Wednesday, May 22, 2019

From Ian:

Marc Lamont Hill slams Mizrahi Jews as “identity category” of Palestinians
In a Facebook post on May 20 slamming Hen Mazzig’s article in The LA Times, American academic and activist Marc Lamont Hill described Mizrahi Jews as an “identity category” that had been detached “from Palestinian identity.” CNN severed ties with Hill last year after anti-Israel comments.

Hill’s latest excoriation of Israel, posted to his 90,000 followers, followed Mazzig’s argument that Israel is not a country of “privileged and powerful white Europeans.” Mazzig sought to emphasize the role of Mizrahi Jews in Israeli history and condemned the tendency of critics to define Israelis as Ashkenazi Jews alone. Hill responded that Mazzig ignores “the racial and political project that transformed Palestinian Jews (who lived peacefully with other Palestinians) into the 20th century identity category of ‘Mizrahi’ as a means of detaching them from Palestinian identity.”

Mazzig posted a screenshot of another exchange with Hill in which Hill wrote that “I literally study Yemeni and Moroccan Jews for a living.”

Jimena, an organization that describes itself as committed to achieving universal recognition to the heritage and history of 850,000 indigenous Jewish refugees from Arab countries, said Hill was trying to speaking over the voices of Mizrahi Jews.

“Because he ‘studies us’ for a living," Jimena wrote on Twitter. "Nothing new here, yet another non-representative ‘social justice’ activist who erases Mizrahi voices to assert an anti-Israel agenda.”

The dispute between Mazzig and Hill comes at a sensitive time in the US where there is an increasingly active anti-Israel narrative that has attempted to label Israel a “white supremacist” country. Activist Shaun King wrote in June last year that “white supremacists” in Afula in Israel were surrounding an Arab home because “they want the neighborhood to be for white Jews only.” These comments come at a time in the US when Jews are also being attacked as “white Jews.” Women’s March leaders last year were accused of claiming that Jews “uphold white supremacy.” It is part of a wider agenda to label Jews as a different minority from the rest of American minority groups who are part of the intersectional social justice agenda. For instance, Jews have been told that discrimination against them is not systemic, while Islamophobia is.
What is Terrorism and Why Does its Definition Matter?
What is “terrorism”?

We’re used to hearing the media describe well recognized terror organizations with euphemisms like, militants, extremists, or sometimes even obscenely activists. One might reasonably come to believe that terrorism has no definition at all, or that it’s all a matter of subjective opinion. After all, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” right?


In truth, terrorism can be clearly defined, nations do clearly designate terror organizations as a matter of policy, and the “freedom fighter” quote doesn’t mean what you think.

Words have power, and when journalists use deceptive, vague or inappropriate words, they unfortunately prejudice readers. That’s why misleading terminology is a form of media bias.

Related reading: Defining Bias: Misleading Terminology
Terrorists or freedom fighters?

After the attacks of 9/11, Stephen Jukes, then Reuters’ global news editor, sent a memo instructing the wire service staff not to use the word terror. His explanation became a catch-phrase for the news industry’s moral ambiguity:
We all know that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist.

The Jukes quote is now famous. Less well known is that David Schlesinger, Reuters’ global managing editor later explained the real reasoning behind the decision: after a local newspaper named CanWest used a Reuters article, but added the word “terrorist.” Schlesinger objected to the modification, saying that such changes could lead to “confusion” about what Reuters is reporting and possibly endanger its reporters in volatile areas or situations.

NGO Monitor: WHO Singles Out Israel As Violator of Health Rights At Annual Meeting
The annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization today voted 96 to 11 for a resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab bloc and the Palestinian delegation, that singled out Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, condemned the delegates’ abuse of the UN body as a forum to target Israel.

“Out of 21 items on the meeting’s Agenda, only one—Item No. 14 against Israel—focused on a specific country. There was no agenda item or resolution on any other country, including Syria, where hospitals and medical infrastructure have suffered devastating bombings by Syrian and Russian forces; Yemen, where 19.7 million people lack access to health care service due to the current crisis; or Venezuela, where the health system has collapsed, causing millions to flee the country,” said Neuer.

“Today’s resolution is a fantastic lie. The UN reached new heights of absurdity by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals provide life-saving treatment to Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks,” he said.

“Shame on France, Belgium and Sweden for encouraging this hijacking of the annual world health assembly, and diverting precious time, money, and resources from global health priorities, in order to wage a political prosecution of Israel, especially when, in reality, anyone who has ever walked into an Israeli hospital or clinic knows that they are providing world-class health care to thousands of Palestinian Arabs—including last week to Palestinian leader Jibril Rajoub—as well as to Syrians fleeing Assad,” Neuer added.

The vote was 96 to 11 on the resolution, with 21 abstentions and 56 absent.

Poll: 73% of American Jews feel ‘less secure’ than 2 years ago
Nearly three-quarters of US Jewish voters think American Jews are “less secure” than they were two years ago, according to a survey released Wednesday by longtime Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

In the wake of deadly synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in Poway, California, 73 percent of US Jews said they felt less safe, while 60% said they thought US President Donald Trump “bears at least some responsibility” for those attacks. Seventy-one percent said they disapprove of the way Trump has more broadly handled anti-Semitism.

The latest findings come as right-wing extremism and white supremacist ideology in the United States appears to be on the rise, with deadly anti-Semitic incidents at a historic high. The Anti-Defamation League found in its most recent audit that there were 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents last year, including 39 reported physical assaults.

The latest poll was commissioned by the Jewish Electorate Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit that examines American Jewish voting trends, ahead of the 2020 election.

Based on a sampling of 1,000 Jewish voters, the survey found that the overwhelming majority of US Jews cared more about domestic political and policy concerns than Israel, which JEI said ranked at the bottom of voters’ 16 biggest priorities going into the election.
Germans Get It, Why Don’t Pro-BDS Democrats?
On May 17, the German Parliament passed a resolution that designates the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel as antisemitic, and said that the government would not fund any organizations that question Israel’s right to exist, call for a boycott of Israel, or actively support BDS.

Meanwhile, in the US House of Representatives, Democrats do not even want to vote on legislation passed by the Senate that would make it illegal under Federal law to boycott Israel, and grant Federal protection to state and local governments that refuse to invest in or contract with companies that boycott Israel.

“The pattern of argument and methods of the BDS movement are antisemitic,” the Bundestag resolution stated flatly. The Germans know antisemitism when they see it, likening the BDS campaign to the Nazis’ call to boycott Jewish businesses and stores.

House Democrats prefer a milquetoast resolution, as opposed to legislation, which would condemn the BDS movement without acknowledging it is antisemitic, all while throwing in a totally unrelated commitment to a two-state solution. The Democrats’ squeamishness is not surprising after their failure to condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her antisemitic remarks, and their continued defense of her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), both of whom are BDS supporters.

One of the main excuses given for opposing the BDS legislation is that it impinges on freedom of speech. But it does not. Israel’s detractors can continue to say whatever they want. Moreover, those making this argument ignore what the Germans recognize: it is the BDS movement that seeks to restrict freedom of speech, interfere with cultural and academic exchanges, and place obstacles in the way of a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
CAMERA Op-Ed The Washington Post Hides Holocaust Truths and Rashida Tlaib’s Lies
Tlaib’s comments were historically inaccurate and were, in fact, a complete inversion of the truth. Less diplomatically: they were lies. And in their rush to her defense, The Post—in five articles and nearly four thousand words—failed to report the truth.

Palestinians did not provide a “safe haven” to Jews fleeing the Holocaust, as Tlaib asserted. Rather, the precise opposite occurred: they murdered them. And there is a mountainous body of scholarship and evidence to prove it.

In fact, chief Arab leaders in British-ruled Mandate Palestine opposed any and all immigration of European Jews in the years before, during and after the Holocaust. Their opposition—often violent in nature and including the so-called Arab Revolt of 1936-39—led the British authorities to issue the so-called White Paper of 1939, which severely restricted Jewish immigration at precisely the moment that the genocide of European Jewry was gathering steam. Palestinian opposition to immigration doomed countless Jews.

As the historian Benny Morris noted in Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, the Arab Higher Committee of Mandate Palestine “was dissatisfied mainly because the White Paper failed to call an immediate halt to Jewish immigration…most Palestinians appeared to favor the paper.”

“The White Paper was the main accomplishment of the [Arab] rebellion,” Morris observed. It was a “grave shock to the Jews, Britain had turned its back on the idea of a National Home and had surrendered to Arab violence and intimidation at a time when European Jewry was being persecuted and battered.”
‘OMAR MUST GO’: Hundreds Of Jews Gather To Protest Ilhan Omar In NYC
Hundreds of Jews gathered in Times Square in New York City on Monday evening to protest anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and chanted, "Omar must go!"

"Following the highly-publicized allegations of the Minnesotan congresswoman’s antisemitism and her statement downplaying the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York native and activist Joe Diamond organized a rally and billboard launch calling for her removal," The Jerusalem Post reported. "Speakers at the event included former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and award-winning advocate of Christian Zionism Laurie Cardoza-Moore."

"In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other politician who presents a bigger threat to the alliance between the U.S. and Israel and to America’s Jews,” Diamond told JPost. "This woman is an ardent antisemite, and she doesn’t even try to hide it."

"Ilhan and her clique are well aware of what we are doing," Diamond added. "And we’re not done. Everyone left really energized – ready to do whatever must be done next."
Prof. Phyllis Chesler: Americans are in the midst of a dangerously uncivil Civil War
I have never seen so many members of the Neturai Karta out in such force, not even at the Israel Day parade. There must have been at least 100 of them, perhaps more. There they stood, long bearded and in black frock coats and hats, literally howling at those of us who had gathered to demand that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, remove Minnesota, Somali-American Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

And then it hit me.

They, marginalized and rejected by the vast majority of the haredi world that also finds them repugnant, have quite possibly—probably—been mobilized by their paymaster, the Islamic Republic of Iran, to drown out our words. This is not a complete coincidence since American warships are now in the Persian Gulf.

I congratulated the large number of pro-Israel and pro-America supporters, a crowd estimated at between 500-700, who had come to the corner of 7th Avenue and 48th Street where the buses never stop, nor do the fire engines, ambulances, and passing crowds.

And then it also hit me.

Men dressed just like the Neturai Karta are no longer totally safe in America, they are being increasingly targeted for ugly, street-corner “beat-downs,” hateful verbal screams from cars: “Allahu Akbar. Do you know Hitler? We love Hitler.” American synagogues on Shabbat have begun to require the same military-like presence that has long existed outside European synagogues.

And still the Neturai Karta hold placards that insist : “Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism;” “Falsely accusing people as anti-Semitic is a cause for anti-Semitism;” and “Judaism rejects Zionism and the State of ‘’Israel.’”

It has emerged that Jeremy Corbyn authored an article in which he defended “salient points” which he felt were “overlooked” in former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech vowing to “wipe Israel off the map” at an event called “The world without Zionism”. Mr Ahmadinejad was also quoted as saying that: “Anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the [Iranian] Islamic nation’s fury.”

While the speech was widely condemned, Mr Corbyn wrote in 2005 for the extreme-left Morning Star: “The opportunity provided by Ahmadinejad’s speech should be used to build dialogue with and within Iran and, of course, on the issue of Palestine. The context overlooked by the sensationalist headlines was that his speech also pointed out what Israel is doing to Palestine. All the righteous indignation never mentioned a few salient points. Israel has illegal and undeclared nuclear weapons, has not signed the non proliferation treaty and continues to develop them.”

Mr Corbyn could not have been in any doubt about the antisemitic nature of the speech, delivered as it was from behind a lectern bearing the title of the event: “The world without Zionism”, however Mr Corbyn did not include any condemnation of the speech, despite it attracting opprobrium from around the world. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, former US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and more than a dozen other civic and religious leaders joined with demonstrators outside Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York. Former British Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown also condemned the speech, using an address to the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, in 2008 to say: “To those who believe that threatening statements fall upon indifferent ears we say in one voice: it is totally abhorrent for the President of Iran to call for Israel to be wiped from the map of the world.”

Mr Corbyn’s article was unearthed by investigative journalist Iggy Ostanin.
Antisemitism in the Western World and the UK Labour Party
Antisemitism is rising in many places in the Western world. But for the purpose of efficiently studying antisemitism and the fight against it in a single case study, nothing in Europe can rival the British Labour party.

The main enabler of ongoing antisemitism in Labour is Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader since 2015. He has called representatives of Hezbollah and Hamas his “brothers” and “friends.” Corbyn has made donations to Holocaust deniers, and has welcomed them into his orbit. He is a longtime anti-Israel inciter, and a part-time antisemite. He and his close assistants hinder the full eradication of antisemites from the party. And the UK’s Sunday Times claims that Corbyn’s office has been involved in delaying or blocking at least 101 complaints.

In March 2019, British scholar Alan Johnson, a Labour member, published a 135-page report that concluded that the party is institutionally antisemitic. Johnson divided the antisemitism there into three categories: the socialism of fools, classical racial antisemitism, and antisemitism as anti-Zionism.

The Labour Against Antisemitism movement has collected data for a report containing 15,000 screenshots showing examples of alleged antisemitism in Labour. This file was submitted this month to the UK Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC). Later in May, it became known that approximately 100,000 emails and WhatsApp messages from within Labour — collected by former party officials — would be submitted to the EHRC.

Warsi Cites Conspiracy Theorist Suspended from Labour Party
Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.

The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.

Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.

Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…
Zuroff: Anne Frank Center head hinders fight against antisemitism
Meron Mendel, head of the Germany-based Anne Frank Center who previously defended the Jew-hatred of a former German journalist, accused a Jerusalem Post reporter and a prominent German Jewish author of damaging the fight against antisemitism in Germany. His actions triggered sharp criticism from a leading Israeli expert on antisemitism, and from a German journalist.

“Again and again, we see instances of Jews such as Meron Mendel of the Anne Frank Center who hinder and harm the fight against antisemitism and are usually exploiting their own Jewish origins, which naturally attracts media attention," Dr. Efraim Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Zuroff is a prolific author on antisemitism and the Holocaust who also heads the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Jerusalem office.

"It is another one of those problems we face when combating antisemitism in different places in the world,” Zuroff added.

The Israeli-born Mendel began attacking Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal, a correspondent for European affairs, and Henryk M. Broder, a German Jewish author and journalist who is widely considered to be the top authority on German antisemitism, on Twitter in late March.

“It is unbelievable what damage Jewish right-wingers such as Weinthal & Broder are doing to combat antisemitism,” Mendel wrote.
Icy receptionIceland pro-Palestinian band may sue El Al over bad plane seats
Iceland’s entry in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Hatari, is considering filing a formal complaint with Israel’s El Al airline over claims ground crews intentionally seated the band’s members in undesirable seats on their Monday flight from Tel Aviv to London.

The techno-metal steampunk act won effusive jeers during the song contest in Israel for displaying Palestinian flags when it was shown on TV briefly.

According to the Icelandic news site, the band was assigned the center seats in the plane’s three back rows — allegedly in an unspoken protest by the airline’s Israeli staff over band members’ own protest as its vote count was shown on screen early Sunday.

An Israeli identified by Icelandic media as Daher Dahli claimed on social media he had heard El Al ground staff boasting about the seat assignments, and quoted a staffer saying, “This is what they get.”

Hatari drummer Einar Stefansson jokingly thanked El Al for the “special treatment,” and accompanied his post with the hashtag “#coolkidssitintheback.”
University of Cape Town Senate Defers Vote on Israel Boycott, Calls for ‘Consultative Process’
The Senate of the University of Cape Town in South Africa has deferred a vote on a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, agreeing to “a more consultative process on the proposal.”

The Senate considered the proposal on May 10th at the request of UCT’s top decision-making body, the Council, which decided in late March to hold off on its own vote while seeking clarification on “a number of issues.”

If enacted, the measure would bar UCT from entering into formal relationships with counterparts “operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” or, more ambiguously, “enabling gross human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The Senate previously endorsed such a boycott in mid-March, though it rejected a proposal — lobbied for by the Palestine Solidarity Forum (PSF) since 2017 — that called for a full boycott of all Israeli academic institutions in November.

In its latest meeting, the Senate “agreed that the UCT executive would determine how the consultation process” on the proposal should be carried out, according to a university statement on Thursday. “The UCT executive will work on the implementation of the consultation process.”
Separate and Unequal for Jewish Groups on Campus
Last month, when a group of students at Williams College attempted to form the Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI), a new organization, the student council voted against granting it official recognition. K.C. Johnson, having examined the video of the first of the two meetings during which the council reached this decision, and a complete transcript of the second, finds evidence of blatant disregard for democratic principles, “appalling” ignorance of Middle Eastern history, and statements dramatically minimizing the scope of the Holocaust. He writes:

Shutting down the council’s usual livestream [for the second session] was justified, one college legislator noted, to accommodate “the students who are afraid to speak out because of the pro-Israel lobby in this country and the things that they are known to achieve when it comes to their campus activism.” A colleague presented the obvious response: “Why are people so worried about the things they’re going to say? Are they that hateful?”

The latter question proved prescient. Three themes dominated the council debate. The first was an attempt to use the powers of student government, which previously had recognized a branch of [the radical anti-Israel group] Students for Justice in Palestine, to limit campus discourse about Israel. . . . Though constricting the spectrum of acceptable positions on Israel would seem to undermine principles of free speech, one critic of WIFI argued otherwise, [asserting that] two sides should present “clashing free ideas,” after which the council should “vote in [favor of] what we think are the best ideas and . . . vote out what we think are ideas worthy of being discarded.” Defining free speech as tyranny of the majority is a mainstream view on too many contemporary campuses. . . .

One student acknowledged the “horrible conditions that Jewish people experienced” during the Holocaust, but claimed that Palestinians currently were “even experiencing worse.” Why? Unlike the seemingly unending Israeli occupation of the West Bank, “the purpose of these [World War II] ghettos were basically to control, segregate, and separate the Jewish people for [only] short periods of time.” . . .
UCLA Guest Lecturer Calls Zionists White Supremacists
During a guest lecture to a UCLA anthropology class on May 14, San Francisco State University Arab and Muslim Ethnicities Professor Rabab Abdulhadi called Zionists white supremacists.

Abdulhadi spoke to around 100 students in the Fowler lecture hall during a mandatory lecture for the Anthropology M144P: Constructing Race class, taught by Associate Professor Kyeyoung Park.

A Jewish student in the class, Shayna Lavi, told the Journal that Abdulhadi discussed Islamophobia at the beginning of the lecture then veered into a “rant” against Israel, which Lavi said Included “a claim that those who support Israel want to ethnically cleanse the Middle East and those affiliated with Israel and pro-Israel organizations are white supremacists.”

Lavi added that Abdulhadi also said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) “was attacked by AIPAC and all these pro-Israel organization because [Omar’s] Muslim,” and that the United States and Israel have “shared values” of “killing people, colonialism and white supremacy.”
How alumni are revolutionizing the Israel debate on campus
College might be the place where you found your career, met your significant other or forged friendships that would last a lifetime. One way or another, your alma mater likely played a significant role in making you the person you’ve become today.

Now, imagine that your alma mater’s faculty sought to end the school’s study-abroad program with an Israeli university. Suddenly, the institution you felt embodied your values has instead gone down the path of exclusion and discrimination.

That exact scenario played out this semester when the Pitzer College Council voted to suspend the school’s study-abroad exchange with the University of Haifa. If you were a Pitzer alumnus how would you react?

The marginalization of Jewish students and the de-legitimization of Israel on campuses nationwide have alumni searching for answers on how to counter the surge of bigotry at their alma maters. Some of the most recent incidents include anti-Semitic flyers and posters at University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of North Carolina; New York University honoring Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group with a long history of anti-Semitism; and Jewish students at Emory University waking up to eviction notices on their doors.

This is why Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is galvanizing alumni like never before to tackle the unprecedented challenges facing Jewish and Zionist students and faculty. Until now, no organization has harnessed the untapped power of alumni to defend campus communities from discrimination. We are taking alumni off the sidelines, mobilizing them across the country to speak out against anti-Semitism at their alma maters.
Globe and Mail Publishes Misleading and Unfair Article by Reporter Mark Mackinnon
On May 13, the Globe and Mail published a front-page feature length article by Senior International Correspondent Mark Mackinnon entitled: “From Beit El and beyond, Israelis see hope as Palestinians despair ahead of Trump’s peace plan.”

The thrust of Mackinnon’s article was summed up in the Globe’s sub-headline: “The Palestinians have given up on Trump’s plan before they’ve even seen it, while Israel’s settlers see an opportune moment. Mark MacKinnon reports on the view from the West Bank ahead of the so-called ‘deal of the century’.”

HonestReporting Canada took issue with a number of misleading and unfair statements that the Globe’s reporter made and asked Globe Public Editor Sylvia Stead to undertake corrective action to set the record straight. With great regret, the Globe declined to undertake any corrective action, which from our perspective, is not consistent with its claim to strive for journalistic accountability.

Here are the statements that we took issue with by Mr. Mackinnon:

1. “To residents of Beit El, peace means being allowed to stay in homes that were built here in defiance of international law – as well as the expansion of their settlement, and recognition that it is part of Israel proper.”

As Mr. Mackinnon and Globe editors surely know, Israel disputes that its presence in these areas is in violation of international law. Israel argues that the status of the territories is “disputed”, rather than “illegal” under international law. UN Security Council Resolution 242 authorizes Israel, having conquered the land in a defensive war, to remain in possession of the territories. According to Resolution 242, when “a just and lasting peace in the Middle East” is achieved, Israel can withdraw to ‘secure and recognized boundaries’”. This should have been acknowledged by the Globe. Furthermore, Israel has legitimate claim to these areas in accordance with international law and bearing in mind its ancestral, religious, and historical rights to the lands of Judea and Samaria where it claims sovereignty.
Examining BBC WS ‘Newshour’ framing of the WhatsApp story
The signposting in this long item is of course amply evident. Despite Chris Fox having clarified near the beginning that “[w]e don’t know for sure that it was Pegasus involved in this attack”, rather than ‘unpicking’ the “complicated story” as promised in her introduction, Iqbal simply pursued her Israel theme for more than nine and a half additional minutes.

The day after this item was aired to audiences around the world Thomas Brewster made a discovery.

Those following the Israeli media would have already known in February that the NSO Group had been acquired by the London-based firm Novalpina Capital, whose above letter can be found here.

Remarkably though, ‘Newshour’ listeners heard nothing at all about that British connection to the company the BBC has chosen to portray as being linked to this story.
BBC Travel serves up politicised narrative in food item yet again
As is all too often the case in BBC reporting, readers are wrongly told that Palestinians began leaving their homes “after Israel declared its independence in 1948”. In fact, roughly half of those who fled did so between November 1947 – when Arabs responded to the United Nations partition recommendation with anti-Jewish violence – and May 1948 when five Arab armies invaded the nascent State of Israel.

“Mustafa explained that on the other side of the Israeli West Bank barrier, there are cities such as Nazareth where the majority of people are still Palestinian, but are now residing in Israel. After Israel declared its independence in 1948, many Palestinians fled or were forced to flee their homes in the war that followed Israel’s declaration of independence.”

Notably, this one-sided account makes no mention whatsoever of the Arab violence, the invasions by Arab armies or the Palestinian terrorism which made measures such as the anti-terrorist fence and checkpoints necessary.

Readers also find misrepresentation of history:
“One such chef is Yousef Hanna, the owner of Magdalena – an upscale restaurant on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in the village of Migdal. Now located in north-east Israel, Migdal was built on top of a Palestinian village depopulated in 1948 called al-Majdal.”

In fact Migdal was established in 1910 – adjacent to the village of al Majdal rather than “on top” of it – and is named after the Second Temple era Jewish town of Magdala, on the site of which the Arab village was constructed.

As we see, BBC Travel’s promotion of partial political messaging by freelance writers of ‘life-style’ articles that potentially reach audiences less familiar with the political ins and outs of the Middle East continues.
KKK-affiliated group to hold ‘powder keg’ rally in heart of Jewish Dayton
A KKK rally scheduled to be held on May 25 in Dayton, Ohio, “is a dangerous situation,” according to Rabbi Ari Ballaban, local head of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).

On Saturday, an Indiana-based affiliate of the KKK, the Honorable Sacred Knights, will hold a rally from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton. The group, which should number only about 20 people, will mask their faces and carry certain firearms, according to its agreement with the city.

“Most will have their faces covered by face-mask/bandanna,” Robert Morgan of the Knights said in a statement. He said that the group would be legally carrying sidearms.

At the same time, upwards of 1,000 counter-protesters are expected to turn up at the square, including the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense – a US-based black nationalist organization founded in Dallas that has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – and members of the Antifa movement, a conglomeration of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist groups in the United States.

Antifa has a record of scuffling with white supremacists, and was the group that fought against them in Charlottesville in 2017. Then, white nationalist groups came in helmets and matching uniforms, and used shields, batons and clubs – until an Ohio man used his car as a weapon, ramming into a crowd and killing a 32-year-old anti-racist protester. More than 70 people were injured.
In Belarus, anti-Semitism erupts when Jews open eatery near Stalin-era gravesite
The new roadside restaurant near gas station No. 65 here looks more like an army base than a fancy eatery.

Surrounded by a tall fence with surveillance cameras, its only gate has two uniformed guards. They interview and then keep a watchful eye on drivers who enter the large parking lot of “Let’s Go Eat,” the cheerfully named restaurant that opened last year.

These are just some of the precautions taken by the Jewish owners of this restaurant and amusement complex amid violent protests and anti-Semitic rhetoric over their business’s proximity to Kuropaty Forest, a 1930s killing site of thousands of suspected opponents of Joseph Stalin.

The fact that some of the owners are Jews has complicated a conflict that is shaping up to be a major challenge to this nation’s authoritarian government led by President Alexander Lukashenko, who is often called Europe’s last dictator.

But for local Jews, it is also an inconvenient reversal of roles in which prominent members of their community are accused of desecrating the graves of non-Jewish murder victims. Non-Jewish contractors and officials are regularly accused of desecrating the many Jewish places of burial that dot the region.
Swedish Prime Minister Pledges to Curb Neo-Nazis, Protect Jewish Community
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has laid out a number of practical steps to be taken by his government to curb neo-Nazi activity and demonstrations, as well as to increase protection of the local Jewish community.

“Let me reiterate what I said publicly on [May 1]: It is a disgrace that the scum of history is rearing its ugly head today again,” he wrote in a May 18 letter to World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer, who wrote a letter earlier this month to Löfven, calling for the ban of the Nordic Resistance neo-Nazi party as “there must be zero tolerance for such manifestations of evil.”

While the country’s criminal law forbids all racist sentiments, said Löfven, “further legislative action might be needed the threats posed by organized groups.”

He went on to announce that there will be a government inquiry to look into “a ban on racist organizations and the criminalization of participation in such organizations.”

Löfven also mentioned steps that have been taken to combat hatred, including the Swedish Security Service receiving more resources “to prevent foreign and domestic terrorism” and recently establishing “the new Swedish Centre for Preventing Violent Extremism, which will have greater powers to lead the work throughout the country.”
Greek Mayor Continues His Fight Against Antisemitism
Greece's second largest city Thessaloniki, nicknamed the "Jerusalem of the Balkans" and "The Mother of Israel." It once had a population of 55,00 Jews — only 4 of them survived the Holocaust. Yiannis Boutaris is the mayor of the city and is currently building a museum that will honor all of the Holocaust victims and the city's history. Our Daniel Campos has the story.

Nuvei to acquire payment technology company SafeCharge for $890 million
Nuvei Corporation has agreed to pay $889 million in cash for payment technology company SafeCharge International Group Ltd., the company announced Wednesday. The deal will see Nuvei pay $5.55 for each SafeCharge share, representing a 25% premium to the London-listed company's stock on Tuesday market close. SafeCharge listed in 2014 at a company valuation of $400 million.

SafeCharge was founded in 2006 by CEO David Avgi and Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi. Sagi holds 68.3% of the company via Northenstar Investments Ltd., meaning he will see around $600 million from the deal.

SafeCharge specializes in payment processing, smart payment, and risk management technologies. The company, which employs around 400 people globally, has a research and development center in Tel Aviv. It reported revenues of $138.5 million for the fiscal year 2018, up 24% from 2017, and a transaction turnover of almost $14 billion. The company counts Israeli taxi hailing company Gett, Israel's national carrier El Al, and Nespresso among its customers.
Shell venture arm invests in AI-based car-damage spotter Ravin
Ravin.AI, a London- and Haifa-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to inspect the condition of vehicles, said it has completed a $4 million seed round, led by PICO Venture Partners, with participation from Shell Ventures and automotive entrepreneur Adam Draizin.

The investment marks Shell Ventures’ first Israel investment, the startup said in a statement. Shell Ventures is the corporate strategic investing arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, a British-Dutch oil and gas firm.

Ravin, founded in 2018, uses computer vision and machine learning to detect and analyze vehicle damage without the use of specialized hardware. The company’s patent-pending technology turns off-the-shelf cameras — CCTV models or phone cameras — into advanced inspection tools, detecting more damage than the human eye can spot, thus reducing inspection costs, the statement said.

The technology analyzes camera footage and then creates a holistic 360-degree vehicle view with “accurate damage detection.” The software can identify the location of the damage, define its severity and even estimate its costs, the firm’s website says. Its autonomous reporting system means that no human intervention is required for processing or analyzing the vehicle scans.

Car damage globally causes over $100 billion in annual losses. Almost $50 billion is spent by car owners and insurers on processing and overpaying for damage often caused by third parties, the statement said.
Reggie Watts enjoys being indefinable
Reggie Watts can’t tell you what to expect at his upcoming show in Tel Aviv. He doesn’t know himself.

The comedian, musician and TV personality tours the globe with his indescribable act, finding rapt audiences from Australia to Japan to the United Kingdom. And now, for the first time, he’ll be performing in Israel, taking the stage in Tel Aviv on June 26.

“Just a guy on stage doing some dumb stuff,” was Watts’s best attempt at describing his act in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post. “I pretty much just kind of go for it – I get to wherever I’m going and just kind of hope that a good show happens.”

One constant in Watts’s on-stage performances is his looper, an audio playback machine that Israelis might be familiar with from Netta Barzilai, the 2018 Eurovision winner. For Watts, the looper is his most prominent tool, allowing him to play with his voice in real time and form on the spot musical creations.

And though each live show he does is different, the crowd, he feels, is quite the same.
Tunisian Jews mark Lag B’Omer in ancient Ghriba synagogue
Worshippers prayed, lit candles and wrote wishes on eggs as an annual Jewish pilgrimage to Africa’s oldest synagogue got under way in Tunisia on Wednesday.

Hundreds of pilgrims converged on the Ghriba synagogue on the Mediterranean island of Djerba where one of the last Jewish communities in the Arab world lives.

They were joined by government ministers and other dignitaries to celebrate the Lag B’Omer festival.

The event, which starts 33 days after the start of the Jewish Passover festival, coincides with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan this year for the first time since 1987.
Remains of 1,214 Holocaust victims laid to rest in Belarus
The remains of more than 1,000 Holocaust victims that were unearthed in a mass grave during construction work in a southern Belarusian city earlier this year were laid to rest Wednesday.

Belarus was home to a large, vibrant Jewish community before the Second World War, and the discovery of remains of at least 1,214 people in January shocked many still scarred by memories of the Holocaust.

The remains were buried in 120 coffins emblazoned with a Star of David at a cemetery outside town attended by city officials, Jewish community leaders and diplomats. The burial was conducted by volunteers from the ZAKA Jewish search and rescue organization and overseen by the local Chabad rabbi.

Brest was one of the first Soviet Union towns to be attacked by Nazi Germany troops and fell into German hands in July 1941. Like elsewhere in eastern Europe, the Nazi administration set up a Jewish ghetto. An estimated 28,000 people were confined there until it was destroyed in October 1942 when 17,000 residents were taken out of town and executed. The fate of the others remains unknown.

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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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