Monday, January 20, 2020

From Ian:

David French: ‘And No One Will Make Them Afraid’
Wait. Locusts? Now, obviously, those are not Zachary Evans’s words. He does not agree with the sentiment—he’s reporting its existence. And while many people were outraged to see that sentiment in the pages of National Review, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his editors are not anti-Semites. But it’s extraordinarily jarring to read those words. We overuse the term “dehumanizing” in modern discourse, but a person comparing people to insects is the very definition of dehumanizing. And over what? Zoning disputes? Local elections? Job choices?

Moreover, there’s another key sentence in the article: “There is no indication that [the Jersey City and Monsey attackers] attacked Jewish targets for reasons related to outmigration from New York City to the surrounding region.” So why the extensive focus on the thing that doesn’t seem material to the attacks?

In fact, to the extent that we know the attackers’ motivations, their hatreds ran very, very deep. The Monsey attacker searched the question “Why did Hitler hate the Jews?” One of the Jersey City attackers followed “Black Hebrew Israelite theology,” a fringe belief that, as Evans writes, holds that “African Americans are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites and that Jews are essentially pretenders to the faith.”

As I read Evans’s piece, I had a singular thought: He’s waving away the mountain and focusing on a pebble. He’s missing the ocean for the puddle. People do not launch machete attacks over zoning disputes. They don’t open fire in kosher supermarkets because their new neighbors don’t make good salaries. There might be “simmering local conflicts” over zoning (welcome to America; there are always “simmering local conflicts” over zoning), but none of that is truly relevant to deadly violence.
Australia’s ABC News Considers the ‘Case Against Zionism’
It might be hard for Abu Sita and his ilk to stomach, but the concept of a Jewish nation goes back millennia. The Hebrew term Am Yisrael, meaning the Nation of Israel, is found regularly in ancient Jewish texts.

Abu Sita is so busy condemning Zionism that he cannot bring himself to recognize that anti-Zionism is riddled with antisemitism. Halfway through his piece, he writes that “anti-Zionism from the outset was not antisemitic”. This is a stunning rewriting of history. As long as Zionism has existed, there have always been antisemitic elements present among those objecting to it, and these have elements only become more prominent with time. Abu Sita utterly ignores the antisemitism which riddles anti-Zionism.

Throughout the piece, Abu Sita makes numerous contentious claims. For example: “At the time of the Basel Congress, some 95 percent of the population were Arab Palestinians who owned 99 percent of the land.”

In reality, most of the land was owned by absentee property owners from other parts of the Ottoman Empire. That’s how the Jews managed to buy such a large amount of the land.

ABC Australia Does Journalism a Disservice
The op-ed section of a newspaper or media outlet is often its most vibrant and expressive. A good op-ed supplement will contain pieces from a range of perspectives, and allow writers to compete in the battleground of ideas.

As Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC Australia owes its citizens a platform upon which a wide range of ideas should be aired and discussed. Nevertheless, there should be fair limits as to what can and cannot be published. ABC Australia does journalism a disservice when publishing barely-disguised hate speech.

Pieces which serve to totally delegitimize an entire nation, articles which undermine the right of millions of people to live where they are, do not promote peace and do not deserve a platform in the form of one of a country’s most cherished institutions.

Virulent hatred of this kind has no place on the website of a national broadcaster such as ABC Australia.
The Palestinian delusion
Renowned jihad watcher Robert Spencer's latest book is a sobering look at the impossibility of reaching a lasting agreement with the Arabs living in and out of the only Jewish State.

“From beginning to end, the conflict with Israel is all about Islam,” writes world-renowned jihad watcher Robert Spencer in his latest superlative book, The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. He documents in detail how jihadists and their allies worldwide have skillfully weaponized an invented Palestinian Arab identity against the Zionist struggle for a Jewish state.

Spencer dissects a decades-old “propaganda success that Josef Goebbels and the editors of Pravda would have envied,” namely the global myth that Palestinians are an “indigenous population.” So declare institutions like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while Palestinian leaders fantasize about a “link between the ancient Canaanites or Jebusites and the modern-day Palestinians.” In reality, Roman occupiers in 134 first derived the name Palestine after the “Israelites’ ancient enemies, the Philistines,” in order to eradicate the identity of defeated Jewish rebels. The self-named "Palestinians" descend from the Arabs who invaded in the 7th century.

In subsequent centuries most Jews entered diaspora exile, leaving their ancestral homeland to decay under largely disinterested imperialists such as various Muslim powers following seventh-century Arab conquest. Mark Twain's 1869 travelogue The Innocents Abroad thus states that “Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.” Historian William B. Ziff wrote in 1938 that at the 20th century’s beginning Palestine's 40,000 Jews "and about 140,000 others of all complexions...had no other feeling for this pauperized, diseased-ridden country than a fervent desire to get away."

This wasteland transformed when Zionist Jews, beginning in the 1880s, sought to reestablish a Jewish state. Their regional development investment ironically increased the Arab population which came seeking employment. Particularly the League of Nations Palestine Mandate entrusted to Britain in 1922 as a “Jewish national home” on territory lost by the collapsing Ottoman Empire in World War I witnessed significant Arab immigration.

Before Ramallah, a pit stop at Yad Vashem
The deeper problem is turning the "lessons of the Holocaust" into the moral basis for fighting anti-Semitism. As an explanation, it favors victimhood over the political: Jewish suffering is put on display as a call to end hatred, instead of presenting Israel's status as a sovereign country as a counterweight to the new anti-Zionistic anti-Semitism. When the justification for Israel's existence is predicated on the memory of victimhood, Europe can view the state as a type of humanitarian tent for Jews, and less as a sovereign country. Consequently, Israel is not permitted, in the eyes of Europe, to realize its legitimate right to self-defense. The moment the Israeli soldier ceases being the emaciated extermination camp survivor, he morphs into a monster in the eyes of the Europeans.

European recognition of Israel is based, therefore, on feelings of guilt toward the Jews – implying that the same guilt applies to the Palestinians. Europe turns a blind eye to Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism – which is the main source of modern anti-Semitism – in the belief that the Arab world is not responsible for the Holocaust, and that Europe oppressed the Palestinians by contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. Isn't it only natural, therefore, that some of the participants of the Yad Vashem will visit Ramallah immediately after it ends? The reliance on the Holocaust in this regard means strengthening even further the myths that breed the new anti-Semitism – Nakba, occupation, original sin.

Israel is paying the price here for a fundamental strategic failure on the symbolic level, a failure stemming from the concealment and denial of the annihilation of 11 thriving Jewish communities across the Muslim world, two-thirds of whose descendants became Israelis who now constitute a clear majority of Israelis. The Arab world's war on Israel is a war on those who were expelled, suffered from violence at its hands and were exploited by Arab countries under the flag of Arab nationalism and Islamism.

This is the arena to which Rivlin should have invited the leaders of Europe. But where could such have an event taken place? Does a museum such as Yad Vashem exist, which commemorates this memory and anchors the State of Israel in the history and geography of the Middle East? Israel cannot respond to the existential accusations against it through constant self-justification and brandishing its victimhood for all to see. There's no need for Europe. Israelis must turn inwards and find in themselves the self-conviction and self-assuredness of sovereignty; which is political and historical sovereignty. It must distance itself from victimhood to fight its enemies.
As world leaders flock to Jerusalem, Palestinians feel let down
As dozens of world leaders converge on Israel this week for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum 2020, some Palestinians are frustrated that only a few of these leaders will be visiting the Palestinian territories for a one-on-one meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Among those scheduled to attend the Holocaust forum are US Vice President Mike Pence and the presidents of Russia, Germany, France, Italy and Austria.

Mustafa Barghuthi, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, a political party, told The Media Line that the international community should do more than pay "lip service" to help the Palestinians.

"I want to ask a question of all those leaders who are coming to visit Israel in solidarity with Israel and the memory of the Holocaust: Why don’t they exercise pressure on Israel? What can they do to stop the Israeli violations, starting with the torturing of Palestinian prisoners, the killing of people without accountability and the unprecedented level of settlement expansion?"

The Palestinians have boycotted Washington since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at the end of 2017. Abbas has instead called on the international community to play a larger role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He plans to discuss this with the leaders who meet with him.
IHRA 2020 declaration discusses Holocaust, modern antisemitism
High Governmental Representatives of the Member Countries of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted its 2020 ministerial declaration on Sunday ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

"We promise to never forget those who resisted the Nazis and those who protected or rescued their persecuted fellow human beings. Today, the world still faces genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and continued threats to pluralistic, democratic and inclusive societies," IHRA wrote in the introduction to the declaration.

The declaration starts with the IHRA promising that Holocaust victims and survivors will not be forgotten, and emphasizing that keeping their memories alive is "the responsibility not only of governments but of societies as a whole."

IHRA also makes a point in the declaration of acknowledging the genocide of the Roma and the "concern that the neglect of this genocide has contributed to the prejudice and discrimination that many Roma communities still experience today."
Pence to Attend Yad Vashem Event Marking 75th Year of Liberation of Auschwitz
US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Israel next week to speak at a Jan. 23 event at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz, the White House confirmed on Wednesday.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will also be there, according to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s office.

Pence and Pelosi will be there amid the impeachment trial in the US Senate of US President Donald Trump.

Pence and his wife, Karen, will be in Israel for two days, followed by a visit to Pope Francis in Rome.

Other world leaders scheduled to be at the Yad Vashem event include French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said he will skip the event after being denied the opportunity to make a speech at the ceremony.
Pope Francis Condemns ‘Barbaric Upsurge of Antisemitism’ in Meeting with US Jewish Advocacy Group
Pope Francis told a visiting US Jewish delegation on Monday of his concerns about rising antisemitism and the importance of educating against prejudice.

Condemning what he called the “barbaric upsurge of antisemitism,” the head of the Catholic Church assured the visitors from the Simon Wiesenthal Center — a Jewish human rights NGO based in Los Angeles — of his commitment to combating bigotry and discrimination against the Jewish people.

“I never tire of strongly condemning antisemitism in all its forms,” the pope said.

According to an account of the meeting from Vatican Radio, the pope also addressed the upcoming 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp, urging silent commemoration of the atrocities committed by the Nazis there.

The pope explained that he had stood in silent reflection when he visited Auschwitz in June 2016.

Silent reflection “allows us to hear the cry of humanity,” Pope Francis said, in order to “preserve memory.

The pope added: “Without memory, we will destroy the future.”
75 years on, Holocaust survivors struggle to recover property in Poland
Lea Evron, 85, has only fragments of memories of the fur factory and the three-story apartment building her family owned before World War Two in Zywiec, a small town in southern Poland.

What she does remember clearly is returning after the war, when most of her family had been killed in the Holocaust.

A local woman said to her and her mother "Hitler promised to get rid of all of the Jews, and here they come home," Evron told Reuters in her apartment in New York.

Evron and her mother were told they could live in the apartment building, but only in the maids' quarters. They moved to Israel soon after.

Evron is just one of the thousands of Jews whose families' property was seized by Poland's Nazi occupiers and then kept by its postwar communist rulers.

Home to one of the world's largest Jewish communities before the war, Poland is the only EU country that has not legislated on property restitution.

To make matters more difficult, Jews say documents proving property ownership were often destroyed in the Holocaust.
Ukrainian Parliament Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day for First Time in History
For the first time in its history, the Ukrainian parliament, referred to locally as “Verkhovna Rada,” marked both International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

The event on Thursday was organized by Kiev’s Rabbi Jonathan Markovich; Israel’s Honorary Consul in Ukraine Oleg Vyshniakov; and chairman of the Ukraine-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Association and Parliament member Alexander Konitsky.

The event was held against the backdrop of a minor spat between Jerusalem and Kiev concerning marches that were held throughout Ukraine in the beginning of the month marking the 111th birthday of the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

In light of the OUN’s complicity in the murder of thousands of Ukrainian Jews by Nazi Germany, the Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statement criticizing the “glorification of antisemites and murderers of Jews.”
From the Alfred Dreyfus Case to the Sara Halimi Case
Why does Herzl’s lesson from the Dreyfus Affair matter to us today?

Is Zionism only a matter of the past?

The new affair which is currently shaking up Judaism in France reminds us that this is not the case. The blatant injustice committed against the victim, Sarah Halimi, towards her relatives and the whole of the Jewish community in France is a painful reminder of the reality, which most of the leaders of this community have tried to hide for years.

The solitary state of the Jews of France is much worse today than at the time of Captain Dreyfus. They are almost the only ones to protest and demonstrate today, while France was then equally divided between Dreyfusards and Antidreyfusards.

This is explained by the fact that the Jews have been progressively excluded from the status of victims, while their murderers -[Muslim migrants] - have been relegated to the status of victims of "exclusion".

As a result, it is likely that no review trial will remedy the unfair judgment of the Court of Appeal. No Zola will rise to denounce anti-Semitism in the columns of a major French daily.

Herzl's irrevocable diagnosis, in the aftermath of Captain Dreyfus' degradation, therefore remains extremely topical, while the Jews of France are still divided between denial and disillusionment. The future is no less bleak today than it was then. The only difference, obviously immense, is that the Zionist dream has come true.

This is why it is high time that the community and spiritual leaders of French Judaism finally recognize, with one hundred and twenty years of delay, what a Viennese Jewish journalist understood then and which is even more true today. As the directors of French Jewish schools said lucidly and courageously recently, "our place is no longer in France". Let us hope that the leaders of Jewish institutions and the rabbis of France also open their eyes and join this urgent appeal, to encourage aliyah, the only solution to the plight of the Jews of France.
‘I Can Truly Understand the Emotion’: French Justice Minister Offers Cautious Reassurance on Criminal Trial for Sarah Halimi’s Killer
France’s justice minister told a leading Jewish newspaper this week that she was “particularly touched” by the case of Sarah Halimi — the 65-year-old Jewish woman who was brutally beaten and murdered by her Muslim neighbor in a public housing project in April 2o17.

Saying that she could “truly understand the emotion caused by this crime,” Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet nevertheless emphasized that she could not comment directly on the widely-protested decision by Paris prosecutors to excuse from trial Halimi’s accused murderer, Kobili Traore, on the grounds that he was delirious from his intake of cannabis on the night of the killing and therefore not criminally responsible.

Speaking with the newspaper Actualite Juive, Belloubet said that legal reforms undertaken in 2013 now prevented her, in her capacity as justice minister, “from issuing instructions to public prosecutors in individual cases.”

Belloubet nevertheless made the observation that “smoking cannabis does not give you a license to kill, to use an expression I have often heard in recent days.”

She continued: “This is an incredibly painful case that clearly raises a question of legal interpretation. That is why an appeal has been lodged with the Court of Cassation. It will provide an answer to this question.”
World Boxing Champion Rabbi Teaches Self-Defense to Vulnerable Communities After Wave of Antisemitic Attacks
A former boxing champion who’s also been ordained as an Orthodox rabbi is now giving self-defense classes in Brooklyn for members of vulnerable Jewish communities.

The classes come in the wake of a series of violent attacks on religious Jews over the Hanukkah holiday, culminating in a brutal machete attack in Monsey, New York.

According to local news website Pix 11, the famous Gleason’s Gym, where Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson trained, is the home of the classes, which are being taught by world champion boxer and rabbi Yuri Foreman.

Originally from Belarus, Foreman became a boxer while living in Israel and eventually fought 38 professional fights, winning 34 of them. In 2009, he became the World Boxing Association’s super welterweight champion.
Tory London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey says Sadiq Khan has taken 'no real action' to protect Jews
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has failed to "take real action" to protect the capital's Jewish community, Tory challenger Shaun Bailey has claimed.

Mr Bailey said Mr Khan had been "right" to reach out to the community with regular appearances at events such the Chunukah in the Square celebration.

But he said that in terms of decisive action - including getting more police on the streets, banning the annual Al Quds Day parade, and speaking out against the Israel boycott movement - Mr Khan had failed.

"Of course the Mayor has done the right thing in terms of reaching out to the Jewish community, but when push comes to shove he hasn't taken any real action," said Mr Bailey.

"He's been able to criticise the Labour Party over antisemitism, but when he has actually criticised Jeremy Corbyn himself? He can't do that because he backed him as leader - he's Jeremy's man."
Jess Phillips calls for suspension of online activist over ‘antisemitic’ tweet
Labour leadership contender Jess Phillips has accused an activist running a popular Twitter account of “antisemitism” in a tweet made about the Board of Deputies.

Phillips, who is vying to replace Jeremy Corbyn, called for the immediate suspension of Rachael Cousins from the party. But Jewish News understands Cousins is not a Labour member.

“This is antisemitism, holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of Israel. It has no place in Labour. Rachael Cousins should be suspended immediately,” the Birmingham Yardley MP wrote on Tuesday.

Cousins, whose account @Rachael_Swindon has 76,300 followers, was given a tour of Parliament last year by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, according to a report in BuzzFeed News.

The activist faces criticism for apparently accusing the Board of Deputies of backing the Conservative Party and suggesting the body was plotting to “interfere” in the Labour leadership contest.
Florida Policeman Suspended after Wife Called Rashida Tlaib ‘Hamas-Loving Anti-Semite’
Cpl. Pablo Lima of the police department of Bay Harbor Islands in Miami-Dade County, southern Florida, was suspended on Friday because he “liked” a social media post of his wife in which she called US Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district Rashida Harbi Tlaib “a Hamas-loving anti-Semite,” and suggested she wouldn’t put it past said Congresswoman to “become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”

Cpl. Lima’s wife is Hallandale Beach city Commissioner Anabelle Lima-Taub, whose name you’ve never heard of, mostly because you don’t live in Hallandale Beach city. Born in Haifa, Anabelle Lima-Taub calls herself the Rogue Commissioner. She says she is a “Disrupter of the status quo, patriot, conservative activist fighting for my community, the [globe emoji] & the voiceless! City commissioner hated & maligned by some of my fellow commissioners (elected in 2016). Plant based lover of all animals.”
Anabelle Lima-Taub with husband Pablo

But wait, there’s more. According to Saira Anwer, reporting for WPLG & Local 10, Lima-Taub’s fellow commissioner, Michele Lazarow, condemned her anti-Tlaib statement, declaring: “This is a black eye to our community, and I would like to see us move forward,” noting, “I don’t know if that’s possible, which is unfortunate.”

Tlaib tweeted a response, calling Lima-Taub’s remark “hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

Not really – it was mostly anti-Rashida Tlaib rhetoric, and one which many of us reading this narrative would absolutely support. Much like Cpl. Lima, who liked his wife’s diatribe at the wrong time, apparently. See, Cpl. Lima had just submitted an application to become the town’s next police chief, and then someone took a look at his Facebook activity which resulted in his being promptly placed on administrative leave by Bay Harbor Islands’ police.

Here’s another thing: those comments by the policeman’s wife? They were made about a year ago. As was the like. Then both sat there, comment and like, gathering digital dust, until Pablo decided to run for office.
Anti-Israel congresswoman jumps on the Bernie bandwagon
While Democratic rivals Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren bask in their New York Times editorial board endorsement Monday morning, Bernie Sanders has gained a supporter of his own.

Progressive congresswoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who represents Seattle, Washington, announced that she was backing the Vermont senator on Sunday.

Gaining such an influential member of the progressive arm of the Democratic Party will certainly play well to Sanders' base, especially considering he's already gained the support of three out of four 'squad' members: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, llhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

"What I feel we need is a candidate who is entirely authentic about what's wrong and steadfast about it and can rally people to believe he can trust them," Jayapal told The Washington Post, explaining her decision. "Bernie has that. I can feel Bernie beating Trump."

But like those progressive congresswomen, Jayapal's record when it comes to Israel is far from positive.

Case in point? In July, Jayapal, an Indian-American and a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was one of the only 17 members to vote against the bipartisan legislation that outlawed the boycott., divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

A&M hosts accused anti-Semite, Nation of Islam sympathizer for MLK Day event
Fired CNN contributor and social justice activist Marc Lamont Hill appeared as the keynote speaker of Texas A&M’s Thirteenth Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast on Tuesday. The event was sponsored by the MSC Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee.

Ebony Magazine named Hill one of America’s 100 most influential Black leaders. His life’s goal is to achieve “equality and freedom” for African Americans. However, from advocacy for Colin Kaepernick to spreading trans awareness, Hill’s “provocative style” has led to controversy, as explained in his speaker's bio, which lists the cost of hosting him between $10,000 and $20,000.

In 2018, CNN fired Marc Lamont Hill from being a regular contributor after he came under fire for his speech at the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Hill called for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea," a statement perceived by many as Hill calling for “the end of the Israeli state” and anti-Semitic.

He later tweeted that he does “not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech.” In a separate tweet, Hill clarified that “it was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.”
Munich confab nixed after pro-Israel Jewish speaker rejected
Organizers of an annual conference in Munich canceled the event amid accusations of anti-Semitism stemming from the rejection of a pro-Israel speaker.

At issue was the organizers’ rejection of a guest speaker over his pro-Israel views. City Councilman Marian Offman, who is Jewish, had been appointed by the city of Munich to deliver a greeting from Mayor Dieter Reiter.

The International Munich Peace Conference describes itself as an alternative to the annual Munich Security Conference, which draws world leaders to the capital of the state of Bavaria in February.

Event organizer Thomas Rödl had rejected Offman in part because of the councilman’s opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, which the city of Munich defines as anti-Semitic. No city funds or venues may be used for events supporting BDS.

After Offman was rejected as an event speaker, representatives of the Social Democratic Party called on the city to deny use of Munich’s city hall and to cancel any financial subsidies to the conference, the Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung reported.
Jordanian Singer Who Performed in Israel Faces BDS Backlash
Jordanian singer Aziz Maraka, 37, performed last month in the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Yasif before an audience of 5,000 people. Right after the show there were calls from the BDS movement to boycott the singer because of his "support for the occupation."

Maraka responded to the critics on Facebook: "I'm not willing to be dictated to about what to believe....I will go out and sing before any audience that's willing to hear me, and it doesn't matter at all where this audience lives. Now I can say that BDS will think twice before they touch an Arab singer....BDS people, as well as politicians and activists, have an interest in keeping me - and us, the artists - paralyzed and intimidated. I'm not willing to play into their hands."

Local Arab fans commented that they appreciated that he had come to perform, and that from their point of view, the connection to the greater Arab world is more important than BDS, which leads to separation and isolation.
Haaretz Corrects Palestinians Had Not Purchased Disputed Land in Silwan
CAMERA’s Israel office today prompted correction of a Haaretz English edition article which wrongly stated that decades ago Palestinian families had purchased land where the Baten al-Hawa enclave of Silwan in Jerusalem is located. The digital article, which originally carried a misleading headline (“Court Okays Eviction of Palestinian Family Because Their Land Was Once Owned by Jews“) had reported:
The Baten al-Hawa enclave had once been owned by a Jewish property trust (hekdesh), housing Yemenite Jews who arrived in Jerusalem in the late 19th century. In 1938, British authorities ordered the residents out of the neighborhood because of the danger posed by the Arab revolt against the British mandate. Their homes were razed and years later, Palestinian families purchased the land and built Baten al-Hawa. (Emphasis added.)

Palestinians never purchased Baten al-Hawa, and, indeed, in his Hebrew article, Nir Hasson did not write that they did.

Given the fact that the Palestinian residents never purchased the land where their houses sit, the headline which refers to “their land” is inaccurate and misleading.

In response to communication from CAMERA, editors promptly and forthrightly corrected, removing the false claim that “Palestinian families purchased the land.” The online text now accurately states: “Their homes were razed and years later, Palestinian families built Baten al-Hawa on the land.” In addition, the editors likewise commendably amended the headline, which no longer erroneously refers to “Their Land,” in reference to a Palestinian family facing eviction. The corrected headline now reads: “Court Okays Eviction of Palestinian Family Because Land Was Once Owned by Jews.”

Photos surface showing convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk at Sobibor camp
Photos have surfaced of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanuk in the Sobibor Nazi death camp, where he denied ever having been a guard.

The recently discovered images come from the estate of a deputy commandant at the camp, Johann Niemann, one of ten SS-men killed by prisoners in the famous October 1943 uprising. Parts of his collection will be made public on Jan. 28, at the Topography of Terror archive in Berlin, and in a new book to be released that day.

It reportedly is the first time that Demjanuk has been identified in photos of Sobibor.

Demjanuk, whose U.S. citizenship was revoked in 2002 for lying on his citizenship application about his Nazi service, and who was deported to Germany in 2009, was convicted in Munich in 2011 as an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews at the death camp. Sentenced to five years in prison, he died in a nursing home at the age of 91 in March 2012, while awaiting a decision on his appeal.
Neo-Nazi with Jordanian roots charged with vandalizing U.S. synagogue
A man of Jordanian descent has been charged in Wisconsin with vandalizing a synagogue as part of his activity with a white supremacist group called The Base.

Yousef O. Barasneh, 22, was charged Friday with violating citizens’ rights to property.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reported Barasneh spray-painted swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols and slogans on Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in the city of Racine sometime between September 15 and 23 of last year.

“The United States is committed to vigorous enforcement of civil rights statutes against individuals motivated by extremist ideologies,” said United States Attorney Krueger from the Wisconsin district.

According to the Facebook page of Barasneh's father, he immigrated to the United States from the Jordanian city of Amman and the family is now settled in the city of Oak Creek. His mother, Aliceann, appears to be a Wisconsin native and a former employee of Salam School in the city of Milwaukee.

The Base, a collective of hardcore neo-Nazis that operate as a paramilitary organization, has proclaimed war against minority communities within the United States and abroad, the FBI has said, who found the group active in Wisconsin.

Three additional men linked to the violent white supremacist group were arrested on Friday in the state of Georgia. A day prior, three other members, aged 33, 27 and 19, were arrested on federal charges in Maryland and Delaware. (h/t Zvi)
Monument to Holocaust victims vandalized in Ukraine
Vandals have damaged a monument to the victims of the Holocaust in Ukraine a week before International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.

Joel Lion, the Israeli ambassador in Ukraine, tweeted a picture Monday of the monument in Kryvyi Rih, a city in eastern Ukraine, with the inscription covered in spray paint. "I hope that justice will prevail," Lion said in the tweet, adding that the monument is located near President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's parents' home.

Local police have opened a criminal probe into the incident.

Ukraine has seen numerous cases of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials across the country. Hateful graffiti has also been painted on synagogues and Jewish institutions across the country.

In November, vandals painted swastikas on a monument to prominent Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem in Kiev, Ukraine's capital.

Kryvyi Rih was occupied by the Nazis between 1941 and 1944.
Graffiti in Spain says 'Free Palestine, Kill a Jew'
A cultural center in Madrid, Spain was vandalized with graffiti reading "I command you to kill Jews" and "Free Palestine, kill a Jew." Both phrases had swastikas spray painted next to them and the "Free Palestine" graffiti appears to say "SS," referring to Nazis.

Spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Spain Yoav Katz tweeted photos of the incident on Monday and remarked that it ocurred just days before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Aschwitz.

"[Sunday] we got more proof of how much needs to be done [to fight antisemitism]," Katz tweeted.

Katz also thanked the local municipality for removing the graffiti.
Morocco’s House of Memory spotlights Jewish-Muslim coexistence
In the old quarter of Morocco’s coastal city of Essaouira, a newly opened “House of Memory” has been dedicated to the historic coexistence of its Jewish and Muslim communities.

Nestled in a narrow alleyway among labyrinthine lanes, Bayt Dakira (House of Memory) is situated in a former family home of wealthy traders, who added a small synagogue decorated with woodwork and carved furnishings.

The restored building “testifies to a period when Islam and Judaism had an exceptional closeness, complicity and intimacy,” said Andre Azoulay, an adviser to King Mohammed VI.

Azoulay, himself a member of Essaouira’s Jewish community, launched the project in partnership with Morocco’s culture ministry.

“We said to ourselves: We’re going to let our patrimony speak, and protect what was the art of living together in mutual respect,” he said.

His daughter Audrey Azoulay, who is director-general of the UN cultural agency UNESCO, was also present last Wednesday when the king made an official visit to the center.
Arab Israeli town steps up for widow and newborn daughter of Jewish policeman
When a Jewish police officer tragically died of sudden cardiac arrest, residents of the Arab Israeli town where he lived stepped up to help his wife and newborn daughter.

Neal Erlich, a 33-year-old intelligence officer living in Abu Ghosh, was buried Tuesday in a police funeral at Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem.

Erlich had no “true family,” according to Channel 13 news, but residents of Abu Ghosh treated him as though he were family, setting up a mourning tent in the town and observing Shiva, the traditional mourning period in Judaism, with his widow, Adi Erlich, so she would not be alone.

“To us, this is the best place in Israel, geographically, the people — everything,” she told the network.

The coupled married two years ago and their daughter, Ori, was born two months ago. The report did not detail what happened to the rest of Erlich’s family.

“We really love Adi and she has a wonderful daughter who if I don’t see every day, it’d be hard,” local Maher Ibrahim said. (h/t Zvi)
The Jewish and African American Team That Revolutionized Basketball
In the spring of 1950, the City College of New York (CCNY) basketball team won an upset victory over the University of Kentucky’s top-ranked team. The CCNY team, composed entirely of blacks and Jews, beat its all-white, all-Gentile rivals—some of whom refused to shake hands with their opponents before the game began—with a final score of 89 to 50. Reviewing Matthew Goodman’s The City Game, about this particular City College team, Rich Cohen writes:

It was not just the manner of victory, the fact that CCNY was a team with a revolutionary style characterized by the fast break, [a rapid switch from defense to offense] that reflected the speed and panache of the city playgrounds. Nor was it the David-versus-Goliath nature of the triumph, the fact that CCNY, a tuition-free refuge for ethnic overachievers who’d been quota-ed out of the Ivy League, had taken down the basketball elite. It was that this game, coming at a time when being black or Jewish was exactly the wrong thing to be, seemed less a meeting of schools than a clash of civilizations: old versus new, South versus North, prejudice versus tolerance.

In the summer, many top college players worked as waiters in the Catskills—the Hotel Brickman, Young’s Gap Hotel, Klein’s Hillside Hotel, Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club, the Ambassador Hotel, which “dispensed with individual recruiting and just imported the entire Bradley starting five from Peoria.” Of course, their real job was basketball. They were ringers, brought in to play in the local league and entertain the guests (Wilt Chamberlain had a gig like this at Kutsher’s a few years later).

A strength of Goodman’s book is the way it conjures up the lost worlds of New York. The Catskills, a/k/a the Jewish Alps; the tenements, with their Yiddish-filled hallways and starch-heavy meals, “brisket and roast chicken, and potato latkes, and stuffed cabbage and kugel, washed down with glasses of seltzer and cherry soda”; the Harlem streets, where the numbers game was a neighborhood obsession; the playgrounds, where everyone played basketball because basketball required little space and just one ball, making it the most democratic game.

Those hotels were also where the players—themselves eager to make some money off the sport—met the bookies and gamblers who would eventually bring them into a point-shaving scandal that left them in disgrace.
Israel’s Abandoned Railroads
When empires still ruled the Middle East, trains ran across what are now impassable borders and war zones. The rails, now fallen into disrepair, still can be found throughout Israel, as Matti Friedman writes:

The country’s most storied ghost line is the Valley Railroad, built in 1905 by order of the Ottoman sultan as part of the grand Hijaz railway project, meant as a leap into modernity for [his] empire. The Valley Railroad made a connection, entirely logical and yet now inconceivable, between the port of Haifa in modern-day Israel and the city of Damascus, now in Syria. (The train got its name from the Jezreel Valley, which contained much of the route.)

The Haifa train met the main imperial line at Dara’a, a sleepy Syrian junction. Dara’a became known to the world only much later, in 2011, as the site of the crackdown that helped ignite Syria’s civil war, signaling the breakdown of more of the region into hostile enclaves, and also severing the vestiges of the Turkey-Syria rail link.

Israel and Syria became enemies 72 years ago, but when the railroad was built, neither existed. According to a rail schedule I found from 1934, you could steam out of the Haifa station at 10 a.m. and reach Damascus that evening at 8:02.

Israel has a peace agreement with the Jordanian government, as it does with Egypt, but most Jewish Israelis don’t dare visit either country. For us, land travel is limited to the confines of a state the size of New Jersey. When we leave we use the airport. The country might as well be an island.
New River Exposed in Israel, Mired in Secrecy and Landmines
There is a river in Israel nobody knew existed, until Sunday night, that is, when Kan 11 News exposed it to the world. To start, it’s nice to know that in a world surrounded by satellites that take pictures of everything all the time, this great river could be kept a secret for so long. No one who should have known, including Israel’s green groups and avid 4-wheel drive nature lovers, had any idea. On the other hand, it’s also quite upsetting: how dare they—whomever “they” may be—keep such a natural treasure from us?

This will all be sorted out sooner or later, presumably. Meanwhile, here are the facts: on Sunday night, Channel 11 (Israel’s PBS) revealed that there is a secret river, more than 6 miles long, flowing inside a huge canyon, between cliffs that are tens of meters tall, to the Dead Sea (The Sea of Salt in Hebrew).

This river lies within the concession area of ​​the Dead Sea Works, an Israeli potash plant in Sodom, on the Dead Sea coast. This is the reason the secret river’s existence has been kept secret. Also, according to the report, the Dead Sea Works concession is also why the river is currently in great danger. Apparently, no one really knows the exact scope of the works at Dead Sea Works, and what it may be doing to the local environment.

Kan 11 was adamant about warning enthusiastic Israeli nature lovers to stay away from the new discovery, because, as they put it most bluntly: “the place is full of mines – there is a real danger to life facing anyone trying to get there.”

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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