Friday, April 12, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: We must call out the Muslims who hate Jews
Jewish leaders rightly call out the Labour party for failing to deal with the rampant antisemitism in its ranks. Yet they fail to hold the Muslim community similarly to account.

For sure, many Muslims are decent people. Indeed, a group called Muslims Against Antisemitism has taken out full-page newspaper adverts to show their solidarity with Jews. One of its organisers, Fiyaz Mughal, has said that “antisemitism from segments of Muslim communities needs to be challenged and robustly challenged.”

Jews, however, are not doing so. They regularly identify antisemitic threats from two sources, the left and the far right. But on the people from the Islamic world who pose the biggest such threat, they are all but silent.

Worse, some Jews are now even joining the manipulative campaign to camouflage Muslim antisemitism and extremism by claiming the biggest threat to the world is coming from the far right.

Certainly, there’s a growing threat from white supremacists. But this is vastly exceeded by the threat from the Islamic world.

Worse still, people on the left are now smearing all anti-Islamists by lumping them together with white supremacists under the labels of “far right”, “alt-right” and “Islamophobes”.

After the New Zealand mosques massacre a stupendously brave Muslim leader, Yahya Cholil Staquf, wrote: “It is factually incorrect and counter-productive to define Islamophobia as ‘rooted in racism’. In reality, it is the spread of Islamist extremism and terror that primarily contributes to the rise of Islamophobia throughout the non-Muslim world.”

Furthermore, the antisemitism of the left is being fuelled by the antisemitism of the Muslim world — which is in turn emboldened and incentivised by the refusal of the non-Muslim world to condemn it.

These are the vicious and lethal circles to which the silence of the Jewish community is making an unwitting contribution.
Melanie Phillips: Madonna chooses freedom singing at Eurovision
The singer Madonna has announced she’ll be singing at next month’s final of the Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv before an estimated global audience of 180 million viewers. She intends to perform two songs, including a new one from her forthcoming album.

Cue all the too predictable outrage from those who demonize Israel. Jewish Voice for Peace launched a “Tell Madonna to Choose Freedom” campaign, claiming that “there’s no neutrality in situations of injustice,” and calling on the star to “stay home” and “lend your voice for freedom.”

Would that be the same Jewish Voice for Peace which blamed Israel and pro-Israel Jews for US police brutality against African Americans, thus sliding from its habitual vicious falsehoods about Israel into an antisemitic blood libel?

It would.

The Madonna furor is but the latest development in the campaign to boycott the Eurovision final. In Britain, cultural figures such as musicians Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters, actors Julie Christie and Miriam Margolyes, directors Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, and writer Caryl Churchill signed a letter calling on the BBC to push for the final to be moved to another country on the grounds of Israel’s “systematic violation of Palestinian human rights.”

Would that be the same as Caryl Churchill whose 2009 play, Seven Jewish Children, accused the Jews of inflicting upon others through the State of Israel the same kind of extermination that had been meted out to them, rooting this murderous trait in Judaism itself with lines such as this one: “Tell her I don’t care if the world hates us, tell her we’re better haters, tell her we’re chosen people”?

It would.

An open letter from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel suggested Madonna’s appearance would be used by the Israeli government “to mask its deepening oppression of Palestinians.”

What oppression would that be? The corruption of the Hamas regime in Gaza causing shortages of food and essential supplies?

Douglas Murray: Roger Scruton’s sacking exposes the Tories’ cowardice
So the New Statesman decided to interview Sir Roger Scruton. Perhaps there are those who think that Scruton should not have agreed to be interviewed by the New Statesman, the left-wing magazine being unlikely to conduct a fair interview. But Scruton was the magazine’s wine columnist for many years, and under the editorship of Jason Cowley the magazine has been a slightly fairer and less battily leftwards publication than it was of old.

But today the magazine’s deputy editor, George Eaton, took to social media to announce the results of what he is parading as a ‘gotcha’ interview. The interview – which Eaton conducted himself – was, he promised, positively crammed full with ‘a series of outrageous remarks’. Eaton later posted a picture of himself drinking champagne to celebrate the fate of his interviewee, with the caption “The feeling when you get right-wing racist and homophobe Roger Scruton sacked as a Tory government adviser.” Eaton has since deleted the picture. Here it is.

So what are the ‘outrageous remarks’? It appeared that Scruton had said that Islamophobia is ‘a propaganda word invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to stop discussion of a major issue’. Which is true. He also said that ‘Anybody who doesn’t think that there’s a Soros empire in Hungary has not observed the facts.’ A fact which is also true. Obviously since the British Labour party became a party of anti-Semites it has become exceptionally important to pretend that anti-Semitism is equally prevalent on the political right in Britain and that to criticise any of the actions of George Soros is in fact simply to indulge in anti-Semitism equivalent to that rolling through the Labour party. A very useful play for the political left, but wholly untrue. Anyway, I say ‘it appears’ that Scruton said this because there seem to be a few journalistic problems here.

Though Eaton says that Scruton said the above I am not confident that this is so. For Eaton – who used to be the Statesman’s political editor – appears to have a somewhat Johann Hari-esque way with quotes. He claims, for instance, that what Scruton said about Soros was somehow a comment ‘on Hungarian Jews’. As though Scruton had attacked all Hungarian Jews, rather than one very influential and political man who happens to be a Hungarian Jew.

Beresheet may have crashed, but for a moment we raised our eyes to the heavens
My neighbor, Yisrael, doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. He can’t get over the price tag: $100 million! What about all the hungry people in Israel? he asks. Never mind that Beresheet cost a fraction of the estimated $1.5 billion for each Apollo mission. Why not take that money and build a hospital or something more practical? Yisrael has spent his entire life working with his hands, building things, creating concrete objects you can touch.

I tried to explain to Yisrael just why I have loved writing about this little craft hurtling through space, learning about the intricacies of elliptical orbits and the pull of lunar gravity and the growing problem of space trash.

But I also found myself struggling to find the words. Can you put a monetary value on inspiration? Is it cost-effective to convince a young girl that she can be a space engineer when she grows up? At the end, I could only say to Yisrael, can you imagine a more beautiful thing than a group of friends believing that they can send something to the moon? Can you put a price tag on beauty?

In the moments after Friedman’s announcement, after the screen that was showing the position of the spacecraft reverted to the background of someone’s desktop computer, it didn’t feel real that Beresheet had crashed.

It’s strange to lose something you’ve never touched.

What does it mean to fail? Space is hard, Hayun said to me, with a sigh and a shrug of his shoulders, just moments after the spacecraft crashed. Cameras were already in his face, waiting to ask how he felt, what it was like to lose the project he had worked so hard to build. Space is hard.

Perhaps the lesson we should take from Beresheet is not the fact that it failed, but the fact that we tried at all. That for a moment, we widened our horizons beyond our tiny lives, expanding the diameter of our world to a point 400,000 kilometers (250,000 miles) away, joining with millions of people to follow the trajectory of a crazy dream.

Have you looked at the sky today?
NASA Head Congratulates Israel
While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress. I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements.
Buzz Aldrin to ‘inspiring’ Beresheet team after moon crash: ‘Never lose hope’
Former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin on Thursday tweeted his condolences to the team behind the Beresheet spacecraft which crashed into the moon’s surface during its landing attempt on Thursday evening, saying the project was “inspiring.”

“Condolences to the Beresheet lander @TeamSpaceIL for what almost was! Communications were lost with the spacecraft just 150 meters (!!!) above the surface, and it couldn’t quite stick the landing. Never lose hope – your hard work, team work, and innovation is inspiring to all!” tweeted Aldrin, who was a member of the US Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969.

Israel could still claim the title of seventh country to make lunar orbit, and the fourth country to reach the lunar surface, though unfortunately not in one piece.

“As far as we can see, we were very close to the moon,” operation control director Alex Friedman said to engineers in the SpaceIL control room in Yehud, east of Tel Aviv, after communication with the spacecraft went down. “We are on the moon, but not in the way that we wanted to be.”

Israel Rockets to the Moon While Its Enemies Launch Rockets at Civilians
The Israeli moon mission was the result of a largely private sector-driven initiative, and partnerships with American companies like SpaceX. Netanyahu is the champion of both elements. More than any other Israeli leader, he has been responsible for the long-term reform of Israel’s economy away from statism and toward free-market innovation. And more than any statesman in Israel’s history, he has reached out to the U.S., speaking directly to the American people.

At the same time that Israel was watching the moon mission on Thursday, another mission failed to launch: that of Palestinian anti-Israel activist Omar Barghouti, who was barred from entering the U.S. as he was to embark on a speaking tour for “Israeli Apartheid Week.”

There will be howls of protest from those who claim that the Trump administration’s decision to keep Barghouti out of the country is an assault on free speech and academic freedom.

How ironic: the radicals who want to exclude Israelis from trade, from academia, and even from competitive sports demand now find that they themselves are boycotted. It is the perfect response to a campaign that does not actually seek to help Palestinians, but merely to damage Israel.

For nearly two decades, ever since the disastrous United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, Barghouti and others have tried to cast Israel as an “apartheid” state, encouraging the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement to isolate and perhaps destroy it.

And yet Israel has survived — and thrived. The key has been innovation: a new security barrier (or “wall”) that uses high-tech sensors to keep suicide bombers out of Israeli cities; the Iron Dome missile defense system — another joint Israeli-American partnership — to stop Palestinian rockets from hitting Israeli civilians; and new space technology that has catapulted this tiny nation of some seven million people into the forefront of human ingenuity and exploration.
NY Times: the Moroccan exception
Writing in the New York Times, Anouar Maji and Yaelle Azagury have produced a nuanced view of Morocco's relationship with its Jews. The King is rightly applauded for preserving and promoting Jewish heritage. The writers blame 'European colonialism, the creation of Israel and the emergence of Arab nationalism, imbued with elements of anti-Semitism, for dividing the Jewish and Muslim communities'. But the causes of the mass exodus predate the 20th century. European colonialism was in the main good for the Jews, as it liberated them from centuries of 'dhimmitude' and forced conversions.There were a few privileged financiers and courtiers, but popular feeling was very often anti-Jewish, leading the Jews being locked into ghettoes for their own safety, and to more pogroms than in other parts of the Arab world.

The 2011 Constitution acknowledges that Morocco’s identity has been “nourished and enriched” in part by “Hebraic” components. Around that same time, King Mohammed VI embarked on a wide-ranging rehabilitation project that reflects his “ the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community.

More than 160 Jewish cemeteries with thousands of gravestones have been uncovered, cleaned up and inventoried with funding from the kingdom. In addition to synagogues, former Jewish schools have been renovated with the king’s support. The original names of the Jewish neighborhoods where many of these synagogues have stood for centuries have also been reinstated. In 2013, Abdelilah Benkirane, then the prime minister of Morocco’s Islamist-led government, read a message by the king at the reopening of the newly restored Slat al Fassiyine synagogue in Fez in which he pledged to protect the Jewish community.

Other houses of worship, like the splendid 19th-century Nahon synagogue in Tangier, are now museums. The Ettedgui synagogue in Casablanca and the adjacent El Mellah Jewish Museum, founded in 1997 by Moroccan Jews who believe in a shared future between Jews and Muslims, were restored and rededicated by the king in 2016. El Mellah is the only comprehensive Jewish museum in the Arab world. There are plans for three more in Morocco. (...)

Much still remains to be done, but these are promising developments. The question is, why now?
The War Between Polish Nationalism and Holocaust History
Demonstrating the Jews’ culpability in their own slaughter and providing the pseudohistorical basis for Polish anti-Semitism are two key elements of the strategy for preserving this narrative. Texts written by Jews are taken out of context and then cited as evidence to indict Jewish leadership in the Holocaust, the behavior of the so-called Jewish police, and the tragic choiceless choices often made by parents facing extermination. A pamphlet listing such works was given out at the March 31 demonstration, apparently meant to show that even Jewish writers have concluded the Jews are at fault for their own fate. The list includes Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, which is described as telling the truth about “the disgrace of Jewish elites,” but paradoxically it also cites Hermann (sic) Kruk’s The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania, which tells the tragic and heroic story of the Vilna Ghetto. Page 1 of the pamphlet contains the header: “Jewish Testimony saying the truth about themselves and Poles”; and at the bottom of Page 4 are the words: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:31-32.”

More difficult to expose is the by now widespread accusation of Żydokomuna—Jew-Communism, a pernicious conspiracy theory also known by the name Judeo-Bolshevism—that has in effect taken over where the blood libel left off. Anti-Bolshevik Whites in the Ukraine exploited this trope in an attempt to rally the Ukrainian population to their side after the 1917 Russian Revolution, and it was picked up by other groups, including the Nazis: Who kills a Bolshevik kills a Jew and who kills a Jew kills a Bolshevik. Perhaps this explains why the Committee to Protect the Katyn Monument and Other Historical Objects in New Jersey helped organize the March 31 proceedings. The Katyn Forest Massacre of some 20,000 Polish officers was carried out by the Soviets in 1940 on orders drawn up by Lavrentiy Beria, chief of the Soviet state security apparatus, and signed by Stalin, but it has been blamed on Jews and has helped fuel the anti-Semitic narrative in occupied Poland on the eve of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and continues to do so to the present day.

All this suggests that muddled up with anti-Semitism, fully evident in the tangled world of internet websites and Twitter accounts, is a desire for social and historical legitimacy. Stark hatred and prejudice is dangerous but when disguised as positions taken after a fair and critical examination of the facts it is far more dangerous. Such is Żydokomuna today and the monstrous use of Jewish texts to prove Jewish responsibility for the Holocaust.
Labour Representation Committee publishes appalling blog post attacking Luciana Berger, but Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell remains its President
The so-called Labour Representation Committee (LRC), a pro-Corbyn pressure group, has published an appalling blog post on their website attacking Jewish MP Luciana Berger, who quit the Labour Party over antisemitism, and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) which she chaired. JLM, which has for almost 100 years been the collective body of Jewish Labour Party supporters, approved a motion on Sunday declaring that it has “no confidence” in Jeremy Corbyn and that he is “unfit to be Prime Minister.”

The LRC has a long history of belittling claims of antisemitism and publishing extremely disturbing articles. The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, is its President.

In this latest blog post, entitled “JLM Stabs Labour in the Back”, the LRC’s Political Secretary, Mick Brooks, regurgitates conspiracy theories and claims that the antisemitism crisis in the Labour Party is a smear. Using the most loaded and offensive language, Mr Brooks wrote that: “They have declared war on Labour” and concluded that: “They are stabbing us in the back. That is insupportable. The JLM must be disaffiliated from Labour as soon as possible.” He then denied that Luciana Berger was forced out of the Party by antisemitism, declaring: “Let us be clear. Luciana Berger left the Party of her own accord.”

Mr Brooks also referred to an article alleging an Israeli conspiracy: “According to the Electronic Intifada the JLM was revived in 2015 specifically to combat Jeremy Corbyn, a longstanding supporter of the Palestinian cause. The article points the finger at Israeli intelligence in helping to refound the dormant JLM, an explanation confirmed by the Al Jazeera’s [sic] documentary The Lobby. It is not antisemitism in Britain, but opposition to policies carried out by the state of Israel that they see as the enemy. In response Asa Winstanley, the author of the article, has been suspended from the Labour Party.”
Labour candidate dropped over ‘Israel learnt from Hitler’ and Rothschild posts
A Labour council candidate in Lancashire has been suspended after allegedly antisemitic social media posts were flagged to the party, according to a report.

Harry Virco will be standing in next month’s Fylde borough council election despite his suspension as it was too late to remove him from the ballot paper, The Times reports.

A party source told the newspaper that were Virco to be elected, he would sit on the council as an independent.

A tweet sent from Virco’s account last year said: “Has Israel & the Jewish people learned nothing from their persecution under Hitler?

“Yes they have! They now know how to persecute other people & especially children.”

A post from January reads: “Israel is turning itself into a Neo-Nazi [sic] state.”
Jeremy Corbyn defended eight primary schools’ plans to send children to “unbiased” festival featuring vandal who daubed “Free Gaza and Palestine” on Warsaw ghetto
It has emerged that in 2011, Jeremy Corbyn defended eight schools’ plans to send children to a festival featuring a vandal who daubed “Free Gaza and Palestine” on the Warsaw ghetto.

Eight primary schools had intended to send children to the Tottenham Palestine Literary Festival, where speakers included Ewa Jasciewicz, who spray-painted “Free Gaza and Palestine” on the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto. According to a report in The Times, in 2002 Ms Jasciewicz called for “activists” to “do” the Israeli parliament or “a sophisticated politician bump-off” rather than targeting Israeli civilians.

The move was opposed by a Jewish charity, the Board of Deputies, but investigative journalist, Iggy Ostanin, has discovered that Mr Corbyn told the Islington Tribune that: “The Board of Deputies are hardly objective in this matter. Their record of denunciation of all things Palestinian is well known.” He added that he planned to attend the festival, saying that: “It’s a great opportunity for children to understand the wealth and joy of Palestinian literature and a little of the history of the region.”

Mr Corbyn added that the festival, which was organised by a branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign would be entirely neutral and educational, saying: “It’s not in any way biased, but a festival which will encourage children to broaden their horizons. The children were looking forward to it. I’d like to think there is still time to resolve the issue.”
VIDEO: Cornell Student Assembly Rejects BDS
Students for Justice in Palestine brought a thoroughly misleading and false resolution divesting from certain companies doing business in Israel before the Cornell University Undergraduate Student Assembly.

The President of Cornell previously rejected the SJP divestment request. So the vote in front of the Student Assembly would have been merely symbolic.

Nonetheless, symbolism matters, and SJP and its coalition of other student groups used this as an opportunity to spend a month lying about Israel and Zionism, and forcing the campus to address those lies.

BDS was tried in 2014 and failed miserably, but not before SJP tried to intimidate and bully pro-Israel students. This time around there wasn’t physical intimidation, but SJP was more strategic, having spent months planning this maneuver.

The key strategy and tactic used this year, which is from the SJP playbook, was to call for divestment from Israel while at the same time denying that the resolution was part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Call it BDS-lite — the strategists at National SJP and their helpers know that BDS is toxic, so they do BDS without calling it BDS.

SJP also requested a secret ballot, which the Student Assembly agreed to do even though it violated the Student Assembly bylaws. While it’s hard to prove in this instance if the secret ballot impacted the voting, the prevailing wisdom is that secret balloting helps SJP so that student representatives don’t have to be accountable for endorsing Israel hatred.

Anti-Semitic fliers found in library at University of North Carolina
Several anti-Semitic fliers were found on bookshelves and tables in a library at the University of North Carolina.

The fliers include references to “an evil Jewish plot” and said “do everything you can to fight the silent covert Jewish attempt to enslave and kill good Americans,” according to the UNC Hillel.

They were discovered this week, the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper reported.

“I am extremely disappointed and appalled that anyone would write these abhorrent messages and direct them toward members of our Jewish community,” UNC Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a statement sent Wednesday to the campus community.

“This behavior conflicts with the University’s long-standing commitment to fostering an environment where all students, faculty and staff can be free from harassment,” he said.

The campus Hillel said in a statement: “We are disgusted by the vile and hateful rhetoric on these flyers. The language is reminiscent of centuries-old, anti-Semitic rhetoric that incited the murder of thousands of Jews in pogroms throughout Eastern Europe and the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. This racist, repulsive language has no place on any campus or in any society.”

The statement said the UNC administration “has been responsive to the concerns of the Jewish community.”

Legendary South African Jewish Journalist and Opponent of BDS to Receive Country’s Top Award
South Africa’s most famous Jewish journalist will receive one of the country’s highest honors in recognition of his work across several decades, local media reported on Wednesday.

Benjamin Pogrund — a pioneering journalistic opponent of South Africa’s former racist system of apartheid who now lives and works in Israel — will be presented with the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, given to those with outstanding records in the spheres of art, journalism, culture and literature. Pogrund will receive the medal from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in a special ceremony on Apr. 25.

A former editor of the liberal Rand Daily Mail, Pogrund in the past enjoyed friendships with prominent leaders of the movement for black majority rule in South Africa, including the late former President, Nelson Mandela, and the late founder of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Robert Sobukwe.

A consistent thorn in the side of the apartheid regime for its exposure of the brutality faced by black South Africans at the hands of the security forces, the Rand Daily Mail was forced out of business in 1985. The following year, Pogrund emigrated to London.

In 1997, Pogrund made aliyah to Israel, where he founded the Yakar Center for Social Concern in Jerusalem. Much of his work in recent years has focused on fighting the anti-Israel BDS movement, particularly by challenging the analogy made by anti-Zionist activists between modern-day Israel and apartheid South Africa.
Jewish High School Students Face Emboldened Antisemites
When Democrats failed to explicitly rebuke Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her antisemitic remarks, they sent a disturbing message beyond the Beltway — namely, that it is acceptable to use antisemitic tropes without facing any consequences. This was the latest sign of the normalization of antisemitism, which is also reflected in the tolerance of antisemitism on college campuses, and the effect that it is beginning to have on younger Jews.

I recently met with a group of high school students, and asked if any of them had experienced antisemitism at school. Shockingly, 18 of the 20 (one was not Jewish) raised their hands.

At a private Christian school where there are only a handful of Jews, one of the most vocal students is a frequent target. She said that someone in a computer science class programmed a robot to say “Heil Hitler” and salute. “He showed it to me because I’m pretty much the representative of the Jews for my grade.”

Another student said that one of her Catholic friends told her she was going to hell. When she replied, “I don’t think that’s how that works,” the friend said that he would check with his father. He came back later and said, “Yeah, I was right.”

One young woman said that a kid in her class “said something to someone next to me about how he was going to hire a Jewish lawyer to take all of his money.” In another instance, he told her “he loved Hitler.” When she asked him to stop making these comments, he laughed.
Matthew Scott, former Head of Music at the National Theatre, reportedly under police investigation over alleged antisemitic comment
An allegedly antisemitic comment apparently made by Matthew Scott, the former Head of Music at the National Theatre, is being investigated by police after a complaint was made, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Scott was Head of Music at the National Theatre from 2006 until 2016 and remained there as a music consultant until the end of last month. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Composition in Music at the University of Southampton.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Scott is believed to have made the comment under a BBC News article about yesterday’s Israeli elections which said: “The time for the erasure of Israel and the completion of the cleansing process is rapidly approaching. Can Netanyahu now see that his actions are feeding the furnace?”

It is hard to imagine how “the completion of the cleansing process” could be understood as anything other than a call for the genocide of Jews in Israel. Additionally, under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is antisemitic.
Nokia fan page uses crying IDF soldiers to promote phone
An Instagram page created by Nokia fans has unwittingly touched a nerve among Israelis after it used a picture of soldiers crying in a funeral.

The page nokiamobile_official, which is not officially linked to the phone giant, posted the controversial picture, showing soldiers sobbing at the funeral of their comrade Ilan Swiatkowski, who was killed by terrorists on the Gaza border in 2010.

In the picture, every sobbing soldier represents a Nokia competitor that is worried about the upcoming rollout of a new Nokia phone that year. The bottom of the picture has the caption: “Nokia9 coming soon…”

A soldier who appears in the picture spoke with Israel Hayom and expressed outrage over the improper use. “I hope they take it down now that this issue has been raised,” he said. “This is a funeral for one of my friends, it is not funny.”

Leading French Intellectuals Urge Criminal Trial for ‘Antisemitic’ Killer of Sarah Halimi
Thirty-nine of France’s leading intellectuals have signed an impassioned editorial in one of the country’s leading newspapers calling for the killer of Sarah Halimi — the 65-year-old Jewish widow brutally murdered in her Paris apartment in an antisemitic attack — to finally face trial, more than two years after the crime was committed.

The editorial, published on Monday afternoon by Le Figaro, carried the signatures of several high-profile writers and academics, including philosophers Élisabeth de Fontenay, Alain Finkielkraut and Elisabeth Badinter, and historians Pierre-André Taguieff and Jacques Julliard. Journalist Noémie Halioua, author of the first detailed account of Halimi’s murder and its political fallout, was also among the signatories.

Prompted by the appearance of a new psychiatric report claiming that Halimi’s killer, 29-year-old Kobili Traore, is mentally unfit to stand trial for murder, the editorial detailed at length the sorry timeline of events from her murder in the early hours of April 4, 2017 to the present impasse in the French legal system.

The editorial argued that “in the hours and days before the crime, the police learned that Traore had frequented the Salafist mosque on rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud,” and that he had subjected both Halimi and her visiting relatives to antisemitic insults in the hallways of the public housing building in eastern Paris where both killer and victim lived.

“All this was embarrassing in the middle of the [2017 French] presidential election, and the candidates like the general media ignored the event,” the editorial stated. Halimi’s death, it continued, was immediately seen as a matter for the Jewish community, “as if Sarah Halimi was not, first of all, a French citizen.”
MEMRI: Antisemitic Online Incitement – Account Review: Facebook And GAB User Posts Antisemitic Content, Covertly Photographs Orthodox Jews, Posts Their Photos And Photos Of Axe; Writes: 'I Wanna Kill'
The following is a new report in a series from the MEMRI initiative researching online incitement against Jews, people of color, Muslims and the LGBTQ+ community. Government, media, and academia can request a full copy by writing to with the title of this report in the subject line.

This series and initiative are part of the MEMRI Lantos Archives on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, which aims to bring these issues to media, to present evidence so that legal countermeasures can be taken, and to inform policy makers in order to provide the informational infrastructure for policies, strategies and legislative initiatives to counter them. It is the largest collection of this content in the world.

Facebook user "S.L." (full name and details available from MEMRI) has posted and shared extensive antisemitic content, some of which suggests a possible threat to individuals. His posts present his covert surveillance and photographing of Orthodox Jews in the Monroe, New York area, his possession of an axe, and his desire to use it. The subject of most of his posts is his belief that Jewish doctors harvest and consume the blood and organs of non-Jews, under the guise of providing medical care.

An analysis of the language and content of a very active account on the GAB platform suggests that this account too belongs to S.L., under another name. This account has had over 6,000 posts since it was opened approximately eight months ago.

S.L. appears to be located in the U.S. His Facebook account has been suspended multiple times, and has been inactive or suspended since September 2018; the activity on the GAB account that appears to be his continues, as noted.
Daniel Greenfield: 3 Muslim Terror Plots Targeted US Synagogues in 3 Months
On Wednesday, April 3, FBI agents converged on a Bozeman shooting range and took Fabjan Alameti into custody.

Alemati, an Albanian Muslim, had traveled from New York to Montana. "When the time will come for us to hunt them down, I will stand over them while I piece their bodies with hollow tips," the Islamic terrorist had boasted in February. "Inshallah, we take as many kuffars (non-Muslims) with us."

He had told a government informant back in January that his potential targets included military and government targets, as well as a “Jewish temple”.

Alameti’s terror plot back in January was the second such Islamic terror plot that month.

On December 14, 2018, Hasher Jallal Taheb was discussing some of the targets he had scouted in Washington D.C. They included the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and a specific synagogue.

In the middle of January, Taheb was arrested over in Georgia.

Taheb and Alemati had a number of similarities. Both men were twenty-one years old. Their terror plots were violent but scattershot. The range began with government building and ended with a synagogue.

Theirs were the second and third Islamic terror plots targeting Jewish synagogues in three months.
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Honor Memories of 11 Victims of Tree of Life Shooting
Pennsylvania lawmakers on Wednesday honored the memory of the 11 Jewish worshippers who were killed in October 2018 at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The joint session in the state’s House of Representatives in the capital, Harrisburg, was attended by nearly two-dozen relatives of the victims.

The opening prayer was conducted by Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of the New Light Congregation, which was one of the three services taking place at the synagogue during the shooting.

“This moment of American history and this ravaging Sabbath massacre in my hometown tells us that all is not well in our republic,” said Rabbi Cheryl Klein. “Hate is emboldened, and white supremacists are somehow mainstreamed. This diseased American moment was antisemitism in our face. It is ugly, unacceptable, and its condemnation needs to be met with tireless strength.”

“We pray that we are not guilty of inaction. We pray that we are not guilty of complacency,” she added. “We pray that we are not guilty of allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by politics.”
HBO to Produce Philip Roth’s ‘The Plot Against America’ Depicting a Jewish Boy in 1940

HBO has picked the cast for its six-part miniseries based on Philip Roth’s 2004 novel “The Plot Against America.”

Roth’s alternative history novel takes place in an America in which Franklin D. Roosevelt was defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by pilot and Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh. The novel follows the fortunes of the Roth family during the Lindbergh presidency, as anti-Semitism becomes more accepted in America and Jewish-American families like the Roths are persecuted.

The narrator and central character in the novel is the young Philip, and the detailed and honest depiction of his confusion and terror make the novel more about the Roth’s own boyhood than American politics.

The novel imagines an America in which Lindbergh’s isolationist ideas have become the national agenda, and are impacting Jewish life in Newark, New Jersey. The novel depicts the Weequahic section of Newark, which includes Roth’s Weequahic High School, from which graduated.

The main cast includes John Turturro, Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, Morgan Spector, Anthony Boyle, Azhy Robertson, and Caleb Malis.
Israel’s Olympic Judo Team Members Say Their ‘Fighting Spirit’ Will Never Be Sidelined by Anti-Israel Snubs
Members of Israel’s Olympic judo team on Monday expressed their dedication to representing their country in the world of sports, despite facing anti-Israel sentiment at major international competitions.

Judokas Ori Sasson, Sagi Muki, and Peter Paltchik who won the silver medal at the New York Open Judo Championship on April 6, are visiting the US on a tour of college campuses. Schools at which they’ll perform judo workshops and share their stories of overcoming discrimination will include Rutgers University, University of Delaware, and the University of Pennsylvania.

“We’re gonna show the world that no one can wipe out Israel. Not now, not ever,” Sasson told The Algemeiner. “Like a warrior who goes to war, he doesn’t think about the other things, he just goes to fight and do his best. We know how to manage our emotions and just focus on winning. That’s the most important” — to which Paltchik added, “that’s the reason why we are going through all this.”

Muki and Paltchik made international headlines when they individually won gold medals at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October 2018, which led to the playing of the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah,” for the first time in history at the competition. Afterwards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Muki to congratulate him on his victory and for advancing Israel’s cause around the world, according to the athlete. Muki called the experience “a moment that I will never forget.”

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