Sunday, July 26, 2020

From Ian:

Time for social media to change its ways
On June 30, 2016, 17-year-old Mohammad Tra'ayra from the West Bank village of Bani Naim infiltrated a home in nearby Kiryat Arba and stabbed 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel to death as she slept in her bed. It was later discovered that his Facebook feed was rife with messages of hate and incitement and that he boasted on his own page that he wished to die as a "shahid" – a martyr – writing, "Death is a right and I demand that right."

The complaints lodged with Facebook over his posts, as well as the demand later to remove posts praising the killing and the murderer were, as always, ignored.

Social media platforms enjoy absolute immunity from any liability over the user-generated content they feature. They can remove controversial content without being perceived as responsible for its nature. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have an internal mechanism for dealing with "content that violates the community's rules," and they remove posts according to their sole discretion.

The broad immunity afforded to them by law often translates into selective enforcement.

There have been dozens of cases when right-wing activists and journalists has their Facebook accounts suspended for allegedly violating the community's rules with their posts, all while someone sitting in Facebook headquarters in Ireland has no problem allowing posts inciting the murder of Jews to stand.

Facebook's own interpretation of the limits of freedom of expression has had a clear impact on the waves of stabbing and ramming attacks in Israel and around the world. This has been clearly shown in examples of inciting social media posts included as evidence of motive and intent in many cases of mayhem and murder.

The evidence proves that the killers were often inspired by and drew ideological justification for their actions from posts by extremist religious leaders. It also proves that they received "training" from videos posted by terrorist groups on their websites as well as on social media.
High profile Twitter users call for boycott of site over antisemitism
A group of high-profile Twitter users, backed by leading community figures, writers, celebrities and politicians have launched a campaign for a 48 hour 'walkout' from the site from Monday, in protest at Twitter's refusal to take proportionate action against rapper Wiley.

The grime star - who has nearly 500,000 followers - published a series of antisemitic posts on Twitter and Instagram on Friday and Saturday

But Twitter merely imposed a 'suspension', leaving almost all the posts still on the site.

Wiley is the latest in a long line of accounts with large numbers of followers who have posted antisemitic tweets.

A spokesman for the group said: “The action we are announcing today is to show that the Jewish community and its allies have had enough of platforms like Twitter acting as loudspeakers for antisemitism, amplifying the hatred of Jews to millions of other social media users.

"As soon as Wiley began posting his antisemitic tweets on Friday Twitter was flooded with requests to have his account taken down. In response Twitter deleted a couple of his tweets and gave the grime star a brief suspension. It was a completely inadequate response.

"Unless there is an immediate change in how Twitter operates then there will be further action, including legal action, against the organisation.”

The walkout is being promoted using the hashtag #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate

Home secretary demands social media giants act faster on antisemitism
The home secretary has called on social media companies to act faster in removing “appalling hatred” from their platforms following outrage over anti-Semitic posts made by grime artist Wiley.

Police are investigating a series of comments made on the musician’s Instagram and Twitter accounts on Friday that led to him being banned from both for seven days.

In a tweet on Sunday, Priti Patel said: “The antisemitic posts from Wiley are abhorrent.

“They should not have been able to remain on Twitter and Instagram for so long, and I have asked them for a full explanation.

“Social media companies must act much faster to remove such appalling hatred from their platforms.”Following Wiley’s posts, Twitter was accused of “ignoring anti-Semitism” as his tweets were still visible 12 hours after they were first posted.

A number of tweets have now been removed and he has been given a seven-day ban by the site.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said the platform had also issued the rapper with a seven-day block on his account.

Jay Electronica joins fellow rappers in tweeting antisemitic tirade
American rapper Jay Electronica has taken to Twitter to launch an antisemitic tirade in which he invoked both the Christian Bible and Islamic preacher Louis Farrakhan to claim that the Jews are not the true children of Israel.

"Revelation 2:9 Revelation 3:9" Electronica tweeted late on Saturday night to his 372,900 followers, in reference to passages in the Book of Revelation that refer to the Jews as the 'synagogue of Satan.' "ps, to my Christian family, do you know what the talmud says about Jesus and His Mother? also, what is a Goy?" the Muslim rapper added.

Electronica's tweets come a week after celebrity TV host and rapper Nick Cannon was dropped by ViacomCBS for making antisemitic statements in his Cannon's Class podcast during a discussion with hip hop personality Prof. Griff. Cannon agreed with Griff's views that Jews control the media, before going on to claim that black people are the "true Hebrews."

Islamists co-opted the George Floyd protests
We Americans seem quite capable of separating ourselves into fractious groups without the help of our enemies, but that hasn't stopped many, especially the Islamists of the world, from using the death of George Floyd to fuel our divides.

US Attorney General William Barr warned on June 4, that "hackers … associated with foreign governments" have been using Floyd's death, "playing all sides to exacerbate the violence."

Later that day, something alarmed the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security enough for it to tweet a warning about "fake social media accounts … post[ing] content in order to instill fear and panic."

But for all the covert activity going on, a great deal of it is out in the open for all to see.

Like the looters in Minneapolis, New York and Los Angeles, who didn't care about George Floyd beyond the opportunity that his death provided for their personal enrichment, many Islamists in the US and abroad have hypocritically and brazenly seized on Floyd's death as a stone to throw at American society from within their own glass houses.

Islamists, of course, are not immune to racist ideas. The most respected Islamist intellectual among the Al-Qaida-Islamic State set is Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), who was also the Muslim Brotherhood's most influential ideologue. Qutb spent almost four years (1948-1951) in the United States, and in his letters to friends back in Egypt, he often complained about anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments in America. But, as many have noted, those letters also show Qutb's own racial bigotry, as when he claims, "Jazz is the American music, created by Negroes to satisfy their primitive instincts -- their love of noise and their appetite for sexual arousal."

When Sudanese Al-Qaida member Dr. Jamal al-Fadl walked into the US Embassy in Eritrea in June 1996 to turn himself in and give evidence against the terrorist group, one of his chief complaints against Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaida leadership was rampant discrimination against black African members, who received lower salaries and less comprehensive health care benefits than the Arabs in the group.
Isi Leibler: A World in Chaos
This is a catastrophic situation for a nation that only a few months ago prided itself as a world leader in dealing effectively with the coronavirus. That position has reversed with Israel now registering among the highest daily infections per capita in the world. All we hear from the various government spokesmen are tentative and conflicting decisions to implement new rules — which are often then reversed. One day, restaurants and beaches are open; the next day, they are closed.

It is unbelievable that I am writing this, but unless this government gets its act together, I would today welcome elections if they were to result in the appointment of a capable leader able to form a disciplined cabinet that would work in unity for the best interest of the nation.

We have among us the best medical professionals in the world. Professor Roni Gamzu, the former Health Ministry director-general, has now been appointed as “corona czar” to manage the crisis and make the crucial decisions needed. He must be allowed to do so, unimpeded by political motivations or interference.

As for the prime minister, it is sad for me to admit that, despite his outstanding achievements domestically and internationally, today he is not leading the country effectively. And this is prior to the grueling court cases he is about to face. Unless he can turn the tide rapidly and discipline his partners and achieve a genuine governing arrangement with his coalition, the majority of whom are currently engaging in petty power politics instead of urgently acting to confront the coronavirus, there is no moral justification for this government retaining office.

Israel also needs to have a strong government to handle the possible defeat of Trump and the emergence of a Democratic administration far less supportive to us than its predecessor.

One way or another, we can overcome our challenges on both the international and domestic fronts. But we need a leader supported by a capable and disciplined cabinet. Failure to achieve this will lead to catastrophe.
What is the real barrier to peace, Prime Minister?
Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, addresses Boris Johnson's recent criticism of Israel's plans to annex parts of the West Bank

In a somewhat unprecedented move, UK PM Boris Johnson spoke out last week about the annexation directly to the Israeli public. He published an op-ed in Hebrew, in the most widely circulated daily in Israel (Yediot Aharonot) warning Israel, as a friend, that “annexation”, or more accurately the application of Israeli law to the Jewish communities of the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria, would prevent the two state solution and destroy any hope for peace.

Although I do not agree with him, I believe PM Johnson’s concerns come from a good place. He is a supporter of Israel and the Zionist vision and has never fallen for the honey trap set by those who believe the entire Middle East regional conflict is attributed to the mere existence of the only Jewish country in the world. He gets it! He is warning but not threatening. Whilst other countries are murmuring under their breaths about sanctions, and the chorus of disapproval from the UN is gaining momentum, PM Johnson is not mentioning sanctions – he’s telling us as a friend that maybe we need to rethink our strategy. Why he chose to do it publically and not directly through the diplomatic channels is another question, but having met the Prime Minister when he was Mayor of London, and knowing his record on the Jewish community and Israel, I know his intentions are pure.

Now let me explain where the PM errs. Most of the critics of the application of sovereignty seem to ignore the most basic premise of the plan: the end goal of the Deal of the Century is indeed two states. What the plan actually seeks to do is to help Israel define its own borders, whilst empowering the Palestinian people economically. The plan seeks to build up Palestinian institutions, civil society and governance, in a corruption free democratic system that does NOT indoctrinate children that the only outcome to their predicament is for Israel to be wiped out. In my view, indoctrination in Palestinian society and in the school system in particular is the main obstacle to peace. The geography books have us erased from the maps, the math and physics books have exercises based on counting martyrs and dead Jews and the literature books elevate terrorists to national hero status.

This is undoubtedly a larger strategic barrier to a long lasting peace than applying Israeli law to the Jewish communities in Judea Samaria and the Jordan valley. These communities are in Area C, which is controlled by Israel and the population concentrations there are mainly Jewish. It is also widely accepted that in any future peace deal, these areas will remain in Israeli hands. Applying Israeli law replaces an archaic Ottoman, Mandate law blended in with military civil administration law making day to day life extremely impractical. It is not and has never been the real barrier to a long lasting peace.
The Palestinian Authority Prefers Conflict with Israel Over COVID-19 Mitigation
Instead of working collaboratively with Israel to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Palestinian leaders are choosing to incite violence against the Jewish state through baseless conspiracy theories. As the virus spread worldwide in March, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) claimed that Israel was waging “a biological war against Palestine” and thwarting Palestinian efforts to combat the virus.

In reality, however, Palestinian leaders are the ones who are actively obstructing efforts to enforce COVID-19 safety measures and help Palestinians receive critical supplies.

Palestinian refusal to coordinate with Israel has had a demonstrably negative impact on containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the Palestinian territories, according to a July 20 report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In response to Israel’s proposal to annex parts of the West Bank, PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced in May that the Palestinians would be absolved of all agreements with Israel. As a result, the PA has cut almost all bilateral ties with the Jewish state, largely to the detriment of Palestinians.

“The suspension of coordination has already affected humanitarian operations across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the OCHA report says.

UN-affiliated humanitarian agencies and other NGOs have faced major hurdles in distributing essential COVID-19 mitigation supplies to Palestinians since the start of the June. Access to health care is also a growing concern.

Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Israel limited Gazan exit permits to emergency cases, including cancer patients. However, the PA’s new stance against Israel has significantly impeded Palestinian access to essential care.
Speaking of justice, obstacles and Jordan (thanks, Avi Abelow)
In campaigning to move a recalcitrant kingdom and the superpower on whom it is utterly dependent, we have realized for years we need to be moving the needle on the public opinion display as well as generating media attention and the involvement of politicians.

So at this point in the effort, we need to be talking more to people. But as it happens, the airlines are down and, even if they weren't, traveling is fraught with risks and challenges.

Thank heavens for video conferencing.

Arnold Roth was an invited guest on Avi Abelow's Pulse of Israel program two weeks ago:
The Pulse of Israel is a project of the 12Tribe Films Foundation. It features high-quality short videos with VIP personalities that entertain, inspire, and educate about Israel. The heart of all of the shows is a solid dedication to the truth. This is not the place for political correctness. The Pulse of Israel aims to cut through the noise and influence public opinion by amplifying the truth vis-a-vis current events in the State of Israel and the world. We encourage you to share, comment, engage, and support the work we do.

Our appreciation to Mr Abelow and his team for the opportunity - and the courtesy and hospitality - to describe some of the issues that come with trying to see justice done in the wake of our child's murder. And despite the deplorable obstructionism of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

We're of course always interested in invitations to speak to organizations and communities. That's exactly what's needed as we move forward with this important pursuit of long-delayed justice.
Virus death toll climbs by 9 to 464; another 892 cases diagnosed
The national death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 464 as the Health Ministry announced Sunday nine more deaths since its previous update the night before.

There were 892 new cases diagnosed during that period.

Since the start of the outbreak, there have been 61,388 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, diagnosed in the country, and 26,959 people have recovered.

Of the 33,965 active cases remaining, 329 have serious symptoms, an increase of 17, and there were 100 people on ventilators, the ministry figures showed. A further 166 people have moderate symptoms.

On Saturday, 1,108 cases were diagnosed and 14,621 virus tests were processed, of which 7.6 percent were found to be positive.

A further 15,476 virus tests were carried out Saturday and will be processed in the coming days. That compared to 23,154 tests performed on Friday, though testing levels typically drop significantly over the weekend.

At Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s new virus czar, Ronni Gamzu, will present a plan later in the week for curbing the virus’s spread that will include a greater role for the Israel Defense Forces.

Netanyahu did not elaborate, though Hebrew media reported the army will be tasked with assisting in epidemiological investigations of known virus carriers. Swift epidemiological assessments are seen as a key strategy in curbing the virus spread by ensuring those who may have been exposed to the virus enter self-quarantine before they can possibly infect others.
Nurses make aliyah to fight coronavirus
Thirty-four nurses who recently moved to Israel have passed their examinations and received certification. They will immediately join the fight against the coronavirus, the Aliyah and Integration Ministry said Sunday.

The immigrant nurses will help fill a shortage at hospitals and health clinics as part of a program co-sponsored by the Health, Education and Aliyah and Integration ministries and the Jewish Agency.

“It is emotional and heartwarming for me to see how many doctors and nurses have been making aliyah, fulfilling their dreams and joining the national struggle with full force,” said Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White).

Finance Minister Israel Katz (Likud) has given her a NIS 80 million commitment to facilitate employment for new immigrants, she said.

“This period of the coronavirus crisis is a challenge for all of us, especially new immigrants,” Tamano-Shata said. “That is why my ministry is making every effort to ensure they will find work in fields that are especially needed during this period.”

Her ministry’s Aliyah 2000 program is managed by the Jewish Agency. It targets immigrants in needed fields, such as nursing, connects them with potential employers before they move to Israel and helps them receive their certification as soon as possible after their arrival.

Anna Dubinsky, 39, said she was proud to pass her examinations and officially become a nurse in Israel after working in the profession for 18 years in her native Ukraine. She will work near her new home in Ashkelon.
Homosexuality ‘almost nonexistent in Arab society,’ Joint List MK says
A Joint List lawmaker representing the political alliance’s more religiously conservative wing called its leader’s support for a recent bill banning some gay conversion therapy “particularly problematic” on Sunday, stating that it went against the views of “the vast majority of the society that elected him.”

In an interview with national broadcaster Kan, MK Walid Taha denied the existence of any significant homosexual demographic within the Arab community, asserting that the “phenomenon of gays is almost nonexistent in Arab society” and adding that, if it exists at all, it is “of limited dimensions.”

A freshman lawmaker belonging to the Ra’am faction, Taha said that he opposed Joint List chief MK Ayman Odeh’s support for the bill, which would ban therapy by psychotherapists and which passed an initial reading in the Knesset on Wednesday, because Arab society was “overwhelmingly opposed to these laws.”

“The issue is not being discussed in Arab society” and “if it exists it is on a very small scale and those who suffer from it are in no hurry to identify themselves,” he stated, adding that he believed same-sex relations to be unnatural.

Homosexuals “have the right to undergo treatment to change their sexual character,” he asserted. “This law comes to prevent them from [receiving a] treatment that will return them to a normal state.”

On Saturday, the head of Taha’s Ra’am faction warned that the future of the Joint List could be in doubt because of Odeh’s support for the measure.
Israel arrests two senior Hamas officials in Hebron
The Israel Defense Forces detained Hamas senior officials Nayif Rajoub and Hatem Qafisha in Hebron Sunday morning, according to the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency.

Rajoub, brother of Fatah Secretary General Jibril Rajoub, was formerly minister of religious affairs for the Gaza-based terror group, while Qafisha is the representative for Hebron in the Hamas-led Palestinian Legislative Council.

Hamas official Ahmad Bahr, head of the PLC in Gaza, condemned the arrests in a statement as “an attempt to isolate the Palestinian people from their representatives.”

Asked to comment on the detention of the two Hamas officials, the Shin Bet told The Times of Israel that Rajoub and Qafisha had been “detained for an interrogation, at the end of which they ought to be released.”

The Shin Bet declined to comment on the grounds for the interrogations.

The arrests come as Fatah and Hamas have made public overtures of reconciliation toward each other in recent weeks in response to Israel’s threat to annex parts of the West Bank.

Fatah’s Jibril Rajoub announced last week the two factions would hold a joint rally in the Gaza Strip “in the coming days,” according to a statement published by WAFA.
PMW: Abbas sets positive example for world leaders
The results of the Palestinian Authority matriculation exams were recently released and as an expression of the importance of education, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas personally phoned students who excelled. Among those who received calls were a visually impaired student, triplets and quadruplets. In his calls, Abbas promised that the PA would fund their higher education.

Abbas personally congratulating students who excelled in their studies and guaranteeing to pay the expenses of university studies, is a welcome change from previous years’ message to students, when the PA used the matriculation ceremonies to encourage martyrdom and congratulate students (and their families) who were killed while carrying out terrorist attacks. In 2016, the PA glorified the teenage terrorists who became Martyrs, calling theirs "the path to excellence" and "the great victory." (See below.)

The following are examples of Abbas’ different approach this year, promising to fund the university education of the students who excelled in their matriculation exams:
Senior Fatah official killed by PA policemen
A senior official with the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank was shot dead on Saturday during a clash with Palestinian Authority security forces, Palestinian sources said.

Emad al-Din Abu al-Ameed, 54, secretary-general of Fatah in the Balata suburb of Nablus, was fatally shot by PA security officers, PA Governor of Nablus, Ibrahim Ramadan, confirmed, describing the incident as “unfortunate.” Ramadan announced the formation of a commission of inquiry into the killing of al-Ameed.

The sources said four other people, including two police officers, were wounded during the clash between a number of residents and the PA security forces.

The confrontation erupted when PA policemen tried to close a business in Balata due to the coronavirus precautionary measures.

Al-Ameed and other Fatah activists tried to prevent the policemen from arresting the owner of the business for violating the coronavirus measures, witnesses said. During the confrontation, the police officers fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters, they added.
Fatah members quit over killing of top commander by PA police
Several members of the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction on Sunday announced their resignation to protest the killing of one of their commanders in Nablus by the Palestinian Authority security forces.

Emad al-Din Abu al-Ameed, 54, was shot by PA policemen on Saturday during clashes in the Balata suburb of Nablus.

Palestinian sources said that Ameed, who served as secretary-general of Fatah in Balata, was shot in the thigh and died shortly after being rushed to a hospital in Nablus.

The sources said that the incident took place when PA security officers tried to close down several shops for violating measures announced by the Palestinian government to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ameed, who heads a “popular emergency committee” entrusted with helping the PA security forces enforce the coronavirus restrictions, arrived at the scene in an attempt to prevent violent clashes between shopkeepers and Palestinian policemen, witnesses told The Jerusalem Post.

During the altercation, some Palestinians threw rocks and other objects at the policemen, who initially responded with tear-gas before firing live ammunition, they said. The senior Fatah official was hit in the thigh with a bullet, and died of his wounds in hospital.

Was there another ‘mysterious’ explosion on Iran’s Qeshm Island?
Residents of Qeshm Island in southern Iran reported the sound of an explosion just after 10 p.m. on Saturday. It caused concern because the electricity went off. Officials claimed there was an earthquake, but many did not believe them.

Rumors pointed to other possibilities. Qeshm is known for fishing and tourism. It is a long island off the important Port of Bandar Abbas. Illicit oil trading takes place off some of the islands between Iran and the Gulf.

The tanker Gulf Sky, at the center of an international case involving Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps front companies, was anchored off the island in mid-July after allegedly being hijacked from near the UAE. It is also of strategic value because the IRGC has a naval base on the island.

In this context, some social-media accounts and local Arabic and Persian media outlets claimed there had been a mysterious explosion. This would be in line with another dozen such explosions that have impacted Iran since late June.

One destroyed a surface-to-surface missile facility at Khojir; another harmed centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear-enrichment facility. This has left many Iranians on edge over concerns they may be targeted by cyberattacks or other acts the government is not admitting to.
8 pro-Iranian militants killed in alleged Israeli airstrikes last week
Eight pro-Iranian militants of non-Syrian nationalities have died so far as a result of alleged Israeli airstrikes that targeted weapons warehouses in and near Damascus last week, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

One of those killed was a terrorist from the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist movement. The death toll is expected to continue to rise due to a number of injured people, including some in serious condition, according to SOHR.

A military source told Syria’s state news agency SANA on Monday night that seven Syrian soldiers were injured in the strikes. According to SOHR, the soldiers are from the Syrian Air Force’s Air Defense Force and two of the soldiers are in serious condition.

Syrian air defense systems were activated on Monday evening after Israeli aircraft launched missiles towards sites south of Damascus from over the Majdal Shams area of the Golan Heights, according to SANA.

Syrian air defenses responded to Israeli missiles in As-Suwayda, Izraa and Quneitra in southern Syria as well, according to SOHR.

Tensions have risen along Israel's northern border in the past week, amid concerns that Hezbollah will carry out an attack against Israel in response to the death of the Hezbollah terrorist.

US-based Zoroastrian priest killed in Iran, in apparent murder
A Zoroastrian priest who resided in the United States has been killed on a visit to Iran, the country’s judiciary said in local media reports on Sunday.

The body of Arash Kasravi was found in the central province of Kerman alongside those of two other people who were not members of the religious minority, the province’s prosecutor was quoted as saying.

“Three bodies were discovered in a villa in Mahan city and they were apparently murdered,” Dadkhoda Salari told state television.

“Investigations showed that one of them was Arash Kasravi, a member of the Zoroastrian religious minority,” he added.

The prosecutor did not disclose the identity of the two others who were slain.

But he added that the murder seemed financially motivated, and noted that $10,000 (8,500 euros) was found in one of the victims’ cars.

Iran’s Etemad newspaper said Kasravi was a US resident who had been living in California with his family for the past 10 years.

Antisemitic Canadian restaurant owner faces growing legal woes
The DeLuca lawsuit and the claim before the Human Rights Commission have reverberated across Canada and the US.

“It is the first step to breaking free of the silence that so many in the Jewish community have had to endure when it comes to anti-Semitism, and bringing it to the forefront,” DeLuca said.

“It became such a big deal that the prime minister of Canada; the premier, which is like a governor, of Ontario; and the mayor of Toronto issued public statements about her and what she was doing,” he added.

A Canadian-Jewish organization said the show of support by government leaders was a hopeful sign.

“We’re encouraged that politicians across party lines stood up against Foodbenders’ divisive promotion of anti-Semitism and discrimination,” a B’nai Brith Canada spokesperson told The Media Line.

Uber Eats and DoorDash, two food-delivery companies that had been affiliated with Foodbenders, severed ties with the restaurant.

B’nai Brith Canada says there are more steps the government can take.

“We hope the city [Toronto] completes its investigation of the bylaw infraction soon and takes whatever measures necessary to enforce its policies,” the spokesperson said.

Section 27 of Toronto’s By-law No. 574-2000 bans licensed businesses from “discriminat[ing] against any member of the public” on grounds of “race, color or creed.”

In a news release earlier this month, B’nai Brith Canada urged people to contact the city at to ask that it reconsider the granting of Foodbenders a business license because of the by-law violation.

“It’s the online world that generates the most rapidly disseminated and digested form of anti-Semitic ideas today and contributes to much of the spread in terms of anti-Semitic sentiment,” Ran Ukashi, B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights director, told The Media Line, “regardless of the form of anti-Semitism being expressed, be it right-wing, left-wing, religious, racial or any other form of anti-Semitism.”
In Canada, there has been a “marked increase” in anti-Semitic bullying among children, both face-to-face and over the internet, he added.
Foreign Policy’s Faux Pas on Boycotts, Israel, and ‘Annexation’
Foreign Policy claims that its mission is “to explain how the world works.” But when it comes to Israel, the magazine frequently allows misleading commentary. Take, for example, several recent op-eds on “annexation.”

For several weeks it seemed that—in keeping with the parameters of a peace plan that Israelis accepted and Palestinians rejected—Israel would apply legal sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, often referred to as the West Bank, and the Jordan Valley. Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that such a move would occur by July 1, 2020. It never did. But this hasn’t stopped numerous media outlets from inaccurately reporting on the possibility.

Indeed, publications like Foreign Policy have repeatedly referred to the application of sovereignty as “annexation.” But this is inaccurate.

As the international law scholar Eugene Kontorovich has noted: “Annexation in international law specifically means taking the territory of a foreign sovereign country.” And neither the Jordan Valley nor the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) belongs to a “foreign sovereign country.” Further, as Dore Gold, Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.N., has highlighted: one can’t “annex territory that has already been designated as yours.” The League of Nations Palestine Mandate, adopted later by the United Nations, calls for “close Jewish settlement on the land” west of the Jordan River in Article 6. The UN Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80, upholds the Mandate’s provisions. The 1920 San Remo Resolution and the 1924 Anglo-American Convention also enshrined Jewish territorial claims into international law.

Unsurprisingly, this historical and legal context has been omitted in numerous media reports, including those by Foreign Policy. Instead the magazine has run several op-eds that misinform as much as they omit.
Guardian revises caption of photo falsely evoking George Floyd
The difference is significant, in that, unlike the Guardians revised version, AP doesn’t claim that the officer was kneeling on the protester’s neck, only that he put his knee on the demonstrator. (It seems clear, based on this slowed down video, that the officer’s knee was never on the suspect’s neck). Further, unlike the Guardian version which provides no context, the AP caption is clear that the context of the brief kneeling is the police officer’s arrest of the protester.

This is important, because, as we confirmed with the international press spokesperson for the Israeli Police, the kneeling lasted a second or two before the suspect, who had assaulted the officer moments before the photo was taken, was placed in handcuffs. Of note also, the suspect didn’t suffer any injuries from the arrest.

Let’s remember that the police officer in Minneapolis keeled on George Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes, 46 seconds before he died. In other words, despite the evocative photo, there are literally zero similarities between what occurred in Minnesota in May, and the arrest of the protester in Jerusalem last week.

So, we asked Guardian editors to revise the caption, and they agreed:

As you can see, the new caption more closely mirrors the original AP caption, in not falsely claiming that the knee was on the demonstrator’s neck, and in noting the context of the arrest.

It’s not a dramatic change. But, nonetheless, given the way in which anti-Israel activists cynically used the killing of Floyd to vilify Israel, it’s important that any likeness readers may intuit between the arrested Israeli protester and Floyd be dispelled.
BBC News website report promotes inaccurate Iranian state media claim
Two subsequent versions of the article used the same headline. In the early hours of July 24th, nearly six hours after the report’s initial publication, the headline to its fourth version was amended to read “US fighter jet challenges Iran passenger plane – Iran media”.

Readers had to proceed to paragraph eleven (out of 14) before they were told that:
“In its earlier reports, Irib news agency said that two fighter jets could have been Israeli.”

The latest version of that BBC report states:
“In its earlier reports, Irib news agency said that two fighter jets could have been Israeli. Israel “had nothing to do with the incident”, security sources told Israeli public broadcaster Kan.”

As reported by Seth Frantzman at the Jerusalem Post:
“The pilot of the Mahan Air flight appears to have known the jets were American. By around 11 in the evening Israeli media were quick to clarify that these were not Israeli aircraft.”

Another Israeli media outlet, Maariv, reported at 23:07 Israeli time on July 23rd that Iran has changed its version of the story and was now saying that the jets were American rather than Israeli.

In other words, shortly after 11 p.m. Israeli time (20:00 UTC) on July 23rd it was clear that Israel had nothing to do with this story. Nevertheless, two hours later the BBC News website chose to publish a report based entirely on earlier uncorroborated claims made by the Iranian state-controlled media outlet (which had its foreign language arm PressTV banned from broadcasting in the UK in 2012) and left that misinformation online for nearly six hours. The BBC’s Tweet claiming Israeli involvement in the story is still standing, with no correction appended.

And yet, the BBC claims to produce news that “can be trusted”.

Orthodox man assaulted in Brooklyn in suspected hate crime
Three unidentified men assaulted an Orthodox Jewish man after the victim gave them the middle finger.

Officials said the victim, a 51-year-old man, was walking near New York Community Hospital in the Midwood section of Brooklyn on July 11 when two Black men and a Hispanic man in a silver SUV rolled past, the New York Daily News reported on Thursday.

One of the suspects in the SUV yelled “F**cking Jew!” at the man, who in turn gave the men the middle finger. The suspects, all young men under 40, then leaped from the vehicle and punched the victim in the head before running back to the SUV and driving off. The victim sustained minor injuries.

The incident is being investigated as a potential hate crime.

No arrests have been made. The victim didn’t know his attackers, officials said.

On Thursday, police released pictures taken from a surveillance video of the three suspects and asked the public for help in identifying them.

At least 43 anti-Semitic crimes have been recorded across New York State only from Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In 2019, there were 234 anti-Semitic incidents reported in New York City alone, versus 186 incidents in 2018, the New York Police Department said.
Grandson of Auschwitz commander Rudolf Hoess is a criminal
About a decade ago, Rainer Hoess began making media appearances to discuss the actions of his grandfather Rudolf, the longest-serving commander of the Auschwitz death camp.

Eloquent and unwavering, Hoess became a sensation, and outlets such as CNN and the Wall Street Journal prominently featured his reckoning with his family’s legacy. Eva Mozes Kor, a prominent Holocaust survivor who passed away in 2019 and preached forgiveness for Nazi war criminals, was particularly close with him.

According to an exposé published Friday in the Israeli paper Israel Hayom, Hoess, 55, has engaged in multiple fraud schemes over the years.

Hoess has been convicted in criminal court 13 times since 1991 for various offenses ranging from fraud to threats and assault, the report says. The judge in a recent civil case for fraud called him a “liar.”

The latest ruling came last month, and convicted Hoess of defrauding Peter Rosch, a shoe store owner, out of roughly $20,000. Rosch had given Hoess the money as a loan, supposedly to produce a film about Hoess’ story titled “The Grandson” for a Serbian television station. The film exists, but Hoess took the money while having no part in its production.

Hoess’ older brother Kai, an evangelical pastor from Stuttgart, confirmed the details of the case to Israel Hayom.

Kai Hoess also said that his brother sold his late mother’s home in 2017 and stole the money after emptying her bank accounts.

Kai Hoess, 58, said he decided to give his first interview to media to warn others about his brother.

“I just want him to stop defrauding people using the names and ashes of millions of Holocaust victims,” Kai, 58, said of his brother. “I think it’s important he be put in a place that would make him stop doing these things.”
21see Presents: Explore Tel-Aviv with Israel's Renny Grinshpan
With Israel still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, comic Renny Grinshpan explores Tel Aviv - the city that never sleeps. Check out Tel-Aviv's authentic shuk and enjoy the city's stunning shores with this comic sensation as your guide. And find out just how much we are all missing you.

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