Saturday, October 26, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Elizabeth Warren and the destruction of the west’s moral compass
The Democratic presidential hopeful, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has suggested that she would consider cutting military aid to Israel to force it to halt construction of settlements in the disputed territories.

“It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction then everything is on the table,” she said. To ensure that no one failed to understand her threat, she repeated her final phrase.

Her comment furnished more evidence that Warren resembles British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in her far-left and Israel-bashing views. This threatens to harm not only the sole democratic U.S. ally in the Middle East, but also the interests and security of America itself.

Nevertheless, opposing Israeli settlements and taking the side of the Palestinian Arabs is unlikely to damage Warren’s prospects in broader progressive circles because these are views that they generally share.

This is not merely a divisive policy stance. It also displays a fundamental misconception about the Arab war against Israel that is shared widely within the Jewish as well as non-Jewish world.

At the most obvious level, bashing the settlements is historically and legally wrong.

Israel is entitled to retain and settle these territories twice over. The 1922 Palestine Mandate, whose terms have never been abrogated, gave the Jews alone the right to settle in what is now Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza. In addition, international law upholds Israel’s right to retain land taken, as it was in 1967, in a war of defense against those who still continue to use it as a landing stage for attacks.

Moreover, the belief that the settlements prevent the creation of a Palestine state that would end the Middle East conflict is transparently false and historically illiterate.

The Palestinian Arabs think all Israel is a “settlement” of squatters with no rights to the land, and they want all of Israel gone. They make this plain in their deeds, their propaganda, and their maps and flags.

Lyn Julius: Buffeted by Egyptian winds of exile
‘There is hatred for everything that is different,’ a friend tells the incredulous young woman, as their world collapses around them in Nasser’s Egypt.

‘Le dernier Khamsin des juifs d’Egypte’ is the novel (in French) which the author Bat Ye’or ( her pen name, meaning Daughter of the Nile) had always wanted to write. Instead the Cairo-born Jewess’s life was thrown off course by her pioneering research into the dhimmi, the subaltern status of Jews and Christians under Islam.

The Hamsin is the hot wind blowing in to Egypt from the Sahara. For the 80,000 Jews of Egypt, riots combine with state-sanctioned persecution to blow this age-old community out of the country, never to return.

The book is written in an impressionistic style but is nuanced and covers all aspects of the exodus. It is heavily autobiographical. Arriving in 1957 as a young refugee in London to study at the Institute Z, Elly ( Bat Ye’or) comes from a well-heeled family. Now she is struggling to survive on a handout of eight pounds a month. Depressed in the cold and the fog, she tries to make sense of what has happened. She is haunted by flashbacks and ghosts from her Egyptian past. Her long-dead, observant relatives are resigned to their fate, but Elly, of a new breed of educated, secular, independent women, can’t accept that Egyptian Jewish life is being wiped out. Elly’s father is burning their family archives lest they be accused of Zionism before their hurried departure. They can’t leave without signing a declaration forfeiting their property.

The storm has been brewing for 100 years. Egyptian nationality was only granted to those who could prove roots going back to 1845.
The Needle
Last month, the world marked the 80th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the start of WWII. In Israel, too, this was a big milestone: Kids discussed it at school, academics held conferences at the various universities, newspapers ran articles and editorials. But this wasn’t, of course, always the case in Israel. For years, the war—and the Holocaust—were taboo topics. European Jews, many Israelis felt, had gone to the camps like sheep to the slaughter, without resisting, without putting up much of a fight.

Then that perception changed, almost overnight, as a result of one major event: the capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann. Every other Israeli, it seems, claims to have been connected to that heroic operation. But for years, one man who actually was at the heart of the covert kidnapping did all he could to erase himself from the history books. Gregory Warner and Daniel Estrin bring us the complicated story of Dr. Yonah Elian, the anesthesiologist who sedated one of the world’s most notorious Nazis. Today’s episode comes from Rough Translation, an NPR podcast that tells stories from around the world that offer new perspectives on familiar conversations.

MEMRI: Editor Of Turkish Pro-Government Daily On Turkish Invasion Of Northeast Syria: Turkey Is Not Limited To Anatolia; Aleppo-Mosul Line Is Strategic Priority
In his October 16, 2019 column[1] titled in part "You Are The Ones Who Attacked Turkey; We Are Just Defending Ourselves! The Plan To Establish A Second Israel Has Failed!... They Think Turkey Is Only Confined To Its Modern Era And Anatolia – As We Struck The PKK Terror Group, We Also Struck The Coalition Supporting It! We Have Destroyed The Great Plan Of The 21st Century" in Turkey's Yeni Şafak daily, which is a mouthpiece of Turkey's ruling Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), the paper's editor-in-chief, İbrahim Karagül, commented on the impact of Turkey's recent invasion of northeast Syria.

Karagül wrote: "We are being martyred with U.S. weapons, with the weapons from Israel and Europe... Preparations were being made for a greater war against Turkey. There was a major plan they were masking with the terrorist organization. That plan was to divide Turkey... They were building the 'second Israel'... They seem to have forgotten that we possess the legacy of the Ottomans and Seljuks! They think Turkey is only limited to its modern era and Anatolia... The U.S.'s military units in the region are being directly controlled by Israel... No force in the north of the Aleppo-Mosul line should threaten Turkey. This line is the south security line... This is our strategic priority." Here, writing in Erdoğan-government mouthpiece Yeni Şafak, Karagül gives a glimpse into what he defines as Turkey's "strategic priority" of breaking out of Anatolia and securing the territory up to the line that stretches between the Syrian city of Aleppo and the Iraqi city of Mosul. At certain points such a line includes territory that is over 70 kilometers from the Turkish border, having more than double the depth of the 32-kilometer "safe zone" to which the United States and Turkey agreed on October 17.[2]

IDF troops fire at suspicious vehicle on Gaza border
The Israel Defense Forces fired warning shots at a driver in a suspicious vehicle near the Gaza border on Saturday, the military said.

The incident occurred near the border area with southern Gaza.

According to Palestinian media reports cited by the Israeli press, the driver suffered wounds to the neck. His condition was unclear.

The IDF spokesperson’s office said soldiers opened fire in accordance with engagement rules.

On Friday, several thousand Palestinians demonstrated along the Gaza Strip border with several hundred rioting and throwing rocks and explosive devices at IDF soldiers.

The soldiers responded with tear gas and occasional live fire.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 16 people had been wounded, including six from live fire.

There were no reports of Israeli injuries.
Several thousand Palestinians protest on Gaza border; 16 injured in riots
Several thousand Palestinians demonstrated Friday along the Gaza Strip border with several hundred rioting and throwing rocks and explosive devices at IDF soldiers.

The soldiers responded with tear gas and occasional live fire.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 16 people had been wounded, including six from live fire.

There were no reports of Israeli injuries.

Since March 2018, Palestinians have been holding weekly “March of Return” protests on the border, which Israel has accused Gaza’s Hamas rulers of using to carry out attacks on troops and attempt to breach the security fence. Hamas, an Islamist terror group, seeks to destroy Israel.

Friday’s march came after a Qatari envoy reportedly arrived in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday-Friday to distribute another round of cash payments to 100,000 Palestinian families in the enclave.

It is the latest in a succession of financial aid delivered by Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi meant to cover fuel for electricity, salaries and assistance for needy families in the Strip from Qatar, which has budgeted some $330 million for the program launched last year.

The individual $100 stipends will be handed out on Friday, reports said.
PM Shtayyah Threatening to Resign If PA Drops Boycott of Israeli Calf Shipments
In mid-October, the Palestinian Authority decided to stop importing calves from Israel, dealing a severe economic blow to Israeli growers, who must continue feeding the calves beyond the usual schedule – with heavy economic consequences.

The cost of feeding a calf is about 300 shekel a month, so that a farm growing 100 calves would endure an extra monthly expense of 30,000 shekel, in addition to the loss of income of about 6,000 shekel per calf (or about 600,000 shekel per 100 calves).

The live calves are imported from abroad, and are grown and fattened in Israel before being sent to slaughter.

In addition, according to The Marker, some growers in Israel claim that meat merchants from the Palestinian Authority have stopped paying for past imports, too, because the meat business is credit-based, and without the next round of shipments the Arab merchants have no cash flow.

This means a severe blow to the income of hundreds of Israeli growers and Arab merchants.

Heavy pressure is being exerted on PM Mohammad Shtayyeh to change his decision from PA politicians.

Two PA officials, Intelligence chief Majid Faraj and Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein a-Sheikh, have appealed to Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to reverse the boycott decision, but PM Shtayyeh warned in closed talks that he would resign if he were forced to fold under Israeli pressure.
Hezbollah chief warns of civil war, says Israel exploiting Lebanon protests
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday warned that ongoing massive anti-government protests in Lebanon could plunge the country into civil war, and accused Israel and other countries of working to take advantage of the demonstrations to fuel unrest.

The head of the Iran-backed terror organization spoke as the protests, which initially were triggered by new proposed taxes that followed public spending cuts, dragged on into a ninth day.

Nasrallah said though the protests began as a popular expression of anger against corruption and deepening economic crisis, they were now being exploited by political rivals and international and regional powers who oppose Hezbollah.

“What does it mean that the Israelis get Lebanese among those who are in the Zionist entity to the border to show solidarity with the protests,” he was quoted saying by Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television network. It was not immediately clear what he was referring to. An Iranian-armed proxy, Hezbollah seeks to destroy Israel.

In an unusual move, Nasrallah spoke with a Lebanese flag behind him instead of the Hezbollah banner.

Nasrallah warned Lebanon could descend into civil war, conjuring fear of the country’s war that lasted 15 years and ended in 1990.

“I’m not threatening anyone, I’m describing the situation,” he said. “We are not afraid for the resistance [Hezbollah], we are afraid for the country.”
At Least 25 Killed as Fresh Protests Engulf Iraq
At least 25 protesters were killed in Iraq on Friday when security forces used tear gas and an Iranian-backed militia opened fire to try to quell renewed demonstrations against corruption and economic hardship, security sources said.

A government intelligence officer and a member of the powerful Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia were killed in a clash with protesters in the southern city of Amara, police sources said.

Nearly 1,800 people were injured nationwide, according to medical sources, as demonstrators vented frustration at political elites they say have failed to improve their lives after years of conflict.

“All we want are four things: jobs, water, electricity, and safety. That’s all we want,” said 16-year-old Ali Mohammed who had covered his face with a T-shirt to avoid inhaling tear gas, as chaotic scenes overwhelmed Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square.

Sirens wailed and tear gas canisters landed amid groups of young protesters draped in Iraqi flags and chanting “with life and blood we defend you Iraq.”

The bloodshed is the second major bout of violence this month. A series of clashes two weeks ago between protesters and security forces left 157 people dead and over 6,000 wounded.
Judo ban for Iran over refusal to face Israelis a wake-up call ahead of Olympics
For years, its athletes have managed to avoid Israeli opponents, but Iran’s suspension from international judo competition is a wake-up call for the Islamic republic ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) this week announced its decision to confirm a provisional ban on Iran over its refusal to allow its fighters to face Israeli judokas.

The verdict came after an investigation was launched into an incident during the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo at the end of August.

Iran’s Saeid Mollaei, defending his title in the under 81kg class, was defeated in the semi-final and also went on to lose his third-place bout.

At the end of the tournament, the 27-year-old — who has not returned to Iran — said he had been ordered to throw the semi-final rather than risk facing an Israeli in the final.

The Israeli judoka, Sagi Muki, went on to win gold.
Iran's judiciary amputates man’s fingers for theft
Iran’s clerical regime cut off a man’s fingers for alleged theft in a prison in the northern province of Mazandaran, sparking outrage over the appalling punishment from Amnesty International.

Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director, said on Thursday:

“Premeditated maiming and mutilation of individuals is not justice. It is a harrowing assault against human dignity. It is shameful that the authorities would attempt to present this punishment as anything other than what it is: an abhorrent form of torture.”

Higazi added that “By carrying out this unspeakably cruel punishment, the Iranian authorities have committed torture which is a crime under international law. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and also under customary international law, Iran is legally obliged to forbid torture in all circumstances and without exception.

Reforms to Iran’s penal code that would put an end to this outrageous practice are long overdue. Iranian parliamentarians must immediately undertake reforms to abolish all forms of corporal punishment and move towards a criminal justice system that treats prisoners humanely and focuses on rehabilitation.”

According to Amnesty, the Justice Department of Mazandaran province claimed that the amputation of the man’s hand was part of “the justice department’s policy to crackdown, severely and without hesitation, on those who disrupt public order and security and steal public funds.”

The Mazandaran justice department said the public welcomes and expects such punishments.

Amnesty said in a statement that “The Iranian regulatory code for implementation of corporal punishments such as amputation requires the presence of a physician for the assessment and enforcement of the sentence. This is in direct violation of ethical guidelines and international human rights law, which expressly prohibit health providers’ involvement in torture and other ill-treatment.”
Clinton appears to compare Trumps to Bible’s Ahab and Jezebel in Cummings eulogy
Rep. Elijah Cummings was eulogized as a leader with the fiery moral conviction of an Old Testament prophet Friday at a funeral that brought former presidents and ordinary people alike to the Baltimore church where the congressman worshiped for four decades.

“Our Elijah was a fierce champion of truth, justice and kindness in every part of his life,” said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who took the stage at the New Psalmist Baptist Church to rousing applause.

“Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against the corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel,” she said, apparently comparing the US president and his wife to wicked Biblical-era monarchy. “And he looked out for the vulnerable among us. He lifted up the next generation of leaders. And he even worked a few miracles.”

Cummings, a black sharecropper’s son and civil rights leader who rose to power in Washington over two decades ago with his sonorous voice and powerful oratory, died of longstanding health problems October 17 at age 68 while locked in political combat with US President Donald Trump.

The Baltimore Democrat led multiple investigations of the president, who recently lashed out at Cummings’ district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”

The turmoil on Capitol Hill seemed close at hand during the service.

In what sounded like a reference to the impeachment inquiry against Trump, former president Bill Clinton told the crowd, “We all know now that, at least until certain things happen, his legacy is how ardently he honored his oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Sanders’s presidential campaign selects anti-Semitic comedian as surrogate
The Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently picked anti-Semitic comedian and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Professor Amer Zahr, who has expressed support for the anti-Israel BDS movement.

“Does #BDS ‘single out’ #Israel in the face of other global atrocities? YES! Because it was started by us Palestinians! I don’t know why everyone is so shocked that Palestinians are obsessed [sic] with our oppressor. #FreePalestine #Palestine,” he tweeted in July, reported The Washington Free Beacon.

In May 2015, Zahr wrote, “Our land was stolen. We live under a brutal military occupation. Israel uses our residential areas to test military technology. Our land was stolen. The media portrays us as subhuman. Israeli politicians call for our extermination. Oh, and our land was stolen.”

In February 2016, Zahr published an open letter to superstar singer Beyoncé, condemning her decision to perform in Tel Aviv: “So, Beyoncé, Bey, habibti, I’m asking you not to do it. Israel doesn’t wear a halo. She’s a naughty girl. She doesn’t even pay her own bills, bills, bills.”

He added that Israel is a “nation that has routinely discriminated against black individuals, destroying blood donated by Ethiopian Jews, injecting their women with contraceptives without their consent, and expelling thousands of African asylum-seekers.”

The following July, Zahr tweeted that then-Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “should be on the #BDS list. Supporting her is a form of normalization. Voting for her is like buying Sabra hummus. #FreePalestine.”
Dem Candidate Rush Darwish Attracts Concern in Jewish Community
Democratic congressional candidate Rush Darwish, a Palestinian-American, is under scrutiny in the Illinois Jewish community for his statements in support of boycotts against Israel and accusation that one of his challengers changed her views on Israel to attract "Jewish donors," according to reports in the local media.

Darwish is one of several Democrats running to unseat Rep. Dan Lipinski (D., Ill.). Darwish's candidacy is focused on "his Palestinian-American roots, [raising] money in Arab-American communities across the nation, and [working] to register and turn out the vote among Palestinian-Americans," according to a new report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The report draws attention to Darwish’s stance on Israel and raises questions about the remarks he has made about Jews.

Darwish has been public about his support for pro-Palestinian causes such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, and has sought to portray his challengers as wedded to the so-called pro-Israel lobby, according to the report.

"At a campaign kick-off event in June, Darwish in a speech incorrectly said Lipinski got $15,000 from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel influential lobbying group," the paper reported. "However, AIPAC is not a political action committee, does not endorse and does not donate to campaigns. AIPAC members and allies, like anyone, can contribute as individuals and use their personal networks to raise money for candidates."

Ideological myopia has delivered hate in the Labour party
The Corbynistas could not overcome the fact that the Soviet Union had recognised Israel in 1948. Hence the continued support for a two-state solution while simultaneously opposing Zionism as “a racist endeavour”. They logically sought out peripheral anti-Zionist Jews rather than engaging with Jewish organisations which did not disavow Zionism.

It became possible therefore for the Corbynistas to support “a state of Israel”, but not one which is Zionist and one that does not necessarily have to have a Jewish majority. As Mr Milne has argued, any settlement between Israelis and Palestinians would require some “reversal of the historic ethnic cleansing”.

Mr Milne came of political age with the ascendency of the Likud in the late 1970s. His return from a left-wing Grand Tour of the Middle East left him committed to the Palestinian cause on his return to Oxford University. Like the PLO, he opposed the Begin-Sadat Camp David agreement of 1979.

The 1980s however proved difficult. While Thatcherism was embedding itself in the UK, Gorbachev was advocating glasnost and perestroika in the USSR — and even more alarmingly, Arafat was seeking a pathway towards rapprochement with Israel.

Many identified with the rejectionists in the PLO — those who declared the handshake between Rabin and Arafat on the White House lawn to be nothing more than a betrayal.

Mr Milne’s inability to recognise the raison d’être for the rise of Zionism was more recently encapsulated in his reported encouragement of Ken Livingstone to make his inaccurate “Hitler and Zionism” comment.

Whereas many Palestinian nationalists have moved to an accommodation with Israel, Palestinian Islamists have not. For Mr Milne, the central point is Palestinian resistance to Israel and not the political colouring of those who resist — even if reactionary and antisemitic. Mr Corbyn has happily followed Mr Milne in not discerning between advocates of the Palestinian cause.

Mr Milne warned the left in the past to “aggressively police the line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism”. Yet the reality of the last few years do not bear this out. It is the difference between theory and practice. It is also the lesson that British Jews have learned — the hard way — from history.

Mr Milne once commented that “for all its brutalities and failures, Communism... delivered rapid industrialisation, mass education, job security and huge advances in social and gender equality” — but it did not deliver for the Jews as a people.

There are many Jews who wish to repair this country and desire a just settlement with the Palestinians. The Corbynistas in the depths of their ideological blindness have gone out of their way to alienate too many Jewish progressives.

Like the Bourbon monarchs of revolutionary France, the Corbynistas have forgotten nothing and learned nothing from the lessons of history.
Hundreds of Jewish Students Walk Out in Protest as University of Illinois Student Senate Passes Resolution Denying Link Between Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism
More than 400 Jewish students from fraternities, sororities, Chabad, Hillel and other organizations walked out in protest earlier this week during a student government meeting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) at which a motion was approved denying any link between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.

On Wednesday, the UIUC student senate passed the resolution titled “Condemning Ignorance of Racism and Equating Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism” by a vote of 29-2, with two abstentions. The document was authored by five student senators aligned with the UIUC chapter of the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Jewish groups alleged that they were not consulted about the resolution, which also provided a definition of antisemitism.

“This resolution was written without Jewish input,” Lauren Nesher — a member of the pro-Israel group IlliniPAC — said during the meeting. “Not a single Jewish cultural house was consulted, and yet it purports to speak for the campus community.”

“We watched as it was bee-lined through the senate and the committee during some of our holiest of days,” Nesher added, before inviting all Jewish students and their allies to leave the meeting.

The resolution was drafted Oct. 16 and claimed that equating anti-Zionism and antisemitism was a false equivalence and scare tactic used against Palestinians. It was fast tracked for a vote during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The sole Jewish senator in student government, Ian Katsnelson, was only made aware of the resolution when it was made public. “They choose to willingly not listen,” said Katsnelson, who also joined the walkout.
Top Canadian Jewish Group ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Federally-Funded Voting Guide That Promoted BDS
A top Jewish advocacy group said on Friday it was “deeply concerned” after becoming aware that a federal grant was used to produce a voting guide for Canadian Muslims ahead of last Monday’s national elections.

B’nai Brith Canada was referring to the “Canadian Muslim Voting Guide: Federal Election 2019” that was published by the Canadian Islamophobia Industry Research Project at Wilfred Laurier University on Oct. 18.

The front cover of the guide recognizes support from a federal agency, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

“Disturbingly, one of the six ‘key issues’ for Canadian Muslims unilaterally selected by the authors of the voting guide is support for the anti-Israel and antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement,” B’nai Brith noted. “The voting guide purports to assign a ‘Fail’ grade to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for recognizing that BDS is a form of antisemitism that harms Jewish students on Canadian campuses, and gives the same failing grade to Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer.”

Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, stated, “It is totally unacceptable that government funds have been used to promote an antisemitic movement in Canada. It is deeply troubling that taxpayer dollars were used to subsidize a document ‘guiding’ Canadians on whom to support in an election.”

B’nau Brith said it would be seeking “a commitment from the newly-elected Canadian government to ensure that premises and facilities under government administration not be provided to organizations that express antisemitism or call Israel’s right to exist into question.”
CAA calls for adoption of International Definition of Antisemitism by universities as EHRC says two thirds of students don’t bother reporting campus racism
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published a report showing that two-thirds of students who said that they had experienced racial harassment during the first half of the 2018/19 academic year did not report it to their university.

The reasons for the underreporting included a lack of confidence that the university would address the matter and fears of the personal consequences on their education, career and wellbeing of making a report, as well as ignorance of how to make reports.

The EHRC’s report quoted an undergraduate at an English university being told by a fellow student that “they were baking Jews like cupcakes in Auschwitz” and that they would like to put the student in an oven, while antisemitic slurs toward students and staff were noted at Scottish and Welsh universities as well.

One of the most widely reported antisemitic issues, according to the report, was harassment experienced by students in and around protest events on campus, including physical intimidation.
Profs at Saudi-Sponsored Georgetown Center Advocate Iranian Hegemony, Downgrade Saudi-U.S. Ties
Speakers at a September 12 panel at a conference on democracy in the Muslim world reflected Middle East Studies' prevailing pro-Iran, anti-Saudi bias. That it occurred at the most infamous Saudi-sponsored academic center in America represents an ironic break with past practices that generally ignored Saudi human rights violations.

All participants in the panel "Jamal Khashoggi, Human Rights, and the US-Saudi Alliance" were critical of America's alliance with Saudi Arabia. The panel's chair, University of Denver Professor Nader Hashemi, set the tone with his introductory statement that "this panel is especially devoted to the memory, the legacy of Jamal Khashoggi." During his presentation, Hashemi, a Board member of the conference sponsor, the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), lionized Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi writer murdered last year.

The panel was part of a conference titled Democracy and Good Governance in Muslim-Majority Countries: Lessons from the Last 20 Years, hosted by Georgetown University's Saudi-sponsored Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) the Copley Formal Lounge. The University of Denver's Center for Middle East Studies and the Center for Global Policy were cosponsors.

Conference participants and audience members included past and present ACMCU faculty Jonathan Brown, John Esposito, and Tamara Sonn, as well as Georgetown's Muslim chaplain Yahya Hendi. Also attending were George Washington University Professor William Lawrence, International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) associate Ermin Sinanovic, CATO Institute sharia apologist Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, and his former CATO colleague, foreign relations analyst Stanley Kober.
CAMERA Researcher Highlights Hypocrisy of Menno Peace Activists
Mennonite peace activists from North America have been a central component in the ongoing effort to delegitimize the Jewish state and portray antisemites in the Middle East as legitimate partners for interreligious dialogue and peace negotiations. In 2008, for example, the Mennonite Central Committee declared that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had moderated his statements regarding Israel, when in fact he had continued to say hateful things about the Jewish state, stating for example that “Zionists are the true manifestation of Satan.”

The Mennonite Church USA and the Mennonite Church Canada have also passed BDS resolutions targeting the Jewish state for boycotts. The Mennonite Church Canada’s passed its resolution in 2016 and the Mennonite Church USA passed its resolution in 2017.

Van Zile wrote extensively about the anti-Israel bias exhibited by Mennonite peace activists in an article published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs titled “Key Mennonite Institutions Against Israel,” which can be read here.

One of the main themes of Van Zile’s writing about Mennonite peace activists is the manner in which they use Mennonite pacifism to critique the behavior of Israelis Jews, but not Arabs and Muslims who seek Israel’s destruction. Similar behavior can be seen from other Christian “peacemaking” activists who regularly vilify Israel while remaining silent about the misdeeds of its adversaries.

The underlying message of Van Zile’s writing is that a lot of so-called peace activists in the U.S. enjoy great moral luck. They live in a country where the violence used to establish the republic is a distant memory and therefore they can view themselves as innocent and good and look down on Israeli Jews as bad. Moral luck is not virtue.
One-Year Anniversary of Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre to Be Marked With Collective Moment of Remembrance
Commemorations will held across the world on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

“We observe on Sunday the anniversary of the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history, in which 11 innocent people were murdered simply because they were Jews,” Arthur Stark, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, stated on Friday. “We mourn the lives lost and the senseless carnage wrought upon the co-located congregations Tree of Life, Dor Hadash and New Light one year ago. We stand in solidarity with the family and friends of those killed and injured and the entire Pittsburgh Jewish community.”

“This tragedy ended the age of innocence for American Jewry,” they added. “It can no longer be said that we are immune to the pandemic of antisemitism. We must learn from this tragedy and work to prevent further occurrences. Security at all communal institutions including synagogues, schools, and centers must be enhanced while we maintain them as inviting and open facilities. The Conference has taken several initiatives which we hope will yield a coordinated, efficient, national approach.”

“As we mark this solemn occasion, words and condolences are not enough. There must be action from all sectors of government and society. Jews and non-Jews alike must unite against antisemitism in all its forms, at home and abroad, if the increasingly urgent threat of global Jew-hatred is to be confronted,” Stark and Hoenlin concluded.

At 5 p.m. (US Eastern time) on Sunday, a public memorial service will take place in Pittsburgh.

People wishing to watch the event and participate in a collective moment of remembrance can do so by visiting

“Rather than become desensitized to the terror of a never-ending cycle of senseless deaths, we must focus on doing what we do best: building and sustaining community that brings people together,” Mark Wilf, chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, said.
Connecticut synagogue evacuated after receiving bomb threats
A synagogue in Connecticut has been evacuated after it received two bomb threats.

Congregation B’nai Israel, a Reform congregation in Bridgeport, was evacuated on Friday while police investigated the threats, the city’s police said on Twitter.

The police department said all had been evacuated safely.

Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which a gunman killed 11 people.

The American Jewish Committee is organizing a campaign urging people to attend synagogue this Shabbat to show solidarity with Jews in light of the anniversary. The group said that the Bridgeport synagogue had signed up to participate in the campaign.
Netflix to air miniseries on the trial of Nazi guard ‘Ivan the Terrible’
John Demjanjuk was a retired Ukrainian-American autoworker living a comfortable life in the suburbs of Cleveland — until his past caught up with him.

A group of Holocaust survivors identified him as the Treblinka death camp guard who earned the sobriquet “Ivan the Terrible” for torturing and killing a large number of Jews during World War II.

What happened next is the subject of “The Devil Next Door,” a five-episode documentary series that debuts on Netflix on Nov. 4. It requires that much time because the story is complicated and speaks to a number of topics, including mistaken identity and the justice system in Israel.

The U.S. began proceedings to void Demjanjuk’s citizen in the late 1970s. In 1983, Israel requested his extradition, which took place in 1985, after his appeal to halt the deportation was denied. His trial in Jerusalem created the kind of media frenzy the Eichmann trial had two decades earlier.

Part of Demjanjuk’s original defense was that he was never at Treblinka, but rather served at a different camp, which was apparently true. The court believed that and released him, and refused to re-try him for crimes committed while serving as a guard at the other camp, in part because it would violate double jeopardy rules.

He was returned to the U.S., where his citizenship was restored and then taken away again. He was eventually extradited to Germany, where he was convicted as an accessory to the murder of almost 28,000 Jews. He died while in the midst of appeals in 2012.
The Devil Next Door | Main Trailer | Netflix

Zubin Mehta sorry he could never play with Israel Philharmonic in Arab country
Zubin Mehta, the storied music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra who stepped down from his position this week with a final concert, told Channel 12 news in an interview that aired Friday that one of his chief regrets was that “I have not taken the orchestra to any Arab country.”

The 83-year-old Mehta, who has conducted the IPO since 1961 and has been its music director since 1977 — as well as working with leading orchestras the world over — was born in India to a violinist father and said he was inducted into the musical world at an early age.

His father, Mehli Mehta, formed the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, whose strings section was mostly manned by Jewish musicians who had fled the Holocaust in Europe.

He said he got his first taste of conducting when “I was 16 years old and my father was preparing the orchestra to accompany [Jewish violinist] Yehudi Menuhin.

“So my father, being a violinist, knew these concertos. So he would play and I would conduct so that the orchestra would get to know the solo part. Actually I had no idea what I was doing. But I knew the music very well, and I followed him and he would play and shout at me what I’m doing wrong,” he said with a laugh.

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