Tuesday, April 24, 2018

From Ian:

How Israel Won Over The Syrian People
In a popular Syrian news group on Facebook, a Syrian activist recently shared a video of Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager in jail for slapping an Israeli soldier. Across the world, Tamimi has become a cause celebré, a symbol of the Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation. But when the activist posted the Amnesty International video about Israel’s policy of detaining children and Tamimi in particular, most of the group’s members — all of them Syrian — reacted dismissively.

“They are better off than us by far, and prisoners are better off compared to how they are treated by Assad’s army and even the revolutionary factions [rebels],” wrote one Syrian from Lattakia.

“If the Syrian army was like the Israeli army, no one would have been displaced from their home,” another commentator, from Daraa, wrote. “If [Tamimi] had raised her head in front of a Syrian soldier, he would have field executed her.”

Far from outliers, these comments exemplify a changing reality among Syrians. The extreme levels of brutality meted out by the Assad regime and its allies against civilians in Syria have improved the image of the IDF by comparison across the Arab world.

On April 17, 2018, when Palestinians mark Prisoner’s Day, a popular Syrian opposition website decided to mark the occasion by posting an infographic comparing Israeli prisons and those of the Assad regime.

The infographic shows that while 7,000 Palestinians are incarcerated in Israel, 220,000 Syrians are held in regime detention facilities. According to the infographic, 210 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since 1967, while 65,000 Syrians have died in regime detention over the past seven years.

Such irreverence of Palestinian suffering by an Arab media outlet would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
Carter Center Sued for Providing Support to Terrorists, Defrauding Taxpayers
The Trump administration is seeking the dismissal of a suit alleging the nonprofit helmed by former president Jimmy Carter has used taxpayer funding to provide material support to international terrorist groups, including Hamas.

The Zionist Advocacy Center, which filed the recently unsealed suit in 2015, alleges the Carter Center received more than $30 million in taxpayer grants while violating federal statutes barring it from using the cash to provide material support to terror groups.

The plaintiffs maintain the Carter Center has violated the law by hosting designated terrorists at is facilities, as well as by providing various forms of assistance to the Palestinian terror group Hamas and other known terror entities, according to recently unsealed court documents.

The Department of Justice surprised pro-Israel insiders recently when it moved to have the case dismissed on the grounds it is too expensive to prosecute, according to court filings the administration had requested remain secret.

A hearing on the dismissal motion will occur on April 25, though legal experts handling the case are hoping to convince the DOJ to reverse its opinion beforehand, according to those familiar with the proceedings.

Evidence presented in the case purports to show the Carter Center accepted millions in government grants while falsely certifying it was not violating prohibitions on providing material support to terror groups, which include a broad range of factors including lodgings, expert advice, and other types of support.

Former President Carter's ongoing and well-documented interactions with Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) are tantamount to material support for terror groups, the suit alleges citing evidence Carter hosted these officials at his Center's offices.

New York Times Issues ‘Correction of The Year’ on Pay-To-Slay
The New York Times has issued what the Israeli consul general in New York, Dani Dayan, is calling the “correction of the year.”

In the correction, the Times backs down from its claim in a news article that reporting about Palestinian payments to families of terrorists is “far-right conspiracy programming.”

In the correction, the Times wrote:

An article on Sunday about Campbell Brown’s role as Facebook’s head of news partnerships erroneously included a reference to Palestinian actions as an example of the sort of far-right conspiracy stories that have plagued Facebook. In fact, Palestinian officials have acknowledged providing payments to the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis or convicted of terrorist acts and imprisoned in Israel; that is not a conspiracy theory.

The Times back-down attracted some public reaction in addition to Ambassador Dayan’s description of it as “correction of the year.” An editor at the New York Post, Seth Mandel, commented, “Amazing. Basically all NYT stories on Israel and Judaism are incomplete until the correction is posted.”

A former Israeli diplomat, Lenny Ben-David, noted that the correction “may be seen by 1% of those who read [the] original article.”
US justices rule Israeli victims cannot sue terror-financing Arab Bank
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that foreign businesses cannot be sued in US courts by foreign victims of human rights abuses and extremist attacks.

The justices voted 5-4 in favor of the Jordan-based Arab Bank. It was sued by Israeli victims of attacks in the West Bank and Gaza who claim that the bank helped finance the attacks. The victims had tried to use the 18th-century Alien Tort Statute to hold the bank accountable for its role.

But the court’s conservative justices rejected that attempt.

“As demonstrated by this litigation, foreign corporate defendants create unique problems. And courts are not well suited to make the required policy judgments that are implicated by corporate liability in cases like this one,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.

The decision continues the court’s paring back a three-decade-old strategy by human rights lawyers to use civil suits to pursue individuals who may be responsible for torture and other atrocities, as well as companies with operations in countries with poor records in the area of human rights.

Victims in the case alleged that the bank, through the involvement of its New York branch, knowingly distributed millions of dollars to finance suicide bombings and make “martyrdom” payments to reward the families of terrorists who killed civilians.
The Final Solution Was about Something More Than Racism
Racism—not occasional prejudice but a worldview that posits the “biological” inferiority and superiority of different groups of humans—constituted a crucial component of Nazism. Yet while the Third Reich applied this set of ideas to the Jews—not to mention Africans, Slavs, Gypsies, and others—racial thinking alone does not explain what motivated the Holocaust, as Jeffrey Herf writes:

[R]acial anti-Semitism, with its elements of physical revulsion, sexual panic, and assumption of clear, easily recognizable physical differences, had obvious parallels with European and American racism toward Africans and, later, African-Americans. Like other forms of racism, including that of the slaveholding American South, this anti-Semitism associated [deficiencies] of inward character with specific physiological attributes. . . .

The core, [however], of the radical anti-Semitism that justified and accompanied the Holocaust was a conspiracy theory that ascribed not inferiority but [instead] enormous power to what it alleged was an international Jewish conspiracy that sought the destruction of the Nazi regime and the extermination of the German population. Its key component was prefigured in the infamous forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. . . .

The evidence of Nazi wartime propaganda indicates that the legend of a murderous international Jewish conspiracy—more than the biological obsessions about blood, race, and sex of the Nuremberg race laws [which imposed legal discrimination against German Jews in the 1930s]—lurked at the core of Nazi propaganda, and indeed constituted the distinctively genocidal component of Nazi ideology. The Nazis claimed that because “international Jewry” was waging a war of extermination against Germany, the Nazi regime had an obligation to “exterminate” and “annihilate” Europe’s Jews in self-defense. . .
French Jews 'face ethnic cleansing by Islamists'
"More than 300 political leaders, intellectuals and celebrities have signed a manifesto claiming that French Jews have fallen victim to a form of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by radical Islamists, amid the indifference of the country's elite.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the former president, Manuel Valls, the former prime minister, Charles Aznavour, the singer, and Gérard Depardieu, the actor, are among those who have thrown their weight behind the document.

It says that France has become 'the theatre of murderous antisemitism' with 11 Jews having been 'assassinated' because of their religion since 2006.

'French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their Muslim counterparts,' it adds. 'Ten per cent of the Jewish citizens of the Paris region . . . have recently been forced to move because they were no longer secure in certain council estates. This is a quiet ethnic cleansing.'

France has Europe's biggest Jewish community, with more than 500,000 people, and the biggest Muslim population, with about eight million people. More than 3,300 Jews left France for Israel last year, more than from any other western country...

In a denunciation reminiscent of the criticism facing Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, the manifesto claims that historical far-right French antisemitism has been joined by that 'of a part of the radical left which has found in anti-Zionism an alibi for transforming the executioners of the Jews into the victims of society'...
30 French imams say they’re ready to help counter Muslim extremism
Thirty imams in France signed an open letter calling on their colleagues to help counter Muslim extremism.

The letter, which appeared Tuesday in the daily LeMonde, expressed “compassion for all our fellow citizens who have been directly or indirectly affected by terrorism and by the anti-Semitic crimes that have blindly struck our country.”

It added that the imams are “suffering from the confiscation of our religion by criminals.”

The letter was in response to a manifesto published on Sunday in LeParisien, the largest circulation newspaper in France, signed by 300 politicians, intellectuals, and artists denouncing the “new anti-Semitism in France” driven by radical Islamists in the country.

The manifesto also suggested that verses of the Quran calling for the “murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and disbelievers” be removed on the grounds that they are “obsolete.”

The imams offered their “theological expertise” to help guard against radicalized Muslims. They said that Islam has fallen into the hands of “an ignorant, disrupted, and idle youth. A naive youth, easy prey for ideologues who exploit this dismay.”

“For more than two decades, subversive readings and practices of Islam have been rampant in the Muslim community, generating a religious anarchy, rife throughout society. A cancerous situation to which some imams unfortunately contributed, often unconsciously,” the letter said.

The imams called on the “enlightened imams” to provide “counter-speech that prevents all practices of rupture and all forms of extremism that can directly or indirectly lead to terrorism.”
​French Muslims blast anti-Semitism letter as attack on Islam
After a series of high-profile attacks on Jews, Muslim leaders contacted by AFP acknowledged that anti-Semitism was a problem in France. But they charged that the nearly 300 signatories, who included ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and former prime minister Manuel Valls, were blaming a whole religion for the actions of an extremist minority.

“The only thing we can agree on is that we must all unite against anti-Semitism,” said Ahmet Ogras, head of the French Council of the Muslim Faith umbrella group.

Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, said the manifesto “subjected French Muslims and French Islam to an unbelievable and unfair trial.”

“It creates a clear risk of pitching religious communities against one another,” he said in a statement.

The manifesto calls for verses of the Quran calling for the “murder and punishment of Jews, Christians and disbelievers” to be removed on the grounds that they are “obsolete.”

But Tareq Oubrou, imam of the Grand Mosque of the southern city of the Bordeaux, pointed out that Islam was not the only religion whose ancient holy texts contain anachronistic passages.

“Any number of holy texts are violent, even the Gospel,” Oubrou said, adding that the signatories, who also included celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu, had misinterpreted the Quran.

The writer Pascal Bruckner, among those who signed the letter, told France Inter radio it had not been intended “to stigmatize but to spur on the goodwill of reformist Muslims.”
What we learned from Ms. Portman
While everyone was busy being star struck, an important aspect of Natalie Portman's decision to reject the Genesis Prize "due to recent events" on the Gaza border was missed in the public discourse. Her announcement reeks of opportunism, as explained on these pages by Amnon Lord on Monday, and her reasoning vacillated until finally finding the safe shores of "not wanting to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu."

There is a lesson here that we should learn though, whether about the dizzying speed in which anti-Israel propaganda spreads, or about the capriciousness of our friends who preach in favor of territorial concessions.

Some Israelis, ever since Barack Obama's departure from the White House, have desperately sought an alternate cosmopolitan hero to rely on and apparently think the Israeli public suffers from short-term memory loss about the withdrawal from Gaza and the promises that were made about giving the IDF freedom of action once we leave the coastal enclave. We would be able to deploy along a recognized sovereign border, they assured us, from where we could defend Israel's security without having to answer to the world.

It's ironic that the disengagement from Gaza – whose propagandists marketed it as a successful "pilot" for a future "ingathering" from Judea and Samaria – did in fact play the role of harbinger. Not only did it foreshadow Palestinian violence and their plans for the day after occupation, but the behavior of the so-called peace camp as well. The public is asking what it can glean from this camp's reaction to the IDF's conduct on the Gaza border, and about the day we will have to contend with a similar scenario on a different border – next to Modiin let's say?
Hen Mazzig: Open letter to Natalie Portman from an Israeli progressive
Dear Natalie,

How did we get to this? I was always a fan, even of your politics. I could relate to your frustration about much of Israel’s politics. As an LGBT Israeli liberal from an Iraqi-North African (Berber) background, I know full well how much work is needed to improve our country. I’m definitely not a fan of right-wing politics in Israel and do not support the current leadership. However, your actions this week were disturbing.

You always pride yourself on being Jewish and Israeli, even though you are living in your comfortable and protected home in the United States. You made sure that your opinions are known in Israel and around the world. You supported the V15 campaign, that was pushing to influence the Israeli elections, back in 2015. You were always vocal about your criticism of Israel’s politics. When you were told that you would get an award for your Jewish activism, it took you a month to get your representative to say you would not participate in any “public event in Israel” because of the “recent events.”

Later on you posted on Instagram that your representative does not speak for you (seriously?) and that you are only partially joining the boycott of Israel, stating that you “can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the entire nation.” Well, thank you for not boycotting the entire nation. But shame on you for your terrible behavior.
Shmuley Boteach: Natalie Portman Comforts Israel’s Enemies
I wonder if she has given any thought to the fact that if she wanted to criticize the leader of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority in front of them, she would be jailed or worse. If Portman were really concerned about Palestinian rights, she would be denouncing their leaders for denying them freedom of speech, assembly, and the press. She should also be speaking out against the widespread practice of honor killings by Palestinians against innocent women for simply having boyfriends.

Portman also showed tremendous insensitivity to Israeli soldiers protecting their country when she chose not to serve in the Israeli army. I do not judge her for doing so, but it would be pleasant to see her show some appreciation for the young heroes who don the olive green uniform and protect Israel from the genocidal plans of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and ISIS.

Natalie was happy to carry a gun and play a soldier defending the world in her latest movie. But life is not fiction, and she should be magnanimous in praising those young Israelis who put themselves in harm’s way so that Israeli buses and kindergartens are not blown up.

With great fame comes great responsibility. Portman should reverse course, accept the prize, and give any speech she deems fit, including one that might publicly challenge government policy. That’s all in keeping with democratic discourse.

But to boycott Israeli is to demonize her own country, undermine its democracy, and abet its implacable enemies.
Honest Reporting: Natalie Portman and ‘Regime Change’?
Hollywood actress Natalie Portman’s decision not to attend the now canceled ceremony in Israel where she was to receive the Genesis Prize has caused considerable argument and debate.

There are now conflicting reports concerning Portman’s public statement claiming that a wish to avoid being seen to endorse Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu was behind her decision. What is certain is that Portman will continue to divide opinion.

As for The Independent‘s coverage, if any evidence of its particularly nasty streak towards Israel was necessary, it appears in the final paragraph of its Portman story:

The word “regime” is usually reserved for the governments of non-democratic states, including some of Israel’s neighbors such as Syria and Iran.

The Independent and Natalie Portman are within their rights to dislike Benjamin Netanyahu. What is undeniable, however, is that the Israeli government was elected in free and fair elections as is the norm in a Western liberal democracy.
IsraellyCool: When Jewish Values Mean Something
Perhaps it is that idealistic streak that runs through me in this cynical world. Perhaps it is the understanding of our long history and where we come from, and perhaps it is the challenges that lie ahead. But we are facing right now a reawakening of antisemitic feelings that should make every Jew, no matter where they live, be concerned.

I used to write about an approaching darkness that lay just over the horizon – a darkness that we could almost sense, taste and feel. But that is no longer the case for that darkness has arrived. We’ve all seen it and we all feel it. Whether it’s on the Gaza border, where our enemies wave the Nazi flags and launch firebomb laden kites; whether it’s Europe where some countries enact laws making it illegal to talk about their dark past; whether it’s in American university campuses who openly and violently campaign against Israel; whether it’s in online forums where people joke about Jews and the Holocaust; or whether it’s in the Labor party in the UK, whose own leader is a member of antisemitic groups.

And it makes no difference if we’re in Israel, or Los Angeles, or London, or South Africa – we are all a target of this same festering hatred.

Jews are affected by each other’s actions, so when Natalie breaks ranks, and chooses to use her influence against our only Jewish homeland, she – whether she knows it or not – gives comfort to our enemies and emboldens them further. She plays into their hands like an unwitting puppet.

However the greatest tragedy of all is that she is separating herself from her own people. Richard Goldstone, after issuing the Goldstone report in 2008 which accused Israel of purposely targeting civilians in Gaza, later regretted his actions, saying in 2011, “if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone report would have been a very different document.”

But the damage was already done. He was shunned by many in his community who had warned him that he would be used as a pawn for the enemy, yet his arrogance outweighed his judgement. Judge Goldstone had turned against his own people and his own homeland in the most publicly damaging way – and I believe it’s a regret that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

We have to stand together now and draw strength from one another, because if we do so, then there is no force on earth that can ever break us apart.
SSI: What really happened at Brown University?
Students Supporting Israel (SSI) is a nationwide grassroots student organization that was established over six years ago. SSI has dozens of registered chapters with universities across the country. We have hundreds of activists, and we represent the legitimate view of a segment of pro-Israel students, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Our programs are held in different campuses and communities, with our message not being limited solely to campuses where we have a registered group. By now we have held activity in all Ivy League schools and major US universities, but the response our activists received in Brown was unprecedented.

Without exception, on every campus we’ve held events so far, our table and message drew a productive dialogue with by-passers. Some agree with us, some disagree, but overall it is always a great intellectual exchange. When our activists arrived to Brown, we set a folding table with our messages at a public space, as usual, but very soon students began approaching us and asking us to leave. Yes, numerous times, like the opinion writers confess. Not only that, but some even went above and beyond and called the police, which of course arrived just to tell us we can stay here as long as we want. The toxic exchange, eye-rolls, and disrespectful behavior we encountered at Brown was something we’ve never experienced before.

Reading the opinion article made us think of the following Israeli expression which literally translates to “the camel does not see its own hump” and means that a person is not seeing his own flaws. So were the Brown students who claim in the opinion article to support conversations, but practically seem interested in only supporting a conversation that aligns with their own views. Unfortunately, they may have forgotten what freedom of speech is all about. Here is a reminder: the First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants individuals the freedom of speech and expression, especially in a traditional open public forum.

When our activists arrived to Brown, we displayed our message at a public space. The writers of the opinion stated they had an issue “with SSI decision not to consult with members of the Brown community before visiting.” As free individuals, we do not need to consult about when or where to express an opinion, especially as the writers added themselves a sentence later that “outside and national groups can, and regularly do, participate in the conversation about Israel and Palestine on Brown’s campus.”
Pro-Palestinians dumbstruck by Jewish refugee event
It was an extraordinary sight testifying to the effectiveness of Dumisani Washington's Mizrahi Project: pro-Palestinian activists were visibly moved by what they saw and heard at a 'Night to Honor Israel', as Jews from Arab countries told their harrowing stories. Pastor Washington posted the following on his Facebook page:

"Some 15 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) members came to stage what amounted to a silent protest at the CUFI On Campus at UTSA - The University of Texas at San Antonio event tonight. Some came with their mouths taped shut, and some holding signs smearing Israel with apartheid, hate...the usual canards. However, the event was the Night to Honor Israel, and the theme?

The over 850,000 Jewish refugees from North Africa & the Middle East. The Mizrahi Project.

Yes. These students sat silently and watched the PragerU video, “Why Are There Still Palestinian Refugees” and heard how the UN and Arab leaders have been using the Palestinians as pawns for decades.

They watched as Hillel Neuer of UN Watch demanded that the Arab state leaders answer the question, “Where are your Jews?!”

They listened to Rachel Wahba tell of her dad fleeing Egypt after Hitler’s Mein Kampf became an Arabic language best seller.
StandWithUs slams GW University after divestment vote on Israel approved
StandWithUS, the Israel educational organization, condemned a resolution passed by George Washington University’s student body on Monday calling for divestment from companies that do business with the Jewish state.

The organization also expressed outrage that the school’s Student Association failed to hold accountable one of its senators for anti-Israel bias before the vote.

"We are disappointed with the outcome of the SA's decision in passing this bill. The SA showed tonight its inability to condemn antisemitism and proves they don't have the proper means and knowledge to discuss this topic in the first place," said Tali Edid, president of GW for Israel and a StandWithUs Emerson Fellow.

Earlier in the evening, the SA failed to censure Senator Brady Forrest for allegedly employing racist rhetoric against Jewish organizations on campus.

Brady, currently an at-large graduate SA senator at the school, wrote in 2014 that groups like GW Hillel and the Jewish Student Association were “complicit with and supportive of the state of Israel and programs and ideology that is exclusive and racist.”
UC Berkeley students call for removal of ‘antisemitic,’ ‘anti-Israel’ lecturer
Students at the University of California, Berkeley have started a petition calling on the university to remove a lecturer who has been accused of antisemitism as well as having a blatant anti-Israel bias.

The organization Tikvah: Students for Israel, who call themselves "the Zionist voice" at UC Berkeley, wrote that it “will not stand by idly as our homeland and our people are brought under continuous vile attacks. We will not tolerate indoctrination at our university, and we will shed light on the truth amid the antisemitic and Israel-hating bigotry.”

The senior lecturer, Dr. Hatem Bazian, hosted an event in which he invited Arab Israeli MK Haneen Zoabi to give a lecture entitled “Israel: A Democracy or a Colonial Project?”

The event, which was hosted by the The Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, an initiative of the Center for Race & Gender, took place on Israel's day of remembrance for fallen soldiers in the country's wars.

“On this day of mourning, MK Zoabi and Hatem Bazian smeared the Jewish state and its defense forces with countless lies, and once again showed that UC Berkeley provides a platform for anti-Semitism under the guise of academic professionalism,” Tikvah said.

“Hatem Bazian must be held accountable for inviting and hosting an anti-Semitic and terrorist-sympathizing speaker to this campus, and the administration must take action to ensure that such a radical figure does not have an academic platform to spew her propaganda.”
Soros-Funded HOPE Not Hate Forced to Distance Themselves from Supporter’s ‘Anti-Semitic Rants’
The far-left activist organisation HOPE not Hate have been forced to publicly distance themselves from Labour Party activist and Momentum organiser Ian Love, who has been accused of posting anti-Semitic rants on social media.

The far-left group, who have taken money from left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations in the past, announced that they would be severing ties with Mr Love, who has been investigated for anti-Semitism in what is just the latest anti-Semitism scandal for the Labour Party.

Love is accused of writing various anti-Semitic posts on Facebook, such as labelling former prime minister Tony Blair “Jewish to the core” and claiming he was under the “protection” of the Rothschild banking family.

“It was not about anti-Semitism, it was about capitalism – my words were twisted,” Love, who has since resigned from his position as an organiser for the Portsmouth branch of Momentum, told Portsmouth News.

“The comments Ian Love looks to have made are offensive and appalling, and I’ve emailed him directly to tell him that. I also told him that we don’t want him associated with HOPE not hate in any way, or involved in any of our activities. I’ve banned him from our email list,” admitted HOPE not Hate boss Nick Lowles.
Guardian op-ed challenges the ‘rigid’ Yom Ha’atzmaut ‘orthdoxy’ that Israel should exist
Segalov’s argument is also profoundly underdeveloped, or frankly non-existent. He quotes, disapprovingly, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, who said that Zionism is inseparable from Judaism, and counters that we should not make Zionism a part of the Jewish faith. But Judaism is not Mr Segalov’s plaything, and he does not actually present a counter argument himself. His response to the Chief Rabbi is a) that opinion only creates room for one type of Jew, and b) Judaism has a tradition of dissent.

His essential response to “Zionism is inseparable from Judaism” is a) I don’t like that, and b) Judaism allows for multiple lines of argument, even though I haven’t actually provided one. This is not so much an opinion piece, more an I-don’t-like-their-opinion piece.

And finally, he should call a spade a spade. What is the content of the “debate” Mr Segalov is calling for? If one is calling for a debate on Independence Day, isn’t that a polite way of calling to debate the very existence of the country? One cannot “debate” in the abstract, one must debate something – an argument, a concept, a preposition. Mr Segalov stops short of saying what his proposition is, but leaves little to the imagination. In his mind, the correct way to mark Israel’s independence is to challenge its continued independence.

Here is the final irony of the article. Segalov calls for diversity, room for multiple voices. If only the Guardian had that ability to create space for another voice – for just one day a year, to put aside its qualms, and to join in recognising the tremendous achievements of Israel. Alas, until then, it seems the Guardian’s monotony of gloom and doom about Israel will continue.
Ombudsman Upholds HRC Concerns About CBC The Current’s Demonizing Israel
The CBC’s Ombud said that The Current and Host Anna-Maria Tremonti “did not convey an accurate reflection of the reality on the Israeli side and required balance.”

Ombudsman Enkin said:
The Current ran a panel with two Israelis and two Palestinians to gauge the views of people under 35 regarding the peace process. While they were all critical of their respective governments, they were all equally critical of Israel and Israeli policies. The complainant, David Levy, said it was biased and served to “demonize” Israel. The panel lacked balance, but the programmers provided other perspectives shortly thereafter. In this case, the panel did not reflect the reality of public opinion and fell short, even though journalistic policy allows for balance over a reasonable period of time.”

The CBC Ombudsman’s full review entitled: “Timing and Balance” can be found appended below.

HonestReporting Canada thanks Ombudsman Enkin for carrying out this review and we congratulate all our subscribers who complained en masse to the CBC. Special thank you to David Levy for initiating this review! In so doing, our concerns have been validated. This CBC Radio program produced content which demonized Israel, which was one-sided and which lacked balance. We hope that our role in holding this program and our public broadcaster to account, will prevent future journalistic transgressions and media bias against Israel from the CBC.
AFP Calls Eastern Jerusalem Palestinian Territory
The influential news agency Agence France Presse has taken it upon itself to redraw the map, placing eastern Jerusalem in the Palestinian territories. In the April 22 article ("No boycott fear, say organisers of 'Giro' in Israel"), AFP errs:
In a bid to avoid political tensions, the routes [of the Giro d'Italia cycling contest] carefully avoid the Palestinian territories, namely east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Eastern Jerusalem is not and never was Palestinian territory. Since 1967, eastern Jerusalem has fully been under Israeli control. From 1948 to 1967, it was occupied by Jordan. Before, that it was part of the British Mandate. The Nov. 29, 1947 partition plan had called for Jerusalem to be a corpus separatum, an international city administered by the UN for 10 years, at which point the city's status was to be decided in a referendum. Before the British Mandate, the city was under Ottoman control, and so on. Going back through history, at no point was any part of the city "Palestinian territory."

The Associated Press corrected the very same error this past February.
Orthodox Jewish man critically wounded in Manhattan stabbing
An Orthodox Jewish man is in critical condition after being stabbed repeatedly during an altercation in midtown Manhattan Monday afternoon.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jack Gindi, who reportedly works in the area, was stabbed near the Empire State Building by 22-year-old Tyquan Bailey, a resident of Orange, New Jersey.

New York City police say the stabbing was the apparent result of an argument between Gindi and Bailey, which may have been provoked simply by the two men accidently bumping into each other as they walked down the street.

Bailey, a deliveryman for FedEx, reportedly punched Gindi at around 1:40 p.m. Monday, knocking him to the ground, then proceeded to stab him repeatedly in torso.

Gindi was later treated by emergency first responders, then evacuated to Bellevue Hospital.

Police apprehended Bailey, and took him into custody for the stabbing.
Anti-Semitic NY firefighter transferred out of Orthodox neighborhood
A newly graduated New York City firefighter who had quit as an EMT after his racist and anti-Semitic tweets came to light was transferred out of a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Brooklyn following his first day.

Joseph Cassano, the son of a former fire commissioner, worked Monday at a Borough Park station, but the Jewish community complained. Cassano has been reassigned to Great Kills in Staten Island.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who is Orthodox, had called for a demonstration later this week in front of the Borough Park firehouse, which was canceled after news of the transfer. Hikind also called the mayor’s office to complain about Cassano’s placement.

“The City and the FDNY did the right thing,” Hikind said. “People who hate Jews should not be trusted to save them from fires. Good luck to the community where he’s re-assigned.”
German Jewish leader advises against wearing yarmulkes in cities
Germany’s main Jewish leader said Tuesday he would advise people visiting big cities against wearing Jewish skullcaps, following a street assault last week on an Arab Israeli young man wearing it.

The attack in Berlin, in which a 19-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker of Palestinian origin is a suspect, added to growing concern in Germany about anti-Semitism.

Josef Schuster, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told broadcaster Radioeins Tuesday that wearing a yarmulke is right in principle, but that he was advising individuals “against showing themselves openly with a kippah in a big-city setting in Germany, and wear a baseball cap or something else to cover their head instead.”

Schuster suggested three years ago that Jews shouldn’t wear skullcaps in areas with large Muslim populations. But he stressed there’s increasing anti-Semitic sentiment among non-migrants.
Ukrainian teacher allegedly praises Hitler, performs Nazi salute
A public school teacher in Ukraine allegedly posted birthday greetings to Adolf Hitler on Facebook and taught her students the Nazi salute.

Marjana Batjuk, who teaches at a school in Lviv and also is a councilwoman, posted her greeting on April 20, the Nazi leader’s birthday, Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told JTA. He called the incident a “scandal.”

She also took some of her students to meet far-right activists who over the weekend marched on the city’s streets while wearing the uniform of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, an elite Nazi unite with many ethnic Ukrainians also known as the 1st Galician.

Displaying Nazi imagery is illegal in Ukraine, but Dolinsky said law enforcement authorities allowed the activists to parade on main streets.

Batjuk had the activists explain about their replica weapons, which they paraded ahead of a larger event in honor of the 1st Galician unit planned for next week in Lviv.

The events honoring the 1st Galician SS unit in Lviv are not organized by municipal authorities.
European Jews Hold Protest Meetings Against Iceland’s Proposed Circumcision Ban
The controversy over Iceland’s proposed ban on circumcision has escalated, with prominent European rabbis and their supporters holding protest meetings in recent days in Reykjavik and Brussels.

According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, the Conference of European Rabbis succeeded in attracting the support and attendance of American congressmen, representatives of EU institutions, doctors, and academics who support the practice of circumcision and oppose the ban.

The proposed ban would impose a prison sentence on anyone who circumcises a child, regardless of their religious beliefs. It passed its first reading in the Icelandic parliament in February.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, head of the Conference, said of the ban, “The Nazis made such a law in 1933 and we all know how that ended. …This path is not just a violation of the basic human right to freedom of religion or belief, but a sign to every person with a Jewish or Muslim background that they are not wanted in Iceland.”

Conference member Abraham Guigui, the chief rabbi of Belgium, echoed Goldschmidt’s statement, saying, “To place in doubt the freedom of Jewish families to circumcise their sons means the undermining of the most fundamental identity in their collective memory. When a certain country forbids circumcision, they are publicly announcing that no Jewish community is wanted there.”
WJC and Chelsea Football Club hope to kick out antisemitism in sports
The World Jewish Congress together with the Chelsea Football Club have kicked off a strategic partnership to put a stop to anti-Semitism in sports.

The global partnership under the banner a “Red Card for Hate”, is aimed at combating the widespread phenomenon of antisemitism in sports.

The joint initiative will form part of the Say No To Antisemitism campaign launched by Chelsea in January at Stamford Bridge, in the presence of 40,000 fans.

“The Red Card for Hate” initiative will take the form of three specific projects geared toward encouraging supporters, government officials and the public at large to treat antisemitism more seriously and to engage in discourse for effective action.

The projects were designed by a WJC task force charged with analyzing and understanding the challenges at hand and bringing educational solutions to the table.
Israelis to train S. African medics in emotional first aid
United Hatzalah of Israel is sending a delegation of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to Johannesburg, South Africa, to train their counterparts in providing effective psychotrauma care in times of crisis and catastrophe.

The training will combine the World Health Organization’s protocols in psychological first aid, together with the Israeli adaptation of psychological first aid based on using cognitive stimulation to help shift immediate attention from emotions to actions.

The trainees, a group of 60 medics from South Africa’s Hatzolah Medical Rescue and mental-health workers from the community, will also be able to learn from the experiences of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit, which has responded to more than a thousand traumatic incidents last year in Israel and in Texas following Hurricane harvey.

The unit provides emotional support and stabilization to trauma victims and bystanders in the initial minutes following a traumatic experience and its immediate aftermath.
Native American Chief visits Samaria: 'A great honor'
The Native American Chief Joseph RiverWind and his wife, Laralyn arrived Sunday for a tour of Samaria. Chief RiverWind is the Peace Chief of the Arawak Taino Nation.

The two, who came from the United States, visited factories in the Barkan industrial zone, took in the view from Har Bracha (Mount of Blessing) of Joseph's Tomb in Shechem (Nablus), and tasted local Samaria wines at the award-winning Har Bracha winery.

In a meeting with the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, RiverWind revealed the warm feelings of the Native American community towards the State of Israel in general and Judea and Samaria in particular. He said that the story of the Jewish people and their return to their land is an inspiration for them and gives them hope for their own future.

RiverWind said: "It is an honor for us to be here and to meet such wonderful people, the people of this land. Your story, the people of Israel, gives us a lot of hope. Your return to your language, your land, your return to your spirituality. For Native Americans this is an exciting success story."

"We share a similar story. They took from us our language, our identity, our land, and here there is the story of returning to Israel. It is an honor for us to be in Samaria and to encourage people in America and overseas to support Israel, including Samaria, to speak against the BDS movement and to support any way to help Israel, we are doing what we can to stop the propaganda and the Israel.
Not Fit To Print? New York Times Ignores Adelsons’ $70 Million Birthright Gift
Behold, a selection of recent philanthropic news from The New York Times, which covered, with articles by its own staff or freelancers, the following gifts:
  • “Just under $10 million” to a Seattle public radio station, KEXP, “from an anonymous donor known as Suzanne.”
  • $50 million for the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, including $20 million to the UCLA-based art museum from the television producer Marcy Carsey and $30 million from Lynda and Stewart Resnick.
  • “10 million Canadian dollars, or about $7.8 million,” to The Stratford Festival, a theater festival in Ontario, Canada. New York Times headline: “Stratford Festival Gets Record Donation.”
  • $500,000 each from George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg toward a national protest against gun violence.

What donation is missing from the list?

You wouldn’t know about it by reading The New York Times, but Sheldon and Miriam Adelson this week announced a $70 million gift to Birthright Israel in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday. The money will fund trips to Israel for young Jews who haven’t been there previously on organized trips.
Business magnate Sheldon Adelson donates 70 million dollar to Birthright
Sheldon Adelson has made the biggest donation to Birthright in its history and given the organization $70 million on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

Adelson and his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson have provided massive financial support to the Birthright program, which brings young Jewish adults from the Jewish world to Israel on free educational trips, and now amounts to $410m.

The donation was made at Birthright’s annual gala dinner where a total of $125m. was raised, including the Adelsons’ gift, and donations from businessman and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who gave $2m. on the night, and another 650 private donors.

Birthright said that it would now be able to break its record number of visits by Jewish youth to Israel and reach 50,000 participants in the coming year. The organization has brought some 600,000 young Jewish adults from 66 countries to Israel since it was founded in 1999.

“Before the founding of the State of Israel, my father told me that he always dreamed about a state for Jews and wanted to go to the Land of Israel, but when the time came and I could help him get there he said he was too old and too ill,” Adelson said during his speech at the event.

“I think it is the right from birth of all Jews to go to Israel and I don’t want any young Jewish person in the world say that he is too old or sick to visit 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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