Wednesday, October 23, 2019

From Ian:

Pro-Israel YouTube channel discovers YouTube has been hiding its videos
Hiding pro-Israel videos and content is nothing short of antisemitic. Maybe some want to claim that it is anti-Israel and not antisemitic, but we just call that modern antisemitism. It might look different than it did before the modern state of Israel existed, but antisemitism is antisemitism. Stopping people from seeing content that supports the Jewish state – well, what else would that be called? It screams antisemitism!

If YouTube tried to stop people from seeing pro-Muslim videos, the world would be outraged. If YouTube tried to stop people from supporting the Palestinian Arabs, again, the world would be outraged. But when it comes to the Jewish people and the Jewish state, the world is silent.

YouTube shuts down Israeli NGO’s channel for showing UNRWA violence videos
YouTube has shut down the channel of the Center for Near East Policy (otherwise known as the Israel Resource Review) for what it claims were “repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines on Violence or Graphic content.”

In a letter sent last week to the center’s head, David Bedein, “the YouTube Team” said that the platform “prohibits violent or gory content posted in a shocking, sensational or disrespectful manner.

“We have decided to keep your account suspended,” the letter continued. “You won’t be able to access or create any other YouTube accounts.”

The letter, according to Bedein, was in response to an appeal by the organization. The YouTube channel was shut down for the first time about one week prior.

The Center for Near East Policy works to uncover corruption within the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA. The organization has produced several mini documentaries, including UNRWA in Jerusalem: Anatomy of Chaos, which examines what it describes as the “human tragedy of life in the UNRWA refugee camp of Shuafat, in the heart of Jerusalem.”

Another documentary, Terror of Return, was shot on the Gaza border in the summer of 2018, showing how “UNRWA’s right of return policy is the ideological foundation with which the next generation of children are brainwashed to believe.”

The documentaries are filmed by Arabs on site and produced by academics in Israel.

“The only real proof that UNRWA is violent is film,” Bedein told The Jerusalem Post. “We have statements by UNRWA children, but these are just statements. The films are convincing proof.”

He said he was shocked that a social media outlet would shut down a team of journalists for doing their jobs.
Czech lawmakers pass resolution condemning BDS movement
The lower house of the Czech parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism as well as calls for boycotts of Israel.

The non-binding resolution, which passed the Chamber of Deputies with an overwhelming majority, strongly condemns “all manifestations of anti-Semitism directed against individuals, religious institutions, organizations as well as the State of Israel, including the denial of the Holocaust.”

It further rejects “any questioning of the State of Israel’s right of existence and defense” and “condemns all activities and statements by groups calling for a boycott of the State of Israel, its goods, services or citizens.”

The resolution calls on the government in Prague not to offer any financial support to groups that promote a boycott of Israel and to intensify efforts to prevent anti-Semitism. It also urges the government to provide “greater security” to people and institutions that could become the target of anti-Semitic attacks.

During a brief discussion before the vote, lawmakers stressed the historically close relations between Israel and the Czech Republic.

Jan Bartošek, the head of the Christian Democrats faction in the chamber, who introduced the resolution, said the Czech Foreign Ministry helped formulate the wording of the resolution.

“I am convinced that Israel is our strategic partner and ally in the Middle East,” he said.

The Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar Affair – what we learned about the Democratic Party
Israel’s decision to deny two new Democratic members of the US Congress, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, an entry visa to visit ‘Palestine’ (the name of a state that does not exist in reality and according to Israel and the United States), or, in fact, the Palestinian Authority (and a bit of Israel) for a tour that was quite clearly intended to demonise Israel and would have showcased their double standards about it, caused criticism to be directed at Israel from the entire Democratic party.

Lesson 1: Some liberal Democrats are starting to defer to the radicals on Israel

Lesson 2: Some liberal Democrats’ profound animosity to Trump and Netanyahu as leaders is reshaping their attitude to Israel as a country

Lesson 3: Some liberal Democrats are starting to accept the radicals’ framing of Israel

To stop Corbynism being the image of the Democratic Party’s future, we must engage in the battle of ideas

Had the trip taken place Israel would have been expected to use it to reveal the truth about the conflict, to refute each of these mantras and to unmask the BDS movement that is supported by the progressives. Even without the trip, Israel has to do this.

I still believe that many liberals can be convinced that these mantras are wrong, but there is a good reason to be disturbed by the way many liberals adopt this intentionally malignant vocabulary, and by their seeming unwillingness to go beyond The New York Times and The Guardian and read anything that challenges those mantras.

This is true, of course, not only in the USA. What is happening in the British Labor Party is an example of what may yet strike other liberal parties in the West. In this sense the Tlaib and Omar trip was just one more warning of the urgency for Israel and the liberals to fight together against the dangerous winds that are blowing from the extreme progressives. It should not be that difficult as Israel really stands for democratic and liberal values, whereas the Progressives and their Palestinian allies stand for the exact opposite as well as supporting anti-Semitic and violent attitudes. But since the liberal vocabulary is already deeply contaminated with the concepts of the extremists, this battle is going to be a difficult one.
Hagee: Reps. Tlaib, Omar 'are spouting anti-Semitic poison' into America's bloodstream
Pastor John Hagee is calling on Congress to define and root out "very vocal and very aggressive" anti-Semitism in the country, accusing Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. of "spouting" "poison."

The founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, which boasts over seven million members, is hitting back at anti-Semitism head-on in three areas across the nation: Congress, the media and college campuses.

"Anti-Semitism is not just a Jewish problem," Hagee told Fox News. "Anti-Semitism is everyone's problem. Anti-Semitism is evil and, as evil, it damns the soul."
Pastor John Hagee fears America is slipping into secularismVideo

The pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas said members in the House of Representatives need to call out their colleagues for anti-Semitic actions.

"In Congress, anti-Semitism is now being heard in the halls of Congress out of the voices of Tlaib and Omar," he said. "The voices of freshman congresswomen are spouting anti-Semitic poison being absorbed in the bloodstream of this country. Members of Congress who say they are pro-Israel do not have the courage to rebuke them by name or to discharge them from their political positions."

Warren Called to Revoke US Aid to Israel No Longer Even Received
Senator and democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren says she would be in favor of withholding aid for Israel, when in fact Israel no longer receives US aid, and currently, 74 percent of the US military assistance it receives is required to be reinvested in US companies, says Michelle Makori.

March 2019 Linda Sarsour Anti-Israel Event Cost Orange County (NC) Taxpayers Almost $10,000
Linda Sarsour was the keynote speaker on March 31, 2019, in Hillsborough, NC at an event sponsored by Orange County’s Department of Human Rights & Relations and The Orange County Human Relations Commission (HRC) of NC.

Sarsour is an American-Palestinian activist who has said “nothing is creepier than Zionism” and has advised Muslims not to “humanize” Israelis.

Public records indicate that Sarsour was paid $5,000 plus expenses with total costs to Orange County taxpayers reaching $9,313. We now know, according to HRC minutes, that Annette Moore — the Senior Staff Attorney and Director of the Human Rights and Relations Department — “introduced the idea of having Ms. Linda Sarsour as a speaker” and that HRC members immediately voiced approval.

As I reported after attending the event, Sarsour used her Orange County platform to applaud the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, repeatedly attack the Jewish state, and trivialize the Holocaust. Sarsour equated capitalism with racism and said that she is near supporting the abolition of the police and prison systems.

Much of the reporting below is based on public records I recently received from Orange County, having waited six months for the county to provide me with results to my requests.
Rashida Tlaib's hypocritical stance
First-term US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) supports occupation and ethnic cleansing.

Having a clear problem with Jews and the Jewish state, Tlaib often blames Israel for "occupying Palestine" and holds it responsible for the Palestinian refugee issue, which she regards as an example of "ethnic cleansing."

Yet, she makes a U-turn when it comes to Armenia’s illegal military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. She unabashedly supports this internationally condemned occupation, in opposition to 28 years of bipartisan US policy and four binding UN Security Council resolutions.

According to an October 8, 2019 article published by the Los Angeles-based Armenian newspaper Asbarez, the Armenian National Committee of Michigan recently met with Tlaib to discuss issues important to the American-Armenian community of Michigan and committed to co-sponsor two House resolutions aimed at improving relations between the US and Armenia.

The impression is that Tlaib has become a political prisoner the Michigan Armenian lobby that in all likelihood has been greasing her political career, helped her to gain a congressional seat.
Shmuley Boteach: Real and imagined antisemitism in Britain
LABOUR’S POLITICIANS and activists regularly call into question the ethics and legitimacy of millions of Israeli Jews and Zionists across the world. Worse, they make sweeping and often hypocritical judgments of Israel on the basis of exaggerated or even imagined actions that are at best attributable to small numbers of Jews, if not based entirely on cooked-up and unverified reporting. It’s justifiable to classify that kind of obsession with Israel as antisemitic.

Indeed, excusing antisemitism has become Labour’s foremost movement disorder.

Just days after the attacks against Rees-Mogg there was the supposedly data-driven claim – reported in leading political and news sites across the web – that the public’s perception of Labour’s antisemitism problem is grossly exaggerated.

It began in a poll released in the book Bad News for Labour, which found that most English voters thought more than a third of Labour members had filed complaints over antisemitism. In fact, between April 2018 and February 2019, the number of complaints filed within Labour over antisemitism was “only” 1,106 – a figure that represents just some 0.2 % of Labour’s more than 500,000 followers.

Antisemitism isn’t only extant on the right, Labour’s defenders would have you believe, but it’s barely a problem on the left. Just “0.2%!”

But this 0.2% figure looms a lot larger when you recall that England only has 270,000 Jews, or less than 0.5% of the greater English population. Of these, less than 15% were expected to vote Labour in 2016 (a number that has probably fallen since). All of this signals that Jews are about the smallest minority represented by Labour, which makes it astounding that they’re also the most targeted.

That this sprinkling of Jews could elicit a staggering 1,106 reports of hatred and bigotry in just ten months is shocking and disgusting – and the figure of “0.2%” does no justice to it whatsoever. If anything, despite this insane daily rate – between three and four incidents a day – these complaints seem to have gotten 0.1% of Labour’s attention.

More importantly, these figures ignore the fact that much of the controversy surrounds just one of Labour’s half-million members, the one who happens to be its head.
Former UK Labour MP says activists accused her of dual loyalty to Israel
A veteran UK Labour Party Jewish lawmaker who quit the party last week said she had been sidelined by new far-left party activists who refused to use her name in publications and accused her of dual loyalty to Israel.

Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman, 73, who left the party she had been a member of for 55 years, said in a interview with The Telegraph website published Wednesday that since she became an MP in 1997, many new party members have joined who “endorsed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and came from revolutionary Communist groups,” according to the report.

Ellman also said many in the party had an “‘obsession’ with Israel at the expense of any other domestic or foreign issue.”

“One member said to me, ‘How does it feel to be elected as a member of a democratic party in this country but represent a fascist party overseas?'” she said.

In another recent incident, the report said, “a group of new hard-Left activists refused to use her name because of her support for Israel. They referred to her only as ‘the MP,’ throwing around the word ‘Zionist’ as a term of abuse, and one member shouted ‘No, no, no’ when she suggested they call her Louise.”
Rabbi quits ‘anti-racism’ Stand Up To Racism over link to far left
A rabbi has quit as a co-chair of a far-left “anti-racism” organisation linked to the controversial Socialist Workers’ Party, and which had hosted an event with the pro-Corbyn outfit Jewish Voice for Labour on the evening of Yom Kippur.

Rabbi Lee Wax, of the Masorti movement, resigned last week from Stand Up to Racism (SUTR), widely considered to be a front for the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), whose leadership came under intense fire in 2013 over rape allegations.

The departure of Rabbi Wax, who works for Jewish Women’s Aid as a communications manager, comes as SUTR has also been criticised for hosting an event with the fringe group Jewish Voice For Labour (JVL), which seeks to downplay Labour’s antisemitism crisis.

JVL co-chair Jenny Manson spoke at a SUTR meeting held in a church hall on the evening of Yom Kippur.

Ms Manson was one of five speakers at the event, entitled ‘Resisting the Rise of the Racists and Fascists’, which included debate on antisemitism.

Another speaker was Weyman Bennett, a member of SWP’s central committee and co-convenor of SUTR.
Ex-chair of Scottish Labour says he’s not voting for the Party until it deals with antisemitism
In the wake of the resignation of Dame Louise Ellman MP from the Labour Party, the former leader of Scottish Labour has announced that he “won’t be voting Labour again until the antisemitism problem is sorted.”

Jamie Glackin tweeted the statement and insisted that “if that gets me purged then I can live with that,” a likely reference to the expulsion of some other Labour members who disclosed that they had voted for other parties in recent elections.

Meanwhile, Blair McDougall, a former candidate and director of strategy for Scottish Labour, has also described Dame Louise’s resignation as “an appalling indictment of what Labour has become. If several members of Parliament from any other ethnic minority had been forced out, most Party members would be up in arms. Because it’s Jews most will explain it away,” adding: “I look forward to every Labour member replying to her resignation statement with celebratory gifs f***ing off back to whatever racist Stalinist sect they crawled out of.”

On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

In recent months, thirteen MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
Salma Yaqoob Shared Rothschild Conspiracy Theory Website
Salma Yaqoob is the Corbynites’ favourite to become Labour’s candidate for West Midlands. The former Respect Party candidate – accused of intimidation and homophobia – has been endorsed by Owen Jones, Jon Lansman, and Momentum. Yaqoob has previously supported the pro-Hamas ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy, made up part of the campaign team which supported the family of Abu Hamza, and wrote an article in which she imagined Britain becoming an Islamic Republic…

Now Guido can reveal that Yaqoob has also egged on the Rothschild conspiracy theory – a trope that even Momentum admit is anti-semitic.

In 2013 the wannabe candidate linked on Twitter to conspiratorial website about “Rothschild bankers” in Iceland and London, which itself pointed readers to a longer article hitting out at Rothschild “banking puppets”, asks readers to “End [the] New World Order”, and praises Viktor Orban’s Hungarian Government for “Kill[ing] The Rothschild Banks”. She is favourite to win the selection…
Labour’s Crank Candidates – Salma Yaqoob, Ali Milani, Jo Bird, Luke Cresswell
The people named in the headline are a selection of individuals running for, or touting for, various political offices under the auspices of the Labour Party.

They represent the depths Labour has sunk to under Jeremy Corbyn.

Let’s take Ali Milani. He apologised for his use of antisemitic discourse and the party attempted damage control. Were Milani a private citizen that would be fair enough but not only has he been selected to be a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Labour Party but they’ve got him running in the Prime Minister’s own constituency.

Why would they run a candidate with this kind of baggage?

From the Jewish Chronicle:
Mr Milani has previously apologised for comments he made between 2011 and 2013 on social media.

As part of an exchange on Twitter in 2012, he wrote “Nah u won’t mate it will cost you a pound #jew”

He also wrote that “Israel has no right to exist” and “Israel is a land built on ethnic cleansing and colonialism. Oppression is something your people should know about”.

On another occasion, he wrote: “So lecturer asks the class today ‘nobody in this room would ever want to go to war right?’ My hand rises. ‘Who?’ Me: ‘Israel’.”

He also responded to a tweet by Piers Morgan, former editor of News of the World and the Daily Mirror, by calling him “a Zionist and corperate [sic] jackass”. Mr Morgan’s original tweet had not been on the subject of Israel or Jews.

Chris Williamson shamefully allowed to lecture at University of Nottingham but robustly denounced by Jewish students
The disgraced Labour MP, Chris Williamson, has been denounced as an antisemite by a student at the University of Nottingham as he gave a lecture.

Mr Williamson was lecturing students at an event at the Centre for British Politics as part of a series on “British Politics in Crisis”.

Jewish students at the University had called for the invitation to be withdrawn, citing Mr Williamson’s “history of Jew baiting”, but the University defended the invitation in a decision condemned by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

During the lecture, one student accused Mr Williamson of being “a member of a sewer of racist groups on Facebook including Palestine Live” and “troll[ing] the Jewish community endlessly on Twitter” and, asked rhetorically whether the MP is “the most unlucky anti-racism campaigner or are you just an outright liar?”

The student was applauded as Mr Williamson described the question as “abusive” and declared: “I will take no lectures from people who attack my credentials as an anti-racism campaigner…so don’t come here and accuse me of being an antisemite or a racist. It’s an absolute slur.”

Mr Williamson also again defended Jackie Walker, who has been expelled from the Labour Party over her comments about Jews.

Sweden: The Church that Spreads Hate
Although Good Shepherd's Swedish School is marketed by the Swedish Jerusalem Society as a school that promotes peace, Tobias Petersson, Director of the think tank Perspective on Israel, has revealed that the textbooks used by Good Shepherd's Swedish school have jihadi content that encourages holy war against the State of Israel. Also, in those textbooks, Jews are described as liars and corrupt.

Maps in the schoolbooks and on the walls of Good Shepherd's Swedish School do not show the State of Israel; instead the outline of Israel had been displaced by the identical outline of the "State of Palestine".

That such a large institution as the Church of Sweden gathers church collections throughout the country to support a school that spreads hatred and warmongering should doubtless be seen as enormously problematic.

The practice also shows that not only does Swedish aid go to organizations that spread hate, but also that large institutions in Sweden have opened back-channels to send millions of Swedish kronors every year to schools, such as Good Shepherd's Swedish School, that also spread hate.

To understand how harmful this situation is, can you imagine what would happen if one of Israel's -- or another country's -- largest institutions were raising money to support a school that taught children to hate Sweden and celebrate terrorists who murdered Swedes? It would, of course, be a great scandal and totally unacceptable. But in Sweden, this is exactly what is happening now.

Lawmakers to Twitter: ban Hezbollah and Hamas-related accounts
A bipartisan group of Congressmen sent a letter on Tuesday to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, demanding the social media platform will ban Hezbollah and Hamas affiliated accounts from using the platform.

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Tom Reed (NY-23), Max Rose (NY-11), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), said that Twitter is “blatantly violating US law,” and demanded that Twitter remove these accounts by November 1.

The group first reached out to Twitter last month. Carlos Monje, Twitter’s US director of public policy and philanthropy, wrote in response that “Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation.”

“All individuals accessing or using Twitter’s services must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter rules,” Monje said in his response. “There is no place on Twitter for terrorist organizations, violent extremist groups or individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities.”

Monje explained that Twitter distinguishes between the political and military factions of these organizations.

“We may make limited exceptions for groups that have reformed or are currently engaging in peaceful resolution processes, as well as groups with representatives who have been elected to public office through elections, as is the case with parts of Hamas and Hezbollah,” Monje said.
Guilt By False Association: Israel ‘Noted in Particular’
Anti-Israel activists will use any opportunity to present Israel as guilty by association with states that engage in controversial behavior. The South American state of Chile is currently experiencing violent street protests that have led to 15 reported deaths so far.

What has this got to do with Israel?

Plenty, according to The Independent.

Who is Benjamin Zinevich?

But firstly, who is Benjamin Zinevich, the author of the opinion piece?

Is he an academic? An expert on Israel-Chile relations?


The Independent fails to provide any bio for Zinevich but a simple Google search reveals that he is an undergraduate student New York University where he is a prominent anti-Israel activist and member of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) organization, described by the Anti-Defamation League as “a network of pro-Palestinian student groups across the US which disseminate anti-Israel propaganda often laced with inflammatory and at times combative rhetoric. They are a leading campus organizer of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel, and specialize in using confrontational tactics such as disrupting student-run pro-Israel events, and constructing mock “apartheid walls” and distributing fake “eviction notices” to dramatize what they consider Israeli abuses of Palestinians.”
9 out of 10 US Jews worry about anti-Semitism, and most think it’s getting worse
Some nine out of 10 Jews in the United States believe anti-Semitism is a problem in the country, with widespread fear that it is on the rise, according to a recent survey by the American Jewish Committee. The survey is the largest and most comprehensive conducted among Jews on the topic of Jew-hatred in the US to date.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents to the AJC poll said anti-Semitism was a “very serious problem” and 50% said it was “somewhat of a problem” — adding up to 88%. Eighty-four percent said that anti-Semitism has increased over the last five years; 43% said that it increased a lot over that time span.

The results were consistent across age groups, religious denominations, and political affiliation, with 84% of ultra-Orthodox, 80% of Modern Orthodox, 91% of Conservative, 94% of Reform, 92% of Reconstructionist, and 87% of secular Jews saying that anti-Semitism is a very serious or somewhat of a problem in the US today.

The survey, which has a margin of error of 4.2%, polled 1,283 respondents of Jewish religion or background over the age of 18 via telephone between September 11 and October 6, 2019.

It is being released just days before the first anniversary of the deadly shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, which claimed the lives of 11 people on October 27, 2018.
Pennsylvania flags to fly at half-staff on anniversary of Tree of Life attack
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a proclamation calling for a day of remembrance and ordering state flags to half-staff to mark the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue building that left 11 worshipers dead.

The proclamation extends the City of Pittsburgh’s resolution declaring the day “Remember Repair Together Day” across the whole state, according to local reports.

It also orders the state flag on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds to half-staff from sunrise until sunset on October 27, 2019, the one-year anniversary of the attack. The United States flag will remain at full-staff.

“A year has passed, but I continue to carry sorrow for the victims and their families of this heinous attack,” Wolf said on Friday when he signed the proclamation. “We must honor them by remembering, and through our thoughts, prayers and actions. I ask all Pennsylvanians to spend October 27 doing the same in their honor.”
ADL: Pittsburgh synagogue massacre spawned rash of far-right plots against Jews
At least 12 white supremacists have been arrested on allegations of plotting, threatening or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks in the US since the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly one year ago, a Jewish civil rights group reported Sunday.

The Anti-Defamation League also counted at least 50 incidents in which white supremacists are accused of targeting Jewish institutions’ property since a gunman killed 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, 2018. Those incidents include 12 cases of vandalism involving white supremacist symbols and 35 cases in which white supremacist propaganda was distributed.

The ADL said its nationwide count of anti-Semitic incidents remains near record levels. It has counted 780 anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of 2019, compared to 785 incidents during the same period in 2018.

The ADL’s tally of 12 arrests for white supremacist plots, threats and attacks against Jewish institutions includes the April 2019 capture of John T. Earnest, who is charged with killing one person and wounding three others in a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California.
Prominent DC synagogue vandalized with ‘anti-Israel and hate-filled messages’
A synagogue in Washington DC was vandalized with what is described by local Jewish agencies as “anti-Israel and hate-filled messages.”

Graffiti on the Washington Hebrew Congregation was discovered Friday morning. Congregants were informed of the vandalism in an email later in the day.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington issued a joint statement on Friday afternoon about the graffiti, which was posted on Facebook.

The statement said the agencies “have been informed that at the present time there is no immediate or direct threat to our community as a result of this disturbing incident,” and that the Washington Metropolitan Police Dept. will conduct a full investigation.

“As we enter Shabbat and the final days of our Fall holidays, let us remember that although we cannot outlaw hate, we must and will continue to send a strong message to the community that these hateful expressions will not be tolerated. We must continue to come together as a community to reject hate in all of its forms,” the statement also said.
Swastika outside attorney’s office in Cali investigated as hate crime
Police in Palm Springs, California, are investigating a swastika drawn outside the office of a Jewish attorney as a possible hate crime.

The swastika was found spray painted on the Weinstein and Associates firm’s sign in front of the office building on Saturday. It was removed several hours later, KESQ News Channel 3 reported.

“This is a horrible crime,” attorney Bob Weinstein told the Palm Springs Desert Sun newspaper. “I’m especially affected by it because they know I’m Jewish, with a name like that, and they know I’m in this building ’cause my name’s on the building. My family survived the Holocaust, so we’re very sensitive to those kind of hate signs.”
Headstones smashed at Jewish cemetery near London
Four headstones at a disused Jewish cemetery in the United Kingdom have been destroyed in what police are investigating as a possible antisemitic attack.

The perpetrators knocked down the headstones at the cemetery of the Chatham Memorial Synagogue in Rochester, a town located 30 miles east of London, sometime between Sept. 27 and Oct. 4, police told Kent Online, which published an article about the incident Tuesday.

“It’s difficult to describe the sense of horror at the disrespect and needless violence,” Dalia Halpern-Matthews, the chair of trustees of the nonprofit organization that runs the Chatham Memorial Synagogue, told the Daily Mail.

The unknown vandals destroyed the cemetery’s gate.

“The gate they ripped off was bolted to the wall. It was already open. It was damage for damage’s sake,” Halpern-Matthews said.
The last burial at the cemetery took place in 1982. Some graves there are more than 300 years old.
Belgian parade mired in anti-Semitism prints Jewish caricatures for participants
Organizers of a parade in Belgium that earlier this year provoked international uproar over an anti-Semitic float, have published 150 caricatures mocking Jews ahead of the 2020 event.

The caricatures, some featuring Orthodox Jews with red, hooked noses and golden teeth, were printed on ribbons intended for participants in the annual event, which was added in 2010 to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO.

The condemnations in March over this year’s parade came from Jewish groups as well as UNESCO for featuring a float with giant Orthodox Jewish figures holding money and grinning. One of them had a rat on his shoulder. Revelers danced to a song about money composed by the organizers, who said the float was a protest of rising living costs.

The designer of the 2020 caricatures told Het Laatste Nieuws daily that they target UNESCO’s criticism of last year’s display and are “not against Jews.” He was not named.

One caricature shows a red-headed Orthodox Jew with golden teeth and is captioned: “UNESCO, what a joke.”
How Cartoons Brainwashed Us With Jewish Stereotypes

Branson visits Israel as Virgin Holidays launches Israel vacations
UK business magnate Sir Richard Branson's visit follows the start of Tel Aviv - London Virgin Atlantic flights last month.

UK business magnate Sir Richard Branson landed in Israel today as his travel company Virgin Holidays announced the launch of package vacations to Israel in 2020. The announcement of the escorted tours of the country come after last month's start of daily Tel Aviv - London Heathrow flights by Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic.

On its website, Virgin Holidays is already offering four day vacations in Tel Aviv starting from £610 per person, 7 day vacations starting from £807 per person and a broad range of more expensive options. The Virgin Holidays site also offers Jerusalem vacations as well as the Classic Israel Tour, taking in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Dead Sea and Bethlehem on an escorted nine day/ eight night tour starting from £1,869 per person. Also on offer is a Classic Israel with Jordan tour, a 13-day, 12-night tour with taking in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Petra and Amman starting from £2,945 per person.
Kibbutz built by Kindertransport survivors makes furniture for 6,000 synagogues
Kibbutz Lavi, whose founders included children evacuated from Germany to the United Kingdom as part of the Kindertransport program before the Holocaust, has become the main provider worldwide of furniture for synagogues.

The community, in the lower Galilee, has exported its products to over 6,000 synagogues in 70 countries and has made furniture for most synagogues in Israel.

“I estimate that today close to a million people are sitting on our furniture,” said Micha Oberman, CEO of Lavi Furniture Industries, in an interview with Channel 13 broadcast on Sunday.

The business started when the fledgling kibbutz turned to its own carpenters for help setting up its first synagogue in 1950. It was during a period of austerity in Israel and the kibbutz could not afford to buy furniture. Soon after Lavi set up its synagogue, nearby communities started sending in orders.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Honors Late Queen Mother of Romania, Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday officially marked the reburial of Queen Mother Helen of Romania, also known as Helen of Greece and Denmark, with a letter praising the late monarch for her work to aid and rescue Romanian Jews during the Holocaust.

During World War II, despite Romania’s alliance with and domination by Nazi Germany, Helen fought to bring food, medical supplies, and other aid to the country’s Jews, and in 1942 personally intervened to stop a mass deportation of Jews to the death camps.

Following the war, the Soviet-sponsored communist government forced Helen’s son Michael I to abdicate and they both went into exile in 1948. Helen spent most of the rest of her life in Switzerland, where she died in 1982. She was recognized as a “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in 1993.

Last Friday, Helen’s body was returned to Romania after 37 years and reburied Saturday with royal honors.

In his letter, presented to Princess Margareta of Romania by Israeli Ambassador David Saranga, Rivlin wrote, “I am writing to you to express again the profound gratitude of the Jewish People for [Helen’s] courageous efforts during World War II to rescue Romanian Jews from the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust.”

“Our two nations share a long history, and over the centuries, Jewish citizens of Romania experienced periods when they flourished as well as far less happy times,” he noted.

Opulent 1,500-year-old church to mystery ‘glorious martyr’ found at Beit Shemesh
Fifteen hundred years ago, Christian pilgrims flocked to an opulent basilica church near Beit Shemesh built with donations from the Byzantine emperor himself in honor of a mysterious “glorious martyr,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday.

“The martyr’s identity is not known, but the exceptional opulence of the structure and its inscriptions indicate that this person was an important figure,” said excavation director Benjamin Storchan in the IAA press release.

The church compound, 1.5 dunam or just over a third of an acre in size, has a rare intact underground crypt that once presumably contained the relics of the anonymous martyr immortalized in a Greek inscription at the site.

The crypt was such a tourist draw that it was, unusually, reached by two impressive staircases.

A stone quatrefoil (four-leaved) crucifix baptismal font was discovered at the site. It is a design that is less common to Byzantine-era Holy Land sites but is found throughout the empire, including in North Africa. Among the colorfully intricate fruit, flora and fauna mosaic designs is the imperial eagle, which alongside an inscription detailing the donation of Emperor Tiberius II Constantine (574-582 CE), ties the site to the sprawling Byzantine empire.

“Imperial involvement in the building’s expansion is evoked by the image of a large eagle with outspread wings – the symbol of the Byzantine Empire – which appears in one of the mosaics,” said Storchan.

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