Friday, July 17, 2020

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: Want to fight racism? Begin by resisting BLM ideology
Indeed, the recent surge of anti-Semitic comments from some African-American athletes and celebrities like DeSean Jackson, Nick Cannon and Ice Cube were largely ignored by BLM activists rather than condemned. While there were some blacks who did speak out, like basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and sports commentator Jemele Hill, they were the honorable exceptions who proved the rule and testified to the acceptance of Jew-hatred among many blacks. Jewish groups, some of which are diffident about confronting African-Americans about anti-Semitism, aren’t likely to rally BLM advocates to confront this issue, let alone seek its sources, such as the widespread influence of hatemonger Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam.

Unfortunately, many liberal Jews are not only failing to see the inherent problems that arise from backing radical BLM ideas like demonizing all police, but they are also buying into the group’s dangerous ideas about the perils of “whiteness,” which represent a particular threat to Jews as well as undermine black aspirations for advancement.

Accepting the ideological constructs behind the idea of White Fragility—the bestselling book that is a modern patent nostrum of foolishness about race—sends well-meaning people down a rabbit hole of rigid racialism that discards Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s hopes for a race-blind society. And yet that is exactly what many Jews are doing in this overheated post-George Floyd atmosphere.

In the past, Jews have played a constructive role in the struggle for civil rights—whether by marching with Dr. King or funding African-American education precisely because their efforts were aimed at raising up African-Americans, not abasing themselves at the altar of race.

That is why rather than jumping on the BLM bandwagon, those who claim to represent Jewish interests should be holding that movement to account for its damaging ideology, as well as its anti-Zionist connections and passivity about the growth of anti-Semitism among African-Americans.

Racism is real. But so is the danger of aligning with a movement whose goals are antithetical to the values that are responsible for the tremendous advances towards a better society that the civil-rights movement supported by blacks and Jews in the past achieved.
A Saudi scholar, Muhammed, and the Jews of the Arabian Peninsula
Let’s begin by referring to the following excerpts from what appears to be a ground-breaking development:
“…In what is being hailed as an “unprecedented” event, a senior Saudi Arabian researcher has had an article published in an Israeli journal--in Hebrew.

The essay aims to correct what its author, Prof. Mohammed Ibrahim Alghbban, head of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Hebrew Studies at the Department of Modern Languages and Translation at King Saud University in Riyadh, calls 'erroneous misperceptions about the origins of Islam and distorted understanding of manuscripts’ written by the Prophet Muhammad…Alghbban writes that Islam’s founder did not clash with Jews on religious grounds, rather only on politics…”

While it certainly is good news to hear about Arab scholars learning the Hebrew language, teaching it to others (for perhaps good and not-so-good reasons), and more, Alghbban’s assessment appears to be a whitewash of the actual Jihad waged against Medina’s (the second holiest city in Islam) founders--Jews--who fled the earlier Roman wars for their independence in Judea and escaping into the nearby Arabian Peninsula for refuge.

Jews had a long history in the Arabian Peninsula prior to the birth of Muhammad in the 7th century C. E.

Yemen had several Jewish kings in the centuries leading up to Muhammad’s era, and over a thousand years earlier, the Queen of Saba--Sheba--who visited King Solomon, legends say, married him, ruled over southern Arabia and Ethiopia as well.

The Saudi professor claims that Muhammad’s problems with the Medina Jews stemmed only from political concerns.

The problem is that any student of Islam knows, however, that Muhammad was as much a political as a religious leader--and those who opposed him, in either of those categories, often wound up beheaded or enslaved.
George Soros’s Multi-Front War Against Israel
The comparison with coverage of Adelson, likewise discussed by Feinreich in the article noted above, also illustrates how much the media enable Soros in his cynical use of accusations of anti-Semitism to silence criticism. They parrot his complaints in this vein even as they themselves use anti-Semitic tropes to attack Adelson.

Among the many examples of such attacks, a number of which are cited by Feinreich, are The Huffington Post’s 2015 headline, “Tonight’s GOP Debate: Sheldon Adelson’s Malignant Tentacles,” and the op-ed under the headline. Author Richard North Patterson asserts in the piece that “...Adelson means not only to pick the party’s nominee, but to dictate his thoughts.” And: “More than anyone else, it is Adelson - not voters, candidates, or experts on the Middle East - who dictates what Republicans dare to think and say about our relationship to Israel, the Palestinians on the West Bank, and the complex government of Iran.” And, “To Adelson’s God, Israel’s solution to the Palestinians is biblically ordained: annexation of the West Bank and subjugation of its peoples.” And, “...he’s ‘the richest Jew in the world’ and, as such, determined to bend the world to his views.” It is not hard to imagine the charges of anti-Semitism that comparable statements about Soros would elicit from him and his circle and the media outlets that support his activities. But such attacks on Adelson apparently fail to merit such a response.

One can cite similar statements about Adelson from, for example, The New York Times. Times columnist Thomas Friedman, for whom attacking Adelson, and Israel, is something of a personal obsession, wrote in 2015, under the title “Is it Sheldon Adelson’s World?” “ is troubling that one man, with a willingness and ability to give away great sums, can now tilt Israeli and American politics his way at the same time.” And in a 2014 column: “Adelson personifies everything that is poisoning our democracy...” In a more generic invoking of an anti-Semitic trope, Friedman in a 2011 column explained that the standing ovation Benjamin Netanyahu had recently received in Congress was not a reflection of agreement with his views but rather “was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

While apparently having no problem with the use in its pages of anti-Semitic tropes directed against Adelson or “the Israel lobby,” the Times has run a number of news articles and op-eds on Soros as a victim of anti-Semitism. A Times op-ed by Soros’s son Alexander in October, 2018, asserts that his father’s liberal philanthropic exertions have exposed him to “the poison of anti-Semitism.” He characterizes anti-Semitism in America as coming exclusively from the Right, “white supremacists and nationalists,” regurgitates the absurd but often heard association of the anti-Semitic Right with President Trump, and says nothing of the much more mainstreamed anti-Semitism emanating from the Left, including from groups and individuals supported by him and his father.

The Times has for much of the last century ignored anti-Semitism and has written of it recently only in the service of some political objective, as in its promotion of politics of Soros’s variety. And Soros, again, is no less cynical in his invoking of anti-Semitism, doing so to silence critics even as he deploys it to advance his own agenda.

And, once more, central to that agenda is his hostility to Israel. His jaundiced attitude towards other Jews is not as monochromatic as his anti-Zionism. As indicated in the list of anti-Israel organizations and individuals he supports, there are Jews and Jewish groups among them, the major test being that they share, and act upon, his anti-Israel animus. There is little such nuance, however, in that animus.

It is not hard to comprehend why some Jews would be eager to distance themselves from an identity that has been and continues to be so vilified and that not long ago marked its holders for slaughter on an unprecedented scale. Each individual is free to choose his or her communal affiliations, or at least such freedom ought to be an element of any truly open society. But to move from disassociating oneself from the Jewish quest for national self-determination and its realization in Israel to supporting those who would undermine and ultimately annihilate the Jewish state, and to do so while claiming a higher purpose, to take the path that Soros has forged for himself, is not a course that would be chosen by any truly moral human being but rather the mark of a moral cripple.

Christine Rosen: The Company You Keep
More concerning is why citizens of Louisville want an “ally” like Sarsour furthering the cause of justice for Breonna Taylor. Sarsour, an unapologetic bigot, shares the BLM cause only insofar as she can use it to promote her own anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agenda. Sarsour’s and Tamika Mallory’s anti-Semitism (and continued support of other anti-Semites such as Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam) prompted many local chapters of the Women’s March they are credited with helping found to break away from the national organization. Mallory and Sarsour have both been removed from the Women’s March board.

That hasn’t dampened their enthusiasm for exclusionary bigotry. In an announcement about a Juneteenth rally for racial justice that Sarsour helped organize through another one of her activist organizations, MPower Change, promotional materials said the rally was “open to all, minus cops & Zionists.”

In another recent speech, Sarsour claimed, falsely, that an Anti-Defamation League-sponsored program in Israel for law enforcement led to American police officers harming black Americans. “I’ll give you an example of something that they do,” she said, “If you are part of a criminal justice reform movement, if you believe in the idea of ending police brutality and the misconduct of law enforcement officers across the country, then you do not support an organization that takes police officers from America, funds their trips, takes them to Israel so they can be trained by the Israeli police and military, and then they come back here and do what? Stop and frisk, killing unarmed black people across the country.”

The message seems to be spreading to other BLM supporters. During a recent BLM protest in Washington, D.C., marchers chanted “Israel, we know you, you murder children, too.” And as Algemeiner reported, on the anniversary of the Louis Farrakhan-sponsored Million Man March, Sarsour said, “The same people who justify the massacres of Palestinian people and call it collateral damage are the same people who justify the murder of black young men and women.”

Sarsour’s eagerness to attach her noxious views about Israel and Jews to the BLM moment has brought her increased visibility. Her and Mallory’s arrests this week no doubt brought in a lot of earned media and donations for their organization. But BLM leaders and the many corporations and individuals who have been donating money to the cause might want to consider whether anti-Semites like Sarsour are really the allies they want to embrace.
Zach Banner Tackles Anti-Semitism and Racism
One of the many remarkable things about this story is that Banner didn’t actually know what the term “anti-Semitism” even meant before that morning. “I’m just gonna be honest with you man, before this ... When I was reading that article from ESPN, I had to Google what ‘anti-Semitic’ was,” he told me. For Banner, like many people, the terminology surrounding Jews and Judaism was confusing, even as he had the best of intentions toward Jewish people. “You use the term ‘Jew,’” he asked me during our conversation. “Is that, I mean, me being of African American descent, is that similar to us using the N-word? Like, only [for] Jewish people? Would you suggest me never to use the word ‘Jew’?” As it turned out, this was why he had been careful to refer only to “the Jewish community” in his videos. I reassured him on this front, but was also reminded that in our era of microaggressions and hyperattention to language surrounding minority groups, sometimes it’s important to take a step back and focus on a person’s intentions rather than their packaging.

So if he didn’t know the technical term for anti-Semitism, how did Banner know so much about the Jewish experience? His education began at the University of Southern California. “My first encounter with a Jewish person was at USC,” he said. He remembers being flummoxed when learning for the first time about anti-Jewish prejudice in his classes. “When I got there, they’re teaching me about the quote-unquote ‘racial characteristics’ that people try to identify like the big nose and, you know, things like that, and I still to this day don’t get it.”

Campus was also where he found the people he calls his “Jewish family members”—his brothers at the historically Jewish fraternity Zeta Beta Tau. When one of them first invited him to join, he was naturally a little confused. “I was like, ‘Hey man, isn’t that like a white fraternity?’” he recalled. “And he said, ‘Well, no, nationally it’s Jewish, but you know we have definitely a lot more ... We have a broad range of different ethnicities, racial groups, cultures, within the fraternity. I’d like you to see that.’ And it was very true. We had some Black guys. I wasn’t the only one of African American descent there. We also had—one of my pledge brothers is Muslim. We had a couple dudes from Asia. So it was really a brotherhood. But there was a good portion of Jewish people in it, Jewish bros in it.”

Banner learned a lot about the backgrounds of his brothers, in part because he preferred to have conversations about personal matters, rather than everything reverting back to football. “I personally like picking and asking questions about people’s upbringing,” he said, “because I’m probably the only athlete in the room, more than likely, and I hate talking about myself.”

“People [are] usually just, like, ‘How’s football?’” But “no one wants to talk about work. You know what I mean? I don’t wanna talk about work. You don’t wanna talk about work.”

This was how Banner, a star football player of African American and Chamorro descent, got his crash course on the Jewish experience. “I’m picking their brains about this,” he said. “I have a baseline knowledge of the Holocaust, I have a baseline knowledge of World War II. I know about, you know, the Nazi movement and things like that, genocide and that, but when I hear these stories, from a Jewish person, it’s very very passionate. I learned so many different things.”
The Necessary Means: The Black-Jewish Divide
If there is one silver lining to this, it is that several prominent Black writers and activists, such as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, have publicly slammed and repudiated Farrakhan. We must hope those in the Black community like Jabbar prevail in this debate — which is a debate only the Black community can have. But the problem of Farrakhan cannot be solved without solving the larger problem of Black antisemitism.

In the early 1960s, the great African-American writer and activist James Baldwin — who was not entirely free of antisemitism himself — tried to get to the bottom of it all.

“In the American context,” Baldwin wrote, “the most ironical thing about Negro anti-Semitism is that the Negro is really condemning the Jew for having become an American white man. … The Jew profits from his status in America, and he must expect Negroes to distrust him for it. The Jew does not realize that the credential he offers, the fact that he has been despised and slaughtered, does not increase the Negro’s understanding. It increases the Negro’s rage.”

To Baldwin, then, Black antisemitism was at its core driven by two factors: that to Blacks, the Jew was white, and therefore part of the problem; and that Jews did not think of themselves as white.

Putting aside the fact that a very large number of Jews are not white, the problem with this is that while it may be true that Black people believe the Jews are white and therefore benefit from white racism, the racists have always disagreed. White supremacists in the US have never believed that the Jews were “white,” and to the extent that they have seen Jews as superior to Black people, it is only in our supposed preternatural genius at using Black people as a weapon to destroy white people.

It is true that the otherness of Jews in America, and elsewhere, is not the same as that of a Black person. A Black person wears that otherness on their face, every day for all to see. With a handful of exceptions, he cannot “pass,” even if he wanted to. The ability of the Jew to blend in, to be unidentifiable, is thus to the Black person a privilege he cannot enjoy.

But the Jews do not by any means always “pass.” Some of us do wear it on our faces. I have been “made” as a Jew several times, as have many of my friends. In one case for one of those friends, the results were quite egregious. And many of us wear it on our bodies through the kippah, the black suit, the shtreimel or the tzitzit: precisely those “visible Jews” who have recently been the object of assaults by people of color in New York and New Jersey.
For Black Antisemites, Visiting Auschwitz Is Not the Answer
American Jews are making a mistake. When Philadelphia Eagles football player DeSean Jackson made blatantly antisemitic remarks, Jewish Patriots player Julian Edelman invited him to visit Auschwitz. In fact, Jackson has accepted an invitation from Edward Mosberg, a Holocaust survivor. That’s OK. He will, in all likelihood, learn something about Jewish history in Europe, about the Holocaust and about not throwing Hitler’s name around like a football.

But that isn’t where the problem lies. It lies with the erasure of American Jewish history, and for American Jews to suggest the answer is in Poland is unhelpful.

TV personality Nick Cannon believes the problem of race in America goes “as deep as the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America.” Cannon worries about “giving too much power to the ‘they,’” and they turn out to be “the Illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothschilds.”

Jackson, Cannon and others get their talking points from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. On his YouTube show, Cannon said, “Every time I’ve heard [Farrakhan] speak, it’s positive, it’s powerful, it’s uplifting … for whatever reason, he’s been demonized.”

Farrakhan knows perfectly well that Hitler engineered the genocide of the Jewish people in Europe — no denial there. On the other hand, he thinks that the Jews were responsible for what happened to them. They brought it on themselves.

How? By being Jews — by doing all the nasty things Farrakhan and his ilk charge “the Jews” with doing. Those things don’t bear repeating here or anywhere, but if the Jews did those things in Europe and they do those things in the United States (and, by the way, claim the “intersectionalists” who want to ride on well-founded concerns of African Americans, they do those things in Israel, too) well, then, can you blame Hitler for a little overreaction? Can you blame American antisemites for the violence in Los Angeles on Memorial Day weekend, or say, the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh? At Chabad of Poway?

I mean, really, if those Jews just wouldn’t do what those Jews do …

What do they do? Well, you know, they are “termites” and all.
Fox Stands by Nick Cannon in Wake of Anti-Semitic Remarks
After days of silence, Fox television network defended host Nick Cannon, who has been under fire for an anti-Semitic tirade in which he accused Jewish people of controlling the global financial system.

Fox Entertainment spokesman Les Eisner said that the company is standing behind Cannon, who has been forced to issue multiple apologies since he posted a YouTube video on June 23 that included praise for anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Cannon also promoted age-old anti-Semitic canards about Jewish control, including claims that a secretive group of Jewish people controls the world's banking system.

Cannon's comments led ViacomCBS, producer of his MTV and VH1 show, to fire him. Cannon is also the host of Fox's The Masked Singer and is in talks for a new daytime television show produced by Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury group, which has remained silent so far on his remarks.

Fox spokesman Eisner defended Cannon, saying the host is remorseful and currently educating himself about why his comments offended the American Jewish community. Initially, Cannon issued a non-apology, but he has since changed his tune.

"When we were made aware of Nick Cannon's interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick," Eisner said in a statement. "He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate. This was important for us to observe."

"Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends," Eisner claimed. "On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. FOX condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind."

Jamaal Bowman topples Eliot Engel in NY Democratic primary
Former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman has toppled 16-term US Rep. Eliot Engel in New York’s Democratic primary in another upset victory for the party’s insurgent wing.

Many votes cast by mail in the race have yet to be counted, but an AP analysis of absentee ballots returned so far indicated Friday that Bowman’s lead from votes cast in person is too large for Engel to overcome.

Bowman declared victory in the race on June 24, a day after the primary.

A political novice who has never held public office before, Bowman, 44, was a progressive African American challenger who said Engel, the 73-year-old chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had lost touch with his economically and racially diverse district.

Engel, who is Jewish, is known as one of Capitol Hill’s pro-Israel stalwarts and one of the most hawkish Democrats. He voted against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and for the George W. Bush administration’s Iraq war.

He earned his extraordinary win in a campaign season upended first by the coronavirus outbreak, then by protests over the death of George Floyd.
Bernie Sanders Endorses Ilhan Omar for Re-Election to Minnesota Seat
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has endorsed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for re-election in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, announced the senator on Wednesday.

“@IlhanMN is a woman of incredible strength. We need her leadership in Congress. I’m pleased to endorse her campaign for reelection,” captioned the former Democratic presidential candidate, who was endorsed by Omar, in a Twitter post that includes a video of Sanders announcing his endorsement for Omar.

In the video, Sanders touts Omar as “one of the leaders in the Congress in fighting for economic and social and racial and environmental justice,” while claiming that Omar “has been subjected to more vile and racist attacks than any other member of the Congress” and praising her for having “responded with incredible dignity and pride that should make the people of her state and her district extraordinarily proud of her.”

Sanders went on to say that Omar is “a woman of incredible strength and dignity.”

“We need Ilhan’s leadership in the Congress,” he continued. “We need her voice speaking out for justice.”

The video was paid for by Sanders’s principal campaign committee, Friends of Bernie Sanders.

The move comes one day after the congresswoman picked up an endorsement from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Omar has perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes on Twitter and introduced a resolution in Congress that promotes boycotts of Israel, likening them to boycotts of Nazi Germany.

In February 2019, a month after being sworn in, Omar accused AIPAC of paying members of Congress to back Israel, saying it was “all about the Benjamins.”

A response to anti-Israel op-ed by Beth Winter MP
Perhaps the nastiest demonisation from Ms Winter is the allegation that Israel ‘attempts to censor textbooks’ of Palestinian children. Presumably this comes from Canavan. It shows the disinformation which NEU visitors to Judea and Samaria are fed. And at home the NEU (in truth its prececessor the NUT) is in bed with the antisemitic Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

What is in Palestinian textbooks? Well an 11th grade history book described the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre by Palestinian terrorists in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered as ‘a strike at Zionist interests abroad.’ As for Mathematics, calculus is taught by counting the number of dead Hamas terrorists in Palestinian uprisings. Israel would be perfectly justified in criticising this perversion of education.

I contacted Impact-SE. The statement ‘Israel attempts to censor textbooks’ is a lie.

Israel does not (and of course cannot) intervene regarding Palestine Authority-issued schoolbooks in Judea/Samaria and Gaza, taught in PA and UNRWA schools to 1.3 million children. The PA is an independent authority as is UNWRA. Nor does it interfere in private Jerusalem schools. Arabic-language schools in Jerusalem, served by the Jerusalem Municipality and paid for by Israeli taxpayers, have historically refused to study the excellent Israeli curriculum in Arabic studied in Arabic language schools across Israel, but insist on studying the extremist Palestinian Curriculum.

Respecting the wish to include a distinct Palestinian national identity but equally sensitive to their responsibility that Palestinian students should not be indoctrinated by the hate and radicalisation in the PA curriculum (that has been condemned inter alia by the UN, European Parliament, UK and Norwegian governments), the Jerusalem municipality offers (not forces!) alternative textbooks which meet UNESCO peace and tolerance standards.

The demonisation of Israel – in the form of straight lies, or omitting the security rationale, for example for checkpoints or the security fence – has been the breeding ground of much of the antisemitism evident in the Labour Party. If Keir Starmer is serious about tackling it then he must address Labour MPs like Bethan Winter who give currency to the demonising lies. This should be a recommendation of the EHRC. But we all know it won’t be ……………
Lloyd Russell-Moyle quits Shadow Cabinet citing “right-wing” campaign and abuse, but given his record on antisemitism it is disappointing that Sir Keir Starmer promoted him in the first place
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Shadow Minister for Natural Environment and Air Quality, has resigned from the Labour frontbench, citing a “campaign by the right-wing media” and targeted abuse.

It comes days after he was forced to apologise after it was revealed that he had called Zionism, the movement to give Jews the same right to self-determination as all other peoples, “a dangerous nationalist idea”.

Mr Russell-Moyle has a terrible record on antisemitism, having defended Melanie Melvin, who had tweeted that a Syrian gas attack had been “filmed by the BBC at Pinewood on the orders of Mrs May and the Israeli lobby” and Rebecca Massey who had claimed that “Israel has [the] Tory [and] Labour parties under control”, backed Ken Livingstone and declared that the “Israel lobby manufactured the UK Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis”.

He has also shared a leaked dossier designed to blame Labour’s antisemitism crisis on anti-Corbyn factions within the Party. The unredacted version that he and others shared led to details of antisemitism complainants being shared on neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It was deeply disappointing that Sir Keir Starmer appointed Mr Russell-Moyle to his Shadow Cabinet, given his record. Mr Russell-Moyle should still face disciplinary proceedings over his past conduct.”
Google, Apple ‘erasing Palestine’ from geographic apps - activists
A campaign launched by an Instagram account called “Astagfirvlah,” also spelled “Astagfirollah,” accuses Google and Apple of “officially removing” Palestine from their maps.

Wednesday’s Instagram post sparked widespread criticism on social media, accusing both companies of trying to obliterate the Palestinian identity and change facts to satisfy American and Israeli goals.

Tweets emerged. One said: “Today #Israel came to cancel the annexation of #Palestine?! Today is also the same day #Applemaps and #GoogleMaps removed #Palestine from there worldwide maps?! I stand with you forever and always!! #FreePalestine!!! Please speak up!! And share!! #istandforjustice.”

Others said: “As you can see, @Google removed ‘Palestine’ from its maps” and “Removing #Palestine from the map doesn’t mean it ceases to exist. #PalestineIsHere.”

Eyad Rifai, head of Sada Social Center, which monitors social media violations against Palestinian content, affirmed to The Media Line that Palestine was not identified as such on these maps, but rather as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

He added that since the beginning of 2020, Google had begun to remove the names of Palestinian cities and roads from its maps while keeping Israeli roads – which put Palestinians in danger if they followed directions based on the maps and ended up in an Israeli settlement.

“We have been working and sending letters to several parties to include Palestine in accordance with the laws of the United Nations,” Rifai stated.
The Atlantic Refuses to Correct Error Regarding Israel’s Borders
On July 12, the Atlantic published an article by Graham Allison which was mostly about President Trump, but that still managed to include misinformation about Israel and its Prime Minister. (“Trump Might Not Want to Relinquish Power.”) Allison wrote:
Putin, Xi, Netanyahu, and Trump all differ from one another in many ways, of course. But each has reasons to avoid relinquishing his hold on power. Putin, Xi, and Netanyahu genuinely have grand ambitions. Each wants to expand his country’s formal borders—Russia’s into Ukraine, Israel’s into the West Bank, China’s to reintegrate Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, who once lived in Israel and published a column in the Jerusalem Post, surely knows that Israel has never had a “formal border” between itself and the West Bank. In 1949, temporary armistice lines were agreed upon between Israel and Jordan. Israel’s territorial victory in 1967 also did not create a “formal border.”

As CAMERA has explained before:
The Green Line… served as an armistice demarcation line between Israel and Jordan. The armistice line was established April 3, 1949 by Article III of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement and was never the “border” between Israel and the West Bank.

On the contrary, the agreement specifically notes that the lines are not borders: “The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

In short, the word “border” implies legality, political significance and permanence that does not apply in this circumstance.

Yet, despite multiple contacts from CAMERA, the Atlantic has so far failed to correct its error. Why would a reputable publication let such a false claim stand?
BBC’s Bateman visits Hizballah tunnels but fails to tell the whole story
Listeners were not informed that it is Hizballah itself which is obstructing UNIFIL’s mission or that Israel has not been alone in raising that issue: the United Nations has done so too.

One may have assumed that the BBC’s correspondent would at that point expand on the topic of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and the consequences of UNIFIL’s failure to meet its objectives but instead Bateman changed the subject.

Bateman: “Amid Lebanon’s economic crisis Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah appeared on TV last week. He warned of dangerous consequences for the region over Israel’s recent plans to annex Palestinian territories.”

Not only has Israel not yet presented any such “plans” but the area potentially concerned is not – and never has been – “Palestinian territories” but parts of Area C, which under the terms of the Oslo Accords remained under Israeli control pending negotiations.

Failing to provide listeners with an accurate and impartial view of the nature and extent of Hizballah’s influence in Lebanon or to explain what exactly the terror organisation is supposedly ‘resisting’, Bateman went on to introduce the first of two non-local contributors to his report.
French Far-Left Leader Accused of Voicing Antisemitic ‘Jews Killed Jesus’ Trope
The leader of France’s main far-left political party is being accused of espousing an antisemitic trope during a recent radio interview.

Asked by his interviewer whether police should “be like Jesus on the cross and not reply” when provoked by demonstrators, Jean-Luc Mélenchon — head of the LFI (La France Insoumise) party — replied, “Listen, I don’t know if Jesus was on the cross. I know who put him there, it seems that it was his own compatriots” — an apparent reference to Jews.

French Jewish parliamentarian Meyer Habib reacted on Twitter, writing, “No Mr. Mélenchon! A bit of history: Jesus Christ was condemned to death by crucifixion by the Roman Ponce Pilate, not by his Jewish compatriots (21’32)! The temptation was perhaps too strong to recycle the age-old antisemitic deicide trope.”

The LFI currently holds 17 of the 577 seats in the French National Assembly. In the first round of the 2017 presidential election, Melenchon won 7 million votes — nearly 20 percent of the total number cast.

Last month, as reported by The Algemeiner, the 68-year-old Mélenchon was criticized for dismissing chants of “Dirty Jews!” that were heard at an anti-racism demonstration in Paris as “gossip.”
French town that saved Jews elects mayor from party founded by Holocaust denier
The municipal council of Moissac sometimes calls its placid French town overlooking the Tarn River, near Toulouse, “the city of the Righteous Among the Nations.”

It’s a reference to how hundreds of locals during the Holocaust helped resistance activists rescue about 500 Jewish children — an occurrence that Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum, has defined as “an exceptional episode in the history of World War II.” Righteous Among the Nations is the title that the State of Israel gives to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

In 2013, Yad Vashem helped inaugurate a Righteous Among the Nations square with plaques in the center of the town of 12,000, which the museum has trumpeted and has been featured in the French press.

Now Moissac is again making headlines, but for a much different reason: Its new mayor, Romain Lopez, has been accused of making anti-Semitic statements and is part of the far-right National Rally party founded by the Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Late last month, Lopez won a whopping 62 percent of the vote. In 2015, he wrote on Twitter dismissively about figures on anti-Semitism presented in the French parliament by a Jewish scholar and Holocaust survivor, Serge Klarsfeld.

“The apostles of the persecution complex don’t know what to invent next,” Lopez wrote.

Lopez, who is only 31, has denied the comment reflected any anti-Semitic bias but nonetheless apologized for its dismissive tone.
Genesis brings history of Holocaust in USSR to Israeli students
Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) and Beit Lohamei Hagetaot – Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum – have launched an educational program for Israeli high school students that will incorporate the story of the Holocaust of Soviet Jewry and the memory of the heroism of Jewish fighters against the Nazis as an alternative to traditional visits to Holocaust sites in Poland.

The educational program portraying the Holocaust of Soviet Jewry will be conducted in small groups and will be tailored to the needs of each participating school in consultation with the school’s educational staff.

The program will include lectures, workshops and introductory films that provide an overview of the Holocaust on Soviet territories. This includes a guided tour of the museum’s relevant exhibitions, video testimonies of survivors and fighters, the “Bielski Brothers workshop” dedicated to the legendary family of Jewish partisans, a workshop about the Righteous Among the Nations, and a “Portable Gaming Workshop” complete with visual escape room sets which will use escape room methods to explore the individual life stories of five individuals who lived in the former Soviet Union territories during the Holocaust.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus on the traditional visits to Holocaust sites in Poland, Beit Lohamei Hagetaot, supported by GPG, will design an alternative seminar for 11th and 12th graders, which will be conducted at the museum of Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot and the vicinity. In addition to the educational program, the seminar will include encounters with veterans and Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union, guest speakers, and visits to historical sites around the Western Galilee.
Vel D’Hiv Roundup of Paris Jews Remembered, 78 Years Later
French political leaders, Holocaust memorials and museums and Jewish organizations marked on Thursday the anniversary of the 1942 Vel D’Hiv roundup, in which over 13,000 Jews were arrested in Paris by French authorities and deported to Nazi death camps.

According to Yad Vashem, 4,500 French policemen took part in the operation, imprisoning some 13,000 Jews — including 4,000 children — in the Velodrome d’Hiver stadium in crowded and unsanitary conditions. They were then taken to concentration camps near Paris.

At the camps, children were separated from their parents, who were mostly sent to Auschwitz and murdered. Some 3,000 children were left behind, and in September were deported to Auschwitz as well, where they were killed.

For decades, the French government and much of the public blamed the roundup on the Germans and denied any responsibility. In 1995, however, French President Jacques Chirac publicly apologized for the roundup, and in 2017 current President Emmanuel Macron admitted French responsibility for it.

To commemorate the anniversary on Thursday, Macron tweeted, “On July 16 and 17, 1942, over thirteen thousand Jews were arrested. By French people, by the French State. Because they were Jews.”

“Over eight thousand were detained at Vel d’Hiv before being deported to Auschwitz,” he noted. “Never forget.”

The UK Holocaust Museum tweeted some of the facts about the roundup, noting, “Many ordinary citizens openly welcomed the persecution, with some people clapping as the raids took place, as well as some looting of the newly empty homes.”

“The Jewish people were interned at the velodrome for 5 days under appalling conditions,” it added. “There were no toilets or washing facilities. The roof was shut and the heat was oppressive. Some people were driven to take their own lives and many were shot by those guarding them.”
Elie Wiesel Visits Disneyland
Wiesel finishes his travels through America’s past and heads now to “take a stroll through the land of the future, which is also a province of Disneyland” and describes the (now-closed) House of the Future shortly after it opened in the Summer of 1957: “Futuristic man will live such a wonderful life! Everything will come to him so, so easily! If someone knocks at the door, you won’t have to go to see who it is: He will appear on the screen of your television. If the telephone rings, you’ll be able to see the person you’re speaking with and not just hear his voice. And a thousand other such conveniences will turn your house into a royal palace and transform you yourself into a lazy, fat, lonely king.”

Several times in the article, Wiesel reflects on his appreciation of Walt Disney—“the person who created this land, this universe, must be a genius, a rare genius”—and then shares the anecdote that he was told of how Walt Disney often walks around Disneyland in disguise. Wiesel understands why: “If one wants to calm his nerves and forget the bitter realities of daily life, there is no better-suited place to do so than Disneyland. In Disneyland, the land of children’s dreams, everything is simple, beautiful, good. There, no one screams at his fellow, no one is exploited by his fellow, no one’s fortune derives from his fellow’s misfortune. If children had the right to vote, they would vote Disney their president. And the whole world would look different.”

Wiesel concludes his description of visiting Disneyland with a story from four years earlier, when he was a journalist covering the Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera and had the opportunity to interview Walt Disney in person after the latter had been awarded the French Légion d’Honneur in honor of his cinematographic contributions. (Wiesel would himself later receive this same award in 1984, two years before he won the Nobel Peace Prize.)

At a ceremony that was flowing with champagne, surrounded by screenwriters, producers, and film personalities from around the world, Elie Wiesel approached Walt Disney and asked: “The whole world loves you; your children’s films have brought you honor, renown, and anything one could wish for. I want to ask you: What is your goal? What do you want—what would you want—to achieve with your film work?”

Wiesel then writes:
“Disney thought for a bit, fixing his large eyes on a far off, invisible point in space, and answered:

‘Childhood. The goal of my work has always been to awaken a sense of youth in men, in adults. Because—the best part of man’s life is his childhood.’ ”

Wiesel’s ending places the Holocaust survivor next to Mickey Mouse, in a way that feels at once jarring and profound and that Walt Disney would certainly have appreciated:

“Difficult as it is to admit, I did not understand his words at the time. I do understand them better now, however, having been to Disneyland.

“Today, I visited not only Disneyland, but also—and especially—my childhood.”
Ancient rock art in northern Israel sheds new light on civilization of mystery builders
Cave carvings discovered unexpectedly at the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve on the Golan Heights are the subject of new research from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Tel Hai Academic College.

The carvings were identified on ancient graves constructed from boulders, known as dolmens, that date back some 4,200 years, and appear to point to the existence of a mysterious civilization of builders that existed in northern Israel over four millennia ago.

The article discusses carvings found on walls of four different dolmens in the Galilee and Golan regions. The rock art sheds like on the culture that built them. Rangers from the Nature and Parks Authority at Yehudiya noted carvings depicting horned animals such as ibexes, antelopes, and wild cattle.

At another dolmen, the top stone was designed to resemble a human face, and a third dolmen features carvings of geometric shapes.

Most researchers believe that the enormous stone structures were built in the Middle Bronze Age, 4,000-5,000 years ago. Hundreds have been studied throughout the Golan and Galilee areas, but thus far the civilization responsible for them has not been the subject of much attention. In the past few years, the archaeological community has shown renewed interest in the dolmens of the Middle East, and research is yielding new and exciting findings.

Professor Agone Sharon, head of the MA program in Galilee Studies at Tel Hai Academic College, who published the article along with archaeologist Uri Berger of the Upper Galilee Department at the IAA, explained that "A few years ago, a panel bearing wall drawings was discovered in a huge dolmen in a field near Kibbutz Shamir. That was the first time rock art had been documented in the context of dolmens in the Middle East. Following that discovery, we started a research project to locate and document art on dolmens throughout the Land of Israel. We have covered dozens of dolmens throughout the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights in an attempt to reveal the world of the members of this mystery culture, which existed here over 4,000 years ago and left only dolmens as proof of their rich culture."
UK Jewish seniors go viral as they rock iconic album covers during lockdown
Martin Steinberg’s jeans-clad tush has recently become nearly as famous as Bruce Springsteen’s, thanks to a new creative project currently going viral on social media.

Steinberg is among residents at a Jewish care home in North London who recently posed for photos inspired by famous record album covers from the 1950s through today. The photos — styled, shot and edited by the home’s activities coordinator Robert Speker — have become a global sensation to the surprise and delight of the unlikely models.

With Sydmar Lodge in pandemic lockdown mode since March 12, Speker has been working harder than ever to keep the residents busy and upbeat. The album cover photoshoots are merely one of many outside-the-box activities the award-winning Speker has come up with during this period in which residents have been unable to receive even family members.

“It’s only recently that we have begun to have window and garden visits,” Speker told The Times of Israel by phone on July 16.
‘Martin-Bruce’ (Robert Speker/Sydmar Lodge)

Sydmar Lodge is an independent care home for approximately 50 individuals age 65 and up. People of all backgrounds are welcome to join the Sydmar Lodge community. However, the facility’s observance of Shabbat, Jewish holidays and kosher dietary laws tends to attract mainly Jewish residents.

Speker, 41, is the sole Jewish staff member, and it therefore falls to him to assist residents with Jewish rituals. (This Passover, when residents were not permitted to leave their rooms, he loaded up a cart with wine, matzah, and a seder plate and went from door to door holding a quick mini-seder at each one.)

According to Speker the album cover project is in line with the way he usually interacts with the residents.

“This really isn’t so different from other things we do. I tend to have madcap ideas and like to do things a bit differently. Laughter and fun is central to everything,” Speker said.

Apparently the residents are game. So far, 10 have modeled for the project, and there is a waiting list. One extremely enthusiastic participant named Sheila Solomons has been photographed three times already.

Speker, who has worked at Sydmar Lodge for five and half years, decided to let Solomons pose for Rag’n’Bone Man’s 2017 “Human” album after she had already wielded her cane like a smashed guitar on the cover of The Clash’s “London Calling,” and strummed it as Elvis did his guitar on the cover of his eponymous debut album.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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