Wednesday, June 19, 2019

From Ian:

Judea Pearl Denounces ‘Zionophobic Thuggery’ in Receiving Algemeiner’s ‘Warrior for Truth’ Award From Sharon Stone
Speaking at the inaugural Algemeiner West Coast gala last week, Professor Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, said his late son had become an icon of “three cherished values — truth, humanity and Jewishness.”

“And these are precisely three values that have been unprecedentedly attacked in our millennium,” Judea Pearl noted, as he accepted the “Warrior for Truth” award on behalf of his son in front of a crowd of nearly 300 people at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Those same values, Pearl pointed out, were “championed” by The Algemeiner.

“It is a paper that would not hesitate to expose fake news,” he said. “It is a paper that views the existence of Israel as a human rights issue, not as a capricious luxury of white aristocrats. And it is a paper that has given voice to Jewish students on BDS-occupied universities, and has echoed their demands for protection from Zionophobic thuggery.”

Pearl was introduced by actress Sharon Stone, who was honored with the “Warrior for Truth” award at The Algemeiner’s annual New York gala last September.

“While I haven’t had the tragedy in my life that the Pearl family has had, I do understand that without faith we do not know how to move through these dark times,” Stone said. “It is in these times that we have to rely on the integrity of what we really believe, and that we believe in the God that is within ourselves, the God that is love within, the greater love, the love that guides us.”


The Problem With Ocasio-Cortez’s Shameful Ignorance Of History
In April 1944, two Slovakian Jews named Alfred Weczler and Rudolf Vrba escaped from Auschwitz, and provided one of the first eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the European concentration camps. Both men had been rounded up with a group of their countrymen and sent to the Birkenau section of the camp in the spring of 1941, where they were immediately put to work as slave labor.

This was before the German regime had properly streamlined and industrialized efforts to destroy European Jewry. In the early days of the camp, any man incapable of labor was immediately executed. Those who survived were sent to do the grueling work of construction.

The men began their work at sunrise, and except for a half-hour break at noon, when the prisoners were fed cabbage and turnip soup, they worked until 6 p.m. For dinner, the men were given an ounce of moldy bread made from “ersatz flour and sawdust.” Lice and fleas tortured their emaciated bodies as they slept on wooden boards. “Rats were so bold they gnawed at the toes and fingers of sleepers and stole the crumbs they had left in their pockets,” wrote Robert Conot in his book “Justice at Nuremberg.”

A third of the prisoners died every week. If a worker was hurt, he was allotted three days of recovery time. If they failed to heal, the infirmary—where Dr. Mengele had already begun his nefarious work on women and children—would inject a fatal dose of phenol directly into their hearts.

Of the 2,722 Slovakian Jews who had been rounded up with Weczler and Vrba, only 159 survived to the summer of 1942. Those who died had been dumped, with another approximately 105,000 bodies, into shallow trenches around Birkenau. “As they decomposed” Conot noted, “the earth rose like a yeasty mixture of dough and bubbled up nauseating gases, which spread for miles.”

I think of that last sentence whenever some modern-day know-nothing begins comparing the United States to a proto-Nazi state. Maybe it’s because their analogies are embarrassingly ignorant and intellectually lazy, or maybe it’s because people like Ocasio-Cortez, perhaps unknowingly, diminish the suffering of millions of dead. Or maybe it’s because my own grandfather was taken as slave labor in Austria.

Auschwitz Museum Reaches Out To MSNBC’s Chris Hayes After He Defends Ocasio-Cortez
The official Twitter account for Auschwitz Museum advised MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes to follow it on the platform after Hayes tried to argue that concentration camps were historically different from death camps.

“[Chris Hayes,] Please consider following @AuschwitzMuseum where everyday we commemorate and educate about the tragic human history of [Auschwitz],” Auschwitz Museum tweeted on Tuesday.

The comment was seemingly in response to an exchange between Hayes and Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney that occurred earlier in the day. After Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that the U.S. government is “running concentration camps on our southern border” to hold illegal immigrants, Cheney advised the freshman congresswoman to “spend just a few minutes learning some actual history.”

“[Six] million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust,” Cheney tweeted at Ocasio-Cortez. “You demean their memory and disgrace yourself with comments like this.”

“If you spend a few minutes learning some actual history, you will find out that concentration camps are different from death camps and have a history that both predates and extends far past the Nazis,” Hayes replied to Cheney.

Hayes, however, seemed to dismiss that Ocasio-Cortez was specifically referring to the concentrations camps under Nazi occupation. While on an instagram live stream, she specifically said that she wants “to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘Never Again’ means something.”

“Never Again” is the phrase that Jews all over the world use to make sure that the extermination between 1939 and 1945 never happens again.




Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Thinks You’re Stupid
Go ahead and Google "concentration camp." For me as of this writing, it brings up images of Nazi concentration camps, the Wikipedia page for "Nazi concentration camps," various articles from The Holocaust Encyclopedia and the Jewish Virtual Library on Nazi concentration camps, and a dictionary definition noting "the term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe in 1933–45." The other suggested searches are the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, Buchenwald, and Dachau.

All of which is to say that in common parlance, "concentration camps" refers almost exclusively to Nazi camps set up as part of premeditated mass murder in a scheme to exterminate entire people groups. You know this. Ocasio-Cortez knows this. She knows you know this. For her to try to pretend the use of the term wouldn't immediately evoke the Holocaust is an insult to everyone's intelligence.

In any case, Ocasio-Cortez did not just say "concentration camps." She specifically said "never again." To demur that she wasn't comparing the camps to death camps per se while using a term that refers specifically to the Holocaust is bold enough. But what exactly did Ocasio-Cortez think the world promised would never happen again? Merely concentrating large groups of people? I'm pretty sure it was the genocide.

If Trump is operating "concentration camps," then Obama was also operating "concentration camps," Bill Clinton ran a "concentration camp" for Haitian refugees at Guantanamo, Gerald Ford was operating "concentration camps" when forced to deal with Vietnamese refugees, Jimmy Carter operated "concentration camps" of Cuban migrants from the Mariel boatlift, and whoever inherits the current immigration crisis will almost certainly continue to operate "concentration camps" in the future. Reacting to surges in migration by detaining huge groups of people and not letting them disperse is standard operating procedure. What Ocasio-Cortez imputes to fascism is more easily explained by simple necessity.

Comparing your opponents to Nazis is the favored debate tactic of many an internet dullard. But at least your average troll owns up to their sophistry. Ocasio-Cortez throws around awful talking points and then, when called out on them, insults her listeners' intelligence by insisting she never meant it at all. No, you understood her the first time, and she really is that shameless.
Anti-Semitism Envoy: AOC's Comments Misguided in Worst Way
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York representative in the House, called the detainment centers concentration camps, referencing the plight of those who underwent the horrors of the Holocaust. Now, the US anti-Semitism envoy Elan Carr is fighting back. Our Jordana Miller reports.


Ocasio-Cortez’s Analogy Reflects a Deep Misunderstanding of the Holocaust
The following quote from Wiesel’s book portrays the pain and dread of those living in the concentration camps: “Do you see that chimney over there? See it? Do you see those flames? (Yes, we did see the flames.) Over there — that’s where you’re going to be taken. That’s your grave, over there.”

With this backdrop, there is no conceivable or logical way to rationalize Ocasio-Cortez’s analogy. Our nation’s immigration laws and border policies are meant to keep people from entering the country illegally. They are meant to prevent caravans of illegal migrants from entering the country through our porous borders. The immigration laws are meant to protect the citizens of the United States and those who are in the country legally.

Contrary to Ocasio-Cortez’s claims, there is a major distinction between the detention centers along the United States border, which are intended to house people who have entered the country illegally, and the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, the primary purpose of which was to eradicate innocent human beings, including the Jewish people. While the conditions in the detention centers along the nation’s border are not ideal, there are no gas chambers, incinerators, or burning bodies.

As Wiesel stated, “The flames rose 24 hours a day from the incinerators — after the Jews were killed in the gas chambers by Zyklon B, their bodies were immediately taken to incinerators to be burned into black, charred dust.”

There are no similarities between the detention centers and/or the act of detaining individuals who enter the country illegally and the concentration camps (death camps) of Nazi Germany. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were insensitive, offensive, and reflected a deep and profound misunderstanding of the Holocaust. Republicans and Democrats should stand hand in hand on this matter, and demand that such comments be retracted. Some issues transcend politics. The Holocaust is one of them, and such comments should be rejected by everyone.


Jewish groups slam Ocasio-Cortez for comparing US border control to ‘concentration camps’
Historian Gil Troy told JNS, “There is a long tradition of members of Congress saying dumb things; nevertheless, this comment belongs in the Hall of Fame. It’s not anti-Semitic. It’s too sloppy for that.”

He continued, “Anyone who compares the complicated set of tensions both Democrats and Republicans have been forced to make around immigration—as leaders of a complicated democracy—with the evils of Nazi concentration camps is both deeply ignorant and instinctively anti-American, shockingly unaware of the moral difference between democracy and dictatorship, and probably unable to distinguish between the two.”

Yossi Klein Halevi, an American-born Israeli author and journalist, said that “it’s tricky.”

“ ‘Concentration camps’ has become a generic term, not only about the Holocaust. (I would argue that “death camps” is unique to the Holocaust.),” he emailed JNS. “I think this is more an American than a Jewish issue. I am outraged at her slander of America.”

‘I would suggest that she visit Auschwitz’

Several other pro-Israel and Jewish groups condemned Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks, while some left-wing Jewish groups defended her statements.

“Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. It is disgraceful for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to compare our nation’s immigration policies to the horrors carried out by the Nazis. We would hope that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez knows better, but sadly, she does not,” said Republican Jewish Coalition on Tuesday.

“Before Representative Ocasio-Cortez makes a statement like that, I would suggest that she actually visit Auschwitz, and try to understand what actually took place there,” Endowment for Middle East Truth founder and president Sarah Stern told JNS. “Her statement devalued the horrors of the Holocaust and of the 6 million who were systematically and purposely murdered. Statements such as these are ill-informed and flippant, and simply illustrate her vast ignorance.”

National president of the Zionist Organization of America Mort Klein said “the real story is that the U.S. government ran out of space and has to temporarily house minor teenagers who crossed illegally into the U.S. at an army base—something that former President [Barack] Obama also did. Comparing this to the horrors of the Holocaust death camps is a sin. AOC must be censured by her colleagues for this mindless and moronic analogy. She doesn’t belong in Congress making decisions on behalf of her fellow American citizens.”


Rabbi Yaakov Menken: AOC's Death Camp Defenses Are Both Dishonest And Disgraceful
You can learn a lot about a politician from how he or she defends things said off-the-cuff.

While holding court on Instagram Monday evening, socialist freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed that detention facilities for illegal immigrants at the southern border are concentration camps. "That is exactly what they are," she said. "They are concentration camps." And she went on to say that anyone who believes detention of illegals is appropriate (which includes major Democratic officeholders during the Obama administration) is not "concerned enough with humanity" to be worth trying to engage.

When Twitter erupted, Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) provided a series of mutually contradictory defenses. She could not decide whether she meant to compare the southern border to Auschwitz, whether they are in fact comparable, or whether it was appropriate to make the connection at all. So she tried all three within just three hours on Tuesday morning.

Defense #1: Nazi death camps were merely the most "extreme" and inhuman manifestation of a concentration camp system.

AOC sourced this from Esquire magazine, in which a left-wing writer asserted that the Nazi death camps were merely the most "extreme" of an evil broader phenomenon that includes forced labor camps in the Soviet Union, the imprisonment (and starvation) of Dutch Boers and native Africans in South Africa from 1900 to 1902, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II ... and, of course, the detention of voluntary migrants trying to illegally enter America in 2019.

Once one places all forms of confinement — even for those doing an illegal act, such as entering a country without a visa — into a single basket, a prison becomes a "concentration camp." Given leftist opposition to the death penalty, this naturally leaves no other option for murderers other than letting them go scot-free.
Word of the Week: 'Concentration camp'
I wrote here two weeks ago about the Guardian changing its style guide to suggest replacing “climate change” with "climate emergency/crisis” and “climate skeptic” with “climate science denialist.” The thinking is that if you use melodramatic words, people will care more and think differently about a political issue. To change the world, change the language. Limit the language. This kind of lexical activism assumes the barriers to action are in our words, not in our ideas.

It's not limited to climate change. Sunday’s L.A. Times opinion page carried an illiterate article by Jonathan M. Katz bearing a headline in line with this newfangled newspeak: “Call immigration detention centers what they really are: concentration camps.”

I loathe the term concentration camp, because it is almost always used to evoke the moral gravity of the places where the Nazis brought Jews, Gypsies, gays, and others to be murdered. Let’s be clear; Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Ebensee, Buchenwald, Dachau, and the rest were not concentration camps. They were death camps. I am not in the habit of repeating Nazi propaganda, and neither should you be.
O’Rourke Invokes Holocaust while Criticizing Trump’s Immigration Policies
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Sunday invoked the Holocaust while criticizing President Donald Trump's immigration policies during a campaign stop in South Carolina.

During his rally, O'Rourke, a former Texas Democratic Congressman, was discussing how the German transatlantic liner St. Louis with 900 Jewish refugees was turned away by former Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, resulting in the death of more than 250 of the passengers during the Holocaust.

"In 1939, a ship set sail from the port of Hamburg, Germany with more than 900 Jewish refugees aboard – it’s called the St. Louis. Children, women, and men bound for Cuba," O'Rourke said. "They were going to deboard in the port of Havana, but as they were crossing the Atlantic, Cuba changed their asylum laws and did not allow those passengers to leave. So they set course for the United States. Our president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, said that that ship could not come to this country, we didn’t have the capacity, this was not our problem."

"The captain of that ship tried to run it aground in Florida, but we sent out Coast Guard cutters to prevent them from doing that, ultimately forcing that ship back across the Atlantic to Europe where more than 250 of her passengers – children, women, and men – were murdered in the Holocaust," O'Rourke continued.

O'Rourke went on to say the "stain is ours to share" even though it was just one man that made the decision, referring to Roosevelt. He then compared the situation to Trump's immigration policy today by saying it is the "decision for family separation and the cruelty with which we treat children in this country today."
Ocasio-Cortez Compares Basic Economics Textbook to Mein Kampf (satire)
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is once again under fire for minimizing the holocaust after she referred to the book “Basic Economics” as “pretty much the same thing as” Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler’s manifesto.

Ocasio-Cortez has already faced criticism after comparing the use of tear gas to the Nazis’ use of cyanide gas and for likening migrant camps at the US-Mexico border to concentration camps. But she doubled down Wednesday after receiving a copy of “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell in the mail from an anonymous sender.

“Oh my god, I just opened up this book and it said all sorts of hateful things, like that ‘government intervention leads to market inefficiencies’ and that ‘taxes on corporations are passed onto consumers,’ whatever that means,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram video. “This is like, basically just as bad as that Hitler book, Mine Craft (sic).”

AOC went on to call Sowell “literally Hitler” and added, “and if you post on Twitter disagreeing with me, then guess what? You’re gerbils (sic).”
Seth Frantzman: The shameful rise in antisemitism behind Cusack’s antisemitic tweet
That western societies seem to need to educate the more educated people, including actors, cartoonists and politicians, basically the most privileged people with the largest megaphones, how not to be racist anti-Semites, showed that the real problem is far deeper. For years antisemitism was considered normal. When people say they don’t “see” racism it is because they have ignored it for too long. Western societies have been better at seeing racism against black people for instance. It’s a long learning curve. But how did a civilization that put people into gas chambers for being Jewish and forced them to wear Stars of David before mass murdering them, suddenly not notice the Star of David after? One million Jewish children were murdered in the Shoah. You’re telling me that 1 million Jewish children could be systematically murdered by the German Nazis in a crime that has become the most common cultural reference in most western countries, and that somehow the Star of David they were sent to their deaths in doesn’t automatically leap out when you see it and make you think twice about putting it on cartoon dogs or on memes?

This is a lie, not a mistake. No one ever tweets or draws a Star of David in any western country without knowing exactly what they are doing. They would be as likely to do so as to draw a swastika and then pretend it was just a mistake. When you tweet a Star of David you know you’re symbolizing Jews. So if you tweet it in a positive way then you are being positive about Jews, if you have a Star of David hand crushing people, you know exactly what you are doing.

When people claim they don’t “see” antisemitism, or that it’s a “mistake” it is because their society has conditioned them in whatever milieu they live in to not care about Jews. Many of these self-styled “antifascists” or “progressives” care deeply about other minority groups. There is one group they don’t include in their united front against racism. Jews.

Here’s how people can stop themselves from being racist anti-Semites. Stop tweeting anything with a Star of David that is a negative tweet. Just stop. Just like you don’t post photos of blackface, you can stop using the Star of David to frame things you dislike. So, you don’t like Israel. You should ask yourself first why, out of 200 countries, you obsessively hate only one that happens to be Jewish? But ok, let’s say you honestly just oppose Israel. Here’s a thought: Write the word “Israel” instead of a Star of David. Educated, wealthy people who are professors, city councilmen, congresswomen, actors, can figure this out. There is no excuse.


BBC Tory leadership contest imam revealed to have tweeted about 'Zionists... hiding behind the Holocaust'
The imam who warned Tory leadership contenders “words have consequences” as he discussed Islamophobia has been revealed to have made inflammatory accusations about how "Zionists" were "hiding behind the Holocaust".

Abdullah Patel, from Bristol, was one of the guests chosen by BBC producers to put a question to Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart during Tuesday’s televised debate.

He reminded the politicians of their responsible to avoid using language which may spark Islamophobia - but Mr Patel was later revealed by the Guido Fawkes site to have regularly made controversial statements himself about Zionism, Israel and the Jewish people.

In one message Mr Patel, who is also deputy head of a primary school in Gloucester, wrote: "How long are the Zionists going to hide behind the Holocaust cry? It was a tragedy, but Gaza today is a repeat of the oppression."

He also tweeted: “Every political figure on the Zionist’s payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn.

“They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them!”

Mr Patel also posted the same graphic showing Israel being relocated inside America as a “solution for Israel-Palestine conflict” that Labour MP Naz Shah posted in 2016, leading to her being briefly suspended from the party.
The questions the BBC must answer about Abdullah in Bristol
It’s important to establish these facts because, if @AbdullahPatel94 is, as he claims and the BBC seems to believe, the Abdullah Patel from the debate, the Corporation has some serious questions to answer about how extensively it vetted him. Guido Fawkes tweeted, before heading to bed, that those interested should have a gander at @AbdullahPatel94’s tweets about Jews. I did and what I found wasn’t pretty. Many of the tweets have now been deleted, so what follows is the screen grab. It was there for anyone to read.

The @AbdullahPatel94 account, which was opened in January 2011, has tweeted:
‘Every Political figure on the Zionist’s payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn. They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them!’

He has accused the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance of either ‘lying about wanting to protect freedom of speech, or they simply wish to undermine @jeremycorbyn’.

He has tweeted:
‘How long are the Zionists going to hide behind the Holocaust cry? It was a tragedy, but Gaza today is a repeat of the oppression.’

He accused the Jewish Labour Movement of ‘us[ing] its ties with Israel to try to destroy and silence any person who disagrees with your stance on Palestine’.

He has opined that ‘the concentration camp in Gaza is the modern day Auschwitz’, adding: ‘The Jews got justice, th[e] Muslims deserve theirs.’

During Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 2014 response to Hamas’s murder of three Israeli teenagers and its firing of missiles at Israeli civilians, he tweeted: ‘[I]t’s the Holocaust all over again.’

He has tweeted in relation to Israel: ‘To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise’, a quote which originated with American white supremacist Kevin Alfred Strom.
“AMAN FROM LONDON” SUSPENDED FROM CONTROVERSIAL LAW FIRM
After ‘Abdullah from Bristol’ was suspended from teaching duties at his school after Guido exposed his highly unpleasant social media output, ‘Aman from London’ has now suffered the same fate. Guido revealed that Aman Thakar was actually a Labour Party council candidate and previously worked at Labour HQ on anti-Semitism complaints – something which the BBC knowingly overlooked – as well as sending questionable tweets about Hitler. He’s now been suspended from his job at controversial ambulance-chasing law firm Leigh Day. Burley’s kiss of death strikes again… two people have lost their jobs over the debate last night, none of them work at the BBC…
Christians who stand with Israel combat BDS
Among Christians who stand with Israel, none comes so close to being monolithic in their support than evangelicals. A 2017 poll by Lifeway Research revealed that 67 percent of evangelical Christians have a positive perception of the Jewish state.

That is a lot of people. According to France’s Sébastien Fath, there are about 630 million evangelicals in the world. In 2014, Pew indicated there were as many as 81 million just in the United States.

On the face of it, that translates into a huge support base for the modern Israeli state. By the numbers, there are 422 million evangelicals around the world, including 54 million in the US.

Figures like these have persuaded many Israelis to regard evangelical support as more significant than that of any single nation. While in Brazil in December 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “We have no better friends in the world than the evangelical community, and the evangelical community has no better friend in the world than Israel.”

There is, of course, more to the story. The Lifeway Research poll indicated that a whopping 97 percent of evangelicals who support Israel have never visited it. Two-thirds do not have a Jewish friend.

Perhaps for these reasons alone, the primary focus of organizations that represent evangelical support for Israel do not focus on the global Boycott, Divestment, Sanction campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state and to cripple its economy. Instead, they concentrate on educating their constituents about the nation of Israel.

“The BDS movement relies on lies and bigotry to advance its agenda, we combat those by teaching the truth and preaching tolerance,” says Shari Dollinger, co-executive director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI). “CUFI combats BDS through education and advocacy on campus, in churches and through social media. While we do not focus on specific conferences or events on BDS, it is an issue that is discussed at our major gatherings. Combating BDS is a core element of our policy agenda.”


The Washington Post All The News That’s Not Fit To Print
“Great is truth,” the deceased British philosopher and writer Aldous Huxley intoned, “but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects…propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” With its recent coverage of the Israel-Islamist conflict, The Washington Post proves Huxley’s point. With growing frequency, the newspaper is omitting crucial context.

Take, for example, Ruth Eglash’s June 16, 2019 report “Netanyahu inaugurates Trump Heights, Israel’s newest town on the Golan Heights.” The newspaper asserts that the Golan Heights “was captured by Israeli forces during the 1967 Israeli-Arab War, which began when Israel launched a preemptive strike after neighboring Arab countries mobilized forces at the borders.” While correct, this is not the full story.

Arab countries did far more than “mobilize forces”—in fact, no fewer than 250,000 troops, 2,000 tanks and 700 aircraft—at Israel’s borders. The military alliance of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan actively called for the destruction of the world’s sole Jewish state, which then had a population of only 2 million and a landmass smaller than New Jersey. A month before the June 1967 War, Egypt expelled U.N. peacekeeping personnel from the Sinai Peninsula. On May 20, Syrian Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad stressed, “The time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.” On May 22, in an act of war, Egypt closed the international Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

The Post does briefly note that, prior to the 1967 War, Syria used the Golan Heights “as a shelling position,” but fails to offer more details. In fact, on several occasions before 1967, Syrian artillery atop the Heights “leveled a blanket of shells on Israeli settlements across the Hula Valley”—one of several important events leading up to the war, as the historian Michael Oren documented in his 2002 book, Six Days of War. Syrian snipers also used the Heights to murder, shoot and harass Israeli civilians, many of them farmers, living and working down below.
One Sentence From a New York Times Letter About Birthright Israel Packs In Three Inaccuracies
A front-page New York Times article earlier this month about Birthright Israel problematically echoed the “Zionism is racism” myth. Now the Times has compounded the error by publishing a letter to the editor that includes a false claim about the program.

The Times-published letter to the editor claims, inaccurately, “Birthright is funded mainly by Donald Trump’s biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson.”

Leave it to The New York Times to manage the extraordinary feat of packing three inaccuracies into a single 11-word sentence, but there it is.

First, the reference to “Sheldon Adelson” omits Dr. Miriam Adelson, Sheldon’s spouse and his partner in philanthropy. Ignoring a woman is often correctly defined as sexism. When The Algemeiner reported last year that Sheldon and Miriam Adelson had announced a $70 million gift to Birthright in honor of Israel’s 70th birthday, bringing their total contributions to Birthright to $410 million, we correctly identified both of them as the donors.

Second, Adelson is not “Donald Trump’s biggest donor.” The Adelsons are big political donors, and according to OpenSecrets.org they were the largest federal contributors in the 2018 campaign cycle. But Trump wasn’t on the ballot in 2018. In any case, giving money to Republicans or conservatives or to independent expenditure operations is not the exact same thing as giving to Donald Trump or to Trump’s campaign. For the 2016 cycle, in which Trump ran, OpenSecrets refers to “Trump’s top campaign donor, Robert Mercer, the billionaire co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.” The Adelsons gave more political money overall, but the Mercers gave more specifically to Trump, at least by the Open Secrets count.
U.S. antisemitism envoy: Armed guards needed at synagogues, Jewish centers
Elan Carr, the US special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, said in Jerusalem on Wednesday that armed guards should be posted at every synagogue, Jewish school and Jewish community center (JCC) across the United States.

Carr, interviewed on stage at the Global Coalition 4 Israel Conference by Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz, said such a move was an unfortunate but necessary step.

“We live in a time of danger,” Carr said. “Any synagogue, every JCC, should have guards. God willing, may they never be needed, but they should be there.”

Carr was appointed to the position by US President Donald Trump earlier this year, after the post had been empty since Trump took office in 2017. Carr told the gathered audience of Jewish professionals and lay leaders that the president is fully committed to fighting antisemitism in the US and abroad.

"The rhetoric of the president couldn't be clearer," Carr said Wednesday. "Every time the president speaks on this issue, he calls [antisemitism] a vile poison that must be rooted out."

Carr said Trump has explicitly stated that “if you go after the Jews, we’re coming after you... he means it, and Vice President [Mike] Pence couldn’t be clearer – and [National Security Adviser] John Bolton couldn’t be clearer.”
Leading Canadian Jewish Group Decries Passage of Bill Banning Religious Symbols
A leading Canadian Jewish group has decried Monday’s passage by the National Assembly of Quebec of a bill banning civil servants from wearing religious symbols.

Bill 21 did not only include government officials, but also law enforcement officers, teachers and anyone employed by the state. Along with the cross and the hijab, the bill also bans Jewish symbols, such as the kippah.

Brenda Gewurz, chair of the Quebec branch of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), said in a statement, “The Jewish community of Quebec is profoundly disappointed with the adoption of Bill 21.”

“As CIJA argued during consultations at the National Assembly, Quebec’s secularity is not facing a threat that justifies the use of extraordinary measures such as invoking the notwithstanding clause,” she added.

“This bill is reckless. It undermines religious freedom and equal access to employment in the public and parapublic sectors,” Gewurz asserted.

“Furthermore,” she noted, “we are troubled by the last-minute amendments tightening the provisions of the law and its implementation, which were not discussed in depth or subject to public consultation.”
In two cases, men wearing kippas targeted with anti-Semitic insults in Germany
An Orthodox rabbi and a 20-year-old man, both wearing kippas, were subjected to anti-Semitic slurs in separate incidents in Germany.

The rabbi was targeted Monday night in Dusseldorf and the young man on Sunday night in Berlin.

In Dusseldorf, Rabbi Chaim Barkahn told the German news agency dpa that he was insulted with anti-Semitic slurs and followed on the street.

“It was a very, very terrible moment,” said the rabbi, who ducked into the community center.

Barkahn said it was his first such experience in a city in which he has lived and served the Jewish community for 18 years.

“Unfortunately, I can now say I don’t feel safe anymore in Düsseldorf as a Jew. But I am hoping for better times,” he said.

In the Berlin incident, in the Prenzlauer Berg district, the man said the perpetrators allegedly also tried to spit on him.

Both incidents are being investigated.
Israeli laser system to protect NATO tanker transport aircraft
A laser system designed by Israel's Elbit Systems to protect aircraft against infrared missiles will be implemented in NATO's Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) starting in 2020, the company announced this week.

In a three-day series of flight tests for the new system at the end of May, the system was integrated into Airbus-manufactured A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. J-Music functioned flawlessly throughout the tests, proving itself capable of defeating multiple threat types. It successfully handled simultaneous threat scenarios and overcome head-on, tail-on and side-on threats from a number of several ranges and at different altitudes.

Elbit Systems engineers supported the tests and NATO officials monitored the process.

Elbit Systems’ DIRCM is designed as open architecture and integrates the latest laser technology with a high frame-rate thermal camera and a small, dynamic high-speed sealed-mirror turret.

Peter Dohmen, general manager of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, said: “The MMF program is a clear example of nations recognizing the need to generate modern defense capabilities in a cooperative, cost-efficient and effective way."

Dohmen said that the J-Music system provided added security and operational flexibility to the NATO fleet.
New Beijing Mega-Airport to Use Israeli Runway Protection System
Israel’s Xsight Systems said on Wednesday that its hazard detection technology will be installed on runways of a new mega-airport in China scheduled to open later this year.

Xsight’s artificial intelligence-based system improves runway safety and capacity by monitoring and detecting any forms of debris or hazards and can prevent incidents like bird strikes or airplanes veering off the runway, the company said.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The technology will be installed on the north and east runways of Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is due to open in September and will accommodate 72 million passengers a year by 2025, making it one of the world’s busiest airports upon completion.

The system is already in use in airports in the United States, Israel and Thailand, and was selected earlier this year for installment at a different Beijing airport.
NFL star Deshaun Watson visits West Bank, 'falls in love'
NFL Houston Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson visited Israel and toured the ancient city of Shiloh on Monday, saying that "Israel is a wonderful country."

Watson was accompanied by the America Voices for Israel group, who brought him to visit the Holy Land. He enjoyed a guided tour in Shiloh with its biblical history and even remained at the place to pray for half an hour.

"In America, Israel is sometimes presented in a negative sense of fear and terror, but when you come here you realize how wrong it is, it's fun to see the beautiful country with wonderful people and amazing attitude towards us. I fell in love with you," Watson concluded his visit.

Watson was invited to the office of the Head of the Binyamin Council Israel Gantz, who thanked Watson and said that "I was happy to hear from Deshaun about his excited impression of Israel in general and Binyamin - the Land of the Bible in particular."
In first, Israeli wins European fencing championship
Israeli fencer Yuval Freilich on Tuesday won the gold medal in the European Fencing Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Freilich, ranked 40th in the world, managed to defeat Italian Andrea Santarelli, ranked 13th, in the contest’s final.

The two ended the first third of their fight in a tie at 3:3, but Freilich took the lead in the next two thirds and finished 15:9.

Freilich is the first Israeli fencer to win a European championship.

Freilich, 24, grew up in the settlement of Neve Daniel. He is the son of Australian immigrants and has been fencing since age 5. He won two gold medals in teen championships in 2014 and 2015 and a silver in the under-23 category in 2016.

“It’s the most incredible feeling,” he said in an interview posted to Facebook by the European Fencing Confederation.
A Guide to Israel’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Israel boasts an array of world heritage sites for anyone looking for an experience in the dimensions of nature, history or religion. To foster awareness and preservation of unique places such as the ruins of Aksum in Ethiopia, the Belize Barrier Reef or the Sydney Opera House, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designates places as World Heritage Sites. The designation lends prestige, boosts tourism, and can also mean international assistance in preserving the site.

At the beginning of 2019, Israel and the US withdrew from UNESCO to protest Arab politicization of the organization. The controversy is beyond the scope of this article. Readers can learn more at UN Watch and Haaretz. The politics does not diminish the historical and cultural significance of the world heritage sites in Israel.

UNESCO has designated nearly 1,100 World Heritage sites. If visiting heritage sites in Israel is on your bucket list, here are the places to know about.

Jerusalem’s Old City
Jerusalem’s Old City features some of the most important and ancient holy sites in the world — all enclosed within one square kilometer. Pilgrims from all over the world pass through the Old City walls (built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent) to visit the Temple Mount and its mosques (the iconic Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque), the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

UNESCO’s World Heritage designation doesn’t associate Jerusalem with Israel or the Palestinian Authority. Further angering Israel, the Old City was also placed on UNESCO’s list of Endangered World Heritage Sites.

More information at UNESCO and the Jerusalem Municipality.
Sarah Idan Receives 2019 Ambassador for Peace Award


Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Ranked Among Maxim Magazine’s ‘Hot 100’ for 2019
Israeli actress and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot is on Maxim magazine’s “Hot 100” list of the world’s sexiest women for 2019, it was announced on Monday.

The magazine said about Gadot, “The only woman on this list who can field strip an M16, this 34-year-old superbabe’s two-year stint in the IDF made her the natural choice to play gun-toting Gisele in the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise. Struggling model-actresses take heart: Before she was queen of the DC Extended Universe, she was Miss Israel in 2004.”

Maxim explained its process for selecting the “Hot 100” list, saying, “This year we decided to do things a bit differently. The inexorable rise of digital influencers — and a certain progressive social movement you may have heard a little something about — led us to reconsider what it means to be ‘hot’ in 2019.”

“There’s physical beauty, sure. But that was only part of our attraction algorithm,” the magazine added. “As a general rule, the women who caught our eye bring something else to the party, succeeding in their chosen field against long odds through sheer determination, raw talent, and a willingness to put themselves out there.”



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