Thursday, September 06, 2018

From Ian:

Trump to US Jews: I won’t give Palestinians aid until they make deal with Israel
US President Donald Trump told Jewish leaders Thursday that the US would not give aid to the Palestinians until they reach an agreement with Israel.

In a conference call with several dozen American Jewish leaders ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Trump noted that he had recently slashed immense amounts of US aid to the Palestinians — a reference to the administration’s recent cuts in overall aid to the Palestinian Authority and its complete defunding of the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA. The US would resume funding, he said, but only if the Palestinians reached a deal with Israel.

“What I will tell you is I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians and the Palestinian leaders,” Trump said to the Jewish leaders in a recording of the conversation aired by Israel’s Channel 10 news. “The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money. And I say, ‘You’ll get money, but we’re not paying until you make a deal. If you don’t make a deal, we’re not paying.'”

“I don’t think it’s disrespectful at all” for US aid to be utilized as a bargaining chip, the president added, according to a transcript of the call published by the Jewish Insider website. Rather, “I think it’s disrespectful when people don’t come to the table.”

The president said that the Palestinians couldn’t have it both ways, according to a participant on the call who spoke to The Times of Israel. They couldn’t criticize him and rebuff negotiations on the one hand, while seeking financial aid from the US on the other.
Telegraph : 'Jews are only safe because of Israel'
For perhaps the first time in a mainstream British newspaper, the narrative of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who found refuge from persecution and death in the Jewish state, is used as a moral argument against the anti-Zionism of the hard left. Column by Allister Heath in the Telegraph:

I’m a Zionist, dear reader, and I cannot understand how any mainstream politician in Britain today could not be. I find the fact that so many on the extreme Left and at the top of the Labour Party now routinely describe themselves as anti-Zionists to be not just baffling but absolutely horrifying. The implications of their ideology fill me with dread, and the fact that the Labour Party has now adopted, with a key caveat, the international definition of anti-Semitism resolves very little.

Zionism involves accepting a simple proposition: the Jewish people should have their own country in the historic Land of Israel, from where they were expelled all those years ago. Zionism is not a programme for government; it is neither “Left-wing” or “Right-wing”. Apart from agreeing that there should be Jewish national self-determination in a viable, secure homeland in Israel, Zionists disagree on everything else, including on where borders should be drawn. Plenty believe that Palestinians have been very badly treated.

It was one thing to be an anti-Zionist in 1896, when Theodore Herzl published Der Judenstaat, launching the modern Zionist movement; or in 1898, when Emile Zola wrote J’accuse in defence of a Jewish officer set up by the French establishment; or even in 1917, when Lord Balfour issued his declaration officially supporting “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

Israel didn’t exist then, even though tens of thousands of Jewish refugees had already fled to Palestine. Some were even tempted by alternative locations, including Uganda, or by the view that America was the real promised land, despite the fact that Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the Western Wall are to be found in Jerusalem.
Indigenous Rights and Israel: A Historical Perspective
Are Jews indigenous to Israel, and why does it matter today? Take this journey through history to find out.

Corbyn loathes Israel, and Labour’s new anti-Semitism rules won’t change that
This was the week in which many Labour MPs expected, hoped and predicted that the party would draw a line under a disastrous summer of stories about anti-Semitism and begin the process of closing the huge, widening gulf which has opened between Labour and Britain’s Jewish community.

But such optimism was a total misreading of the character of the United Kingdom’s main opposition party and the man who now dominates it.

On Tuesday, Labour’s governing body, the National Executive Committee, revisited its July decision not to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

After several hours of rancorous debate, it was announced that the NEC had given way and accepted the four IHRA examples — all of which define the point at which legitimate criticism of Israel can dip into anti-Semitism — which it had struck from Labour’s new code of conduct at its previous meeting.

There was, though, a sting in the tail. Alongside the IHRA definition, the NEC adopted a statement saying that its decision would not “in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of the Palestinians.”

As the Jewish Leadership Council declared, this so-called “free speech” caveat “drives a coach and horses through the IHRA definition.”

David Collier: Hate against Jewish people. A poison that spreads unnoticed
I had a difficult day on Tuesday. One of those days were I see the poison spread on London’s streets. I was at the Corbyn antisemitism demo /counter demo, that took place as the NEC discussed the adoption of the IHRA definition.

There are plenty of political commentaries on the event (1,2,3,4) and I have never been one just to parrot what is said elsewhere. All of us, regardless of where we stand politically, are being carried by tides. Shining a light on the dangerous societal dynamics at work remains my central task.

The NEC event saw the ‘pro-racist’ demonstration that came to voice opposition to the adoption of the IHRA definition of Antisemitism. A small contingent of Jewish people came to counter demonstrate. I did what I always do and walked around, trying to learn from what was taking place.

Outside the demonstration
JVL poisonAs I stood and watched these events, several pro-Corbyn demonstrators came to talk to me. Five different people asked me if I was Jewish. It felt as if they were asking me ‘what side I am on’. Something I have never experienced before in the UK.

With big JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour) banners on one side and a small contingent waving the Israeli flag on the other, the sight was deceptive. One man stood on the side and said it was fun “watching an internal Jewish disagreement”. This the result of a gross exaggeration of the size of the Jewish anti-Zionist voice. A strategy tragically supported by a media that thrives on click-bait.

Another demonstrator tried to engage me several times. He kept gloating about the ‘superior numbers’ of the pro-Corbyn protest. I tried pointing out the disturbing undercurrent to his message. ‘When was racism against a minority group about numbers’, I asked. There was no coherent response. I spoke with him for a while. He had little but empty one-liners and distortions. Conversations with activists who think they are informed are nothing but frustrating

State Senate Candidate Was Arrested in 2011 on Suspicion of Criminal Use of Personal Information
Julia Salazar, the Democratic Socialist candidate running for New York state Senate, was arrested in 2011 on allegations of fraudulently attempting to access the bank account of Kai Hernandez, a family friend and then-wife of baseball star Keith Hernandez. The incident is chronicled in police reports, court records, and audio files, all of which have been obtained by Tablet. The key evidence: phone call recordings made by UBS Bank of an individual posing as Ms. Hernandez in an effort to access her account. Despite the arrest, she was ultimately not charged.

On Dec. 14, 2010, after being played the recordings by her banker, Kai Hernandez said she recognized Salazar as the voice on the phone and subsequently filed a police report. Charles Weinblatt, the Tequesta, Florida, Police Department detective assigned to the case, interviewed Salazar on March 23, 2011, and immediately identified her as the speaker on the calls, placing her under arrest. This week, he reaffirmed his conclusion that Salazar was the perpetrator, in an interview with Tablet.

Tablet has acquired the recording of the calls made to the bank, allegedly by Salazar, and they are reproduced in the story below, with sensitive information redacted.

Requests for comment on Salazar’s arrest history were sent early this morning to both Salazar’s campaign address and her deputy campaign manager. Email tracking software indicates that both requests were read multiple times within an hour of receipt, and in the hours following, but no response was received.*
Michigan Democrat: Hamas legitimate - Israel is the aggressor
The Democratic ticket in Michigan’s gubernatorial race has come under fire again, after it was revealed that the nominee for Lieutenant Governor made statements condemning Israel and legitimizing the Hamas terrorist organization.

This after the gubernatorial candidate refused to denounce the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement at a meeting with voters late last month.

Last month, Michigan Democrats nominated former county prosecutor and former Minority Leader of the Michigan Senate Gretchen Whitmer for this November’s gubernatorial race. Joining Whitmer on the ticket is Garlin Gilchrist, a political activist from Detroit and self-described “nonprofit leader”, who is running for Lieutenant Governor.

During a town hall event in late August, Whitmer refused to condemn the anti-Israel BDS movement, avoiding the question when asked and responding only that she would defend the First Amendment right of free speech.

"I recognize the fundamental rights are that we have the right to speak," Whitmer said, according to video footage of the event obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "No one gets to infringe on those rights on my watch."

Following Whitmer’s refusal to take a stance on BDS, it was revealed that her running mate had a history of controversial statements vis-à-vis the Jewish state.
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib Joins Radical Cast at Muslim Conference
Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib was featured at the Islamic Society of North America's annual conference alongside numerous radical figures, including individuals who have defended terrorist groups, openly called for violence against Israel, and pushed for extreme punishments for homosexuals.

Tlaib will almost certainly be heading to Congress in November as the Democratic candidate in a race without a Republican opponent. She has also expressed radical views on Israel since her primary win, saying she would "absolutely" vote against aid to Israel once in Congress. Tlaib supports the BDS movement to wage economic warfare against Israel and opposes a two-state solution—stances that lost her the endorsement of even liberal J Street, a group highly critical of Israel.

Tlaib was scheduled to appear in multiple sessions of the Islamic Society of North America's annual conference this past weekend, according to a "tentative" agenda posted by the group, which has been revealed to be part of a network of groups launched by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance its mission in the United States.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has worked to separate itself from the Muslim Brotherhood, stating on its website that it is not currently controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and further that it "rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration."
IsraellyCool: Linda Sarsour: Humanizing Israelis is a Problem
Linda Sarsour, that faux feminist, faux woman of color, but very real Israel hater, was recently a speaker at the annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Houston, Texas. And by recently, I mean pre-arrest.

As Steve Emerson reports, she warned against humanizing Jewish Israelis.

Leading the charge was Linda Sarsour, a co-chair of the national Women’s March and founder of a political activist group called MPower Change.

Her tone often was not aimed at inspiring Muslims to be more politically active, as much as it was to shame them for not doing so. If they aren’t sufficiently engaged in advocating for the Palestinian cause, she said, “you as an American Muslim are complicit in the occupation of Palestinians, in the murder of Palestinian protesters. So when we start debating in the Muslim community about Palestine, it tells me a lot about you and about the type of faith that you have in your heart.”

Worse still, “if you’re on the side of the oppressor, or you’re defending the oppressor, or you’re actually trying to humanize the oppressor,” she said, “then that’s a problem sisters and brothers, and we got to be able to say: that is not the position of the Muslim American community.”
An Expert on Anti-Semitism Fears for the Future in Britain
He continues: “But that doesn’t really frighten me; what really frightens me is that a generation of left-wing activists are being taught that the enemy is the Jews. Added to which it’s now possible that Brexit could be a proper crisis.”

And with crises comes the need for scapegoats and with the need for scapegoats always, always comes the Jews.

Hirsh is now applying for a German passport because he thinks there is a possibility of a major political and economic crisis in Britain. “People are asking me as an expert in Anti-Semitism whether they should leave Britain. The question itself scandalizes me.”

He rightly points out that almost anything can happen in a Britain hurtling toward Brexit without a plan. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May’s rival for power, Boris Johnson has seemingly decided to go “full Trump” just as Labour is led by an anti-Semitic inadequate. Jews—in a classical pincer movement—could be threatened from both left and right.

“May is going to hit the buffers,” says Hirsh. “She cannot deliver her non-Brexit Brexit or pretend Brexit [compromise deals she is trying] so that will come apart and we are going to have two quite virulent populist movements. One that is right-wing, based on a narrative of the betrayal of the white working class by the elites, cosmopolitans etc, – terms that have always had the potential to metastasize into anti-Semitism, while on the left we have Corbyn.”

“All these movements, right or left, Le Pen or Trump or Corbyn all have quite a lot in common,” Hirsh continues. “Utter contempt for what exists, holding responsible the elites, establishments, or globalists or Clintonites, Obamaites. And of course [the Jew George] Soros is held to be absolute worst.”
Nearly 40 per cent of British Jews would 'seriously consider' emigrating if Corbyn became PM
Nearly 40 per cent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, a JC poll has found.

British Jews between 35-54 are most concerned about the prospect of a Labour government under Mr Corbyn with over half saying emigration is a serious consideration.

And amongst Jewish women, fear of the impact of Mr Corbyn becoming PM is so great that over 44 per cent say they would give serious thought to leaving the country.

51.77 per cent of British Jews said they would not seriously consider leaving, with a further 9.7 per cent saying they do not know.

The results, in the latest survey of British Jews carried out for the JC by polling company Survation, support claims made by the former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks at the weekend that the Labour leader is contributing to Jews openly questioning whether Britain is still a safe place to raise their children.

With recent population surveys suggesting there are now upwards of 290,000 Jews living in the UK, the poll results means that the election of a Labour government would leave around 115,000 seriously considering a new life abroad.
The British Labour Party's New Definition of Anti-Semitism
In just the last three years, since September 2015, a long-standing but little-known Labour MP, Jeremy Corbyn, unexpectedly entered a leadership election and to everyone's amazement emerged as Labour Party leader. Within a short time, Labour lurched far to the left. Within a month of Corbyn's election, a far-left movement, Momentum, was founded as the principal support group for the new leader. Its founder and chairman, Jon Lansman, was a wealthy Communist-inspired activist from an Orthodox Jewish family but strongly pro-Palestinian. He has called for Labour to stop using the words "Zionist" or "Zionism", and recommended instead a range of euphemisms such as "Israeli fundamentalists" or, ideally, "Netanyahu's regime". Lady Valerie Cocks, who had for many years chaired Labour Friends of Israel, wrote in a letter to Jewish News:
"I always clashed with Lansman, who I considered our worst enemy during all that time. Although we now have other enemies like Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, in my opinion Lansman is even worse."

Momentum's vice-chair was for a time Jackie Walker, a woman whose Russian Jewish father was a member of the Communist Party USA. Walker has been referred to as a noted anti-Semite who had to be dismissed from the chair on account of her repeated and extreme anti-Semitic remarks and activities. Nevertheless, she remained in the steering committee and went on to be a founding member of Jewish Voice for Labour, one of a number of pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist organizations that have recently tried to become the recognized models of supposed Jewishness within the party.

On one occasion, Walker said, "I was looking for information and I still haven't heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with." This rejection of definitions of anti-Semitism was, as we shall see, highly relevant to a crisis for the party in the summer of 2018.
Officially defining Jews as an ethnicity could complicate efforts to track antisemitism
Campaign Against Antisemitism is concerned that proposals to create a ‘Jewish ethnicity’ on official forms could complicate efforts to track antisemitism.

Presently, all official forms which include a question about ethnicity offer a choice between a range of white, black, asian and mixed ‘ethnicities’ which are in fact largely based on race more than shared cultural or other characteristics. The Government accepts that “There is no single agreed international definition of ethnicity and race or of the distinction between the two”.

For decades, there has been a debate as to whether Jews can be considered a race as well as a religion. In the landmark case of Mandla v Dowell Lee in 1983, it was determined that for the purposes of hate crime legislation, Jews could be considered as either. This had the benefit of affording Jews protection under legislation that had created a criminal offence of incitement to racial hatred at a time when there was no equivalent offence of incitement to religious hatred.

Aside from pragmatic legal arguments for defining Jews as a race as well as a religion, the topic is controversial. Clearly, as the result of conversion and intermarriage, there are Jews from many races.

At present, when it comes to the matter of official statistics, Jews are counted as a religious group, and not as an ethnicity. However, recently there have been renewed suggestions that the Office for National Statistics should define Jews as an ethnic group as well as a religious group.

Many official classifications are based on categories used by the Office of National Statistics, and we are concerned that counting ethnic Jews and religious Jews separately creates the likelihood of diverging sets of data which might make the Jewish community and antisemitism difficult to quantify.
Did Corbyn spin doctor Seumas Milne’s 2014 speech breach antisemitism definition?
His speech was consistent with a Guardian op-ed he wrote several weeks earlier which similarly defended the Palestinian ‘right’ of armed resistance, while arguing that Israel, as the ‘occupying power’, had no such right to defend itself against Hamas.

Let’s remember that Milne wasn’t referring to the Palestinian “right of resistance” in the abstract, but in the context of an ongoing war between Israel and the terrorist group, Hamas, a group which was launching, and had previously launched, deadly attacks on Jewish civilians in Israel – attacks inspired by an extremist ideology.

Here’s the IHRA example again:
Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

To those who’d argue that Milne didn’t technically violate the definition because Hamas was attacking ‘Israelis’, and not Jews qua Jews, remember that, despite claims for Western media consumption that their problem is only “Zionism”, not Jews, remember that the Hamas charter quotes Islamic religious texts to justify killing the Jews, regardless of whether they’re in Israel or elsewhere. One article (28) also makes it quite clear their desire to eliminate Israel is inspired by the fact that its Jewish and has a Jewish population.

Whether or not Milne ran afoul of the working definition in that 2014 speech, his justification for the intentional killing of Israelis by a terror group certainly runs afoul of even the broadest definition of moral decency.
Bus stops in central London vandalised with antisemitic posters claiming that it is “racist” for Jews to have a state
Posters carrying the message “Israel is a racist endeavour” have been put up on bus stops around central London, including one opposite Parliament.

This poster explicitly mocks and breaches the International Definition of Antisemitism which states that “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is antisemitic.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesperson told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “These adverts are absolutely not authorised by TfL or our advertising partner JCDecaux. It is fly posting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. We have instructed our contractors to remove any of these posters found on our network immediately.”

The group London Palestine Action has been tweeting photos of the posters during the day with messages including: “Created by ethnic cleansing; maintained by ethnic exclusion. Israel is a #racistendeavour”.

This vandalism follows on the heels of the Labour Party’s adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism yesterday, with an added caveat that is based on the fallacy that the definition prevents free speech. Labour MPs, including Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Honorary Patron, Margaret Hodge, responded to news of the amendment with disappointment, stating that this “unnecessary qualification” is an attempt to undermine the definition’s validity.

UK teacher who wrote ‘of course we hate Jews’ found not anti-Semitic
A government ethics review panel in the United Kingdom said that a teacher who it had suspended for inveighing against Jews and Israel “is not anti-Semitic.”

The assertion came in the summary by the country’s Teaching Regulation Agency of a disciplinary review last month of the actions of Harpreet Singh, 48, who was head of mathematics at Sandye Place Academy in Bedfordshire, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of London, the BBC reported Tuesday.

However, the misconduct panel banned him from teaching.

He had been suspended from the school in June 2017 and was later fired after concerns were raised by colleagues about his social media posts.

The misconduct panel, which banned Singh from teaching until at least 2021, found that he had made “offensive and racist” comments on Facebook including one which said: “Every sane human is anti-Semitic. Because you bastards have made Zionism synonymous with the mistreatment of Palestinians. Billions are anti-Semitic and proud of it.”

In another, he posted: “Of course we hate Jews. Israel is the most evil regime on the planet. Supported by Jews from within, and from around the world.”
Campus Antisemitism Watchdog Releases New ‘Tracker’ With Photo, Video Evidence
A watchdog group focused on combating antisemitism on American college campuses launched a renovated “Antisemitism Tracker” on Wednesday, in hopes of helping the public more easily navigate incidents that have taken place nationwide since 2015.

The AMCHA Initiative’s new search engine allows users to search the organization’s database by city, state, zip code, geographical region, year, date range, university, and three types of incident categories. These include targeting Jewish students and staff, antisemitic expression, and activity supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which opposes the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination in Israel.

Users can also browse lists of anti-Zionist campus groups, of incidents involving disruptions and swastikas, and of faculty members who have committed to supporting academic boycotts of Israel. A scorecard logs the results of BDS votes on various campuses, while a “student voices” section features relevant testimonials.

“An important part of AMCHA’s mission is to document and expose incidents of campus anti-Semitism and make this information easily and readily available to the public,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA’s director and a former lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “We hope our new searchable databases will make it easier for parents, students, alumni, researchers, journalists and anyone in the community to access the information they are looking for.”

The group also shared a library of open-source images and videos documenting incidents, which students can submit evidence to.
Organizations File Complaint Against British Charity, Alleging Ties to Terrorists
A complaint was filed on Tuesday against the British charity War on Want, alleging ties between the entity and terrorist groups like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit human-rights group, and UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a voluntary organization that fights against delegitimization of Israel, filed the complaint with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, accusing the anti-poverty and social-justice organization of embezzling charitable donations “for the production and dissemination of political propaganda, and published false and misleading allegations likely to result in racial hatred of Jews and Israel,” according to a statement from Lawfare.

The complaint charges War on Want’s work has consisted of political campaigns with little or no relevance to global poverty.

“Of its annual income of approximately $2.4 million in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2017, $677,008 was spent on ‘raising funds’ and $713,800 was spent on ‘campaigns and policy,’” according to Lawfare. “The complaint argues that a substantial part of that spending may have been used for the misleading and antisemitic propaganda described at length in the complaint.”

The complaint implicates the agency as participating in “dog-whistle fundraising” through misleading donors with false narratives, such as “Palestinian Territories,” alongside perpetrating racism against Israel.

The Lawfare Project and UKLFI requested that the Charity Commission verify the proper management of War on Want and see that its conduct is restricted to its supposed charitable objectives.
Rock group Of Montreal bolts Meteor festival, denounces Israeli ‘atrocities’
American rock group Of Montreal has become the latest musicians to pull out of Israel’s Meteor festival in Israel, accusing the Jewish state of “apartheid” and urging more activism.

The indie rock band — which, despite its name, is from Athens, Georgia and not Quebec — follows the pop singer Lana Del Rey in leaving the three-day Meteor festival, which opens Thursday in northern Israel.

The move comes amid a campaign by the BDS movement — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions — that calls on musicians to shun Israel as a way to press the Jewish state to change its treatment of the Palestinians.

While artists who have heeded the boycott calls have generally released vague, diplomatic statements, Of Montreal — known for its boisterous, synthesizer-driven psychedelic rock — took aim squarely at Israeli policy, while stressing it was not condemning the people of Israel as a whole.

“After exhausting all of the different possible ways of justifying playing an Israeli party festival, while the political and military leaders of the country continue their murderous and brutal policies against the Palestinian people, we came to the realization that there is no actual appropriate move other than to cancel the show,” Of Montreal wrote on its Facebook page late Tuesday.
Pigs in Palestine: Anti-Israel Left Spreads Anti-Semitic Boar Libels
Combatants for Peace, an anti-Israel group widely touted by the media, has been accusing Jews of attacking Muslim settlers in Israel by releasing the pigs.

Or the boars.

An undercover video by the pro-Israel group Ad Kann showcased a Combatants for Peace tour that included claims that Jewish “settlers” ship in wild pigs by trucks to Muslim settlements in Israel.

"We saw the truck bringing pigs. An Israeli truck carrying boars,” was the claim.

The pigs were allegedly coming from the town of Alei Zahav (Golden Leaves), which has a population of 1,643 people, and about half of them are Orthodox Jews, who are unlikely to harbor many pigs. Its Facebook page features horses grazing in a paddock without so much as a pig in a poke.

But while Alei Zahav’s residents busy themselves with community events and charity projects, a Bar Mitzvah and a children’s dance recital, a multinational conglomeration of radical groups has been accusing them of building a “giant settlement” and now of shipping around trucks full of wild pigs.

Combatants for Peace is funded by the Swiss government, a German foundation named after Rosa Luxemburg, a co-founder of the Communist Spartacus League, and the New Israel Fund. That may seem like an odd bunch to get together and fund accusations of Jewish pig warfare, but it isn’t really.
AIJAC will lodge a complaint about ABC TV story on Israel’s Nation-State Law
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is very disappointed at the one-sided and misleading report on the September 4 edition ABC TV’s “7.30”, covering Israel’s Nation State Law.

While the law is controversial, and is opposed by many Israelis of all religions and political persuasions, the report by “7.30” included some false statements and lacked context.

In her introduction to the report, host Leigh Sales stated the law “defines the country as exclusively a Jewish state.” This is not true. While it does state that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, and that the “right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people” this simply restates what is well known – that Israel is the state for the Jewish people, as set out in Israel’s Declaration of Independence and other Basic Laws, not to mention the original UN partition resolution. It does not mean Israel is now “exclusively” Jewish.

Sales also claimed, “The so-called nation-state law is the latest in a series of policies seeking to enshrine Jewish supremacy amidst a surge in ultra-nationalist sentiment.” The claim of “Jewish supremacy”, that Jews have more rights than other Israeli citizens, is simply incorrect – all Israeli citizens have equal rights. The claim about “ultra-nationalist sentiment” is also a skewed and inaccurate representation of the reality in Israel and an inappropriate attempt by the ABC to pass a subjective judgement on this and other recent Israeli laws.

Similarly, in his report, Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop claims the law “defines Israel as exclusively the nation state of the Jewish people,” and says, “Under a divisive new law, these two Israeli citizens are no longer equals. Because Mira Awad is an Arab, Israel is officially no longer her nation.” This is patently untrue. All citizens of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity, have equal rights. There are other basic laws – Human Dignity and Liberty and Freedom of Occupation (meaning jobs) – which have equal standing and which guarantee the human rights and equality of all Israelis. Rubinsztein-Dunlop’s implication that this law supersedes all those other laws is simply incorrect.
Czech city festival features skit mocking Jews
A municipally organized street show in Prague celebrating Czech nationhood featured a skit apparently mocking an Orthodox Jew.

In the skit, police characters remove a man dressed like an Orthodox Jew for demanding money from the event’s host, who wears traditional Czech attire.

Sunday’s event was organized by the 3rd District of Prague.

The Jewish character was named Rozenkrants. “I will get this money from you one way or another,” the actor said, before another actor dressed as a police officer escorted him away. Hundreds of onlookers laughed.

Footage of the scene was circulated on social media, including by Maria Praha, an organizer of artists retreats.

“I wonder why they had to present Jews in such an utterly outdated antisemitic way,” she wrote on Facebook about the organizers. She also included a video she filmed of the Rozenkrants scene, which had more than 1,500 views.

“There were many [Jewish] university professors, journalists, writers, sportsmen/women, composers, social welfare workers and others in Czechoslovakia,” she added, including “Franz Kafka, Max Brod, Hugo Haas, Joseph Popper, Marie Schmolka, Hana Steiner and many, many others.”

Dinah Spritzer-Richter, a journalist living in Prague who has covered Czech Jewry for various publications including JTA, called the scene “disgusting” on Facebook.
Off-Broadway Play Shines a Bright Light on Holocaust Denial
My off-Broadway comedy Hoaxocaust! shines a satiric light on Holocaust denial. During a previous run of the show — before we moved off-Broadway — I told Algemeiner readers 10 things I had learned about Holocaust denial.

Since then, the main tenets of Holocaust denial haven’t changed, but its prevalence in our culture unfortunately has. Here are 10 new things that we have learned about Holocaust denial since then. And I hope that you will come see all that I’ve discovered about Holocaust denial during our off-Broadway run, which is currently playing at the 14th Street Y Theatre in Manhattan.

1. Fake news. When I first wrote my play, “fake news” wasn’t a buzzword, and it wasn’t acceptable reporting on mainstream news sites. Now Holocaust deniers peddle their falsehoods in the company of Sandy Hook deniers, 9-11 conspiracists, and Pizzagate liars on mainstream media platforms to large audiences. Meanwhile, I can’t even figure out how to get likes on Instagram. The bad guys are winning.

2. Neo-Nazis are emboldened. When I last wrote for The Algemeiner and warned about neo-Nazis, there hadn’t yet been a Charlottesville, where modern Klansman marched through the streets shouting “Jews will not replace us” before killing an innocent woman. Remember when the Klan didn’t feel so comfortable in the mainstream that they waltzed through the streets without hoods?
Rapper Drake to Produce Israeli-Developed Teen Drama for HBO
Ten episodes of gritty Israeli teenage drama TV series “Euphoria” are being created for an English-speaking audience by HBO. The series will be produced by Canadian rapper Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham) and his manager and DJ, Adel Nur, whose stage name is Future the Prince.

In a way, Drake is going back to his roots. Before his singing career, he acted in a teen drama in the early 2000s. But he won’t be on screen in HBO’s “Euphoria,” described as “a sexy, troubling, and bold profile of the teens of the Nineties” aimed at adult viewers.

The male actors will include Eric Dane (“Grey’s Anatomy”), while the female lead role will be played by 22-year-old performer Zendaya (“Spider-Man”).

Original series creators Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin also will be on the team of executive producers for the American version. No release date for the series has been announced yet.

Drake, who is Jewish, is popular with Israeli fans. In the first month after Spotify launched its music-streaming service in Israel last March, Drake’s “God’s Plan” was the most listened-to single on the platform, and Drake himself was the second most listened-to artist on Spotify Israel (No. 1 was Omer Adam).
Could a Tree Grown from an Ancient Seed in Israel Help Cure Diseases in the Future?
Two Israeli researchers have launched an initiative that has transformed the way we understand the meaning of extinction and created a collaborative platform for Arabs and Israelis to explore. In fact, scientists throughout the Middle East, including in Jerusalem, Riyadh and Marrakesh, are looking to J-Date to solve global challenges. This J-Date, however, isn’t the well-known Jewish dating website, but an ancient variety of Judean date palm that vanished two thousand years ago when the Romans drove the ancient Israelites out of their homeland.

In 2004, Sarah Sallon, a Hadassah Medical Center expert in Middle Eastern plants, contemplated an idea that some would call insane: bringing ancient seeds back to life to examine their value in healing human disease. Over the past few decades, a number of reports in scientific journals and popular newspapers have suggested that scientists could germinate ancient seeds. Many were myths. A few are true. No one, however, had ever brought an extinct plant back to life.

In 72 CE, Jewish rebels under siege committed mass suicide at Masada – Herod the Great’s ancient cliff-top fortress – choosing death over Roman bondage. Nearly two thousand years later, in November 1963, a team of archeologists dug through the rubble and found evidence of widespread destruction: shattered frescoes, charred beams, gold coins, bronze arrows, ragged clothing – and containers of ancient seeds.
1,020 untouched clay sealings discovered after two millennia in hidden cave
An enormous trove of 2,000-year-old clay seal impressions was chanced upon in August during exploration of a newly discovered seven-room cave complex at the ancient city of Maresha, part of the Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park in central Israel.

While attempting to photograph the new subterranean complex, archaeologist Dr. Ian Stern and his photographer son, Asaf Stern, discovered an exciting cache of clay impressions (bullae) littered among millennia-old smashed large jars on a small cave’s floor.

In the dark, dank cave, the stash of over 1,000 sealings was nearly invisible to the naked eye. Only after entering the small cave to set up the photography lighting were they spotted, and Asaf rushed out to inform his father, “We have something amazing here!”

The sealings were photographed in situ, and carefully gathered the following day for preservation, storage and analysis.
Ancient Torah Scrolls Spared in Devastating Rio Museum Fire
Brazil’s National Museum on Wednesday announced that its exhibit of old Torah scrolls had been removed before the blaze that gutted the place on Sunday, destroying an estimated 90% of its collection.

According to the museum’s deputy director, the building was not insured.

“The Torah is being kept in a safe place,” said a museum statement that was sent to the Associated Press on Wednesday, noting that the scrolls had been removed close to two years ago, but not revealing where.

The scrolls, nine altogether, dating back to the 1400s, are believed to have originated in Yemen. They were acquired in the early 1800s by Brazil’s last king, Dom Pedro II.

The museum’s library of 500,000 books, kept in a separate building, also survived the blaze, according to a museum spokeswoman, who said it was impossible to determine at the moment how much of the collection had survive. “It could be 10%, it could be 15, it could be 20,” she said. “We had a very big loss.”

The museum’s Egyptology collection was completely destroyed, she said.
At Jerusalem memorial, US envoy marks 17 years since 9/11
The US Embassy, victims’ families, diplomats, and officials from the Jewish National Fund held a ceremony Thursday at the 9/11 memorial in Jerusalem to mark the upcoming 17th anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks that claimed the lives of 2,977 innocent people.

The ceremony was held early this year because September 11 coincides with the Jewish Rosh Hashanah holiday, which would have precluded the participation of many Israelis and Jewish visitors.

The ceremony was attended by delegations that included Israeli families of victims who perished in the attacks, United Airlines pilots — two of the four planes hijacked in the attack belonged to the airline — and first responders and diplomats.

The 9/11 Living Memorial is part of Jerusalem Park in the south of the capital. It was established by KKL-JNF and an American affiliate, JNF-USA, in 2009, and includes at its center a 30-foot bronze sculpture of an American flag shaped like a memorial flame, with a metal piece left from the destroyed Twin Towers in New York as part of its base.

The Jerusalem memorial “is the only one outside of the United States to include all the names of the 9/11 victims,” a JNF press release said Thursday.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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