Wednesday, February 27, 2019

From Ian:

Disdain For Jews Is The Sinew Of Identity Politics
Omar’s anti-Semitism drew endorsements from white supremacist David Duke and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. If there is one thing white supremacists and black nationalists share, it is hatred of Jews.

Women's March co-president Tamika Mallory, a vocal supporter of Farrakhan's, naturally added to Omar's defense, parroting Farrakhan's specious indictment of Jews as being responsible for the slave trade.

Jews provide a convenient focal point for the American Left's hate. And progressive Jews, given a choice between their leftist politics and their fading Jewish identity, have joined the Hamas chorus, lending a twisted credibility to hackneyed tropes that have resulted in inquisitions, crusader massacres, pogroms, and the Holocaust.

Max Berger, co-founder of the anti-Zionist IfNotNow, calls on his fellow Jews to stand with Omar against AIPAC, which Omar alleges buys votes from her fellow members of Congress.

Berger and Omar are obsessed with AIPAC, using old tropes of Jews and money. But somehow the various Arab lobbies, including the powerful Saudi and Emirates lobbies, escape their concern.

For all of Omar’s trafficking in allegations of Israeli apartheid, there is actually an empirical measurement of racism among states. Muslim states tend to be racist and xenophobic.

But Omar's accusations bear no relation to facts — as fellow traveler Ocasio-Cortez has said, if you are morally correct, the facts don't matter.

Neither do they matter to those who seek to mobilize a mass movement built on hatred as the sinew that ties it all together. In this pursuit, both Omar and her progressive accomplices are of one mind. Jews should take note, for those who do not pay attention to history are known to repeat it.
Douglas Murray: Must We Really Be Careful What We Do Lest We Offend Extremists?
What is striking and controversial are the repeated interventions into the debate made by the government's own 'extremism commissioner', Sara Khan. Over recent years Khan has been a hugely admirable figure. The founder and leader of the women's group 'Inspire', Khan has shown a generation of British people – including, most importantly, young Muslim women – that it is possible to be resilient against the fanatics in their faith and also to argue for the rights of women. She has been an unarguable force for good, and has had to withstand appalling pressure from Islamist groups in the UK.

"It is, I think, completely misconceived to suggest that we should change our foreign policy because it might cause some people to take up arms against us. That's a form of blackmail...." — Michael Howard, former Conservative party leader

In 2006 a small group of peers, MPs and Islamist groups sent an open letter to the then-Labour government. The signatories included the subsequently jailed Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, the subsequently disgraced (over expenses fraud) Baroness Uddin and the then-MP, now Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. This letter suggested to the UK government of the day that British foreign policy "risks putting civilians at increased risk both in the UK and abroad." This is a commonly heard argument of course, and is especially commonly heard from various extremist groups.

Melanie Phillips: Poland v Israel round two, Labour party antisemitism
Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Unwired the latest developments in our crazy world. On our agenda this week: well, afraid it’s pretty much wall-to-wall antisemitism. There’s a lot of it about, alas.

We first of all discuss the row that blew up between Israel and Poland over remarks, made first by Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu and then by its new foreign minister Israel Katz, drawing attention to the complicity of Polish people with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

As I wrote here, the Polish government tries reprehensibly to conceal the fact that there were Polish anti-Jewish programs before, during and after the Holocaust. But Poland today is warmly disposed towards Israel and its friendship is valuable.

As I say in this discussion, the way for Israel to handle this delicate situation (the second time this row has erupted) is surely to be both fair and unsparing: to insist that the Polish government is wrong to try to sanitise its country’s history of anti-Jewish hatred, while acknowledging that the Nazis slaughtered thousands of Poles too and that many Poles risked their lives to save Jews from the Nazis.

Avi and I then go on to discuss the crisis over antisemitism in Britain’s Labour party from which nine MPs have now departed, either partly or wholly in revulsion at the leadership’s continued refusal to deal with this scourge.

New York Times Editor Defends ‘Vigorous’ Debate Over Zionism, Israel, BDS
The editorial page editor of The New York Times, James Bennet, is defending his newspaper’s decision to provide a platform for columnists advocating boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, the Times published a column by Michelle Alexander likening Israel to apartheid-era South Africa and praising the “moral clarity” of a church’s boycott of the five largest Israeli banks. Another regular Times columnist, Michelle Goldberg, has insisted, “Anti-Zionism Isn’t the Same as Anti-Semitism.” Goldberg defended the BDS movement — “a movement of nonviolent resistance,” she called it, ignoring that it operates in parallel and alongside violent terrorism — in a Times podcast.

On Tuesday, February 26, Bennet appeared at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for an event of the school’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. During the question and answer portion of the event, he was asked by a member of the audience from Jerusalem for advice on how to frame “loving criticism” of Israel that doesn’t veer into antisemitism.

Bennet responded by citing the newspaper’s own coverage. “We’ve had rather vigorous debate in our pages recently about whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism, and we’ve had a couple of our columnists taking a position that it’s not, others that it is. … I think it’s just really important to engage that directly. It’s one of the things we struggle with, what’s in bounds, what’s out of bounds. Pretending that debate isn’t happening doesn’t serve our readers, is my view in the end.”
Time for Faculty to Stand Against BDS
I have written about the hypocrisy of this act before. But months later, I’m struck by the silence of Pitzer faculty on this matter. In 1915, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued a declaration on academic freedom and tenure. It warned that academics have a responsibility to “prevent the freedom which it claims in the name of science from being used as a shelter” for “uncritical and intemperate partisanship.” It goes on to warn that if professors fail in this responsibility, “it is certain that the task will be performed by others.”

Whatever one might think of Israel’s policies, there are few things more uncritical and intemperate than boycotting, over “apartheid,” a university that does a far better job of enrolling Arab citizens then one’s own college does at enrolling black citizens (Israeli Arab citizens constitute 6.7 percent of Haifa University’s Ph. D. candidates and 16 percent of undergraduates, while only 5 percent of Pitzer’s matriculated students are African-American).

Pitzer College’s faculty may have been duped into serving BDS. But that was three months ago. It’s time for Pitzer faculty to speak up if they don’t want their college to be the propaganda arm of a movement determined to expel the only Jewish state from the international community.

They shouldn’t count on President Oliver to save them from themselves. I have advocated for academic freedom, even for the occasional anti-Semite. I have urged non-academics, whether they sit on state legislatures or boards of trustees, to resist the urge to shut down even hateful speech, whether by getting the perpetrators fired or by defunding their institutions. But as the AAUP’s declaration suggests, those who refuse to defend the academic enterprise against a hostile takeover from extreme and intemperate partisans will have no defense against “others” who take it on themselves to police academics.

When those others come for Pitzer, advocates of academic freedom will have no principled reason not to wave them in.
Why Israel Should Be Concerned by Boycott Legislation in Chile and Ireland
In January, the lower house of the Irish parliament voted in favor of a measure, already approved by the Irish senate, to criminalize the purchase of goods or services from Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. Two months prior, the lower house of the Chilean parliament voted, by a margin of 99 to 7, to call upon the government to reconsider trade deals with Israel so as to restrict commerce in lands acquired in 1967. Amir Prager writes:

Ireland and Chile have long been a platform for global anti-Israeli activity, including for the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement. Last October, 50 Irish lawmakers, including a lower-ranking government minister, called for an arms embargo on Israel. In April 2018 the Union of Students in Ireland and the Dublin City Council expressed their support of BDS. . . .

Chile, [for its part], is home to the largest community of Palestinian expatriates outside of the Middle East. The Los Rios province, in the south of the country, announced in April 2018 that Israel is responsible for war crimes and for maintaining an apartheid regime, and called on the Chilean government to condemn Israel’s actions and reevaluate existing collaboration with the Israeli military. . . .

At this point, the direct impact of both proposals is not significant. The Chilean proposal is not binding. The Irish proposal, while detailed and binding, requires additional steps to become legislation and might actually run into procedural and political hurdles that could neutralize it altogether or remove its obligating aspects. . . . Nevertheless, in the medium and long terms the impact of both proposals could become significant. The proposals highlight the illegitimacy that different countries ascribe to Israeli activities in the West Bank and the growing willingness to take substantive action against it and . . . provide moral support for organizations that delegitimize the state of Israel.
‘Tolerance for Bigots Is What’s Scary,’ Says Ex-ADL Chief Foxman of Rising Global Antisemitism
2019 may only be two months old, but it’s already become painfully clear that antisemitism around the world will be the issue that dominates the Jewish media throughout this year. From Crown Heights to Buenos Aires, from Paris to Melbourne, antisemitic outrages of some sort are being reported on a near-daily basis.

The statistics tell an equally sobering story. In Germany, violent attacks on Jews rose by 60 percent in 2018. In France, there was an overall rise of 74 percent in the number of antisemitic actions. In the UK, the number of antisemitic incidents climbed to 1,652, the highest number recorded in more than three decades. In the US, murders committed by far-right extremists increased by 37 percent in 2018, incorporating in their number the eleven Jewish worshippers murdered by a neo-Nazi gunman at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27.

But as one of the more seasoned observers of antisemitism explained to The Algemeiner on Tuesday, this constant stream of disturbing images and rising numbers didn’t come out of nowhere. Rather, he said, the degree of intensity is reflective of society’s ability to control the latent antisemitism that always lies beneath its surface.

“To believe that we can eradicate antisemitism is a pipe dream,” said Abraham Foxman, the national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League and the head of an antisemitism study program at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. “If we didn’t find a vaccine after Auschwitz, we’re not gonna find one now.”
ADL calls on Oman to remove anti-Semitic titles from state-run book fair
The Anti-Defamation League called on the Sultanate of Oman Qaboos bin Said to remove anti-Semitic works from the country’s annual book fair.

Copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Henry Ford’s The International Jew are on sale at the 2019 Muscat International Book Fair, which is underway until March 2.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, whose author is unknown,blames Jews for wanting to take over the world, while Mein Kampf is Hitler’s 1925 autographical book and outlines his plans for a Germany that ostracized those, especially Jews, who were not of the Aryan race. The International Jew is a four-volume set of pamphlets or booklets that chronicles what Ford described as the “Jewish menace.”

“At a time when anti-Semitism is surging in the Middle East and around the world, it is deeply troubling that Oman’s government-sanctioned book fair is providing a platform for some of the worst conspiratorial anti-Semitic titles of the 20th century,” said ADL CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt. “The Sultanate of Oman needs to ensure that such intolerant books are swiftly removed and that this event does not provide a platform to those who would promote anti-Semitism in future years.”

This development comes as Israel has been seeking a normalization of ties with Oman despite the latter’s foreign minister denying so.
No More Mr. Nice Jew
Now that the U.S. Congress includes Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who gleefully traffic in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and are firmly opposed to the existence of Israel—their map of Palestine occupies all of Israel—an old problem has reemerged: How should Jews respond to self-declared enemies in a democracy?

The most common and damaging emotional temptation in such circumstances—exemplified by Yair Rosenberg in these pages—is a yearning for dialogue no matter what, no matter with whom, even if it legitimizes extremism. Another is to vent anger to no purpose.

The last time such absolute enemies emerged in democratic Western polities, in Britain and France in the 1930s, they were totally defeated. And there is every reason to believe that it can be done again, so long as we can avoid fear-driven pleading and the pretense of big-tent dialogue.

In Britain, the enemy was a peculiarly British form of political anti-Semitism, which, being British, was most dangerous in its least visible form. The British Union of Fascists that once staged a march through then solidly Jewish Whitechapel in London’s East End to attract press attention was an organization of losers certainly very visible in their black uniforms. They had no chance of winning a general election, not just because they were ultra-extremists but simply because under Britain’s “first past the post” electoral system not even the finest third party can hope for victory.
Ilhan Omar Quietly Deletes Some of Her Past Anti-Semitic Tweets
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) deleted tweets this week containing some of her publicly anti-Semitic comments after having apologized for her words but not her views.

In early February, Omar made a series of ill-advised tweets concerning Jewish Americans, the state of Israel, and the United States government.

Omar peddled in anti-Semitic stereotypes, mischaracterized a pro-Israel lobbying group, and garnered praise from the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. She shared a tweet from far-left journalist Glenn Greenwald, who claimed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) was "defending a foreign nation" and "attacking free speech rights of Americans."

In reply, Omar claimed elected officials acted for Israel out of financial interest. "It's all about the Benjamins baby," she said. The reference is to $100 bills, which have Benjamin Franklin's face on each.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor of the liberal publication The Forward, has staunchly defended Omar's comments in the past but criticized her in this case. Ungar-Sargon called it "the second anti-Semitic trope you've tweeted" and asked who would be "paying American politicians to be pro-Israel."

Omar replied, "AIPAC!" That tweet is now gone.
Tony Blair Rips Corbyn, Says Labour Party “Has Not Gripped and Dealt With” Anti-Semitism
In a radio interview with NPR on Tuesday during a visit to Washington D.C., former British Prime Minister Tony Blair lay the blame for the Labour Party’s ongoing anti-Semitism crisis at the feet of Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the party, and his far-left supporters.

Blair, a staunch ally of Israel and the Jewish people, told journalist Steve Inskeep that he, and other senior figures in the party, have raised the problem of anti-Jewish hate “consistently” over the past three years to no avail.

“What has happened with the British Labour Party is that a strain of the far-left has taken over in circumstances where, when I was leader, these people were very much on the fringes of the Labour Party. Now, the new leadership has really brought them in.”

Blair was elected Labour leader in 1994 and won the party three executive terms in office before resigning in 2007. He then took on the role of envoy of the Middle East Quartet, a position he held until 2015.

Corbyn’s unwillingness to confront anti-Semitism in the party is not to say “that the majority of the Labour Party is anti-Semitic,” Blair explained. In fact, he clarified, many lawmakers who were first elected during his premiership “are horrified by this.”
Labour Ripped by Its Own Members for Squishiness on Hezbollah After Spokesman Criticizes Ban
An intra-Labour Party fight erupted Tuesday in Parliament after the House of Commons voted to ban all branches of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah from the United Kingdom.

A spokesman for the left-wing party, already plagued by continuous acts and accusations of anti-Semitism, said there was "not sufficient evidence" to support the government's conclusion that there was no distinction between Iran-backed Hezbollah's political and military wings. Some of Labour's own MPs, however, criticized their own front bench for not standing up against the terror group.

"The Home Office has previously ruled that there was not sufficient evidence that the political wing of Hezbollah fell foul of proscription criteria, a position confirmed by ministers in the House of Commons last year," a Labour spokesman said, according to BBC News. "Ministers have not yet provided any clear evidence to suggest this has changed."

The spokesman went on to suggest Home Secretary Sajid Javid had put forth the ban for his own "leadership ambitions."
UK Labour MP says party is ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism
British Labour lawmaker Chris Williamson came under fire Wednesday after footage emerged of him telling activists that the party had been too apologetic over accusations of anti-Semitism and was being “demonized.”

“The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonized as a racist, bigoted party,” Williamson said in the footage published by The Yorkshire Post.

“I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion…we have backed off too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic,” he said.

Williamson later issued a statement in which he said he was “sorry for how I chose to express myself on this issue,” and that he was “trying to stress how much the party has done to tackle anti-Semitism.”

“Our movement can never be ‘too apologetic’ about racism within our ranks,” the statement read. “Whilst it is true there have been very few instances of anti-Semitism within the Labour party — something I believe is often forgotten when discussing this issue — it is also true that those few are too many,” he added.
Chris Williamson Urged Corbyn to Confront Those Who Called Out Anti-Semitism
Chris Williamson’s latest outburst about Labour anti-Semitism is certainly nothing new – Guido has unearthed comments made by Chris Williamson at a ‘Labour Against the Witch Hunt’ fringe event at Labour Party conference this year. Their own report of the event is titled “They can f*ck off”. Not a good start…

According to Labour Against the Witchhunt, Chris Williamson “confronted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism… declaring that he often described Israel as an apartheid state”, denounced the “terrible injustice” done to Jackie Walker and condemned the way Marc Wadsworth had been “demonised as a bigot”, before calling on Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to “wake up” and “confront the rightwing witch-hunters”. Instead of going after the anti-Semites in the Labour Party, Williamson urged the leadership to go after those who were calling it out…

Williamson said that “bullying” would only stop when people stood up to, declaring that “the monster is getting bigger. Stop feeding the beast!” To top it off, Williamson was also sharing a platform at the event with the notorious Tony Greenstein, who was suspended by Labour for “repeatedly using ‘zio’ as a term of derision, stating ‘Gay zionists make me want to puke’ and referring to others as ‘Zionist scum’”. Labour have merely issued Williamson with a “notice of investigation” after his lacklustre apology today, he hasn’t even been suspended during the investigation…
Chris Williamson apologises for calling Labour “too apologetic” over antisemitism but still plans to screen Jackie Walker as MPs clamour for him to be thrown out
Labour MPs are clamouring for their colleague, antisemite-befriender and Labour MP for Derby North, Chris Williamson, to be suspended or expelled from the Party, after he was caught on video saying that the Labour Party has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism. He has issued a meandering apology but still appears to be intent on screening a film about Jackie Walker in Parliament. Jackie Walker, a friend of Mr Williamson, has been suspended for years by the Labour Party which still appears to be mustering the will to discipline her over her claims about Jews.

The video, which was released by the Yorkshire Post, shows Mr Williamson telling activists at an event in Sheffield last week organised by the campaign group Momentum, that Labour was being “demonised as a racist, bigoted party.” Momentum supports Mr Corbyn’s leadership of the Party.

To raucous applause, Mr Williamson told the gathering that: “The Party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party. I have got to say I think our Party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion…we have backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.” He then claimed that: “We’ve done more to address the scourge of antisemitism than any political party.”

Following uproar from Labour MPs – including, Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, who said that Mr Williamson had been “deliberately inflammatory” – Mr Williamson apologised. In a lengthy statement on Twitter, he wrote: “I deeply regret, and apologise for, my recent choice of words when speaking about how the Labour Party has responded to the ongoing fight against antisemitism inside of our Party. I was trying to stress how much the party has done to tackle antisemitism.” He added that: “I am therefore sorry for how I chose to express myself on this issue within our Party. This is a fight that I want to be an ally in. In future, I will take it upon myself to be more considered in my remarks, and ensure they reflect the Labour Party’s unswerving and unfaltering commitment to anti-racism and the fight against antisemitism.”
Elderly Jewish Londoner punched in face in suspected hate crime
An elderly Jewish man was assaulted by a younger man in the London Borough of Islington in what witnesses said was an anti-Semitic attack.

The assault happened on Tuesday afternoon at Highbury Corner. The attacker was in his thirties and had a shaved head, according to witnesses who spoke to the Islington Gazette.

The attacker asked the man, who is in his seventies, if he was Jewish before punching him in the face, causing the victim to bleed, one witness was quoted as saying. The attacker fled the scene. Police are investigating the incident, which did not result in life-threatening injuries.

Chief Superindendent Raj Kohli, of the Metropolitan police, tweeted his concern at the attack and vowed to catch the assailant.

“So very sorry for the victim, his family and the wider Jewish community for this awful and targeted attack,” he wrote. “Hate crime is vile, unacceptable and makes minority communities feel vulnerable.:

Local police, he said, “will do our utmost to find out who did this.”
Israel university head questions government boycott strategy
The chairman of Israel's Association of University Heads says he thinks the government is mishandling its battle against the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel.

Ron Robin, president of the University of Haifa, said Tuesday that Israeli universities have felt pressure from the boycott movement, usually through what he called a "gray" boycott in which overseas colleagues refuse to collaborate on projects without offering explanations.

Robin says the government has confronted the boycott movement largely by promoting anti-boycott legislation overseas.

He says he thinks Israeli universities are better off making a "moral" case by stressing their diversity and inclusiveness. He says Arab students, for example, make up one-third of Haifa's student body.

"We need to promote the role of universities in creating an inclusive meritocracy in Israel," he said.
Guardian misleads on ‘Israel Lobby’ article
Perhaps the single greatest staple of anti-Semites of all stripes – rightwing, leftwing, religious (Muslim or Christian) – is the “Jewish money” trope, often expressed as the Israel/Zionist/Jewish lobby controlling the US (always in evil ways of course). Its most recent airing was by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, whose ‘woke’ position was bravely defended by the Guardian:

However, the headline is at odds with the facts reported in the body of the article. It turns out that only $5 million of that $22 million is spent on political lobbying, whilst the rest is spent on promoting tourism to Israel, investment in Israeli tech and medicine and such.

So how does the $5 million spent by the nefarious “Zionist lobby” compare to other lobbying? I’m afraid the antisemites are in for a little disappointment.

The healthcare/health insurance industry which spends a massive $556m trying to influence public policy. Nutritional and dietary supplement industry alone spends $6m, as much as the “Zionists”. When did you last hear of the Vitamins lobby running America?
BBC News’ Iranian ‘hardliners’ and ‘moderates’ myth on view again
Leaving aside the fact that the JCPOA negotiations could not have been conducted or finalised without the agreement of Iran’s Supreme Leader, is the BBC’s framing of Javad Zarif as someone inherently different to Iran’s “hardliners” actually accurate?

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change recently published a report by Kasra Aarabi based on analysis of speeches made by Iranian leaders perceived by some in the West as either ‘hardliners’ or ‘moderates’ – including Javad Zarif.

“The 2015 international nuclear deal did not alter Iran’s anti-US stance. The previous US administration’s signing of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was seen as a stepping stone to better relations between Iran and the world. Yet despite the deal, anti-US sentiment—and anti-Western sentiment in general—continues to abound in the rhetoric of Iran’s leaders. For both Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, both of whom were involved in the negotiations, 60 per cent of their speeches featured explicit anti-US rhetoric.”

“…when the West speaks of moderates in the regime, it often overlooks the fact that all figures in the establishment are committed to Islamism and are vehemently opposed to liberal, secular values. This includes officials the West perceives as moderate, such as Zarif.”
The BBC ‘expert’ contributor and the UK Hizballah designation

If the name of the writer of those Tweets sounds familiar, that may be because Sharmine Narwani – formerly of Oxford University’s St Anthony’s College – has appeared in BBC content in the past and some of her contributions are still available online.

As was noted here in 2013:
“In addition to some aggressive anti-Americanism, Narwani peddles anti-Israel, pro Assad, pro-Iranian regime and pro-Hizballah rhetoric. As well as having blogged at the Huffington Post – until her pro-Assad stance apparently became too much – Narwani has written for the Guardian and the pro-Hizballah/pro-Assad Lebanese outlet Al Akhbar English.

She also appears to have something of an affinity with antisemitic conspiracy theorists, writing for the ‘Veterans Today‘ website – which has links, via its editor, to Iran’s Press TV – and its sister site ‘Veterans News Now’ as well as – according to her Twitter account – recently appearing on Rense Radio.”

As we see the person variously portrayed by the BBC as a “Middle East expert”, a “journalist” and a “political commentator” is also a dab hand at offensive racist slurs.
Toronto man guilty of rare charge of advocating genocide through Twitter and emails
A Toronto man who sent emails to public figures and media outlets and used Twitter to espouse his “hateful beliefs” has been found guilty of the rare Criminal Code charge of advocating genocide against Jewish people and homosexuals.

Rupen Balaram-Sivaram showed no emotion Monday as he listened to Superior Court Justice Michael Brown read his reasons for convicting the former paralegal on all 10 counts in the indictment, including promoting hatred, criminal harassment, uttering death threats and impersonation.

“I’m satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the written statements conveyed by the defendant in the various forms of communication .... were public statements. They were not private conversations,” Brown said.

“The emails were sent to many individuals, public figures, and also sent to media organizations. The Twitter account was open and accessible to the public. The Facebook chat ... that the defendant engaged in was public, a number of people responded to his comments.”

While Balaram-Sivaram had few followers on his Twitter feed, Brown said his “offensive and distasteful” words were nevertheless public, searchable, and intended to encourage likeminded people to commit genocidal actions.

Balaram-Sivaram denied all criminal wrongdoing, including sending any hateful email, or that he was behind the Twitter account bearing his name.

The judge did not believe his testimony.
Jewish school in France gets Hitler hate mail
Statements celebrating the Holocaust were sent in a letter to a Jewish school in the southern suburbs of Paris and, separately, the words “death to Jews” were painted on the fence of a synagogue north of the city, French media reported Tuesday.

In the letter to the Yaguel Yaacov school in Montrouge the authors wrote “Arab countries would have lived in peace if Adolf Hitler finished exterminating all the Jews” and “France is a rear base of Zionism in Europe,” the LCI television channel reported.

Police are investigating, the report said.

Separately, police are also looking into the spraying of graffiti last week on a wall of the synagogue in the Val-de-Marne area southeast of Paris, Le Parisien reported. The graffiti also featured the acronym LDNA, which is used by the militant group known as Black African Defense League.

In Villiers-le-Bel north of Paris, police apprehended a man they suspect of smashing a monument commemorating the Holocaust on February 14, Le Parisien reported last week.
Argentine Jewish leader: Robbery was pretext for anti-Semitic attack on rabbi
The head of Argentina’s main Jewish group said an assault Monday on the country’s chief rabbi was motivated by anti-Semitism.

Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich was beaten and seriously injured by assailants who broke into his home while he and his wife were there, taking money and personal effects.

Jorge Knoblovits, the president of the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Aid Association (AMIA), said seven men were involved in the assault Monday in Buenos Aires on Davidovich, who is 62.

AMIA’s quoted the Davidovich’s assailants as saying, “We know you are the rabbi of AMIA.”

Knoblovits said the robbery was merely a pretext for “an anti-Semitic act.”
Aliyah is the only answer
The Jewish community in Argentina in general, and in Buenos Aires in particular, is one of the largest and most vibrant in the Diaspora. Tens of thousands of its members fill its institutions, whether they be synagogues, nursery schools, schools, youth movements, sports clubs, choirs, or the impressive charity organizations on a daily basis. The sense of belonging is one of its most outstanding features, but not only. The additional sense that connects all of the members of the community is the understanding that in Argentina, there is no justice.

This year, Argentina will mark 25 years to the murderous attack on the Jewish community in Buenos Aires. On July 18 at 9:53 a.m., a car exploded at the entrance to the AMIA Jewish community center building, in seconds, changing the life of the community there forever. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Millions more continue to carry the wound in their heart to this day.

While members of the community have sought and demanded justice ever since, they have yet to find it. And when someone brave goes out of their way and comes close to the truth, like the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman, they are forcibly stopped in their tracks.

Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich, who was brutally attacked inside his home, Monday, is the rabbi of AMIA. The attack serves as a reminder of the injustice in Argentina. While police are "investigating" the incident, one mustn't be confused: Davidovich is a well-known figure in the country. Even the alleged "robbers" would have known full-well who he was.
Got carbs? Barely, but Israeli firm says it can generate an energy boost anyway
Israeli food manufacturer Matok V’Kal Ltd. says it has developed a new energy product to give a boost to sports enthusiasts by tricking their brain into thinking their body has just consumed carbohydrates.

“We fool the mind,” said Noam Kaplan, the CEO of Matok V’Kal, by phone. “They are not really consuming the carbohydrates,” but are getting the energy boost anyway.

The company has already started selling its product in Israel. It is now looking to launch its product globally, starting at a food exhibition in Chiba City, Japan, next month.

The new product is a spray that comes in a reusable clip-on package that can be accessed during running or any other sports activity. Users spray the liquid into their mouth to get a boost of energy, according to the firm.

Called Fit4style, each unit of the energy spray delivers 1.3 grams of simple and complex carbohydrates in the form of water with dextrose, fructose, an acidity regulator and mint extract that coats the mouth.
How Brexit Has Benefited Israel
On Monday, the British government declared Hizballah a terrorist organization. Ariel Kahana argues that this long-overdue measure was precipitated by London’s decision to leave the European Union. That decision, he believes, has been followed by “continuous improvement in Britain’s approach to Israel”:

The incessant refusal of Germany, France, Italy, and of course the EU itself to define the murderous organization accurately is the height of folly. Because the Europeans haven’t only failed to call Hizballah by its name—a terrorist organization—but have sought to whitewash their collective conscience by concocting a flimsy distinction between its “military wing,” which they have outlawed, and its “diplomatic wing,” which they maintain is legitimate. This distinction doesn’t exist and Hizballah itself rejects it. . . .

The Europeans know all this, but as usual, they are playing make-believe. . . . Were it not for their expected exit from the EU, we can assume that the British, too, would still be playing pretend. These are the rules of the EU, which imposes a uniform foreign policy on all of its members. . . .

Thank heaven indeed for allowing us to reach this day. A few years ago, it was revealed that in the 1970s, Europe embraced Yasir Arafat because it feared the PLO would carry out terrorist attacks on its soil. It isn’t a stretch to assume that today, too, the EU’s untruthful position is guided by dread of potential Hizballah attacks. Some fears can only be cured by Brexit.
5th century Greek inscription found at site of ancient Samaritan rebellion
A salvage excavation ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood in the central Israel village of Tzur Natan has unearthed rare written evidence of much earlier occupation — 1,600 years earlier — when the agriculturally fertile area was racked by turmoil and rebellion.

Just outside an ancient wine press in the small southern Sharon Plain settlement, the Israel Antiquities Authority team discovered a well-preserved Greek inscription from the 5th century recording a blessing for one “Master Adios.”

According to Prof. Leah Di Segni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who deciphered the inscription, the short inscription reads, “Only God help the beautiful property of Master Adios, amen.”

Archaeological and historical evidence point to Adios as being a wealthy Samaritan landowner. Previous excavations at the site have also uncovered an ancient Samaritan synagogue that was converted into a church in the 6th century — just after the height of the Samaritan settlement in the region.
Run4Ari to Commemorate Ari Fuld HY’D in 2019 Jerusalem Marathon
Team “Lions of Tzion” (Run4Ari) will run in the Jerusalem Winner International Marathon on Friday, March 15, 2019, in collaboration with The ARI FULD Project and Standing Together, to keep the late Ari Fuld’s mission alive. The team’s name recalls the name “Ari” (Lion in Hebrew).

The Jerusalem Winner International Marathon invites participants to run through the holy city’s 3,000 years of history. How fitting is it, then, that Ari Fuld’s team will run in the modern, democratic Jewish state of Israel, through the streets of the old city and on the sacred hills which Ari fought for, every day of his life.

Ari Fuld dedicated his life to Israel and the Jewish people. He fought for the truth, with daily live video broadcasts that cited facts in confronting individuals who attacked Israel.

He exposed the lies of hostile activists and the media, despite the unceasing attempts to shut him down on Facebook.

He also used videos to teach Torah, living and breathing the ideal of the people of Israel living in the land of Israel according to the Torah of Israel.

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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