Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From Ian:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Met With Standing Ovation At Yale University
Despite a dishonest attempt by Yale's Muslim Students Association to sabotage a scheduled lecture by women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the event took place Monday evening absent of conflict. On the contrary, Hirsi Ali was met with a standing round of applause at the end of the evening.
The Somali-born Hirsi Ali, who fled after undergoing forced genital mutilation and was arranged to be married, delivered the talk on the "Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West" in which she touched on the Muslim world, which she deemed "on fire."
She thanked Yale University for standing for academic freedom as opposed to Brandeis University which revoked the offer of an honorary degree in April.
Hirsi Ali stated that she understood United States president Barack Obama's hesitancy to enter war but warned that "a world not led by America is going to be really, really a bad place to live in and we can see that."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Urges Yale MSA To Refocus Energies
Despite more than 30 student organizations petitioning her appearance, Somali-American women’s rights activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program’s “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West” event, during which she said the current state of Islam is in need of reform.
“You live in a time when Muslims are at a crossroads,” Ali said. “Every single day there is a headline that forces the Muslim individual to choose between his conscience and his creed.”
Ali spoke directly to the Muslim Students Association (MSA), whose representatives approached Buckley Program President Richard Lizardo and requested that Ali be disinvited. Lizardo said that was a “nonstarter.” The MSA now denies that such a request was made.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Speaks to Yale MSA


What’s Behind Germany’s New Anti-Semitism
Until recently, Germany has been unwilling to discuss this trend. Germans have always seen Muslim anti-Semitism as a less problematic version of the “original” version, and therefore a distraction from the well-known problem of anti-Jewish sentiment within a majority of society.
And yet the German police have noted a disturbing rise in the number of people of Arabic and Turkish descent arrested on suspicion of anti-Semitic acts in recent years, especially over the last several months. After noticing an alarming uptick in anti-Semitic sentiment among immigrant students, the German government is considering a special fund for Holocaust education.
Of course, anti-Semitism didn’t originate with Europe’s Muslims, nor are they its only proponents today. The traditional anti-Semitism of Europe’s far right persists. So, too, does that of the far left, as a negative byproduct of sympathy for the Palestinian liberation struggle. There’s also an anti-Semitism of the center, a subcategory of the sort of casual anti-Americanism and anticapitalism that many otherwise moderate Europeans espouse.



JPost Editorial: Germany’s Jewish problem
Nevertheless, levels of German anti-Semitism remain high – even when there is no military conflict taking place in Israel. In May, the Anti-Defamation League’s Global 100 Index found that 27 percent of German adults answered “probably” or “definitely” true to six or more of 11 stereotypes about Jews in the survey, such as “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the country they live in.” This placed Germany among the countries with the highest levels of anti-Semitism in Western Europe.
Germans and other Europeans need to ask themselves why it is legitimate to express “Israel criticism” while leveling the same withering criticism against other countries is unheard of. There is, after all, no “Japan criticism” or “Sweden criticism” or even “Syria criticism”; rather, criticism is confined to specific policies, governments or regimes.
It is their preoccupation with Jews and Israel that motivates Europeans to take to the streets to show solidarity with Palestinian victims. What else explains why the same sort of solidarity is not shown with the hundreds of thousands killed in Syria? Is there anything that Germany or other European countries can do to combat anti-Semitism? Education might help. But when a rally against anti-Semitism takes place in the center of Berlin attended by the chancellor and other notables, and only 5,000 bother to show up, it is difficult to be optimistic.
Israel and the Jews: Looking glasses on ugly Europe
Over the past decades, European countries have, almost indiscriminately, let in many millions of Muslims. These immigrants come from non-democratic nations where anti-Semitism, both in its classic forms and in its anti-Israeli dimension, is rife.
Many of these people are often highly intolerant of any criticism of their own religion and/or culture.
Allowing so many people into Europe from such dictatorial, hateful and discriminatory environments has played a major role in the increase of European anti-Semitism, which has culminated – so far – during the summer of 2014. This rise in anti-Semitism further exposed the existence of the EU’s alter ego, which might be called Ugly Europe (UE). Synagogues were vandalized. Jews were physically and verbally attacked. There were calls to kill Jews and demonstrations reminiscent of the 1930s.
Media reports show that descendants of Muslim immigrants bear a disproportionately large amount of responsibility for current anti-Semitic incidents. This is true for the most violent of these incidents in particular.
Whatever statistics are available confirm this fact. The highly negative outcome of this European immigration policy is a new form of state-enabled anti-Semitism.
Elizabeth Warren: 'Fair' to Compare Jews to Nazis
The exchange began when activist Eva Moseley, a self-described “Holocaust refugee,” said that she was “extremely” worried about the Jews’ treatment of Palestinians:
Moseley: Eva Moseley, I’m not a student, I’m not an alumnae, but was in faculty life. I was also a Holocaust refugee, and I’m extremely concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them.
[Loud applause from the audience.]
Warren: [nodding] I think that’s fair.
Moseley then pushed Warren on her recent statement on Israel’s right to defend itself:
Moseley: You recently said that you believe that Israel has the right to self-defense. Do you also believe that the Palestinians have a right to self-defense?
[More applause.]
Warren: Of course. So, and the answer is yes. The direction we ought to be moving is not toward more war. The direction we need to be moving, as I said, I believe we need to move to a two-state solution where both peoples can be secure and safe within their own borders. So, I’m there.


Jewish Group Condemns Biden’s ‘Offensive’ Reference To ‘Shylocks’
Vice President Joe Biden’s casual use of an expression some deem anti-Semitic has drawn sharp criticism from the Anti-Defamation League.
Biden referred to bankers that take advantage of military men and women serving overseas as “Shylocks.”
The term comes from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, in which the villain, Shylock, is a greedy Jewish money-lender that asks for a “pound of flesh” as payment.
“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day. The Vice President should have been more careful,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said. (h/t MtTB)
Why Scots Leader Compares Israel to ISIS
First of all, that will come as news to many in Britain. During the war in Gaza, British Jews experienced a tremendous rise in anti-Semitic attacks, many of which in some way referenced Israel, and Scotland was no exception in this. But the comparison was clear; two evils in the Middle East, and two religious minorities in Britain who are not to be blamed for those evils.
Breathtakingly, some in Britain’s Jewish leadership have actually defended Salmond’s remarks, arguing that he had not intended any direct comparison between ISIS and the Jewish state. Well, yes, no doubt if questioned Mr. Salmond would not maintain that Israel and ISIS are morally indistinguishable. Yet the casual throwaway categorization was entirely evident. Quite simply Salmond’s point was that ISIS’s actions are “unspeakable barbarism,” and so were Israel’s in Gaza. There was no hint that Israel’s war might have been justifiable; Salmond’s remark makes clear that that’s beyond question. But as an enlightened and tolerant man, he simply asks that Scotland’s Jews not be held responsible.
Such attitudes are the norm among Scottish nationalists. Salmond’s second in command–and prominent face in the campaign for independence–Nicola Sturgeon was recently the headline speaker at Glasgow’s “Women for Gaza” rally. Also on the line-up was Yvonne Ridley, a prominent convert to Islam who has often voiced her support for terrorist groups, Hezbollah among them. Ridley recently called for a “Zionist-free Scotland.” So with the leading lights of the Scottish nationalist movement sharing a platform with those advocating a Scotland free of “Zionists,” one has to wonder just how serious they really are about not extending their antipathy for the Jewish state to Jews in general.
Scottish Jewish community leader: Independence would not be ‘favorable’ for policy toward Israel
Should Scotland vote “yes,” putting the Scottish Nationalists in the driving seat, “their foreign policy is not likely to be favorable for us,” Morron said.
The communal leader also warned that even if another political party were subsequently to win power in an independent Scotland - be it Labor or a coalition of the SNP or Labor with the Liberal Democrats or the Green Party - the same would apply. All of the parties have displayed hostility toward Israel - especially during the recent Gaza war.
“Only if the Conservatives win power would there be a change in policy, and I certainly do not anticipate that,” Morron said, noting that the Conservatives had not held the levers of power in Scotland for decades.
The SNP’s antipathy toward Israel has manifested itself in several ways, the Glasgow Jewish community president noted. The party recently called for an arms boycott of Israel and pressured it to accept and solution to the recent conflict, while making no demands of Hamas.
“I think their policy on Israel’s self-defense is hypocritical,” Morron said. “They say Israel is entitled to self-defense, [but] then say [the Israelis] are not entitled to the arms they may need for that self-defense.”
Military manual that suggests Israeli war crimes overseen by Trudeau aide
OTTAWA - The Prime Minister's Office says Liberal [party] military adviser Andrew Leslie is directly responsible for a controversial military doctrine manual that suggests Israel committed war crimes in Gaza.
PMO spokesman Carl Vallee told QMI Agency that Leslie "ignores the fact that Israel takes great precautions to protect civilians. The former general, and Justin Trudeau's senior adviser, was responsible for the creation of this manual and his views are clearly reflected in the contents."
The Department of National Defence, which is primarily responsible for the manual, refused to comment directly on the controversial part of the document.
The counter-insurgency section of Canada's manual states that Israel, during a 2006 ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, used "indiscriminate harassing fire" that killed seven members of a Palestinian family.
"Anti-Zionism Is Antisemitism ... Israel Represents The Right To Be Different In The Middle East"; A British Muslim Former Radical On How & Why He Learned To Love Israel (video)
An insightful address in America by former radical Israel-hater Kasim Hafeez, a personable, well-spoken and amusing young Muslim man of Pakistani background from Nottingham, England who's now lives in Canada, on why Israel is not an apartheid states and why he's convinced that no "pro-Palestinian movement exists in the Western World ... It is an anti-Israel movement".
He is not afraid to speak about Islamic extremism and the inadequate response of the general Muslim community ("To be honest, the radicals are winning .... We have sleep-walked into this disaster").
And his comments about the Palestinian plight is spot-on.
Woven inextricably into this splendid narrative is his own personal odyssey from an easy-going guy to a confessed antisemitic activist, radicalised at university in Britain, to a staunch supporter of Israel who is shunned by much of his family and receives death threats from "people who can't spell properly".
Son of Kahane’s killer says Jews aren’t the enemy
Author Zak Ebrahim, whose jihadist father El Sayyid Nosair was convicted in the fatal shooting of Rabbi Meir Kahane, said contact with Jews, as well as Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” helped him to reject extremism and embrace a path of tolerance instead.
In an interview with Vice magazine published on Monday, Ebrahim explained how he came to realize that the bigoted ideology he was raised on didn’t ring true.
A turning point came when he was involved in an initiative for young people that looked at youth violence in schools. Three days into a national convention, Ebrahim found out that one of the co-participants with whom he had became close was Jewish.
“I had never had a Jewish friend before,” Ebrahim recalled. “I was surprised, as my whole life I’d been taught that not only could we not be friends, but that we were natural enemies of one another. Immediately I realized that wasn’t true.”
For Ebrahim, the moment had a profound significance.


Arab Knesset members’ anti-Israel rhetoric
Zahalka, although speaking in an event that was titled “Peace forum,” and despite himself being a member of the Israeli parliament, concentrated in his speech on demonizing Israel and ensuring that his audience would, by end the night, be hating Israel.
When someone asked him whether Israel was an apartheid state, he responded, “No, but it’s from the same family.” Then he began describing how Israel is much like apartheid – but apparently worse. He said, “We [Israeli Arabs] would actually prefer apartheid. Give us apartheid! At least we would then be allowed to stay in our homes.”
I couldn’t stop thinking of how my South African friends who survived the real apartheid would react upon hearing an Arab member of the Israeli parliament explaining to a group of Europeans how he would prefer apartheid to the current situation in which he is not only allowed to vote but is actually a member of the government.
Zahalka also kept on speaking about Israeli violence against Palestinians, refusing to talk about Hamas terrorism beyond calling it a “struggle for a just cause.”
Karios Palestine comes to the Bay Area: Promoting a "pathetic manifesto" for the delegitimization of Israel
Palestinian Christians Manawel Salameh and Areej Masoud from Kairos Palestine will be on a local speaking tour, organized and promoted by a coalition of extremist anti-Israel groups under the umbrella of the California-Nevada Israel-Palestine Task Force of the United Methodist Church.
Kairos Palestine is working to achieve the goals of the notorious "Kairos Document," issued in 2009 and described by the JCPA as a "pathetic manifesto for the delegitimization of Israel.”
Jeremy Ben-Ami’s Dishonest Editorial on the Land in Gush Etzion
What Ben-Ami fails to mention in his Los Angeles Times opinion piece is that the land he refers to as near Bethlehem is actually land in Gush Etzion, in the southern part of Jerusalem, which has been populated by Jews since before 1948. In no set of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians have the Palestinians ever claimed this land, as Ben-Ami now does for them.
In the 2008 negotiations between then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, Abbas recognized that this land was not in dispute as being part of Israel. Twenty thousand Israelis live in Gush Etzion, which borders the 1948 Green Line.
Former president Jimmy Carter, the man who characterized Israeli settlements in the West Bank as Apartheid, announced that this land was always understood to belong to Israel. As Carter noted, “This particular settlement area is not one I ever envision being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory.” Carter went on to say that Gush Etzion was part of the close settlements that will be forever a part of Israel.
Israelis barred from applying to the LSE's Middle East Centre Scholarship Programme
In 2010 I reported on how the new Middle East Centre at the prestigious LSE (London School of Economics) eradicated Israel from the map (literally), and how leading members of the Centre's managment team manager supported an academic boycott of Israel. Despite many subsequent assurances that the map was an error and that the Centre "provides balanced and informed analysis of the region ...and is committed to rigorous research and scholarship with the scrupulous preservation of its academic independence" the Centre does not allow Israelis to apply for its Masters Scholarship Programme. Indeed the LSE's web page specifies:
Applicants must be nationals of an Arab League member State: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, occupied Palestinian territory, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria*, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen.
* Although Syria’s membership to the Arab League has been suspended, applicants from Syria are still eligible to apply.
BDS Boycotters Say Boycotting Them is McCarthyism
Bullies really hate it when you fight back. Punch a bully in the nose and no matter how many times he hit you, he runs away and cries that it’s unfair. He’s the only one who is supposed to be able to hit people.
BDS bullies are the same way. They’re the only ones who are supposed to be able to boycott. Boycotting them isn’t fair. It’s wrong. It’s… it’s McCarthyism.
The Amcha Initiative put out a list of college faculty who support pro-terrorist boycotts of Israel. Its sources were mostly the boycotters themselves. But now the boycotters, who love playing the victim like they love Made in China keffiyahs, are chanting the name of a dead Irishman.
'I Hate Jews' Carved into Bathroom at East Carolina Univ.
Days after two East Carolina University students were arrested for spray-painting a swastika on the apartment door on an ECU Jewish student, the phrase 'I hate Jews' was found carved into the wall of a campus dormitory. According to the campus paper The East Carolinian:
"Hall staff reported to the ECU Police Department that an inappropriate phrase was written on a bathroom wall in the Fletcher residence hall. The incident happened over a weekend, so less students were in the dorm and not aware of the damage.
The sentence said, “I hate Jews,” and has caused Chancellor Steve Ballard to send out a memorandum about the environment at ECU."
Angry Readers Meet, Confront Haaretz Editors
Amos Shocken, the publisher of ultra-leftist newspaper Haaretz, met a few days ago with about 100 former readers of the newspaper who cancelled their subscriptions to the paper because they were fed up with its extreme content during Operation Protective Edge.
The single item that caused the most outrage was an article by rabidly leftist columnist Gideon Levy, in which he called IAF pilots "war criminals" for bombing Gaza.
According to Itamar Baz of media watchdog “The Seventh Eye,” Haaretz invited 300 disgruntled ex-readers to the meeting, one third of whom took part in the event. They singled out Levy, as well as other writers known for their extremist lines: Uri Misgav, Rogel Alpher, Ari Shavit, Nehemia Strasler and Amos Harel.
Shocken reportedly told the ex-readers that Haaretz writes about Israeli-Palestinian relations as “part of a range of struggles for the character of the country, which are aimed at a more just and enlightened society.” A subscription to Haaretz, he explained, is also an investment in “an insurance policy regarding the direction in which Israel is headed.”
Shocken insisted that Haaretz is a Zionist newspaper that supports Israel's existence as a Jewish and democratic country.
The Rotten State Of The Media
A couple of weeks ago Matti Friedman started to blow the lid on how the Associated Press operates in Israel. It’s not that what he wrote came as a surprise to some of us, it’s that a former, long time insider is cataloging exactly how that organisation works. I wrote about it as “A Media Earthquake Started” and it wasn’t long before the shaking woke Former AP Bureau Chief Steven Gutkin. He gave a rambling riposte which boiled down to the defence “as long as we angered each side equally, we surmised we were doing something right.” This has also been the BBC’s favourite “dog ate my homework” defence for many years too. And it’s nonsense.
To understand the import of Friedman’s exposé you have to understand how the news wires operate and how the news you see is made. The chain is like this: sources -> news wire -> news outlet. Sources are whomever or whatever the news wire trusts. From there the story goes into the news rooms of outlets (print, web, radio, TV etc.) around the world. Some are picked up, added to, edited and run and some stories are run completely unaltered. Google News will find hundreds or thousands of any AP wire piece unaltered spread across the web.
CiF Watch prompts correction to Telegraph claim about Unit 8200 letter
However, the report did contain a clear error, in a passage suggesting that the Israeli soldiers complained, in their letter, of “targeted assassinations”.
After contacting Telegraph editors and demonstrating that “targeted assassinations” was not mentioned in the letter, they wrote us back and informed us that have “removed the term ‘targeted assassinations’ from their online copy“.
'No Doubt' that Belgian Synagogue Fire was Anti-Semitism
Ya'akov Hagoel, head of the Department for Activities in Israel and Countering anti-Semitism of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), told Arutz Sheva that regardless of the claims of Belgian officials, the Brussels synagogue arson attack on Tuesday was no "criminal" act.
"This is an arson incident that occurred at 5 a.m. in Brussels at the Anderlecht synagogue next to the train station. The three wounded by inhaling smoke are the gabbai (synagogue caretaker) and his family members who live on the floor above," Hagoel told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday.
Laurens Dumont, a spokesman for the city prosecutor, reported that the gabbai in fact was not wounded in the event, but rather that the three consisted of his wife and two children.
Either way, according to Hagoel, "this synagogue was set on fire in 2010 by a molotov cocktail, and yesterday the Jewish Museum in Brussels was reopened, after being closed following the attack (killing four people) three months ago. We believe there's a connection between the events."
NYC police look into swastika fliers in Brooklyn
New York City police are investigating the distribution of fliers marked with swastikas in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
A member of the Shomrim, a watchdog group affiliated with New York’s ultra-Orthodox community, spotted the fliers on Bedford Avenue, a Jewish area of the Brooklyn neighborhood, on Monday evening, according to the JPUpdates news site.
The group alerted the police.
Police were reviewing surveillance video to see if they can track the fliers’ distributor, JPUpdates said.
Four Israeli universities ranked in world’s top 300
The QS World University Rankings, which take into account research, teaching, graduate employability, and international outlook, were released on Tuesday.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was named the best university in Israel, coming in 138th overall — just behind Dartmouth College and just ahead of the University of Virginia. The Technion — Israel Institute of Technology was Israel’s next highest, at 190th, followed by Tel Aviv University, at 195th, and Ben-Gurion University, at 292nd.
While the top three Israeli universities stayed more or less where they were on the list last year, Ben-Gurion University moved up 39 spots, from 331st. In 2012, the university was nearly 100 spots lower, at 385th. The last time the university was in the top 300 was in 2008.
China Buys Israeli Smart Irrigation Tech Company for $20 Million
China’s Yuanda Enterprise Group announced last week that it had bought the Israeli company AutoAgronome Israel Ltd for $20 million in order to expand its business to high-tech agriculture. The Israeli company produces smart irrigation and fertilization systems that are successfully used with 70 different types of crops in 13 countries including the United Kingdom.
“The movement to new technology is huge. Every year, the area of drip irrigation system farming in China increases about 20 percent, which is more than all in Israel and Europe together. It’s a huge market in China,” said Nissim Daniely, the general manager of AutoAgronom in China Daily.
Scientists at the China Agricultural University in Beijing believe that smart-farming techniques are the key to China’s food problems in a study released in early September. The acquisition of the Israeli smart irrigation tech company is significant in China’s struggles with food security. (h/t MtTB)
Streisand on Israel: The World Envies Success
Never one to shy away from unpopular opinions, Streisand wades into the minefield that speaking publicly about Israel has become.
Recently, she has been using a spiral notebook to write down her thoughts on Israel, some of which may go into a memoir she’s writing. A paragraph in it began as follows: “The world envies success.”
It’s something that Streisand—who counts Israeli President Shimon Peres as a close friend, and who performed “Avinu Malkeinu,” at his 90th birthday celebration last summer—would probably say about herself as well.
Amy Winehouse statue features Star of David
A statue of Amy Winehouse in London has the iconic blues singer wearing a Star of David.
The unveiling Sunday in the Camden Town neighborhood, where Winehouse lived, marked what would have been Winehouse’s 31st birthday and was attended by her parents.
The statue, by Scott Eaton, casts the singer, who was Jewish, mostly in gray striking a typical pose – one hand on hip, the other clutching a miniskirt – topped by a bouffant hairdo stuck with the statue’s only burst of color, a red rose.
Around her neck is a Star of David set in a circle.
Mother of Naftali Frenkel With Rosh HaShana Request for Jewish Unity [video]
The mother of slain Israeli teen Naftali Frenkel, Rachelle Frenkel, speaks about the loss of her son, but even more about the outpouring of love and unity from the Jewish people.
In this video produced by Aish.com, Frenkel once again acts as the conscience of the best of the Jewish people.
She says: “Cain asks, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ I think the answer came out loud and clear. We are one family and I am my brother’s keeper.”
Torah Scroll Dedicated in Memory of Murdered Teens
The owner of the Migdal Insurance company, Shlomo Eliyahu, donated an elaborate Torah scroll in the memory of murdered Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha'ar (hy"d) Tuesday, in an emotional ceremony attended by both the Yifrah family and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.
Eliahu, as well as his son, Migdal CEO Ofer Eliahu, were so impressed by the courage of the Yifrahs during their ordeal that they have decided to name the synagogue in the company building after Eyal as well, they announced.
Eyal's mother Iris spoke with great dignity on her son's life, as well as his attachment to Torah and its values.
71 years later, Sobibor gas chambers unearthed
The gas chambers at the Sobibor death camp, where some 250,000 Jews perished between April 1942 and October 1943, have been uncovered in an archaeological dig, bringing to a close an eight-year search, Yad Vashem announced on Wednesday.
“Finally, we have reached our goal – the discovery of the gas chambers. We were amazed at the size of the building and the well-preserved condition of the chamber walls,” Israeli archaeologist Yoram Haimi, whose two uncles were killed in the camp, was quoted as saying in a press release.
In addition to the thousands of personal effects belonging to the Jewish inmates that have been unearthed in past years, last week the archaeological team found a water well used by the Jewish prisoners, which the Nazis filled with waste while dismantling the camp.
A wedding band bearing the Hebrew inscription “Behold, you are consecrated unto me” was also recently located near the gas chambers in what Haimi described as the “most poignant moment.”


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