Friday, July 19, 2019

From Ian:

A historic tenure
The son of a distinguished historian, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that history is a leader's northern star. The leadership test is the impression that is passed on for generations. Today, as Netanyahu becomes the longest-serving prime minister in Israel's history, this fact is certainly of historical significance.

In the 70 years to the state's founding, three prime ministers will be remembered for building a real and meaningful layer in its history: David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, and Netanyahu.

Ben-Gurion will be remembered as someone who, at a unique point in Jewish and world history, bravely declared the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel and led it at it the beginning of its path.

Began will be remembered for generations as the Jew who hitched the "Second Israel" that had been left abandoned by the side of the road to the carriage of redemption, and who signed the peace agreement with Egypt.

Netanyahu will forever be remembered as someone who, within the span of 10 years, succeeded in turning a small country on the sidelines of the Middle East into a recognized and esteemed global power in the fields of diplomacy, economy, science, technology and the military. Many great nations across the world are amazed by Israel's achievements and make significant efforts in order to figure out its secret to success.

Never before in the country's history has there been a prime minister that developed such close ties with important leaders from countries like Russia, the United States, China, and India, but also smaller countries in Africa and Asia. These ties make Arab countries realize bolstering their ties with Israel could be of significant help to them. Netanyahu's ability to stand face-to-face with former US President Barack Obama for eight straight years, and not bend over or fold, is a reflection of his proven courage and leadership.

Netanyahu becomes Israel’s longest-serving prime minister on Saturday
Imagine Donald Trump serving as president of the United States for 45½ years.

If Trump, or any US president, had ever served for that long, it would mean one man at the country’s helm for nearly 19% of America’s 243-year-old history.

That’s a huge percentage of time, a massive piece of any country’s history.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will overtake founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, having held that role for 13 years and 127 days, or 4,873 of Israel’s 25,981 days of existence.

That represents nearly 19% of Israel’s entire history. And that, too, is a huge chunk of time.

Put the lengths of Ben-Gurion’s and Netanyahu’s tenures side by side, and this country has been guided by two leaders for more than a third of its history (37.5%).

And just as Ben-Gurion – his personality, ideology and leadership style – placed an unmistakable stamp on the country’s first two decades, Netanyahu has left his indelible imprint on the last two.

As Israel of the 1950s and 1960s reflected its leader – tough, pragmatic, socialist, content with a frugal lifestyle – so, too, Israel of the last two decades has reflected Netanyahu: tough, pragmatic, fiercely capitalistic, and someone who very much enjoys the good life.

Ben-Gurion retired to a sparse, book-lined hut in Sde Boker. Netanyahu, when/if he retires, will retreat to a luxurious, book-lined home in Caesarea. That says much about the difference between the two men, and also about the different ideals of the country at the time.
When Liberals and White Nationalists see eye-to-eye
The media chose to make it all about race. Yet this tweet is not about race. If anything, because Trump has never attacked the Americanness of politicians who believe in the American way of life, regardless of their skin color – and regardless of their antagonism towards this administration. That is the reason the President considers the Canadian-born Hispanic senator Ted Cruz completely American, despite their bitter political feud.

This is not the first time liberals agree with white nationalists. Both camps are obsessed with race. Liberals just disagree with white nationalists on whether whites are the bane or the blessing of America. This agreement is sorely evident in academia and the media, where sociologists and journalists outdo each other to convince us that the problems faced by minorities all derive from racism. Likewise, the White House‘s proposals for immigration reform are scrutinized for their racial impact by both white nationalists and liberal pundits.

Liberals will be aghast at being compared to white nationalists. They will argue that centering every discussion in America on how policies affect racial minorities is the most anti-racist attitude possible. These liberals should remember that racism does not emerge in a vacuum. It emerges in an atmosphere where every problem is viewed through the prism of race. That is the reason the obsession with ethnicity and race in American universities today is eerily reminiscent of academia in Nazi Germany. Both fuel an intellectual climate that poisons race relations.

The media's reaction to the President‘s tweet is another wasted opportunity to discuss what really matters: How to strengthen the American way of life and how to attract immigrants devoted to the American way of life. All else is cheap politics – and racism.
Britain says Iran has seized two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, officials in London said, in a move that appeared to infuriate American and British leaders.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said it had seized British oil tanker Stena Impero, claiming it “was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules.”

US officials told CNN there were indications that Iran had seized a second vessel, the Liberian tanker MV Mesdar. Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported that Masdar had been detained by Iranian forces but was released and left Iranian waters.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that two ships had been seized, condemning the incidents as “unacceptable” and saying he was “extremely concerned” by the incidents.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street in London on June 11, 2019. (Isabel Infantes/AFP)

“I’m extremely concerned by the seizure of two naval vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz,” he said in a statement. “These seizures are unacceptable.”

Abe Greenwald: The Hate We Don’t Discuss
I have another theory. And I think it suffices as an answer to both questions. As I’ve written before, Jews are historically targeted as representatives of whatever group a society most loathes at a given moment:

The Jew is hated as whatever the anti-Semite holds responsible for his own misfortune. If you’re a capitalist, the Jew is a Communist; if you’re a Communist, the Jew is a capitalist. If you’re a pacifist, the Jew is a warmonger. If you’re a warrior, the Jew is a coward. Depending on your circumstance, the Jew can be grimy or snobbish, rootless or nationalist, invader or separatist. And if 100 years ago, American bigots saw Jews as Asiatic cross-breeds, today bigots see them as “hyper-white.” If you want to know what a culture considers most problematic, look at its brand of anti-Semitism. When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness.

We see this in the recent notion that Jews are perceived as “hyper-white,” according to Mark Winston Griffith from the Black Movement Center. It’s also evident in intersectionality theory—a leftist ranking system of identity grievance that deems Jews essentially too powerful to be a minority worthy of social-justice empathy.

The idea that Jews are a rich, powerful, turbo-white elite is also reflected in the messaging of the country’s most celebrated progressive politicians. Taken as a whole, the Democratic Squad theory of American villainy says that the United States is racist, greedy, war-mongering, and cruel—and its politics is underwritten by manipulative Zionists.

Those who promote collective grievance often make their way round to blaming the Jews. In an age of sanctified victimhood, it’s not so surprising to see a rise in anti-Semitic violence and a lack of interest in doing anything about it.
David French: The Anti-Semitic BDS Movement Advocates Illegal Discrimination
Yesterday, in a rather stunning feat of what looks like malicious trolling, Representative Ilhan Omar co-sponsored a resolution designed to support the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against the state of Israel. The resolution itself is clever. It doesn’t mention Israel, and is crafted as an ode to free speech. Its key operative provision merely “affirms that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

Well, yes. Free expression is free expression. Individual anti-Semites have just as much a constitutional right to boycott Israeli products as individual racists have a constitutional right to refuse to patronize black-owned businesses. The fact that the Constitution protects such conduct doesn’t render it any less repugnant, and lest you doubt the underlying intention of Omar’s actions, she made it very clear in an interview with Al-Monitor that the resolution was an “opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

Supporters of BDS, however, must reckon with some inconvenient facts and some rather important laws: The movement’s anti-Semitism often leads it to advocate violations of the law.

Before I came to National Review, I served as a senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, and we intervened directly to inform BDS-supporting institutions of both the movement’s anti-Semitic roots and its unlawful conduct toward Israeli students and academics.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Omar’s boycott resolution tests a party’s moral compass
The irony here—and the dead giveaway that Omar and Tlaib’s purpose is anti-Semitic—is that the political left denies the right of anyone to boycott on the basis of race, religion, place of origin or sexual orientation. And yet, these two congresswomen think that the one exception to that rule is for Jews and their state. The fact that Omar compared boycotts of Israel to those organized against Nazi Germany is another tipoff that she isn’t a critic of Israel; she’s a brazen anti-Semite.

It is nothing short of astonishing that respected supporters of civil rights like Lewis would embrace such a cause. But that is a product of the distorted lens of American politics in 2019.

The test here for Democrats is not whether or not they oppose Trump’s taunts of the squad, or even if they think his pointing out that Omar and Tlaib are anti-Semitic doesn’t mitigate the egregious nature of his comments. But Trump being against someone doesn’t give them impunity to spread hate, even when they cloak their invective—as Omar and Tlaib have been doing—in the language of “human rights.”

Is it too much to ask Democrats not merely to oppose this pro-boycott resolution, but to confront and censure Omar and Tlaib for their anti-Semitism? Judging by the recent past, when the same House Democrats who unanimously censured Trump failed to call out Omar by name for her anti-Semitic statements, the odds aren’t good. But if Trump’s opponents want to pretend to be defenders of morality, then that’s exactly what they must do.
Democrats brush off Rep. Omar's push for Israel boycott, target BDS movement instead
Jewish Democrats brushed off Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Israel boycott resolution this week and instead kept their focus on their own resolution to denounce the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Ms. Omar, a vocal critic of Israel and a BDS advocate, introduced a resolution this week that would affirm “Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad.”

The resolution has only six co-sponsors so far, all Democrats, including Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a fellow “Squad” member and BDS supporter, and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

The resolution makes no explicit mention of the BDS movement, but Ms. Omar, who has been repeatedly accused of using anti-Semitic tropes of secret Jewish money and Israel “hypnotiz[ing]” the world, invoked it in an interview with Al-Monitor as she introduced her resolution.

“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” she told the outlet. “It is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”

Rep. Brad Sherman, California Democrat and one of the more senior Jewish lawmakers in the chamber, told The Washington Times that the resolution was “dead on arrival.”
Despite Objections From Progressives, US House to Vote on Anti-BDS Measure
The anti-BDS resolution, which also reaffirms support for the Jewish state, advanced out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. It was introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). It currently has 341 co-sponsors: 173 Democrats and 168 Republicans.

“Support for Israel has long been a bipartisan pillar of American politics,” said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.). “Following the committee’s strong endorsement, I hope House leadership will bring this bipartisan resolution to a vote so Congress can reaffirm its close bond with Israel, America’s friend and ally.”

“There is overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress for strengthening our relationship with our vital ally Israel, the leading democracy in the Middle East. The passage of H.Res.46 by the Foreign Affairs Committee is a testament to that,” said Gottheimer. “I’m looking forward to this measure being brought to a vote on the House floor, to emphasize the broad support for a two-state solution, and for combating bias and antisemitism.”

However, progressives on Capitol Hill have been calling on House Democratic leadership not to bring up the measure for a vote.

“I think the timing would not be very wise to take up additional measures around the Middle East,” said Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Politico.

The anti-BDS resolution advanced out of the Foreign Affairs Committee the same day Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) introduced a resolution in support of the BDS movement, comparing it to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Ilhan Omar’s Pro-BDS Resolution Isn’t About Free Speech — It’s About Hating Israel and Jews
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) revealed her hypocrisy, double-standards, and antisemitism yet again this week when she took to Congress to introduce a bill lauding the boycott of Israel.

Her resolution is the height of absurdity. It likens the boycott of Israel, a free and democratic state, to previous boycotts of historically evil regimes in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Her resolution is not about free speech. It’s about antisemitism — rampant antisemitism — and hatred of Israel.

While the crafty resolution does not mention Israel by name, it is clear that the Jewish state is her target. The resolution attempts to legitimize the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the state of Israel. Supporters of the BDS movement have confided that “BDS means the end of the Jewish state,” and that “the real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel.”
Pro-Israel groups slam Omar comparing BDS to boycotts of Nazi Germany, Soviet Union
Pro-Israel groups denounced U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for comparing the anti-Israel BDS movement to previous boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

On Thursday, Omar announced a resolution supporting the right to boycott Israel. Her resolution seeks to push back against U.S. laws that ban the boycott of Israel, while affirming the right of Americans to organize boycotts of foreign countries.

“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” said Omar in the pro-BDS resolution, co-sponsored by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.), introduced this week.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of the global social-action agenda of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that her comparison is “proof that Omar is not an accidental or incidental anti-Semite. Serves the founders and goals of BDS by slandering Jewish Democratic state and Zionism. She should be condemned, not coddled, by her colleagues Democratic and Republican.”
Israel will allow BDS-backing congresswomen Omar, Tlaib to enter country
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer said on Friday that Israel will not prevent two BDS-supporting members of Congress from entering Israel next month.

Earlier this week, Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said that she would visit Israel and the West Bank with Palestinian-American Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, in August. Omar and Tlaib are the first female Muslim congresswomen. Both back the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“Out of respect for the US Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” Dermer told The Times of Israel in a statement.

Under a controversial law that Israel enacted in 2017, the state can prohibit any foreigner from entering the country who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.”

“Al Quds Day” leader Nazim Ali, who blamed “Zionists” for Grenfell Tower tragedy to face regulatory investigation following complaint by CAA
A pharmacist, Nazim Ali, who leads the annual “Al Quds Day” march through London is being investigated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) following a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

In 2017, four days after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in which over 70 people were burned alive, Nazim Ali led the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” parade. Heading the parade, surrounded by the flags of Hizballah, the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation, Mr Ali shouted over a public address system: “Some of the biggest corporations who are supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party. Free, Free, Palestine…It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high-rise blocks. Free, Free, Palestine. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

At another point he told marchers: “Careful of those Rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands, who agree with the killing of British soldiers. Do not allow them in your centres.”

Mr Ali is the Managing Partner of Chelsea Pharmacy Medical Clinic. The GPhC has confirmed to Campaign Against Antisemitism: “The GPhC has reviewed all of the available evidence and we have concluded that the matter complained about is a matter that calls into question the pharmacy professional’s fitness to practise as a pharmacist. This case will now be referred to the Investigating Committee for consideration.”
Edgar Davidson: Margaret Hodge: a case study in why appeasing antisemites with anti-Israel rhetoric does not work
Many prominent British Jews who are currently most vocal in 'challenging' antisemitism in the Labour Party turn out to be people who also have a record of appeasement to antisemites in the sense of either a) strident anti-Israel rhetoric; or b) simply disassociating themselves from Israel.

These attitudes actually lead to increased antisemitism since it empowers antisemites to spew antisemitism under the guise of anti-Zionism (they can say 'Zionists are baby-killers' instead of 'Jews are baby-killers' and, in defence, can point to prominent Jews who promote that message). But, interestingly, it is also the case that all the sycophantic appeasing does not actually make the antisemites like you any better.

There is no better example of this than the MP Margaret Hodge. She has been consistent in promoting lies and blood libels against the Jewish State. Here's a reminder of the despicable statement she issued last year after continued unprovoked violent attacks by Palestinians at the Gaza border fence against Israel (contrary to what she said even the Palestinians later admitted that almost all those killed were armed Hamas terrorists):
Middle East Studies at UT-Austin: Biased Professors, Politicized Classrooms
Mohammad has spent much of his career teaching Arabic linguistics, but as the CMES resident Palestinian expatriate, he is also responsible for the course “MEL 321: Palestine & Palestinians.” Unfortunately, Mohammed eschews evidence-based scholarship and relies upon emotional appeals to portray Palestinians as the perpetual victims of Zionist expansion. His assigned readings present a distorted, ahistorical view of the issues.

Among these is the late Edward Said’s The Palestinian Question. A World Affairs Journal reviewer called Said’s book “a full-throated polemic,” wherein “The Jews were the aggressors; and the Palestinians their victims – on all counts and with little nuance.”

“There is nothing in Palestinian history, absolutely nothing at all to rival the record of Zionist terror,” Said wrote. If the Palestinians bear any responsibility for their present condition, he argued, they “were driven to” violence by the Israelis, who “literally produced, manufactured?.?.?.?the ‘terrorist.’”

Adhering to this anti-Israel paradigm, Mohammad assigns Walid Khalidi’s Before Their Diaspora. Even Benny Morris, the Jewish Israeli historian who is consistently sympathetic to pro-Palestinian historiography, criticizes Khalidi for depicting Palestinians “as a blameless society shambling towards tragedy” and as “objects rather than subjects, done upon and by rather than doing.” Morris charges Khalidi with perpetuating “a major distortion … clearly meant to deceive” when he accused the Jewish Haganah of ethnic cleansing in 1947.

Mohammed uses the medium of film to buttress his written course materials. Paradise Now is the fictional story of two Palestinian suicide bombers who, preferring “death to inferiority,” strap bombs to themselves and blow up an Israeli civilian bus. “[E]ven if there is no explicit vindication of attacks against Israelis, what else is one to make of a film that treats suicide bombers as sympathetic victims, with no attention paid to their actual victims?” asks The Jerusalem Post.

While UT-Austin’s CMES professors lack the level of fame (and notoriety) accorded to such radicals as Columbia University’s Rashid Khalidi, UC Berkeley’s Hatem Bazian, or Georgetown University’s John Esposito, it is nevertheless well within the mainstream of the American Middle East studies establishment these three represent. This lesser attention is attributable more to the mainstream media’s reliance upon nearby elite coastal institutions for news than on any marked political differences at Texas. Biases that characterize the work of a Kamran Scot Aghaie or Samy Ayoub are comparable to those of just about any university’s MES faculty. Unfortunately, the far-left ideology dominating contemporary academe rewards professors and administrators for creating an atmosphere in which politicized disciplines are the norm.
DC suburb to screen Roger Waters 'occupation' film despite Jewish pushback
An anti-Israel film by BDS advocate and former Pink Floyd rockstar Roger Waters has drawn controversy in a suburb of Washington, with Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart allowing it take place along with a followup discussion that includes members of CAIR and JVP.

“Occupation of the American Mind,” which is narrated by Waters, describes itself on its IMDB page as "an analysis of Israel's decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people."

The screening of the film was initially planned to take place on June 13, but was postponed by the city council after pushback by members of the community. The council decided to ensure that critics of the film attend the event and discuss their opinions of the message of the movie.

Regarding the decision to screen the film at the Takoma Park Community Center Auditorium on July 23, Stewart said that the "the city council.. did not pick it and does not back the message of this film."

"We postponed it because when we learned that there wasn't going to be a discussion and a place... to have a critique of the film and discussion, we felt it was best to postpone and step back and consider how to move forward," the mayor said at a city council meeting.

In a message from the council this week regarding the screening, the members said that there will be a chance for discussion following the screening, but that members of the Jewish community declined to attend.
Civilizational Suicide: Qatar’s Vision Shapes American Classrooms
Yet, somehow despite school districts across the U.S. having very stringent requirements for what makes it onto a campus and what qualifies as curriculum, the Qataris have been able to buy their way in with cold cash.

Most recently, The Federalist reported that Qatari funding supplied Duke University with more than $111,000 to fund teaching k-12 teachers biased info about Islam.

Speaking to the culture of failing education systems at large (versus specifically in reference to Qatar’s vision), Notre Dame Professor Dr. Patrick Deneen describes the situation most succinctly when he calls failing educational standards as “civilizational suicide,” going further to narrow the devastation that comes with a compromised education system:

“What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like ‘critical thinking,’ ‘diversity,’ ‘ways of knowing,’ ‘social justice,’ and ‘cultural competence.’

Our students are the achievement of a systemic commitment to producing individuals without a past for whom the future is a foreign country, cultureless ciphers who can live anywhere and perform any kind of work without inquiring about its purposes or ends, perfected tools for an economic system that prizes ‘flexibility’ (geographic, interpersonal, ethical).”

It’s important to remember that the Qataris are not just buying their way through the door — they’re buying direct access to the hearts and mind of the next generation of Americans.

There is no doubt Qatar is playing the long game in the ideological war, looking at a multi-generational strategy across tiers of influence — something the United States should have been planning for on September 12, 2001
Killing Jews vs. Conversion Therapy in NY Times Fun-House Mirror
To understand how the New York Times distorts the Middle East, one need only look at this week’s coverage of the region.

The newspaper was quick to the story after Israel’s education minister, Rafi Peretz, made regressive comments about the malleability of sexual orientation. “Israeli Official Backs ‘Conversion Therapy,'” announced a headline in the July 15 print edition of the Times, followed by a 825-word article about the politician’s comments.

Peretz is not progressive. Nor are his views on gay “conversion.” As the New York Times noted, “Conversion therapy has been widely rejected by medical professionals as potentially dangerous to minors. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have warned against it. The psychological group criticized it because it is based on the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder.” Indeed, recent polls show that even among American conservatives, few believe in the efficacy of conversion therapy.

One day before Peretz’s comments were broadcast, a Palestinian television station aired a senior Hamas official’s call for violence against Jews throughout the world. During his speech, Fathi Hammad, who recently served as Gaza’s interior minister, addressed the Palestinian diaspora, telling them, “We must attack every Jew on planet Earth – we must slaughter and kill them, with Allah’s help.” It would be putting it mildly to note that slaughtering Jews is also “potentially dangerous to minors.” But the New York Times reacted to Hammad’s comments with deafening silence.
New York Times Praises Saudis for Not Putting White Man on Moon (satire)
Calling the Kingdom a “beacon of tolerance and progressive values,” a column in The New York Times praised Saudi Arabia for winning the “space race for equality” by refusing to put a straight white male on the moon.

“While Americans were busy spreading white supremacy by sending cis-gendered straight white men into space, one after another, Saudi leadership refused to compromise on its pluralistic values,” the column stated. “Men and women, gay and straight, of all races stayed on Earth in defiance of the white supremacist patriarchy.”

The column ran days after a similar column claiming the Russians in fact won the space race by sending a more diverse group of astronauts in orbit. The Washington Post also criticized Apollo 11 for being mostly white and male.
Ignoring, Excusing, Enabling: Sorbonne Scholar Probes French Media’s Attitude on Rising Antisemitism
Similar considerations apply when it comes to attacks on French Jews by members of the Muslim community. Twelve Jews, Sarah Halimi among them, have been brutally murdered in the upsurge of antisemitism that began in France nearly 20 years ago, in every case by the hand of a Muslim. Yet the tendency in the French media, Grinshpun said, is to rationalize such acts.

“The media often talks about the ‘despair’ of the Palestinians, and there is a similar approach here in France,” Grinshpun said. The Paris judges who recommended that Traore, Halimi’s killer, be excused a criminal trial on the grounds that his chronic consumption of marijuana had left him mentally unfit at the time of the killing were in some ways echoing the narrative around the Halimi case already constructed by many French news outlets.

“We now have this concept of an ‘unbalanced person,'” Grinshpun noted — a category of people who cannot be held legally responsible for criminal acts, even when the act in question is a murder.

“The media doesn’t appreciate that there are two consequences to this approach, which I call ‘propaganda’ because there is no other word to describe it,” Grinshpun said. “The first consequence is to legitimize Palestinian terrorism against the Jewish population in Israel. The second consequence is that this emphasis on ‘despair’ and ‘victimhood’ legitimizes terrorism as an effective method of political struggle in the world more generally.”

A further consequence is that media coverage largely refrains from examining the bigotry against Jews that too often underlies acts of terrorism and violence, Grinshpun said. In the Halimi case, she noted, “the antisemitic character of the crime was recognized because of the action of the Jewish community here in protesting. It was not possible to ignore the letters and petitions and protests, and some more marginal media outlets did cover that.”

But, she continued, “overall, the impression we are left with is that if the media could have silenced the Halimi story, they would have done.”
France’s Outrageous Handling of Sarah Halimi’s Murder
Reckless drivers and terrorists can sleep safe at night — because, today in France, taking too many psychotropic drugs may well absolve them of their crimes and misdemeanors, as long as it triggers an acute delirium outburst, as diagnosed by the psychiatric experts. It does not matter that the effects of alcoholic and cannabinoid drunkenness have been well known for so long.

If Traore is found not responsible for the murder, we must consider the security measures that will be applied to him — psychiatric confinement.

Regarding such a hospitalization, three examples among others are rather worrying as to the modalities and duration of the measures to be implemented.

In November 2003, the young Sebastien Sellam was killed by his childhood Muslim friend in circumstances similar to Ms Halimi’s murder (abject crime, antisemitic claim by the killer himself, aggravating circumstances). Considered criminally irresponsible, the murderer was not incarcerated, but placed under restraint in a psychiatric hospital. A few years later, he was allowed to leave the hospital on occasion.

On November 12, 2008, a 56-year-old man, institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital for chronic delusional psychosis — and already known for stabbings — escaped without difficulty from the facility’s park during one of his authorized and unsupervised outings. A few kilometers away, he bought a knife and randomly killed a student in the street — Luc Meunier, 26 years-old.

Most recently, in April 2019, a 24-year-old male was arrested for the double murder of his father and grandmother, three years after being declared criminally irresponsible for the murder of his mother. He had been released from patient detention in December 2018.

How will we explain to Ms. Halimi’s family that Mr. Traore will not face justice. And what will we say if he kills again?
Poll: Is America Experiencing Europe's Growing Anti-Semitism?
The National Survey of Anti-Semitism in America was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates in May 2019 for the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom. Attempts on college campuses to shut down pro-Israel speakers is viewed by 54% as anti-Semitic, while 16% disagree. The Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement is seen as anti-Semitic by 53%, compared with 19% who disagree. 48% think the U.S. should oppose BDS campaigns, compared with 22% who disagree. 50% agree that "Being anti-Israel is the new anti-Semitism, while 25% disagree.

It is not Islamophobic to criticize Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her views on Israel, noted 63%, compared to 14% who said it was. 57% want Israel to be the closest U.S. ally in the Middle East. 80% believe it is true that in the Holocaust 6 million Jews were targeted and exterminated, compared with 8% who said it was not true. 51% have a favorable opinion of Israel, 21% unfavorable, and 28% no opinion.
Shunned for decades, Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler
Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country’s modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany.

“Only if we understand our past can we build a good future,” she said.

Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia. Hitler escaped the full force of the blast when someone moved the briefcase next to a table leg, deflecting much of the explosive force. The plot crumbled when news spread that Hitler had survived. Von Stauffenberg and his fellow plotters were executed within hours.
Germany recognizes thousands of Holocaust survivors from Romania
Some 8,000 Romanian Jewish Holocaust survivors will officially be recognized by the German government, in a move that will see Berlin pay them a monthly stipend of some €100 to €200 ($113 to $225).

The German government will also make retroactive payments, to cover the last 20 years, so that every survivor is set to receive a total sum of anywhere between 96,000 to 192,000 shekels ($27,000 to $54,300), in addition to the pension they will receive from this point forward. As a result, Berlin is expected to pay the survivors around a 1.5 billion shekels ($420 million) in reparations.

The survivors in question are Jews who lived in 20 cities around Romania and were either directly or indirectly impacted by Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu's collaboration with the Nazi regime, or the Nazis themselves following Antonescu's removal from power.

Heirs to Romanian Holocaust survivors born after 1910 and died after June 1, 2002 will also be eligible to sue for reparations from the German government.

In addition, the 8,000 survivors will receive a monthly 2,000 shekel ($566) stipend from the Finance Ministry's Holocaust Survivors' Rights Authority. To be eligible for the stipend, survivors must have lived or been deported from the cities of Iași, Galați, Piatra Neamț, Constanța, Ștefănești, and Bacău, among others, during the Holocaust.
Activists ask Westminster Abbey not to honor ‘odious anti-Semite’ P.G. Wodehouse
Plans to honor P.G. Wodehouse with a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey have been attacked by campaigners who have described the renowned British author as “an odious anti-Semite.”

Wodehouse, who died in 1975, is most famous for his stories featuring the bumbling aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves.

Last autumn, the Very Reverend John Hall, outgoing Dean of Westminster Abbey, announced plans to honor Wodehouse “for his contribution to 20th century English literature.”

Westminster Abbey — the imposing Gothic church in central London where Britain has crowned and buried its monarchs since 1066 — is home to Poet’s Corner. It commemorates many of the nation’s most revered and beloved playwrights, writers and poets — more than 100 men and women such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and the Bronte sisters.

But the Abbey’s intention to now include Wodehouse among their number has drawn fire both because of his anti-Semitism and a series of controversial radio broadcasts he made from Berlin during World War II.
Watergen partners with Flint, Michigan where water quality is 'third-world'
Israeli company Watergen just launched a new partnership with the community of Flint, Michigan, providing what could be the first large scale solution for drinking water by placing a 350 unit in the community church. If successful, it could be a model for similar towns.

As opposed to bringing in plastics that are associated with trucking in water bottles, Watergen uses a dehumidification apparatus to create water out of thin air.

“For the past five years, there have been solutions promised to the community by many, yet no one has delivered an affordable solution that is good for the people and for the environment by reducing plastics,” said Armstrong Williams, a nationally syndicated talk show host who partnered with WatergenUSA and NBC25 to bring the Watergen solution. “When I saw the Watergen unit, I immediately started working with the company to bring this technology to Flint.”

The unit was placed in the community church, Greater Flint Holy Temple.

“Now we need to make certain that every school in Flint has this solution, and we cannot allow the children’s health to be compromised,” Armstrong continued. “The people of Flint have now given their community and government leadership a solution to make certain the right options are implemented for the safety of their children.”

WatergenUSA president Yehuda Kaploun said the company’s solution will be the “wave of the future” for communities around the world in need of clean water.
In first, massive traveling exhibit brings Anne Frank artifacts to North America
Anne Frank had been in hiding for several weeks in the back-house, or “annex,” of her father’s Amsterdam office building. Everything was going as planned except for one problem: The rooms in which Anne and her family were hiding had not been concealed from the rest of the building, where salespeople, visitors, and the occasional thief were known to poke around.

To rectify the situation, a swinging bookcase was built to hide the entrance to what Anne called “the Secret Annex” in her now-iconic diary. From behind the innocuous-looking cupboard, the eight Jews in hiding could pull on a wooden handle wrapped in cloth to open the façade. For more than two years, the bookcase kept everyone hidden behind its rows of thick binders with old sale orders.

“Our hiding place has now become a true hiding place,” wrote Anne on August 21, 1942. “Mr. Kugler, you see, thought it would be better to place a cupboard in front of our door… but then of course a cupboard on hinges that can open like a door. Mr. Voskuijl built the piece of furniture.”

That secret bookcase’s handle is one of 10 artifacts from Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House on display in the international exhibition, “Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away.” Showing in New York City’s Jewish Heritage Museum through the end of 2019, the exhibition marks the artifacts’ first appearance in North America.

Ancient Galilee church unearthed, said to be home to apostles Peter and Andrew
Excavations in Israel’s Galilee have uncovered remains of an ancient church said to mark the home of the apostles Peter and Andrew, the dig’s archaeological director said Friday.

Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret Academic College, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel, said this season’s dig at nearby El-Araj confirmed it as the site of Bethsaida, a fishing village where Peter and his brother Andrew were born according to the Gospel of John.

The Byzantine church was found near remnants of a Roman-era settlement, matching the location of Bethsaida as described by the first century AD Roman historian Flavius Josephus, Aviam said.

The newly discovered church, he added, fitted the account of Willibald, the Bavarian bishop of Eichstaett who visited the area around 725 AD and reported that a church at Bethsaida had been built on the site of Peter and Andrew’s home.

According to Willibald, Aviam says, Bethsaida lay between the biblical sites of Capernaum and Kursi.

“We excavated only one third of the church, a bit less, but we have a church and that’s for sure,” Aviam told AFP.
Amb. Nikki Haley: My Recent Trip to Israel
I’m very excited to share with you details from my week-long trip to Israel to participate in Israel Hayom’s conference on the U.S.-Israel relationship.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting many places throughout the world, but Israel will always hold a special place in my heart.

The United States and Israel have long shared a close strategic relationship, but the bond between our two nations goes deeper. Both countries were founded by brave leaders who believed in their respective causes despite the odds against them. Both nations have their roots in a shared belief system that celebrates democracy, religious freedom, and the rule of law.

As U.N. Ambassador, I was proud to defend Israel – not just as an ally, but as a friend. With President Trump’s support, we were able to move the ball forward and make real progress. We stopped funding the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a U.N. agenda that undermines Middle East peace by politicizing and inflating the number of Palestinian refugees; we left the U.N. Human Rights Council where attacks on Israel are almost a daily occurrence; and as is our sovereign right, we moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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