Saturday, April 30, 2016

From Ian:

Stephen Pollard: The Left's hatred of Jews chills me to the bone
It matters, of course, to all of us, because – as we have seen both on 9/11 and ever since, Islamist terrorism is not specific in its targeting. But it matters to me more, I would say, than anything else I can think of. Because although these maniacs will happily kill anyone, they say, and their subsequent murders show, that – quite specifically – they want to kill me. A Jew. So on level I am not in the least bit shocked, or even surprised, by the reemergence of Jew hatred as a thing in recent years. By what arrogance would we think that our generation, alone in history, would be free of the oldest hatred?

But on another, more visceral level, it chills me to the bone. And it’s not the terrorists. They threaten me, of course, as they threaten us all. Yet to me, the real chill comes from their fellow travelers – the useful idiots of the terrorists and Jew-murderers who say they do not have a racist bone in their body, but when it comes to Jews, a blind spot emerges. The likes, to be blunt, of the now suspended Ken Livingstone, who claims never to have come across a single example of Anti-semitism in the Labour Party. He clearly has never looked in the mirror. Much has been written – especially by the brilliant Nick Cohen – on the "Red/Green Alliance"; the phenomenon by which a swathe of the Left has linked up with radical Islam, leading to the bizarre spectacle of Leftist feminists supporting Islamists who would cut off the hands of women who read books.
With "anti-Western-imperialism" as part of the glue binding the alliance, everything else falls into place. So Hamas and Hezbollah might have as their defining goal the elimination of an entire people from the face of the earth, but that unfortunate consequence for Jews is by the by, because Hamas and Hezbollah are freedom fighters.
And because Israel is part of the Western imperium, as well as a key target for Islamists, it is also enemy number one for progressives. So an obsessive preoccupation with the Jewish state becomes the default position of the Left. China, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia – pah! The focus must be on Israel and Israel alone. From that springs an entire worldview that encompasses "Zionist" control of the media, of business, of everything. And we can’t be accused of targeting Jews because we don’t use the word. We say Zionist, not Jew.
So deep does this warping of what it means to be Left and progressive now run that it is almost prosaic to assert Zionist control. But now, to cap it, we have a Labour leader whose entire political career has been in this milieu – feeding it, growing it and pushing it.
For months now, week by week, examples have been emerging of cut and dried anti-Semitism – most dressed up, oh so cleverly, as anti-Zionism, but much not even bothering to hide it. And the Labour leader’s response to the criticism that he is soft on anti-Semitism and that it’s his political mindset that has fuelled its rise is not to get hard on anti-Semitism. It’s to get irritated.
Douglas Murray: Labour’s anti-Semitism problem stems from its grassroots
If I were the Conservative party I’d be getting worried: Labour’s implosion is happening too fast. At this rate they could fall apart and regroup in time to go into the next election with a respectable leader.
Everybody knows the latest developments. Naz Shah MP was found to have said some anti-Semitic things on social media. After some bitter internal wrangling she was suspended from the party. Fellow MP Rupa Huq tried to come to her defence and compared anti-Semitism to any old mishap. And then Ken Livingstone smoothed it all over by talking about which of Hitler’s policies he thinks Zionists agree with. The low-point today was probably the former Mayor of London and stalwart Corbynista locking himself in a disabled loo in London’s Millbank while questions about his views on Hitler were shouted at him through the door by a press pack.
Of course this is only happening because the Labour party is run by a man who has spent his entire political life in these fever-swamps. Jeremy Corbyn having to suspend Ken Livingstone from the Labour party is a truly impossible divorce – impossible because it makes Corbyn’s position impossible. How can Ken Livingstone be out of the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn be leading it? There is barely a sliver of moonlight between their views on Jews and Israel.
But now everybody is talking about the Jews and Labour’s anti-Semitism problem. Yet they still refuse to get to the point. Because it is not as though anti-Semitism is simply transferred in the water-supply. Of course there are anti-Semitic tendencies in every strain of politics. I could point to a strain within the Conservative tradition. But in the Conservative tradition it is dying. The problem for Labour is that anti-Semitism in their party is a growth industry. And the simple reason for that is a demographic one.
Toby Young: It will take more than Labour’s ‘inquiry’ to deal with the left’s anti-Semitism problem
[Includes a 10min Podcast]
Anyone concerned about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party should welcome the appointment of Shami Chakrabarti, the former head of Liberty, to lead an internal inquiry into the matter, but it’s a little late in the day to be addressing this issue. And will the inquiry’s terms of reference allow her to investigate the leader of the party?
The Jewish Chronicle drew attention to Jeremy Corbyn’s links to a rogues gallery of “Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright anti-Semites” back in August of last year. Among other dubious acts, Corbyn donated money to an organisation run by Paul Eisen, a self-confessed Holocaust denier who boasts of links to the Labour leader dating back 15 years. Corbyn’s own brother has strayed dangerously close to anti-Semitism, such as the time he described Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman as a “Zionist” who “can’t cope with anyone supporting rights for Palestine”. When questioned about this, Corbyn insisted his brother “was not wrong”.
The hard left has had a problem with Jews that dates back at least as far as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In 1945, George Orwell wrote an essay called ‘Anti-Semitism in Britain’ in which he pointed out it was as much of a problem on the left as it was on the right. Orwell thought it was a kind of “neurosis”, “an ability to believe stories that could not possibly be true”.
For those seeking to understand the phenomenon, I recommend this article in The Tower by Jamie Palmer, which documents changing attitudes towards Israel on the hard left, from broad sympathy to fanatical hatred. It was written before Ken Livingstone made his bizarre claims about the links between Hitler and Zionism, but traces this particular smear (as well as many others circulating among Corbyn’s supporters) back to a barrage of anti-Semitic misinformation disseminated by Stalin’s propagandists in the late 1940s and early 1950s to justify the Communist’s state’s systematic persecution of Jews, including purges, torture, show trials, imprisonment and execution.

David Horovitz: Ken Livingstone, using Hitler to demonize Israel
Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London with a despicable track record of Israel-bashing and anti-Semitic utterances, chose carefully with his latest assault. Defending a Labour MP, Naz Shah, who had been suspended from the party for having called to “relocate” Israel to the United States — in other words, to dismantle the world’s only Jewish state — Livingstone on Wednesday inserted Hitler, the Nazis and Zionism into the spiraling debate by asserting that “before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews,” Hitler had been “supporting Zionism.”
The content and fallout from Livingstone’s attempt to rewrite history dominated British media throughout Thursday, led the front pages of many of Britain’s newspapers Friday, and continues to resonate, drip-dripping the fallacy into tens of millions of minds.
His obscene revisionism was succinctly debunked by historians Andrew Roberts and Roger Moorhouse. Wrote Roberts: “The idea that Hitler ever wanted a fully-functioning successful Jewish state in Palestine – the dream of Zionists – is ludicrous, as Mr Livingstone undoubtedly knows. The sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s.”
But this categorical debunking by eminent historians did not take center stage as the story rumbled on. Amid all the chaos and by-the-minute reporting of Livingstone’s utterances, the outrage they caused, his suspension from the party, and the calls to expel him permanently, Livingstone’s cynical lie, his foul and ridiculous depiction of Hitler as a Zionist, was not energetically challenged in much of the mainstream media coverage.
Livingstone must be quite delighted.
Why I called Ken Livingstone a 'Nazi apologist' by Labour MP John Mann
Where did Ken Livingstone dream up the grotesque idea that Hitler’s policies were “Zionist”?
To compound this egregious behaviour Livingstone alleged that ‘the Israeli lobby’ was out to get people.
Well I am part of no lobby and again the idea of a powerful outside Jewish influence mirrors the approach of the Nazis. This is why these comments were so outrageous.
Our party has a problem that it needs to face up to.
We need real leadership from the top with a plan and a framework for action to get rid of the cancer of antisemitism once and for ever.
We fought the war for British values and for our vision of democracy. We paid a high price in doing so. We cannot therefore stand by and allow any rewriting of the history of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Livingstone says Netanyahu agrees with him in ‘Hitler backed Zionism’ row
In an interview with radio station LBC, Livingstone again refused to apologize for asserting that Hitler was a Zionist, saying he regretted the upheaval but insisting that the claim was a “statement of fact.”
“How can I have hurt and offended the Jewish community when the prime minister of Israel said exactly the same thing?” asked an unapologetic Livingstone. He cited comments made by Netanyahu last October suggesting that Hitler had not initially intended to annihilate the Jews, only expel them from Europe, and that the idea of extermination came from Jerusalem’s then-grand mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian nationalist widely acknowledged as a fervent Jew-hater.
Said Livingstone, “The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is addressing the World Zionistic Congress. This is the sentence he says, ‘Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews, but only to expel them.'”
“If the prime minister of Israel can say, two days before, exactly what I said, it can’t mean that I’m anti-Semitic — and he’s certainly not anti-Semitic,” alleged Livingstone, giving an incorrect timeline of Netanyahu’s statements and falsely implying that Netanyahu had suggested Hitler supported Zionism.
Livingstone said he would “invite the prime minister of Israel to come over and defend me, as he clearly agrees with what I said,” according to The Telegraph.
Livingstone blames ’embittered Blairites’ for outcry on anti-Semitic remarks
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, suspended from Britain’s Labour party for saying this week that Hitler supported Zionism before “he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews,” on Saturday accused “embittered old Blairites” for inflating the row over his remarks.
“I was prepared to step up and defend [MP] Naz Shah, because although what she said was completely over the top and wrong, I don’t believe she’s anti-Semitic,” said Livingstone, whose remarks Thursday on Hitler came as he supported Shah following her own suspension for anti-Semitic Facebook posts made before her 2015 election to parliament.
“[W]hen Ed Miliband was leader of the party, the party asked me would I do an endorsement of her, which I was happy to do and so on,” Livingstone said in an interview on London radio station LBC. “I wouldn’t have done that if I thought she was anti-Semitic and if I’d have known the way that [Labour MP] Wes Streeting and all these embittered old Blairites turned this into a mega-issue, I wouldn’t have said it.”
Blair’s former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, mocked Livingstone’s remarks, writing on Twitter on Saturday that if there were a “Blairite plot I think I’d know about it.” He added: “Why can’t people just accept they said/did stupid stuff?”
Livingstone doubles down on Hitler backing Zionism: ‘They don’t teach it in Israel’
Asked about the storm of controversy he had caused, Livingstone was unrepentant on Friday, saying he believed he should be reinstated.
“How can the truth be an offense — if I had lied that would be offensive,” he told journalists, according to the Telegraph. “Everything I said yesterday was true.
“I suspect most of the pro-Israel Labour MPs have no idea about the history, they certainly don’t teach about 1930s Zionist policy in Israeli schools… Almost everyone in the Jewish community grows up in complete ignorance of this.
Livingstone said he was basing his assertion on the writings of American Marxist historian Lenni Brenner. He said he would be “presenting the academic book about that to the Labour Party inquiry.”
George Galloway, a former MP well known for his anti-Israeli positions, defended Livingstone’s words as “historical fact” and said Livingstone “said absolutely nothing wrong,” according to the Independent.
“There was an agreement between the Nazi filth of Hitler and the Zionist leaders in Germany to send Germany’s Jews to Palestine, because both of them believed that German Jews were not Germans. So in that sense, Nazism and Zionism were two sides of the same coin,” he said.
The Zionist Jew plot to remove Corbyn
It can hardly be considered a coincidence that Corbyn’s “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah consistently express the same antisemitic views currently being shared by members of his Labour Party. If Corbyn maintains relationships with people who are virulently antisemitic such as those in Hamas and Hezbollah, if he defends working with them and meeting them how can he possibly be surprised when members of his own party take on their antisemitic messages as their own?
At the root of it all lies the failure to understand that being Zionist is simply supporting Jewish national self determination and that this is the passionately held view of the vast majority of Jews not just in the United Kingdom but in the world.
Including the vast majority of Jewish members of the Labour Party.
Until he makes it clear that there is no Zionist conspiracy in the party, that Jewish members of the Labour Party with a connection to Israel are not evil Nazis but incredibly loyal party members (they’d have to be to still be there) the Labour Party will continue to be in the grip of nut cases convinced that the Zionists are plotting world domination.
People are saying that the party is “structurally” antisemitic. Under Corbyn it clearly is. The question remains, what is the Labour Party now going to do to about it?
Andrew Roberts: British historian: Ken Livingstone deliberately gets his facts wrong
The Nazis couldn’t frankly care less where the Jews went, so long as they left Germany, preferably with as few possessions as possible. Later on they conceived ideas such as the Madagascar Plan of July 1940 which would they hoped involve mass migration to places where the Jews would suffer and eventually die of disease and malnutrition, all long before the full-scale genocidal programme conceived at the Wannsee Conference in 1942. Jews were being killed in large numbers as soon as the war began, but especially after Hitler’s invasion of Russia in June 1941. The idea that Hitler ever wanted a fully-functioning successful Jewish state in Palestine – the dream of Zionists – is ludicrous, as Mr Livingstone undoubtedly knows.
The sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s. He must know perfectly well that the very insertion of the word “Hitler” in the context of a debate over anti-Semitism would create precisely the effect that it has. It was therefore a totally cold-blooded attempt to offend the maximum amount of Jews to the maximum extent, and was said to a Jewish interviewer Vanessa Feltz.
Filthy politics, of course, but Mr Livingstone has such a long record of this kind of thing that we shouldn’t be surprised, even if we must still be outraged. Likening a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard was a similar attempt at dragging the Holocaust into the discourse. Accusing Jews and what he openly refers to as “the Jewish lobby” – of “obsessing” about his links with hate preachers such as Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is all part of the same playbook. Whether Labour finally acts remains to be seen, and this might be clever politics in terms of the mayoral election, but when it comes to history, Mr Livingstone gets an “F”.
“But Ken Livingstone is right; Google the Haavara agreement!”
Ken Livingstone’s wild historical revisionism has been widely panned — by Andrew Roberts in CAPX, by John Mann in the Daily Mirror and in Millbank (gloriously, to Livingstone’s face), and by Antony Beever.
Still, there are people on Twitter lazily linking to the Haavara agreement, hoping to show complicity between Nazis and Zionists and therefore absolve Ken Livingstone of any blame or shame.
Yet saying “read the Haavara agreement!” is disingenuous for a number of obvious reasons:
1. The Haavara Agreement was a means of facilitating Jewish emigration to Palestine, by allowing them to transfer property from Germany to Palestine; but it was in the wider context of Germany encouraging Jewish emigration everywhere. Yes the Zionists had an interest in encouraging Jewish immigration to Palestine in order to liberate the Jewish people, and yes the Nazis encouraged Jewish emigration from Germany to anywhere, as part of a long-term plan to destroy the Jewish people.
The Dutch Resistance fighter Geertruder Wijsmuller-Meijer, one of the top 3 rescuers of Jews during World War Two, met with Adolf Eichmann in Vienna and got him to agree to the transfer of 600 Jewish children out of Vienna to Britain. That began the Kindertransports out of Austria; one of which saved my grandmother.
So if you say that the Haavara Agreement proved “Hitler supported Zionism”, logically then does the Kindertransport prove that “Hitler supported the anti-Nazi resistance”?
Ken Livingstone ignores Hitler’s own words on Zionism in Mein Kampf
Ken Livingstone said Hitler was “supporting Zionism” before he “went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.
This is from Mein Kampf, written in 1925. Hitler wrote about Zionism then:
The Jew’s rule in the State now appears secured to such an extent that he may not only again call himself Jew, but ruthlessly admits his final thoughts as regards nationality and politics. A part of his race even admits quite openly that it is a foreign people, however, not without again lying in this respect. For while Zionism tries to make the other part of the world believe that the national self-consciousness of the Jew finds satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian State, the Jews again most slyly dupe the stupid goyim.
They have no thought of building up a Jewish State in Palestine, so that they might perhaps inhabit it, but they only want a central organization of their international world cheating, endowed with prerogatives, withdrawn from the seizure of others: a refuge for convicted rascals and a high school for future rogues.
But it is the sign, not only of their rising confidence, but also their feeling of safety, that now, at a time when one part of them still mendaciously plays the German, the Frenchman, or the Englishman, the other part impudently and openly documents itself as the Jewish race.

Hitler wasn’t supporting Zionism; he was saying Zionism is a Jewish trick to fool the world that Jews will be happy with a state, when actually what they want is global domination.
Ken Livingstone, Lenni Brenner, and Historical Distortions: A Case Study
Ken Livingstone thinks that Lenni Brenner, an American Trotskyist, is the definitive source on everything to do with Zionism. He has believed this for decades. And in all that time, it never occurred to Livingstone to check Brenner’s “facts” and sources.
Below is an example of Brenner’s methods as a “historian.” Reproduced is a passage from Brenner’s Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, the Bible of Livingstone’s anti-Zionism.
Almost every factual statement in the quoted passage is false or misleading.
The heading under which this passage appears is “The Zionist Alliance With Anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe” [1]. As an example of this “alliance,” Brenner refers to Simon Petliura’s Ukrainian secessionist government, the Rada, which was set up during the Russian Civil War.
Who is Lenni Brenner?
Interviewed about his suspension from the Labour Party, Ken Livingstone made this comment:
Everything I said yesterday [about Hitler being a Zionist] was true and I will be presenting the academic book about that to the Labour Party inquiry.
The book, it turns out, is the notorious tract Zionism in the Age of the Dictators by Lenni Brenner.
Brenner is a lifelong Trotskyist activist and propagandist. An acquaintance from the 1960s described him as
a non-student “Marxist agitator” who would stand near the Bancroft strip and rail about the Pope, the Bay of Pigs, and marijuana, indifferent to the fact that most passersby thought he was “certifiably crazy.”
Brenner’s claim to fame is simple: born to an Orthodox family, his rhetoric can be exploited as a “Jewish” certificate of legitimacy for almost any form of antisemitic incitement. And the bigots understand this: his writings were pirated by Noontide Press, one of the world’s foremost neo-Nazi publishing outfits.
When antisemites inveigh against the “dirty Jew,” they can quote Brenner:
Anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism, circa 1946
Seventy years ago this month, a committee of 12 scholars and statesmen completed an 80-page report that is all but forgotten today. The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry Regarding the Problems of European Jewry and Palestine, consisting of six British and six American members, was a British idea.
Under pressure from President Harry Truman to allow 100,000 Jewish survivors in Europe’s DP camps to emigrate to the British Mandate, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin proposed the joint committee as a way to outflank the White House. Between January and March 1946, the Committee heard testimony in Washington, London, numerous sites in Europe, the Arab capitals, and Jerusalem. Bevin was sure that a sense of Britain’s strategic realities in the Middle East — its dependence on bases and oil for instance — would bring the US members to shy away from antagonizing the Arab world. To ensure the desired outcome, however, the British helped to establish a global anti-Zionist narrative that bled into anti-Semitism, all in the shadow of the Jewish world’s greatest catastrophe.
Jewish witnesses in Washington, London, Europe, and Jerusalem were aggressively cross-examined by British committee members. It was pointless, the British argued, for the Jews to rehash the recent history of pogroms or the Shoah. These were irrelevant. Rather, Jewish speakers had to show how more Jews could be put in Palestine without causing an uproar, and why most could not simply return to Poland, Romania, and so on. Thus in Washington, when Joseph Schwartz of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee discussed the recent Krakow pogrom to demonstrate that the Jewish place in Poland was over, British committee chairman Sir John Singleton laconically countered, “History shows, doesn’t it, that in every country where there has been persecution, the people have come back.” Even in Poland, after speaking with Adolf Berman, a former Warsaw Ghetto leader, British committee members asked “whether friction was being caused by returning Jews asking for restitution of their property.”
Anti-Semitism, George Orwell, and the UK’s Labour Party
Yet since 1945, British society has changed dramatically. Those who occupy the “nationalist” end of its political spectrum—particularly those urging withdrawal from the European Union—do not, by and large, succumb to the temptations of Jew-baiting, though there are exceptions.
Rather, it is those who describe themselves as “internationalists” who are the most vulnerable. This is the direct consequence of a doctrinaire “anti-imperialism” that begins and ends with solidarity with one (and only one) people—the Palestinians—and which regards Jews as an integral component of the superstructure of white, colonial privilege.
Consider, therefore, the following irony. By being cast as the ultimate insiders, controlling everything from the global economy to U.S. foreign policy, Jews end up as the ultimate outsiders in the public imagination—too suspect to benefit even from the niceties of the Britain’s generally anti-racist political culture, especially once their emotional, familial, or other ties with the State of Israel are brought into play.
This is a problem that goes much deeper than just Jeremy Corbyn, and is certainly not restricted to the U.K. That’s why, even if his observations on the causes of anti-Semitism were sometimes wide of the mark, Orwell was absolutely correct when he counseled that “antisemitism should be investigated—and I will not say by antisemites, but at any rate by people who know that they are not immune to that kind of emotion.” (My emphasis.)
For the time being, the Labour Party’s apparatchiks have made clear that this is the last thing they want—hence their rewrite of Naz Shah’s apology. Even so, and whether they like it or not, the investigation recommended by Orwell at the midpoint of the last century has now begun.
Radio Free Delingpole [PodCast]: The ‘Throne’ Returns
James Delingpole and Toby are so excited that HBO’s Game of Thrones has returned, they insisted on recording a podcast this week to discuss (and have pledged to record a new podcast weekly for the duration of the season). In addition to the adventures of the Lannisters, Toby and James discuss Obama’s visit to London and its effects on the European referendum campaign, the total humiliation of Red Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London and one of the leading figures of the left, now exposed as anti-Semite. Oy vey. [Starts 3.50]
Khan Ally: “Israel is a Terrorist State Like ISIS”
100 hours until the [London Mayor] polls open and Sadiq Khan is faced with Evening Standard front pages about Labour’s racism storm, not to mention what the Sundays have to bring. He might have been swift to condemn him, but Khan courted Ken and campaigned for him time and time again. This morning Ken told LBC he wanted to stop talking about Hitler and focus on getting the vote out for Sadiq…
Yesterday Jewish News revealed the Labour council leader in Brent called Israel “a terrorist state like ISIS”. Sadiq has campaigned alongside Muhammed Butt on multiple occasions. Butt is not a nobody, he is a council leader and an ally of Khan. To align yourself with one race row extremist could be considered misfortune, to align yourself with two, three, four, five…
Interpal Joins Labour’s Storm
Eric Pickles reacts:
The Leader of the Labour Party has green-lit radicalisation and incitement to violence via his well-documented involvement with notorious hate preachers and Interpal, which is rightly designated in the US as a global terrorist organisation.
‘Time is running out for Jeremy Corbyn to give leadership to his Party. His lack of decisive action in stamping out anti-Semitism is sickening. The public demands and deserves an unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism and a renouncement of the repugnant Interpal.’

Strong words. Entirely justified.
Mr Corbyn is central to all this. For years on end he has been an inveterate supporter of the Hamas service bureau that is Interpal, helping it from Gaza to Westminster. All the evidence mattered not a jot. Corbyn’s “very good friend” Ibrahim Hewitt, the Islamic fundamenalist who leads Interpal, could do no wrong. He was to be assisted with pride. This short clip from 2013 sums it up.
Jeremy Corbyn is far from alone in his party on this issue. Let’s look at some of the other Labour leaders who have backed Interpal.
Seumas Milne Praises Hamas
This video shows Labour Director of Strategy and Communications Seumas Milne praising Hamas’ “spirit of resistance” and saying “they will not be broken“, to huge cheers. Hamas is a proscribed terror group…
The Hamas Charter talks about killing Jews:
“The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'”
It says the banner of jihad must be raised against Jews:
Milne on Hamas

Edgar Davidson: Antisemitism versus anti-Zionism revisited
In the light of the current antisemitism row in the UK I have updated this from a previous similar post as many people (including Jewish pundits interviewed) have been making the case that antisemitism (generally considered a 'bad thing') has nothing to do with anti-Zionism (considered a 'good thing' by many 'progessives'). As this chart show there is clearly absolutely nothing in common.....

Meet David Watson of Walthamstow Labour
Meet David Watson, fund-raising co-ordinator for the Walthamstow Labour Party.
Mr Watson is a determined Corbynista. Core to the cause are innumerable Facebook and Twitter posts encouraging hatred of Israel.
This is how far it can go. Mr Watson comes across a website cheerily titled He has found a web post with an intriguing title – “ISIS using weapons made in Israel”. That post calls on impeccable witnesses:
Questions about who is behind the Islamic State keep arising.
Iraqi volunteer forces, known as Hashid Shaabi, discovered Israeli-made weapons at Islamic State (ISIL) positions in the Iraqi province of Anbar on Thursday, according to Al-Mayadeen television, Fars News Agency reported.

A quick glance around the site shows that it is for loony tunes conspiracy theorists. It features 9/11 and Mossad, the “New World Order”, and, of course, the Rothschilds.
So what does Mr Watson do? Pass the stupid and hateful lie on. Something to ponder, eh!
UPDATE: Mr Watson has come out in support of Naz Shah. This evening. After her suspension from the party for antisemitism.
When will Mr Watson be suspended?
Diane Abbott Defends Naz Shah, Says Anti-Semitism Isn’t a Problem For Labour
Just six days before the London mayoral election, Diane Abbott is in Switzerland this afternoon dining with investment bankers, tax avoiders and the one percent. She is the guest of honour of the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce at a three course lunch at one of the most spectacular hotels in Zurich, the iconic Zunfthaus zur Meisen. Where she offered her thoughts on Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and Labour anti-Semitism…
According to a co-conspirator in the room, Diane said anti-Semitism “isn’t a problem in the Labour Party, no more than in other mainstream parties”. She defended Naz Shah, saying her Facebook posts were “made before she was an MP“. When challenged that the posts were still anti-Semitic, Diane denied this was an “issue“, saying that “other people think this but don’t put it on Facebook“. On Hitlergate, she opined: “Ken is Ken, he’s seeking attention”. What kind of Labour politician would seek attention, eh Diane…
The Anti-Semitism Scandal Engulfing the Labour Party Was Entirely Predictable
Upon his election as party leader, Corbyn proceeded to prove Daisley right. Under him, Labour readmitted an array of members who had previously been expelled for anti-Semitism, only to have to re-jettison some of them when their prior bigotry came to light. Newly appointed officials in the party were awkwardly suspended when it turned out they were praising Hitler on social media.
Corbyn himself soon appointed Livingstone, a former mayor of London who had been widely accused of anti-Semitism for many years, to several key party posts. This was the man whom The Guardian editor Jonathan Freedland—a former Livingstone voter—famously said “doesn’t care what hurt he causes Jews.” A UK-based charity personally backed by Corbyn funded a play in which Gazan children reenacted the murder of Israelis.
On university campuses, similar incidents unfolded on the left. In February, the co-chair of the Oxford Labour Club resigned over anti-Semitism within it, writing, “a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.” This month, the UK’s National Union of Students elected a far-left president who claimed the mainstream media was “Zionist-led” and publicly defended terrorism against Israeli civilians. (She had also condemned her university as a “Zionist outpost” due to its “largest Jsoc [Jewish student society] in the country.”)
Then came the Naz Shah affair this past week. An MP from Bradford, Shah was found to have posted on Facebook likening Israel and Zionism to Nazi Germany and al-Qaeda, as well as advocating the transfer of the Jewish state to America. She soon apologized unreservedly. Her party’s leadership, however, was less resolute. Corbyn initially refused to suspend Shah, only doing so after days of intense pressure.
Corbyn announces independent probe into Labour anti-Semitism
Britain’s Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday announced an independent review into racism within the party, as he faced intense pressure over alleged anti-Semitism in Labour, less than a week before his leadership is tested by local elections.
The announcement was made after senior party member and former London mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended for linking Adolf Hitler to Zionism.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of racism in the Labour Party, or anywhere in society,” Corbyn said.
“We will make sure that our party is a welcoming home to members of all minority communities.”
Herzog pens letter to Corbyn, urges Labor delegation to visit Yad Vashem
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) penned a letter to UK Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn Saturday, in which he expressed outrage over anti-Semitic remarks expressed recently by some party members, and extended an invitation for a delegation to visit Yad Vashem on behalf of the party and bear witness to anti-Semitism at its core.
"I have been appalled and outraged by the recent examples of anti-Semitism by senior Labor party officials in the United Kingdom...which must act as a red alert and prompt immediate action," Herzog wrote.
He penned his letter in light of recent comments made by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone during an interview with the BBC last Thursday, alluding to Hitler being a Zionist. “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism,” Livingston said.
Nigel Farage says Labour anti-Semitism row is linked to the party trying to win Muslim votes
Nigel Farage argued that Labour was engaging in “sectarian” politics in Bradford, where suspended MP Naz Shah sits as MP.
“I do feel that [criticism of Israel] begins to spill over sometimes, in what is the word ‘Israel’ being used as cover for anti-Semitism,” he told LBC radio.
“I think what has happened in Bradford, is that left-wing support and sympathy for anti-Israel/anti-Israeli views has now become allied to a very big growth in the Muslim vote in this country.
“I think what you have in Bradford is sectarian politics. I loathe it because if you think about the other part of the UK that has been plagued by sectarian politics, it’s called Northern Ireland, with Protestant versus Catholic, and look where that has got it.
“I’m worried that the left of the Labour party have always had this view; they’re now linking it in a desperate attempt to get all the Muslim votes in this country, and I think they’re in a bad place.
Jewish reporter says Trump supporters bombarding her with anti-Semitic rhetoric
A reporter said Friday she had received a barrage of anti-Semitic emails and phone calls from supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, after a profile story she wrote about Trump’s wife Melania was published in GQ Magazine.
Julia Ioffe, who is Jewish, said the hatred she had experienced since her piece was published reminded her of racism her family experienced in Russia before it immigrated to the US 26 years ago.
Ioffe’s article chronicles Melania’s story from her Slovenian roots to her relationship with the man who, it seems increasingly likely, may well become the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
But the piece struck a none-too-flattering tone in its description of either Melania and her husband, and has been criticized by its subject as “yet another example of the dishonest media and their disingenuous reporting.” And when the angry responses by Trump die-hards began arriving to Ioffe’s phone, inbox and Twitter feed, many of them took a decidedly racist slant. (h/t Alexi)
As Jews flee Belgium, a seder marks a family exodus
Yet as I waited for all hell to break loose last week, I saw my worries were unfounded. My family’s “Echad Mi Yodea” this year was a shadow of its former self in what I suddenly realized was a vivid illustration of the absence of relatives from my age group who, like many Belgian Jews, have left their native country because of its anti-Semitism problem. With each passing year, there were fewer of us around the seder table.
My Belgian relatives have said goodbye to nine young seder rioters over the past 15 years. Six enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and made aliyah. Two immigrated to the United States and one moved to London.
I came to Brussels this year because this seder was the sendoff for a second cousin and his wife, a physician and an architect, who are moving to Florida. His sister and her Belgian Jewish husband already live there.
“This is my last seder as a European,” cousin Mark (not his real name) told me over the phone. We spoke in Hebrew, a language learned by all my Belgian relatives my age at the insistence of aunts and uncles who were born to Holocaust survivors and who always regarded aliyah as a contingency plan in case things went south in Belgium.  (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Italy arrests suspects in IS plot to attack Israeli embassy, Vatican
Italian prosecutors said Thursday they had thwarted plans by at least three people to carry out terror attacks against the Israeli Embassy in Rome and the Vatican.
Italian police arrested four people involved in a foreign terrorist investigation, including a Moroccan-born man living in Italy who had received Islamic State orders to carry out an attack on the Israeli embassy in Rome, the prosecutors said. Two others suspects are still at large.
Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli told reporters that investigators intercepted communications from within Islamic State territory ordering attacks in Italy, “with particular attention to the city of Rome” and focusing on the Holy Year pilgrimage now underway.
Reuters said the Italian authorities tapped and recorded phone conversations between three of the suspects, and that possible attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome were discussed.
Eurovision says Palestinian, Islamic State flags unwelcome
The Palestinian flag this week appeared on a list of banned banners for the Eurovision song contest, alongside the Islamic State group flag and others.
Under Eurovision rules, regional flags, those belonging to federated states, or including commercial, religious or political messages, are all banned. Authorized are the flags of countries participating in the contest and any other UN member state, as well as the EU and rainbow banner that represents the LGBT movement or peace.
Eurovision said a draft version of the flag policy was published by mistake on the website of the venue and the ticket agency selling seats for the extravaganza, hosted this year by the 2015 winner Sweden. Contest spokesman Dave Goodman told AFP that “the flag policy is not aimed against specific territories or organizations, and certainly does not compare them to each other.”
The organizers of the hugely popular contest apologized for what they said was a mix-up.
“The document included a non-exhaustive list of examples of flags that under the flag policy are prohibited in the venue. This document was not intended to be published,” it said. “The organizers apologize to everyone who feels offended by the list.”
Mamma Mia! PLO 'outraged' over Eurovision ban on Palestinian flag
In a letter to the European Broadcasting Union, the body in charge of producing the show, Erekat said that the decision to bar the colors of the PLO was “discriminatory and a serious offense against our nation.”
Erekat’s reaction was first reported by the West Bank-based Ma’an news agency.
In the decades-long history of the Eurovision song contest, Israel has consistently sent a delegation to participate, while the Palestinians have never taken part in the festivities.
The venue hosting the contest this year published the EBU's guidelines on spectator conduct which includes an “official flag policy.” The EBU is the consortium of public television networks in Europe that will be producing the show.
Biggest BDS Fail Ever?
For those who watch how Israel and those Jews who refuse to despise it are treated on college campuses, Vassar has been a depressingly reliable source of bad news. Just this month, at this heart of righteous progressive thinking, a swastika was placed on a student’s door. But the more fundamental problem at Vassar has been a relentless campaign against Israel, led by Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace. This campaign has at times involved antisemitism of a not very subtle sort. At other times, it has involved merely attempts to derail and intimidate into silence any faculty member or student who take anything other than the hardest line against Israel. Here is just one example: activists apparently attempted to deny funding to Vassar’s chapter of J-Street, a liberal, anti-occupation group supportive of a two-state solution, to travel to a conference sponsored by the liberal Israeli newspaper, Haaretz because, well, Zionism is racism, or something like that.
This academic year, Students for Justice in Palestine sponsored a resolution in support of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, as well as an amendment to the Vassar Student Association (VSA) Bylaws prohibiting the use of VSA funds to purchase from certain companies, like Hewlett-Packard, deemed unclean for allegedly profiting from the oppression of Palestinians. The VSA Council passed the BDS resolution handily, 15-7. So eager was the Council to stick it to Israel that a 12-10 majority also supported the amendment. This majority was secured even though Vassar’s administration had suggested it might take away the VSA’s power to distribute funds if the amendment passed. In short, the Council was prepared to be stripped of power rather than abandon its self-assigned Middle East policymaking responsibilities. The amendment did not pass only because it required 2/3 majority.
One observer recounts the tone of the debate that preceded the vote: “students who raised concerns about the effects of the unending BDS campaign on Vassar’s Jewish community were heckled and laughed at. One Jewish student talked about how the BDS campaign had invoked every anxiety nightmare she had ever had. She was crying as she spoke. Pro-BDS students laughed at her.”
But, at last, there is some good news to report out of Vassar. Students secured enough signatures to bring both the resolution and the amendment to a referendum. To be honest, I felt certain that, at the very least, the BDS resolution would pass. I know of almost no campus at which the pro-BDS forces have seemed stronger. But both measures failed convincingly. The resolution, lost 573-503, and the amendment failed 601-475.
The margin was not nearly as great as it was in the BDS loss at Bowdoin last April, in which BDS gained a mere, humiliating, 14 percent of the vote. Still, Vassar must be a devastating loss not only for pro-boycott Vassar students but for BDS movement enthusiasts nationally. Recall that Vassar is the place where even an ardent supporter of the boycott was shocked at the extent of anti-Israel sentiment he encountered there: “the spirit of that young progressive space was that Israel is a blot on civilization… If a student had gotten up and said, I love Israel, he or she would have been mocked and scorned into silence.” Selling BDS there should have been like selling water in the desert.
Though the BDS movement has suffered many setbacks, the failure at Vassar may be its biggest failure yet.
Companies Run Scared as Anti-BDS Laws Take Effect
Over the past year, seven states have passed laws withdrawing funds—sometimes contracts, sometimes pension funds, sometimes both—from companies that support boycotts and economic warfare against Israel. Similar laws are winding their way through another seven states. Meanwhile, Illinois, which was one of the first states to pass such a law, has begun implementing it, cataloguing companies that may be affected for bowing to the BDS bigotry.
These companies, as you might’ve guessed, aren’t happy to find themselves on the list. At least one, the prominent security company G4S, appears to have responded with a massive public relations campaign, arguing that its decision to withdraw from activities in Israel was purely economic and not driven by the Jewish state’s detractors in any way.
Which is where all of us who care about these things should stop and acknowledge sweet victory: A global company with vast assets was faced with dire consequences for boycotting Israel, and had to unequivocally disavow BDS. Other companies will surely take note.
“The decision to sell G4S Israel was made on strategic and commercial grounds as part of a portfolio management program established by the company in 2013,” read an ad the company published in several newspapers, including The Palm Beach Post and The Sun Sentinel. “G4S notes and rejects comments by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement and anti-Israel pressure groups claiming that their actions have caused the G4S group to sell G4S Israel… G4S reiterates that it does not support the anti-Israel boycott by BDS or any other group.”
Staggering results show three-quarters of students want to leave the NUS
According to a Tab poll of 6,500 people
After students at 25 universities announced campaigns to disaffiliate from the NUS, we asked if you would leave. Almost 6,500 responded and a three quarters of you said yes.
73 per cent said yes, 14 per cent said no and 12 per cent replied that they didn’t know.
After Malia Bouattia’s election last week, some of the UK’s top universities plan on holding a referendum on their membership of the NUS. Richard Brooks, Vice-President for the NUS, said:
“The only people who will suffer from disaffiliation, and there are many people who want to leave and I can understand why there are concerns, will be students and that’s because the only reason we get a seat at the table with the government is because we’re a united student movement.”
Last week’s NUS Conference was controversial. Delegates opposed to the NUS’ official recognition of Holocaust Memorial Day, fearing that it would single out and prioritise one atrocity over others.
Anti-Israel students trap SDSU President to prove they’re not terrorists
Upset at anti-BDS poster campaign, arguably falsely imprison president until he apologized.
David Horowitz doesn’t pull punches in defense of Israel and western civilization.
Perhaps his most famous moment was when he got an anti-Israel student at UC-San Diego to admit she supports extermination of Jews:
Horowitz’s Freedom Center has been posting provocative posters at various campuses. In February the posters showed SJP as Hamas executioners, because so many SJP members express support for the bloody Intifadas and back “the resistance” (which is what Hamas means in Arabic).
This month, the Horowitz Center issued posters identifying specific anti-Israel student activists alleging they have “allied themselves with Palestinian terrorists.”
That has upset a lot of anti-Israel activist groups which have claimed the posters are “Islamophobic.” The tactic even is questioned by some pro-Israel groups as counterproductive. Horowitz is unapologetic for the poster campaign.
At San Diego State University (SDSU), the controversy led to a statement by the university president mildly criticizing the posters but reaffirming freedom of speech.
That reaction led about 150 student protesters from the Muslim Students Association to confront the president and trap him in a police car for an hour. To prove they are not “terrorists.”
Israel denies report Germany frustrated with Netanyahu, two-state process
A senior official in Jerusalem dismissed a report on Saturday that claimed Germany was becoming increasingly frustrated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies and that Chancellor Angela Merkel said she understood why PA President Mahmoud Abbas sought the support of the UN Security Council.
“Ties between Israel and Germany are close and good, and they will continue to be,” the official told Haaretz on Saturday, adding that the statements in the report published by Der Spiegel were “most likely an internal German attempt to bash Merkel over her close relationship with Netanyahu.”
A report in Der Spiegel‘s latest edition said that Merkel’s camp was “furious” at a leak of confidential consultations between Jerusalem and Berlin in the German capital in February, which subsequently appeared in the free Israel Hayom daily, owned by staunch Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson.
Furthermore, the magazine said, the leaked details of Merkel’s remarks were “twisted” to give the impression that she supported Netanyahu’s position that a two-state solution with the Palestinians was currently unfeasible, whereas the chancellor had actually said that Israeli settlement construction “makes it unlikely that a viable Palestinian state can be established in accordance with plans aimed at a two-state solution.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: University Students Vote For Terror
Palestinian political analysts said that the Hamas victory at the university is an indication of what would happen if general elections were held these days in the West Bank.
Both Hamas and the PFLP are strongly opposed to any peace process with Israel. They continue to call for terror attacks against Israelis. The results of the election mean that most of the students at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, not Gaza, support groups that have chosen terrorism over peace.
The Hamas victory at Bir Zeit University also shows that it does not matter how much money you pour on Fatah's campus supporters; a majority of students would still prefer to vote for terror groups that do not believe in Israel's right to exist.
Hamas leaders also called for holding long overdue presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. They said they had no doubt that their movement would easily defeat Fatah.
Hamas: 'There will be an explosion' unless Israel lifts Gaza blockade
Hamas threatened on Thursday that unless Israel lifts its blockade on the Gaza Strip, "there will be an explosion," Channel 2 reported
The report cited a statement issued by the spokesman of the Palestinian terrorist movement's military wing at an event that presented a model of the Israeli bus that exploded in a bombing in Jerusalem claimed by Hamas last week.
Hamas deputy leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, also spoke at the event and charged that the latest Hamas-claimed terrorist attack proved that the organization had not given up the "resistance option" against Israel.
Thursday's threat came as Israeli Jews were celebrating the culmination of the Passover holiday.
The Hamas threat did not specify what exactly the said explosion referred to.
VIDEO: Islamic Jihad shows off newest weapon in war against Israel
Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Islamist group active in Gaza, posted a video clip on the Internet over the weekend boasting of a new development in their efforts to produce military hardware that could threaten Israel – a light plane.
The video clip, which was produced by the Al-Quds Brigades, the organization’s military wing, represents the first time that the group has announced that it is working toward building its own capacity for warfare.
Islamic Jihad has traditionally used social media to post images and video clips of fallen Israeli drones.
During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas, the Islamist movement in charge of the Gaza Strip, deployed unmanned aerial vehicles against Israel. It also recently bragged about coming into possession of an Israeli drone that it says has been put into operation.
EXCLUSIVE - Islamic State Threatens Hamas' Authority in Gaza, Warns Secret Egyptian Report
Hamas’ deterrence in the Gaza Strip has been significantly undermined by radical Islamists, according to an Egyptian intelligence estimate obtained by Breitbart Jerusalem.
The report, which was prepared ahead of the Hamas-Egypt bilateral talks last month, says that Hamas’ central authority, which it labored to impose on rival armed groups since it took over the Strip in 2007, has begun to weaken.
Prior to Hamas’ rise to power, armed opposition groups and powerful clans exploited the Palestinian Authority’s weakness and terrorized the civilian population in Gaza for its political and economic ends.
Following Hamas’ seizure of power, the report says, the terrorist group cracked down on these clans, most famously the Dughmush and Hiless families, arrested rebel members, and confiscated weapons.
For the next two years, Hamas clashed with opposition groups and put an end to the political anarchy that had almost dominated Gaza. In 2009, Hamas blew up the Ibn Tayamiya mosque in Rafah when a group of Salafists led by Sheikh Dr. Abdel Latif Mussa holed up inside and declared the establishment of an Islamic caliphate. The bombing, which many deemed disproportionate, led to 13 fatalities.
VIDEO: Iran urges young boys to take up arms in Syria, 'reach Jerusalem'
The Iranian regime has sanctioned a new recruiting video aimed at youngsters in the hope that they enlist in the Syrian civil war as well as the fighting in Iraq.
The clip, which aired on Iran state television, shows children singing a song called “Martyrs who defend the sacred shrine.” As the children sing, images of youngsters holding guns and undergoing weapons training are interspersed.
The film also seeks to reassure young boys that they would also have the opportunity to “liberate Jerusalem.”
"Let's rise up to save the sacred shrine,” the lyrics of the son read. “I have joined [Imam] Hossein's army division. I have a warrant from the [Imam Ali] to defend the sacred shrine. On my leader [Ali Khamenei's] orders I am ready to give my life.The goal is not just to free Iraq and Syria, My path is through the sacred shrine [in Syria], but my goal is to reach Jerusalem."
It’s pot and prejudice as British comedy tackles Jewish-Muslim relations
When award-winning British director John Goldschmidt set out to make “Dough” five years ago, he had no idea how topical it would become by the time it was released. Debuting nationwide in the US on April 29, the warm and fuzzy comedic buddy film’s serious underpinnings relate to rising tensions between Europe’s Muslim and Jewish populations in the wake of recent Islamic terror attacks and the ongoing influx of Middle Eastern refugees.
“Dough” is the unlikely story of an alliance between an elderly, widowed Jewish kosher bakery owner and a teenage Muslim Darfuri refugee. As the Jewish population and economy of London’s East End declines, Nat Dayan (played by veteran actor Jonathan Pryce) reluctantly takes on young Ayyash (newcomer Jerome Holder) as a baking apprentice.
Unbeknownst to Nat (or Ayyash’s mother, who cleans the bakery), Ayyash has a side job selling marijuana as a means of supporting himself and his mother. One Friday, the apprentice accidentally drops a stash of pot into the challah dough as it mixes. Not surprisingly, the baked loaves are a huge hit with customers.
As word gets out about the amazing bread and patrons flock to the bakery, Ayyash decides to add weed to the muffins and bagels, and even convinces a clueless Nat to start selling (pot) brownies. Business booms, to the point that Nat just might be able to stave off a developer looking to buy out the block and expand his neighboring supermarket.
Israeli Cookbook Authors Take Home Top Honors at James Beard Awards
A cookbook written by an Israeli-born chef and his associate won the “International” and “Book of the Year” awards at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards on Tuesday night in New York City. The prestigious James Beard awards are often referred to as the “Oscars of Food.”
“Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking,” by Israeli-born chef Michael Solomonov and his associate, Steven Cook, took home the top honors at the event. Solomon is the founder and chef of Zahav, the flagship restaurant of the Philadelphia-based restaurant group CookNSolo.
Another Israeli chef, London-based Yotam Ottolenghi, and his co-author Ramael Scully won the James Beard Foundation’s “Cooking from a Professional Point of View” prize for “NOPI: The Cookbook.”
Hundreds attend first Jewish film festival in Casablanca
Nearly 500 people attended the first Jewish film festival of Casablanca, which was organized in the Moroccan city by a Sephardic Jewish woman from Atlanta.
The three-day event, which ended Wednesday at the offices of Casablanca’s SOC club, featured three films about the “consequences of the emigration of the Jews from the fabric of Moroccan society,” the organizer, Vanessa Paloma, told JTA on Thursday. Each screening drew about 150 viewers, she said.
One of the two fictional features screened was “Aida,” which was also Morocco’s submission to the Academy Awards for best foreign language film, about a Paris-based Jewish music teacher’s battle with cancer.
The other was “Midnight Orchestra,” a 2015 production about the son of a Jewish musician who left Morocco amid racial tensions spurred by the Yom Kippur war.
Reactions to the festival were overwhelmingly positive, said Paloma, a singer of Judeo-Spanish music and a researcher on identity and the arts in Moroccan Judaism. She has lived in Casablanca since 2009 with her Moroccan-Jewish husband, Maurice Elbaz, who helped her produce the festival on a shoestring budget that sufficed because the filmmakers waived their fees.
Defying ban, Egypt’s Coptic Christians flock to Jerusalem
Despite a decades-old ban by the Egyptian Coptic Church, its members have been flocking to Jerusalem over the past few years, especially during the Easter season.
Some 5,500 Coptic Christians have made their way to Israel for the pilgrimage this year, the Haaretz daily reported Thursday. That figure is a significant drop from three years ago, when it was estimated that 15,000 Copts, who follow the Julian calendar, arrived for the Easter season.
Egyptian Copts were forbidden from visiting Israel by their late pope Shenouda III, who put the prohibition in place to protest Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem. Shenouda passed away in March 2012 at the age of 88, after leading the church for 40 years.
Later that year, the church selected Pope Tawadros II as the new pope. According to the Egyptian news site Ahram Online, Tawadros also opposes pilgrimages to Jerusalem, but has refrained from enforcing the ban and thus paved the way for the thousands of pilgrims.
Orthodox Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem
Thousands of Orthodox Christians from across the globe marked Good Friday with a procession through Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing the steps Jesus Christ is believed to have taken on the day of his crucifixion.
The pilgrims, some carrying crosses and others praying, retraced the 14 Stations of the Cross and walked to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus Christ is believed to be buried.
Hundreds of Israeli security forces were deployed inside the walled Old City, and around the church, which is in East Jerusalem, an AFP journalist said.
Their presence was to regulate the flow of worshipers through the narrow streets rather than to calm fears of potential violence, despite weeks of renewed tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Crowds of pilgrims queued to enter the Holy Sepulchre, many scribbling prayers on pieces of paper which they planned to recite inside the church.

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