Friday, June 21, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: A week of Jew- and Israel-baiting in Londonistan
As I said in the Intelligence Squared debate, however, they cannot be separated. Anti-Zionism has weaponized antisemitism. The unique characteristics of antisemitism are replicated in anti-Zionism because anti-Zionism is the modern mutation of antisemitism.

Antisemitism is an obsessional hatred based entirely on lies; it accuses the Jews of crimes of which they are not only innocent but the victims; it holds them to standards expected of no one else; it depicts them as a global conspiracy of unique malice and power.

Anti-Zionism has exactly the same characteristics. It singles out the Jewish people alone as having no right to their own ancient homeland and, based on the big lie that the Jews stole the land, writes the Jews uniquely out of their own history.

The associated Israel-bashing demonizes, dehumanizes and delegitimizes Israel in order to bring about its destruction. It does this through a narrative of lies.

SOME OF these falsehoods were duly trotted out by our opponents in the debate: the Israeli anti-Zionist academic at Exeter University, Ilan Pappe, and the Al Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan.

Hasan proved himself to be an unscrupulous demagogue, rousing his Israel-bashing audience to wild support through the brazen tactic of reversing what I had just said. Repeatedly and hysterically, he claimed I was calling all anti-Zionists antisemites.

But this was the very opposite of what I had said. Many who subscribe to anti-Zionism, I said, were not antisemites. Plenty are; but many others subscribe to Israel-bashing lies without realizing they are lies.

They truly believe the lie that the “Palestinians” were the original inhabitants of the land, that Israel is a serial human rights abuser and all the rest of the calumnies. They believe them because they are the default position of the intelligentsia pumped out by the media, most importantly by the BBC, with virtually no public challenge.

Of course, none of this was to any avail. Demagoguery and falsehoods won that debate hands down.

Einat and I had been under no illusions and had known exactly what to expect. Nevertheless, it is lowering to be in the presence of evil. And whipping up an audience with falsehoods in the service of an agenda of hatred and bigotry is evil.

That audience contained a significant number of Muslims. Yet the huge problem of Muslim antisemitism in Britain and Europe is virtually never mentioned in a conspiracy of silence.

Ami Horowitz Goes 'Inside The Muslim Brotherhood'
Filmmaker and independent journalist Ami Horowitz’s new documentary provides viewers a glimpse "inside the Muslim Brotherhood," the "largest global Islamic organization in the world," which has branches in dozens of countries and which the Trump administration is considering formally designating a terrorist organization. In a series of interviews, Horowitz asks influential members of the group, including the U.S. and Turkey, to explain their ideology and approach to promoting their ultimate goal: “the creation of a global caliphate.”

"While the branches of the Brotherhood are geographically and politically diverse, their ideological goals remain constant and they seem to share a secretive but somewhat cohesive political structure with clearly definable goals," says Horowitz.

Samuel Tadros, from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, explains that all of the groups under the "umbrella" of the Brotherhood share a "common ideology," the promotion of an exclusively Muslim culture and the establishment of "an Islamic state that dominates the whole world."

The first interview Horowitz features takes place in Instanbul, Turkey, where he speaks with influential Muslim Brotherhood leader Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar. Asked if all of the Muslim Brotherhood branches "share the same ideology," Gaffar responds, "Of course. All of us share an underlying ideology which comes from Islam. You have this ideology, you have this group to fulfill the condition of this ideology, which is in Algeria, or in Chad, or in Berlin, in Malaysia or Finlandia, in America and Russia and Mozambique and South Africa and everywhere. It is the best for everyone!"

The Brotherhood has "aggressively tried to expand their global influence by sending an unknown amount of proxies around the world with the goal of sowing disorder and to radicalize the Islamic populace in order to achieve their stated goal of global dominance," says Horowitz. "They have people on the ground in all major European countries that are actively trying to subvert the political system."

'Dangerous' Muslim Brotherhood fatwa app in Apple Store's top 100 downloads
A “dangerous hate” app linked to the Muslim Brotherhood has been in the top 100 downloads in the Apple store in a third of European countries since its launch, despite international calls for it to be banned.

The Euro Fatwa app, which was launched in April, was created by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, a Dublin private foundation set up by Yusuf Al Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Touted as a guide to help Muslims adhere to Islam, critics including Germany’s security service, say the app is a radicalisation tool.

It contains an introduction by Al Qaradawi, now 93, in which he makes derogatory references to Jews while speaking about historic fatwas.

It also claims European laws do not have to be obeyed if they contradict Islamic rules.

Al Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar, is banned from the US, UK and France for his extremist views.

On learning of the app’s content, Google banned it within hours.

“While we can’t comment on individual apps, we’ll take swift action against any that break our policies once we’ve been made aware of them, including those that contain hate speech,” the company said.

But a month after The National informed Apple that the app contains hate speech, it is still accessible from the App Store.

Albert Memmi: The Great Theorist of Decolonization Who Saw the Dangers of Anti-Zionism
In an excerpt from her recent book, The Lions’ Den: Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky, Susie Linfield explores the great Tunisian-Jewish writer Albert Memmi’s sustained and simultaneous commitment to socialism, Zionism, and Jewishness. For Memmi, whose 1957 book The Colonizer and the Colonized galvanized a generation of anti-colonial thinkers, Zionism was above all a national liberation movement. But unlike his colleagues on the left, he foresaw, and never shied away from condemning, the dangers of terrorism, anti-Semitism, and Islamic fundamentalism from within former European colonies:

In Memmi’s view, there was nothing picturesque about the Jewish ghetto [of Tunis in which he was raised]: it was a place of “physiological poverty, undernourishment, syphilis, tuberculosis, mental illness, . . . an everyday, all-day historical catastrophe.” . . . But the ghetto was also a world of solidity and belonging. Memmi would recall the comfort of its “collective presence,” which embodied “a kind of common soul.” It was Jewish culture, not the Jewish religion, that he treasured. Yet this did not translate into scorn for his religious forebears or for observant Jews. [He] was surprised when, arriving in Paris after World War II, he discovered that Jewish-French intellectuals had little sense of a positive Jewish past; this alienation struck him as “utterly ridiculous.” In contrast, he considered himself “heir to a powerful tradition and culture.” . . .

Memmi was also prescient about the prominent place that terrorism would occupy in these future struggles, though he could not foresee the extent of the barbarism to come. It is a very bad sign of the times in which we live that the terrorism of the postwar anti-colonial movements seems almost quaint compared to today’s beheadings, suicide bombings, mass rapes, and deliberate targeting of . . . civilians of every stripe, especially women and girls. Memmi assumed he was writing within a leftist tradition that “condemns terrorism and political assassination”; he termed such actions “incomprehensible, shocking, and politically absurd. For example, the death of children and persons outside the struggle.” But that tradition was weakening even as he wrote.

In [his 1962] Portrait of a Jew, Memmi parts company with a kind of generic universalism and introduces a theme he would subsequently develop: the reality, and necessity, of national identity. “A man is not just a piece of abstract humanity,” he argued. People live their lives within particular nations; there is nothing reactionary about this. “True justice, true tolerance, universal brotherhood do not demand negation of differences among men, but a recognition and perhaps an appreciation of them.” Jews in particular had paid a high price for abstract universalism, which suppressed their particular history and particular needs.

JPost Editorial: Concentration camps?
The debate in the US shows again that Jews are the one group constantly singled out, whether it is in antisemitic cartoons or comments by actors and professors. Now even the horrors of the Holocaust have been appropriated as an easy and shocking label. American politicians can do better, and people deserve more sensitivity. One can robustly oppose US immigration policy and not always claim it is 1939.

If everything is compared to the Holocaust, then the realities of the Shoah lose meaning and seriousness. In the end the point of using the shocking term will be lost, as both the Holocaust is whitewashed and the actual detention centers are obscured beneath a toxic political controversy.

Many of the young generation of American politicians such as Ocasio-Cortez seek to care about the suffering of other minority groups, such as the importance of slavery for African Americans. She doesn’t appropriate that era to highlight suffering on the border.

Only when it comes to Jews is the Holocaust universalized in a way that both diminishes it and the issue at hand.

There is no evidence that constant references to the Nazis in US discourse have made people care more or changed US policy.

It’s only affect has been to get people across the aisle to tune out the rhetoric as if their political adversaries are crying wolf once again.

All this just to score a few talking points and push aside the memory of the six million.
Survivor invites Ocasio-Cortez to tour Auschwitz with him
A Poland-born Holocaust survivor from New Jersey on Friday invited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to tour Auschwitz following her remarks about concentration camps.

Edward Mosberg, 93, extended the invitation to the Democrat lawmaker who on Monday touched off a heated debate in the media about her use of the term, which is widely associated with Nazi Germany, to describe migration detention facilities in the United States.

“It should be a requirement of all United States Congressmen to visit Auschwitz,” wrote Mosberg, honorary president of the Holocaust commemoration group From the Depths.

It is necessary in Ocasio-Cortez’s case because of her “lack of proper education on the Holocaust,” the foundation’s founder, Jonny Daniels, also wrote in the invitation.

Mosberg, a multi-millionaire who had survived several Nazi camps, wore a kippa bearing President Donald Trump’s portrait to a Holocaust commemoration event earlier this year.
Polish lawmaker invites Ocasio-Cortez to tour concentration camps
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been invited by a member of the Polish parliament to visit concentration camps in Poland that were used during World War II and the Holocaust.

This comes after the congresswoman said in an Instagram video on Monday that the United States is “running concentration camps on our southern border,” in reference to the Trump administration’s policies regarding illegal immigrants.

Dominik Tarczyński, vice president of European Conservatives in the European Council, tweeted on Thursday the open letter to the congresswoman.

“With this letter, I am formally inviting @AOC to come to Poland, where Adolf Hitler set up the worst chain of concentration camps the world has ever seen, so that she may see that scoring political points with enflamed rhetoric is unacceptable in our contemporary Western societies,” he tweeted.

"As you should be aware, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party [the Nazi party], who led Germany, were responsible for the darkest period in my country’s and our whole continent’s history by devising a chain of concentration camps in order to exterminate those who they believed were subhuman, or a threat to their imperialistic machinations. This included both Jewish Poles and non-Jewish Poles, and as a result we lost 6 million of our citizens,” wrote Tarczyński.

He then explained that Germany set up the camps in Poland after invading in September 1939.

“It has caused a deep wound that persists on our proud Polish and European history that we must all deal with every single day, and that we reaffirm to one another can never be forgotten and never allowed to happen again,” wrote Tarczyński.
Louder With Crowder: AOC & Democrats 5 INSANE Holocaust Comparisons!
Steven Crowder addresses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's recent concentration camp comments, then highlights other examples of Democrats being irresponsible with history, the Jews, and how Dems ignore the real villains.

Omar Goes All In To Defend World’s Leading State Sponsor Of Terrorism
Far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) repeatedly advocated for Iran — the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism — on Thursday, tweeting multiple times that the United States should not take action against Iran, even as Iran has repeatedly attacked cargo ships in the area and shot down a U.S. military drone this week.

"'To carry out such wars, American leaders have contrived pretexts to justify American aggression," Omar said in a tweet that included a link to a news article. "That’s what Donald Trump’s administration—and especially its national security adviser, John Bolton—is doing now with Iran.'"

Omar then falsely suggested that the U.S. was the "aggressor" in the situation with Iran, completely ignoring Iran's multiple attacks on oil tankers in the region in recent weeks and Iran's decision to shoot down a military drone this week.

"Just as in Iraq, aggressors are using illegitimate pretexts to beat the drums of war," Omar claimed without evidence. "Just as in Iraq, our media is taking these claims at face value. Just as in Iraq, children will die, American lives will be lost, and the world will be less safe. #NoWarWithIran"

CAA seeks referral to Teaching Regulation Agency over comments on Holocaust and “Zionist payroll” by Imam given platform by BBC
The BBC is embroiled in a scandal after it gave a platform to, Abdullah Patel, an Imam who made several appalling posts on Twitter. Mr Patel, speaking from a BBC studio in Bristol, during the Conservative Party leadership debate last night, questioned and warned the leadership candidates about hate speech, telling them that “words have consequences.”

After the debate, the political blog Guido Fawkes revealed that Mr Patel, had made a series of outrageous posts on Twitter. His account has now been deleted.

It emerged that Mr Patel posted the same image advocating the transport of the Jewish state to the United States that resulted in the suspension of Naz Shah from the Labour Party.

He also tweeted that: “Every political figure on the Zionist’s [sic] payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn. They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them!”

Stephen Daisley, blogging in the Spectator, uncovered more damning tweets, including: “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.” Another tweet described “the concentration camp in Gaza is the modern day Auschwitz.” Under the International Definition of Antisemitism adopted by the British Government, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is antisemitic.

He also claimed that “antisemitism is being abused by the right, to push their own agenda.”
Tonge ‘saddened’ not to discuss ‘prejudice generally’ during antisemitism debate
Baroness Jenny Tonge has told peers during a House of Lords debate on antisemitism that she was “saddened” not to be discussing “prejudice generally”.

The longstanding Israel critic and former Liberal Democrat MP also defended herself against the charge of being antisemitic, saying she was “sick” of the accusations and “filthy abuse” she received online.

Tonge opened her address by saying she felt like “Daniel in the lion’s den… I hope, like him, I will be spared”. She added: “I wish you to know I am not antisemitic. I have never ever been antisemitic and I never will be… I am anti-injustice.”

She acknowledged a rise in antisemitism over the last three years but also noted “a much greater rise in Islamophobic incidents over the same period, and that they are more frequent and severe… I am therefore saddened that we cannot discuss the rise in prejudice generally”.

Tonge said antisemitic attacks “surged” during and after Israeli military action in Gaza in 2014, adding: “Some people who commit antisemitic acts do not distinguish between ordinary Jewish people…and the Zionist Israeli government of what is now called the Jewish State of Israel. It is too difficult a distinction for many to make.”

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi, said antisemitism “has returned exactly as it did in the 19th century… Today there is hardly a country in the world, certainly in Europe, where Jews feel safe”.

Senior Labour peer Lord Harris described his party’s “abject failure” to deal with antisemitism, saying it was “shocking” and “humiliating” to find Labour subject to formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Labour Promote Former MP Who Accused Jewish Community of Being 'Blairite Plotters'
Hard-left former Scottish Labour MP and now Labour Councillor Jim Sheridan was suspended from the Labour Party last August after a Facebook post attacking the Jewish community because of what “they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long suffering people of Britain”. He doesn’t even have the usual “I’m only an anti-Zionist” defence, he’s literally targeting the Jewish community at large:

Sheridan was quietly reinstated in January, showing no remorse for what he wrote: “I remain of the view that my accusers were misguided and overreacted to what was intended to highlight my personal frustration and criticism of those intent on undermining our leadership.” In classic Labour style, they’ve even gone and promoted him now to Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Labour, ex-Labour MP Ian Austin calls it “utterly disgusting”. Yet another day in Corbyn’s “zero tolerance for anti-Semites” party…
Exposing the unholy trinity of BDS, terror and anti-Semitism
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Tuesday spoke at "the most important gathering of the pro-Israel and anti-BDS community."

The conference, hosted by the Global Coalition for Israel and the Legal Network included over 300 Jewish and pro-Israel leaders and legal experts from over 30 countries around the world."

"We do have a lot to be proud of tonight," Erdan noted. "We have had many accomplishments, some of which would have been difficult to imagine only a few years ago. We did what we said we were going to do: We moved from defense to offense and put BDS on the defensive. We built the network to fight the network. And we pulled off the BDS mask and exposed its true face."

"First and foremost, we're exposing the unholy trinity of BDS, terror and anti-Semitism. The more we dig, the more connections we find. Our research on the BDS-terror connection, which culminated in the 'Terrorists in Suits' report, exposed over one hundred links between BDS leaders and designated terrorist groups... The growing awareness of these links is making BDS terrorists unwanted in civilized countries.

"We're also exposing the anti-Semitic nature of the BDS campaign, the way in which it injects anti-Semitism into mainstream discourse and creates a hostile atmosphere for Jews," he added. "More and more countries and institutions are adopting the IHRA and State Department definitions of anti-Semitism, which incorporate both classic and new anti-Semitism. The ground-breaking resolution of the Bundestag recognizing the anti-Semitic nature of BDS was the most important step yet."
Assessing the Gal Gadot effect on Israel's image
Ingel surmises that the BDS movement has focused in particular on the cultural realm because of its failures elsewhere.
“They’ve been unsuccessful in big business – I don’t think they’ve made much impact at all,” he said. “Google and Intel are flooding into Israel. So I think the BDS movement has found they have had some successes in the college campus space and the cultural sector, so they’re just focusing more efforts there.”

Ingel pointed to major wins for BDS with the cancellation of concerts in Israel by Lorde and Lana Del Rey. He noted that younger artists in particular are more susceptible to the bombardments on social media that are the hallmark of the boycott campaign.

But he believes some counteractions only end up amplifying the boycott message.

“I think a lot of people get bogged down in the boycott movement, when the reality is that most Americans don’t even know what BDS is, and what the boycott movement is,” he said. “It’s not impacting the masses.”

While the Eurovision in Tel Aviv last month was subject to incessant campaigns and intense media coverage of boycott efforts, it went off smoothly and was watched by 182 million viewers, according to the European Broadcasting Union.

“In the end no artists dropped out and no broadcaster pulled out,” Ingel said of the song contest. “On social media any comments about BDS were drowned out by thousands of people just enjoying the show.”

It’s clear that Israel has notched considerably more wins against the BDS movement in recent years than losses.

But as to whether it translates into more global support and understanding for Israel – that may take more than Wonder Woman to ascertain.
New ‘Brave’ Approach to Combating Antisemitism on College Campuses
A new project called “Brave” is bringing together veterans of the IDF and the US military with Jewish students to share stories, learn about the Jewish state, stand up against hatred, and combat antisemitism on campus.

The initiative, organized by Hillel at Baruch College in New York City, and launched this past semester, is also organizing trips for American vets to visit Israel, as well as Shabbatons for Jews and non-Jews to interact with one another — all with the goal of battling antisemitism by cultivating pro-Israel activists, says Ilya Bratman, executive director of Baruch Hillel and a US Army veteran.

“We hope to engage hundreds of non-Jewish veterans and student leaders in this project, so they go out in their community and become advocates for truth,” Bratman, 41, explained. “They tell the real story of Israel. This program is part of this bigger effort to showcase what Israel is about and what the Jewish community is about.”

He added, “Now dozens of non-Jewish US veterans can go home and say, ‘I know Jews, they’re my friends. They’re my brothers. They’re my brothers in arms.’ The hope is not just to build a community on campus, but to create advocacy much greater, much bigger. They can really dispel rumors and become advocates for the Jewish community and the State of Israel.”

Hillel organizes the events and panel discussions — engaging hundreds of students on the quad at Baruch College — in order to build relationships with students from all around the world, including the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, China, and South Korea, who have now become advocates for Israel after spending time with Jewish students and the Jewish community.
Spreading Anti-Israel Indoctrination to Secondary and Elementary-School Students
Saint Ignatius of Loyola is alleged to have said “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man.”

Anti-Israel ideologues have adopted a similar strategy, targeting ever-younger age groups in their effort to turn Americans against the world’s sole Jewish state. The growing presence of anti-Israel education units in America’s high schools and middle schools represents an ambitious extension of the campaign against Israel that has flourished on college campuses.

The unmonitored classrooms of America’s public schools present a tempting target for anti-Israel indoctrinators. With rare exceptions, the insertion of biased curricula occurs uncontested. Alert citizens who discover anti-Israel bias in classroom materials and bring them to the attention of school officials encounter bureaucratic indifference.

But remaining silent is not an acceptable option; the problem will not go away by itself. A forceful public response followed by relentless monitoring and engagement with school officials has been the only way to effectively contest anti-Israel bias.

Many are perplexed by the current educational climate and wonder how it came about.

Far-left activists have taken control of university humanities departments and schools of education, and imposed an academic orthodoxy that is receptive to anti-Zionism. The once prevalent image of Israelis as plucky Jews rebuilding their ancient homeland has been replaced by the bleak image of a militarized colonial-settler state infringing upon the lives of victimized Palestinians.
‘Post’ exposé leads to closure of BDS group’s bank account in Germany
After a series of Jerusalem Post investigative reports on the bank account of the pro-BDS group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, the German Bank for Social Economy closed the organization’s account on Thursday.

Iris Hefets, spokeswoman for Jewish Voice, confirmed to the left-wing daily taz that the bank pulled the plug on the group’s account because Jewish Voice refused to stop promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post that it is a “welcome development and an important decision not only domestically, but will impact on the global struggle to expose and defeat antisemitic BDS campaigns.”

The Wiesenthal Center included the bank in its 2018 top 10 list of worst outbreaks of antisemitism.

Hefets told taz, a publication sympathetic to pro-BDS media coverage, that the account was closed due to “political reasons” and said it was “political censorship.” The formal closure of the account will take place by the end of this week, wrote the paper.

The Post previously reported that Hefets, who is Israeli, held a sign at an anti-Israel rally declaring: “Führer of Israel to the international court.” She compared the title of Adolf Hitler – “Führer” (leader) – with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
BBC Radio 4 provides a platform for the PLO’s ‘apartheid’ smear
Husain did not bother to tell listeners that it is the PA which has refused to accept transfers of tax revenues from Israel or that the PA also refused to accept a category of US aid and that in both cases the background is linked to the Palestinian Authority’s payment of salaries to terrorists.

Husain: “I want to ask you: you’ve worked on these issues all of your adult life. Do you think you will see a Palestinian state in your lifetime or are you in the process of having to face reality and perhaps giving up on it?”

Erekat: “I…I cannot give up. I will not give up. It’s not a job that I do. I have 8 grandchildren, four children. I don’t want them to be suicide bombers. I don’t want them to be desperate because desperation will lead to desperate acts. And the only option for us as Palestinians as my president specified in his proposal for the United Nations Security Council February 20th 2018 – live and let live. The State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital to live side by side the State of Israel in peace and security. This is the only solution.”

Husain made no effort to ask Erekat how he intends to get Hamas and other Palestinian terror factions on board with that vision.

Erekat: “Now we have an Israeli government, an American administration that want one state two systems: apartheid. This will not fly.”

Once again failing to challenge that ‘apartheid’ smear, Husain closed the item.

Husain: “Saeb Erekat – thank you very much.”

Obviously this was much less an interview intended to provide BBC audiences with accurate and impartial information which would enhance their understanding of the topic than it was the provision of an unquestioning – if not obsequious – platform for Saeb Erakat’s propaganda.
Indian reporter accuses German news site of citing antisemitic politician
The Deutsche Welle, Germany's public international broadcaster, is accused of blocking on Tuesday a prominent Indian journalist on its Twitter feed because he criticized a DW article that quoted an antisemitic Muslim politician in India.

Vijeta Uniyal, who is widely considered one of the leading experts on Israeli-India relations, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: "As an Indian journalist living in Germany, I regularly analyze German media coverage. In past, I have repeatedly tweeted about the anti-Israel bias in Deutsche Welle’s coverage.

Last month, I was appalled to see an Indian politician with a track record of making antisemitic remarks being quoted by the broadcaster as a representative of the Indian Muslims."

He continued "I approached Deutsche Welle in a private message on Twitter. Instead of taking any action on my complaint, they decided to block me.

I don’t buy their lame apology. I was deliberately blocked to prevent me from tracking their future coverage. Apparently, someone at Deutsche Welle wasn’t comfortable with me sifting through their work."
49% of Israelis fear anti-Semitism while traveling abroad
Half of Israelis surveyed say they worry about encountering anti-Semitism while vacationing abroad, this according to a new survey commissioned by the European Conference of Rabbis, which represents hundreds of Jewish communities across the continent.

The Sapio Research and Strategy firm carried out the poll of 502 Israelis about their concerns over rising anti-Semitism in Europe in April.

The survey found that 49% of Israelis were worried about anti-Semitism while traveling in Europe, as compared to 51% who said it was not an issue. Of the Israeli parents surveyed, 55% said they were worried about the possibility of an anti-Semitic attack.

Seventy-one percent of Israelis believe European Jews are not safe in their countries of residence, while 29% said they believed they were in fact safe.

Asked whether Europe's Jews should make aliyah, 91% of respondents said they should immigrate to Israel. Just 9% said they should remain where they are.

Of those surveyed, 91% of Israelis surveyed said they care about the anti-Semitic incidents taking place across Europe, while 9% said the events were of no interest to them.
Metal ball that hit Paris woman dropped by child, not anti-Semitic attack
The woman who was hit in the head with a metal ball outside a Paris Jewish center and synagogue did not suffer an anti-Semitic attack, a watchdog said.

The woman, 79, remains in the hospital with cranial damage and loss of blood after being injured Tuesday outside the center in the 11th district.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, on Friday said its investigation concluded the injury was the result of a young boy dropping the ball from an upper-floor apartment. The ball, about the size of a peach, is used in the bowling game petanque.

“The parents of this child discovered what had happened and called the synagogue’s administrators to offer the sincerest apologies,” BNVCA wrote in a statement.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, on Twitter had characterized the woman’s injury as the result of a “violent assault,” labeling under the hashtag “anti-Semitism.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft pledges $20 million to fight anti-Semitism
The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, accepted Israel's prestigious Genesis Prize at a lavish ceremony on Thursday, where he pledged $20 million to establish a foundation dedicated to combating anti-Semitism and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

In his keynote address, Kraft told the audience of Israeli and international dignitaries that he was "humbled and blessed" to accept the award, vowing that his new foundation would seek to tackle the rising tide of anti-Semitic vitriol online.

"I believe we can use this platform of social media to make a genuine and lasting impact on the rising tide of hate," he said, "especially against our people."

Kraft was awarded the 2019 Genesis Prize in recognition of his philanthropy and consistent commitment to combating anti-Semitism. Organizers said his foundation would continue his efforts against anti-Semitism, as well as the Palestinian-led BDS movement and "other efforts to delegitimize Israel."

The $1 million award is granted each year to a person recognized as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through professional achievement and commitment to Jewish values.
NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson says he’s wowed by Israel
Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson toured Jerusalem Thursday and said that while he’d had no expectations before his first trip to Israel, after only a few days the visit already had a major impact on him.

“It’s definitely a life-changing experience for you to really feel the energy of Israel and especially Jerusalem,” Watson said during a stop at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City. “It’s made my spiritual side a lot stronger.”

Asked if he might come back in the future to play football in Israel, Watson was affirmative. “I hope so, that’s the plan. Hopefully I can bring some type of football games over.”

Although he has been practicing for months, Watson took a break from football to make the trip before the Texans training camp opens on July 25. A devout Christian who wanted to see Israel first-hand, he arrived on Tuesday with a small entourage for a private tour co-sponsored by America’s Voices in Israel, a US group that organizes week-long missions to Israel for prominent Americans.

After waking up and working out at his Tel Aviv hotel early morning, Watson is whisked around the country to see key sites and Christian holy places such as the Jordan River, where he was baptized on Wednesday.
Israeli Aviation Company Unveils Fully Electric Passenger Plane
Israel-based aviation company Eviation Aircraft Ltd. unveiled a fully-electric passenger plane at the Paris Air Show taking place this week. Named Alice, the plane can fly up to 1,000 kilometers at a speed of 440 kilometers per hour on a single charge, according to the company.

Headquartered in central Israel, Eviation has raised $200 million to date. The company said it already has orders for several dozen planes at a price of about $4 million each.

Although Airbus and Boeing have already presented concepts for hybrid and electric airplanes, Alice is expected to be the first electric passenger jet to be serialized, according to the company. The plane, which measures 12 meters with a wingspan of 16 meters, can host up to nine passengers and two pilots and will be used for commercial and private flights, the company said.

At a press conference held Tuesday at the Paris Air Show, Eviation’s CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said Alice will be flight-tested in Prescott, Arizona before being put forward for certification with the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company expects to receive certification by the FAA by the end of 2021, with deliveries predicted for 2022, Bar-Yohay said. The cost per hour of flight is roughly $200, Bar-Yohay said.
Israel’s National Library offers glimpse of old Jewish life in Europe
Israel’s National Library has digitized a rare collection of communal ledgers from long-lost Jewish communities of Europe, offering the public a chance to study an era seen as a golden age of Jewish self-governance.

The documents, known as pinkasim, were used by European Jewish communities hundreds of years ago to keep track of financial transactions, political happenings, relations with non-Jewish government bodies, and even funny moments.

Yoel Finkelman, curator of the library’s Judaica collection and manager of the project, said Tuesday that any Jewish community with a governing body had a pinkas, making the ledgers “some of the most significant documents for understanding early modern Jewish European history.” He said that currently they also are some of the least accessible.

Today, the ledgers that have survived are held in various collections around the world. The first phase of the project, funded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, has uploaded around 200 documents from the years 1500 to 1800. The library hopes to collaborate with other institutions to make more available online.

Finkelman said that during the period covered by the collection’s documents, the continent saw a rise of formal bureaucracies. It also was a time in which Jewish populations lived relatively autonomously. This resulted in an era in which formal communal institutions played a uniquely important role in Jewish European life, he said.
Troops uncover First Temple-era observation post on training base
IDF soldiers recently uncovered a watchtower from the First Temple period during an archaeological dig on their base in southern Israel.

The tower, which was dated to the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday.

The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones, some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around Ashkelon.

The dig was carried out by soldiers on the base as part of an IDF initiative to encourage commanders and soldiers to be “responsible and actively involved in protecting the values of nature, the landscape and heritage in their environment.”
King Hezekiah on a 17th century painting by unknown artist in the choir of Sankta Maria kyrka in Åhus, Sweden (Wikipedia)

Some 150 soldiers undergoing basic training and their commanders took part in the project, the IAA said, and the project was overseen by IAA officials Saar Ganor and Lifshitz Vladik.

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