Monday, August 02, 2021

From Ian:

Stephen Pollard: Waiting for social media companies to tackle anti-Semitism is utterly pointless
The CCDH reported 714 anti-Semitic posts, such as Nazi, neo-Nazi and white supremacist content, across a six-week period this year. The posts received up to 7.3 million views. Less than a sixth were removed.

My only surprise at today’s finding that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok refused to act on 84% of posts reported to them is that the figure is so low.

It’s not just me, of course. There is not a single ‘out’ Jew on social media who is not deluged with this stuff. It is difficult to overstate its scale and how intrinsic it is to the experience of being a Jew on social media.

It took me a while to realise this, but that’s the point. Racism, along with misogyny, conspiracy theories and the like are not a terrible by-product of Twitter and the other social media sites. They are their purpose. The CCDH’s findings are not a shocking indictment of their lax systems. They are a statement of the obvious.

Let me explain.

All these sites have one thing in common. They make almost all their money from advertising. And the sums are huge. In 2020, for example, Twitter’s revenue was $3.72 billion revenue. That advertising is dependent on users. The more users, the more revenue. What drives traffic to them? Racism. Misogyny. Conspiracies. Etc.

What happens to the sites if they leave such posts up? They get money from the users who view them. What happens if the remove such posts? They don’t get that money.

So while it is legal for them to act like this, earnest entreaties to be decent chaps and not host racists are hilariously pointless. Responding to the report, a Twitter spokesperson said the company condemned anti-Semitism and was working to make the platform a safer place for online engagement: “We recognise that there’s more to do, and we’ll continue to listen and integrate stakeholders’ feedback in these ongoing efforts.” Yeah, right. Does anyone fall for this guff? It’s like an arms manufacturer saying they condemn the use of arms.

The racism is integral to their business model.

Twitter and the other social media sites will not change voluntarily. Why would they? Opprobrium means nothing to them – and, ironically, it would largely manifest itself nowadays via their sites.

There is only one way to change this: legislation. The Online Harms Bill is promising, but seems to be continually – perhaps permanently – delayed. These are now huge vested interests. And they need to be confronted.
Top social media platforms fail to act on reported antisemitism, study finds
Social media platforms are mostly not acting against antisemitic content even when it is flagged by users, according to a new report.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a UK and US nonprofit organization, said that over a six-week period earlier this year it used official complaint systems to report hundreds of incidents of anti-Jewish hatred it found on the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok platforms, but 84 percent of the time nothing was done about it.

The findings show a “serious and systematic failure to tackle antisemitism,” the Center for Countering Digital Hate said in a statement accompanying its Failure to Protect report, which was released Friday.

“This is not about algorithms or automation; our research shows that social media companies allow bigots to keep their accounts open and their hate to remain online, even when human moderators are notified,” said Imran Ahmed, CEO of the CCDH, in a statement.

“No one has a fundamental right to have an account on a social media platform to bully Jews or to spread hatred that we know can end in serious offline harm,” he said.

From May 18 to June 29 this year the CCDH flagged 714 posts. However, only in less than one in six cases the accounts were deleted or the content removed.
‘We didn’t know if they’d execute us’: Full saga of Israeli trio held in Nigeria
Rudy and Noam were later transferred to a larger cage, but one that contained two Nigerians held on terrorism and weapons charges.

“We were on edge in every way at all times,” Rochman said. “If they had told us at the beginning that we’d be there for twenty days, that would be much better, since at least we’d be counting down the days.”

“Still, we were not putting our heads down. We were looking for ways to make a weapon, to have something on us in case someone attacked us, to try to undo the lock, to try to find a way to steal a phone.”

Rochman managed to sneak a small pair of scissors from a toiletry bag into the cell for protection.

On the tenth day, the Israelis were on their way to the first floor of the prison to pick up their kosher food. When they passed by the lobby, they began shouting to civilian visitors that they were innocent and being held unlawfully.

They were dragged back to the cages by guards.

The trios feared for their lives during their captivity. “We didn’t know if they would execute us,” Rochman recalled. “We didn’t know if they would poison our food.”

Nigerian authorities released the trio from prison last Tuesday evening and handed them over to US custody. American embassy staff then took them to the local Chabad center to spend the night.

They were given their passports and phones just before their flight took off for Istanbul the next night.

“They wanted to try us with treason and missionary work,” said Rochman. “They were clearly trying to silence this project and send a message that no one should be documenting the Igbos.”

“We came out there to tell a story, and unfortunately we became the story,” Rochman said ruefully. “This is just a fraction and a taste of what Igbos go through daily.”
Lapid, Michaeli vow to enable gold medal winner to marry
Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Labor leader Merav Michaeli both promised on Monday to take steps to enable Olympic gold medalist Artem Dolgopyat to get married in the State of Israel.

Dolgopyat is not Jewish according to Jewish law, because his mother, Angela, is not Jewish and her children are not Jewish according to Orthodox law. Artem’s father, Oleg, is Jewish. Israel has no provision for civil marriage, and citizens can only marry through established religious institutions, such as the Chief Rabbinate, which will only marry members of the same religion.

“I’ll fight with all my might for civil unions for couples,” Lapid told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s intolerable that someone can fight on our behalf in the Olympics, represent us and win a gold medal and not be able to get married in Israel.”

Michaeli said it is unacceptable that Israel does not let Dolgopyat marry in the country. She said Labor would take action to help him immediately after the state budget is passed in November.

“Just like we broke the kosher certification monopoly, the time has come to end the monopoly of marriage in Israel,” she said. “We will work in this Knesset to cancel that monopoly in Israel.”

But Shas leader Arye Deri told the Post that the steps Lapid and Michaeli vowed to take would make Israel no longer be a Jewish state.

“Even he doesn’t claim for himself that he is Jewish,” Deri said. “Winning a medal doesn’t make him Jewish. There is no discrimination against him. Our laws are consistent: For 73 years, marriage in this country has been run by Jewish law.”

Dolgopyat, whose girlfriend is from Belarus, told reporters in Tokyo that he did not want to address the subject.
Israeli Arabs have reached not only the top of the Israeli high tech scene, but top positions worldwide.

Here are two examples that show yet again that Israeli Arabs can accomplish anything Israeli Jews can - and more.

  • Monday, August 02, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Last week, Lebanese media reported that the IDF had stolen 500 goats from a hapless shepherd in southern Lebanon. 

The official Lebanese news agency reported that  "a hostile Israeli force stole 500 goats and took them into the occupied territories, after shooting over the head of one of their shepherds, west of the Samaqah site in the outskirts of the town of Kfarshouba, Hasbaya district."

I'm trying to picture IDF soldiers leading 500 goats across the Blue Line, and I'm having a hard time of it.

But the story doesn't end there. No, the evil Jews were unhappy with the first batch of goats, and went back into Lebanon and stole another hundred goats on Saturday!

Lebanese media claimed that "an Israeli army foot patrol kidnapped 100 goats belonging to a shepherd in the town of Shebaa, in the Hasbaya district."

UNIFIL does not mention these incidents on its webpage. The IDF is tight-lipped about this matter, clearly because of its national security implications. Hezbollah media is not forthcoming. 

It is hard to know what happened. Perhaps the goats were meant to be IDF pets? Ecologically sensitive lawn mowers for IDF bases? Schwarma? 

There is clearly a secret mission going on here. Possibly the goats were Israeli spies who had finished their duties and were being retired and put out to pasture after a job well done.

From Ian:

UN Watch: Report: UN Teachers Celebrate Deaths of Israelis
The UN agency that runs schools and social services for Palestinians is facing calls to fire employees using social media to celebrate attacks on Israelis and promote anti-Jewish hatred.

Over 100 UNRWA educators and staff have publicly promoted violence and antisemitism on social media, according to a new report published by the non-governmental organization UN Watch, an independent human rights group based in Geneva.

The report, entitled “Beyond the Textbooks,” uncovers 22 recent cases of UNRWA staff incitement which clearly violate the agency’s own rules as well as its proclaimed values of zero tolerance for racism, discrimination or antisemitism. UN Watch is calling on the agency’s major funders — including the U.S., Germany, the UK and the European Union — to hold UNRWA accountable to its own standards and commitments.

As revealed in the report, UNRWA staff stationed in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan have publicly incited antisemitism and terrorism. Among the educators who have used their personal social media channels for such propaganda are UNRWA Gaza math teacher Nahed Sharawi, who shared a video of Adolf Hitler with inspirational quotes to “enrich and enlighten your thoughts and minds.” Husni Masri, an UNRWA teacher in the West Bank, posted antisemitic conspiracy theories according to which Jews control the world, created the coronavirus and seek to destroy Islam.

UN Watch’s report lists a total of 113 cases that it managed to capture from UNRWA employees’ public pages alone, all celebrating and promoting violence, even among young children. The watchdog group only examined a sample of Facebook users who publicly identified themselves as UNRWA employees, and estimates that the actual number of UNRWA staff who incite violence and hatred includes many more of the agency’s 30,000 staff.

UN Watch further reveals that despite its numerous prior requests and submission of detailed evidence, UNRWA has failed to fire teachers who incite to racism and terrorism, nor has it taken any other meaningful action. UNRWA should therefore be considered complicit in its staff members’ misconduct, says UN Watch. Click for full PDF report

  • Monday, August 02, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Arab world is upset that a Saudi judoka Tahani Alqahtani competed against Israeli Raz Hershko at the Tokyo Olympics last week, and that the two competitors even embraced.

This cartoon at Shehab News characterizes the Alqahtani as a surrendered loser, while the Algerian and Sudanese athletes who refused to compete against Israelis - and forfeited - are considered victors and heroes.

Yet all the cartoons in the world cannot stop the cooperation that Israel and Saudi Arabia have been exhibiting quite publicly.

On Tuesday, Google is announcing a massive fiber optic cable system that will go from Italy, underwater to Israel, and from there overland to the Red Sea and to Saudi Arabia, eventually reaching Oman and India. 

It is significant that the cable will connect Saudi Arabia and Israel directly, bypassing Jordan - which is already at peace with Israel and which would have been the logical Israeli partner only a year ago. However, realistically speaking, an optic cable line overland in Jordan would be more vulnerable to attack by irate Israel-hating Arabs than a direct underwater cable from Israel to Saudi Arabia.

This is a much bigger deal than a judo match. It shows that the Arab boycott of Israel is effectively dead. The center of Sunni Islam is no longer treating Israel as an enemy. 

It is ironic that at the same time Israel has the best relations it has ever had with its sworn enemies, organizations that pretend to care about peace and human rights are increasing their attacks on Israel. Apparently, when the Jewish state moves toward peace, peace is no longer considered a virtue. 

  • Monday, August 02, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
I pointed out last week that some photos of streets in Gaza attacked by Israel show a characteristic cave-in pattern that indicates that a terrorist tunnel underneath the busy streets collapsed after Israeli earth-penetrating bombs were dropped.

NPR notes - without realizing it, of course - that Hamas's first priority has been to cover up this evidence and to start protecting and rebuilding the tunnels underneath:

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So first, thousands of buildings in Gaza were damaged, many destroyed. So take us there. What's the situation like?

ESTRIN: Well, a lot of the rubble has actually been cleared away. Egypt did that. Hamas has repaired roads. 
Hamas isn't merely repairing roads. It is spending a lot of money to place pavers on top of some roads, as Hamas' Felesteen site shows:

Pavers coat about 5-10 times as much as paving with asphalt does and take much more time. Why would Hamas spend this kind of money to repair roads?

Because the pavers are meant to protect the tunnels. Israel shot relatively small, burrowing bombs that went easily through the asphalt on the street and then exploded the tunnel foundations underneath. These pavers, which look to be about 4 inches deep, would force Israel to use more destructive bombs to get to the tunnels - bombs more likely to kill innocent Gazans.

These pavers look to be locally produced. Bricks can be produced the same way. Hamas could be repairing buildings and helping Gazans. Instead, it is spending a great deal of money to protect its terror infrastructure. 

(h/t Irene)

Roger Cohen of the New York Times has been visiting Israel and filing stories to make Israel look bad.

In Sunday's paper, in an article about the riots between Arabs and Jews in Israel in May, Cohen wrote:
Precariousness, a sense that their homes could always be taken, is a perennial condition of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Aside from seven Bedouin towns established in the Negev desert, no new Arab towns or villages have been built since 1948. Education remains intricately segregated: Arabs overwhelmingly attend Arab schools and Jews Jewish schools, themselves split into secular and religious categories.

Arab municipalities, occupying less than 3 percent of Israeli territory, are unable to expand because of land regulations and have found themselves hemmed in by more than 900 new Jewish villages and towns.
HRW's Ken Roth quoted from this here, one of three tweets from a single article, which I've never seen him do before.

There is a strange assumption in these two paragraphs, along with some obvious errors. It is implying that Arabs must live in Arab towns or villages in Israel and it seems to imply that they cannot live in Jewish-majority towns.

In fact, according to 2019 statistics from Israel, about 27% of Israeli Arabs live in Jewish majority cities or towns. 360,000 live in Jerusalem alone, and another 33,000 in Haifa, 20,000 in Tel Aviv/Jaffa, and thousands more in Beersheva and Eilat. There are tens of thousands of Arabs living in mixed towns like Akko and Lod. 

Now, imagine if Israel would tell Arabs they must live in Arab only towns. Imagine the outcry, the accusations of racism that would follow. But that is exactly what Cohen and Roth seem to be saying is ideal!

We don't have to imagine that outcry. The initial draft of Israel's controversial "nation state law" included a clause (7B) that said “the state can allow a community composed of people of the same faith or nationality to maintain an exclusive community.” President Reuven Rivlin harshly criticized that clause, as did many Israeli liberals and leftists. It was not left in the final version.

Looking at the statistics, there are some towns that are Arab only and some that are Jewish only. Intriguingly, there are many small towns that have a vast majority of one group and a tiny number of the other, indicating that in most communities there are no barriers for anyone to move in if they so desire. I see about 170 towns and villages that are predominantly Jewish yet have less than 30 Arabs living there, and about 45 Arab communities with less than 30 Jews living amongst them. As far as I can tell, except for some villages (less than 400 households) in the Negev and Galilee that can have committees to approve who can move in, it is illegal for Israeli towns to discriminate against any citizen. 

It is reasonable to point out that predominantly Arab communities have a harder time getting building approvals that predominantly Jewish communities do. But Cohen is going way beyond that. He's making it sound like Arabs are stuck without the ability to move. And it is nothing short of bizarre that Cohen and Roth seem to be supporting segregating Jews from Arabs - yet if Israel would say that, they would be the first to accuse Israel of racism.

What about his assertion that no new Arab towns or villages have been built since 1948? I've heard this said before, but it does not seem to be true at all. According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, in 1961 there were 109 "non-Jewish localities" and in 2018 there were 137, an increase of 25.6%. At the same time the number of Jewish localities increased from 771 to 1090, an increase of 39.5%. Not equal to be sure, but a definite increase in Arab communities, mostly in the Negev and in the North (even discounting the 5 Arab communities gained from annexing the Golan Heights.) 

And has Israel built over 900 new Jewish villages and towns? I have no idea where he got that number from and what he considers "new." As mentioned, the total number of Jewish localities is 1090, and there were 771 60 years ago. That doesn't sound like more than 900 new Jewish communities. 

The article pretends to be balanced, but as always, when you look at the details, it shows a clear bias against Israel and Jews. 

Sunday, August 01, 2021

  • Sunday, August 01, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 2017, at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, students decided on modifying their annual racism-awareness  "Day of Absence," to expect white students and faculty to stay away from campus and allow only people of color to attend.

One professor of biology, Bret Weinstein, was offended as a liberal for an event where skin color determines who is allowed and not allowed in campus spaces. He wrote a letter protesting the event, and taught his class as usual, and all his students of all races attended without incident.

Weeks later, his letter was publicized and Weinstein went through an Orwellian experience: demonstrations broke out on campus, students chanted his name and called for his resignation. Weinstein tried to speak out, to explain his reasoning, and was not allowed to speak. The next day, as he rode his bike to campus, he saw students taking out their cell phones as he passed by. As he told Haaretz recently, “I thought, what is this? Is this some kind of ambush? And so I rode around to a different entrance to campus and went to the police station. The police were locked inside. They unlocked the door and let me in. And I said to the chief of police: ‘I must be imagining things, but I think that there were people waiting for me.’ She said, ‘I don’t think you were imagining anything. In fact, you’re not safe on your bike. Not only here on campus, but anywhere in town. If they were to catch up to you, I don’t think we could help you.’ ...As I rode back to my house, I was thinking: This can’t be happening in the United States. I’m a civilian who’s incapable of getting protection from the police from a mob of people who have mistaken me for a racist. "

This is a world that Andrew Pessin  knows well. He himself was the object of a similar witch-hunt in 2015 when an anti-Israel student at Connecticut College  dug up an old Facebook post of his, claimed that it was dehumanizing to Palestinians and started a series of events where Pessin was accused of racism and put in a situation where he couldn't defend himself. 

Now, Pessin has written a novel about the toxic atmosphere on campuses today named Nevergreen, an obvious spoof on Evergreen College. Like Evergreen, Nevergreen is in the Pacific Northwest, but it is on an island which used to house an insane asylum.

The story is about a physician, only named "J.", who is convinced to give a guest lecture on an obscure topic at Nevergreen College by a chance encounter with its dean. 

As we soon find out, the inmates - in this case, the students - run the asylum. 

J. ends up giving his lecture to a completely empty room. Yet the next day, he is caught up in a rumor that he said something very offensive, the bored editor of the school newspaper blows up the story and J. finds himself literally running for his life and unable to leave. The faculty is as crazy as the students are; some are trying to out-woke the students while deathly afraid of being denounced by them. Even seeming allies of J. turn against him as the rumors about his lecture take on a life of their own and he literally becomes the "face of hate." 

The book is part comedy and part horror story. From J.'s perspective, he is in real danger, since one cannot distinguish between sanity and insanity at Nevergreen. Yet it is clear to the reader, if not J., that most of the students are just idiots who want to party and get laid, while some really are dangerous - and to someone being "canceled," it is diffcult to tell the difference.

Unlike other horror stories, the monster's motives cannot be discerned, because there are multiple monsters - groups of students at cross-purposes who cancel people for differing reasons or no reasons whatsoever, faculty members who are frightened of their own charges, and others who want to use the resulting chaos for their own personal gain. 

Nevergreen College is so committed to diversity that even Nazis are allowed to have their own student club. But one group of people are conspicuous by their absence - Jews. Pessin hints broadly at a sinister backstory, where a few years earlier the campus was rocked by an unexplained "episode," that followed students going to the Middle East to help bring peace between warring factions and who get slaughtered for their efforts. (It is not coincidence that Pessin gave the newspaper editor the name "Corrie," after another famous former Evergreen student.) The book doesn't say what the "episode" was, but the absence of Jews on campus indicates something terrible happened that drove them out. There are reminders of Jews everywhere, even if the Jews themselves are left unmentioned. Even research into Jewish topics must be done secretly. 

The extreme tolerance for all viewpoints has its limits at Nevergreen. As usual, one group is outside the pale for everyone.

Nevergreen is really good, often hilarious but it is an uneasy humor; the happenings on the fictional bizarro Nevergreen campus are uncomfortably close to what is really happening today at many colleges. It is a world that Pessin knows well, where sanity is not a virtue and may in fact be a thoughtcrime.

The book will be available on September 1, and you can preorder it here.

Here is its video trailer.

From Ian:

Artistic gymnast Artem Dolgopyat wins Israel’s 2nd-ever Olympic gold
Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won Israel’s second-ever Olympic gold medal Sunday, beating out tough Spanish and Chinese competition in the artistic gymnastics floor exercise competition to take the top spot on the Tokyo 2020 podium.

Dolgopyat, a 24-year-old two-time world championship silver medalist who immigrated to Israel from Ukraine at the age of 12, was considered Israel’s best hope for a gold medal at this year’s games.

His final round routine Sunday impressed judges, scoring him 14.933, giving him a total ahead of Spain’s Rayderley Miguel Zapata, who took silver and China’s Xiao Ruoteng, who won the bronze medal.

After Russian team gold winner Nikita Nagornyy was marked down after over-rotating and stumbling on his trademark triple pike tumble, Zapata looked destined for the title.

But Dolgopyat turned the Spaniard’s gold into silver when his routine matched Zapata’s score of 14.933, and with their execution mark also the same, it went down to the difficulty level, with Dolgopyat taking the title by just 0.100.

Dolgopyat had ranked first in the qualifying event after scoring 15.2.

The gold medal is only the second in Israeli history, following windsurfer Gal Friedman’s 2004 win in Athens.
Who is Artem Dolgopyat, Israel's Olympic gold medalist?
Artem Dolgopyat won Israel the second gold medal in the nation's history on Sunday in the discipline of artistic gymnastics. The 24-year-old qualified for the Tokyo Games by winning a silver medal in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Artem's passion for gymnastics goes back to the tender age of six when he first signed up to attend his local club in Dnirpo, Ukraine, as he followed in the footsteps of his father, who was a gymnast himself. In 2009, Dolgopyat’s family moved to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv, where he quickly became a standout at the Maccabi sports club.

Dolgopyat continued to compete at the top youth competitions and finally broke through in 2017 when he won a silver medal in the floor exercise at the World Championships held in Montreal, Canada.

That same year saw him also win medals at the Maccabiah Games with led him to medals in floor exercise both in 2018 and 2019 at the European Championships.

At the 2020 European Championships held in Turkey, Dolgopyat captured gold in the floor exercise and bronze in the vault as expectations were raised up a bar. He finally reached the pinnacle of his career on Sunday, winning a gold medal in Tokyo.

CEO of Israel Gymnastics Federation Talks Artem Dolgopyat's Gold Medal Win

Continuing with my excerpts of the journeys of Israel Joseph Benjamin he wrote about in "Eight years in Asia and Africa from 1846-1855," here are some of his observations about Jewish life in Tripoli and Tunis, what is now Libya and Tunisia.

In all the above mentioned villages the houses are most wretched. In the apartments, mats of palm twigs are spread over the bare floor, and upon these the inhabitants repose ; carpets are nowhere to be seen. Their dress is dirty; it consists of a fez bound round with a kerchief, a garment reaching to the knees, and trousers of the same length. They continue to wear the same articles of clothing until they drop into rags ; on Saturday, however, they change their linen. ... Their holiday attire is but seldom washed; their every day clothes never, it can easily therefore be imagined that they are very dirty.
I took a suitable opportunity to make inquiries of some of my fellow-worshippers, how it was that so little importance was attached to either cleanliness of person or of dress; for besides -the disagreeable impression their uncleanliness made on every one, they were moreover acting against the law, as the Bible in several places gives directions respecting the cleansing and washing of apparel. In answer to this, I was told that it was caused by fear of the Arabs, who, if they saw them different would imagine they were rich, and plunder them daily. This excuse seemed plausible.
[In Djerba, Tunisia], The synagogue has no windows, as is the case with all synagogues in all places in Tripoli. I was informed that this arrangement had been made, in order that the Arabs should be prevented from throwing fire into the building from the outside. 
Abuse of Jews in Arab and Muslim countries is relayed in a matter-of-fact manner throughout the book, as if this is the most normal thing in the world.

And, truly, it was, way before Zionism could be blamed.

  • Sunday, August 01, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Remember in June when the Palestinian Authority broke a deal with Israel to accept Covid vaccines because, they claimed, the vaccines were too close to expiration? (Even though the PA says it has the infrastructure to give 50,000 doses a day, and therefore had plenty of time to use them all?)

Well, another month has come and gone, and the Palestinian Authority still didn't negotiate with Israel another deal to use the vaccines that would expire at the end of July.

As a result, according to Israeli media, Israel was forced to discard tens of thousands of doses of Pfizer vaccine, worth some 6 million shekels. 

These doses could have gone to Palestinians. And none of the organizations and individuals who were in the forefront of blaming Israel for the Palestinian vaccine shortage are saying a word of reproach to the PA. 

The excuse that the vaccines were close to expiration cannot be used, even though that was not an excuse to begin with. So Israel's critics are not saying a word, since it is clear that the Palestinian Authority doesn't really want the vaccines all that badly.

In fact, in Gaza, the health authorities are scrambling to use up the shots they have, with a population that doesn't want them. 

The demand in the West Bank does not seem to be that high either. The Palestinian Authority has been giving out about 4000 doses a day during July, far short of its capacity, but there have been no stories about its supplies - mostly from the international COVAX initiative - running low. On the contrary, there are nearly 60 vaccination centers in the West Bank ready to give doses to anyone. The minister of health issues regular press releases on the number of doses given, but there have been no pleas for more doses.

The reporting on this issue has been one-sided and filled with half-truths and lies. But nothing shows the hypocrisy of the anti-Israel crowd more than the fact that they pretended to care so much about saving Palestinian lives when they could blame Israel, and now that it is clear that most Palestinians don't want the vaccines to begin with, they are not doing anything to help educate them.

Palestinian lives only matter when Jews can be blamed.

  • Sunday, August 01, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Anuradha Mittal tweeted that she has been receiving hate mail for her role in promoting BDS as the head of Ben and Jerry's board of directors.

She published this vile email she received:

As far as I can tell, there is no such rabbi in Williamsburg, which is there that zip-code is. The language doesn't sound at all like anything any rabbi, from Williamsburg or anywhere else, would write. 

Yet from among the hate emails she says to have received, Mittal chose to publicize this one - leaving the "rabbi's" name in.

She could have made her point with blacking out the name and email address - anyone who cares about the possibility that an email is meant to discredit a real person would do that. Yet she chose to highlight and publicize this email and include the allegation that a rabbi was sending this anti-Hindu hate to her.

Which, of course, stokes antisemitism - as can be seen in the responses.

As a public person, it seems farfetched she could not have figured out that no one would send this sort of email under their own name. 

I am not doubting that she received abusive emails, and I am not justifying them at all. But her choice to publicize this one and include the fake name indicates that she wanted the world to know that she is being attacked by a "rabbi", someone who represents Jews, and by extension that Jews are horrible people. 

Mittal claims she is not antisemitic. But if she cared at all about antisemitism, she would never have posted something that she knew quite well would increase antisemitic attitudes. And if she was as inundated with hate mail as she claims, one must wonder why she chose to highlight one from a supposed rabbi.

UPDATE: Twitter removed her offensive tweet, saying that it violated Twitter rules. Knowing Twitter, though, it probably did it because of the anti-Hindu slander, not the antisemitic part.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

From Ian:

Mixed judo team wins bronze, 2nd medal for Israel at Tokyo Olympics
Israel’s mixed team in judo won a bronze medal at the Olympics on Saturday, the nation’s second medal at the Tokyo games.

The team scored a victory over their Russian opponents in the consolation round of an event that is being held for the first time this year.

In the battle for bronze, Israeli judoka Gili Sharir lost to Madina Taimazova, giving a 1:0 lead to the Russians.

However Sagi Muki took his bout against Mikhail Igolnikov, bringing the Israelis level at 1:1.

Next up was Raz Hershko who beat Aleksandra Babintseva to take the Israelis ahead 2:1, before Peter Paltchik took the score to 3:1.

A final victory for Timna Nelson-Levy gave Israel a 4:1 win and a spot on the podium.

Muki said the whole team had given everything they had to win the medal.

“Everyone here gave their heart and soul, and together we did it,” he said.

After a week of losses for Israel’s judokas, Paltchik said that the team had finally come together on Saturday.

“Everyone had a week that was very disappointing on a personal level, but something about this special day led to everyone giving a little more for the team, and that’s what made the difference,” he said of the victory. “We were eulogized too soon.”

Friday, July 30, 2021

From Ian:

NYPost Editorial: Sorry, Ben & Jerry: You’re on the wrong side of history along with all who boycott Israel
“Imagine Whirled Peace,” a John Lennon tribute flavor, is as close as Ben & Jerry’s get to promoting actual world peace — and the founders’ claim that halting business in the West Bank puts the company on the “right side of history” is beyond bunk.

Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield wrote a New York Times op-ed in defense of the company’s move to ban sales in what it called “the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” on top of stating earlier that it was “brave.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio actually got it right: “You cannot have peace if you undermine the economic reality and create division.”

Building a functional Palestinian state requires building a functional Palestinian economy, which means boosting commerce of all kinds on the West Bank — even when the customers are Jews, it means jobs for Palestinians.

All the boycotting and divestment simply leaves Palestinians more distraught — and more prone to buy the hate-propaganda of their anti-democratic, anti-liberal rulers, who pretend that Israel can somehow be eliminated or at least turned into a majority-Arab state.

Neither of which is going to happen.

In fact, the future is in the Abraham Accords — the multiple Arab-Israel peace agreements aiming at mutual prosperity, which were reached only after Team Trump gave the hand to the goons who control the West Bank.

Dear Ben and Jerry: Ignorance is Not a Jewish Value
Why did Ben and Jerry not show a desire to go deeper and better understand a complicated conflict? Maybe because the messy truth didn’t fit their easy narrative.

Regardless of how one feels about Israeli policies, the messy truth is that chronic Palestinian rejectionism, more than any other factor, has defined the conflict. Had Ben and Jerry done just a little homework, they would have learned that the intent to eliminate the Jewish state predates any Jewish settlements. It’s a fact that when the PLO was founded in 1964 as a militant anti-Israel movement, there was not one Jewish settlement.

It makes one wonder: What incentive do Palestinian leaders have to end the occupation when they see what a useful weapon it has become? As long as they keep saying no, the international money keeps rolling in and they get to enjoy op-eds of Jews bashing the Jewish state based on “Jewish values.” And they’ve learned through the years that as long as they refuse to end the conflict, the global anti-Israel movement will march on.

Israel has made its share of mistakes, but in the old days, before peace became a pipe dream, it was the Jewish state that stuck its neck out and made significant compromises to try to resolve the conflict. Palestinian leaders, who may have panicked when Israel called their bluff, couldn’t even bring themselves to make a counter offer.

Dear Ben and Jerry: If you’re going to cover yourself in Jewish values, go all the way. Delving into complexity in the search for truth is one of the great Jewish values. By neglecting that complexity and taking the easy way out, you have reinforced the narrative of antisemites who malign Israel as a peace-hating, oppressive country, and elevate corrupt, terror-promoting Palestinian leaders as helpless victims.

That’s not Jewish or peace-loving, it’s just ignorant.
Eugene Kontorovich: What the Ben & Jerry's Boycott is Really About: Fox Business appearance
In an interview with Stuart Varney, I explain that Ben & Jerry's and Unilever are not boycotting Israeli settlements - they are boycotting Israel.
  • Friday, July 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Shibley Telhami at the Brookings Institution has released another poll that shows that loaded questions can prompt the anti-Israel responses he wants.

Only a few questions were published but their wording shows the bias of the pollsters:

Q67. Several members of Congress suggested withholding possible sale of arms to Israel, after its bombings of Gaza resulted in the death of over 250 people, mostly civilians, during intense fighting that also saw 12 Israelis, mostly civilians, killed by Hamas rockets.
In general, do you support linking American arms supplies to Israel to Israel’s actions toward
The question starts off implying that the Congressional desire to withhold sales of arms to Israel is far more widespread than it is. The point is to make the subject primed to want to agree with what the experts in Congress believe.

The fighting is described as Israel massively bombing Gaza civilians for no reason. Israel's bombing is mentioned before Hamas rockets, making the people surveyed think that Israel started the fighting. 

The "scorecard" (>250-12) is designed to make it look like Israel's response was disproportionate. 

The "more than 250" was adding up deaths on both sides (Gaza's Ministry of Health counted 248, and they included those killed by Gaza rockets that fell short.), but implies that all deaths were Israel's fault, even the Israelis.

The "mostly civilians" is again meant to bias the respondents - the question could have accurately said that the effectiveness of Israeli airstrikes was unprecedented in urban warfare despite Hamas hiding among civilians. 

The question is designed to prime people to hate Israel - and then answer the question accordingly.

Another question clearly meant to bias the responses:

Considering the high level of civilian casualties and destruction, how would you evaluate President Biden’s effort to end the fighting?
The question says there was a high level of civilian casualties and destruction - compared to what? How many civilians killed by the US in Iraq or Afghanistan? The number killed in Syria? The amount of damage I saw was less than half a billion dollars - is that a high number? The question again pre-supposes the answer, "Biden didn't do enough" - and of course, the only side he could have pressured to end the fighting is Israel, since Hamas wouldn't listen to him. 

There really should be an independent institute to rate polls and publicize how poorly the surveys commissioned by partisans are constructed.


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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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