Friday, June 19, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: As toxic an event about free speech and antisemitism as you will ever see
I have sat through many toxic events in my time, but even for me yesterday was something special. A gathering of no less than four of the Labour party’s ‘antisemitism’ stars, Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and Mark Wadsworth. As an additional bonus they had a special American panel member – the conspiracy theorist and anti-Zionist rock star, Max Blumenthal. It could have been even better. Ken Livingstone was due to speak but in the end was not well enough to participate. Maybe next time.

The event went on for almost two hours, with each of the participants giving a short speech before those watching were allowed to table questions.

It was hosted by ‘Resistance TV’, a YouTube channel with a whopping 800 subscribers. The event was titled ‘Defending Free Speech and Challenging Manufactured Consent’ and forms part of the ongoing Williamson campaign to start a new political movement. That’s right, all those that were forced out or expelled by the Labour Party want to create a movement where their toxic views will become part of the manifesto. Needless to say, Jews need not apply.
The speakers

Williamson chairs the event and gives a talk about the need for free speech. It is to be the drumbeat of the event. Williamson then quickly hands the floor to Tony Greenstein.

Greenstein opens by stating that the antisemitism in Labour is just ‘manufactured, simulated, created and falsified, before going on to say that the ‘whole campaign was contrived from the start’. Within minutes the tone for the entire evening has been set. When they talk about free speech, they mean they want freedom to attack the Jews.

I have seen all these people speak more times than I can care to remember. Listening to each and every one is like wading through a sewer. Some represent a deeper sewer than others. For example, Jackie Walker’s adoption of a Jewish identity, which she then used to bash the Jewish community organisations with, was one of the most toxic themes of the Corbyn era.

The speeches are guarded, but one by one they go beyond simply calling the antisemitism crisis a manufactured smear – it is unsurprisingly all about the powers that control.
Melanie Phillips: Why even black and brown-skinned Jews are 'white imperialists'
The answer is white guilt, as Shelby Steele pointed out in his 2006 book of that name.

Black rage, he wrote, seizes its opportunity from the perceived weakness of the white oppressor, even when there is no injustice.

Black rage started rising in America after the great civil-rights victories were won in the ’60s. White guilt then made racism into “a valuable currency for black Americans”. It gave them a political identity with no real purpose, except the manipulation of white guilt.

The subsequent Black Power movement articulated Marxist dogma, which went like this. Capitalism created power and oppression; white people were capitalists, so white people were powerful oppressors; Jews were behind capitalism, so Jews were oppressors; capitalism was bad because it was white; Jews were white because they were capitalists.

This doctrine was then turned into a toxic cultural poison by the immensely influential Columbia University literature professor Edward Said. He fused American racism and European colonialism, and represented Palestinians as the essential darker-skinned “Orientals” who were its supposed victims. At a stroke, he thus transformed Israel into the every embodiment of white supremacy.

As a result, Israel is viewed as a white-colonialist enterprise by those who subscribe to these ideas. Given that most Israelis are not white but dark-skinned, this is absurd. But then, in today’s upside-down world, whiteness is not a pigment but an ideology.

Last week, a workshop at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, called “Jews and whiteness in colonial spaces,” set out to associate Zionists, African Jews and eastern Mizrahi Jews with “whiteness” and thus turn them all into oppressors.

Who can be surprised? For “critical race theory,” part of post-modern academic orthodoxy, holds that science, reason and evidence are a “white” way of knowing. Crazy or what?

So both Israel and western society are falsely denounced for “white imperialism,” even black or brown-skinned Jews are white, and George Orwell is spinning in his grave.
StandWithUs: Israel, Britain and Beyond
A diplomat in Israel’s Foreign Ministry, spokesman for the prime minister, and currently ambassador to one of Israel’s most important allies, no one has an insider's view on how Israel is represented on the global stage better than His Excellency, Ambassador Mark Regev. This will be a fascinating, live, no-holds-barred, interactive discussion—join the conversation!


The New Anti-Semitism: The Delegitimization of the Jewish People
In the post-Second World War era, the new anti-Semitism is collective in character, as it seeks to address the actions and outcomes created by Jews as a people and the role of the Jewish State. "Whiteness" and "Delegitimization" are the new standards by which Jews are being judged. For the anti-Semite, Israel serves as the collective embodiment of the "international" Jew.

The new anti-Semitism reintroduces the issues of "race" and "nationality" into the mix, as Jews are being challenged in connection with their "whiteness" as well as their legitimacy as Americans. The far left classifies Jews as "too white," while the far right defines Jews as seeking to "replace" authentic white people.

In the aftermath of the George Floyd incident, various groups have sought to link Israel's military as a responsible party. BDS groups and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights began falsely posting on social media about how Minneapolis police are "trained" by the IDF. Yet the IDF has never been involved in the training of the Minneapolis police force.



A Farrakhan Supporter Led the LA Black Lives Matter Rally That Became a Pogrom
"It’s no coincidence that the riots here escalated in Fairfax, the icon of the Jewish community. I saw the Watts and the Rodney King riots. They never touched a synagogue or house of prayer. The graffiti showed blatant antisemitism. It’s Kristallnacht all over again," Rabbi Shimon Raichik, a Chabad Rabbi in Los Angeles, wrote.

These scenes from what the media has falsely called peaceful protests and the Jewish community in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles has called the Shavuot Riots, after the biblical holiday during which the worst of the attacks on the community occurred, has fundamentally divided Los Angeles Jews.

Allyson Rowen Taylor, the former Associate Director of the American Jewish Congress in LA, and a co-founder of StandWithUs, passed on an account of hearing chants of, "F___ the police and kill the Jews."

"The antisemitic chants are not being widely reported. This is insane and very, very scary," she noted.

After the conclusion of Shavuot and the Shabbat, members of the Jewish community went to pick up the pieces, battling looters and checking out the damage. Even synagogues that had been untouched began evacuating their Torah scrolls to places of safety, unprecedented outside of a major natural disaster.

Aryeh Rosenfeld, an Orthodox Jewish small business owner in the area, described to the Jerusalem Post hearing screams of, "F___ Jews" during the riots and looting as he tried to protect his store.

The looting not only devastated countless small businesses in the area, but graffiti, some of it explicitly anti-Semitic, was scrawled across at least 5 Orthodox Jewish synagogues and 3 religious schools.

“The attack on our community last night was vicious and criminal. Fairfax is the center of the oldest Jewish community in Los Angeles,” Councilman Paul Koretz said. “As we watched the fires and looting, what didn’t get covered were the anti-Semitic hate crimes and incidents."
Ice Cube, Louis Farrakhan, and Antisemitism
Many newspapers and magazines appear baffled by the rapper Ice Cube’s June 10th tweet of an image of a Jewish Star of David with a Black Cube filling its center. One suggests that it may be “a Black cube of Saturn.” Another opines that it must be “a reference to occult worship.” The Daily Beast says that Ice Cube was sharing an antisemitic conspiracy theory, and that the symbol refers to “a cult of Satan worshipers.”

In fact, the link should have been apparent. Ice Cube has, after all, been open about his attachment to Louis Farrakhan, even congratulating him in a tweet last month on his 87th birthday. This should have eliminated any confusion, because the intimate connection between the Star of David and Satan is a central tenet of the antisemitic ideology of the Nation of Islam (NOI), which Farrakhan has headed since 1977. Although the cross used to be a major symbol of evil for the NOI, under Farrakhan, the Star of David, which he identifies explicitly as the sign of Satan, has replaced the cross as the core symbol of iniquity.

Farrakhan explains to his massive, rapt audiences that the reason he is compelled to talk so much about the Jews is because, “My job is to pull the cover off of Satan so that he will never deceive you and the people of the world again.” And he often provides the evidence for his discovery of the Satanic essence of the Jews. Projecting a huge image of the Star of David on a screen, he promises he will “make it plain … Now this Star of David … look at it … six sides … six angles …” — he dramatically counts out and traces each side and each angle. “And each angle in an equilateral triangle is how many degrees?” Aroused, the audience shouts, “60 degrees!” Farrakhan, now grinning broadly: “Say it loud! Well, you have 6, 6, and 6. So the Bible says, ‘Count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man — 600, 3 score, and 6.’” Thus it is through his close reading of the Book of Revelation that he has been able to discern the real “meaning of the symbol adopted by Jews and Zionists” — the symbol of Satan or the Synagogue of Satan.
Ruthie Blum: If Black Lives Matter, then don't Palestinian Lives?
If the residents of Ramallah and Gaza were to topple portraits of terrorists, overturn police cars and demand a new order of democracy and civil rights, they would be justified. Unfortunately, they’d also be subjected to torture on a par with, or worse than, that suffered by George Floyd.

Nor would any Palestinian sadists-in-uniform tasked with quelling the unrest be punished by the authorities who answer to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. It’s not for nothing that he perpetuates the fiction – among his people and for international consumption – that Israel is at the root of Palestinian misery. Doing so has enabled him to stay in power, and in clover, for the past 15 years and counting.

The Palestinians know this and hate him for it, as was evident in interviews last week with Israeli Channel 13’s Arab affairs correspondent and analyst Zvi Yehezkeli.

“In Israel, there’s law and order; life is good,” said one West Bank Palestinian, when asked about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention to begin extending Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria next month.

Another admitted, “I prefer Israeli sovereignty [to Palestinian] 100%.”

A third asserted that if elections were held today in the PA between Abbas and Netanyahu, the latter would win for sure. Unlike their Western counterparts, Palestinians actually long to have a little liberty, not to mention a steady job.

How is it, then, that the world’s liberals – who are voicing solidarity with BLM, erasing history and offering special benefits to “black, indigenous and other people of color” (BIPOC) – are forsaking the Palestinians? And why do Palestinians imagine that BLM and company give a damn about them?

The answer is that the current chaos has nothing to do with wanting the US government or police to value life. It is, rather, a revolution fomented by radicals with an agenda: to destroy Western civilization by nullifying it.

The fact that participants in this effort imagine that it will result in an improved society for any citizen indicates how utterly ignorant they are – as if that weren’t already abundantly clear.








How students can respond to anti-Israel sentiment
StandWithUs is an organization that supports Israel and fights anti-Semitism around the world. On Tuesday, It presented a webinar geared to helping parents and grandparents navigate conversations with children about Israel, anti-Semitism and other challenges facing pro-Israel students today. On the panel were several experts including the organization’s CEO, Roz Rothstein; Executive Director of Research and Strategy Max Samarov; Southern Campus Coordinator Talia Lerner; and UCLA student and StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, Justin Feldman.

While I had hoped for a bit more generic information (including the advertised question, “ Is it okay for a student wear a kipah to school?”, the panel did an excellent job in presenting information to help college students with issues they face in today’s world.

The bulk of the presentation addressed the basic scenario of students being harassed or excluded from events because they are seen to be pro-Israel. Issues ranged from college professors openly advocating against Israel, to students being kept from marching with or supporting groups like Black Lives Matter because of their beliefs.

The advice offered by the panel was to first assess the situation to determine if the resistance is stemming from a lack of knowledge or from actual anti-Semitism. Perhaps the professor is repeating information provided by a colleague and assumed the facts were valid? In that scenario, it might be best to request a private meeting with the professor and offer education and material to clear up any misinformation. Below is a list of helpful strategies to employ in various other situations.
Simple things you can do to help Israel's economy
Many people would like to visit Israel this summer, but aren't able to travel because of the economic downturn or the Corona Virus. If you are like the many in that same boat, there is something you can do to help Israel from the comfort of your hometown.

Purchase Israeli products whenever possible. It's the next best thing to being there yourself. By buying Israeli, your dollars will greatly benefit the economy.

It may cost a little more to buy Israeli, but the extra dollar or two spent is well worth it. By suppporting factories and workers in Israel, you make it easier for Israeli families to purchase within Israel. They then purchase products and services that provide income and employment to other families. Each dollar you spend provides exponential economic benefits.

Israeli products are easy to find. Most grocery stores have an Israeli/kosher product section. I make sure to swing by and buy olives, pickles, cheese, dairy products, candy, shabbat candles, wine and crackers whenever I shop. All are high quality and a good value. If you don't use them yourself, give them as gifts to others. If you feel threatened by going to the Israeli/kosher section of your local store, you can purchase online.

It makes my Shabbat that much more special knowing that my candles and food come from a factory in Israel.
It is important to verify that things are in-fact manufactured in Israel. The packaging is often deceiving. For example, Sabbath candles and other items appear to be Israeli, but they are actually manufactured in China. Always check the label for the made in Israel mark. It makes my Shabbat that much more special knowing that my candles and food come from a factory in Israel.

Israeli made corporate and personal gifts are available and plentiful online. Several websites specialize in providing made-in-Israel items. I try to purchase them when sending someone a gift.

If you know someone in Israel who has a store, buy products through them. It involves extra effort, but it is worth it.
Amnesty International's violations of human rights extend beyond Gaza
It beggars belief. Amnesty International defines its core values as the desire to form “a global community of human rights defenders based on the principles of international solidarity, effective action for the individual victim, global coverage, the universality and indivisibility of human rights, impartiality and independence, and democracy and mutual respect.”

It was in this spirit that Rami Aman, the founder of the Gaza Youth Committee, participated in a Zoom call with Israeli peace activists. Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2006, however, decrees that "establishing any activity or communication with the Israeli occupation under any excuse is a crime punishable by law, and is treason against our people.” Aman’s exercise of “international solidarity” and “the universality and indivisibility” initially passed unnoticed by Hamas authorities until Amnesty International “research consultant” and “worker” Hind Khoudary learned about the Zoom call and reported Aman to Hamas.

The militant group arrested Aman, and he has not been seen since. Initially, Amnesty did not react, but only under pressure from other human rights groups did it acknowledge its researcher’s role and terminate her affiliation with Amnesty. Even then, however, it took almost a month before Amnesty labeled Aman a prisoner of conscience. Had it not been for the tireless efforts of United Nations Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, it is likely that Aman’s arrest would have gone unremarked and unpublicized, and Amnesty would still rely on a researcher more committed to a political narrative and her own deep-seated hatreds than any objective understanding of human rights.

Alas, it now appears that Khoudary was not alone in abusing Amnesty International affiliation to pursue illiberal and hateful agendas, nor is the problem limited to the divisive Arab-Israeli conflict.

In a world where there are seemingly too few good news stories, the Abaarso School is a happy exception. In short, financial analyst Jonathan Starr wanted to do more than make money on Wall Street and so, in 2009, founded the Abaarso School of Science & Technology on a rural plain outside of Hargeisa, Somaliland. On a strictly merit basis, the grade 7-12 school opened its doors to students from Somaliland and Somalia. Some students were the first in their family to attend secondary school; others were orphans. Abaarso prioritized critical thinking, and, in a culture where teachers often beat students, it instead treated students with respect.


First COVID-19 saliva test in US can be taken at home via tele-medicine
A Jewish-American scientist who helped pioneer a COVID-19 saliva test — one of the earliest successful coronavirus tests — said that his lab, Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository’s Infinite Biologics in New Jersey, is readying to provide and analyze 50,000 tests per day, many of which will be harvested by patients in their own homes. This would more than double its current capacity of 20,000.

In May, Jay Tischfield, the founder, scientific director, and CEO of RUCDR, received emergency-use authorization from the FDA for the lab’s saliva coronavirus test, which became just the third to win such authorization at the time, and the one only authorized to use saliva collection as opposed to nasal and throat swabs. Test results can be provided by his lab in roughly 48 hours, said Tischfield.

“We responded, luckily, rather early,” Tischfield told The Times of Israel. “I decided [the pandemic was] going to get worse. It was not going to disappear.”

In announcing the emergency authorization, FDA commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said in a May press release: “Authorizing additional diagnostic tests with the option of at-home sample collection will continue to increase patient access to testing for COVID-19. This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site.”
Orthodox lawmaker dares Cuomo to close NY sleepaway camps operating despite ban
Fresh off cutting the locks off a closed Brooklyn playground, leaders in New York City’s Orthodox community are turning their attention to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ban on overnight camps, issued last week to keep the coronavirus pandemic in check.

A lawsuit filed Thursday by the Association of Jewish Camp Operators, which represents dozens of camps serving Orthodox children in New York, charges that Cuomo’s ban should not apply to Jewish camps because they fulfill a religious need.

And Kalman Yeger, an Orthodox city councilman from Brooklyn whose district includes neighborhoods with large Orthodox communities, is urging sleepaway camps to open despite the ban. He said the governor would be powerless to stop camps from serving the tens of thousands of children from Orthodox enclaves in Brooklyn and beyond who typically attend them.

“There’s strength in numbers,” Yeger told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “When thousands and thousands of children are in camps, I challenge the governor to drive around and send all the kids back home. Let him drive the kids home.”

Whether any camp directors will take up Yeger’s charge is unclear. The New York State Department of Health said sleepaway camps that reopen in spite of the ban could face penalties — including possibly losing their right to operate after the pandemic is over.

“An overnight children’s camp found to be operating in violation of the state’s directive will be subject to closure and possible fines,” a spokesperson for the department said in a statement. “In addition, the operator will likely jeopardize their ability to obtain a permit to operate in the future.”
Jewish Democratic Council Says It Won’t Back Ilhan Omar, Mum on Endorsing Her Primary Opponent
The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) has affirmed that it will not support Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in her upcoming primary, but did not provide an endorsement to her chief primary opponent, progressive Antone Melton-Meaux.

Omar is set to face Melton-Meaux, who has been critical of Omar’s antisemitic and anti-Israel statements, in an Aug. 11 primary for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.

When asked by JNS about whether JDCA would be taking on Omar, executive director Halie Soifer instead chose to comment on the activities of the Republican Jewish Coalition, rather than to explain why her organization is not endorsing the opponent of an incumbent who has a record of antisemitic remarks.

“On the day that it was publicly revealed that [US President] Donald Trump gave a green light to Chinese concentration camps, and just days after it was reported that the RJC refused to get involved in the primary opposing not one but two Republican candidates in Georgia with ties to neo-Nazis, the RJC [Republican Jewish Coalition] should explain why they’re spending more than $10 million to re-elect someone who emboldens neo-Nazis, including those running for office,” she said.

Still, added Soifer, “JDCA will not be supporting Rep. Omar in this election. End of story.”

JDCA usually doesn’t get involved in primaries, though it has endorsed candidates such as Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), who is facing a tough re-election on June 23 in New York’s 16th Congressional District. (h/t jzaik)
GOP Leaders Blast Georgia Congressional Candidate Over Antisemitic, Racist Remarks
Members of Republican congressional leadership have come down hard on a candidate in Georgia Republican primary for making antisemitic and other racist remarks.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and GOP conference chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) all criticized Marjorie Taylor Greene, a businesswoman, who will face neurosurgeon John Cowan in a run-off on Aug. 11 to succeed retiring Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.

“These comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them,” McCarthy spokesperson Drew Florio told Politico.

Politico reported that Greene suggested that Muslims do not belong in government; thinks black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party”; called philanthropist George Soros, a Jewish Democratic mega-donor, a Nazi; and said she would feel “proud” to see a Confederate monument if she were black because it symbolizes progress made since the Civil War.

In addition to slamming Greene, Scalise endorsed Cowan.

“The comments made by Ms. Greene are disgusting, and don’t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great,” said Scalise in a statement. “I will be supporting Dr. Cowan.”
George Mason Revokes Admission to Student With White-Supremacism Leanings
George Mason University in Virginia has rescinded its admission to a freshman who has described himself as a “neo-fascist” who lamented that he couldn’t display his swastika collection.

Former incoming freshman Andrew Brewer attempted to join Patriot Front, which is “a white-supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it solely to them,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Brewer fell prey to a sting by a group calling itself the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists, which posed as the Patriot Front organization and took screenshots of its online interactions with Brewer. It also recorded its members’ phone conversations with him.

In them, Brewer labels himself as a “neo-fascist” and complained that he couldn’t display swastikas he collected in Germany, where he is based as a member of Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), which he said were “historical artifacts.”

Additionally, Brewer said that he doesn’t have an opinion on Israel “because I only get the side of ‘oh we need to save Israel, oh the Jews are oppressed’ and I just want to hear the other side … I’m more on the side of people need to stay in their own damn country.”

Colorado Springs posted the screenshots and recordings online.

In a June 16 statement, GMU said it was investigating the allegations surrounding Brewer.

Four days later, the George Mason University Life Twitter account announced the rescission of Brewer’s admission: “In the matter of the student admitted to George Mason University referenced in our previous communication, the matter has been resolved. The individual will not be a student at George Mason University.”
Bid to Oust Florida State University Student Senate President With History of Antisemitic Statements Fails
A no-confidence vote to remove the new Florida State University Student Senate president due to past antisemitic statements he had made failed to gain a necessary two-thirds majority on Wednesday night, though the final tally revealed a majority in favor of removal.

Ahmad Daraldik — who is Palestinian-American — recently replaced a previous president of the Student Senate who was expelled for criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement.

It was later discovered that Daraldik had made numerous offensive comments online such as “stupid Jew” and “f**k Israel.”

In addition, a web page belonging to Daraldik openly minimizes the Holocaust, calling it simply an “atrocity” and comparing Israel unfavorably to Nazi Germany.

The vote on removing Daraldik took place at the end of a Zoom meeting. The vote tally was concealed from the participants, but it was claimed that the motion did not garner a two-thirds majority.

Carly Schlafler — director of communications for the Israel on Campus Coalition — told The Algemeiner, “Jewish and pro-Israel students are disappointed by this outcome, which reflects an apparent double standard” — a reference to the removal of the previous president.

“During the five-hour Zoom meeting, Jewish and pro-Israel students spoke passionately about how Ahmad’s postings made them feel unsafe and marginalized, and about their desire for the Student Senate to make this right by electing a more inclusive leader,” she said.


The voice of Israel on Twitter
The official Israel Twitter account – like Israelis themselves – is not lacking in personality.

When Israel was hit with a heat wave last month, the @Israel Twitter account tweeted a screen shot of a weather app showing 34° centigrade (93.2 ° F) and the message “Hey COVID 19, trust us. You don’t want to stick around for an Israeli summer” plus emojis of a sun, a hot pepper and fire.

When restaurants opened up, @Israel wondered what to eat first, with tantalizing photos of hummus, shakshuka, sabich and an Israeli breakfast spread.

“Update, it’s 12:41 and we have successfully completed our mission. All four dishes were delicious [by the way],” a follow-up tweet read.
Yet another showed beautiful views from around Israel under a pink-red sunset glow referenced the movie Mean Girls with the message: “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”

There are also some more traditional messages, such as an @Israel tweet featuring a video about a one-minute breathalyzer coronavirus test being developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University, and a couple of days later, an explanation of why Jews celebrate Shavuot.


Once again the BBC avoids a story which could enhance audience understanding
However the BBC more often than not refrains from reporting news which would clarify why such measures are necessary both on land and at sea.

Such a story was recently cleared for publication.

“Israeli security forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons to the Hamas terror group’s naval commando unit in the Gaza Strip from the northern Sinai Peninsula through the Mediterranean Sea several weeks ago, the military said Wednesday. […]

On an unspecified date, navy soldiers monitoring the Mediterranean Sea “identified the suspected vessel and directed naval forces to it. Following a chase, the vessel was detained and two terrorist operatives on board were taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet,” the IDF said.

One of the two was Mahmoud Baker, whom the military identified as a senior smuggler who was worked with a number of terror groups in the Strip. “His capture represents a significant operational achievement,” the IDF said. […]

The IDF said that during their interrogation by the Shin Bet, the two men said the weapons they were smuggling were going to Hamas naval commandos.”


To date we have seen no evidence of the BBC showing any interest in reporting this story to its audiences.

The BBC’s long standing avoidance of stories such as this means that its audiences are deprived of information which would contribute to their understanding of why “Israel says” what it does. That clearly conflicts with the BBC’s obligations as set out in the first of its five public purposes.


Facebook removes hundreds more accounts as right-wing violence spreads
Facebook on Tuesday removed almost 900 accounts associated with the far-right Proud Boys and American Guard, including those belonging to Proud Boys supporters who marched into a protest zone in Seattle Monday and confronted anti-racist demonstrators.
Facebook told Reuters the takedowns of more than 500 Facebook accounts and more than 300 Instagram accounts followed a smaller round of suspensions two weeks ago.

"We initially removed a set of accounts for both organizations on May 30 when we saw that both organizations started posting content tied to the ongoing protests," said a Facebook spokeswoman who asked not to be identified. "We were continuing the work to map out the full network."

Facebook had previously banned the groups for promoting hate, but individual members continued to post images with weapons and urge others to
attend protests that followed the Minneapolis killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Facebook is under heightened scrutiny as provocateurs use it to coordinate and recruit. It has also acted to make it harder to find groups in the so-called Boogaloo movement.


Brazilian pastor prays for second Holocaust to ‘destroy the Jews like vermin’
A Brazilian pastor prayed to God to “destroy the Jews like vermin” and bring about a second Holocaust during a sermon in Rio de Janeiro.

“Massacre the Jews, God, hit them with your sword, for they have left God, they have left the nations,” Pastor Tupirani da Hora Lores shouted at dozens of congregants earlier this month at his Geracao Jesus Cristo church, a recording of the event shows. His congregants are heard repeating his words passionately.

“They contrived, went with prostitutes, and when they were told to repent they said they’d do it but they lied,” the pastor said, possibly in reference to the forced conversions to Christianity during the Inquisition.

“God, what you have done in World War II, you must do again, this is what we ask for in our prayers to you: Justice, justice, justice!” da Hora Lores shouted at his church, a small and radical evangelical congregation.

Sinagoga Sem Fronteiras, a network of Jewish communities in Brazil, filed a complaint for incitement against da Hora Lores with federal police, which said they were looking into the case.

“With each complaint and lawsuit, in each state, we aim to publicize the offenses and actions taken against offenders so that people will start thinking twice before taking such actions,” Rabbi Gilberto Ventura, the Sao Paulo-based founder of Sinagoga Sem Fronteiras, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
German Celebrity Chef Facing Potential Criminal Charges Over Antisemitic Rants on Social Media
A German celebrity chef with a penchant for conspiracy theories was being investigated by police in Berlin on Friday for a series of antisemitic postings on social media.

A police spokesperson told German news outlets that postings over the last four weeks by Attila Hildmann — the author of best-selling vegan cuisine cookbooks who frequently appears on German TV — were being examined for their hateful content.

Hildmann’s posts on the Telegram social media platform have attacked Jews and “Zionists” as “parasites” and “subhumans.” Many of the outlandish themes he has pushed are familiar in far-right and neo-Nazi circles — for example, the claim that the “Jewish tribe of Zionists” sought to destroy Germany after World War I with financial reparations.

Hildmann has also opined that the Holocaust was financed by “Zionists,” and that Adolf Hitler was a “blessing” when compared with Germany’s current Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he described as a “communist.”
California Police Investigate Toppled Fountain Attached to Holocaust Memorial
A Holocaust memorial fountain in Santa Rosa, Calif., was vandalized this week.

The fountain at Santa Rosa Memorial Park was “toppled onto the ground in pieces,” reported The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The memorial was built in 2016 by Daniel Judd in honor of his parents, Emil and Lillian Judd. His mother, Lillian, was a Holocaust survivor who died at age 92 from complications related to a stroke that year.

Behind the fountain, which can be used as a hand-washing station, is a mosaic and list of 12 Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

Judd told The Santa Rosa Press Democrat that he was worried that the fountain was damaged with ill intentions.

“That’s what led up to the Holocaust and genocides—people hating and getting angry,” he said. “Mom always spoke about forgiveness. It’s sad to see somebody or a group of people would go and tear it down.”

Police are investigating the vandalism as a potential hate crime.
Holocaust app teaches primary pupils through eyes of Jewish boy in 1930s Berlin
A Holocaust app for primary school children was released for National Refugee Week on Monday, with users following a Jewish boy through Berlin in the 1930s.

The government-funded app, developed with THE National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHCM) with the support of the Department for Education, lets pupils assume the role of Leo, a young Jewish boy growing up in Nazi Germany, who is eventually forced to flee.

Players navigate 360-degree searchable virtual environments, discover hidden objects, answer questions and complete a diary of events before moving to the next stage, in an experience that lets children “step into Leo’s world” from 90 years ago.

Users of the ‘The Journey’ app move through five years’ worth of events in ten animated episodes, which developers say encourage schoolchildren to learn about identity, friendship and kindness.

The app is downloadable from Apple devices this week and will be available from Android devices later this summer, after a three-year development period led by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHCM) in Nottinghamshire, whose ‘Journey’ exhibition it is based on.
Germany Praised by Top Jewish Group for Contributing Another 60 Million Euros to Preservation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Site
Germany said this week that it would provide an additional 60 million euros for the preservation of the remains of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, drawing praise from a top Jewish group.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Piotr M.A. Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and president of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, announced the funding allocation at a ceremony in Warsaw earlier this week.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement issued on Thursday, “I am extremely grateful to Germany for its recognition of the importance of the preservation of the memorial site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, a cause I have been supporting for many years.”

“[German] Chancellor [Angela] Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Mass understand the importance of Holocaust education to fight the surge of rising antisemitism and Holocaust denial,” he noted.

Over a million people Jews were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau — built in occupied Poland by the Nazis — during World War II.

The site, much of which is in ruins, is now home to a memorial and museum.

The new funds will bring Germany’s commitment to preserving the site to 120 million euros.
Israeli Volleyball Association wins raffle to host European matches
The Israeli Volleyball Association (IVA) won a raffle and will host the European pre-finals, N12 reporter Ben Goldfriend tweeted on Thursday.

The Israeli national team will play against the Bulgarian and Austrian national teams in January 2021.

Should they win, the Israeli team will be able to compete in the European Volleyball Championship, which will be held in 2021.

While the Israeli Volleyball team has never won the European Championship, the team has one of the best coaches in the world, Arie Selinger.

Selinger, a Holocaust survivor who discovered sports after arriving in Israel in 1945, trained the US National Volleyball team and the Japanese Volleyball National team before he took on training the Israeli Women's Volleyball team in 2007. Thanks to his efforts and the team's talent, Israel made it to the European Championships for the first time in 2011. He is hailed as one of the best coaches in the world in this sport.
His son, Avital, is the current coach of the Israeli Men's Volleyball team.
Israel set to have record number of openly gay MPs
Israel is set to have a record number of openly gay MPs after new rules allowing cabinet members to give up their seats came into effect.

Six gay MPs from five parties across the political spectrum will serve in the 120-seat Knesset as a result.

Last year, Israel appointed its first openly gay minister.

The country has the most progressive attitude towards LGBTQ people in the Middle East, despite opposition from some conservative sections of society.

They are protected by anti-discrimination laws, have adoption and same-sex inheritance rights, and have been allowed to serve in the military since 1993.

A member of a centrist faction - Yorai Lahav-Hertzano - will become the sixth openly gay MP when he is sworn in next week.

He replaces one of five MPs from Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz's Blue and White party, who submitted their resignations on Wednesday under a new law which allows MPs who are also ministers to give up their seats but stay in government.
Actress Helen Mirren to Host Free Online Concert by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Academy Award-winning British actress Helen Mirren will host later this month a free online concert by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), organized as part of a global fundraising gala to help cover financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The online concert will take place on June 28 and prior registration is required.

The showcase will feature performances by the orchestra’s new conductor, Maestro Lahav Shani, as well as former IPO conductor Maestro Zubin Mehta, Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, Sir András Schiff, Gil and Adèle Shaham, Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, Chen Reiss, Martin Fröst and Evgeny Kissin.

“Following the cancellation of many of the IPO’s performances and fundraising events throughout the world, the IPO Global Gala will raise vital funds to ensure that we can keep the music playing, showcasing musical excellence and bringing a message of peace and harmony,” the IPO said.

Viewers will be able to donate online throughout the event.
Archaeologists unearth Galilee Christian town sacked by Persians in 7th century
Israeli archaeologists have published a 360-degree analysis of a rural, affluent Christian town in the Galilee that was most likely destroyed by Persian invaders in 613 CE.

Unearthed in 2007 in a salvage excavation before roadworks near Shlomi and Kibbutz Hanita, the remains of the Byzantine settlement at Pi Mazuva are located in modern Israel’s northwest corner on the border with Lebanon. The finds include Christian iconography, a large house and a colorful, high-quality, partially preserved mosaic floor.

The findings were published in June’s edition of Atiqot, a research journal produced by the Israel Antiquities Authority, and initially reported on in Haaretz. The lead researchers were Gilad Cinamon, Yoav Lerer, Gabriela Bijovsky and Rina Talgam.

According to the open-source Hebrew-language publication, the settlement was mentioned in the 4th-5th century Jerusalem Talmud as being part of “forbidden territories,” and according to Jewish law (halacha), were not considered part of Jewish territory. At the same time, certain commandments for Jews located in the Land of Israel were still enforced.

“While for now we have no documents from Christian sources about this settlement, all the evidence points to an almost entirely Christian population,” Cinamon told Haaretz.

In addition to the colorful mosaic, researchers also found pottery, a bronze cross, Arab-Byzantine coins, a rare sixth-century bronze weight and stones with crosses carved into them. Four structures were excavated in two seasons, which straddled narrow alleys. The researchers write that the bronze weight “teaches about the economic well-being of the rural community.”
The 10 most iconic archeological sites in Israel
Sitting at the crossroads of the ancient world, Israel is an archeologist’s dream. Peeling back the layers of history here is a never-ending pursuit.

Excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority with local and international experts are constantly turning up new clues to ancient civilizations.

And it’s quite common for casual hikers to contact the IAA about valuable antiquities they’ve stumbled across. Click here and here to read about kids finding rare artifacts.

Israel has invested heavily in enabling safe access to dozens of archeology sites for the public. Many of them have been turned into national parks and UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Ten of the most iconic Israeli archeological sites are described below. In a future article, we’ll look at 10 lesser-known sites where impressive discoveries have been made.

The Old City of Jerusalem
Archeological digs and conservation projects reveal the history of this capital city established by King David more than 3,000 years ago.

The most visited place in Israel, Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited for some 5,000 years. So it’s not surprising that hardly a month goes by without major archeological news here.

Although important discoveries are also made outside the Old City – for instance, underneath the Jerusalem International Convention Center — the most famed archeological heritage sites are in the Old City area and shed light on life during the First Temple period (1000-586 BCE), Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE), Byzantine Muslim period (4th to 11th centuries CE) and Crusader period (1095 to 1291 CE).

Recently, cutting-edge micro-archeology tools were used to correctly date the construction of Wilson’s Arch, which supported one of the main pathways to the Second Temple.



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