Wednesday, March 27, 2019

From Ian:

Anti-Israel Lobbyists Dwarf Pro-Israel Lobbyists
According to Open Secrets, AIPAC spent $3.5 million on lobbying in 2018, slightly more than the $3.4 million it spent in 2017. This is a relatively small number compared to the anti-Israel Open Society Foundation (OSF) which spent $31.5 million in 2018 – NINE TIMES what AIPAC spent. That figure is also almost four times the $16 million that OSF spent on US lobbying in 2017. This huge jump in lobbying dollars may coincide with George Soros’s transfer of $18 BILLION into OSF, making it the second largest “charity”/ largest lobbying group in the United States. (By calling itself a charity instead of a lobbying group, Soros was able to avoid paying any capital gains on the billions of investment dollars in his hedge fund.)

In addition to its work lobbying the US government, the OSF directly funds many anti-Israel organizations according to NGO Monitor, including Adalah, Breaking the Silence, Ir Amim and Al-Haq.

That’s just one giant far left-wing lobbying group countering most of AIPAC’s agenda.

The left-wing J Street has likewise repeatedly fought the current Israeli administration and lobbied aggressively against it, and spent more money lobbying Congress in 2018 than AIPAC, a total of $4 million. Not one dollar of J Street went to Republican candidates, which is not surprising as it is really an alternative to the Republic Jewish Coalition, not a broad-based bipartisan group like AIPAC.

When it comes to foreign countries lobbying the US government, the number one country was South Korea, spending $82.5 million in 2018. I do not recall hearing any of the Democratic candidates for president who ran to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks about AIPAC talking about South Korea.

Perhaps that is because foreign governments and their companies are mostly lobbying about trade deals which are critical for their economies.

Alan M. Dershowitz: Jews Must Never Be Afraid to Use Their Well-Earned Power
No other group is ever accused of having too much power and influence. That false claim – dating back to times and places where Jews had little or no influence – is an anti-Semitic trope that tells us more about the anti-Semites who invoke it that it does about the Jews.

History has proven that Jews need more power and influence than other groups to secure their safety. During the 1930s and early 1940s Jews had morality on their side, but they lacked the power and influence to save six million of their brothers and sisters from systematic murder.

"The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war." -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

When Jewish power and influence are used in the cause of peace and justice -- as it is today -- there is nothing to be ashamed of. It should be a source of pride.
Poll: Dems’ sympathies now evenly split between Israel and Palestinians, down from +19 two years ago
Two years ago, on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, just 20 percent of Democrats thought the U.S. was too supportive of Israel versus a combined 72 percent who thought current levels of support were about right or not enough. Today they’re at 38/41. Something has changed.

What is it?

There are two obvious possibilities, not mutually exclusive. One is that partisanship has infected this issue just as it’s infected every other. Democrats are less sympathetic to Israel because they hate Trump and are letting their contempt for him alter their view of the Jewish state. Trump hasn’t done anything dramatic to affect the balance of power between Israel and the Palestinians but he’s made some bold symbolic gestures of support towards the former, ordering that the U.S. embassy be moved to Jerusalem and just a few days ago recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Democrats might be looking at that, reasoning that “the friend of my enemy is my enemy,” and deciding that Israel should bear some of the brunt of their anti-Trumpism.

If you doubt that partisanship matters here, note that two years ago 63 percent of Republicans said that the U.S. isn’t supportive enough of Israel. Two years later, with Trump having succeeded Obama in office, 67 percent of Republicans now say U.S. support of Israel is “about right.” Some of that is a reaction to the embassy and Golan Heights — and some of it is certainly approval of Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal — but I think in the main it’s a reflection of Republicans trusting Trump more on all matters. Saying current support is “about right” is really a vote of confidence in Trump. By the same logic, Dems’ dwindling sympathies for Israel might be a vote of no confidence in him.

In fact, Yair Rosenberg makes a fair point about why Democratic views of Netanyahu really might have changed in year 10. What if they hate Trump so much that Bibi’s very chummy relationship with him has belatedly soured them on Netanyahu and, by extension, Israel?

Interesting, but I’m not sure how to square that with strong-ish Democratic support for Israel prior to 2017 despite the often hostile relationship between Obama and Netanyahu. If Bibi’s warm embrace of a president whom Dems hate is enough to sour them on Israel, why didn’t his cold shoulder towards a president whom they love do the same?

Hero pilot from hijacked Entebbe flight dies at 95
Michel Bacos, the pilot of the Air France flight from Tel Aviv which was hijacked in 1976 and landed in Entebbe, has died at age 95.

Christian Estrosi – the mayor of Nice, where Bacos lived – announced the news on social media on Tuesday.

“He refused to abandon his passengers, who were taken hostage because they were Israeli or of Jewish origin, risking his own life,” Estrosi wrote. “Michel bravely refused to surrender to antisemitism and barbarism and brought honor to France.”

President Reuven Rivlin said Wednesday that Bacos was “a quiet hero and a true friend of the Jewish people. May his memory be a blessing.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted that the pilot “stayed with the hostages through all their hardships, until IDF soldiers – led by my brother Yoni z”l – freed him in a daring operation. I bow my head in his memory and salute the Michel’s bravery.”

On June 27, 1976, Bacos was the captain of Air France Flight 139, from Tel Aviv to Paris, with a stop in Athens. After the plane departed Greece, four hijackers took control of the cockpit and forced Bacos at gunpoint to head for Benghazi, Libya, and then Entebbe, Uganda.

The terrorist “sat behind me with his gun pointed at my head,” Bacos told Ynet in 2016. “Every time I tried to look in a different direction, he pressed the barrel of his gun against my neck.”

Several days later, the terrorists split up the hostages between those who were Israeli or Jewish and those who were not. Bacos demanded the hijackers give him access to both groups.

“‘I’m responsible for all of the passengers and demand to be able to see all of them – be they Israeli or not – at any given moment.’” he recounted to Ynet. “I insisted, and the Germans agreed. I was able to go from one hall to the other without receiving permission, every time.”

A few days after that, the hijackers were planning to let Bacos, the rest of his crew and the remaining non-Jewish hostages go. But he refused. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Looking down on us from above
In July 2016, I was part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Entebbe to mark the 40th anniversary of Operation Jonathan, named after his brother, Yoni, who was killed. Relatives of Jean-Jacques were also on the flight with me. I told his sister that I was very sorry my father had died two years earlier, so I couldn't tell him about meeting her.

From time to time, my father and I would talk about that flight. My father wasn't much of a talker. He was more a man of deeds. But he could spend hours talking about one person, his friend Michel Bocas. He praised him and would tell me how Bocas admired us, Israelis, whom he would always call "heroes."

Bocas never thought he deserved any prize or citation for asking his crew to stay with the Israeli passengers, whom the Arab and German terrorists separated from the rest of the passengers upon arrival in Entebbe. Later, he adopted us and we adopted him. He would mostly talk about Sorin Hershko, from the rescue team, who was badly wounded in the operation. He often visited Israel and the two even met in France. Bacos talked about Hershko as a hero and we say that Bacos was one of the heroes of Entebbe, as well.

Michel Bacos loved the sky and it loved him. On Tuesday, the heavens decided to keep him. May his memory be a blessing.
Dangerous Antisemitic Conspiracy Mainstreamed in New Zealand
Whenever there is a terror attack, there is a small group of conspiracy theorists who inhabit dark regions of the internet that seek to blame Israel, just as Jews were blamed in the past for all manner of evils.

The Christchurch terror attack is no different, except that there have also been more mainstream voices spreading the pernicious lie at a time of heightened emotion.

The first mainstream New Zealand news agency to suggest that Israel was connected to the Christchurch massacre was Stuff irresponsibly sharing an Associated Press article with a provocative headline “Christchurch mosque attacks: Alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant visited Israel in 2016.”

It is in paragraph six that we learn “Also in late 2016, Tarrant visited Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, where he stopped by historic battle sites, before travelling in Western Europe in 2017.” Yet the headline would suggest Israel is somehow special and there is comment from unnamed “Israeli officials” but no other nation’s officials are sought for comment.

While the AP article doesn’t explicitly suggest Israel had anything to do with the attack, the headline certainly implies so.

Another, more concerning and explicit connection was expressed by Ahmed Bhamji, Chair of Masjid e Umar in Mt Roskill, a mosque affiliated with FIANZ. At a rally in Auckland in front of around one thousand people and in a video that was seen more than 2,500 times, he said.

To which a member of the crowd loudly replied “That’s true. Israel is behind this. That’s true.” There was no attempt by MC Joe Carolan to challenge these false and dangerous accusations and no audible challenge from the crowd.

UPDATE (26 March)
Newshub has investigated and report that the protest organisers and Mr Bhamji are unrepentant. In fact, Mr Bhamji doubled-down on his conspiracy theory and, remarkably, asked “why should the Jews be upset about it?”:
Newshub spoke to Love Aotearoa Hate Racism co-founder Joe Carolan, who said Bhamji was one speaker out of 30 and there were many different points of view at the event . . . .

Newshub contacted Bhamji, who accused Newshub of singling him out.

“I made a statement, a lot of other people made statements,” he said.

He continued to defend his speech, saying we need an inquiry into where the gunman got his money from. He didn’t offer any proof to his speculation Mossad had given him it.

"Mossad is up to all these things,” he said. “When I talk about Mossad, why should the Jews be upset about it? Give me an answer?”
Chairman of NZ Mosque That Hosted NZ PM Ardern: Mossad, Zionist Businesses Paid Christchurch Shooter
The "Love Aotearoa, Hate Racism (LAHR)" rally in Auckland, NZ that was attended by over a thousand protesters on March 23, 2019 was streamed live on the Facebook page of Apna TV (New Zealand). Socialist activist Joe Carolan, co-founder of LAHR, said that the war in Palestine has "come home" because six of the victims of the Christchurch shooting had been refugees from Palestine. Ahmed Bhamji, the Fijian chairman of Masjid Umar, the Auckland-area mosque at which NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a hijab and spoke the same day, said that the Mossad and Zionist businesses in New Zealand helped the Christchurch shooter stay in New Zealand and buy the guns he used in the massacre. A man in the crowd interjected: "That's the truth! Israel is behind this!" Masjid Umar is affiliated with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, of which Bhamji has been a committee member. Bhamji was also a member of Fiji's parliament. Apna TV's Facebook page says that it is "New Zealand's first and only 24/7 free-to-air Indian TV channel on Channel 36."

David Wood: New Zealand Mosque Leader Blames Jews for Christchurch Terror Attack (h/t jzaik)

MEMRI: Turkish President Erdogan: NZ Massacre Was A Message To Us; Our Enemies Are Trying To Challenge Us, But We Can Defeat Them Like In Gallipoli
In a speech he delivered on March 13 in which he spoke about Netanyahu, Israel, and the Palestinian issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: "We have never oppressed any Jew in this country... Do not provoke us." In a different speech he delivered on March 18, 2019 at a ceremony commemorating the Battle of Gallipoli, Erdoğan said that Turkey's enemies are testing its patience and decisiveness by challenging it in the Middle East in various ways, in Europe by perpetrating attacks against mosques and Muslims, and within Turkey's borders by attempting coups, attacking its economy, and "forming dark alliances." He also said that Turkey's enemies are testing it with "the messages that they send," such as the New Zealand massacre. He said: "We understand your feelings and your intentions [and] what it means that one terrorist appeared and killed 50 Muslims... This is not an individual event. This is with an organization." He threatened to fight Turkey's enemies the same way Turkey fought its enemies in the Battle of Gallipoli. He also said: "The expressions of [Netanyahu's son] are the same as those of the terrorist in New Zealand. They are being fed by the same source." In another speech the following day, Erdoğan said: "You will answer for this. If New Zealand does not bring this to account, we know how to bring it to account." Erdoğan's speeches were aired by Anadolu News Agency (Turkey).

"They Are Testing Us With The Messages That They Send – [Such As] In New Zealand"

March 13, 2019
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: "Do not provoke us. Look, we have never oppressed any Jew in this country. We have never done to any synagogues the things that have been done [to mosques]. Do not provoke us. We're not going to play this game, that's a different issue. But, we are going to ask the international community to account for this."
March 18, 2019
"We also with that Allah will not put this nation again to such a test as [the Battle of] Gallipoli.

"However, if such a situation should ever take place, be sure that – just like 104 years ago – we will never hesitate to bury those enemies in the soils and waters of Gallipoli.
Coptic Analyst Offers Warning to Jews (and Christians) About Potential Attacks in Wake of New Zealand Shooting
Jews and Christians living in the West, and Europe especially, need to increase their vigilance against jihadist violence in the aftermath of the murder of 50 people at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. That’s the warning from Michael Armanious, a Coptic Christian who has been living in the United States since the late 1970s and monitoring anti-Western and antisemitic propaganda on Arab social media for over a decade.

“I’m hoping people will pay attention and be careful,” he said.

Armanious reports that a number of extremist commentators in both the Middle East and Germany are using the New Zealand attack as justification to incite hostility toward Jews living in the West. The messages, which started showing up on YouTube hours after the attack, differ in detail from one commentator to another — but the overall message is that Jews are responsible for Islam’s bad reputation in the West and are ultimately responsible for violence and discrimination against Muslims in the United States and Europe.

Armanious is appalled that these commentators have ignored the outrage and expressions of support from Christians and Jews throughout the world in response to the New Zealand attack.

“[The preachers] wouldn’t admit that Christians and Jews were the first to stand in solidarity with the victims,” he said. “They also can’t admit that the shooter came from the far right, which hates Jews. Still, they think Jews are able to convince [people] to hate Muslims.”
Sarah Halimi’s Antisemitic Murderer Disappears Behind a Smokescreen
Two years after she was murdered, the family of Sarah Halimi rightly remains anxious that the French judicial system will fail them — and fail them wretchedly. There should be no mistaking, then, that a final decision that goes against putting Traore on trial, opting instead for some kind of medical supervision instead, will be an irremovable stain on France’s reputation.

One might argue in the country’s defense that France takes great pride in its humane approach to criminality and mental illness, something that goes back to the early 19th century. One can also point out that France is a democracy with an independent judiciary, whose officials are not bound by the declared intention of President Emmanuel Macron and other elected politicians to combat rising antisemitism.

In the final analysis, however, this means denying basic justice to the victim of a hate crime that was sickening even by current French standards of antisemitism and racism. It means that France, as a nation, will be denied a further opportunity to learn how antisemitic beliefs can transition into antisemitic violence — since previous and subsequent episodes in recent memory, such as the kidnapping and murder of Ilan Halimi (no relation) in 2006, or the terrorist shooting of three small children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012, or the murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll exactly one year ago, have seemingly failed to teach the French public that lesson.

In the future, there are two possible ways for Sarah Halimi to be remembered in the French imagination. The first is as a woman whose dreadful fate was determined by the fact that she was a Jew and was murdered because she was a Jew. The second is as the victim of a violent individual driven to insanity by a cannabis habit, and whose antisemitic utterances can be dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic.

French Jews, along with Jews across the world who are watching the Halimi debacle with growing impatience, have no doubt as to which of these portraits is the true one.
Netanyahu at AIPAC: The Jewish People Stand Up to Hatred, Fight, and Win
Those who seek to undermine American support for Israel must be confronted. Despite what they claim, they do not merely criticize the policies of Israel's government. They spew venom that has long been directed at the Jewish people.

Again, the Jews are cast as a force for evil. Again, the Jews are charged with disloyalty. Again, the Jews are said to have too much influence, too much power, too much money.

What is the best way to respond to this kind of hatred? We read it just a few days ago in the Book of Esther when Mordechai confronted Haman of Persia. The best way to respond to those who hate the Jews is not to bow down to them. It's to stand up to them. The Jewish people do not bow down. We stand up. We fight. And we win.

I am proud of Israel's vibrant democracy, where no one is a second-class citizen. All of Israel's citizens are first-class citizens. All of Israel's citizens, whether Jew or Arab, Muslim, Christian, or Druze, have exactly the same individual rights. We vote in the same elections. We're subject to the same laws. We study in the same universities. And we are also treated in the same hospitals.

Contrary to the false attacks and allegations, the Nation State bill did not denigrate any individual rights, which remain sacred and equal for all our citizens.

Israel is also the one and only country on earth in which the Jewish people exercise our collective right of self-determination.

Ilhan Omar knocks Netanyahu, AIPAC speakers for obsessing over her
Freshman Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar on Tuesday launched a Twitter broadside at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he singled her out during his speech to AIPAC, accusing him of ignoring real issues like the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre to focus on her.

“At this year’s AIPAC conference, the topic PM Netanyahu chose to focus on was…me,” wrote Omar, the first of a series of 14 tweets on the issue.

In February, Omar, one of two newly elected Muslim Congresswomen, had tweeted that “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” in reference to AIPAC’s allegedly vast influence on American politics.

Benjamins are a slang term for $100 bills, which feature US founding father Benjamin Franklin.

After Omar was criticized for her use of what many saw as an anti-Semitic canard, the Somalia-born legislator removed the tweet and apologized.

Netanyahu, addressing some 18,000 AIPAC activists in Washington Tuesday via satellite from Tel Aviv, joined other speakers who had attacked Omar at the lobby’s annual policy conference.

“Some people will just never get it. They will never understand why the vast majority of Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike, support Israel. Take it from this Benjamin: it’s not about the Benjamins,” he said, although he did not mention Omar by name.
Omar Criticizes Pelosi for Condemning BDS at AIPAC
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) hit back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) following the speaker's comments during a Tuesday speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference where she condemned the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

"We must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS," Pelosi said at AIPAC.

Omar, a vocal supporter of sanctions against Israel, responded later in the day by telling reporters on Capitol Hill that the BDS movement was an exercise of free speech.

"A condemnation for people that want to exercise their First Amendment rights is beneath any leader, and I hope that we find a better use of language when we are trying to speak as members of Congress that are sworn to protect the Constitution," Omar said.

Omar turned away from reporters and would not respond when they asked if she believed that Pelosi's comments were directed at her and fellow Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), another BDS supporter.

Pelosi also said in her AIPAC speech that "the full House came together to condemn the anti-Semitic myth of dual loyalty and all forms of bigotry," in reponse to Omar's comments last month that American Jews have an "allegiance to a foreign country."

"In our democratic societies, we should welcome legitimate debate at how best to honor our values and to advance our priorities without questioning loyalty or patriotism," Pelosi said.

"I simply declare that to be anti-Semitic is to be anti-American," Pelosi added. "It has no place in our country."
Permalink to Ilhan Omar Comms Director: ‘Anti-Semitism Is a Right-Wing Force’
Jeremy Slevin, the senior communications director for freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), claimed on Tuesday that "anti-Semitism is a right-wing force."

Omar, who has made several anti-Semitic remarks, tweeted, "We cannot call out one form of hate while turning a blind eye to another."

"Anti-semitism is a right-wing force Anti-semitism is a right-wing force Anti-semitism is a right-wing force Anti-semitism is a right-wing force Anti-semitism is a right-wing force Anti-semitism is a right-wing force Anti-semitism is a right-wing force," Slevin said, quote-tweeting Omar's tweet.

Conservatives pushed back against Slevin, noting his boss's past anti-Semitic comments, which prompted him to clarify that he was Jewish.

"I am Jewish and my family also fled Russia. I am well aware of Soviet persecution," Slevin tweeted. "My tweet was referring to the United States (which I should have made clear). I also don't view the Soviet Union as progressive in any meaningful way."
Linda Sarsour’s NYU Makeover
She certainly looked like Linda Sarsour, the flame-throwing anti-Israel political activist. And the speaker had Sarsour’s voice. But the woman who spoke on Monday night at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts seemed entirely unfamiliar with Sarsour’s own views.

Arguing that “unity is not uniformity,” Sarsour said that she’s “cool with” people who don’t share her views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if she can work with them on other issues.

“It doesn’t matter to me who you are,” she said. “Come to the aid of people who are the most broken in our country, and that’s the thing that I never just understood. I never went to a movement and asked people to fill out a form and say, ‘Please tell me all your political views.’ I mean, that’s not how it works.”

But that’s exactly what she did.

Less than three years ago, Sarsour — who believes “nothing is creepier than Zionism” — told an American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference that the fight against what she called a “Muslim registry” didn’t have room for people who don’t support anti-Israel campaigns.

Here’s what she said:

“We have limits to the type of friendships that we’re looking for right now,” and those limits involve people who “have been steadfast, courageous, have been standing up and protecting their own communities, those who have taken the risk to stand up and say — we are with the Palestinian people, we unequivocally support BDS [boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel] when it comes to Palestinian human rights and have been attacked viciously by the very people who are telling you that they’re about to stand on the front line of the Muslim registry program.”
Antisemitism – the endgame?
Traditionally, the Labour Party was the home of the Jewish community. Luciana Berger is the only Jewish Labour MP of the nine who resigned. She was driven out of the party, for whom she spent years campaigning, because she sees it as a hotbed of antisemitism. Berger is the first MP in modern British history to feel that she has to leave a major party because of attacks on her ethnicity. This should be cause for concern, not only for the Jews of Britain but for all decent people.

Corbyn states time and again there is no place for antisemitism within his party. However, he strongly opposed adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s 2016 definition of antisemitism, which embraces classic antisemitism, Holocaust denial and attempts to apply double standards to the State of Israel. This definition was accepted by the European Parliament in 2017.

The results of a recent CNN survey into European attitudes toward Jews add to the concerns relating to the rise in antisemitism. 34% of Europeans surveyed said they knew just a little or had never heard of the Holocaust, while 20% of French people aged 18 to 24 said they had never heard of the Holocaust.

Corbyn opposed the recent United Kingdom ban on the Iranian-backed terrorist Hezbollah, claiming it is “part of the democratically elected Lebanese government.” Over the years, he has made no secret of the fact that he is a friend of both Hezbollah and Hamas.

The Magazine asked Vernon Bogdanor, professor of Government at King’s College London, how the Jewish community would be affected if Corbyn becomes prime minister.

“A Corbyn government would not diminish the civil rights of Jews,” he responded, “but would make it difficult for them to support Israel. From that point of view, they would be second-class citizens. In addition, a Corbyn government would face little resistance from Labour MPs. For though most oppose Corbyn, they have, with a few honorable exceptions, such as John Mann and the nine who resigned, kept their heads down. The eerie silence of the Shadow Cabinet and the vast majority of Labour MPs is almost as sinister as the tolerance of antisemitism by the Corbynites.”

Should Labour win the next election, might the above develop into state-sponsored antisemitism?
One year after UK Jews said ‘Enough is Enough,’ has anything changed?
On March 26, 2018, British Jews took part in an unprecedented demonstration in Parliament Square against an anti-Semitism crisis which has engulfed the Labour party.

The resort to such action, says Joan Ryan, an MP who last month quit Labour over its handling of the issue, marked “one of the most shameful days in the history of the party.”

The immediate trigger for the protest was the revelation that the party’s hard left leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had six years previously defended an anti-Semitic mural in London’s East End.

In reality, though, tension between Corbyn and the community had been building ever since he shocked the political establishment by winning the leadership of Britain’s principal opposition party in September 2015.

The demonstration – held under the rallying cry of “Enough is Enough” – has done little to ease those tensions. Instead, developments over the past year have simply heightened the anger of many Jews, and stoked their fears about what a Corbyn premiership might mean.

Those developments include: a series of further revelations last summer about Corbyn’s alleged links to terrorists, Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites; the party’s initial refusal to adopt in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism; and what critics describe as a “revolving door” disciplinary policy which has seen members accused of Jew-hate suspended from the party and then quietly readmitted.

Anger at the fact that, as Ivor Caplin, the chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, puts it, “the leadership… still seem to be dragging their feet on getting the anti-Semites out of the Labour Party,” led to renewed disquiet among parliamentarians in January.
Ofcom finds that George Galloway broke broadcasting rules over rants on TalkRadio claiming Labour antisemitism crisis is a “giant Goebbellian lie”
During the course of his show Mr Galloway ridiculed and attacked those concerned over antisemitism within the Labour Party, branding someone taking the concerns of the Jewish community seriously as an “ignorant woman”.

Mr Galloway was found to have violated Rule 5.11 of the Broadcasting Code which mandates broadcasters to maintain due impartiality and Rule 5.12 requiring that significant views must be included and given due weight. Ofcom also ruled that Mr Galloway had breached the Broadcasting Code on an additional code over his coverage of the Salisbury poisoning case.

Following these three charges Ofcom will now be considering sanctions against TalkRadio.

A spokesperson for Ofcom said: “Our investigation found that these phone-in programmes breached our due impartiality rules. They failed to give due weight to a sufficiently wide range of views on allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. We are minded to consider imposing a statutory sanction for these breaches. The Licensee now has an opportunity to make representations to us, which we’ll consider before proceeding further.”

Ofcom found that while it was legitimate to broadcast programmes in support of Jeremy Corbyn, principles of balance had to be maintained. They expressed concern that Mr Galloway continues to “express pride” in his broadcasts despite breaching impartiality rules. Sanctions may include a fine of up to £250,000, as Mr Galloway has been found to be in breach of the rules multiple times on the same station.
Press TV journalist, suspended from Labour, defends Iran's right to say 'Death to Israel'
A Press TV journalist and Labour activist - who is suspended for filming a vote of no confidence against MP Joan Ryan and passing it to the broadcaster - has defended the Iranian regime and its right to call for “Death to Israel.”

Speaking to the JC outside the disciplinary hearing of long-suspended party activist Jackie Walker, Robert Carter said he supported what he called Iran’s “hard line” on Israel which he said was “a revolutionary statement.”

Mr Carter, a member of Enfield North Labour Party, had earlier conducted an interview for Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster, with Marc Wadsworth, who was expelled from Labour over his confrontation with Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti report into antisemitism.

Describing Iran as a “democracy in the Middle East,” Mr Carter told the JC Labour suspended him for “filming and leaking to the press” the footage of the Constituency Labour Party meeting that narrowly passed a vote of no confidence in Ms Ryan in September.

Ms Ryan, the chair of Labour Friends of Israel, decided to quit the party last month.
Labour expels former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker
The Labour Party has expelled former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker, three years after her suspension.

The left-wing activist was kicked out over charges of making comments which were “grossly detrimental” to the party.

She was initially disciplined three years ago after saying “many Jews were chief financiers of the slave trade”, before being readmitted after an investigation. She was again suspended in October 2016.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The National Constitutional Committee has found that the charges of breaches of Party rules by Jackie Walker have been proven. The National Constitutional Committee consequently determined that the sanction for this breach of the rules is expulsion from Labour Party membership.”

The Jewish Labour Movement welcomed her expulsion but criticised the party for taking so long to act.
Long suspended Labour activist Jackie Walker will NOT face any antisemitism charges
Long-suspended Labour activist Jackie Walker will not face any antisemitism charges at her disciplinary hearing, which finally began today.

Three years after she was first suspended for claiming "many Jews" were involved in the African slave trade, around 50 activists gathered on Tuesday outside the Deptford Lounge in south-east London for the start of the hearing into Ms Walker, which could see her expelled from the party.

She was again suspended in October 2016 after saying Holocaust Memorial Day should include other genocides – which it does - and that she could not find a definition of antisemitism she could work with.

Ms Walker's hearing - which began on the anniversary of the Enough Is Enough protests outside Parliament - has been cited by many Jewish Labour activists as yet another test of how seriously Jeremy Corbyn is about ending his party's reputation for enabling Jew-hatred.

But the JC can reveal she will not face any antisemitism charges because the allegations against her pre-date a change in 2017 to Labour's rule book that created specific regulations around Jew-hate.

Instead, Ms Walker - who has repeatedly campaigned under the banner of being a black anti-Zionist Jew - is facing allegations she has been guilty of behaviour that is prejudicial to the party.
Defying Roger Waters, Portugal's Conan Osiris arrives in Israel
Ten days after Roger Waters appealed to him personally to boycott the upcoming Eurovision, Portugal's Conan Osiris arrived in Israel to film a video clip for the competition.

Osiris, who is representing Portugal at this year's song contest in Tel Aviv, hit the ground running on his first day in Israel. He met with Israeli contestant Kobi Marimi, began rehearsing for his "postcard" video for the competition and sat down with KAN for an interview on Tuesday.

"It's what you see," Osiris said when asked about Waters by KAN, rolling his eyes and heaving a deep sigh. "Everybody has their content, right?"

That was the closest KAN got to an answer from Osiris on the topic of Waters, and the public campaign the former Pink Floyd frontman and obsessive BDS activist waged against him.
Dutch Treat #tipvanmieke
Its enough to made a BDS'er drink heavily.

Earlier this week, BDS hole and Electronic Intifada contributor Mieke Zagt posted a photo of an Israeli wine display at the Hema Dutch grocery store on Twitter, claiming the wines were from "occupied Palestinian lands".

Ummm. No.

The Efrat Winery is located in Tsor'a, well within the green line.

The reaction to Zagt's post was buycott classic. People flocked to the stores to buy wine, and filled social media with selfies, using the hashtag #tipvanmieke

Within hours, #tipvanmieke was trending on Dutch Twitter, and the Hema stores sold out of the wine.
Court Kicks CAIR Out of San Diego School District
In a landmark case, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been forced out of the San Diego Unified School District.

A lawsuit was brought against the district for partnering with CAIR and allowing the Islamist organization to run a discriminatory, unconstitutional propaganda program in its schools.

The court agreed with this assessment.

The program in question gave Muslim students special privileges and gave CAIR the power to change the district curriculum to make sure Islam was looked upon more favorably.

Students and parents were made to watch biased videos, CAIR officials were allowed to teach students and teachers about Islam and students were trained “how to become allies with Muslims students.”

The program, which began in April 2017, was based on false evidence that, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s electoral victory, Muslim students were subjected to “Islamophobic” bullying. However, state records indicated there was no evidence of such bullying in the district’s schools.

The court ruled that the program was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause by favoring one religious group over another and mixing government with religion.
Palestinian Terror Group Blames ‘Zionist Entity’ for Blocking Odeh at Berlin Event
The Palestinian terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is blaming Israel for blocking convicted terrorist Rasmea Odeh from speaking at an event near Berlin.

“The Ministry of Strategic Affairs of the Zionist entity and the racist right-wing organizations which attack the Palestinian people in Germany, continue a campaign of defamation and misleading against the fighter and the ex-prisoner Rasmea Odeh upon her arriving to Berlin,” according to the PFLP’s official site.

The site added: “The social web platform which belongs the Ministry, published a series of funded and outrageous advertisements in German and English, celebrating the decision of German authorities to deport her from Germany and to attack Samidoun and BDS movement.”

Invoking the country’s Residence Act, the German government banned Odeh from engaging in political activities in the country and had her Schengen visa revoked, meaning that she will now have to leave Germany.

Berlin Mayor Michael Müller welcomed the decision of Berlin’s Interior Ministry.
Terrorists in Suits report - the most dangerous threat to the BDS movement.
Salah Khawaja, member of the BDS National Council and a “retired” terrorist, confesses that the “Terrorist in Suits” report, issued by the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is the most dangerous threat to the BDS international movement.

Indy’s Robert Fisk crosses the line to antisemitism
If populism, in both right-wing and left-wing manifestations, often promotes the idea that ‘the ‘system is rigged’ by the few to the detriment of the many, antisemitism can be defined as the belief that this system is rigged by Jews. Antisemitism is a malleable, all-purpose conspiracy theory which finds Jews – or Israel as the Jew writ large – at the center of any attempt to understand why, politically or economically, things go wrong. Further, though those who engage in this irrational belief that a minuscule minority – representing 2/10 of 1% of the world population – is controlling global affairs often see themselves as some sort of causation whistle-blower, daring to ‘connect the dots’ wherever they lead. They are ‘speaking truth to power’.

Enter Robert Fisk, who, in his most benign form, can be seen as that curmudgeonly elderly man in the neighbourhood yelling at kids to get to get off his lawn, but who often seems something closer to the guy on his computer at 3 AM cavorting with cranks and haters on fringe online forums – a guy who, by the way, also happens to be the long-time Middle East correspondent for a respectable British news site.

Though journalists don’t normally write their own headlines, in this case, the Indy editors responsible for this did in fact accurately convey Fisk’s explanation, in his March 26th piece, for US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Though we were able to quickly convince Indy editors to change the headline to something slightly less offensive, Fisk’s antisemitic narrative, that Israel controls the United States, remains in the article.

Fisk not only levels accusations at mainstream news outlets, like the BBC, for not granting sufficient legitimacy to Syrian claims to the Golan, but argues, in prose dripping with anger, that such “pro-Israel” coverage of the issue is evidence of the broader media’s “grovelling, cowardly, craven obeisance to Israel”, which he maintains is motivated by their “fear of being cast into the accusatory hell of ‘antisemitism'”.
Soros Bankrolled Unverified ‘Hate Crime’ Database Used by Major Media Outlets
Liberal billionaire George Soros bankrolled a massive "hate crime" database that is used by more than 100 media partners—including Google News Labs, New York Times Opinion, and ABC News—to report alleged hate crimes, according to tax documents and interviews.

The database, launched following the election of President Donald Trump, is "unverified" and receives stories of alleged "hate" from the likes of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization currently in upheaval over charges of institutional racism perpetrated by its recently fired co-founder, Morris Dees, and the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group that was previously listed as an unindicted co-conspirator of terrorism.

Media partners involved in the initiative have access to the unverified database, and use it to report stories of hate in the Trump era.

ProPublica, an investigative reporting nonprofit based in New York City, launched the project, known as "Documenting Hate," in 2017. The New York Times backed the project in January 2017 editorial, "Why We Need a Project to Document Hate Crimes."
Guardian (print edition) again demonstrates their obsession with Israel
First, note that the Guardian cover story on Gaza leads with “Israel attacks Gaza”, whilst failing to note that the latest violence began when a Hamas rocket hit a home in central Israel yesterday, injuring seven family members. The vague wording “amid heightened tensions” obfuscates the initial Hamas attack. In contrast, the actual article includes the accurate headline “Israel attacks Hamas terror target after Gaza rocket wounds seven near Tel Aviv”. Surely, some version of this accurate causation could have been included in the cover headline.

Also. note the curious editorial decision to feature the article, accompanied by a large photo of an explosion in Gaza, on the top half of the cover page, and placing the article itself on page 4, despite the fact that there have been no deaths on either side and IDF attacks have only hit Hamas military targets.

In contrast, a story in the same print edition on the massive humanitarian crisis arising from the bloody four-year Yemen civil war, where, for instance, more than 85,000 children have reportedly died of starvation, appeared on page 29.
Rafi Eitan: BBC WS radio promotes an unproven allegation
Later on in the item (from 18:44) while speaking with Israeli film-maker Duki Dror, Menendez said:

Menendez: “What’s also extraordinary is that he seems to have had roles in – and I guess it’s just a suggestion – that he was involved or perhaps even did it…took this pile of uranium from an American laboratory.”

Dror: “Yeah, there’s so many stories that are connected to his name and his role in the Mossad and sometimes you don’t know how to separate the reality from the myth.”

Although the vast majority of BBC World Service listeners would not know it, there is a good reason for Menendez’s use of the words “apparent” and “suggestion”.

Like ‘Newshour’, the New York Times also promoted those unproven allegations concerning the theft of uranium – as our CAMERA colleague Tamar Sternthal documented:

“The New York Times’ obituary for Rafi Eitan states as fact that the just deceased Israeli spymaster played a key role in the theft of highly enriched uranium from an American company, though the allegation has never been proven and the disappearance remains an unsolved mystery.”

As Tamar Sternthal notes in her article, the alleged disappearance of more than 200 pounds of highly enriched uranium from a nuclear processing plant in Pennsylvania in the late 1960s has been investigated over the years by a range of US bodies and organisations without result. Moreover, it is not even clear that the material was actually stolen.
Lithuanian court rejects lawsuit against state honors for Nazi collaborator
A court in Lithuania dismissed an American Jew’s lawsuit against a state museum’s glorification of a Nazi collaborator, citing the complainant’s “ill-based” intentions.

The ruling Wednesday in Vilnius was on a petition submitted last year by Californian Grant Gochin.

He sued the state-funded Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the Residents of Lithuania for erecting a plaque honoring Jonas Noreika, a local anti-Communist hero who died while in Soviet custody.

“Me calling for truth against the government machine of fraud is ‘ill based.’ They have no interest in truth — anyone that speaks for truth there is labelled an ‘enemy of the State,'” Gochin wrote on Facebook about the ruling.

Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Eastern Europe director, for years has argued that Noreika became a mass murderer after his appointment in 1941 as head of Siauliai County under the German Nazi occupation.
German Jewish leader urges cancellation of pension payments to former SS members
The head of Germany’s Jewish umbrella organization is calling on Germany to review – and possibly cancel – pension payments to former SS members who were injured during World War II, and who are living abroad.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the payments of pensions to people who might have committed war crimes was “intolerable.”

Schuster spoke Monday with the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, which reported that more than 2,000 former SS soldiers outside Germany receive state pensions averaging about $370 a month, plus special health care allowances. Some recipients are non-German collaborators, who were injured while serving with the Nazi forces. They reportedly had been promised pensions by the Nazi authorities.

The benefits come through the Federal Pension Act, which was passed in 1950 to support war victims, whether civilians or veterans of the Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS.
Israeli Startup Revolutionizing Technology for 911 Calls to Improve Response Times
Dialing 911 in an emergency is something that we’ve all been instructed to do since childhood. And old-fashioned, simple dialing is what most of us are still doing, even in an age of far more sophisticated technology.

This is despite the fact that most of us are no longer calling emergency dispatch services from plain old landlines, but from mobile phones that allow a plethora of critical information – such as exact location or video footage – to be transmitted to call responders.

Israeli startup Carbyne, harnesses the power of mobile phones in the emergency services field. Its call center solution and mobile app track the caller’s precise location and use the phone’s microphone and camera to gauge the event and surroundings.

And now Carbyne is partnering with erstwhile competitor RapidSOS of New York to further enhance emergency response. RapidSOS enables connected devices (smartphones, wearables and connected cars, for example) to transmit data such as accurate location, medical data and car telematics data to 911 systems.
Iraq's unsung Jewish airforce hero
Nagi left for England again just before King Ghazi was killed in a car accident. In England Nagi did a special training course to attain the rank of Captain.

When WWII broke out, he volunteered to join the Royal Air Force.

With the RAF, he was initially based in Wales where he trained young pilots. He survived the war because he was much more useful to the RAF as an instructor than to fly on missions. ( A pilot's life expectancy was less than four months, or five missions at the time).

Nevertheless, he went on at least two bombing raids in Germany.

Arabic Radio Berlin branded him a traitor and bad-mouthed him on several occasions. A few days before the Farhud massacre in June 1941, a firebomb was thrown at his parents' home in Baghdad. His parents had to go and live with relatives. On the day of the Farhud, the mob broke into his parents’ home and looted everything, leaving the house stripped bare.

He had some expertise with bombs and he was sent to North Africa to investigate why certain bombs did not explode on impact.

From there he is believed to have visited Baghdad. His nephew Sass remembers that Nagi stayed with his family and the Regent sent a magnificent bouquet of flowers. Nagi went to see the Regent to "pay his respects".

He was also sent on a secret mission in Spain. He went there as an Iraqi civilian using his Iraqi passport. He never gave away any detail of this mission to anyone. He is thought to have visited Baghdad from there too.

Nagi was highly decorated and received medals both from the Iraqi and the British armed forces. King George VI of England awarded him a medal and an Administration Certificate.
Hasmonean-Era Village Discovered, Proof of Jewish Connection to Jerusalem
A large Hasmonean-era Jewish agricultural village was uncovered by archaeologists in the Arab neighborhood of Sharafat, with a major, multi-generational burial chamber, olive press, ritual baths, a water cistern, dovecote, rock quarries and jar fragments dating back to the time of the Maccabees, providing concrete evidence of the Jewish history of Jerusalem as far back as 2,150 years ago.

The excavation was funded by the Moriah Jerusalem development corporation on behalf of the City of Jerusalem as part of preparation for the construction of a new elementary school in the Muslim and Christian Arab neighborhood of Sharafat, between Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo and the neighborhood of Gilo on the southeastern side of the city.

The Israel Antiquities Authority said that part of the site, which is believed to have been home to a wealthy or important family, may eventually open for an exhibit.

“Such quality craftsmanship of architectural elements is very rare, found mostly in monumental buildings or burial estates in the Jerusalem area, such as the burial estate of the priestly family of Benei Hazir in the Kidron Valley, and several tombs in the Sanhedria neighborhood.”

Jerusalem is believed to have grown from 5,000 residents centered around the City of David to 25,000 residents under the Hasmoneans, necessitating increased agriculture around the city.

A mikvah, or ritual bath, was found in the area in 1994 and a Hasmonean coin in 2007.

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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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