Wednesday, June 13, 2018

06/13 Links Pt2: Bill to Counter Palestinian Textbooks That ‘Demonize Israel’ Introduced in Congress; The Palestinians’ ‘Kitetifada’ deserves an ignoble prize

From Ian:

Bipartisan Bill to Counter Palestinian Textbooks That ‘Demonize Israel’ Introduced in Congress
Members of Congress have brought forward a bipartisan bill to review textbooks and other materials used in Palestinian schools that have been accused of promoting extremism.

The Palestinian Authority Educational Curriculum Transparency Act — introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday by Rep. David Young (R-Iowa) — calls on the US State Department to annually verify whether educational resources published by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to encourage “violence or intolerance toward other nations or ethnic groups.”

The bill notes that despite being reformed in 2016 and 2017, Palestinian curriculums for grades 1 through 11 “fail to meet the international standards of peace and tolerance in educational materials established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.”

Textbooks used by the PA and the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) likewise “demonize Israel, encourage war, and teach children that Palestinian statehood can be achieved through violence,” it warns.

UNRWA — which has in the past asserted that its textbooks have been rigorously reviewed to ensure they are in line with UN standards — maintains 349 schools in the Palestinian territories, with 240,400 students in Gaza and 50,000 students in the West Bank.

If passed, the State Department will be required to inform Congress whether any US foreign aid was used to fund the inciting materials, and of any steps the PA and UNRWA have taken to address the situation.
False Terminology and the Delegitimization of Israel
Furthermore, when Israel pre-empts attacks, it is the aggressor, when it responds to attacks, its response is disproportionate, when it is attacked, it deserves little sympathy because of the occupation. In effect, the liberal media whitewashes the disproportionality of the Islamic terror onslaught on Israeli Jews as a “natural response” to “settlement growth” or “glimmering hopes of peace”, while requiring Israel to adhere to artificial under-proportionality “norms” when dealing with the homicidal national security threats.

This is not neutral reporting, this a concerted effort to create an anti-Israel bias and resentment, bordering on incitement.

Then there are false clichés and expressions that are used left and right. Take the “peace process”, for example. No sane person would choose war over peace, yet if the “peace process” is in fact a cynical euphemism for Israeli land surrender without enforceable long-term security guarantees, no sane person would support it, unless, like many Western liberals, he believes that the land is stolen in the first place.

Despite the obvious falsity of this claim, it is impossible to fully rebut it as long as one continues to call the land “Palestine” and the Arabs “Palestinians”. The same goes for other liberal mantras, such as the “two-state solution” rather than proposal, the “cycle of violence”, which is equates terrorism with self-defense and security measures, or the “land-for-peace” formula, which has the accuracy of a Russian roulette.

The unravelling of these false myths will not come about until the false terminology is unravelled together with them. All those who value truth and integrity must call these terms for what they are: false euphemisms, misnomers or canards.

Once the anti-Israel jargon is replaced with the historically accurate, logical and balanced terminology, the demonization and delegitimisation of Israel would lose its appeal for the decent but largely ignorant majority, and the unique story of Israel as a nation risen from the ashes of the Holocaust and the two thousand years of exile would give inspiration and hope to people around the world.
The Palestinians’ ‘Kitetifada’ deserves an ignoble prize
With Hamas’s “Kitetifada,” Palestinians are pushing new frontiers in terrorism, again – while giving nationalism a bad name, again.

It’s become a routine surprise to watch the world overlook Palestinians’ assaults on international norms. One day their goons threaten Argentinean soccer stars – and everybody blames Miri Regev for the “Messi mess.” (Even while criticizing her grandstanding, let’s acknowledge that boycotters don’t need her to prompt their thuggishness.) Before and after that debacle, Palestinians violate the Geneva Convention’s ban on attacking foodstuffs or crops, and everybody blames Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu for the American embassy to Jerusalem move.

We should be used to this selective perception and moral prosecution-as-persecution. Still, it’s disappointing that many who renounce nationalism because they dislike Trump’s aggressiveness nevertheless tolerate Palestinians’ violence.

It’s become one of this spring’s big underreported stories. Once again being honest, exposing the “March of Return” as an attempt to destroy its neighbor, Hamas launched hundreds of combustible, often poisonous kites and balloons.

The kites – in a touch no novelist or anti-Palestinian propagandist would dare concoct – were exposed by Adele Raemer of Kibbutz Nirim and other intrepid bloggers as gifts from the Japanese people to Gaza’s children. While Israel’s air defenses have intercepted as many as 500 burning kites, another 300 or so have set more than 270 fires, destroying 2,510 hectares of land, including vast parts of the Be’eri Crater Nature Reserve. Once known for its red carpets of anemones every February, its gazelles, its porcupines, its turtles, the reserve is now scarred by tens of hectares of newly blackened wasteland.

The Geneva Convention’s 1977 protocols proclaim: “It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works... whatever the motive.”

Caroline Glick: Prince William's Problematic Itinerary in Israel
Every year, the British government spends millions of pounds funding radical, political NGOs that advance the international boycott of Israel, reject Israel’s right to exist, use the Israeli court system to stymie government operations, demonize the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and incite Arab Israelis to reject their Israeli identity.

After his visit to Tel Aviv-Jaffa, William will spend a day in the Palestinian Authority-run areas, celebrating Palestinian culture. He will visit Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who recently said that Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves by serving as money lenders.

On Sunday, hundreds of Hezbollah supporters marched through London for the annual “Quds Day” march, founded by the Iranian regime in 1979. Iran’s role in organizing the event was exposed by the fact that it began outside the Saudi embassy in London. Tehran, a bitter foe of Saudi Arabia, used the occasion to chastise the Saudi government for its operational ties with Israel.

The event featured an address by disgraced Anglican priest Stephen Sizer. In 2015, Sizer accused Israel of responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S.

The British government, like the rest of the European Union, permits Hezbollah to operate openly. It makes an artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s “political” wing, which is legal, and its so-called “military” wing, which is labelled a terror group. British Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has referred to Hezbollah terrorists as “my friends.”

As Netanyahu’s enthusiastic response to the initial news that Prince William would be breaking the royal family’s 70 year boycott of Israel indicated, Israel is always happy to strengthen its ties to Britain.

Unfortunately, Prince William’s deeply political and hostile “historic” visit indicates that ending the royal boycott is not a sign that Britain has turned over a new leaf in its hostile and contemptuous — treatment of the Jewish state.
Elliott Abrams: Prince William (and the Foreign Office) in Jerusalem
As former holders of the Palestinian Mandate, the British above all others should know that the Old City of Jerusalem was never “Palestinian territory.” It was Jordanian territory until 1967, and has never been under Palestinian sovereignty for one single day. The British might have said the Prince was visiting “Jerusalem” without saying more. To call a visit to the Old City instead a visit to “Occupied Palestinian territory” is deeply and probably intentionally offensive—and plain wrong. It is in fact one thing to say that the UK does not regard East Jerusalem as settled Israeli territory and that its fate will be decided in peace negotiations, and quite another to call it “Occupied Palestinian territory.”

This episode has made me agree entirely with David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, that the United States should stop using the term “occupied territory” to describe any part of Jerusalem or the West Bank. Call it “disputed territory,” which it certainly is, or just say “East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which Palestinians claim as part of an eventual Palestinian state.” Legally, it is hard to see how land that was once Ottoman, then governed by Britain under a League of Nations mandate, then Jordanian, can be “Occupied Palestinian territory” anyway.

The visit by Prince William has been damaged by the Foreign Office, but it is still a step forward after 70 years of refusals to make an official visit at all. One hopes that during the Prince’s visit to Israel, someone—perhaps the Chief Rabbi—will tell him what was the fate of East Jerusalem before Israel conquered it in 1967: no access at all for Jews, no protection for Jewish holy sites, vast destruction of Jewish holy and historical locations. The Prince will visit the Mount of Olives. Perhaps he might be told what occurred during the Jordanian period, as described by the Jewish Virtual Library:

All but one of the thirty five synagogues within the Old City were destroyed; those not completely devastated had been used as hen houses and stables filled with dung-heaps, garbage and carcasses. The revered Jewish graveyard on the Mount of Olives was in complete disarray with tens of thousands of tombstones broken into pieces to be used as building materials and large areas of the cemetery leveled to provide a short-cut to a new hotel. Hundreds of Torah scrolls and thousands of holy books had been plundered and burned to ashes.
Who will brief Prince William on Jerusalem’s history, geography? Not Israel
An employee at the British Consulate- General in Jerusalem is expected to give Prince William a briefing on the history of Jerusalem during his visit at the end of the month, thereby side-stepping the politically charged question of whether he will get this briefing from an Israeli or Palestinian guide or scholar, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Kensington Palace released an itinerary on Sunday for William’s trip to “Jordan, Israel and The Occupied Palestinian Territories.” He is scheduled to arrive in Israel on the evening of June 25, arriving from two days in Jordan.

He will leave Israel on June 28.

According to the statement, on June 28 the program “in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will begin with a short briefing on the history and geography of Jerusalem’s Old City from a viewing point at the Mount of Olives.”

A spokesman for the Consulate-General would not say who would be giving the “short briefing,” or whether it would be an Israeli or a Palestinian.

Later, however, the Post learned that it would likely be a consulate employee to avoid having to “take sides” on who would present the history.
Yisrael Medad: On A Name Change: Judea and Samaria
I, along with many others, refer to areas of the historic Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael), that region which the international legal and diplomatic community in 1920 (San Remo) and 1922 (League of Nations) recognized should be reconstituted as the Jewish National Home, which lie outside the borders of sovereign Israel, as Judea and Samaria.

They were termed that even in the United Nations' partition plan.

Historical geography experts attest to the use of Judea and Samaria throughout the ages.

We all know that Palestine as the name for the country began in 135 CE by Roman occupiers.

Filastin is not even an Arabic word.

But for many, the area is either the West Bank or Palestinian Territories (see the itinerary of Prince William's upcoming visit).

The West Bank was coined only in April 1950 when Jordan, the illegal occupier, annexed the region and so called it.

Is there hope that the original genuine terms will return?
Sajid Javid 'to proscribe Hezbollah in full later this year'
Sajid Javid will take steps to proscribe anti-Israel Islamists Hezbollah later this year and act where his predeccesor failed to, a senior Conservative source has said.

The JC understands Mr Javid vowed to take “decisive action” over the Iranian-backed organisation ahead of last weekend’s Al Quds Day march in London, where Hezbollah flags were once again flown.

Hezbollah's military wing was banned as a terror group in Britain in 2008 but a legal loophole allows supporters to fly the flags at events such as last Sunday's rally, because Hezbollah's political arm is not banned.

The Home Office has the power to ban the political wing and thereby proscribe the group in its entirety.

A Tory source told the JC: "Sajid is a very different beast to the Home Secretary he has just replaced.

“Amber Rudd spoke repeatedly about taking action over Hezbollah – but for whatever reason was not able to get around to doing anything.

“Sajid has vowed to take decisive action on the matter. He will make this very clear over the forthcoming weeks.”
Stopping Hezbollah marching through London - Al-Quds Protest 2018
On Sunday a number of courageous Jews and concerned people decided to stop Hezbollah marching at the annual al-Quds protest in London. To begin with brave politicians and community leaders spoke out against Hezbollah to a packed counter protest. While in the al-Quds event hate preachers called for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel. Not willing to just sit by as extremists called for the deaths of Jews. A number of activists and concerned citizens blocked Hezbollah from marching to their destination. We would like to thank everyone that opposed this hateful march. It will not happen again. This time next year Hezbollah will be proscribed. Thank you to Maajid Nawaz, Matthew Offord, Gideon Falter, Paul Charney and the Zionist Federation, Sussex Friends of Israel, North West Friends of Israel, North London Friends of Israel and all of the Zionists that stopped the extremists from marching.

Ontario premier-elect says he will ban ‘anti-Semitic’ Quds Day rally
The incoming head of Ontario’s local government said he will work to ban an annual anti-Israel rally from taking place in Toronto in the future, after a speaker at a march last week called for the “eradication” of Zionists.

The promise from Doug Ford, premier-elect of the Canadian province, came after a Jewish group complain ed over Al-Quds Day rally that took place in the provincial capital Toronto on Saturday.

“Our government will take action to ensure that events like Al-Quds Day, which calls for the killing of an entire civilian population in Israel, are no longer part of the landscape in Ontario,” Doug Ford posted on Twitter on Sunday.

The Iran-initiated annual day of worldwide protest takes place on the last Friday of Ramadan, and usually features flags of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah and sees calls for Israel’s destruction from speakers and activists.

Ford, who is due to assume office at the end of June, called the Toronto rally “racist” and “anti-Semitic.”

“Blatantly racist or anti-Semitic ideology should never be permitted on the grounds of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, or anywhere else in in [sic] our province,” he wrote.
Al Quds Day at Queen’s Park: Toronto or Tehran?
Al Quds Day is allegedly about showing solidarity for the Palestinian people.

But it’s really nothing more than a hate-fest directed against Israel and Jews, and this odious spectacle returned to Toronto last Saturday.

Watch as I show you the kind of behaviour and rhetoric we encountered while trying to cover the event and ask people why they were there.
Al Quds Day at Queen’s Park: Toronto or Tehran?

Eurovision Winner Netta Barzilai Tells Israel’s Boycotters: ‘Hate and Revenge Won’t Lead to Anything’
The winner of this year’s Eurovision singing competition, Israel’s Netta Barzilai, has a message for those supporting boycotts of the Jewish state.

“Boycotting, hate and revenge won’t lead to anything,” she told the UK’s Jewish Chronicle, in an interview published on Monday. “It leads nowhere. Talking, speaking and communicating leads somewhere. Boycotting doesn’t help.”

She added, “[Israel] deserves all the tourists. I think people should come and enjoy our amazing country. I’ve lived in it for 25 years and I still think it’s the best place in the entire world.”

Eurovision is held annually in the home country of the previous year’s winner. The competition was held in Jerusalem in 1979 and 1999, and The Algemeiner previously reported that there have already been calls by some people to boycott next year’s contest.

Barzilai said she typically tries to not talk about politics, specifically the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but she thinks her Eurovision win “has made so many hearts come closer.” She also told The Jewish Chronicle, “If I speak politically about whatever opinion that I have, it will ruin it, it will ruin the winning for someone. It [the winning] is everybody’s. Everybody needs to be happy about it, everybody deserves to be happy about it. So I try for myself and for everybody else to keep myself out of it. And this is very right and true because I am a musician. It’s not my job.”
FIFA votes against Palestinian-led amendment to its constitution
The international soccer organization FIFA announced on Wednesday that it would be taking disciplinary steps against Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), for threatening Lionel Messi, the star striker of the Argentinian soccer team.

Rajoub had urged fans to burn pictures and shirts of Messi if he played in a friendly soccer game against Israel in Jerusalem that was canceled. Pro-Palestinian protesters had also demonstrated outside practices of the Argentinian team in Spain.

Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev called Rajoub a terrorist and said she felt vindicated by the decision. She had been saying since the cancellation that it was due to the threats against Messi, while her political opponents charged that it was because she moved the game from Haifa to Jerusalem.

“Rajoub has made the soccer playing field into a battlefield,” Regev told the Knesset plenum after holding up a poster of Palestinian threats against Messi. “The Argentinians wanted the game to be in Jerusalem and FIFA wanted it to be in Jerusalem, so those who said it was canceled because of Jerusalem and not terror threats must apologize.”

After being heckled by opposition MKs, who still blamed her for the game’s cancellation, Regev went on the offensive against them.

“Bloodthirsty journalists who don’t care about the truth, and opposition MKs who are disconnected from reality tried to hang me in the town square,” she charged.

This is not the first time Israel was targeted by the PFA nor was it the first time Rajoub was vocal about the Israel Football Association (IFA). Last week, The IFA planned to file a formal complaint with FIFA over the cancellation of a friendly match between Israel and Argentina, which the latter association was using as a World Cup warm-up.

FIFA’s World Congress rejected on Wednesday the PFA’s call to amend its constitution with language that seemingly targets Israel.

In a vote of 156 opposed (82% of those voting) to 35 in favor, FIFA’s congress voted decidedly against the PFA proposal, which would add a clause to Article 3 of FIFA's constitution. The amendment called for repercussions against countries, saying that: “Failure to recognize, respect, protect, guarantee and defend human rights in accordance with international standards, as well as any violation of them, is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters “Clearly I Am Not An Antisemite”
Earlier this month, at his Berlin concert, rock’n’roll BDS-hole Roger Waters yet again brought up the topic of BDS as he urged artists to boycott the upcoming Pop-Kultur festival (some artists have heeded his call).

He then proceeded to deny he is antisemitic, claiming “I don’t even come close to having a single antisemitic bone in my body.”

This is not the first time he has brought his tolerant bones into it.

I am guessing at least one antisemitic bone made him feel the need to launch into the diatribe about “Mrs Goldstein” and her Jewish organization as part of that story.

And then there’s all those other bones.
Israeli orchestra disinvited from Spanish city
A Spanish municipality disinvited an Israeli orchestra and ballet group from its autumn cultural program.

Oviedo, saying “Israeli organizations are not wanted” in its premises, canceled the participation of the Netanya Chamber Orchestra and the ballet group last week, the news site IsraelValley reported.

In 2016, an administrative court in the northern Spanish city ruled that a motion in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, against Israel that was passed early that year by the City Council of Langreo, also in the north, was discriminatory and must be scrapped.

Last month, the City Council of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, passed a motion declaring a boycott of Israel and Valencia a “Israeli apartheid-free zone.” A local fraction of the far-left Podemos, Spain’s third-largest party, promoted the motion.

Last week, the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias Turrión called the Jewish state a “criminal country” during an interview aired by the public television broadcaster RTVE.

“We need to act more firmly on an illegal country like Israel,” said Iglesias Turrión, whose party in 2015 won 20 percent of the votes in the general election just one year after its creation.

Podemos has called for a blanket boycott of Israel and accused its government many times of pursuing apartheid-like policies. However, calling Israel’s existence illegal is a new development.
Paris suburb removes sign for ‘Nakba Lane’ after complaints
A Paris suburb has removed a plaque renaming a street after the “nakba” — an Arabic word that means “catastrophe” and which Palestinians use to denote Israel’s creation — following protests from French Jewish groups and Israeli officials.

Dominique Lesparre, the Communist mayor of Bezons, on Monday officially renamed a street near city hall “Allee de la Nakba” (Nakba Lane) to commemorate the fleeing and expulsions of Palestinians during the 1948 War of Independence that led to Israel’s founding.

Plaques in French and Arabic read: “In memory of the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 532 villages in 1948 by the war criminal David Ben Gurion for the creation of the State of Israel,” referring to Israel’s first prime minister.

Police sources told AFP the plaques had been covered with graffiti by Tuesday morning.

The city later removed the plaques after a request by the top central government official for the Val-d’Oise region, who said they could “seriously disrupt public order.”
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
This week the fellahs, Michael Burd and Alan Freedman, begin their discussion with Christian Zionist William F Callahan who relates his feelings about the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, and then hear from former politician and now commentator Einat Wilf who has some views on the Gaza violence.

They catch up with Nima Gholam Ali Pour in Malmo Sweden on the situation regarding the effects of mass immigration from the MJews, and then hear some good news stories from Israel with former Kiwi Michael Kuttner.

3 min Editorial: Limmud Oz 2018
11 min William F Callahan, Christian Zionist
25 min Einat Wilf, on Gaza violence
51 min Nima Gholam Ali Pour, Swedish ,Malmo commentator anti-antisemitism and Islamic Immigration a serious problem
1 hr 13 Michael Kuttner, former Kiwi now Israeli commentator
MESA Opposes Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: No Surprise
Why does the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), a nonprofit academic organization that says it commends efforts to “combat discrimination and harassment against Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and other students on U.S. college campuses,” oppose the latest effort to crack down on anti-Semitism?

In response to the near doubling of anti-Semitic incidents for the second year in a row, Congress has drafted the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018, or AAA. MESA’s president and executive director responded with a sophomoric letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, dated June 4, 2018, warning that the law will have a “chilling effect” on free speech and hinting that mysterious forces “outside of academia” are behind it.

Yet both the House (H.R. 5924) and Senate (S.2940) versions of the AAA do nothing more than provide the Office for Civil Rights a way to identify and evaluate anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which requires schools receiving federal funds to prevent harassment based on race, color or national origin.

MESA’s charge that the law hinders “constitutionally protected free speech and academic freedom rights at institutions of higher education” is a red herring. Free speech and academic freedom are not the same. Any academic who completes mandatory Title IX training (as I did last week) knows that the first amendment protects speech that college campuses will not tolerate.

The letter obfuscates the definition of “Anti-Semitism” by objecting to the AAA’s reliance on an Obama-era State Department Fact Sheet (dated June 8, 2010, not June 10 as MESA’s letter states). Although the fact sheet follows Natan Sharansky’s 3D test for anti-Semitism (Demonizing Israel, applying a Double Standard for Israel and Delegitimizing Israel), it also specifically states that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”
Israeli minister threatens to sue Twitter over Hamas, Hezbollah accounts
Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan implored the CEO of social media giant Twitter to cut-off the mouthpieces for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

The three organizations are deemed to be terrorist groups, not only by Israel, but also by the European Union and the US.

“I am certain that you do not wish to be responsible for supporting and enabling terrorist organizations who are actively engaged in inciting and executing attacks against innocent civilians,” Erdan wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday. “Enabling terrorist organizations to operate freely and spread their messages via your platform may be a violation of existing Israeli law regarding providing support to terrorist organizations.”

Erdan noted that unlike other social media networks – such as Facebook and Google – Twitter hasn’t been so willing to cooperate with Israeli government requests to remove questionable content.

Israel often requests that social media companies remove content which incites and promotes violence and terrorism.
German politicians want Iran-regime center ousted over antisemitism
Politicians in the northern German city of Hamburg rekindled on Monday a call from last year to cancel the city’s contract with an Iranian-regime controlled institution because it participated in the annual al-Quds Day rally in Berlin, which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

"The right of Israel's existence belongs to the national interest of Germany. Whoever does not recognize this and carries out anti-Israel agitation can, in the view of German historical responsibility, not be a contractual partner of our state," said André Trepoll, the head of the Christian Democratic Union party faction in Hamburg, in an interview with the Hamburger Abendblatt paper on Monday. Trepoll added that the Iranian regime-controlled Islamic Center of Hamburg "proved again with its continued participation in the al-Quds march that a state agreement cannot be made with the center."

He said the "Shura" must eject the Islamic Center from its organization. Shura is an Arabic word usually defined as "consultation" and is a way for creating organization among Islamic organizations and mosques. The Shura has previously called on the Islamic Center to not participate in the al-Quds Day march.

Hamburg’s social democratic government negotiated a 2012 agreement with Muslim organizations that pledged common values and peaceful activities and tolerance. The contract says the Islamic Center of Hamburg agreed to “international understanding and tolerance toward other cultures, religions and world views.”
Anti-Semitic vandals hit shop in Italy; Holocaust monuments in France, Holland
A barbershop in Italy, and Holocaust monuments in the Netherlands and France were targeted in separate incidents deemed anti-Semitic.

The perpetrators of the incident involving Gianni Errichiello’s barbershop in a northern suburb of Turin in northern Italy torched a car parked in front of the establishment on Marconi Square. They splashed red paint on the shuttered blinds of the barbershop of Errichiello, who is not Jewish. And they attached a piece of printer paper on which was printed: “This shop belongs to a Jew,” Corriere de la Sera reported Tuesday.

Errichiello told the paper that he could think of no one who would want to threaten him. Police are investigating the incident, which occurred earlier this week late at night. The arsoned car does not belong to Errichiello, according to La Stampa.

Separately, in Paris, unidentified individuals removed a commemorative plaque that education ministry officials put up at the Ave Maria public elementary school for Jewish children who were deported from there and murdered during the Holocaust, Le Parisien last week reported.

The perpetrators did not damage any other object on the building’s façade, raising the suspicion that their action was an anti-Semitic incident. The Ave Maria school is located at the 4th District of Paris, or the Marais – the city’s historic Jewish quarter. The district’s mayor, Ariel Weil, who is Jewish, called the incident “shameful.”
Welcome to the Anne Frank House Virtual Reality Tour
The Anne Frank House museum and game developer Force Field VR have collaborated to recreate the hiding place in the attic of an old Amsterdam office building where the Frank family lived from July 6, 1942 until they were discovered by the Nazis on August 4, 1944.

The new, immersive virtual-reality experience takes visitors inside the Secret Annex. There are family photographs to the walls, beds and pillows, piles of books on the floor, and, laying on top of a desk, are Anne’s famous diary and some letters which are still being written, apparently.

The full VR tour offers quotes from Anne’s diary, and takes about 25 minutes to complete. Download here. Visit the VR website here.

From other end of world, group races to preserve Middle East’s Jewish heritage
Even at the time of the early Muslim empires in the 7th century, Jews had already been established in Arab lands for hundreds of years.

Vibrant communities flourished throughout the Middle East, with synagogues dotting the skylines of major cities from Algiers to Aleppo.

Over time, the Jews built up an extensive cultural legacy — a cemetery in Sudan; Hebrew-language inscriptions in Iraq; hidden fortresses of ancient Israelites in Saudi Arabia. Around the time of Israel’s establishment in 1948, however, things took a turn for the worse as Jews were forced to flee the Muslim-majority countries.

Now, as climate change, human development and terrorism threaten to obliterate what remains, one nonprofit organization is racing to safeguard this legacy before it’s too late.

Since 2010, Boston-based Diarna (“our home” in Judeo-Arabic) has used the latest in 3-D digital mapping technology alongside traditional scholarship and oral interviews to document more than 2,500 Jewish sites in the Middle East and North Africa.

Many of these sites are found in Morocco (460), Iraq (352), Algeria (320), Yemen (301), Tunisia (231) and Syria (63).
Following in Jesus’ footsteps to serve in the IDF
Simon Zauber believes serving in the IDF is his way of following in Jesus’ footsteps.

“We were raised in believing in Jesus and to follow his footsteps and what he did was serve so for me it’s very important to serve, in any way I can,” the 19-year-old Givati soldier originally from North Carolina told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Zauber is a Messianic Jew, Christians who believe that Jesus, or Yeshua, is the Messiah and is the only path to redemption. There are an estimated 20,000 Messianic Jewish believers in Israel, but due to their beliefs have been subjected to discrimination, such as being ineligible to make aliya because it is not accepted that a Jew can believe in Jesus, even though they consider themselves to be Jewish.

“Israel is defending itself. It needs people and so I wanted to be in an army that actually needed somebody. It’s not as if I’m fighting on someone else’s ground, it’s a fight for survival. This is God’s land and this is God’s people and in the end I’d rather fight for God’s land and God’s people rather than in America,” he said.

His upbringing as a Messianic Jew had a major impact on his decision to come to Israel and serve in the IDF, Zauber told the Post, explaining that while he did not initially plan to come to Israel he changed his mind in the middle of his final semester at university.

“I felt that God was talking to me and that he was going to reveal something to me. When I was opening up my scriptures I would always read stuff about Israel and then my parents started talking about Israel and I felt that God was calling me to Israel.”
Against the Tide – The Israeli Minorities Proud to Serve their Country
We Are All Zionists

Among the many events celebrated in the State of Israel marking the 70th anniversary of its independence was one particular event, modest and unique, and perhaps even historical. An event that took place as a private initiative, but reflected very positive processes that have been going on in Israeli society in recent years.

A day after Israel’s main Independence Day celebrations, Rabbi Yaakov Kirmayer, the head of the Yakir organization, initiated an event dedicated entirely to minorities who see themselves as an inseparable part of the State of Israel and operate in this spirit.

The Shai Agnon Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood saw its traditional Jewish worshipers on that morning, but the main lines were occupied by guests, some of whom were in a synagogue for the first time.

In attendance were a distinguished group of Christians and Druze from the South Lebanese Army (SLA) Society who have tied their fate with the fate of the State of Israel; Representatives of the Bedouin community in the north, and Israeli Arabic-speaking Christians from the Galilee; Members of the Israeli Druze community; and there was an Arab-Muslim soldier from one of the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, who is about to finish Officers’ training course in the IDF.

The event was also attended by the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Yael Antebi and City Council member Dan Illouz. The event opened with a speech by Rabbi Kirmayer, who spoke about the heroism and contribution of minorities and the opportunity to acknowledge them on the day of the State of Israel, the State of which they are an inseparable part.
Replica of Dutch synagogue destroyed in WWII opens near Jerusalem
An exact replica of a Dutch synagogue that was blown up during World War II was inaugurated in Israel, Tuesday.

Many Jews of Dutch ancestry celebrated the inauguration last week at Mevo Horon, a settlement in the West Bank near Jerusalem, the news website reported. The town’s Chasdei Enosh synagogue is an exact copy of the Terborg synagogue, which was destroyed in 1945 near the city of Arnhem in the eastern Netherlands.

The building project was the result of an effort by descendants of Jews from the Arnhem area.

Frank Levy, who was born in Arnhem and immigrated to Israel, said it was a “dream come true” to see the synagogue. A classic example of Moorish revival architecture, it is one of only a handful of synagogues built in Israel according to that style.

“The Germans tried to make this impossible,” said Levy about the German occupation forces, who, along with local collaborators, helped murder 75 percent of Dutch Jewry. “But here we are.”

Also in attendance was Pesach (Pascal) Pop, a nephew of Johan Cruyff, a legendary Dutch soccer player who died in 2016. A descendant of Jews who lived in the Arnhem area, he found the building’s blueprints while investigating his family’s history.

The region’s Holocaust victims are commemorated on a wall of the new synagogue.

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