Tuesday, January 21, 2014

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Lies, bigotry and silence: Britain’s permanent stain
British Jews who care about this sort of thing have had the disturbing experience of observing not one but three examples of public, home-grown anti-Jewish bigotry over the past few days.
First off the block was the former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who in an article in the Independent repeated not only his inexplicable belief that his idol, Iran’s President Rouhani, was ushering in a new world order of peace and harmony, but also that the benighted Israelis were buying up Washington in order to frustrate this nirvana (I paraphrase, but you get the general idea).
Britain’s Anti-Jewish Parliamentarians
Yet, this deep dislike of Israel stems not only from Israel’s alliance with America and the West, but also from the fact that it is a Jewish state. For the decidedly post-nationalist British left, Zionism is an anathema–the idea that a people as cosmopolitan as the Jews would have set themselves on the wrong side of history by establishing a nation of their own. The Jews were once favored by the left, when they were poor and widely discriminated against. But as Britain’s Minister for Education Michael Gove has explained of the left’s mentality, “when Jews are successful, assertive, self-confident or, worst of all, conservative, then they move, metaphorically, beyond the pale.”
Given the way in which those such as MP Grahame Morris would so casually associate the Israeli flag with Nazis, it would appear that there is a sense of growing confidence among the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish fringe in Britain’s parliament. But with such views flying around among lawmakers, there must be concerns about the future diplomatic relations between the two countries. And more than that, the questions about the future of the British Jewish community become ever more troubling.
Labour and Hamas UK
The Labour Party’s public position is that it has no truck with Hamas, or with those who seek the destruction of the State of Israel. As Ed The reality is somewhat different. Prominent Labour MPs continue to support high profile Hamas activists in the United Kingdom, and are happy to speak at the same rallies as Jenny Tonge.
This weekend, you could have attended a demonstration in support of Gaza which was addressed by Jenny Tonge and Labour’s shadow Justice Minister, Andy Slaughter MP.
Palestinians Divided Over Boycott of Israeli Universities
A professor in the College of Pharmacy at Al-Quds, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue, said more than 50 Palestinian professors were engaged in joint research projects with Israeli universities, funded by international agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development. He said that, without those grants, Palestinian academic research would collapse because “not a single dollar” was available from other places. He rejected the call for a boycott as having no practical value.

As for travel restrictions on foreign academics seeking to enter the Palestinian territories, which include the West Bank and Gaza, Mr. Palmor acknowledged that access to and from “Hamas-controlled Gaza” is now rarely possible via Israel, but he said Israel had played no part in the tight control of Gaza’s other border crossing, via Egypt.
For the West Bank, he said, academics are not routinely denied entry. “There is no ban on the entry to the West Bank of any lecturer, professor, or researcher. There never was.”

Soccer player Anelka charged for anti-Semitic gesture
West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka was charged by the English Football Association on Tuesday for performing a racially aggravated gesture considered to be anti-Semitic while celebrating a Premier League goal.
The former France international, who faces a minimum five-game ban under the FA’s anti-discrimination sanctions, has until 8 p.m. Thursday to respond to the charge.
British firm drops soccer team sponsorship over quenelle
The major sponsor of the West Bromwich Albion British soccer team has canceled a $4.93 million deal with the team over an anti-Semitic gesture by one if its players.
Zoopla, which is co-owned by a Jewish businessman, Alex Chesterman, had threatened to drop the company’s sponsorship if Nicolas Anelka was not dropped from the roster for Monday’s game against Everton in the Premier League. Anelka was included in the team and played for 77 minutes of the 1-1 tie before being substituted. He didn’t score his team’s goal.
Chile’s Palestino soccer team to change uniform
Chile’s top soccer league has penalized the Palestine Football Club with a fine after playing in three official matches wearing uniforms showing the entire map of Israel as Palestine.
On Monday, the National Association of Professional Football of Chile, or ANFP, by unanimous decision penalized the Palestino soccer team, which was founded in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants to Chile, some $1,300 for having the map on the back of the jerseys in place of the numeral 1. The ANFP also ruled that the team must redesign the uniforms to include numerals for player numbers.
Why Does HRW Support the Ummah Conference?
It’s not surprising that Alkarama would advocate so fiercely for the Ummah Conference, and falsely attest to that group’s moderation to Alkarama’s partners in Human Rights Watch. Alkarama was founded by five like-minded individuals: Designated terror financier Abd al-Rahman Omar al-Nuaimi and Khalifa Muhammad Raban who, like Nuaimi, is a Qatari citizen, and three leaders from Algeria’s Ummah Conference affiliate. Indeed, Mourad Dhina, one of the Algerian Alkarama founders and Ummah Conference members, was the supervisor of the executive office of Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front from 2002-2004. Readers should remember the Islamic Salvation Front as the front group for the Armed Islamic Group, one side of the Algerian civil war that engaged in gross violations of human rights and committed atrocities in the conflict that claimed perhaps 100,000 lives.
As a private organization, HRW can ultimately do what it wants, even if it loses credibility by corrupting human-rights reporting by enabling radical partners to inject political agendas into their reports, effectively rendering them into tools of propaganda rather than human-rights advocacy.
Judged, shunned and excluded
Often, the primary goal of BDS campaigns is to turn support for Israel from a widely supported fact to a controversial issue. In this respect publicly campaigning against BDS, and thus giving it more media attention, often undermines our position.
I believe the most effective way to combat delegitimization is a preemptive strike.
We must not be limited to reacting to threats but rather must work actively to make Israel a positive part of the public consciousness.
For this purpose, we have created the Face of Israel, a joint venture between the Foreign Ministry and Diaspora Jewry based on the successful model of Birthright. This new organization will be responsible for fighting Israel’s image battle internationally under the guidance of the Foreign Ministry.
South Africa’s Wits University Sentences 11 Students to Community Service for Anti-Israel Riot
Administrators of the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa, said the school sentenced 11 students to community service for disrupting a performance of Israeli concert pianist Yossi Reshef in an anti-Israel riot during “Israel Apartheid Week” in March 2013.
Reshef had been invited as a guest of Tararam, an Israeli culture initiative, but the concert ended abruptly after vuvuzela-blowing, screaming protesters, including members of the Muslim Students Association, broke into the auditorium to interrupt the event. Diplomatic guests were hastily removed by their respective security teams, while members of the audience reported being traumatized and manhandled.
BBC Northern Ireland amplifies inaccurate claims of anti-Israel activist
Right down at the bottom of the article the following information appears:
“A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said: “Mr Spedding’s entry into Israel was denied due to his involvement in organising a violent protest in Queens University, Belfast, in which an Israeli representative was attacked, and others were forced to take shelter to prevent being hurt.
“No country has an obligation to allow foreigners who have been involved in violent activities targeting its nationals to enter its territory.” “
Hence, self-proclaimed Middle East ‘expert’ and apparent political hopeful Gary Spedding has – with no small amount of help from the BBC – milked to the full the exposure and one-sided publicity he (and apparently his party) desired from this story.
CAMERA Prompts NY Magazine Correction on Sabra, Shatilla
CAMERA's Israel office has prompted correction of a New York Magazine article which erroneously stated that Israeli soldiers carried out the massacre in Sabra and Shatilla. As first noted on our Snapshots blog last week, Caroline Bankoff wrote in her obituary for Ariel Sharon:
Jewish Groups Rip Economist Over ‘Anti-Jewish’ Cartoon, ADL Calls for ‘Full Apology’ (UPDATE)
UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, The Economist removed the offending image from its website. An “editor’s note” at the end of the page said, “The print edition of this story had a cartoon which inadvertently caused offence to some readers, so we have replaced it with a photograph.” The cartoon still remains visible on the publication’s Middle East & Africa landing page.
Do ‘Sophisticated’ Brits at the Economist Believe Jews Control Washington?
Regardless of the Economist’s intent, it’s difficult not to be dispirited by the fact that less than 70 years after the Holocaust, with Jews representing less than 2% of the U.S. population, tropes and graphic representations warning that Jewish ‘pressure groups’ are too powerful are once again becoming fashionable amongst the opinion elite – the herd of ‘independent minds’ who carelessly reinforce the idea, without being haunted by its lethal history, that Jews control Washington.
Antisemitism in Montclair
The Bay area is reputedly the most liberal area in the nation. Tolerance, diversity and individual human rights are valued. That is why the appearance on nearly every light pole in Montclair Village of flyers depicting a Jewish Oakland Councilmember emblazoned with swastikas was particularly shocking to community members. It was particularly ironic that these hurtful and offensive flyers made their debut on the day we commemorate the achievements and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Two Violent Anti-Semitic Attacks Alarm Ukraine’s Jewish Community
Two violent anti-Semitic incidents that occurred in Kiev over the course of a week have alarmed the Ukrainian Jewish community. On Jan. 11, two men attacked 26-year-old Israeli teacher of Hebrew and Jewish tradition Hillel Wertheimer after he left a synagogue at the end of Shabbat. He did not suffer serious wounds. On Jan. 18, a 33-year-old yeshiva student from Russia, Dov-Ber Glickman, was also attacked after he left a synagogue.
Hungarian Jews demand resignation of Shoah revisionist
In an unusually strong statement posted Sunday on its website, the leadership of Mazsihisz, the official Hungarian Jewish umbrella organization, said they were “aghast and find incomprehensible” the “relativization of the Holocaust” by a new historical institute called Veritas, which the government established in November.
Mazsihisz demanded the resignation of Veritas Director Sandor Szakaly, who in a recent interview called the 1941 deportation of Jews to Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine “a police action against aliens.”
Neo Nazi Jobbik Party Holds London Rally
I don’t believe that any British anti-fascist organisations have yet noted this event.
Auschwitz Museum Launches Education Programs in Farsi, Arabic
The Auschwitz museum at the site of the former Nazi German death camp in southern Poland said Monday it had launched online Holocaust awareness programs in Arabic and Farsi, AFP reports.
"We want to address groups of people who often have little knowledge of this subject or who even advocate revisionist views," museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki told the news agency.
Israel leads the world in criminalising “revenge porn”
In a scarcely reported move from last week, Israel’s parliament banned nude photos and sexually explicit films posted online without the subject’s consent Monday, making it the first country to effectively ban what is colloquially known as “revenge porn”.
The bill was introduced by Knesset member Yifat Kariv, after a video posted to WhatsApp of a man having sex with his ex came to her attention, according to Haaretz.
More Dispatches from the "Apartheid" State: Druze poet appointed Ambassador to Brazil
Druze historian and poet Dr. Reda Mansour has been appointed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as Israel's next ambassador to Brazil. He will enter his new position in the summer.
Mansour was born in 1965 in the Druze village of Isfiya in northern Israel. He has a Ph.D from the University of Haifa's Middle East History Department and is a graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Ambassador Mansour has received the Haáretz Annual Short Story Award, as well as the Haifa University Miller Award. He has published three books of Hebrew poetry and speaks 5 languages. (h/t Bob Knot)
Israel’s Filipina ‘X-factor’ champ allowed to work as a singer
Rose Fostanes, the diminutive 47-year-old Filipina caregiver who became the newest star of Israeli reality television last week by winning the singing competition “X-Factor Israel,” will legally be allowed to make money as a singer in Israel, the Ministry of the Interior stated Sunday.
Fostanes, who had been in Israel on a special work visa for caregivers which only allowed her to work legally in that one profession, was officially granted a permit to work as a singer in exchange for giving up her caregiver status. The proposal was made after Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar instructed the Population, Immigration and Border Authority to issue a singing permit for Fostanes.
A Record Year For Israel's Technology Market With Acquisitions And IPOs Totaling $7.6 Billion
The value of all successful exits in the Israeli technology market in 2013 reached a total of $7.6 billion, according to PwC Israel (PDF; in Hebrew). At $170 million, the value of the average exit was the highest it has been over the last ten years. These exits included M&A deals worth $6.45 billion—representing a 16% annual growth—with an average of $859 million per deal (the three largest deals totaled $2.6 billion); and IPOs worth $1.2 billion, with an average IPO of $198 million. The leading sectors were life sciences and the Internet.
Martin Luther King Jr: "Israel... is one of the great outpost of democracy in the world"

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