Wednesday, October 21, 2020

From Ian:

The Dangers of Politicized History
At the time of Sharpton’s comment the historiographical flaws of Bernal’s thesis had been meticulously laid bare a year earlier by esteemed Wellesley classicist Mary Lefkowitz in her article “Not Out of Africa,” and later in books like Black Athena Revisited (1996) and Not Out of Africa (1997). Her thorough research undercut one of the major arguments of Afrocentrism, that ancient Greek culture was a “stolen legacy” filched from African peoples, a thesis based on egregious mangling of historical facts. For example, at a 1993 lecture at Wellesley by Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan, author of the Afrocentric classic Africa: Mother of Western Civilization, Ben-Jochannan claimed that Aristotle had plagiarized his philosophy from the Library of Alexandria in Ptolemaic Egypt. During the Q&A, Lefkowitz asked Ben-Jochannan how would that have been possible, “when that Library had only been built after his death.”

The subsequent assault on Lefkowitz, documented in her 2008 book History Lessons, was an early example, of today’s “cancel culture,” and taking on the powerful black-identity politics academic lobby with such biting criticism was personally costly for Lefkowitz. Black studies professors and Afrocentric ideologues leveled against her vicious attacks, ranging from being dismissed as an “obscure drudge in the academic backwaters of a Classics department,” by the truly obscure black studies professor Wilson Jeremiah Moses; to the antisemitic smear of Lefkowitz as a “homosexual” and a “hook-nosed, lox-eating . . . so-called Jew,” by Khalid Abdul Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, whose active support of Afrocentrism was welcomed by many black studies professors.

Lefkowitz’s experience in defending history from political propaganda should have alerted both the academy and larger society to what was happening to higher education. But as we see today with the “1619 Project” and the nonsense of “white privilege,” Critical Race Theory, and “systemic racism,” politicized history has entrenched itself in the universities, and escaped from the rotting groves of academe to pollute K-12 curricula with Black Lives Matter and “1619” propaganda. Moreover, such fake history is poisoning our politics with an illiberal “cancel culture” that violates the First Amendment and the long tradition of academic freedom enshrined in the “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” promulgated by what’s now known as the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Worse yet, federally mandated policies based on ill-written civil rights laws have provided campus ideologues with powerful weapons to intimidate and silence any voice not singing in harmony with the “woke” identity-politics chorus.

What appears to be just another attempt by “woke” activists to bully an industry and indulge its anti-Semitic bigotry against an Israeli actress should not be lightly brushed off as the politically correct hysteria du jour. Nor should we forget the academic scandal from nearly thirty years ago that helped to institutionalize this particular variety of fake history and illiberal assaults on free speech. Today we all can see the consequences of such negligence, as intellectual and professional malfeasance once confined to the university classroom is now fueling violence in our streets and furthering the corruption of our K-12 and university curricula.

The Jesuits used to say, give me the child, and I’ll show you the man. The left has had several generations of our children now for over fifty years, and their men and women are rampaging through our biggest cities, controlling our corporate boards, censoring social media, polluting our culture, demagoguing in our legislatures and courts, and actively working to dismantle the Constitutional order that protects our unalienable rights and political freedom.

It’s time to start seriously reforming our schools.

Gal Gadot replaces Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in clip
Forget the silly Twitterstorm over whether Gal Gadot is too white to play Cleopatra – Reface, the app that uses Deep Fake technology to swap faces in videos, has created a clip of the classic 1963 movie Cleopatra, replacing star Elizabeth Taylor’s face with Gadot’s.

Two things are instantly clear from this clip, which shows Gadot in many of the costumes Taylor wore in the film. The first is that Gadot has a slight resemblance to Taylor that has gone unremarked upon until now. The second is that she has a suitably regal presence to shine in the role.

The clip is scored to a rap song in Arabic, which is both a tribute to the Egyptian setting and, possibly, an ironic nod to the controversy. The sets and costumes in the film are incredibly lavish, which makes sense because this was the most expensive film ever made until then, with a budget of more than $100 million. There was also a media storm that swirled around the set, as Taylor fell in love with her married co-star, Richard Burton, who played Mark Anthony. She left her husband, singer Eddie Fisher, and Burton left his wife, and the starring couple were married and divorced twice.

Taylor reportedly was initially not allowed to enter Egypt because she was Jewish. She converted to Judaism in 1959, influenced by Fisher and her third husband, producer Mike Todd. During the hostage crisis at Entebbe, Taylor offered herself as a replacement hostage and later appeared in a small role in the movie, Victory at Entebbe.

Jonas Salk and Antisemitism
When President Dwight Eisenhower invited Jonas Salk — who discovered the polio vaccine — to the White House, the president reportedly choked back tears of gratitude. The polls indicated that “apart from the atomic bomb, America’s greatest fear was polio.”

Salk — the Jewish doctor in a lab coat — entered America’s pantheon with Mickey Mantle, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. The Jonas Salk Ward of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital was named after him.

Yet Salk denied that his Jewish origins had anything to do with his achievements, and also dismissed concerns about “religious discrimination.”

Salk, in fact, was brought up in the East Bronx. His mother hailed from Minsk, his father from Lithuania. The family kept kosher but was otherwise non-observant. A hard-working boy — whose heroes were Moses and Lincoln — he yearned for academic success. He reportedly had an unassuming personality in an era when Jews were not supposed to be “pushy.” Yet Salk was accused by the scientific community of not sharing credit for the vaccine.

Whether or not he admitted it, Salk’s Jewish origins shaped his career. His mentor at NYU’s medical school, Thomas Francis, Jr., an infectious disease specialist, pulled strings to get his protégé — “a member of the Jewish race” — a fellowship at the University of Michigan. There, he won the admiration of Basil O’Connor, president of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, known as the March of Dimes. After World War II, Salk, then at the University of Pittsburgh, competed to develop a polio vaccine with Dr. Albert Sabin, another “Jewish boy” from New York. Salk’s “dead virus” vaccine was the initial winner, though later Sabin’s “live virus” vaccine eclipsed it.

Salk wanted his own research institute in California. His first preference was Palo Alto, but his friend, physicist Leo Szilard, joined Roger Revelle of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to convince him to choose San Diego’s exclusive seaside community of La Jolla.

The problem was that La Jolla contrived to maintain antisemitic restrictive covenants even after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) that such covenants could not be legally enforced.

France uncovers radicalization network that led to murder of teacher
Less than a week after French teacher Samuel Paty was murdered and beheaded, Paris is uncovering the extent of the radicalization and hate networks that led to the unprecedented murder.

While France has dealt with extremism for years as well as many brutal murders, such as Ilan Halimi in 2006, the attack on the Toulouse Jewish school in 2012, the Bataclan massacre and the Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015, the country appears jolted by an attack on a teacher.

This goes to the heart of the Republic and France’s attempt to maintain its traditions of freedom and secularism against a rising tide of religious extremist hate linked to Islamist intolerance. The country has known about these problems for years, and often ignored the pool of hatred that extremists could draw on, whether resentment in the banlieues that led to mass riots in 2005, or the 2016 Normandy attack where a priest was beheaded.

France also knows that thousands joined or sympathized with Islamic State across the country, which led to mass murders such as the Nice truck ramming attack in 2016. The network linked to the recent killing includes a pro-Hamas group. Hamas has roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, although the Gaza-based group has denied a connection to the Paris group linked to the killing.
France Bans Pro-Hamas ‘Sheikh Yassin Collective’ Implicated in Beheading of Paris School Teacher
In the wake of last week’s beheading of a Paris high school teacher, the French government on Wednesday announced a ban on an Islamist group named in honor of a Hamas terrorist killed by Israel.

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal confirmed that the group — the “Sheikh Yassin Collective,” named for Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas leader who died in a 2004 targeted air strike in Gaza City — was “implicated” in the grotesque murder of Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher of history and geography.

After Paty showed his students a set of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a classroom discussion on freedom of speech, he received threats and abuse from Islamist activists in the run-up to his decapitation last Friday at the hands of Abdoullakh Anzonov, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who was later shot dead by police.

“We have this morning pronounced the dissolution of the Sheikh Yassin Collective, linked to last Friday’s attack, and for a long time the sock puppet of an anti-republican ideology that spreads hatred,” Attal stated at a Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.

The Yassin collective was founded by Abdelhakim Sefrioui, a Moroccan-born Islamist who was arrested on Sunday in connection with Paty’s murder.

Speaking on Tuesday night about the killing, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the “evil had been named: it is political Islamism.”
Paris police nab seven in attempted ramming of officer near Israeli embassy
Police in Paris on Tuesday arrested seven British nationals suspected of involvement in the attempted car-ramming of an officer stationed outside the Israeli embassy in the French capital.

The incident happened on Monday night, according to local media. It said a dark BMW with “three to four people” inside, followed by a Mercedes, attempted to hit an officer outside the embassy, then fled. The officer dodged the vehicles and was not hurt.

Paris police opened an investigation into “attempted intentional homicide of a person in public authority,” news site The Local reported.

The same two vehicles were seen “lurking” close to the Elysee Palace, the official residence of French President Emmanuel Macron later that evening, French news site 20Minutes reported.

A manhunt ensued and the suspects were arrested on Tuesday night, roughly 24 hours after the attempted attack.

The 20Minutes report described the suspects as being of Pakistani origin, without providing details.

MEMRI: Secretary-General Of Islamic Union of Muslim Scholars, 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi, Resumes Jihadi Incitement: Claims Murder Of French Teacher Was Staged By French Authorities And Real Killer Is Still Alive
The website of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has posted statements by the organization's secretary-general, 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi, in response to the murder of French history teacher Samuel Paty in a Paris suburb on October 17, 2020. The teacher was attacked and beheaded for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a lesson on freedom of speech. The murderer, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, was shot dead by French security forces after refusing to put down his weapon.

On the day of the murder, the IUMS website posted statements by Al-Qaradaghi, in which he condemned the teacher's murder but also blamed the French authorities and the victim himself, saying that a teacher's role is to "instill peace in the young, rather than incite them." In another statement from the same date, posted on the website as well as on Al-Qaradhari's personal Facebook page, Al-Qaradaghi claimed that the crime had been planned and staged by the French authorities in order to accuse Islam of terrorism, and added that "the real murderer is still alive."

It should be noted that French President Emmanuel Macron said on October 2, 2020 that Islam was "in crisis all over the world," and outlined a plan to fight "Islamist separatism" in France.[1]

The IUMS is based in Doha and has been supported since its founding by the Qatari regime and by Turkey. The organization was established in 2004 by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, who also headed it until late 2018, and who has resided in Qatar and enjoyed the backing of its regime since the 1960s. The IUMS website has for years been promoting extremist discourse, including incitement to jihad and terror and hatred of Jews and Christians. [2]
Play Glamorizing ISIS Member Epitomizes ‘Jihadi Cool’
On a September night in 2015, Laura Hansen left her home in Leidschendam, the Netherlands, with her husband and two children, setting out on the journey that soon would change all their lives. Destination: the Islamic State.

Fast-forward five years, and Laura, who returned home in 2016, is Holland’s newest superstar — the subject of a bestselling book and now the play Laura H., which has been performed to wide acclaim as it tours across the country.

That a journalist penned a 500-page tome about Laura Hansen, and that a 500-page book became a national bestseller, is of course laudable. It speaks of storytelling talent, intensive journalistic research, and the deep curiosity of readers.

But the play is something else. It isn’t a portrait of author Thomas Rueb’s hunt for Laura’s story (think All the President’s Men). It is not a coming of age story about a young girl (think Mystic Pizza). It is the elevation of a Muslim radical, a member of a terrorist group, to rock star status. It is the epitome of the very trend counter-terrorism expert Raffaello Pantucci warned us all about — the making of “jihadi cool.” And it is unacceptable.

Much of Laura Hansen’s life parallels the lives of other radicals — Islamist, white supremacist, and others: a narcissistic search for acclaim and importance, coupled with resentment and a tendency to blame others for one’s own mistakes and misgivings. It is a life history frequently darkened and yet energized by tragedy and drama.

Zoom Says They Won’t Host University of Hawaii Webinar Featuring Leila Khaled
A spokesperson for Zoom told the Journal that they won’t be allowing an upcoming University of Hawaii (UH) webinar featuring Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member Leila Khaled as a guest speaker to use their platform.

“Zoom is committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations, subject to certain limitations contained in our publicly available Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Community Standards,” the spokesperson said. “We determined that this event is in violation of one or more of these policies and have let the host know that they may not use Zoom for this particular event.”

The October 23 event, which is co-sponsored by the UH Mānoa (UHM) Departments of Ethnic Studies and Political Science and Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine (SFJP) at UH, is part of the “Day of Action Against the Criminalization and Censorship of Campus Political Speech.” The Day of Action was prompted by Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube deplatforming San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) September 23 webinar, which had also featured Khaled as a speaker. Zoom had announced on September 22 that it was deplatforming the event because of Khaled’s membership with “a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization.”

Prior to the Zoom’s spokesperson’s statement, UH spokesman Daniel Meisenzahl told the Journal, “The University of Hawaii is an institution where controversial viewpoints can be peacefully and openly considered and discussed. The sharing and debate of diverse and difficult ideas and opinions is fundamental to the mission of higher education in our society.” Following the Zoom statement, Meisenzahl said, “This event does not reflect the views of the university. It is being organized by an independent organization. Not sure how that organization will address this latest development.”
No Justice, No Peace: Yitzhak Rabin’s legacy under fire after AOC pullout
A quarter-century ago, peace was snuffed out by an assassin’s bullet. Or so the narrative goes.

On Tuesday night, Americans for Peace Now marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with a virtual memorial. The event features American Jewish actor Mandy Patinkin, Minnesota Attorney-General Keith Ellison, Israeli pop star Netta Barzilai and more. But it is in the headlines more for who is not there.

US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a star of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, initially accepted an invitation to speak at the memorial. Upon being made aware via tweet of the less-than-favorable view of Rabin within much of the Palestinian community, Ocasio-Cortez promptly backed out, claiming she had been unaware of the memorial’s purpose.

Her office would later tell a reporter – in what was supposed to be an off-record conversation – that Ocasio-Cortez thought the event was to be a discussion of how to advance peace, and not to celebrate Rabin’s life. And while she did not wish to “indict” Rabin’s legacy, she did not want to honor it either, just as “she wouldn’t honor American founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington due to their complicated history as slave owners,” her office said.

Rabin’s signing of the Oslo Accords with PLO leader Yasser Arafat earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. It also led to his being murdered by a far-right Jewish gunman who felt Rabin was willing to give up far too much to the Palestinians.

The assassination led to the lionization of Rabin globally as a man who paid the ultimate price in pursuit of peace.
Ocasio-Cortez Teams Up With Activist Who Said ‘America Deserved 9/11’
Hasan Piker, a vlogger who last year said "America deserved 9/11," organized an online live streaming event last night with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) to energize young people to get out and vote.

Ocasio-Cortez joined a group of gamers to play "Among Us," a popular new video game, and live streamed the event on Twitch to encourage viewers to make plans to go vote. At the beginning of the stream, Ocasio-Cortez announced an "amazing lineup" of gamers, including Piker, who "wrangled" the event together at the last minute.

Last year, Piker, a Twitch vlogger and former contributor to the left-leaning news and commentary group the Young Turks, attacked Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas)—a veteran who lost his right eye in 2012 while serving in Iraq—in a video and said "America deserved 9/11."

"This guy has the understanding of foreign policy of, like, a 12-year-old," Piker said. "What the f—. What the f— is wrong with this dude? Didn't he go to war and like literally lose his eye because some mujahideen—a brave f—ing soldier—f—ed his eye hole with their d—."

"America deserved 9/11, dude. F— it, I'm saying it," Piker said in the video.

Piker clarified his statement after facing criticism and said he meant America, not the American people, deserved 9/11. Twitch suspended Piker for his comments last year.

Ocasio-Cortez was scheduled to participate in an event Tuesday evening to honor the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin but pulled out last month after facing pressure from Palestinian activists. She has also refused to meet with multiple Jewish leaders and community activists in New York City.
Anti-Israel Group Falsely Takes Credit for Nixing Netanyahu Appearance
An anti-Israel group is falsely claiming it forced Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel an appearance at a U.S. Jewish school.

Netanyahu was reportedly scheduled to appear at a fundraiser event last weekend at prominent Jewish school Yeshiva Beth Yehuda in Oak Park, Michigan. According to local media reports, he canceled his appearance because of "unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances."

Anti-Israel group IfNotNow took credit for Netanyahu's cancelation, tweeting Monday that a pressure campaign from "us and anti-occupation groups in Michigan" forced him to bow out of the event.

Senior sources in the Netanyahu government, however, told the Washington Free Beacon that the prime minister never confirmed his attendance at or participation in the event.

One source close to Netanyahu dismissed the claim from IfNotNow, telling the Free Beacon the local pressure campaign had nothing to do with Netanyahu failing to appear at the event.

A second source familiar with the event said that it is nonsensical to believe that a pro-Israel Jewish school would cancel an appearance by Israel’s prime minister solely over pressure from outside anti-Israel groups.

Michigan-based Arab leaders and anti-Israel groups blasted the fundraiser event, objecting to giving Israel's leader any kind of forum. Such groups routinely attempt to pressure American institutions into canceling events with Israeli officials and cutting all ties with Israel.

"We are outraged that any community organization would honor Netanyahu," read an editorial in the state's Arab American News.
Academics protest Education Secretary’s call, backed by CAA, for universities to adopt International Definition of Antisemitism
Academics have reportedly protested a call by the Education Secretary for universities to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Gavin Williamson wrote a letter to university heads calling on their institutions to adopt the Definition after a study showed that a limited number had done so, despite urging from the Government over the past several years and threats of loss of funding.

He also said that the Office for Students, which regulates higher education in England, could be tasked with taking regulatory action against universities, including over funding, if they fail to adopt the Definition by the end of this year.

“If I have not seen the overwhelming majority of institutions adopting the Definition by Christmas then I will act,” Williamson wrote.

Campaign Against Antisemitism has consistently backed efforts by the Government to encourage widespread adoption of the Definition by local authorities, universities and public bodies. The UK was the first country in the world to adopt the International Definition, something for which Campaign Against Antisemitism, Lord Eric Pickles and others worked hard over many meetings with officials at Downing Street.

However, universities have protested the intervention, with a spokesperson for Universities UK saying: “We recommend universities do all they can to tackle antisemitism, including considering the [D]efinition, whilst also recognising their duty to promote freedom of speech within the law. UUK has set up a taskforce to consider what can be done to address all forms of harassment, violence and hate crime on campus, including on the basis of religion. We are in regular contact with Jewish community leaders and student groups to ensure that universities are supported to do all they can to tackle antisemitism.”

NGO Monitor: NGO Monitor Letter to Dutch MFA Regarding Al Mezan's Ties to Terror
NGO Monitor Letter to H.E. Stef Blok, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, and H.E. Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

Re: Response to your statement on Dutch funding for Al-Mezan and allegations of terror ties

Dear Ministers Blok and Kaag,

We have taken note of your response to a parliamentary question (October 8, 2020)1 pertaining to the ties between a Dutch grantee, the Palestinian NGO Al-Mezan, and an EU-designated terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The allegations stemmed from a detailed report prepared by NGO Monitor, and we appreciate the importance of taking such charges seriously and carefully investigating them. Your response confirmed many of our findings, including your awareness of incendiary statements made by Al-Mezan officials on social media. Given that several expressed support for the PFLP, celebrated the murder of Israeli civilians, and generally glorified and encouraged violence, this alone should be sufficient to disqualify Al-Mezan from receiving Dutch taxpayer money – especially on projects geared toward human rights.

Unfortunately, such concerns were set aside. Most crucially, the response was incomplete, inaccurate in places, and incompatible with human rights. Instead of undertaking a detailed and independent investigation, the response appears to rely entirely on the self-interested and biased claims of Al-Mezan.

It is also notable that the issues related to Al-Mezan should have been identified in an effective pre-funding process by Dutch officials. Failure to conduct prior due diligence and timely investigations of Dutch funding to Palestinian NGOs appears to be a systemic problem, as exemplified also by the case of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).2

Guardian again peddles '50 racist laws' lie
The Guardian has, once again, disseminated the erroneous claim that Israel has “50 racist laws”, in an op-ed by Sami Abu Shehadeh, an Arab MK who was recently revealed to have attended an event marking the release of a terrorist convicted of conspiring to murder Israelis.

The op-ed (“Israel’s pact with the UAE is not about peace. It’s a business deal”, Oct. 14), included the following:

Discrimination and racism against Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, an indigenous population that makes up over 20% of the country’s population, is present in every aspect of life. More than 50 laws discriminate against non-Jewish citizens. Israel’s trains do not stop in a single Arab city.

There are actually two erroneous claims in that sentence.

Turning to the second sentence we highlighted, that Israeli trains don’t stop in Arab cities: This isn’t accurate. There’s an Israel Railways station called Lehavim/Rahat – Rahat being the biggest Bedouin town in the country.

Now, regarding 50 laws that allegedly discriminate against non-Jewish citizens, which, though unsourced, is almost certainly based on a report by the radical anti-Israel NGO Adalah.

However, CAMERA and other watchdog groups have refuted Adalah’s claims of racist laws – a term they use so unseriously that even an Israeli public health law requiring parents to vaccinate their children is included as an example of “racist” legislation.
Al Jazeera Smears Prominent Arab-Israeli Video Blogger
Nuseir Yassin has perhaps one of the most recognizable faces on Facebook. Over the last few years, his videos have taken social media by storm, racking up millions and millions of views.

Also known as Nas, or Nas Daily, his video clips, which are generally one minute long, touch upon a wide array of topics, including travel, food, arts, the environment and racism. His personable style, flashy video effects and youthful energy have enabled Nas to create a massively receptive audience online, with his posts generating huge amounts of likes, shares and comments.

But in an uncharacteristic video released on Wednesday, Nas took on Al Jazeera, exposing a campaign to smear him by the news network, which is effectively an extension of the Qatari government.

His wrongdoing? Being an Arab who openly promotes peaceful co-existence, including between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians.

In the video (see below), Nas shows clips of the Qatari channel spreading the lie that he is “using words such as… openness, coexistence, peace” in a bid to “make Israel look good.” If that wasn’t enough, Al Jazeera then claims that Nas is “using all the tools that the Israeli government provides him, and he is part of their official propaganda program.”

In his response, Nas shows how the false message was amplified by a network of shady Arabic-language “news” outlets that effectively operate as Al Jazeera subsidiaries.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria Wrong on Shelved Annexation Plan, Settlement Construction
In his eponymous CNN program Sunday (Oct. 18), Fareed Zakaria erred on two substantive points concerning Israel and the disputed West Bank (“Last Look: Bibi’s Settlement Dilemma“).

Some 40 seconds into the broadcast, he erroneously reported: “After all, over the past eight months [Prime Minister Netanyahu] halted the promise of annexation of the West Bank.”

But there was never any “promise of annexation of the West Bank.” Rather, the idea that was under discussion, in line with President Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, was to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the disputed West Bank, namely the Israeli settlements, along with the strategic Jordan Valley, amounting to some 30 percent of the West Bank.

Asn CNN’s Oren Liebermann’s Sept. 10, 2019 report, “Netanyahu says he’ll annex parts of West Bank if reelected.” Likewise, CNN correctly reported June 2, 2020: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu campaigned in all three recent elections on the promise to extend the reach of Israeli sovereignty into parts of the West Bank, land captured by Israel in 1967.”

Last month the Guardian corrected the identical error after it erroneously referred to Israel’s “contentious plan to annex the West Bank.”
Honest Reporting: 'Paper of Record' Ignores Farrakhan's Antisemitism, Hails His 'Inclusiveness'
Louis Farrakhan's antisemitism is well-documented. And yet, he continues to be widely admired and garners positive coverage in mainstream media. A recent op-ed in The New York Times praised Farrakhan for his supposed “inclusiveness.” The NYT effectively sanitized the Nation of Islam leader's bigotry. Unfortunately, it is no longer surprising given the laundry list of antisemitic content that has appeared in the “paper of record.”

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Qaeda Financier Who Trades in Gems
The Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions on an Australian-based businessman and his gemstone company for helping Al Qaeda move money across the globe to sustain its operations.

Treasury officials said Ahmed Luqman Talib traded in precious stones, allowing him to “move funds internationally” for Al Qaeda. Mr. Talib’s business is based in Melbourne, but he works around the world, including in Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey and the Persian Gulf region, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Terrorist groups continue to use financial facilitators to help carry out their activities, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement. The department remained committed to disrupting those financial activities and networks, he added, expressing appreciation for “the collaboration with our Australian partners.”

The effects of the sanctions on Mr. Talib are unclear. The measure freezes assets he holds in the United States and prohibits American companies or individuals from doing business with him.

Treasury officials did not disclose whether Mr. Talib held assets or property in the United States. In 2010, he was a student activist in Australia who was shot when Israeli naval commandos killed nine activists on a ship that was carrying aid to Gaza.

The American action against Mr. Talib was notable, experts said, because it showed that the government was still concerned about how extremist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State continue to creatively raise and distribute money for their operations, despite military, intelligence and legal pressures that have dealt significant blows to their activity.

EU Executive Body Announces ‘Comprehensive Strategy’ to Counter Antisemitism in 2021
The executive branch of the European Union on Tuesday announced its first-ever strategy on combating antisemitism, to be launched in 2021.

The strategy will form part of the work program for the European Commission during the coming year.

“Given the rise in antisemitic violence and hate crime, the Commission will present a comprehensive strategy on combating antisemitism, to complement and support Member States’ efforts,” a statement from the European Commission pledged.

The commission’s annual work plan was adopted on Monday and is subject to the approval of the European Parliament.

Titled “A union of vitality in a world of fragility,” the commission’s agenda for 2021 includes a “promoting our European way of life” component that is focused upon strengthening existing security arrangements, as well as countering addressing terrorism, organized crime and hybrid threats.
Sky HISTORY axes The Chop after CAA and others protested inclusion of contestant tattooed with apparent neo-Nazi symbols
Sky HISTORY has reportedly axed its programme, The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker, after Campaign Against Antisemitism and others protested the inclusion of a contestant who appeared to have neo-Nazi symbols tattooed on his face.

The contestant, Darren, was introduced by Sky HISTORY in a video on Twitter with the caption: “Meet the Woodman, the Bloke-With-All-The-Tattoos or Darren as we like to call him. #TheChop”, and he was due to feature on the show hosted by comedian Lee Mack.

The contestant is covered in tattoos, including on his face, where one tattoo reads “88”, a popular number in neo-Nazi numerology that denotes the phrase “Heil Hitler”, since ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet. Other tattooed numbers include 23/16, denoted White Supremacy, 18 for Adolf Hitler, and 1488, another white supremacist figure.

Sky HISTORY tried to defend one tattoo on the basis that 1988 was the year his father died, but this was disputed by a journalist on social media.

Now, the channel has reportedly cancelled the show, which was due to commence on Thursday.
Florida’s Aerospace Agency and Israel Innovation Authority Shoot for More Collaboration
Space Florida, the aerospace economic development agency of the state of Florida, and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) announced they would be devoting an additional $2 million in funding for the research and development of new aerospace projects. For the past eight years, both organizations have streamlined a competition for innovators, and since 2013 have spearheaded and sponsored projects that call for increased commercialization of aerospace projects for Florida and Israel. Relations between Israel and the state of Florida have been in the running for a while; It was barely two years ago that Israel launched its Beresheet lunar mission off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The projects range from developing research in space technologies, including radiation shield technology (that has been used to protect spacecraft from harmful solar radiation emissions), capacitors which propel spacecraft, unmanned aerial systems or UAS for drone capability, and examining and testing the effects of space on human muscle and immune cells in low-gravity environments.

Both groups will then showcase their proposals, which are chosen based on feasibility, while funding is then given to those companies which exhibit high potential, collaboration, commercialization, and sufficient economic gains for both states.
Israeli company announces identification of COVID-19 indicators in breath test
Israeli pharmaceutical company NextGen Biomed announced it has successfully identified a number of initial indicators of biological markers that could allow it to map traces of COVID-19 in the breath and lead to the creation of a breathalyzer test to identify the virus.

The announcement by NextGen is the result of a study announced in April by Israeli Scentech medical, a Tel Aviv-based company specializing in breath-test diagnostics. NextGen’s stock jumped 35 percent after a merger with Scentech was announced.

In April, Scentech said the trial would analyze the breath of 50-60 coronavirus patients of different ages and medical conditions from Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, and compare them with the breath of healthy subjects. The results would then be verified by using 100-200 ill and healthy soldiers in the Israeli Defense Force, with the hopes of using the breath to identify ill patients with an accuracy rate of at least 85%.

NextGen announced that the two-part study had successfully identified certain gas compounds in the breath linked to the coronavirus and that the findings were in line with other independent scientific studies, the financial daily Globes reported Sunday.

In response to the findings, Scentech CEO Drew Morris said, “We are very encouraged by the success in identifying the indicators and moving closer to completing initial performance biomarkers and the start of broader research for swift testing using breakthrough technology.
Meet Gaby Farber, South African Religious Zionist and Progressive Student Activist — and Proud of Both
Gabriella Farber, a 22-year-old Jewish student at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, is very possibly an unprecedented phenomenon, at least when it comes to campus politics.

Earlier this month, Farber was elected to the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Johannesburg-based university commonly known as “Wits” on the slate of the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) — a coalition comprised of the African National Congress, the Muslim Students Association, the South African Students Congress and the Young Communist League. All of these organizations have pushed the view, separately and together, that the State of Israel is the reincarnation of South Africa’s old apartheid regime, and therefore anyone who calls themselves a Zionist is a “racist,” and most probably a “fascist” and “colonialist” as well.

And yet Farber — who proudly identifies as a religious Zionist — came in second on the PYA’s slate of 13 candidates, and was duly elected to the Wits Council on Oct. 7.

As Farber explained in an extensive interview with The Algemeiner on Tuesday, getting to this point was far from easy. In the weeks leading up to her election, she faced a campaign of vilification from anti-Israel activists furious that a white Jewish woman who called herself a Zionist had been accepted as a candidate on a progressive slate. For her part, Farber insists that she would never allow a conflict thousands of miles from South Africa to interfere with the vital work of empowering disadvantaged students at her own university.

How exactly did Farber — who arrived on campus “having not been interested in politics before” — end up in her present position?

As she described it, she grew up in a “Jewish bubble” in Johannesburg, attending the Yeshiva College Jewish day school and becoming a leader in the Bnei Akiva religious Zionist youth movement. Upon leaving high school, Farber moved to Israel for two years, where she studied at Midreshet Harova, an all-womens’ seminary in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Judge Amy Barrett helped me protect public menorahs. I know she’ll help defend religious liberty for all.
President Trump seeks to replace Jewish Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a devout Catholic from Indiana. Some might worry that this would diminish the Court’s understanding or compassion for Jews in America. They may wonder whether the new Justice has ever met or had any contact with Jews. But having worked with Judge Amy Coney Barrett, I have seen her defend the rights of Jewish Americans firsthand.

As a young lawyer after her clerkship with Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett was an associate in a law firm of which I am the sole surviving name partner – Miller Cassidy Larroca and Lewin. The firm merged in 2001 – shortly before Barrett returned to teach at Notre Dame – with Baker Botts. (Although invited to do so, I did not join Baker Botts. My daughter Alyza and I formed Lewin & Lewin instead.)

Our firm attracted the cream of young lawyers because of our exciting case docket and because we gave them front-line courtroom opportunities in real-life cutting-edge cases. Supreme Court law clerks vied for associate slots in our firm even after wealthy large law firms began dangling obscenely gargantuan signing bonuses to attract them to the drudgery of young associate labors.

Our firm was distinctly non-political. Jack Miller, the firm’s founder, was a Republican who had been an Assistant Attorney General in the Robert Kennedy Department of Justice. I was — and continue to be — a registered Democrat who has also voted Republican. I was abroad when Bush v. Gore was being litigated, but two of our partners supervised Amy Barrett’s work in Florida assisting the Republican side.

Amy Barrett worked with me in 1999 and 2000 on behalf of Hasidic clients. I had — and continue to have — an ongoing battle with authorities in cities, towns and villages across the country that attempt to hinder or prevent the display of Hanukkah menorahs on public property by Chabad followers of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. (No one contests the right to display menorahs on private property, and no Jewish group other than Chabad-Lubavitch, to my knowledge, has tried to erect and display large menorahs on central public locations.)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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