Friday, July 20, 2018

From Ian:

David Singer: Trump and Putin may attempt a return to pre-PLO and Hamas days
The 1964 PLO Charter said: “This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area..." Good idea.

When Security Council Resolution 242 was passed on 22 November 1967:
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) was not the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs - having only being so appointed at the 7th Arab League Summit held in Rabat in October 1974.

Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) (“Territories”) were Jordanian citizens and possessed Jordanian passports following these Territories being unified with Transjordan on 24 April 1950 and subsequently being renamed Jordan.

The PLO was expressly not claiming territorial sovereignty in the Territories or Gaza - article 24 of the PLO Charter proclaiming:

“This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.

No additional Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – was contemplated.

Hamas had not been founded.

Resolution 242 still contains the only internationally agreed formula for peacefully ending the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

A conference to resolve this long-running conflict in accordance with Resolution 242 - co-chaired by America and Russia – would see Israel and every Arab State in the area attending but would exclude non-States PLO and Hamas.

Such a conference now looms as a possible Trump-Putin initiative - putting Trump’s unannounced “ultimate deal” on the backburner.

Going back to 1967 could indeed be the key to resolving the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Caroline Glick: Who is betraying America?
When Putin endorsed Israel’s position that the 1974 Syrian-Israeli disengagement agreement must be implemented along the border, he told the Iranians that in any Iranian-Israeli war in Syria, Putin will not side with Iran.

Time will tell if we just averted war. But what we did learn is that Israel’s position in a war with Iran is stronger than it could have been if the two leaders hadn’t met in Helsinki.

And this is exceedingly important.

Trump is being condemned for adopting a conciliatory tone towards Putin while employing a combative tone towards the Europeans and particularly Germany at the NATO summit. This criticism ignores how Trump operates in the international arena.

Trump views his exchanges with foreign leaders as separate engagements. He has goals he wishes to advance with China; with North Korea; with Russia; with Canada; with Mexico; with Europe; with Britain; with US Arab allies. In each separate engagement, Trump employs a combination of carrots and sticks. In each engagement he adopts a distinct manner that he believes advances his goals.

So far, unlike Obama’s foreign policy by this point in his presidency, none of Trump’s exchanges have brought disaster on America or its allies. To the contrary, America and its allies have much greater strategic maneuver room across a wide spectrum of threats and join adversaries than they had when Obama left office.

Trump’s opponents’ obsession with bringing him down has caused great harm to his presidency and to America’s position worldwide. It is a testament to Trump’s commitment to the US and its allies that he met with Putin this week. And the success of their meeting is something that all who care about global security and preventing a devastating war in the Middle East should be grateful for.
Melanie Phillips: Institutionalizing antisemitism in UK’s Labour Party
The Jewish leadership has always been nervous about linking Israel with antisemitism, believing that Israel merely “complicated” the issue. But today, it is the issue.

Now British Jews find themselves caught up in an internal Labour Party war over it. The real agony for them is that the climate in Britain has deteriorated to such a point that Labour feels licensed to treat British Jews – as Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said – with unprecedented contempt.

They plan a continuing campaign to get Labour to adopt the full IHRA definition. But that is to continue avoid confronting the elephant in the room.

This is the fact that so many on the progressive side of politics have swallowed the Big Lies about Israel. And that includes a dismaying number of British Jews themselves, who do things like recite kaddish for Hamas terrorists killed by Israel to prevent them murdering Israelis.

These Jews for Injustice against Jews who demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel provide cover for Labour’s new antisemitism. This stretches far beyond the Corbynite hard Left; it is in fact the default position for most of liberal and left-wing society.

The real task, therefore, is not to adopt the IHRA wording. It is to start telling the British public that virtually everything they hear about Israel from the media and intelligentsia is a lie; that anyone who supports Palestinianism is endorsing the most profound and demonic kind of antisemitism; and that Israel stands unambiguously for law, justice, truth and human rights, and that those who vilify it are themselves repudiating all these things.

Will British Jews finally step up to the plate and start saying all this? Unlikely. Why? It’s not just their timidity. They first need to start believing it themselves.

Teen Vogue Blames Israel for Problems Between American Police and American Communities of Color
The definition of antisemitism that was adopted by the Obama State Department included, “accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing … committed by non-Jews.” The misleadingly-named group “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP) has done just that with its “Deadly Exchange” Campaign, which puts the blame on an American Jewish organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the Jewish State of Israel for American problems between police and communities of color. JVP’s campaign has been called “undeniably [an] anti-Semitic libel designed to paint Jews with blood and hold Jews responsible for state violence.” In Teen Vogue’s latest piece on Israel, the publication has echoed JVP’s libels and distributed them to its audience of adolescents and 20-somethings. (“How Policing in the U.S. and Security in Israel Are Connected,” July 16, 2018.)

As CAMERA has previously documented, since at least December of 2016, Teen Vogue, ostensibly a fashion and beauty magazine, has published a number of biased articles about Israel. This past May, for example, CAMERA members compelled the publication to correct the patently false claim, made by one of its writers, that Israeli soldiers prevented her father from playing soccer at his West Bank home – during the Jordanian occupation of the territory, prior to 1967.

This week’s Teen Vogue column, like the JVP “Deadly Exchange” campaign, takes aim at a training program run by the ADL in which Israeli law enforcement groups help train their American counterparts in counter-terrorism. The purpose of the exchange is for American law enforcement officers “to learn how Israeli police, intelligence and security forces work to prevent terrorist attacks.” Yet JVP, and now Teen Vogue, have turned it into something sinister.

Jewish Voice for Peace even commended the author, Lincoln Anthony Blades, on Twitter, writing, “Incredible. Thank you. We launched with this identical framing.”
Time to Rethink Our Attitudes Toward Middle East Refugees
The international response to the Palestinian refugee issue holds many lessons, mostly negative, for the international community, particularly for Europe

The international response to the Palestinian refugee issue holds many lessons, mostly negative, for the international community, particularly for Europe, which is reeling from the political and financial impacts of refugees and migrants. First and foremost is that refugees and migrants should be repatriated if possible and otherwise resettled quickly in surrounding countries with similar cultures with their rights protected.

A second lesson is that relief organizations cannot be focused on a single population, which reduces the incentives for actually solving the problem. In the case of UNRWA this has entailed Palestinians taking over and running the organization; only a few hundred of the more than 30,000 employees are non-Palestinians. For the Syrian crisis this means maintaining the approach taken by UNHCR and providing for all populations equally.

A final lesson is to prevent the development of an entitlement mindset, which affects both recipients and donors alike. Palestinians cannot conceive of not receiving copious and open-ended aid. In turn, most Western donors cannot imagine not contributing to the world’s “longest refugee crisis,” meaning generations of virtue-signaling.

Large numbers of refugees and migrants in Europe are also displaying the same mindset, picking and choosing which countries provide the best benefits and showing little willingness to find employment or to integrate. Unless the means, and the will, can be found to force changes, the new refugee crises may be as long-lived as the Palestinian one.
Roman Holiday
When Titus walked into the Holy Sanctuary of the Temple in Jerusalem with his commanders in 70 C.E., he found it to be far superior to what he had previously heard, wrote Flavius Josephus, a Jewish priest and historian, in his book The Jewish War. Flames were consuming the adjacent rooms, but they had not reached the sanctuary yet. Titus ordered his soldiers to quench the fire, hoping to save the inner part of the Jewish temple. But, Josephus continues in his book, the Roman commander could not restrain the fury of the soldiers; one of them “threw the fire upon the hinges of the gate, in the dark, whereby the flame burst out from within the holy house immediately,” we read in William Whiston’s translation. “And thus was the holy house burnt down.”

After Titus returned to Rome, he was awarded the traditional triumphal ride on a chariot. The spoils from his conquest contributed to the building of the Roman Colosseum. Some of the relics taken from Jerusalem, including the massive, golden menorah, were paraded in the capital.

Josephus wrote his history just a few years later, in Rome. His real name was Yosef ben Matityahu, and he was born in Jerusalem in 37 C.E., but he relocated to the capital of the empire after betraying his own people and accepting the invitation of Titus.

The fascination with what happened to the menorah—more than any other relic taken from the Temple—following its arrival to Rome still lives on here, as it remains a mystery.
Resurgence of interest as 1492 expulsion anniversary approaches
When King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ousted approximately 200,000 Jews from Spain on Tisha B’Av 1492, they thought they had solved their Jewish problem. While 200,000 conversos/New Christians remained according to the Alhambra Decree of 1492, the Spanish monarchs believed without Jewish influence these New Christians would assimilate completely into Spanish Catholic society. Some did, but others only lived outwardly Christian lives, while secretly keeping whatever Jewish beliefs they could.

Ferdinand and Isabella’s back-up plan, the Inquisition, would take care of the “backsliding Christians”, ferreting out those unfaithful to Christianity through torture and execution. While exact numbers of Inquisition victims are not known, the sufferers included Crypto-Jews, Moors, witches, bigamists, priests who married, and more. The total executed through torture or Auto-da-fé ("act of faith" - burning at stake) varies dramatically between scholars, and might be as many as 300,000 from the beginning of its establishment in 1478 until the mid-1800s, when the Spanish Inquisition even followed suspects to the New World.

Despite Spain’s bloody and violent efforts, Crypto-Jews lived on. They eventually scattered from Spain throughout Europe, North Africa, and even fled to the New World with Christopher Columbus and other explorers and merchants.

Tisha B’Av, this year on Sunday July 22, memorializes the destruction of the two Holy Temples and a litany of disasters for the Jewish People. One such tragedy was the 1492 Spanish Expulsion of the largest Jewish community in the world from their homes.
Forward trilogy does not do archive saga justice
At first glance, it is heartwarming to see that Talya Zax, the culture editor of the Forward, has devoted a trilogy of articles to the saga of the Iraqi-Jewish archive, which the US has promised to return in September. But reader irritation and even anger soon begin to mount.

A crate of waterlogged items from the Iraqi-Jewish archive. The crate was marked with the name of Harold Rhode, an orthodox Jew working for the Pentagon in Baghdad in 2003, who first drew attention to the archive.

Firstly, Zax has got elementary facts wrong: the Babylonian exile began in 586 BCE, not in 596 BCE. The troubles of the Jews are said to have started in 1948, ie can be blamed on the creation of Israel - no mention of the 1941 Farhud in this context.Then the man who discovered the archive in the waterlogged basement of the secret police headquarters is not even named - Harold Rhode. The impression is given that members of the Iraqi National Congress were present at the salvage operation. (More accurately, Ahmed Chalabi facilitated it. Other key figures like Natan Sharansky are not given the credit they deserve.) The Hebrew inscription in the photo is not on the ceiling but the wall of Ezekiel's shrine ( bizarrely, the caption calls the site by its Muslim name, Dhu al Kifl).

But the most egregious omission is that nowhere in the three articles does Zax refer to the fact that the archive was not abandoned by departing Jews in the same way as they 'lost their life', homes, assets and property, but was physically seized by Saddam Hussein's regime. Witnesses watched aghast as Saddam's men carted off piles of books and documents from the ladies' gallery of the Bataween synagogue.The ownership of the archive ceases to be 'up for debate', but appears more of an open-and-shut case of brazen theft.The extraction from Iraq may have been legal, but was based on a false premise.
State Department says working to keep Iraqi Jewish Archive in US
The State Department said on Thursday it is working with Iraq to extend the stay of a trove of Jewish artifacts from the country, after a bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution recommending that the items not be returned as planned in September.

“We continue to work with the Government of Iraq and relevant stakeholder[s] to extend the exhibition in the US,” a State Department official told JTA in an email.

Last year, the State Department said that it would return the Iraqi Jewish Archive in September 2018, to the dismay of activists who argue that the collection of thousands of Jewish religious and personal items should be accessible to the Iraqi Jewish community, which fled the country amid anti-Semitic persecution.

On Wednesday, following discussions in the Senate, a group of lawmakers introduced a resolution recommending that the US renegotiate the archive’s return and keep them in the United States.
Seth Frantzman: Zuckerberg’s shameful whitewash of Holocaust denial
OVERALL IN America there is a decline in knowledge about the Holocaust. A Claims Conference survey published in April found shocking levels of ignorance. Eleven percent of US adults and 22% of Millennials hadn’t heard of the Holocaust. Forty-one percent of Millennials thought less than 2 million Jews had been murdered and many could not name a concentration camp.

Yet, at the same time, Holocaust imagery is common in the US. When the Trump administration began separating immigrant families there were numerous comparisons to Auschwitz and the Shoah. So Americans seem to downplay or lack knowledge about the Holocaust while at the same time often seeing analogies to the Holocaust in modern times.

Holocaust denial leeches onto this process, denying that Jews died and then claiming that the Shoah was part of a conspiracy to create Israel or enrich the Rothschilds, or something along those lines. Unfortunately, as social media becomes the primary source of news, sites like Facebook have an extraordinary power to decide what people see and learn. It appears that the one group that can be routinely attacked on Facebook is the Jews, whereas similar hatred directed against other groups is seen as more hateful.

The Facebook founder talked about “unintentional”– but Facebook allowed intentional ads targeting “Jew haters.” And Scientific American found in September that ads could be directed at those interested in “how to burn Jews” or about the “history of ‘why Jews ruin the world.’” That’s not unintentional; that is intentional hatred of Jews. And it’s not just hatred on the site, it’s targeting hate through advertising that the company profits from.

There’s an elephant in the room at Facebook – and it’s called a whitewashing of antisemitism. It is part of a generational change in the US and the West in which hatred of Jews is not being taken seriously and is being relegated to a different category than other types of racism and hatred. It is part of a larger struggle over intersectionality, where Jews are too often excluded as a category of people who suffer from hatred. Instead, hatred of other groups is better understood.

If Facebook wants to allow Holocaust denial, it has many reasons why it could, such as freedom of expression or because it views it as not an immediate actual threat. But to whitewash it as unintentional or to treat it as different than other types of hatred is unacceptable. Hatred is intentional. Holocaust denial is intentional. No one denies the Holocaust out of naivety. They deny it out of a carefully chosen reason to hate Jews. You can see that because it’s part of a larger worldview. It never stops as Holocaust denial – it always is part of a larger system of hatred and bigotry.
What Mark Zuckerberg Gets Dangerously Wrong about Holocaust Denial
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, recently defended his company’s policy of not removing posts denying the Holocaust, stating, “I don’t think that [the authors are] intentionally getting it wrong; . . . as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. . . . I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, ‘We’re going to take someone off the platform if he gets things wrong.’” Regardless of what Facebook’s policies should be, Deborah Lipstadt points to a dangerous flaw in Zuckerberg’s reasoning:

Deniers are a . . . type of neo-Nazi. . . . Wolves in sheep’s clothing, they don’t bother with the physical trappings of Nazism—salutes, songs, and banners—but proclaim themselves “revisionists”—serious scholars who simply wished to correct “mistakes” in the historical record. This is extremism posing as rational discourse. And his statements suggest that Zuckerberg has been duped by them into thinking that they’re any different than someone who proudly wears a swastika. . . .

In 2000, when I was on trial in London for libel, having been sued by David Irving—then one of the world’s leading Holocaust deniers—for having called him a denier in one of my books, my defense team tracked all of his “proofs” back to their sources and found that imbedded in each of his historical claims was a falsification, invention, distortion, change of date, or some other form of untruth. Once these lies were exposed, his argument [that he wrote history in good faith] collapsed. . . .

Holocaust denial is not about history. A form of anti-Semitism, it’s about attacking, discrediting, and demonizing Jews. The deniers’ claims—that the Jews planted evidence, got German prisoners of war to admit falsely to crimes, and forced postwar Germany to shoulder a tremendous financial and moral burden—are predicated on the notion of the mythical power of the Jews, which was extensive enough to realize this vast conspiracy. These assertions rely on classic anti-Semitic tropes, some of which are over 2,000 years old.
Not a single Labour MP joins hundreds of British Jews demonstrating against racist Labour in Parliament Square
Not a single Labour MP joined the 700 British Jews – and many non-Jews – who gathered this afternoon in Parliament Square to demonstrate against the institutional racism of the Labour Party.

While many Labour MPs were unable to be present due to prior commitments, the crowd was astonished to find that not a single Labour MP had joined them, with numerous speakers remarking that harassment of Labour MPs who attended previous demonstrations and the Labour Party’s disciplinary action against Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge for calling Jeremy Corbyn an “antisemite”, is chilling dissent in the Party.

The demonstrators called for a new law against discrimination in political parties due to Labour’s attempt to rewrite and butcher the International Definition of Antisemitism, and heard from speakers of all faiths decrying antisemitism in the Labour Party. Their message was clear and consistent: the Labour Party has now stooped so low that it is a racist, institutionally antisemitic organisation.

Addressing the crowd, LBC radio presenter Iain Dale revealed that he had never been to a protest, but felt compelled to stand in solidarity with British Jews, saying: “I have never ever been on a demonstration before. I have never spoken at a demonstration before. I am not a Jew. But you don’t have to be Jewish to recognise what is happening in the Labour Party.”

The demonstrators also heard from renowned libel lawyer Mark Lewis, who said: “I am a libel lawyer, but let me tell you that the words ‘Jeremy Corbyn is a racist’ are not defamatory, they’re true. If he wants to sue about that, he can do, but he is a racist, he leads a racist Party and anyone who supports that Party is supporting racism.”

Ghanem Nuseibeh, Chairman of Muslims Against Antisemitism, was cheered for telling antisemites in the Labour Party: “Do not hide behind pro-Arab, pro-Muslim or pro-Palestinian causes to justify your racism. We as Muslims do not need your support. We do not need the support of antisemites in the Labour Party.”
Facing Chorus of Criticism Over UK Labour Antisemitism, Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn Announces ‘Disciplinary Action’ Against Prominent Jewish Critic
As the antisemitism scandal that has engulfed Britain’s opposition Labour Party for the last three years reached a fever pitch on Thursday, party leader Jeremy Corbyn remained defiant, threatening disciplinary action against one of his Jewish critics after she called him an “antisemite and a racist.”

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Corbyn confirmed “action will be taken” against Dame Margaret Hodge – a Jewish Labour member of parliament and veteran party figure – as she confronted the Labour leader in the parliamentary chamber during a crunch vote on Brexit. Calling Corbyn an “antisemite and a racist” to his face, Hodge, who is the descendant of Holocaust survivors, added: “You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.”

Corbyn’s spokesperson said that “under the terms of the Parliamentary Labour Party rules there has to be respect between colleagues.” Hodge’s behavior “was clearly unacceptable under Labour Party rules,” the spokesperson said.

Hodge has strongly denied the claim of anonymous Labour Party sources that she swore at the Labour leader. Making her case independently in a searing oped for The Guardian newspaper, she stressed that “complaints to the Labour party about antisemitism from party members have been dealt with in a desultory manner.”
Guidelines for Astute Antisemites in the UK Labour Party
In the UK, it is a common practice to deal with racism and antisemitism through the MacPherson principle, which says that a minority can itself define what is considered racism. Labour’s definition of antisemitism is the first major departure from this principle, given that leading Jewish organizations violently disagree with the party’s definition. There is already a legal opinion that the Labour definition of antisemitism is in breach of the UK Equality Act.

As far as can be seen, the new definition does not cover an item from the IHRA definition, which states that it is antisemitic to say that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavor. Nor is it clear that comparing Israel to a Nazi state — as included in the IHRA definition — is a binding part of the Labour guidelines.

Recently, Labour has succeeded in making yet another contentious appointment: Gordon Nandell, a leading left-wing lawyer, has been hired to oversee the party’s disciplinary process. There have since been many revelations of his links to the party’s hard-left and activists involved in antisemitism.

All this is even more worrying, as a number of recent polls see the Labour party well ahead of the Conservatives in future elections. That could mean that Corbyn would be the UK’s next Prime Minister, possibly extending Labour’s antisemitism problems to the British nation.
The UK’s Labour Party and Antisemitism: Enough Is Enough
Labour’s definition is controversial because it leaves out central cornerstones that should be part of any definition of antisemitism, including using “anti-Zionism” as a smokescreen to conceal antisemitic sentiments.

Anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, because it’s every bit as discriminatory, stigmatizing, and marginalizing as the old version. Anti-Zionism is the belief that Jewish people do not have a right to a homeland. That the state of Israel is legally and morally illegitimate. It’s the kind of thinking you find in the charter of Hamas, which openly preaches genocide against the Jewish people. It’s the ideology disseminated by the BDS movement, which makes no secret of its desire to see Israel collapse. And it’s the politics of the leader of the British Labour party.

Welcome to Britain in 2018.

We shouldn’t be at all surprised that the NEC rejected the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism, because these people are led by a man who shakes hands with Holocaust deniers, invites Palestinian hate preachers to tea in parliament, and condemns his own country on Iranian state television.

Hamas and Hezbollah are his “friends.” Jews, not so much.

The decision taken by the NEC was a dark day for Labour. It was an act of cruelty towards the hundreds of thousands of decent Labour members and officials, who are every bit as horrified by antisemitism as their Jewish neighbors. And it was the final nail in the coffin in the minds of the Jewish community.

As long as Jeremy Corbyn remains leader of Labour, there’s no hope for British Jews in the party. Members of the Jewish community, and those who stand with them, have been ignored, abused, reduced to tears, ridiculed, and deemed irrelevant.

Enough is enough.
Israel prevents entry of Dutch activist, citing BDS support
Israeli authorities have denied entry to Israel of a Dutch activist, in light of her participation in efforts to boycott Israel.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced the decision in a statement, saying it came in light of a recommendation from Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who is also charged with battling the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

A press release from Deri’s office said that the activist, Lydia de Leeuw, was refused entry, “among other reasons, because she advances boycotts and consistently takes part in activities against the state [of Israel].”

“I will exercise my authority and prevent entry to Israel by any person who seeks to harm the state,” Deri said.

“This woman acts consistently to boycott and harm Israel, and I therefore prevented her entry,” he added. “This will be the case in the future, as well, when it comes to boycott activists who try to enter Israel.”

“The rules have changed,” Erdan said in a statement. “Like any normal country, Israel will not stand by in the face of those who would harm it.”

“Those who promote a boycott of Israel and seek to harm its citizens are unwelcome here,” he said.
Why Are San Francisco Schools Partnering with a Radical Anti-Israel Organization?
When a school district with a non-discrimination policy and guidelines that stipulate “non-engagement of political activities” partners with a self-described “social justice” organization that’s blatantly hostile to Israel and its supporters, what could possibly go wrong?

Opposition to SFUSD’s MOU with AROC remains strong, despite school officials’ gullible assurances. JCRC spokesman Jeremy Russell, noting that AROC’s “extreme and hateful agenda is public knowledge,” told J: The Jewish News of California, “We opposed this MOU precisely because we think it will be very difficult for the district to enforce its nondiscrimination policies on an organization that fundraises on an anti-Zionist platform.” Likewise, the parent of an SFUSD student wrote, “One would have to be incredibly naive to believe these ‘service providers’ will check their politics at the school door. They are activists.”

Citing Kiswani’s penchant for “offensive and hurtful anti-Jewish stereotypes of money, power, and nefarious motives,” the Anti-Defamation League’s Seth Brysk encouraged SFUSD to “partner with providers that are inclusive and will reinforce the district’s goals of creating respectful schools and communities.”

Meanwhile, the Zionist Organization of America sent a letter to SFUSD insisting that AROC’s contract be rescinded unless it complies with the district’s non-discrimination policy by “publicly and unequivocally renounc[ing] all of its anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rhetoric … and publicly apologiz[ing] for engaging in such discriminatory conduct to this point.”

Since the chances of AROC reforming itself are nil, it will be up to parents and others in the community to register their displeasure with the San Francisco school board. There’s no excuse for allowing an organization of bigots and extremists to gain a foothold in the city’s public schools. Otherwise, SFUSD’s policies of “non-discrimination” and “non-engagement of political activities” are toothless.
Why Is the LA Unified School District Pushing a Palestinian Narrative?
The below letter was sent to LA Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Austin Beutner.

Dear Superintendent Beutner,

Since you are new to your position, you may not be aware that on October 19 and October 21, 2017, the LAUSD co-sponsored a continuing education workshop for K-12 teachers entitled “Learning About Islam and the Arab World.” Both were full-day workshops (8 am to 5 pm), held at the UTLA’s Helen Bernstein Professional Development Center.

[The Israel Group] reviewed the workshop’s co-sponsoring organization — The Fellowship of Reconciliation (FORUSA) — as well as the workshop’s educational handouts, agenda, and presenter list. This examination made extremely clear that the entire agenda of the workshop was to religiously and politically indoctrinate teachers to promote a state of Palestine, Islam, and the Palestinian cause, while blatantly vilifying and polarizing Jews and Israel based on false history and statements, lies, and standard antisemitic canards.

For a more detailed overview, please see The Israel Group’s initial report.

Unfortunately, the workshop co-sponsored by LAUSD constituted a one-sided official condemnation of core Jewish religious beliefs and right of self-determination. It violated the rights of Jews under the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment, subjecting those involved to liability for damages.
SFSU Not Planning Further Action After Professor Refuses to Remove Declaration Rejecting Zionist Students
San Francisco State University will not take further action to remove a post visible on an affiliated social media page that rejects welcoming Zionist students, drawing criticism from an antisemitism watchdog group.

The Facebook post in question was published in February by Professor Rabab Abdulhadi — founding director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) program — in response to a public apology issued by SFSU President Leslie Wong for past comments affecting the Jewish community.

Wong’s statement — which included an assurance that “Zionists are welcome on our campus,” following past equivocation on the subject — was characterized by Abdulhadi as “a declaration of war against Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians.”

The AMED Facebook page shared Abdulhadi’s message shortly after it was published. That same day, the phrases “Zionists not welcome,” “Zionism = racism,” and “Judaism =/= Zionism” were found written in chalk and on an employee bulletin board on campus, prompting strong criticism from 60 education, religious, and civil rights organizations.
Swedish broadcaster deletes piece on Muslim antisemitism after threats
Swedish national broadcaster SVT has unpublished an opinion piece penned by a person attached to the Stockholm Jewish Assembly after the author and his family were threatened with violence, the Swedish news outlet Samhällsnytt has reported.

In the article, the writer criticized Center party leader Annie Lööf and the Swedish media for focusing on alleged Nazi antisemitism in connection with the her speech at Almedalen Week, a political gathering. She claims to have been disrupted by booing right-wing extremists. The author argued that today the Jew-hating Muslims constituted a more palpable threat for Swedish Jews than Nazis. The piece bore the self-explanatory headline “Nazism is not the greatest threat to Jews” and pointed out a “deeply indoctrinated hatred” among many Muslims.

After a while, visitors to SVT’s page discovered that the link to the article no longer worked. Instead, the message “Oops, the page does not exist” was displayed. No explanation for why the article was removed was presented.

However, when readers contacted SVT’s editorial board, they confirmed that no technical error had occurred.

“Right, the link does not work anymore and the opinion piece has been removed altogether. Our responsible editor has chosen to unpublish the article post based on the threats against the author and the writer’s family. / Editor,” SVT tweeted in response to an inquiry from user Peter Sellei.
BBC’s ECU upholds part of BBC Watch ‘Alternativity’ complaint – part one
Readers no doubt recall that in December 2017 the BBC’s Christmas season programming included a programme commissioned for BBC Two titled ‘Alternativity’.

Contrary to prior claims from the station’s controller Patrick Holland, the programme did not present “a challenging and provocative exploration” of the nativity story at all. Rather, most of the hour-long programme was devoted to context-lite, one-sided political messaging relating to Israel promoted from both its narrator (actress Olivia Colman) and its main character Danny Boyle.

BBC Watch submitted a complaint concerning ‘Alternativity’ which, because of the word-count restrictions on complaints, focused on just three aspects of the programme.

Over six months later the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) has upheld one of the points made by BBC Watch and rejected two additional points. As readers may know, the first two stages of the BBC complaints procedure are outsourced to a private company and it is hence interesting to take a look at the responses received at those first two stages on a point that was eventually upheld.

The first point we raised in our initial complaint referred to a claim made by the narrator at 12:20 minutes into the programme.

Colman: “The separation barrier and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land have sliced through communities, separating neighbours. Thousands have been imprisoned for refusing to leave their land and although the exact boundaries are hotly disputed, many have been evicted and are now on black-lists banning them from entering Israel, meaning they are unable to travel for work. One of these is Amin. Imprisoned as a teenager, he now makes his living selling refreshments to the workers.”
BBC’s ECU upholds part of BBC Watch ‘Alternativity’ complaint – part two
As we saw in part one of this post, after over six months and three complaints, the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) finally acknowledged that a claim aired in the BBC Two commissioned programme ‘Alternativity’ in December 2017 was “materially misleading”.

However two additional points made in the same complaint by BBC Watch were rejected by the ECU. As readers may know, the first two stages of the BBC complaints procedure are outsourced to a private company and it is hence interesting to take a look at the responses received on those points.

The second point raised concerned a claim made by Danny Boyle while being filmed in Hebron. As was documented here at the time:
“Standing on Emek Hevron street, Boyle then (22:40) presents pure conjecture as ‘fact’.

Boyle: “And the Star of David on the doorways which is declaring that obviously the…that in these circumstances, declaring that this is…this will become a settlement home…is shockingly reminiscent of something we all…one of the worst horrors of the world. That’s a bit mind-boggling.”

BBC Watch contacted a resident of that area and was informed that the Stars of David painted on those buildings are actually graffiti painted by unknown parties. […]

The doorways mentioned by Boyle are in fact entrances to small Arab market shops that were closed during the second Intifada due to Palestinian violence. Not only are those shops unsuitable for conversion into “a settlement home” – they have never even been considered for that purpose.

As we see, therefore, Danny Boyle – who earlier on in the programme admitted that the nearest he had previously ever been to the region was Majorca – has (presumably with a bit of help from his ‘guides’) let his imagination run wild – and presented his own uninformed assumptions as fact.

Moreover, he appears to be making an oblique reference to Nazi confiscation of Jewish property – an analogy that would be considered antisemitic according to the IHRA working definition adopted by the British government.”
Israeli researchers say they’ve found better way to spot malicious emails
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new way to detect new and unknown malicious emails, sent by hackers to deliver dangerous content to victims via attachments or links to malicious websites. The method is more accurate than the most popular antivirus software products on the market, the researchers said in a statement on Thursday.

“Existing email analysis solutions only analyze specific email elements using rule-based methods, and don’t analyze other important parts,” said Nir Nissim, head of the David and Janet Polak Family Malware Lab at the cyber department of the university. Antivirus software solutions mainly use “signature-based detection methods, and therefore are insufficient for detecting new, unknown malicious emails.”

The new method, called Email-Sec-360°, was developed by Aviad Cohen, a PhD student and researcher at the BGU Malware Lab. The research, published in the scientific journal Expert Systems with Applications, is based on machine learning methods and makes use of 100 general descriptive features extracted from the various components of emails, including the header, its body and attachments. The methodology provides “enhanced threat detection in real time,” the statement said.

For their experiments, the researchers used a collection of 33,142 emails (12,835 malicious and 20,307 benign) obtained between 2013 and 2016. They compared their detection model to 60 industry-leading antivirus engines as well as previous research, and found their system outperformed the next best antivirus engine by 13 percent — significantly better than other products including those of antivirus firms Kaspersky, MacAfee and Avast.
The Scorpions sweep Tel Aviv with a 'Wind of Change'
Tel Aviv was taken by storm when the Scorpions swept their audience away on Thursday night and rocked them like a hurricane.

In 2010 already, the German rock legends, who sold more than 75 million records worldwide, announced they would step down but here, 8 years later, they proved that they didn't and they shouldn't.

The music veterans started their show, which is part of their "Crazy World Tour", in the Menora Mivtachim Arena with "Going out with a Bang," one of their newer songs from the Album "Return to Forever" released in 2015.

By the second song already, the 1980 "Make it Real," they had conquered the hearts of their audience when their screens we're covered in Israeli flags.

"Shalom Tel Aviv, Ma Shlomchem?" vocalist Klaus Meine greeted his fans in perfect Hebrew facing the screaming crowd.

"We were driving on the Autobahn and I said to myself: Klaus, one day we will make it all the way to Tel Aviv," he related.

Alibaba Co-Founder in Israel for First Time, for Lacrosse Competition (Not Business)
Joseph Tsai, the Taiwanese-Canadian billionaire co-founder of the Alibaba company, is in Israel for the first time on a 10-day visit.

While Tsai will reportedly meet with Israel business leaders while in country, his arrival is due to his avid love for the sport of lacrosse, as the 2018 World Lacrosse Championship takes place in the coastal city of Netanya. Tsai is the owner of the San Diego Seals lacrosse team and played lacrosse for Yale as a student. He is now involved in lacrosse’s international governing body.

Tsai’s trip comes just three months after Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma’s visit to Israel, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli tech pioneers.

Alibaba is worth $500 billion and employs 50,000 workers. Last year, the company acquired the assets of Israel-based QR codes startup Visualead Ltd. It has also invested in Israel’s Infinity Augmented Reality, augmented-reality hardware company Lumus, auto-computer vision startup Nexar, and the e-commerce search engine Twiggle.
WATCH: The Pilot Episode of Israel’s Hottest New TV Show, With English Subtitles
Admit it: You need another great Israeli TV show in your life. Well, you’re in luck. Tonight, the JCC in Manhattan will premiere the pilot episode of When Heroes Fly, followed by a conversation with its star, the stellar Ninet Tayeb. The event is sold out, but the pilot is available, with English subtitles, here.

The show, which won the prestigious Best Series award at the Canneseries festival earlier this year, was already purchased for adaptation into the U.S. market. It tells the story of a former Israeli military commando who reunites with his army buddies to rescue the love of his life from the Colombian jungle. As the men get back together again, old traumas resurface, mysteries are solved, and friendships are tested.

If you crave more Israeli TV goodness, check out the Israel Film Center at the JCC, which streams some terrific shows on its website. Otherwise, sit down and delight in a real treat.
UAE, Tunisia stripped of judo events for discriminating against Israeli athletes
The International Judo Federation on Friday stripped the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia from hosting two international tournaments due to their failure to guarantee equal treatment of Israeli athletes.

Though it did not mention Israel specifically, the IJF cited “experiences from previous years” that included bans on the display of Israeli symbols and the playing of the national anthem.

“Prior to this decision and after carefully analyzing the past situations involving the denial of participation in equal conditions of all IJF member federations – with their national insignia and anthem at the aforementioned events, and after repeated past interventions, the IJF officially requested the two organizers to provide a letter of guarantee signed by the government that all IJF member nations would have the right to participate in their events in equal conditions,” it said in a statement.

As neither country had yet to give such a guarantee by the IJF’s given deadline, the federation said the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix would be suspended until the UAE and Tunisia guarantee “free and equal participation” for all countries at the tournaments.

“The International Judo Federation is aware that the situation and incidents registered are due to a complex and complicated political and historical context, but we strongly believe that politics should not have any interference in sports and that sports should be a reflection of human respect, understanding and mutual cooperation and that sports, as one of the highest expressions of humanity, should have the power to overcome any other conflict or interest,” the IJF said.

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