Saturday, August 25, 2018

From Ian:

US set to announce it rejects Palestinian ‘right of return’ — TV report
The Trump Administration will announce in the next few days that it rejects the long-standing Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for million of refugees and their descendants to Israel, an Israeli television report said Saturday night. The US will announce a policy that, “from its point of view, essentially cancels the ‘right of return,'” the report said.

The “right of return” is one of the key core issues of dispute in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians claim that five million people — tens of thousands of original refugees from what is today’s Israel, and their millions of descendants — have a “right of return.” Israel rejects the demand, saying that it represents a bid by the Palestinians to destroy Israel by weight of numbers. Israel’s population is almost nine million, some three-quarters of whom are Jewish. An influx of millions would mean Israel could no longer be a Jewish-majority state.

According to the Hadashot TV report Saturday, the US in early September will set out its policy on the issue. It will produce a report that says there are actually only some half-a-million Palestinians who should be legitimately considered refugees, and make plain that it rejects the UN designation under which the millions of descendants of the original refugees are also considered refugees. The definition is the basis for the activities of UNRWA, the UN’s Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

The US — which on Friday announced that it had decided to cut more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinians — and has also cut back its funding for UNRWA — will also ask Israel to “reconsider” the mandate that Israel gives to UNRWA to operate in the West Bank. The goal of such a change, the TV report said, would be to prevent Arab nations from legitimately channeling aid to UNRWA in the West Bank.
JPost Editorial: Bolton’s message
One theory about this week’s visit to Israel by US National Security Adviser John Bolton is that he was dispatched by President Donald Trump to suss out the chances of a resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The visit came after Trump pointedly said at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, that since he had taken the issue of Jerusalem off the table, “Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing” – referring to the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14.

At a news conference at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel on Wednesday, Bolton explained that Trump, whom he called “a deal-maker,” expected the Palestinians to say after the embassy move, “So we didn’t get that one, we’ll get something else.” But, he added, the parties will have to “talk about it between themselves and see what, if anything, the price of that was.”

The responses from both Israel and the Palestinians were predictable. On the Israeli side, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi – who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – assured Israelis that Trump has a warm spot for Israel and “will not turn on us.” Hanegbi stressed that he had constant contact with the White House and said that Trump was trying to find a way into the hearts of the Palestinians in order to regain their confidence in the US as an “honest broker.”

On the Israeli Left, Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz said it had been clear that the US would ask for a payback for the US Embassy move, adding, “No one can claim that this is a hostile president with demands that are not legitimate. Netanyahu cannot deny the need to make courageous decisions.”

Palestinian officials were more skeptical. Senior PLO official Ahmad al-Tamimi said Trump’s remarks reflected the “continued American policy that is biased in favor of Israel,” and he reaffirmed the PA’s “categoric rejection” of the peace plan expected to be announced soon by the US president.

Where does this leave us? Well, Bolton sounded upbeat as he voiced the hope that there are “a lot of prospects” to find ways to resolve the problems facing the Palestinian people, but added that it was “a sad outcome” for the Palestinian people that “all they got now is a choice between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.” On the last of his three days of talks in the region, Bolton concluded that the aim of the long-awaited US peace plan is overseeing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and he hoped this would become evident when Washington unveiled the plan.

Herein lies the problem and the challenge. As former Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post, “Whatever the US peace plan is, Israelis will probably accept it and the Palestinians will reject it.”
Caroline Glick: A conversation with John Bolton
President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Ambassador John Bolton to serve as his National Security Advisor indicated clearly that Trump is advancing a national security strategy far different from those of his predecessors.

On and off for decades, Bolton has held some of the most senior foreign policy positions in the US government. And throughout his long career in foreign policy, Bolton has been the bane of the foreign policy elites. In part this owes to his extraordinary successes. After 15 years of fruitless and often half-hearted US efforts to repeal UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 from 1975 that branded Zionism as racism, as assistant secretary of state, Bolton got the job done in 1991.

As Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the George W. Bush administration, Bolton created and implemented the Proliferation Security Initiative. The PSI was the most successful counter-proliferation program the US has undertaken in recent years.

As UN Ambassador in 2005 and 2006, Bolton dismantled the corrupt UN Human Rights Commission. He opposed the formation of its successor, the equally corrupt Human Rights Committee, saying, “We want a butterfly. We don’t intend to put lipstick on a caterpillar and call it a success.”

Bolton’s record of success engendered jealousy among many members of the Washington establishment. But they were more irked by his refusal to go along to get along. Bolton’s stubborn insistence on basing US policies on reality, rather than ideology or fashion has made him the bête noire of the foreign policy establishment.

New York Times Publishes a Rejection of Yossi Klein Halevi’s Plea for Reconciliation
If you want to better understand why peace between Israel and the Palestinians is a hopeless illusion, read Raja Shehadeh’s response in The New York Times this week to Yossi Klein Halevi’s soulful and conciliatory “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.”

Instead of responding in kind, Shehadeh falls back on the tired trope of chronic victimhood that has served only to perpetuate Palestinian misery. In this narrow view, every Palestinian woe is Israel’s fault; and Palestinians are a weak people with no agency just waiting for big, bad Israel to “withdraw from the territories it has occupied and leave us to go on with our lives.”

Shehadeh, who’s an author and an intellectual, knows better than to simplify such a bedeviling conflict whose complexity Halevi tried to honor. He knows, for example, that on the very day the IDF would abandon the territories, terror groups like Hamas and ISIS would jump to try to fill the vacuum and massacre Palestinians, just like Hamas did in Gaza.

But such complexity plays no role in Shehadeh’s takedown of Halevi’s offer to embark “on a journey of listening to each other.”

Shehadeh acknowledges that Halevi recognizes the importance of a Palestinian “counterstory,” one of “invasion, occupation and expulsion,” a history of “dislocation” and “humiliating defeats.” But how does he respond to such humility and contrition? By blasting Halevi for being “condescending” and for focusing so much of his book on trying to help Palestinians understand the Zionist story that is ingrained in Halevi’s soul.

Shehadeh also knows better than to casually dismiss Israeli offers of peace rejected by Palestinians as “old and discredited narratives.” He can’t even bring himself to admit that Palestinians are partly responsible for the absence of peace. The furthest he will go is to say, “I was involved in the Oslo negotiations and I can tell you that Israel shares plenty of responsibility for their failure.”
The New York Times’ Hit-Job on a Pro-Israel Book is a New Low
How might The New York Times review a soulful and nuanced book that makes the case for Jewish life in the Jewish state? The first course of action, naturally, is to ignore it: Yossi Klein Halevi’s Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor came out in May and was ignored as fervently by the Paper of Record as it was lauded by pretty much every other media outlet in America. But then the book inconveniently made it to the Times’s own bestseller list, and attention was merited. To that end, the paper enlisted the aid of Palestinian activist Raja Shehadah.

The premise of Shehadah’s malicious review is simple: In attempting to communicate his point of view—or his “narrative,” as assistant professors of post-colonial studies might put it—Klein Halevi is guilty of the gravest offense a heterosexual white male can commit: Manspalining.

“Reading your words,” Shehadah writes, all indignant, “I wonder how aware you are of what our feelings are on the other side. Though you do at least acknowledge that there is a Palestinian ‘counterstory,’ one of ‘invasion, occupation and expulsion,’ a history of ‘dislocation’ and ‘humiliating defeats,’ the sentiment you most express, again and again in your letters, is how deeply we, the Palestinians, misunderstand you. It is our ignorance of your history and religion and attachment to the land that you seek to correct here.”

This noxious premise would’ve been ridiculous no matter the context, given how it argues that every author everywhere is obliged to present both her point of view and its inverse. But it’s particularly vile given Klein Halevi’s own biography: Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli he co-directs the Muslim Leadership Initiative at the Shalom Hartman Institute, which fosters dialogue between Muslims and Jews. He’s also the author of At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden, a book recording his efforts to learn from Muslim and Christian Palestinians and understand the way they see the ancient conflict.
MEMRI: A Jewish Organization Lobbies On Behalf Of Pakistan's New Antisemitic And Pro-Jihad Prime Minister
Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician who is now Pakistan's prime minister, is in a win-win situation. To his Pakistani audiences, Khan blames "the Jewish lobby," the Jews, America, and Israel for the many ills that bedevil Pakistan. This earns him the sympathy and support of Pakistani voters. At the same time, a member of that "Jewish lobby" that Khan singles out for attack is actually going to bat for him and advocating for U.S. support for Pakistan.

"The Jewish lobby" is a blanket term used by Pakistani politicians, including Khan, who do not distinguish between Jews and Israel. Over the past decade and more, leaders in Pakistan have blamed the Jews for foisting Valentine's and April Fool's Days on Muslims; have dubbed the UN a Jewish conspiracy; have accused Jews and Israel of targeting Pakistan's nuclear weapons; have called Facebook – and polio vaccination campaigns – Jewish conspiracies, and so on.[1] Khan's narrative is not exceptional in Pakistan's public discourse.

American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen's Promotion Of Khan And Pakistan

Enter Jack Rosen, the president of the American Jewish Congress (AJCongress), which is a member organization of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. When Khan refers to "the Jewish lobby," he means organizations such as these.

In late July 2018, Rosen published an article titled "Pakistan Deserves U.S. Support," and also circulated it via email. In the article, he stated: "Khan's strong words against terrorism in the region align with U.S. interests. Pakistan can be a valuable partner in the fight against terrorism and serves as a critical juncture in our efforts in Afghanistan."[8] Really? Khan has said the very opposite.
Netanyahu honors 70,000 Jewish victims of Ponary massacre
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara attended a memorial service held in the Vilnus suburb of Panerriai (formally Ponary) and laid flowers at the monument honoring the 70,000 Jews slain there by the Nazis.

The ceremony was attended by Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and his wife Silvija Skvernelė and the chairwoman of the Jewish Community in Lithuania Faina Kukliansky.

"A crime for which it is impossible to forgive was committed [here]," said Netanyahu, adding that 30,000 non-Jews, Poles and Russians, were murdered as well.

"95% of Lithuanian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust," Netanyahu said, "we will never be defenseless again."

Speaking directly to Jewish survivor of the Vilnus Ghetto and fighter Fania Brancovskaja who was present, the prime minister called her a hero and said: "We will salute you forever."

Brancovskaja fled from the ghetto and later fought in the forests near Vilnus in a group of one hundred Jewish men and women.

Netanyahu saluted the Lithuanian men and women who risked their lives to help Jewish people and awarded a Righteous Among the Nations medal to Birute Slapikiene, the granddaughter of Domas and Marijona Viscous who hid their Jewish neighbor Aharon in their farm.
Abbas spokesman: Washington using aid cuts to force us to abandon Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman said on Saturday that the US decision to cut more than $200 million in aid is meant to force the Palestinians to abandon their claim to Jerusalem, indicating the ploy will not work.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh told the Associated Press the move was part of continuing political and financial pressure on the Palestinian leadership, and said the Americans must be fully aware that there will be no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Earlier Saturday, top Palestinian officials accused the United States of engaging in “blackmail” following the announced cuts.

A State Department official said Friday that the decision, made “at the direction of the president,” came after a review of aid programs to the Palestinians. The funding would “now address high-priority projects elsewhere”.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) executive committee, hit back, saying: “The US administration is demonstrating the use of cheap blackmail as a political tool.

“The Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and will not succumb to coercion. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale,” Ashrawi countered.

“The US administration has already demonstrated meanness of spirit in its collusion with the Israeli occupation and its theft of land and resources; now it is exercising economic meanness by punishing the Palestinian victims of this occupation,” she wrote in a statement.

“There is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation,” she went on.
Palestinians: 'We will not surrender to U.S. blackmail'
On Friday, a US official said that President Donald Trump had ordered the State Department to “redirect” the funding for programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to unspecified “high-priority projects elsewhere.”

According to the official, the decision took into account “the challenges the international community faces in providing assistance in Gaza, where Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation.”

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat denounced the decision as “disgraceful” and accused the US administration of “meddling in the internal affairs of other people in an attempt to impact their national options.”

The financial aid, he said, was not a “favor to the Palestinians, but a due duty of the international community that bears responsibility for the continuation of the occupation, which is blocking the possibility of development and growth of the Palestinian economy and society.”

Erekat said that by slashing the funds, the US was “insisting on abandoning this international commitment, as it had previously abandoned its commitment to international resolutions, especially with regards to the issues of Jerusalem and refugees.”
PA soccer chief criticizes FIFA suspension, blames Israel
Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Authority’s soccer federation, on Friday blasted the decision by governing soccer body FIFA to suspend him for one year, blaming Israel for it.

"These are measures based on unilateral media reports in addition to misinformation from right-wing organizations in Israel," claimed Rajoub, according to a report in Kan 11 News.

FIFA earlier announced the suspension over Rajoub's call to burn Lionel Messi shirts and photos with the likeness of the soccer megastar, when Messi was scheduled to play a friendly match with the Argentinian national soccer team in Israel.

The match was eventually cancelled, with the Argentinian team citing threats against Messi as the reason.

FIFA stated that "The Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the President of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub, with a 12-month match suspension and a fine of CHF 20,000 for breaching article 53 (Inciting hatred and violence) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, following media statements he gave calling on football fans to target the Argentinian Football Association and burn jerseys and pictures of Lionel Messi."

"The Disciplinary Committee held that Mr. Rajoub’s statements incited hatred and violence, and consequently imposed the above-mentioned sanctions," the federation added.

Rajoub, along with several anti-Israel organizations, has in the past attempted to force soccer governing body FIFA to ban six Israeli teams based in Judea and Samaria. He claims that their presence there is in breach of FIFA statutes, which forbids another member association playing on another territory without permission.
Palestinian soccer chief says he’ll appeal Messi incitement ban
The head of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, said Saturday he will appeal FIFA’s decision to ban him for a year for inciting fans to hatred and violence against Argentine superstar Lionel Messi as part of his campaign to stop Argentina’s national team from playing a friendly game in Israel this summer.

Rajoub had called on Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters and shirts if he participated in an Argentina game in Jerusalem in June. The campaign led to Argentina canceling the World Cup warm-up match.

He was banned from attending any soccer matches in an official capacity for 12 months starting Friday.

On Saturday, Rajoub told The Associated Press he was consulting with his lawyers and will “use every possible opportunity” to fight the decision. He spoke by phone from China and said he was planning a press conference upon his return to Ramallah later this week.

Rajoub’s Palestine Football Association has lashed out at the decision by the international soccer’s ruling body as biased and “absurd.”

Rajoub was not granted a hearing and his testimony was not considered by the disciplinary committee, the PFA said. The ban will apply for the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, which kicks off in January, and likely include the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifying program.

But he is still able to continue running the federation and attend FIFA meetings.
MEMRI: Hizbullah Official Tamer Hamza: Like Insects, The Jews Will Not Change, Stealing Gold Is In Their Genes; "They Do Not Love Death; A Jew Would Rather Live 1,000 Years"
Lebanese Shiite Sheikh Tamer Hamza, a Hizbullah official in the Beqaa region in Lebanon, said that the Jews have always been at the root of strife wherever they are and that the Quran describes them as "violators of treaties," to whom "humiliation and wretchedness" have adhered. Claiming that the Jews steal gold and "love money, especially gold and silver," Sheikh Hamza said that "it is in their genes, in their nature" and that they "must be dealt with as they deserve." The interview aired on the Bahraini Al-Maaref TV channel and was uploaded to the Internet on July 18.

The following are excerpts:
"We Must Talk About The Jews And Their Characteristics In The Quran"

Sheikh Tamer Hamza:"Wherever they live, whatever area they occupy, and wherever they have a presence – we must bear in mind that the Jews are at the root of any strife."

Host: "[The Quran says:] "Humiliation has been stricken upon them."

Tamer Hamza: "That is one of the ways they are depicted in the Quran."

Host: "Right."

Tamer Hamza: "What we must do – and this requires separate study – is talk about the Jews and their characteristics in the Quran. As we have mentioned, one of their main characteristics is that they are violators of treaties and agreements. One of the characteristics that has stuck to them is humiliation and wretchedness. One of their main characteristics is that they do not love death. A Jew would rather live a thousand years without budging from this material world. They love…"

Host: "Their miserliness is strong…"

Tamer Hamza: "They love money, especially gold and silver. It is well known that when they moved from country to country… One of the strange paradoxes about Jews, both men and women, is that if they were masters, they would rob others of their gold, and if they were maids or slaves, they would steal the gold of their masters. This is a matter of history. It is in their genes, in their nature.
Why Jeremy Corbyn's 'Zionist' comments were racist
They go along to such events because they are not willing to let what is very often open hatred and bigotry go undocumented and unchallenged.

To a man and woman, they are all Jewish. With no disrespect meant to non-Jewish Zionists, this group of activists are driven to attend ostensibly "anti-Israel" events, week in and week out, year in and year out, because they know where such hatred can lead, in a way that many non-Jews never could.

Whether Jeremy Corbyn knows this or not is, to be clear, not the real issue. Because from his language, it's clear that to him, to be “Zionist” in this country means to be foreign, out of place here.

To say, about a group of people who “have probably lived here all their lives” that “they don't understand English irony”, is to define them as foreigners. Not just foreigners, but Bad Foreigners. They don't fit in here. They don't belong.

If you watch the video, in the next breath, Jeremy Corbyn turns towards the Palestinian envoy to the UK, Manuel Hassassian, and says “but Manuel does understand English irony.”

For Corbyn, the Palestinian envoy to the UK is the “good foreigner” - he understands, he gets it, he's one of us - while the “Zionists”, who have “probably lived here their whole lives”, are not. They clearly just don't understand what it means to be English.

But there is one more point to make, that many people appear to have missed, which was summed up well by one Twitter user:

The Guardian: I gave Corbyn the benefit of the doubt on antisemitism. I can’t any more
I have repeatedly defended Jeremy Corbyn against charges of antisemitism. When my neighbour told me the Labour leader was a Jew hater because he had supported the graffiti artist responsible for the hooked-nose, trope-tastic antisemitic mural, I said Corbyn was so anti-racist that he probably didn’t even notice the caricatures – and that he was hopeless at detail, anyway. When photos were released showing him posing with a wreath to commemorate Palestinian martyrs at a cemetery in Tunisia, I said of course he was there – they were killed by an Israeli bomb attack on the Palestinian Liberation Organisation headquarters in 1985 that even Margaret Thatcher’s government condemned. When he refused to sign up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism, I argued that the definition was problematic, and it was important to be able to say Israel was racist without being labelled an antisemite. And on it went.

But not any more. I still don’t believe (or would like not to believe) that he is an antisemite, but what the Labour leader said at a London conference convened by the Palestinian Return Centre in 2013 is unquestionably antisemitic.

Yesterday the Daily Mail showed footage of Corbyn addressing the conference, on the topic of British Zionists. He mentions an impassioned speech made at a meeting in parliament about the history of Palestine that was “dutifully recorded by the thankfully silent Zionists who were in the audience” (audience members he presumably knew nothing about). So far so bad. But it gets worse. He goes on to say that these unnamed Zionists in the audience “clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either … So I think they needed two lessons, which we can perhaps help them with.”

It is unclear what the irony in question is. But it is irrelevant. To generalise about any race or religion is discriminatory. And if there were ever a clear example of somebody conflating Zionist with Jews, this appears to be it. Let’s play the traditional “swap the minority” game. Instead of “Zionists” let’s make it, say, Muslims or African-Caribbeans or Asians or Irish needing lessons in history or irony. Not nice, eh? (h/t Dave4321)
Corbyn defends saying ‘Zionists’ don’t understand English culture
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Friday defended allegedly anti-Semitic comments he made in 2013 that “Zionists” do not grasp “English irony” despite often having lived in Britain for years, denying he was referring generally to Jewish people.

Corbyn, who was already under fire over a number of recently surfaced remarks critical of Israel and his handling of anti-Semitism in Labour, faced fresh criticism after the Daily Mail published a video Thursday of a speech he made five years ago in which he also suggested “Zionists” do not know history.

In a statement quoted by The Guardian, Corbyn contended he used the term Zionists “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people.”

“I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by anti-Semites as code for Jews,” he said.

Corbyn also said his remarks were in defense of the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to the United Kingdom “in the face of what I thought were deliberate misrepresentations by people for whom English was a first language, when it isn’t for the ambassador.”

In the video from 2013, Corbyn told attendees at a London conference that “Zionists … clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. They needed two lessons, which we could perhaps help them with.”
Corbyn: The term 'Zionist' has been hijacked by anti-Semites
In his remarks, Corbyn praised a speech he had heard by Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to Britain, at a meeting in parliament in which the envoy gave an “incredibly powerful” account of the history of “Palestine.”

Corbyn then added, “This was dutifully recorded by the, thankfully silent, Zionists who were in the audience on that occasion, and then came up and berated him afterwards for what he had said.”

After the video was posted on Thursday, Corbyn was condemned by some of the Labour MPs who have been particularly critical of his record on anti-Semitism.

Luciana Berger, the parliamentary chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, tweeted: “The video released today of the leader of @UKLabour making inexcusable comments – defended by a party spokesman – makes me as a proud British Jew feel unwelcome in my own party. I’ve lived in Britain all my life and I don’t need any lessons in history/irony.”

Labour MP Mike Gapes said he was in “total solidarity” with Berger and that he was “sickened by the racism and anti-Semitism at the top of our party”.

A spokesperson for the Labour leader said meanwhile, “Jeremy is totally opposed to all forms of anti-Semitism and is determined to drive it out from society. At this event, he was referring to a group of pro-Israel activists misunderstanding and then criticizing the Palestinian ambassador for a speech at a separate event about the occupation of the West Bank.”

The 2013 video is the latest in a series of controversies to have plagued Corbyn in recent weeks.
Corbyn praised by former KKK grand wizard and ex-leader of far-right BNP
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn received the approval Friday of a former wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and an ex-leader of the far-right British National Party for stating that “Zionists” don’t understand English irony.

Meanwhile, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell defended Corbyn, telling the BBC in Friday that “whatever Jeremy has said throughout the years has always been about how to secure peace, particularly in the Middle East.”

He continued, “I think this has all been taken out of context.”

However, Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger said that Corbyn’s words were “inexcusable” and made her feel “unwelcome” in the party. “I’ve lived in Britain all my life and I don’t need any lessons in history/irony,” she tweeted.

Corbyn, who has been battling accusations of anti-Semitism, had his words endorsed by Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party.

“Go Jezza! I wonder how many Labour activists the hysterical #Zionist media campaign against Corbyn is re-pilling [sic]?” tweeted Griffin.
German bank's 'antisemitism' leads United Israel Appeal to shut account
The German branch of the Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal – the prominent Israeli public fundraising global organization to advance the security of the Jewish state – has closed its account with the Cologne-based Bank for Social Economy (Bank für Sozialwirtschaft) because the financial institution refuses to shut down a bank account belonging to the hardcore anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East.

“There must be no free pass for antisemitism and hatred of Israel in Germany,” said Sammy Endzweig, the chairman of Keren Hayesod in Germany, in a statement explaining the account closure. “And only because an organization is labeled ‘Jewish’ and partly founded by Jewish people does not mean that this is the view of the Jewish community in Germany and has distanced itself from the goals of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement,”

Keren Hayesod’s rejection of the bank’s anti-Israel activity deals a severe blow to the bank’s reputation and financial health. The Bank for Social Economy has been engulfed in a widening antisemitism row since it re-opened an account with the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East in April 2017.

The Germany-based Jewish Voice for Peace in the Middle East organization energetically promotes the BDS campaign targeting the Jewish state. The Jerusalem Post first revealed the bank’s Jewish Voice account in 2016, prompting the bank to terminate the account with the anti-Israel group.

“We cannot and will not silently watch,” said Endzweig, referring to the bank’s enabling of Jewish Voice to launch economic warfare on Israel.
Entertainment Industry Execs Back Lana Del Rey as She Faces BDS Backlash Over Upcoming Israel Show
Fifty-four entertainment industry executives applauded musician Lana Del Rey on Thursday for refusing to cancel her upcoming concert in Israel, despite pressure to do so by supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In an open letter — issued by Creative Community for Peace (CCFP), an entertainment industry advocacy group — the executives said they “commend Lana for her principled stand in the face of calls to cancel her performance” at the Meteor Festival, which is scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv, starting Sept. 6.

The letter quoted Del Rey telling those pressuring her to cancel her performance that “music is universal and should be used to bring us together,” and the group of executives said, “We could not agree more.”

They added, “As professionals in the entertainment industry, we know that music and the arts in general can transcend differences in race, religion, or politics and connect us on a deeper human level. Art can reflect and explore those forces that divide us, but it should never become subservient to them. And frankly, the more than 30,000 people who have signed our anti-boycott petition agree…Those of us who care about peace must not allow the boycott movement to succeed in using art as a weapon to keep people apart instead of using it as a tool to bring them together. We believe in building bridges, not boycotts.”

The executives concluded their letter by saying that many of the claims boycott activists made against Israel were “inflammatory,” “filled with misinformation,” and “completely devoid of fact.”
‘Am Yisrael Chai’: Ugandan Jews Enter Israel With Song and Dance
Some 40 Ugandan youths landed in Israel this past Tuesday, as part of the first-ever Taglit-Birthright group from the Jewish Abayudaya community.

The group entered the arrivals hall at Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv while dancing and singing in Hebrew, “David, the king of Israel, lives and endures,” and, “Am Yisrael Chai!”

Others in the hall soon joined the celebration, which was accentuated by drum beats and occasional blows of the shofar. They later recited the “Shehecheyanu,” a Jewish prayer of gratitude for new or special occasions.

The group spent the first two days of its trip in northern Israel, before arriving in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath.

While Birthright, which offers eligible young Jews from across the world free 10-day tours of Israel, is partially funded by the Israeli government, the Abayudaya community’s religious status is not officially recognized by Jerusalem.

In June, a member of the community was denied a request to obtain Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return pertaining to the Jewish Diaspora, in a decision the Interior Ministry said extended to all Abayudayas.
A Jewish Fighter Remembers the Bialystok Ghetto Uprising - Part 1
Those Who Left and Those Who Rebelled
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Bialystok Ghetto uprising, we are proud to publish two excerpts from The Underground Army. It is a story of defiance as desperate and inspiring as any fight in human history, from Thermopylae to the Alamo to Selma.

We hope that this publication will help inspire a publisher to put Grossman’s unique narrative back into print in English, so that a new generation of American readers, Jewish and otherwise, can learn about the power of young people who dream of building a better world, and are willing to sacrifice everything to protect the people they love in the face of radical evil. —David Samuels
It was Aug. 15, 1943, on a fine summer evening. We had gathered for a staff meeting in Mordechai’s deserted room on Polna Street. The meeting lasted longer than usual and ended after midnight. We had no permits to move at night and were compelled to steal through the courtyards, pressing close to the walls of the quiet houses. It had been the first full staff meeting. We had finished the distribution of assignments. The mood at the meeting had been practical, and matter-of-fact. When we reached our room on Bialostochanska Street it was quite late. The room was empty. We had not yet fallen asleep when Gedalyahu came into the room. It was about 2 o’clock in the morning.

“Get dressed. An SS unit has come in through the Yuroviecka Gate and set sentries near the factory.”

“What does it mean?”

“Don’t ask questions. We have to dress and alarm the organization. I’m going to tell Mordechai.”

The ghetto bad been tranquil lately. Life had been normal. Not only that but new orders had recently arrived for the factories, from Koenigsberg and far-off Berlin. How happy the ghetto had been lately over the many Soviet victories, and Mussolini’s downfall. And now, suddenly—an aktzia.
A Jewish Fighter Remembers the Bialystok Ghetto Uprising - Part 2
We Seek Our Brothers
Opposite me, a group of SS men blocked the way to the deserted part of the ghetto; behind them, to the right, was the big textile plant: “The First Combinat.” From the factory there was a path leading to the Aryan side, the free city—and the forest. Where were the comrades, where were the remnants of the fighters? Was I to attempt to flee alone? I felt like one great wound. My whole being was weary, needing rest. Rest at the time meant giving up everything—life, and the last battle; I had taught my movement youngsters that the “madness of the brave” moves the world forward, and I had no strength.

Suddenly Kustin appeared. He was one of the Bund activists in the city and a member of the fighting organization staff. Apparently, he had also escaped the encirclement. He had seen about 10 people whom the Germans had captured and led away. They had not succeeded in breaking out. The command had ordered all to break out of the trap and out of the ghetto at all costs. Some who still had ammunition fled. Most had gone down into the bunker, hoping to escape at the appropriate opportunity. He had seen them all, but had not been able to get to them. He had been in the burned out barn with the Germans literally running over his head. Now he was here. He, too, had tried to get to Gorna and Hmielna where the bunker was, and to which the comrades had been told to go. Like me, he had tried and had not succeeded. The entire area from Ciepla to Smolna was closed.

“Kustin, come, let’s escape. There’s nothing to lose,” I said, though we were in the middle of the transport and all exits were closed.

“Come, Kustin, let’s find some way to the forest.”

He stood still, thinking. He would not go; it was madness; there was no way out.

I pressed his hand and attempted to get closer to the factory watchman’s shed. There was noise all around us. Some young men, who noticed my movements, made way for me, whispering. They would follow me if I succeeded. Kustin had remained in his place, clinging to the burning earth. The crowd started to move. The gate on Yuroviecka Street, near us, began to turn on its hinges. That gate had always been locked, never in use. Through it, it was possible to get to Poleska Street, to a suburb called Bialostoczek. Behind that were fields and forests. Behind the gate there was a railway line and a railway siding. The gate creaked; it was hard to open. The crowd pushed together, against it, but it opened only slowly. The crowd moved backward and forward, like waves on a beach.
As Holocaust raged, UK officials blamed Jews for rising wartime anti-Semitism
British government officials were repeatedly warned of a rising tide of anti-Semitism on the home front during World War II, but took no action to counter it, newly released documents have revealed.

Instead, they said Jews themselves were to blame for any increase in prejudice, and belittled reports of it.

The highly sensitive papers have been stored in the National Archives for the past seven decades, and were not due to be made public until 2021. They were published this week by The Times following a request by the newspaper under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act.

The file, “Anti-Semitism in Great Britain,” contains internal documents from the wartime Ministry of Information, which was charged with monitoring public opinion, pumping out propaganda to maintain morale, and censoring news and information.

Its discovery, The Times reported, “will revive nagging doubts about whether, had the Nazis invaded, Britons would have betrayed or rescued their Jewish neighbours.”

In a May 1943 report to Brendan Bracken — a close confidant of Winston Churchill who served as Minister of Information for much of the war — the ministry’s top civil servant suggested that “there had been a considerable increase in anti-Semitic feeling” since the outbreak of the conflict nearly four years prior.

But, continued Cyril Radcliffe, the ministry’s director general, regional officials he had called to a meeting on the subject “regard it as quite beyond argument that the increase of anti-Semitic feeling was caused by serious errors of conduct on the part of Jews.”

Only Northern Ireland and the northeast of England appeared not to have seen an increase in anti-Semitism. The picture appeared similar in both rural parts of the country and the big industrial cities, as well as in areas, such as Manchester and Leeds, with long-established Jewish communities, and others where few Jews lived.

During the course of the war, as the East End of London was subject to heavy German bombing and mothers and children were evacuated, many Jews were sent to live in areas without large Jewish populations. It has been estimated that half of those evacuated from the East End — the epicenter of the capital’s Jewish community at the time — were Jews. (h/t Zvi)
How the comrades of a Jewish-British POW saved him from their Nazi captors
The story of a Jewish-British prisoner of war whose comrades protected him from Nazi guards during World War II has come to light in a biography written by his son.

Cpl. Alec Jay served in the British rearguard during the Siege of Calais in May 1940, as retreating soldiers defended an ever-shrinking pocket of allied troops along the French coast and sought to buy time for the evacuations to Britain at Dunkirk, 30 miles away.

Jay, 20, was a rifleman in the Queen Victoria’s Rifles battalion, and he and his comrades managed to hold out for four days, winning the British forces invaluable time to escape the overrun continent.

“There were about 3,000 of us, against two and a half German divisions, 25,000 men plus the most sophisticated weaponry,” he later wrote. “How did we do so well? Truthfully I do not know.”
Alec Jay (R) with his platoon (John Jay)

But the troops eventually ran out of ammo and were forced to surrender. They were captured and set off on a three-week march to Germany. Jay eventually ended up at the Stalag VIII-B camp in Lamsdorf, eastern Germany.

The prisoners were worked hard at the camp, but for Jay, life as a POW was particularly fraught. He had buried his religious identifiers before surrendering, and had declared himself as a member of the Church of England to his captors, but the danger that he would be discovered as a Jew ever hung over his head.

This eventually came to pass, apparently after he was betrayed by an anti-Semitic British soldier. An SS officer approached the prisoners and called out: “Where is Alec the Jew? Where is the hook-nosed bastard?”

But before Jay could come forward, his friends surrounded him in a protective circle, booing and hissing at the Germans as the latter trained their weapons on them.

One sergeant responded: “I don’t care whether Alec is a Jew. He is in British uniform and there is no way you are going to take him away from us. If you try, you will have to shoot us all.”

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