Tuesday, October 27, 2020

From Ian:

Zionism is about reviving Jewish sovereignty in our ancestral land
WE ALL AGREE that a crucial part of Zionism is maintaining a clear majority of Jews in the Jewish state; yet CIS [Commanders for Israel’s Security] insists on claiming that any act of applying sovereignty over areas that are inhabited by Jews and don’t include the Palestinian Authority necessarily mean that we must “annex” the Palestinians and endanger our Jewish majority. This is simply not true.

CIS completely ignores that the “Deal of the Century” suggests Israel can apply sovereignty over Jewish communities, have full security responsibility over the whole of the Land of Israel, and that there will still be an option for a Palestinian state to be formed, in a format similar to San Marino, Lesotho or Luxembourg. A demilitarized Palestinian state was also Yitzhak Rabin’s vision when he initiated the Oslo Accords. The original two-state solution was far from what it became later on.

We all aspire to have a Jewish state that will be secured for generations to come. Knowing that we can’t afford a third exile from the land of our forefathers, we understand we can’t afford to lose even one war. However, the plan CIS is aggressively promoting, while falsely claiming that the Jewish majority is in danger, is devastating for Israel’s security.

CIS’s suggestion means that in the long-term, our security should be placed in the hands of the Arabs and international forces. This suggestion is coherent with former president Barack Obama’s plan, which CIS has endorsed since its very foundation. While they talk about “security arrangements,” we know there is no sustainable option other than all aspects of security being solely in the hands of the IDF, along with defensible borders and a strong civil infrastructure. Without Judea and Samaria, Israel simply cannot defend itself from the narrow nine mile-wide coastal plain. This isn’t an ideological opinion; it’s a military fact.

When Zionists came to the Land of Israel in the 19th century, they realized they must acquire three abilities: to establish a Jewish entity in the largest territory possible; to become farmers and grow their livelihood from the land; and to be able to defend themselves without dependence on the good will of the Arabs or the international community. A core value of Zionism is that Israel will never place its citizens’ lives and in someone else’s hands. The Jewish people must be able to defend itself in our homeland and defend every Jewish community around the world when called upon.

In summary, the Zionist movement and the State of Israel have fought from the very beginning against all the odds, and won. Trying to find practical solutions to our complex situation with the Palestinians cannot be done by rejecting our core values and spirit.
‘Zionism Only at Beginning of Its History,’ French Intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy Says
Leading French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy has called for a renewal of the Zionist vision, arguing that the notion that the Jewish national liberation movement had already fulfilled its mission was sorely mistaken.

“Zionism is only at the beginning of its history,” Lévy declared in a virtual address to the 38th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem last week.

“Israel is such a young nation,” he noted. “And in another way, it is ancient, as old as the history of the world. What we call Zionism today must continue to maintain its spirit as long as we are alive. Let us not say today that Zionism has exhausted its message, that’s completely untrue.”

Lévy also argued that Diaspora Jewish communities had to remain at the core of the Zionist movement’s vision.

“The Diaspora is not some kind of remainder or remnant, cast away by history,” the philosopher said. “On the contrary, it is something that should be integrated quickly into the mainstream of Zionism.”

Lévy continued: “In Diaspora life, Jewish existence, let’s say someone who’s Romanian, Italian, American or French, there is something very noble in the existence of these Jews, something that cannot be reduced to the expectation of going to Jerusalem. I don’t think that existence in the Diaspora, in exile, is somehow less-than.”
Almost half of Americans don't know the meaning of antisemitism - survey
Nearly half of Americans don’t know what the phrase “antisemitism” means.

That’s one takeaway from two surveys published Monday by the American Jewish Committee. The surveys asked Jews and the general American public about antisemitism in the United States.

The Jewish survey found that a large majority of Jews consider antisemitism a problem, and that most see it as a problem on the right and in the Republican Party. Those findings were in line with what the AJC, a nonpartisan advocacy organization, found when it surveyed American Jews last year.

The new surveys found that, in a year when 88% of American Jews say antisemitism remains a problem in the United States, 21% of Americans overall — more than one in five — say they’ve never even heard of the term. An additional 25% of Americans overall have heard the term but are unsure of what it means.

But nearly half of Americans overall say they have seen antagonism against Jews either online or in person during the past five years, suggesting that respondents may be familiar with the reality of anti-Jewish bigotry but unfamiliar with the term “antisemitism.”
New Survey Shows More Than 8 in 10 American Jews Think Antisemitism Is on Rise in US
A new survey shows that more than 8 in 10 American Jews believe antisemitism has risen in the US over the past five years.

The State of Antisemitism in America 2020 survey — conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) — also found that 85% of American Jews viewed the statement, “Israel has no right to exist,” as antisemitic, with 84% feeling the same about the statement, “The US government only supports Israel because of Jewish money.”

Another 76% considered the idea, “American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America,” as antisemitic.

Furthermore, a combined 80% said the BDS movement was “mostly antisemitic” or had “some antisemitic supporters,” with only 15% saying it was “not antisemitic.”

Asked how much of a problem antisemitism was in the US today, 88% said it was a “very serious problem” or “somewhat of a problem.”

However, 97% said they had not suffered a physical antisemitic attack, 75% said they had not been the target of an antisemitic remark and 77% had not been targeted over their religion on social media.

Of those who were targets of such abuse, however, 76% said they had not reported the incidents.

Occurrences of antisemitism on social media were overwhelmingly clustered on Facebook, at 62%; with Twitter at 33%.

After the Tree of Life tragedy, I went to Shabbat services and never stopped
On October 27, 2018, I felt a deep sense of wrongness – grief in the very depths of my spirit. Killing innocent, defenseless, seniors on the Sabbath, in the synagogue, while worshiping God, is profoundly wrong. Though cable news proclaimed it as such, I did not think the Tree of Life mass shooting was the worst thing that had happened to Jews in America. I thought that distinction went to not letting the passengers of the St. Louis disembark in 1939, damning the 900 Jewish refugees aboard to return to the hellfires of the Holocaust.

For me, this was different from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in South Carolina. As an African-American, I’m familiar with America’s history of church bombings and arson. I almost expect something like that to happen to African-Americans, but I didn’t want to see what was happening to us happen to another group.

Discovering the killer’s motivation — that the synagogue supported HIAS, a non-profit organization providing humanitarian aid to support refugees on the Mexican Border — made it even worse. Tree of Life Congregation was working to make the world a better place by “loving the stranger.” Deut. 10:19.

I want to share my story of discovering Judaism. It is like learning you are adopted and finally meeting your birth mother. In my case, I discovered my spiritual roots. I am sharing ten reasons I continue, in the hopes some good can arise from even the greatest of tragedies.

Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. – Jesus

The beginning of my journey
After the tragedy, I felt the need to show my solidarity with the Jewish community. The only way I knew how was to attend the next Shabbat service. To my embarrassment, I didn’t know a Jewish person who regularly attended temple. I was apprehensive and uncertain. After all, I wasn’t invited, nor did I see the service promoted. I went to Temple Beth Elohim not far from where I live near Boston out of a sense of obligation and a desire to be found on the right side of history.

I could imagine getting to the door and hearing, “At this difficult time, we ask that you respect our privacy and understand that this is a private service.” I would have completely understood.

But no such thing happened.
Poignant new anthology marks second anniversary of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
On the morning of October 27, 2018, an anti-Semitic white supremacist armed with a semi-automatic weapon entered the Tree of Life synagogue in the Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood during Shabbat services. He killed 11 Jews (members of the three congregations housed in the building) and injured six people, including four police officers.

The tragic event — the deadliest attack in history on the American Jewish community — left a profound mark on people all over the US and around the world. The deep shock and sorrow felt by the local Pittsburgh community is still being processed.

A new anthology of essays titled, “Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy,” allows local writers to engage with their sorrow, and to share their personal perspectives on how the shooting affected them, their families, friends and neighbors. It will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press on October 27, the second anniversary of the shooting.

The anthology’s editors are Eric Lidji and Beth Kissileff, whose husband Rabbi Jonathan Perlman, spiritual leader of New Light Congregation, survived the attack by hiding and escaping.

Individual Pittsburghers had published pieces on the tragedy, and national and international media had covered the story as outsiders looking in. However, Kissileff and Lidji believed there was a clear need for a collection of essays by members of the local community.

2 years on, MKs seek ways to remember Pittsburgh massacre, prevent another
To mark the second anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs held a roundtable discussion on anti-Semitism in the United States for MKs and representatives of leading US Jewish organizations.

Joining in the discussion moderated by committee head David Bitan were a handful of MKs, Jewish Agency head Isaac Herzog, Israeli desks of several US-based Jewish organizations and, via Zoom, the heads of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Anti-Defamation League in the US. The meeting also served as the Knesset’s observance of Aliya Day, which was marked in Israeli schools this week.

Bitan, who himself immigrated to Israel from Morocco as a child, opened the meeting by reading out the names of the murdered Jews from the recent attacks in the United States, including the 11 murdered at Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018; the April 27, 2019, attack at the Chabad of Poway in Poway, California; and the twin December 2019 murderous attacks on Orthodox Jews in New Jersey and Monsey, New York. Bitan tasked those present to envision a memorial to the fallen and implement an annual national ceremony in Israel.

Pittsburgh Jewish Federation head Jeff Finkelstein told the committee, “In 2.5 hours it will be exactly two years since I found myself at the Tree of Life shooting.”

“The trauma still presents a dark cloud over all of us,” Finkelstein said, noting that the coronavirus crisis is doubly difficult for the three now-homeless congregations that had been housed in the synagogue, given temporary accommodations elsewhere, and now find themselves scattered online.
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
Two years ago, 11 innocent people were murdered in the Pittsburgh massacre. After the attack, over 1,000 people came together in support of the Jewish ceremony of Havdallah, which marks the end of Shabbat. Today we remember the spirit of Squirrel Hill. We remember the victims. We remember the day that an entire community united against blind hate.

May the memory of the victims forever be a blessing.

82-years after the Kristallnacht and antisemitism is rising
All over the Western world Jews are experiencing a resurgence of antisemitism. Synagogue doors are being reinforced; Jewish businesses are being attacked; Jewish monuments have been defaced; people are careful not to wear anything that can identify them as Jews, and those who do are in danger of verbal or even physical attacks. It happens now predominantly in European cities, as well as in Jewish areas in the United States.

Members of Antifa, the supposedly anti-fascist organization, have been known to support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. And in Germany, where antisemitism was suppressed after the defeat of Nazi regime, it is again unashamedly raising its ugly head.

In a few days Jews all over the world will be commemorating the 82nd anniversary of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” named after the shattered windows of Jewish businesses and homes during the night from November 9-10, 1939. That night, most synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the annexed Czechoslovakian Sudetenland were plundered and set alight. Thousands of Jewish businesses were damaged and 30,000 Jewish men were sent to concentration camps.

It was the most horrendous anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany prior to the policy of extermination that was formulated On January 20, 1942, when 15 high-ranking Nazi Party and German government officials gathered at a villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss and coordinate the implementation of what they called the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” Among them were SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Office and one of SS chief Heinrich Himmler’s top deputies; SS Maj.-Gen. Heinrich Müller, chief of the Gestapo; and SS Lt.-Col. Adolf Eichmann, chief of the Department for Jewish affairs.

The trigger for the atrocities of Kristallnacht can be found in March 1938, following the annexation of Austria into the German Reich.
‘Evil Jews’: Former Berkeley Mayoral Candidate Charged with Vandalizing Synagogue
Antisemitic graffiti was found on a campaign sign for a Jewish candidate in Arizona.

Seth Blattman, a Democrat running for the Arizona State Senate, told a group of local TV stations that “it was extremely sad” to see a swastika drawn on his forehead and the word “killer” written in all capitalized letters across his neck on the sign.

“Someone that I’ve never met, never seen, hates me for a reason I can’t control, because of who I was born to be,” he said.

Blattman mentioned that he lost family members in the Holocaust.

“I had a great aunt that I remember as a kid asking what the number on her arm meant,” he said.

As of Saturday, Blattman had said he’s considering filing a police report. In Arizona, vandalizing a political sign is a crime.
Jewish Candidate in Arizona Discovers Campaign Sign Marred With Swastika
Antisemitic graffiti was found on a campaign sign for a Jewish candidate in Arizona.

Seth Blattman, a Democrat running for the Arizona State Senate, told a group of local TV stations that “it was extremely sad” to see a swastika drawn on his forehead and the word “killer” written in all capitalized letters across his neck on the sign.

“Someone that I’ve never met, never seen, hates me for a reason I can’t control, because of who I was born to be,” he said.

Blattman mentioned that he lost family members in the Holocaust.

“I had a great aunt that I remember as a kid asking what the number on her arm meant,” he said.

As of Saturday, Blattman had said he’s considering filing a police report. In Arizona, vandalizing a political sign is a crime.
{Shocking, I know.}
They say that I am too right-wing.
I support a woman's right to choose an abortion.
I favor Gay marriage.
I favor equal pay for equal work.
I oppose racism and ethnic or gendered favoritism of any sort.
I favor freedom of speech.
I marched against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from Delores Park to Civic Center in San Francisco a dozen times, even under the banner of the A.N.S.W.E.R coalition.
I was a Green Party member for a number of years and voted Ralph Nader for president.
Aside from that brief stint as a Green, I was a Democrat for 25 years. I even phone-banked for Barack Obama.
Right-wing, my ass.
What I am is a liberal critic of the Left because the progressive-left is not the same movement that it once was. In fact, it reminds me of nothing so much as the conservative movement from the 1950s and 1960s. So moralistic and self-righteous and humorless.

How Turkey manufactured a 'crisis' with France over 'cartoons'
Turkey has sought to leverage a crisis that Ankara largely invented with France to push its influence in the Islamic world by portraying Ankara as a “defender” of Islam. The manufactured controversy hinges on claims that France is “Islamophobic” and that France’s President Emmanuel Macron has defended cartoons that are offensive to Muslims. The cartoon controversy dates back half a decade and only arose because an extremist murdered a teacher in France. Rather than condemn the extremist and the murder Turkey’s president and media contrived to use the murder to bash France. The latest moves by Turkey include comparing Muslims in Europe to Jews before the Holocaust and calling for a boycott of French goods. The move is coordinated with Qatar and being pushed by Iran’s regime as well.

The way Ankara invented this crisis is similar to other manufactured crises pushed by Turkey’s far-right government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his regime’s support for Muslim Brotherhood affiliates across the Middle East, such as Hamas. Since last year Turkey has created a new crises every month, with the US in Syria in October 2019 and then with Libya and then Egypt, then Europe, Russia, the Syrian regime, Libya again, Greece, Cyprus, Iraq, then Armenia, Greece again, then Armenia and then Greece yet again and then with France. Turkey has bombed Iraq, invaded and ethnically-cleansed Kurds in Syria, invaded Libya, challenged the French navy at sea, harassed Greek F-16s, used Russia’s S-400 air defense system and prodded Azerbaijan into a war with Armenia, while sending Syrian mercenaries paid by Ankara to fight in Libya and Azerbaijan and using drones to attack Kurdish activists in Syria and Iraq, all while claiming Turkey is fighting “terrorism.” Turkey hosted Hamas twice for high level meetings and has threatened to “liberate Al-Aqsa” in Jerusalem and said that “Jerusalem is ours,” in reference to Israel’s capital, all while also threatening US Democratic President candidate Joe Biden and bashing the Trump administration for supporting Israel.
Erdogan invokes Holocaust to slam French crackdown on radical Islam
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invoked the Holocaust in condemning France’s crackdown on radical Islam, calling it part of Europe’s history of criminality against members of minority religions.

In a speech Monday in Ankara, Erdogan slammed French President Emmanuel Macron’s recently announced plan to combat radical Islam by banning home schooling and dissolving some nonprofit organizations, among other measures.

“The rising Islamophobia in the West has turned into a wholesale attack on our book, our prophet, and everything we consider holy,” Erdogan said. “Relocations, inquisitions and genocides toward members of different religions is not a practice that is foreign to Europe. The crimes against humanity committed against Jews 80 years ago, the acts against our Bosnian siblings in Srebrenica just 25 years ago, are still in the memory.”

He also said: “You are in a real sense fascists. You are in a real sense the links in the chain of Nazism.”

Erdogan’s comments came just days after he said Macron “needs mental treatment” and called for a boycott of French products at a meeting of his Islamist AKP party, Le Figaro reported. In response, France recalled its ambassador from Ankara over what the French foreign minister called an “insult.”
CNN, Washington Post Hide Erdogan’s Antisemitism
With the media abuzz over a major diplomatic feud between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, many outlets such as CNN and The Washington Post have been noticeably, and inexcusably, mum on one aspect of the confrontation: namely, Erdogan’s blatant antisemitism.

On October 26, CNN reported that French officials had denounced the Turkish leader for his actions:

The network described the impetus for the row while noting Erdogan’s accusation that Macron was mistreating Muslims by vowing to uphold France’s post-Enlightenment commitment to the principle of separation of church and state.

Macron has vowed to crack down on radical Islamism in France after the country was shaken by the beheading of Samuel Paty on October 16. Paty was a history professor who had taught a class on freedom of expression during which he used controversial caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed from satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The killing of the teacher by a suspected terrorist in a Paris suburb reignited tensions over secularism, Islamism and Islamophobia in France.

On the same day that CNN published its report, the Tel Aviv-based Times of Israel online news site ran a version of the same story under this headline:

Both outlets reported on Erdogan’s displeasure with Macron’s plan to combat radical Islam, which includes banning homeschooling and dissolving various not-for-profits such as the Hamas-linked group that was “directly implicated” in the teacher’s murder.

Note, however, that CNN failed to mention the Turkish president’s comparison of France’s decision-making process to that of the Third Reich:

You [the French] are in a real sense fascists. You are in a real sense the links in the chain of Nazism.
Chechen leader: Macron stance on cartoons inspires terrorists
The leader of Russia's Muslim-majority Chechnya region said on Tuesday that French President Emmanuel Macron was inspiring terrorists by justifying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as protected by free speech rights.

Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the comments after France warned its citizens living or traveling in several Muslim-majority countries to take extra security precautions because of anger over the cartoons.

The row has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on Oct. 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in a lesson on freedom of speech.

The caricatures, first published by a satirical magazine whose Paris offices were attacked by gunmen killing 12 people in 2015, are considered blasphemous by many Muslims.
Saudi Arabia rejects terrorism, avoids backing action over Mohammad cartoons
Saudi Arabia condemned cartoons offending the Prophet Mohammad, but held back from echoing calls by other Muslim states for action against images being displayed in France of the Prophet.

A foreign ministry official also said in a statement that the Gulf state condemns all acts of terrorism, an apparent reference to the beheading of a Paris teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet in a class on freedom of speech.

"Freedom of expression and culture should be a beacon of respect, tolerance and peace that rejects practices and acts which generate hatred, violence and extremism and are contrary to coexistence," said the statement carried by state media.

Saudi Arabia's daily Arab News on Tuesday cited the head of the Saudi-based Muslim World League, Mohammed al-Issa, as cautioning that an over-reaction "that is negative and goes beyond what is acceptable" would only benefit "haters."
Tens of thousands march in Bangladesh as Muslim backlash against Macron widens
Tens of thousands of protesters marched through the Bangladesh capital on Tuesday in the biggest anti-France rally since President Emmanuel Macron defended cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Muslims across the world have reacted furiously to Macron’s robust defense of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet.

In the West Bank and in Syria people burned pictures of France’s leader, tricolor flags were torched in the Libyan capital Tripoli, while French goods have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf states.

In Pakistan demonstrators burned effigies of the French leader, while in Turkey Macron was depicted with an Adolf Hitler mustache. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday invoked the Holocaust in condemning France’s crackdown on radical Islam.

Erdogan joined calls for a boycott of French goods which Paris said had had minimal impact so far.
MEMRI: Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, President Of Conference Of Imams Of France, Following The Murder Of Samuel Paty: Islamism Is Poison, A Disease, Should Be Banned By The French Government
On October 20, 2020, French-Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, the President of the Conference of Imams of France, gave an interview to the press, including CNEWS (France), in response to the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty in a recent terror attack. Imam Chalghoumi strongly denounced Paty's murder, saying that he is a "martyr of freedom" and that the murderer was a criminal terrorist. Saying that Islamism is a disease and a poison, he called on the French government to ban Islamism and to protect France and its Muslims from civil war. Imam Chalghoumi further said that anybody who does not support France's laws and values is a threat to French society.

MEMRI JTTM reported that following the interview, on October 24, a Telegram bot operated by English-speaking supporters of the Islamic State (ISIS) posted a call for followers to kill Imam Chalghoumi (see MEMRI JTTM report Pro-ISIS Telegram Channel Calls For Murder Of French Muslim Cleric.) The post accused Chalghoumi of defending the publication of cartoons insulting the Prophet Muhammad, and of describing teachers who use these cartoons in their lessons as "heroes." The bot praised the 18-year-old Chechen Muslim who murdered Paty, and addressed Muslims in France, with a call to "execute" Imam Chalghoumi, saying: "Your new target is this old man." The post further described Chalghoumi as "more [filthy] than the French [infidels]."

It should be noted that jihadis have escalated their incitement against France and especially against Muslim scholars who are presented as misguided in recent weeks. An Al-Qaeda-affiliated media group called upon Muslims in France to kill "imams of misguidance" in a statement released in recent days. It should also be noted that the pro-ISIS Telegram bot that issued the call to attack Imam Chalghoumi has since been deleted.

"We Are All Samuel Paty; He Is A Martyr Of Freedom; His Assassin Is A Criminal Terrorist... I Apologize To All The Teachers Of France Who Educate Our Children..."
MEMRI: Egyptian Liberal: Beheading Of French Teacher Harms Prophet Muhammad More Than Cartoons, Exposes Muslim World In All Its Violence And Backwardness
In an October 17, 2020 article in the Egyptian daily Al-Watan, liberal journalist Khaled Montaser referred to the gruesome murder of Samuel Paty, the French history teacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of speech and was later beheaded by a young Muslim of Chechen origin. In the article, titled "Our Backwardness Is the Worst Insult to the Prophet," Montaser condemned the radical Arab reactions to the Muhammad cartoons and claimed that it is the backwardness, violence, and extremism in the Muslim world that harm the image of Islam and the Prophet.

It should be noted that Montaser expressed similar sentiments in a 2006 article following the furious Arab and Muslim reactions to the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in the Danish newspaper. He claimed that the backwardness and underdevelopment of the Muslim world, and its economic, security, medical, and technological dependence on countries that are viewed by Muslims as infidel, were a much greater insult to the Prophet Muhammad than any mocking cartoons could be.[1]

The following are translated excerpts from Khaled Montaser's recent article:[2] "When [French President] Macron said that Islam is in crisis, many were angry and condemned [his words], especially [Muslim] clerics.[3] Are they still condemning and feeling the same fury after the beheading of the history teacher in a Paris suburb by a Muslim Chechen student, only 18 years old, who shouted 'Allah Akbar' before slaughtering him? He didn't play jazz or dance the Macarena, he slaughtered, cut and chopped off his head, convinced that by doing so he was defending his religion and responding to the degradation of the Prophet Muhammad. [But if the Prophet] were to witness the backwardness of the Muslims today, he would say, 'Oh Muslims, your situation, your backwardness and your position at the bottom of the [ranking of] nations are the greatest insult to me as a prophet,' when the first word that came down to [me] from Allah was "read"!!!'
Judge refuses to block ‘No Boycott of Israel’ measure
A federal judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit in which a Muslim civil rights group sought to block the state of Maryland from enforcing its ban on contracting with businesses that boycott Israel.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake didn’t reach a decision on whether the executive order that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed in October 2017 is constitutional. The judge ruled that a software engineer who is named as the lawsuit’s plaintiff hasn’t shown he has suffered any “direct injury” giving him the legal standing to challenge the order.

Hogan’s order requires contractors to certify in writing that they don’t boycott Israel. The order was called “Prohibiting Discriminatory Boycotts of Israel in State Procurement.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations sued Hogan and state Attorney General Brian Frosh on behalf of software engineer Syed Saqib Ali, a former state legislator. CAIR argued the order has an unconstitutional chilling effect on First Amendment-protected political advocacy supporting the Palestinians.

The executive order says a boycott based on religion, national origin or ethnicity is discriminatory. A business boycott of Israel and its territories “is not a commercial decision made for business or economic reasons,” it says.

“Contracting with business entities that discriminate make the State a passive participant in private-sector commercial discrimination,” the order says.

Ali’s lawsuit said Hogan’s order bars him from bidding for government software program contracts because he supports boycotts of businesses and organizations that “contribute to the oppression of Palestinians.”

But Ali hasn’t submitted any bids, so Blake ruled Monday that he cannot proceed on the basis of a “direct injury.”

Spotify Reportedly Declines to Remove French Rapper’s Anti-Semitic Songs
Spotify has declined to take down French rapper Freeze Corleone’s songs containing anti-Semitic lyrics, Digital Music News (DMN) reported.

Corleone, born Issa Lorenzo Diakhaté, released an album on September 11 called LMF [The Phantom Menace] that featured lyrics such as “I arrive determined like Adolf [Hitler] in the 1930s” and “Like Swiss bankers, everything for the family so that my children live like Jewish pensioner.”

An unidentified individual told DMN that he or she contacted a Spotify representative about possibly taking down Corleone’s songs containing anti-Semitism. According to a screenshot in the DMN article, the representative replied “We make music available as the artist intends it to be heard, and that sometimes includes explicit content. Based on the information they provide, we tag explicit releases with EXPLICIT or E.”

Jewish groups denounced Spotify.

“Social media companies, especially during the continuing pandemic have an outsized and dominating role in delivering and shaping culture—especially to younger generations,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said in a statement to the Journal. “Whether its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Spotify, if anti-Semitism and hate have been delivered by one or more of the social media platform, those companies have an obligation to remove the hate. Yes it is that simple, no matter how much money Spotify makes from a particular artist. If they don’t, they can expect an influx of hate music from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Reuters Caption Alleges Anger Over Balfour Declaration Is Anti-Trump Sentiment
A Reuters caption this week accompanying a photograph of a Palestinian shoemaker displaying shoes embellished with the words “Trump” and “Balfour” misrepresented his anger over Israel’s existence as anti-Trump sentiment. The Oct. 25 caption states:
The Palestinian shoemaker Imad Haj-Muhammad displays shoes he embellished with Arabic words reading “Trump” and ” “Balfour” to channel his anger against U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies towards the Palestinians, at his workshop in the Israeli-occupied West Bank October 6, 2020. Picture taken October 6, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
But the word “Balfour” has nothing to do with Trump’s recent policies, such as the relocation of the American Embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, the cutting of U.S. funds to Palestinians in 2019, or the 2019 recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli, for example.

“Balfour” refers to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, nearly a full century before Trump assumed office, issued by then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, which endorses British support for a national home for the Jewish people in the British Mandate of Palestine.

Thus, Haj-Muhammad’s “Balfour” shoe inscription does not signify anger at this or that Trump policy, but at the very notion of a national home for the Jewish people in what was British Mandate Palestine.
Witnesses Dispute Claims Made By Breaking the Silence’s Joel Carmel
“Everyone was against us. Everything in the MSM [mainstream media] was anti-Israel, and we had a responsibility to show the other side,’” Joel Carmel, a former Israel Defense Forces soldier and now English content coordinator for the Breaking the Silence NGO, said of the zeitgeist characterizing his Zionist upbringing in London’s suburbs. In a Business Insider article this past July showcasing his story, Carmel claimed: “That meant saying what Israel did was always a security issue and Israel had to do whatever it had to defend itself” (“A young man left London to join Israel’s army because he wanted to defend the Jewish people but now believes the treatment of Palestinians is morally wrong,” July 26).

“In this bubble, all of Israel’s critics were biased, Carmel, the son of a rabbi, said” reported Business Insider’s Julian Kossoff about Carmel, the 2009-2010 winner of “The Ambassador,” a prestigious Israel advocacy program at the renowned JFS School.

The notion that Ambassador participants were always expected to defend Israel “come what may,” as Carmel, 28, put it in a Times of Israel blog post last May entitled “Israel and the Diaspora: A Call for Honesty,” is a central part of his narrative, one which he earlier emphasized in a Zoom session last June. “We, as diaspora Jews, had a job to defend Israel no matter what and at all times,” was the message he said he imbibed from his Israel education, both formal and extracurricular, at JFS, he said.

But this “come what may” approach of absolutes, which perhaps characterizes the personal path of Carmel, who transformed from an avid pro-Israel advocate into a Breaking the Silence content coordinator who fails to acknowledge any security or political justification whatsoever for Israel’s presence and policies in the West Bank, does not resemble the Ambassador program during Carmel’s time.

Canada’s Prime Minister condemns antisemitic desecration of National War Memorial
The Canadian premier has condemned the desecration of the country’s National War Memorial after an antisemitic hate symbol was carved into it on 16th October.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the “antisemitic desecration” of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, as “completely unacceptable”.

In a statement on Twitter he said: “I strongly condemn this hateful act.” He urged anyone with information to contact police.

The Hate Crimes Unit of the Ottawa Police is looking for the man suspected of carving the antisemitic symbol. The suspect is believed to have rode a bicycle to the city-centre National War Memorial – site of Canada’s annual, national Remembrance Day ceremony – and scratched hate graffiti onto the tomb before riding away.

Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said that the “hateful” desecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier “with an antisemitic symbol” was “despicable,” declaring: “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents the gallantry and the sacrifices of all those who fought for our freedom. Its desecration with an antisemitic symbol is despicable.”
Alaskan man imprisoned for antisemitic incitement says sorry after learning about the Holocaust
A man imprisoned for antisemitic incitement has apologised for his actions after being required to learn about the Holocaust during his jail term.

Michael Graves, 21, of Anchorage, Alaska, was jailed last year for posting hate messages calling for violence against Jews and Muslims and for illegally owning a machine gun and silencers. As part of his eighteen-month prison sentence, he was required to take classes and read books about the Holocaust and other forms of race-hate and was then required to write essays about what he learned.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Mr Graves apologised for his comments and acknowledged that he was part of a group that expressed vile views.

Prosecutors said that Mr Graves had the means “and the mentality” to commit a violent act. The classes were described as a creative way to “stop potential mass shooters” who spew hate-speech.

“I’m sorry for what I said. I do not believe in prejudice or violence of any kind,” he declared.
Israel, US relations blossom as nations mark 35 years since free trade accord
Senior government officials and industry leaders from the US and Israel converged online on Monday to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

In a web forum hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Israel Business Council, speakers highlighted the historic nature of the 1985 agreement and emphasized future growth in trade, investment and innovation between the two countries.

“I believe Israel is going to be the most important ally of the United States in the 21st century,” said Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the US. “And that’s a big statement to make from an ambassador of a country the size of New Jersey, that has all of nine million citizens.”

Dermer said this has nothing to do with a particular US administration or its policies, like on Iran and on peace, but has has everything to do with security and technology, referencing Israel’s capability in both sectors.

Amir Peretz, Israel’s economy minister, praised US-Israeli cooperation in security and economic development that has blossomed as a result of the agreement.
1,700-year-old Greek inscription in Golan bears same name as village today
A 1,700-year-old boundary stone inscribed with the name “Kfar Nafah” in Greek was uncovered in an archaeological excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Golan Heights near the Nafah army base.

The IAA found this stone during excavations ahead of the installation of a water pipeline by the Mekorot Water Company. The excavation was directed by Dina Avshalom-Gorni and Yardenna Alexandre of the IAA, with the participation of pre-military academy (mechinot) students from Maayan Baruch and Kela Alon, as well as volunteers from the community.

The deciphering of the inscription by Dr. Danny Syon, together with Prof. Haim Ben-David from the Kinneret Academic College, pleased researchers who realized it showed that Nafah has been the name of this site for nearly two thousand years. According to researchers, "The inscription, which mentions the name Kfar Nafah, (Nafah village) was inscribed on a boundary stone. Under the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (around 300 CE), these stones were placed as the boundaries of villages, for the purpose of collecting taxes.

"This is the first boundary stone in the center of the Golan Heights, on which appears the name of a place that has been preserved to this day. Nafah was the name of the Syrian village that existed here until the Six Day War in 1967, and now Nafah is the adjacent military base." Researchers added that, "Usually, ancient names are preserved as a result of settlement continuity, which preserves ancient names from generation to generation. However, at Nafah, the ancient remains have not revealed such settlement continuity," they said.

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