Wednesday, December 18, 2019

From Ian:

Wiesenthal releases ten worst outbreaks of antisemitic/anti-Israel cases
Simon Wiesenthal Center disclosed its annual top ten list of the worst outbreaks of antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents, including lethal Jew-hatred in the US and Germany.

Wiesenthal announced that the now-defeated British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was ranked number one for mainstream antisemitism in the UK. The Center wrote that it ”released its #1 choice for its Top Ten 2019 list five days before the UK election. Corbyn’s Labour was trounced by PM Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in the December 12th elections. Some analysts say that antisemitism impacted the voters. Corbyn has resigned as leader of the Labour Party.”

In fact, Corbyn termed the antisemitic jihadi organizations Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends.”

The Center listed the lethal antisemitic attacks in Jersey City and in Halle, Germany as the next worst outbreaks of Jew-hatred. “In Jersey City, New Jersey, a kosher market was the target of domestic terrorists. David Anderson and Francine Graham were adherents of the Black Hebrew Israelites hate group. Anderson had expressed anti-police and antisemitic sentiments. The shooters first killed a police officer, then unleashed a barrage of gunfire killing three innocent people inside the kosher store. Only quick and heroic action taken by police prevented an even greater massacre, as an adjacent yeshiva [school] would have been their next target,” wrote the Center.

Wiesenthal wrote that “some 80 Jews praying in a German Synagogue on Yom Kippur – Judaism’s holiest day – miraculously escaped certain injury or death at the hands of a neo-Nazi when the attacker failed to break down a security door outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany. After failing to enter the synagogue, Stephan Balliet, 27, armed with a submachine gun and explosives killed 2 civilians nearby and injured 2 others. Balliet admitted that he was motivated by his hatred of Jews.”

The Center lambasted the German authorities for the lax security. “Despite surging antisemitic acts, German authorities failed to post any security outside the synagogue during Yom Kippur services.”
2019’s achievements in the battle against antisemitism
Expressions of antisemitism across the Western world continued to increase during 2019, but it is also important to note achievements in the battle against this hatred. Many of these can serve as examples to follow in similar fights elsewhere.

Systematically exposing and fighting antisemitism is the foundation for this battle. The successes in this combat should be analyzed by category. A few of the main ones are listed below. A precondition of systematically exposing and fighting antisemitism is how to define it. In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) – of which more than 30 Western countries are members – accepted a definition of antisemitism. This text also includes examples of incitement and discrimination against Israel. Although the IHRA definition is not a legal document, it has created a frequently used framework for identifying antisemitic behavior.

Currently, 21 countries have adopted the IHRA definition for internal use. In 2019, Canada, Greece, the Czech Republic, Moldova and Portugal accepted the definition. In addition, many institutions in various countries have also accepted the IHRA definition for their use. For instance, more than 150 institutions in the United Kingdom have done so.

Obtaining data on antisemitic incidents and information on attitudes of Jew-hatred and perceptions of it by Jews are a second category of importance in the combat against antisemitism. A number of new studies were published this year. One important report was a survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conducted in 18 countries. It found, for instance, that Muslim acceptance of antisemitic stereotypes was almost three times as high as that of the national populations in six EU countries.
Jonathan S. Tobin: The ugly truth about campus anti-Semitism and BDS
The first is his unpacking of the myth that BDS is rooted in nonviolence and an effort to work for peace. Those who rationalize BDS claim that its founder, Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti, had as his goal an effort to work for coexistence, rather than violence between Israelis and Palestinians. This is false. Barghouti’s goal has always been the elimination of the one Jewish state on the planet. Its purpose has never been merely to pressure Israel to withdraw from the West Bank or to change Israeli government policies. Despite the claims that BDS activists are working for human rights, those who support BDS are working for a goal that is a formula for endless war, not peace.

Second, the report also details the troubling overlap between Palestinian groups funding and supporting BDS, and those who also promote terrorism. It’s not just that American pro-BDS activists engage in anti-Semitic invective and work for an anti-Semitic goal, they have also aligned themselves with Palestinian groups that are both violent and themselves engaged in the spreading of Jew-hatred.

The third and equally sobering fact that Greendorfer brings to light is the way the BDS movement has found strange bedfellows on the far Right of the political spectrum. This is hardly surprising since left- and right-wing extremists have historically always found common ground when it comes to anti-Semitism. However, it’s more than a bit ironic in this case since those who disparage Trump’s efforts to counter campus anti-Semitism often claim that attention paid to left-wing anti-Semitism is a distraction from the threat coming from the far Rght. Yet the BDS movement is receiving strong support from right-wing hatemongers like David Duke, racist media sites such as Stormfront, and neo-Nazi groups in the United States and in Europe.

Far from representing resistance to right-wing hate, the BDS movement is merely providing it with talking points and bolstering its efforts to delegitimize Jews and Israel.

The New Anti-Semites should make for sobering reading for Jews and other Americans who may dislike Trump, yet still want to support the fight against anti-Semitism. There is no way to defend or rationalize the BDS movement without being compromised by its anti-Semitic purpose, discourse, and conduct. Those who oppose Trump’s order may claim they are defending the moral high ground and free speech, but they are actually rolling in the mud with the worst sort of anti-Semites and supporters of terrorism.

Holocaust museums should start worrying about today's antisemitism
Holocaust museums must stop worrying about "genocides" around the world and start emphasizing the Nazi Holocaust and its connection to today's antisemitism. The same is true for Holocaust Commissions..

I just saw a press conference on TV regarding the shooting at the kosher grocery in Jersey City. I disagree with the opinions claiming that most who put swastikas on Jewish sites don't know what the symbol means.

Anyone who watches TV or has access to the internet, including teenagers, knows that the swastika is a symbol of antisemitism.

I was co-editor and one of the founders of the NJ State Holocaust Commission. We don't need anymore commissions on how to teach tolerance. What is needed are harsher punishments. I predicted this upsurge decades ago. The perpetrators must know that law enforcement will use its power against them.

Congratulations to President Trump for fighting antisemitism with new legislation. That may have an effect, if used wisely, to put a damper on the antisemitism Jewish students face on US campuses.

In Highland Park, New Jersey you had the reading of literature in the public library that breeds anti-Semitism. We fought the reading of "P is for Palestine" because of its anti-Israel message, such as using the word Intifada for the letter I and taking advantage of young children to spread a message of hate for Jews living in Israel.
Conversations with John Anderson: Featuring Melanie Phillips II
John Anderson talks to British journalist, author and broadcaster Melanie Phillips about the origins of Western cultural and political freedoms, the resurgence of antisemitism around the globe and the key problems confronting the youth of today.

Thousands honor Jersey City cop killed by kosher market assailants
As rain poured down Tuesday, thousands of police officers and others lined the streets of Jersey City to honor a detective killed last week in what officials are calling a domestic terrorism attack that targeted Jews and law enforcement.

Joseph Seals, a 40-year-old married father of five, was lauded as a model officer who helped get guns off the streets of the city of 270,000 that sits across the Hudson River from New York City. He was shot last Tuesday in a cemetery about a mile from a kosher market by two attackers who went on to kill three more people at a kosher deli before dying in a shootout with police.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said that attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement, and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.

Jersey City Director of Public Safety James Shea last week called Seals “the ultimate detective or officer we would point to to tell young officers, ‘This is how you should behave.’” In 2008, he was credited with saving a woman from a sexual assault inside her own home on Christmas Eve.

Outside St. Aedan’s Church, retired Jersey City police officer Glenn Gualtieri remembered Seals on Tuesday as being “extremely conscientious, well-liked, a dedicated professional,” adding that Seals’ mild-mannered demeanor went against the stereotype many have of police officers. He noted that Seals, who was white, served in communities where distrust of the police by minority residents is a fact of life.

“Sometimes in different communities, you’re not always the most popular person, but there are a lot of people who are good people who have nowhere else to turn when it comes to crime, and they look to the police to give them a little peace of mind. And Joe did that,” he said.
Why a Jewish Democrat Mayor Praised Trump for Standing Up to Anti-Semitism
At the White House Chanukah party, Mayor Michael Wildes approached President Trump to thank him for his support after the massacre at a Kosher market in Jersey City by two black nationalists.

"Thank you, Mr. President for your extraordinary work today," the Englewood mayor told Trump in a video posted on Facebook. "Standing up to anti-Semitism has been in your DNA. Why is that so natural?"

“It's always been the way I felt," President Trump replied. "As you know I have a son-in-law, daughter, and three magnificent children. Jewish. And what happened in New Jersey was horrible."

"I can't tell you how much means to the Jewish community,” Wildes said. “This is not a Democrat or Republican issue."

Mayor Wildes is a Democrat. And while he insists that standing up to the hatred that killed two Jewish people, as well as a police detective and a store employee is not a partisan issue, it very much is.

The divide over whether to describe the attack on the Jewish store as anti-Semitic began early on as authorities stalled on naming the attackers and misrepresented the shootings as random violence.
Shmuley Boteach: Booker’s Condemnation of Jersey City Shooting Not Strong Enough
Clearly the responsibilities of Senator Booker are the issues candidate Booker most prefers to avoid.

These inexcusable acts of callousness toward the Jewish community are sadly coming to define Cory’s political career as he makes every effort to ingratiate himself with the extreme left of the Democratic party.

Since becoming Senator, Cory has, in committee, opposed the Taylor Force Act, which would deny American dollars to Palestinian terrorists, voted “no” on a 2018 anti-BDS bill, condemned the move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, been photographed smiling with national BDS leaders, and has been campaigning with actress Rosaria Dawson, a supporter of BDS. Most infamously, Cory was a decisive vote in favor of the Iran nuclear deal that gave the murderous Mullahs, who over the last month alone killed more than 1,000 peaceful Iranian protesters, $150 billion.

This latest snub of the Jewish community makes it clear that he is insensitive and tone-deaf to the needs of a community who are experiencing rising hatred and attacks and stood with him from the earliest days of his political career.

It is the kind of disloyalty and callousness that makes one utterly unfit to serve in national office.

I don’t doubt the beauty of Iowa, its natural landscape, and incredible people. But it’s time for Cory to come home to New Jersey and comfort his grieving constituents lest they decide that he isn’t fit to be in the Senate either.
Jersey City mayor: Schools official who called Jews ‘brutes’ should resign
The mayor of Jersey City said Tuesday a school board member should quit over comments she made about the shooting at a kosher market, referring to Jews as “brutes” and questioning whether the attackers had a point to make in attacking Jews.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted that Board of Education member Joan Terrell Paige’s comments on the social media platform from the weekend “has no place in our schools.”

He also called for Paige to step down.

“Imagine she said this about any other community – what would the reaction be?,” he wrote on Twitter. “The same standard should apply here.”

A message seeking comment was left with Paige. The comment appears to have been removed from Facebook, but was preserved in screenshots.

Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas said in an emailed statement that Paige does not reflect the views of the board and doesn’t speak for it. She was elected to the board last year.

“There is no room for any kind of hate or bigotry in Jersey City,” Thomas said.

Paige was responding to another person’s comment about the December 10 fatal attack that left a police officer and three civilians, including two Orthodox Jews, at the JC Kosher Supermarket dead.

Paige’s post said that members of the black community had been threatened and harassed to sell their homes by “brutes of the jewish community.” She went on to question whether the attackers, both whom were killed in a shootout with police, may have had had “a message” to send.
ADL: Center on Extremism Uncovers More Disturbing Details of Jersey City Shooter's Extremist Ideology
Though he reposted and engaged (on Facebook) with individuals associated with groups within the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, he was also critical of organized churches or “camps.” He wrote, “All Israelite camps have proven to mislead people. Remember the scripture and you cannot go wrong.” And, “Yahawahshi said to the disciples to go and make disciples of men not camps of men who need 501c3 plans...”

His incorporation of “Maccabee” in his screen name and Facebook posts implies that he identified with a Jewish warrior insurgency which existed in second century B.C. He often posted or reposted references to his use of the King James 1611 Bible, which includes the Books of Maccabees. In a July 2015 post he wrote that King James was a black man whose words were “meant to stir us to action,” adding, “A passive man is a comfort to his enemies.” He also reposted a friend who wrote, “The Book of Maccabees 1 predicted long ago that the whites would ‘change the face of the ORIGINAL Messia’ for selfish gain. Maacabees [sic] was taken OUT of the original ‘text’.” This is a reference to 1 Maccabees 3:48, where the verse states that non-Jews had “painted their likeness” on the holy books; some Black Hebrew Israelites interpret this as a prediction that white people, including modern Jews, would hide the original truth of the bible as they perceive it, and substitute themselves in place of the original black tribes of Israel.

Anderson took that warrior spirit much further in a July post when he wrote that he could not wait for “Yahawah” (God) to have “his angel blow that shufar and give the order to dash little edomites against the stones” because he had a “RIGHTEOUS vengefulness within” him waiting to be released and that he could use “all of his edomite military anti terrorist [sic] training” against his enemies. In Black Hebrew Israelite theology, “Edomites” refer to the enemies of God, including white people, whom they believe to be descended from the biblical patriarch Jacob’s brother Esau, who was also known as Edom. It is clear from his writing that he used this term to refer disparagingly to Jewish people.

The next day he posted an image of himself holding a machete which he captioned, “When the final shufar is blown...”

Anderson’s Anti-Semitic Beliefs
Numerous posts in this Facebook account illustrate Anderson’s hatred for Jews, whom he sometimes refers to as Khazars – a reference to an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that modern Jews are descendants of an Eastern European tribe from the eleventh century. In July 2015 he wrote, “Brooklyn is full of NAZIS – ASHKE-NAZIS (KHAZARS).” (“Ashkenazi” is the name of a Jewish ethnic group, which includes many Hassidic and ultra-Orthodox Jews.) He went on to allege that Jews were responsible for murdering black men because “the police are their hand now.”

In September 2015, Anderson reposted an image which attacked “Jewish businessmen” for allegedly siphoning money out of the black community. In August 2015, Anderson posted a photo montage of Jewish people along with the New Testament verse, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan.” Anderson also believed that Jews created the State of Israel “as an attempt to make us believe that they were the Jews (us) that the bible speaks of and their exodus from Auschwitz was our exodus from captivity.”

Anderson’s hatred of Jews even led him to repudiate notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan in September 2015 when Farrakhan posed with two representatives of an extreme Jewish sect called Neturei Karta. Anderson reposted a photo of the three men which was captioned with “Farrakhan and Fake Jews…Ooh I smell a rat.” Anderson himself wrote, “Farrah-Con is, well…A Con.”
Jersey City shooter called Jews ‘Nazis,’ showed hatred of police in online posts
One of the Jersey City kosher store shooters made derogatory comments about Jews in social media posts, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL on Tuesday said it had uncovered a Facebook page that it says belonged to David Anderson, one of the two shooters who killed two Jews and a non-Jewish worker at the JC Kosher Supermarket, as well as a police officer at a nearby cemetery. The other attacker has been identified as Francine Graham.

Among other things, Anderson on Facebook referred to Jews as “Nazis” and “Ashke-Nazis” and shared images of Jewish people along with the New Testament verse, “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the Synagogue of Satan.”

He also said that Jews created the state of Israel “as an attempt to make us believe that they were the Jews (us) that the bible speaks of and their exodus from Auschwitz was our exodus from captivity.”
‘Don’t Be Afraid to Fight Back’: Israeli Student Lihi Aharon Stands Up to Antisemitic Assailant on New York Subway
“Do not be afraid to step up and do not be afraid to return the fight,” was the message of a young Israeli woman living in New York who was verbally and physically attacked on the subway by an antisemitic fellow passenger this week.

In a video posted on Tuesday, Israeli student Lihi Aharon explained that once she boarded the train, she asked the female passenger to remove her belongings from the adjacent empty seat so she could sit down. However, the woman refused and Aharon found another seat next to a man who happened to be wearing a kippah. The woman then directed a volley of antisemitic abuse at the Jewish man.

Much of the woman’s expletive-laden tirade was captured by Aharon on her camera phone. In an attempt to stop Aharon from filming the abuse, the woman lashed out at her and grabbed her camera. In the ensuing melee, Aharon’s face was badly scratched, leaving her with a deep scar. Nevertheless, she fought back, and the woman was arrested by police at the next station.

Along with the stream of insults, the woman expressed joy at last week’s gun attack on a kosher market in Jersey City, emphasizing that she wished that all Jews would share the same fate. She also repeatedly used the Islamic religious phrase “Allahu akhbar” as she sniped at Aharon and the Jewish man alongside her.

Pointing to the scar on her face at the end of the video, Aharon said she wore it proudly. “I stood up for my people and my country,” she declared.
Jewish-Israeli Woman Attacked on NYC Subway Speaks to i24NEWS
Jewish-Israeli student Lihi Aharon was physically attacked on the NY subway in, yet again, an incident of antisemitism. She speaks now to i24NEWS

Elle Magazine Celebrates Anti-Semites on ‘Women Of Color In Politics To Watch’ List
Elle magazine selected two vocal anti-Semites as part of its list of "20 Women Of Color In Politics To Watch In 2020."

Elle‘s list included Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Linda Sarsour, both of whom have come under fire for their dissemination of anti-Semitic rhetoric and support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

Both women have been criticized by the Jewish community and organizations that combat hateful rhetoric. Elle deputy editor Jessica Roy did not respond to a Washington Free Beacon request for comment.

Elle writes of Tlaib that she "is the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. You probably know her as a member of the ‘Squad,' the fearless group of progressive freshman women of color in the House who have been vocal opponents of the Trump administration and its policies."

Tlaib recently alleged that pro-Israel and Jewish members of Congress are more loyal to Israel than America. These, and similar comments, earned Tlaib a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, which noted in a June statement "the allegation of mixed loyalty or dual loyalty has been leveled as a smear against many kinds of Americans."

In Elle‘s write up of Sarsour, a veteran anti-Israel activist who repeatedly employs anti-Semitic tropes in her criticism of the Jewish sate, the magazine touted her "radical love."

Corbyn couldn’t have done it without ‘moderates’ like Jess Phillips
Thursday was a routing for Labour but the reckoning is still to come. Four years into the Corbyn project, and two years after it should have happened, the country crushed the Labour party for embracing the most extreme and dangerous figure in mainstream British politics since Oswald Mosley. For British Jews, who have been put through intolerable torment since 2015, this past weekend marked the first Shabbat dinner at which Jeremy Corbyn’s name could be raised in something other than anger or exasperation or dread.

In a break with much of Jewish history, Gentiles were on the right side for once. And while it is naive to assume anti-Semitism was the decisive factor for most voters, for some it was and for others it was swimming around in the broth.

On Thursday, little old ladies who have never met a Jew pulled on their winter coat and went to their polling station to put a stop to Labour’s vendetta against Jews, because we don’t do that here. He that keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps and nor does the instinctive decency of the British people, at least not for long.

Victory over anti-Semitism has meant a harrowing loss for Labour. Not as harrowing as it should have been but it’ll do for now. Best of all, Corbyn is going, eventually. When it comes to the governing of this country, he will be neither present nor involved. But Corbyn is one man and if Labour still believes in anything it is that ‘by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone’.
French gov't condemns far-left leader's anti-Semitic comments
Remarks by a leader of a far-left political party in France blaming Jews in general and the Jewish community in France in particular for the defeat last week of the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. Under Corbyn, the party made its worst showing since the 1930s and lost in a landslide to the Conservatives, under pro-Brexit Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

A number of senior government ministers and members of French President Emmanuel Macron's party issued condemnations of Jean-Luc Mélenchon's remarks, while fellow members of Mélenchon's La France Insoumise ["Unbowed" or "Unsubmissive" France] party backed his attacks on the leaders of France's Jewish community.

Mélenchon said that Corbyn had lost because of "arrogant orders from the [Jewish] communities and the council that represents Jewish institutions in France [CRIF]," and added that Corbyn had been "forced" to spend his time defending himself against insults and shots in the back from his own political camp.

"He was forced to run without being able to defend himself against gross accusations of anti-Semitism from the Chief Rabbi of England and the Likud's various networks of influence," Mélenchon said.

The politician said that rather than responding to the allegations, Corbyn had spent his time apologizing and "offering guarantees of good behavior," which Mélenchon said demonstrated "weakness."

France's Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, responded to Mélenchon's remarks by saying that "hatred and the belief in conspiracy theories feed off one another."

French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer characterized Mélenchon's opinions as "loathsome."
Labour staffers said to be planning industrial action over “institutional racism and mismanagement”
Staffers in the Labour Party are said to be planning industrial action against the Party over “institutional racism and mismanagement.”

The staffers are reportedly aggravated by aides to Jeremy Corbyn retaining their posts into the new year, which the staffers blasted as “not only embarrassing but also disgraceful”.

Staffers are apparently preparing a motion to be put to a GMB branch meeting in January. The GMB is one of two unions that represent Labour Party staff.

The organisers of the motion say that if the aides are still in post in January, they will seek industrial action on two grounds, namely “institutional racism and mismanagement of the organisation that [is] costing hardworking staff their jobs.”

They added: “Over the last four years we’ve seen a culture develop of bullying, and intimidation and hatred, where staff have openly contemplated ending their own lives due to the cover up of institutional racism.” They continued: “The fact that people who oversaw this culture and also devised the strategy that delivered the worst election defeat in 85 years have ended up hanging onto their jobs is not only embarrassing but also disgraceful. Any self-respecting trade unionist will support that staff in the Labour Party have to stand up and make their voices heard.”
Actor from ‘The Office’ shares post saying “some rich Jews play the ‘antisemitism’ card to protect themselves”
An actor from the hit television series, The Office, shared a social media post claiming that “some rich Jews play the ‘antisemitism’ card to protect themselves”.

Ewen Macintosh, who played Keith Bishop in the programme, shared a statement on Facebook discussing Labour’s election defeat with a Jewish comedian.

The post said that “our hypersensitivity leads us to see any criticism of Jews as ‘antisemitism’”, and since “in modern Britain there are many Jews who are rich” and that “being rich, their position is threatened (as they see it) by the ‘Marxist’ ideas of the Labour Party” and “indeed many left-wing members of the Labour Party will identity ‘The Rich’ as their enemies,” consequently “some rich Jews play the ‘antisemitism’ card to protect themselves. Personally I find this inexcusable.”

Mr Macintosh initially said of the statement that “this was written by one of the wisest Jewish men I know”, but when challenged reportedly clarified that the statement was authored by the actor Colin David Reese and that he did not endorse it but “merely posted it as an example of a different viewpoint [to that of his interlocutor]” and “it’s hopefully still possible to quote sources in this day and age without being accused of agreeing with them. Otherwise we are in serious trouble.”
Over fifty Jewish Cambridge professors and students pen article describing the “social cost of speaking out” against antisemitism after Jewish students inundated with Labour leaflets
Fifty Jewish professors and students at the University of Cambridge have written an article protesting the political Left’s belittling of antisemitism and dismissal of their concerns.

The endorsers of the article include Prof. Simon Sebag Montefiore, Prof. David Abulafia and Daniel Janner QC.

The intervention was prompted by a campaign event featuring the (successful) Labour candidate, Daniel Zeichner, who, they claim, was dismissive of antisemitism concerns raised with him. One student reportedly asked Mr Zeichner for his view on what Labour should do to resolve its antisemitism crisis, to which the candidate responded that Labour is merely a “voluntary organisation” like a “football club” or a “church”, and asked: “what else do you want us to do?”

The authors of the article accused the MP of “Labour-splaining” antisemitism to Jewish students and observed that his response was “emblematic of a wider disease that has taken hold of both the Labour Party and left-wing spaces here at Cambridge.”

They lamented that when antisemitism is raised, Labour activists and supporters feel personally attacked and respond by pointing out fault in other parties or questioning Jews’ motives.
American Academia: Pandering to Radicals, Curbing Free Speech
It apparently did not occur to any of the academics that the FBI's surveillance is also geared towards protecting the Muslim community from terrorists in its midst.

Notably, the suggestion that Muslims are not a homogeneous group, but rather individuals who do not all share the same political or religious ideology, elicited a harsh response on the part of the panelists, who silenced the discussion.

One of the [NCA] executives, Trevor Parry-Giles, joined the attack, berating Tsukerman for her "racist" writing and "suspicious" political views. This was after Tsukerman had presented a research paper explaining that Islamists, in cooperation with their Western allies, especially the media, are distorting the image of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a progressive modernist.

Tsukerman and another professor in attendance were then expelled from the conference.
Duke University Agrees to Address Antisemitism Concerns Following Education Dept. Complaint
The US Department of Education resolved a complaint this month against Duke University, which has agreed to take several steps to address concerns over antisemitism stemming from a March conference on Gaza, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) announced.

The ZOA first filed a complaint with the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in April, which alleged that Duke and the University of North Carolina (UNC) may have “misused federal funds” by sponsoring the conference at UNC’s flagship Chapel Hill campus. The conference was accused of being “reportedly one-sided and hostile to Israel,” and condemned for including a controversial performance by Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar.

“I need your help, I cannot be antisemitic alone,” Nafar was recorded telling audience members at the event. “Think of Mel Gibson. Go that antisemitic,” the rapper added while performing a self-described “antisemitic song.”

Several antisemitic flyers referring to “an evil Jewish plot” were found days later at a campus library.

OCR agreed to probe both Duke and UNC over the incident, though both schools sought to resolve the issues brought forward in ZOA’s complaint before the investigation concluded. UNC endorsed a resolution agreement with OCR this past October, which required it to take a number of steps to ensure students do not face a hostile environment.

According to documents shared by ZOA, Duke has recently entered into a similar agreement. In a December 10 letter to ZOA National President Morton Klein and Susan Tuchman, director of the group’s Center for Law and Justice, the OCR’s chief regional attorney announced that Duke signed a resolution agreement on December 3.
Call to boycott Israeli cheese backfires
Last week, Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commissioner Hatem Bazian called on locals to avoid purchasing Israeli feta cheese.

"Trader Joe's is having Israeli Feta on its shelves! One more reason to stop shopping at the store," Bazian, who lectures on Islam at UC Berkeley, wrote on his Facebook page.

However, the call for boycott backfired after Joe Zevuloni, an Israeli living in Florida who heads the "Israeli Army of Publicity," met the call for boycott with a call of his own: "Urgent call-up to publicity soldiers: I need you to lend me a hand here."

"This Israel-hating anti-Semitic professor from UC Berkeley tagged Linda Sarsour in his post and called on everyone to boycott Trader Joe's supermarket chain because it sells Israeli feta cheese.
UC Santa Cruz Taps Prof Who Pushed the Academic Boycott of Israel to Head New Middle East Studies Center
When a university starts a new academic program in a critical area of study, it typically chooses a scholar with impeccable credentials to direct it. Unfortunately, that is not the path the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) has taken with its new Center for the Middle East and North Africa (CMENA)

To head CMENA, UCSC chose history professor Jennifer Derr, whose objectivity towards Israel is questionable at best. A class she gave in 2014 bore the politically loaded title, "The History of Palestine: From Colonialism to Occupation." One wonders whether Jewish history, stretching some three millennia in what is now Israel, was included in her syllabus. Derr also signed a letter calling on President Obama to suspend military aid to Israel in 2014, when it was fighting a war against Gaza-based terror group Hamas. In addition, she has supported the academic boycott of Israel.

When asked about Derr, AMCHA Initiative co-founder Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, who was a faculty member at UCSC for twenty years, told Campus Watch: "Establishing a MENA center with a director who supports an academic boycott of Israel, one of the countries in the center's purview, is alarming and raises serious concerns about whether the new center will be focused on education or political indoctrination."

In the announcement of the new center, Derr claimed that "Study abroad trips to the region will be one opportunity for students to learn." Given her support for BDS, it's fair to ask whether Israel will be one of the study-abroad destinations of this new center. It's also fair to ask, in choosing Derr for this crucial position, what UCSC was thinking.

CAA calls on UCL’s head of Jewish Studies to apologise for using Chanukah message to attack university for adopting International Definition of Antisemitism
The head of the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department at University College London has used a Chanukah message to attack the university’s adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Prof. Sacha Stern, who is Jewish, explained that his and others’ public opposition to the adoption of the international definition is that it “will stifle the expression of such legitimate political views.” He also claims that the Community Security Trust (CST) and the Board of Deputies “have adopted, very sensibly, a politically neutral definition of antisemitism that makes no reference to Zionism or Israel.

Prof. Stern is wrong on both points. First, the international definition does not stifle free speech, only hate speech. In July 2017, Campaign Against Antisemitism published the opinion of expert counsel, David Wolfson QC and Jeremy Brier, on the adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism. The opinion states that: “Public bodies in the United Kingdom [such as universities] are not ‘at risk’ in using this Definition. Indeed, this Definition should be used by public bodies on the basis that it will ensure that the identification of antisemitism is clear, fair and accurate. Criticism of Israel, even in robust terms, cannot be regarded as antisemitic per se and such criticism is not captured by the Definition. However, criticisms of Israel in terms which are channels of expression for hatred towards Jewish people (such as by particular invocations of the Holocaust or Nazism) will in all likelihood be antisemitic.” The definition itself states that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

Second, the CST does in fact use the international definition in its reportage and the Board of Deputies has expressly called for the wide adoption of the international definition in its recent election manifesto.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Antisemitism Only Counts From Whites by Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Truah Rabbis (satire)
Too many people have misunderstood my online reaction to the murder of Orthodox Jews in Jersey City last weekend, in which I attempted to distinguish between that attack, with its economic context, and others perpetrated by real, white-supremacist antisemites. That tweet prompted numerous accusations that I seek to downplay or deny antisemitism when ethnic minorities display it. To the contrary: I define antisemitism ontologically as a product of white supremacy, making antisemitism by others – Black Hebrew Israelites, Muslims, whoever – impossible.

Following that definition – which you cannot deny or face accusations of oppressing me, a card-carrying intersectional progressive – the killers in Jersey City committed murder, yes, but not an antisemitic hate crime. This holds true despite the emergence afterwards of evidence that they belonged to a cult that preaches hate and violence against Jews, with rhetoric that echoes the likes of David Duke and Louis Farrakhan. Once we understand that the term “antisemitism” applies only to white-on-Jew violence, we realize other terminology must come into play. My suggestions include “economic protest” and “anti-gentrification crusade,” but others are welcome to weigh in with theirs.

Please note that a hate crime need not target Jews per se to qualify as antisemitic: merely the perception by the white perpetrator of the victim as Jewish or representing Jews gives the incident antisemitic character, regardless of the actual religious or ethnic status of the victim. Thus if someone had targeted the perpetrators of the Jersey City killings as Jews – since Black Hebrew Israelites claim to carry the “authentic” Hebrew tradition, as if I, a progressive rabbi, even acknowledge that as a thing – those doing the targeting would be engaging in antisemitism. Whereas what happened in Jersey City was not. I hope that is clear.
BBC amends ‘Newsround’ Christmas feature which breached style guide
As we observed, the use of that terminology breaches the BBC Academy’s guide for journalists reporting on ‘Israel and the Palestinians’ and a complaint was submitted by BBC Watch on December 14th.

On December 17th we received an email from BBC Complaints claiming that they were “unable to reply”.
“Thank you for contacting us about the BBC News website.
We regret that at present we’re unable to reply, unless we receive the URL to the article mentioned in your complaint.
Please contact us as you did before and include the above case reference number so we can pick up where we’ve left off.”

The relevant URL was in fact included in our complaint, as shown in the screenshot below:

However by the time that superfluous email from BBC Complaints was sent, the photo feature concerned had been amended and it now carries the date stamp December 16th.

Instead of the original seven photographs – three (42.8%) of which portrayed Christmas trees in areas ruled by either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas – the feature now carries eleven images: the original seven as well as additions from Belarus, Manchester, Moscow and El Salvador.

The caption to the photograph from Ramallah has been changed, with the word “Palestine” replaced by “the Middle East”.

However no footnote has been added to advise BBC audiences of the amendment.
Republicans and Democrats unite in Chicago to condemn Holocaust denier
Democrats and Republicans running in the Third Congressional District race in Chicago are united in their condemnation of a Holocaust denier, who is running as a Republican candidate.

Congressional candidate Arthur Jones has made no attempts to hide his holocaust denial, stating unequivocally: "Absolutely, it's the biggest, blackest lie in history. It's an extortion racket. Six million Jews weren't killed," ABC7Chicago has reported.

Jones stood unopposed in the 2018 Republican primary, before going on to pick up more than 57,000 votes in the election, ultimately losing to incumbent Dan Lipinski.

Now he's back, and despite being up against two more Republicans this time, is feeling bullish. "I don't think I'll be soundly defeated at all. I think I'll absolutely overwhelm my opposition in the Republican Party and I think I've given Dan Lipinski a doggone good fight," he said.

Rep. Lipinski, meanwhile, is confident of holding his seat, saying: "Art Jones' antisemitism and racism are completely unacceptable and have to be condemned, as I did last time that he ran."
Nearly 60 Tombstones Discovered Vandalized in Jewish Cemetery in Slovakia
Fifty-nine tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in the northern Slovakian town of Namestovo were vandalized, said police and a group that sought to protect the location on Tuesday.

Slovakia’s Jewish community labeled it “an unprecedented barbaric act.”

Police are investigating the incident at the cemetery, which dates to the second half of the 18th century. It was renovated in 2010.

The World Jewish Congress decried the desecration.

“The Jews of Slovakia have in recent years been fortunately spared of overtly aggressive expressions of antisemitism, but it has become sadly clear that in the climate of xenophobia and hatred spiraling across Europe, every minority community is indeed a potential target for malicious attack,” said the organization in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful to the Christian NGO Pamätaj–Remember for taking it upon itself to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of the Jewish cemetery in the absence of an active Jewish community in the town of Namestovo, and we sincerely hope that this example of interfaith support will continue to triumph over any and all manifestations of hatred.”
Israel’s Government to Fund a Folding Electric Vehicle and Hydrogen Gas Stations
City Transformer, an Israel-based company developing an ultra-light electrical vehicle capable of folding its chassis at a push of a button, has recently received an NIS 2 million grant ($570,000) from the Israeli government. The foldable electric car company is one of several green companies benefiting from a new government initiative to promote sustainable technology. The Energy and Water Resources Ministry of Israel, in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office’s national program for fuel alternatives and smart mobility, is set to invest NIS 22 million (approximately $6.32 million) in selected energy and transportation projects.

The grant will cover half of the investment required by the developers, up to a maximum threshold of NIS 3 million ($860,000) per company for each project.

Other projects selected to participate include a hydrogen gas station, to be set up by public transportation company Metropoline in collaboration with Israeli fuel company Sonol Israel. The two companies will jointly receive NIS 4 million ($1.15 million).

ESave, a company developing electricity-saving systems, will receive NIS 2 million ($570,000) to develop a vehicle-mounted portable power storage battery capable of providing several hours of electricity to areas affected by natural disasters or other reasons.
US contact lens firm to buy Israel’s optometrist-in-a-phone startup
US contact lens retailer 1-800 Contacts has entered into an accord to buy Israeli startup 6over6 Vision Ltd, a developer of vision technology that allows users to take their own eye tests using a mobile app or computer — in effect putting an optometrist into a smartphone.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Calcalist financial website estimated it at over $100 million, citing people familiar with the deal.

Using a combination of math, physics, vision technology, and advanced algorithms, 6over6 is the developer of GlassesOn, digital healthcare software that offers a variety of vision test technologies, including an accurate measurement of the refractive error of the eye for eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions, retrieving optical parameters from existing lenses, and measuring pupillary distance. It enables consumers to renew their prescriptions from anywhere, by using just their smartphones.

Their technology is currently in use by vision companies across the globe, with more licensing deals expected in the coming months, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday. The Tel Aviv-based startup’s apps are clinically proven to be as accurate as an optometrist’s exam, according to the firm.

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