Wednesday, March 21, 2018

From Ian:

Sohrab Ahmari: Why Postmodern Intersectionality Imperils Israel and Jews
Precisely because it is a theory of generalized victimhood, intersectionality targets the Jews–the 20th century’s ultimate victims. Acknowledging the Jews’ profound claims to victimhood would force the intersectional left to admit the existential necessity of the State of Israel. But the intersectional left is not prepared to do so because, under intersectionality’s rules, all the outcomes are predetermined. Israel has been prejudged an outpost of Western colonialism. Therefore, the Jews cannot possibly be allowed to “win” the intersectional victimhood Olympics.

Intersectionality, moreover, allows its proponents to apply hideous double standards when judging between Israel and its enemies. Judged against a fair and universal standard, the Jewish state comes out looking very good indeed, especially when one takes into consideration the fact that it has been at war since its founding. But the intersectional left dreams of perfect justice without a standard of justice. It can, therefore, condemn the sole democracy in the Middle East while ignoring or whitewashing the far worse crimes of her enemies. And even the most progressive aspects of Israeli society count against it in the victimhood Olympics.

Finally, Jewish victimhood, whether at the hands of the Nazis or the Soviets, requires the intersectional left to admit that, by contrast, and for all their faults, the Western democracies (including Israel) are pretty decent, even admirable. But again, the intersectional left is committed to the opposite idea–that everywhere in the West, there are hidden “structures of oppression” that trap minorities along the lines of race, gender and sexuality. Thus, again, the Jews will lose the intersectional victimhood Olympics.

Whenever such relativism reigns–and the very possibility of objective truth is denied–Jews are imperiled. Israelis and their friends, including fair-minded liberals, would be wise to abjure intersectionality altogether, rather than try to make their case on intersectional terms.

This column was adapted from an address at the 6th Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.
PA: US Ambassador Friedman 'an anti-Semite'
The Palestinian Authority has doubled down in its attacks on US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, now accusing Friedman of “anti-Semitism” against Arabs - ignoring the fact that anti-Semitism has always referred to hatred of Jews in particular, to the exclusion of others claiming to be “Semites.”

Watchdog Palestinian Media Watch cited PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which today, Wednesday, carried an article bearing the headline, "[PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates: Friedman's positions are anti-Semitic and racist and disqualify him."

The article quoted “The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates” as saying in a statement “that US Ambassador [to Israel] David Friedman's statements, positions, and hostile behavior towards the Palestinian people and its national rights and human rights constitute a blatant deviation from diplomacy and its conventions, the ugliest kind of anti-Semitism, and a scandalous violation of international law.

The quoted statement also accused Friedman of being “an ambassador of the settlers.”

“'From day to day Friedman proves that he is an ambassador of the settlers and their gangs. He holds the ideology and positions of the extremist right-wing in Israel, which are based on perpetuating the occupation and the settlement enterprise, on enmity towards the Palestinian people, and on negating its national and human existence.'"

The verbal attacks on the ambassador come days after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Friedman the “son of a dog.”
Swedish FM seems to support PA’s payments to terrorists’ families
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström appeared to display sympathy for the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying “salaries” to the families of Palestinian terrorists.

In an interview with a local Jewish journal published this week, Wallström was asked about her opinion of the fact that Ramallah provides financial aid to the families of Palestinians who are in prison for attacking Israelis.

“I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to in this case, but we have to review how we spend our money. But are people supposed to starve to death or what? What are these families supposed to do if they don’t receive money?” she replied, according to a translation of the interview by a Swedish-born journalist.

A spokesperson for Wallström later told the local journal, Judisk Krönika, that Stockholm’s financial aid to the Palestinian Authority is not being used to pay for needy families. According to Swedish and European Union directives, no aid money is allowed to be used to fund Palestinians in Israeli prisons, the spokesperson said.

Israeli officials have long condemned what they call the PA’s “pay-to-slay” policy.
'What if I paid millions to have your father shot in the head?'
An Israeli-American man whose father was shot and stabbed to death in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem two-and-a-half years ago confronted the United Nations Human Rights Council over its failure to confront Palestinian Authority support for terrorism.

In October 2015, Arab terrorists wounded some 20 Israelis in a combination shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

The attack left 78-year-old Haim Habib and 51-year-old Alon Guvberg dead.

About two weeks later, 76-year-old American-born Richard Lakin succumbed to his wounds.

A former activist who had marched for civil rights in the US in the 1960s, Lakin’s murder inspired his son, Micah, a CEO for an Israeli financial firm, to launch an NGO aimed at combating anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in the Palestinian Authority.

On Monday, Micah Avni Lakin addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, criticizing the body and its envoy, Michael Lynk, for their refusal to challenge the PA’s policy of funding Arab terrorists jailed by Israel.

“My father, Richard Lakin, was brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the age of 76, Lakin told the council. “Shot in the head and butchered with a knife after he fell to the ground.”

“President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority rewarded his killers and their families with $3 million.”

De-Assimilation, the New Jewish Fear
In the David Mamet movie Homicide, a Jewish cop grumbles about being made to investigate the murder of a Jewish pensioner. “They’re not my people, baby,” he quips to his partner. “So much anti-Semitism in the last 4,000 years, we must be doing something to bring it about!” Yet as he starts to uncover the most extreme form of organized anti-Semitism, he realizes that his secular choices count for nothing. He rushes to embrace his Jewish identity—only to find that it has been drawn to the surface by a skillfully constructed echo chamber. A movie that appeared to be about anti-Semitism turns out to be about confirmation bias. More fundamentally, it is about the pitfall of allowing Jewish identity to be defined by anti-Semitism.

Both issues are at the heart of a major study recently undertaken in the United Kingdom. It draws a distinction between conscious, ongoing anti-Semitism—rated at about 5 percent of the population—and anti-Semitic tropes more widely present in society; one or more of which are held by up to 30 percent of people. It cautions that because people often hold one such sentiment in isolation—or even alongside positive sentiments—a single expression alone does not necessarily make an anti-Semite. Yet lack of context means that such isolated sentiments “have an important bearing on how Jews perceive anti-Semitism.” The report did, however, find that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views are much more closely correlated when they become extreme—while both are much more pronounced among certain other religious subgroups present in British society, namely Muslims. The acceptance of open anti-Semites and anti-Semitism at the highest levels of the British Labour party highlights the growing danger of anti-Semites gaining mainstream acceptance in Britain.

The report nonetheless counsels Britain’s Jewish community to keep calm and carry on. It is a remarkably level-headed conclusion—minimizing grievance at a time when other minority groups typically amplify it. Doing so implicitly rejects two norms underpinning the wider moral panic about hate crime. The first is that victims are best—indeed uniquely—qualified to identify prejudice. This is a view recently confirmed by U.K. sentencing guidelines, which define hate crime as anything “which the victim—or anyone else—thinks is based on someone’s prejudice toward them.” The second is that someone can be judged on an individual comment—as testified by the ease with which an apology or resignation can now be extracted in academia and public life.

Yet up to a third of British Jews who usually wear visible symbols of their faith are reportedly now removing them. A differing but equally strong reaction—of embracing Jewish identity more closely, albeit privately—can be found among secular Jews. This journey has been undertaken in particular by British left-wingers processing the rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Distorting the Holocaust in Hungary
As a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, I was horrified to discover a recent book by a right-wing journalist called Paul Bogdanor, titled Kasztner’s Crime, in which he accuses the Labor Zionist leader of collaborating with the SS. I’m not a journalist or politician, but I was there! It also happens that Otto Komoly, president of the Budapest Jewish Rescue Committee (JRC), was my uncle, and I have access to his wartime diary, and through it a well-grounded understanding of the heroic work of the JRC. I wish to correct the falsification of history that I lived through before it spreads any further.

The cornerstone of Bogdanor’s argument is the assumption that, had it not been for Rudolf Kasztner’s feigned acceptance of Adolf Eichmann’s proposed Blood for Goods deal, in which the Nazis promised to exchange a million Jews for 10,000 trucks and various supplies needed by the German army, an entirely different situation could have materialized, and hundreds of thousands of Jews could, in fact, have been saved. He says outright in places, and implies often between the lines, that there could have been a mass exodus or armed Hungarian Jewish resistance to the oppressors, on the model of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. But latter-day sophistry will not turn a Hungarian Jewish revolt into reality.

Anyone who has not lived through those days must tread very, very carefully if he wants to venture an opinion or criticism. If you were not there, you cannot imagine the fears, the uncertainty, the illusory desire to find some magic solution to our predicament. Feigning acceptance of the Blood for Goods deal was a desperate attempt to salvage something, or gain time for survival, however small the chance. Some of us were lucky that the time ran out for the murderers and we slipped through the net. Most did not.
‘7 Days in Entebbe’ Is a Film That Can’t Be Rescued
The 1977 film “Raid on Entebbe” is full of tension, has a soul and makes you care. If the movie needed to be made again, it should have been written and directed by Paul Greengrass, who brought us “United 93.”

The pathetic truth of “7 Days of Entebbe” is that the only real hostages were the actors and audience members. The story has been hijacked to show it as a simple cycle of violence — and almost glorifies the terrorists. There is not a single moment of tension, nor a second where you care what happens to any character.

There’s another gem in the film, where Kuhlmann is planning the hijacking; she says: “Germans killing Jews, have you thought about that?” This is to make us think that she feels some guilt. But seconds later, she’s making out with a guy. She also declares: “I only fear a life without meaning.” It’s too bad that the creators of “7 Days in Entebbe” didn’t fear making a movie without one.
The Silencing of Pro-Israel Students on Campus
A vice cannot be engaged. Evil cannot partake in a scholarly debate. You must under no circumstances “normalize” your relations with it. Anti-Israelists don’t want to hear what the other side says at all, nor let anyone else hear it, because to them there simply is no other side: they seek not to study or understand the lone Jewish state in the world (as scholars might do) but to destroy it. Painting it as an abomination is a crucial part of that strategy. They exchange the mantle of scholarship for activism, or use the mantle of scholarship as a cover for activism. As thinking-class activists they sacrifice the appropriate norms of scholarship and freedom of speech (including fairness and respect for truth), they violate basic community standards of civility and respectful discourse, and they downright harass and bully Israel-friendly individuals—as our forthcoming book documents.

As such, campus anti-Israelism isn’t merely an attack on Israel, or on Israel-friendly members of the campus community, or even Jews in general. It is an attack on the very norms and values of the university—and with it, on the norms and values at the heart of Western civilization. It corrodes scholarship, limiting the questions scholars ask and leading scholars to violate the most basic academic norms. It corrodes teaching and the classroom, turning what should be neutral spaces welcoming of diverse points of view into political advocacy forums that intimidate divergent voices. It corrodes entire departments and disciplines, diverting them from their subject matters. It corrodes academic organizations, which abandon their professional missions and disciplinary focus. It corrodes student governments, which year after year divert time and resources to a foreign policy matter concerning a complicated conflict half a world away rather than address students’ local concerns. It corrodes civility—indeed, its proponents often explicitly reject civility as a tool of oppression while at the same time use civility codes (such as charges of “hate speech”) to stifle dissent. With the deterioration of civility comes the corrosion of community. Anti-Israel hate campaigns on campus are stunningly divisive. They bring out animosity inconsistent with the efficient functioning of the institution. After such campaigns people stop speaking to colleagues, stop working together. How could you act collegially, after all, when anti-Israelists inform you unconditionally that your colleagues who support Jewish self-determination in their ancestral homeland are racist, genocidal, baby-killing ethnic cleansers?

Campus anti-Israelism does not operate like a genuinely academic movement governed by ordinary intellectual norms (such as objectivity, rigor, and the pursuit of truth) and moral or social norms (such as civility and respect). A movement governed by those norms would favor freedom of speech and welcome the diversity of views. But campus anti-Israelists refuse even to consider the possibility that Israel is not entirely evil and that Israeli Jews, being not entirely demonic, have their own legitimate claim to self-determination. No, anti-Israelism—in its many corrosive effects on all aspects of the academy, and particularly in its invasions, disruptions, and personal attacks—is about something much darker. Not dialogue, debate, and free exchange of ideas; not openness, pluralism and diversity, and the pursuit of knowledge that (ought to) characterize the Western university, as well as the civilization of which the university is the heart—but rather: Silencing.

Words, Jewish history teaches us, have consequences.

As does silence.
New York Times Editor Says His Book Will Be ‘Very, Very Unpopular’ With Jews. So Far, He’s Right
A New York Times editor’s op-ed piece criticizing Jewish organizations for supposedly failing to speak out against antisemitism is being harshly criticized by Jewish leaders and journalists.

The article is by Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of The New York Times and the author of the book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish In America In The Age Of Trump. It appeared under the online headline “Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren’t American Jews Speaking Up?”

“Inane” is how the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Jeremy Burton, described the Times article.

“You’re kidding, right?” was the response to the Times article by the editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Andrew Silow-Carroll, who called the Times article “odd.”

“It’s just weird to conclude that Jewish organizations are ignoring or downplaying anti-Semitism,” Silow-Carroll wrote.

The editor-in-chief of JNS — the Jewish News Syndicate, Jonathan Tobin, faulted Weisman’s article for focusing on right-wing antisemitism while ignoring Louis Farrakhan, “left-wing anti-Semitism,” and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel.
IsraellyCool: Israel’s PR Sucks!
I know I’m not part of your tribe per se. I know and am aware of my limitations. But I need to tell you, Israel’s PR sucks and unless we change that, we can’t win.

I say we because I’m on your side. I’m with you. And this is why I’m harsh. Because there are these incredible voices and organizations out there, and yet the message gets lost somewhere, or the well-crafted and well-intended content lands in front of the same people who are already with us.

But perhaps the issue really starts here: what is a pro-Israel voice?

Along with Zionism, feminism, or nationalism, being a pro-Israel voice is so perversely twisted that soon we should start apologizing for it as well. In the USA, when I say I’m pro-Israel, it awakes the automatic assumptions that I’m pro-Netanyahu, pro-settlement, often even part of the “baby-killer IDF machinery”; I’m racist, I’m against Palestinians, I’m against a two-state solution, I’m against peace.

And this is as twisted as it gets. Being pro-Israel means nothing more and nothing less than standing up for the simple fact: Jews have the right to have their own country. It’s really that easy. Stop thinking more into it. I’m pro-Israel in a global framework where Israel’s legitimate right to exist is still challenged each and every day. But taking a step further – I also believe – that if I’m pro-Israel, I am pro-Palestinian and pro-Peace with a capital P.

I’m trying to be open-minded.

You know so that people can’t accuse me of being brainwashed. I went to the event of Noam Chomsky with 700 Palestinian supporters. I interviewed people at BDS rallies. I engaged with Palestinians at the UN. And frankly, my conclusion is: if you want peace, you are pro-Israel.
Mindless Antisemitism at Syracuse University
Last month, I was passing through the lobby of my dorm when a jarring poster, prominently placed on the wall, stopped me in my tracks.

Emblazoned for all to see was an all too familiar image: the Star of David being crossed out. I suddenly recalled stories of how my great grandfather had to walk by very similar posters in Poland, as the Nazi movement swept across Europe during World War II.

My initial impulse was to figure out why something so blatantly antisemitic would randomly show up on our dormitory wall. And I thought that a residence staff member could help me.

To my surprise, this “adult” was the person who taped up the poster.

When I confronted the staff member, they explained that they posted it, along with other signs to honor Black History Month — noting that it had been placed next to a photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I questioned the staff member about this poster, and asked how on earth it could be connected to Black History Month. After all, as I pointed out, Martin Luther King was a strong advocate of Israel — and an outspoken voice against antisemitism.
MILLER: Anti-Semitism: Today’s Left Stays True to Yesterday’s Left
Are you shocked that the Left has a Jew-hating problem? You shouldn’t be. Anti-Semitism has a long-standing tradition among those who declare themselves socialists.

The Soviet revolution officially abolished the institutionalized anti-Semitism of the Tsarist regime, but as early as August 1919, the new Soviet government instituted a campaign of destroying synagogues, seizing Jewish artifacts, and telling rabbis they could no longer minister to their congregants.

Neo-Nazi websites will tell you that Jews made the Russian Revolution, but the Jews were primarily in the Menshevik faction, the group that supported Kerensky and the democratic provisional government. With noteworthy exceptions, the Bolshevik faction was made up of Russian Christians.

A joke at the time, often repeated by Stalin, was that since the Mensheviks had a considerable Jewish following and the Bolsheviks did not, the Bolsheviks should consider launching an anti-Jewish pogrom against the Mensheviks. This passed for humor in a country where Tsarist administrators repeatedly used their offices to organize pogroms for the mass slaughter of helpless Jews.
California Students Promote Palestinian Terrorism
This is Leila Khaled. A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the US classifies as a terrorist group, Khaled was the first woman to hijack a plane and she also just happens to have some fans at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose Students for Justice in Palestine chapter published a photo of Khaled with the caption “Solidarity is the weapon and armed resistance is the catalyst. Support all women taking arms against imperialism,” reported The Algemeiner. Armed resistance…sounds a lot like Antifa, right? And just like Antifa, they’re not too prepared to actually defend their convictions with logic and reason. Santa Barbara SJP deleted the picture of Khaled and other armed women.

Now, I think I’ve already made the case that these guys are wack, but let’s have a look at their Facebook page just to see how pro-Palestinian students are by no means immune to the cancer known as intersectionality. This virus has caused them to advocate for the abolition of all prisons and the destruction of capitalism. It’s even impaired these poor kids’ ability to spell words like “human” and “woman”…I’m pretty sure“x”s and “y”s don’t belong there.

Oh and speaking of prisons, SJP Santa Barbara also wants Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to be freed. You remember Tamimi, the teenager detained after slapping, punching and kicking Israeli soldiers on multiple occasions. Well, these students believe she’s a “political prisoner,” a term used by many who attempt to whitewash crimes prisoners have committed by just saying “oh, he was just arrested because the government decided he had the wrong politics.” No, I’m sorry, but assault is not a political opinion. There are other ways to protest.
California Students Promote Palestinian Terrorism

Neo-Nazis On Campus
The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s bold new campaign to expose the rampant anti-Semitism and dangerous, genocidal rhetoric of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and their student supporters across the nation is officially underway.

The campuses of four California universities –UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, UCLA, and USC— have already been blanketed with hard-hitting, fact-based posters that detail the virulent Jew-hatred of these activists and the neo-Nazi-sympathizing professors who try to grant them moral authority.

The posters are coming soon to many more college and university campuses across the country.

To bolster the campaign, the Freedom Center will be debuting a powerful new pamphlet by Sara Dogan titled SJP: Neo-Nazis on Campus, as well as publicizing the effort at its Stop University Support for Terrorists website.

This groundbreaking investigative report examines how anti-Israel activists affiliated with SJP, MSA, and likeminded groups are using social media to praise Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, urge an intifada-style uprising in the U.S., and call for a second Holocaust to exterminate the Jews. The same people also smear Israel, describing Jews as “colonial-settler” occupiers of a nonexistent state called “Palestine,” while calling Israel an “apartheid state” even though it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and a staunch U.S. ally.
Carnival of hatred
Today begins the official “Israel Apartheid Week,” to be held at universities across the US and Canada. The name of course references South Africa, the country where actual apartheid policies were instituted several decades ago.

“Apartheid Week” has never been more than more than a smokescreen for an antisemitic hate fest, cynically marketed as a human rights campaign. Hundreds of academics, amazingly including Israelis and Jews, will be partners in this hateful annual project.

It will be a carnival including “art exhibits” throughout campuses. It will be a week in which sanctimonious but actually clueless people – people with no idea who they are attacking and who they are protecting – will shout empty slogans and blame Israel for all the evil in the world.

It will be a week where anyone who dares to speak up and anyone who decides to expose these lies will be shouted down, just like what we saw happen last week at the University of Virginia, and the week before that at the University of Georgia.

Let’s be clear: we need to fight for human rights, especially in the human catastrophe known as Syria. And there are countless other atrocities happening all around the world. However, this is not what happens during “Apartheid Week.”
After Anti-Israel Referendums, University Leaders Defend Academic Freedom, Reject BDS Campaign
The leaders of universities where anti-Israel referendums were considered this month recently spoke out in defense of academic freedom and against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

After students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) rejected a divestment referendum targeting companies that do business with Israel, the president of the University of Illinois system, Tim Killeen, affirmed his administration’s “strong opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement’s call for a boycott of Israel.”

“While we acknowledge and affirm the rights of faculty and students to express their own viewpoints, we believe that actions such as those espoused by BDS would damage academic freedom and may have an intended or unintended anti-Semitic effect which we utterly condemn,” he wrote.

Killeen warned that the university system’s efforts “to better the human condition through our world-class research, scholarship and service … can only be diminished by targeted restrictions on academic freedom and global engagement.”

He committed to “continue to strenuously oppose actions that go beyond protected speech and that seek to harass, delegitimize, alienate and spread fear within our student communities on the basis of religion.”

Before the referendum’s defeat, Jeffrey Brown — dean of UIUC’s College of Business — likewise asserted that “whatever the stated motivation” for BDS, its effect is “antithetical to the core values of a great public university.”
IsraellyCool: Israel Has Friends in One of the Most Politically Challenging Countries
They sat next to the fire, the whole family, in a dark cave, trying to get warm. “Dad”, asked the younger son. “How did we get into this situation?” he asked. “Well”, replied the father, “at the beginning, someone suggested we’d boycott Israel…”.

This may sound cynical, but for the city of Cape Town in South Africa, this scenario is actually starting to take shape, as the date is getting closer to “Day Zero” – they day in which the water reservoirs across the city will be so little that the taps will be turned off, and severe rationing will begin.

This terrifying scenario could have been avoided if South Africa would have taken a different approach to its policy towards Israel. But why does the South African government act this way? The reasons are complicated and connected to it’s not-so-distant past, and to the political climate that holds South Africa captive to its own misconception about Israel.

This week the BDS movement mentions its annual (aspiring-to-be) worldwide “Israeli Apartheid Week”. During this week, educational institutions and campuses all over South Africa are filled with the best version of 21st century psychological-diplomatic terrorism: hate speeches, antisemitism, anti-Zionism, verbal abuse and vulgarity, fierce and furious demonstrations, and blunt and angry anti-Israel slogans shouted by a rabble of brainwashed young students, usually from the radical sides of the political map. On several campuses in South Africa one could see graffiti express “Fuck Zionism” and “Israel is anti-Black”. All of these brutal onslaughts are directed towards Israel supporters, Zionists, Jewish students, and most importantly – those who encourage dialogue and understanding between the conflicting sides.
AP Terms Hamas Attack Tunnels 'Smuggling Routes'
In an article earlier this week, the Associated Press inaccurately characterized Hamas' cross-border attack tunnels, leading from Gaza into Israel, as "smuggling routes." AP's Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman wrote ("Heather Nauert on the rise as a voice in US diplomatic corps," March 19):
The moment that Trump canned Tillerson by tweet, Nauert was in a Hamas-built tunnel on the border near the Gaza Strip, on a tour organized by the Israeli military to show U.S. officials the smuggling routes used by militants.

The army is clear that the tunnels are meant for attack, not smuggling. Indeed, in the past, Hamas used these tunnels to smuggle combatants into Israel and kill five soldiers. AP previously referred to the "attack tunnels," correctly reporting (Jan. 18, 2018):
Los Angeles Times Dubs Convicted Terrorists 'Political Prisoners'
Rise above the noise! Go below the surface! Enjoy top-quality reporting, enjoins a recent Los Angeles Times ad campaign.

Instead, though, a recent movie review provides readers with noise instead of top-quality reporting, erroneously stating about the 1976 hijacking of Air France Flight 139:

In June 1976, two German and two Palestinian revolutionaries -- the nomenclature varies from "freedom fighter" to "terrorist" depending on which side you're on -- hijacked an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris and directed it to Entebbel, Uganda, to demand the release of 52 political prisoners. ("Negotiations, maneuvers in a fine political thriller," page E5, and online here.)

The term "political prisoner" has a very distinct and well understood definition, and applies to those imprisoned for their political views. This definition does not apply to the 53 convicted terrorists, 40 held in Israel, six in West Germany, five in Kenya, and one each in Switzerland and France, whose release the hijackers demanded.
CAMERA Op-Ed:The Washington Post’s Skewed Coverage of Antisemitism
The Post's decision to selectively cover antisemitism is troubling. So is the paper's decision to publish an Op-Ed entitled “How Benjamin Netanyahu Enables Antisemitism (Feb. 26, 2018).” The commentary, by Joshua Shanes, an associate professor at the College of Charleston, alleges that the democratically elected leader of the Jewish state is “increasingly allying with anti-Semites and promoting anti-Semitism, even as they cynically claim to be its chief victim.”

Blaming a Jewish leader and “his supporters” for spreading antisemitism is a serious charge. In more than 1200-words, Shanes is unable to substantiate it. He fails to point to a single remark by the Israeli Prime Minister, who himself has frequently condemned antisemitism. Instead he asserts that Netanyahu's criticisms of the myriad of anti-Israel NGOs—many of which are funded by George Soros, a Hungarian-American Jewish billionaire—is evidence of antisemitism. It's not.

As NGO Monitor, a non-profit watchdog organization, has documented, Soros' Open Society Foundation engages in political campaigns that often single out the world's sole Jewish state for opprobrium, “including BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and legal attacks (‘lawfare').” Numerous governments and organizations, including the ADL, have highlighted the discriminatory nature of BDS, a movement whose founders have called for Israel's destruction.

As NGO-Monitor has documented, officials at Soros funded organizations, such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), have been recorded making antisemitic statements and jokes—a fact that Shanes omitted. Defending Israel from entities that seek its delegitimization and destruction is hardly antisemitic.

The Post's decision to publish an Op-Ed blaming an Israeli Prime Minister for propagating antisemitism is remarkable when one considers that it perpetually underreports Palestinian antisemitism. In a Dec. 13, 2017 speech in Istanbul, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said that Jews “are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history.”The Post did notcover Abbas' remarks, and the paper frequently ignores the PA's efforts to promote anti-Jewish violence, including through indoctrinating Palestinian youth with antisemitic motifs approved by the authority's education ministry.

Antisemitism is a rising threat that demands serious reporting. In key ways, The Washington Post is failing to provide it.
Veteran Holocaust Denier David Irving’s Tour of Nazi Extermination Sites May Run Foul of Controversial Polish Legislation
Poland’s widely-criticized new legislation regulating the commemoration of the Nazi Holocaust is facing an unexpected challenge with an impending tour of death camp sites that is being led by a veteran Holocaust denier.

National newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on Tuesday that British convicted Holocaust denier David Irving intends to lead a tour of World War II landmarks in September 2018 which includes extensive stops at Holocaust sites in Poland.

Irving has conducted these and similar tours for his followers and admirers for nearly a decade — the forthcoming visit, however, would be his first since Poland passed a controversial amendment to its existing Holocaust commemoration legislation on Feb 6. Public discussion of wartime antisemitism and collusion with the Nazis among Poles is now a criminal risk, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.

Irving told Rzeczpospolita reporter Wiktor Ferfecki in an email on Monday that he had every intention of conducting the tour this year, which includes visits to the sites of Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka — Nazi extermination camps where nearly two million Jews who were trapped in German-occupied Poland were murdered.

Describing Irving as the “guru” of Holocaust deniers, Ferfecki pointed out that his presence in Poland might well further damage the country’s image in the eyes of international critics of its Holocaust legislation.
Polish PM's father: Jews gladly moved to ghettos to get away from Poles
A former Polish politician who is the father of the country’s prime minister said that Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jewish Poles.

Kornel Morawiecki, a former senator whose son, Mateusz, became prime minister last year, made the remark in an interview published Tuesday by the online magazine Kulturą Liberalną.

“Do you know who chased the Jews away to the Warsaw Ghetto? The Germans, you think? No. The Jews themselves went because they were told that there would be an enclave, that they would not have to deal with those nasty Poles,” said Kornel Morawiecki.

His remarks come amid a diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel, which protested the passing last month of legislation in Poland that criminalizes blaming Poles for Nazi crimes. Jewish groups said the law limits debate and research on the actions of thousands of Poles who betrayed Jews to the Nazis or killed Jews.

The crisis escalated last month when the prime minister said that the Holocaust had not only German, Ukrainian and Polish perpetrators, but Jewish ones as well. His Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, called the remark “outrageous.”
Austria summons diplomat back from Israel for wearing ‘Nazi’ shirt
Austria’s foreign ministry has summoned an attache from its embassy in Israel after he posted a picture of himself on social media wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of a Nazi tank division.

A screenshot of the post on Juergen-Michael Kleppich’s Facebook page showed him in the green shirt with the words “Stand your ground” and “Frundsberg,” the Falter weekly reported.

The last name of Georg von Frundsberg, who was a mercenary in the 15th century, was used by the Nazis during World War II for its 10th SS Panzer division.

The garment is sold by Phalanx Europa, an online shop that sells “patriotic” clothing for followers of the nativist Identitarian movement.

The episode is the latest embarrassment for a member of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) since it came to power in December in a coalition with the center-right People’s Party.

Kleppich, who is also an FPOe local councilor in a district of Vienna, had previously posted a photo of his grandfather in a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika, according to Falter.
Republican Jewish Leader Joins Condemnation of GOP Illinois Candidate, ‘Nazi Bigot’ Arthur Jones
A prominent Republican Jewish leader warned on Wednesday that “there is no place for Nazis and white supremacists” in the GOP after a neo-Nazi won an unopposed primary to become the party’s candidate in the Third Congressional District of Illinois.

Norm Coleman, the chairman of the Republican Jewish Committee, declared in a statement that the candidacy of Arthur Jones — a 70-year-old insurance salesman and neo-Nazi activist who tried unsuccessfully to win the nomination on five previous occasions — was a “disgrace.”

Coleman underlined at the same time that Jones had already been denounced and rejected by both the Republican National Committee and the Illinois Republican Party.

“Arthur Jones is a Nazi, not a Republican,” Coleman said. “Jones does not represent Republican values, and he doesn’t deserve to have an “R” after his name on the ballot.” The former Minnesota senator added that the “GOP didn’t invite Jones into the party, the only mistake was not running a candidate in an uncompetitive, safe-Democrat district.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman, said in a statement that the the party was urging “to skip over (Jones’) name when they go to the polls,” pledging to continue “vehemently opposing Jones with real campaign dollars.”

“Jones is a Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse,” Schneider said.
Technion Analysts: Cats Could Help in Development of Anti-HIV Drugs for Humans
Researchers at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have uncovered the mechanism that enables Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV, proteins to become drug-resistant — a phenomenon not yet observed in the AIDS-causing HIV-1 virus, which affects millions of people worldwide.

While FIV does not infect humans, it is widely researched to benefit cats. More important are its parallels with the AIDS virus.

The virus is transmitted between male street cats, primarily via saliva. Like in humans, the virus involves immune impairment and the inability to fight off infections, diseases and cancer. Because highly similar viruses cause FIV and HIV, researchers hope that the findings could lead to the development of anti-HIV drugs that could preempt future strains of drug-resistant AIDS viruses.

This phenomenon of FIV-protein drug resistance, which inhibits the same protein in HIV-1, puzzled scientists until now.

According to an American Technion Society press release, Assistant Professor Akram Alian and Dr. Meytal Galilee from the Technion biology faculty have shown the 3D structure of this protein in the FIV and used it to uncover the mechanistic basis of viral resistance to anti-reverse transcriptase drugs.

Their findings, published recently in PLOS Pathogens, show that the FIV protein forms a closed pocket that blocks the drugs from effective binding.
Mayim Bialik: I am happy to take public bullet for Israel
TV star Mayim Bialik said she is “happy to take a public bullet for this state,” while talking about her experiences of antisemitism at the Global Conference on Antisemitism in Jerusalem on Tuesday night.

Bialik was delivering the keynote address entitled “Web hatred and the public person” at the events’ gala dinner, and provided a window of experience of the life of a Jew in the public eye.

The actress, famous for her role in The Big Bang Theory, and former child starring role Blossom, is a proudly Zionist and Jewish activist, for which she regularly faces backlash online. She has 633,000 followers on Twitter, two million on Facebook and 2.6 million on Instagram.

“The decision that I make on a daily basis about what to talk about, what to share, what to feel about Israel – these with come with a heavy price,” she told the audience. “The price for me has not yet, that I know of, impacted my acting career but it has impacted the way that I’m seen and that does impact my career in terms of speaking engagements and endorsements, in terms of my writing.”

“Because I am outspoken and I chose to be outspoken about Israel,” she added.

But she said, “I will not and would not distance myself from my statements on the state of Israel and my belief that the state of Israel has the right to exist in safety.”
Thank you! From all of us at HonestReporting.

Israeli happiness defies media ‘doom and gloom’ narrative.
In 1928, a seminal article was published by a promising Jewish academic called Salo Baron. He was a budding scholar of Jewish history, and he argued that until his time, historians of the Jewish people were focusing on specific elements of Jewish history, and presenting it exclusively as a story of doom and gloom. Baron argued against this “lachrymose” (teary) approach – there was more to Jewish history than ghettos, pogroms and antisemitism; there was flourishing community life, intellectual and religious achievements, as well as many extended periods of good relations between Jews and non-Jews. This “anti-lachrymose” view has been very influential in the study of Jewish history.

It seems that in 2018 in the field of journalism, this debate should be revived in the context of the lachrymose presentation of Israel. In publications such as the Guardian, the Economist and the Independent, a very narrow portion of Israel’s existence is presented, and one that is almost exclusively negative.

The Israel-Palestinian conflict, rising tensions with Iran, corruption allegations against the Prime Minister, treatments of minorities within Israel (Arabs, Ethiopians, Sudanese) are almost the exclusive Israel stories one reads on those pages. If one looks at the Guardian articles tagged “Israel” there are barely any stories that break out of this mold of conflict-centric and negative stories. (As a case in point, the current “other” Israel story receiving a lot of coverage in the Guardian is that of a sex-offender Australia is fighting to extradite from Israel.) Israel is portrayed as country perpetually heading off the edge of the abyss, one Knesset vote away from pariah status, one spark away from burning up in a conflagration.

What newsworthy stories are is going on in Israel, that should be reported outside of this lachrymose focus? Actually, an incredible amount. In 2017, tourism to Israel increased by fully 25%, a simply massive year on year increase; tourism to Israel brought in over £4 billion to Israel last year. Israel’s economy is continuing to grow and thrive. In 2017, GDP growth was 3%, the unemployment rate was 3.7%, and GDP per capita was $37,000, between that of South Korea and Italy. Last year, Israeli start-ups raised $5 billion, business exits were worth $23 billion. In January of this year it was reported that Arab enrollment at Israeli universities has increased 78% in the past 7 years, and Israel is involved in humanitarian efforts in Syria, Ethiopia, Mexico and more.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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