Thursday, June 20, 2019

From Ian:

Gil Troy: The real Birthright: Inheriting our Jewish story
Yet, despite all this, despite Birthright’s hall-of-fame high educational batting average, 13 frauds who essentially stole spots from others and came on trips last year to walk off their trips have received far more press coverage than last year’s 48,000 satisfied participants.

THE LATEST example of this media distortion is the New York Times article of June 11, 2019, describing how “some Jewish activists have protested Birthright.” Weasel wording alert: “Some,” not 13; and “activists,” to make them sound romantic. The organization that trained these infiltrators, IfNotNow [INN], is described as “a network of Jewish activists” – that word again! – “who want to end Jewish American support for the occupation.”

Shouldn’t America’s “newspaper of record” have noted that these marginal voices don’t endorse Israel’s existence? According to The Forward, INN “does not take an official stance on BDS or whether an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal should have one or two states.” Hmm, we know what that means. Days before the Times article, some INN members tried banning the Israeli flag or any pride flags with Magen Davids from Washington’s Dyke March.

These sleights of hands and oversights rest on a bigger distortion – the barrage of claims that young American Jews are abandoning Israel.

“The Birthright protests... highlight a generational divide,” the Times reports, noting: “Just 6% of American Jews over the age of 50 believe that the United States gives Israel too much support... while “that view is held by 25% of Jews aged 18 to 29, the cohort that goes on Birthright trips.”

What an odd way to report data. We’re supposed to despair that four times as many young Jews reject Israel; but if 100 minus 25 is 75, perhaps 75% of this supposedly alienated young generation love the Jewish state and its generous American friends?

Here’s the real story: Birthright Israel, the 21 century’s most successful Jewish educational intervention, has been bridging the gap between Israel and the Diaspora with a light touch, an open, ethical approach and dedicated staffers. It must be forever responsive – adjusting, fixing, reimagining – without being reactive. And its secret ingredient – beyond the amazing participants who open themselves up to start thinking about captaining their own Jewish journeys, with no strings attached – is that magic resource Edelstein identified, the Jewish story, especially when discovered in the Jewish homeland.
Hoenlein: UNESCO has distorted the history of the Jewish people
Over the past two years, UNESCO has been washing away evidence of Jewish history in Israel, according to Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“Why would UNESCO devote their energy, time and resources to rewrite and distort the history of the Jewish people?” Hoenlein asked the crowd at the Global Coalition 4 Israel conference in Jerusalem on Thursday.

“Why would they engage in a counterproductive and deceptive process over two years to deny 3,800 years of Jewish history and 2,000 years of Christian history?” he continued, referring to the UNESCO resolution that only used the Arabic name Haram al-Sharif to refer to the Temple Mount.

First, Hoenlein said, “they hyphenated traditional names with Arabic words, then within two years the Jewish names were removed… Did they not have more important things to do?”

Hoenlein called this the ultimate act of antisemitism.

“Today, they understand that if you take away our past, you take away our future,” he continued. “If you cut us off from our roots, if we have no attachment to this sacred land, then what right do we or our children have to be here in the future?”

But he said the Jewish people should take solace in concrete archaeological evidence that is unquestionable.

“Every excavation, every archaeological site, yielded tens of thousands of artifacts and discoveries, every one consistent with Tanach, every one attesting to the thousands of years of undeniable, irrefutable evidence of our past,” Hoenlein said.

Rivlin says calls for Israel boycott are ‘modern blood libels’
President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday slammed the “modern blood libels” of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, warning against both left-wing Jew-hatred disguised as anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism from right-wing supporters of the Jewish state.

“BDS does not seek peace, or even to help our Palestinian neighbors. It seeks to delegitimize Israel’s very existence,” he said at a conference of international pro-Israel activists in Jerusalem.

He urged participants to “use all the tools at our disposal to defeat BDS” in all sectors of government, the media and civil society.

“We must expose the modern blood libels spread by BDS, and put a price on its hate and discrimination,” he said at the International BDS Conference, which was organized by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

Headed by Gilad Erdan, the ministry is tasked with fighting BDS and other efforts to delegitimize Israel.

Jerusalem is willing to listen to “legitimate criticism” that stems from genuine concern for its security and welfare, especially when it is voiced by Diaspora Jews, the president went on. The Israeli government “must do a better job of listening to your concerns,” he told the participants, who hailed from 30 countries, to applause.

But delegitimizing the Jewish state was unacceptable, he insisted.

“Today especially, we must stand together against the growing threats of anti-Semitism, whether from the left or right, or radical Islam,” the president went on.
Israel's Pres.: Left Hides Anti-Semitism Behind Anti-Zionism
Israel's President Reuven Rivlin addressed the BDs movement and its intentions at a conference designed to concentrate efforts on combating BDS and groups like it around the world.




The Tikvah Podcast:
Daniel Krauthammer on His Father’s Jewish Legacy

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since the eminent columnist—and great Jewish conservative—Charles Krauthammer passed away. Krauthammer’s clarity of mind and force of argument were the cornerstone of American conservative commentary, and the sheer breadth of his knowledge and interests made him a truly irreplaceable writer.

Thankfully for those of us who once relied on Krauthammer’s commentary to help us think through the most pressing issues of the day, his son Daniel has lovingly editing his father’s final volume of collected essays, entitled The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors. Of course, like all of Charles Krauthammer’s writing, this collection spans a huge range of topics, from science, medicine, and bioethics to politics, culture, and history. But in this week’s podcast, Jonathan Silver sits down with Daniel Krauthammer to focus on his father’s Jewish writings. Daniel reflects on his father’s thinking about Israel, faith, and Jewish ideas, and remembers what Charles was like as Jewish father. This conversation is both a meditation on and tribute to Dr. Krauthammer, and we hope you enjoy it.
Jewish refugees debated for first time in UK parliament
For the first time, the issue of Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa was debated in the UK Parliament. The hour-long debate in Westminster Hall, secured by MP Theresa Villiers, obtained unanimous approval by all parliamentarians present for Jewish refugees from the MENA to be 'considered' by the House. You can read the full HANSARD transcript here.

Participating in the debate were Dr Andrew Murrison, the junior minister in charge of the Middle East at the Foreign Office and Opposition spokeman Fabian Hamilton, nine back-bench members of Parliament from both the main parties (no Liberal Democrat MPS attended), as well as representatives of the Northern Irish DUP and the Scottish Nationalists.

However, in reply to questions from MPs Zac Goldsmith and Matthew Offord, junior minister for the Middle East Dr Andrew Murrison refused to commit the UK government to following the lead of the US Congress and the Canadian Parliament: both had passed a resolution calling for explicit recognition for Jewish refugees. Dr Murrison referred to Security UN Resolution 242 as the template for considering the rights of both refugee populations 'in the round'. He did not comment on the imbalance in UN resolutions, 172 of which dealt with Palestinian refugees, not one on Jewish refugees.

The minister (pictured above) mentioned 'examples of countries that have done relatively well in a dismal scene. "I cite Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan*....as countries where there has been a more benign attitude towards Jewish refugees," he said."This must not obscure the general awfulness," he acknowledged.

Introducing the topic, Ms Villiers said that the 856,000 Jews ethnically cleansed from pre-Islamic communities in Arab countries were the key to understanding the Middle East conflict. She agreed with MPs Andrew Percy (who had relatives of a persecuted Yemenite family in his constituency) and Stephen Crabbe that awareness of the issue was key to debunking the 'false narrative' that Israel was a creation of the West and that no Jews had ever lived in the Middle East. She pointed out that a disproportionate amount of airtime was devoted to the Palestinian refugees. Despite the early hardships, the integration of MENA Jews into Israel had been a 'huge success'', with Mizrahi Jews today a valued part of the fabric of Israeli society as well as in the West.
Seth J. Frantzman: Now it’s concentration camps: The latest attack on Jewish history - analysis
In the US and the West in general Jews are targeted almost every day. Whether it is the American professor telling Mizrahi Jews that they are not really Mizrahi but Palestinians, or the other professor claiming the Rothschilds created AIDs, or the cartoonist in Portugal claiming a Star of David on a dog is just “critiquing” Jews, or the actor using a Star of David to imply Jews crush and silence people, or the city councilman in the US capital claiming the Jews control the weather, or a US Congresswoman claiming “it’s all about the Benjamins” when discussing Jews and Israel, or the left wing Facebook group in the UK referring to the Holocaust as the “Hollowcost,” every single day Jews are being singled out.

Why can’t people just stop. Stop always needing to repackage the Holocaust. For instance Native-Americans were put on reservations, maybe the US is keeping immigrants in a reservation, or maybe a “Bantustan” or a Gulag. Gulag could be a good term. One could even speak of America’s “gulag archipelago” if one wants to borrow from history. Those who use the term concentration camp first pretended that they merely meant the 1930s type and that this is to highlight the “never again” nature of opposition to US President Donald Trump. But wait, then they claim that actually the term pre-dates the Holocaust or refers to Japanese internment camps. So which is it? Are you trying to argue that the US is now in 1933, or that the US is simply doing to migrants what the British did to the Afrikaner Boers in South Africa?

We know what’s really going on. Everything that happened to Jews is repackaged to be watered down for modern American talking points. Former National Security Advisor Michael Hayden put a photo of Auschwitz on Twitter in June 2018 and claimed “other governments have separated mothers and children.” In October 2018 a Holocaust historian claimed the US was now like Nazi Germany. There is a way of talking in the US and the West so that the Holocaust is the point of reference for everything. In some ways this honors Jewish suffering by making it the result of historic evil. On the other it turns everything into a new Holocaust, leading people to wonder what the actual Holocaust was. After all, if Auschwitz was similar to US immigration policy, then that means no one was killed there.

Most of those who use these memes and comparisons don’t really care about the Holocaust. They care about the here and now. They need to shock us and they want us to listen. SO they say “Nazi, nazi, Holocaust Holocaust” in order to make us listen. But you can only cry wolf so many times and call something “Nazi” before people probably stop listening. If the US immigration detention centers were really a prelude to a new extermination, then shouldn’t people be doing mass civil disobedience in front of them. People claim to be part of the “resistance” on Twitter, but they don’t seem to take any time out to actually do anything to “resist.” Tweeting is not resisting. If the only thing that was done to stop Hitler in 1933 was tweeting, then it’s no wonder he kept marching. It was Soviet tanks that stopped Hitler, and bombs and paratroops and riflemen. Ironically those who talk about the “resistance” in the US generally oppose gun ownership, so if the time comes that they actually needed to resist they wouldn’t have the tools. That’s because secretly they know there are no concentration camps in America. There may be a miserable immigration policy, but no one is going to lay down on the roads to the camps the way Bulgarians threatened to stop the Nazi deportations. There are no Bulgarian-style heroes in Congress or partisans who went to the forests of Belarus, there are just people who like to talk on Twitter.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Why disingenuous Holocaust analogies matter
Moreover, nothing going on at the border—as insufficiently funded federal personnel seek to cope with a massive influx of people either violating the law or seeking to game it with false asylum claims—is remotely comparable to the way Jews were treated during the years of World War II. That is true even of the much criticized separation of families at the border.

Arguments can be made to favor liberalizing U.S. immigration laws or even, as some figures like 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently suggested, welcoming illegal immigrants with open arms, rather than them being arrested or deported. But wherever you think about such ideas, support for enforcing the current laws doesn’t make anyone a racist—let alone a latter-day Nazi. It is only in today’s hyper-partisan era in which politics has become a form of warfare, rather than a debate in which people can agree to disagree, that such statements have become commonplace.

Some Jews may think their community should oppose the Trump administration’s policies because they are inconsistent with their ideas about Jewish values. Even if you agree with that notion, injecting the Holocaust into the debate has only one purpose: the demonization of political opponents and the delegitimization of support for the rule of law.

Even those who agree with AOC about the issue of illegal immigration ought to condemn the way she and other like-minded people talk about it. The more we strip the Holocaust of its singular nature, the more we disarm efforts to speak out against contemporary anti-Semitism and genocide. And the more we use Holocaust terms to conduct a debate about even the most emotional political issues, the more we condemn this nation to rhetorical violence that exacerbates our already dangerously divided society. Anyone who thinks that’s consistent with Jewish values doesn’t know the meaning of the term.
Pelosi Would Not Address Ocasio-Cortez Holocaust Comments
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would not address comments made by New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday comparing immigrant detention centers to concentration camps.

“These members of Congress, they come to represent their districts and their point of view and they take responsibility for the statements that they make,” Pelosi said to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast when asked about Ocasio-Cortez’s comments and whether she has had a conversation with the freshman Democrats about the “power of their words.”

“I’m not up-to-date with her most recent remarks,” Pelosi continued. “I saw them on the news, but I haven’t spoken to her about that.”


Holocaust Research Center Yad Vashem Fires Back At Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Concentration Camp’ Comparison
A leading Holocaust museum publicly responded to Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s allegation that the U.S. is “running concentration camps” on the southern border.

Several prominent Jewish groups, including Holocaust research center Yad Vashem, responded to Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram comparison of migrant detention centers to Nazi “concentration camps” on Twitter this week.

“@AOC Concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor.’ Learn about concentration camps,” Yad Vashem said in a tweet early Wednesday morning. The tweet included a link to an article from the organization about concentration camps.


Ocasio-Cortez invoked the “never again” phrase, which refers to the horrors of the Holocaust, and made a comparison between holding centers on the U.S. southern border and Nazi concentration camps in an Instagram live video Monday.


WATCH: Even MSNBC Slams Ocasio-Cortez For Her ‘Concentration Camp’ Remarks. Ocasio-Cortez Responds By Lying.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd slammed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Wednesday for her recent remarks comparing immigrant detention facilities on the border to concentration camps.

"She just did the people there a tremendous disservice," Todd said. "Be careful comparing them to Nazi concentration camps because they’re not at all comparable in the slightest."

"She tried to make a distinction between concentration camps and Nazi death camps,” Todd continued. "But Congresswoman, tens of thousands were also brutalized, starved, and ultimately died in those concentration camps."

Todd correctly noted that immigration detention facilities are "not at all comparable" to "Nazi concentration camps."

"Some Democrats have been reluctant to condemn her remarks, they don't want to get criticized on Twitter," Todd added. "Why are we so sheepish calling out people we agree with politically these days?"

"[Ocasio-Cortez] said she didn't use those words lightly," Todd concluded. "Well, neither did I."
De Blasio Slams Ocasio-Cortez’s Holocaust Comparison: ‘They Are Entirely Different Realities’
New York City mayor and presidential candidate Bill de Blasio on Wednesday slammed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) for comparing the crisis at the southern border to the Holocaust.

De Blasio appeared on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily, where host Chuck Todd asked him if he was "uncomfortable" by Ocasio-Cortez's Holocaust comparison.

"They are entirely different realities," de Blasio said.

Todd followed up by asking de Blasio whether he believes she was wrong and would be critical of her.

"I respect her greatly and I feel very close to her in terms of philosophy, but of course she was wrong," de Blasio said. "You cannot compare what the Nazis did in concentration camps … There is no way to compare."


Ocasio-Cortez Loses College Students Over Concentration Camp Comment
Campus Reform's Cabot Phillips went to D.C.'s George Washington University to ask college students what they thought about Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet. Though most of the students appeared to be trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, they all agreed that she'd gone too far.

"I think she owes a major apology to the American people for comparing these detainment camps to one of the most horrific events ever in history," says one student. He goes on to describe the comment as "an embarrassment to the Democratic Party."

"You can't be throwing the word 'concentration camps' around all willy-nilly," says another. The hyperbolic comments "might make the people who would normally support her be a little bit annoyed," suggests another.

"I think that's a bit extreme," one remarks. "To call them concentration camps where, you know, no one's being killed en masse, or killed indiscriminately is a reach," says another.

Though most of the students appeared to be trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, they all agreed that she'd gone too far. "I see what she's trying to do, kind of rallies her base, but I think that it's not very good for public discourse," says one student.


Andrew Klavan: AOC Goes Full AOC (Satire)
Shapely dimwit Alexandria Occasional-Cortex is very upset that the Holocaust has come to America in the form of arresting people for breaking the law. The adorable and did I mention shapely little nincompoop took to one of those social media thingumbobs to decry the fact that illegal aliens were being held in detention camps instead of being released so they could illegally vote for Democrats.

Speaking of the detention camp system set up under President Clinton and expanded under President Obama, the curvaceous dunderhead declared—and this is a real quote: “The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border. And if that doesn’t bother you I don’t, I, like, we can have, okay, whatever, I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not, that 'never again' means something.”

The video received hundreds and hundreds of heart symbols from admirers who were either listening very carefully to what the congresswoman was saying or perhaps thinking of something else entirely.

Now some people might say that arresting and detaining illegal aliens for breaking the law is not really exactly the same as slaughtering millions of innocent citizens because of their race, but that would be telling the truth and none of the people who would do that work for the magazine Esquire, which combed the alleys and byways of the underbelly of America and discovered someone who calls himself a concentration camp expert. The expert confirmed to Esquire that, yes, the Clinton-Obama camps were indeed concentration camps and therefore AOC’s comment comparing the arrest of lawbreakers with the slaughter of Jews was not as degrading, disgusting, ignorant and putrid as it might sound to someone with actual knowledge.
AOC Calls Hilton Hotel a Concentration Camp After Room Service Arrives Late (satire)
In a scathing one-star TripAdvisor review, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. “literally a concentration camp” after her room service order arrived nearly 15 minutes late.

“Just like the knotsies (sic) starved the Jews in the Holocaust, the Hilton is refusing to bring me my breakfast omelette in a timely manner, putting my health, and therefore my life, at risk,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “It is hard to believe I am in an actual concentration camp.”

The post was criticized by Jewish advocacy groups as well as by Hilton management, who pointed out that service was only delayed because she gave the operator an incorrect room number. But the freshmen representative countered that those focused on her analogy were missing the bigger picture.

“If you care more about me making yet another holocaust comparison than the fact that our country’s hotels are literally trying to starve people, then you need to examine your morals,” she wrote. “In fact, you might be a knotsie!”
CNN’s Van Jones Allows Congresswoman Omar to Deploy Yet Another Antisemitic Trope on His Show
While Schakowsky said that there was a “genuine feeling” among “some of the people who were upset about what they heard as antisemitism,” Omar agreed but countered that there are also “a lot of very loud people who may not have a genuine concern.”

In fact, the claim that Jews falsify or manufacture charges of antisemitism to shut down debate on Israel is yet another antisemitic trope. It’s so common, it has its own name, the Livingstone formulation. The Livingstone formulation makes an unfounded assumption that Jews are acting in bad faith. It then uses that assumption to justify avoiding the task of evaluating whether the statement that was the subject of the original complaint is in fact antisemitic.

When Omar deployed the Livingstone formulation on his show, however, Jones didn’t intervene. Throughout this portion of the interview, he never challenged her.

Instead, he asked her easy, supportive questions like, “what did you learn from that?” This gave Omar the opportunity to talk about “my shortcomings of not understanding what certain words could mean to your particular community.” Jones could have, but didn’t, point out that Omar understood perfectly well what the words meant when comments that were nearly identical in substance were aimed at her by Fox News host Jeanine Piro. (In early March, Piro said about Omar, “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”)
Why Are Progressives Using an Anti-Semitic Slur Coined by the KKK?
After a video of New York University student Leen Dweik confronting Chelsea Clinton at the Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre vigil went viral in February, thousands of people dug through Dweik’s Twitter feed. What did they find? A bunch of slurs. Dweik quickly apologized for dropping the racist “N” word and homophobic “F” word. However, no apology came for publicly calling someone the white supremacist phrase “Zio.”

While it might seem like an innocent abbreviation of Zionist, “Zio” is a derogatory code word for Jews invented by white supremacists. Despite its right-wing extremist roots, the term has been re-popularized by anti-Israel activists, normalizing violent anti-Semitic vernacular among self-identified progressives.

In 2017, the Chicago Dyke March tweeted, “Zio tears replenish my electrolytes!” after it was criticized for removing participants who waved rainbow flags adorned with a Star of David. In 2016, a chairman of the Oxford University Labour Club resigned over his constant use of the term among his peers. Just type the word into Twitter advanced search and you’ll find it casually used by pro-Palestinian advocates and white supremacists alike.

A history of hate taints the term “Zio.”

“The primary user of the term tends to be someone on the far right, typically a white supremacist,” Aryeh Tuchman, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said. “David Duke is probably the best example. For him, it’s ‘Zio’ this and ‘Zio’ that.” Tuchman explained the term rose to prominence as a cover for right-wing anti-Semitism on social media.
Prime Minister of Malaysia questioned why Jews 'resent' being called 'hook-nosed' at controversial Cambridge Union appearance
He then alleged Israel had confiscated items on a relief boat sent to Gaza by Malaysia saying: “It is a Muslim mission, they don’t care – nine people were killed.”

The chair then suggested this was the responsibility of Israel and not the “Jewish people”.

The PM said: “I am waiting for the Jewish people to condemn Israel.”

At one point he also said:""Can you imagine the Israeli's taking over Cambridge and calling it Israel? How would you like that?"

The chair then returned to the Malaysian leader’s previous comments about “hook-nosed” Jews. He asked whether he was referring to “Jewish people who support Israel or just generalising?”

“In describing certain people we take some general characteristics that they have,” said the Malaysian PM.

“Why is it that it is the Jews who resent this when other people don’t resent being accused of some general characteristics they have?”

In response, the interviewer added: "Alright, I think that’s enough of that line of questioning from me.”
Boomerang: Economic pressure hits BDS campaigners
Gavrieli explained that as the ministry investigated the entities, it found “links between designated terrorist organizations and these [BDS] organizations,” which resorted to deception in an effort to conceal the connections. “In the values of 2019, you can’t present yourself as a terrorist,” said Gavrieli. “You need to have a human rights facade for a Western audience.”

The ministry addressed this tactic in its 2019 monograph, “Terrorists in Suits: The Ties between NGOs Promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations.” The results of the one-two punch by the ministry – and the international pro-Israel community – against BDS organizations has revealed that hardcore antisemitism and terrorism are integral elements of scores of BDS entities and individuals.

Without naming countries, Gavrieli cited the disturbing immorality involved when “states friendly to Israel are aiding groups that are involved in BDS.”

One of the most telling examples of a humanitarian organization pumping funds into terrorism involved World Vision. In August 2016, Israeli authorities revealed that Mohammed El-Halabi, director of the international NGO’s Gaza branch, siphoned $7.2 million a year to the Hamas terrorist movement. According to the Israeli government, “more than half of World Vision’s resources in the Gaza Strip − originating in aid money from Western states such as the United States, England and Australia − were transferred to Hamas to strengthen its terrorist arm.”

After the World Vision terrorism connection was revealed, Australia and Germany swiftly suspended their funding to the NGO.

Gavrieli explained because of the nature of state funding, “We have taken it [the issue of BDS and terrorism finance] to the state level.” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, for example, has addressed foreign states’ interior ministers and security service leaders.

“We are still in the process of communicating this message,” said the high-energy Gavrieli, “We see positive results,” he added, with scores of banks, online payment service accounts and other financial platforms having closed accounts of BDS groups due to concern over terrorism funding.
Is BDS a Real Threat to Israel?
Israel hosted an anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem in an attempt to amalgamate efforts to combat it. But is the BDS a real threat to Israel? The Front for Protection of Democracy founder Uri Zaki and Stand with Us' Tamir Oren discuss with host Benita Levin.


We don't need no education
Waters, who for years has acted as the poster boy for BDS, was included on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of top antisemites in 2018. Like other BDS supporters, Waters, who presents himself as a human rights activist, has developed an unwarranted obsession with Israel while ignoring very real human rights infringements elsewhere in the world.

In recent years, Waters has aggressively tried to pressure artists against appearing in Israel, although entertainers, sponsors and venue operators have asked him to stop mixing music and politics. Most recently, Madonna, when she appeared as a guest artist at the Eurovision in Tel Aviv, presented the message from her song “Music makes the people come together.”

The BDS campaign singles out Israel for delegitimization. Were Spain, France, Cyprus or any other European country with a simmering territorial dispute to win the Eurovision, there would not be an organized global campaign to prevent it becoming the host the following year. By pushing exclusively for the boycott of Israel, Waters is strengthening terrorism and backing those who want the Jewish state to disappear. Those who truly value coexistence, democracy and freedom, visit and make peace and music.

Admittedly, peace with the Palestinians seems far, far away, but demonizing one side of the conflict while the other gets away with murder doesn’t bring it any closer. I was encouraged by the kosher Iftar meal shared by Jews and Palestinians in Hebron, as The Jerusalem Post’s Tovah Lazaroff reported. The event was organized and sponsored by the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a joint Israeli-Palestinian group that aims to strengthen economic ties between Palestinians and Jews, to benefit all.

Watching Waters’s video, I thought of another “F” word: “Falsehood.” The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement presents itself as pro-peace and pro-Palestinian rather than anti-Israeli in nature. It also promotes a false analogy with South Africa in the apartheid era. This insults the memory of what black South Africans endured; defames Israel, where Arab citizens not only have the vote but can be elected to parliament and serve as judges; and feeds the lie that the Jewish people have no religious or historical connection to the Land of Israel.

Brick by brick, falsehood by falsehood, Waters is trying to build an invisible but dangerous wall between Israelis and the Palestinians. Not one built to keep terrorists out; a wall constructed to block normal, peaceful relations.
What happened to the Mark Collett video




BBC journalists get a ‘briefing’ from a past interviewee
Ahead of the US initiated economic workshop in Bahrain next week (which the Palestinian Authority claims to have ‘foiled’), PA and PLO representatives in London have been rather busy.

In addition to organising meetings with the Minister of State for the Middle East, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, the Labour party leader, RUSI, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine, CAABU and others, the PA representative in Britain, Husam Zomlot, also met with “senior BBC correspondents and journalists”.

Husam Zomlot – who just last month marched next to a Hamas affiliated activist at an anti-Israel demonstration in London – is a fairly regular participant in BBC content. While we do not know what he told BBC journalists at that meeting, we do know that BBC audiences have been repeatedly misled by his blatant falsehoods and inaccurate claims in the past.

“Israel’s colonialism”

“…their siege, their colonisation, their daily theft of our resources and land and their daily murder of our families and babies and women.”

“…they pulled out of Gaza to lay siege on the people of Gaza for all these years and turn Gaza into the dark ages…”

“There are no basic goods and commodities…[in the Gaza Strip]”

“…the original people, the natives, the Palestinians…”

“…another ethnic cleansing like they did in 1948.”
Honest Reporting: Guardian Recycles Old, Discredited Anti-Israel Smear From The Independent
Almost two weeks after The Independent published a baseless smear about Gazan babies dying alone in Israel – a claim swiftly exposed by HonestReporting – The Guardian’s Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha have now repeated the smear.

On June 7, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, a member of the British Labour party, claimed that a Gazan mother was told by doctors over the phone that two of her prematurely-born babies died. In an op-ed published in The Independent, Allin-Khan alleged that the “mother had to return to Gaza days after giving birth,” and therefore was not present when two of the triplets died. It was only months later, wrote Allin-Khan, that the “mother was issued a permit and was able to collect her and take her [remaining daughter] home.

As HonestReporting responded at the time:
According to multiple news sources, the mother was with the boys when they died. Rather than being far away in Gaza, the reports clearly indicated that the mother was actually with her children in Israel until their final moments, and only then returned to Gaza in order to bury them.

Anyone looking into the story online would easily have been able to find these articles – from the Israeli media and the Palestinian media alike – all stating the same thing; that the babies’ mother was actually with them when two of them died, and only returned to Gaza afterwards. Similarly, a quick Google search would have yielded HonestReporting’s response.


Church of England should abandon plans to honour antisemite P.G. Wodehouse with memorial stone at Westminster Abbey
The author, poet, humorist and antisemite, P.G. Wodehouse, is set to be honoured with a posthumous memorial stone at Westminster Abbey.

The Daily Telegraph has reported that plans have been made to lay a memorial stone in his honour alongside some of Britain’s most respected authors and poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer, C.S. Lewis and Edward Lear.

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, better known as P.G. Wodehouse, died in 1975 aged 93. As well as being a literary genius who has long been considered to be amongst Britain’s greatest authors, he was also an odious antisemite.

His numerous antisemitic comments included a letter to a friend, in which he wrote: “One odd thing about television is the way it shows people up. I always used to think Groucho Marx screamingly funny. I saw him on television the other night, and he was just a middle-aged Jew with no geniality whatever, in fact repulsive.”

In another letter, he told a friend that: “A curious thing about American books these days is that so many of them are Jewish propaganda.”

In yet another letter he wrote: “The trouble is, you see, all these Jews out here have been having a gorgeous time for years, fooling about with the shareholders’ money and giving all their relations fat jobs, and this gives the bankers an excuse for demanding a showdown.”

His antisemitism continued long after the horrors of the Holocaust.
Historian accused of having tried to dig up Holocaust dead against Jewish wishes
A complaint has been made to Staffordshire University about a historian, accusing her of having tried to excavate the remains of Holocaust victims in way that contravenes Jewish law.

Professor Caroline Sturdy Colls has produced a documentary, Adolf’s Island, which focuses on Alderney, the Channel Island where it is estimated between 400 and 10,000 people died in camps during the Nazi occupation.

Marcus Roberts, director of Anglo-Jewish history group Jtrails, has accused Prof Sturdy Colls of “exploiting Jewish history”, having “broken agreements” set out on digging near the mass graves.

Mr Roberts said that he and liaisons from the Chief Rabbi's office had previously worked with Prof Sturdy Colls to help her conduct archaeological research at the Treblinka Death Camp in Poland and on Alderney in a manner which would respect Jewish law.

He said they had supported her attempts to gain access “to do non-intrusive research at both sites” on the understanding that she would not dig in either place.

Mr Roberts even wrote a letter backing her efforts because "the key aspect of her methodology is that it can provide very high quality of integrated information about the site which entails no penetration or disturbance of the ground surface, excepting resting the probes of the resistance meter on the ground".
Jewish woman hit in head with metal ball outside of Paris synagogue
A 79-year-old Jewish woman was wounded outside a Paris synagogue when she was hit by a metal ball hurled at her head.

The victim was taken to the hospital with cranial damage and loss of blood. Her condition is stable, France Bleu reported Wednesday, a day after the attack in the French capital’s 11th District.

Witnesses outside the synagogue said they did not see where the ball was hurled from or by whom.

The World Jewish Congress said it viewed the incident as “part of a disturbing trend, not just in France but around the world.”

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, also condemned the “violent aggression.”

“We wish the victim a speedy recovery and call on the French authorities to do all in their power to bring the perpetrator to justice,” it said in a statement.
American tourist attacked in Berlin after saying he was Jewish
A 23-year-old American said he was hit in the face in Berlin after telling a group harassing him that he was Jewish.

The man, described as a tourist, suffered a black eye in the incident, which he reported via a police website, according to news reports. Police are investigating the Tuesday night attack as an anti-Semitic crime.

The episode occurred in a park in the Steglitz district of the German capital at about 9 p.m. when three people in a group of 10 began to harass him. One reportedly asked the tourist about his religion, then hit him in the face after he answered that he was Jewish.

The incident comes just days after an attack on a 20-year-old man who was wearing a kippah in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. He was harassed and the perpetrator tried unsuccessfully to spit on him. The case also is under investigation.
‘The future of Kazakhstan-Israel ties is very bright’
Newly elected Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has very big shoes to fill. The 66-year-old career diplomat, former foreign minister and prime minister, who was elected to lead Kazakhstan earlier this month, has succeeded Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, a political heavyweight who is considered the founder of modern Kazakhstan, and who led the rich Central Asia oil exporter for three decades.

The presidential elections were organized within weeks of Nazarbayev's decision to step down, which was announced in March. This expediency sought to preserve continuity and prevent political chaos that could destabilize the state, as similar transitions did to its neighbors.

Despite the conservative nature of Kazakh politics, which draw from a very centralized government, the elections boasted budding political pluralism: seven people vied for the presidency, including four opposition members; in a first for the country, the list of candidate included a woman – something that cannot be taken lightly in a Muslim society that, while demonstrably secular, is still very conservative; and Tokayev won only 71% of the votes. His predecessor, who last ran for president in 2015 against only two candidates, received about 98% of the votes.

Astana officials talk about "a gradual, peaceful” transition of power and members of the opposition, diplomats, and Western observers seem understanding of the need to maintain stability in the world's ninth-largest country, which is flanked by superpowers – China and Russia – that covet its many natural resources.
Exports to Asia increase by 23% in 2019, new report shows
Israeli exports of goods to Asia grew by 23.5% between March and May 2019, while imports from the continent dropped by 17.1%, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday in a new report.

According to the report, EU countries accounted for 41% of imports, whereas 14% of imports were of US origin. Imports from Asia accounted for 23% and 22% were from the rest of the world.

Israel’s trade deficit stood at 7.2 billion shekels ($2 billion) for that period, the report said.

For the period of January to May 2019, Israel's trade deficit stood at 8.6 billion shekels ($2.4 billion), compared to 3.2 billion shekels ($890 million) in the comparable period in 2018.
Martin Short, on first Israel visit, stands against antisemitism
In Israel to emcee the bestowal of the $1 million Genesis Prize on businessman-philanthropist Robert Kraft, actor, writer, comedian Martin Short spoke with The Media Line about his art, comedy and the rise of anti-Semitism.

Kraft becomes the sixth Genesis Prize Laureate, the fourth to receive the honor in Jerusalem as did last year’s recipient Michael Douglas, Michael Bloomberg and Itzhak Perlman. The prize, dubbed “the Jewish Nobel”, is presented to “a role model for young Jews through his/her commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish People and to the State of Israel,” according to the Foundation.

The Prize operates as a partnership between the private Genesis Prize Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office of the State of Israel, and the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).

Martin Short has thrilled audiences for nearly fifty-years on stage, screen and just about everything else. A Tony Award winner for Neil Simon’s Little Me; one of three notable ‘Amigos,’ and progenitor of such greats as Ed Grimley and Jiminy Glick, Short is visiting Israel for the first time. He sat down with The Media Line’s Felice Friedson after rehearsal...
Israel's 'On The Spectrum' takes top prizes at Monte Carlo TV Festival
The Israeli TV series On The Spectrum took home the awards for best show, best actor and best actress in the comedy category at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival in Monaco on Tuesday.

The Yes series, which premiered in Israel last year, won best actor for Niv Majar, best actress for Naomi Levov and best program.

The show, which focuses on the lives of three young adults on the autism spectrum who live in Tel Aviv, beat out nominees from the Czech Republic, Norway and France for the honors.
beat out nominees from the Czech Republic, Norway and France for the honors.

Other winners at the closing ceremony on Tuesday included Patricia Arquette for Escape at Dannemora and Richard Madden for Bodyguard.

Danna Stern, the managing director of yes Studios, accepted the best comedy award on behalf of On The Spectrum creator and writer Dana Idisis, who was unwell.

“Thank you for creating this amazing show,” Stern said to Idisis. “This is a beautiful piece of work,” she continued. “It’s about three adults living together in an apartment and just their day to day lives as people on the spectrum.”
Hebrew U, Tel Aviv, Technion among world's top 300 universities
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are among the world’s top 300 universities, according to the latest annual QS World University Rankings for 2019-2020.

Hebrew University remains Israel’s premier academic institution, despite slipping eight places in the rankings to 162nd worldwide. Founded in 1918, the university is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development, producing one-third of Israeli’s civilian research.

Tel Aviv University climbed 11 places to 219th place, while the Technion dropped by 10 places to 257th in the rankings.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was named the world’s top university for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University and Harvard University. ETH Zurich, ranked in sixth place worldwide, is the only non-American and non-British university to feature among the top 10 universities.

University performance was evaluated according to six metrics: academic reputation; employer reputation; faculty/student ratio; citations per faculty; international faculty ratio; and international student ratio.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (419), Bar-Ilan University (551-560) and the University of Haifa (651-700) also featured in the top 1,000 world rankings.

On Wednesday, renowned scientific journal Nature named the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot as the third best university worldwide for high-quality research in the natural sciences.




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