Friday, January 31, 2020

From Ian:

FDD: Occupied Elsewhere
Setting policies toward territories involved in protracted conflicts poses an ongoing challenge for governments, companies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Since there are multiple zones of disputed territories and occupation around the globe, setting policy toward one conflict raises the question of whether similar policies will be enacted toward others. Where different policies are implemented, the question arises: On what principle or toward what goal are the differences based?

Recently, for example, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided goods entering the European Union that are produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank must be clearly designated as such.1 At the same time, however, neither the ECJ nor the European Union have enacted similar policies on goods from other zones of occupation, such as Nagorno-Karabakh or Abkhazia. The U.S. administration swiftly criticized the ECJ decision as discriminatory since it only applies to Israel.2 Yet, at the same time, U.S. customs policy on goods imports from other territories is also inconsistent: U.S. Customs and Border Protection has explicit guidelines that goods imported from the West Bank must be labelled as such, while goods that enter the United States from other occupied zones, such as Nagorno-Karabakh, encounter no customs interference.

Territorial conflicts have existed throughout history. But the establishment of the United Nations, whose core principles include the inviolability of borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force to change them, led to the proliferation of protracted conflicts. Previously, sustained control over territory led to eventual acceptance of the prevailing power’s claims to sovereignty. Today, the United Nations prevents recognition of such claims but remains largely incapable of influencing the status quo, leaving territories in an enduring twilight zone. Such territories include, but are not limited to: Crimea, Donbas, Northern Cyprus, the West Bank, Kashmir, The Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transnistria, and Western Sahara.3

The problem is not simply that the United Nations, United States, European Union, private corporations, and NGOs act in a highly inconsistent manner. It is that their policies are selective and often reveal biases that underscore deeper problems in the international system. For example, Russia occupies territories the United States and European Union recognize as parts of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, yet Crimea is the only Russian-occupied territory subject to Western sanctions. By contrast, products from Russian-controlled Transnistria enter the United States as products of Moldova, and the European Union allows Transnistria to enjoy the benefits of a trade agreement with Moldova. The United States and European Union demand specific labeling of goods produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and prohibit them from being labeled Israeli products. Yet products from Nagorno-Karabakh – which the United States and European Union recognize as part of Azerbaijan – freely enter Western markets labeled as products of Armenia.

Today, several occupying powers try to mask their control by setting up proxy regimes, such as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) or similar entities in Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh. While these proxies do not secure international recognition, the fiction of their autonomy benefits the occupier. By contrast, countries that acknowledge their direct role in a territorial dispute tend to face greater external pressure than those that exercise control by proxy.
This on going War: Fox News break ranks with the mainstream media on Tamimi and Jordan
For us, it's something of a milestone.

On Wednesday, over on the heavily-trafficked Fox News website , there's an informative long-form piece that in large measure deals with our efforts to see Ahlam Tamimi, the Jordanian Islamist who masterminded the massacre at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria in 2001, finally brought before US justice.

Written by Hollie McKay, the article is entitled "Most wanted female terrorist lives in freedom in Jordan despite extradition request for bombing that killed Americans".

Tamimi faces serious Federal charges in the United States for the central role she had in the mass-casualty attack. The FBI and the US Department of Justice have made serious efforts to take her into custody and reached what we think is the limit of their capabilities, absent the involvement of the political echelon of both the United States (by far the more important side) and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The mainstream media pay almost no attention to Tamimi, to Jordan's egregious (and frankly disgraceful) refusal to comply with its own 1995 treaty with the US, to our efforts, to the effect the Jordan/Tamimi scandal is having on the unchecked spread of Islamist and extremist pro-Palestinian Arab violence, and to how US politicians (with some important exceptions) treat the affair as untouchable and us as lepers.

Our thanks to Fox News and to Hollie McKay, whom we've never met, for focusing on what we are sure is an important story that exemplifies how justice in the plainest sense can be denied for shabby and unspoken political motives.

MEMRI: Muslim World League's Historic Auschwitz Visit Draws Support From Saudi Arabia, Condemnation From Qatar
The January 23, 2020 visit to the Nazi Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp in Oświęcim, Poland by a delegation from the Mecca-based Muslim World League (MWL), comprising 25 senior Muslim clerics and headed by its secretary-general, Mohammad Al-'Issa, was unprecedented. Taking place in advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, it was the first visit by a senior Muslim delegation to the camp, and was in conjunction with delegations and representatives from the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The visit, along with Al-'Issa's statements condemning the Holocaust during the visit, prompted a range of reactions in the Arab and Islamic world.

Saudi intellectuals and media figures expressed support for the visit on social media, emphasizing that the Holocaust was a mark of shame for humanity as well as history's most loathsome crime, that it should be acknowledged and condemned as such, and that it should be taught in schools. They added that the visit itself was an expression of tolerance and a positive move that would advance peace in the region. The Saudi press also published articles in support of the visit and of Al-'Issa, clarifying that it expressed condemnation of the crime against the Jews but was not an expression of support for Israel since Jews and Zionists are not the same.

Aside from the delegation's Auschwitz visit, this year International Holocaust Remembrance Day received special mention in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. The Bahraini and UAE foreign ministers expressed solidarity with Holocaust victims and condemned racism on Twitter, with the Bahraini minister tweeting: "Together, we will remember those who were annihilated, [to ensure] that these crimes against humanity will not recur."[1]This was retweeted and expanded by his Emirati counterpart. Likewise, Saudi media published articles on International Holocaust Remembrance Day recognizing its importance.[2]

On the other hand, pro-Qatar elements leveraged the visit to protest against the MWL and its home base, Saudi Arabia. Condemnation of the visit appeared in the Qatari media, and the Qatar-backed International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) also condemned it, calling it an expression of unacceptable normalization with Israel. The position taken by the IUMS was in line with the antisemitic statements made over the years by its senior officials. IUMS founder Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi has for years promoted an extremist antisemitic and anti-Christian discourse, even saying in a sermon that Hitler was Allah's punishment for the Jews and calling for another Holocaust but this time at the hands of the Muslims.[3] This year, the organization's current leader, Dr. Ahmad Al-Raissouni wrote that it is a right and an obligation to question the Holocaust, and that details about it could not be confirmed because the narrative consists of claims that are "politically biased and questionable."[4]

Koch Institute Calls Anti-Semitism Charge ‘Absurd,’ Stands by Scholar Who Called American Rabbis Israel’s ‘Fifth Column’
A spokesman for the Charles Koch Institute said Wednesday that accusations a new think tank supported by Koch is harboring anti-Semites are "absurd" and "grossly mischaracterize the positions" of the organization. But he declined to defend the statements of affiliated scholars questioning the loyalty of American Jews, suggesting that some of them comprise a "fifth column" inside the United States, and promoting a conspiracy theory that Israel conducted a "false-flag" chemical attack on Syrian civilians.

Will Ruger, the vice president for research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute, issued a lengthy statement in the wake of a Free Beacon story detailing a litany of controversial statements targeting Israel and American Jews made by experts and scholars who hold prominent posts at a new think tank, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, funded by Koch and the liberal philanthropist George Soros.

"Recent accusations and insinuations against the rising transpartisan effort to rethink U.S. foreign policy are absurd and grossly mischaracterize the positions we and others hold," the statement said. "Anti-Semitism is abhorrent, and we reject all forms of bigotry."

Ruger told the Free Beacon his statement was not a response to the Beacon’s Tuesday report, but rather "an effort to set the record straight given the criticism from a few who continue to advocate for a failed foreign policy."

Ruger did not respond to a request for comment about whether the foundation considers a series of statements from Quincy Institute fellows bigoted or anti-Semitic.

Those statements include a 2013 accusation from Lawrence Wilkerson, a nonresident fellow at the institute, that Syria’s use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians "could’ve been an Israeli false flag operation."
Senators Seek Answers to Davos Press Credentials Given to Antisemitic Broadcaster
Senators are seeking answers regarding the Trump administration granting press credentials to antisemitic and conspiracy broadcaster Rick Wiles and his outlet TruNews to cover the World Economic Forum last week in Davos, Switzerland.

In a letter on Tuesday to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote that if Wiles and TruNews were actually granted press access to cover Davos, it “raise[s] serious questions about the White House credentialing process.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper posted on Twitter last week that the White House Correspondents’ Association, which consists of and represents reporters covering 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, confirmed that TruNews was credentialed by the White House to cover the World Economic Forum.

The White House declined to comment on the record regarding TruNews being granted press access from the administration to cover Davos.

WHCA president and ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl told JNS that there is “still no on-the-record response from the White House.”

In November, Wiles called the effort to impeach US President Donald Trump a “Jew coup.”

The letter states that “Wiles has said that a Jewish mafia or ‘Jewish lobby’ controls the United States, he has called Jews ‘deceivers’ and ‘domestic enemies,’ and he has accused them of ‘do[ing] whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda’ and ‘pushing this country to civil war.’”

“Given this history of absurd and hateful statements, it is difficult to understand why the White House would have extended Mr. Wiles and TruNews press credentials,” wrote Rosen and Wyden.
Ex-VP Joe Biden Is Preferred Candidate of US Jewish Democrats, New Poll Shows
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the preferred candidate of US Jews in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

The results of the national survey published on Thursday showed that 31% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters who identified as Jewish backed Biden as their choice to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 general election.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren came in second, at 20%, while ex-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg placed third, at 13%.

The two Jewish candidates in the field — Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — took the fourth and fifth spots, at 11% and 8% respectively.
Buttigieg to Anti-Israel Activist: ‘I Respect Your Activism’
Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg ended a confrontation with a far-left anti-Israel activist at a campaign event by saying, "I respect your activism and I appreciate your joining us."

Elias Newman identifies himself on Twitter as a "proud organizer" with IfNotNow, an anti-Israel activist organization that recorded his interaction with the presidential candidate. Newman asked Buttigieg about comments the former mayor had made concerning the potential leverage of U.S. aid to Israel.

"Recently, I was really happy to see that you said that if annexation happens, that you'll make sure the U.S. doesn't foot the bill. So I want to know, now that annexation is happening in full force," Newman said, "are you ready to commit to make sure the U.S. doesn't send a blank check to Israel?"

Buttigieg said he wants to make sure the United States is pushing away from "annexation" and criticized the Trump peace proposal as one-sided and created without input from the Palestinians.

"I'm not talking about withdrawing aid or withdrawing our support for Israel," Buttigieg said.

When Newman asked whether Buttigieg had changed his position on support for Israel, the candidate said he wasn't interested in debating but did respect Newman's activism.

Bernie Sanders in 1972: U.S. Actions in Vietnam ‘Almost as Bad as What Hitler Did’
As antiwar sentiment spread across the country in the early 1970s, a young Bernie Sanders accused the United States of committing atrocities on par with those of Nazi Germany, saying U.S. military action in Vietnam was "almost as bad as what Hitler did."

Speaking to a class of ninth graders during his 1972 gubernatorial run in Vermont, Sanders accused the United States of committing atrocities the students would not believe and defended the communist North Vietnamese fighters, according to reporting in the Rutland Herald, a Vermont newspaper. Sanders compared U.S. actions in Vietnam to those of Adolf Hitler, who murdered some six million Jews.

The American military undertook actions that were "almost as bad as what Hitler did," the paper quoted Sanders as saying to the class of around 30 students at Rutland Junior High School.

Sanders, who declared himself a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, said during his remarks to the class that the North Vietnamese were not his enemy. "They're a very, very poor people. Some of them don't have shoes," Sanders said. "They eat rice when they can get it. And they have been fighting for the freedom of their country for 25 years. They can hardly fight back."
Rep. Pressley Blames Trump for Rising Anti-Semitism
PRESSLEY: "Today the House Oversight Committee held a critical hearing about white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Our communities are made vulnerable daily by the occupant of the White House as this administration emboldens hate, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy, both through its rhetoric and its policy. I want to thank our witnesses for sharing their sobering testimonies with us today. Mr. Shaffir's experience as a Holocaust survivor must serve as a reminded to all of us that we cannot, we must not, look away. We cannot look away when our neighbors are subject to discrimination, bigotry, and persecution. We cannot set ourselves up to repeat the mistakes of our past. Our destinies are tied. Attacks on our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters are attacks on all of us. Attacks on our black and brown brothers and sisters are attacks on all of us. Attack on our LGBTQIA community and disability community are attacks on all of us. And no amount of gaslighting from this administration will convince us otherwise.”

Dominic Raab: I'm shocked old antisemitic tropes that fuelled Nazism have found their way here
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is “still shocked” at the way “old tropes that informed the pogroms of the 19th century that then fuelled Nazism” have found their way into the higher echelons of British society.

Speaking to the JC ahead of his speech at the Foreign Office’s Holocaust Memorial Event on Wednesday, Mr Raab said: “I always felt we have turned a page in this country but what upsets me most are the old tropes … you are starting to hear them again with this fresh anti-Zionist anti-Israel veneer of respectability.”

He said that what particularly angered him was to hear “senior level politicians, obviously inluding Jeremy Corbyn”, along with those in “intelligent circles...come up with this rubbish.”

But the Foreign Secretary said he believed “the answer is to reaffirm our values”.

He added: “There are still lots of decent people in the Labour Party. If we take a zero tolerance approach I am confident that at some point we will reject and expel this.”

Mr Raab spoke of his “pride” at his own family’s Jewish ancestry. His Czech-born Jewish father came to Britain in 1938 as a refugee, aged six. He died of cancer when Mr Raab was 12. His mother brought him up in the Church of England.

He heard stories of the family’s ordeal in Eastern Europe from his grandmother, who “lived to a ripe old age” and lived close to his family home.

Tory general election candidate who was suspended over antisemitism is still a councillor for the party in Aberdeen
A general election candidate suspended by the Scottish Conservative Party is still a councillor for the Party on Aberdeen City Council.

Ryan Houghton, had been the Tories’ candidate for Aberdeen North until it was discovered that he had written on a martial arts forum seven years ago, under the psedonym Razgriz, that although there was “no credible evidence to suggest the Holocaust did not happen” nevertheless “I do find some of the events fabricated, and exegarated [sic] in some cases.”

He continued: “As history is written by the victors there is always going to be a bit of re-writing.” He also praised the “interesting” research of the antisemitic Holocaust-denier, David Irving. However, in a later post he said that he was “not defending David’s Irving’s views” and that he does not agree with “some of the stuff he says.”

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)” is an example of antisemitism.

Mr Houghton was suspended as a candidate by the Party, albeit that he remained on the ballot because his nomination papers were already submitted, but he no longer represented the Conservative Party, which withdrew support for him.
Labour suspends councillor who said “Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis” and referenced “Zionists’ attempts to influence our political processes”
The Labour Party has suspended a councillor who said that “Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis” and referenced “Zionists’ attempts to influence our political processes”, adding for good measure that those supposed efforts were “racist”.

Andy Kay, who had been serving as a cabinet member for finance and governance on Darwen Council in Lancashire, has been suspended pending an investigation following revelations by the JC of his social media history.

Cllr Kay also wrote that “Jewish leaders are worse than Nazis” in 2014 in a post on Facebook that was reportedly ‘liked’ by Kate Hollern MP, who went on to become a Labour MP and Private Parliamentary Secretary to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. She subsequently apologised.

In 2018, Cllr Kay also shared an article on social media describing Labour’s antisemitism crisis as a “blatant attempt to undermine Corbyn’s leadership”, adding the remark about Zionists. In the comments section of that post in a discussion about the International Definition of Antisemitism, Cllr Kay also said: “I was taught that Judaism was/is a religion, not a nation. In fact one of the tenets of Judaism prohibits the nation state… but I suppose that also depends on which wing of the fantasy you believe.”

Three days later, Cllr Kay reportedly shared an article that claimed that the Definition was “designed by Israeli propagandists to aid their many mass lobby attempts” and referenced the “largely-mythical antisemitism ‘crisis’ in the Labour Party,” which was described as “one of the few tools left to ailing and desperate establishment hacks wanting to smear Corbyn and maintain UK support for Israel.”

Labour’s Afzal Khan claimed he was “mortified” for “accidentally” sharing antisemitic social media post but didn’t remove it for six months after apologising
The Labour MP, Afzal Khan, who claimed that he was “mortified” for “accidentally” sharing an antisemitic social media post, nonetheless did not remove the post for six months after apologising.

Mr Khan, who serves as the Shadow Immigration Minister, said that he was “sincerely sorry about this genuine accident” when it was revealed last year that he had shared a post referencing an “Israel-British-Swiss-Rothschilds crime syndicate” and “mass murdering Rothschilds Israeli mafia criminal liars” on Facebook in 2015. But only after being asked by The Telegraph in the past few days as to why it remained on his Facebook page was it removed.

Mr Khan was recently confronted by Gideon Falter of Campaign Against Antisemitism at a Chanukah party over his record, eventually leading to Mr Khan’s exit from the party.

During the 2017 general election, Mr Khan was criticised for sharing a comment on Twitter stating that “The Israeli government are acting like Nazi’s [sic] in Gaza.” The common breached the International Definition of Antisemitism, which lists “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as an example of antisemitism.

GoFundMe closes account for co-founder of BDS Al-Awda
The online payment service GoFundMe terminated its account with Al-Awda, a Palestinian organization that seeks to return all refugees to Israel and promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting the Jewish state.

According to screen shots of the social media posts from GoFundMe and Abbas Hamideh, the head of Al-Awda, the crowdsourcing platform closed the account in January.

“We’ve reviewed your GoFundMe account and confirmed we are unable to process donations for it," wrote a representative for GoFundMe.

"Your GoFundMe account and any associated campaigns will remain closed. We also aren’t able to share the reasons for this action."

GoFundMe is a California-based crowdfunding platform that permits people to raise money for celebrations and causes.

“Apparently GoFundMe doesn’t want to do business with Al-Awda – Right of Return," Abbas Hamideh wrote.
Leading French-Algerian Artist Condemns BDS Movement Amid Row Over Venice Biennale Show
A prominent French-Algerian artist on Thursday strongly distanced herself from the movement to boycott Israel, defusing a brewing row over the decision to have her represent France at the prestigious Venice Biennale art show.

The Paris-born Zineb Sedira said that allegations that she was tied to the so-called BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaign targeting Israel were “slanderous and unfounded.”

“I have never had any acquaintance with this movement,” Sedira said in a statement. “I also firmly condemn any boycott, and I cannot be associated with or stand in solidarity with BDS. I oppose BDS and any global boycott that would have the counterproductive effect of paralyzing women and men who want to live in peace.”

The artist was responding to charges that she had objected to her works being exhibited in Israel in June 2017. According to a report at the time in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Sedira and four other artists of Arab origin had demanded that their works be pulled from a show in the Israeli-Arab town of Sakhnin. The article did not quote Sedira directly, however.

In her statement on Thursday, Sedira — whose work in photography and video explores the experiences of Arab women — emphasized that she was “an artist, not an activist.”

She added that she would “always endeavor to fight against all forms of hateful acts, or racist or antisemitic remarks.”

Among those welcoming Sedira’s statement against BDS was the leading French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who had earlier protested against her appointment as France’s representative at the 2021 Venice Biennale.
Major League Baseball Takes Heat for Promotion of Anti-Israel Activist Roger Waters’ Concert Tour
A major US Jewish organization is raising concerns about Major League Baseball’s promotion of vehement anti-Israel activist Roger Waters’ upcoming “This Is Not a Drill” North America concert tour.

In a letter sent to MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred on Wednesday, B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “We write to express our deep dismay at’s advertisement of presale tickets to a Roger Waters concert tour.”

“Waters is an avowed anti-Semite whose views on Jews and Israel far exceed the boundaries of civil discourse,” they charged.

Kaufman and Mariaschin noted that the ex-Pink Floyd frontman “has performed while displaying a large inflatable pig prominently marked with a Star of David.”

“He participates in the discriminatory, anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and castigates other musicians for performing in Israel,” they added. “He has blamed ‘the Jewish Lobby’ for intimidating anti-Israel critics like him. And he has falsely labeled the Jewish state a ‘racist apartheid regime’ and claimed Israel is guilty of ‘ethnic cleansing.’”

“We call on MLB to cease providing Roger Waters a platform,” the B’nai B’rith International leaders concluded.
Palestinian Authority Schools Are Teaching Anti-Israel Violence Is Honorable
Conservative Robert Halfon has said he fears children in Palestinian Authority schools are being taught that it “is honourable to commit violent acts against Israelis.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, the Jewish MP raised the issue of UK aid money paying for the salaries of teachers in PA schools, saying at least 31 of these were named after terrorists who killed innocent citizens.

Mr Halfon added: “Instead of prolonging the conflict by supporting such rhetoric, we must do more to press the Palestinians to stop glorifying terrorists and to use our aid as it is meant to be used.”

Responding for the government, Dr Andrew Murrison, Minister of State, Department for International Development, said: "We are clear with the Palestinian Authority on how we expect UK aid to be spent.

“Last week, I had a further meeting with the Palestinian Authority Education Minister, Professor Awartani, following our meeting in Ramallah last year.

“He expressed his commitment to the EU’s review of teaching materials, as well as to the PA’s own review, which will be available before the start of the academic year.

“Education means hope, and we need to be careful about removing hope from the OPTs, because hope is what is preventing people from falling into the arms of those with mischievous intent for the future of that part of the world.”
CAA succeeds in pressuring antisemitic saxophonist and author Gilad Atzmon from appearing at 606 Club tomorrow
The antisemitic saxophonist, Gilad Atzmon, has withdrawn from his scheduled gig at the 606 Club tomorrow evening. The club had flatly rejected significant opposition to his performance by the Jewish community, until Campaign Against Antisemitism said that we would picket the venue on multiple future dates if Mr Atzmon was allowed to perform. Mr Atzmon said: “This morning I decided that in the light of the CAA’s threats, I am withdrawing from the gig.”

Mr Atzmon, billed as a “wonderful sax and clarinet player with a powerful sound and unique approach,” albeit one with “well-documented views on the Middle East that may provoke and challenge the listener,” had been scheduled to perform with his band at the iconic jazz venue tomorrow night.

However Mr Atzmon is a notorious antisemite. He was reported to have blamed the Grenfell Tower tragedy on “Jerusalemites” as well as reportedly telling university students that “the Jews were expelled from Germany for misbehaving.” His antisemitism is so brazen that he told a Jewish Twitter user in 2014: “I am not a Jew any more. I indeed despise the Jew in me (whatever is left). I absolutely detest the Jew in you.”

Initially, 606 Club doubled down on its invitation to Mr Atzmon, despite his record. Its owner defended Mr Atzmon, reportedly saying that although Mr Atzmon “sailed way too close to the wind sometimes”, nevertheless “having just spoken to Gilad he insisted he’s not racist and went to great pains to say that he does not have an issue with Jews, of which he is obviously one, the religion or the culture.” The owner added that he had never heard Mr Atzmon speak pejoratively of Jews.

However, after Campaign Against Antisemitism warned 606 Club that it would picket future events there in order to publicise to its patrons the venue’s tolerance of anti-Jewish prejudice, Mr Atzmon has apparently decided to back out of the performance, stating that it was because of “CAA’s threats”.

MEMRI: YouTube Channel Reaches 7.5 Million Views
The MEMRI YouTube channel has passed the milestone of seven million views since its launch in December 2017.

The channel also now has 24,000 subscribers viewing MEMRI TV clips as they are released. To date, the MEMRI YouTube channel has posted 1,116 clips and had 7,500,000 views; it reached the one-million views mark in November 2018 and three-million views mark in April 2019.

Join over 500,000 daily subscribers of MEMRI content on social media – follow us now on YouTube for all the latest MEMRI TV clips by visiting the MEMRI TV Videos channel on YouTube and clicking on "Subscribe."
Inadequately presented interviewees and an anonymous quote in BBC One Guerin report
Guerin then turned to an interviewee presented as a “writer”. Mariam Barghouti has had articles published at anti-Israel outlets such as ‘Middle East Eye’, ‘Mondoweiss’ and ‘MEMO’. Erasing the fact that Ramallah has been under exclusive Palestinian Authority control since 1995, Guerin asked:

Guerin: “Do you think you think you will still be living under occupation in ten years’ time, in twenty years’ time?”
Barghouti: “Everything, all Israeli policies against Palestinians are happening at such a high speed that it’s terrifying to think of where we’re gonna be five years from now.”
Guerin: “And tonight on the streets of Ramallah, a vow to return to the Intifada – the Palestinian uprising. The crowd here was small; sand and fury perhaps but also weariness and resignation. Well, Palestinian leaders have called for more protests tomorrow at what they have dubbed the fraud of the century. They have few other cards to play.”

Obviously Guerin does not consider negotiation to be one of the “cards” available to the Palestinians. She closed her report with an anonymous quote.

Guerin: “America and Israel are now moving in lockstep and the deal unveiled today has sent a stark message to the Palestinians. In the words of one analyst it boils down to this: you’ve lost, get over it.”

That unnamed analyst is Robert Malley of the NGO International Crisis Group (ICG). At least we now know what genre of Middle East analysis Orla Guerin prefers.
Left-wing Jewish Currents snags writer Peter Beinart in new round of hires
Jewish Currents was founded in 1946 as a communist magazine. In 2018, the magazine announced it was relaunching and focusing on attracting a younger readership. That included recent hires of four young editors and a redesigned website.

Jacob Plitman, the magazine’s publisher, said the new hires represented a continuation of the magazine’s expansion.

“This for us is the latest chapter of what’s been a march towards becoming a bigger and more important publication,” he told JTA on Monday. “Our goal, as I said two years ago, is to fill and be in that space where frankly the progressive majority of the community is and to encompass voices that are sometimes put outside red lines in the communal conversation, but also to be always focused on speaking to the Jewish public where they are.”

Since its relaunch it has published a number of prominent pieces, including an op-ed by senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about how to fight anti-Semitism and a piece by prominent gender scholar Judith Butler critiquing a book on anti-Semitism by New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss.

The magazine funded its 2018 expansion by donations from its readership along with a grant from the New Jersey-based Puffin Foundation, which Plitman said still represented its “financial bedrock.” But subscriptions also make up a growing revenue stream: Plitman said Jewish Currents had gone from under 2,000 subscribers prior to the relaunch to more than 6,000 today. The annual subscription cost is $30.

Jewish Currents covers a range of topics from critiques of Israeli policies to civil rights and cultural commentary. It also publishes fiction and poetry.

In addition to Beinart, the magazine is bringing on journalists Mari Cohen and Joshua Leifer as staff writers and Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace and Elisheva Goldberg of the New Israel Fund as contributing writers.
Twitter apologises for allowing advertisements to be micro-targeted at neo-Nazis
Twitter has reportedly apologised after an investigation found that it permitted advertisements to be micro-targeted at neo-Nazis and other bigots, as well as vulnerable young people suffering from eating disorders.

The social media giant allows brands to target their advertisements at users who search for particular words and phrases, in order to pinpoint users most likely to be interested in their product or service.

An investigation found that companies could send adverts to users who have searched for words such as “white supremacists”. It also showed that targeting people in the UK using the term “neo-Nazi” could reach as many as 81,000 people.

Twitter has been criticised in the past over extremism on its platform. In a statement, the company said that its “preventative measures include banning certain sensitive or discriminatory terms, which we update on a continuous basis. In this instance, some of these terms were permitted for targeting purposes. This was an error.

“We’re very sorry this happened and as soon as we were made aware of the issue, we rectified it. We continue to enforce our ads policies, including restricting the promotion of content in a wide range of areas, including inappropriate content targeting minors.”
Ukrainian senior economist says Ukrainians let Jews ‘dominate’ them
A senior economist in Ukraine said the country’s leaders secretly are serving Israel.

Local Jews said Joseph Sytnik, a department head at the Lviv Polytechnic University, was espousing an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Sytnik penned the text on Tuesday and posted the essay on Facebook alongside photographs of Israel visits by Ukraine’s current president, Vlodymyr Zelensky, and previous prime minister, Vldymyr Groysman, who are Jewish, and former president Petro Proshenko, who is not. Each of the men was shown wearing a kippah.

Back home, Sytnik wrote, Ukrainian politicians are “sinners, advancing slavery and self-destruction.”

But “at the Western Wall in Jerusalem they take off their Ukrainian masks for a moment, refuse their roles, which they perform spectacular in Ukraine and become real. For in that place they have a drop of conscience, faith, sense of duty and responsibility for their roots, there they feel fear for their sins, there they are truly afraid of their God and the law.
15.6% of Italians think the Holocaust never happened; in 2004, it was 2.7%
More than 15% of Italians believe that the Holocaust never happened, a new poll has found. Even more alarming, in 2004, such position was expressed only by 2.7% of the respondents.

Since 1989, the Rome-based research institute Eurispes has compiled a "Rapporto Italia" (Italy report), polling the Italian people on a variety of general topics, as well as on questions related to current affairs.

In the 2020 edition of the report, respondents were asked several questions about Jews and antisemitism.

More than one in six respondents said that they believe the Holocaust never happened, almost five times more than those who held such view when the same poll was conducted in 2004.

According to the report, Holocaust denial was highest among center-left voters (23.5%) and supporters of the populist Five-Star Movement (18.8%).

On the opposite side of the political spectrum, about a third of those who identify as center-right or right wing said that Jews control the economic and financial powers and the news.
Argentine journalist: Jewish conspiracy theory to explain Bryant’s death
A journalist from Argentina’s state-run public television used a Jewish conspiracy theory to explain the death of NBA basketball great Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other passengers, including two other teens, died Sunday when the helicopter they were riding in crashed into the side of a hillside in foggy conditions outside of Los Angeles.

“Sikorsky S76 helicopter, of Jewish surname, kills Kobe Bryant,” Eduardo Salim Sad tweeted Monday.

His account has been removed from Twitter, though it is not clear if it was by Sad or Twitter.

The tweet, which was viewed thousands of times, triggered criticism from the Jewish community and was condemned by Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella, DAIA.
Stand With Us: A Timeline of Antisemitism Through the Ages

Israeli Technology Helps Wounded Canadian Soldier to Walk
In 2006, Capt. Trevor Greene was serving with the Canadian infantry in Afghanistan when an Afghan plunged an axe into the back of his head at a meeting with local tribal elders.

The attack left him unable to walk, until a Canadian neuroscientist connected him with an Israeli-made wearable exoskeleton that does the walking for him.

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Terry Hannigan Vereline also uses the device. In 2019 she successfully completed the New York City Marathon, though it took her three days.
Jewish National Fund Launches Online "Click and Plant" Tree-Planting in Israel
In the run-up to the annual Jewish festival of Tu B’Shvat on February 9, KKL JNF Jewish National Fund has come up with a tech-savvy idea to help save the planet (and raise funds) called Click and Plant — an online site for buying trees.

To launch the site, it is running a promotional two-week campaign (starting Thursday and ending on February 12), offering donors the chance to buy trees for NIS 18 ($5.20 dollars) — half the usual price — in any of the many forests throughout the country. Certificates will be provided free online or for a small fee by regular mail if fewer than five trees are purchased.

For each discount-price tree that is bought during the promotion, KKL will plant an additional tree along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel to help shield Israeli communities from rockets launched from the Hamas-controlled enclave. The organization is aiming to plant 100,000 trees along this seam.

All the actual planting will be carried out by KKL staff.

Planting trees is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of tackling global warming. Trees produce oxygen and remove climate warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis.

IDF in Brazil - 1 Year After The Disaster Hit
This time last year, the IDF sent a humanitarian aid delegation to #Brazil after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho.

Brazil, we were proud to be by your side.

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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 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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