Tuesday, March 17, 2020

From Ian:

Mel Brooks, Son Post Humorous Viral Video With Coronavirus Tips
On Monday, comedy legend Mel Brooks and his author son Max Brooks teamed up for a helpful and humorous video outlining novel coronavirus-related tips, emphasizing that folks “#DontBeASpreader,” especially the elderly, who are more likely to have a fatal reaction to the virus.

“Hi, I’m Max Brooks. I’m 47 years old,” the younger Brooks started the video, before gesturing toward his father, who is standing behind a glass window. “This is my dad Mel Brooks,” he said. “Hi, dad! He’s 93.”

“If I get the coronavirus, I’ll probably be okay,” the “World War Z” author told viewers. “But if I give it to him, he could give it to Carl Reiner, who could give it to Dick Van Dyke, and before I know it, I’ve wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends!”

“When it comes to coronavirus, I have to think about who I can infect, and so should you,” Max said. “So practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands, keep six feet away from people, and if you’ve got the option to stay home, just stay home.”

“Do your part, don’t be a spreader. Right, dad?” Max asked his father.

‘This Is Nothing New’: Jewish Human Rights Icon Natan Sharansky Addresses Antisemitic Propaganda Around Coronavirus
Natan Sharansky — the former Soviet refusenik who spent nine years leading the Jewish Agency between 2009-18 — has spoken out against antisemitic conspiracy theories linking Jews to the COVID-19 pandemic, observing that these were “nothing new.”

Speaking to an online gathering on Sunday, Sharansky invoked the Black Death of the 14th century as a precedent for today’s woes.

“The idea that Jews are behind the virus, that Jews want to destroy markets, to make money or that Israel is behind it — there is nothing new in it,” Sharansky said. “We saw it during the Black Death in the Middle Ages. There was broad belief that Jews were behind it.”

Addressing the first digital awards ceremony of the US-based Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) — held online because of the continuing rapid spread of the virus — Sharansky emphasized that the “difference between then and now is that today the State of Israel is strong, we are fighting antisemitism and we will defeat it.”

State Department Special Envoy Elan Carr — who advises US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on antisemitism — also addressed the gathering, at which the 37 winners of a contest for creative proposals to fight antisemitism were announced.

“The current administration is determined by its words and action to fight antisemitism,” Carr stated. “The administration is committed to secure the physical security of Jews, to fight the spread of antisemitism on the internet, to end radicalization of students in the Middle East through textbooks, to educate about philo-semitism, and to take legal action against those who engage in antisemitism.”
Melanie Phillips: What will Jewish leaders say about Trevor Phillips
Instead, it seems that condemning Labour’s antisemitism produced what Phillips describes as the “political gangsterism” of the Islamophobia smear. It shows that the term is not about fighting real prejudice but is used as a weapon to silence inconvenient truths.

So where, one might wonder, does this leave these Jewish community leaders?

Phillips said he was the victim of the party’s adoption of a controversial new definition of Islamophobia. This definition, put forward by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims at the end of 2018, had been influenced by MEND, a Muslim advocacy group described by the former head of Counter-Terrorism Command, Sir Mark Rowley, as “seeking to undermine the state’s considerable efforts to tackle all hate crime”.

Signatories to a letter calling on the government to adopt this definition included the Friends of al Aqsa.

Yet, according to a JC report last year, the Board of Deputies was poised to endorse this definition and was stopped only because of a last-minute intervention by moderate British Muslims and the Community Security Trust. The Board said it merely concluded it “wasn’t the right time” to endorse any Islamophobia definition.

So has anybody yet heard community leaders springing to the defence of Trevor Phillips? Or are these leaders going to double down on condemning anyone who is denounced as an Islamophobe?

There is, of course, a juddering contrast between the Labour Party suspending Phillips for actions dredged up from years ago while refusing to expel demonstrable antisemites in the party who are spreading their poison unchecked right now.

At the time of writing, Labour’s leadership front-runner, Sir Keir Starmer, had remained silent over the suspension of Trevor Phillips.

Failure to condemn the weaponisation of Islamophobia against the truth augurs ill for any effective action against antisemitism. It also augurs ill for the moral health of the Jewish community leadership.
Douglas Murray on the death of Europe & identity - BQ #11
Douglas Murray talks immigration, Islam, identity politics and his life. The Sun's Steven Edginton interviews Murray for the series 'Burning Questions'. The pair discuss Murray's books 'The Strange Death of Europe' and 'The Madness of Crowds'. Murray updates his views since the publication of both books and debates issues such as Brexit and the trans rights movement.

After Coronavirus, the Mask Is Off at the Quincy Institute
We ought to thank Sarah Leah Whitson, Managing Director for Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft — the gathering place for Israel-haters established by Andrew Bacevich in 2019.

Whitson, who was well known for promoting hostility toward Israel under the guise of human rights activism during her tenure at Human Rights Watch, revealed an astonishing and troubling desire to see Israeli Jews suffer.

Whitson took off the mask in a reply to a tweet by Mairav Zonszein, a contributor to the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, who expressed glee that Israeli Jews were forced to live under quarantine as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

In the March 14 tweet, Zonszein wrote, “6 million Jewish Israelis will now get a taste of what around the same number of Palestinians have experienced for over a half a century.”

So here we have an Israeli-American journalist who covers Israel expressing glee that six million of her fellow Jews are going to be under quarantine isolation to limit the effects of a deadly virus. She suggests that the isolation that Israelis will endure over the next few months is punishment for all the bad things that the Israelis have done to the Palestinians over the years. Just another opportunity to demonize Jewish self-defense, and not attacks on Jews.

The problem with this type of thinking is how easily it can be flipped. Someone on the other side of the debate could, and probably will, argue that the suffering endured by Palestinians as a result of the COVID-19 virus is just punishment for the terror attacks perpetrated by groups like Hamas and PFLP over the years. Fortunately, most Israelis and Palestinians understand what’s at stake and are working together to constrain the virus, Zonszein’s thoughts notwithstanding.
Actress Rosanna Arquette Issues Vicious Tweet: Jewish Conspiracy Behind Coronavirus
On Tuesday, Hollywood actress, Trump-hater and now apparent vicious anti-Semite Rosanna Arquette issued a tweet (later deleted) insinuating a Jewish conspiracy behind the ravaging of the world by the coronavirus, ranting, “I’m still confused, so Israel has been working on a corona virus vaccine for a year already ? (so they knew )Vaccines take a long time to know if they are safe and KUSHNER OSCAR is the major investor in the new vaccine that is supposedly coming here. lives at risk for profit.”

Arquette’s vicious anti-Semitism drew immediate condemnation:

Speaking to The Guardian last May, Arquette boasted, “I’m a ‘take no sh**’ kind of person. I’ve never kept my mouth shut, especially as my industry is so misogynistic. I’ve got a reputation as a troublemaker.”

Last August Arquette pronounced her verdict regarding President Trump, tweeting, “The president of the United States of America incites racist violence. The end.” (h/t Judah Hotep )
Two New Biographies Show How Anti-Capitalism, Conspiracism, and Fear of Contagion Shaped Hitler’s Anti-Semitism
A letter from September 1919 is the earliest surviving text in which Hitler sets out his views on the “Jewish question.” Central to it is Hitler’s argument that Jews were (in Longerich’s words) behind “the unscrupulous and amoral greed of finance capital. . . . Anti-Semitism (and not the socialism of the left) was the key to removing this exploitative system.” The same letter also attracts Simms’s attention. He sees Hitler’s anti-Semitism as being “profoundly anti-capitalistic rather than anti-communist in origin,” so much so, indeed, that, to Hitler, Bolshevism itself was little more than an instrument of Jewish capital. But such conspiracism reads more like the symptoms of a psychosis than its cause. The same can be said of Hitler’s reference to Jews in the letter as the “racial tuberculosis of the peoples,” language (cited by Simms and Longerich) that suggests that Hitler’s obsession was already well in place, and already contained the seeds of mass murder: A disease, after all, should be eliminated.

The fact that, as Simms puts it, Hitler “defined the ‘Jewish problem’ partly as a medical issue” also reflected a nationalism that had slipped from a simple extension of the tribal into the sort of pseudoscientific thinking that was far from unusual at the time. Hitler looked at humanity with a veterinarian’s eye, and, as, Simms explains, he was (even putting aside the country’s Jewish minority) less than impressed by a Germany that was “no longer based on a unitary [‘Nordic’] racial core” thanks to both immigration and, even more, emigration, particularly to America, of the “best . . . for centuries.” Drawn across the Atlantic by opportunity and, in particular, open spaces of the type that Germany, in Hitler’s view, lacked, they had helped build the nation that, by entering the war in 1917, had finally brought their ancestral homeland down.

Hitler, according to Simms, both admired and dreaded America. He respected America’s dynamism, its modernity, and its drive towards widespread prosperity. And he was also taken by the way that, as he saw it, the United States had created a “living space” for its people by crushing the indigenous people who had lived there beforehand, a precedent, in many respects, for the Lebensraum he dreamt of creating for Germany in the east. But he was also preoccupied with the growth of American power. Whatever Hitler’s earlier hopes might have been for an alliance with the British, a people he admired, Simms argues that he believed that there would have to be a final showdown between Germany and “Anglo-America,” and that this drove much of his strategy in the wartime years. Indeed, “the conviction that there would have to be a confrontation sooner or later” explains Hitler’s bewildering decision to declare war on the United States in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

The American angle is a proposition (and this is far from the only instance in which he succumbs to this temptation) that Simms pushes too far, but, for all its flaws, this book, which should be read as a contribution to a debate rather than as a definitive text, is a worthwhile reexamination of some long-standing assumptions about the Third Reich, on, additionally, topics such as Hitler’s interwar attitudes to Poland and — a perennial favorite — just how socialist National Socialism really was. The result is often thought-provoking, sometimes enlightening, and rarely uninteresting, but to return to Simms’s original admission, it is not “the ‘whole’ Hitler.”

For something closer to that, it may well be worth waiting to see if Ullrich’s second volume builds on the success of the first.
Contradictions in France’s Fight Against Antisemitic Violence
President Macron, addressing Jewish leaders in February 2019 at the CRIF annual meeting, attributed the surge in antisemitic incidents to far-left and far-right groups operating within the mass demonstrations of the “Yellow Vests” (Gillets Jaunes). He also repeated what he had said in July 2017: that anti-Zionism is a modern form of antisemitism, and that France would formally adopt this definition.

Sure enough, in December 3, 2019, the French parliament adopted the definition of the Holocaust Memorial Council [IHRA] guidelines by which anti-Zionism is deemed an expression of antisemitism. The decision rightly notes that not all criticism of Israel constitutes an expression of antisemitism, but rather only those expressions of hate which, for example, deny the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, “partly through the claim that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist initiative.”

Despite this acknowledgement of the correlation between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, France either joins, or does not oppose, biased and discriminatory resolutions promoted by antisemitic states and organizations that single out Israel and draw a moral equivalence between its fight against terror and the actions of Iran’s terrorist antisemitic proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

For instance, in July 2019 France voted in favor of a UN Economic and Social Council resolution that singled out Israel for allegedly being the “major obstacle for the advancement, self-reliance, and integration of Palestinian women in the development of their society.” In this vote, France not only supported a falsified report, composed by a biased Lebanese member of the UNSCC committee, but also joined a majority made up of undemocratic states (such as Iran) that are serial human rights abusers and declare their intention to destroy the Jewish state. Unlike France, other western democratic states, such as the US, Canada, and Germany, opposed the resolution.

Furthermore, on September 6, 2019, France initiated a statement at the UN Security Council condemning Israel’s (supposed) violations of its border with Lebanon and calling on all parties to honor the cessation of hostilities. The initiative reflected France’s concern over growing tensions following Israel’s attempts to prevent Hezbollah from getting improved precision missiles and the terror group’s reprisals. The US vetoed France’s proposal, stressing that it was impossible to put Israel, a country defending itself, on equal footing with Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization. France and the EU states designated only Hezbollah’s “military wing” as a terrorist organization despite the intractable link between the organization’s “political” and “military” wings. Macron justified France’s refusal to designate Hezbollah’s “political wing” as a terror organization, despite its threats to destroy the State of Israel and harm its residents, on the questionable grounds that Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s democratic regime and contributes to its democratic stability.

Rubin Report: Muslim Exposing The Danger of Ilhan Omar & CAIR's Agenda | Dalia al-Aqidi
Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Dalia al-Aqidi (Journalist, Republican Candidate) about why she is challenging Rep Ilhan Omar for her congressional seat in the fifth district of Minnesota. Dalia is a Muslim refugee who grew up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. She describes how she immigrated to the US when she was 20 and was welcomed by America. She shares her concerns about groups like CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and how they worked with and groomed congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. She reveals how CAIR is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and is working to train many more candidates in the same progressive mold. Daila also describes why the term islamophobia is deployed as a tactic to silence critics. She describes how she is immune to Ilhan Omar’s identity politics because she is also a Muslim immigrant. Because of this she has the ability to ask Omar about her connections to Recep Tayyip Erdogan the President of Turkey, as well as CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood. She also details some of the absurd lies of Ilhan Omar such as the time she voted against a Somali aid package, but then praised the bill in a press conference after the vote. Dalia also shares her concerns about the reputations of good, hard working Muslim immigrants in the US being damaged by the policies and actions of Ilhan Omar. Dalia also gives her take on some of the accusations against Ilhan Omar including the federal investigation into the possibility that she committed immigration fraud. Dalia also shares how she is deeply concerned about the identity politics that are being used on the left because she feels that it only breeds more hatred and division in America.

Anti-racism charity reverses decision to appoint Ken Loach schools competition judge
An anti-racism charity has reversed a decision to appoint filmmaker Ken Loach as a judge on one of its competitions, saying "new information" had come to light.

In a statement published on its website on Monday, Show Racism the Red Card said: “Following new information, the Board of Trustees have decided not to endorse the Executive decision to appoint Ken Loach as a judge for the Show Racism the Red Card School Competition 2020.”

But the backtrack left Jewish groups who had previously called out SRtRC angry.

The Board of Deputies, which had previously highlighted how Mr Loach had dismissed allegations of antisemitism within Labour, called it a "u-turn".

It asked whether SRtRC would apologise to the Jewish community "for ignoring its serious concerns about antisemitism in the first place" and asked what information had prompted the decision.

Mr Loach was selected as a judge on the charity’s annual anti-racism schools competition in February.

SRtRC also appears to have deleted a statement it published online on March 5 that defended the decision to work with Ken Loach but clarified that it would be reconsider the decision at Monday’s trustee meeting.

In 2017, Mr Loach caused outrage at the Labour Party Conference when he defended a speaker who had supported people’s right to ask ‘The Holocaust: Yes or No?’ by saying: “History is for everyone to discuss.”

BBC News policy of sidelining Hamas abuse of humanitarian aid continues
We have in the past documented numerous examples of the BBC turning a blind eye to Hamas’ exploitation of the humanitarian aid provided by Israel to residents of the Gaza Strip needing medical treatment. For example:

BBC ignores another story explaining the need for Gaza border restrictions

BBC News again ignores abuse of Israeli humanitarian aid to Gaza

BBC chooses not to report Hamas abuse of medical permits yet again

As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the Israel Security Agency recently announced the arrest of an Israeli citizen who was recruited by Hamas.

“On February 17, the Shin Bet, in a joint operation with Israel Police, arrested Ayia Khatib, 31, a resident of the northwestern village of Arara. Khatib, a mother of two, was recruited by Gazan Hamas operatives Muhammed Pilpel, 29, a resident of Beit Lahiya, and Mahmoud Halua, 32, from Jabaliya.

According to the Shin Bet, Khatib, who engaged in humanitarian activities for needy Gazans, was recruited to carry out missions for Hamas including financing the group’s terrorist operations and infrastructure. She subsequently gathered intelligence to help carry out terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.

Communication between Khatib and her two handlers, agents in Hamas’s “military” wing, Izzadin al-Qassam, was carried out secretly.

The Shin Bet said Khatib provided the terrorist groups with hundreds of thousands of shekels by scamming aid organizations and innocent civilians who donated funds with the aim of helping patients and the needy and utilizing the plight of patients who were granted humanitarian permits for medical treatment and business activity in Israel for residents of the Gaza Strip.
CBC Sunday Edition Airs 30-Minute Interview with Pro-Israel Analyst After HRC Complaint
On November 10, CBC Sunday Edition aired a 30-minute anti-Israel invective that centered largely on replacing the world’s only Jewish state with an Arab-majority, Palestinian-run country.

As we noted in our alert “CBC Anchor Michael Enright interviewed avowed anti-Zionist and anti-Israel detractor, Noura Erakat, professor of law at Rutgers University, who aside from uttering outright falsehoods and flagrant distortions of the truth through misleading legalese, Erakat advocated for the “right of return” of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants into Israel, akin to a demographic ticking bomb that would see the Jewish character of the state of Israel and Jewish majority, eliminated.”

At the time, HonestReporting Canada filed a complaint with senior executives at CBC News and called on Mr. Enright and The Sunday Edition to invite an Israeli expert onto the program who can strongly articulate Israel’s position on all the controversial and nonsensical issues raised by Noura Erakat. Additionally, we mobilized our members to complain en masse to the program and are pleased to note that several pro-Israel letters were read on the November 17 broadcast.

Fast forward to March 15, The Sunday Edition produced a 30-minute segment with acclaimed Israeli author, commentator and political analyst, Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute entitled: “How Israel’s politics and peace process became so stalled”.

The CBC summarized the program as follows: “Yet again, neither Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, nor Blue and White leader Benny Gantz have been able to fashion a coalition government after the third general election within a year. Author Yossi Klein Halevi, one of the country’s wisest and most even-handed political analysts, discusses Israel’s protracted political gridlock, and the uncertain future of the peace process and two-state solution, as Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges looms next week.”

Facebook needs to answer for putting us in danger
Politics, correct or incorrect, is now trivial.

An entire population has been boxed out, and put at risk, due to Facebook’s unconscionable recklessness.

Facebook is now, right now, at this dire moment, a necessity, a public utility, like telephone and mail service. Imagine the post office saying you can no longer send or receive letters.

You have been “disabled.”

How does it happen at Facebook? Awfully fast. One day, in a single blog, you have praised Trump. Strike one. Then praised Israel. Strike two. Then denounced Ilhan Omar for what everyone else agrees is her flagrant anti-Semitism. Strike three, and you’re Out. Ilhan Omar, as you were warned by colleagues, is the automatic trigger that cancels you, if you say anything unflattering about her.

Next day, among your usual checks, you visit your Facebook Page, and there find that word – “disabled,” and there is nothing to be done. There is no link to appeal.

So much for trusting Facebook as a lifetime repository for your online friends, readers, businesses, news and views, alerts, alarms – your photos, history, vanished.
New US State Dept report blasts Iran’s Rouhani for antisemitism
The US State Department on Wednesday criticized Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for stoking an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory that suggests Jews control the West.

“In May, President Rouhani implied Jewish control over various Western interests, saying that speeches by foreign officials criticizing Iran were ‘written by Zionists word for word.’ Cartoons in state-run media outlets repeatedly depicted foreign officials as puppets of Jewish control,” the State Department wrote in its newly released report under the section titled “Antisemitism” covering Iran.

The report said: “Members of the Iranian Jewish community are reportedly subject to government restrictions and discrimination. Government officials continued to question the history of the Holocaust, and antisemitism remained a pervasive problem.”

Iran’s legal system recognizes Jews as a religious minority and allows for parliamentary representation. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the overwhelming majority of Iranian Jews fled the country due to repression. There were an estimated 80,000 Persian Jews who lived in Iran prior the revolution. There are now some 9,000 Jews in Iran, according to Tehran’s Jewish Committee.

In 1979, the Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Iranian Jewish businessman and philanthropist Habib Elghanian (1912-1979) to death. He served as president of the Tehran Jewish Society.

Iranian Jews are effectively second-class citizens.
Jewish cemetery in southern Hungary vandalized
A Jewish cemetery in southern Hungary was vandalized.

Gravestones in the Jewish cemetery of Kiskunfélegyháza were pushed over and severely damaged, the Mazsihisz Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary said in a statement on Thursday.

The damage was discovered on March 5, according to Mazsihisz, which filed a criminal complaint with the police.

The repairs could cost more than $8 million, Hungary Today reported.
Israeli cybersecurity firm Checkmarx to be sold for $1.15b
Global private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is set to acquire Israeli cybersecurity company Checkmarx at a valuation of $1.15 billion.

The deal represents the largest acquisition of an application security company to date.

H&F will buy Checkmarx from Insight Partners, which will continue to own a substantial minority interest.

Checkmarx’s software security solutions enable organizations to deliver secure software faster, by making security checks intrinsic to the development phase.

“More than 40 of the Fortune 100 have turned to Checkmarx to mitigate risk, secure code, and embed security into every aspect of their software development,” said Emmanuel Benzaquen, CEO of Checkmarx. “We are thrilled to partner with H&F in our journey that takes our ‘software equals security’ vision to the next level.”

Checkmarx was founded in 2006 and led since by Benzaquen and Maty Siman, founder and CTO. It employs more than 700 employees and has some 1,400 customers in 70 countries. Customers include SAP, Samsung and Salesforce.
Could Coronavirus be the final nail in the search for Israeli MIA Ron Arad?
Israeli soldier Ron Arad was captured in Lebanon in 1986 after a mission targeting PLO terrorists went wrong. For over 30 years, his whereabouts have remained unknown. It is thought that he was killed shortly after falling into enemy hands, but only a few can be absolutely certain. In March 2020, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Israeli intelligence officers learned that they might never find his body.

Watch the video to find out why.

For more information about Israel’s missing soldiers, click here, and to learn more about how Israel is fighting coronavirus, check out our fully up-to-date resource detailing Israel’s response.

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


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