a radical Leftist Anti-Israel hate group that supports terrorists and partners with antisemites.


Ruthie Blum: The 'chemistry' of anti-Israel propaganda
This is not the first time that Ariel University – whose 16,000 students and 450 senior faculty members include all sectors of Israeli society, including many Arabs and Druze – has been targeted by left-wing academics who toe the Palestinian line.

As the Palestinian news agency WAFA proudly reported on Monday: "In 2018, more than half of the invited speakers withdrew from a scientific workshop at Ariel University following appeals from Palestinian and international scholars. Prominent scientists published a letter in The Guardian stating that science should not be used 'to normalize [Israel's] occupation of the Palestinian territories.'

"The Israeli Sociological Society, the Israeli Anthropological Association, the European Association of Social Anthropology and the Exeter, Leeds, Open, Aberdeen, Brunel and Brighton University and College Union branches have all pledged not to collaborate with Ariel University."

It is no wonder, then, that the Nobel Prize-winning Smith – a professor at the University of Missouri and a board member of the Palestinian initiative, "No Academic Business as Usual with Ariel University" – was delighted by his latest achievement.

"Sadly, [Levine] has refused, effectively choosing pro-occupation propaganda over her own academic freedom and the larger interest of the global science community in unfettered publication of scientific ideas and results," he told his Palestinian buddies. "The editors of Molecules are to be commended for taking the only responsible course of action in the circumstances."

Perhaps Smith should spend more time learning psychology than lapping up Palestinian efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Doing so might help him realize the transparency of his projection.

Ditto for Levitt, his partner in crime against academic freedom, who called the move by Molecules "wise and excellent" while expressing hope that "many other academic journals will follow suit."

Indeed, it is Smith, Levitt and the editors of Molecules – not Levine – who are putting propaganda over academic freedom in the "larger interest of the global science community in unfettered publication of scientific ideas and results."

Shame on them for using their probing minds to prove a hypothesis based on a political slant.


Bethany Mandel: Jews should condemn attacks against Amy Coney Barrett based on her faith
The practical consequences of this line of reasoning could be devastating: The next time someone like Joe Lieberman runs for office, do Jews really want critiques of Judaism and the Orthodox community to be fair game?

Jews have honorably served in every branch in government. But we also must harbor concerns that someone will express concern that our “dogma” lives too loudly within them to do our jobs effectively. As it is, those Jews with strong connections to Israel face deeper scrutiny in the national security realm, facing more hurdles for security clearance and jobs in national intelligence. Do we really want to stand by as religion is made into even more of a cudgel with which to criticize individual members?

Accusations of dual loyalty have plagued Jewish Americans for decades, and that suspicion that one cannot be loyal to one’s faith and one’s country simultaneously is part of what drives the continued suspicion of Jews in government. Jews and Catholics in America have a great deal in common, and one of the strongest ties between the two faiths is the animus we have faced throughout American history and politics.

This is, of course, a charge that Jewish Americans of all levels of observance should be on the lookout for and rally against. Writing for Haaretz, my friend Jonathan Tobin, editor in chief of the Jewish News Syndicate, challenged the Jewish community to soul-search about its role in the debate over Barrett and her nomination. He wrote in support of religious freedom, explaining, “Religious freedom for me but not for thee is not a sentiment that is consistent with the constitution or with the long-term interest of Jewish Americans. Liberal Jews may not support Barrett, but if they don’t criticize attempts to impose religious tests or counter contempt for her faith, they will be undermining the case for their rights, too.”

In a sane world, denouncing this kind of religious bias would be within the wheelhouse of mainstream organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and rabbinic groups, and yet, they have to date been silent. But we don’t need to wait for Jewish organizations to combat anti-religious bias in order to condemn it as a community or as individuals.

So as the confirmation fight heats up, the Jewish community needs to be clear about what modes of questioning and attack are and are not fair game. These lines of attack are setting what would be a dangerous precedent for anti-Semitic avenues of criticism for any future Jews seeking confirmation to any position before Congress. It isn’t just good karma to stand up for our Catholic countrymen — it serves as a bulwark against the same weapons being used against us.


David Collier: Scotland v Israel – will the Scottish press finally tell the truth?
A question that will be answered this week – will the Scottish press finally tell the truth about anti-Israel activism in Scotland? To assist them, I have written this post and will tag Scottish media accounts when I share this on social media.

On Thursday evening the Israeli football team is coming to Hampden Park for the UEFA Euro qualifier play off. From experience we know that an anti-Israel demonstration will take place. We can also assume it will be misreported by the Scottish press. If Scottish media cover it at all, they will publish sympathetic articles about the protest, that are overflowing with propaganda and lies.

To help change the formula, I want to show the Scottish press *in advance* those organising and likely to attend to the demonstration. This way, when the event takes place, they will KNOW who they are writing about and act accordingly. I am certain that no Scottish member of the press would knowingly write sympathetic articles about terrorist supporters, antisemites, hypocritical Islamists and Holocaust deniers who have gathered to protest, all just because a team from the Jewish state has arrived to play in Scotland.

To the Scottish press, These are key people who have organised or are likely to be present at the demonstration: Mick Napier will be there, head of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. An organisation shown to be inundated with hard-core antisemitic activists. His organisation continues to promote the voices of those that share Holocaust denial, racism and antisemitic conspiracy theory. His platform spews out blatant lies about Israel. Napier is a man who does not blink in the presence of the Hezbollah flag and often speaks at the pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah, Al-Quds demonstration in London. Mick Napier has been convicted of aggravated trespass during his campaign to chase a Jewish businessman out of Scotland. The man is simply toxic.

Stevie Docherty or Stevie Mecroni is the main activist advertising the event online. Docherty has shared antisemitic conspiracy that blames the Jews for 9/11.
Is It Possible to Curb the Extreme Bias of the BBC?
For decades, there has been a steady stream of complaints about the BBC’s anti-Israel bias. Yet other than criticize the BBC publicly, there was little anyone could do. That may have changed. In June 2020, Tim Davie became the BBC’s new director general. He wants to make the BBC’s reporting impartial. This would be a good occasion for the publication of the secret 2004 Malcolm Balen report about BBC reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Former Israeli ambassador to the UK Zvi Shtauber told me in an interview in 2005: The BBC is a problem in itself. Over the years I had endless conversations with them. Any viewer who looks at the BBC’s information on Israel for a consistent period gets a distorted picture. It doesn’t result from a single broadcast here or there. It derives from the BBC’s method of broadcasting. When reporting from Israel, the mosque on the Temple Mount is usually shown in the background, which gives viewers the impression that Jerusalem is predominantly Muslim.

Shtauber summed up his remarks by saying it was almost a daily task for him to react to BBC distortions about Israel.

There has been a steady stream of complaints for decades about the BBC’s anti-Israel bias—more than enough to fill a book. Camera UK maintains a special monitoring site solely to focus on the BBC’s anti-Israel bias.

Here are a few recent examples. Senior BBC producer Rosie Garthwaite is working on a new documentary critical of Israeli actions in East Jerusalem. She has admitted to sharing inaccurate pro-Palestinian propaganda on social media. She deleted a false map from her personal Twitter account that greatly overstated alleged Palestinian land loss to Israel, and she has been accused of sharing other false or controversial claims about Israel on social media. Garthwaite has wrongly suggested that Gaza has only one border, and that that sole border is controlled by Israel. This is just a sampling of her anti-Israel propaganda.

Senior BBC journalist Nimesh Thaker used the Twitter account @notthatbothered to belittle antisemitism. He promotes extremists like Jackie Walker, who was expelled from the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s chairmanship due to her antisemitism. Thaker has also used an anonymous social media account to support a text against Jewish presenter Emma Barnett after she spoke out about the personal impact of antisemitism on her life.

Jewish activist David Collier wrote that one need not wonder why the leftist fringe group Jewish Voice for Labour is so often given BBC airtime. He added that people like Thaker write the news that millions of people read each day. He concluded that nothing in Britain bears more responsibility for the spread of the false anti-Israel narrative than the BBC.
Jewish Democratic Council Releases Kaddish Ad, Blasting Trump’s Response to COVID-19
The political action committee of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, JDCA PAC, released an ad on Tuesday featuring the Jewish mourner’s Kaddish in response to US President Donald Trump’s controversial actions and video statements about COVID-19 after he returned to the White House on Monday. The president had spent three nights at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center being treated for symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

The jarring ad features a photo of a stone about to be put on top of a grave marker that already consists of stones on top of it, in lieu of flowers and in accordance with Jewish tradition.

Alongside the Kaddish being recited is audio of Trump’s past statements on the pandemic, such as “It is what it is,” as an increasing number of COVID-19 deaths flash across the screen. To date, more than 7.7 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with nearly 215,000 recorded deaths as a result of the highly infectious disease.

The ad ends with the word “VOTE” at the conclusion of the Kaddish.


Orthodox Jewish Leaders Decry Cuomo’s ‘Draconian’ Measures to Restrict Worship Amid Virus Rise
Professing his “respect and love” for the Orthodox Jewish community, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced major restrictions and closures in parts of the state designated as “COVID clusters,” areas that have an overwhelmingly large Orthodox community.

“I understand the imposition this will place on them,” the governor said on Tuesday afternoon after a morning meeting with leaders in the Jewish community. “I said I need their cooperation; I need their assistance. I asked them to work with me to follow these guidelines, and that was positively received. I said that I am doing this for a very simple reason—because I have such respect and love for the Orthodox community. … It’s out of respect and love, and because I want to protect them.

“In Jewish teaching, one of the most precious principles is to save a life,” Cuomo continued, noting that the Torah allows one to violate certain rules in order to do so.

Under the governor’s plan are three color-coded levels of rules. In red zones, the hotspot areas, houses of worship will be limited to just 10 people, mass gatherings are prohibited, and all non-essential businesses will be closed, as will schools. In surrounding areas—so-called orange zones—houses of worship will be limited to 25 people with mass gatherings limited to 10 people. The outer-ringed yellow zone will face some restrictions; houses of worship can have 50 percent capacity, and schools will remain open with additional virus testing.

Taking to social media, some Orthodox Jews sharply criticized the governor’s announcement, while others expected that it would lead to more antisemitism.

“Responsible leaders have been working around the clock to increase compliance, masks and distancing to make community safety a highest priority,” said Chaskel Bennett, a community leader in a post on Twitter. “Despite multiple calls to fight, we had resolved to try to work with [Mayor Bill de Blasio] and [Cuomo]. Blindsiding us won’t get better results.”

“I’m extremely disappointed by the governor’s new rules and creation of zones for the COVID hot spots,” Rivkie Feiner, a small-business owner and member of the Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, NY, told JNS. “They are very confusing, and we have more questions than answers right now. We feel targeted, and his way of handling the situation right now is causing antisemitism to skyrocket to levels I haven’t seen in my lifetime.”


Brooklyn Haredim Defy Pandemic Rules in Dense, Unmasked Holiday Gatherings
According to The NY Post, one such crowded rally took place around 9 PM Tuesday, at the corner of 50th Street and 15th Avenue, where community activist and radio host Heshy Tischler attacked Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio over the order to shut down schools and restrict synagogue attendance to 10 in some pandemic hot spots.

Most of Borough Park is considered a hot zone, based on what the governor described as coronavirus diagnosis data.

Tischler riled up the crowd, saying: “It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back. Do not allow them to torture you or scare you.”

On 13th Av., City Councilman Kalman Yeger told a different crowd: “We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion.”

The protesters shut down 13th Avenue to traffic and after midnight set garbage cans at the intersection of 46th Street and 13th Avenue. Two city sheriff’s deputies responded to the fire but were scared away by the crowd, who chanted “Jewish lives matter.” The fires were finally put out by FDNY firefighters and NYPD officers around 1:30 in the morning.
Jewish leaders ask Welsh party why activist not expelled for ‘antisemitic’ posts
Jewish leaders have sent a letter to the chair of Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru, urging it to expel a member who has reportedly shared antisemitic material on social media.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and South Wales Jewish Representative Council wrote to the party’s head, Alan Fred Jones, expressing its “deep concern” over the refusal to take action against member, Sahar Al-Faifi.

“Regrettably, a message has been sent to Jews and antisemites that antisemitism is tolerated in Plaid Cymru”, the letter said.

Sheila Gewolb, senior vice president of the Board and Laurence Kahn, chair of South Wales Jewish Representative Council, claim that Al-Faifi is a “serial poster” of antisemitic material, after propagating an antisemitic conspiracy theory linking police violence in America with Israel.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody in the USA, Sahar Al-Faifi posted a now deleted tweet, saying: “If you wonder where did these American cops trained, look no further than Israel. Oppression is one and the struggle is transitional.”

However, the letter says that this is not an isolated incident and alleges that Al-Faifi’s antisemitic behaviour has been ongoing for years, including propagating Rothschild conspiracy theories and trying to blame Jews for the June 2017 London Bridge terror attack.

Sahar Al-Faifi said in a statement: “My tweet on 1st of June 2020 was based on [an] Amnesty USA report from 2016 titled: ‘Where do many police departments train? In Israel.’

“Amnesty made a clarification, four years after the report, on 25th of June 2020, stating that the Israeli state is one of the countries where American policemen trained.
UK minister under police protection after receiving antisemitic threats
UK Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has received police protection following death threats and antisemitic hate mail made regarding his involvement in the handling of the proposed Westminster Holocaust Memorial, the Jewish Chronicle reported Monday.

The incident occurred following a High Court hearing last month, where London Historic Parks argued that there was a conflict of interest regarding the proposed memorial, though Jenrick and the Housing Communities and Local Government Ministry (MHCLG) argued their involvement was handled "in an objective manner," the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Opponents towards the planned memorial subsequently began sending various threats to the minister including threatening to murder his family and set his home on fire, the report stated.

“The allegations made against MHCLG, myself and the project team by those who seek to stop the memorial were baseless and disgraceful," Jenrick tweeted on Monday.

“That I was subject to antisemitic smears for supporting it only confirms its paramount importance.

“There will now be an independent planning inquiry at which the arguments for and against will be heard. As the applicant for the project, I will continue to make the case strongly. This critical project is a national symbol of our determination to #neverforget.”

Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle on Monday, Jenrick explained that “The behavior of some of the opponents to the memorial has been shocking and disgraceful.
UK universities must adopt IHRA antisemitism definition, minister says
The British government is "actively exploring" means to insure that all universities in the United Kingdom adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, Minister of State for Universities Michelle Donelan said Tuesday, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Donelan was approached about the issue by MP Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Select Committe, following a Union of Jewish Students survey that showed only 29 out of 133 British higher education institutes recognized the IHRA definition, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

Among the most notable institutions unwilling to adopt the IHRA definition were Cambridge and Oxford.

“Universities seem to be very active in terms of pulling down statues, but when it comes to the Holocaust so many seem prepared to turn a blind eye,” Halfon said, according to the Jewish Chronicle. “Is this not shameful?”

Donelan agreed, saying that she wants “to see every university adopting this definition – so did my predecessors who have written several times to the universities on this matter, including [Secretary of State Robert Jenick], I believe.
Ash Sarkar complains she was “crucified” for criticising Labour antisemitism as she and Owen Jones continue to whitewash their role in defending Jeremy Corbyn amid antisemitism allegations
The controversial far-left activist-journalists, Ash Sarkar and Owen Jones, are continuing their effort to distance themselves from the antisemitism scandal that engulfed Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, now that the electorate rendered its verdict clear and the Equality and Human Rights Commission prepares its report into the Party.

In an interview to promote Mr Jones’ new book, Ms Sarkar, a contributing editor of Novara Media, lamented how both she and Mr Jones had been “really crucified” in the “debate” over the antisemitism scandal.

She said: “The most emotionally challenging and difficult part of the book to read, especially for me, was on antisemitism. And I think the reason why it was so emotionally difficult was [that] both you and I have a shared experience of being really crucified by both polarised sides of the debate. On the one hand, doing media appearances and being seen as, you know, the living embodiment of vicious, vitriolic antisemitism; and then, on the other hand, certain sections of the Left decrying me as a ‘traitor’ for saying more needs to be done, or maybe this needs to be handled in this way, or maybe it’s not all a ‘smear’ and that there are these things that need to be dealt with. So I think, as a chapter, it’s very emotionally painful.”

It is extraordinary that Ms Sarkar and Mr Jones (to the extent that he agrees with her) could see themselves as victims of Labour’s antisemitism scandal, when they used their considerable influence and wide-reaching platforms to defend Mr Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party at every opportunity, in spite of its rampant antisemitism and the terror it caused British Jews.

One might forgive Ms Sarkar’s use of the phrase “really crucified” as an unintended further insult, suggesting as it does that it is the Jewish community that is to blame for her “emotional pain”.

Viewers will draw their own conclusions from Ms Sarkar’s revelation that it was her, rather than the Jewish community, who was the real victim in this sorry saga.


Harvard Hires Palestinian Leader Saeb Erekat: Here's Why it Matters

Let’s play Hen Mazzig -vs- Ariel Gold debate Bingo!
Greetings & Salutations! So apparently someone stole a story out of our Dream Journal, because Ariel Gold & Hen Mazzig are debating this Thursday, because 2020, right? Anyhoo, this promises to be Off. The. Hook. After consulting with Guest Writer/Daily Freier Intel source Arielle Calvo, we found a way for you to play along from home. We know you have some amazing rules you could make up for this event that will render you unfit to operate a motor vehicle, so we will leave you to it.

Make your own rules. Pretend you’re Bibi’s government designing our current Corona Lockdown!
PreOccupiedTerritory: I Did My Part To Free Palestine By Vandalizing A Jewish Grave (satire)
In the final reckoning, when the time comes to reward those who contributed to the greater good and to assess the penalty for those who stood by – or worse, impeded progress toward a better world – as others expelled the usurping infidel from sacred Palestine, I can state with confidence I will number among the former, having fulfilled my duty by damaging the tombstone of a Jew in France.

Some have the opportunity to make more direct contributions to the cause, such as throwing firebombs at Jewish motorists in the hills and valleys west of the Jordan River. Alas, not every devoted pursuer of goodness and peace lives in proximity to the right evil people, that he may act against them more or less daily. Some of us, distanced from the central arena where the epic action unfolds, must identify alternative methods by means of which to bring Utopia closer. In my case, that was accomplished by going into a century-old Jewish cemetery here in Paris and toppling the stone of some dead dhimmi. Thus did I help free Palestine from the chokehold of the Zionist pig-apes.

For better or for worse, many fewer Jews remain in Europe, where I immigrated from Dar-al-Islam, than when Palestine became a sacred cause, before the Second World War. For better, because fewer Jews, and that is self-explanatory; for wore, because fewer Jews translates into fewer opportunities to kill Jews and thereby advance the banner of a free Islamic Palestine. We who seek to play a meaningful part in this eternal struggle against evil must work to find avenues toward that participation, avenues that, owing to the relative paucity of Jews in a post-Nazi Europe, often necessitate targeting the dead. But play a meaningful part we must.
New York Times Op-Ed Page Gives Peter Beinart a Promotion
Peter Beinart, who in July published an op-ed in The New York Times renouncing Zionism and calling for the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel, has joined the paper’s opinion section “as a contributing opinion writer,” Beinart announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

Aside from a byline identifier on his column, there was no immediate official announcement from The New York Times, perhaps because in 2020 the announcement of any new white or Jewish male contributing opinion writer, even an anti-Zionist one, would have to be paired or diluted with a dose of more demographically-appropriate hires.

The biographical information line on Beinart’s first column as a “contributing opinion writer” offered new details about how his work is funded. It describes him as “a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace.”

The Foundation’s latest tax filing, dated July 2019, discloses that Beinart was paid $110,000 for “consulting.” The Foundation also lists a $135,000 contribution from the Alexander Soros Foundation. Beinart has described Alex Soros, a son of the financier George Soros, as “a friend who has donated to think tanks to support my work.”

State payroll data available at Seethroughny.net indicates that Beinart earned $165,275 in 2019 as a professor of journalism at the City University of New York.

The elevation of Beinart to the “contributing opinion writer” post is the latest in a series of developments signaling a new tilt at the paper — that Zionism is South Africa-style racist apartheid and that a one-state solution is preferable to a Jewish state and a Palestinian-Arab state.

Beinart’s July op-ed called for Israel’s replacement with a country Beinart calls “Israel-Palestine,” “a Jewish home that is also, equally, a Palestinian home,” “a Jewish home that is not a Jewish state.”


‘Time to Sign Up for Self-Defense Course,’ Says German Jewish Student Leader Following Antisemitic Assault in Hamburg
The head of Germany’s Jewish student union on Tuesday expressed frustration at the ongoing insecurity faced by the country’s Jews, following the brutal antisemitic assault on a Jewish man arriving for Sukkot holiday services at Hamburg’s Hohe Weide Synagogue this past weekend.

“My first thought after the incident in Hamburg was that it’s time to sign up for a self-defense course,” Anna Staroselski — president of the Jewish Students Union in Germany (JSUD) — told the news outlet Jetzt.

“One hears again and again from politicians the wish that Jewish life should be possible without police protection,” Staroleski said. “Fortunately, nobody died in the attack on Sunday, but a man was taken to hospital. Sukkot is actually a public holiday that we Jews celebrate outside. You invite guests. It is a festival of openness. Not a festival where you have to hide yourself.”

Police in Hamburg meanwhile denied that they had provided insufficient protection at the synagogue. They said that the assailant — a 29-year-old ethnic German from Kazakhstan — had immediately been noticed by officers outside the synagogue because of his suspicious behavior, but they had not been able to move in time to prevent him from attacking his victim with a foldable shovel.

“At that very moment, he pulled out the shovel he was hiding and crossed over to attack,” police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrün said on Tuesday. “Even when the police are standing by, that cannot always be prevented.”

Staroleski said that law enforcement officers needed better training when it came to dealing with antisemitism.
Court Finds Greek Neo-Nazi Party a Criminal Group in Landmark Ruling
Greece’s neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn was branded a criminal organization Wednesday, its leaders facing heavy sentences in one of the most important trials in the country’s political history.

The judgement came as police and anti-fascist demonstrators clashed outside the courthouse, on the sidelines of a large protest of some 15,000 people.

Reading out the verdict in a trial that took place over five years, presiding judge Maria Lepenioti said Golden Dawn founder and leader Nikos Michaloliakos and other senior members were guilty of running a criminal organization

Among those convicted was independent Eurodeputy Yiannis Lagos, who defected from the party last year; the party’s former spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris; and a dozen other senior party members elected to parliament in 2012 at the height of Golden Dawn’s influence.

Michaloliakos and other senior cadres convicted on the criminal organization charge face jail sentences of between five and 15 years.

The prosecutions were sparked by the late-night murder of a 34-year-old anti-fascist rapper called Pavlos Fyssas, who was chased down by a mob of Golden Dawn thugs and stabbed to death in front of a cafe in the western Athens suburb of Keratsini in September 2013.

The killer, a former truck driver, confessed, but the attack sparked outrage and charges that Golden Dawn was a paramilitary-style organization that used beatings, intimidation and murder as tactics — all with the knowledge of senior party members.
New York Charges Vandal of Brooklyn Jewish Center With Hate Crimes
A man was arrested and charged on Monday for allegedly vandalizing a Jewish center in Brooklyn, NY.

Osman Butt, 25, was charged with burglary and criminal mischief, both as a hate crime, for allegedly breaking windows of the Shore Parkway Jewish Center on Sunday night.

Butt used a flagpole to “break numerous windows,” entering the building and then “continued to damage property,” reported Hamodia, citing the New York Police Department.

Following his arrest, Butt made antisemitic remarks, according to the outlet.

The Anti-Defamation League’s New York/New Jersey chapter tweeted: “We are deeply unsettled to learn that a synagogue’s window in Brooklyn was damaged. This should never happen but it is painful to see one of our spiritual homes vandalized during the festival of Sukkot. TY @NYPDHateCrimes for swiftly investigating.”
Seventeen-year-old teenager from Rugby linked to neo-Nazi groups found guilty of preparing terrorist acts
A seventeen-year-old from Rugby linked to neo-Nazi groups has been found guilty of preparing for acts of neo-Nazi terrorism.

Jurors deliberated for fifteen hours over four days before unanimously deciding to convict at Birmingham Crown Court. The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had pleaded not guilty.

It is believed that he is alleged to have joined the neo-Nazi Feuerkrieg Division group, which the Home Office plans to proscribe.

The court had been told that the defendant had to pass a test to prove his hatred of Jews and that he had “graphic” video footage of a terrorist attack on his telephone and had searched the internet for information about guns, including how to convert a gun that fires blanks into a live weapon.

He had also apparently praised the terrorist who carried out the mass shooting last year in Christchurch, New Zealand, describing such perpetrators as “saints”.

Jurors were told that he had adopted the “twisted ideology” of Nazis and white supremacists and had participated in far-right chat groups online, where he shared the information about firearms that he had learned.
Beirut’s last synagogue at risk after severe damages following port blast
Beirut’s last remaining synagogue is desperately in need of more than $500,000 in funding to help repair the damage inflicted by the recent blast at the port, which caused devastation across the city.

Amid the latest episode that devastated the war-torn city on August 4, much of the once-spectacular synagogue’s ceiling collapsed in the blast. All the window and door frames were shattered, and the Star of David also crashed to the ground.

In a double tragedy, it happened just a few years after the restoration of the Maghen Abraham Synagogue, a mile away from the devastated port. Having been badly damaged during the civil war, its reopening in 2014 to a grand welcome was attended by dignitaries from across the city’s diverse religious population. However, it has not held services since then.

More than a place of worship, it is the final memory of a once-thriving community, which at its peak during the 1950s was around 15,000 strong. Now, the city’s fewer than 30 Jews pray at home, many of whom have changed their names and keep their religious identity secret in a world that is no longer what it once was.

Nagi Zeidan, a Franco-Lebanese Christian historian and author of the recently published The Jews of Lebanon, has been at the heart of the dying community, having researched his latest book for 25 years. “The community badly needs support with the repairs,” he explained.
Israel’s Elbit Systems Gets US Army Contract Worth Up to $50 Million
Israel’s Elbit Systems said on Wednesday its US subsidiary won a contract worth up to $50 million to produce spare parts for the aviators’ night vision imaging system head-up display system of the US Army.

The contract, to be carried out over five years, was awarded on behalf of the US Army by the Defense Logistics Agency. An initial order for $17.9 million was placed under this contract, to be supplied until 2023.

The day and night display system connects to the helmets of army helicopter pilots, allowing their heads to remain upright and looking out of the aircraft, with all applicable information presented in front of their eyes, instead of looking down or inside the cockpit to view information.
Israeli company that builds recharging roads expands in Europe
Israeli company ElectReon announced Tuesday that it has entered into a strategic memorandum of understanding with a large European infrastructure company, Eurovia, to promote and build wireless electric road systems in Germany, France and Belgium.

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality recently contracted with ElectReon to pilot a smart road that can recharge an electric bus as it drives along.

Eurovia is a road construction company operating under the French concessions and construction firm, Vinci S.A. The news came via a company notice to the Israel Stock Exchange.

ElectReon, based in the northern Israeli community of Beit Yannai, has already installed a 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) electric stretch used by a bus and a truck on the 4.1 kilometer (2.5 mile) route between the airport and town center of Visby on Gotland Island in Sweden.

At the end of this year, the company is set to install the first wireless electric road system in Germany, in Karlsruhe in the country’s southwest.

Aimed at reducing air pollution, the electric road does away with the need for recharging stations. According to ElectReon’s website, a system of copper coils is laid beneath the asphalt to transfer energy from the electricity grid to the road and to manage communication with approaching vehicles. Receivers are installed on the floor of the vehicles to transmit the energy directly to the engine and the battery while the vehicles are on the go. Communication with all management units and all registered vehicles is via cloud technology.
Renowned author and Holocaust survivor Ruth Klueger dies at 88
Prize-winning author and Holocaust survivor Ruth Klueger has died aged 88 at her home in California, her Austrian publisher said Wednesday.

The Zsolnay publishing house confirmed that Klueger had passed away on the night between Monday and Tuesday after a long illness.

Klueger, who received many prestigious awards for her writing about her experience during the Holocaust, was also known for her outspoken stance on Nazi Germany’s atrocities.

“We survivors are not responsible for forgiveness. I perceived resentment as an appropriate feeling for an injustice that can never be atoned for,” Klueger once told Austrian media.

Born in Vienna in 1931, Klueger was 10 years old when the Nazi regime separated her from her father, a Jewish gynecologists, and deported her and her mother, a nurse, to the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

They were later moved to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Klueger, now 12, began composing poetry in her head.

Her father and half-brother were killed, but the two women ended up in Christianstadt concentration camp and managed to escape during a so-called death march.

In 1947, Klueger and her mother emigrated to the US, where she studied library sciences and German in New York and at the University of Berkley, California.

She turned to writing about her own life after almost dying in a traffic accident in Germany.
LISTEN: Armageddon excavations — a juicy pre-state soap opera that struck gold
From the faded black-and-white photos of the 1920s Megiddo excavation staff, you’d never think that decades later a successor would be digging up rich dirt on these early archaeologists, rather than on the biblical mound they dug.

But while the early team’s archaeological triumphs were internationally heralded — including “Solomon’s Stables” and the Megiddo Ivories — the British Mandate-period staff’s personal trials and tribulations make for even more exciting reading in Prof. Eric Cline’s “Digging up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon.”

Cline, who participated in the current excavations at the site from 1994 through 2014, succeeds in balancing the personal dirt with the archaeology and through the staff’s correspondence illuminates the tumultuous world around them — including the Great Depression, the wane of the British Mandate, and the lead-up to World War II. Cline spoke with The Times of Israel Podcast this week about his impetus to write the book, and what he found.

“I wanted tell the story of both the archaeology and the archaeologists,” said Cline. He went digging into mounds of paper in the Oriental Institute archives, as well as in the Israel Antiquities Authority and the various Rockefeller foundations that were involved in the site.

“The amount of dirt that I accidentally dug up on the participants is amazing. It really is a soap opera and I’m amazed they got any work done at all,” laughed Cline. The “dirt” included romance, betrayal, an older “cougar” poaching younger men, and latent anti-Semitism. But while that makes for enjoyable reading, the story of the excavations themselves is also riveting.
Earning praise, White House works with Italy to ensure supply of Sukkot citrons
Jewish community leaders have praised the Trump administration for its international efforts to ensure those who observe the Sukkot holiday have full access to the Four Species necessary according to Jewish tradition.

According to Fox News, international travel restrictions imposed over the global coronavirus pandemic have sparked concern among leading rabbis in the US they could not travel to Italy to retrieve the citron, one of four plants the Jewish people are bound to use in a special ceremony on each day of the Sukkot festival.

The citron, which is grown in Italy, must be harvested under strict rabbinic guidance to be eligible for use in the festival.

Jewish community leaders contacted White House adviser Avi Berkowitz, who serves as the special representative for international negotiations, over the predicament. According to the report, Berkowitz immediately reached out to the US embassies in Italy and Israel, which confirmed that unless something is done, over 100,000 observant Jews would be unable to fulfill their religious obligation.

"We are extremely grateful to the Trump administration for immediately responding to our request for assistance after we learned that Esrog importers would not be able to enter Italy due to reciprocal COVID Travel restrictions," Rabbi David Niederman, president of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn, told Fox News in a statement.

"The Trump administration acted at once when learning of the issue and reached out to the Italian Embassy to ensure that Esrogim for the Sukkos holiday can be secured this year, as in years past," Niederman continued.

"These efforts directly enabled American Jews to utilize the famed and beautiful Italian Esrogim that have been used by Jews for centuries."





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