Saturday, January 19, 2019

From Ian:

Palestinians' Anti-Semitic Stereotyping of Jews
The Palestinian uproar over the scene of a religious Jewish policeman can, in short, best be described as a display of anti-Semitism. Otherwise, how do the Palestinians explain their non-objection to a non-religious Jewish policeman patrolling the holy site? Why is it all right for a policeman without a skullcap to enter the Dome of the Rock, but not all right for one wearing a skullcap to visit the site?

The Palestinians who protested against the policeman wearing the skullcap were following the words of their president, Abbas, when he stated that the Palestinians won't allow Jews with their filthy feet to defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque." In this instance, though, the Palestinians were disturbed not by the policeman's "filthy feet", but by the fact that he was a religious Jew. Perhaps Abbas should modify his statement from 2015 so that it would include, in addition to "Jews with their filthy feet," also: "Religious Jews wearing a skullcap."

Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are clearly trying to drag Israel into a religious conflict with all Muslims, not only Palestinians. The Temple Mount has become their favorite platform for disseminating blood libels and fabrications against Israel and Jews. If anyone is defiling the sanctity of the holy site, it is Abbas and his representatives in the West Bank. Abbas's ruling Fatah faction played a major role in the protests that erupted over the latest incident at the Dome of the Rock (involving the policeman with the skullcap. The police later detained Awad Salaymeh, a senior Fatah official in east Jerusalem, for his role in the incident involving the policeman. He and other Fatah activists were at the scene as part of their leadership's ongoing effort to instigate tensions between Jews and Muslims at the Temple Mount.

Other forms of Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews at the Temple Mount include weekly sermons delivered by leading Islamic figures. Almost every Friday, another senior Islamic cleric uses the podium to deliver inflammatory sermons against Israel and Jews. One of these clerics is Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the former Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, who last week told his followers that Jerusalem will never be a Jewish city. Sabri and other senior clerics have also used the podium to warn Palestinians against selling their properties to Jews.

This Palestinian incitement and cynical exploitation of a holy site to spread lies and blood libels and stereotype Jews is barely noticed by the mainstream media in the West. Were Israel to stop a Palestinian from entering a holy site because of his clothing, the foreign reporters based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would have rushed to the scene to interview the man and tell the world that Israel is violating freedom of worship. This is yet another example of how the media gives the Palestinians a pass and allows them to continue their vicious incitement against Israel. The next time a Palestinian grabs a knife and goes out to stab a Jew, foreign journalists might consider the last time they failed to report on the Palestinian leaders, especially their incitement.
Why the US and Israel Were Right to Leave UNESCO
In October 2016, UNESCO’s executive board ratified a resolution that attempted to erase 3,000 years of Jewish religious history in Jerusalem.

The resolution was drafted by Jordan and submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan — with the enthusiastic support of the Palestinian Authority, a full member of UNESCO since 2011.

The central aim of the resolution was to formalize criticism of Israel’s conduct in Jerusalem. It referred to Israel as the “occupying power” and blamed the Jewish state for the spike in violence in the region.

Condemnation of alleged Israeli aggression has long been a standard talking point in the United Nations; that alone did not set off any alarms. What disturbed Israelis about the UNESCO resolution was that it made Jerusalem’s Holy Basin an exclusively Islamic prerogative. By only referring to the Temple Mount by its Arabic name “Al-Haram al-Sharif,” the resolution’s language severed ties between Judaism and the Temple Mount. The Western Wall was reduced to Al-Buraq Plaza — the place where Muhammad tethered his horse.

In the resolution, the Arabic name was only twice followed by the Western Wall’s Hebrew name; but when that happened, it was placed in quotation marks — a grammatical detail that Israelis took as direct belittling of Judaism’s linkage to the site.

The resolution made no mention of the Jewish temples that stood at the site for a thousand years, or the next 2,000 years of continuous Jewish attachment to Jerusalem. Only once did the drafters soften their bias by making a generalized reference to the importance of the Old City and its walls to “the three monotheistic religions.”

The Era of "Never Again" Is Ending
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg told NBC News he thinks society must take the possibility of genocide more seriously now that it has in the past generation. In an interview marking the 25th anniversary of “Schindler’s List,” Spielberg referred to the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue and warned that “hate leading to genocide is as possible today as it was during the Holocaust.”

He was behind the curve. The era of “never again” is ending in Western Europe, fading in North America and never penetrated the Middle East. Relentless demonization of the Jewish state renormalizes demonization of Jewish people.

Examples of post-Nazi genocide and attempted genocide abound, including Muslim Indonesia’s seizure of largely Christian East Timor, the auto-genocide perpetrated by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge, suppression of southern Sudan’s Christian and animist Darfur region by the government of the Muslim north, the murder of much of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority by the Hutu majority and today’s oppression by Myanmar’s Buddhist majority of its Rohingya Muslim minority.

Two post-Holocaust mass murders of Jews already have been attempted.

In 1948, five invading Arab countries committed to the destruction of the fledgling Jewish state. The United States no sooner became the first nation to recognize Israel than it slapped an arms embargo on the region. Though intended to diminish general tensions, in practice the move undercut Israel, since the other side continued to receive British arms and advice.

In 1967, Israel preempted a potentially overwhelming attack by Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian forces mobilized on its border. Afterward, the philosopher Eric Hoffer noted that “had [Egyptian President Gamal Abdel] Nasser triumphed … he would have wiped Israel off the map and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.”

How Saving Israel from Terrorism Could Save the World
World politics are generally misunderstood. In all such politics, there is no conceivably greater power than power over death. For diverse groups of jihadists, both Sunni and Shia, it is by killing Jews and subsequently being killed by Jews that a liberating freedom from personal death can be “realistically” achieved. Already, back on August 11, 2000, Yasser Arafat’s appointed clergy, then preaching on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, reaffirmed this grotesque mantra as core Palestinian orthodoxy: “Palestinians spearhead Allah’s war against the Jews. The dead shall not rise until the Palestinians shall kill all the Jews.”

This starkly polarizing view of the world represents the direct opposite of classic Jewish tradition.

There are several discernible meanings to the ennobling Jewish tradition of mercy, all of which stand in profoundly stark contrast to longstanding Islamist/jihadist concepts of sacrifice.

The uncompromising Islamist/jihadist view is that expansive and violent sacrifice of non-members is the most acceptable way toward achieving personal and collective redemption. Alternatively, ancient Jewish tradition calls for more expansive empathy with all others as the most genuinely sanctified way to achieve this goal.

While it would be hard to disagree that the traditional Jewish path is to be preferred by decent people everywhere, it is also clear that any gainful realization of universalized empathy could have certain utterly unbearable consequences. In principle, to be sure, Jewish empathy is preferable to Islamist/jihadist antipathy, but even this evidently better path would face several powerful impediments or plausible obstructions.
Graham urges slow Syria pullout to prevent ‘nightmare’ scenario for Israel
A senior Republican senator on Saturday urged U President Donald Trump to slow down the withdrawal of ground troops from Syria until jihadists were defeated to avoid a “nightmare” for allies Israel and Turkey.

“I would hope that President Trump would slow the withdrawal until we truly destroy ISIS,” Lindsey Graham told a press conference in Ankara, using an acronym for the Islamic State extremist group.

The South Carolina lawmaker warned any hasty pullout could lead to a “nightmare” scenario for Israel because of increasing Iranian influence in the war-torn country and for Turkey because of its national security concerns.

Israel has accused Iran of seeking to establish a military presence in Syria and of transferring advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon. In recent years, the IDF has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, and Israeli officials have expressed concern that an American withdrawal would create a power vacuum in the region, allowing Tehran to expand its military entrenchment near the Israeli border.

Graham arrived in Turkey on Friday for a two-day visit during which he met Turkish officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Russia said to tell Israel to stop airstrikes near Damascus Airport
The Russian government has reportedly asked Israel to halt its airstrikes against Iranian targets near the Damascus airport, the pan-Arab al-Quds al-Araby reported on Friday.

According to the report, Russian military officials said Moscow was preparing to renovate the airport that has been damaged in the eight years of fighting in the Syrian civil war. The unnamed officials said the Israeli strikes on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in the vicinity of the airport were causing foreign airlines to reconsider resuming flights to the Syrian capital.

The report came as Israeli and Russian militaries on Thursday completed a series of meetings aimed at improving relations between the two armed forces, following the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian air defenses, which Moscow blames on Israel.

A delegation of senior Russian military officers visited Israel for the discussions, which were led on the Israeli side by the head of the IDF’s Operational Division, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Assur, who previously served as commander of the IDF division that defends the Syrian border. “The delegations reached understandings and agreed on continued collaboration,” the IDF said in a statement.

Israel in recent years has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against targets linked to Iran, which alongside its proxies and Russia is fighting on behalf of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. A number of the strikes have targeted the Damascus airport in a bid to halt weapons transfers from Iran to its militias in Syria and Lebanon.

Jewish museum attack victim’s mother tells Belgian court of horror
The alleged gunman Mehdi Nemmouche listened impassively as relatives of the victims of the Jewish museum shooting testified at a Brussels court about how the May 2014 attack tore their lives apart.

“I live like a mother whose wings were cut,” Alexandre Strens’ mother Annie Adam said.

Strens, the 26-year-old receptionist at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, died from a gunshot wound to the head two weeks after the anti-Semitic attack.

Friday was the first time since the trial opened more than a week ago that Nemmouche, a 33-year-old Frenchman, has confronted the anguish of the victims’ families.

Adam told the court about the call she made to the police to learn if her son was a victim and the question the doctor asked when she arrived at the hospital.

“Do we turn off (his life support) with half-a-kilo of brains that fell out?”

Adam, aided by a microphone, recalled the tears that ran down her child’s cheek after his operation.
Malaysia has ‘right’ to ban Israelis, says PM, rejecting anti-Semitism charge
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that it was the country’s “right” to deny entry to Israeli nationals and that it was “unfair to label him as anti-Semitic” for previous anti-Semitic remarks while criticizing the Israeli government.

Speaking on Friday evening before Oxford University’s prestigious debating chamber, the Oxford Union, Mohamad said that “a country has the right to keep its borders closed to certain people, that’s why borders are there.”

Malaysia has banned Israeli athletes from an upcoming Paralympic swimming tournament, a move harshly criticized by Israel “shameful.” Israel further called for the International Paralympic Committee to help reverse the decision or change the venue of the Kuching tournament, scheduled for July and August on the island of Borneo, a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

“Many countries today are seeing outsiders coming to their country and they are not very happy about it. They are overthrowing their governments because their governments allow immigrants to come in,” Mohamad said Friday in a discussion session posted to Facebook.

Malaysia, Mohamad said, has “no diplomatic relations with Israel at all, and we don’t think that they should come to our country because we have no relations with them.”

“We feel that they were doing a lot of wrong things but getting away with it, because nobody dares to say anything against them,” he said.
PA official apologies for saying Israeli collaborator led social protests
Palestinian Authority Minister for Local Government, Hussein al-A’araj, issued a public apology on Saturday for saying that the protests in Hebron against a new social security law were being led by a Palestinian collaborator with Israel.

“Who’s leading the protests [against the law] in Hebron?” the minister said in a video that has gone viral on Palestinian social media. “A person living in [the nearby settlement of] Kiryat Arba. Do you accept that?”

The minister did not name the man allegedly leading the protests from Kiryat Arba. His remarks, however, drew strong condemnations from many Palestinians, those living in Hebron.

The controversial law, which has triggered mass protests throughout the West Bank, requires employers and their workers to make monthly payments into a government-managed fund, which will later be used to pay pensioners. The protesters fear that the fund will be mismanaged by corrupt officials.

Al-A’araj, who hails from a village near Jenin, is a former PA governor of Hebron. He also previously served as director of the Palestinian Presidency Office.

Suhaib Zahdeh, one of the leaders of the protests against the new social security law in Hebron, strongly condemned the minister’s remarks and called on him to immediately apologize to all the residents of the city.
Europe’s Patience With Iran Wears Thin, Tiptoes Toward Trump
In Tehran on Jan. 8 during a meeting with European envoys, Iranian officials abruptly stood up, walked out and slammed the door in an extraordinary break with protocol.

The French, British, German, Danish, Dutch, and Belgian diplomats in the Iranian Foreign Ministry room had incensed the officials with a message that Europe could no longer tolerate ballistic missile tests in Iran and assassination plots on European soil, according to four EU diplomats.

“There was a lot of drama, they didn’t like it, but we felt we had to convey our serious concerns,” one of the diplomats said. “It shows the relationship is becoming more tense,” a second said.

An Iranian official declined to comment on the meeting.

The next day, the European Union imposed its first sanctions on Iran since world powers agreed the 2015 Vienna nuclear arms control deal with Tehran.

The sanctions were largely symbolic but the stormy meeting encapsulated the unexpected shift in European diplomacy since the end of last year. Smaller, more dovish EU countries have joined France and Britain in a harder stance on Tehran, including considering new economic sanctions, diplomats say.

Those could include asset freezes and travel bans on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Iranians developing the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program, three diplomats said.

The new approach moves Europe closer to US President Donald Trump’s policy of isolating Iran with tough sanctions even though European governments still support the 2015 Vienna deal from which he withdrew in May.
TIP CEO: Code Pink is Blind to Evils of Iranian Regime
Code Pink, the far-left anti-war group, has been slammed by Israel Project CEO & President Josh Block for embarking on a ‘peace delegation’ to the Islamic Republic of Iran, while ignoring “ordinary Iranians fighting for freedom against a regime that tolerates no dissent,” in an op-ed published in JNS on Thursday.

“From a feminist enterprise with a focus on human rights, one would expect meetings scheduled with local women’s rights organizations, activists and free thinkers, civil libertarians and opposition figures, even political prisoners,” Block said.

Instead, he wrote, Code Pink is meeting with representatives of the repressive regime in Tehran. The mullahs, he observed, are complicit in the killing of Syrian civilians at the behest of Bashar al-Assad, plot terrorist attacks in Europe, and sponsor Shiite militia in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

“Code Pink is meeting with representatives of a system that arrest and sometimes murder women for taking off the hijab in an act of ultimate defiance against the draconian laws of the 1979 Islamic revolution,” Block continued. “Women that groups such as Code Pink have vowed to protect.”

He added: “They are legitimizing a regime that brutally oppresses workers and teachers who peacefully protest the Islamic Republic’s foreign adventurism at the expensive of a collapsing economy…People who are truly anti-war. Code Pink, not so much.”
IRAN at 40: The First Jew I Met in Iran
One reason behind these perceptions of Iran’s theocratic establishment is that the roots of Jews in Iran date back to a pre-Islamic era, an era that the Iranian government attempts to de-emphasize or erase from the memory of the society. Another reason is rooted in the notion that for the Iranian regime, Jews and Israel are mingled in one category; if you are Jewish, the thinking goes, then you are an Israeli. Since the Iranian regime is opposed to Israel’s existence, Iranian authorities view the Jewish people through prisms of suspicion. They are viewed as Israeli allies, conspirators, and loyalists to Israel and the United States, not the Iranian government.

Some Jews secretly confess that they are indeed living two separate lives. In their private life they practice their faith, but in public they are extremely cautious, avoiding saying anything about their lives. Out of fear or in order to survive economically, socially, and academically, some may convert to Islam on the surface but continue to practice Judaism at home. Some have two names, one Muslim, one Jewish.

Despite this solid bias against Jews, in order to enhance its global legitimacy in some circumstances and events, the Iranian regime has boasted about tolerance, and pointed to the fact that there are Jews in Iran, as a sign that the regime is cosmopolitan and civil. Depending on the circumstance the Jewish community may be paraded past foreign governments as an example of progress, or trampled down by the Iranian regime as a toxic presence in the country and region.

Not surprisingly, I was admonished for speaking about human rights and the Holocaust in my class. I never saw Sara after the last day of class. She took the time to give me a thank-you card. She was carrying an English book with a title suggesting religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence. I hoped in that moment that I’d reached her, and my decision to speak about human rights had aided in the liberation of her mind, and hopefully the minds of her classmates.

When I flipped the card open to read it, the words inside brought tears to my eyes. It read, “My Hebrew name is Yaffa.”
IRAN at 40: Writing Her Revolt
Unlike the dozens of other memoirs and autobiographies by Iranian women that have surfaced in the last 20 years, The Wind in My Hair is a riveting story of battles won and demons defeated. Here, at last, is one Iranian woman who does not wish she were a man, does not feel wasted, refuses to remain powerless. Crucially, she has inspired thousands of other women, mostly inside the country and at great risk to their own and their families’ safety, to defy hijab laws.

How did she do it?

It is true that she has been blessed with a rare charisma and, depending on how you look at it, cursed with a natural inability to accept limitations that the majority of her fellow citizens would consider immutable. She has, and continues to pay a hefty price for that inability or unwillingness: to be in solitary confinement in an Iranian prison in her late teens, exiled from home and family in her 20s, cursed and—literally—spat at in public in her early 30s; to be a source of shame, even today, for the people she loves, criticized and verbally attacked by a good portion of her fellow Iranians—these are not trifling losses, especially for a person with a traditional upbringing.

But there is a much more significant, more monumentally novel basis for Alinejad’s success, and it hearkens back to an assumption that, for so long, had defined the average Iranian woman’s self-image: the idea that goodness equates obedience.

It is a notion so deeply engrained in the national psyche that even the blackest of the black sheep among us have rarely, if ever, challenged until now. If you didn’t have the advantage of belonging to a certain financial or ancestral class, or the freedom to leave the country and start elsewhere; if you were one of the more than 40 million middle- and working-class Iranian women like Alinejad, you could be virtuous and compliant, or defiant and damned.

This is what drove Goldin’s grandmother to give away her daughter in marriage to a stranger from another town, and never step in to stop his abuse of her. It’s what compelled Goldin’s father to burn her books, what kept Nafisi “silent” about the abuse she suffered as a young girl in Iran. It’s what allows hijab–wearing women in Iran today to verbally and physically assault those who defy hijab laws for a day or an hour.

And it may be the one false idol that, if smashed, will bring down the roof and let collapse the walls of the house that the mullahs built.
IRAN at 40: Guard It With Your Life
There are many moments of intense beauty on Maureen Nehedar’s superb release from 2016, Gole Gandom, her first album of songs in Farsi. Perhaps none is more starkly stirring than her solo rendition of the Persian folk song “Juni Juni.” In this traditional song of the Māzandrān province, a region of central-north Iran along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, the lyrics express a lover’s anguish as he pines for his soulmate: “Juni Juni! / I’m lovesick and languish for you / I sent flowers for you, bouquet after bouquet / Since your mother tied a cradle for you / God tied my heart to you.”

The song was initially popularized by Delkash, born Esmat Bagherpour Baboli (1925-2004), one of the towering Iranian divas of stage and screen. Delkash’s original recording is a powerful and compact classic of Persian music, as tar and kamancheh dance around her robust, authoritative vocal, with deliberate percussion offering strong rhythmic grounding. In contrast, Maureen Nehedar’s interpretation is a study in the power of simplicity. Featuring only her crystalline, expressive voice and the simple, hypnotic drone of the setar, Nehedar magnifies the deep emotions of love and longing inherent in the melody and poetry. In this radically intimate performance of deep emotional gravitas, Nehedar sings “Juni Juni” directly to the listener, communicating straight to the heart. It is an awe-inspiring performance that gets directly to the essence of Nehedar’s artistry.

Nehedar was only 2 years old when she left her hometown of Isfahan, in central Iran, to immigrate with her family to Israel in 1979 in the early years of the Islamic Revolution. In a recent interview with Tablet magazine, she described Farsi as her mother tongue, but said that she once had limitations in terms of vocabulary, in a way that she does not with Hebrew. Growing up in Israel, she remained deeply connected to her Persian Jewish roots and Iranian heritage through the transportive power of music, which entranced her as a child:

At home in Israel, I would listen to Persian music. At the age of 12-13, I had a ritual when no one was at home. I would listen to the old cassettes that we brought with us from Iran, and my soul would just cry out. It was usually a certain piece sang by the legendary singer Parisa, and sometimes fragments of songs I knew as a toddler in Iran. I had an uncontrollable desire to hear this emotional, weeping singing, but as a kid I was embarrassed by this need. Today I know, of course, that this was the direct communication of my soul, and that I missed how natural a role this music had occupied throughout my early life.
Women’s March Leader Tamika Mallory Won’t Say if Israel Has a Right to Exist
Mallory slipped when she said that Palestinians are native to the land because when Hoover then asked her if she felt that Jewish people are native as well.

Mallory babbled about how there are different ideologies that think that Jewish people are native to that land, but since she’s not Jewish it’s not fair for her to speak about that.

Hoover then pointed out that Mallory isn’t Palestinian either so…why speak about them and not the Jews? Oh that’s because Mallory is speaking to the people “brutalized” over there.

Uh…okay, bro.

The more she talks, the more people and organizations drop the Women’s March. The DNC and NAACP quietly slipped away as did the Southern Poverty Law Center and EMILY’s List. NOW dropped their sponsorship a few weeks ago.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) wrote in USA Today that she will not walk in the Women’s March in DC because of the hatred shown by Mallory. The congresswoman wrote that “[I]t should not be this difficult to condemn hate speech.”

Actresses Alyssa Milano, Debra Messing, and Rosanna Arquette don’t want anything to do with the Women’s March as long as anti-Semitism remains.

Chicago and New Orleans won’t hold a march. The Washington state chapter closed.
Wiesenthal Center slams Muslim lawmakers for anti-Semitic, anti-Israel remarks
The Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote to House speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday to complain about comments made by two freshman Muslim Congresswomen, labeling them “extreme anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements.”

The Jewish human rights group singled out Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for comments she made earlier in the month questioning the loyalty of lawmakers who were pushing a bill that would protect states that penalize Israel boycotters.

Tlaib, in a January 6 tweet, attacked a Senate bill initiated by Senator Marco Rubio and Senator James Risch, an Idaho Republican, that incorporates four Middle East-related bills that languished in the last Congress.

One of the measures protects states that pass anti-BDS bills, including those that ban work with contractors who boycott Israel, from lawsuits. Civil libertarians have decried the state laws as impinging on speech freedoms.

“They forgot what country they represent,” tweeted Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American women in Congress. “This is the US where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center decried the tweet, saying it was a “cynically alleged ‘dual loyalty’ screed, historically a dog whistle for anti-Semites.”
ADL asks Rashida Tlaib to explain photo with man who praised Hamas and Hezbollah
The Anti-Defamation League wants Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., to explain a photo of her posing with a man who has likened Zionists to Nazis and who has praised terrorists.

“Days ago, @RashidaTlaib was photographed at an event with Abbas Hamideh, a man who has praised terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah and equated Zionists with Nazis,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Thursday on Twitter.

“We ask her to clarify his attendance and denounce his anti-Semitism,” he said.

Hamideh, based in Cleveland, has for years been involved in anti-Israel activity, praising terrorist groups like the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, and repeatedly likening Zionists to Nazis.

On January 12, he posted on Twitter a photo in which he is standing next to Tlaib, holding a painting of the congresswoman, a freshman who is a Palestinian-American, wearing traditional Palestinian dress in front of the Capitol.
Boston Jewish council bars members from working with anti-Zionist Jewish groups
Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council passed a resolution saying its members cannot partner with Jewish groups that are anti-Zionist, setting up a showdown with one of its members, the local branch of the Workmen’s Circle.

The resolution, approved on Thursday evening, states that working with Jewish anti-Zionist groups, specifically by co-sponsoring events or signing statements organized or co-organized by such organizations, “could be grounds for removal from the JCRC.”

The vote follows discussions that started in July, when the member group Boston Workmen’s Circle signed a statement by Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization that supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The council — made up of member groups, community representatives, as well as the organization’s officers, board of directors and past presidents — passed the resolution with 62 members voting in favor, 13 voting against and eight abstaining.

As of now, the Boston Workmen’s Circle, a group with socialist roots that promotes Jewish culture and Yiddish, is still a member of the umbrella organization, JCRC Executive Director Jeremy Burton told JTA on Friday.
Edwin Black: Mixed Reactions After Prosecution Efforts Against Anti-Israel Disruptions at UCLA and UCI
UCLA’s refusal to refer its students for prosecution or even investigate the crime was thwarted when legal staff at StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center converged on the campus to walk students into the UCLA PD and UCI police stations to file criminal complaints. Filing those complaints forced the police to investigate and then refer the cases to prosecutors. Ultimately, that included both student and non-student participants.

Whether or not the perpetrators at UCLA or UCI are prosecuted, it seems the reality on the ground at UC campuses has been altered. In the days after Thanksgiving 2018, this writer delivered four consecutive lectures on Israel history at California campuses: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, and UCLA. Despite concerns, no interference or disruption manifested.

The UCLA event was sponsored by a coalition of groups including the same Students Supporting Israel chapter that had been harassed last May. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, attended to kick off the live-streamed event. At UCLA, it was a new day. When campus police learned of the event, they took immediate steps to ensure it would proceed with no interference. Two UCLA PD officers were dispatched to the event itself, both highly trained and deeply conversant with the pro-Israel and Jewish communal scene. A representative of the administration joined the officers. The police and administration declared that, in the event of a disruption, perpetrators would be given one warning to immediately cease and desist. If they did not, “they will be arrested and charged.” This, coupled with the LA prosecutor’s watchful eye, combined to insulate the event from criminal disruption.

Thus, thanks to leadership at StandWithUs and the Brandeis Center, and courageous students who stepped forward, combined with intense media scrutiny, the rate of acceleration of antisemitism on campus and especially at UC colleges has been temporarily been slowed — at least for the moment.
Is It Safe Now for Pro-Israel Groups to Hold Events at University of California Campuses?
Organized disruptors—both students and non-students—who shut down a pro-Israel gathering at University of California Los Angeles in May 2018 might not be prosecuted, according to information from LA City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office. Instead, they will be called to a confidential but mandatory proceeding called a “City Attorney Hearing,” an alternative to prosecution which can be described as a “warning” not to repeat the conduct.

One legal expert compared it a “deferred prosecution,” but stressed a full trial could still result. Victims generally do not appear at such a hearing, the City Attorney’s office explained, and generally, no criminal record attaches. Still, the prosecutor retains the right to issue charges later if he feels the illegal conduct has recurred or may recur. Los Angeles conducts hundreds of such closed-door hearings each year to dispose of minor misdemeanors arising from, for example, neighbor disputes, domestic disharmony, or curfew violations.

To the south of Los Angeles, newly-installed Orange County Prosecutor Todd Spitzer is still undecided about prosecuting rambunctious disruptors of a pro-Israel event at University of California Irvine which also took place last May, according to official university sources. Spitzer’s office has asked for an additional police investigation to develop more facts.

With or without actual prosecution, the two incidents and the Jewish community’s response have potentially changed the landscape for belligerent disruption of pro-Israel events on California campuses, which last year arguably yielded some of the most pernicious in the nation. Those involved in the two California events—the affected students and the Jewish communal groups who rose to invoke prosecutions—expressed a range of reactions as to whether justice has been minimally obtained or seriously delayed.
The Forward ran low on cash and miracles before ending 121 years in print
A decade ago, the publisher of the Jewish Daily Forward asked his board to believe in miracles.

“We are supposed to believe in miracles; we are forbidden to rely on them, ” Sam Norich wrote in an email to the board of the Forward Association on Dec. 25, 2008. “That means that miracles only happen if we do our part to help them along.”

And according to the attached minutes of a November 2008 board meeting, the venerable Jewish newspaper could have used a little divine intervention in the thick of the financial crisis. Just six years removed from selling its radio signal for a reported $78 million, the Forward began that September with $63 million in invested assets. By the end of the month, as the stock market plummeted, that number had dropped even further, to $54 million — a $9 million loss within 30 days.

A couple of months later, the board would discover that it lost $355,000 in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

But Norich had good news: Months earlier, the Forward had appointed a new editor, Jane Eisner. Norich called Eisner, an alumna of the Philadelphia Inquirer, a “phenomenal professional with very high aspirations.” Her appointment, he said, “augurs well for the future of the Forward.”

Ten years later, the picture looks grimmer: On Wednesday, news broke that after 121 years, the Forward would be ceasing its print edition and laying off 10 people — 20 percent of its staff — including Jane Eisner.

“Today was a tough day,” Rachel Fishman Feddersen, the Forward’s publisher since 2016, wrote to the newsroom in an email on Thursday that did not mention Eisner or any of the other laid-off staff by name.

For years, the Forward has been running a loss of about $5 million per year, financial documents show. In 2015, the Forward transferred the vast majority of its assets to a new, separate nonprofit called the Forward Fund, which allowed the publication to protect its assets in case of a debilitating libel suit. The Forward Fund’s records show a 2016 drop in net assets from $44.3 million to $38.5 million. In 2017, the Forward’s annual report shows that it broke even by virtue of $4.9 million in “funds drawn from investment accounts.”
Police probe south London mosque-based Scout group linked to Islamic extremist over claims it segregates boys from girls and urges children to be 'Muslim first'
A mosque-based scout group is being investigated by police after links to an 'Islamic extremist' preacher and claims that the group leader encouraged girls as young as five pose in videos, advocating wearing the hijab.

The scout group for ages 10-14, based in Lewisham Islamic Centre in south east London, is linked to Imam Shakeel Begg, who has in the past lost a libel case against the BBC for dubbing him an extremist.

The Telegraph uncovered these links in an investigation that also found that the scout group leader Ahammed Hussain segregated groups by gender, going against the organisation's values.

Hussain has since been suspended pending a police investigation into safeguarding concerns.

It was he who admitted encouraging members to be 'Muslim first', despite the Scouts commitment to 'British values'.

Facebook records also show that Hussain promoted a group that's owner donated money to David Irving, the Holocaust denier who described Hitler as a 'great man'.
Antisemitism, neo-Nazism and the Jewish community in modern Ukraine
One Ukraine brings to mind rampant antisemitism, Nazis, the Holocaust, nationalist marches with swastikas and SS symbols, more than 130 antisemitic acts in 2017 and Jewish communities wiped out.

Another Ukraine evokes a Jewish prime minister, Sholom Aleichem, a reinvigorated post-Soviet Jewish community, Hillels in almost every major city, a new Jewish Community Center in Kiev and young Jews openly wearing Star of David necklaces.

People from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine’s fourth largest city, speak proudly of how huge their Jewish community is. And Odessa, the fourth most populous, is still considered a Jewish city – though Jews make up less than 3% of the population.

“Only” 24 antisemitic incidents were reported in 2017 in this Jewish community on the verge of extinction.

The well-known joke talks about “two Jews, three opinions, and five political parties.”

In Ukraine, however, there are two Jews, three Ukraines, and five different kinds of antisemitism – all against the backdrop of a post-revolution government and ongoing civil and media wars with Russia.
Backlash over Minnesota students’ Hitler-themed dance invite, Nazi salutes
Officials at a Minnesota high school wrote to parents after two students were pictured in a social media post doing a Nazi salute and holding a sign with references to Adolf Hitler.

Jeff Erikson, principal at suburban Minnetonka High School, said the “anti-Semitic media post…in no way aligns with our school’s core values” in his letter to parents on Thursday. “Please know that we take this matter seriously and are committed to ensuring a safe, positive environment for all students.”

The Minnesota Star Tribune reported the photo on a private Instagram account showed a teenage girl and boy doing the salute as they held an apparent invitation to the school’s annual Valentine’s Day dance called Sweethearts.

The newspaper reported the poster read: “Sweethearts would be a Hit(ler) w/you, and I could Nazi myself going w/anybody else. Be Mein? Yes or Nein.”

The girl posted the photo on her private Instagram account with the caption: “Also I would like to state I am not anti-semitic in any way, I hate all races equally.”

Members of the local Jewish community expressed outrage over the Hitler-themed invitation and Nazi salutes.
IsraellyCool: Know Your History: The Battle of Gaza (NY Times April 15, 1917)
A series where I bring to you news from the archives and historical documents to debunk common misconceptions about the Middle East conflict.

In March 1917, British army officer General Sir Archibald James Murray commanded a British force at the First Battle of Gaza. They succeeded in entering Gaza from the north and capturing some territory, but the threat from large Turkish reinforcements ultimately led to decision to withdraw. This led to a Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917, with similar results.

The New York Times dealt with this in April 1917, and their report is revealing. Note:
  • No mention of “Palestinians” – just Egyptians, Turks and Arabs
  • Mention of “Judaea” – which is now referred to as ‘West Bank” (following Six Day War). The words “Judaea” and “Judaism” are related.
  • Gaza being referred to as an “ancient biblical city”
  • Murray’s report acknowledging the Jewish history of the area and revealing a desire to “revive the Jewish Palestine of old”
  • Note: I cannot provide a link to the full article since it is only available to those who have purchased a NY Times subscription. But I have provided screenshots below.

As Bauhaus turns 100, iconic creations such as Tel Aviv’s ‘White City’ live on
As Bauhaus, the most influential design school of the 20th century, marks its 100th birthday, examples of its keep-it-simple elegance can still be found across the globe.

The movement, based on the “form follows function” principle, revolutionized the practices of artists and artisans during 14 short years of existence before Adolf Hitler ran it out of Germany.

In sending its disciples including Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer into exile abroad, the Nazis ironically ensured the school’s ideas would germinate the world over.

Here are some of the best-known creations by Bauhaus’ daring designers that have transformed the way we see the world:

‘White City’ of Tel Aviv
Bauhaus may be best known for its architecture and no city in the world has a larger collection of buildings in its style than Tel Aviv, where it is designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

Designed from the 1930s by German Jewish architects fleeing the Nazis, the more than 4,000 remaining “White City” apartment buildings — named for their pearly facades — became affordable housing for new arrivals.

But unlike their predecessors built for the German climate, the Tel Aviv constructions used less glass and added balconies that could capture cool breezes off the Mediterranean to help their residents beat the heat.

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