Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From Ian:

UNRWA’s Bloated Farce
According to the Times of Israel, “A Republican senator introduced a bill Thursday that would require the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to change its definition of what constitutes a Palestinian refugee in order to receive future US assistance.” The Trump administration wants UNRWA, corrupt and inefficient, to be cut down to size. They want “Palestinian” refugees to be limited to those who really are refugees, that is, people who left Mandatory Palestine, or Israel, almost 70 years ago. They want “Palestinian refugees” to be defined the same way all other refugees have been defined: as people who have fled a particular territory or country, which does not include their descendants. How many “Palestinians” who left Palestine/Israel between 1947 and 1949 are alive today? Estimates range from 20,000 to 40,000. Compare that with the five million “Palestinian refugees” that UNRWA now claims are eligible for its services. But it is UNRWA that is wrong.

One further point that deserves to be made is that even those Arabs who left Palestine/Israel from 1947 to 1949 are not exactly “refugees” in the full meaning of the term. They did not flee persecution at the hands of Israelis. There was no persecution. Some left before, or during, the hostilities, to get out of the way of battles they assumed the Arabs would win, in the belief that they could soon return. Others left after the Arab defeat, for they assumed — wrongly — that the victorious Jews would treat them as the Arabs would have treated the Jews had they won. Again, there was no forcing them out. They did not flee. They chose to leave. If this history were to be taken into account, there would be no “Palestinian” refugees in the proper sense of the term.

UNRWA is a completely corrupt organization. It has been grossly overstaffed, mainly by extravagantly-paid “Palestinians.” The more UNRWA inflates its rolls with the names of millions of descendants of refugees, described and treated as refugees themselves, and the more dead people it keeps on those rolls, the more aid UNRWA can request from its donors. Who are those donors? Ambassador Nikki Haley has pointed out that the fabulously rich Gulf Arabs give very little to support the “Palestinian refugees.” Of the top fourteen contributors to UNRWA, only one — Saudi Arabia — is an Arab country. All the rest are in Europe, save for the United States, which has been the most generous contributor, by far, to UNRWA.

The Americans have now done something the Arabs find outrageous and, until now, unthinkable. They have decided to refuse to continue accepting, much less, bankrolling, this state of affairs. They want exactly one thing: for the world to define a “Palestinian refugee” as someone who left Mandatory Palestine, or Israel, between 1947 and 1949, and to stop pretending that the millions of descendants of those people are “Palestinian refugees” themselves. After the billions that the United States has poured into UNRWA, it has both the right and the duty to put an end to funding that bloated farce. It is willing to help UNRWA minister to the needs of the 20,000-30,000 Arab refugees still living, but not to those five million descendants. If UNRWA refuses to agree, let it go its own way. Our contribution, and ideally that of our Western allies as well, should at that point be reduced to zero.
Read the peerless Howard Jacobson's speech about Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism
Something tells me you're expecting me to call Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite. There's been a bit about it in the press, and I... well, you know...

But I'm not going to call him anything. He says he isn't an antisemite, Hamas says he isn't an antisemite, the white supremacist David Duke says he isn't an antisemite, and that's good enough for me.

Am I being ironical? Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm incapable of irony.

We know what an antisemite look like. He wears jackboots, a swastika arm-band, and shouts Juden Raus; Jeremy Corbyn wears a British Home Stores vest under his shirt and is softly spoken. Antisemites accuse Jews of killing Jesus; Corbyn is an atheist and seems not to mind if we did or didn't. Whether that's because Jesus was Jewish and killing him meant one less Jew in the world, is not for me to say. And - and - he doesn't deny the Holocaust...

Mind you, he knows a man who does. In fact he knows a surprising number of men who do. That he denies ever having been in their company - until photographs turn up of him rubbing noses with them at the gravesides of mass murderers, offering to show them his belief systems if they'll show him theirs - 'Gosh, they're the same size!' - should come as no surprise. You can't spend your whole life in the company of blood-libellers and holocaust-deniers and expect to remember them all by name.
Labour MPs are conferring legitimacy on anti-Semitism
Former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has been roughed up enough lately and I am loath to add to the calumnies but something he keeps saying bothers me. ‘The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews.’ Sacks has dropped this aphorism into speeches and articles for the past few years and no wonder: it’s a pithier version of the Niemöller verse, a shorthand for the metastatic nature of prejudice.

First of all, I’m not convinced it’s true. They always come for the Jews but they don’t always come for the Communists or the Catholics or the trade unionists, not least because the Communists and the Catholics and the trade unionists are sometimes busy coming for the Jews themselves. There is a more fundamental objection. ‘The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews.’ To which I ask: So what if it did?

What if the fractious bigotries stirred by the Labour Party limited themselves to the Jewish people? Would they be any more tolerable? Why does the left recoil instinctively from hatred of blacks and Muslims and Asians but require a three-hour PowerPoint presentation and a course of diversity training when it comes to Jews? Why is empathy unlocked only by fear the tormentors of the Jews may one day turn on others?

The answer is that the left, specifically the brand of left which Corbyn appeals to, divides the world into three categories: Victims, victimisers and the virtuous. Ethnic and religious minorities have been targets of historical imperialism and contemporary intolerance and so they are victims. Western white men have been largely responsible and so they are victimisers. The left champions the former against the latter and so they are the virtuous.

Avenue to Oblivion
Review: 'To Heal the World? How the Jewish Left Corrupts Judaism and Endangers Israel' by Jonathan Neumann

Jonathan Neumann has written a splendid book. The first-time author has produced a devastating broadside against Jewish radicals who have co-opted tikkun olam—a Hebrew phrase meaning "to heal (or repair) the world"—to claim a special Jewish religious obligation to engage in left-wing politics. "This theology is a contrived religious system," he writes, "a sort of New Age mysticism that distorts the biblical Creation story and Kabbalistic (Jewish mystical) motifs in order to portray the politics of social justice as an organic Jewish teaching."

Most astonishing is their success. Tikkun olam has conquered American Judaism. The community is "shaped by grants … dedicated to tikkun olam," Neumann notes. The Jewish Funders Network distributes $1 billion in grants each year and the Jewish Federations of North America over $2 billion. Both cite tikkun olam as the first of their core values. According to legions of its adherents, he writes, it's Judaism's most fundamental message—"the Torah teaches that the greatest service a Jew can do before God and for humanity is to heal the world—to pursue social justice."

The only trouble is it's not true. Tikkun olam isn't in the Bible, "and it appears overall comparatively rarely in the enormous Jewish canon," Neumann writes. "Most fatally, it has no legal status in traditional Judaism—which is a profoundly legalistic religion." Far from being central to Judaism, tikkun olam corrodes Judaism. Its universalism undermines Jewish peoplehood, gives sanction to anti-Zionism, and promotes assimilation out of Judaism altogether. In chapter after chapter, Neumann dissects the claims of tikkun olam's proponents.

Neumann shows that despite its prevalence (except among the Orthodox, and even they are not wholly immune), the idea that tikkun olam defines the Jewish mission is a new notion. He credits Michael Lerner with popularizing the term in the 1980s. A teaching assistant to Marxist Herbert Marcuse at Berkeley and a member of the radical left-wing Students for a Democratic Society, Lerner typifies a certain kind of secular radical Jew of his generation, "who eventually turns to Judaism to express his or her politics."
Alan Dershowitz: Why Did the Clintons Share the Stage with Farrakhan?
But the "shoe on the other foot" question remains: would he [Former President William Jefferson Clinton] have acted similarly if it had been [David] Duke rather than [Louis] Farrakhan?

Farrakhan is at least as bigoted as Duke. This is a man who only last year called Jews members of the "Synagogue of Satan" and claimed that Jesus called the Jews "the children of the devil." Farrakhan is also a homophobe, claiming that "Jews [are] responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men."

There are not "good people" on the side of anti-Semitism, any more than there are "good people" on the side of white supremacy. There is no place for a double standard when it comes to anti-Semitism. Black anti-Semitism should not get a pass on account of the oppression suffered by so many Black people; neither should "progressive" tolerance of anti-Semitism of the kind shown by Bernie Sanders' support for Jeremy Corbyn, the anti-Semite who heads the British Labour Party and may well become the next prime minister of America's closest ally.
Palestinians seethe over planned US closure of Washington office
A top Palestinian official lashed out at the United States over its expected decision later Monday to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, accusing the Trump administration of seeking to “collectively punish the Palestinian people.”

The planned announcement, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal, comes as US anger grows over Palestinian resistance to its peace overtures and calls by the Palestinian Authority for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel.

In a statement, Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians were informed of the decision to shutter the PLO mission by a US official and categorized the move with recent American funding cuts to aid programs for Palestinians.

“This dangerous escalation shows that the US is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes and attacks against the land and people of Palestine as well as against peace and security in the rest of our region,” he said.

He also reiterated calls for the ICC to probe “Israeli crimes” and vowed the Palestinians would not “succumb to US threats and bullying.”

“Lowering the flag of Palestine in Washington DC means much more than a new slap by the Trump administration against peace and justice,” Erekat said.

“It symbolizes the US attacks against the international system as a whole, including the Paris Convention, UNESCO and the Human Rights Council among others,” he added, referring to US withdrawals from international agreements and organizations under President Donald Trump.
Netanyahu praises ‘correct decision’ by US to shut PLO mission in Washington
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday praised the Trump administration for its decision to shut the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington DC, saying it was “the correct decision.”

“The US took the correct decision,” Netanyahu said in a statement at the end of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. “Israel supports these actions that are meant to make it clear to the Palestinians that refusing to negotiate and attacking Israel in international forums will not bring about peace.”

Michael Oren, a deputy minister and a former ambassador in Washington, also praised the US move.

“With the closing of the PLO office in Washington, the American administration is not changing the rules of the game, but simply restoring them after years of neglect,” Oren said, noting that under the Oslo Accords forbids them to act in order to recognize a Palestinian state outside negotiations with Israel.

“It should be noted, that in contrast to previous administrations that would reward the Palestinians for abandoning the negotiations with Israel, President Trump is forcing the Palestinians to pay a price, Oren said. “As we have seen in the past – giving gifts to the Palestinians only keeps them away from the peace talks, and now the Americans are punishing them in order to make them return to the table.”

Earlier Tuesday, the Palestinian envoy to Washington said his staffers have been given a month to pack up after the US ordered the mission close
US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt Details Thinking Behind Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan
Tasked by US President Donald Trump to help reach the “deal of the century,” Jason Greenblatt, who serves as one of Trump’s top Middle East envoys, has a herculean task before him: to help negotiate the peace plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Along with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Greenblatt — whose official title is assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations — has been the face of the Trump administration’s efforts to roll out a comprehensive plan for Mideast peace. He has traveled numerous times to the region over the past 18 months, often meeting with top officials from Israel and the Arab world to gauge the situation.

The son of Hungarian Jewish refugees, Greenblatt has had a longstanding relationship with Trump, serving as executive vice president and chief legal officer to the Trump organization prior to him taking office. A lawyer by trade, Greenblatt is a relative newcomer to the world of diplomacy, especially when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has befuddled its share of Middle East experts and US senior diplomats over the decades.

Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Greenblatt speaks with JNS reporter Josh Hasten about current bonds with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel, the rocky relationship with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, other regional powers at play, and the complex and uncertain prospects for peace.
John Bolton: U.S. to Desert ‘Outright Dangerous’ International Criminal Court
The United States will withdraw all support from the International Criminal Court, National Security Adviser John Bolton announced Monday, condemning the body as an "assault" on the U.S. Constitution and American sovereignty.

In his first public address since joining the Trump administration in April, Bolton called the court "antithetical to our nation's ideals" and pledged to "use any means necessary" to protect the United States and its allies from "unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court."

"We will not cooperate with the ICC," Bolton said at an event Monday hosted by the conservative Federalist Society. "We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

Bolton's remarks come nearly a year after the ICC prosecutor asked to investigate alleged war crimes committed by U.S. service members and intelligence officials who served in Afghanistan. Bolton rejected the claims as "utterly unfounded" and unjustified.

Bolton threatened sanctions and a ban on travel to the United States against judges and prosecutors involved in attempted tribunals of Americans or Israelis. Countries that cooperate with ICC prosecutions against the United States and its allies risk losing foreign aid.

The United States may also negotiate more binding bilateral agreements to bar nations from surrendering American citizens to the international court.

Set up in 2002, the court was meant to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. More than 120 countries are members, but the United States, China, and Russia never signed up.

"In theory, the ICC holds perpetrators of the most egregious atrocities accountable for their crimes, provides justice to the victims, and deters future abuses," Bolton said. "In practice, however, the court has been ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright dangerous."

"Moreover, the largely outspoken, but always central aim of its most vigorous supporters was to constrain the United States. The objective was not limited to targeting U.S. service members, but rather America's senior political leadership and its relentless determination to keep our country secure."
Bolton warns ICC not to go after Israel, confirms closure of PLO’s DC office
The United States on Monday warned the International Criminal Court against prosecution of US or Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in the Middle East.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.”

In the same speech, Bolton confirmed that the US is closing the PLO’s office in Washington, DC.

In his remarks to the conservative Federalist Society in Washington, Bolton said: “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly… The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”

Bolton pointed to an ICC prosecutor’s request in November 2017 to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the US military and intelligence officials in Afghanistan, especially over the abuse of detainees. Neither Afghanistan nor any other government party to the ICC’s Rome Statute has requested an investigation, Bolton said.

He said the ICC could formally open the investigation “any day now.”

He also cited a recent move by Palestinian leaders to have Israeli officials prosecuted at the ICC for human rights violations.
International court ‘undeterred’ after US sanctions threat
The International Criminal Court on Tuesday said its work would continue “undeterred” after Washington threatened to prosecute its officials if Americans are charged with war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

“The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law,” the tribunal said in a statement.

The Hague-based court’s response comes a day after the United States threatened to arrest and sanction court officials should they move to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel, and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.”
Palestinians Say US Attacks International Law with UN Funding Cuts
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki described on Tuesday President Donald Trump’s decision to halt US funding for the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA as an attack on international law.

Trump’s decision has left UNRWA trying to cover a $200 million shortfall from Gulf and European donors, and has further strained tensions between Washington and the Palestinian leadership.

Relations have sharply deteriorated since Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year, reversing decades of US policy and prompting Arab warnings that it could fuel crises in the region. Foreign governments and organizations, with exceptions including Israel, criticized the move.

“The US administration has begun to attack the rights of the Palestinian people and international law,” Maliki said at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, convened to discuss the issue.

Palestinian leaders say their political situation has deteriorated since Trump took office in 2017 as Washington has pursued policies that favor the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is a close US ally.

Netanyahu has broadly welcomed Trump’s support.

On Monday, the United States also announced it would close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Washington for seeking to punish Israel through the International Criminal Court.
Palestinians file war crimes claim at ICC over slated razing of West Bank hamlet
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday that he had filed a claim with the International Criminal Court in the Hague over what he termed “Israeli war crimes” at a West Bank Bedouin village that is due to be razed Wednesday.

The announcement came a day after US President Donald Trump’s security adviser warned the court against prosecution of US or Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in the Middle East.

“We call on the International Criminal Court to expedite the opening of the investigation into Israel’s crimes,” Erekat said at a press conference in Ramallah.

The dossier submitted “included a focus on the war crimes facing Khan al-Ahmar, specifically the crimes of forcible displacement, ethnic cleansing and the destruction of civilian property,” Erekat said.

In a video posted on the official Twitter feed of the PLO, Erekat said that he wanted the international court to investigate the situation at the West Bank Bedouin hamlet of Khan al-Ahmar and for prosecutors to meet with the council from the village.
Palestinians set up outpost near West Bank Bedouin village due to be razed
Palestinian activists have set up five shipping containers near a Bedouin hamlet to protest the expected razing of the West Bank encampment by Israel.

Activist Abdallah Abu Rahmeh said Tuesday that setting up the white shipping containers near Khan al-Ahmar, one with a Palestinian flag, is a message to Israel that “it’s our right to build on our land.”

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem announced Saturday it had written to the European Union to ask that it intervene to prevent the demolition of the village, which is slated to occur as early as Wednesday.

B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad wrote to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, asking her to take action on the issue.

El-Ad referred to previous statements made by Mogherini warning Israel against the demolition, writing: “We have reached the juncture where it appears that these serious consequences must be spelled out, if the EU is to credibly back its own positions.”
Navy fires in warning as Gazans try to sail burning tires on rafts toward Israel
The Israeli Navy fired warning shots towards Palestinians at a beach in the northern Gaza Strip Monday evening, as thousands demonstrated near the coastal border with Israel, and some attempted to sail makeshift rafts with burning tires towards Israel.

At least 2,000 Palestinians gathered at Gaza’s northern beaches to demonstrate, according to local reports. Protesters burned tires and hurled rocks at Israeli troops near the border, and several threw a makeshift bomb at the soldiers, the army said.

Troops near the border fence used tear gas and other less lethal means against protesters, as well as live fire in certain cases in accordance with open-fire regulations, according to the military. Palestinians reported several injuries, though the specific number was not immediately clear.

Earlier several dozen boats took part in a protest flotilla trying break Israel’s naval blockade off Gaza’s coast, in what has become a common occurrence in recent weeks. The Navy fired warning shots towards the boats and they moved back, according o the army.

Organizers have said the flotillas are part of the “March of Return” protests along Israel’s border, and are meant to highlight the importance of lifting the blockade on the Strip.

Iran ordered to pay $104.7 mln over 1996 U.S. truck bomb attack
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Monday ordered Iran to pay $104.7 million to victims of a June 1996 truck bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US military personnel, though it is unclear when and how the plaintiffs might collect.

Chief Judge Beryl Howell entered a default judgment against Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which did not defend against claims over their alleged roles in the attack, which sheared off the front of the Khobar Towers complex.

Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Howell said 15 service members who were at the complex when it was bombed could recover for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The judge also said 24 relatives could recover for emotional distress from seeing how the bombing affected their loved ones.

Howell rejected punitive damages, saying US law did not allow them for attacks occurring before 2008.

The lawsuit sought damages under the so-called terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Iran nuclear chief: New Natanz nuclear facility producing advanced centrifuges
Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told state media on Sunday that a facility to produce advanced centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear plant has been completed.

Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told the official IRNA news agency that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali “Khamenei ordered us to set up and complete a very advanced hall for the construction of modern centrifuges, and this hall has now been fully equipped and set up,” according to Reuters.

Salehi said Khamenei also ordered the development of nuclear-powered ships, and that this project would take 10-15 years to complete.

Though he said the nuclear-powered ships and new centrifuges would operate within the limits of the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers, Salehi warned that Tehran was considering abandoning the accord in the wake of the US withdrawal earlier this year.

Salehi suggested Iran “might… suspend some of the limitations within the nuclear agreement, for example on the volume and level of enrichment.”

“And the final scenario can be a complete exit from the nuclear accord, which I hope will never happen, with the help of [the remaining signatories], because everyone would suffer,” he was quoted as saying.

Under the 2015 deal — which limits Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief — Tehran is allowed to build and test parts for advanced centrifuges with certain restrictions on quantity.
Iran FM sends all Jews Rosh Hashanah wishes for a year of ‘peace and harmony’
Despite a year that saw Israeli and Iranian forces directly clash, Tehran’s foreign minister on Sunday sent “all Jews” a Rosh Hashanah greeting, wishing them a new year of “peace and harmony.”

“As the sun gives way to the moon, I wish all my Jewish compatriots and Jews worldwide a very Happy New Year filled with peace and harmony. Happy Rosh Hashanah,” tweeted Mohammad Javed Zarif.

His greeting was accompanied by pictures of Iranian Jews praying in a synagogue. The Jewish New Year starts at sundown on Sunday.

Iran had between 80,000 and 100,000 Jews before the 1979 Islamic revolution but most have since fled, mainly to the United States, Israel and Europe. There are now only about 8,500, mostly in Tehran but also in Isfahan and Shiraz, major cities south of the capital.

With one designated member of parliament, Iran’s Jewish community is one of three officially recognized religious minorities. Armenian Christians have two designated MPs, while Assyrian-Chaldeans and Zoroastrians have one each.

Still, many Iranian Jews complain they are not treated equally under the law. In July an Iranian court overturned a ban on religious minorities standing in municipal polls.
USA Today’s new report on Iran’s Jews is Inaccurate and Irresponsible
Every so often the when the Iranian regime’s public image in the West has taken a hit, the regime’s leadership loves to invite various Western media outlets to Iran in order to parade members of the Jewish community in front of them in an effort to bolster their true negative image as an anti-Semitic repressive regime. The regime’s Intelligence Ministry has hand-picked leaders of the Jewish community in Iran telling the Western reporters that Iran is a supposed a “safe and peaceful place” for Jews to live in. Unfortunately in the past Western media outlets such as the Guardian in England, the Forward in New York, the New York Times, CNN or NBC News have either been naïve enough to believe and report these lies, or just complicit in spreading them. Again such has been the case with USA Today recently publishing an article claiming the Jews of Iran feel “safe and respected”. As an Iranian Jewish journalist who has been covering Iranian Jewry worldwide for nearly two decades, I feel compelled to expose USA Today’s inaccurate and irresponsible reporting on Iran’s Jews.

While the reporter who covered this story for USA Today generally mentions the hardships Jews and religious minorities experience in Iran, she inaccurately portrays a “rosy” life for Iran’s Jews throughout her story without giving us the real facts about their real condition. This is done by the reporter repeatedly quoting the Jewish community leaders’ worn out and parroted comments about how life is supposedly “great for the Jews of Iran”. The Iranian regime’s Jewish mouthpieces nowadays are Ciamak Morsadegh, the only Jewish member of the Iranian parliament and the community leader, Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi. Both men are always claiming that the Jews of Iran are living in “total freedom and face no danger while living in Iran.” Yet what both men failed to tell the USA Today reporter and other western journalists are that Jews will say whatever their radical Islamic puppet masters in Tehran tell them to say in order to avoid arrest or other potential calamities brought upon the Jewish community in Iran. Morsadegh and Najafabadi may either be paid stooges for the Iranian regime to spread lies or may be saying good things about the Iranian regime’s treatment of the Jews under duress. The truth of the matter is that the Iranian regime and its secret police of thugs have a tight grip on the activities of the Jewish community in Iran. So how can any journalist in their right mind give any credibility to what these hand-picked “spokespersons” for Iran’s Jews say? Moreover why isn’t the reporter or the editors at USA Today informing the reader of their article that what these men are claiming may not be accurate due to the repressive conditions in which they and other Jews in Iran live in today?
Labour: 'Anti-Semitic' Warsaw Ghetto Vandal to Speak at Corbyn Event
A leftist activist who sprayed anti-Semitic graffiti on the last surviving walls of the Warsaw ghetto, who has been ejected from Israel has been invited to speak alongside the Labour Party conference.

Ewa Jasiewicz, a British anti-Israel activist, will speak at an event convened by Momentum, the powerful pressure group formed around the leadership campaign of Jeremy Corbyn.

She caused outrage in 2010 with her “desecration” of the site in Poland, where an estimated 92,000 Jews died and 300,000 more were detained before being sent to extermination camps, The Times reports.

“The graffiti is antisemitic and so is trying to defend it”, wrote left wing Jewish activist Mikey Franklin in reply to communist blogger and key Corbyn ally Ash Sarkar.

“This graffiti hijacks Jewish historical trauma to assign collective blame to Jews for the occupation of Palestine”, he added.

Jasiewicz and fellow activist Yonatan Shapira sprayed the words “Liberate all ghettos” and “Free Gaza and Palestine” on one of the few original walls from the ghetto.

Speaking alongside Jasiewicz at Momentum’s rally will be party leader Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, the Labour shadow chancellor.
Speaker at UK Labour conference reportedly called to kill Israeli MKs
A woman scheduled to speak at a UK Labour Party conference later this month once called for attacks against the Knesset and Israeli lawmakers, The Times reported Tuesday.

According to the report Ewa Jasiewicz, 40, a British-Polish anti-Israel activist, is scheduled to speak about the future of trade unions at the Momentum festival organized alongside Labour’s annual conference.

The Times said it had unearthed a report from Jasiewicz, written in 2002 when she was living and working in Jenin in the West Bank at the height of the Second Intifada, in which she suggested that terror groups should attack Israeli MKs instead of civilians.

According to the Times, Jasiewicz wrote that the son of the family she was staying with “went and opened fire on some Israeli civilians in a market somewhere a few months ago,” adding: “I don’t get why activists can’t go and do the Knesset or something, or do a sophisticated politician bump-off like the PFLP?”

She was referring to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist group that has conducted numerous terror attacks against Israel and Israeli citizens since it was formed in 1967, including the assassination of then-tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi in 2001.
NY State Senate hopeful accuses Netanyahu’s spokesman of sexually assaulting her
Julia Salazar, a controversial New York State Senate hopeful, on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman for international media David Keyes of having sexually assaulted her. Keyes totally denied the claim.

“I’ve been informed that a story is about to run which identifies me as a victim of sexual assault,” Salazar wrote on her Twitter account. “Before this runs, I want to come forward and confirm that I was a victim of sexual assault by David Keyes — the Prime Minister of Israel’s spokesperson to foreign media,” her statement read.

A campaign manager for Salazar, who recently made headlines after reports accused her of lying about her Jewish identity and her place of birth, told The Times of Israel that the Daily Caller website informed him that they were about to publish a story naming her as the woman who had previously, but anonymously, accused Keyes of sexual assault in 2013.

In 2016, the newly appointed Keyes was accused by a woman who asked to remain anonymous of having forced himself upon her three years earlier in New York.

At the time, Keyes did not deny an encounter with the woman, but said that there was “absolutely no coercion in our encounter,” an official said on Keyes’s behalf.

“This story appears to be an effort to cast doubt upon my, and other women’s, accusations against Keyes,” Salazar wrote Wednesday.

“I’ve spoken to other journalists who were investigating accusations against David Keyes on background about this experience, but have never spoken on the record about it until now. There’s a reason women don’t often come forward after a traumatic experience — because of the triggering and vicious responses that follow,” she wrote.

Salazar added: “I strongly believe sexual assault survivors should not be outed in this way, and am saddened by the effect this story may have on other women.”

“This false accusation is made by someone who has proven to be repeatedly dishonest about her own life. This is yet another example of her dishonesty,” he told The Times of Israel.
Fact Checker: every word in Julia Salazar’s bio is false. “Even the punctuation.” (satire)
An exhaustive and comprehensive review of New York State Senate candidate Julia Salazar‘s stated biography has revealed that every single part of it was totally made up, including the words ‘and’, ‘the‘, the number ‘3‘, the letter ‘Q‘, and all of the punctuation to include the commas, semi-colons, and parentheses.

The Daily Freier Institute for Fact Checking Excellence released their report this morning, and it has taken the media by storm. “You know how the TV News awards you ‘Pinocchios’ if you make something up?” explained The Freier Institute’s lead Fact Checker Aaron Pomerantz. “We literally don’t have enough ‘Pinocchios’ to award her so we rated her “Geppetto” in hopes that this will lead to the creation of more Pinocchios.“

Mr. Pomerantz then laid out his Institute’s findings: “Not only did she create the image of growing up poor despite living in a McMansion and having a $600,000 Trust Fund, she also created a Jewish family identity completely unknown to her brother and parents. Additionally, she appears to be the only person to ever immigrate to America from…. Florida.” Mr. Pomerantz then described further inconsistencies. “See that comma in paragraph 2? She made it up. Also that semi colon. And that apostrophe. Also the letter “Q” in that footnote over there. Then there’s that Number “6” in the addendum. Fake, Fake, Fake, Fake.”
UCLA Agrees to Host Radical Anti-Israel Conference
UCLA has agreed to host the annual conference for Students for Justice in Palestine, a radical student group that leads much of the anti-Israel campus activity at universities across the country, the Jewish Journal reports.

UCLA has been under pressure to back out of hosting the group given its history of disrupting Jewish events on campus and promoting movements such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which aims to destroy Israel through economic warfare.

In its statement, the university said that it opposes the BDS campaign, but still feels obligated to host the event.

"Use of campus space by a student organization such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) does not mean that UCLA endorses the event or agrees with the views expressed by the event organizers," the university said. "For example, UCLA and the University of California Regents continue to firmly oppose boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel."

"Especially in a university setting, controversial topics should be discussed thoughtfully and respectfully, free from demonization, insult or ethnic bias. UCLA holds participants at campus events organized by registered student groups to the standards of behavior set forth in the UCLA Student Code of Conduct and applicable laws, and is committed to ensuring the safety of all of our students."

Pro-Israel groups critical of UCLA's decision point to SJP's disruption of campus events held by groups supportive of Israel earlier this year.

The Israeli-American Council criticized the decision in a press release, saying the school was putting the safety of its Jewish students at risk by agreeing to host a group openly hostile to Israel's existence.
Zionists in Berkeley!
Taking our proud, fearless Zionism into the streets. These photos were taken at the Solano Stroll Berkeley, California Street Fair 9/9/2018 . The Solano Stroll is the largest street fair in the East Bay, and attracts hundreds of thousands of participants.

Israeli music scene jolted by international boycott movement
Israel’s Meteor Festival was meant to bring together indie groups from around the world in what organizers billed as a Woodstock-like “cutting edge musical journey that surpasses borders and distorts time and space.”

Instead, some 20 acts, including headliner Lana Del Rey, withdrew at the last minute amid apparent pressure from a Palestinian-led international boycott campaign.

The cancellations turned the weekend festival, held in the bucolic setting of an Israeli kibbutz, into the latest battleground between Israel and the boycott movement that says it seeks to end Israeli rule over Palestinians.

Campaign organizers claimed success, saying it reflects growing opposition to Israeli government policies among international millennials.

“The fact that these artists are canceling is showing just how different the younger generation is viewing Israel,” said Diana Buttu, a Palestinian analyst who supports the movement known as BDS.

The campaign, founded in 2005, calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli businesses, cultural institutions and universities.
Anti-Semitic fliers posted near five San Francisco-area synagogues
Anti-Semitic fliers were posted at or near five San Francisco-area synagogues ahead of Rosh Hashanah.

The fliers, which included caricatures of Jews with big hooked noses rubbing their hands together, named the far-right website Daily Stormer, one of the internet’s most prominent anti-Semitic outlets.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a community security advisory about the fliers on Friday, J, The Jewish News of Northern California, reported.

“The Jews came for the Daily Stormer, and I said nothing … they are coming for YOUR free speech next,” the fliers read. They show the dates and website domains of the Daily Stormer that have been canceled by hosts in the last year.

The fliers also contain an image of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, founder of the InfoWars website whose podcasts and channels were removed recently from Facebook, YouTube and Apple’s media platform, with a Star of David placed over his mouth.

Jones is being sued by families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, including at least one Jewish family, for saying that the attack was staged by actors and that there is no proof that the children are dead.

The fliers say they are “Brought to you by your local Stormer book club.”
US marks 9/11 with somber tributes, new monument to victims
Americans were commemorating 9/11 with somber tributes, volunteer projects, and a new monument to victims Tuesday, after a year when two attacks demonstrated the enduring threat of terrorism in the nation’s biggest city.

Margie Miller was among the 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers, and others who gathered on a misty Tuesday morning at the memorial plaza where the World Trade Center’s twin towers once stood. She came to the site from her home in suburban Baldwin, as she does 10 or so times a year, to remember her husband, Joel Miller. Only a few fragments of his remains were recovered.

“To me, he is here. This is my holy place,” his widow said, before the ceremony began with a moment of silence and tolling bells at 8:46 a.m., the time when the trade center was hit by the first of two terrorist-piloted planes.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence headed to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, in the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

The president and first lady Melania Trump planned to join an observance at the Sept. 11 memorial in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a new “Tower of Voices” was dedicated Saturday. Pence is attending a ceremony at the Pentagon. Trump, a Republican and native New Yorker, took the occasion of last year’s anniversary to issue a stern warning to extremists that “America cannot be intimidated.”
Trump to mark 9/11 at Flight 93 Pennsylvania memorial
Americans are commemorating 9/11 with somber tributes, volunteer projects and a new monument to victims, after a year when two attacks demonstrated the enduring threat of terrorism in the nation’s biggest city.

Thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected at Tuesday’s anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center, while President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will head to the two other places where hijacked planes crashed on September 11, 2001, in the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

The president and first lady Melania Trump plan to join an observance at the September 11 memorial in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a new “Tower of Voices” was dedicated Saturday.
Refurbished Torah Honors American Jewish Soldier Who Fought in Afghanistan
After losing his brother — an American soldier who served in active combat in Afghanistan — more than a decade ago, Michael Steininger wanted to honor that service by donating a Torah, which he bought from a now-defunct synagogue that he belonged to in suburban Baltimore.

But due to the high costs associated with the repair of the 50- to 75-year-old scroll, he had to find someone who could fix it affordably before he could designate it in the memory of his brother, Martin Steininger, who died stateside at the age of 38.

Not only did he find someone to help with that, but the same person was able to connect to him to someone who would honor his brother’s legacy through inspiring others who served America, like Martin once did.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Bentzion Chanowitz, who runs the Beis Yisroel Torah Gemach in Brooklyn, N.Y., which repairs and lends Torahs to Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries throughout the world. The organization is overseen by Merkos Suite 302 in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.

The goal of a gemach, or free-loan fund, is to help other Jews, fiscally and often materially.
Trump in Rosh Hashanah Message: Strength and Perseverance of Jewish People ‘Inspire Us All”
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania sent the Jewish people their “warmest greetings” on Sunday ahead of the start of Rosh Hashanah.

“Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the New Year in the Jewish faith,” the president said in a statement. “Far and wide, the trumpet of the shofar signals both a time of reflection and repentance. Along with devout prayer and fellowship, Jews worldwide will practice teshuva during the Ten Days of Repentance to deepen their relationship with God.”

“Today, we reflect on the importance of religious liberty and ask that the Almighty bless Jewish families, both in the United States and around the world,” he continued. “The Jewish people have endured and overcome unthinkable persecution and suffering. Yet, despite the challenges they have faced, their strength and perseverance continue to inspire us all.”

“Melania and I pray that the High Holy Days are filled with God’s peace, love, and mercy,” Trump concluded. “We wish a blessed and happy New Year to all those observing Rosh Hashanah.”

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