Monday, June 15, 2020

From Ian:

The New Iconoclasm: Down With Jefferson, Up With Sharpton
Rarely a week passes without dramatic pictures on TV and in the press of sledgehammers taken to heroes of the Old Confederacy, along with new “replacement” sculpture and statuary to Black Lives Matter (like the formidable slab within full view of the White House itself) and already on the list of Places to See in Washington, DC. We will, no doubt, soon see statues of Rev. Al Sharpton alongside of, or even replacing, those of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Reverend Sharpton is the titular and also unchallenged leader of Black Lives Matter, now turning the country upside down to express its indignation over the murder in Minneapolis and its (supposed) epitome of police brutality towards black Americans.

The Rev. Sharpton was a constant presence in the White House during the presidency of Barack Obama, and has been treated with oily sycophancy by every major Democratic candidate for that party’s nomination. (When Sharpton’s acolytes in Black Lives Matter shouted down Bernie Sanders at a Seattle rally, the candidate reacted with instant compliance, and surrendered the microphone to them.) He has taught leading Democrats, at nearly all levels of the party, to view crime as a problem of prejudiced and brutal police, not of ruthless and pitiless criminals.

Do Americans know much about Sharpton, the unquestioned leader of Black Lives Matter, an organization now carrying all before it, including governors of states and mayors of cities? He first came to prominence for his central role in the assaults on Jews in 1991 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. It has been called by historian Edward Shapiro “the only antisemitic riot in American history.” This has not prevented Senator Elizabeth Warren from calling Sharpton a paragon who has “dedicated his life to the fight for justice for all” or ex-candidate Kamala Harris from exuding about how much he “has done … for our country.” And so on ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

How different are these Democrats from the ones we once knew! I recall how, as a young boy, I went every four years to the polling booths of Brooklyn where my parents voted for Roosevelt while I stood nearby, distributing FDR leaflets. How different are the current crop from the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who excoriated Sharpton’s thugs in 1991 as a “lynch mob” identical to the white unionists who had assaulted blacks in Detroit for “stealing” their jobs. That same Sharpton is today the darling of progressive America, Moynihan a distant memory.

Nazi Headstones and Confederate Statues Should Be Treated the Same
Now, you might object that one cannot in decency compare the officers and soldiers of the Confederacy with the external enemy that was Nazi Germany. After all, many leading Confederates, including Braxton Bragg, for whom the famous base in North Carolina is named, and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, were honored veterans of the Mexican-American war of 1846-48, and considered to be great and sage patriots. The Civil War they helped initiate a little more than a decade later was not the result of outside aggression, according to this argument, but a tragic conflict within the American family that politics alone was not able to resolve.

This interpretation of history is one of the factors behind Trump’s vocal rejection of the removal of Confederate memorials. It might seem patriotic, but in reality, it isn’t — not least because the values and the vision of American society that the Confederacy represented had eventually to be defeated on the battlefield at what was, especially by the standards of that time, a staggering human cost.

In institutional terms, some current signs can be seen of a move against the commemoration of the Confederacy. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has mooted a “bipartisan discussion” on the renaming of military bases, while the US Navy has outlawed the display of Confederate flags aboard its ships and in other facilities. But as the Jewish experience reminds us only too well, changes in institutional behavior aren’t necessarily mirrored in public opinion. Especially with Trump in the White House, the segment of opinion that twists its perverse regard for the Confederacy into an American value will continue to assert itself aggressively.

The only response to this misrepresentation is to point to the historical record. “These bases are, after all, federal installations, home to soldiers who swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the former head of the CIA, Gen. David Petraeus, wrote recently in The Atlantic. “The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention.”

If we are no longer prepared to tolerate Nazi symbols as an ongoing presence in our military cemeteries, then we should treat the symbols of the Confederate betrayal of the United States in a similar manner.
How an old Yiddish song became a symbol of racial equality
"Eli, Eli" is a Yiddish song composed by Jacob Koppel Sandler in 1896 that describes the plight of a Jewish girl singing a song of despair while being crucified for her faith. In the following decades, it was adopted by African-American artists and singers who were drawn to the tragic melody and images of oppression that its lyrics evoked.

Sandler drew the song's lyrics from King David's lamentation in the Book of Pslams (22:2): “Eli, Eli, why hast Thou forsaken me?” This phrase appears twice in the New Testament, while one of the instances marks Jesus’ last words as he’s crucified. This exclamation of despair is thus recognized and revered by both Christians and Jews.

A portion of the song says:
"In fire and flame have men been tortured
And everywhere we went we were shamed and ridiculed
No one could make us turn away from our faith
From you, my god, from your holy Torah, your law!"

People have always been drawn to music; some might even say that as human beings, we are hard-wired to respond to music. It has the power to change our moods, stimulate our senses and bring back memories. Music can provoke many things within us, including strong negative emotions at times.

Sandler's composition was adopted by various Jewish artists and slowly gained popularity, but it wasn't until black Jewish musician Willie “The Lion” Smith covered the song in the 1920s that it became a widespread phenomenon and a shared symbol for Jewish and African-American jazz singers.

Shortly after Smith's cover, George Dewey Washington published a version of his own, followed by actress and singer Ethel Waters who said that the song "tells the tragic history of the Jews as much as one song can," while noting that "that history of their age-old grief and despair is so similar to that of my own people that I felt I was telling the story of my own race, too.”

The song did not lose its popularity over the years, with a rendition of the original song being performed by iconic Black jazz musician Lionel Hampton in 1951.



Rocket fired at Israel from Gaza Strip, IDF responds
The IDF responded with tank shells fired at Hamas posts in the Gaza Strip and used an air strike against the terror group's underground structures following a projectile fired from there on Monday evening which struck an open field near the community of Kissufim in the Eshkol regional council on Monday evening.

The IDF is said to have used air strikes in Rafiah, Khan Younis and Deir el Balah. According to a statement by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, a siren was activated only in the area where the rocket fell.

In a press release by the local council, it was reported that as no danger was present, no alarms were sounded in the various communities.
"We are in touch with the IDF and the guidelines remain the same", the report ended before wishing residents a "good night."
Antisemitic Vandals Hang Sheet Spray-Painted With ‘Vulgar Insults’ Over Holocaust Memorial in Nashville
A memorial to the Holocaust at a Jewish community center in Nashville, Tennessee, was defaced over the weekend with white supremacist symbols and antisemitic insults.

Local media reported that on Saturday, the memorial at the Gordon Jewish Community Center in west Nashville had been covered with a white bed sheet spray-painted with what witnesses described as “vulgar insults in a message of hate.”

“We condemn such bigotry and violence, which has no place in Nashville or anywhere in America,” the community center’s leadership declared in a statement.

The statement expressed confidence in the current security arrangements for the center.

“We are fortunate to have an excellent security team in place to protect us,” the statement said. “They work hand in hand with local and national authorities to keep us and our campus safe. At a time when our nation is confronting racism and anti-Semitic attacks are rising, our JCC community continues to stand united with those who condemn discrimination in all its forms.”
Orthodox Jews sue de Blasio, Cuomo for discrimination over lockdown rules
Three Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn have joined forces with two Catholic priests to file a lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, accusing them of employing a "blatant double standard" in barring religious services to go ahead even as protestors are allowed to congregate in the city.

The three Jewish congregants, Elchanan Perr, Daniel Schonborn and Mayer Mayerfeld, along with the two priests, Steven Soos and Nicholas Stamos, filed the suit in the Northern District of New York on June 10 following large-scale protests by Black Lives Matter supporters.

The claimants were represented by the Thomas More Society, and Attorney-General Letitia James also appears on the suit, charged alongside Cuomo and de Blasio with violating the plaintiffs’ rights to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, assembly and expressive association, and due process, all under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution.

De Blasio has come under particular criticism by the group, with numerous violations detailing acts of alleged discrimination by the mayor.
They point out that on June 4, de Blasio himself didn't adhere to social distancing and the 10-person limit on gatherings when he attended a mass political rally at New York City's Cadman Plaza. He also failed to wear a face mask at the event.

Days later in Williamsburg, hassidic children were evicted from a park by a police officer for violating the 10-person limit.


Leading European Jewish Groups Outraged Over Shouts of ‘Dirty Jew’ at Anti-Racism Protest in Paris
Leading European Jewish organizations and personalities expressed outrage on Sunday after video emerged of ostensibly anti-racism protesters in Paris shouting antisemitic slurs.

The video from a demonstration for a black Frenchman killed by police shows a large group of protesters shouting various slogans at counter-protesters, until at one point the shout of “sale juif,” or “dirty Jew,” can be heard.

In a public statement, French-Jewish umbrella organization Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF) denounced the antisemitic shouts, “especially coming from demonstrators claiming to denounce racism.”

“There can be no fight against racism that directly or indirectly tolerates antisemitism in its ranks,” the group said, and called on organizers to display “responsibility” on the issue.

The CRIF also condemned far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon for “calling into question the reality of these antisemitic remarks, even though they are recorded and accessible to all.”

Mélenchon, said the group, is “once again deaf and blind in the face of antisemitism” on the left.

The CRIF’s president, Francis Kalifat, said, “The excesses of this demonstration are an insult both to the Republic and to the cause that the demonstrators claim to defend.”

He called on “all democratic political parties to denounce these dangerous abuses and ask the authorities to intervene and condemn them.”
BBC portrayal of a Paris anti-racism protest excludes antisemitism
However the BBC refrained from telling its audiences that some of the people attending that demonstration in Paris shouted a racist slogan.

“Police authorities in France announced they will report anti-Semitic remarks heard during a demonstration against racism and police violence on Saturday in Paris during which ‘’Dirty Jews’’ was shouted by protesters.

The announcement came after the posting of a video posted by weekly Valeurs Actuelles showing “dirty Jews” shouted by the crowd gathered on the Place de la République in central Paris, where more than 15,000 people were gathered. Riot police fired tear gas to disperse the protest.”

In addition, an i24 News journalist who was at the demonstration reported seeing Palestinian flags, people in t-shirts with the slogan ‘justice in Palestine’ and a banner saying “Israel, laboratory of police violence”. She raised the pertinent question of what any of that had to do with ‘anti-racism’ and ‘alleged police brutality’ in France.

This is not the first time that BBC audiences have seen antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric whitewashed from the corporation’s account of a protest in Europe.

The BBC describes its online content as ‘historical record’ which serves the public interest. Clearly the public interest is not served if that record is inaccurate, biased or does not tell the whole story because inconvenient details which do not line up with the corporation’s chosen narrative are omitted from its reporting.


PreOccupiedTerritory: In These Divisive Times It’s Always Reassuring We Can Unite Around Our Jew-Hate by Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, comedian (satire)
Indications of social polarization and “othering” precede the 2016 US presidential campaign, though we can all acknowledge that since then the general sense of alienation has only increased; it remains of some consolation, to me, however, that even when our differences get accented near to the point of an irreparable rift, devotion to antisemitism brings us back together no matter how far apart we see ourselves on other issues.

Nowhere does this phenomenon manifest more clearly than in the current Black Lives Matter moment. American police brutality against African-Americans, at first glance, has nothing to do with Jews; why should it? A vanishingly small number of US police officers are even Jewish. No matter. Every wedge issue presents an opportunity for left and right to unite against the Jew, statistics be damned. Both the far-right and the far-left see the Jews as an enemy, even if the far-left pretends not to, couching its animosity in terms of opposition to Zionism, or the rights of Palestinians. The racist far-right and the anti-racist far-left agree: liberation from the shackles of imperialism, capitalism, racism, colonialism, or any other -ism begins – and probably ends – with getting rid of Jews.

I myself have lived that rare intersection of demographics. As a French advocate for, and ally of, Islamists – including former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – I get lumped together with “progressives” by ignorant or tendentious media, all while pursuing alliances and partnerships with reactionary personalities in France such as National Front leaders, right-wing Holocaust deniers, and others on the Right as normally conceived. Some of that I attribute to my charisma, of course, and some to the truth that Islamists much more closely resemble the far right than the far left, but also to the fact that everyone hates the Jews. It’s proven such a blessing.


Cancellation of Birthright-Taglit, Masa Heritage Trips to Cost Israeli Economy $200 Million
Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, Israel is expected to lose two-thirds of the $300 million annual income brought in by its heritage tourism industry. This sum excluded revenue from flights.

The heritage tourism industry, which includes organizations such as Birthright Israel, also known as Taglit, and the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Masa Israel Journey, brings some 80,000 Jewish teens and young adults from around the world to Israel every year for trips, internships, and volunteer work.

Together with philanthropic organizations, the Israeli government funds many of the organizations and programs offering these trips, as it sees them as a means to strengthen its message among global Jewish populations.

In light of the current crisis, trips for some 60,000 Jewish youths scheduled for this year’s spring and summer were canceled. These include programs by Birthright, Masa, and Jewish schools and youth movements. There is still uncertainty surrounding trips scheduled for the winter season, starting in October.

Three weeks ago, Israel’s Ministry of the Interior approved special visas to people attending Masa’s long term programs in Israel. The visas will allow both new participants and participants that returned to their country before the end of their original program due to Covid-19 to enter the country.

According to the visas’ terms, these travelers will not be exempt from the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon entering the country. Masa plans to hold online activities on Zoom, including Hebrew classes and educational seminars, during this period and reports high demand for its winter program, despite the limitations.
Meet Bedouin Super Woman Asmahan Abu Yeheya: 6 Kids, 2 Jobs, 16 Years as MDA Volunteer
Asmahan Abu-Yeheya, 42, from Gan Yavne, has been a volunteer for Magen David Adom for 16 years. Over the years, Asmahan had six children on her own—she is a single mother (her youngest is 10), and between one maternity leave and another, she continued to volunteer at MDA as an EMT and ambulance driver.

Asmahan is a certified preschool teacher, and at the same time also works as a medical secretary at an orthopedic clinic, and as a volunteer operations officer for the Gan Yavne Rescue Unit.

“I get support from the kids,” Asmahan said, “If I’m in a bad mood, they tell me to go to a MDA shift because they know it will do me good. Doing and giving give me a lot of satisfaction, and I feel at any given moment that I am part of the warm and supportive MDA family.

“When I treat an older woman, I treat her like she is my grandmother,” Asmahan says. “Every time I think about the person in the ambulance when he is in pain and scared, and sometimes I am the only person they have, my job is first and foremost to give him the best medical care, but I believe it is very important that I be both human and caring. ”

In recent months, Asmahan has taken an active part in the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus. She received training to obtain samples from suspected patients, and obtained samples in the homes of patients in the Gan Yavne and Ashdod area, in the “Drive and Test” complex in Ashdod, and in area nursing homes.
Israeli researcher: Antiparasitic drug could 'cure' coronavirus
A tropical disease expert is testing a drug used to fight parasites in third-world countries that he said could help reduce the length of infection for people who catch coronavirus, enabling them to go back to work and life in as little as a few days.
Prof. Eli Schwartz, founder of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, recently launched a clinical trial of the drug Ivermectin, a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent that has also been shown to fight viruses. He believes the drug could help “cure” COVID-19.

“At the onset of this virus, everyone was talking about the anti-malaria drug,” he said, referring to hydroxychloroquine, which was first touted by US President Donald Trump, but has since been linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, among other health risks.
“We decided to look more widely for other medications and considered a few drugs that might have antiviral activity,” he said; Ivermectin was selected.

Schwartz told The Jerusalem Post that the drug is being tested in people with mild to moderate cases of the disease to see if it can shorten the viral shedding period, allowing them to test negative for coronavirus and leave isolation in only a few days. Currently, people who become infected with corona are in isolation for at least two weeks – and sometimes four or even six weeks – before they get two negative test results.

“From a public health point of view, this is very important,” he said, explaining that if people are cured of coronavirus, they can go back to work and their normal daily activity, causing less negative impact on the economy.

So far, 26 people have enrolled in the doctor’s randomized, parallel assignment, double-blind quadruple mask study out of the 100 patients he hopes to recruit. He finds most of his recruits at state-run “coronavirus hotels.”

So far, he and his team hope to establish viral clearance within six days post-intervention.

Schwartz is also monitoring whether the drug can help speed up the reduction of symptoms.

A team of Australian researchers conducted a study of the drug in March and found that it was capable of killing COVID-19 within 48 hours in a cell culture. Schwartz’s study would be the first trial carried out in humans.

Preliminary results of a US study of Ivermectin in the treatment of COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms showed that it may reduce mortality as well, though Schwartz said he is not focusing his effort on the small percentage of patients who end up in the hospital.
American actor James Woods urges Congress to pass anti-BDS resolution
Prominent US actor James Woods on Sunday urged Congress to pass a resolution against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“This is the kind of resolution I would hope we would see in our American Congress. #Israel,” he tweeted to his 2.4 million followers.

In his message, he embedded a tweet from American Jewish Committee executive director David Harris, who had praised the Austrian Parliament’s anti-BDS resolution in February.

The Jerusalem Post was the first news organization outside of Austria to report on the parliament’s unanimous vote to condemn BDS as an antisemitic movement.

Woods, a conservative, is widely considered one of the most talented actors in Hollywood. He portrayed the Jewish character Max in the crime drama Once Upon a Time in America in 1984. He was nominated for Academy Awards for his performances in Salvador (1987) and Ghosts of Mississippi (1996). In 1978, he played the lead role of Karl Weiss, an artist, in the US television series Holocaust.
CNN Corrects Hundreds of US Lawmakers’ Oppose ICC Probe of Israel
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted a correction after CNN significantly underreported the number of bipartisan U.S. lawmakers who signed letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing their opposition to a potential International Criminal Court investigation of Israel.

The June 11 article, “Trump authorizes sanctions against International Criminal Court officials,” had erred:
In mid-May, dozens of bipartisan lawmakers from the House and Senate wrote to Pompeo in opposition of the international court’s potential probe into Israel.

In fact, hundreds – not dozens – of lawmakers signed onto those letters. Sixty-nine members of the Senate (43 Republicans and 26 Democrats) signed on, as did 262 members of the House, in their separate letter. In total, 331 lawmakers wrote to Pompeo to express their opposition to a proposed ICC investigation of Israel.
In response to communication from CAMERA, CNN commendably amended the article, which now accurately reports:
In mid-May, more than 300 bipartisan lawmakers from the House and Senate wrote to Pompeo in opposition of the international court’s potential probe into Israel.
Blind to Palestinian Intransigence, NPR’s Daniel Estrin Sees Only Victimhood
Somewhat at odds with Estrin’s depiction of Palestinians who have made great efforts towards peace, Lulu Garcia-Navarro opens the on air segment with passive Palestinians who have no means of influencing the situation: Expectant Palestinians have “had to watch” from the sidelines as the Israelis fill the role of the only active player: “settlers move in” and “Israeli leaders say they’ll soon annex.” She reports:
Palestinians have long expected to establish an independent state in the West Bank. But for decades, they’ve had to watch as Israeli settlers move in with protection from the military. Israeli leaders say they’ll soon annex some of the territory, that is declare it part of Israel for its strategic value and its ties to Jewish history. So can Palestinians do anything to stop Israeli annexation?

Estrin’s answer is unequivocal: “Palestinians leaders have little leverage to stop Israel from annexing land.” Channeling The New York Times, which recently insisted that Palestinian President Mahmoud “Abbas has few other cards to play,” Estrin argues that the Palestinians have already tried everything, to no avail. He reports:
Palestinians have fought uprisings against Israel. They’ve signed peace accords, but none of it won them independence. Now they feel let down by the world. Years of international condemnation has not stopped Israeli settlements from growing in the West Bank.

But as CAMERA’s Gilead Ini previously noted, in 2009, after those signed peace accords, Abbas refused to join the negotiating table, despite the Israeli goodwill gesture of a 10-month freeze on settlement growth:
[W]hen Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu implemented a 10-month security freeze in order to coax the Palestinians to the negotiating table, Abbas essentially responded with a 9-month negotiating freeze. And after the moratorium on Israeli building expired, he again refused to talk peace.

Moreover, over the long history Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian leaders repeatedly rejected the opportunity to establish a Palestinian state. The fate of President Trump’s Peace to Prosperity plan was no different. The American president reportedly made several attempts to contact Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to discuss a peace proposal, but was refused each time, information confirmed by a high-ranking Palestinian official in the Turkish Anadolu news agency.
Who Is The New York Times’ New Editorial Page Editor Kathleen Kingsbury?
The abrupt resignation of New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet put one of the world’s most influential newspaper opinion platforms in the hands of Kathleen Kingsbury. Who is she, and what is she likely to do with her new power?

Kingsbury attracted attention in January when, as deputy editorial page editor, she spearheaded the Times presidential endorsement process in the Democratic primary. Bennet had recused himself because his brother, a senator from Colorado, was seeking the nomination.

Kingsbury grilled presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota, about whether she would move the American embassy in Israel to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem.

“President Trump has made several unilateral moves in relations to Israel. Things like moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem. If you took over would you reverse them as president?” Kingsbury asked in the endorsement interview, which the Times released on video.

Klobuchar answered in part, “I would not reverse the embassy change.”

Kingsbury wouldn’t let it go: “I do actually want to go back to something you just said, to follow up. Why wouldn’t you move the embassy back?”

While Kingsbury pressed the question with gusto in the video, the end result indicated that this particular issue wasn’t a make-or-break one for the editor. Klobuchar, who said she’d always supported having the embassy in Jerusalem, wound up winning the Times endorsement — or, actually, splitting it with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who also won the endorsement.
The Financial Times, 'annexation' and moral double standards
Though Israelis still long for peace, the reasons why “land for peace” (the two-state solution) has become less relevant in the public square is organic – a natural reaction to Palestinian violence and rejectionism. Specifically, the second intifada, launched by PA leaders shortly after Ehud Barak offered Yassar Arafat a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, and which resulted in over 1,100 Israeli deaths, remains, as the dovish Yossi Klein Halevi argued, the “great Israeli trauma of this…generation”.

Factor in Hezbollah’s greatly increased military strength in Southern Lebanon after Israel’s unilateral withdrawal, Hamas’s rise to power and thousands of rockets after the Gaza pullout, endemic Palestinian antisemitism and PA incitement to violence as reasons why most Israelis are more skeptical about the assumption that territorial withdrawal – in and of itself – will necessarily result in peace.

But, not only does the Financial Times fail to mention Palestinian decisions which have drastically dimmed the dreams of Oslo, but they seem to suggest that Jerusalem – and not Ramallah – will be to blame if a new intifada arises in the event the government applies sovereignty to 30% (or, possibly, far less) of the West Bank:
Many Israelis may consider annexation a victory, but the destruction of Palestinian hopes for a just settlement with the Jewish state will store up bigger problems for the future. Young Palestinians hemmed in and under the thumb of occupation are more likely to have their heads turned by the rhetoric of extremism.

Whilst their prediction of a new round of terror in the event of Israeli ‘annexation’ may or may not be accurate, history since the early 90s (and indeed before) has shown that the ‘dovishness’ or ‘hawkishness’ of Israeli governments is not a reliable indicator as to whether Palestinians will choose the path of violence.
BBC News silent on practicalities of PA’s ending of agreements with Israel
The practical effects of that PA decision are already evident:
“On Tuesday, the Ramallah Finance Ministry announced that it would not pay civil servants their May wages. Public sector salaries account for 15%-20% percent of Palestinian GDP, according to the World Bank. In a normal month, the PA spends NIS 850 million ($244.5 million) on civil servants, pensioners and stipends to the families of Palestinians convicted by Israel of terrorism or killed during attacks on Israelis.”

Some 200,000 of those civil servants are located in Palestinian Authority controlled areas and around 60,000 are located in the Gaza Strip. The Jerusalem Post reported that a Palastinian official was also quoted as saying that the PA would “slash the $105 million it sends to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip each month in salaries and to cover utility fees and medical expenses”.

According to some reports, patients from the Gaza Strip have been unable to travel to Israel for medical care because the Palestinian Authority refuses to pay for their treatment.

Notably, the BBC’s Jerusalem and Ramallah-based correspondents have to date not found those or any other aspects of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to unilaterally end agreements it signed with Israel worthy of reporting to BBC audiences.
New UK report exposes massive online network of far-right antisemitism
A new report published on Sunday by the British Jewish group Community Security Trust (CST) explores the "shocking extent of terror incitement and anti-Jewish hate created and circulated by right-wing extremists on social media."

The report, titled "Hate Fuel: the hidden online world fuelling far right terror," focused on four relatively unregulated social media platforms: BitChute, Gab, 4chan and Telegram.

Far-right extremists have been known to frequent these platforms, all of which were either set up or operate as a direct challenge to larger social media platforms, "citing free speech or privacy as justifications for their role in the promotion or distribution of hateful, inciteful and often violent content," according to the report.

Due to the extreme nature of the content in the report, "both in terms of the violent imagery [the CST] found and the quantity of explicit antisemitism," the group said it would be irresponsible to post it online in full.

Instead, the CST shared a sample of posts on their site, choosing instead to the full report only with "police, government and other counter-extremism officials and experts" in Britain.

However, the content is still available in full and completely out in the open. According to the CST, "the quantity and spread of this incitement poses an urgent and ongoing terror threat to Jewish communities."
Arizona School No Longer Employs Principal Who Sent Racist Messages to Employee
An Arizona school has parted ways with its principal for sending antisemitic and racist messages to a former Jewish employee.

Justin Dye is no longer the principal of Heritage Elementary charter school in Glendale, its superintendent Jackie Trujillo told local outlets. Trujillo declined to tell The Arizona Republic whether Dye resigned or was fired.

Danielle Elkin, the school’s former event coordinator, posted on her Facebook page on June 7 a screenshot of a series of messages from Dye to herself and her sister, Brittnay, from January that are jokes about being Jewish and black.

Elkin, who is Jewish, has a 7-year-old biracial son.

“What do you get when you cross a black person and a Jewish person? The loudest/cheapest thief in town. He steals pennies, holds on to them, and then screams about it to everybody. I just made that up on the fly, what do you guys thing? Cleaver?” said Dye in a text message to Elkin and her sister.

Dye then messaged, “Wait I changed my answer. A basketball player who’s too greedy to pass.”

Dye followed up with another text that read, “Wait wait wait, a prisoner who refuses to spend a quarter for a phone call.”

Elkin, who left the school in February after working there for seven years, told The Arizona Republic that she didn’t report Dye’s messages to his supervisor in January as the school had stood by Dye, despite allegations of sexual harassment and shorting teachers on their pay.
Never forget? Report warns Holocaust studies neglected in Israel
The committee based its findings on data from 19 academic institutions and found that in the past two years, 218 courses relevant to the committee's research were taught to BA, MA, and PhD students. However, only 53 of those courses dealt with the Holocaust directly, while the rest focused on historical context and issues of commemoration and representation. The report expresses concern that both researchers and students appear to prefer to focus on commemorating the Holocaust rather than delving into it and the surrounding historical events. The committee found this to be especially true among the young generation of researchers.

An entire chapter of the report is devoted to the decline in Israeli contributions to international academic discourse about the Holocaust. Committee members said that in their opinion, this was the result of a general decline in humanities and social science research at Israel's universities, as well as a lack of historical knowledge among young researchers, as well as an ignorance of European languages.

"For years, Israeli academia stood at the vanguard of Holocaust research, but in recent years there has been a visible decline in the contribution of Israeli researchers to international discourse in the field," the report states.

"The Holocaust, especially the events themselves, is at the center of international academic and research activity. Today, more than in the past, researchers from abroad are delving into the internal lives of the Jews, whereas Israeli academia has lost its seniority, even when it comes to the main area of researching the history of the Holocaust," the report warns.

The committee recommended, among other things, that universities in Israel add three to four research positions devoted to Holocaust studies.
Mirka's message through art: to recognise humanity in one other
In 1942, when she was 14, Mirka Mora’s future looked grim.

She was imprisoned with her mother, two sisters and thousands of other Jews in Pithiviers, a Nazi transit camp in northern France.

Shortly before the family was to be transported to Auschwitz, Mirka’s father, Leon, had them released, via a forged letter from an employer sent to the camp.

The family went into hiding and after the war, Mirka emigrated to Australia with her husband, Georges, and became a celebrated restaurateur and artist.

But she never forgot the desperate faces of prisoners lining the wire fences at Pithiviers as she left on a horse drawn cart.

Their fear and innocence can be seen in Mirka’s untitled, 1996 painting of a group of people staring out at the viewer, and in many of her works.

The painting will feature in the Jewish Museum of Australia’s first ever exhibition on the artist, called MIRKA, which will open in early December.

Museum CEO Jessica Bram said the multimedia exhibition would offer "the most comprehensive picture of the artist’s life and 70-year-long career".

It will take in her early years in Paris, her role in Melbourne’s post-war bohemian arts scene and her success as an artist.

"A story of survival and migration, interspersed with a generous dose of family, art, food and love, Mirka Mora’s history is a profoundly affecting post-Holocaust Australian Jewish tale which, until now, has not been presented with such depth and scope," Ms Bram said.
Doctors optimistic as Syrian baby completes 1st of 3 heart surgeries in Israel
Israeli doctors on Sunday expressed cautious optimism after completing a complicated heart surgery on a 10-day-old Syrian baby who was flown to Israel last week — the first of three procedures the boy will require to address a rare congenital defect.

The Syrian baby arrived in Israel from Cyprus on Thursday with his father, a Syrian refugee currently living in the Mediterranean island nation, in order to receive the surgeries at Ramat Gan’s Sheba Medical Center.

The infant was born with a rare congenital defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which the left side of the heart fails to develop properly, leading to poor blood circulation, a hospital spokesperson told The Times of Israel. If left unaddressed, the condition is fatal.

In order to fix the problem, the infant will ultimately require three procedures: the first of which was completed on Sunday; the second will be performed in six months; and the third will be carried out when he is two years old.

Dr. Alain Serraf, head of the International Congenital Heart Center at Sheba’s children’s hospital, completed the first surgery — known as the Norwood procedure — on the newborn on Sunday morning, the hospital said.

“We will be watching him carefully over the next 2 days. But I can say that the procedure went well and we are guardedly optimistic that the child will be okay as we slowly wean him off the various machines,” Serraf said.
Genesis Prize awards 'Speak Out for Israel' grants to Israel, int'l NGOs
The Genesis Prize Foundation (GPF) announced the recipients of grants in honor of Robert Kraft, 2019 Genesis Prize Laureate. Twenty-six Israeli and international non-profit organizations will receive funding as part of Speak Out for Israel, a global campaign to promote a true narrative of Israel and counteract efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State.

Funding for the grants comes from the $1 million Genesis Prize, awarded to Robert Kraft, American philanthropist and owner of the New England Patriots football team. The annual Genesis Prize, dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by TIME Magazine, honors extraordinary individuals for their outstanding professional achievement, contribution to humanity, and commitment to Jewish values and the State of Israel.

Upon receiving the Genesis Prize, Kraft committed to forgoing the monetary award and directing it towards projects combating anti-Semitism and delegitimization of Israel. During his acceptance speech in June 2019, Kraft also announced a $20 million personal donation to seed the creation of the new Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism.

Kraft and GPF were joined by Concert-Together for Israel Ltd., a funding platform supporting the pro-Israel community of non-profit organizations who are dedicated to promoting a positive perception of Israel. Concert, which made a major donation to the grant pool, is a partnership between the State of Israel and pro-Israel groups around the world.

Robert Kraft said: “When I received the Genesis Prize, I made a public commitment to double my efforts against harmful worldwide attempts to delegitimize Israel. The coronavirus crisis of 2020 dictated new priorities and refocused much of the current philanthropy on urgent aid, and I was happy to be able to do my part,” noted Kraft. “But we must also honor our commitments and stay true to our long-term aspirations.

Antisemitism and anti-Israel discourse are not going away, and in many cases, are on the rise. I am confident that the organizations receiving Genesis Prize grants will be highly effective in this battle against hatred.”


Latma 2020 Episode 10


Latma 2020 Episode 11




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