Monday, May 04, 2020

05/04 Links Pt2: Amb. Alan Baker: How to Rescue Civil Discourse on Israel; Linda Sarsour’s New Book Delusional

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: How to Rescue Civil Discourse on Israel
Israel has been the only democratic nation-state whose existence has been rejected and attacked since the day of its establishment in 1948, 36 months following the revelation of the Nazi regime’s mass murder of European Jewry. It would appear reasonable that any well-reasoned civil discourse on Israel would include an appreciation of its security concerns, historical and legal rights, and its diplomatic claims.

The topics of settlements, occupation, the West Bank security barrier, and borders have been among the most politicized, distorted, and mischaracterized in the decades-long history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Legitimate political critique would include the presentation of raw facts, stripped of political hyperbole, and couched in principles of evenhanded assessment and well-reasoned legal, historical, security, and diplomatic context. The principles of fact and context-based discussion on Israel would result in far more productive international dialogue than the current one.

Finally, Israel should be judged by the same values as other nation-states, values that overcome the current tendency to defamation, delegitimization, dehumanization, demonization, and denial of equal treatment under the law.
Coverage of Israel Has Undergone a Transformation amid Corona Crisis
Coverage of Israel has undergone a transformation in recent weeks, according to a report by the Department of Public Diplomacy at the Israel Foreign Ministry.

When the coronavirus pandemic first hit in January 2020, "Israel's [approach] was viewed with hostility, mainly due to its decisions to cancel flights, close borders and remove foreign nationals in the first stage."

Once the scope of the pandemic became more apparent in the West, articles began praising Israel's life-saving policies.

"In the second stage, Israel was portrayed as a model of a country successfully coping with the medical crisis, precisely due to all the reasons for which it was previously criticized."

Israel also received recognition for its immense efforts on behalf of its citizens stranded across the globe
Top Jewish Leader Praises President Trump for Commitment to Fighting Antisemitism Amid COVID-19 Crisis
The head of a leading international Jewish group praised US President Donald Trump over the weekend for a proclamation condemning antisemitism, saying, “I know personally that he is committed to eradicating the spread of antisemitism from our society.”

“President Trump has consistently stood by American Jewry and the State of Israel throughout his tenure,” said World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder. He added that Trump’s commitment applies “even in the midst of the present immense global uncertainty and concerns accompanying the COVID-19 crisis.”

“As the president emphasized … antisemitic discrimination, persecution, and violence continue to plague our Jewish communities,” Lauder noted, saying the president’s words “must be repeated, over and over again … until it is made absolutely clear that incitement, bigotry, hatred, and xenophobia will not be tolerated.”

“The World Jewish Congress deeply appreciates the US administration’s ongoing efforts to combat the evil of anti-Jewish hatred, and its continuing support of American Jewry in its cherished traditions and innumerable contributions to society,” he added. “We look forward to the day when we will be able to say that antisemitism has truly been eradicated in America.”

Lauder’s comments came in response to a proclamation late last week marking Jewish American Heritage Month. In the statement Trump said, “Hatred is intolerable and has no place in our hearts or in our society. We must therefore vigorously confront antisemitic discrimination and violence against members of the Jewish community.”

Heritage month

Brooke Goldstein: Celebrating San Remo and Jewish Sovereignty
Suggesting that a Jewish presence anywhere within Mandated Palestine is illegal or must be stopped is a violation of the treaty. Enforcing a “two-state solution” within the mandated borders of Palestine is akin to ceding land and would constitute a violation of the treaty.

By way of example, in 1783, the Treaty of Paris marked the end of the American Revolutionary War, and the rights we enjoy as Americans today stand on this document. What keeps the English from canceling this treaty and giving the land to someone else is the principle of estoppel. Once the rights are given, they simply cannot be taken back. Such is the case with the Mandate for Palestine, and the rights that the United States accepted and committed itself to uphold as enshrined in the Anglo-American Convention.

During the Mandate Period (1920–1948), while acting as the Mandatory, Britain illegally signed the Treaty of London with Transjordan on March 22, 1946, giving it the appearance of being officially severed from Palestine and illegally acknowledging the sovereignty and independence of Transjordan contrary to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations (April 28, 1919); the San Remo Resolution (April 24–25, 1920); Articles 2, 5, and 25 of the Mandate for Palestine (July 24, 1922); the Franco-British Boundary Convention (December 23, 1920); the Anglo-American Convention (December 3, 1924); and Article 80 of the UN Charter (October 24, 1945).

Following these actions of the British government, all land east of the Jordan River, constituting approximately 77% of Palestine’s territory, was illegally transferred to the administrative control of the Hashemites, who unlawfully asserted de facto sovereignty over the eastern part of Palestine, which was known as Transjordan. This wrongful directive by Britain as the Mandatory was in violation of the second and third recitals of the Mandate, as well as Articles 2, 4, 5, 6, and 16 of the Mandate.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continually and consistently resisted all calls to re-divide the city of Jerusalem, the 3,000-year-old eternal capital of the Jewish people and the modern State of Israel, and has recently and publicly confirmed his dedication to assert de facto sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, an intrinsic part of the land of Israel as defined in the Mandate for Palestine. By doing so, the State of Israel would thereby be fulfilling its legal role and capacity as agent and assignee of the Jewish people, to whom the sovereign legal rights belong.
San Remo: 100th Anniversary of International Recognition of Israel's Legal Rights to the Land
On April 25, 1920, the international community recognized and ratified the inalienable rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel at the San Remo Conference - for the first time in modern history! Yishai Fleisher, international spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron, Israel, hosts three wonderful experts: For the HISTORICAL perspective: Col. Richard Kemp - a retired British Army officer who served from 1977 to 2006 and completed 14 operational tours of duty around the globe. Kemp is an outspoken critic of the international community's stance on Israel, and regularly writes and comments on this issue. For the LEGAL perspective: Jake Bennett, who served in an elite IDF unit and today serves as Director of State Legislative Affairs at the Israeli-American Coalition for Action. For the SPIRITUAL perspective: Rabbi Mike Feuer, counselor, faculty member at the Pardes Institute, and founder of the Jewish Story history podcast.

Creators defend Saudi series, saying positive depiction is of Jews, not Israelis
The shows have prompted online calls for a boycott of MBC, the private, Saudi-owned satellite channel airing them. The Cairo-based Union of Arab Television Producers said they should be canceled, calling them “cheap works” meant to “brainwash” the Arab people.

The makers of “Umm Haroun” insist they have no political agenda.

“I wanted to write this drama to deliver the message that our societies were much more tolerant than they are today, and people should go back to the same values,” Ali Shams, the head writer, told The Associated Press.

“We differentiate between Jews and Israel,” he said. “Israel occupied Palestine and committed atrocities against the Palestinian people.”

Producer Emad al-Enazy said the series was developed by MBC as well as Kuwaiti and Emirati production companies, with no governments involved.

“Our work has nothing to do with politics or normalization,” he said. “The Palestinian cause is our cause.”

For decades, Arab media have portrayed Israel and Jews as one and the same, frequently employing anti-Semitic tropes. But in recent years, some show-runners have taken renewed interest in Middle Eastern Jewish communities and pushed back against perceptions of the Arab world as intolerant and close-minded.

“The Jewish Quarter,” an Egyptian series aired in 2015, offered a positive portrayal of the pre-1948 Jewish community in Cairo and featured a love story between a Jewish woman and an Egyptian army officer. The deterioration of relations was largely blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood group, which in recent years has been the target of an unprecedented crackdown by Egypt’s government.

This year, Egypt has come under fire for airing a Ramadan sci-fi drama predicting Israel’s destruction.
Linda Sarsour’s New Book Delusional
The Women’s March on Washington launched Linda Sarsour to activist stardom. In her recent memoir, We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders: A Memoir of Love and Resistance, Sarsour recounts events from her life leading up to the Women’s March.

From the very beginning of the book, Sarsour tries to portray herself as someone taking over the mantle of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The book’s forward by singer, actor and activist Harry Belefonte makes the comparison almost immediately.

Sarsour starts by recounting the story of a well-known controversy over remarks she made at the 54th ISNA Convention. Her speech was widely criticized over her use of the term “jihad” to describe opposition to President Trump and his administration.

She points out some of the unhinged responses to her comments, some of which were disgustingly vile and violent. Yet, Sarsour is under the impression that these comments absolve her from criticism.

This sleight of hand is found throughout the book. In this case, Sarsour uses the comments to paint what she is doing as innocent and expects people look the other way when she says something extreme.

Like how she used these comments to deflect from the real controversy at that event: Her praise of her “favorite person in this room,” radical imam Siraj Wahhaj, who she described as her “mentor, motivator, and encourager.”

Siraj Wahhaj appeared on a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and served as a character witness for the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was found guilty of masterminding terrorist plots against the United States, including his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Pork Chop Anti-Semitism
Hostility to Jews never entirely disappears, but there are times when it becomes relatively quiescent. We are not living in such a time. Since the turn of the millennium, Jew-hatred has returned to the public sphere with a new vigor and on a global scale. The good news is that in no Western country are we seeing state-sponsored or state-sanctioned anti-Semitism. The bad news is that the volume of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European countries continues to grow year by year and collectively now numbers in the thousands.

Nor is America immune. Almost 1,900 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in this country in 2019. New York City alone recorded 229 anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2019. Los Angeles and Chicago, cities with sizable Jewish populations, are seeing a similar escalation of assaults against Jews. So what do these attacks mean and where do they come from, and will the situation continue to worsen?

On Jan. 19, 2020, shortly before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Tara Rios, a 47-year-old woman from upstate New York, got it into her head to throw pork chops at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Greenport, New York. Like a criminal triumphantly returning to the scene of her crime, she went back to the synagogue in the early hours of the next morning to photograph what she had done. Rios has since been charged with a hate crime.

For all of its seeming strangeness, Rios’ behavior is part of a larger pattern of anti-Jewish aggression that dates back centuries.

On the personal level, anti-Semitism typically originates in negative feelings about Jews before it becomes formulated as an idea or ideology. Relatively dormant for a time following the end of World War II, it has revived energetically in recent years and manifests itself in various ways. At its worst, as in the brutal attacks on Jews in Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City, and Monsey, it is lethal. In other instances, it takes no lives but nevertheless should not be ignored, for every public display of anti-Semitism, from the deadly to the seemingly trivial, reflects feelings of contempt which, if given free rein, inevitably lead to harm.
Curating Nazism in Today’s Europe
The German expressionist painter Emil Nolde brought back over 350 pastels and drawings from his colonial government-sponsored expedition to New Guinea in 1913-1914. One became a color lithograph on woven paper titled “South Sea Islander” (1915). The Brooklyn Museum curated it as part of the Rembrandt to Picasso show in 2019 with a placard reading: “Decades later, Nolde had more works confiscated and denounced by the Nazis as ‘degenerate’ than any other artist. This caused him particular dismay because he was himself an ardent anti-Semite and remained a member of the Nazi Party through 1945.”

Nolde’s oxymoronic profile as a degenerate Nazi represents the duplicitous nature of visual art when isolated from greater sociohistorical processes. Immediately following WWII, and arguably not until the Hamburger Bahnhof show of Nolde’s work in Berlin, subtitled “A German Legend,” did the general public and arts establishment fully recognize that Nolde was not a victim of Nazism, but one of its most zealous adherents.

Yet despite his fascist careerism and inexcusable racism, the painter’s place in art history seems secure. Nolde enjoys new critical appreciation in Munich, at the former location of the Nazi headquarters from 1931-1945, now transformed into the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism.

Next to its permanent display on the Nazis’ notorious Degenerate Art show is a painting by Nolde, “Sea and Sky” (1937), one of the few historical works in the distinctively integrated, museumwide temporary exhibition, Tell me about yesterday tomorrow, curated by artistic director Nicolaus Schafhausen. “One piece [by Emil Nolde] is enough. It’s more, for me, just a metaphor,” said Schafhausen, quick to redirect our conversation to his curation of Jewish painter Artur (Stefan) Nacht-Samborski, who changed his name to escape the Holocaust in Poland.

As a newcomer to Munich, a secular American Jew with a Norwegian surname, I had no history or localized identity in the defunct “Capital of the Movement” where Hitler launched Nazism. I stepped into the Documentation Center, a lavishly windowed modernist cube. Flooded with natural light, views of the exacting cityscape appeared on every floor. Across from the museum, the neoclassical landmarks of Konigsplatz that once served as expansive grounds for Nazi rallies were prefaced by the billboard art of Ken Lum. His piece “Coming Soon” (2009) expresses the cosmopolitan pluralism of a multiethnic, bilingual family.
International Outrage Over Denmark's Fake Bible: Time to Discard It
This misleads the reader twice. Once, the Danish Bible Society statement dodges the truthful assessment that the word "Israel" was omitted or replaced in the Hebrew Bible in 9% of its occurrences and in the New Testament nearly completely. By omitting any distinction between the two parts of the Bible the statement claims that it mentions "Israel" scores and scores of times in the translation. Second, the statement conflates the word "Israel" with "Israelites." Again here, the analysis of the critique has been side-stepped. The accusation has not been against the replacement of "Israel and the Israelites," but against the replacement of "Israel."

The word "Israel" has an extended history of three thousand years, the word "Israelites" of less than one thousand years. These two words are of unequal measure and had not been joined together in the critique.

After a spectacular denial of the crime of which the Danish Bible Society has been accused internationally, it finally admits to it. But it does not sound like repentance.... While any translation has to wrestle with the transportation of meaning and culture of a text from one language to another, the extraordinary decision of the Danish Bible Society staff to deprive their readers of some of the key points of the Christian faith is mind-boggling.

Above all, the Danish Bible Society separates Israel from its Land. Apart from other key issues of the faith, it denies the reader the knowledge of the intrinsic connection between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and between Israel and its Land. It falls in the trap of which the Apostle Paul warned, "It is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you" (Romans 11: 18). Its version of the Bible robs the Christian faith of its Jewish roots. It presents a new story of the Christian faith. Its maker is the Danish Bible Society.

No one seems to be in the know about this translation of the Bible. Is it possible that the superfluous mistranslation of the Bible was an initiative of the General Secretary of the Danish Bible Society, Birgitte Stoklund Larsen? Did her office raise the money? Where from? Who is profits from this initiative? If not her, who then?

For Christians and Jews, the Bible is serious. Any tampering with its words, above all with the word Israel, is unacceptable and rejected unequivocally. The attempted murder of Israel, from time eternal until our day, is too real to let people play, whimsically, with its land, its people or its name.
One stupid tweet by Owen Jones confirms all you need to know about the hard left
It seems I have been outed.

For the past 4 and a half years, I've spent most of my waking hours thinking about Labour antisemitism and Jeremy Corbyn. I've exposed it, I've attacked it and I've vilified it. But here's the catch. In order to do all of that, I've had to read it. I've spent hour upon hour reading the writings of antisemites. I've read the tweets, the Facebook posts, the articles, the books.

Now the truth is out. I have given the game away. Far from being an opponent of Labour antisemitism, I've secretly got a soft spot for it. I must have, you see. Because I've been reading it.

Last night, erstwhile Corbyn cheerleader Owen Jones posted this on Twitter:
"Why does Michael Gove and his wife own a copy of a book by David Irving, one of the most notorious Holocaust deniers on earth"

(Incidentally, don't you just love that 'and his wife'? As if Sarah Vine, an accomplished journalist, is some sort of appendage. So typical of the hard left.)

The implication was clear - that there is something very dodgy about reading a book by a man like Irving. In other words, if you read it, you clearly have some sort of sympathy with the views.

Blimey. If that's how it works, I am beyond redemption. As well as two books by Irving, I've got a book by the actual Adolf Hitler on my shelves - not to mention Mao and - here's where it gets really bad - I also have speeches by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
Labour MPs, ousted over anti-Semitism, participate in party meeting
A number of former Labour Party members who were involved in the party's widely covered anti-Semitism crisis participated evening in an online meeting with Labour MPs on Wednesday. The meeting was hosted by the newly formed "Don't Leave, Organize" group, reported The Jewish Chronicle.

Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and the former Shadow Immigration Minister Bell Ribeiro-Addy both addressed the meeting on the Zoom online platform, as well as Tony Greenstein, who was expelled over anti-Semitism allegations, and Jackie Walker, who was kicked out of the party on misconduct charges.

Both Abbott and Ribeiro-Addy gave speeches in which they responded to the recently leaked report on Labour anti-Semitism, but rather than addressing anti-Jewish discrimination in the party, both MPs attacked the party's wing who are against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, blaming them for December's general election defeat.

"The participation of Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy in an online conference with Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein is a brazen challenge to Sir Keir Starmer," said Gideon Falter, chief executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, in a statement.

"During his leadership campaign, Sir Keir pledged that any MP who provides a platform for Labour members expelled in connection with anti-Semitism will themselves be suspended from Labour," continued Falter. "Instead of keeping his promise and immediately suspending both Diane Abbott and Bell Ribeiro-Addy from the party, Labour has merely 'reminded them of their responsibilities.'"
UK plans anti-BDS law after court rules against gov't ban on boycotts
The UK plans to pass a law banning local councils from boycotting countries in their pension funds, after the Supreme Court overturned a government order to that effect.

A spokesperson for the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We are committed to ensuring public bodies take a consistent approach to investments and to stop local boycotts. We will therefore bring back new legislation that addresses the technical points raised by the Supreme Court.”

The law follows the Conservative Party’s manifesto in last year’s election, which included a commitment to “ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries.”

Last week’s ruling came after the Palestine Solidarity Campaign challenged a 2016 UK government guidance to local councils on how they invest their pension funds, which states that they may not institute policies of Boycotts, Divestments or Sanctions – known as BDS – “contrary to UK foreign or defense policy.”

The guidance applied to 89 pension funds in England and Wales, benefiting five million former and current local council employees.

The government argued that the guidance was meant to make sure defense and foreign policy were not undermined by local boycotts.
Prof out for justice after 'public humiliation' for pro-Israel views
An Illinois professor has filed a lawsuit against his own university for alleged defamation after he expressed pro-Israel stance.

DePaul University Philosophy Professor Jason Hill filed a lawsuit against his college after he was heavily criticized by the college’s student body and was subjected to discipline by the faculty council upon the publication of an op-ed he wrote last year, published by The Federalist, in which he stated that Israel “has every right to defeat terrorists” and called the Palestinian Authority a “terrible government.”
“expresse[d] positions that are factually inaccurate, advocate war crimes and ethnic cleansing, and give voice to racism"

Campus Reform first reported on the story in May 2019. One DePaul student's tweet, highlighted by the student paper, The DePaulia, alleged that he advocated for the “ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.” Hill filed his lawsuit on April 20 in Cook County Court, naming the university, Religious Studies Professor Scott Paeth and Interim Provost Salma Ghanem as defendants.

In the lawsuit, Hill says he was the subject of a formal resolution of censure by the Faculty Council that was “shepherded” by Paeth. That resolution allegedly claimed that Hill “expresse[d] positions that are factually inaccurate, advocate war crimes and ethnic cleansing, and give voice to racism” against those who are Palestinian. In addition, the resolution stated that Hill committed “an abuse of academic freedom” because the op-ed was considered to be factually “inaccurate.”

During the meeting of the Faculty Council on May 1, 2019, the committee removed the claim of abuse of academic freedom, but the resolution still passed through the council, in which the original resolution was published in the student-run newspaper.

This led to faculty and student harassment all around the campus against Hill, the lawsuit alleges, with some creating leaflets that were distributed calling for “the dumping of Hill,” and even a university-encouraged dinner titled “Come Celebrate the Censure of Professor Hill.”

Hill also allegedly received death threats and received no aid “or even sympathy” from Ghanem when he emailed asking for help, the suit claims.
The Top Ten Jew-Hating and Terror-Promoting Professors
The following report released today by the David Horowitz Freedom Center exposes and ranks ten professors who have abused their academic positions by promoting blood libels against Jews and Americans as “colonial settlers” and imperialist aggressors through university events, classroom diatribes, and academic publications. They have utilized university resources to spread terrorist propaganda, and promote the genocidal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The existence of these professors reflects not only on these individuals but on the institutions that support them. The presence of an Israel- and America-hating front on America’s college campuses is an ominous development and a clear threat to America’s future.”

Read the full report on the Top Ten Jew-Hating and Terror-Promoting Professors below.
#1: Hatem Bazian, University of California-Berkeley
#2: Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University
#3: Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University
#4: Joel Beinin, Stanford University
#5: Joseph Massad, Columbia University
#6: Yến Lê Espiritu, University of California-San Diego
#7: Saree Makdisi, University of California-Los Angeles
#8: Samer Alatout, University of Wisconsin-Madison
#9: Asad Abukhalil, California State University-Stanislaus
#10: Mohammed Abed, California State University-Los Angeles

Fatah Incitement Against Israeli Journalists Met With Silence at IFJ
On April 21, Fatah, the ruling Palestinian party, published a threatening video inciting against Israeli journalists, and the largest organization representing journalists internationally has yet to voice any concern.

As Khaled Abu Toameh reported in The Jerusalem Post, Fatah’s social media video identifies three Israeli journalists by their names and faces:
Yoni Ben-Menachem, former director-general of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Gal Berger, Palestinian affairs correspondent for KAN, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation; and Ehud Ya’ari, Arab affairs analyst for Channel 12.

Fatah’s video accuses the three of “incitement” against the Palestinian Authority’s leadership and calls them “Israeli war generals masquerading as media people.” It describes Ben-Menachem as an ” Israeli intelligence officer who later became a journalist”; it casts Berger as a “military journalist” who probably “had served in an internal-security apparatus”; and seeks to discredit Ya’ari as someone who is “close to circles of government and holds right-wing views.”

Why has Fatah targeted these particular journalists? Fatah accuses them of “spearheading” a “systematic campaign of incitement” against the Palestinian Authority’s leadership amid the fight against the coronavirus. The three had, in fact, reported about Palestinian incitement against Israel, in particularly the completely baseless charge that the Jewish state deliberately spreads the coronavirus among Palestinians.
BBC’s Knell amplifies PA talking points in reports on Palestinian workers
Although Knell blindly repeated the Palestinian version of that month-old story about a “sick man…being dumped at a checkpoint”, the facts are rather different. As the Times of Israel reported at the time, the man was in Israel illegally and was tested before being sent back to PA controlled territory.
“Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld emphasized Ghannam was in Israel without a permit but did not clarify whether Israel had made efforts to coordinate his return to the West Bank with the PA.

“Police received information from Ichilov [Hospital] about an illegal Palestinian worker who arrived at the hospital and requested treatment,” he said.

“He was checked in the hospital and released and was confirmed to not have the coronavirus in anyway whatsoever,” he added, without stating whether he was diagnosed with any other illness. “Police escorted the man to the Maccabim security crossing as he was an illegal worker.””

In both her reports Knell included a response from COGAT’s Major Yotam Shefer.
“Israeli officials say the harsh criticism was unfair amid ongoing support.

“These remarks, they’re just misleading and even encouraging incitement, I’d say, in the Palestinian people,” says Major Yotam Shefer from the Co-ordination of Government Activities in the Territories (Cogat). “We’ve been doing really a joint effort to combat this virus and it’s a common enemy.””

BBC audiences would however be unable to understand Sheffer’s use of the term incitement because they were told nothing of the background to what Knell euphemistically portrayed as “criticism” and a “political row”.

The PA’s dominant party Fatah has accused Israel of launching “a biological war against Palestine” and claimed that it “strives to spread Corona in Palestine”. Senior PA officials have used antisemitic tropes and accused Israelis of deliberately spreading the disease. Knell, significantly, chose to shield her audiences from those facts.
Letter shows first dictionary editor thought ‘anti-Semite’ wouldn’t be used
A short-lived term unlikely to have use in the future: that was how the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary viewed “anti-Semite,” recently uncovered archival documents show.

Celebrated British lexicographer James Murray, who with his team began working on the first OED in 1879, planned several dedicated entries of words beginning with the prefix “anti.”

But when a prominent member of Britain’s Jewish community, Claude Montefiore, learnt that “anti-Semite” and its derivative terms would not have an entry, he wrote to Murray expressing concern.

Murray replied to Montefiore on July 5, 1900, as the original OED was being published in installments — a process that ran from 1884 to 1928.

In Murray’s letter — recently uncovered by Israel National Library archivist Rachel Misrati — he noted that the term anti-Semite had only migrated from German to English in 1881 and did not look likely to take hold given its limited usefulness.

“Anti-Semite and its family were then probably very new in English use, and not thought likely to be more than passing nonce-words,” Murray wrote, indicating he had initially thought the term had been coined to articulate a fleeting phenomenon.

“Hence they did not receive treatment in a separate article,” he added, arguing in the letter’s postscript that “the man in the street would have said Anti-Jewish.”
Australian Jewish group calls on website to stop hosting ‘Miss Hitler’ pageant
Australia’s Anti-Defamation Commission on Sunday appealed to the web hosting company to take down the domain of the site running the “Miss Hitler 2020” pageant, calling it “an incitement to murder.”

The last two years have seen attempts by neo-Nazis to host the competition largely foiled after reported pressure from Israel convinced the Russian social media network VKontakte (also known as VK) to take down the page.

The competition encourages women to enter by posting sexy Nazi-themed photos together with an entry explaining why they “love and revere the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler.”

The Anti-Defamation Commission said the competition was now on the World Truth Historical Revisionism website, a domain hosted by

“The ADC will be writing to in Australia, the company currently hosting the domain page, asking them to shut down this site, arguing that this competition and the content of the website violate GoDaddy’s own terms against hate speech,” ADC said in a statement.

“The words sickening and stomach-churning do not even come close to describe this abomination. In fact, it’s hard to imagine anything more vile, and this vomit-inducing salute to Hitler by ‘Final Solutionists’ is an incitement to murder, pure and simple,” said ADC chairman Dvir Abramovich.
After years of CAA pressure, conspiracy theorist David Icke is finally banned from Facebook and YouTube, but not over his antisemitism; and he’s still on Twitter
After years of pressure from Campaign Against Antisemitism, the conspiracy theorist and antisemitic hate preacher David Icke has finally been banned from two social media platforms – but not over his antisemitism. Meanwhile, a third platform has yet to take action against Mr Icke.

Facebook and YouTube resolved to remove Mr Icke from their platforms in recent days, but it comes after years of promoting the antisemitic commentator, much of whose website traffic is directed from social media. Despite extensive dossiers having been provided to the tech giants by Campaign Against Antisemitism in the past detailing Mr Icke’s racist claims about Jews, he has only now been banned – and it was not even related to antisemitism.

Instead, Mr Icke’s YouTube channel and Facebook page were removed because of his misinformation campaign regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been viewed some 30 million times (although as part of this campaign he has also claimed that Israel was using the COVID-19 crisis to “test its technology”).

It is, however, understood that at least one other Facebook page relating to Mr Icke is still live.

Regrettably, another social media platform – Twitter – has yet to take any action against Mr Icke. Twitter did, however, find time and cause to suspend the account of Michael Oren, the esteemed historian and former Israeli ambassador to the United States, for reasons that have reportedly not been disclosed by the company.
Film director panned for plan to turn Ukraine museum into ‘Holocaust Disneyland’
The latest cinematic release by the Russian film director Ilya Khrzhanovsky is so extreme that he is currently under a police investigation for alleged torture of extras, including underage orphans, in Ukraine.

He filmed the movies in his “Dau” series on a 3-acre set in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv over more than a decade to fictionally recreate the harshness of life under the Communist Soviet Union. Beatings, interrogations, rape scenes and other forms of abuse were simulated by the actors, nearly all of them amateurs and many of them minors, including some from orphanages.

Until recently, the films were hailed as innovative achievements. But now Khrzhanovsky is accused of abusing his actors, exploiting them through exposure to physical violence, humiliation and sexual harassment.

Khrzhanovsky is also, at least for now, the artistic director of a big Ukrainian Holocaust commemoration project: The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, a museum that has cost millions and is still in the planning stages. It’s named after one of the worst Holocaust pogroms, in which Nazis and local collaborators murdered more than 150,00 people, including 50,000 Jews, at the Babi Yar ravine, also known as Babyn Yar, outside Kyiv.

The Ukrainian government has invested a million dollars in the project — more than they’ve put into any previous Holocaust commemoration.

Khrzhanovsky, who is not Jewish, wants to bring his hyper-realistic cinematic style to the museum and make it, in the words of a former director of the project, a “Holocaust Disneyland.”
Mysterious keepsake box reveals shards of grandmother’s pre-WWII life
As a child, journalist Hadley Freeman was never emotionally close to her paternal grandmother, Sala Glass, who died in 1994. She frankly found her “weird.” It was only later that Freeman understood that what her grandmother exuded was an unarticulated, profound sadness.

The key to deciphering Sala was a shoe box hidden at the back of her closet in her Florida apartment, in which Freeman’s uncle Richard later lived. The box held Sala’s keepsakes— Glass family documents, letters, photographs and memorabilia from before, during and after the war.

“I knew I had a bigger story when I found my grandmother’s shoe box. It was no longer just about trying to understand my grandmother’s sadness,” Freeman told The Times of Israel on the phone while on lockdown in her London home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2006, Freeman, then assigned to The Guardian’s fashion desk, stumbled upon the dust-covered box while combing through her always-chic grandmother’s beautiful clothes, which were left untouched since her death. Freeman thought she would come away with a sartorial article, but the box’s mysterious trove pushed her to take a deep dive into the entire Glass family saga.

Among the curiosity-piquing items discovered was a photograph of Sala with a young man whose face had been scratched away, and photos of a young man with round glasses — including some of him standing next to other men near what appears to be some kind of hut or cabin. Freeman also found a letter in French saying that “la famille Glass” was hiding in Paris under an assumed name, photos of Alex (who went by the last name Maguy professionally) with Pablo Picasso, and a sketch of a man holding a gun to his head signed, “Avec amitié, Picasso.”

The Glass family had arrived in France following pogroms in their Austro-Hungarian hometown of Chrzanow (now in Poland). Sala, her mother Chaya, and three older brothers — Henri, Jacques and Alex — immigrated to Paris, France in the 1920s. The family’s father had died earlier of complications from gassing after volunteering to fight in WWI.

Sala, her mother, and two brothers later made it through World War II and the Holocaust alive. In Sala’s case, it was because her brother Alex made sure to get her to America before the war. Because she escaped the Holocaust, one could attribute the beautiful Sala’s sorrow to survivor’s guilt — but that would be a mistake.
As 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day Approaches, a 96-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Recounts His Experience
A 96-year-old Jewish man who escaped to Scotland during the Holocaust recounted his feelings about the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, saying, “It was a unique occasion, fantastic and such a feeling of relief that Nazi Germany had been defeated.”

As the May 8 anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II approaches, Henry Wuga spoke about his past to Scotland’s Daily Record in an interview published Sunday.

Wuga, who was born in Nuremburg, was still a teenager when he fled Nazi Germany on the “Kindertransport,” which evacuated children threatened by antisemitic persecution in the late 1930s, just before the war broke out.

“It’s such a very important date,” he said of VE Day. “At one point, when I came to the UK, we had all been interned on the Isle of Man so we were all behind barbed wire thinking that if the war was lost, the Nazis would come and get us. It was horrible.”

“People forget how much of a close-run thing the war was,” he noted.

Wuga managed to leave the internment camp and worked as a chef in Glasgow. When the news of the defeat came, “We didn’t go to the big celebrations in George Square — we just had a quiet celebration at home with [my wife] Ingrid and her parents after we heard about it on the radio.”

“It was a bittersweet time as my mother was still hiding in Germany,” he said. “You can imagine what it meant to us that the war had ended.”

A month later, Wuga was told his mother had survived the war.

“We were so happy. The feeling was unbelievable,” he said. “It took two years to get permission to bring my mother to live with us in Glasgow.”

Wuga vividly remembers the rise of Nazism, especially because Nuremburg was a center of Nazi activity, including massive annual outdoor rallies.
Millions watch teen high school dropout’s film on US Holocaust survivors
While most high school sophomores are focused on grades and having a social life, Ashton Gleckman had something else in mind. At age 17, Gleckman started work on the film “We Shall Not Die Now,” a feature-length documentary about the Holocaust.

The film was released on Amazon in December, but the COVID-19 crisis lock-down helped the documentary reach 13 million minutes watched around the world, said Gleckman. The film is also available on YouTube.

In addition to two-dozen interviews with survivors and others, Gleckman also makes use of footage from Claude Lanzmann’s epic “Shoah” documentary. A two-week trip to Poland provided Gleckman with contemporary footage of the former death camps and major cities.

Prior to earning his documentary chops, the youth already had a fledgling career in film scoring. Composer Hans Zimmer “discovered” his musical talent in 2017, and dubbed him “the boy with bat ears.” All the way from Indiana’s Carmel High School, Gleckman found his way into movies.

At 18, after already gathering material for a year, Gleckman was ready to attempt his most ambitious project: a full-length documentary. He became a one-man crew and conducted the interviews, co-wrote and recorded the score, and edited mounds of footage.

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