Friday, April 27, 2018

From Ian:

The Myth of BDS Success
Anytime a student government votes to divest from Israel or a celebrity chooses not to perform in Israel a cry goes out throughout the Jewish world that Israel is in danger and the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) is winning.

It is not true.

Take the example of celebrity boycotts. When Lorde cowardly gave in to pressure to cancel her Israel concert, the BDS trolls crowed and the pro-Israel activists expressed outrage.

What was the impact? A lot of disappointed Israeli fans.

Meanwhile, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Backstreet Boys, Nick Cave, and Bryan Adams were among those who did perform in Israel. Upcoming shows include: Foreigner, Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne and Enrique Iglesias. Yes, some celebrities (mostly B- and C-listers) are shunning Israel, but the BDSers have failed completely in orchestrating a mass artistic boycott.

Perhaps the biggest recent celebrity news was the vigorous attack on anti-Semites by author J.K. Rowling, a vocal opponent of BDS. After tweeting the definition of anti-Semitism in response to efforts by some of her followers to contort its meaning, she asked: “Would your response to any other form of racism or bigotry be to squirm, deflect or justify?” After revealing that Jews in her timeline were bombarded by anti-Jewish comments, Rowling said, “perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden.”

BDSers kvelled over Natalie Portman’s decision not to attend an awards ceremony in Israel. While she gave some comfort to them, her explanation for skipping the gala made her position clear: “I am not part of the BDS movement and do not endorse it.”

BDS campaigns on campus are troubling, but they are confined to fewer than 3% of all campuses. Also, contrary to claims that elite schools are particular targets, fewer than one-third of schools ranked in the top 50 have had a BDS vote in the last 13 years. Only 35 schools in the entire country have passed a divestment resolution in that period and 64% have been defeated.

IsraellyCool: ADL Retracts Libel Against Canary Mission, With Tail Between Their Legs
Following my ripping of the ADL and some pro-Israel campus groups for attacking the group Canary Mission – for the unforgivable crime of pointing out anti-Israel and antisemitic hate (but perhaps not because of it) – the ADL has publicly expressed their regret over the language they used.

The Anti-Defamation League said it regretted using “overly broad language” to describe the Canary Mission, a group that posts blacklists of what it says are anti-Israel students on campuses.

“We regret the overly broad language that we used to describe the Canary Mission in a tweet earlier this week,” an ADL spokesman said in an email Thursday evening after JTA asked the group to demonstrate where Canary Mission had deployed “Islamophobic & racist rhetoric,” as ADL had alleged in its tweet.

“It was wrong to apply those labels to a group working, like us, to counter anti-Semitism on campus,” the spokesman said, adding that it still backed some of the reservations expressed in an Op-Ed by pro-Israel students that decried Canary Mission’s tactics.

“We reiterate our support for the University of Michigan students who have expressed valid concerns about Canary Mission’s impact on student-led efforts to advocate for Israel,” the spokesman said. “We understand that the Canary Mission’s approach and its tactics on campus might not be the preferred approach of many students. We believe that all parties involved in this situation want the same outcome so we encourage them to find ways to work together to fight anti-Semitism and to support the needs of Jewish students.”
Dr. Martin Sherman: Natalie Portman as a symptom
Portman’s behavior throughout the entire affair has of course been indisputably imbecilic, infuriating and indefensible.

To begin with, the Genesis Prize Foundation is hardly an unknown quantity. Indeed, since its establishment five years ago, it has awarded its annual prize to an array of high profile individuals— Michael Bloomberg (2014), Michael Douglas (2015),Itzhak Perlman (2016), and Sir Anish Kapoor (2017). Except for Kapoor, all were awarded the prize at a glittering ceremony at which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke.

Significantly, the 2017 award ceremony was cancelled, not because of any recriminations against Israel, but because, as Kapoor requested, the ongoing horrors in Syria made it “inappropriate to hold a festive ceremony to honor Mr. Kapoor and his work on refugee issues…”

Moreover, the generic connection between the Genesis Foundation and the Prime Minister’s office is clearly touted on its website, where it is described as a “unique partnership”.

All this was clearly known—or should have been known—to Portman, who immediately after the 2015 elections expressedher aversion to Netanyahu and her dismay at his reelection.

Yet, evidently, none of this seemed to prevent her effusive acceptance of the prize when six months ago, it was announced that she was to be the 2018 recipient. Thus, early last November she gushed: “I am deeply touched and humbled by this honor. I am proud of my Israeli roots and Jewish heritage; they are crucial parts of who I am”.

Trump Says He Rejected Proposal to Build $1 Billion Jerusalem Embassy
President Donald Trump comments on his decision to reject a proposal to build a new U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem for $1 billion. He speaks during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (h/t jzaik)

On the 75th Anniversary of the Destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, Remembering Those We’ve Lost
Address delivered on April 26, 2018, at the annual Holocaust Remembrance Program in the Rotunda of the Supreme Court, New York County, sponsored by the Jewish Lawyers Guild and the Gender Fairness Committee of the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County.

Seventy-five years ago, on April 26, 1943, SS Gruppenführer–a rank equivalent to major-general–Jürgen Stroop reported to his superiors that his shock troops had that day combed through “the entire former living quarter” of the Warsaw Ghetto. “Practically without exception,” Stroop wrote,

the shock troops reported resistance that was nonetheless completely broken through returning of fire or blowing up bunkers. It appears that the ranks are finding the Jews and bandits most tenacious and capable of resistance. Several bunkers were forcibly opened whose inhabitants had not come to the surface since the beginning of the Action. In a series of cases the inhabitants of the bunkers, after the bunkers had been successfully blown up, were scarcely able to crawl to the surface. According to statements of the captured Jews, a large number of inhabitants in the bunkers have become insane due to the heat, the thick smoke and the successful explosions.

This was the eighth day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the first organized urban armed resistance against the Nazis in German-occupied Europe. Stroop wrote that the “result of today’s undertaking” was as follows:

30 Jews displaced, 1,330 Jews pulled out of the bunkers and immediately destroyed, 362 Jews shot in battle. In total captured today: 1,722 Jews. Thereby the total number of captured Jews was raised to 29,186. Beyond that, it is likely that countless Jews died in the 13 blown-up bunkers and through fires.

Seventy-three years ago, on April 26, 1945, tens of thousands of erstwhile inmates of the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen near the German city of Hanover were struggling to remain alive. When British troops had entered the camps 11 days earlier, they encountered a devastation of humanity for which they were entirely unprepared. Most of the 58,000 inmates there, the overwhelming majority of them Jews, were too weak even to walk. In the main camp, more than 40,000 prisoners were crammed into barracks that should have held no more than 8,000; between 15,000 and 25,000 more who had arrived in early April from the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp complex were in barracks of a nearby Wehrmacht army base. My mother, who had been at Bergen-Belsen since the previous November when she was sent there from Auschwitz-Birkenau, described the camp in the days prior to liberation as:
Memoir of secretly baptized Jewish boy kidnapped by Vatican under fresh scrutiny
It’s an incident that has stained the Vatican for 160 years: a 6-year-old Jewish boy taken from his family by papal police and brought to Rome to be raised Catholic after church authorities learned his housekeeper had secretly had him baptized.

Now the case has reared its head again, with new evidence that memoirs the boy wrote as an adult were altered to take the edge off his anti-Semitic views and enhance details favorable to the Catholic Church.

The Associated Press has confirmed findings by Brown University historian David Kertzer that Edgardo Mortara’s memoirs were changed in ways big and small when they were translated from the original Spanish into Italian and published to great fanfare by Italy’s Mondadori house in 2005. AP found the Spanish text in a religious order’s archive this week.

The alterations do not significantly change the overall thrust of Mortara’s oft-stated gratitude to the “saint” Pope Pius IX for having saved his soul by removing him from his Jewish family to raise him Catholic. But they do indicate that the tale — already subjected to over a century of revisions to suit various interests — has been recrafted again.

The changes, Kertzer told AP, “were clearly made with certain narrative purposes, to craft a narrative that was more in line with what the conservatives in the church would like to present as what had happened in the story.”

That story began when Inquisition police took 6-year-old Edgardo from his home in Bologna on June 24, 1858. The reason? The Mortaras’ 16-year-old Catholic housekeeper had had Edgardo secretly baptized when he fell ill as an infant, fearing for his soul if he died.
The Southern Poverty Law Center: From Klan Hunters to Multimillion-dollar Smear Machine
Shortly after the election of Donald Trump in November of 2016, a lot of people I knew wrote biggish checks to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They weren’t alone: According to tax filings, the group took in $136 million last year alone, bringing its total assets to a whopping half-a-billion dollars.

This surge in the organization’s popularity makes sense: The SPLC, after all, is the group that had once, nearly four decades ago, protected Vietnamese shrimpers from the Klan in Galveston Bay, sued several white supremacist groups out of existence, and delivered justice to the family Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian student bludgeoned to death by members of a Neo-Nazi group in Portland, Oregon. You’d think that an organization with such a gleaming record would be richly deserving of support, particularly as far-right thugs are once again openly on the march.

Then again, you could ask Sam Harris.

In late March, the SPLC included a piece about the best-selling author in its daily Hatewatch Headlines, a compilation of media reports on bigots, thugs, and other assorted creeps. Why was the neuroscientist and prominent atheist thrown in together with Mark Anthony Conditt, the Austin bomber who had murdered two black men, and Nazi war criminal Jakiw Palij? Because Harris defended Charles Murray, a political scientist best-known for arguing that genetic differences may account for varying levels of intelligence between races. The assertion drove many in academia and journalism to label Murray a racist; he was famously shouted out of an appearance at Middlebury College last March, and was labeled a “White Nationalist” and an “extremist” by the SPLC. But when the prominent Harvard geneticist David Reich echoed Murray’s ideas in a New York Times op-ed last month—arguing that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among ‘races’”—Harris took several of Murray’s critics to task on Twitter, including Vox’s Ezra Klein. Klein responded in his typically obfuscating fashion, doing little to discuss the ideas at hand and a lot to strangle them with potent ideological terms. White men discussing the possibility of genetic differences between blacks and whites wasn’t science, Klein thundered—it was racism pure and simple, facts and findings be damned. The SPLC was quick to mirror this sentiment, placing Harris on its HateWatch list.
Why the so-called Jewish Voice for Labour is a sham
On Wednesday last week, an organisation calling itself Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) held a meeting in Manchester, with a speech from co-founder Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi as the main attraction.

As the organisation’s chair, Jenny Manson, has admitted, JVL was founded in order “to tackle allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”. It shares much of its core membership with an organisation called Free Speech on Israel, which was formed partly in order to defend Jackie Walker and Ken Livingstone, and which organised the notorious Labour Party conference fringe meeting at which it was suggested that Labour members should be free to debate “the Holocaust, yes or no”. When the Labour Party voted on rule changes to make it easier to expel members for hate speech of all kinds, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi spoke against the changes. When British Jews demonstrated against antisemitism in Parliament Square, JVL organised a counter-demonstration. That is the sort of thing that JVL does.

Despite its name, the real purpose of JVL is not to provide Jews with a voice in the Labour Party: a voice that already exists via the Jewish Labour Movement. Its purpose is, rather, to provide an ostensibly ‘Jewish’ voice in support of the most extreme elements on the Labour left, which camouflage themselves as ‘anti-Zionists’.

While JVL claims to take no position on Zionism, Ms Wimborne-Idrissi devoted about a quarter of her speech in Manchester to attacking it. She also argued in favour of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which the Labour leadership has distanced itself from, and argued against the International Definition of Antisemitism, which the Labour Party has officially adopted. These positions put Ms Wimborne-Idrissi not only on the fringes of the Jewish community but also on the fringes of the Labour Party. As for Ms Manson, she has admitted that she only “began to identify as a Jew in order to argue against the State of Israel”.
Jeremy Corbyn Antisemitism and Justice for Palestine
The Facebook page says:

The Labour right and supporters of Israel have launched a serious attempt to paint Jeremy Corbyn and the Left as antisemites. Any instance of antisemitism should be vigorously opposed, but these right wing forces are using smears to try and undermine Corbyn and the pro-Palestinian movement. They want to equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

We wholly reject this. They are not the same. We can not let these smears be used to undermine criticism of Israel.

Antisemitism is a very real threat, as the rise of the far right across Europe vividly illustrates. The Left must continue to oppose it wherever it appears.

We must actively fight all forms of racism whilst fighting for justice for Palestine.

This meeting is to discuss anti-Zionism, antisemitism and justice for Palestine. It is not called by any organisation. The organisers reserve the right to refuse entry

Hardly surprising that this collection of people would want to say what’s antisemitic and what isn’t. Ben Jamal runs the Palestine Solidarity Campaign that David Collier proved was filled with activists sharing antisemitic discourse with one another on social media. PSC’s response was to put a disclaimer on their Facebook page and then re-elect one of their number, Tapash abu Shaim as a Director of the organisation!
Jeremy Corbyn’s article in the Evening Standard is doublespeak for apologising whilst injecting more venom
Where Mr Corbyn’s letter betrays him most however, is in creating a distance between his own actions and those of the Party. After years of leading it, he finally admits that “When members of Jewish communities express genuine anxieties we must recognise them as we would those of any other community. Their concerns are not ‘smears’.” How then, when Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman complained of antisemitism in her constituency, did Mr Corbyn agree with his brother when he said that she had ulterior motives – to attack him and defend Israel? How is that when the renowned journalist Jonathan Freedland published a reasoned article on antisemitism on the Left, Mr Corbyn characterised his motivation as “utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness”? How is it that on his own Facebook page, he published a video that pictured Jewish complaints of antisemitism as rubbish to be thrown on the floor? Or how did he come to stand by when Ruth Smeeth was attacked at the launch of the Chakrabarti report, leaving smiling and smirking with the perpetrator, and subsequently failing to apologise? Then, within twenty-four hours, when Len McCluskey attacked Labour MPs defending their Jewish colleagues’ claims of antisemitism as being guilty of ‘smears’ in exactly the way he had described, Mr Corbyn was silent.

However, what Mr Corbyn now admits in his article reinforces our disciplinary complaint against him, which includes not just these cases, but the newer, unanswered charges regarding his participation in antisemitic facebook groups and his comments on the Brick Lane Mural.

If we extrapolate from what Mr Corbyn does include in his letter, then this is what we should still expect: regarding high profile cases, the immediate expulsion of Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth; that all sitting councillors, MPs and council candidates who have breached the International Definition of Antisemitism in exactly the way Mr Corbyn describes in his article are to be suspended and stood down from their positions; and that there should be discipline for Ken Loach, Len McCluskey, Diane Abbott, Chris Williamson and others who have all been egregiously guilty of characterising Jewish complaints as smears in exactly the way Mr Corbyn describes. We should then expect a rapid series of explusions of the many hundreds, if not thousands, of Labour members who have indulged in conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family, Holocaust denial, Holocaust revisionism and Holocaust inversion. We would also expect sanction for those in the Party who have supported Ken Livingstone’s retention as a member on the grounds that his claims that Hitler “was supporting Zionism” were tolerable.

Finally, we insist that the same standards should be applied to the party leader as would apply to rank and file members, as dictated by the Labour Party rulebook: if the Party intends to discipline all members of the Party who have infringed its rules, including those who have fallen foul of the terms specifically outlined in Mr Corbyn’s own letters, then Mr Corbyn himself should be first in line.
Like the hard Left of Labour, Sinn Fein have for years nursed a bitter streak of anti-Semitism
The storm about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is clearly irritating Jeremy Corbyn, who can’t see it.

The hard-Left — like virtue signallers everywhere — know they’re innocent, because they believe themselves without sin.

So does the cult that is Sinn Fein, which trains its gullible followers to be virulent anti-Semites.

They fly Palestinian flags much less as a mark of their compassion for Palestinians than as a sign of their hatred of Israelis.

Loyalists, on the other hand, see Israel as beleaguered and fly Israeli flags not because they hate Palestinians, but because they hate republicans.

But then Palestinians are fed vicious anti-Jewish propaganda by their leaders, while few Israeli politicians encourage hatred of Arabs.

The Republic of Ireland has been fertile ground for anti-Israeli activists.
NGO Monitor: Human Rights Watch finds another pretext to threaten Israel with ICC prosecution
In advance of a High Court hearing on April 25 about a demolition order against a Palestinian school in Area C of the West Bank, Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a statement accusing Israel of “the war crime of wanton destruction and forcible transfer” and recommending that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court “examine the school demolitions.” Despite, HRW’s overwrought implications, the ICC has never ruled if it has jurisdiction in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and even if it did, this case would clearly not pass the threshold of the complementarity or gravity doctrines applied by the court.

HRW’s claims and analysis are also irrelevant. Under the Oslo accords, as well as the occupation framework that HRW utilizes, Israel alone is obligated to regulate and enforce permits, zoning, and other construction regulations in Area C. It does not matter whether, in violation of the governing rules, the structures are schools or were funded by European governments or built by NGOs.

Moreover, as reflected in the impetus for HRW’s statements, Israeli courts have been providing careful oversight of the demolition orders and have, in general, noted that the structures were built without any legal permission or justification. (HRW gratuitously and offensively implies that one of the judges is not capable of impartially evaluating the evidence because he lives in a settlement.)
Belgian university honors pro-BDS director Ken Loach
A leading Belgian university honored British film director Ken Loach with a special doctorate on Thursday despite veiled criticism from Prime Minister Charles Michel and outspoken rebukes from Jewish organizations about anti-Semitism allegations.

Loach, the 81-year-old director of 2016 Palme d'Or winner "I, Daniel Blake," was awarded the honorary doctorate by the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

"Depicting me as anti-Semitic simply because I am adding my voice to those who denounce the plight of the Palestinians is grotesque," Loach said in a statement.

He accused Michel of ignoring "flagrant breaches of international law" by Israel.

After receiving the award, Loach said he was shocked that the prime minister had chosen to criticize the institution for giving him the award.

"Now, he's a lawyer, Mr. Michel. … Did he, I wonder, ask about the breaches of international law committed by Israel? Did he ask about the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands?" Loach said.
StandWithUs demands that NYU punish students boycotting Israel, Jews
StandWithUs and another NGO have sent a legal letter to New York University’s president demanding he probe discriminatory conduct against Jews and Israelis and discipline students’ organizations that caused the discrimination.

The letter explained that certain student groups are acting to boycott Jews and Israelis in a manner that may violate university policies and civil rights laws, while implying the university could be held accountable if it did not fully address the issues.

On April 9, 51 NYU student organizations signed a joint statement pledging to boycott Israeli goods, academic institutions and conferences, and numerous pro-Israel organizations.

Additionally, the statement promotes the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and commits to boycotting TorchPAC and Realize Israel, NYU’s pro-Israel student organizations.

As the letter from StandWithUs and the Louis D. Brandeis Center states, the statement by the 51 student groups “effectively discriminates against Israeli students at NYU on the basis of their national origin.

It also “effectively discriminates against many Jewish students, as Zionism is the movement for Jewish self-determination.”
ADL Whines About Anti-Semitism Watchdog
The students say Canary “promot[es] a negative perception of Muslims” and that they “view much of the rhetoric employed to villainize these individuals as hateful and, in some cases, Islamophobic and racist.”

Ok, pause. Exactly what rhetoric does Canary employ? Here’s one of the site’s profiles, this one for Nadera Masad of McMaster University. The only incendiary quotes on this page are Masad’s own words: “Death to America and all white people,” death to Israel and all Zionists,” “white people are the face of terrorism.” If it’s their own words, how can you accuse Canary of painting the negative perception?

Now, one reasonable concern these students have is that blacklists are pushing anti-Israel activism underground. Pro-BDS students at the University of Michigan and George Washington University used the prospect of ending up blacklisted to create secret ballots for BDS proposals so supporters of divesting from Israel couldn’t be identified. OK, but that’s the funny thing about stigma: it makes people want to seek anonymity. The more successful pro-Israel students are on campus, the more the anti-Israel lobby will be driven underground.
ADL Whines About Anti-Semitism Watchdog

IsraellyCool: Richard Silverstein Thinks The Blood Libel is a Hoot
Anti-Israel DouchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein is a lot of things: a bigot, pathological Israel hater, ignorant, dishonest, and a failure among other things. But I never actually thought he was an antisemite – he is (as far as I know) Jewish after all, although ignorant about Judaism and very hostile towards observant Jews.

But now I am beginning to think he may very well be antisemitic, after he tweeted the following:

He is, of course, alluding to the blood libel – the accusation that Jews kidnapped and murdered the children of Christians in order to use their blood as part of their religious rituals during Jewish holidays.
Why does the Genesis Prize exist in the first place?
As urban legend has it, a professor at the Technion once tasked his students with creating a way to build a pipe that would transport blood from the northern city of Kiryat Shmona all the way down to Eilat.

When the day for submissions arrived, students turned in thick folders full of charts and complicated diagrams aiming to successfully transport the blood across Israel. After reviewing the papers, the professor announced to his startled students that they had all failed the assignment.

"None of you asked the obvious question," he told them. "What is the point of building a pipe that would bring blood across the country?"

The internet exploded last week after Natalie Portman announced that she would not attend the Genesis Prize ceremony. Commentator after pundit wrote long and pithy essays, with each alternatively bashing or praising the actress. Amid this media flood, however, no one has asked why the Genesis Prize even exists in the first place.

The State of Israel funds part of the prize. Why does it feel the need to waste any taxpayer money on people whose sole accomplishments are personal and career success?
IsraellyCool: Guest Post: Portman PR Fiasco Gets Cheers From BDS
In case you missed the recent ground shaking news – Academy Award winning actress, Natalie Portman, declined to go to Israel to accept the Genesis Award which recognizes the recipient for his or her professional accomplishments and Jewish values. Ms. Portman was to receive a 2-million-dollar prize which she previously said she would donate to charitable organizations that advance the causes of women.

In November 2017, she graciously accepted the honor; at the end of April she abruptly declined. The vague and evolving explanation for her decision has given endless fodder to her critics. At first, she said she changed her mind because of “recent event.” Then she released a second statement, saying that she “chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony.”

Ms. Portman continues to express great affection for Israel and pride in her Jewishness. She is adamant that she doesn’t support BDS.

The problem is that even if her heart doesn’t support BDS; her decision does.
No, Mr. Schindler, There Is No ‘Occupation’
A Pennsylvania high school teacher, who says that he was deprived as a teenager, is now taking it out on his students by lying to them about Israel.

Sam Schindler, co-founder and history teacher at the Stone Independent School, a private institution in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, explains in The Forward this week how the “truth” about Israel was hidden from him. His teachers only taught him about the positive side of Israel, he complains. “What was kept from me then were images of the occupation, of pulverized houses, of bloody civilians, and of terrified children. … The occupation or lives of Palestinians never appeared.”

So now Schindler is getting his revenge. He’s been teaching his students at Stone Independent all about “the occupation and oppression.”

And — big surprise — at the end of last semester’s course, Schindler was proud to laud their findings. He notes that “the class collectively reached a universal conclusion about Israel and Palestine: The oppression of Palestinians is not sustainable, nor is it justifiable.”

Dear Stone students, I’m sorry to tell you that Mr. Schindler has been lying to you. Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians ended 23 years ago.

Here’s what Mr. Schindler didn’t tell you. When Yitzhak Rabin was elected prime minister of Israel in 1992, he faced a dilemma. On the one hand, he recognized that allowing the creation of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), and in the Gaza Strip, would pose a grave threat to Israel’s existence. The Jewish state would be just nine miles wide in its middle, living next to a state run by terrorists and fascist dictators.

But on the other hand, Rabin didn’t want Israel to continue ruling over the Palestinian Arabs who reside in those territories. So he signed the Oslo Accords, which ended Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians and gave them something close to statehood, but without endangering Israel.
IsraellyCool: Hatred of Israel Is In (Teen) Vogue
In recent years, there has been a disturbing trend in the fashion & beauty industry – including magazines (besides all their other disturbing trends!) – to promote Israel haters and antisemites as role models. For instance, last year, Elle Magazine defended Linda Sarsour, painting her critics as “Islamophobic.” The year before, the likes of Allure and Cosmo promoted MissMuslim, a site run by an antisemite called Nihal Al-Qawasmi. And a few months ago, both Revlon and L’Oreal ran campaigns featuring staunch Israel haters.

And now the latest: Teen Vogue has published a piece entitled Fighting for Palestine Is Never Easy — Even With Privilege Like Mine.

In many ways, Ahed has become a symbol for Palestinian resistance: Soldiers tried to stand ground on her family’s property, but she wouldn’t let them. Multiple relatives have been arrested (for reasons unknown), and yet she and her family refuse to back down. Ahed embodies the biggest mantra of Palestinian livelihood, which is, “to exist is to resist.” While we may no longer have a physical manifestation of a place to call home, it hasn’t deterred the eternal hope that we will one day return. In existing every day as Palestinians, we’re resisting the oppression that drove us from our country in the first place.

The author of this piece, Rawan Eewshah, was until recently the senior social editor at Allure Magazine. Her hatred of Israel is so palpable that she referred to Gal Gadot as a “child murderer”
The Grand Theorist of Holocaust Denial, Robert Faurisson
On April 12, just now, Robert Faurisson suffered one more minor legal defeat in a French court, which is good news, in a small way, for the world, and, in a bigger way, for the newspaper Le Monde. The court ruling means that, in France, you can denounce Faurisson as a “professional liar” and a “falsifier of history.” And you do not have to worry about a defamation suit—which is good news for Le Monde because, back in 1978, the editors made the insane error of judging Faurisson to be a man-with-an-idea-worth-debating, and they welcomed him into their pages. Faurisson is of course the theoretician of Holocaust denial. He contributed to Le Monde an “ideas” piece titled “The Debate Over the ‘Gas Chambers,’ ” with the extra quotation marks signifying his belief that Nazi gas chambers are a Zionist lie. And Le Monde has needed, ever since, to make the point over and again that publishing his article was a big mistake, and Faurisson is, in fact, a professional liar and a falsifier of history. The judicial ruling reinforces the point yet again. It is good. We should applaud. But it is sobering to reflect that, 40 years later, the point does need reinforcement, and Faurisson, who is a minor screwball, has had major successes in different corners of the world. And falsification of history turns out to be a factor in history.

The provenance of Faurisson’s ideas is altogether curious. He derived them principally from a sad-sack leftwing pacifist in France named Paul Rassinier, whose misfortune during World War II was to be arrested and tortured by the Germans, which permanently ruined his health. He was jailed in two camps, Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora, where conditions were bad. He was beaten by the SS. When he emerged, though, he explained and re-explained at book length that, even if conditions in the camps were less than good, neither were they especially terrible, and Germany’s conduct during the war was no worse than any other country’s. Germany ought not to be demonized. And the truly evil people in the camps were the Communist prisoners. And the Jews were responsible for the war.
‘Britain’s Got Talent’ Contender Reprimanded by Producers for ‘Liking’ Racist Videos About Jews Being ‘Hunted Down’
A contestant on “Britain’s Got Talent” has been advised by the television show’s producers to curb her behavior after it was discovered that she “liked” several racist and homophobic YouTube videos, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Jenny Darren — the 68-year-old singer who won over audiences when she took off her granny clothes and belted out AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” on the show Saturday night — created a YouTube playlist of videos that included offensive remarks about the LGBT community, labeled Jews as a “pest to society” and called on Jewish people to be “hunted down.” Also found on her Facebook page was a poem she wrote that criticized LGBT relationships. Darren’s YouTube playlist has since been deleted.

“Jenny’s behavior online is shocking and inappropriate,” a TV insider told The Sun. “She’s supposed to represent a family show but is instead setting an extremely bad example for her followers. It’s not only an embarrassment for Jenny, it’s a headache for the show and producers are fuming.”

A spokesperson for “Britain’s Got Talent” said about the controversy, “Any prejudicial language or behavior is abhorrent to everyone involved in ‘BGT,’ which is an inclusive show. As a result, Jenny Darren has been reprimanded by producers regarding her previous statements, and has been warned over her future conduct.” The spokesperson added that Darren had “profusely apologized” for her actions.
Polish nationalists protest outside US Embassy against Holocaust restitution
Dozens of nationalists picketed in front of the American embassy in Warsaw against the restitution of Jewish property.

Wednesday’s protest was held under the slogan “Stop Jewish property claims” and is related to a new US law on restitution.

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to support victims of the Holocaust and their families in the process of restitution and recovery of property. Under the measure, the US State Department must report the progress of some European countries, including Poland, regarding the return of property unjustly confiscated during the war.

The new law does not impose any sanctions on countries that do not lead to a restitution process. Nevertheless, the nationalists see it as a threat.

Polish lawmaker Robert Winnicki, president of the National Movement, who led the demonstration, said the goal is to protest “against extortion of money and Polish national assets rebuilt after World War II by Polish people.”

Nationalists protested “against the interference of another state in our internal affairs.”
Iceland parliament committee opposes bill to ban circumcision
JTA A judicial committee of Iceland’s parliament has recommended scrapping a bill that would ban the nonmedical circumcision of boys.

Lawmakers from four parties submitted the measure for a vote in March pending a review by the Judicial Affairs and Educational Committee, the local news site Visir reported Thursday. Parliament may vote on the bill despite the committee’s objection.

The bill, which calls the Jewish and Muslim custom cruel and dangerous, would make Iceland the only European country where nonmedical circumcision of boys under 18 is illegal. Across Europe, the custom is under attack by liberals who find it a violation of children’s rights and nationalists who argue it is foreign to European culture.

In recent weeks, international Jewish groups have lobbied Icelandic officials and lawmakers intensively to have the bill scrapped. They argue that a circumcision ban would constitute a death sentence for Jewish community life in Iceland, where 200 Jews live, and set a precedent for attempts elsewhere to ban circumcision and thus endanger religious freedoms.

Last week, officials from Iceland’s Government Agency for Child Protection – an advisory body whose policy is independent from the government — said it will not support the bill if it is brought to a vote.
Israeli and Czech aerospace giants cooperate on new attack aircraft
Czech Republic-based Aero Vodochody and Israel Aerospace Industries have signed a partnership agreement to develop and market an advanced version of the L-159 trainer and light attack aircraft.

Vidochody, the largest Czech aircraft manufacturer and IAI will integrate new state-of-the-art avionics and other solutions on the L-159 platform and will jointly market the aircraft. The two also agreed to integrate IAI’s virtual training solutions as part of the L-39NG training system to enhance pilot training.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Together with IAI, Aero will be ready to offer aircraft with the best available technology. The agreement brings us together with a strong international partner with access to new potential customers,” said Giuseppe Giordo, Aero Vodochody president and CEO.

The L-159 is a light multi-role combat aircraft designed for air-to-air, airto- ground and reconnaissance missions. It has been successfully operated and tested in NATO joint operations, Red Air exercises as well as real combat missions.
Israeli intelligence company mining Facebook for counterterrorism data
An Israeli cyber-intelligence company is offering facial recognition counterterrorism services based on tens of thousands of photos and videos it has siphoned from the internet — including from social media giant Facebook, which is currently struggling to defend its reputation for protecting users’ privacy.

Netanya-based Terrogence, co-founded by former Israeli intelligence officer Shai Arbel, offers a range of products and reports based on data and facial identification that it openly admits to having harvested from sites such as Facebook and YouTube and other internet forums, Forbes reported last week.

Terrogence has been marketing its facial recognition service, called Face-Int, for at least the past five years.

According to the company website about Face-Int, “Terrogence actively monitors and collects online profiles and facial images of terrorists, criminals and other individuals believed to pose a threat to aviation security, immigration and national security.”

“The Face-IntTM database houses the profiles of thousands of suspects harvested from such online sources as YouTube, Facebook and open and closed forums all over the globe. It represents facial extractions from over 35,000 videos and photos retrieved online portraying such activities as terrorist training camps, motivational videos and actual terror attacks,” the site boasts.
Beijing Science Park to Open Office in Tel Aviv, as Tech Ties Grow between Israel and China
Beijing’s ZhongGuanCun Science Park (Z-Park) will open a liaison office in its “twin city” of Tel Aviv, Beijing Vice Mayor Yin Hejun announced during an April 8 meeting of Beijing officials and Z-Park executives with Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Doron Sapir.

The new Israeli liaison office will serve as an initial base for Chinese companies seeking to do business in Israel, and for Israeli companies seeking business opportunities in China.

ZhongGuanCun, “China’s Silicon Valley,” is home to nearly 20,000 high-tech enterprises including Lenovo, Baidu and Xiaomi, as well as about 40 colleges and universities, 200 scientific institutions including the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 67 state-level laboratories, 27 national engineering research centers, 28 national engineering and technological research centers, 24 university science and technology parks and 29 overseas student pioneer parks.

“Last year, the combined turnover of high-tech industries in Z-Park exceeded 5 trillion RMB (almost $800 billion),” said Hejun.

“In recent years we established 10 liaison offices of the park worldwide, including the USA. Today we announce the 11th office in Tel Aviv. We know how famous Tel Aviv is for its innovation, and openness to new ideas. We have a lot to learn from you.”
Israel researchers use electronic nose, urine test to detect early breast cancer
Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Center in Tel Aviv say they have developed a new and accurate way to screen for early breast cancer, using an electronic nose to analyze breath and a urine test analysis.

In their study, published in Computers in Biology and Medicine, the researchers said the methods they used allowed them to isolate relevant data and thereby more accurately identify breast cancer biomarkers.

The study showed that the researchers managed to detect breast cancer with more than 95 percent average accuracy using two inexpensive commercial electronic noses (e-nose) that identified unique breath patterns in women with breast cancer. In addition, they used gas-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to analyze substances found in urine. The statistical analyses of urine samples submitted by both healthy patients and those diagnosed with breast cancer yielded 85 percent average accuracy, they researchers said.
Jerusalem gearing up for Giro
Things are heating up, in the best sense of the term – cycling- wise – in Jerusalem.

Last week we had the inaugural GFNY “cycling marathon” in and around the city. Over 1,300 cyclists of varying levels of athletic prowess took part in the 70 km. and 130 km. heats, with some of the cream of the local two-wheeler community – and quite a few top foreigners – taking the opportunity to whiz through the capital, and up and down the beautiful and sometimes pretty challenging Jerusalem Hills.

You could say that this event has helped to put Jerusalem well and truly on the international cycling map. But, just in case it didn’t quite do it, next Friday (May 4) the Giro d’Italia, one of the top three road cycling races in the world, will kick off from this fair city of ours.

It is a great thrill knowing that the likes of British four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome; current Giro title defender Tom Dumoulin from the Netherlands; stellar Colombian rider Esteban Chaves; Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, who placed third in the 2014 Tour de France; and Simon Yates from the UK, who finished last year’s Tour in seventh place, will be careening their way through the streets of Jerusalem in just a few days’ time.

One of my long-held dreams is to witness the Tour de France firsthand and, possibly, to complete one of the stages – naturally, not while the superhuman professionals are doing their thing.

But seeing some of the iconic riders close up, and pedaling my way along parts of the time-trial route that signals the curtain raiser of the 2018 Giro d’Italia, isn’t bad for starters.
Shalom Bollywood: The Jewish Contribution to India’s Film Industry
The Jewish contribution to the Bollywood movie industry is explored exhaustively by Danny Ben-Moshe in his intriguing documentary, Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema, which will be screened at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on May 6 and 9.

From the 1920s until the 1960s, several of its leading ladies and one of its male stars were native Indian Jews. Actresses like Ruby Myers, Esther Victoria Abraham and Florence Ezekiel, all of whom adopted Hindu pseudonyms, played vamps and lit up the screen with their sexuality. David Abraham Cheulkar shot to fame as a legend in his own time.

As Ben-Moshe observes, Jewish women like Myers, Abraham and Ezekiel achieved stardom because they were at the right place at the right time. Hindu, Muslim and Christian women were discouraged from pursuing a career in acting, leaving the field open to males who portrayed females and Jews who pretended to be Hindus.

Ben-Moshe, an Australian filmmaker, spices up his film with excerpts from Indian movies, which are excessively melodramatic and saccharine by today’s standards. But that’s what Indian moviegoers apparently demanded and got in spades.

Myers, who hailed from the Baghdadi community, was known as Sulochana to her legion of fans. “She had luminous eyes, like the stars,” says an Indian actor and screenwriter whose mother was an actress. “She was gorgeous, you couldn’t take your eyes off her.”
At moving ‘Schindler’s List’ reunion, Spielberg hails film as his greatest pride
Steven Spielberg says no film has affected him the way “Schindler’s List” did.

Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and others reunited for a 25th anniversary screening of “Schindler’s List” at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, in an evening that had obvious meaning to Spielberg and the hushed, awed crowd that packed New York’s Beacon Theater. In a Q&A following the film, Spielberg said it was the first time he had watched “Schindler’s List” with an audience since it was released in 1993.

“I have never felt, since ‘Schindler’s List,’ the kind of pride and satisfaction and sense of real, meaningful accomplishment — I haven’t felt that in any film post-‘Schindler’s List,'” Spielberg said.

The reunion was a chance for Spielberg and the cast to reflect on the singular experience of making an acknowledged masterwork that time has done little to dull the horror of, nor its necessity. “It feels like five years ago,” Spielberg said of making the film.

Spielberg shot the film in Krakow, Poland, in black-and-white and without storyboards, instead often using hand-held cameras to create a more documentary-like realism. Neeson remembered Spielberg running with a camera and, on the fly, directing him and Kingsley down Krakow streets. “It was exciting. It was dangerous and unforgettable,” Neeson said.

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