Wednesday, May 08, 2019

From Ian:

How Anti-Zionism Became Anti-Semitism: A Historical Overview
After the defeat of Nazism in World War II, the Soviet Union and its satellites became the main European incubators of anti-Semitism, a doctrine they soon repackaged, with great success, as anti-Zionism. Asael Abelman tells this story in a sweeping and penetrating essay that can be read in its original Hebrew here or in a rough English translation at the link below:

After 1945, and even more so after 1948, the war against the Jews ceased to be one against a people scattered and dispersed among the nations but instead against a people who had returned to their land. The banner of this war against the Jews was now borne by the Arab peoples as well as Muslims throughout the world, and even though a wide chasm separated most of them from the European left, all parties found in this struggle a common denominator. . . .

Take Poland, for example, in the late 1960s. During this period, Polish students were expressing their resentment of the Communist regime in their country. When the regime sought a way to rally its ranks and divert attention from its critics, it found it in anti-Semitism. By then, most of the Jews of Poland had been exterminated [in World War II]; many others had left for Israel and other countries; and many of the remaining Jews in Poland did not see themselves as Jews, were themselves unaware that they were Jews, or were completely indifferent to their Jewish identity. But none of this prevented the leader of Poland, Wladyslaw Gomulka, from looking for a way to use anti-Semitism to serve his political needs.

His opportunity arrived with Israel’s victory over the Arab states in the Six-Day War. Immediately thereafter, Gomulka publicly announced that “Polish citizens of the Jewish nation are not prevented from returning to Israel if they wish. Our position is that every Polish citizen should have one state: the Polish People’s Republic; . . . we do not want a fifth column.” Thus, parallel to the Arab desire to destroy the state of Israel, anti-Semitism came out of the mouth of the leader of the Polish Communist regime, a man who no doubt considered racist Nazism to be the absolute evil, [who was himself married to a Jewish woman], and who subscribed to an ideological doctrine strongly opposed to national hatred.
Qanta Ahmed: Philadelphia’s ‘Children For Jihad’ Warrant Investigation
The Muslim Association of America, designated by the United Arab Emirates as one of 84 terrorist groups with Muslim Brotherhood ties, was caught red-faced after posting a video on Facebook of Muslim children conducting a musical performance in the Philadelphia Islamic center glorifying Islamic jihad, suicide martyrdom, and jihad on Israel.

Martyrdom songs and indoctrination of youth are a hallmark of Islamist organizations. It’s commonplace in Gaza, but shocking when found in the home of the Declaration of Independence. The songs romanticize both martyrdom and the destruction of Israel — classic Muslim Brotherhood Islamists tenets.

Such indoctrination of Muslim children in Islamist ideology leads directly to violence, such as the assault on Israel over the last weekend. More than 700 rockets were fired on sovereign Israeli territory by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad — both extremist Islamist terror groups.

For the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad movements to remain alive, in addition to generous funding from both Iran and Qatar, these Islamist groups require support from youth, including those here in America.

The children in Philadelphia sang songs demonizing Israel while claiming to be the “Army of Allah,” yet disregard that the Quran documents the Israelites as the chosen people to whom God promised the Holy Land. Muslims must accept their legitimacy, their prophets and their Holy Book.

These children in Philadelphia are being indoctrinated in Islamist anti-Semitism — a cosmic, not mortal, form pursued as a divine mission to combat a cosmic, not mortal, enemy. This anti-Semitism is among the most virulent and rapidly growing forms today.

The Tikvah Podcast: Matti Friedman on Israel’s First Spies
Long before the Mossad became known as one of the world’s greatest intelligence agencies; before the capture of Eichmann and the raid of Iran’s nuclear archive; before Eli Cohen and Rafi Eitan; before Fauda captured audiences around the world, Israel’s first spies were dispatched to Beirut without so much as a radio to contact home. In the spring of 1948, before the State of Israel had even been declared, a handful of young Mizrahi Jews were recruited to serve in the Palmach’s Arab Section and charged with going undercover among the Arab population of Palestine and neighboring countries. Sent back into the Arab lands they had left behind, these brave Jews risked their lives to become spies for a country that was yet to be born.

In Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel, journalist and author Matti Friedman tells the story of these mista’aravim, Jews who went uncover as Arabs. Focusing on the lives of four of these men, Friedman transports us back to a world without a State of Israel or an IDF, where the fate of Palestine’s Jews remained uncertain and the project of Jewish statehood hung in the balance. This was the world of Israel’s first spies, the unsung heroes of the nation’s founding.

In this podcast, Matti Friedman joins Jonathan Silver to talk about his new book. They discuss the challenges and risks the spies faced while undercover, the complex identities of these Mizrahi Jews who had to pose as Arabs, and the importance of telling the stories of these Jewish heroes from Middle Eastern lands.



Jonathan S. Tobin: Omar, Tlaib refuse to see Hamas’ hate is same as the synagogue shooter’s
Last week, the nation joined in a chorus of condemnation when a self-avowed white nationalist killed one woman and wounded three other worshippers at the Chabad of Poway, Calif. It was a senseless anti-Semitic hate crime that deserved to be condemned without reservation.

A week later, four Israelis, including one Bedouin, were killed and 10 others were wounded by rocket fire from Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza that rained down on their streets, homes and places of work.

This time, many of the same voices that were so loud about Poway and the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last October were either muted or — as in the case of Reps Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — actually rationalized and even defending these acts of terrorism.

Why the empathy deficit for Israelis?

While the circumstances are different, the motivation of those pulling the triggers or launching the missiles isn’t. The contrast between the reaction to synagogue shootings in America and terrorist rocket barrages in Israel shows the common thread of anti-Semitic hate that links white nationalist murderers in the Untied States to Middle East terrorists and their American cheer squad.

To some on the left, while synagogue shootings are hate crimes, the murderous actions of Palestinian killers are an understandable part of a “cycle of violence,” for which Jews bear the larger share of the blame. In this view, Israelis are merely paying the price for their supposed oppression of Arabs.

But while the conflict in the Middle East is complex, understanding the motivation of those who shoot rockets into Israel in the hope of causing death and destruction isn’t terribly complicated. The terrorists and their apologists in the boycott, divest and sanction movement in the United States, which Omar and Tlaib support, have the same goal: the destruction of the world’s sole Jewish state.
Rediscovering American Antisemitism
Recently, an opinion writer in The Washington Post told readers that preoccupation with the Holocaust has blinded us to the prevalence of antisemitism in American history. In other words, Holocaust museums somehow distract from the reality of antisemitism.

The truth is somewhat different. In the 1980s and 1990s, American Jewish intellectuals began to doubt that antisemitism had a future in the US. Jerome Chanes’ book, Antisemitism in America Today: Outspoken Experts Explode the Myths, even offered a premature obituary. Jewish intellectuals felt at home in Reagan’s and Clinton’s America, despite a lunatic fringe, and pointed to public opinion polls showing that anti-Jewish sentiment in the US peaked before and during World War II and started to decline thereafter. Even earlier, during the 1950s, conservative-minded Jewish historians like Daniel Boorstin argued that antisemitism had never been much of a force in an America where the New England Puritans from the start wanted to build “a new Israel.”

Boorstin began his career as a young communist before he discovered the virtues of America’s democratic capitalism. He also became a supporter of Zionism, like many Jewish intellectuals who, after 1948, came to believe that Israel would create a haven for Holocaust survivors and a miniature American democracy in the Holy Land.

The 21st century is shaping up differently for two reasons. First, according to a new Harris poll, Generation Z (born around 2000 and including young Jews) no longer view “socialism” as a bad word and, in fact, prefer it to capitalism. To explain, I would emphasis the traumatic impact — which is still felt — of the 2008 financial crash on Generation Z’s families even more than left-wing indoctrination in high schools or college campuses.
Seth Meyers Goes to Bat for Ilhan Omar in Tense Interview With Meghan McCain
McCain said Democrats were hedging, noting she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) shared support of Israel as an occasional example of bipartisan agreement. Schumer has condemned the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel as anti-Semitism in action, while Omar supports it.

"I think she is bringing the party to extremism on this," McCain said, noting the rise of it in Europe and in Britain's Labour Party. "Anti-Semitism is very common, and I see it happening over there, and I worry about it happening over here. I stand by every single thing I've said, and if that makes me unpopular in this room or in front of you, so be it."

She drew some cheers, but Meyers said it was a "weird thing" for her to say, claiming he was trying to find "common ground." McCain asked if Meyers was offended by Omar's remarks referring to the September 11 attacks as "some people did something," to which he replied she was taken out of context.

Meyers asked if criticism of Israel could be done without accusations of anti-Semitism. When McCain again invoked Omar's remarks and tweets about Israel hypnotizing the world and accusing pro-Israel politicians of being bought off by Jewish lobbyists, he balked, saying it was "unfair" to bring up those tweets.

"Are you her publicist?" McCain asked. "Are you her press person?"


Rep. Ilhan Omar Supports Group That Produced Child Beheading Skit
Shocking footage uncovered by the Investigative Project last week shows a skit produced by the Muslim American Society (MAS) in Philadelphia showing children calling for martyrdom as soldiers in the “army of Allah” and threatening to behead their enemies and subject them to “eternal torture” to wrest Jerusalem from Jewish control.

The horrific MAS-Philly children’s skit was posted to their Facebook page and shows a choreographed production as part of the group’s April 17th “Ummah Day” pageant dedicated to supporting jihad to control Palestine. A MAS statement on Friday said the songs and poems the children recited exhorting violence and terrorism were an “unintended mistake” and attributed the incident to a vetting error.

MAS has 42 chapters across the United States. A 1997 FBI file obtained by Judicial Watch identifies MAS as the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States controlled by Hamas sympathizers “known to conduct firearms and other military type training.” A Justice Department filing (p. 58, fn. 13) in a terrorism-related case states that “MAS was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.” A September 2004 Chicago Tribune investigative report revealed that MAS had been founded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders, adopted the group’s strict code for secrecy, and promoted Islamic supremacy.

The article interviewed one former MAS member who explained the group’s vision for Islamic rule in America: “It would convert Americans to Islam and elect like-minded Muslims to political office.” Even more shocking is that freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–MN), of other recent controversies, has openly supported MAS.
CAIR Director Compares Israel to Nazi Germany at UC Irvine
The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los Angeles compared “apartheid” Israel to Nazi Germany in a speech he gave to students at the University of California, Irvine on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day last Wednesday.

As part of its “Anti-Oppression Week,” the Muslim Student Union invited Hussam Ayloush to speak to students; during the Q&A section, a pro-Israel member of the audience, Jonathan Elkhoury, challenged Ayloush, asking him how he could call himself a human rights activist while his organization has supported Hamas, a designated terror group.

“As a person who advocates for human rights,” Elkhoury asked, “how do you actually stand in support of a terrorist organization that actually violates human rights of its own people [including] terminating riots and demonstrations by the Palestinians in Gaza who were actually demonstrating for their own freedom from their leadership?”

Ayloush, a Democratic Party delegate, answered, “I unequivocally, unequivocally stand by the Palestinians.”

After a back and forth with Elkhoury, Ayloush refused to answer the question about his support of Hamas, saying only, “I don’t like the question.” He went on to say that he is not a Palestinian and has never visited “Palestine,” although he “would love to, once it’s liberated.”
Linda Sarsour Preaches Hate and Intolerance at UMass
On May 4, five members of the Alliance for Israel and I attended an event at UMass that featured Linda Sarsour, Roger Waters, and Marc Lamont Hill. Despite being advertised as an academic panel, the event was a pro-BDS political rally, with Sarsour leading the troops with chants of “Free, free Palestine” and fists held high in the air.

Before attending the event, I knew that one of Sarsour’s preferred platforms is Twitter, where she has made some disturbing remarks, including: “Only Jews in my notifications every night are ones that condone violence against Arabs and are cool with mosques being attacked”; “Nothing is creepier than Zionism”; and “I wish I could take their [Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali] vaginas away — they don’t deserve to be women,” are just some examples.

I also knew that when confronted with criticism or questions about her offensive words and actions, Sarsour is notorious for skillfully and insidiously avoiding a response. She has a reputation of deflecting from the topic, launching into attacks against the individual posing the question, and portraying herself as a victimized Muslim woman.

As we sat and watched her speak in the Fine Arts Center in Amherst, my colleagues and I observed Sarsour’s insidious tactics first-hand. For example, shortly after Lamont Hill refused to condemn the Hamas attacks on Israel, an Israeli member of the audience broke down in tears while shouting about the Hamas terrorism that was shattering the lives of his friends and family. Without missing a beat, Sarsour held the microphone to her mouth and drew the audience’s attention to the fact that the outburst was directed at Lamont Hill, and suggested it was a racist act against “the only black man” on the panel. Her lack of empathy was chilling, as was her ability to manipulate and redirect the reactions of the audience.
Swathe of anti-Semitic abuse is uncovered at pro-Palestinian group backed by Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn is facing calls to quit as patron of a pro-Palestinian lobbying group after an Evening Standard investigation found campaigners sharing a swathe of “malevolent” anti-Semitic propaganda.

The Labour leader has been closely associated for two decades with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

PSC says it fights racism and is the largest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights.

However, close inspection of local PSC branches across the country reveals activists are sharing anti-Semitic cartoons of Jews and conspiracy theories about Israel controlling the world.

A Standard investigation found such images as a cartoon comparing Israeli Jews with white power neo-Nazis, an ugly caricature of a Jew sowing hand grenades in a field, and an image of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu bathing in Palestinian blood posing with Adolf Hitler.

All were posted in the name of local branches of the PSC, despite the organisation insisting it is “unequivocally” opposed to anti-Semitism.

Another post attacked Mr Corbyn’s deputy, Tom Watson, who has called for anti-Semitism to be rooted out of Labour, calling him an “agent” of the Israeli state. It is another blow to Mr Corbyn after months of criticism over his handling of anti-Jewish abuse.

Amanda Bowman, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, described the posts as “anti-Jewish racism” and added: “Jeremy Corbyn must now publicly disassociate himself from this malevolent group.”
Tony Blair Attacks ‘Poison’ of Anti-Semitism in Swipe at Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour
The British left remains at war with itself over the massive anti-Semitism scandal dogging the official opposition party, as former Labour prime minister Tony Blair once again appeared to direct his fire at hard-left successor Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Anti-Semitism has rapidly risen from being a fringe issue in British politics, in most cases a dangerous relic of 20th-century politics abandoned by serious parties, to a major concern within the Labour Party in a matter of just a few years.

Tony Blair, the long-serving Labour prime minister whose “centre-left” style of politics has moulded every British administration since — especially the premiership of the nominally conservative David Cameron — has been an outspoken critic of the party which he once led over its recent track record on anti-Semitism under Jeremy Corbyn.

In just his latest comments on the resurgence of the problem in British politics, Blair said: “…antisemitism and hate did not end in 1945. Unfortunately today some of this poison is back from the political fringe to parts of the political mainstream.”

London’s The Times reports the comments are interpreted as being directed at the party he once led. They follow other remarks which, at times, have been even more direct — in 2018 Blair spoke on Israeli television and told Labour that it must take action to end the anti-Semitism crisis which has gripped it during the tenure of hard-left party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
From Major to May, All Living UK Prime Ministers Endorse New Holocaust Memorial as ‘Sacred National Mission’
British Prime Minister Theresa May was joined by all her living predecessors in the office on Tuesday as she voiced strong support for a new Holocaust memorial in the heart of London.

May, along with former Labour Party Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and Conservative Prime Ministers John Major and David Cameron, endorsed in a video message the project for a National Holocaust Education and Memorial Center alongside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

In the message, May declared that by building the Holocaust center alongside Parliament, “we make a solemn and eternal promise that Britain will never forget what happened in the Holocaust.”

Pointing to the persistence of antisemitism after the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis, May added: “Seeing this through is a sacred, national mission. In the face of despicable Holocaust denial, this memorial will stand to preserve the truth forever.”

A similar observation was made by Blair, in what some observers saw as a barely-veiled reference to the antisemitism scandals that have plagued Labour since far-left MP Jeremy Corbyn became party leader in 2015.

“Antisemitism and hate did not end in 1945,” Blair said. “Unfortunately today some of this poison is back from the political fringe to parts of the political mainstream.”
Jewish Brexit Party Candidate's Business Vandalised With Giant Swastika
Lance Forman, a top Brexit Party MEP candidate and owner of H. Forman and Son smokehouse, has had his business vandalised by vile anti-Semitic graffiti. Forman’s father is a holocaust survivor who fled Germany after the war and his great grandfather fled the anti-Semitic pogroms in Russia. That he now has to face this is beyond horrific.

Politicians of all colours should be condemning this.
NYU Department BANS Studying At Tel Aviv Uni
The Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU put out a statement in early May saying students from the department would not be studying abroad at Tel Aviv University, according to The Algemeiner.

“Access to the program is clearly being obstructed by Israel’s long-standing discriminatory policies (as acknowledged by the State Department) of barring entry to Palestinians or persons of Arab descent and Muslim heritage, and by the recent amendments to its Law of Entry, which advocate for the exclusion of persons on account of their political speech.”

But another article on the Algemeiner points out that the State Department page linked by this NYU department doesn’t state that Israel BARS these groups, but rather that these groups have experienced more scrutiny upon entry. And that would make sense because certain groups do have different proclivities for committing terror attacks. These equality advocates gotta realize that nothing in nature is symmetrical.

As for discriminating based on political speech, that’s not exactly something that’s unique to Israel. The UK has blocked entry to left-wingers like Louis Farrakhan, as well as conservatives like Pamela Geller.


Jewish students stop antisemitic cartoons on campus
Students at Stanford University in California successfully advocated the removal of antisemitic flyers this week. The student paper The Stanford Daily reported the flyers were originally posted by Jewish Voice for Peace at Stanford (JVP) and Stanford Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) for a speech by political cartoonist Eli Valley as part of Palestine Awareness Week.

“Many of our Jewish students expressed how shocking it was to return to their residence halls to discover inflammatory depictions of the Jewish community in their own homes,” stated Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole and Dean for Religious Life Tiffany Steinwert who met with concerned students.

“Some of the posters invoked antisemitic stereotypes and tropes and undermined values we seek to foster at Stanford University. We continue to be disheartened and deeply disturbed by the recent presence of antisemitic images on our campus,” they wrote after the meeting.

"We witnessed the powerful hope of meaningful dialogue on campus," they said. "Members of diverse and often ideologically opposed groups met to share their own experiences of the posters and to listen to the experiences of others," the two Stanford officials noted.
US-Based Sheikh Calls on University Students to ‘Fight Zionism’
The Muslim Student Union (MSU) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), wrapped up “Anti-Oppression Week 2019” last Friday with an antisemitic sermon denying Israel’s right to exist.

A video of the sermon can be seen at the Investigative Project on Terrorism:

“I ask Allah … to give us the courage to fight Zionism. I ask Allah … to free the Palestinians from the oppression,” Sheikh Osman Umarji preached during a sermon posted on Facebook.

Umarji’s incendiary sermon was titled “The Oppression of Zionism,” joining a long list of US-based imams and spiritual leaders who incite against Israelis.

He railed against specific Israeli government policies and Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. These points are fair criticisms that may facilitate a worthwhile debate. But Umarji made the main purpose of his “anti-Zionist” sermon very clear: the denunciation of a Jewish state in any form.
Thousands call on Africa's top university not to boycott Israel
Alumni, parents and students of Africa's top university, the University of Cape Town (UCT), have banded together in a bid to halt any attempt of an academic boycott of Israel.

The group, which calls itself Concerned Citizens for Academic Freedom at UCT started a recent petition entitling it: Protect Academic Freedom at the University of Cape Town.

Almost 25,000 people have signed the petition, which calls "upon UCT’s management and leadership to stand against this campaign. We believe that the implementation of a wholesale academic boycott against Israel violates the principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech, guaranteed in Section 16 of the South African Constitution and which are fundamental to the undertaking of education and research."

This comes as the university's Senate is expected to meet again on Friday to clarify and discuss certain issues that Council, the ruling body of the university, have requested following its decision not to institute an academic boycott of Israel.


Deaths of Baby, Woman, Lost in Haaretz Translation
One day after the Israeli army cited a malfunction in Palestinian weaponry as responsible for the death Saturday of 14-month-old Seba Abu Arar and her aunt Falestina Abu Arar, rejecting Hamas’ charge that they were killed in an Israeli airstrike, Haaretz‘s English print edition told only Hamas’ side of the story.

The page 2 story Monday (“Gaza fatalities include two pregnant women”) reported only Hamas’ version of events, blaming an Israeli airstrike, and completely omitting the Israeli denial. It stated:
Twenty-three Palestinians, including two pregnant woman, were confirmed dead by Gaza authorities as a result of retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.

While the English print edition was entirely mum on the Israeli denial, Haaretz‘s Hebrew edition was forthcoming with the information from the Israeli side.

In contrast, the Hebrew print edition states in the very first paragraph of the parallel article (“Palestinians: 19 Gazans killed in strikes in Gaza, among them a four-month old baby girl and a 12-year-old” page 7): “The IDF claims that according to intelligence information in its hands, the two were killed from an explosion of Hamas ordinance.”

In addition, the same page carries a brief item dedicated to the army’s denial of responsibility (“IDF spokesman: Baby and aunt killed from an explosion of Hamas ordinance and not from Israeli fire”).

Although CAMERA notified Haaretz about the publication of the unfounded claim which failed to include any Israeli response, editors did not publish a clarification in the print edition.
Honest Reporting: Irish Comedian’s Bethlehem Wall Claim is No Laughing Matter
Irish comedian Deirdre O’Kane visited Gaza courtesy of anti-Israel charity Trócaire and wrote up her experiences for the Irish Independent. Her description of Gaza avoided politics. However, a reference to Bethlehem in both the article and the headline need addressing.

O’Kane concludes her article with the following:
Onwards from Gaza to Bethlehem. I thought I would look for somewhere in this holy land to say a prayer for Gaza. But what greeted me on first sight was an unholy mess… they have built a wall around Bethlehem. Enough of the walls already.

Actually, nobody has “built a wall around Bethlehem,” which would imply that the Palestinian city is surrounded. Yes, the Israeli security barrier affects movement in and out of Bethlehem but a look at this B’tselem map, with the route of the security barrier in red, is enough to show that the entire southern part of the city is open.
In NY Times, Halbfinger’s Narrative Protects Hamas
Coming from a newspaper that so frequently reminds readers that the international community regards Israeli settlements as illegal, the silence on Hamas’s illegal violence is striking. But it is part of a pattern. Again and again, Halbfinger’s article today, “Why Do Israel and Gaza Keep Fighting? Because It’s in Their Leaders’ Interests,” soft-gloves Hamas. Instead of referring to the group’s history of terrorism, the Times reporter describes a “strategy of armed resistance”; instead of noting that Hamas is proscribed as a terror organization by the United States, European Union, Canada and others, he tells readers only that Israel’s government “sees” it as such; instead of acknowledging that the group is proudly sworn to Israel’s destruction, he describes this, too, as merely an Israeli view.

Halbfinger goes so far as to outrageously suggest, in a passage that otherwise says very little, that Hamas kills Israelis unintentionally:
The relationship between Hamas and Israel is adversarial, to be sure: always bumpy, frequently deadly and fraught with risk that it could spiral into a protracted ground conflict, whether from a stray rocket that kills too many innocents or a shift in the political calculus on either side.

A “stray” rocket? The Times article was published only days after Hamas’s indiscriminate rockets, lobbed toward cities and towns, killed four Israeli civilians and sent much of the rest of the country into bomb shelters. These weren’t stray rockets. The Israeli deaths were not a result of a rocket that deviated from its course. Hamas understands this, as does even dogmatically anti-Israel advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch, which admitted that Palestinian rockets are “deliberately intended to strike Israeli civilians and civilian structures,” and Amnesty International, which has previously described Palestinian groups as launching “unguided rockets and mortars towards Israel, in many cases directing them towards Israeli civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international law.” But the New York Times whitewashes these war crimes.
French Jews Furious as Notorious Antisemite Dodges Jail Time for Holocaust Denial
French Jews reacted with fury on Tuesday after the Paris public prosecutor overturned a historic decision reached last month to sentence one of the country’s most notorious Holocaust deniers to a year in jail.

Far-right activist Alain Soral — who has earned several previous convictions for hate speech and Holocaust denial without being incarcerated — had been sentenced to twelve months behind bars on Apr. 15, after he was found guilty of publishing an article that denied the Holocaust on his website,“Égalité et Réconciliation” (“Equality and Reconciliation”).

But on Tuesday, the Paris public prosecutor’s office overruled that decision, arguing that the court sentence had wrongly applied the criminal code and was unlawful.

Many of the individuals and groups that hailed Soral’s original sentencing as a sea-change in the approach of French courts to antisemitic agitation angrily denounced the decision to spare him from actual jail time.

In an editorial published on the website of French Jewish communal organization CRIF, its president, Francis Kalifat, argued that the public prosecutor’s decision required “an explanation of the inexplicable.”
Redbubble Removes Auschwitz-Themed Clothing After Complaints
Redbubble removed several items featuring images from the Auschwitz concentration camp Tuesday after criticism from the Auschwitz Museum.

“Do you really think that selling such products as pillows, mini skirts or tote bags with the images of Auschwitz – a place of enormous human tragedy where over 1,1 million people were murdered – is acceptable? This is rather disturbing and disrespectful,” representatives from the museum tweeted.


Redbubble responded quickly, saying that “the nature of this content is not acceptable and is not in line with our Community Guidelines” and promised to take immediate action.

Redbubble explained further by noting that, as a website dedicated to helping independent artists market their own products, the site itself was not responsible for posting the items, but was working to take them down.
German church unveils testament to Nazi-era ‘dejudification institute’
High-ranking officials of Germany’s Lutheran church have unveiled an installation to remember the malign activities of a so-called “dejudification institute” that was founded 80 years ago to eliminate all Jewish influence from Christian life in the country then run by the Nazis.

Lutheran Bishop Ilse Junkermann unveiled the memorial Monday in the eastern German town of Eisenach in conjunction with several members of state Lutheran churches from across Germany whose predecessor organizations founded the institute in 1939.

The institute had aimed to delete all positive references about Jews in the Bible and to push out Jewish converts from the church.


Documentary on Dr. Ruth delves into the sex therapist’s Holocaust past
Judging by all the media attention, the world loves short Jewish women named Ruth.

One of them, Ruth Westheimer — better known as the renowned sex therapist Dr. Ruth — is on the phone to talk about her life and a new documentary about it. But first she notes a similarity between her story and that of the other Ruth who recently had a documentary made about her — the one who sits on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I saw the [documentary ‘RBG’], and in it Ruth Bader Ginsburg said an interesting sentence: What happened to her could only have happened in the U.S.,” Westheimer said. “What happened to me, starting with my radio show, could only happen in New York City, where the people are very generous with immigrants and very generous with people who have different accents.”

Westheimer, who turns 91 next month, is talking about “Sexually Speaking,'” which launched in 1980 on the now defunct WYNY-FM. It broke broadcasting taboos about talking about sex and helped make her the most famous sex therapist in the world — one also known for her diminutive stature (about 4-foot-7), motherly demeanor and thick German accent.

But as the viewer learns in “Ask Dr. Ruth,” which is now playing in a few New York theaters and streams June 1 on Hulu, there’s a lot more to Westheimer’s story than sex.

Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Germany, the only daughter of Orthodox Jews. She was 10 years old the last time she saw her father — from her apartment window as he was arrested by Nazis. It was November 1938, the day after Kristallnacht, and his detention was a clear portent of what awaited the country’s Jews. Shortly thereafter, her mother arranged for her to leave Germany for Switzerland as a member of a 300-strong Kindertransport. She never saw her parents again, and believes they perished at Auschwitz.
Turning 71, Israel can look with pride at the tech firms it has generated
As Israel celebrates 71 years of independence, the nation can look back with pride at its achievements in the technology field.

There are more than 6,600 startups in Israel’s small and connected economy, 14 times the concentration of startups per capita in Europe. And while Israel has just 0.1 percent of the world’s population, the nation attracts 19% of global investment in cybersecurity, ranks number one globally in R&D expenditures per GDP, and attracts the highest rate of venture capital funding per capita in the world — some $674 per capita in 2018, according to a report by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC) and PwC Israel.

According to the report, there are 539 multinational corporations from 35 countries operating in Israel’s tech ecosystem, with these firms seeing the startup-heavy country as a go-to place for new ideas and entrepreneurial culture. They are also snapping up Israeli firms in a bid to stay at the cutting edge of developments.

In addition, according to IVC Research Center, between 1997 and 2019 there have been a total of $152 billion in exits, both initial public offerings of shares and merger and acquisition deals. In that same period, the nation’s 1,121 artificial intelligence companies have raised $9.9 billion; its 430 cybersecurity companies have raised $5.8 billion, and its 309 venture capital funds have raised $25.2 billion.

The Times of Israel takes a look at the largest exits — either sales or IPOs — of some of the nation’s tech firms.
‘I wish I didn’t have the honor,’ says Pittsburgh Jewish leader on torchlighting
There almost wasn’t a representative of Diaspora Jewry at this year’s annual Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony. But after an outcry from within Israel and Jewish communities across the globe, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev walked back her decision and reinstated the relatively new tradition — which she herself had started in 2017 — for a Jewish World figure to take part in this central part of the state’s activities to mark its birthday.

Regev tapped Jeff Finkelstein, the president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, for the honor on Wednesday evening.

It’s one Finkelstein would have gladly done without.

“I wish I didn’t have it. I wish I was never given it,” he told The Times of Israel on Tuesday in Jerusalem.

“Because the only reason I have it is because 11 people were slaughtered in Pittsburgh. If that didn’t happen, I would not be lighting this torch. So on the one hand I’m honored to be chosen to represent Diaspora Jewry, but I really wish I wasn’t doing this.”

Finkelstein was of course referring to the October 27, 2018 Tree of Life synagogue massacre, during which white supremacist Robert Gregory Bowers, armed with a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and three Glock .357 SIG semi-automatic pistols, stormed a house of worship in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood with the sole purpose of killing Jews.
Rare photo collection from Israel's War of Independence up for auction
A lost collection of 26 photographs meant to be printed by newspapers after Israel's War of Independence were revealed this past week, and will be up for public auction next week at the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem - many of which captured scenes that transpired on the Arab side of the war.

One photo, in particular shows Arab soldiers at the Port of Haifa surrendering to Israeli forces, who then raised the Israeli and Navy flags at the Haifa port for the first time in history. Other photos show Israeli soldiers welcoming Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

"Among other fascinating scenes depicted in this rare photo collection, include an Egyptian war plane being downed on a beach in Tel Aviv; a photo of Jordanian King Abdullah I and the Iraqi Regent Abd al-Ilah in Oman dressed in military garb only several weeks before the Arab armies invaded the State of Israel; and an altered photo of propaganda appearing to show a Palmach soldier surrendering to Arab soldiers. In actuality, the 'Palmach soldier' was an Arab man dressed in an IDF uniform," said the auction house.

During that tumultuous time in 1948, Israel and its citizens were unsure of their fate. Israel's War for Independence was a bloody and long fought war, lasting over nine months with clashes and battles occurring all over the country that left thousands dead. Over 117,000 Israelis fought in the war and around 63,000 Arab fighters from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and others joined in the fight to overthrow the budding Israeli independence.

Christian Arab Ex-IDF Soldier Continues Fight for Israel
A terror attack years ago that killed Arab-Israelis showed this Arab-Israeli that the IDF fights for everyone in Israel. He continues the fight to this day, even after his IDF time is over. Our Matthias Inbar has the story.





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