Wednesday, May 13, 2015

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: NGOs and the return of antisemitism
This week in Jerusalem, politicians, journalists, diplomats, educators, and civil society will gather at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (GFCA), a biannual meeting to assess the state of antisemitism globally. For the hundreds of participants, including many non-Jews, it is essential to expose those responsible for fueling antisemitism and those that enable it in order to formulate effective responses.
In this form of racism, powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim to promote human rights and humanitarian agendas, as well as the European governments that fund them, play a central role. The NGOs lead the demonization campaigns that target Israel, and despite the extensive evidence of the moral damage caused by these NGOs, European governments irresponsibly continue to fund them with hundreds of millions of pounds, euros, and kroner.
In advance of the Global Forum, NGO Monitor published a detailed report addressing these issues. The report addresses different types of antisemitism that are manifest in some medical aid organizations, church groups, and major human rights organizations.
Father Gabriel Naddaf: Supporting Middle Eastern Christians is Zionism
This clearly Zionist value is expressed today in Nepal, but not only there. For example, the non-governmental organization Rescuers without Borders, headed by Rabbi Aryeh Levi from Beitar Illit (a hareid rabbi living in a settlement), is operating in Kathmandu right now. At the same time, he is working with me (an Aramaic Greek-Orthodox priest and the head of the Christian Empowerment Council) to collect basic supplies for Christian refugees who escaped the clutches of the murderous terrorist organization ISIL, eventually escaping to refugee camps in Jordan and northern Iraq. Surprisingly (or not), the main source of our manpower for this blessed activity is volunteers from the Zionist non-governmental organization Im Tirtzu,
The combination of a hareidi rabbi, a priest who encourages Christian Israelis to enlist in the Israeli Defense Forces, and a secular pro-Israeli organization all working together is the aim of the Zionist story. Members of all ethnicities and sectors joining together to help those being unjustly persecuted.
This is true, honest, and real mutual responsibility. Israeli mutual responsibility, capable of bringing light even to those populations who are not Israel’s first priority every day.
It upsets me that even on these topics the vast majority of organizations who claim the title of “human rights” organizations, who in reality focus only on the vilification of the State of Israel and Israeli soldiers, are not heard.
Not Adalah, not Physicians for Human Rights, not Rabbis for Human Rights, not B’Tselem, not Breaking the Silence nor any of the other organizations supported by the New Israel Fund (NIF) have found in themselves at least the honesty to praise the amazing and inspiring Zionist activity being done here. Because why should they praise Israel or its Zionist organizations working for Nepalese refugees or downtrodden Christian refugees living in Jordan and in Syria?
After all, this doesn’t serve the international propaganda against Israel that they are primarily and completely committed to.
The Hijacking of the International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court’s acceptance of Palestine as a state party is the latest example of a noble institution hijacked into serving political ends.
Headlines published on April Fools’ Day are often reserved for pranks, hoaxes, and fake news stories. Yet the many headlines that stated something like, “The State of Palestine formally joins the International Criminal Court, launching investigations into Israel’s War Crimes,” were no laughing matter. The State of Palestine is now officially listed as a state party to the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court. So hold the laughter, this is no joke.
Beyond being an accomplished reality, Palestine’s accession to the ICC is being hailed by some as a triumphal step on the path to the universalization of human rights norms and the Rome Statute, which established the court itself. Yet this latest bid by the Palestinian Authority to circumvent negotiations with Israel should give champions of human rights no cause for celebration, for it places more than the Jewish state’s international standing in jeopardy. As all of the Palestinians’ political bids have done in the past, this move only serves to weaken the legitimacy of the ICC and the international legal system.

ICC urges Israel to cooperate with preliminary Gaza probe
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court warned Israel Tuesday that if it doesn’t provide reliable information for her preliminary probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories she may be forced to decide whether to launch a full-scale investigation based on Palestinian allegations.
Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with The Associated Press that she hasn’t received any information yet from either side regarding last summer’s Gaza war and urged Israel and the Palestinians to provide information to her.
The Palestinians accepted the court’s jurisdiction in mid-January and officially joined the ICC on April 1 in hopes of prosecuting Israel for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza conflict so they are certain to provide Bensouda with information. Israel, however, has denounced the Palestinian action as “scandalous,” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that it turns the ICC “into part of the problem and not part of the solution.”
At the time, Washington said it was a “tragic irony” that the Jewish state, which had been hit by “thousands of terrorist rockets… is now being scrutinized by the ICC.”
Bensouda said her office is “making attempts” to contact the Israelis and to reach out to the Palestinians.
As experts debate IDF targeting of Hamas, where will ICC come out?
Which side of the latest debate between US-Israeli law of armed conflict experts will the International Criminal Court fall out on when it looks at war crimes allegations against the IDF? (It should be clear that none of the debaters have accused the IDF of war crimes, but their differing positions could highly impact an ICC analysis of the legality of the IDF’s targeting methodology. In contrast, there are many human rights groups who disagree with IDF tactics far more and are more clearly pushing for ICC intervention.)
At the end of April, top US law of armed conflict experts Michael Schmitt (former US Air Force lawyer and current professor at the Naval War College) and army lawyer and an instructor at the Naval War College Maj. John Merriam put out two major reports on IDF targeting methodology after the IDF gave them special insider access.
From their joint work, they concluded that the IDF had at least two very special contextual elements to compete with when fighting Hamas and Hezbollah which were even more challenging than those which Western armies confronted in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One was that when the IDF was deciding whether to target Hamas forces or rockets, that a choice not to attack could mean an immediate Hamas strike on the Israeli civilian population.
'International community should criminalize double standards against Israel as anti-Semitism'
The international community should criminalize anti-Semitism and establish a multilateral body to monitor it, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs legal adviser Amb. Alan Baker asserted on Monday in the text of a draft international convention being promoted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
In 2013 Baker, who heads the think tank’s Institute for Contemporary Affairs, drafted a similar document banning inciting terrorism, which was promoted at the United Nations by former Israeli UN envoy Dore Gold but which does not seem to have gained much traction.
“The international community has never considered criminalizing anti-Semitism as an international crime, in a manner similar to the criminalization of genocide, racism, piracy, hostage-taking, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and terror,” Baker wrote in the introduction to the document, adding that one might have expected it do so in light of the recent wave of anti-Semitism that has swept Europe.
The lack of coordinated action on this matter is “clearly a vast international injustice,” he wrote, stating that his draft accord is intended to “universally criminalize anti-Semitism within the world community.”
According to Baker, any manifestation of anti-Semitism that results in violence or is meant to incite violence should be considered a crime under international law. He defined anti-Semitism as consisting of several phenomena, including Holocaust denial; expressions of hostility or demonstrations of violence toward Jews individually or as a religious, ethnic or racial collective; the use of “sinister stereotypes” and conspiracy theories “charging Jews with conspiring to harm humanity” and justifying the killing or harming of Jews.
Study: Muslims Responsible for 'Disproportionate' Number of Europe's Anti-Semitic Attacks
The report, authored by Gunther Jikeli, the director of ISGAP France and a research fellow at the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies at Potsdam University, examines several surveys conducted since 2006, comparing results country by country. (France and the UK receive particular emphasis.) Most of those surveys were based on subjects’ responses to stereotypes about Jews, asking them to agree or disagree with such statements as “the Jews have too much power in politics” and “the Jews have too much power in the media.” Country for country, the number of Muslims agreeing with those anti-Semitic statements far surpassed that of non-Muslims.
In a 2014 study in France, for instance, 25 percent of the general public agreed with the statement “Jews have too much power in the economy and the financial world,” but 50 percent of Front National (right wing nationalist) sympathizers agreed; 67 percent of the Muslim population surveyed agreed.
Similar criteria used by Ruud Koopmans in 2008 showed a like trend among 900 participants in six European countries, reports Jikeli. Subjects in Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands were asked to respond to the statement “Jews cannot be trusted.” Consistently, far more self-identifying Muslims agreed with this statement than did self-identifying Christians. In Austria, for instance, 10.7 percent of Christians agreed with this statement; six times as many Muslims agreed—some 64.1 percent; in Belgium, 7.6 percent of Christians agreed while an overwhelming 56.7 percent of Muslim respondents agreed.
Other studies have examined different and possibly more worrying criteria. In France, a Fondapol survey, the IGAP report says, found that “twenty-four percent of the Muslim sample and 12 percent of the general population disagreed that the Holocaust should be taught to younger generations to avoid its repetition.”
Rabbis gather in Toulouse to denounce Islamist terror
The event, the biennial convention of the European Conference of Rabbis, on Tuesday brought together 250 participants including the chief rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, and his British counterpart, Ephraim Mirvis.
Pinchas Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow and the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, told JTA Toulouse was chosen as the venue for the event to demonstrate European Jewry’s “determination to stand firm against the new wave of terrorism designed to intimidate Europe and its Jews.”
In 2012, Mohammed Merah, a Muslim fanatic, murdered three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
“Toulouse is the point in which we saw the emergence of a new wave of terrorism, different from the terrorist attacks by Palestinians that we have seen in the past,” Goldschmidt said. The 2014 slaying of four at Brussels’ Jewish museum, the murder of four Jews near Paris in January and the gunning down of a Jewish guard in Copenhagen in February, Goldschmidt said, “are the latest casualties of the wave that we saw emerging in Toulouse.”
European rabbis honor French PM Valls for combating anti-Semitism
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was honored by a gathering of European rabbis on Tuesday for his “exemplary determination in the fight against anti-Semitism,” less than a month after he announced the beginning of a massive national effort to combat the rising levels of anti-Jewish incidents in his country.
The €100 million plan includes regular monitoring of racism and anti-Semitism in order to generate data; protect Jewish and Muslim houses of worship and communal institutions; and push back against discrimination.
“We made the decision to award Prime Minister Valls the Lord Jakobovits Prize after the decisive action Prime Minister Valls took to protect the people the Jews of France from the mobs who were about to make a pogrom against our people and our synagogues,” said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, which is currently holding its annual convocation in Toulouse.
“There are some voices asking if there is a future for the Jewish people in Europe. I say this question can only be answered by European governments themselves. And, if that answer is to be a positive, then they must follow the example of Prime Minister Valls,” Goldschmidt said.
Incidents of violent anti-Semitism jumped 40 percent worldwide over the past 18 months.
European Antisemitism Driving Jews Away From Jewish Life, Says Leading Rabbi (INTERVIEW)
The recent string of attacks against Jews in Europe has driven many Jews away from an active Jewish life, said the president of one of Europe’s leading Orthodox Jewish networks on Tuesday.
“We’re dealing with a large number of Jews who because of the risk involved, and terrorist attacks, have stopped coming to Jewish events,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt told the Algemeiner. “It’s more important [for these Jews] to stay alive than to stay Jewish.”
The 51-year-old Swiss-born Conference of European Rabbis (CER) president, who is also Chief Rabbi of Moscow, said apathy was a greater risk to the Jews in Europe because as an issue it is more elusive than both antisemitism and assimilation.
“While assimilation and antisemitism can be addressed directly, apathy is a much harder issue to address … There is a certain percentage of Jews saying I’d be better hiding,” he said. “Our message to our community is that this is not the answer.”
On Monday, the CER awarded French Prime Minister Manuel Valls with its Lord Jakobovits Prize for European Jewry, for his “exemplary determination in the fight against antisemitism.”
Valls said he “can’t imagine a France without Jews,” Goldschmidt related.
Paris Mayor Condemns 'Anti-Semitism Disguised in Anti-Zionism'
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo spoke at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem tonight (Tuesday).
During her talk, she emphasized her understanding for French Jews' concerns. "I strongly condemn anti-Semitism disguised in anti-Zionism," she told the audience on the Forum's opening evening.
It remains to be seen whether Hidalgo will follow her words with equally strong actions. Less than two weeks ago, a memorial plaque dedicated to Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man who was tortured and killed by Muslims, was vandalized in a Parisian suburb. The local mayor condemned the act, but local Jews continued to be singled out for harassment.
The French Jews' sense of abandonment by authorities is not limited to French leaders. US President Barack Obama famously dismissed an attack on a kosher deli in Paris this past January as "randomly [shooting] a bunch of guys in a deli."
Surveys have found that 70 percent of Jews in France are worried about anti-Semitic harassment and 60 percent with being physically attacked. Since 2000, over 7,650 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported to the French Ministry of the Interior. As a result, many are moving to Israel. Last year, more people made aliyah from France than from any other country.
European Parliament VP: We Need Jews in Europe
Going into more details about the global threat of terrorism, Tajani argued that with their technical savvy and political ambitions, Islamic State presented much more danger to the world than other terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda.
When asked about his thoughts on world media telling Jews to get out Europe, Tajani was emphatic in his response.
"Jewish people are European people. We need them - the Jewish people in Europe," Tajani proclaimed. "As I said, Jewish and Chrisitian heritage is our heritage. Without Jewish people, we will have less Europe. We need more Europe."
Tajani made clear his message to European Jews: "Stay in Europe. Europe is your country. Europe is also your building."
"Thanks to the Jewish people today, we are living in peace. After the Shoah [Holocaust], Europe is living in peace," he added. "We need Jewish people in Europe."
Life Gets Tough for Jews, Swedish Edition
In the past two years, Europe has exploded, from gruesome murders in Belgium and France to riots, torched synagogues and defaced Holocaust memorial sites, along with a dramatic spike in hate crimes all over the continent. Jews are being singled out and persecuted, once again, and most recently Paris and Copenhagen were added to the list of cities synonymous with terror, as more Jewish blood was spilled before the eyes of the world.
Some would say this summer changed everything, but the situation for European Jewry was dire well before Operation Protective Edge created open season on us and the link to Israel came into question for Jews across the continent. There is nothing new about the anti-Semitism we see now, but the dormant hatred seems to have reached critical mass, using anti-Zionism as a handy and creative outlet. I experienced this shift firsthand this past summer as I traveled from Sweden to Israel during the war. I had had the audacity to display the Israeli flag on my luggage, and that gave someone handling my bag enough reason to rip off the flag, stab the bag and its contents several times, and then pour soda onto the precious siddur that goes with me everywhere. No matter what the airline officials tried to tell me, this was no accident, nor was it political commentary. It was terrorism, having been given the excuse to move above ground, into broad daylight, without any pushback or consequence.
Melbourne Jewish Center Receives Half-Million Dollar Government Grant to Bomb-Proof Building With Security Wall
A Jewish center in Melbourne, Australia received a $500,000 government grant to build a security wall that will make the building bomb-resistant following heightened concerns of terror attacks, local publication The Age reported on Monday.
The funding from the Victoria state government will go toward the $1.3 million wall for the Beth Weizmann Community Center in Caulfield, which is home to 25 Jewish organizations and the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia.
Chairman of the center, Sam Tatarka, said the building has received hate mail and hoax packages, and dealt with antisemitic vandalism and trespassers. Some of the Jewish groups based at the center have faced threats and authorities have now recognized the building as a high-profile target, he said.
The Weizmann Center was also the target of a potential terrorist attack, The Age reported. The incident prompted the local community to strengthen security at schools, offices and religious sites.
Tatarka said the public has a responsibility to take action against violence by extremists.
Congress Must Draw the Line at BDS
Seen in that light, Congressional efforts to both oppose and penalize those who engage in BDS efforts is in keeping with American values and our foreign policy interests that rest in part on preservation of the nation’s sole democratic ally in the Middle East.
In reply, so-called pro-peace groups on the left like J Street as well as open supporters of BDS like Jewish Voices for Peace, say that by including “Israeli-controlled territories” as an area that should not be boycotted, Congress will be legitimizing settlements and harming the cause of peace. But this is another false argument.
The first problem with this argument is that while it is possible for some on the Jewish left to draw a line between the Israeli Jews they want to boycott and others they wish to leave alone, that is a distinction that is lost on Israel’s numerous enemies and anti-Semites either in the Middle East or in Europe. While there is a vigorous debate in Israel and elsewhere about whether the settlements can or should retained by Israel, treating Israeli citizens who are in their homes and businesses with the permission of their country’s government as lawbreaking pariahs is both inappropriate as well as an invitation to boycott all Israelis wherever they live. When one takes into account that the overwhelming majority of “settlers” live in communities near the 1967 lines or in Jerusalem — places that would be retained in any peace deal with the Palestinians — that makes the discrimination even more prejudicial. When one considers that Israel has offered the Palestinians peace and independence (including possession of most of the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem) only to be turned down each time, the insistence that the settlements is the obstacle to peace must be seen as nothing more than a canard.
Boycotting settlements won’t bring peace closer by one day nor will it facilitate a two-state solution that the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected. In fact the boycotts make peace less likely because they encourage the Palestinians not to negotiate and prejudges the outcome of talks that should be resolved by the parties, not foreign governments, institutions or businesses. The focus on settlements (that Israel has already proved that it is willing to give up for peace as they did in Gaza in 2005) is nothing more than an attempt to divert attention from the real obstacle that is Palestinian intransigence and unwillingness to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin: University of California must fight back against anti-Semitic acts
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Cruz is the founder of AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that combats anti-Semitism on college campuses. Nominated as a Jewish Community hero, Ms. Rossman has a well earned reputation are a fierce and tireless protector of civil rights of Jewish students, on California campuses and throughout the country
Documenting anti-Semitic incidents in the UC System, she writes in the San Jose Mercury News:
It's not hard to connect the dots. On campuses where anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaigns have been promoted, anti-Semitism has increased and Jewish students report feeling emotionally and physically harassed, threatened, unsafe, and targeted for anti-Jewish bigotry.
The University of California is no exception. Just in the past few months:
At UC Berkeley, in the wake of a contentious BDS campaign, the message "Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber" was found scrawled on a bathroom wall. This past month, a Jewish student leader reported, "We still find anti-Semitic slogans written on bathrooms. A lot of students find swastikas and come to me," and he added that many Jewish students are frightened.
UC Riverside Lets Undergrad SJP Leader Teach Israel-Bashing Course
AMCHA Initiative is an organization dedicated to investigating, documenting and combating anti-Semitic behavior on college and university campuses. CAMERA is supporting a campaign the group is spearheading to fight a travesty taking place at the University of California, Riverside. An undergraduate student and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) leader is teaching a one-credit course clearly intended to indoctrinate students to hate and act against Israel.
According to the syllabus, the class includes:
- Several weeks on “Settler-Colonialism and Apartheid”
- Discussion “on checkpoints, the wall, and occupation”
- Discourse on Palestinian “Refugeehood and Exile” and the “Palestinian Diaspora”
- A guest speaker on the topic of “the history of the Palestinian struggle and exile”
- Exploring “possibilities for the future of the struggle and Palestinian people”
There is not a single session of the ten-week class that focuses on the Israeli and Jewish perspective. The readings are authored by well known Israel-haters such as Edward Said, Ilan Pappé, Rashid Khalidi, Steven Salaita and Ali Abunimah. The class will watch anti-Israel videos and films such as “5 Broken Cameras”.
In addition, the class ignores important elements. The syllabus does not indicate there will be any examination of fundamental realities, including:
- Palestinian Arab cooperation with Nazi Germany
- Arab rejection of U.N. partition plans and later diplomatic "two-state" proposals
- Genocidal pledges to "drive the Jews into the sea"
- Historic and modern day glorification of anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish terrorism and incitement to violence against Israelis and Jews by Palestinian leaders, schoolbooks and official media
- Denial of the Jewish people's ancient and modern ties to the land of Israel
- Arab responsibility for both the Arab and larger Jewish refugee problems
Pitt shouldn't reward students for attending anti-Israel events
Last month at the University of Pittsburgh, two anti-Israel groups — Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) — co-sponsored Holocaust Remembrance Day: Edith Bell on Palestine.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and many others were offended by the misappropriation of Yom HaShoah to attack Israel. Even more concerning was Pitt's decision to incentivize students to attend the event.
Pitt qualified the event for OCC — Outside the Classroom Curriculum — credit. Students who earn OCC credit get “an edge,” according to Pitt's website, including such “tangible perks” as the enhancement of their academic records, entry to an “Honorary Society” and eligibility for substantial monetary grants.
How Pitt would permit this event to qualify for OCC credit is truly astonishing. The SJP has a long and well-documented history of demonizing Israel and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state — actions that our own government recognizes as anti-Semitic.
Had the administration done even a perfunctory inquiry into the SJP and its partner JVP, it would have been crystal clear that this event would be promoting anti-Semitic falsehoods and that the university should not be encouraging students to attend it.
Huge BDS loss – GreenStar Food Coop rejects Israel boycott
Activists from Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace brought a referendum to the GreenStar Food Coop in Ithaca calling for a boycott of Israeli products. The effort was national, with big names such as Angela Davis (radical anti-Israel prof.) and Medea Benjamin (Code Pink) lending their support.
The effort was rejected tonight unanimously by the GreenStar Council based on the NY State Human Rights law prohibition of boycotts based on national origin. (Full decision at bottom of post.)
Similar to the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, NY, the referenda caused enormous tension among the GreenStar membership and within the community.
We will post those legal opinions if they become available. The Council’s resolution rejecting the boycott referenda passed unanimously (with one recusal) and is at the bottom of this post.
This is a very important victory, and one in which the NY Human Rights Law played a central role. As such, it has serious implications for other boycott attempts singling out Israeli products based on national origin.
We will have more on this boycott attempt in future posts.
New OED Entry For ‘Racist’ Includes ‘Criticizing Palestinian Violence’ (satire)
As with all OED [Oxford English Dictionary] entries, said Cowardiss, the new ‘racist’ definition would be supported with documented examples of usage in that sense. “The information currently available shows that as used, the term refers not only to mere criticism of Palestinian violence, but to expression of the very notion that anyone should be protected from such violence,” he added.
Cowardiss said OED researchers and volunteers had found scattered usage of ‘racist’ in reference to the notion that Jewish rights, either individually or nationally, can in any way serve to limit maximalist Palestinian demands, but that further research was needed before determining whether that usage has enough currency to be considered.
“For example, we are monitoring the rhetoric surrounding the issue of Jewish access to holy sites such as the Temple Mount,” he explained. “But while we do occasionally encounter the contention that Jews visiting their holiest site is a racist act, it needs to be a more widespread phenomenon before the OED can formally include that new sense of the word.”
Cowardiss said a similar situation exists with reference to an apparent shift in the meaning of the word ‘progressive.’
The racism of the Guardian and its readers revealed in two migrant articles.
Yesterday we had a new article about migrants in the Guardian – Malaysia says it will turn away migrants stranded at sea unless boats are sinking. One might imagine that those so horrified by Israel actually flying a migrant back to Africa, and providing him with the not insubstantial sum of $3,500 to make a start there would be at least equally as horrified by the new article.
The Guardian this time did not plaster an image from another set of migrants heading to Europe at the head of the article. Instead we see a hall full of weary, hopeless people crowded into a hall on a small island off the coast of Malaysia. According to the article:
As I write this after the article has been open there is a grand total of 8 comments.
Where are the dozens of CiFalists who troll the murky waters of the Israel-bashing articles that the Guardian continues posting, leaving them open for comments as if trailing red meat in front of vultures and hyenas? If the fate of Eritreans is so dear to those who find the idea that Israel cannot and will not accept 60,000 unwanted and mainly Muslim migrants so appalling, can they not spare a comment or two for this remarkable story of Muslim Malaysia, population 30 million, refusing to accept a relative handful of Muslim migrants from other countries?
If the Guardian and its Israel-hating readers think Israel, population 8 million, should welcome 60,000 Africans, surely they should apply the same proportionate yardstick to Malaysia, and decry their refusal to accept 250,000 Asians? Where are the frankly racist, snide, and hate filled comments about Malaysia that populate the Israel threads dealing with migrants?
Democratic Operative Caught on Tape in Anti-Semitic Rant
A Democratic operative who was at the center of the 2013 “Progress Kentucky” scandal went on an anti-Jewish tirade against a political client he claimed owed him money, according to an audiotape published on Monday.
Jacob Conway, the former Jefferson County Democratic Party official who made national news after he outed two Progress Kentucky activists for secretly recording a Mitch McConnell campaign meeting in 2013, was caught on tape lashing out at one of his clients, Daniel Grossberg, a Democratic candidate for state treasurer.
The tape was first reported by Insider Louisville on Monday, and audio was published by PageOne Kentucky.
In the April 23 conversation, recorded by Grossberg, Conway claimed the candidate owed him $5,500 for consulting work and threatened to sabotage his campaign if he did not pay up.
“You are why people don’t like Jews,” said Conway to Grossberg, who is Jewish. “You are exactly where the term ‘Jew you out of something’ came from. You’re exactly why my grandfather and everybody else I know has had a hard time doing business in this city, because you’re trying to stiff me out of f#cking money that you contractually owe me.”
Swastikas Carved into Sidewalk in Front of Brooklyn Kosher Store
An employee at Moisha's Discount Supermarket in Brooklyn discovered two swastikas carved into the sidewalk in front of the Brooklyn store yesterday (Monday). Authorities are unsure who carried out the vandalism, but say that it occurred between 10:00 pm Sunday evening and 2:30 pm Monday afternoon, while the new concrete was still wet.
Police say they are investigating the act as a hate crime.
Montreal man scrubs away anti-Semitism
Standing at a burly 6’2″ and sporting a shaved head, cool shades and a black vest, Corey Fleischer looks like an action film hero as he moves around Montreal. His fight is against the bad guys who paint hateful graffiti on public and private property, and his weapon is a power washing wand.
Fleischer simply cannot turn a blind eye to the anti-Semitic, anti-gay and racial slurs and symbols he sees all over. The owner of a power washing company he opened after graduating from university with a women’s studies degree, he dedicates many hours of his personal time to removing the markings.
For the past five years, Fleischer has been on a one-man mission to rid Canada’s second-largest city of visual hate speech. But with word having gotten out in the media about what he’s been doing, demand for his services has risen dramatically in recent months. What started as a sort of hobby for Fleischer has turned into an extensive undertaking that will require more manpower, not to mention water pressure.
An American Trapped in the 1948 Siege of Jerusalem
“We are so used to bombs and the sound of firing guns that we don’t get upset anymore.”
In choosing those words, Florence Bar Ilan probably hoped to convey that there was a certain stability to her daily life, but one can imagine her parents, Rachel and Samuel Ribakove, back in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, trembling as they read the letter their daughter sent from besieged Jerusalem during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
“Dear Florence, Dear Mother and Dad,” a collection of letters between Florence and her American relatives from the 1930s through the 1960s, has been published by family members ahead of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) 2015, which falls on May 17. The collection is not only a way to document the family’s legacy, but also provides scholars, students, and the general public with a remarkable eyewitness account of an American immigrant’s life in Israel, including a riveting description of daily life during the 1948 siege of Jerusalem.
Florence’s journey began as a counselor in the Cejwin Jewish summer camp in upstate New York in 1934, where she met Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute Toby (Tuvia) Berlin, son of Rabbi Meir Berlin (later Bar Ilan), leader of the religious Zionist movement. Three years later, they were married and living in British Mandatory Palestine
Helen Mirren to be honored for playing Austrian Jew
British actress Helen Mirren will receive the World Jewish Congress recognition award, the group said in a statement on Wednesday. Mirren will receive the award for her role in the film “Woman in Gold” and for helping to educate the public about the issues of Nazi-looted art. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder will present Mirren with the award at a special event in New York later this year at a date to be determined.
In the film, Mirren portrays Maria Altmann, an Austrian-American woman who made headlines in 2006 by winning her legal battle against the Austrian government to reclaim five Gustav Klimt paintings, among them the famous “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” nicknamed “Woman in Gold.” The woman portrayed by Klimt was Altmann’s aunt.
In 1938, the painting was among the works confiscated from their rightful owner, Adele’s widower Ferdinand, because he was Jewish. Following its restitution to Maria Altmann in 2006, it was acquired by Ronald Lauder and is now on display at the Neue Galerie in Manhattan.
“Being a part of this film and preserving Maria Altmann’s legacy has been a truly exceptional experience from the start,” said Mirren. “I am utterly moved to be receiving an award from the World Jewish Congress, an organization that does such important work all over the globe in advocating for Jewish rights.”
Keeping their word, Backstreet’s back in Israel
It could have easily have been a polite brush-off.
After Operation Protective Edge was launched by the IDF last summer, many of the season’s visiting musical artists had to decide whether to cancel their shows or head to what appeared to be a war zone, with Hamas-fired rockets falling on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
American teen sensations from the 1990s, the Backstreet Boys did what any reasonable act would do – they backed out of three sold-out shows slated for the end of July at the Ra’anana Amphitheater. In a statement, the group wrote, “This is a major disappointment for the band and fans, as this was to be our first visit to Israel, and we looked forward to meeting our fans. We’re already working with the producers on new dates during spring 2015 and will notify everyone about this as soon as possible. Sending lots of love to everyone.”
Yeah, sure. That was never going to happen.
But true to their word, less than a year later, Backstreet’s back! The dapper vocal quintet have honored their pledge and will be appearing at the same venue in Ra’anana on May 19, 20 and 21 as part of their In a World Like This global 2015 tour.
Israeli start-up may revolutionize colon cancer detection
A new technology developed in Israel that uses an algorithm to screen blood samples from existing medical records may revolutionize the diagnosis of colon cancer and potentially save millions of lives.
Maccabi Health Services, together with researchers from Israeli start-up Medial Research, recently unveiled the new technology that uses a formula to analyze the results of standard blood tests to predict the likelihood of colon cancer years before the disease is detected.
The algorithm requires lab results that are a part of standard medical records and its prediction relies on math rather than advanced testing technology.
The screening method is inexpensive and its creators say it can easily be introduced and implemented in hospitals worldwide.
Google Street View to map Israel Trail
Google Street View will photograph the length of the Israel Trail, a hiking route that runs from the nation’s northern to southern ends.
A feature of Google Maps that merges photographs to provide a street-level view of locations worldwide, Google Street View will enlist hikers from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, or SPNI, to map the 660-mile trail, the Israeli business publication Globes reported.
Inaugurated 20 years ago by SPNI, the trail runs from Kibbutz Dan, near the uppermost reaches of Israel’s border with Lebanon, to Eilat on its southern tip.
The trail will be the longest one photographed for Google Maps and the first that spans a whole country. Google is sending two cameras to Israel for the mission.
Magen David Adom to fly home four premature babies caught in second Nepal quake
Magen David Adom is working to fly home four premature Israeli babies and their parents, who were caught in a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on Tuesday.
When the earth shook, Israelis Yoav Aliani and his partner, Moran Ben- Dror, were in a hospital in Kathmandu with their tiny twins, who were hooked up to machines.
“I tore the wires with my teeth,” Aliani told Channel 2. The television station showed footage of him standing outside with his daughter, still wearing a blue hospital smock.
“Get us out of here!” he said to the television cameras.
Magen David Adom is working to fly home four premature Israeli babies and their parents, who were caught in a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on Tuesday.
Dr. Reuven Keidar in the IDF Field Hospital in Nepal


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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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