Friday, March 22, 2019

From Ian:

Jewish and antisemitic?
David Collier on the antisemitism denial industry
Independent writer and researcher David Collier has released a new 270-page report in which he went undercover into a secret Facebook group to expose key Jewish anti-Zionist and antisemitic activists and their relations with people who share materials from Neo-Nazis and white supremacist websites.

“These Jewish activists are most vocal at suggesting there is little or no antisemitism,” Collier explains. But in private, “They belittle or joke about the allegations.”

Who are they joking with about antisemitism?

According to Collier, these activists are laughing about antisemitism with people who post white supremacist material, Holocaust denial and take their keys from Holocaust denial websites.

“They say that as a Zionist, I am the enemy,” Collier notes in a film on the report. “But these Jewish activists spend time attacking Israel alongside people who share material from Nazi sites. Those people are their allies, and I am the enemy.”

He cites several examples, such as BDS activist Ariel Gold. She is a member of Code Pink. In a Facebook post, independent journalist, researcher Ariyana Love is complaining about being called an antisemite, “Ariel jumps in to calm her down.

“She doesn’t ask what happened or what was said,” notes Collier.

Then he demonstrates that Love shares antisemitic content, including from the “Renegade Tribune,” a well-known white separatist, Holocaust denying, historical revisionist, neo-Nazi website established in 2012 by Kyle Hunt. In one post, she said that 6 million Jews dying in the Holocaust was a hoax.


Israel Advocacy: Fighting for the truth
In a room below the United Nation Human Rights Council which once again condemned Israel and the IDF one day after a deadly terror attack in the West Bank, sat a number of IDF reservists who wanted one thing: To tell their side of the story which has been ignored by the world body.

“We are here not for the State of Israel, but for us,” said Eli Bogdan, a former squad commander in the IDF. “In many combat operations civilians are being used by militants in order for them to carry out attacks and escape. How come the IDF is being condemned and not Hamas which uses their own women and children as human shields?”

Bogdan is part of My Truth, an organization established following Operation Protective Edge in 2014 by Avihai Shorshan, which collects signed testimonies and photographs from combat operations between 2004-2018 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that attest to the use of human shields and other human rights violations by Hamas and other terror groups.

The organization has documented testimonies from dozens of former combat soldiers, including several who just recently finished their military service and were posted along the Gaza border fence during the “March of Return” protests.

For these soldiers, who still serve in their reserve duty, the front lines are not only in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. It’s everywhere they go, and against everything they hear.

Several volunteers of the organization – who continue to do their reserve service in the IDF – flew into Geneva on Sunday with the goal of sharing their stories from the front lines.

“The war we are fighting where Hamas takes the fight towards civilians is a very hard war to fight,” Bogdan said at a panel alongside NGO Monitor and UN Watch. “They hide not because they have nowhere to hide, but because they know how the IDF acts. This is the worst violation of human rights in the world, they are using their own women and children.”

Antisemitism is the key election issue for 28 per cent of Jews, with Brexit a distant second
Twenty eight per cent of British Jews say that antisemitism is now the single most important issue in deciding which party to vote for — nearly double the next issue, Brexit, on 15 per cent with the economy on 13 per cent.

The poll, conducted by Survation for the Jewish Leadership Council and given exclusively to the JC, also found that 96 per cent say antisemitism is “important” in deciding which party to support.

Despite claims by Labour to be making progress on dealing with antisemitism, the poll shows that attitudes among British Jews have solidified and are effectively unchanged since a similar JC poll last August.

In that poll, nearly 40 per cent said they would “seriously consider” emigrating if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister. That number has now risen to 42 per cent.

In this latest JC poll, of 757 British Jews conducted between February 18 and March 15, 86 per cent say they believe there are significant levels of antisemitism among Labour’s members and representatives — the same figure as in August 2018.

Similarly, 87 per cent of the Jewish community believe Jeremy Corbyn is himself antisemitic, up from 86 per cent in August 2018.

Only one per cent believe the Conservative leader, Theresa May, is antisemitic. (h/t Zvi)



The American Left abandons Zionism
Just after midnight, on June 5, 1968, Jerusalem born-Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan murdered U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Kennedy had won the California Democratic Party presidential primary earlier that evening.

Like his brother, President John F. Kennedy, RFK repeatedly had expressed admiration and sympathy for the small Jewish state struggling against an Arab economic boycott, war, and terrorism, including in a recent prominent synagogue address.

Repeating "Kennedy must die," Sirhan purposefully committed the first modern act of Arab terrorism on U.S. soil on the first anniversary of Israel's miraculous victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, when a sovereign Israel liberated Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years.

Remarkably, 50 years later, six of the seven U.S. Senators who are declared candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination recently voted against the anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions bill in the Senate, and remain mute about a rapidly rising tide of anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israel views among progressives and radicals in their party.
Newly Uncovered Clinton Email Exchange Describes Plan To Thwart U.S. 'Jewish Leadership'
On Thursday, Judicial Watch released what it says is likely the "final batch" of emails recovered or found by the FBI among the 33,000 emails Hillary Clinton tried to "delete or destroy" from her unsecured private email server. Among the emails highlighted by the government watchdog are five email exchanges Judicial Watch determined to contain classified information. The organization has also drawn attention to a few notable email exchanges, including one lengthy memo from Sid Blumenthal to Clinton warning about an effort "coordinated by Jewish institutional leaders" designed to undermine an Obama appointment and laying out a plan to thwart that alleged effort.

In the memo, titled "Good Cop, Bad Cop" and sent on January 29, 2009, Blumenthal proposed a plan to Clinton designed to counter an alleged "attack" by U.S. "Jewish leadership" on President Obama's appointment of fomer Sen. George Mitchell as Special Envoy to the Middle East. "The same sources that informed me during the campaign that Sarah Palin had been invited to the Israel rally that you were scheduled to address without telling you are now saying that the attack last week by Abe Foxman of ADL on the appointment of George Mitchell as Special Envoy to the Middle East was coordinated by Jewish institutional leaders and carefully scripted," Blumenthal wrote.

Blumenthal suggested that Mitchell's Arab descent made him "vulnerable" to the alleged "coordinated" attack: "Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, is the chief organizer," wrote Blumenthal. "Foxman was chosen as point man to shoot the first round, but he was hardly acting alone. Foxman's remark that Mitchell is neutral and therefore suspect simply lays down a marker. Mitchell is distrusted for his previous work and statements on the issue. That he is of Arab descent, which has deliberately gone unmentioned for now but may be used later, makes him politically vulnerable, whatever his qualifications, skill or stature."

Blumenthal then warned that his sources say Netanyahu is informing the Jewish leadership about everything Clinton told him. "The same sources tell me that every one of your conversations and communications with Bibi Netanyah u [sic] flows directly and instantly back to top Jewish leadership. You should, of course, assume that nothing involving him is private," he wrote. He later said of Netanyahu: "Bibi and the Jewish leadership should be expected to use political means, including outsourcing personal attacks, to counter moves the administration seeks in any peace process or initiating any negotiations. As you know, Bibi is deeply connected to political networks in the US-media, Jewish groups, Republican leaders, and right-wing Christian right organizations." (h/t MtTB)
Pompeo: Omar’s Anti-Semitic Comments ‘Abhorrent’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in his first public comments on the matter, forcefully condemned Democratic freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D., Minn.) use of anti-Semitic tropes, calling them "abhorrent" and condemning her repeated anti-Semitic declarations as contributing to the rise of anti-Semitism across the globe.

Pompeo, who is in Israel for meetings with top officials, was asked during an interview in Jerusalem about Omar’s repeated declarations that influential Jewish people control politics and foreign policy.

Pompeo did not mince words, calling Omar’s rhetoric "deeply troubling" and inappropriate for a member of Congress.

"To see this from a member of Congress like Congresswoman Omar is—I talked about this being dark," Pompeo said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and in Europe and in, frankly, all across the world is something that is deeply troubling, and to see someone—a duly elected congressman—behave in that way, to speak about anti-Semitism in that way, is of great concern."

Pompeo, as secretary of state, has commented several times in public about the scourge of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and now the United States.

"It’s a great concern to me," Pompeo added. "This administration speaks the truth, and anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any form from anyone, but to see it come from one of America’s leaders is just abhorrent."
Report: Ilhan Omar Met In 2017 With Infamous Islamist Strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Under Erdogan today, Turkey has become the number one jailer of journalists in the entire world. Although the modern Turkish state was founded by the famously pro-secularization Atatürk following the post-World War I demise of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey under Erdogan — though it remains a NATO state — has abandoned its secularist history and has drifted quickly toward Islamism.

Erdogan has worked hard to position himself as the Muslim world's number one supporter of the Palestinian-Arab cause — a task perhaps made easier by the reform-minded current Saudi leadership's desire to downplay Palestinian aspirations in order to curry clandestine favor with Israel and thereby better work to jointly thwart the two nations' mutual enemy, Iran. Today, Erdogan's Turkey staunchly supports the Hamas Sunni supremacist terrorist regime in the Gaza Strip. Under Erdogan, Turkey has also greatly warmed its ties with Qatar — a tiny peninsular nation that disproportionately funds much of the Middle East's Sunni Islamist extremism.

As Schachtel also notes, Omar tweeted one month after her meeting with Erdogan to thank him for delivering aid to Somalia following bombings in Mogadishu.

"Turkey airlifts injured Somalis from Saturday's attack. This is the most humane way anyone can show they #standwithMogadishu," Omar tweeted at the time.
Cory Booker the Only Dem 2020 Candidate Attending AIPAC Conference
Various Democratic candidates for president said they will not be attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual Policy Conference, with the sole exception of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

According to Politico, Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) confirmed through an aide Thursday that she will not be attending. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Tex.), and Howard Schultz will reportedly do the same. The day after the Washington Free Beacon reported the slew of candidates not attending, Jewish Insider reported Booker will speak to the New Jersey delegation.

A representative for former Rep. John Delaney said he had hoped to attend, but could not. "John is very disappointed that he can't attend this year, he has attended every year since he has been in Congress and he very much looks forward to being back next year," he said.

The trend follows the progressive organization MoveOn circulating a petition calling for all Democratic candidates for president to avoid the annual pro-Israel summit.

Harris has previously spoken in warm terms at AIPAC's Policy Conference, calling it "an honor" to speak there in 2017. Other declared presidential hopefuls, such as Sens. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), and Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), have made similar remarks.
5 Democratic presidential hopefuls say they would rejoin Iran deal
Five Democratic presidential candidates said they would re-enter the Iran nuclear deal that US President Donald Trump abandoned last year.

Al-Monitor, a Middle East news site, solicited the Democratic candidates about whether they would rejoin the deal. The five are senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California; Wayne Messam, a South Florida mayor; and Marianne Williamson, a New Age writer. Sanders and Williamson are Jewish.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey said it was too early to say, and another 10 candidates did not reply. Al-Monitor noted that former vice president Joe Biden, who is expected to announce his candidacy soon, sharply criticized Trump last year when he withdrew from the deal.
Omar Holding Secret Fundraisers With Islamic Groups Tied to Terror
Sarah Stern, founder of president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, or EMET, a pro-Israel group that has condemned Omar for promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, told the Free Beacon that the private nature of these events before controversial Islamic groups is very concerning.

"I just wonder what is Rep. Omar saying to a group of Islamic supporters that she feels is so secretive that she cannot say it to the American people, as a whole?" Stern wondered. "What is so secretive that it has to be off the record and closed to reporters? Will she say the same things in public to her Jewish voters in Minnesota that she says to her Islamic friends? What does this tell us about her openness, her honesty and her integrity?"

One veteran Republican political operative expressed concern about the secretive nature of these talks, telling the Free Beacon that Democrats must hide behind-closed-doors to appease these groups with anti-Israel rhetoric.

"Of course she's holding these meetings in secret. That's just how Democrats roll these days," the source said. "They're for limiting your ability to spend money on the candidates you want to support, and for secretly fundraising from Islamist groups who support them. It really puts their support for campaign finance reform into perspective."

After last month's Islamic Relief event, Stern's EMET and many other pro-Israel groups penned a letter to Democratic leaders in the House demanding Omar's removal from the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. These groups argued that Omar's anti-Semitic rhetoric and secretive meetings should disqualify her from a seat on that committee, which oversees the U.S.-Israel military alliance.

"Rep. Omar's presence as a keynote speaker to raise funds for Islamic Relief USA, whose parent organization and chapters have documented ties to terrorist organizations, demonstrates that she has learned next to nothing over the last few weeks when she was reprimanded by your office and by other Democrats for posting ugly, anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and their organizations," the pro-Israel groups wrote in a letter send to House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elliott Engel (D., N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.).
UH-OH: Pro-Israel House Dems Will Introduce A Measure Condemning The BDS Movement
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may find herself in the middle of an intra-party conflict as early as next week, as a group of powerful House Democrats led by House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is planning to introduce a measure condemning the global, anti-Semitic "boycott-divest-sanction" (or BDS) movement that calls for countries, corporations, and individuals to cut Israel off economically.

Several House members, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), are vocal supporters of the BDS movement, and while other younger, more progressive Democrats haven't spoken on the issue specifically, they're likely to be at least sympathetic to the cause.

But Nadler and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) told Politico that they believe the time has come for the House to make a real statement in support of America's ally, Israel, and they believe the anti-BDS bill is the right way to do it.

"In a letter to colleagues Thursday, Nadler and Schneider described the global attempt to economically isolate Israel as an 'overly-simplistic and one-sided approach,' Politico reported.

“Its goal is Israel’s elimination, not the criticism of any particular policy of Israel,” the pair says about the BDS movement — a statement that is certain to make both Omar and Tlaib bristle.
Winnipeg Group Urged to Cancel Linda Sarsour Speaking Invitation
The Winnipeg Social Planning Council and the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute are being urged to cancel a speaking invitation to anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour.

Sarsour is set to appear on a panel at the WSPC event “Sorry Not Sorry,” to be held on April 26.

A grassroots petition — a personal initiative of Ron East — said Sarsour was “not aligned with our community values or our responsibilities to students and the community,” and accused her of antisemitic statements and actions.

Michael Mostyn — chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, issued a statement, saying, “It is now incumbent upon the SPCW and CMWI to follow their own values of creating communities that are just and equitable and swiftly rescind their invitation to Sarsour.”

“Equity means that members of all identity groups could attend without being harassed or targeted,” Mostyn added. “That includes Jews.”

Sarsour, who supports the BDS movement and believes Israel should be replaced with a single Arab-majority state, has been accused of antisemitism several times in the past.

Last year, Sarsour attacked Jewish liberals as “some folks who masquerade as progressives but always choose their allegiance to Israel over their commitment to democracy and free speech.”

In 2017, she made a joint public appearance with Rasmea Odeh, an ex-Palestinian terrorist who killed two college students in a 1969 bombing in Jerusalem, and said she was “honored and privileged to be here in this space, and honored to be on this stage with Rasmea.”


Stopping Mass Shootings — A View from Israel
I have carried a firearm 24/7 since 1994 to protect my family, my neighbors, and everyone else in my vicinity as I travel throughout the land of Israel. Although I live in a community in Judea that has seen two of its members brutally murdered by infiltrating terrorists, I find that I am on an even higher level of alert in cities like Jerusalem than when I am at home since these are places with many more hostile terrorists and many more blind spots.

As a medic with Israel’s national ambulance service, I have seen video of actual terror attacks. The footage shows terrorists using knifes, axes, guns, trucks, front-loaders, and just about anything else they can get their hands on.

What’s always amazing is how fast things happen. Within less than two seconds, someone previously thought to be an innocent pedestrian whips out a knife, stabs a heavily-armed soldier with full body armor several times, and runs out of frame before the soldier can even begin to respond. Sometimes an armed civilian is able to intervene while the terrorist is attacking a soldier.

I have seen a terrorist plow his car into a bus stop full of people, get out, and starts hacking at the survivors with an axe until he is confronted by a citizen with a gun. He is so determined to kill Jews that even after receiving round after round in the chest, he just keeps getting back up like the Energizer Terrorist.

I have been on the scene for numerous terror attacks and have seen how civilians armed with just a pistol, and of course soldiers, are able to stop a two-victim scenario from exploding into a mass casualty incident with dozens dead and wounded.

As they say: been there, done that — and we all keep open the channels of prayer to the Almighty!

What I cannot comprehend is why people propose gun control as a means of combating gun violence. Yes, childish word-games sound very strong, like the slogan, “No Guns, No Shootings.” The problem with these cute phrases is that they seek to simplify the complex in the hope that our desires can change reality if we just believe really really hard.
Bookstore Removes Jordan Peterson Book Over Mosque Shooting, Continues Selling ‘Mein Kampf’
A New Zealand bookstore stopped selling Jordan Peterson’s book in light of the Christchurch mosque shootings, but continues offering “Mein Kampf.”

Management at Whitcoulls, one of the largest bookstores in New Zealand, said it would be wrong to support Peterson by selling “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” in light of “some extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attack,” according to an apparent customer service email, likely referencing a photograph in which Peterson embraced a fan wearing an “I’m A Proud Islamaphobe” T-shirt.

The store, however, continues to offer Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and Albert Cooper’s “Why Islamic Society Is Not Compatible With American Society,” according to its website.

Peterson, a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, advocates self-improvement and has not promoted bigotry in his writings or lectures. The book in question only makes one reference to Muslims, which is not derogatory.
Palestinian peace activist barred from entering the US
A Palestinian peace activist was denied entry to the United States and deported, despite having a valid visa.

Osama Iliwat, 42, was questioned over the course of eight hours by officials from Customs and Border Protection at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City on February 24 before he was sent on a flight back home. He was embarking on a speaking tour for Combatants for Peace, a group of Israelis and Palestinians who, according to its website, “have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom,” but now advocate joint non-violent activism.

Iliwat had a three-year visa that allowed him to visit the United States, but Customs and Border Protection annulled it before Iliwat was deported. A Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the agency does not generally comment on individual cases. But according to documents obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Iliwat was sent back on suspicion of wanting to remain in the United States as an immigrant.

He said the reason is a false pretense for keeping him out of the country. Less than a year ago, he traveled to the United States for a similar tour without incident. His deportation was first reported this month by +972 Magazine, an Israeli publication.

“That was the only reason they can use against me, they can’t find anything else, so they used this excuse to send me back,” Iliwat said. “They know that I’m going on a speaking tour. They know I have been in America more than one time.”
Richard Millett: Ben Gurion University lecturer tells SOAS students the Palestinians are living in “ghettoes” and “bantustans”.
I was hoping that halfway through last night’s talk at SOAS by Jewish Israeli lecturer Oren Yiftachel that another Jewish Israeli lecturer, Dr. Yair Wallach, would stand up and announce that it’s all just a Purim shpiel!

Mr Wallach and a third Jewish Israeli lecturer, Moriel Ram, had heavily promoted Mr Yiftachel’s talk under the auspices of the Centre for Jewish Studies. Mr Wallach was in last night’s audience while Mr Ram introduced Mr Yiftachel.

The talk was called Between Apartheid and Peace: Confederation for Israel/Palestine? It was part of a fairly hostile series of five talks crafted together by the European Association of Israel Studies.

Mr Yiftachel’s lecture was basically in two parts. The second part would have been fine as a stand alone topic in which he discussed his own plan for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. No one can reject hearing a possible peace plan however delusional it might be, especially considering that he headed B’Tselem until 2014.

He is currently on a sabbatical at UCL from Ben Gurion University with 10 months left.

But the first part was about Israel becoming an apartheid state and about how both a two state solution and a one state solution would not work: two states would fail because, he claimed, Palestine would be a “ghetto state” due to the Palestinians having been ghettoised and put into bantustans by the Oslo accords. A one state solution would fail due to the competing nationalisms.
17 UC Berkeley Professors Warn ‘Discriminatory’ BDS Campaign Poses ‘Clear and Direct Threat to Academic Freedom’
Seventeen faculty members at the University of California, Berkeley, warned on Tuesday against the threat posed by the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign to the academic freedom of their students and colleagues.

Their letter responded to an op-ed published by eight UC Berkeley professors in the student-run Daily Californian last month, which criticized a December message issued by all ten UC chancellors against a boycott of Israeli universities and scholars. The op-ed also claimed that BDS did not restrict free speech or penalize individuals for their political positions — a statement the authors of Tuesday’s letter called “simply untrue.”

“Official guidelines from a Palestinian organization associated with the movement say faculty members should refuse to write letters for students seeking to study in Israel,” wrote the faculty members, some of whom are affiliated with the Academic Engagement Network. “Similar sources say BDS seeks to close down study abroad programs in Israel.”

“We believe that BDS supporters also seek to prevent Israeli scholars, politicians and others from coming to the University of California based solely on their country of origin,” they added. “For years BDS supporters have disrupted campus events featuring individuals who espouse views they oppose, and they have thus deprived University of California students, faculty and staff of their right to hear alternative viewpoints.”

“The goals of BDS and its supporters’ actions therefore do pose a clear and direct threat to academic freedom and, in our view, are also discriminatory,” the faculty wrote.
Trump Signs Executive Order to Improve Transparency and Accountability at Colleges and Universities
Failure to comply could result in punitive measures by way of research funding.

“We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values. They’ve been under siege,” said Trump Thursday before he signed an executive order meant to, “enhance the quality of postsecondary education by making it more affordable, more transparent, and more accountable.”

Specifically, the EO targets “free and open debate on college and university campuses.” Failure to comply could result in punitive measures by way of research funding.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The order will direct federal agencies to “take appropriate steps” to ensure that colleges receiving federal research funds “promote free inquiry.” But public colleges are already legally bound to do so by the First Amendment. And private colleges will be required only to “comply with their stated institutional policies regarding free inquiry,” according to Politico, which cited an unnamed senior official in the Trump administration.




‘Jewish…Sexual Harassment’ New York Times Story Sparks Complaints
A front-page New York Times–ProPublica article headlined “A Leading Jewish Philanthropist Is Accused of Sexual Harassment,” is triggering complaints.

One objection is that that the Times was wrong to emphasize the religion of the philanthropist, Michael Steinhardt.

“Am I the only one who thinks ‘Jewish’ in the headline is superfluous information? What is that doing there? The NY Times would be unlikely to say an ‘African-American’ or ‘Baptist’ philanthropist was accused…” wrote one commenter on the Times website.

Another commenter wrote, “I am also deeply disturbed by the headline. Would the New York Times write a headline describing someone as a Christian philanthropist, or a white male? At a time of growing and frightening antisemitism, what is the purpose of this headline? Was its inflammatory nature considered? His alleged victims were Jewish women, but that’s not headlined. And the article makes it clear that he did not limit his donations to Jewish organizations. As a loyal reader of the Times, I am very disappointed.”

Another Times commenter wrote, “Isn’t the story about sexual harassment? Why is his religious affiliation part of the headline?”

Yet another wrote, “headline identification is an example of the persistent NYT insensitivity to its Jewish readers. Are we now headline-identifying alleged perpetrators by religion?”


At UNESCO, Austria and Poland slam Belgian carnival with anti-Semitic puppets
Austria and Poland condemned at UNESCO a Belgian carnival that featured an anti-Semitic float that included giant puppets of Orthodox Jews and a rat atop money bags, and the cultural body said it would consider stripping the festival of recognition.

The unusual exchange about the March 3 carnival in Aalst occurred on Thursday at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The Aalst carnival, one of Europe’s flashiest, was added in 2010 to the list of heritage of humanity events of UNESCO, the United Nations body on culture.

On Friday, UNESCO said it is considering possibly removing the recognition of the carnival.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said Friday it’s the agency’s duty “to be vigilant and uncompromising regarding such occurrences” at the Aalst carnival.

UNESCO representatives have decided to put the issue on the agenda of the next meeting of the committee that makes decisions on the cultural heritage list in December in Colombia. A removal decision would be a first since the 2003 convention that created the label.

The 2019 edition featured a float whose creators said was about rising prices, with grimacing Haredi Jew figures amid money bags. One figures had a puppet rat on his jacket. Dancers dressed like Haredi Jews with rat puppets on their lapels danced on the float.

In 2013, a different group designed for the Aalst carnival a float resembling a Nazi railway wagon used to transport Jews to death camps.
Police: Desecration of Jewish graves worse than thought
Police now say 59 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, about twice as many as initially thought.

Fall River police said Thursday in a Facebook post that they came up with the higher number after a row-by-row inspection of Hebrew Cemetery. Of those 59, two had been knocked over.

The stones were defaced with swastikas and phrases including "Expel the Jew" and "Hitler was right" in what appeared to be black marker.

Police were alerted on Sunday by a cemetery maintenance worker.

Police are treating it as a hate crime.

No arrests have been made. The Herald News reports that rewards totaling $12,500 are being offered for information that leads to an arrest, including $10,000 given anonymously to Congregation Adas Israel, a city synagogue.
MEMRI: Antisemitic Drama Series On Turkish State-Run TRT TV – Whose English-Language Branch Has Offices In Washington, DC – Shows Theodor Herzl Celebrating Purim In Istanbul And Learning About Jewish Scheming – From The MEMRI TV Archives
Turkey's state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (Türkiye Radyo ve Televizyon Kurumu, TRT) has, since 2017, run a TV drama, called "Sultan Abdülhamid," that has antisemitic themes. In one episode from the series, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern political Zionism, and his co-conspirator Emanuel Carasso celebrate Purim in Istanbul while Herzl's plot to kidnap and kill Jews in Palestine is underway. Later, Herzl and Carasso get mugged in the street, and Carasso manages to contain the situation, teaching Herzl a lesson: "We shall spread discord among the Ottomans – through money and women... fame, power mania, ethnic disputes, and lies about freedom." TRT's English-language channel, TRT World, has offices in Washington, D.C.

To view the clip of Theodor Herzl celebrating Purim in the Turkish TV drama, "Sultan Abdülhamid," click here or below.

"The Whole World Will Be Shocked By The News Soon To Be Published By My Newspaper... The Superpowers Will Sympathize, And Say: Let's Establish A State For These Poor Jews"

Theodor Herzl: "Finally, we are celebrating a Jewish holiday, and in the capital, no less! No force, anywhere in the world, can possibly stop us."
Emanuel Carasso: "This is not due to our success but to the tolerance of the Ottoman state. Where is Sara? I wonder what costume she is wearing."
Theodor Herzl: "Did you come here for Sara or for the Purim holiday?"
Emanuel Carasso: "I'm here for Sara, of course. I don't believe in the holiness of this day."
Theodor Herzl: "How can you talk this way about a holiday mentioned in our Book?"
Emanuel Carasso: "Don't be like that, Herzl. You, too, know very well that we are talking about a holiday that a woman called Holy Esther wrote about, and that it was added to our Book later on."


Colombian Rescue Team Becomes Official Branch of Israel’s United Hatzalah
Branches of Israel’s United Hatzalah unique localized volunteer emergency response network already operate in countries including Panama, Ukraine and the United States. Now, the grassroots United Rescue Colombia (URC) in South America, modeled after the Israeli initiative, is becoming an official United Hatzalah (UH) branch.

Ambulance response time is too long in Colombia, explained Michael Andorson, the resident who spearheaded the establishment of URC.

“People here are dying every day waiting for an ambulance as the average ambulance response time in the capital of Bogota is 45 minutes. The fact that we are joining forces with United Hatzalah is going to change the lives of a lot of people. This project is so important for Colombia as a country and for the Colombian people,” said Andorson.

The same traffic-congestion problem in Jerusalem is exactly what prompted UH founder and president Eli Beer, in 1989, to recruit neighborhood-based volunteer medics to reach patients quickly by foot or cycle and begin first aid until the ambulance arrives. A registered nonprofit since 2006, UH encompasses 5,000 volunteers across Israel and sends crews to help in other countries following mass casualty events.

Inspired by UH’s model, Andorson began URC independently in the city of Cartagena, with a team of 28 volunteers and five ambucycles – first-aid equipped motorcycles.
Israelis Rake in Medals at Special Olympics World Games
Twenty-seven Israeli athletes with intellectual disabilities competed at the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates this week, joining more than 7,000 counterparts from over 170 countries.

The Israeli delegation competed in basketball (nine athletes), bowling (10 athletes), judo (two athletes) and swimming (six athletes) and won four gold medals, six silver medals and nine bronze medals.

The Special Olympics, founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, provides athletic training and competition in Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It’s the largest global integrated sports organization, counting among its members almost 5 million athletes and over 1 million volunteers in 177 countries worldwide.

The 2019 World Games included competitions in fields such as athletics, badminton, cycling, soccer, sailing, tennis and volleyball.

According to Special Olympics Israel, there are some 40,000 people with intellectual disabilities in Israel, while Sports Olympics notes there some 200 million people with intellectual disabilities around the world.
IsraAID Sending Response Team to Mozambique After Devastating Cyclone, Flooding
The Israeli humanitarian-aid organization IsraAID announced on Wednesday that it is planning to send a response team to Mozambique this week after the African country was hit by Cyclone Idai on March 14 after days of incessant rains.

The aid group is expected to provide relief supplies and medical care, restore access to potable water and offer psychological support to those affected.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), preliminary projections indicate that at least 1.7 million people were affected in the direct path of the cyclone in Mozambique, with a further 920,000 in Malawi.

A spokesperson for WFP said on Sunday that teams had been active on the ground in all three countries, planning to target around 650,000 with food assistance in Malawi and 600,000 in Mozambique.

“The Secretary-General [of the United Nations] is saddened by the loss of life, destruction of property and displacement of people due to the heavy rains and flooding,” said a statement from António Guterres on Sunday.
With new light show, 2,000-year-old Masada gets makeover fit for a millennial
On Tuesday night, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) unveiled a new nocturnal audio-visual show at Masada National Park, replacing a light and sound show that had taken up residency at the UNESCO World Heritage site for the past 30 years.

The revitalized project, titled “From Sunset to Sunrise,” tells the same basic story of Masada and the invasion of the Roman soldiers who would eventually breach the 2,000-year-old fortress through construction of a giant ramp. But is now told using advanced technologies with the goal of attracting younger audiences to the park.

“The old one was too old for the new generation,” said Director of the INPA Shaul Goldstein during an interview at a reception held just minutes before the show’s premiere. “We decided we needed to get something that’s more accurate and appealing to the new generation.”

Masada is Israel’s most popular national park, and welcomes upwards of a million visitors from around the world each year. This new project, which has been three years in the making and cost NIS 10 million (USD 2.7 million) to see through from concept to finished product, aims to keep the eyes of that global audience interested in the park’s ancient history.

Goldstein said he is “immensely proud” of the final product, which weaves 4K video, advanced lighting and video mapping — a new technology that was introduced to the show this year — onto the 458-meter high cliffs of Mount Masada.
Simulating Life on Mars in Israel's Desert


The persecution of Jews in medieval England
Mounting anti-Semitism

York’s Jewish community emerged in the late 12th century, shortly before the massacre, when Jews from Lincoln chose to settle in the city. Jews were not confined to a specific area of York, but assimilated.

“Jewish people lived and worked alongside Christians, and there was a degree of social interaction between the two communities,” says Watson. “They were, however, still considered as ‘different’, as they observed distinctive customs and likely spoke French (much like the new upper class), while the most successful lived in the finest houses”.

Such was their importance to the economy that all Jews were considered property of the crown and as ‘the king’s Jews’, they were afforded special protections and rights. Yet because Jewish security was part of a claim of royal ownership, it was subject to the whims of individual monarchs, who needed money to fund their administrations and wars. “The Crown levied higher taxes on Jewish communities, which could become crippling and might be extorted. In the 13th century, King John imprisoned and even executed wealthy Jews to ensure that huge tallages [a form of tax] would be paid into the crown coffers,” explains Watson.

Jewish communities were vulnerable, then, and conditions worsened for them as anti-Semitism took root in the 12th century. Jews were now loathed – partly out of envy at the wealth accrued by Jewish moneylenders or resentment at being in debt to them – and they emerged as targets for religious zealousness. With religious wars being launched against Muslims in the Middle East, non-Christians could now be deemed enemies – whether Muslims in the Holy Land or a Jewish neighbour.

“Jews in England were spared the violence seen in Germany and France during the first and second crusades,” says Watson, “but they would have been aware of it and had to live with the fear that they, too, may be subject to similar levels of violence and hate. In England, Jews were confronted with a new type of persecution: the blood libel.” (h/t Zvi)



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