Friday, May 16, 2014

From Ian:

Repulsive Guardian op-ed justifies Palestinian antisemitism
Yesterday we posted on the results of a new international antisemitism poll by ADL, which demonstrated that Palestinians are the most antisemitic people among the 100 countries surveyed. We noted that Palestinians are even more antisemitic than citizens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan and Iran.
It would seem that true anti-racists would have a pretty difficult time defending such views – as some of the tropes are indistinguishable from the notorious Czarist forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
To boot, a Guardian op-ed published today by pro-Palestinian activists Donna Nevel and Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark begins with this headline and photo:
"Anti-Semitism should not be waved around like a propaganda tool"
The photo is surreal. An op-ed about antisemitism doesn’t depict Jews, but Palestinians, who, we are told, are denied their basic human rights.
It gets worse, much worse.
Hating the Jew you’ve never met
The question is put into sharp relief by the finding that fully 27% of people who have never met a Jew nevertheless harbor strong prejudices against him. Or, indeed, that a huge majority, 77%, of those who hate Jews have never met one. Even more starkly, the survey found an inverse relationship between the number of Jews in a country and the spread of anti-Semitic attitudes there. As a general rule, the fewer the Jews in a particular country, the more numerous the anti-Semites.
This should not surprise us. We already understood that anti-Semitism is skyrocketing in precisely those parts of the world where Jews fled from or perished in the last century, primarily the Middle East and Eastern Europe. But by giving numbers to these beliefs, the study allows us to think more carefully about the sources of the phenomenon. (h/t Bob Knot)
Can’t stop the rock: a summer of #BDSFails
The Rolling Stones. Neil Young. Justin Timberlake. Kansas. Jay Leno. All coming to Israel this summer.
How’s that BDS working out for you?
Since the incredible failure of the campaign to force Scarlett Johansson to quit SodaStream, the news has not been good for the Israel haters this year.
After making a splash at the end of 2013 with the American Studies Association leadership being hijacked by anti-Israel, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists, 2014 has seen one major anti-BDS push back after another. From the viral campaigns supporting Neil Young and Scarlett Johansson to a cavalcade of statements from universities distancing themselves from the ASA statements, to anti-Israel resolutions failing at Michigan, UCLA and Loyola, 2014 has so far been a very positive time to be a pro-Israel activist – especially after the disappointments of 2013.

9/11 Museum Film's Critic Says Jews Killed Jesus
During a news conference Wednesday which cast aspects of a film about al-Qaida at the new 9/11 museum as prejudiced toward Muslims, a speaker invoked the anti-Semitic claim that Jews killed Jesus.
Talat Hamdani, whose son Salman Hamdani was a Muslim New York Police Department cadet killed on 9/11, said religion often is overlooked in other historic crimes.
"Who crucified Jesus?" she said. "Do we ever question that? Bring in the fact that not only the Romans but there were Jews who crucified Jesus?"
Caroline Glick: From Latma to ‘Yisrael Hayom’
The cabinet voted 18-2 to eliminate the fee the public is forced to pay to finance public broadcasting, shut down the public broadcasting authority and open a new public broadcasting authority that will be unfettered by the wreckage of the old one.
The problem with the bill that was approved by the government for submission to the Knesset is that the larger problem with public broadcasting remained unaddressed. The main reason that members of the public railed against the fee is that they don’t like what they are paying for. By and large, with a few notable exceptions, public broadcasting’s offerings are unoriginal, uninteresting and poorly done.
Moreover, they either reflect the worldview of the narrow post-Zionist sliver of the population or signify nothing at all.
Sarah Honig: In the Land of Oz
Meretz’s grand guru Amos Oz has told us that, being “a man of words,” he carefully considers his every utterance and its possible nuances. This was his practice, the novelist attests, ahead of his recent 75th birthday gala where he berated “Hebrew neo-Nazis.”
No inadvertent slip of the tongue, it was Oz’s premeditated refinement of Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz’s infamous “Judeo-Nazis” denigration. That bilious barb against Israeli soldiers – also calculated and never retracted – cost Leibowitz his Israel Prize in 1993 (when then-premier Yitzhak Rabin threatened to boycott the ceremony).
But Oz doesn’t stand to lose by his provocation. Quite the contrary, the Neo-Nazi defamation can do him nothing but a whole lot of good.
A female role model of humanity in Israel
A startling contrast presently exists in the world between the extraordinary educational and cultural success of a woman of minority origin in Israel and the denial of education for females by a brutal, fanatical Islamist group in Nigeria.
Israel can be unquestionably proud of Dr. Rania Okby, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine, who is the first female Bedouin doctor in the world and a role model for Bedouin women in Israel. On the other hand, Nigerians, and those who regard themselves as peaceful Muslims, must be embarrassed by or ashamed of the actions of Boko Haram.
This is the Islamic terrorist group that specializes in non-medical matters: bombings, murders, assassinations, and, on April 14, 2014, the abduction of more than 275 mostly Christian teenage girls from their secondary school in Chibok in northeast Nigeria – this in order to prevent them from being educated in a secular manner and to sell them into sexual slavery.
Michael Lumish: Pregnant Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan
And this is precisely why we need to speak out against political Islam and al-Sharia.
If we cannot bring ourselves to stand up against the single most vicious, fascistic and rising political movement in the world today then we have no business referring to ourselves as "liberal" or "progressive."
I am not saying that we need to wage war against the forces of political Islam throughout the Muslim world. What I am saying is that we need to speak out against this movement and we need to stop funding and supporting Islamist organizations like the Brotherhood and possibly, soon, Hamas.
It is just a matter of basic human decency and common sense. How it is that the Obama administration thought that funding the Big Daddy of all Islamist groups in Egypt - the Brotherhood, of course - and providing them not only with diplomatic cover, but heavy weaponry, was a good idea?
Pakistani Christians protest travel ban to Israel
Pakistani Christians held a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club in the city of Karachi on Wednesday to demand that they be allowed to visit Israel.
Israel has no formal diplomatic relations with Pakistan, and Pakistani passports state explicitly that they are valid for all countries except Israel.
The God’s Peoples Fellowship of Pakistan (GPFP) which organized the protest says that the travel ban infringes their rights to perform pilgrimage to Jerusalem and other Christian holy sites in Israel.
Bruins For Israel Fight Back Against Antisemitic Onslaught
Daniel Mael, a student who reports on anti-Israel extremism for Truth Revolt responded to SJP’s claim that they are pro-Palestine, not anti-Jewish. He said today in an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News “They can continue to lie that it’s about Israel or specific policies but they were claiming today that Israel needs to be wiped off the map, they said that the Zionist state needs to be torn down.” He added “it’s funny that people call them Pro-Palestine, they are not pro-Palestine, they are simply anti-Semitic.”
While most Jewish students on hostile campuses tend to try to keep their heads low while counting down the days until graduation, the students of UCLA have had enough. The recent effort by SJP to stigmatize Jewish leaders for taking trips to Israel, seems to have been the last straw. Bruins for Israel released a statement today demanding an end to the brazen Jew hatred that has become the norm on their campus.
Daniel Mael Destroys Students for Justice in Palestine

Seven Pro-Israel Groups Urge Administrative Response to UCLA Anti-Israel Pledge
The demand comes in response to a recent pledge organized by several anti-Israel student groups, including SJP and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), calling on UCLA student council candidates to promise not to visit Israel on trips sponsored by Jewish organizations.
“We, as UCLA students from various backgrounds and perspectives, ask that elected officials refrain from taking free or sponsored trips with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League or Hasbara Fellowships,” the pledges aid.
Vassar removes Wall of Truth raised to protest anti-Israel campus climate (Updates)
Julian Hassan of VCLU told me on the phone this afternoon that when VCLU put up the Wall of Truth he was confronted by administrators telling him to take it down because it was putting the campus on edge, and that there was not proper permitting. Some students also went to administrators complaining that the Wall of Truth was biased and should be taken down.
Hassan said that he refused, insisting that if SJP had the right to picket classes and to erect a wall making false claims against Israel, VCLU had the right to put up the Wall of Truth in protest. Hassan emphasized that part of the protest was against faculty who VCLU feels have treated pro-Israel students unfairly. Hassan emailed the following statement:
We are protesting the climate of fear at Vassar College and the members of the faculty who willfully fuel the fire by teaching biased courses year after year. A faculty chair who led the February 28th open letter called for a boycott [see here] of our May 5th lecture “The Case for Israel and Academic Freedom” and berated us when asked to endorse an event invitation to their department’s students. We can no longer allow the Vassar community to turn a blind-eye to the indoctrination that is happening in place of a liberal arts education.
Julian Hassan ’14
President, Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union
Nonetheless, at approximately 3 p.m. today Vassar administrators took down the Wall of Truth.
Another Baseless Attack by J Street
A member of the J Street board attacked the creators of “The J Street Challenge” today by calling the film “baseless hatred” and claiming it is “filled with distortions.”
Alan Solomont on his Times of Israel blog went on to say that the film “attacks friends, family, and neighbors” and that it hinders debate.
These are huge claims, so I searched for Solomont’s evidence; I figured he would back up his arguments with facts. However, I was mistaken.
Now Featured: J Street's Leftist Logic
Today, J Street’s leftism was on full display in the Times of Israel. Three supporters of the organization, including former Obama ambassador Alan Solomont and Paul Egerman, who most recently served as the finance chair for Elizabeth Warren, elected to attack the film the J Street Challenge with nothing more than leftist logic that thrashed the motives of the film makers and ignored any substantive policy discussion.
They began by attempting to label the film “divisive,” then played on the emotions of the reader:
Jewish mother, baby assaulted in Paris
A woman assaulted a Jewish mother and her baby in Paris while shouting anti-Semitic slurs.
The mother said the attacker shouted, “Dirty Jewess, enough with your children already, you Jews have too many children, screw you.”
Identified by BNVCA by her initials, A.M., the mother said the assailant continued to hurl insults at her in front of onlookers at the Faubourg Monmartre bus stop in the 9th arrondissement, a district in central Paris.
BNVCA founder Sammy Ghozlan said the mother has filed a complaint with police and can identify her attacker.
Argentine court strikes down 'truth commission' deal with Iran over 1994 bombings
An Argentine Federal court on Thursday struck down an agreement between the South American country and Iran to jointly investigate the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that local courts blamed on Tehran.
Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who oversaw an investigation of the AMIA center explosion that killed 85 people, had argued in his appeal to the court that in negotiating the 2013 deal with Iran, the executive branch had overstepped into areas reserved for the judiciary.
Thursday's ruling declared the agreement unconstitutional and ordered Argentina not to go ahead with it. The deal had been delayed anyway by Iranian reluctance to move forward in implementing it.
‘Mad’ claims from former PM
Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot concurred with Leibler: “Fraser’s assertion, that Israel’s missile hit on an American ship in the Mediterranean was not mistaken but deliberate, was disgraceful given the number of international inquiries that found to the contrary.
“The statement by Fraser that the Jewish community ‘seek to get Australia to adopt policies as defined by Israel’, suggesting dual loyalties, is equally wrong and particularly ­unfortunate.”
Zionist Federation of Australia president Danny Lamm said: “The [USS Liberty] incident was subject to no less than 10 American investigations and an additional three Israeli investigations, all of which found that it was indeed an accident.
“If Mr Fraser has a credible source to back up his outlandish claims, then he is duty-bound to reveal it.”
‘Jews vs Nazis’ — the drinking game
High school students in Florida have come up with a dark, offensive variation to the popular drinking game beer pong, trading the triangles for the Star of David and the swastika.
Pictures of the game have been posted on social media, sparking a controversy. According to Fox4 Now, “more than 1600 people retweeted a post by @HSConfessional with a picture of the game that claims it’s played at Cape Coral High School parties.”
Iraq extends Jewish archive stay in US
The Iraqi government is extending the stay of the Iraqi Jewish Archive in the United States.
“In order to continue this important work and to allow the exhibit to be displayed in other cities in the United States, the Government of Iraq has authorized me to extend the period which the exhibit may remain in the United States,” Lukman Fally, the Iraqi ambassador to Washington, said in a statement posted Wednesday on the embassy website.
He did not say how long the extension was or which cities would host the archive, which has appeared in Washington, D.C., and New York.
A number of Jewish groups have joined an array of lawmakers in Congress in demanding that the archive remain outside Iraq in the custody of a major Iraqi Jewish Diaspora such as Britain, Israel or the United States.
Iraqi Jewish Archive belongs in America
When I last wrote about the archive of Jewish treasures from Iraq rescued by U.S. forces in Baghdad in 2003, I noted that the prevalent opinion among Iraqi Jews—a community from which I hail on my father’s side—was that the books, photographs, scrolls, writings, and communal documents in this extraordinary collection should remain in America, rather than being returned to Iraq. I then argued that while his view couldn’t be faulted on legal or moral grounds, I nonetheless wished that the situation were different, and that Iraq could celebrate its Jewish heritage in the manner that European countries like Poland and Germany do with theirs.
Since the vexed question of who owns this collection, known as the “Iraqi Jewish Archive,” remains a live one, I want to outline some further thoughts on the issue. But before I do, it’s worth summarizing the current state of discussions over the archive between the U.S. and Iraqi governments.
India diplomat: We want to embrace Israeli tech
One of the largest tech business delegations from India to ever arrive in Israel is scheduled to arrive next week. Some 30 Indian companies, large and small, plan to have booths at the India Pavilion at the Tel Aviv MIXiii 2014 conference, the largest tech event to be held in Israel this year.
Those companies represent the leading edge of Indian tech business interest in Israel, according to Vani Rao, deputy chief of mission in the Embassy of India. “Israel and India already do a lot of business in several areas, including agriculture and diamonds, with the latter accounting for about half the current $5 billion in trade between our countries,” Rao said in an interview. “Interest in Israel from the information technology sector has been increasing in recent years as well, with Indian companies seeking to partner with Israeli start-up and veteran companies on development projects.”
U.S. FDA Approves Israeli Company’s Lung Cancer Scanning System; Shares Surge 18% on TASE
Shares of Israeli biotech firm BioView surged 18.7% to NIS 3.45 on Wednesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its Duet scanning system for the detection of mutations in lung cancer patients, Israel’s Globes business daily reported.
In a statement, Dr. Alan Schwebel, BioView President and CEO said, “We are pleased to receive FDA approval for the new application. This, along with our distribution agreement with Abbot Molecular and the broad range of applications will allow us to continue to penetrate the pathology lab market and to position BioView as a world leader.”
Tight Security for Jewish Pilgrims at Ancient Tunisian Synagogue
Jewish pilgrims began arriving on Friday at Ghriba, Africa's oldest synagogue, on the Tunisian resort island of Djerba for an annual gathering taking place amid heavy security.
Police and soldiers deployed along the main road to Ghriba, with checkpoints set up to search vehicles.
The organisers hope to receive 2,000 people during the three-day event which ends on Sunday, a representative of the small Jewish community in Ghriba, Perez Trabelsi, told AFP.
Israel Daily Picture: Lag B'Omer -- Celebrating in Djerba Tunisia
One of the oldest Jewish communities in the world is located in Djerba, an island off the coast of Tunisia. Over the centuries, Jews from North Africa and even southern Europe made pilgrimages to the ancient El Ghriba synagogue on Lag B'Omer.
Despite current tensions in Arab countries in North Africa, several thousand Jews are expected to visit Djerba for the Lag B'Omer weekend.
We present pictures of the Lag B'Omer celebrations on the island from 60 years ago that we found in the Harvard Library archives.


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