Saturday, October 17, 2020

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: American Jewry’s Fateful Hour
If Trump wins an historic level of support among American Jews, it will be a testament to the wisdom of an unprecedented percentage of American Jews. For American Jewry this year's presidential election is without question the most critical one ever.

Over the past four years, anti-Semitism has become an undeniable, and central characteristic of the Democrat Party to which the vast majority of American Jews have pledged their loyalty for the better part of the past hundred years while anti-Semitism in the Republican Party has dropped to historic lows.

Democrat anti-Semitism has seemingly appeared out of the blue but in truth, the party has been on a largely one-lane road to radicalization for the past fifty years. It's just that the path turned into a highway over the past four years with the rise of open anti-Semites like Rashida Tlaib, Linda Sarsour, Andre Carson, Keith Ellison and Ilhan Omert to commanding positions in the party.

Anti-Semitism runs through Democrat politics, policies and behavior across a spectrum of issues. In foreign policy, hating Israel has become the most passionate position of the progressive grassroots.

Biden announced early on that if elected, he will restore the US's commitment to the Iran nuclear deal he forged with Barack Obama. That means that a Biden administration will cancel the economic sanctions on Iran, ensuring the survival of the regime. It means a Biden administration will enable the cessation of the UN arms embargo enabling Iran to purchase whatever advanced weapons systems it wants. It also means a regime pledged to annihilate the largest Jewish community in the world – Israel – will have an open path to a nuclear arsenal.

Biden has agreed to restore the Palestinians to center stage. This isn't a pro-peace position. After all, the Abraham accords are the result of Trump marginalizing the Palestinians. The purpose of a Palestinian-centric policy is it is to delegitimize Israel, justify a US foreign policy that is hostile to Israel and domestic policy that is hostile to Israel's supporters in America.

Then there is anti-Semitism itself. The good news is that like Trump, Biden can be expected to take on white supremacists. The bad news is that in stark contrast to Trump, Biden can be expected to turn a blind eye to the growing anti-Semitism in his own political camp.
Cynical Theories – a review
‘Cynical Theories – how universities made everything about race, gender, and identity and why this harms everybody.’ By Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay

The word cynical, in the title of the book, is deliberate; the authors assert that many of the ideas informing the theories are pessimistic, rejecting objective truth and modernity. Radical skepticism about modernity is a defining feature. There is a sense of hopelessness and a preoccupation with the superficial. The authors deem these key features ‘reactionary’. (The theories are also often characterised by obscurity of language. *)

The authors suggest that universities , and academia, are sites in which the theories are mainly located, and are significant generators of activism and intolerance. Scholarship and rigorous research are tainted by the cynical theories, open debate is stifled. This has affected a wide range of studies including STEM subjects. And ‘what happens in universities doesn’t stay in the universities’.

The book comprises 10 chapters dealing with interrelated topics such as CRT and Intersectionality, Postcolonial theory, Feminism and Gender studies, and explores what I call the heavy stuff originating in the 1960s – Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, etc – whilst later chapters consider ways in which the theories have shaped the debate in subjects such as Queer theory and Fat studies.

Of particular interest are two chapters on Social Justice scholarship, thought, and action. Whilst a concern for justice in society is necessary, social class – previously considered an important topic – is rarely considered by the theory. Instead it ‘seeks to apply deconstructive methods and postmodern principles to the task of creating social change’. Theory and activism are based on the assumption that racism and bigotry are everywhere, consequently there is a preoccupation with, and elevation of, victimhood. There is no room for criticism: disagreement is interpreted as a sign of intellectual and moral failure. There is ‘little time for universal principles and individual intellectual diversity’. (h/t L King)
Religion, Science, and the Religion of Science
New York’s scapegoated Haredi communities appear to be the last Americans capable of maintaining a sane balance between science and faith

Like, say, the idea of science. If you believe in it—truly, deeply, and unequivocally—you understand that science isn’t a faith-based system. It cares little for politics or virtues. It’s a blissfully agnostic methodology that makes guesses, compares them with available evidence, and amends, alters, or rejects them based on results. So, if you’re being true to science, say, here’s how you should be thinking about public gatherings: Are they unsafe? Then they’re as unsafe for the proponents of Black Lives just as they are for the Satmars. Are they safe under some conditions? Then let us be clear about precisely what these conditions are.

Take, for example, Gov. Cuomo’s decree that no more than 10 people are allowed in a house of worship at any given time. If you possess even a modicum of common sense, you realize that this idea is, at its core, profoundly anti-scientific, as it has nothing to say about the size of the house of worship in question. Ten people in a small one-room shtiebel is a real risk; 10 people in a grand synagogue built to seat thousands is a real farce. A governor serious about science and public safety rather than about seizing power would’ve understood that and acted accordingly, offering guidelines that were sensible and measured and concrete. The only ones pointing out this travesty are the Haredim.

It’s of little surprise, then, that the main flag on view during the Haredi protests last week was the Gadsden flag. Don’t Tread on Me, that quintessentially American cri de coeur, is, these days, primarily the domain of the Haredi community. Everywhere else in the Jewish world, the slogans recited are the confused and exhausted and meaningless truisms of nice liberals who can’t or don’t care to explain the staggering contradictions, violations, hypocrisies, and usurpations committed with their tacit support.

Flatten the curve, wear a mask, close the shuls—all were accepted without too much attention to detail or rationale and without asking what, in effect, we’re risking when we sign away so many of our freedoms to officials who seem to have nothing but the vaguest grasp on science and democracy alike. There’s nothing less Jewish, or less American, than that. The Haredim understand that by succumbing to the tyranny of illogic, the sort that restricts attendance regardless of the size of the venue or deems one form of gathering acceptable but not another, all will be lost. To surrender thusly would be a total disruption of their Jewish and American way of life. Their critics, sadly, prefer instead to worship at a very different altar, sanctifying their leftist bona fides and reverence to leaders from the correct political party rather than asking hard but obvious questions. What we see in Brooklyn these days, then, is nothing less than a religious war, in which the Haredim, in a delicious twist of fate, have actual science on their side. Here’s hoping they prevail.

France knife attacker asked pupils to point out his victim
The 18-year-old who beheaded a history teacher outside the school in France where he taught had approached pupils in the street and asked them to point out his victim, anti-terrorist prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said on Saturday.

Speaking at a news conference, Ricard also said that the Russian-born attacker, after beheading the teacher, had posted a photograph of the teacher's body on Twitter, accompanied by a message saying he had carried out the killing.

Police shot the attacker dead minutes after he murdered 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty on Friday. The killing shocked the country and carried echoes of an attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Investigators were seeking to establish whether the attacker had acted alone or had accomplices. French media reported that he was an 18-year-old of Chechen origin.

Paty had earlier this month shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said the attack bore the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism.
Beheaded French teacher was threatened online for showing Mohammed cartoons
A history teacher beheaded in a Paris suburb on Friday had been the target of online threats for having shown pupils cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed in class, France’s anti-terror prosecutor said on Saturday.

The father of a schoolgirl had sought 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty’s dismissal and launched an online call for “mobilization” against him after the lesson on freedom of expression, Jean-François Ricard said in a televised news conference.

Paty was decapitated outside his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of the capital, and the killer was fatally wounded by police.

Ricard identified the attacker as Abdullakh A., an 18-year-old Chechen with refugee status in France.

Nine people, including the schoolgirl’s father, have been arrested.

Ricard said the school received threats after the class in early October, which featured the controversial caricatures — one of the prophet naked — with the girl’s father accusing Paty of disseminating “pornography”.

The girl and her father lodged a criminal complaint against the teacher, who in turn filed a complaint of defamation, said Ricard.

‘You will pay:’ Paris kosher market suspect warns police witness during trial
The main suspect in the trial of alleged accomplices in the 2015 Paris terror attacks caused an uproar in court Friday when he threatened a policewoman during her testimony.

“You will pay for this,” shouted Ali Riza Polat, who is believed to have been the right-hand man of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed a police officer in January 2015 and the next day shot dead four people at a Jewish supermarket, before being killed by police.

The threat came as the witness, a policewoman working in an anti-terror unit, gave the court her account of Polat’s conversion to radical Islamism.

She said that Polat “shared the religious convictions of his friend Amedy Coulibaly” and recounted a conversation between Polat’s mother and a friend recorded in a wiretap.

The mother, the police agent said, told the friend that Polat had called her an “unbeliever” and “perverse”.

From behind the glass screen of the defendants’ box, Polat raised his fist several times, mimicking punches at the agent during her testimony, and was called to order by the court.

Chief prosecutor Jean-Michel Bourles, calling Polat’s outburst “a scandal,” said he would file criminal charges against him for “threats against a person testifying on behalf of the public authorities”.
Vile response to murder of French teacher
If I didn’t know Roshan Salih was the editor of 5Pillars and reporter for Press TV, I’d strongly suspect he was a fabrication dreamed up by some far right fanatic to whip up anger against Muslims. This was his disgraceful response to the murder of Samuel Paty, the teacher who was decapitated outside his school after showing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as part of a civic education class.

In an earlier tweet in response to the same atrocity he said:

France is heading down a v dark path. The oppression & brutalisation of Muslims is completely out of control. And the terrible violence seems set to continue.

If you didn’t know the context you’d probably assume the ‘terrible violence’ had been some kind of Islamophobic attack.

On a quite different note, you don’t have to agree with the MCB’s Miqdaad Versi on all issues to find his own response to the murder quite unexceptionable.

Jewish Congregations Challenge ‘Blatantly Antisemitic’ New York Coronavirus Restrictions
Three Jewish congregations on Thursday filed a lawsuit claiming that New York’s coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings violated their First Amendment religious rights under the US Constitution.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Manhattan by Congregations Oholei Shem D’nitra, Netzach Yisroel and Yesheos Yakov asked the state’s measures, which restricted religious gatherings to as few as 10 people, be overturned.

The restrictions were described by the lawsuit as being “blatantly anti-Semitic.”
To avoid the charge of anti-Semitism, New York needs to make its COVID crackdown standards clearer
The problem is that the state has not made clear exactly what that means. What benchmark metrics — that is, what numbers — over what geographic area constitutes a cluster subject to the new regulations?

Consider, as a contrast, California’s current regulations. In California, counties are placed in a color-coded tier based upon an adjusted case rate and positivity rate. The state is quite clear what benchmarks a county needs to hit before the state will loosen COVID-19 health restrictions. New York, however, has not provided analogous rules in its official documents or statements; they do not appear in Cuomo’s executive order, nor in the state’s briefing in federal court. This failure certainly makes it hard to determine whether the state is applying the same restrictions to other neighborhoods that it is applying to predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.

Failure to apply these same restrictions to all neighborhoods with comparable positivity rates — to engage in something akin to religious gerrymandering — would raise serious concerns as to whether the state is singling out particular Jewish communities for discriminatory treatment.

The state’s lack of clear metrics is not evidence that the state has targeted Jewish communities. But if the state is going to be successful in its attempt to convince the impacted Jewish communities that they are getting a fair shake — that decisions are being made based on numbers and not politics — then it has to do a better job explaining what those numbers are and how its “science-based” decision-making works.

Ultimately, these new restrictions do not exist in a vacuum. They come on the heels of a summer where Mayor de Blasio unnecessarily politicized COVID-19 restrictions. As I’ve expressed previously, in choosing to justify the disparate treatment of racial justice protests and houses of worship on political grounds — and not on far more reasonable public health grounds — De Blasio cemented in the minds of many faith communities that ongoing COVID-19 regulations were not just about health and safety. Those missteps have already served as grounds for a federal court to strike down some of New York’s public health guidelines — a consequence that puts all New Yorkers at risk.

Undoing the damage of these early missteps will require the state to go above and beyond when it formulates new restrictions, especially those that disparately disadvantage religious communities. There is no room any more for ambiguity. Ambiguity only feeds into a festering narrative of distrust. Indeed, if the state is unable to convince faith communities that its restrictions are intended to protect them instead of punish them, it is hard to see how it will be successful in securing compliance.
Israel, Bahrain to sign joint declaration in step toward full peace agreement
Israel is set to move forward with its recently inked normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain this week, with a delegation from Jerusalem set to travel to Manama and a delegation from the UAE visiting the Jewish state for the first time for talks on economic cooperation.

The Israeli delegation heading to Manama on Sunday will make history by taking the first-ever commercial nonstop flight from Israel to the Gulf kingdom. Ben Gurion Airport departure listings show El Al Flight 973, the same number as Bahrain’s international telephone code, Reuters reported.

However, Manama is also slowing the pace of proceedings toward the signing of a full-fledged peace deal, the Walla news site reported Friday, with the kingdom preferring to sign “a joint communique on establishing peaceful and diplomatic relations,” stopping short of the full normalization agreement signed between Israel and the UAE.

According to the Walla report, also published on the US Axios news site, the Bahrainis want to move forward more cautiously than the UAE due to some domestic opposition to the move.

Nevertheless, the communique was still considered to be progress and expands on the initial declaration signed in Washington.

“The aim of the communique is to start implementing the declaration which was signed in Washington, put more meat into it, make it more detailed and define the principles of the relations between the countries,” an official told Walla.

“It will be the umbrella for all bilateral agreements to be signed in the next several months,” the unnamed official said.
Mnuchin to lead Israeli-American delegation to UAE and Bahrain
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will lead an American-Israeli delegation to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to move forward with Jerusalem’s recently inked normalization agreements with the Gulf states, the US Treasury said on Friday.

The delegation will leave Israel on Saturday, and the trip will wrap up on Tuesday, the statement said.

The group will first visit the Bahraini capital of Manama, then proceed to Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, before returning to Israel.

Avi Berkowitz, the US administration’s envoy to the Middle East, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, will also join the trip, along with other US Treasury and embassy officials.

The trip will “support expanded economic cooperation under the Abraham Accords signed by the three countries last month,” the Treasury statement said.

The Israeli delegation heading to Manama will make history by taking the first-ever commercial nonstop flight from Israel to the Gulf kingdom. Ben Gurion Airport departure listings show El Al Flight 973, the same number as Bahrain’s international telephone code, Reuters reported.

The return flight will be the first direct commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi.
Citizens of Arab countries hunger for democracy, survey finds
A vast majority of citizens of Arab countries support democracy and pluralism, according to a new opinion poll conducted in 13 Arab countries by the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies.

The 2019-20 Arab Opinion Index, which can be read here in full, used 900 researchers to survey nearly 30,000 individuals, asked Arab citizens for their opinions about local and global issues, including Israeli-Arab relations and the Nov. 3 US presidential election.

A large majority – 76% -- of respondents expressed support for a democratic system of government, and 74% said that they thought a "pluralist" democratic system would be an appropriate form of government for their countries.

Support for existing governments was weaker, with only 47% of respondents saying that they thought their governments were carrying out their duties.

An overwhelming 91% said that they believed that financial and administrative corruption existed in their countries, to varying degrees.

Nearly a decade after the Arab Spring of 2011, how do residents of Arab countries feel about those events? According to the poll, 58% saw the revolutions and protests of 2011 as "very" or "somewhat" positive, in spite of developments since then. Nearly half (48%) said that the Arab Spring movement still faced obstacles but believed its goals would ultimately be achieved.

Despite the recent decisions by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize ties with Israel, much of the Arab public apparently remains unmoved when it comes to the Jewish state. A whopping 88% of respondents refused to recognize Israel, mostly for political reasons rather than religious ones.

A majority of respondents from Saudi Arabia (65%) rejected recognition of Israel, despite some changes in Saudi policy, such as allowing Israeli flights to make use of its airspace. The ACRPS report noted a "high rate of non-response" (29%) from Saudis, given "current conditions of repression."
With new Hebrew website, Etihad Airways readies for launch of direct UAE flights
The United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways this week launched a Hebrew-language website amid high hopes for burgeoning tourist and business trade in the wake of a full normalization agreement signed between Israel and the UAE last month.

The message “Welcome from Abu Dhabi” greets users as they enter the website, with different sections on safety protocols and other destinations offered by the airline also appearing in Hebrew.

Direct flights were set to begin this month, but an Israeli official on Tuesday said they will be postponed until January because of the coronavirus.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry director-general Ofer Malka told Army Radio that he expected an aviation deal to be signed in the coming days, adding that there was also work being done to ensure the safety of Israeli travelers.

“In the coming days, we will sign the aviation agreement with the United Arab Emirates. We are also working on the security aspect, approving the fields there for the arrival and departure of Israelis,” Malka said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Transportation Minister Miri Regev said Israel and the UAE are working hard to get direct flights between the countries off the ground.

Israeli carrier Israir announced last month that it will also begin offering direct flights from Ben Gurion Airport to Abu Dhabi. Israeli national carrier El Al will also reportedly offer flights on the route.
Palestinians accuse Gulf visitors of ‘desecrating’ Al-Aqsa Mosque
A recent visit by Gulf Arabs to al-Aqsa Mosque has sparked outrage among east Jerusalem residents and the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction, who accused the visitors of promoting normalization with Israel and “desecrating” the holy site.

Palestinians initially claimed that the visitors were from Oman. Later, however, they said the delegation members who prayed at the mosque were from the United Arab Emirates.

In August, the UAE became the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to agree to formally normalize its relationship with Israel.

The Palestinian leadership has condemned the deal, accusing the UAE of backstabbing the Palestinians and betraying the Palestinian issue, al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem.

The Omani government on Saturday denied that any of its citizens had visited or prayed at al-Aqsa. A government official in Oman was quoted as saying that no Omani delegation had made an official visit to Jerusalem, adding that his country’s position toward the Palestinian issue is “clear.”

Eyewitnesses said the Emirati delegation entered al-Aqsa compound “under Israeli police protection.” The delegation consisted of nine men and one woman, they said, adding that the Wakf Department was not notified in advance of the visit.

Shadi Mtour, a Fatah leader from east Jerusalem, accused the Gulf visitors of “storming al-Aqsa Mosque,” a phrase regularly used by Palestinians to describe tours by Jews to the Temple Mount.

Israel records 26 new virus deaths as lockdown to ease Sunday
Israel recorded 26 new coronavirus deaths over the past 30 hours, according to Health Ministry figures published Saturday evening, even as the number of daily new virus cases and the share of those found positive have continued to decline ahead of a partial reopening of the economy on Sunday. The lifting of some restrictions will come after a four-week national lockdown.

According to the Health Ministry, 1,469 people were diagnosed on Friday out of a total of 34,640 tests performed over the course of the day, a positive rate of 4.2 percent. This followed a positive rate of 4.5% on Thursday, with 1,608 new cases diagnosed out of 37,487 tests on Thursday. These were some of the lowest rates since July.

Meanwhile, the government was reported to be considering removing restrictions from all cities Sunday — including those with high infection rates that officials had planned to keep under closure.

With over 302,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, Israel currently has 35,212 active cases, including 689 in serious condition, 238 of whom are on ventilators. Another 210 virus patients are in moderate condition, with the rest displaying mild or no symptoms.

The death toll, meanwhile, stood at 2,167 as of Saturday evening.

The latest figures match the government’s goal of reaching under 2,000 daily cases before easing some lockdown restrictions on Sunday.
Palestinians in Gaza fire rocket into Israel, no injuries
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into Israel on Friday evening, the IDF said. The projectile apparently exploded in an open field, with no reports of damage or injuries.

Rocket sirens were set off southern Israeli town of Netiv Ha’asara just north of the Gaza Strip, sending thousands in the vicinity to bomb shelters for the second time this month.

In an unusual move, there were no reports of retaliatory strikes on targets in Gaza.

It was the first rocket attack since October 5, when another single rocket was fired, without causing casualties or damage. In response, Israeli aircraft struck a Hamas military installation in the southern Gaza Strip in retaliation.

Prior to that, the last cross-border rocket attack — after which Israel retaliated with air raids — came on September 15 and coincided with the signing in Washington of normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Iran sentences men accused of being involved in robbery to amputation
Iran's courts earlier this week sentenced three men who were caught stealing to amputation, Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) and Fox News reported.

Two of the prisoners, Mehrdad Teymouri, 30, and his brother, Shahab Teymouri, 35, were reportedly arrested in April 2019 and found guilty for taking part in several robberies in the area. Their appeals were dismissed by the court earlier this week.

They are currently awaiting punishment, which includes having four fingers chopped off, at the Orumiyeh Central Prison.

A third individual facing a similar situation is Arash Ali Akbari, 32, who was sentenced by the Second Branch of the Urmia Court to have his right hand amputated.

The punishments, referred to in Arabic as hudud, are extreme punishments based on a radical interpretation of Sharia Law. They were rarely applied in the past and their use today is the source of controversy wherever they are carried out.

Despite the controversy, no efforts by human rights groups, both local and international, have managed to prevent similar punishments from happening. Traditionally, punishments which are classified as hudud cannot be pardoned and are carried out in public.

Daniel Pomerantz: BDS resolutions on campuses represent dangerous ‘intersectionality’
Over the past few weeks, in moves that were in equal measures galling, ill-timed and stunningly decontextualized, students at two prominent American universities — including my alma mater — voted in favor of divesting from Israel.

These votes occurred during the 2020 High Holiday season, when Jewish students may have been less available to weigh in on this debate as they were navigating virtual synagogue services or other COVID-compliant religious gatherings. While these votes, at Columbia University in New York and at the University of Illinois, are symbolic in terms of university policy, they are nonetheless significant as they reflect a shift in student opinion that affects life on campus and could eventually have repercussions on enrollment and philanthropy.

These moves stem from the increasing focus on intersectionality on the American college campus. Intersectionality suggests that the world can be seen through the lens of “oppressor” and “oppressed,” and that the only moral course of action is to fight all things deemed “oppressive.” This can lead to unintended paradoxes.

Just prior to the holiday of Yom Kippur, on Sept. 23rd, the U of I student government passed a resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. But this resolution also called on the school to divest from transnational companies that contribute to a number of causes deemed objectionable, including doing business with Israel, the only country singled out in this manner. The vote was 22 to 11, with seven abstentions.

Then, on the heels of the conclusion of the 25-hour fast day, Columbia’s University Apartheid Divest group announced the results of its weeklong campuswide referendum. Nearly 1,800 students, more than a third of the campus, voted, according to Jewish Insider, and 61% of them supported the resolution recommending that the university’s board divest from companies profiting from or otherwise supporting Israeli policies regarding the Palestinians.

Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, issued a strongly-worded statement of dissent. “It is unfair and inaccurate to single out this specific dispute for this purpose when there are so many other, deeply entrenched conflicts around the world.” He emphasized that the university does not formulate official policy based on such referendums and said that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel had negatively affected the campus.

Journalist leaves BBC discovered he backed allegedly antisemitic rapper
A journalist resigned from the BBC after a British Jewish paper revealed he had defended a rapper accused of antisemitism.

Nimesh Thaker, who worked at BBC World News until this this week, used an anonymous Twitter account to defend the rapper Wiley, who made a number of statements on Twitter this summer deemed antisemitic.

After a Jewish radio host named Emma Barnett referenced Wiley’s remarks in speaking about her family’s Holocaust history, Thaker wrote that she was “using the same old antisemitism excuse whenever people criticize Israel.”

The Jewish Chronicle of London last month traced the account back to Thaler.

Over the summer, Wiley tweeted: “I don’t care about Hitler, I care about black people” and “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to understand [sic] why.” He later apologized for the statements, but then made new ones deemed antisemitic.

Danish neo-Nazi jailed for a year for desecrating over 80 Jewish graves
A Danish court on Friday sentenced a 39-year-old man with neo-Nazi sympathies to a year in prison for desecrating a Jewish cemetery in the western town of Randers.

The man and his 28-year-old accomplice were both found guilty of desecrating a graveyard and aggravated vandalism, but the latter’s sentence has yet to be handed down.

In November 2019, 81 years after Kristallnacht when Nazis smashed Jewish-owned stores, buildings and synagogues in Germany, the pair desecrated more than 80 tombstones, overturning some and covering others with graffiti.

The two were also found guilty of vandalism on two other occasions, for covering a building adorned with two Stars of David with paint and putting stickers with the logo of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) group on a rainbow-colored park bench.

These “actions were sending a message that was intended to threaten, insult or degrade certain groups because of their beliefs, ethnic origins or sexual orientation,” police prosecutor Cathrine Brunsgaard Jacobsen said in a statement after the sentencing.

The 39-year-old, whose name was not disclosed, is a leading member of the Danish branch of NMR, according to the prosecutor.

NMR, which designates itself as a “revolutionary national socialist” organization, was founded in Sweden in 1997 and is present in all of the Nordic countries.
Controversy as NYPD Says That Attack on Brooklyn Hasidic Man Wasn’t Hate Crime
New York City police on Friday were investigating an attack on a Hasidic Jewish man in Brooklyn — but as an attempted robbery, rather than the hate crime some members of the community believe it was.

Surveillance video showed two suspects approaching the man from behind around 10:40 p.m. on Thursday on Barlett Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

The suspects chased him, beat him and unsuccessfully tried to steal his bag, injuring the victim’s face. The man managed to hold on to his belongings and the suspects fled the scene empty-handed.

Two eyewitnesses who spoke to CBS News expressed the view that the attack was sparked by antisemitic hatred, with one of them adding that robbery might have been an additional motive, because “from what I know, this place is not the best.”

Separately, ABC News reported that the vocal community activist and former NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind had called the attack a hate crime, noting as well that the police had said this was not the case.
New Children’s Book Highlights Heroism of Anne Frank
We can all aspire to be heroes.

That is the lesson of an illustrated book series that recounts contributions that a wide range of individuals have made in the world.

Sonia Sotomayor, Billie Jean King, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin are among the 22 short illustrated biographies so far in the series for children from kindergarten through about fourth grade.

“The series has grown because we’re in an age where people are starved for heroes,” Brad Meltzer, the writer and creator of the series, told The Algemeiner.

Few books in the series are more poignant than one about the young Jewish girl Anne Frank. She went into hiding with her family from 1942 to 1944 during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

The family tried unsuccessfully to leave the Netherlands for the United States. As Jewish persecution increased, the family hid in rooms in a secret annex behind a bookcase in the building where Anne’s father worked.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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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 14 years and 30,000 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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