Thursday, June 13, 2019

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Where BDS and Terrorists Converge
Last October, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs published an in-depth report demonstrating the central role terror Palestinian terror groups play in the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) campaign against Israel and Jews who support Israel.

The report, titled “Terrorists in Suits: The ties between NGOs promoting BDS and terrorist organizations,” exposed that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas are both heavily involved — indeed, likely control — several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Western countries that play central roles in BDS campaigns. Hamas and the PFLP are both designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the State Department and the EU.

Samidoun is a major actor in the BDS universe. According to the Israeli government report, Samidoun is a U.S.-registered NGO founded in 2012. It has branches in Lebanon, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Greece, and the Palestinian Authority.

It is also enmeshed in, if not controlled by, the PFLP.

According to the Israeli government report, Samidoun’s international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, is married to Khaled Barakat, a member of the PFLP Central Committee. Kates is a member of several other BDS groups operating in the U.S. and Europe. Many of them are similarly affiliated with the PFLP. Some operate as left-wing BDS groups.

The Israeli report further alleges that Mustafa Awad, Samidoun’s European representative, is a Lebanese national. The report notes that according to the Israeli Security Agency (ISA), Awad was a member of a PFLP terrorist cell operating in Europe, and was in contact with terrorist operatives from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
New York Times Birthright Israel Article Echoes ‘Zionism Is Racism’ Myth
The New York Times gave a front-page platform this week to a news article about a handful of anti-Israel activist who walked off a Birthright Israel trip about a year ago because it didn’t devote enough attention to the Palestinian Arabs.

There are lots of problems with the article. For example, the Times claims it highlights a new phenomenon: “growing unease among many young American Jews over Israel’s policies… a generational divide… Many older Jewish Americans have long expressed unease about Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, but consider it anathema to openly protest the Jewish state.”

That’s both inaccurate and unclear. It’s not clear whether the Times means openly protest the existence of the Jewish state, or openly protest the policies of the Jewish state. If it means openly protest the policies of the Jewish state, the Times has been hyping that as far back as 1979: “Protests From U.S. Jews Stir Controversy in Israel.” And if means openly protest or oppose the existence of the Jewish state, that’s not a view held by “many” Jews at all, young or old.

To prop up its claim, the Times reports: “Just 6 percent of American Jews over the age of 50 believe that the United States gives Israel too much support, according to research by Dov Waxman, a professor of political science, international affairs and Israel studies at Northeastern University. But that view is held by 25 percent of Jews aged 18 to 29, the cohort that goes on Birthright trips.”

There’s no hyperlink to this “research,” so Times readers are unable to assess for themselves the sample size, the margin of sampling error, who funded the research, how and when the question was asked, whether it has been independently replicated, how the Jews in the survey were defined, and whether it’s a finding that really measures attitudes toward Israel or, rather instead captures more general feelings about foreign aid or a particular US presidential administration’s policies.

The biggest problem with the Times Birthright article, though, at least in my reading of it, is the way it reinforces the pernicious canard that Zionism is racism. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan described that falsehood as the “Big Red Lie,” “the last great horror of the Hitler-Stalin era,” as one can read in the fine book of Moynihan’s letters, a volume edited by Steven R. Weisman. Back in 1991, when the United Nations repealed its Zionism is racism resolution, The New York Times issued an editorial saying: “The United Nations hardly deserves applause for waiting 16 years to rescind a disgraceful declaration that should never have been adopted.”
The Suppressed Plight of Palestinian Christians
"Fatah regularly exerts heavy pressure on Christians not to report the acts of violence and vandalism from which they frequently suffer, as such publicity could damage the PA's image as an actor capable of protecting the lives and property of the Christian minority under its rule.... That image could have negative repercussions for the massive international, and particularly European, aid the PA receives." — Dr. Edy Cohen, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Considered another way, the bread and butter of the PA and its supporters, media and others, seems to be to portray the Palestinians as victims of unjust aggression and discrimination from Israel. This narrative could be jeopardized if the international community learned that Palestinians themselves were persecuting fellow Palestinians — solely on account of religion.

"Far more important to the Palestinian Authority than arresting those who assault Christian sites is keeping such incidents out of the mainstream media. And they are very successful in this regard. Indeed, only a handful of smaller local outlets bothered to report on these latest break-ins. The mainstream international media ignored them altogether." — Dr. Edy Cohen, Israel Today.

As Justus Reid Weiner, a lawyer and scholar well-acquainted with the region explains, "The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs... In a society where Arab Christians have no voice and no protection it is no surprise that they are leaving."

Albert Memmi: Zionism is national liberation for colonised Jews
Must-read by author of the Lions' Den Susie Linfield in Fathom magazine about the politics of Albert Memmi, one of the rare intellectuals on the left to see Zionism as a liberation movement. This owed much to his experience as a Tunisian Jew, the 'colonised of the colonised', and his disappointment with decolonisation in the Arab world, which 'preferred to do without its Jews'. Read the whole thing: Memmi's insights are worth it.

The social and political position of Tunisian Jews was complex. “We were not even citizens,” Memmi recalled. “But, after all, very few people were.” Physically and culturally, poor Jews were close to their Muslim neighbors. But Jewish Tunisians were a tiny minority, and in many ways a powerless one. “Even the most underprivileged” Arab, Memmi wrote, “feels in a position to despise and insult the Jew.”

With shame, Memmi remembered “the extraordinarily fearful timidity of our community in Tunis. We were taught to be nice to everyone—the French who were in power, the Arabs who were in the majority”; with no citizenship or real political power of their own, Jews were “emasculated, castrated.” Almost inevitably, the Jewish community looked to the French for protection—though not always successfully, as they would discover at great cost during the Vichy period. Tunisian Jews were colonisers and colonised, advantaged and disadvataged. Memmi described himself as “a sort of half-breed of colonization, understanding everyone because I belonged completely to no one.” Memmi was a preteen Zionist at a time when the movement seemed at best a utopian adventure and at worst a dangerous fantasy. His education in Zionist youth organizations included “tossing grenades” and learning “the doctrines and precepts of revolutionary action. . . .

On Sundays, we would set out for the country, pretending to be Israeli pioneers. We didn’t even forget to imitate the internal bickering of the distant, young national movement.” His adolescence corresponded to a particularly hopeful time in world politics, and he remembered the year 1936 with special affection: “The entire world seemed to invite me to a marvelous wedding celebration.” Though fascism was on the rise, the Popular Front had won the French elections, and in Tunisia there were “joyous open-air meetings” in which “we rubbed elbows with Arab peddlars, Sicilian bricklayers and French railroad workers, one and all dazzled by these new feelings of broth- erhood. In Spain, however, the war was beginning, never to end. Yet . . . we cried out joyously: ‘No pasarán!’ ” It was a perilous moment, but a confident one. That “they shall not pass” was a certainty.
When an ex-Fatah Palestinian ‘neighbor’ took up a Zionist author’s challenge
A little over a year ago, I wrote a lengthy interview on these pages with the author and Shalom Hartman Institute fellow Yossi Klein Halevi. My longtime friend had just published an ambitious book, “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” setting out the Zionist narrative in terms he hoped the Palestinians would understand, because, he said, while we’re rightly outraged when they attack our legitimacy here, we’ve simply never bothered to explain it to them before.

It was an ambitious book with a still more ambitious intended sequel, especially in these dark and hostile times. His hope, Klein Halevi said last year, was that our Palestinian neighbors would respond to his overture, and write back with their own counter-arguments — not to spark an intellectual battle to the death, but, rather, to facilitate a mutually empowering dialogue: each side would learn more about the other, creating an interaction between writers that, who knows, might one day help facilitate greater political awareness and the possibility of reconciliation.

Now, a year later, the paperback edition of “Letters” is being published and, lo and behold, it includes an epilogue — more than 50 pages of Palestinian responses to the original text. Thoughtful, proud, fierce, pained and gracious in turn, Klein Halevi’s Palestinian interlocutors accepted his challenge, most strikingly, with empathy. And none more so than a Palestinian academic named Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, whose name may ring a bell with some readers. For it was Dajani, five years ago, who led a group of 27 Palestinian students on an unprecedented visit to Auschwitz — with all manner of abiding, shattering consequences.

A few weeks ago, Klein Halevi contacted me to update me on the fate of his book, mentioned its new, extensive epilogue, and asked whether I’d be interested in doing a follow-up interview on “what happened with ‘Letters.'”
Yossi Klein Halevi’s ‘Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,’ with an epilogue of Palestinian responses

I agreed with pleasure, but also proposed we maintain the spirit of his initiative by arranging a joint interview at which he would be accompanied by one of his Palestinian responders. (Readers with longer memories and the capacity to endure my occasional ventures into mini-book-length articles may recall that I conducted a similar joint interview four years ago with Klein Halevi and Imam Abdullah Antepli, his key partner in an ongoing Hartman Institute educational program in which young US Muslim leaders travel to Jerusalem to learn about Judaism, Zionism and Israel.) Klein Halevi suggested he invite Prof. Dajani to join us, and the conversation you are about to read was born.
Pro-Israel New York Democrat Faces Two Leftist Primary Challengers
Eliot Engel (D., NY), a staunchly pro-Israel Democrat, will face two primary challenges from his left next June in the form of younger, more progressive candidates.

Andom Ghebreghiorgis, an activist, announced his campaign to contest the New York representative's seat. Ghebreghiorgis joins Kenny Belvin, who announced his campaign in February, in challenging Engel.

Engel has served for 31 years in the House of Representatives as a representative of the 16th district, which covers the northern Bronx and southern area of Westchester County in the Empire State. He is currently the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Both Belvin and Ghebreghiorgis will attempt to run to Engel's left and hit the veteran politician on progressive issues like his support for Israel, climate change, and the student debt crisis. They both are far younger than Engel, as Belvin is 25 and Ghebreghiorgis is 33. They have both also pledged to reject corporate PAC money.

A February article from the New York Times listed Ghebreghiorgis as a potential challenger for Engel. At the time, Ghebreghiorgis said New Yorkers want politicians who reflect their progressive priorities.

Jewish Insider reported that Ghebreghiorgis ripped Engel's pro-Israel foreign policy in his campaign launch announcement. Specifically, Ghebreghiorgis pointed to Engel's support for President Trump's decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights.
David Collier: Laura Murray, Corbyn’s trolls, a few porkies and a whole lot of hate
Yesterday Anne Frank would have celebrated her 90th birthday. Both Jeremy Corbyn and Laura Murray held her aloft. Clearly a message went out from Corbyn HQ to use the Anne Frank anniversary for a little pro-Jewish tokenism. Dead Jews are always easy to commemorate, it is the living ones that Corbyn’s people have so much difficulty with.

The quote Corbyn used to politicise Anne Frank was particularly harsh – he chooses the line where she writes:

“I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

It is only a partial quote and it is often used out of context as people strip from the meaning of the passage all the doubt and fear contained within. Read today the piece is utterly tragic, because we know how Anne’s story ends. This was one of the final entries in her diary. Penned on the 15th July 1944, Anne was just weeks away from capture and deportation. Anne Frank would not live to see another summer.

So how should we read Corbyn’s use of the message? The leader of a party embroiled in a deep antisemitism crisis and in a bitter struggle with British Jews, using Holocaust victims for tokenism – just what is he trying to tell us? Jeremy Corbyn is using Anne Frank to spit in our faces.
Laura Murray tweets

Jeremy Corbyn referenced Anne Frank during PMQs. He spoke of the Holocaust and then without faltering he welcomed Lisa Forbes, the MP embroiled in antisemitism scandal to the House. Laura Murray also pushed the Anne Frank message. This time on Twitter:

Murray was part of Corbyn’s inner circle and was appointed as the ‘head of complaints’. This puts Murray as the lead in the response team on antisemitism. Murray is not without controversy. According to the Times, she stands accused of stopping the suspension of Patricia Sheerin. Those who read this blog know Sheerin well and her antisemitic posts were exposed in my reports. Sheerin was later arrested, being questioned over ‘publishing or distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred‘. Murray is also facing a libel action from Countdown presenter and antisemitism campaigner Rachel Riley.

It was sickening to see Murray and Corbyn deploy one of the most famous Holocaust victims in an act of tokenism to Jewwash the Labour party. I said so and linked to Laura Murray’s original tweet when I made my comment:
Corbyn Being Sued in High Court by Zionist 'Lacking Irony'
Jeremy Corbyn’s personal anti-Semitism storm is thickening with Corbyn now being sued by Richard Millett over comments he made on the Andrew Marr Show. The programme contained the following allegedly defamatory words spoken by Corbyn in his 2013 speech to the Palestinian Return Centre:
The other evening we had a meeting in Parliament in which Manuel made an incredibly powerful and passionate and effective speech about the history of Palestine, the rights of the Palestinian people. This was dutifully recorded by the – thankfully silent – Zionists who were in the audience on that occasion and then came up and berated him afterwards for what he’d said. They clearly have two problems: one is they don’t want to study history; and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.

Corbyn’s response to a question by Andrew Marr also forms part of the claim:
Well, I was at a meeting in the House of Commons and the two people I referred to had been incredibly disruptive, indeed the police wanted to throw them out of the meeting, I didn’t, I said they should remain in the meeting, they’d been disruptive of a number of meetings. At the later meeting when Manuel spoke they were quiet but they came up and were really, really strong on him afterwards and he was quite upset by it. I know Manuel Hassassian quite well and I was speaking in his defence. Manuel of course is the Palestinian Ambassador to this country.

Jeremy Corbyn’s 2013 tone deaf comment that ‘Zionists’ have ‘no sense of English irony despite having lived here all their lives’ caused a lot of offence. The re-broadcasting of the words last year meant that it became actionable. Guido is wary of people suing politicians over things they have said, it is however a measure of Corbyn’s fall-out with the Jewish community that this is happening…
Labour MP Rupa Huq denies antisemitism allegations by two former employees who lodged formal complaints with Party
Dr Rupa Huq, the Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, has reportedly been accused of antisemitism by two of her former employees who have lodged formal complaints with the Party. Dr Huq, who has held her seat since 2015, denied what she called “false and malicious” allegations.

According to the report in The Times, the Labour Party is understood to have asked its Parliamentary whips to speak to Dr Huq and look into the claims before deciding whether to begin a full investigation.

The two employees worked at Dr Huq’s Westminster office until this year. The first complainant who has a Jewish heritage and worked for Dr Huq for 11 months, sent a dossier of more than 2,500 words to Labour the week before last, detailing alleged antisemitic incidents in her office.

According to The Times, the complaint alleged that on just the complainant’s second day, their relationship with Dr Huq began to deteriorate. He had three badges on his bag, including a Star of David, a symbol commonly associated with Judaism and the Jewish People. He alleged that Dr Huq asked him: “Why do you have the flag of Israel on your bag?” Thinking that it was just an innocuous mistake, he corrected her that it was not in fact the Israeli flag. However, he claimed that she repeatedly asked the same question throughout the day. It is understood that Dr Huq only recalled asking the question once.

Later that month, Dr Huq, who completed a PhD in cultural studies thesis on youth culture at the University of East London, allegedly accused him of writing a policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was too pro-Israel. She then reportedly “banned” him from working on policy responses, which the complainant felt was related to the Star of David on his bag incident. Furthermore, a source close to Dr Huq alleged that a constituent expressed concern about an e-mail that the complainant sent on Dr Huq’s behalf in response to the situation in Gaza.
BBC Radio 4 fails to give the full picture on new Labour MP
Obviously the BBC’s domestic audiences were not given the full picture as to why Lisa Forbes’ signing of that letter caused controversy.

As for the social media post that the Labour party claims Forbes did not read, claiming that “Theresa May had a Zionist slave masters agenda” (or, if one arrives at the conclusion that its writer does not know how to use a possessive apostrophe, that Theresa May is controlled by ‘Zionist slave masters’) – here it is:

Forbes also commented on another post by the same Facebook user in which he claimed that the CIA and the Mossad created ISIS but that went unmentioned by the BBC.

Clearly domestic BBC audiences were not given the full range of information which would allow them to understand why some members of Lisa Forbes’ own party “have expressed misgivings” and some “have already called for her suspension over allegations of antisemitism”.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Corbyn Applies For Exemption From IHRA Antisemitism Definition (satire)
The leader of Britain’s Labour Party wrote this week to the organization with the most widely-accepted parameters for deeming statements or attitudes Judaeophobic, requesting the group make an exception for him because he really, really needs political support he would lack without resort to statements and policies that meet the organization’s criteria for Jew-hate.

Jeremy Corbyn contacted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Wednesday and asked to apply for an exemption to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Her Majesty’s Opposition Leader informed the inter-governmental organization that while he respects the definition and even shares its distaste for antisemitism, he requires special dispensation that will permit him to continue to condone the rampant use of antisemitic rhetoric and imagery among his followers and political allies while allowing him to maintain that he has “fought bigotry and racism his entire political career.”

“I appreciate your organization’s efforts and considerations in arriving at the working definition of antisemitism,” the letter reads. “At the same time, however, my political survival, let alone success, hinges on alliances with groups and polities that do not share my sensitivity vis-à-vis anti-Jewish rhetoric. This holds especially true with regard to statements or actions that challenge the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland, a notion that many of my followers and allies reject, and which for reasons I cannot fathom tends to invite remarks about Jews in general, not merely Israel.”
Antisemites, Israel Critics Adopt a New Propaganda Ploy
The campaign to demonize Israel and the Jewish people is not new. And to give credit where it is due, the detractors of Israel and antisemites have had some success in appropriating terms used by Jews and Israel’s supporters, thereby using language to distort reality and introduce formulas that create a bias against Jews and Israel.

The propagandists have now latched onto a new approach — the accusation of incitement to violence — which they have also learned from their opponents.

To give one example of appropriation, the Palestinians now refer to those outside Palestine as the “diaspora.” In the case of the Jewish people, the Diaspora was a result of being exiled from their homeland in Eretz Yisrael, and expelled from many of their adopted homelands.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of Palestinians live in “Palestine,” most in their original homes. A handful were expelled, but the majority remain in self-imposed exile or persecuted by their Arab brethren. Suggesting there is a Palestinian diaspora is an effort to falsely equate their plight with the Jews.

References to “Islamophobia” are meant to serve what propagandists see as a corollary to antisemitism. They are convinced Jews silence opponents by accusing them of antisemitism, and they hope using the Muslim equivalent will shield Muslim antisemites and eliminate or deflect criticism of radical Islam and Muslim terrorists.
Adviser to EU court says settlement goods should be labeled
A senior adviser to the EU’s top court said Thursday it was his legal advice that products from territories considered occupied by Israel must be clearly labeled as such to avoid misleading consumers.

The European Court of Justice is not obliged to follow Advocate General Gerard Hogan’s advice, but the former Irish judge’s legal opinions are seen as highly influential in the bench’s deliberations.

The ECJ is considering a request from France’s top tribunal for clarification of rules on labeling goods from the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem, which the international community considers occupied Palestinian land, as well as the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 war.

In legal advice to the court, Hogan said that, under EU rules, labels must make it clear if products originate in the occupied territories, and in particular if they come from Israeli settlements in those areas.

“EU law requires, for a product originating in a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the indication of the geographical name of this territory and, where it is the case, the indication that the product comes from an Israeli settlement,” an ECJ statement outlining Hogan’s legal opinion said.
DC suburb halts screening of anti-Israel film narrated by Roger Waters
A suburb of Washington, DC, has canceled for now the screening of an anti-Israel film narrated by Roger Waters as part of a free documentary series.

Thursday’s proposed screening of “The Occupation of the American Mind” in the Takoma Park Community Center in Maryland as part of the “We Are Takoma” series has “spurred expressions of concern and support from a number of organizations and individuals,” Donna Wright, the spokeswoman for the city of Takoma Park, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Tuesday in an email.

“The Takoma Park City Council appreciates the comments and has asked that the screening of the film be postponed to a later date,” she wrote. Wright did not specify a date.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington had asked the municipality, a famously liberal enclave that includes a thriving Jewish community, to reconsider showing the film. The JCRC thanked the council for postponing the film.

“The very title and description of the film, asserting that pro-Israel groups are engaged in a propaganda campaign to control the American media and government, echoes sinister, age-old antisemitic tropes about Jews that of late are resurfacing with alarming regularity,” the JCRC said in a statement. “The film’s rhetoric sheds more heat than light and only serves to inflame and divide people rather than increasing mutual understanding.

BBC WS item on antisemitic NYT cartoon omits full background
Obviously listeners were given the impression that objections to the cartoon came from the Right of the political map, but is that actually the case? As documented by CAMERA at the time (see ‘related articles’ below), one of the first Tweets on the topic came from a Left-wing site called The Jewish Worker. New York Times columnist Bret Stephens published an article on the story and criticism also came from Anshel Pfeffer of Ha’aretz, among many others.

Later in the interview listeners heard Chappatte opine that “media should stop being afraid of angry mobs” and:

Chappatte: “We need to learn to deal with social media. Twitter is a place for furore – not for debate – and very often the first, angriest voices, the most angry people, define the conversation…”

So to sum up, although BBC audiences around the world were not fully informed what the NYT cartoon depicted or why it was antisemitic, they were led to believe that objections to it came from predominantly Right-wing “angry mobs” of the kind that “define the conversation”.

Clearly the portrayal of this story heard by BBC World Service listeners was far from accurate, impartial or informative.
Daily Mail refuses to correct false claim about the death of Gaza child
As we noted in our tweet, the claim, by anti-Israel media outlets, that Aisha Lulu, a five-year-old from Gaza who passed away from a brain tumour, died alone in a Jerusalem hospital because COGAT refused to grant permission for family members to accompany her, was proven to be fake news weeks ago. The claim that authorities denied permission to Aisha’s family to accompany her was false, and the girl in fact passed away in Gaza after she was released, not in the Israeli hospital where she was treated.

Further, the actual Daily Mail/AP article never makes the claim – asserted in the headline – that the girl died alone.

Yet, Daily Mail editors rejected our complaint and told us to take it up with AP. However, this is an abdication of their responsibilities, as publications like the Daily Mail that use wire service stories have the freedom to revise headlines – for stylistic or editorial reasons – as their editors see fit.

We intend to appeal the Daily Mail’s decision, and will update this post when we get a response.
Wiesenthal Center: Appalled at endorsement of antisemitism by default
In a letter to Pieter de Crem, Belgian Minister of Security and Interior, Simon Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, declared that the Center’s membership was “appalled at a Belgian Court endorsement of antisemitism by default.”

The letter was in reference to an incident in July 2014 when a "Turkish-run restaurant in Saint-Nicolas, Flanders, placed a notice in French stating, ‘Entry Permitted to Dogs, but to Zionists never!’”, noting that “added in Turkish, the message was clearer: ‘In this business, we accept dogs, but Jews never!’, based on the Nazi German notices in parks: ‘Entry for dogs = for Jews forbidden!’”

After complaints were made, the mayor of Saint-Nicolas, a small town near Liege, Jacques Heleven, dispatched police to the cafe who had the sign removed.

Samuels argued that, “A lawsuit against the perpetrator was apparently immobilized in the court for almost five years,” continuing, “Now we witness the 'coup de grace', as tribunal spokesperson, Catherine Colligan, admitted: ‘the case is closed without any chance of follow-up.’”

The Center claimed, “this was a hate-crime against the Belgian Jewish community and Belgium itself. It represents an encouragement to Islamists across Europe that antisemitic threats are not subject to legal measures - a devastating precedent.”
Argentina Jews call for action after spate of anti-Semitic attacks
Argentinean and international Jewish organizations are demanding action from local and regional authorities amid recent violent anti-Semitic attacks in the country.

The Argentinean Jewish political umbrella DAIA labeled Sunday’s attack on Rabbi Shlomo Tawil in Rosario as “brutal anti-Semitic aggression” and demanded an investigation into the climate that may have spawned such violence.

The attack on Tawil is the third physical anti-Semitic assault in the last two months. There other two took place in Buenos Aires, one in April and one in May. Such assaults have been rare.

“Argentina isn’t an anti-Semitic country but has anti-Semitic episodes. Now these episodes are more violent and more frequents. This ongoing new reality is very worrying,” Ariel Gelblung, the Latin America representative for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Tawil, of the local Chabad-Lubavitch organization, was attacked Sunday night by three men in the city center of Rosario, located in the center of the country. The men shouted anti-Semitic epithets before removing the rabbi’s hat and trampling it on the ground, and then beating the rabbi, who was walking alone.
German Jews are Moving to Israel Due to Rising Antisemitism
"We have to deal with the ghosts of the past," Merkel said. Days after a warning to Jews who wear skullcaps that they may not be safe when donning them publicly, Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested stationing police officers at every Jewish building or institution in Germany. "Unfortunately there is to this day not a single synagogue, not a single day care center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen," Merkel said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "Unfortunately, there has always been a certain number of anti-Semites among us," she added. "We have to deal with the ghosts of the past," Merkel said. "We have to tell our young people what history has brought over us and others," she added.

Cadet dropped from US Army officer training for anti-Semitic ‘pro-Nazism’ tweets
A cadet will be removed from the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps for posting racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and “pro-Nazism” messages on social media, an Army official said Wednesday.

Martha Gerdes is on a “leave of absence” from the program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte pending her disenrollment from the ROTC, according to US Army Cadet Command spokesman Maj. Robert Carter. Army Times was the first to report the discipline against Gerdes.

UNC-Charlotte spokeswoman Buffie Stephens said federal law prevents the university from commenting.

Gerdes was a student at Davidson College in North Carolina when the Army began investigating last November. Carter said ROTC officials learned of Gerdes’ online activities when an anti-racism group called Carolina Workers Collective posted screenshots of tweets it attributed to her.

Carter said Gerdes admitted to investigators that she anonymously posted the statements on her Twitter account, “@femanon,” which has been suspended. Gerdes’ online activities “are inconsistent with the high moral expectations of a future Army officer,” he added.
135 years after last time, Paris to dedicate a square to Jerusalem
In 1871, the historic Palace of Justice in the heart of Paris was largely destroyed by a fire. For centuries a residence of the French monarchs, in the 19th century the Palace was the headquarters of France’s judicial system.

The restorations lasted over 20 years. When completed, the site of the Palace had also incorporated some of the surrounding streets. Among them, was Rue Jerusalem, a short alley where pilgrims coming back from the Holy Land were historically lodged, according to the 1844 Dictionnaire administratif et historique des rues de Paris et de ses monuments, a dictionary of the public streets, monuments and buildings of Paris.

The name of Jerusalem hence disappeared from the city’s toponymy… until now.

As announced in a statement by the Central Consistory of France, the body that represents French Jewry in matters of religion, the city of Paris will soon dedicate a square to Jerusalem.

“I would like to thank the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the Paris Council and the 17th Arrondissement Council for their decision to establish a Jerusalem Square in Paris,” the President of the Consistory Joel Mergui said on Wednesday.

The proposal of devoting a square of the city to Jerusalem was advanced by the Consistory in January, on the occasion of the visit of Israeli president Reuven Rivlin.

“In this sad period of recrudesce of racist and antisemitic acts, recalling the ties that unite the City of Paris and the Jewish Community is essential,” Hidalgo wrote in a letter to Mergui on May 15. “For this reason, your proposal of devoting a square to Jerusalem in the capital seems very sensible, also in order to remember the friendship and the unity between the City of Paris and the State of Israel,” she added.
Israel slams German FM for 'dishonest rewriting' of Anne Frank's legacy
Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry, issued a powerful statement against German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas for failing to internalize the lessons of the Holocaust by misrepresenting Anne Frank's legacy.

Nahshon, one of Israel's most seasoned diplomats, wrote on Twitter: "Anne Frank’s diary is NOT a warning about wishy-washy pseudo universal values! Anne Frank’s legacy is a warning against the hatred and persecution of JEWS. The attempt to 'universalize the lessons of the Shoah [Holocaust] is nothing less than a dishonest rewriting of history."

Nahshon's tweet on Wednesday was a response to a tweet by the German Foreign Ministry that was written in honor of what would have been Anne Frank's 90th birthday. "Foreign Minister Heiko Maas: #AnneFrank would have turned 90 today," the ministry wrote. "Her diary is more relevant than ever before as a warning against discrimination, marginalization and persecution and as a symbol of humanity. We can learn from her."
On the Anniversary of Anne Frank’s Birth, It’s Worth Reflecting on FDR’s Immigration Policy
Last Sunday would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday, a date that has prompted reflections on her life, death, and famous diary. Noting that by 1939 Frank’s parents were desperately trying to gain permission to enter the U.S., Rafael Medoff takes the occasion to examine the policies that prevented them from doing so:

Laws enacted by the U.S. Congress in the 1920s created a quota system to restrict immigration severely. . . . As president (beginning in 1933), Franklin Delano Roosevelt took a harsh immigration system and made it much worse. His administration went above and beyond the existing law to ensure that even those meager quota allotments were almost always underfilled. American consular officials abroad made sure to “postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of the visas” to refugees, as one senior U.S. official put it in a memo to his colleagues. . . .

[In 1939], refugee advocates in Congress introduced the Wagner-Rogers bill, which would have admitted 20,000 refugee children from Germany outside the quota system. Anne Frank and her sister Margot were German citizens, so they could have been among those children. Supporters of the bill assembled a broad, ecumenical coalition. . . . The former first lady Grace Coolidge announced that she and her neighbors in Northampton, Massachusetts, would personally care for 25 of the children.

Even though there was no danger that the children would take jobs away from American citizens, anti-immigration activists lobbied hard against the Wagner-Rogers bill. President Roosevelt’s cousin, Laura Delano Houghteling, who was the wife of the U.S. commissioner of immigration, articulated the sentiment of many opponents when she remarked at a dinner party that “20,000 charming children would all too soon grow up into 20,000 ugly adults.” FDR himself refused to support the bill. By the spring of 1939, Wagner-Rogers was dead. . . .

At a press conference on June 5, 1940, the president warned of the “horrible” danger that Jewish refugees coming to America might actually serve the Nazis. They might begin “spying under compulsion” for Hitler, he said, out of fear that if they refused, their elderly relatives back in Europe “might be taken out and shot.” That’s right: Anne Frank, Nazi spy.
'World's biggest' vegan festival attracts thousands
Israel has been lauded as the most vegan nation on earth, after a 2015 poll suggested 5.2% of its population had ditched animal products from their diet.

The vegan revolution taking hold in Israel has seen it become home to some of the biggest companies in alternative proteins. SuperMeat, Futuremeat, Aleph Farms are just three Israeli-based start-ups vying to produce meat sustainably – by growing it in labs.

Meanwhile, non-profit organisation Vegan Friendly is pushing to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. It’s little wonder then, that Tel Aviv has been won accolades as a top tourism destination for vegans, nor that it now plays host to what organisers claim is the “biggest vegan festival in the world”.

There was more than just food on offer at last week’s Vegan Fest. Plant-based enthusiasts were also able to find cruelty-free clothing, as well as music, yoga, lectures and other activities.

An estimated 40,000 visitors descended on the festival over three days, showcasing everything from traditional veggie food, like falafel to the latest vegan hot dogs, and kit to make your own diary-free probiotics.
Netanyahu taps vegan activist Tal Gilboa as animal rights adviser
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that he has tapped vegan activist Tal Gilboa as his animal rights adviser.

“I asked Tal Gilboa to advise me on animal rights issues, a subject that has gradually become closer to my heart,” the prime minister says in a video statement.

Gilboa thanks Netanyahu and calls it “a historic day for animals.”
New handheld sensor identifies allergens in food
At one year old, Noam Yasovsky was diagnosed with allergies to eggs, sesame and milk. Eating at other people’s homes or in restaurants has been a challenge ever since, necessitating Noam to bring his own food or try to determine which dishes won’t put him at risk.

Noam’s father, Alon, discovered that about 250 million people around the world – 8% of children and 4% of adults — have food allergies. In the United States alone, a food allergy triggers anaphylactic shock every six minutes. Sometimes, these incidents are fatal.

“I have 15 years of experience in R&D at Apple, Intel and PrimeSense, so I started to think of how to build a sensor that lets you test food for allergens before you eat — anywhere, anytime,” Yasovsky tells ISRAEL21c.

His startup, SensoGenic, is developing a handheld digital food allergen biosensor for consumers.

It’s the only such device capable of detecting and identifying all the common allergens — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish — from a single food sample placed on a disposable pad and analyzed by the battery-operated biosensor unit.
How I met your city: Neil Patrick Harris hosts Friday’s Tel Aviv Pride Parade
Tel Aviv’s annual Pride Parade is expected to draw 250,000 people to the city’s rainbow-drenched streets on Friday, among them actor Neil Patrick Harris, who will be participating as the 2019 International Pride Ambassador.

“I agreed to be International Ambassador on the condition that my children would start calling me that as well, but it hasn’t caught on,” Harris said at a press conference ahead of the parade.

Harris, well-known for his roles on TV’s “How I Met Your Mother” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events” as well as Broadway’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” has twins via surrogacy with his husband, David Burtka. Both Burtka and Harris are in Israel for the first time.

“We are seeing the sites and enjoying the food and visiting the LGBTQ community,” said Harris. “I am excited to be in the Pride parade; it’s my first ever Pride parade so I thought I’d start small,” he joked.

Tel Aviv’s parade is the largest in the Middle East and one of the 10 largest Pride parades in the world.
Russian-Israeli billionaire gives $5M for fight against anti-Semitism
Amid the rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world, Russian-Israeli billionaire and philanthropist Roman Abramovich will donate $5 million to the Jewish Agency to help contend with the phenomenon.

The amount constitutes the largest donation the Jewish Agency has ever received from one donor for this purpose, Israel Hayom learned.

Abramovich, who is Jewish, received Israeli citizenship in May 2018. He is also the owner of Chelsea Football Club of the British Premier League, which launched its own anti-Semitism initiative in January 2018.

He has given over $1.5 billion to charity over the past 20 years. In 2018, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia awarded Abramovich for his key role in developing Jewish life in Russia, Israel and other countries around the world.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog thanked Abramovich for the donation, saying that “Jewish communities across the globe are dealing with a record number of anti-Semitic attacks.”
Lionel Richie headed for Israel
If it's Lionel Richie you're looking for - you'll be able to find him in Israel this summer.

Richie, the legendary crooner behind such hits as "Hello," "Truly" and "Endless Love," will be performing a concert in the Holy Land in September. The news was first reported on Thursday by Yediot Aharonot.

Concert organizers confirmed the report, and said full details of the show would only be released next week.

Richie is slated to turn 70 this week, and has spent more than 50 years in the music business, first with the Commodores, who were behind such hits as "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady." In the 1980s he embarked on a wildly successful solo career, releasing 10 studio albums and winning four Grammy Awards. Throughout June, July and August, Richie is slated to perform more than 30 shows across the United States, as well as concerts in Canada and the United Kingdom.

This is believed to be the first concert in Israel for Richie, who has been a supporter of the Jewish state for many years. In 2013 he entertained guests at a fund-raiser in Los Angeles for the Friends of the IDF.
Einstein's childhood toy up for auction
Every parent wants their child to grow up to be a genius. But how many can say they gave their son or daughter the same toy Albert Einstein played with as a kid?

New York City-based auction house Kestenbaum & Company is selling a toy that once belonged to the Nobel Prize-winning scientist. Known in German as a Perlen-Mosaik-Spiel, aka a pearl mosaic game, the toy is a wooden box, filled with colored wooden beads, that can be used to create images and letters on the box’s hole-punched frame.

The auction house said the item was given by Einstein to its current owner, who has kept it in his possession since the scientist’s death in 1955. The toy was displayed in an exhibit at the Mitsuo Aida Museum from 2005-2006.

“This creative childhood toy served to expand the imagination of a young Albert Einstein, in turn leading to a maturation of mind, that in adulthood, brought to Mankind the most significant scientific theorems of the past millennia,” said Kestenbaum & Company.

The toy – which Kestenbaum estimates as worth $4,000-$6,000 – is being sold alongside several other personal items that once belonging to Einstein, including linen napkins, silver shot glasses and a portrait of the physicist.
Boston museum pays $500,000 for ‘exceptionally early’ Torah ornaments
The Museum of Fine Arts bought two pairs of rare Torah finials, bidding $500,000 for one set made in Hamburg in 1688-9 and considered to be among the earliest surviving examples of the traditional Torah ornaments.

The final sale price exceeded the pre-auction estimate of between $300,000 and $400,000.

A second pair, 18th-century English parcel-gilt silver, sold for $187,500, some $7,000 more than the high estimate.

The finials, to which are attached tiny crowns and bells, are used to adorn the top handles on a Torah scroll.

The two sets were among the top sellers at Sotheby’s Auction of Important Judaica held June 5 in New York. Bids totaled $2.7 million, according to Amanda Bass of Sotheby’s.

The sale price for the 17-inch German finials, made circa 1688-89 by Jurgen Richels, “is among the top five prices for Torah finials at auction,” Bass wrote in an email, quoting Sotheby’s specialists.
Greek Jews honor Crete community drowned in entirety en route to Auschwitz
Seventy-five years ago, in May 1944, the Nazis rounded up the entire Jewish population of Crete and forced them onto a tanker ship called the Tanais.

The Nazis planned to bring the Jews to Auschwitz. But on June 9, as the ship approached the port of Piraeus, the commander of a British submarine spotted what he assumed was a German military vessel and ordered the firing of four torpedoes. The Tanais sank and nearly all of the 300 Jews aboard drowned, ending the existence of a community that had lived in Crete uninterruptedly for 2,300 years.

A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Greece in Athens commemorates the history of that community through artifacts gathered from Jewish families who left Crete before the war.

“My mother luckily moved in the 1930s to Athens, where she and my father were hidden by Greek friends,” says Dona-Lilian Kapon, whose family heirlooms include centuries-old Jewish ritual objects handed down by her grandparents.

Among the exhibit’s most poignant relics are the notebooks of Jewish children safeguarded by Christian neighbors.

“When the children were told that they had to go away, they were worried that they would lose their school books so they gave them to friends,” explains museum curator Christina Meri.

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