Thursday, June 29, 2017

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism without anti-Semites
This kind of logic results in a German court ruling that throwing Molotov cocktails at a German synagogue is an acceptable expression of protest. It is not anti-Semitism, but rather a legitimate criticism of Israel's policies! In German, this is simply called Israelkritik -- not a critique of any specific policy by whatever government is in power at the time, but rather of Israel in general. In practice, it would be very easy to go from this to completely rejecting the existence of Israel, or, in other words, to anti-Zionism, or to rejecting the Jews' right to self-determination and a state, or to anti-Semitism.
Germany, with the help of authorities in the Israeli and Jewish Left, goes out of its way to assert that Israelkritik should be seen not as a variant of anti-Semitism but merely as another legitimate form of criticism. Does the same kind of legitimate criticism, of similar dimensions, exist toward any another Middle Eastern country, not to mention the Palestinian Authority? No. Israel is getting special treatment in this regard.
If Germany ever stops denying its anti-Semitism and finally acknowledges that anti-Semitism is still alive and well, under the guise of strong anti-Israel sentiments, the problem may begin to be resolved. But Germany prefers to ignore the problem. The German obsession with projecting their anti-Semitism onto the State of Israel has turned Germany's relationship with Israel into a neurotic one, preventing positive development.
Furthermore, this obsession poses a threat to Germany, itself. The reason Muslims today feel free to display unbridled anti-Semitic violence is not just their upbringing but the fact that they are acting out what many Germans privately believe. This violence is bound to ultimately target Germans, too, because the radical Islamists don't distinguish between Jews and Christians. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Fathom: Aaron Aaronsohn, the NILI intelligence network and the Balfour Declaration
Intelligence in World War One
Jewish patriots joined the armed forces of Britain, France and Germany and saw combat on both sides of the divide. There was no Jewish international unity in World War One – contrary to what emerged in World War Two. The Jewish ‘issue’ and its resolution seemed almost absent from the international agenda.
From the outset of World War One intelligence-gathering became critically important to all sides. The Ottoman Empire naturally had in place a vast system of control over potentially disloyal elements within the territories under its rule. London and Paris were jockeying to succeed Istanbul and its ally Berlin, whose basic goal was to ensure its interests the strategic south-eastern flank under Ottoman rule. On the other side of the divide Britain and France, and later the US, sought to cultivate support within areas under Ottoman control in anticipation of the ultimate fall of the Empire at the end of the war.
What was required was reliable military information concerning the Ottomans and their allies, detailed local knowledge of the areas under Ottoman rule, a list of high-level contacts with local players (such as Princes, Sheiks, Tribes etc.), and an intimate understanding of the conflicting interests between them. It also required identifying local players with combat capabilities and the provision of on-the-spot strategic and military guidance for them. All of this could only be handled by intelligence services and seasoned intelligence officers with experience in the field.
The most prominent was T.E. Lawrence from Great Britain – ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. But he was not alone; there was Curt Prufer from Berlin, who rose to prominence in World War One and spent part of his time in Jerusalem and who was active on many fronts; and there was William Yale from the Standard Oil Company of New York, who doubled up as an intelligence officer. There was also Edouard Bremond of France, who primarily operated in the Arabian Peninsula. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Seth Frantzman: The Palestinian mufti’s intersectionality with the Nazis
When these left-wing groups talk about “intersectionality” the reality of the “intersection” is that it always intersects at Israel and “Zionism.” Always “anti-Zionism.”
Anti-Islamism? No. They never oppose Islamist extremism. Not even ISIS.
They talk about racism, but groups that commit genocide against Kurds, like Saddam Hussein did, are not rejected. Iraqi flags are welcome. Bashar Assad and his murderous regime are fine, along with Syria’s allies in Iran and Hezbollah. And the mufti is also acceptable.
There is an intersection between the mufti and his Nazi camp visits and today’s hatred of Israel and Jewish symbols. The intersection is that we turn a blind eye to the mufti’s disgusting racist politics, excusing it and even hiding his collaboration, while refusing to demand Palestinian nationalism reject him. At the same time, for too long the cause of “anti-Zionism” has been allowed to infiltrate every organization involved in liberal and progressive activism, such that Jewish symbols are not even allowed, as activists claim they cannot tell the difference between those symbols and Israel.
Every other religion and state in the world is accepted, no other symbol is thus conflated. They can tell the difference between 1,000 other symbols and flags, except for one. This is today’s tragic intersection.
Just as in 1942 the mufti found willing collaborators throughout Europe, hatred of Jews and Israel finds willing collaborators today.

Jewish activist couple marries surreptitiously on Temple Mount
An Israeli Jewish couple surreptitiously held their marriage ceremony Thursday at the Temple Mount, in an act of protest against Israeli-imposed rules forbidding Jewish religious rituals at the flash point site.
The couple, who are both activists in the Students for the Temple Mount group which seeks to increase Jewish access to the site, videotaped the hurried ceremony and distributed the clip to the press.
The couple had to carry out the nuptials without being seen by the Israeli police escort who would have stopped them, fearing such incidents could provoke unrest among the Palestinians.
Footage from the event showed Students for the Temple Mount chair Tom Nisani walking alongside his fiancé and fellow Temple Mount activist Sarah Lurcat, accompanied by friends as well as the customary police escort for Israeli-Jewish visitors to the site.
Speaking to the camera, Nisani explained the importance of the site before footage skipped to him hastily placing a ring on the index finger of Lurcat in the presence of two witnesses and reciting a blessing officially marking the consecration of the marriage.
The Flip Side of the Western Wall Crisis
Despite all this, liberal American Jews are convinced that they know better. They know that the continued “occupation” is mostly Israel’s fault, and that Israel must end it immediately regardless of the price in Israeli blood and their job as American Jews isn’t to support Israelis’ painfully reached conclusions, but to pressure Israelis to disregard the lessons of their lived experience. If there’s a better way of telling Israelis “You don’t actually matter to us,” I don’t know what it might be.
Moreover, pursuant to that attitude, many American Jews–and again, not just fringe groups like JVP–are actively undermining Israel in various ways. Mainstream American Jewish groups like campus Hillels repeatedly host speakers from organizations that spew outright lies about Israel, such as Breaking the Silence, which even recycles the medieval blood libel about Jews poisoning wells.
American Jews also provide substantial financial support to such organizations, mainly through the New Israel Fund. Rabbis and Jewish organizations provide cover for anti-Israel activists. Leading liberal rabbi Sharon Brous, for instance, praised Linda Sarsour for “building a movement that can hold all of us in our diversity with love” even as Sarsour explicitly banned all Israel supporters from her movement. The Anti-Defamation League defended Keith Ellison, one of the few congressmen who consistently backs anti-Israel resolutions while shunning pro-Israel ones, as “an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism” right up until he was caught out in overt anti-Semitism. American rabbinical students term Israel’s very existence a cause for mourning and engage in anti-Israel commercial boycotts. The Union for Reform Judaism urges members to step up their criticism of Israel. And on, and on.
American Jews no longer the bastion of support for Israel that they once were. If they still believe they have a familial relationship with Israelis, it increasingly feels like an abusive one in which the abuser shows his “love” by causing pain. Thus, it’s no surprise that support for Israel has plummeted among young American Jews; how many of them ever hear anything positive about Israel from their “pro-Israel” elders?
The result is that some Israelis are starting to feel, as Hillel Halkin wrote in Mosaic last month, “The distance between Israeli and American Jews is growing? Let it grow … so what?” Until recently, few Israelis would have said such a thing, and I still consider it a tragedy. But if American Jews keep telling Israelis that everything they think, feel and experience “doesn’t actually matter to us,” the number of Israelis who agree with Halkin will only grow.
Melanie Phillips: Hypocrisy and worse over the Western Wall
Progressive Jews claim that Israel’s behaviour over equal access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City is driving a wedge between it and the diaspora. Yet they are often the very same people who attack Israel for being in the Old City at all. Join me as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network the manifest hypocrisy and worse of this row.

Melanie Phillips: Astroturfing a lynch-mob
It is crystal clear from this full account of Sisi’s remarks that his words had infinitely greater significance than a rhetorical flourish. It is also clear that, contrary to my accusers’ claim about what he said, he was condemning a currently dominant interpretation of Islam, as I myself did in my own remarks.
Sisi used the word “impossible” interchangeably with “inconceivable” to express his horror that the Muslim world should support the aim of killing the rest of the world’s population. He was not saying that Muslims didn’t have this ambition. On the contrary, he was saying that they did have it (he didn’t even qualify that by saying that many do not) and that they drew for this ambition upon an interpretation of religious texts which could not be allowed to stand. That’s why he called for an Islamic religious reformation.
It is my accusers, therefore, who have cherry-picked Sisi’s words and wrenched them out of context to claim they mean the opposite of what he actually meant – all in order to defame and silence me.
This is not the first attempt to inflame a mob against those who sound the alarm about both Islamism and those who sanitise it, and nor will it be the last. After the Finsbury Park attack two courageous anti-extremist campaigners, Douglas Murray and Maajid Nawaz, were viciously defamed as Islamophobes who must be silenced.
Now Nawaz has been similarly attacked once again, this time alongside the atheist philosopher Sam Harris. As this account reports, the two of them recorded a two-hour podcast in which they discussed Islamic extremism and Muslim integration in the west. Someone else broadcast one minute of the show on social media. Taken grotesquely out of context, this twisted their views to represent them falsely as profoundly anti-Muslim which is the opposite of what they said or believe.
These feverish, ever-more elaborate and shameless attempts to silence what so urgently needs to be said demonstrate just how crucial it is that we keep on saying it.
Author of New Book Calls for Fresh Approach to Pro-Israel Advocacy Based on Highlighting Jewish State’s Morality
David Brog — the founding director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and executive director of the Maccabee Task Force — was recently interviewed by The Algemeiner about his latest book, Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace.
A transcript of the conversation — in which Brog discusses the current state of pro-Israel advocacy and calls for a fresh approach based on highlighting the Jewish state’s morality — follows.
What prompted you to write this book?
“I wanted to counter a trend. The rising generation of Americans — including so many who consider themselves pro-Israel — are increasingly buying into the fantasy that Israel is the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East. I say ‘fantasy’ because this view is contrary to the facts. And I say ‘fantasy’ because it’s an alluring belief. After all, if Israel is the obstacle to peace, then pressure on Israel can actually bring peace. There can be peace in our time!”
“When our young people buy into this myth, they grow embarrassed and equivocal in their pro-Israel activism. They try to change the topic. They’ll talk about Tel Aviv’s gay pride parades, Israel’s food scene and, of course, high tech. But they’ll never address the underlying moral claims that are doing so much damage to Israel’s reputation because they believe (or fear) that Israel is guilty as charged.”
“Here’s the good news. Most students who accept the prevailing myths about Israel do so simply because they don’t know better — no one’s ever told them otherwise. My experience over years of working with students is that when they learn the facts about Israel they’re both relieved and energized to go out and share these truths. My book is an effort to compile in one accessible, chronological narrative all of the facts and history that my students have found most important over the years.”
French leaders: Gov't covering up antisemitism in slaying of Jewish woman
The umbrella group of French Jewish communities escalated its criticism of authorities’ handling of the slaying of a Jewish woman by her Muslim neighbor, calling it a cover-up.
CRIF made the accusation in a short and poignant statement Wednesday containing four loaded questions concerning the April 4 killing of Sarah Halimi in Paris.
“The murder of Sarah Halimi was 85 days ago already and the investigation is not advancing. Why this silence? Why this omerta?” read the statement, which contained the Italian-language mafia term for a cover-up among accomplices. “What is being hidden? Why this denial of anti-Semitism?”
Prior to this week, CRIF had refrained from openly faulting the handling of the Halimi investigation, saying it was awaiting the conclusion of the police probe. In the past, it has criticized the proliferation of conspiracy theories by some Jewish groups and activists.
Relatives of Sarah Halimi, French Jewish Pensioner Murdered by Islamist, Lodge Negligence Complaint With Paris Prosecutor
Relatives of the brutally murdered Parisian Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi have lodged a formal complaint with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office over the manner in which local authorities in the French capital have treated her case.
Dr. Halimi was tortured and murdered in her Paris apartment in April by an Islamist intruder with a prior record of harassment toward her. The complaint filed by her relatives asserted that police reacted with “inertia” after being alerted to the attack by Halimi’s neighbors.
The complaint also slammed the “lack of coordination” in the provision of care and welfare services to Halimi, who lived in public housing in the depressed Belleville neighborhood. Because she knew and feared the intruder, who lived in her building, Halimi had formally requested that the public housing department move her to a new apartment, but without explaining why.
“My sister was terribly afraid of this man, he had called her a ‘dirty Jew,’ but she was afraid that filing a complaint would be dangerous for her,” her brother William Attal explained in an interview with French news agency AFP following the family’s decision last week to take the case to the public prosecutor.
The Grenfell Tower fire: how a tragic accident became a blood libel
On June 14, fire engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London after a refrigerator short circuited and burst into flames in an apartment on the fourth floor. Seventy-nine people died in that fire, shaking the UK to the core, particularly the city of London.
Five days later, on June 19, Al-Quds day marchers blamed the Grenfell Tower fire on the Jews.
The next day, and for at least two days in a row, Muslim rioters stormed the London Jewish neighborhood Stamford Hill with bats, machetes, and swords, effectively instigating a pogrom in 2017 London. This time around, the Jews were lucky and only minor injuries were reported. According to the report, the police dispersed the rioters after some time, but despite the flagrant aggression, there have been no reports of arrests.
Forever Guilty
The history of persecution of the Jews is as long as the history of the Jewish people itself. All of our patriarchs were persecuted by their next of kin, as well as by the rulers of their dwelling places.
When the Jews were exiled from the land of Israel and dispersed throughout the globe, they suffered persecution wherever they went. Whenever and wherever there was a crisis, people blamed it on the Jews. A look at the history of persecution of the Jews and the history of antisemitism reveals a ceaseless march of torments of the Jewish people.
Even today, in the “enlightened” 21st century, antisemitism not only thrives the world over, but is escalating to perilous levels once again. At times, it masquerades itself as hatred of the Jewish state, at times it manifests as hatred of both Jews and the Jewish state, and at times it exposes itself as hatred of Jews. But in all cases, it is antisemitism. And in all cases, it blames the Jews for the misfortunes of the world.
South African unionist ordered to apologize for antisemitic hate speech
A senior South African trade unionist has been ordered to apologize to the South African Jewish community after being found guilty of hate speech by a Johannesburg court on Thursday.
The Equality Court in Johannesburg held that Bongani Masuku, International Relations Spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), made statements that were "hurtful, harmful, incite harm, and propagate hatred, and amount to hate speech," during a 2009 public address at Wits University and in various written communications.
Judge Seun Moshidi ordered Masuku to make an "unconditional apology" to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), the umbrella representative organization of the South African Jewish community. Masuku must apologize in the next 30 days or within a time period mutually agreed upon by the parties.
The case was brought by the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following Masuku's failure to comply with its 2009 ruling that also demanded the trade unionist apologize to the SAJBD.
Kent State SJP applauds eviction of Jews from Pride Parade
Despite acknowledging that the incident would have been an example of anti-Semitism under ordinary circumstances, the Kent State SJP ruffled feathers in the school’s Jewish community with its contention that such behavior is excusable when directed at “racist” or “far right” groups.
“I don’t feel that SJP of Kent State in Ohio have any right to say what the views were of the Jews at the parade,” one Jewish student told Campus Reform. “I personally feel that they are saying that this wasn’t anti-Semitic because they want to seem like the good guy, when in fact they are being anti-Semitic.”
Paul Weinper, who claims to have personally attended the Chicago Pride Parade on three previous occasions, likewise disputed the SJP description of the evicted marchers.
“The flags...were carried on behalf of several congregations in the Chicago area,” he said. “These groups are not far right groups, but they are pro-Israel and Zionist.”
Another student explained that equating Zionism to racism “is outwardly anti-Semitic because it denies the Jewish people our right to self-determination,” adding that it is particularly remarkable that the incident took place at a gay pride parade, because “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where you are allowed to be openly gay without facing persecution.”
Many other Jewish students echoed those sentiments, variously referring to the SJP tweets as “passive-aggressive,” “pitiful,” and “disgusting,” but none registered surprise at the provocative nature of the group’s tweets.
“Time and time again, this oppressive and hateful group of people has made me feel sick and unwelcome on my own campus,” one student told Campus Reform. “This is another clear example of passive aggressive behavior that does not promote mature conversation.”
“I think it’s pitiful that SJP is the ONLY group on Kent State’s campus that belittles another group’s narrative to elevate their own,” a classmate concurred, saying that applying the term “racist” to Zionism “not only is racist in itself, but discriminates against people from every ethnicity, religion, and background,” because “support for the self-determination of the Jewish not exclusive to right wing or left wing groups.”
LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel and queer
For years, Laurie Grauer had waved a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Jewish star at the Chicago Dyke March, sometimes marching near activists waving Palestinian flags. It had never been a problem.
But this year, Grauer was confronted by the LGBT parade’s organizers, questioned about her support for Israel and asked to leave because she was carrying the flag. She was one of three women with Jewish flags kicked out of Sunday’s parade.
Grauer says she was used to Israel being a sensitive issue in queer spaces. But she did not expect to be condemned for displaying her Jewish identity.
“To say that you can only identify one way is very dangerous,” said Grauer, the Midwest manager for A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel LGBT group. “Here you have this march that is supposed to be something for people that feel oppressed, invisible, marginalized, [where] they can be who they are. I wasn’t pushing my views on people and was told the way you’re expressing yourself is unacceptable.”
The incident at the Dyke March was just the latest in a series of clashes over Israel at activist events for the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender, or LGBT, community. Being pro-Israel at LGBT events has become difficult, LGBT Jewish leaders say, and at times the opposition to Israel has spilled over into making Jews feel uncomfortable about displaying their identity.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Explains BDS to His Trustees: It’s About “Justice, Dignity, and Security”
On May 24, Tablet published an in-depth story examining the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s (RBF) Middle East programs. The article explored how and why RBF became one of the most prominent U.S.-based institutional funders of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement targeting Israel, and also recounted the fund’s efforts at promoting diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran. Shortly after the article was published, Stephen Heintz, the fund’s president since 2001, sent an email to the organization’s trustees and staff criticizing the story. I have now obtained that email.
The message, sent about 14 hours after the story was published, is a glimpse into the assumptions undergirding RBF’s Israel-related programming. Pro-BDS funding is aimed at “ending the 50-year long occupation in order to bring justice, dignity, and security to all Israelis and Palestinians”—in Heintz’s view, pro-boycott efforts are a valid instrument for ending Israel’s presence in the West Bank, and are therefore in Israel’s long-term good. Even so, Heintz isn’t eager to take credit for everything that RBF’s money helps fund: “The article includes indirect attacks on us and our grantees through guilt by association with several degrees of separation,” he writes, in reference to pro-BDS organizations that have received a total of $880,000 from the Fund, much of it awarded for “general support.”
Heintz makes little attempt to convince the recipients of his letter of the virtue of the Fund’s position. Instead of explaining how funding boycott groups that oppose the two-state solution will, in fact, help to make a fair and just two-state solution possible, he argues that it’s unfair to draw links between RBF and the activities and organizations that RBF actively and publicly funds. In contrast, and as my article demonstrated, RBF’s pro-boycott grantees are not shy about what they stand for.
North Carolina lawmakers approve anti-BDS bill
Legislators from North Carolina's General Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday that would punish companies engaged with state business who participate in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign targeting Israel.
The bill will now be sent to Governor Roy Cooper for signing. If Cooper endorses the anti-BDS bill, North Carolina would become the 22nd US state with a law imposing punitive measures on companies and entities involved in BDS.
The North Carolina House Bill 261 based its prohibition against BDS activities on "entities that do business with or in such countries, make discriminatory decisions on the basis of national origin that impair those companies' commercial soundness."
The enforcement of France's anti-BDS Larouche Law relies on a similar definition of anti-discrimination based on the national origin of Israelis.
Ohio condemns BDS
Ohio on Wednesday became the 12th U.S. state to publicly condemn the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
State Representative Andy Thompson introduced a resolution before the General Assembly which expands Ohio's condemnation of BDS to include denouncement of the increasing incidents of anti-Semitism being witnessed.
Citing a long history of friendship between the State of Ohio and the State of Israel, the legislation calls for increased ties and interactions in business, government, the arts and culture as well as educational initiatives.
Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) Founder and President Laurie Cardoza-Moore applauded the measure as well as Thompson for introducing it.
“Due to the effective launch of PJTN’s anti-BDS media campaign, we have been tremendously encouraged by the response from state legislators and citizens who want to become engaged in efforts like Ohio’s initiative,” she said.
New Georgetown dean is an avowed supporter of Hezbollah
Georgetown University has promoted an avowed supporter of the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hezbollah as its newest academic chair.
On September 1, Ahmad S. Dallal will become the dean of Georgetown University in Qatar, a school that is funded with support from its host country. Dallal previously served as the chair of Georgetown’s Islamic Studies department at its Washington, D.C. campus, which is a known cesspool of jihadi sympathizers. Georgetown Qatar is directly affiliated with the main campus, and considered an "additional location for the University in Washington, D.C."
Dallal, like too many of his colleagues in academia, holds some truly fringe beliefs.
First and foremost, he is an open supporter of the Hezbollah terrorist group. He signed a 2006 petition declaring his “conscious support for the Lebanese national resistance [Hezbollah] as it wages a war” against Israel, adding that it is “a war to safeguard the dignity of the Lebanese and Arab people.” The statement declared Hezbollah’s murderous campaign a “heroic operation.”
In his previous position as provost of American University of Beirut, Dallal slammed one of his colleagues for collaborating with Israeli scholars, declaring that the school would boycott the Jewish state.
Richard Millett: Avi Shlaim goes to St James’s Church to slam Israel’s creation and anti-Semitism “allegations”.
Historian Avi Shlaim was invited to speak on Balfour and Palestine: From Balfour to May on Tuesday night at St James’s Church in central London.
St James’s is a church hostile to Israel and no expense is spared. In 2013 St James’s dedicated its entire Christmas to demonising Israel’s security wall at a cost of £30,000.
St James’s knows how to harness extremists’ hatred for Israel and on the way out on Tuesday The Rev Lucy Winkett was beaming with pride at seeing 300 people in her church. One can only imagine the usual turnout on Sunday mornings.
Su McClellan, of Embrace the Middle East (see below), set the dire tone for the evening when she described Shlaim’s family as simply having “left Iraq for Israel for various reasons”.
Those “various reasons” might have included the Farhud massacre visited on Baghdad’s Jewish community in 1941 which was followed up with continued oppression and confiscation of property by the Iraqi government. Shlaim’s father lost everything it seems. None of this was mentioned.
Farhud and Hamas were the main words totally absent from Shlaim’s talk. He blamed the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians solely on Israel. He claimed “settlements only are continuing the conflict.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Ecological Progressives Conflicted: Crude Oil Ban Would Disproportionately Affect Muslim-Majority Countries (satire)
Proponents of a progressive environmental agenda face internal contradictions within the movement over the prospect of banning crude oil imports and other fossil fuels in favor of promoting renewable energy sources, activists reported today, because such a policy would commit the cardinal progressive sin of affecting Muslim-majority states.
Academics, ideologues, demonstrators, and rank-and-file operatives throughout the progressivism-driven segment of the US population reacted with dismay this week at discovering that the worst flaw in President Trump’s travel restrictions against which they have raised bitter protest applies in greater measure to many of their movement’s demands, and they are still struggling to assimilate that revelation into their world view.
“It turns out that if we abandon fossil fuels, which are an ongoing environmental Holocaust, we end up hurting the economies of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, and a whole bunch of other places that are basically Muslim,” explained environmentalist Vic Timhood. “As everyone knows, in the hierarchy of progressive values, not offending or adversely affecting Muslims reigns supreme, and we are now struggling with how to promote a cleaner world in a way that does not commit this grave offense against our values. I mean, what have we been fighting the Muslim Ban for? The way forward is not yet clear.”
“If the Dyke March in Chicago demonstrates anything, it’s that Muslims’ sensibilities trump all others,” observed activist Linda Sarsour. “That’s what I’ve been getting at for years, always couching it in terms of tolerance and openness. But it boils down to Muslims as victims being the ultimate axiom, and therefore Muslims retaining ultimate veto over everything lest it offend or oppress them further. Unfortunately for other elements within the progressive movement, that sets up conflicts. But it’s hardly the first time, and the lesser causes within the movement have to just suck it up.”
Israeli journalist refuses to grant prize to Facebook
Israeli journalist Lital Shemesh refused to grant a prize to a senior official in Facebook due to the Facebook management’s condoning of the barrage of incitement against Jews on the social network.
Shemesh is in London with a delegation of the the “Gesher” organization and the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, and met with Simon Milner, Facebook’s Policy Director in Britain, the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Shemesh, who serves among other things as a journalist for Channel 20 and a presenter for Israel Hayom, asked Milner why Facebook condones incitement against Jews, which can lead to the perpetration of terror attacks and the murder of innocent people.
Milner avoided giving a straight answer, and those present were requested not to quote the words that were said in the room by Facebook representatives.
As was stated, Shemesh refused to grant a prize to Milner from the members of the delegation. She told Arutz Sheva that Milner “has no small part in the incitement to murder of Jews. I just couldn’t.”
Guardian columnist suggests that Israel’s defenders are akin to climate change deniers.
First, contrary to Williams’ claim, Snow made no allegations of “scatter bombing” (cluster bombing) in Gaza, and in fact we could find no such allegations during the war, even by “human rights” groups.
Far more troublesome, however, is Williams’ analogy between Israel’s defenders – whom she characterises as defenders of “killing children” – and climate change deniers is indicative of a view of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, held by many in the media, which sees it as a binary tale of ignorance vs truth, good vs evil.
Herein lies the vicious cycle of media coverage of Israel:
  1. The intrinsic anti-Israel bias of reporters informs their reporting from the region.
  2. This results in coverage portraying the nation’s conflicts through a highly distorted lens, which – as with Williams’ astonishing credulity in reaction to Snow’s Gaza report – is rarely critically examined.
  3. This skewed coverage – which imputes maximum malevolence to Israel and denies Palestinians any semblance of moral agency – informs and reinforces the bias of journalists and editors when covering future stories.
Williams’ capacity to maintain belief in her own commitment to empirically driven conclusions whilst simultaneously disseminating complete fabrications about Israel would only come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the pro-Palestinian media echo-chamber in which she operates.
Vandal faces charges in 'senseless' assault on Boston's Holocaust memorial
A 21-year-old Roxbury man accused of shattering one of the glass panels at Boston’s downtown Holocaust museum was ordered held today by a judge.
James E. Isaac, 21, was arrested and charged with willful and malicious destruction of property and destruction of a place of memorial in connection with the incident shortly before 2 a.m., according to Boston police spokesman Officer Stephen McNulty.
Isaac had his bail revoked on two open cases, one in Chelsea and the other in Roxbury. The decision by Boston Municipal Court Judge Sally Kelly, who held him on $750 on the latest charges of vandalizing the memorial, will keep Isaac behind bars for at least 60 days.
During the arraignment today, Isaac's attorney, Rebecca Kozak, said her client suffers from a "host" of mental health issues. She also said his father, who helped raise him, was murdered, which contributed to his struggles.
Upstate NY mikvah construction site vandalized with swastikas
A Jewish religious immersion pool under construction in a new ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of an upstate New York village was vandalized with graffiti and swastikas.
The vandalism in at a mikvah in Bloomingburg, in the Catskills area, was discovered Sunday night. The new Satmar neighborhood was built to solve a housing shortage in the ultra-Orthodox community.
The local sheriff’s office has opened an investigation into the incident.
The incident comes after swastikas were discovered spray-painted on a realtor’s sign and street sign in suburban Rockland County, New York, on June 17. In the weeks prior to the recent incidents, swastikas were discovered in a state park and on a neighborhood fence, and the words “No Jews” were spray-painted in a house up for sale.
Anti-Semitic, white supremacist fliers target DC neighborhood
Anti-Semitic and white supremacist fliers were dropped at houses in a Washington DC neighborhood.
Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Glover Park found the two-sided fliers on their front doorsteps Wednesday morning, Fox5 reported. The fliers offer several conspiracy theories against Jews and call for a war on Jews.
The notice is largely incoherent, but seems to suggest that Jews know about impending natural disasters and do nothing to prevent the loss of human life.
The back features a caricature of a white woman and child with the phrase, “defending your people is a social duty not an anti-social crime.”
The same flier has appeared in DC neighborhoods before.
Jewish cemetery vandalism spurs stiffer penalties in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law an ethnic intimidation bill introduced after the vandalism of some 175 headstones at a local Jewish cemetery.
The Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism bill signed last week says that fines for desecrating objects will be applied to each individual act of vandalizing a headstone, grave marker or gravesite, according to the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.
The fine for damaging just one headstone is $2,000. For a third violation, vandals can be imprisoned for 30 days.
The bill was introduced by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, in an effort to amend the city ordinance dealing with hate crimes. It applies to all cemeteries in Philadelphia.
He told the Exponent that he introduced the bill “to send a clear message that these hate crimes will not be tolerated.”
“We should not be dealing with any forms of hate and discrimination. Those who engage in these types of acts are cowards,” he also said.
Belgian Regional Parliament Passes Law Banning Kosher Slaughter
The vote comes one month after the same measure was passed by the parliament in Wallonia, the country’s French-speaking region. Reacting to that vote, Philippe Markiewicz, president of the Consistoire organization of Belgian Jewry, reminded legislators that the “last assault on ritual slaughter was in October 1940 under the Nazi occupation, because they knew how important it was for Jews.”
Following the vote in Flanders, Chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt — the president of the Conference of European Rabbis — declared: “The news that the Flanders region of Belgium has joined Wallonia in passing a legislation banning religious slaughter is a clear attack on religious practices and a worrying omen for the future of religious rites across Europe. We cannot tolerate bans on religious practices. Leaders across Europe must protest against the ban and work to protect our religious freedoms.”
Belgium is one of several countries where Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter is currently prohibited. Others include Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand.
UK lawmaker recalls antisemitic abuse during general election campaign
A British lawmaker claimed that she was the target of antisemitic abuse during the UK general election after discovering several of her campaign posters were vandalized with swastikas, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
Conservative MP Sheryll Murray recalled the experience during a session of Prime Minister's Questions in parliament, saying that her campaign offices were also urinated on in the midst of the campaign season.
"Over the past months, I've had swastikas carved into posters," Murray, a Conservative Friends of Israel supporter, announced during the first PMQ held since May won a narrow victory against Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn earlier this month.
Murray said she was "sickened" by the experience, and noted that the "symbol is incredibly offensive to both Jews who lost so many and the British who stood firm against its tyranny."
The Conservative MP entreated the prime minister on "what can be done to stop this intimidation," which she quipped was "hardly kinder, gentler politics."
How Margaret Thatcher’s family sheltered an Austrian Jew during the Holocaust
On January 21, 1939, Edith Mühlbauer received a letter from a small town in England which would save her life.
The 17-year-old’s life had been a comfortable one. The Mühlbauer family lived on Schubertsgasse in Vienna’s Alsergrund district, an area where many Jewish professionals — doctors, lawyers, businessmen and bankers liked Mühlbauer’s father — had made a home away from the unassimilated Hasidic Jews of the old walled Leopoldstadt ghetto across the Danube.
But all that had changed nearly a year before on March 12, 1938, when the Wehrmacht had crossed the border and, without a shot being fired, occupied Austria. Within days, some 70,000 people — many of them Jews — had been rounded up. Less than a month later, the first convoy departed for Dachau, just across the former German border near Munich. Jewish-owned businesses were subject to a boycott. Jews were made to scrub the streets. Shortly afterwards, the Nuremberg Laws were applied to Austria, Jews were stripped of their citizenship and the doors to many professions barred to them.
Worse was to come on November 9, 1938 — Kristallnacht — as all but one of Vienna’s 42 synagogues were burned to the ground. Mobs attacked and looted shops owned by Jews. The police responded by arresting 8,000 Jews, sending 5,000 of them to Dachau.
For the Mühlbauers and their fellow Jews, the situation was now desperate. At some point during the unfolding tragedy, Mühlbauer wrote to her English penpal, Muriel Roberts, asking if she could come and stay. Muriel passed the letter to her father, Alfred, a grocer who owned two shops. Mühlbauer’s father then wrote directly to Alfred.
Microsoft signs deal to buy US-Israeli startup Cloudyn
Microsoft on Thursday confirmed it acquired based Cloudyn, a startup headquartered in Boston with offices in the Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin that has developed technology to monitor and optimize cloud storage. No financial details were disclosed, but earlier this year press reports said the company was being bought by Microsoft for some $50-$70 million.
“I am pleased to announce that Microsoft has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudyn, an innovative company that helps enterprises and managed service providers optimize their investments in cloud services,” Jeremy Winter, director of program management at Microsoft’s Azure Security unit, said in a blog post on Thursday. “This acquisition fits squarely into our commitment to empower customers with the tools they need to govern their cloud adoption and realize the strategic benefits of a global, trusted, intelligent cloud.”
This is Microsoft’s second announced deal this month. On June 8 the US giant said it signed a deal to buy Israel’s Hexadite, a cybersecurity firm.
Six-year-old Cloudyn provides businesses with software that enables them to measure the consumption, cost and performance of their cloud spending. Sharon Wagner, Vittaly Tavor and Boris Goldberg are the three co-founders of the startup, according to their website. Investors include Carmel Ventures and Infosys.
IsraellyCool: Pillar Of Fire – The Jew Returns, The Arab Awakens (1896-1920)
Back in 1976, the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) started production on a documentary series on Zionism, motivated by the Yom Kippur War and the notorious 1975 UN General Assembly Resolution that compared Zionism to Racism. It took five years to make, with the supervision of five historians. The result? Pillars of Fire, one of the biggest productions ever undertaken on Israeli Television.
Pillars of Fire first aired in 1981 and ran for five months. The English version (which first aired in 1988) is narrated by famed actor Ian McKellen.
Here is part one of the English version of the series: The Jew Returns – The Arab Awakens (1896-1920).
Pillar Of Fire - The Jew Returns, The Arab Awakens

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