Friday, December 27, 2019

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: A Boris Bear Hug Against British Antisemitism
Through such ostensible even-handedness, the British government has been supporting for years a Palestinian agenda that is predicated on the destruction of Israel. And that’s why the menace of antisemitism in Britain extends far more widely and deeply than Corbyn’s Labour Party.

A recent poll of the British public found that 21% felt warmth towards the Palestinians while only 19% felt warmth towards Israel.

This isn’t surprising at all, given the unremitting pro-Palestinian propaganda and corresponding incendiary falsehoods about Israel that are standard discourse on the BBC and other media, as well as in the universities.

Instead of fighting these untruths, the government actually reinforces the lies attempting to write the Jews out of their own history. These help fuel both anti-Israel hatred and the Jew-baiting that such discourse inevitably licenses and sanitizes.

In America, President Donald Trump is a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people. That’s because he doesn’t try to drive a wedge between the one and the other, and he recognizes the link between hatred of Israel, hatred of Jews, and hatred of America.

Johnson has yet to show he understands that those who attack Israel have the West in their sights too. He owes his large parliamentary majority to the patriotic British working class who understand precisely that. But for Britain’s intellectual governing class, hatred of Israel is a signature motif.

If Boris Johnson really wants to stand with the Jewish community against the forces of darkness, then he needs to start educating the public in the truth about Israel and its enemies.

He needs to start telling people about the Palestinians’ eye-watering antisemitism, about their repeated refusal of a Palestine state, and their real aim to exterminate Israel.

He needs to start telling the public that the Jews are the indigenous people of the land. He needs to explain to them that antisemitism is not a prejudice like any other but is unique in its deranged nature and scope.

He needs to start calling out those NGOs, universities and media that spread murderous falsehoods about Israel. He needs to start telling the truth about the lies. And he needs to change his own government’s policy that spreads them.

We shouldn’t hold our breath. But then again, given these extraordinary times, who knows?
Israel Advocacy Movement: BBC and Sky News demonise Israel for Christmas

Matti Friedman: Israel’s Sea Change
Zionism’s Maritime Revolution: The Yishuv’s Hold on the Land of Israel’s Sea and Shores, 1917 – 1948 - Kobi Cohen-Hattab

One summer day in 1947, a ship about to sail from the London docks made history when it raised a new flag: the blue-and-white pennant of the Jewish national movement. There was a commotion on the riverside. “Thousands crowded onto the shores of the Thames,” an observer recorded:
This was the first time in history that seamen’s orders were given in Hebrew at the Thames dock. The appearance of the lovely Jewish ship with the Jewish crew on the Thames made a strong impression not only on the Jewish groups but also on the British trade and shipping classes.

The ship, SS Kedmah, was the very first vessel belonging to the Zionist movement’s new shipping company, ZIM. It was sailing for the Land of Israel, still under British control, where its arrival was occasion for a national celebration in the Jewish home. Crowds came to the Tel Aviv beach to see the ship steam in, and five Piper Cubs flew an honor guard overhead (one carried Golda Meir). Children waved flags, and Zionist leaders delivered speeches praising what was then called the “conquest of the sea.”

As usual, the story—as told in Kobi Cohen-Hattab’s excellent new history, Zionism’s Maritime Revolution—wasn’t that simple. The new Zionist ship was, in fact, a refurbished English vessel with 20 years of rough service behind her, including the wartime evacuation of Singapore in 1941. She nearly broke down in the Mediterranean en route to the Yishuv. Saltwater got into the internal systems, the refrigerators didn’t refrigerate, the ovens didn’t cook, and the lights went out. The crewmen, who were Jewish, couldn’t stand the officers, who were British. The feeling was mutual, and eventually there was—inevitably, in those times of proletarian consciousness—a strike.

And yet the moment truly was historic, marking the launch not only of the national shipping company but of a significant Jewish presence in the Mediterranean. Within a year of Kedmah’s arrival, there would be a state called Israel with a navy, commercial vessels, a fishing industry, and ports—all of which would have seemed like a farfetched dream just two or three decades before, when a few Zionist enthusiasts and cranks under Turkish and British rule began promoting improbable visions of sovereign Jewish seamen sailing Jewish boats on what David Ben-Gurion once imagined as a “Jewish sea.”

The story of how this unfolded in the 30 years before Israel’s birth in 1948 is the subject of Zionism’s Maritime Revolution: The Yishuv’s Hold on the Land of Israel’s Sea and Shores, 1917 – 1948. While the early years of Zionist settlement on land have been exhaustively documented, it’s surprising to learn here from Cohen-Hattab, a professor of history at Bar-Ilan University, that so far there hasn’t been a comprehensive account of what happened on the water, no book that “has used a critical approach and the totality of existing sources to relate the story of the sea and its professions within the chronicles of the Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel in the modern age in the years prior to the establishment of the state.” The author has set out to fill the hole in the record, explaining how modern Jewish seamanship grew from a few failed fishing communes and handmade boats to the beginning of real naval power.
Honest Reporting: A Hero of Israel: Who Was Clark Clifford?
Lovett suggested that recognizing a Jewish state was nothing more than an attempt to win Jewish votes in the upcoming November 1948 presidential election. He also suggested that the new Jewish state would be filled with Jewish immigrants who were in fact communist agents working for the Soviet Union.

But there was one more person in that meeting – White House Counsel Clark Clifford, a close friend and adviser to the president. Clifford argued that a new state committed to democracy would do wonders for the chaotic Middle East. In Clifford’s memoirs he relates that Marshall was “red with suppressed anger as I set forth the case for the immediate recognition of the Israeli state.” Marshall told the president that if he followed Clifford’s advice, then “the great dignity of the office of president would be seriously diminished.” He went as far as saying that if the president supported the new Jewish state then in the November election, “I would vote against the President.”

Clifford further wrote that “When I finished, he (Marshall) exploded, ‘Mr. President, I thought this meeting was called to consider an important, complicated problem in foreign policy. I don’t even know why Clifford is here.’” According to Clifford, Truman replied, “Well, General, he’s here because I asked him to be.”

In the end, Truman recognized the newly declared Jewish state minutes after it was declared on May 15, 1948. It is clear that he did so based on his deep belief in the Bible which promises the Holy Land to the Jewish people. In fact he later said:

I had faith in Israel even before it was established, I knew it was based on the love of freedom, which has been the guiding star of the Jewish people since the days of Moses. I believe it has a glorious future before it, not just as a sovereign nation but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.

But, with his most important cabinet members being strongly against this recognition, Truman needed the voice of a trusted friend arguing that supporting a democratic Jewish state in the biblical and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people would create a beacon of light and stability in the Middle East, and that this was in America’s best interest.

And Clark Clifford was the right man in the right place to make that happen.

United States recognition of Israel was critical to its survival in the face of worldwide criticism and condemnation.

And that makes little-known Clark Clifford a hero of Israel.

Setting the Record Straight on Allegations Against Israel
A news article by Marcy Oster on the JTA news agency/wire service website dated December 24 stated, “The Palestinian village of Deir Yassin was the site of a massacre by Israeli troops in 1948.” The problem: while it is true that Arab and pro-Arab sources have for many years alleged there was a massacre in Deir Yassin — just as they later alleged many Israeli army massacres — there is no evidence that it actually happened.

There were many Arab civilian casualties in the battle of Deir Yassin, but this was because the Arab military forces there employed the time-honored tactic of using Arab residents as human shields. The Jewish forces at Deir Yassin were the pre-state Zionist militias the Irgun Zvai Leumi and LEHI (the Stern Group).

The Zionist militias left one exit from the village open and pleaded with the residents, through a bullhorn, to leave. Many did. But many others were forced to stay in their homes by Arab soldiers. As a result, civilians were killed in the inevitable house-to-house fighting that ensued.

As an aside, it is well worth noting that there were no “Israeli troops” at Deir Yassin as there was no State of Israel when the battle was fought. The Irgun and the Stern Group attacked Deir Yassin because it was where snipers were based who targeted Jewish civilians in western suburban Jerusalem neighborhoods and the British authorities were doing nothing to stop the snipers.

Embarrassed by the large number of casualties, the leadership of the Jewish Agency — the then-Labor Zionist-controlled Jewish quasi-government in pre-Israel Palestine — decided to accuse their political rivals, the Irgun and Stern Group, of massacring Arabs in Deir Yassin. But in 1969, the Israeli Labor government’s Foreign Ministry — Abba Eban was foreign minister at the time — recanted the allegation, describing the massacre claim as “a big lie” and “a fairy tale.”
France’s Chief Rabbi Fears Sarah Halimi Murder Trial Decision Amounts to ‘License to Kill Jews’
In his letter, Korsia encouraged Belloubet to explain “how deliberately taking considerable quantities of drugs exonerates an individual from responsibility?”

Korsia went on to point out that if it was correct that smoking cannabis “exacerbated his antisemitic impulses, it means these impulses already existed!”

The chief rabbi then asked: “Should it be inferred from this decision that every drug-addicted individual is licensed to kill Jews?”

In a separate interview this week with the French-language Israeli broadcaster i24 News, William Attal — Halimi’s brother — accused the French judiciary of having “humanized” her killer.

“They forgot that he [Traore] had lived as a delinquent for 10 years, that he was convicted 22 times on drugs charges,” Attal said.

Attal added that the rights of Halimi’s family had not been respected during the investigation into the murder.

“There was a serious miscarriage of justice, the investigation was nowhere near comprehensive enough,” Attal asserted.

“The examining magistrate refused all the requests for an investigation into the murder — all of them,” he emphasized.
Redress for the Jews from Arab countries
In his letter, Korsia encouraged Belloubet to explain “how deliberately taking considerable quantities of drugs exonerates an individual from responsibility?”

Korsia went on to point out that if it was correct that smoking cannabis “exacerbated his antisemitic impulses, it means these impulses already existed!”

The chief rabbi then asked: “Should it be inferred from this decision that every drug-addicted individual is licensed to kill Jews?”

In a separate interview this week with the French-language Israeli broadcaster i24 News, William Attal — Halimi’s brother — accused the French judiciary of having “humanized” her killer.

“They forgot that he [Traore] had lived as a delinquent for 10 years, that he was convicted 22 times on drugs charges,” Attal said.

Attal added that the rights of Halimi’s family had not been respected during the investigation into the murder.

“There was a serious miscarriage of justice, the investigation was nowhere near comprehensive enough,” Attal asserted.

“The examining magistrate refused all the requests for an investigation into the murder — all of them,” he emphasized.
Fearing for his life, Jew secretly celebrates Hanukkah in hostile Arab country
A Jew living in a hostile Arab country went out of his way to celebrate Hanukkah this week, despite the fear that he would be punished by the authorities.

The Jew, whose name Israel Hayom cannot disclose except for his first initial A., lives in a country that has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Despite some of his family members being killed in the past, presumably over their Jewish faith, he decided to celebrate the Jewish holiday and has even taken a photo of the traditional lighting of the candles on the menorah this week.

The Orthodox Jewish outreach organization Yad L'Achim ("a hand for brothers") has been in contact with A. and met with his acquaintance in Israel.

"When A. approached us several months ago, to return to his Jewish roots and heritage despite his family living as crypto-Jews, we went on to look into his past and we realized just how dedicated this family has been over the years when it comes to holding on to the Jewish faith despite all the risks," the organization told Israel Hayom. "We were very excited to get the image of the menorah with the candles lit, showing how the Jewish flame burns all over the world; It shows that the Jewish spirit is eternal."

Meanwhile, in Israel, participants in the Birthright Israel program, which brings young Jews on a ten-day trip to Israel, celebrated Hanukkah in a special candle-lighting event.

Birthright Israel, also known as Taglit in Hebrew, brings Jewish youths from around the world to Israel free of charge. The tour is aimed at fostering a bond with the Jewish state and increasing awareness of Jewish identity. ‎A number of Israeli students and soldiers usually join each group for a portion of the tour.

Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, who have provided hundreds of millions of dollars to the program over the years, took part in the event.
On Rudy Giuliani being more Jewish than George Soros
In the same way, Bernie Sanders is an enemy of Israel. One just looks at the supporters he attracts. He is endorsed by Ilhan Omar. He is endorsed by Rashida Tlaib. He is endorsed by Linda Sarsour. Imagine: With twenty different Democrat Presidential candidates from which to choose, one Jew-hater after another opts to endorse Bernie Sanders as her choice. And that love is mutual.

After each virulently anti-Semitic tirade, outburst, Facebook post or tweet that gets an Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, or Linda Sarsour into trouble with decent people, Bernie Sanders races in to defend them. Yet he is quick to defame those prominent in defending Israel, calling Israel’s Prime Minister “racist” and calling for America to redirect huge amounts of its Israel support towards the Hamas-led government of Gaza that unabashedly aims to destroy Israel. Of course Jew-haters and Israel haters flock to support Bernie Sanders.

The Anti-Defamation League now is an Obama-lite organization, run by people from within the Obama Administration who flocked to ADL after the end of that chapter. It is not a reliable arbiter of who is anti-Semitic.

One simply looks at Rudy Giuliani’s life-long relationship with Israel and even at how he emerged to defend the local Jewish community of New York, where he was mayor after the Sharpton pogroms under the prior David Dinkins Administration, and sees in Giuliani a life-long dear friend of the Jewish community. By contrast, one looks at George Soros and sees an enemy of Jewish survival. The dichotomy is so obvious that it calls into question the ulterior motives of any person or organization that would describe criticisms of Soros and the money that he wields despicably and for evil purposes as “anti-Semitic.” Soros is evil. And anyone who defends him by invoking his Jewish lineage is himself anti-Semitic.

Rudy Giuliani is absolutely correct. George Soros is hardly a Jew. And, figuratively speaking, Giuliani not only is more Jewish than Soros but is more Jewish than half the Jews he knows.
Give the Black Hebrew Israelites a state?
Even J Street, which functions as the de facto lobby for the Palestinian cause in Washington, DC, called it anti-Semitic. Abbas’s speech “featured absurd anti-Semitic tropes and deeply offensive comments on the history the Jewish people and Israel,” a J Street press release acknowledged.

Nobody in his right mind would suggest giving the Black Hebrew Israelites an independent, sovereign state. That’s because we all know that lunatics who espouse anti-Semitic conspiracy theories sometimes put their anti-Semitism into practice. Violently.

So why is giving the Palestinian Authority a sovereign state – in Israel’s backyard – any safer than giving such a state to the Jersey City killers?

The elected Palestinian Arab leaders, just like the Black Hebrew Israelites, really believe that the Jews are Khazari imposters and many other insane conspiracy theories as well, such as the theory that the Palestinians are descendants from the ancient Canaanites and the idea that the Holocaust is a Zionist hoax.

So every time some well-meaning politician mouths the slogan “two-state solution,” let’s remind them: You wouldn’t hand a loaded gun to a raving lunatic. You wouldn’t hand your car keys to someone who is drunk or on drugs. And you shouldn’t give an independent state to violent, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.

Because lives are at stake.

BBC Deceives on Bethlehem
If anyone was in doubt about whether the BBC still engages in agenda-driven reporting, the recent broadcasts from Bethelehem would put any such doubt to rest.

Barbara Plett Usher, notorious for her tearful eulogy of arch-terrorist Yasir Arafat and her participation in BBC’s longtime campaign to delegtimize Israel, was sent to Bethlehem to report about Christmas there.

There is an inverse relationship between the extent of Palestinian violence and the amount of tourism in Bethlehem. In 2015-6, at the height of the so-called Palestinian knife intifada, tourism plummeted. In the years since, violent attacks have decreased and tourism has picked up tremendously. For the past few years, there has been a steady rise in the numbers of tourists visiting Bethlehem, with this year topping even last year’s record high. The city is bustling with tourists and good cheer.

Plett thus forces the story into an artificial one about Palestinian suffering under Israel.

This, however, was not the story the BBC wanted to convey. The media network instead delivered a fairy tale about a Bethlehem diminished by an evil Israeli occupation. Barbara Plett Usher attempted to fit her Bethlehem 2019 tale into a rigid template of Palestinians suffering under “occupation”– even when the interviewees did not provide the answers she sought.

The story was introduced by Alex Ritson, who adhered to the same template. He said:
Bethlehem, regarded as the birthplace of Jesus, typically sees a tourism boom at Christmas and this year looks like it could be one of the busiest years in recent memory. But as a Palestinian town in the West Bank, Bethlehem is also feeling the economic effects of the Israeli occupation. Israel has restricted movement out of the West Bank and confiscated some Palestinian land to build Jewish settlements. [emphasis added]

Plett Usher’s report highlighted those unsupported allegations by claiming these were “dark times for the Palestinian economy” despite an obvious boom in tourism.

But contrary to the BBC claims, the Palestinian economy in the West Bank is reportedly flourishing, with Bethlehem one of the richest cities. Palestinian exports have sharply increased over the past two decades from less than 16,000,000 USD in 2002 to over 90,000,000 USD during the past couple of years. People working in the private sector — businessman, industrialists and merchants — are experiencing increasing prosperity.
BBC News belatedly reports rocket fire for the first time in a month
Just after 9 p.m. on the evening of December 25th sirens warning of incoming missiles were sounded in Ashkelon and surrounding communities. One rocket launched from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by the Iron Dome.

“Palestinian terrorists fired a rocket toward the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday night as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was campaigning for the upcoming Likud leadership primary, prompting the premier to be rushed off stage to take cover for the second time in under four months.

The Israel Defense Forces said soldiers operating the Iron Dome missile defense system shot down the incoming rocket.”

The IDF later responded with strikes on Hamas infrastructure.

The first brief mention of that attack on the BBC News website came over fourteen hours later in a report relating to another topic – “Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in party leadership challenge” – which appeared on the ‘Middle East’ page on December 26th.
Assault on 2 Young Jewish Boys Among 4 Antisemitic Attacks in New York City in 48 Hours, Cops Confirm
An assault on a pair of Jewish children was among the four antisemitic attacks in New York City to have occurred in the space of two days this week, police in the city confirmed on Thursday.

The two boys, ages 6 and 7, were allegedly struck from behind by a group of teenagers in the lobby of a residential building in Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on Monday night. according to police. The victims were treated for minor injuries.

The incident took place just hours after an Orthodox Jewish man was attacked on a busy Manhattan street by an assailant who reportedly yelled, “F–k you, Jew bastard.”

A suspect, 28-year-old Steven Jorge of Miami, was arrested following the assault — which took place on E. 41st Street, near 3rd Avenue — and charged with a hate crime.

On Tuesday, two further hate incidents targeted Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

One occurred around 2 a.m. on Kingston Avenue, where a group hurled antisemitic slurs at a 25-year-old man — with one of them throwing a drink at the victim.

The second occurred around 6 p.m. when a Jewish man was followed by eight African American teens on Kingston Ave. Once the group closed in on their target, the victim was punched in the head and knocked to the ground. One of the teens filmed the incident on his cellphone.

More than half of the hate crimes reported in New York City this year have been antisemitic in nature, with over 150 incidents targeting Jews — a rise of 63 percent on the previous year, according to figures released by the New York Police Department in September.
Jewish mom, son assaulted in latest anti-Semitic attack in Brooklyn
Four Jewish women were targeted in two more anti-Semitic attacks in Brooklyn this week, police said.

A deranged woman assaulted three of the women in Crown Heights early Friday, cops said.

Tiffany Harris, 30, of Flatbush allegedly slapped and whacked the women in the face and barked “F-U, Jews!” during the 12:40 a.m. assault at Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue, cops said.

Harris fled but was nabbed soon after and charged with harassment as a hate crime, according to police.

The victims, ages 22, 26, and 31, were not seriously injured.

Harris has several prior arrests, including for criminal mischief, criminal contempt and assault, authorities said.

Hours earlier, around 4 p.m. Thursday, a homeless lady attacked a 34-year-old woman who was with her 3-year-old child on Avenue U near West Fifth street in Gravesend at around 4 p.m. Thursday, cops said.
Antisemitic attack on 3 Jewish men in NJ won't be treated as bias incident
Three Jewish men have been subject to an antisemitic attack in a kosher food establishment in New Jersey, with at least one being scratched on his face.

Police were called to Sammy's Bagels in Teaneck, New Jersey shortly before noon on December 25 receiving reports of an altercation that had taken place inside the food establishment.

Selling a wide variety of edibles including pizza, bagels, coffee and made-to-order salads, the premises are always very busy. According to the Jewish News Syndicate, at the time of the altercation the shop was packed with customers.

In a joint statement, Township Manager Dean Kazinci and Police Chief Glenn O’Reilly explained what occurred: “The preliminary investigation revealed that this person entered the store and confronted two patrons. He engaged in a verbal dispute with the first patron by using an expletive while telling him to take off his hat.
ADL condemns string of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City
The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday condemned a rash of hate crimes against Jews in New York City after at least three assaults in just over 24 hours.

Men in Manhattan and Brooklyn were attacked in suspected hate crimes on Monday and Tuesday, officials said, even as authorities have vowed to redouble efforts against anti-Semitism and other bias crimes following a deadly shooting in New Jersey earlier this month.

“We are appalled at the sheer frequency and aggressive nature of these incidents,” said Evan Bernstein, regional director for ADL New York and New Jersey.

“They’re made particularly heinous by the fact they are occurring during a time when society is supposed to come together in peace for the holidays, and as the Jewish community is particularly on edge as it’s reeling from the deadly attack in Jersey City on Dec. 10,” Bernstein said.

On Monday a man was arrested for physically assaulting a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish man while allegedly shouting anti-Semitic slurs.

Steven Jorge, 28, of Miami was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with assault as a hate crime, local media reported.
Why Are Seattle's Leaders Silent about Anti-Semitism?
Seattle’s political and civic leadership acted in unison with appropriate and necessary horror when an African American City Council candidate’s campaign sign was defaced with racist graffiti days before Election Day.

Ominously, though, that same reflex was absent when vile acts of anti-Semitism have occurred in our city. Two recent incidents are particularly telling.

In June, my organization asked Mayor Jenny Durkan and other city officials to condemn unequivocally and without delay the death threats against City Council candidate Ari Hoffman and his family. A full eight days later, the mayor issued an important statement on anti-Semitism, but it was sent only to me, not issued publicly.

Our repeated requests for the mayor to share her statement on the city’s website, on the mayor’s page or in her weekly Friday newsletter so the general Seattle community could be made aware of the problem of anti-Semitism and the need to combat it were ignored.

Last month, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, two visibly Jewish individuals were assaulted by an antifa activist shouting anti-Semitic epithets as they erected a Sukkah in Westlake Park. The Sukkah, a temporary dwelling where meals are customarily eaten during the weeklong holiday, was built with the necessary municipal permit.

But recognition of the treasured American freedom to practice one’s religion does not shield Jews from abuse. A few days into the holiday, the same hostile individual stormed into the Sukkah, as three people were peacefully enjoying their festive meal. He spewed more anti-Semitic tropes and again threatened to kill them. The following day he stalked two of the same people as they walked downtown after leaving their synagogue and asked them if they were “going back to the hut,” the Sukkah.
Politico Feature Details Dutch Synagogue Run Like Fortress Due to Fear of Antisemitic Violence
In what may be paradigmatic of Jewish life in Europe today, a synagogue in Holland essentially runs itself as a fortress, with no public access and all services undertaken by invitation only, Politico reported on Thursday.

The Politico feature said that the synagogue in Groningen, Holland, has an emergency plan if there is an attack, police protection during services, and only opens its doors to worshipers already known by the community or invited by members. At this year’s Rosh Hashanah service, there were not enough attendees to form a minyan.

One member, Alec Farber, was quoted as saying “it was actively difficult” to find the synagogue, and compared it to his synagogue in the United States, which posts services on its website.

The security measures were undertaken after a rise in antisemitic attacks in Europe over the past few decades, but especially after an assault earlier this year on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Yom Kippur. A white supremacist gunman attempted to break into the synagogue but was prevented by a heavy door. He subsequently opened fire in the street nearby and killed two people.

David Gurov, who knows someone who was trapped in the Halle synagogue during the attack, was quoted as saying, “The layer that was holding back antisemitism from growing has been breached.”

The Jewish community of Groningen was essentially wiped out in the Holocaust and its synagogue was nearly demolished in the 1970s. As antisemitism rises again, some congregants feel the same complacency and denial are work as in the past.

“I’m concerned about antisemitism becoming normalized, and slipping into the mainstream,” Tom Burghard was quoted as saying.

“If it’s not a physical attack, people don’t take it seriously,” he observed. “They don’t understand this is how it starts.”
Senior employee of London Jewish group assaulted near home
A senior employee of a Jewish organization in London was injured in an assault that police said was a hate crime.

Police in London arrested a man in connection with the Dec. 7 assault on Melvyn Hartog, the head of burials for the United Synagogue, the United Kingdom’s union of Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

The suspect, whom the Jewish Chronicle identified only as a 33-year-old man from the Clapton area in east London, is suspected of committing a “racially or religiously aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm,” the paper reported on Tuesday.

Hartog was struck in the back of his head and kicked close to his home in the neighborhood of Chigwell, which borders on Clapton.

Hartog needed stitches for a wound across the back of his head. He did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

The suspect was released on bail until Jan. 27, when he may stand trial.
22 headstones vandalized in Slovakian Jewish cemetary
More than 20 headstones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in northern Slovakia in the second such incident in the country in aweek.

The 22 gravestones vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in the country’s northern town of Rajec appear to have been damaged in mid-December, according to the World Jewish Congress. The vandalism is currently under investigation by police.

The 60 gravestones knocked down and set on fire in the Jewish cemetery of Nรกmestovo, a town in northern Slovakia near the Polish border, were discovered on December 16.

It is not known yet whether the two incidents are connected.

Antisemitic incidents of this nature are extremely rare in Slovakia, according to the World Jewish Congress.
Israel urges Ukraine to remove Nazi collaborators from its ‘List of Heroes’
Israel’s embassy to Ukraine on Thursday asked the country’s parliament to remove from its “List of Heroes” 10 people who oversaw massacres of Jews or supported the Nazi regime.

The Israeli ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, presented the request to a special parliamentary committee.

“I was glad to have been given the opportunity to present our position re. controversial Ukrainian historical personalities. We had an open and genuine discussion,” Lion wrote on Twitter.

The 10 figures include Nazi collaborators, commanders of Cossack regiments that carried out pogroms against Jews, and cultural figures who called for cooperation with the Nazis, the Ynet news site reported.
Wiesenthal Center administrator wins award for fighting antisemitism

Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels received the International Lifetime Achievement Award at the Joint Session of the European Jewish Parliament and the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) in Kiev. Samuels was given the award because of his work to fight against antisemitism.

“The highest award of the EJP is awarded annually for outstanding achievements in the development of the Jewish communities of Europe and contribution to the development of Jewish life on the continent,” EJP wrote on its website.

EJP Chairman Vadim Rabinovych presented the award to Samuels and his co-awardee Maximillian Marco Katz while visiting the small Ukrainian village of Anatevka.

The SWC describes itself as a “Jewish human rights” organization and says it has more than 400,000 member families in the US.
Hanukkah Candles Lit at Jersey City Kosher Grocery Where Three Died
Hanukkah candles were lit earlier this week at the Jersey City kosher supermarket where three people, two of them Chassidic Jews, were killed on Dec. 10.

Family members of the victims lit a small silver menorah on Sunday, the first night of the holiday. Along with boxes of doughnuts, it was on a folding table in front of the store, which remains closed.

“As we celebrate Hanukkah, may the lives of our candles shine away the darkness, easing the pains of all those who have suffered,” said Yoely Greenfeld, whose 33-year-old sister, Leah Mindel Ferencz, owned the store and was one of the victims.
Weeks after deadly attack, Jersey City blacks and Jews unite for charity drive
All day Monday, volunteers trickled in and out of the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center in Jersey City’s Greenville neighborhood, lining up boxes upon boxes of pretzel challah, soup mix, hummus, turkey and chocolate. Trucks backed up to the community center to unload pallets of food and toys from nearby Jewish vendors.

Thirteen days earlier, and just four blocks down Martin Luther King Drive, two shooters entered the JC Kosher Supermarket, killing three people during a gun battle with police and shaking this African-American neighborhood with a growing Hasidic community. (The shooters had killed a police officer before taking a van to the market.)

On Monday, the feeling could not have been more different, black and Jewish volunteers working together on a charity drive on the second night of Hanukkah and two days before Christmas.

The food and presents were delivered to hundreds of local families in need.

“We’ve been in communication since the tragedy on December 10 trying to find ways to work together as a community,” said Pam Johnson, a drive organizer and the leader of the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement. “We wanted to make sure that we sent a clear message of solidarity, that we are all in this together.”

The drive was born of an informal meeting Thursday between Jewish community leaders and local officials. By Monday, with the help of Masbia, a network of Brooklyn soup kitchens, a handful of kosher food vendors, Jewish-owned toy companies and a nonprofit came together to rustle up supplies.

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

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


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