Monday, October 22, 2018

From Ian:

Haaretz: Palestinians' Refusal to Accept the Jewish National Movement Has Been Disastrous for Them
Palestinians commonly describe their conflict with Zionism and Israel as an anti-colonialist struggle. According to the rules of postcolonial discourse, those who fight against colonialism are in the right by definition and are never responsible for anything.

But the Palestinians' ongoing refusal to accept that they are confronting a people and a rival national movement has been disastrous for them.

The anti-colonialist struggles of the 20th century succeeded even though the colonial powers were always much stronger than those who fought them. The colonialist power ultimately gave up the fight and retreated.

But Zionism was a national movement of a persecuted people whose ties to the land have been part of their identity and culture. The people who came here left behind them not a colonial mother country under whose auspices they were acting, but rather Czarist Russia, anti-Semitic Poland or Nazi Germany. Applying the term "colonialism" to such a situation empties this term of most of its moral and analytical significance.

It's a pity that the leaders of the Arab national movement in Palestine did not make an effort to understand how the Jews perceived themselves, their situation and their connection to this land. They assumed that the founding of the Jewish national home was a luxury of sorts for the Jews, and that they could be made to give up their state, just as Britain and France were once "persuaded" to give up their overseas colonies.

Someone who displays such a degree of blindness toward the other side's fundamental character is likely to bring disaster on his own people. The "anti-colonialist" blindness in relation to Israel fostered an expectation that Israel would crumble from within. After all, this wasn't a real people and a real nation-state, but some "invented" artificial entity.
Dennis Ross: Did Camp David Doom the Palestinians?
Seth Anziska's new book, Preventing Palestine: A Political History From Camp David to Oslo, portrays the Camp David Accords as largely responsible for denying the Palestinians self-determination and statehood. But I was present at the meeting between Yasser Arafat and President Bill Clinton in December 2000 when Arafat said no to Clinton's parameters, which went well beyond what then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak proposed at the summit in July.

The Clinton parameters offered the Palestinians a viable state with 97% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza, and a guaranteed corridor connecting the two; this would have been an independent state. Arafat's rejection and the resort to violence in the Second Intifada, in which 1,100 Israelis were killed, left the Israeli public believing that there was no Palestinian partner for peace.

Anziska blames the Camp David Accords, but those of us negotiating the agreements did not see them as denying Palestinian rights. Not only would the Clinton parameters have undone the autonomy noted in the Camp David Accords, had the Palestinians said yes or offered a serious counterproposal. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008 and the Obama/Kerry principles in March 2014 would have done the same.

Yet there was no serious Palestinian response to these proposals. The sad truth is that at critical junctures, Palestinian leaders chose to say no and the Palestinian people have paid the price for their leaders' rejection.

Netanyahu Hails Former PM Rabin as ‘Patriot of the First Rank’ at Knesset Session Marking 1995 Assassination
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin as a “Zionist patriot of the first rank” in a special Knesset session on Sunday marking the leader’s 1995 assassination.

His comments came soon after Rabin’s granddaughter issued a ferocious condemnation of the Israeli right at a ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of the tragic event.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, at the official commemoration of Rabin’s death on Mount Herzl, his granddaughter Noa Rothman said, “Many of the officials in this country participate in fanning the flames of the bonfire of incitement.”

Speaking of the current situation in Israel, Rothman asserted, “Criticism of Israel is considered treason. If you don’t stop the march of incitement and the deepening of the divisions between us and the inflammatory rhetoric, there will be another spilling of blood here. For my grandfather, it is already too late.”

She also asserted that an official in Netanyahu’s office had published a social media post with a picture of Rabin’s 1993 handshake with Yasser Arafat in the White House under the headline “traitor.”

Denying he ever encouraged the idea that Rabin was a traitor, Netanyahu remarked, “It never happened. This, to my sorrow, is an example of the fact that sometimes, alongside the dialogue on moderation and fighting incitement, they say things that are hurtful and baseless. Not only about me, but about an entire public, that have no basis in reality.”

“I said he was mistaken, not a traitor,” Netanyahu said at the Knesset session. “Rabin was not a traitor, he was a Zionist patriot of the first rank.”

The deal that disappeared
Historian Kobby Barda has found a lost chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: After World War II, the U.S. gave Israel and Arab nations $1.5 billion to solve the Middle East refugee problem. But only Israel lived up to its end of the deal.

Among the many documents that record in detail Kenen's work in the first years of Israel's existence as a state, Barda discovered a lost chapter in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the start of the 1950s, in addition to pouring money into the Marshall Plan to rehabilitate Europe after World War II, the U.S. decided to provide money to Arab states and Israel so they could find a solution to the refugee problem created by the 1948 War of Independence.

The American aid earmarked to solve the issue of Middle East refugees was supposed to have been split evenly between Israel and the Arab states, with each side receiving $50 million to build infrastructure to absorb refugees. The money to take in the Arab refugees was handed over to the U.N. agency founded to address the issue of Palestinian refugees, and the Americans gave Arab countries another $53 million for "technical cooperation." In effect, the Arab side received double the money given to Israel, even though Israel took in more refugees, including ones from Arab nations – Jews who had been displaced by the regional upheavals. The amount Congress allocated to provide for Middle East refugees – Jewish and Arab – at the request of then-President Harry Truman was equal to $1.5 billion today.

"When I saw the documents, I was in complete shock," Barda says.

"The U.S. undertook to fund a solution to the refugee problem in the Middle East. A message Harry S. Truman sent Congress explicitly says that this is where the matter ends. It was a commitment the president made in a letter to convince Congress to vote for the aid bill. In other words, an important chapter in the history of the conflict has been lost, simply swept away by history. The people who worked on it aren't alive anymore, and there's no one who will put it back on the table. Now, when the Trump Administration is coming up with new ideas to solve the conflict and address the refugee issue, the information takes on new relevance. (h/t vwVwwVwv)
Newly Translated Documents Reveal the Extent of the Soviet Union’s Escalation During the Yom Kippur War
The new documents show that Brezhnev sought to take advantage of Nixon’s political strife back in America — this was during the apex of the Watergate scandal — to secure an Arab victory.

And the circumstances in which all the actors found themselves seem more fitted for a Hollywood thriller than real life.

During the war, Nixon committed what is famously known as his Saturday Night Massacre, when he fired his attorney general and deputy attorney general, and the special prosecutor looking into Watergate, Archibald Cox. Caught in the imbroglio that would eventually end his presidency, Nixon was infamously a mess, wandering through the White House talking to paintings in a drunken stupor. (He would eventually resign from office, as his impeachment became inevitable.)

Brezhnev was not doing much better himself. While his grip on power was not imperiled, he was addicted to sleeping pills and alcohol, and was acting uncharacteristically erratic. That was unbeknownst to then-secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who first received Brezhnev’s threatening letter to Nixon.

Given the US president’s precarious position — and the fact that he was indisposed when the letter came in — Kissinger consulted with then-White House chief of staff Alexander Haig and other national security officials, who jointly decided to move America’s nuclear alert level to Defcon 3.

The new documents show that this was not just a reaction to the Soviets’ sending a naval brigade into the Mediterranean, which was believed to be the reason at the time. It was, in fact, because intelligence reports found that a Soviet ship believed to be carrying nuclear cargo was en route for the Egyptian port of Alexandria.
Melanie Phillips: Labour antisemitism, Brexit, Khashoggi
Please join me below as I chew over some of the major issues around at the moment with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired.

We discuss the recent shocking assault on two Jewish women when they attempted to protest against Labour party antisemitism at a meeting of hard-left and anti-Israel activists.

We also discuss the latest crunch moment for Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May in the country’s never-ending Brexit agony (you can read my thoughts about this here).

And finally we discuss the presumed murder of the Saudi exile Jamal Khashoggi and the implications of this debacle for Saudi/US relations.

Why Are U.S. Academics Attending a Conference Led by a Terror Supporter in Erdogan’s Turkey?
The conference’s rogue’s gallery of sponsors includes the emirate of Qatar, ever eager to provide cover for both terrorists – whether of the Taliban or Hamas variety – and Islamists. Demonstrating its alliance with Turkey, it sent a few professors from the College of Islamic Studies in Doha where, not coincidentally, Georgetown has a campus, where Al-Arian’s son Abdullah teaches history. He earned his Ph.D. at Georgetown.

In addition to lending Al-Arian a thin veneer of respectability, the conference provided a platform to denounce the evils of European (but not Arab, Turkish, or Persian) colonialism and compare Israel to Apartheid South Africa. IZU professor Mehmet Bulut complained about the U.S. moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

All this rank hypocrisy on display is enough to make a decent person gag, and the Americans participating deserve to be called out for dragging their respective schools into the mire. They include:

• Joseph Massad of Columbia University, whose brutish behavior towards Jewish students was the subject of a documentary and an extensive Ad Hoc Grievance Committee investigation.
• Nader Hashemi of the University of Denver, an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood.
• Mujeeb R. Khan of the University of California, Berkeley, who has defended Erdoğan at Al-Jazeera by portraying him as a democrat.
• Hafsa Kanjwal of Lafayette College (PA), an Al-Jazeera writer who sees Islamophobia everywhere, even in criticism of the Taliban.
• Sarah Shields of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a prominent advocate of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

To these professors and others contemplating a conference appearance in Turkey, one is compelled to ask: would you also participate in a conference in Iran, perhaps to applaud the domestic liberties accorded by its brand of Shia Islam, or in Damascus for a colloquium on human rights and the dignity of man with the cream of the Assad regime’s intelligentsia?

Not to get all Joseph Welch on you, but “Have you no decency?” (h/t MtTB)
Blood Libel from Al Awda co-founder Zahi Damuni
Dr. Zahi Damuni is the co-founder and the first executive director of the anti-Israel extremist group Al Awda. He's well published, and has taught biochemistry at the university level.

You'd think he'd have some rudimentary research skills.

You'd be wrong.

Yesterday, Zahi Dauni published a photo, claiming it represented the 1967 mass murder of Egyptian prisoners of war.

Blood libel.

The actual photo was taken during the Yom Kippur war, in 1973, by photographer Micha Bar-Am. Its captioned "Suez Canal.October 1973. A trench with Egyptian prisoners of war captured by the Israelis along the banks of the Suez Canal."

This modern day blood libel has been shared over 900 times, proving again that a lie can travel half-way across the world, before the truth gets a chance to put on its pants.
Scottish Jewish lawyer sent to diversity training after row with BDS activist
A Jewish pro-Israel Scottish lawyer has been ordered by the country’s Law Society to undergo “diversity training” and pay a fine over an online spat with pro-Palestinian campaigners in which he used strong language against an activist.

Matthew Berlow, a criminal solicitor based in Glasgow, told The Herald that according to the ruling he will have to pay a fine of £1,750 as well as an additional £100 to University of Aberdeen lecturer and pro-Palestinian campaigner Dr. Karolin Hijazi, for calling her a “snowflake” and a “wannabe justice warrior.”

He was also told to undergo diversity training, but said he would appeal that ruling, calling it “perverse.” A new online crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £4,000 to cover the legal costs of such an appeal.

The dispute began in 2016, when pro-Palestinian activists protested an Israeli businessman selling Dead Sea products at a shopping mall in Aberdeen.

The seller, Nissan Ayalon, told BBC at the time: “We were accused of murdering, mass murdering, slaughter, criminals, we were called criminal enterprise. We were called baby killers.” He said other nearby stalls selling Dead Sea products were not protested.

He has since left the United Kingdom.
BDS alert: Those “made-in-Israel” boycott signs are backfiring
A small sign placed next to some products imported from Israel on the shelf of a Metro grocery store in north Toronto recently caught my eye. It read:

“Warning! Do not buy this product. Made in Israel: a state promoting ethnic discrimination and pursuing the violent dispossession of indigenous Palestinians. Boycott Israel until it respects international law!”

A Metro spokeswoman told me they were working to have the signs (put up by an unaffiliated group and without permission) removed, and that those views did not reflect the store’s opinions. So good for Metro for not caving.

But a funny thing happened when I visited the store to confirm the sign shenanigans had stopped, because I ended up buying a can of Motola pickled cucumbers imported from Israel — and they were divine!

Now, I’m on the lookout for more made-in-Israel products and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be purchasing the stuff we’re supposed to be shunning.

And another thing these numbskulls should know is that if the goal in torpedoing Israeli companies via BDS is to further the cause of Palestinians, guess what? The evidence shows your efforts are actually having the opposite effect there too.

IsraellyCool: Flying Pig Alert: Completely Positive AP Story on Israel
But was it worth the weight?

Dozens of glistening competitors took the stage for an annual body building and fitness competition in Tel Aviv last week. But behind the scenes, machismo made way for cooperation.

Just short of 80 contestants participated in 14 categories at this year’s Israel’s National Amateur Body Builders’ Association competition.

Backstage, the mood was one of camaraderie. In the run up to the flex-off, Jews and Arabs, male and female, young and old from around the country, worked together ahead of the big show.

“There is no politics whatsoever in the sport,” said Yoni Hanna, president of the Israeli chapter of the National Amateur Body Builders’ Association.

The report continues to speak about the winners and that’s it. No boilerplate sentence about how Israeli is maintaining a “50-year-old occupation” or anything of the sort. Just positivity and an accurate reflection of how Jews and Arabs in Israel mostly get along.
Murky Waters AFP’s Story on Gaza Swimmers Who ‘Had to Brave the Sea’
Unmentioned is the fact that Amjad Tantish is, according to his own description on the Indiegogo site, “a known foreign media fixer in Gaza that work for biggest world media outlets in Gaza.” Does Tantish also work for AFP, or has he done so in the past? The wire agency, which has previously run into trouble for employing a journalist who himself was part of the story, doesn’t say. Which other media outlets (namely The Independent and China’s Xinhua ) which covered Tantish’s swimmers might work with him, or have worked with him in the past, without saying so?

Beyond the questions about transparency and conflict of interest, another obvious flaw with the story is that it fails to mention that Tantish clearly trains many young aspiring swimmers in Gaza who do have access to swimming pools and who train in pools. A video produced by The Independent recounts that after the 2014 war, Tantish used debris from buildings destroyed in the fighting to build a barrier and create a pool by the sea. “Four years on,” says the Independent narrator, “Amjdad [Tantish] has selected the best candidates from his sea swim program and now uses local pools for his training sessions.”

Indeed, there is no shortage of photographs of young swimmers with their sights on the Olympics training in Gaza’s pools. Days ago, AFP itself distributed photographs from Anadolu news agency showing young athletes training in pools.

Even on Tantish’s own Facebook page it is possible to find photographs of young swimmers training in a Beit Lahia pool right next to the sea.

Also not credible is AFP’s claim that, aside from this hardy group of determined and desperate swimmers with no other options, “almost no one enters” the waters off Gaza’s beaches. The article states: “The Mediterranean hugs the entire 40 kilometre (25 miles) western border of the Gaza Strip, but almost no one enters its waters. Later, it adds: “For those still willing to get wet, environmental experts say the water near Beit Lahia in northern Gaza has the lowest rate of pollution.” In fact, enjoying the beach is a popular past-time along the Gaza coast, as AFP pictures demonstrate.
BBC World Service radio adopts the PLO’s language
Failing to clarify that no UN Security Council resolution was in fact passed on that topic, Menendez went on:

Menendez: “Well, now another change: the mission to the Palestinians is going to be subsumed into the new US embassy. It’ll be called the Palestinian Affairs Unit. The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it’s about achieving efficiencies. Palestinians say it’s just another move to downgrade them. Well let’s talk to Martin Indyk, himself a former US ambassador to Israel, now [at] the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Welcome to the programme. How would you characterise this move?”

Indyk: “Oh I don’t think there can be any doubt that it is a downgrading of US representation to the Palestinians that is consistent with the decision to establish the embassy in Jerusalem – the US embassy to Israel – in Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. And in doing so the president – President Trump – made no reference to Palestinian claims to Jerusalem and so I think this is just…just a further symbolic and management act that demonstrates that the last…the symbolic toe-hold for the Palestinians in terms of American policy – their toe-hold in Jerusalem – is now gone.”

Failing to explain that the US president’s December 2017 announcement specifically stated that “[t]he United States continues to take no position on any final status issues” and “[t]he specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties. The United States is not taking a position on boundaries or borders”, Menendez then came up with the following bizarre statement-cum-question:

Menendez: “Eh…I mean in a place where symbols matter hugely, I mean is it also symbolic of this one-state solution – the Greater Israel as the government there calls it – with everybody being under one roof?”
BBC WS News conceals crossings closure context
Listeners to the BBC World Service news on the morning of October 21st were informed by newsreader Rosemary Crick that:

Crick: “Four days after closing the crossing for goods and people between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Israel’s defence minister Avigdor Lieberman has reopened it. A statement from his office said the decision was taken after a decrease in violence in Gaza and because of efforts to restrain Palestinian demonstrators made by Hamas – the militant group that controls the Strip.”

As readers probably know – but apparently BBC World Service news producers do not – there are two separate crossings for goods (Kerem Shalom) and people (Erez) and so Crick’s opening sentence is inaccurate and misleading.

In addition to her portrayal of violent rioters as “demonstrators” and a terrorist organisation as a “militant group”, Crick failed to inform BBC audiences around the world why the two crossings had been closed in the first place.
Irish street art tradition gives platform to anti-Israel incitement
For decades, the streets of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, were a war zone. High walls, roadblocks and tall steel gates separated Catholics and Protestants.

But after the reconciliation, the foundations of which were laid some 20 years ago with the Good Friday Agreement, the walls of separation became so-called Peace Walls with the help of artists.

Today, the art adorning these walls is one of the more important tourist attractions in the city.

The Irish nationalist movement's utter affinity for Palestinian terrorist organizations is expressed in the incitement to violence depicted by Catholic artists. Solidarity to other national movements, such as the Catalans or Kurds, is expressed in murals lacking any violent symbolism or calls to boycott Spain or Turkey, but the wall art touching on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is completely different.

The artists, mostly in the neighborhoods dominated by the armed republican groups, update their works in accordance with developments: After Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, artwork depicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in a blood-filled bathtub representing the Gaza Strip.

More recently, amid the latest Gaza border demonstrations, an image has been added of a handicapped Palestinian demonstrator in a wheelchair throwing stones at IDF soldiers. The caption says, "Oppression breeds resistance. They took his land, his legs, and finally his life."

Robert Faurisson, a father of the Holocaust denial movement, dies at 89
Robert Faurisson, a former French academic whose denial of the Holocaust has inspired many claims that the genocide did not happen, died in his hometown of Vichy. He was 89.

British-born Faurisson was a staunch defender of Marshal Philippe Petain, the French leader who collaborated with Nazi occupiers of the country during World War II, and whose government is named for its former seat of Vichy. He died Sunday, according to AFP.

Faurisson was convicted several times for claiming there was no systematic mass killings of Jews by Nazi Germany.

He “had just returned from England when he collapsed in the hallway of his home in Vichy” on Sunday evening, his sister Yvonne Schleiter said.

A former professor of French literature at the University of Lyon, Faurisson maintained that the gas chambers in Auschwitz were the “biggest lie of the 20th century,” saying deported Jews died instead of disease and malnutrition.

He also contested the authenticity of the diary of Anne Frank, the German-born girl who managed to hide with her family from the Nazis for two years in Amsterdam before being caught and sent to concentration camps.

After France passed a law in 1990 making Holocaust denial a crime, Faurisson was repeatedly prosecuted and fined for his writings. He was dismissed from his academic post in 1991.
Haifa’s Rambam Hospital Teams with Georgia Tech to Launch Med-Tech Incubator in Atlanta
Rambam Health Care Campus of Haifa and the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) – an affiliate of the Georgia Institute of Technology — are partnering to start a med-tech incubator for Israeli-based companies in Atlanta.

GCMI, along with Rambam doctors and specialists from various fields, will provide advice and consultation to Israeli companies at the new Biomedical and Digital Health Innovation Center to help them obtain funding, navigate commercialization and regulatory clearance and other necessities for entering the US healthcare market.

“Israeli engineering and entrepreneurial expertise regularly translate to medical devices capable of improving patient outcomes while driving the overall cost of care down in many parts of the world, including the United States. We believe our commercialization pathway expertise will increase the speed at which Israeli med-tech innovations achieve key milestones and ultimately FDA clearance for use in the United States,” said GCMI CEO Tiffany Wilson.

Companies selected for the incubator will be hosted for six to 12 months.
Chinese vice president arrives in Israel to boost business ties
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan arrived in Israel Monday for a four-day visit focusing on high-level talks on economic cooperation.

Wang, 70, is the most senior Chinese official to visit the Jewish state in nearly two decades. In April 2000, Jiang Zemin became the first-ever leader of the People’s Republic to visit Israel.

Shortly after arriving on a special Air China flight, Wang, the country’s eighth-highest-ranking official, headed to the Old City of Jerusalem, where he visited the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Old City is in East Jerusalem, which Beijing does not recognize as Israeli territory.

Nonetheless, Wang was accompanied during there by two senior officials from the Foreign Ministry: chief of protocol Reuven Meron and deputy director-general for Asia and the Pacific Gilad Cohen.

Wang, who was greeted at Ben-Gurion Airport by Water and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, was accompanied by a large delegation, including two ministers and 12 deputy ministers, according to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.
US Treasury’s Mnuchin Hails Israel Investment Opportunities, Eyes Infrastructure
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised investment opportunities in Israel on Sunday and said Washington would increase its participation in infrastructure projects there.

“We have a very important relationship with Israel. This is really a great place for investments, particularly technology investments,” Mnuchin, launching a Middle East tour, told reporters in Jerusalem.

“We are going to make sure we do more infrastructure investments here,” he added, without elaborating, in remarks alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel and the United States have strong trade and business ties, particularly in the high-tech sector. Most of the large US high-tech firms including Google, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM have research and development centers in Israel.

Intel Corp in May submitted plans to expand its production operations in Israel, with the Israeli government saying the US chipmaker would invest about $5 billion. Intel’s exports from Israel amounted to $3.6 billion in 2017.
Gilad Shalit celebrates seven years of freedom from Hamas captivity
Gilad Shalit celebrated his seven year anniversary of his release from Hamas captivity by supporting children with disabilities at the Shalva Israel Gala Dinner on Monday.

Shlava, which provides an array of services for individuals with disabilities, brought together thousands of people to support the organization and its work.

Among the attendees were Shalit and his girlfriend Nitzan. Shalit was held captive by Hamas for 5 years, from 2006-2011. He was captured by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels. He gained his freedom during a prisoner exchange, where Israel released 1,027 prisoners in return for Shalit.

Shalit's whereabouts and well-being has often been the speculation of Israeli citizens, but he has kept a low profile since his release.

Given a second chance, Shalit has dedicated his time helping others including his volunteer work with Shalva children.

Shalva raised over two million shekel throughout the night for one of it's rehabilitative programs for children and young-adults.

"Shalva is place that not only cares for people with disabilities, but also provides them and their families with the dignity and embrace that they so desperately need," David HaYisraeli, father of Yehuda Yitzchak HaYisraeli who was critically wounded in an effort to save kidnapped Hadar Goldin the IDF Operation Protective Edge, said in his keynote speech at the event.
IsraellyCool: Tennis Star Eugenie Bouchard in Israel: “I Love This Place”
Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard was recently in Israel, posting her love of the country on Instagram to her 1.8 million followers (as well as on Facebook to her 1.5 million followers).

Naturally, she received quite a bit of hate for this from the online Israel haters and antisemites. But Eugenie would have none of it, returning this passing shot for the win!

We have seen a few examples of celebrities and sportspeople backing down or deleting their pro-Israel posts after receiving such torrents of abuse. How refreshing to see one with the balls to stand their ground. Props to you, Eugenie!

When Sears Used the Market to Combat Jim Crow
Since the late 1800s, Sears has made a name for itself as a staple of the middle class. For the first time, a new class of people was able to enjoy modern household appliances and furniture at an affordable price. And even better, these goods were shipped right to their door. While it is widely recognized that the Sears catalog made the middle-class American dream more accessible to a wider range of people, there is one piece of history that is often overlooked.

At the end of the 19th century, the South had been completely devastated, not only by the Civil War but also by the Reconstruction policies put into place thereafter. As is their specialty, the federal government’s meddling in the aftermath of the war had left the South more divided than ever. Slavery may have been abolished, but the era of Jim Crow ushered in widespread segregation, creating a vast divide between black and white Americans.

History tells us of the brutality and overt racism that spread through the “separate but equal” South at this time. Lynchings, beatings, and other atrocities terrorized the black population, leaving many scared to leave their homes to do simple tasks such as buying groceries or walking alone in unwelcoming neighborhoods.

As the Washington Post reports:
“Before the advent of the mail-order catalogue, rural black Southerners typically only had the option of shopping at white-owned general stores — often run by the owner of the same farm where they worked as sharecroppers. Those store owners frequently determined what African Americans could buy by limiting how much credit they would extend.”

In many instances, store owners would refuse to sell items to their black customers until they were sure that the white consumers had completed their shopping. And often, black customers only had access to lower-quality items. In historian Grace Elizabeth Hale’s essay, "Jumpin’ Jim Crow: Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights,” she writes:

“A black man who needed clothing received a shirt ‘good enough for a darky to wear’ while a black family low on provisions could have only the lowest grade of flour.” (h/t MtTB)

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