Monday, March 09, 2020

03/09 Links Pt2: Anti-Israel AIPAC protester: “The Jews should be on their knees begging for forgiveness”; BDS Movement to Boycott Coronavirus for Attending AIPAC (satire)

From Ian:

Anti-Israel AIPAC protester: “The Jews should be on their knees begging for forgiveness”
Like many veteran attendees of the annual AIPAC conference, usually held at the sprawling Walter E. Washington Center in northwest D.C., I have learned to expect packs of anti-Israel demonstrators to gather every year during the event. They usually wave Palestinian flags, chant familiar slogans through bullhorns, and brandish signs and banners inscribed with various accusations about the supposed sins of the Jewish State.

The 2020 AIPAC conference was the sixth I’ve attended, but the first I attended as a member of the press. So on the first day of this year’s conference—Sunday, March 1—I decided that instead of ignoring the usual anti-Israel demonstrations, I would visit and observe the protests, talk with the protesters, and ask them to explain their ideas in their own words.

At their rally, I met and spoke with several of the group: young and old, male and female, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and secular, and several who identified as Palestinian. My conversations with each of them were enlightening, but perhaps none more so than my exchange with two keffiyeh-clad American women, one of whom claimed Palestinian ancestry. They were both vehement and emotional in their replies to my questions, and insisted that Israel was to blame for the sorry state of Palestinian affairs. Neither seemed to notice when the other accused “Jews” of barbarism, but both seemed utterly convinced of their own moral superiority.

During our conversation, I mostly listened quietly, but eventually did ask them both what they believed must be done to bring about peace.

At that, one of them let it slip. Calling Israel an “illegal country in the first place“, she subsequently declared,
“the Jews should get on their knees and beg for forgiveness for what they’ve done to the Palestinians since 1948.”

She continued:
“They’ve ethnically cleansed villages. They massacred 700,000 people.“

Her compatriot (who had claimed Palestinian Arab ancestry) added,
“I think they feel bad. I think that’s why they’re so aggressive a lot of the time.“

It did not seem to occur to either of these women that they had both condemned “the Jews” rather than “the Zionists” or “the Israelis”. At no time did either of them amend the sentiment, though one of them later pointedly referred to “the Zionists” because “not all Jews are Zionists”. You can see a short excerpt of this exchange below.

Anti-Israel party in Germany discusses shooting rich people, forced labor
The German Left Party, which opposed last year’s anti-BDS Bundestag resolution, held a conference last week in the city of Kassel in which calls to shoot wealthy Germans and impose forced labor on them were discussed.

A Left Party attendee named Sandra L. explained what needed to be done post-revolution after “we have shot the one percent of the richest.”

Party leader Bernd Riexinger responded that, “We don’t shoot them, we use them for useful work.” Forced labor was one of the extermination methods used by the Nazis and their collaborators to murder Jews during the Holocaust.

Columnist Harald Martenstein wrote in the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel on Saturday that “Almost at the same time as the shooting debate, eight left-wing politicians filed a criminal complaint against [Chancellor] Angela Merkel for “aiding and abetting the murder” of the Iranian terrorist general [Qassem] Soleimani and that Germany had supported the murder. At least Israel haters don’t have to be afraid of the Left.”
Riexinger chalked up his comment about forced labor to “irony.”

Alan Dershowitz | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep 85
Alan Dershowitz — was the youngest full professor in Harvard Law history where he is now the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, writer of numerous best-selling books including, "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," and his latest, "Guilt by Accusation: The Challenge of Proving Innocence in the Age of #MeToo" — joins Ben to discuss being a civil libertarian, Trump, Obama, Israel, #MeToo, O.J. Simpson, impeachment, going from loved to hated by the Left, and much more. (Israel at 39Min)

Why was a leading anti-Israel activist invited to 'inclusion' event?
ViacomCBS's recent announcement regarding a special broadcast featuring former Women's March leader Linda Sarsour – known for her support of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – prompted outraged over the weekend.

"Join us 3/11 at 4:30 p.m. EST for a conversation with author and co-organizer of the Women's March, Linda Sarsour! Check your inbox for RSVP details," posted Viacom's Women's Employee Affinity Group on Facebook on Thursday.

The Women's History Month event is specifically being hosted by the multinational media conglomerate's Office of Global Inclusion, a source familiar with the situation told JNS. ViacomCBS did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Sarsour, a Palestinian American, has been an outspoken critic of Israel and has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks; the Anti-Defamation League says her BDS advocacy "encourages and spreads anti-Semitism."

Dexter Van Zile, a researcher at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, rebuked CBS for inviting Sarsour.

Van Zile also said that Sarsour, a surrogate for the Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has "worked to marginalize and demonize American Jews who support Israel as long as she has been a public figure."

"What do these people [at ViacomCBS] think they're doing?" he asked. "Why would they help promote the idea of someone who has spoken in such ugly terms about American Jews and about the victims of Islamist violence? It's unbelievable!"

He added that "the whole point of Sarsour's rhetoric is to drive Jews who support Israel from the public square and to drive Israel out of the circle of concern on the part of the so-called progressive left. That's not inclusion. That's exclusion."

The Women's March cut ties last year with Sarsour and two other co-founders due to accusations of anti-Semitism.

BDS Movement to Boycott Coronavirus for Attending AIPAC (satire)
Leaders of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) are now calling for a boycott of the Coronavirus after it was reported that the virus was present at the recent conference for the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington DC.

“We have repeatedly called on supporters of the Palestinian people to skip the racist, Islamophobic, apartheid AIPAC conference, and we are disappointed to learn that the Coronavirus was nonetheless present,” BDS supporter and Bernie Sanders campaign surrogate Linda Sarsour said in a statement. “We are asking all our followers to avoid any contact with the virus until it ends its support for the illegal occupation regime.”

BDS supporters have taken extreme measures to avoid contracting the virus and indirectly supporting Israel. Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has cancelled all performances to avoid being in large crowds, while UK Labour chair Jeremy Corbyn promised to elbow-bump his friends in Hezbollah and Hamas instead of shaking their hands.
Johnson Takes Opportunity to Berate Labour’s Antisemitic ‘Bullying and Discrimination’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticized a member of the Labour Party during a Parliament session on Wednesday for her party’s antisemitic “bullying and discrimination” against those who support Israel and the Jewish people.

Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire asked Johnson about allegations that Home Secretary Priti Patel bullied her staff during her 2016-17 tenure as international development secretary.

Johnson, who has defended Patel in the past, responded to Debbonaire, “I loathe bullying, but I am not taking any lessons from a party that has presided over systematic bullying and discrimination against those who stick up for the Jewish community and for Israel in this country.”

“And we have still yet to hear a proper apology from the Labour Party [or] from Labour leadership for what they have done,” he added.
Labour members dismiss antisemitism in new poll but it persists in the Party at national and local levels and on social media
An overwhelming majority of Labour members believe that the problem of antisemitism in the Party is either exaggerated or simply non-existent, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for The Mail on Sunday, showed that 53 percent of Labour members believe that the problem of antisemitism in the Party has been exaggerated and 25 percent believe that there is no such problem at all – a total of 78 percent.

However, the Party remains beset with allegations of anti-Jewish racism.

Ian Murray, one of the candidates for the position of deputy leader, sent out a campaign email to all Labour members in which he noted his endorsement from the Party’s Jewish affiliate and stated his intention to “tackle the stain of antisemitism in our Party.”

In reply he received numerous abusive messages, including claims that “the Jews thought they owned the Labour Party”; that Mr Murray is a “Mossad agent”; that he is associating himself with “a bunch of war criminals and latter-day Nazis who are committing genocide”; that Labour’s Jewish affiliate is “a political racist movement” which “prioritise[s] their race or religion ahead the Labour Party”; that Mr Murray’s “true loyalties lie…firmly in the CIA-Mossad HQ in Tel Aviv”; that antisemitism was being weaponised; that Mr Murray was being “manipulated by a biased media, in the control of an elitist group whose vested interest is to maintain the status quo and their financial interests and neuter Labour opposition”; that “the antisemitism charge [against Labour] is a smokescreen to validate the Israeli Government’s [policies]”; and that Mr Murray “should be protecting the majority of our millions of citizens not just a few thousand of a small minority.”
Columbia University President Condemns Anti-Semitism and Opposes Divestment from Israel
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger said Friday in a statement: "Over the past year, I have increasingly become concerned about anti-Semitism, and I feel it is important for me to say something now. There is an upcoming vote among undergraduate students on a proposal to recommend that the University divest from companies doing business with Israel involving the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza."

"I do not support the proposal for divestment. That is for two reasons. One is the longstanding understanding that the University should not change its investment policies on the basis of a political position unless there is a broad consensus within the institution that to do so is morally and ethically compelled....I do not believe that consensus exists with respect to this proposal."

"But I disagree on the merits, too. I believe this imposes a standard on this particular political issue that is not right when one considers similar issues in other countries and in other contexts around the world. To my mind that is unwise, analytically flawed, and violates my sense of fairness and proportionality."

"My not just with this proposal, but with the broader atmosphere in which this and other related issues are being debated....What must be avoided at all costs, and what I fear is happening today, is a...mentality that goes from hard-fought debates about very real and vital issues to hostility and even hatred toward all members of groups of people simply by virtue of a religious, racial, national, or ethnic relationship. This must not happen."

BBC shows limited interest in a new Gaza border wall
Last month various media outlets reported that Egypt had begun the construction of a wall along its border with the Gaza Strip.

“Egypt has begun building a concrete wall along its border with the Gaza Strip, AFP journalists and a Palestinian security official from the Hamas terror group said Wednesday.

Dozens of workers aided by cranes could be seen erecting the structure, which will stretch some three kilometers (two miles) from Gaza’s southeastern tip at Karem Shalom to the Rafah crossing with Egypt, the only gateway out of Gaza that does not lead into Israel.

The wall is being built along the lines of an old, lower barrier that includes an underground structure designed to curb smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.”

According to Asharq al Awsat the aim of the structure is “to end the infiltration of extremists to and from Sinai”.

BBC Arabic also published a report on that story on February 18th. Readers were told that “the border wall is about six meters in height and with concrete bases of up to three meters underground, to counter the tunnels” and that:

“Egypt has been seeking in recent years to demolish tunnels on the 14-kilometer border with Gaza, with the aim of preventing the infiltration of militants and extremists into Egyptian territory, the government says.”

In other words, the aim of the structure being constructed by Egypt is the same as that of both Israel’s defences along the border with the Gaza Strip and the anti-terrorist fence: to stop the passage of terrorists.
BBC Radio 4 airs superficial report on Israel’s Coronavirus measures
Listeners were not told that there are numerous non-Hebrew media outlets in Israel reporting daily on that topic or that both the Ministry of Health and the ambulance service provide information and help lines in English and other languages. Instead, Foster asked a worker at a hotel in Jerusalem:
Foster: “Should you be trying to tell them more though, because the government would want you to pass that information on for them, wouldn’t they?”

Moving on to the Old City in Jerusalem, Foster noted the reduction in the number of tourists.
Foster: “Israel is proud of its proactive approach to containing Coronavirus but shop owners like Mohammed can already see the impact of keeping tourists away.”

When her interviewee complained that business was already in decline because of “the situations between the Israel and the Palestinians” Foster did not explain to listeners the effects of Palestinian terrorism and violence on the tourism industry.

As we see, listeners to this superficial report did not in fact find out why the Israeli government has implemented “some of the strictest quarantine measures anywhere in the world” or what steps are being taken to help sectors impacted by the situation.

Neither did they hear anything of the co-operation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority which has included the evacuation of tourists from PA controlled areas and the supply of testing kits and training.
Guardian op-ed on Israeli elections ignores anti-Zionist elephant in the room
Yair Wallach, a senior lecturer in Israeli studies and head of the Centre for Jewish Studies at SOAS, the University of London, published an op-ed in the Guardian on March 5 (“Palestinian voters are the new power brokers in Israel, much to Netanyahu’s chagrin”)

Wallach argues that Arab citizens of Israel who voted for the Joint List helped keep Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a majority in the Israeli elections (Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc has 58 seats, 3 shy of a majority). He also claims that the “refusal to strike an alliance with Palestinian citizens [the four Arab parties which make up the Joint List] remains the primary reason for the failure of the centre-left parties” to form a government, which he characterises as “racist”.

The racist logic of a “Jewish majority” still forms the basis of mainstream politics. As recently as last month, Blue and White pledged not to include the Joint List in its future government, despite its endorsement of Gantz. Some members of Blue and White are ideologically opposed to the inclusion of Palestinians; others are fearful that it would drive Jewish voters away.

However, racism isn’t the reason why Blue and White won’t include Joint List in its future government. It’s because Joint List represents a coalition of non-Zionists or outright anti-Zionists. Included on Joint Arab List is the communist Arab-Jewish party Hadash, the Muslim religious party Ra’am and the anti-Zionist Balad.

Further, as we noted in a previous post, several leading MKs from the Joint List have expressed support for terrorists convicted of murdering Israeli civilians. Though there is currently talk that center-left parties who oppose Netanyahu are considering forming a minority government with outside support of the Joint List (aka, a confidence-and-supply agreement), the reluctance to actually bring them into the government is based on ideology, not bigotry.

BBC News coverage of terrorism in Israel – February 2020
The Israel Security Agency’s report on terror attacks (Hebrew) throughout February 2020 shows that throughout the month a total of 332 incidents took place: 142 in Judea & Samaria, 29 in Jerusalem and inside the ‘green line’ and 161 in the Gaza Strip sector.

In Judea & Samaria and Jerusalem the agency recorded 141 attacks with petrol bombs, 9 attacks using pipe bombs, ten arson attacks, two shooting attacks, one vehicular attack, four stabbings, two incidents of rock throwing and two grenade attacks.

Incidents recorded in the Gaza Strip sector included two shooting attacks, eighteen petrol bomb attacks, nine IED attacks, one incident of sniper fire, three pipe bomb attacks, one incident of anti-aircraft missile fire and 127 incidents of rocket fire.

Sixteen people – all but one members of the security forces – were wounded during February including one in a petrol bomb attack in Hebron on February 3rd, ten in a vehicular attack in Jerusalem on February 6th, one in a shooting attack in Jerusalem on February 6th, one in a shooting attack near Dolev on February 6th, one civilian in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on February 21st, and two in rock-throwing incidents on February 10th and 21st.

Racist, Far-Right Website Peddling Antisemitism Must Be Banned
Have you heard that Pokemon Go is an elaborate conspiracy to kill Christians? Or that US government death squads murdered former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia? Or that the Israelis were responsible for the 2020 Iowa Democratic primary vote-counting debacle?

If you haven’t, you’ve missed out on watching TruNews, a “news network” that spreads conspiracy theories, racism, homophobia and other forms of hate. In particular, TruNews made headlines for spreading vicious antisemitism, including their recent claim of a “Jew coup” against President Donald Trump. Founder Rick Wiles and his team frequently launch screeds against Jewish Americans and Israel, demonizing them and decrying their supposed control over US policy.

At the core of TruNews’ politics is the racist belief that Jews and Israelis are surreptitiously in control of US foreign policy. Wiles thinks that Israel and the US developed ISIS and now control it, and that they are “orchestrating a coup in Venezuela.”

Wiles says that, “The Zionists, what they’re doing to the Palestinian people now, they’re gonna globalize it. But they’re gonna occupy your mind, they’re gonna control your mind, control your mouth. You will not be able to speak and think anything that’s contrary to what the Zionists want.”

The TruNews team believes Jews are uniquely responsible for a multitude of American social ills, championing the timeless antisemitic notion that there is nothing the Jews cannot be blamed for.

In 2017, Wiles said Ivanka Trump was “a Kabbalah practicing, evil woman whispering evil things in the ear of her father. She’s going to the grave site of an old dead Kabbalah practitioner and getting spirits telling her what to do.”
Popular Blogger Hosts ‘Meet a Jew’ Pop-Up in Midtown Manhattan to Fight Rising Antisemitism
Call it sidewalk schmoozing.

A tent with the words “Meet a Jew, Make a Friend” stood on 42nd Street at Third Avenue on Thursday in an unusual effort to introduce passersby to Orthodox Jews face-to-face and one-on-one.

Its goal was to counter negative impressions of Orthodox Jews, during a period of rising hate incidents.

“We don’t expect that we can change the world overnight, but we hope to strike a chord with a few hearts,” said Allison Josephs, a popular blogger whose organization Jew in the City planned the surprising meet and greet. “We’re saying that we are also human beings sharing the world with you.” Its a proactive approach that “leads with kindness,” Josephs told The Algemeiner.

The place was purposefully chosen. It was near the scene of an antisemitic assault in December of a 65-year-old man wearing a Yarmulke.

Begun in 2007, the group Jew in the City engages in a charm offensive in its goal of reversing negative views about religious Jews. In its words, the effort “publicizes the message that Orthodox Jews can be funny, approachable, educated, pro-women and open-minded—and that Orthodox Judaism links the Jewish people to a deep and beautiful heritage that is just as relevant today as it ever was.” Jew in the City has also given out awards.
Prostitutes, Thieves—and Vampires
When David Ben-Gurion reportedly said that Israel would become a normal state once it had its “prostitutes and thieves,” he should have also added “and vampires.” The Israeli series Juda, which premiered in Israel in 2017 and is now streaming on Hulu, is the first full-blown Israeli take on the popular supernatural genre. The Israeli and Jewish aspects are central to its storyline and imagery, which creatively borrows from horror and Gothic traditions—their gore, schlock and all. Israeli critics commended the series for its deliberate embrace of these tropes, which it immerses in Israeli reality and packs in tight with new occult Judaic content. The often comical show has a playful attitude toward its bloody subject and is not so much derivative of it as it is enthralled with it, which makes watching its eight episodes a true guilty pleasure.

Juda creator and leading star, Israeli actor and director Tzion Baruch, confessed that the show was quite personal for him because it reflected his deep connection to Judaism. Baruch plays Juda, a lowly criminal and gambler in debt to the French Jewish mafia in Israel, who after winning an enormous sum of money at a casino in Romania, is bitten by a stunning vampiress (Anastasia Fein), Dracula’s daughter, whom he mistakes for a prostitute. As expected, the bite transforms him into a vampire, but this is also where the unexpected begins: We learn that the vampires are forbidden from drinking Jewish blood, as it is told that a Jewish vampire will end up vanquishing the entire bloodsucking brood. The rest of the series follows Juda on his return to Israel, where he must deal with his new identity and powers, as well as with the Romanian vampires who come to the Jewish state to find and destroy him before he obliterates them.

Most of the show’s Judaic content is centered on a mysterious rabbi, played by iconic Israeli Yiddish comic Mike Burstyn. The rabbi watches over Juda’s metamorphosis and educates in what it means to be a Jewish vampire: A messianic figure, who, through his beastlike prowess and union with evil, will in fact put an end to vampirism. Instead of relying on actual historical Jewish commentary on vampires, which is present in medieval sources and folklore, Juda freely invents its own Judaic vampire mythos for the 21st century.

There’s a political impetus to Baruch’s vision. As he explains in an interview, he was attracted to the vampire genre precisely because of its anti-Semitic origins, which he wanted to turn on their head in creating an unusual Jewish hero: “The Jewish people were persecuted throughout history, and it’s time for a Jewish superhero.” Baruch’s thinking is certainly linked to the earlier Zionist ethos, but with significant modifications: The superheroes here are not masculine drainers of swamps or sabra-soldiers, but rather a diminutive wisecracking criminal-cum-monster on the run, and an old rabbi who peppers his Hebrew and quotations from holy books with Yiddishisms, and is also a monster-redeemer.
Israelis Invent First Pill to Treat Diabetes Without Insulin Shots
People who suffer from diabetes frequently require insulin shots, causing pain, inconvenience, and visible scars that do not heal. To address this pressing healthcare issue, a company based in Israel developed the first oral insulin capsule, called ORMD-0801, providing diabetes treatment without the need for shots.

The pill passed second-stage testing with impressive results, placing it on the fast-track for commercial availability, Oramed announced last week, which is music to the ears of the nearly half a billion people worldwide who suffer from diabetes.

Oramed recently completed placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized 90-day dose-ranging tests. Fifty-seven US-based patients suffering from type 2 diabetes with inadequate glycemic control completed the 12-week trial.

“Treatment with ORMD-0801 at all doses demonstrated an excellent safety profile, with no serious drug-related adverse events and no increased frequency of hypoglycemic episodes or weight gain compared to placebo,” said a company statement.

Oramed’s Chief Executive Officer, Nadav Kidron, said, “We believe the strong efficacy shown while treating patients at a lower dose further demonstrates ORMD-0801’s potential as a safe, non-invasive, and effective oral insulin solution for the millions of people suffering from diabetes worldwide.”

Joel M. Neutel, MD, the Principal Investigator of the ORMD-0801 Phase 2b trial, commented, “I believe the data demonstrated in this second cohort further validates the clinical potential of Oramed’s oral insulin to have a highly beneficial impact on the treatment of diabetes the world over.”

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