Tuesday, February 19, 2019

From Ian:

Ben Shaprio: On January 29, Two Hate Crimes Occurred. The Media Only Covered The Fake One. Here's Why.
On January 29, 2019, Chicago Police opened a hate crime investigation into the alleged assault of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett, who is black and gay, alleged that two men approached him at 2 a.m. in Chicago, where they shouted “f*****” and “n*****,” tried to wrap a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him. He also told TMZ that the men shouted, “This is MAGA country.”

The story received unending press. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), tweeted, “The racist, homophobic attack on [Smollett] is an affront to our humanity.” Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called it a “modern-day lynching.” Congresswoman and Fresh Face™ of the Democratic Party Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed anyone who questioned the story, tweeting, “The attack was not ‘possibly’ homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.”

The media ran with the story. Good Morning America hosted Smollett, where he maligned anyone who asked questions as a racist and a homophobe. CNN’s Brooke Baldwin stated, “This is America in 2019.” Celebrities parroted their support for Smollett, with many blaming President Trump and Vice President Pence for the attack.

The story was a hoax.

That same night, a Jewish man in New York was beaten by three thugs. Nothing was stolen. The attack was caught on video.

Outside of a report in The Jerusalem Post, the story received virtually no attention.

This isn’t the only story of anti-Semitism in New York. Not by a long shot. Two weeks before that beating, a Jewish man, 19, was “violently assaulted” as he walked past a local laundromat by a group of teenage black males. In December, a 16-year-old Jewish teen spent a week in a hospital after being beaten by two other teens; witnesses said that the teens screamed “Kill the Jew.” The NYPD categorized the attack as “gang related” rather than a hate crime, angering Jews in the area. This weekend, vandals shattered the window of a Chabad in Bushwick as the rabbi and his family slept inside.

Ben Shaprio: How Do You Define Anti-Semitism?

Rich Lowry: Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie
The Left distorts what happened in El Salvador in the 1980s.

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official and Trump’s special envoy to Venezuela of being complicit in war crimes.

“Yes or no,” she demanded, “would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, if you believe they were serving U.S. interest, as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua?”

Omar was cribbing from the Left’s notes on U.S. Latin American policy, and doing it badly. She made much of the 1981 El Motoze massacre in El Salvador. The idea that Abrams is somehow directly implicated in this bloodcurdlingly awful event is completely absurd. He was assistant secretary of state for international organizations in the Reagan administration, then became assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs on December 10, 1981. The massacre occurred the next day. Unless we are to believe the El Salvadoran military unit took his change of jobs as a green light to indiscriminately kill villagers (which unfortunately was not a new practice), Abrams obviously had nothing to do with the massacre.

Nonetheless, the Omar attack is an opportunity to examine the premises of the Left’s narrative on Reagan’s policy in El Salvador, which supports the persistent attacks on Abrams as a “war criminal.” To paraphrase the famous Mary McCarthy line about Lillian Hellman, every word in this narrative is a lie, including “and” and “the.”

In what follows, I rely throughout on Russell Crandall’s book The Salvador Option: The United States in El Salvador, 1977–1992, a fair-minded, factual account that’s a marked contrast to the tendentiously left-wing material that dominates online.
Hypnotizing the World: Omar Has Ties to Radical Anti-Israel, Anti-American Group
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has ties to a group that includes numerous radical anti-American and anti-Israel activists on its board of directors.

Notes of support posted to the controversial congresswoman's door include a message from the organization Witness for Peace. "Keep up the good work!" the note reads, signed, "Witness for Peace Columbia Team :)."

The note appeared the same week Omar attacked Elliott Abrams, a Jewish-American and longtime diplomat who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations. Abrams is now the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela. Omar has sided with the socialist government in Venezuela, accusing the Trump administration of leading a "U.S.-backed coup" against Nicolas Maduro.

Witness for Peace got its start fighting the Reagan administration's anti-communist policies during the Cold War, specifically the group opposed funding the Contras in Nicaragua. Abrams, who Omar called "Mr. Adams," pleaded guilty to misdemeanors for withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, and was later pardoned.

"Faith-based peace activists founded Witness for Peace in response to the U.S. funding of the Contras," its website states. In 1984 "Witness for Peace activists across the country organized events to resist Reagan's war on Central America," the group said.

Omar attended a delegation sponsored by Witness for Peace to Honduras in November 2017. She returned to the Minnesota House of Representatives calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Honduras, a position shared by the radical group Code Pink.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Anti-BDS Laws, Part I
I've perhaps never seen as much misinformation and bad legal analysis regarding a given issue than about state laws that require state contractors to certify that they do not boycott Israel or those who do business with Israel, otherwise known as "anti-BDS laws." This has been a product of two factors: first, a thoroughly dishonest campaign against the laws by the American Civil Liberties Union, exaggerated further by anti-Israel bloggers such as Glenn Greenwald, and second, the near-absence of those who support the laws from the debate.

I have not been involved in promoting anti-BDS laws, I am not sure they are a good idea as currently written, and I think the Supreme Court's key relevant decision, Rumsfeld v. FAIR, should have come out the other way, philosophically-speaking if not based on precedent. And from my personal political interest, I'm in a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose position: either boycotts of Israel get treated the same as other discriminatory acts, or the ACLU succeeds in undermining antidiscrimination laws that grate on my libertarian sensibilities by establishing that refusals to deal are subject to First Amendment scrutiny.

So I don't have a strong dog in the fight, but given that I've been appalled at the misinformation campaign launched by the ACLU, I thought I'd correct the record:

Anti-BDS laws do not require anyone to "pledge loyalty to the state of Israel." This is any easy one. They simply don't. This is a lie (not the first one) that originates with Glenn Greenwald, who claimed, in a headline no less, that a Texas anti-BDS laws required a contractor to sign a "pro-Israel oath." Contractors must simply certify that they are not participating in anti-Israel boycotts. They not only don't have to take a pro-Israel oath but are free to criticize Israel as much as they like, donate to anti-Israel campaigns or candidates, and so on.

Anti-BDS laws do not prohibit individuals in their private capacity from boycotting Israel, even if their company has business with a state that has an anti-BDS law. Anti-BDS laws only apply to companies, not to individuals. This gets a bit confusing when it comes to sole proprietorships, but I think it's clear that, say, a computer technician who signs a contract with the state can't refuse to use Israeli-made software for his contract work, but he can refuse to buy Sabra humus for his family dinner.
Everything You Wanted to Know about Anti-BDS Laws, Part II
State laws regulating contractors' dealings with foreign entities and associated companies are not novel. Many opponents suggest that states have no interest in foreign policy or what foreign governments to, so anti-BDS laws are an unprecedented gambit for state governments explicable only by the nefarious power of the Israel lobby. False. During the 1980s, many states passed laws banning state contractors from dealings with South Africa. No one at the time suggested that contractors had a First Amendment right to deal with South Africa, even if they wanted to do so for ideological reasons (either to show support for South Africa, or because they thought that a boycott would hurt the average South African black, or because they thought that commercial relations would help undermine South African apartheid, or whatever). While those laws had the opposite intent--ban commercial contact with a country, rather than ban boycotting a company--there is longstanding precedent that states may condition contracts on how and whether contractors react to boycott movements.

Laws banning boycotts of Israel aren't unprecedented. Federal law has banned U.S. entities from participating in or complying with the Arab League boycott of Israel since the late 1970s. Note that this includes U.S. entities that might want to comply with the boycott because they agree with it. This law has been around for forty-plus years, and has never been subject to a successful First Amendment challenge. This should give you some idea of how legally farfetched the challenges to state anti-BDS laws are.
WSJ Editorial ($): A Labour Revolt Against Corbyn
A British political party splintered on Monday, and for once it wasn’t the ruling Conservatives. Seven members of the Labour opposition resigned from the party in protest over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s inconstant dealing on Brexit and tolerance for anti-Semitism.

The rebel Members of Parliament include Chuka Umunna, the party’s former spokesman on business affairs, and Luciana Berger, who has endured anti-Semitic abuse by Corbyn supporters. All seven have held senior party positions and hail from the centrist wing in charge during the Tony Blair era. They aren’t forming a new political party and will keep their seats while voting as independents.

All seven cited the excuse-making of Mr. Corbyn and his allies regarding abuse of Jewish members, spread of anti-Jewish tropes and sympathy for anti-Israel terrorists. The number of such cases referred to the party for disciplinary proceedings has skyrocketed under Mr. Corbyn, yet last summer he resisted formalizing an internationally accepted definition of anti-Semitism in party rules. The willingness of the rebels to leave raises questions about why so many others are still working for Mr. Corbyn.

Monday’s rebellion won’t resolve these tensions. But the rebels are among the few British politicians prepared to nail their colors to a mast. Too many Labour politicians have prized party loyalty over principle in the fight against Mr. Corbyn’s anti-Semitism, or have been too afraid of his vicious supporters on social media to take a stand. Mrs. May and Mr. Corbyn have resisted most serious votes in Parliament over Brexit to avoid forcing their members to make splintering choices.

Britain’s only way out of its current political mess is for politicians to start making tough decisions. The Labour rebels have performed a public service by doing what too many other politicians won’t.
UK Jewish Groups Express Solidarity With Labour MPs Who Resigned Over Antisemitism in Party
A number of top British Jewish groups weighed in on Monday following the resignation of seven Labour MPs — who cited, among other issues, pervasive antisemitism in the Jeremy Corbyn-led party as a reason for their move.

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, stated, “Today a group of seven Labour MPs announced their decision to leave the Labour Party and sit as an independent group in Parliament. In a searing indictment of the Labour leadership both Luciana Berger MP and Mike Gapes MP accused the party of being institutionally antisemitic. In the light of the horrific abuse aimed at Jewish MPs, we stand in solidarity with all those who have been targeted.”

“Labour has failed to deal with antisemitism since the Jewish Community’s Enough is Enough demonstration called on the Labour leadership to act against this racism,” van der Zyl added. “This is a moment of great shame for the Labour Party and a tragedy for the thousands of Jews who have supported the Party for generations.”

The Community Security Trust (CST) also commented on the resignations, saying in a statement, “It is shocking that the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party has been allowed to fester and grow so much, that several of the MPs who today resigned from the party cited antisemitism as one of the reasons. The fact that Luciana Berger, one of the best known and admired Jewish MPs in Parliament, feels compelled to leave the Labour party due to the antisemitism she has personally suffered is a moment of shame that should cause outrage and alarm across the country.”
Labour MP Suggests Labour Split Group Is Funded By Israel
Labour MP Ruth George has said that she will not condemn Labour members who assert that the new TIG group of former Labour MPs, fronted by Jewish MP Luciana Berger, is funded by the state of Israel. She was backing up a local councillor who has been posting multiple conspiracy theories about the group on social media…
“Support from the State of Israel… is possible and I would not condemn those who suggest it.”

Previously George was best known for comparing Amber Rudd to Hitler.
Democrats’ anti-Semitism problem is only growing worse
The problem is that “anti-Zionism” — the predominant justification for violence, murder and hatred against Jews in Europe and the Middle East — is a growing position on the American left. Though Omar embraces the worst caricatures of this ideology, it’s her core contention regarding the Jewish state — not her clumsy “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-style insults, which are just a manifestation of her underlying position — that is most consequential.

One of the dishonest arguments regarding Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who we recently found out wrote a piece for a publication of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, is that they are merely being “critical of Israel.” Yet no serious person has ever made the claim that being critical of Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic. Israel has had both left-wing and right-wing governments over the years. And like governments in any liberal democracy, they can be corrupt, misguided or incompetent. Millions of Israelis are critical of their own nation’s policies every year without any fear of repercussions. Israel isn’t Iran or Turkey, countries that most of Israel’s critics never disparage.

But the best way to gauge whether people are merely being critical of Israel’s policies or they are being critical of the existence of the Jewish state is to use Natan Sharansky’s “3D” test: 1) Do they engage in “delegitimization” of the nation’s existence as does every supporter of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement? 2) Do they engage in “demonization” of the country as do people who claim that Israelis hypnotize the world for evil and that they go around murdering children for kicks? 3) Do they engage in “double standards” — for example, having an obsession with Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee while ignoring illiberalism found throughout the Islamic world and ignoring such things as Muslim concentration camps in China?

The second myth pushed by Omar’s defenders is that Israel dictates American foreign policy with its shekels. The first part of this argument is absurd when one considers that over the past few years, the American government passed the Iranian nuclear deal — which Israel saw as an existential threat — and the American president has embraced the idea of withdrawing troops from Syria. Most of the time, the United States sides with Israel because most of the time Israel’s ideals comport with our own.

Then, of course, there’s a significant difference between contending that you disagree with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s positions and contending that AIPAC bribes Americans with lots of Benjamins. For starters, it’s a lie, because AIPAC doesn’t give any money to politicians. And as Emily Zanotti and others have pointed out, AIPAC, with all its supernatural ability to hypnotize lawmakers, spends about $3.5 million on lobbying for Israeli policies in a good year. “It barely even cracks the top 50, is dwarfed by the beer wholesalers,” Zanotti writes. “In contrast, Planned Parenthood’s PAC spent $20M in 2016.”
The Forward’s Backwards Approach to Antisemitism
No doubt, Ungar-Sargon’s agenda is aided by her demonstrably false claim that Jews are not systemic victims of discrimination. That’s why, without statistics or citation, she insists on repeatedly publishing this myth in The Forward, even while reams of data demonstrate that she is not telling us the truth.

When former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind recently took to Twitter to express displeasure at the antisemitism he observed emanating from the Women’s March and lamented what he referred to as “so-called” Jews who participated in antisemitism, Ungar-Sargon quickly criticized Mr. Hikind, tweeting, “‘So-called Jews.’ You should be ashamed of yourself, Assemblyman.”

To be clear, I would not classify Ms. Ungar-Sargon, or other Jews that share her views on antisemitism, as “so-called” Jews. Their identity is their heritage. It cannot and should not be taken away.

But, just like anyone else, with any other heritage, from any other group, their individual views, and their individual actions, beliefs, and statements are fully their own responsibility; and those personal views are what should determine who they are as people, beyond their immutable race, color, nationality, gender, heritage, culture, or other inherited identity.

It is my hope that Jews and all others who reject all forms of antisemitism will stand up to this hateful rhetoric and continue to do what many have already been doing: turn Ungar-Sargon, and The Forward, away.
The Current Democratic Party Has No Use For Jews
Fearing that Jews will wake up and realize that the Democrats and their allied interest groups will confront every bias except Jew hatred, a group of Jewish Democrats has vowed to confront anti-Semitism and anti-Israel policies in their party.

Being pro-Israel isn’t just for Republicans, opines Democratic Party strategist Ann F. Lewis, seeking to assure the faithful that prominent Democrats are now willing to confront their party’s rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israel policies. One wonders where they were hiding when President Obama was reshaping Iran into the hegemonic power in the Middle East, creating an existential threat to Israel.

Lewis’ statement showcases that Jews and Democrats have traditionally been in the vanguard of support for “minority” rights; but it refuses to confront that increasingly, “minorities” do not support Jews or Israel’s right to exist.

It’s no accident that it isn’t just Muslims that presage the extermination of the Jews by chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” it is also progressives and the various “minority” groups that mindlessly embrace intersectionality.

As gays in Berkeley carry signs proclaiming, “Gays for Palestine,” one wonders how the demonstrators would be received in Ramallah.

'IfNotNow': The Anti-Israel Jews Who Back Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), both facing accusations of antisemitism, have found support from IfNotNow, a radical left-wing anti-Israel organization on the fringe of the Jewish community.

IfNotNow started in 2014 as a protest against Israel’s war against the Hamas terrorist organization — a war almost universally blamed on Hamas, in which it launched rockets against civilians in major Israeli population centers.

IfNotNow seeks to disrupt the connections that many American Jewish organizations have with Israel. It blames American Jewish support for Israel for the persistence of the Israeli occupation of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), though most Palestinians in that territory live under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition to staging sit-ins and protests, members of IfNotNow attempt to infiltrate Jewish summer camps and tours of Israel, where they launch demonstrations or expose the mainstream Jewish community to anti-Israel propaganda.

In one episode in 2018, members of IfNotNow were arrested while reciting the Kaddish — the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead — near the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, memorializing Palestinians killed in “protests” at the Gaza border. (The vast majority of Palestinians killed were members of Hamas, and they were trying to infiltrate Israel to carry out attacks, not stage a non-violent protest against Israeli policies.)
HonestReporting: AOC & Ilhan Omar: Social justice? Racism? Or accident?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have popular social justice goals. But even the people we admire can fall into the traps of ignorance and hate. That's why we invited Congresswoman Omar to see reality on our Mission to Israel. We invite you as well, click here for details:

Guardian promotes view that racism is behind criticism of Ilhan Omar
Since Feb. 12th, the Guardian has published five pieces either entirely or largely sympathetic to Ilhan Omar, after the congresswoman was forced to apologise for tweets widely viewed as antisemitic.

The tweet, suggesting the only reason the US supports Israel is because AIPAC money buys politicians’ support, came on top of a 2012 tweet the freshman lawmaker was also forced to apologise for which accused Israel of “hypnotizing” the world to hide their “evil” ways.

If you include a pro-Omar op-ed (published before the latest row), that makes six sympathetic pieces, with nothing published to date largely critical.
Ilhan Omar Apologizes, Had No Idea ‘Kikey McJewface’ was Offensive (satire)
Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is once again apologizing for what some have called anti-Semitic remarks, saying that she did not know the term ‘Kikey McJewface’ was considered offensive.

“I am always willing to learn from my mistakes, and I now understand that this term has triggered some sensitivities among my Jewish colleagues and constituents,” Omar, who used the slur towards CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria after he wrote a column highlighting anti-Semitism in the Muslim world, tweeted. “At the same time, I will continue to point out the evil policies of Israel’s Zionist regime and the money-grubbing Jews that drive it.”

While most media outlets were quick to praise Omar for her apology, some have questioned why it was necessary in the first place.

“How can we have an honest conversation about Palestinian rights without using terms like ‘Kyke,’ ‘Jewbag,’ or ‘hook-nosed Christ-killing shylock’?” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote in a column for The Intercept. “This is just an attempt to silence a powerful Muslim critic of Israel and the Jewbaccas – I mean, the Zionists – in Congress that support it.”
Virginia State Candidate’s Antisemitism Has a Long, Dangerous Past
Samirah dismissed the widespread condemnation of his posts as a “slander campaign” that “is using 5-year-old Facebook posts from my impassioned college days, posts that upon reflection and with the of [sic] blessing of time, I sincerely regret and apologize for.”

He is 27 years old.

His posts, first published on February 7 by Big League Politics, claimed that sending money to Israel was “worse” than sending money to the Ku Klux Klan, and wished that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would burn in hell.

“Ariel Sharon, burn. Burn a million times for every innocent soul you killed. Hell is excited to have you,” Samirah wrote after Sharon died in 2014.

To show he’s not an antisemite, Samirah’s apology mentioned that he is a co-founder of American University’s Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapter. But JVP is a rabidly anti-Israel group that has championed the case of a convicted Palestinian terrorist, among many other things.

Samirah’s campus activism also includes work with the virulently anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP is a radical student organization active on approximately 200 US college campuses. Since its establishment in 2010, SJP chapters have campaigned for divestment from Israel, which it smears as an apartheid state, and accuses of ethnic cleansing.
Farrakhan: The ‘Wicked Jews’ Use Me to Attack Women’s Movement, March Leaders
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Sunday blamed "wicked Jews" for trying to use him to criticize Women's March leadership and "break up the women’s movement."

Farrakhan, who has a long history of anti-Semitism and ties with Women's March organizers Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez, spoke at his movement's Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago. He accused Jews of trying to put a wedge between him and some of the Women's March organizers because of their praise and association with him.

"The most beautiful sight that I could lay eyes on [was] when I saw, the day after Trump was elected, women from all over the world were standing in solidarity, and a black woman is the initiator of it," said Farrakhan, referring to Mallory.

"The wicked Jews want to use me to break up the women’s movement," Farrakhan said. "It ain’t about Farrakhan; it’s about women all over the world [who] have the power to change the world."

Later in his lengthy speech, Farrakhan asked the audience to applaud for "my poor little sister, Tamika" and appeared to imply that his critics used him to go after the Women's March organizers, CNS News reported.
Farrakhan Praises Omar for Anti-Semitic Language: ‘You Have Nothing to Apologize For’
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Sunday praised Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for her anti-Semitic language, saying she has "nothing to apologize for."

Farrakhan, who has a long history of using anti-Semitic language, including comparing Jews to "termites" last October, delivered remarks at his movement’s Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago. During the two-hour speech, he talked about the need to break up Democracy before he went on to praise the 102 women in Congress, specifically Omar.

He began by referencing Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D., Mich.) "impeach the motherfucker" line about President Donald Trump, calling it "funny language" and went on to talk about widely-condemned tweets from Omar. The congresswoman was pressured to apologize last week after a tweet was widely condemned as anti-Semitic, receiving backlash from Democratic colleagues, Jewish organizations and even Chelsea Clinton.

"Ms. Omar from Somalia – she started talking about ‘the Benjamins' and they are trying to make her apologize. Sweetheart, don't do that. Pardon me for calling you sweetheart, but you do have a sweet heart. You sure are using it to shake the government up, but you have nothing to apologize for," Farrakhan said. "Israel and AIPAC pays off senators and congressmen to do their bidding, so you're not lying, so if you're not lying. Stop laying down. You were sent there by the people to shake up that corrupt House."
Appearing With Holocaust Denier at Saviours’ Day Event, Farrakhan Unleashes ‘Torrent of Attacks on Jews’
The remarks of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and another speaker at Sunday’s Saviours’ Day event at the United Center in Chicago were rife with antisemitism, according to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report.

Farrakhan, the ADL noted, “unleashed a torrent of attacks on Jews, claiming that anti-black racism ‘was started by Jewish rabbinical leaders’ in ancient times, and that Jewish racism towards Africans is ultimately responsible for the ‘enslavement… colonization…dehumanization…[and] denial of self-determination’ to black people throughout history.”

The National of Islam leader “reiterated classic anti-Semitic beliefs about Jews and money, claiming for example that Jewish principles ‘have exploited the American people through institutional usury and predatory lending practices,’” the ADL said. “He rehashed the tired cliché that the federal reserve is run by ‘a family of rich Jews.’”

Furthermore, the ADL recalled, Farrakhan “blamed Jews for ‘pervasive rape culture…sex trafficking and prostitution,’ and for emasculating black men.”

Before Farrakhan’s address, the crowd heard from Michael A. Hoffman II, described by the ADL as a “Holocaust denier and anti-Semitic ideologue.”

Hoffman, the ADL said, “suggested that ancient Jewish texts are equivalent to teachings ‘from the Church of Satan.’”

'End anti-Israeli Hatefest' Wiesenthal Centre asks Lausanne university
Slamming The Haute Ecole Pedagogique Vaud in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Wiesenthal Centre called it to stop an up-and-coming 'Hatefest' directed at spreading anti-Israeli ideology among high-school students and their teachers.

The Center's Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels called upon Haute Ecole Rector Guillaume Vanhulst to stop the event, in which speakers such as Shlomo Sand and Elias Khoury are meant to speak.

Samuels called the speakers "well known anti-Zionists who deny the right to self-determination of the Jewish people and are intent upon the destruction of the Jewish State."

He also noted that the event was meant to take place in October 2018 but was cancelled as the original title, "1948: knowing and teaching the Palestinian Nakba" [Disaster] , was seen as too one-sided.

Sand, an Israeli academic, became known for his 2008 book The Invention of the Jewish people which he followed with his 2012 book The Invention of the Land of Israel and his 2013 book How I ceased to be a Jew.
Students at large German university condemn BDS as antisemitic
The University of Cologne’s student parliament passed a resolution against the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish State because BDS is an antisemitic movement that seeks to abolish Israel.

According to the resolution that was voted on in late October, 2018, “The student bodies of the University of Cologne are fighting the anti-Semitic BDS campaign against the Jewish state of Israel by all available means.” The students wrote BDS groups “should not be offered a platform at the University of Cologne. The student parliament and the AStA are working to prevent BDS propagating events at the University of Cologne.”

AStA stands for The General Students’ Committee, a student representative organization on German universities.

The University of Cologne, located in the state North Rhine-Westphalia, has a student body of nearly 49,000.

The student parliament resolution wrote “AStA is invited to advocate the university for a ban on university-connected events that are related to the BDS, or otherwise attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel.”

The text added. “The student parliament also condemns antisemitism in relation to the state of Israel in any form. It sees itself as being in solidarity with the State of Israel, which also means that its right to existence and self-defense is beyond question.”

Pres. of German-Jewish community says bank will close BDS group’s account
The chairman of Germany’s nearly 100,000 member Central Council of Jews announced on Thursday that the Bank for Social Economy plans to close an account for a group that supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

German media outlets reported that Dr. Schuster, the head of the Jewish community, said the Cologne-based Bank for Social Economy (BSE – Bank für Sozialwirtschaft) intends to close the account of the association Jewish Voice for a Fair Peace in the Middle East because of its support for the BDS movement.

According to a DPA wire service report last week, the Central Council of Jews in Germany (CCJG) “classifies Jewish Voice as antisemitic.”

The Jerusalem Post first disclosed that BSE re-opened the account for Jewish Voice in 2017 after the financial institution shut the account in 2016 due to its BDS activities in connection with a Post exposé. Numerous emails from the Post to the bank’s CEO Harald Schmitz were not returned.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post that the slated closure of the account is an “extremely important development that shows that Germans understand that BDS helps no Palestinian and that it is inherently anti-peace and, in singling out the Jewish state, is antisemitic.”
Guardian Op-Ed Uses Eurovision to Attack Israel
Ever since Israel was tipped to win the 2018 competition with eventual winner Netta Barzilai’s Toy, Eurovision has become the latest battlefield on which the anti-Israel BDS campaign has been fought. Last month, leading BDS advocate and former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters penned an open letter calling on the BBC to urge relocation of the contest to another country.

A few weeks later, one of the cosignatories of that letter, musician Brian Eno, has written an op-ed in the Guardian, calling Israel an “actively repressive apartheid-like state.” The piece, entitled, “Israel must not be allowed to use Eurovision as a propaganda tool,” is a litany of half-truths and decontextualized facts.

It’s sad that this needs to be stated at all, but words have meaning. Apartheid is a legal system in which laws discriminate based on race or ethnicity. There is no dual system of law in Israel for Jewish and Muslim or Arab citizens.

Providing cover for Hamas

Beyond the atrocious apartheid claim, Eno repeats other Hamas talking points wholesale, never stopping to demonstrate a modicum of balance or willingness to address difficult truths.

Eno describes a cultural center in Gaza bombed by the Israeli armed forces last year as, “a place of music, theatre and dance.” The problem isn’t with what Eno says as much as what he doesn’t say; according to the IDF, the site also functioned as a Hamas nerve center, a hub of terrorism, weapons and hate.

Hamas, the terrorist group which seized control of Gaza in 2007 and has reigned with an iron fist ever since, routinely uses civilian infrastructure as a cover for its weapons and command centers. While doing so is in direct contravention of international humanitarian law, Hamas knows that as a sub-state actor, it is seen as the underdog facing the mighty Israel, and will escape censure. As a result, Israel is forced to either avoid hitting an ostensibly “civilian” site and allow Hamas to continue operating unimpeded, or to attack and face strong media and NGO criticism.

In simply categorizing the location of the strike as a mere cultural center, Eno parrots the Hamas line, and provides the terror organization with cover to continue its war crimes, and attacks Israel for defending itself.

Norwegian newspaper apologizes for using phrase ‘Jewish question’
Norway’s largest print newspaper apologized this week for running an article about Israel and antisemitism that used the phrase “the Jewish question” in the headline.

That phrase has a long history of being used to demean, dehumanize and stigmatize Jewish people, both before and during the Holocaust.

Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief of Aftenposten, issued a lengthy apology for the original article – which ran in the newspaper last week. In a full page commentary in Monday’s newspaper, Hansen apologized for the original article, which was headlined in print: “The Jewish question splits the Left on both sides of the Atlantic.” The article examined accusations of antisemitism against figures including US Rep. Ilhan Omar and UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Hansen took full responsibility for the unfortunate wording.
UKMW prompts Daily Mail correction to claim Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site
A Feb. 13th article at the Daily Mail about a luxury Israeli hotel that’s a short walk from Jerusalem’s Old City included the claim that the Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Western Wall, the hotel seems to say (you can see the Old City from the roof terrace). As the last remaining wall of the Second Temple, this is the most sacred location for Jews.

This is not accurate – a point we’ve demonstrated on numerous occasions whilst prompting corrections at multiple British media outlets. The Temple Mount is the most sacred location for Jews. The Western Wall is merely the most sacred place where Jews are currently permitted to pray.

We contacted editors, who upheld our complaint and revised the sentence accordingly:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Western Wall, the hotel seems to say (you can see the Old City from the roof terrace). As the last remaining wall of the Second Temple, this is the most sacred location where Jews are currently permitted to pray.
EU presented with ‘first-ever’ action plan to combat antisemitism
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has called on EU Member States to adopt in full the IHRA Working Definition on Antisemitism as part of a joint Action Plan to Combat Antisemitism on the continent.

As a steep rise antisemitism continues to plague the Europe, the EJC – together with the American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute and B’nai B’rith International – have presented a first-ever action plan to combat antisemitism to the Council of the European Union and the EU’s Coordinator on combating antisemitism Katharina von Schnurbein.

This comes after the Council Declaration of December 6 on the fight against antisemitism and the development of a common security approach to better protect Jewish communities and institutions in Europe.

In November, CNN released a poll, which found that antisemitism was alive and kicking throughout Europe. According to the CNN survey, one in five said Jews have too much influence in the media and too much influence in politics, while more than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Seven countries were surveyed, including Austria, Germany, the UK and Poland.

The document makes several recommendations to the EU and its Member States, which include using the IHRA Working Definition on Antisemitism “as a reference tool to better grasp all manifestations of contemporary antisemitism,” bettering its assistance to Member States “in providing hate crime training to law enforcement,” having closer cooperation with communities on security issues, and creating common guidelines “for countering antisemitism in education that will provide long-term positive effects for Jewish communities in Europe.”
French rally against anti-Semitism as Macron visits vandalized cemetery
In Paris and dozens of other French cities, ordinary citizens and officials across the political spectrum geared up Tuesday to march against anti-Semitism, following a series of anti-Semitic acts that have shocked the nation.

Just hours ahead of Tuesday’s gatherings, French President Emmanuel Macron headed to a Jewish cemetery in a small Alsace town that was vandalized overnight.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted his “outrage and disgust” after 80 Jewish graves were vandalized in Quatzenheim. Marie-Helene Schott, secretary at the town’s city hall, told The Associated Press that swastikas were tagged on several graves.

Later Tuesday, former French presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy are set to join thousands of protesters and government officials on Paris streets.
Teens fire air rifle at synagogue in Paris on Friday, injuring one
Two teenagers fired shots from an air rifle at a synagogue in Paris on Friday night, lightly injuring a Jewish man in the leg, French media reported on Tuesday.

According to the Le Parisien newspaper, the attack was staged against a synagogue in the Sarcelles suburb of Paris from an apartment facing the building.

Police searched the apartment and confiscated a 4.5mm calibre rifle, while the teenagers themselves were arrested on Saturday. The state prosecutor believes that the attack was carried out for antisemitic motives.

The president of the Jewish community of Sarcelles was quoted as saying, however, that he believed the attack was not antisemitic, adding that it was carried out due to “stupidity” and that the teenagers would have shot anyone. But he said he was still concerned about antisemitism in the suburb.

The incident comes as large demonstrations against antisemitism are being organized in Paris and other cities following a string of recent antisemitic attacks.
Staircase in Ukraine mall decorated with giant swastika
A shopping mall in Ukraine that is located on a street named for a collaborator with the Nazis decorated a staircase with a large swastika.

Images and footage from inside the Horodok shopping mall on Kiev’s Bandera Avenue surfaced Monday on Facebook.

They show shoppers climbing up and down the staircase, whose middle-section stairs feature a large swastika locked in a white rhombus encircled by red, similar to Nazi Germany’s flag. The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Palo Alto Networks to buy Israeli cybersecurity firm Demisto for $560 million
Palo Alto Networks, a Santa Clara, California-based cybersecurity firm founded by Israeli entrepreneur Nir Zuk, said in a statement Tuesday that it has entered an agreement to buy Israel’s Demisto for some $560 million in cash and stock.

Demisto, with offices in Tel Aviv and Cupertino, California, was founded in 2015 by Slavik Markovich, Rishi Bhargava, Dan Sarel and Guy Rinat, who will now join Palo Alto Networks.

The Israeli firm develops enterprise security solutions that combine incident management, machine learning and interactive investigation, according to Start-Up Nation Central’s database, which tracks the industry. Its interactive investigation feature allows the collaborative investigation of complex incidents that can’t be solved through standard means, the firm’s website says. A virtual war room allows people to collaborate and run security commands.

Palo Alto Networks said the Israeli firm’s technologies will accelerate Palo Alto’s strategy “and serve as a critical step forward in the company’s aim to deliver immediate threat prevention and response for security teams.”
Boteach to honor Mike Pompeo at NYC dinner featuring Netta concert
The World Values Network, the organization helmed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, will honor US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at its annual dinner in New York City next month.

The event, scheduled for March 28 in the Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, will also honor Marion Wiesel, the wife of the late Elie Wiesel, and feature a concert by Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai.

In a statement, the organization said it was honoring Pompeo for “his strong and enduring support of Israel and the Jewish people and opposition to Iranian threats of death to America and Israel.”

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Boteach said that “we’re giving him our highest award because he’s a friend of Israel and he deserves it. I think the American Jewish community was traumatized by the Iran nuclear deal... Pompeo’s eloquence and adamance in repeatedly warning the world to the dangers of Iran were remarkable.”

The rabbi acknowledged that the White House decision to pull troops from Syria is certainly not in Israel’s best interest, but “not every decision the Trump administration is going to make is going to be in Israel’s favor... this is the most pro-Israel administration in Israel’s history, but it’s not perfect.”

Three other individuals are also slated to be honored at the event in March: Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s Middle East envoy; Carnegie Hall executive director Clive Gillinson; and Candi Carter, the executive producer of The View who will be feted for “building opportunities on behalf of individuals with disabilities.”

Betar Zionist youth movement celebrates 95 years at Jerusalem conference
Although never a darling of the media, the Betar Zionist youth movement has made a lasting impact in the Jewish world, and hundreds celebrated the group's 95th anniversary at a special event in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Generations of youth were influenced by their involvement with Betar, including President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Part of the evening included a video message from Rivlin, who called Betar the most influential movement in Israel.
Founded in 1923 in Riga Latvia, Zionist leader Zev Jabotinsky led the group until his passing in 1940. Betar members, such as former prime minister Menachem Begin, went on to form the Irgun Zvai Leumi and later the Herut Party, precursor to today's Likud.

Today, the youth group has chapters throughout Israel and the world and is headed by Neriya Meir, who spoke to The Jerusalem Post about the special birthday. "At our first international conference in 1929 in Warsaw, Poland, it was decided that henceforth our conferences would always be held in Jerusalem," Meir stated.

Among the 700 participants was 94-year-old Idit Liberman. The Betar member still remembers meeting Jabotinsky in Germany in 1933. He recommended that her family as well as others leave Europe and immigrate to the land of Israel, then the British Mandate of Palestine. This is how she survived the Holocaust.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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