Friday, December 18, 2020

12/18 Links Pt2: Columbia professor : Israel 'fabricated' Jewish refugees; Why the cultural elite truly despises Hanukkah; What Raphael Warnock Believes About Israel

From Ian:

Columbia professor : Israel 'fabricated' Jewish refugees
To mark the 30 November Day of Commemoration of the exodus of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran, Gilad Erdan, Israel's UN ambassador, pledged to press for a UN resolution for the recognition and compensation of Jewish refugees.

Enter Joseph Massad into the fray to call out 'Israel's outrageous fabrications'. Massad is Associate Professor of Arab Politics at Columbia University. Erdan's campaign, he alleges in Middle East Eye, is designed to exonerate Israel from the 'original sin' of expelling the Palestinians and other 'criminal actions'.

Dismissing all the ''push' factors, he argues that Jews coming to the Jewish homeland cannot possibly be refugees. They can't be said to have been expelled either, because Yemen defied an Arab League ban and 'allowed' the Jews to leave. Israel 'removed' 'Arab Jews', as he calls them, to face institutionalised Ashkenazi discrimination in Israel' and the abduction of hundreds of children'. Massad obviously knows better than three Israeli Commissions of Inquiry, who could find no evidence of an abduction racket.

Ignoring the mass violence and state-sanctioned persecution confronting 'Arab Jews', Massad resurrects the old chestnuts favoured by Palestinian propagandists of the 1950 'Mossad' bombs in Iraq and the 1954 Lavon Affair bombings in Egypt to infer that Jews had to be made to leave 'the paradise 'of Arab countries by the Zionists. Then comes a curious inference : because most Jews in Egypt did not have Egyptian nationality, one could not blame Egypt for expelling them as foreigners. In other words, Jews in Egypt were a mini-settler colony. It does not cross Massad's mind that Jews in Egypt could have been denied Egyptian nationality by racist laws. Of 1,000 Jews detained by Nasser after the Suez crisis of 1956, only half were of Egyptian nationality. (A negligible number, so that's alright then.)

Calling mainly on sources such as Tom Segev's The First Israelis, articles in Haaretz, Joel Beinin's The dispersion of tEgyptian Jewry and writings by Ella Shohat, Massad passes over massive evidence that Jews were stripped of their rights as Jews . He claims that there was no population swap between Jewish refugees and Palestinians, as Israel argues : while Jews were given Palestinian homes and land, Palestinians were not given Jewish property in return (Not true: some Palestinians in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were housed in Jewish property, and it was Arab League policy neither to complete the exchange, nor resettle the refugees - ed). Massad inflates Palestinian losses to $300 bn, so that they dwarf Jewish losses.
Melanie Phillips: The "antisemitism" of John le Carré
In Britain, a number of people who eulogised le Carré after his death praised him for the moral sense they claimed illuminated his fiction. They did not mean by that his contempt for Soviet communism. They meant instead his contempt for the west.

For they were reflecting the cultural orthodoxy of moral relativism, the doctrine under which there can be no objective moral distinctions between behaviour.

That leads them straight into despising western culture while inflating the moral worth of the developing world. And this loss of moral compass leads them, in turn, straight into the detestation of Israel — the new antisemitism that is a fig leaf for the older kind.

Le Carré was clearly very upset at being accused of antisemitism. That’s a reaction shared by many in progressive, Israel-bashing circles.

Such people often valorise the victims of the Holocaust, sentimentalise certain Jewish characteristics and boast of having Jewish friends. They therefore dismiss as outrageous the suggestion that they may harbour some form of anti-Jewish prejudice.

But antisemitism doesn’t always wear jackboots. Like le Carré’s spies, it hides behind multiple disguises, including western liberalism.

John le Carré was a wonderful writer whose works gave pleasure to millions. His early spy fiction was superlative, and his semi-autobiographical novel A Perfect Spy was a masterpiece.

English literature, however, is full of writers of enduring quality and importance but who had antisemitic views. From Chaucer to Dickens to TS Eliot to Roald Dahl, we continue to read and appreciate writers of genius while being uncomfortably aware of their anti-Jewish prejudice.

This doesn’t just tell us something about these authors, but also about the culture that produced them. Le Carré was the product of an era in which rampant antisemitism has been facilitated by precisely the same moral bankruptcy posing as conscience that is reflected in his fiction.

Ultimately, though, he himself remains an enigma. Was he on the side of the Jewish people — or their enemies? Even George Smiley might fail to resolve that one.
Why the cultural elite truly despises Hanukkah
Our cultural elites’ least ­favorite Jewish holiday has arrived: Hanukkah, of course.

Why did Hanukkah irk everyone from the late Christopher Hitchens, who memorably ­derided it as a “celebration of tribal Jewish backwardness,” to author Sarah Prager, who took to the pages of The New York Times recently to explain that she won’t be teaching her kids about it?

Well, because Hanukkah is about as out of step with the contemporary elite consensus as any religious tradition can be.

If you haven’t reviewed the story in a while, here’s how it goes. One fine day in 167 BC, a crowd of Jews was gathered in the town square of Modi’in, a suburb of Jerusalem.

They were there ­because the Seleucid Empire — the successors of Alexander the Great’s expansive dynasty — had recently moved into town. The conquerors believed that their Greek culture was the only path to enlightenment. The Seleucids had resolved to Hellenize this peculiarly stubborn people, the Jews, and they sought out the right kind of Jewish collaborator — you know, those who weren’t too bearded or too weird — to persuade the rest of the locals to abandon their backward mountain God and primitive laws.

And then, just as one of those Hellenizing Jews stepped up to sacrifice to almighty Zeus, out came a priest named Mattathias. Having precisely zero ­patience for idolatry, the fiery-eyed zealot killed not only the Jewish collaborator but the ­Seleucid governor, as well. Mattathias thus launched a war — partly an internal Jewish conflict, partly a rebellion against Greek imperial power — that would end with that well-publicized victory of the priest and his sons, the Maccabees, aided by one miraculous vat of oil.

So what’s Hanukkah truly about?

Canadian Federal Court Rejects Refugee Status Application of Palestinian Who Facilitated Terror Payments
In a landmark decision, Canada’s Federal Court has denied a Palestinian grandmother’s application for refugee status because of her work for a foundation that financed so-called “martyr payments” to the families of Palestinian terrorists convicted of murdering Israelis.

The court’s decision on Dec. 8 rejected the application of Khitam Khudeish, an Iraq-born Palestinian who first arrived in Canada in May 2016 on a visa issued by the Canadian Embassy in South Africa. At the time, Khudeish’s husband was serving as the PLO representative in Angola.

Later that year, Khudeish and her daughter filed for refugee status, claiming they would face “religious persecution” if they were forced to return to Iraq.

In its ruling, the Federal Court noted that “central to the assessment of her claim is the fact that from 1984 to 2006, Ms. Khudeish worked for the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO] in Baghdad.” Her department was the Palestinian Martyrs’ Families Foundation, a body that funnels monthly payments to the families of terrorists that far exceed the average Palestinian income.

It quoted Khudeish explaining that her work at PLO was “at the department of Palestine Marty’s [sic] Family, this department gave welfare/social assistant [sic] to families of deceased.”

“It was an administrative part-time position,” she continued. “I worked only 10 days out of a month, I would receive a list of names of people to receive financial help, I would distribute the funds and check people’s names off the list who had appeared and received the money, these were usually older women, mainly widows.”

The court observed that Canada’s refugee agency had not regarded Khudeish as a “credible witness,” concluding that she had in fact “made a significant contribution to the PLO’s criminal purpose by issuing the sums of payments and facilitating payments to family members of terrorists.”
Webinar: Fighting Jew Hatred Means Going After Groups, Factually and Financially
The best chance to fight antisemitism in the United States is by elucidating the connections between the hatred of Jews and anti-American sentiments, according to philanthropist, real estate developer and Jewish communal activist Adam Milstein, who held a webinar on Wednesday hosted by the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum.

Milstein said the Jewish community cannot combat such an age-old scourge simply by arguing about antisemitic messages or defining it as a “Jewish problem.” Instead, groups and movements spreading hate need to be addressed and targeted directly.

What is needed, he added, is for others to understand that at the core, antisemitism is about hatred and bigotry.

He stressed that the enemies of Jews “are the enemies of America, the enemies of the Western world, and the sooner everyone else understands that, the better.”

Crucial to such coalition-building is gathering facts to use against hate groups in the media and the court system, said Milstein, who in addition to holding dual US-Israeli citizenship serves as chairman emeritus at the Israeli-American Council and runs a family foundation with his wife, Gila, whose mission is to “strengthen American values, support the US-Israel alliance, and combat bigotry and hatred in all forms.”

Milstein said it’s vital to invest fiscally in research to expose who is behind the hate groups, what their objectives and future plans are, and what links them together.
A Muslim extremist shouldn't have been invited to a Jewish event
A Muslim-American extremist has been disinvited from a Jewish-organized civil rights panel, and Jewish liberals are denouncing his removal as a suppression of free speech.

But the real outrage here is that he was invited in the first place.

Salam Al-Marayati, longtime president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was invited by a group called Jews United for Democracy to speak as part of its panel on “After Four Years of Division, Tension and Bigotry—Now What?”

Yet Al-Marayati himself is a promoter of division, tension and bigotry. Bigotry against Jews, that is.

Al-Marayati’s organization, MPAC, publicly defended infamous French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy, after Garaudy was fined by the French government for his denial activities.

Al-Marayati was a longtime member of the small editorial board of The Minaret, a magazine closely associated with MPAC leaders, which in the 1990s and early 2000s repeatedly published grotesque political cartoons depicting Jews and Israel controlling the American government. That theme was consistent with Al-Marayati’s assertion that the U.S. “is in full partnership with Israel. Where Israel goes, our government follows.”

Al-Marayati has had a long association with white supremacist William Baker, the onetime chairman of the extremist Populist Party, which was founded by a late neo-Nazi leader / Holocaust denier named Willis Carto, in 1984. MPAC has invited Baker to speak at a number of events. At MPAC’s “United for Al Quds Conference” in 2002, Al-Marayati himself introduced and praised Baker.

Comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is standard fare for Al-Marayati. For example, writing in the notoriously anti-Israel magazine Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in June 1994, Marayati asserted: “Just as Hitler forged a conflict between Judaism and Christianity, apologists for Israel crave for Islam to be at odds with both Judaism and Christianity.”
What Raphael Warnock Believes About Israel
The Middle East poses a problem for the Democrats. Theirs was traditionally the pro-Israel party and still commands the support of a substantial majority of Jewish voters. But left-liberal orthodoxy demands that all right-thinking people take the side of the Palestinians against the Israeli government and hold Jerusalem to a double standard: If any other nation takes an aggressive stance against terrorist insurrectionists or other internal threats, the results may be tragic but are kept in perspective. If Israel does so, it has committed a moral outrage and broken international law.

If you aspire to higher office as a Democrat, you’re expected to sympathize with that view of things but not to adopt it too stridently. You can condemn Israel for measures it has adopted to counter the indiscriminate killing of its civilians by terrorists, but you have to couch it all in pro-Israel rhetoric, always emphasizing Israel’s “right to defend itself,” as if any country could reasonably be said to lack that right.

Most Democratic candidates have negotiated the problem reasonably well, although extreme anti-Israel outliers from safe districts, such as Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, can occasion some awkwardness for their congressional colleagues. The problem for Raphael Warnock, the Democratic Senate candidate in Georgia’s special-election runoff Jan. 5, is that he didn’t start trying to negotiate it until very recently. He is a pastor whose weekly sermons at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta are recorded and available online, and he is the sort of left-wing clergyman who likes to make political pronouncements and to sign high-minded political statements.

He signed one such statement, composed in 2019 under the auspices of the National Council of Churches, after visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories with a group of black American and South African clergymen. The statement compared Israel’s border wall to the Berlin Wall and drew indirect but invidious analogies to apartheid, slavery and Nazism. The statement also included melodramatic language about the plight of Palestinians (“we are cut up by the misery in which poor families in Palestine have to survive”) and showed no awareness that these conditions are a consequence of Palestinians’ refusal to reject, and indeed insistence on using, murder as a political tool.
Guess Who Was a Guest Preacher at Raphael Warnock's Church in 2014?
Georgia Democrat candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock is running for Senate, but he's also running from a pretty checkered past. Warnack has come under fire for interfering with a child abuse investigation, for his church's decision to welcome communist dictator Fidel Castro and various other statements Warnock has made in support of Marxism and the like.

Fox News is now reporting that Warnock hosted the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a guest preacher in 2014. A flyer for the event at Ebenezer Baptist Church bills Warnock as the senior pastor and Wright as a guest preacher.

In a statement to Fox News, Sen. Loeffler's communications director, Stephen Lawson, blasted Warnock's decision to host the Wright.

"Not only did Raphael Warnock praise Jeremiah Wright’s 'God Damn America' sermon, he thought it was so great that he invited him to Ebenezer Baptist to deliver it," said Lawson. "Does Georgia really want a U.S. senator who thinks God should damn America?"

In a 2003 sermon, Rev. Wright railed against the United States following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

"Not God bless America; God damn America," Wright said in response. "That’s in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating her citizens as less than human. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and she is supreme."
UK Labour launches plan to combat antisemitism
The UK Labour Party announced on Thursday a new plan to uproot antisemitism from its ranks.

The Action Plan for Driving out Antisemitism from the Labour Party came in response to a UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report in October. The report determined that the party had violated equality laws in its handling of antisemitic incidents under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The EHRC report’s “findings were clear and stark: The Labour Party breached the Equality Act 2010 in terms of unlawful harassment and indirect discrimination towards our Jewish members,” the party’s current leader, Keir Starmer, and Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said in the plan’s introduction. “We failed the Jewish community, our members, our supporters and the country.”

As such, Starmer and Rayner said they “have made rooting out antisemitism our number-one priority,” and they plan to “change the processes, structures and the culture of the Party to ensure Jewish people feel safe to return to their political home.”
EHRC publishes guidance warning all political parties of their responsibilities, as requested by CAA
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has today published new guidance for all political parties and associations, following a request by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The ‘New Guiding Principles for all Associations and Membership Organisations’ comes following the EHRC’s devastating report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, which was found to have engaged in unlawful discrimination and harassment of Jews. The report followed the EHRC’s investigation of the Labour Party in which Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence and legal argument. Sir Keir Starmer called the publication of the report a “day of shame” for the Labour Party.

Now the EHRC has, following a request by Campaign Against Antisemitism, published guidance for other political parties and associations, drawing on its investigation and report into Labour.

The Guiding Principles cover what constitutes unlawful discrimination; the importance of setting standards of behaviour and creating an inclusive culture; and the role of leadership – which were all areas of failure for Labour and from which other parties should learn. The Guidance also emphasises the need for a clear and accessible complaints policy; training; and a clear, published social media policy, which it has also mandated for Labour in the agreed Action Plan published yesterday.
Plaid Cymru “has work to do to win the confidence of anyone who opposes racism”: CAA makes submissions to Party’s internal review into antisemitism
Campaign Against Antisemitism has today made submissions to Plaid Cymru’s review into antisemitism in the Party.

Plaid Cymru’s internal review will reportedly be led by Liz Saville Roberts MP, the leader of the Party’s small contingent at Westminster, and it aims to ensure that there is “zero tolerance” of antisemitism in the Party.

The review was announced following the publication of the damning report into antisemitism in the Labour Party by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Campaign Against Antisemitism was the complainant in the EHRC’s investigation, having made the formal referral that prompted the launch of the unprecedented full statutory investigation.

Our submissions come on the same day that the EHRC has published new “Guiding Principles” for all political parties and other associations.

The core of the submissions relates to numerous cases that Campaign Against Antisemitism has compiled, with input from concerned Plaid members and other members of the public, to whom we are grateful. The cases can be reviewed here.

One of the cases concerns a former leader of the Party, Leanne Wood, who has courted controversy at least twice this year in relation to antisemitism. Another concerns repeat offender Sahar Al-Faifi against whom the Party has failed to take action.
CUNY Passes Resolution Rebuking Censorship of Virtual Event With Terrorist
The City University of New York (CUNY) committee has passed a resolution that rebuked the censorship of a virtual event a few months ago that featured a documented Palestinian terrorist.

The resolution that the CUNY Professional Staff Congress (PSC) International Committee passed last week bemoaned the video-conferencing platform Zoom, Facebook and YouTube removing a Sept. 23 event being promoted and live streamed, respectively, on their platform called “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled.”

Khaled played a critical role in two airplane hijackings as a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a US-designated terrorist organization. The Israeli Shin Bet considers her part of the Jordanian command of the PFLP.

The resolution stated that social media censorship went against the principle of academic freedom. In addition to the aforementioned platforms, the measure also blamed what it called “a pressure campaign organized” by the Anti-Defamation League, the Lawfare Project, StandWithUs and other groups.

In a statement, the Lawfare Project stated that “this resolution was passed so that CUNY PSC could set up a committee and begin fundraising against our efforts to keep terrorists and Jew-hatred off campuses. In doing so, this fringe union has declared war on the Jewish community.”
Holocaust Denier Remains on Northwestern Website After Author of Controversial Op-Ed Scrubbed
Northwestern University scrubbed its website of references to a former professor who penned a controversial op-ed against Jill Biden—but it continues to feature a professor who denies the Holocaust.

Joseph Epstein, a writer and former adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, had argued in the Wall Street Journal that Jill Biden shouldn't call herself a "Dr." Following the op-ed, Northwestern issued a condemnation of Epstein and removed his profile from its website. Yet the school still has a page for Arthur Butz, a tenured engineering professor who calls the Holocaust a "hoax" and a "legend."

Butz authored a book titled, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, which argues against the existence of the Holocaust. In the book, Butz claims that there is no substantial evidence to prove the Holocaust happened, that Jews were asked to shave their hair and shower in gas chambers to fight lice, and that Jews used Auschwitz as a propaganda campaign.

"What we are offered in evidence was gathered after the war, in trials," Butz wrote. "The evidence is almost all oral testimony and ‘confessions.' Without the evidence of these trials there would be no significant evidence of ‘extermination.'"
Attempts to intimidate Jewish students at Warwick University rebuffed
Attempts to deter Jewish students from complaining about antisemitism at Warwick University have been rebuffed, with the assistance of UKLFI Charitable Trust. Three disciplinary charges against a Jewish student who complained about antisemitism have been dropped with no action being taken.

In November 2019, the President of the University of Warwick’s Jewish Israeli Society, Angus Taylor, submitted a complaint on behalf of a society member who felt that an academic had made an antisemitic comment during a lecture, and who wanted to remain anonymous. The society member had recorded part of the lecture as she became increasingly concerned about the lecturer’s remarks.

The particular comment in issue was: “… this idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea, the idea that you want to discredit the Labour Party because there is support for Palestine among some members of the Labour Party”.

When the lecturer found out about the complaint, she emailed her whole class, denying that she had said anything antisemitic. Sociology students at the University then released a statement accusing Jewish students of taking the lecturer’s statement out of context in an attempt to undermine a “lecturer of colour”.

In an attempt to protect Jewish students from further hostility on campus, the Jewish Israeli Society published part of the recording of the lecture showing that the statement had not been taken out of context.

The University proceeded to investigate the complaint against the lecturer and ruled that the comment “was interpreted as an anti-Semitic conspiratorial trope” but nevertheless was legitimate “within the principles and values of tolerance and freedom of speech”.
A Second Zionist Jew’s Exit from New York Times Opinion Page Is Called ‘Disgrace’
A second openly Zionist staffer has exited the New York Times editorial page as the newspaper’s publisher interviews candidates for the editorial-page editor job.

In June, a Republican senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, wrote a Times op-ed headlined “Send in the Troops,” calling for the deployment of the US military to quell what the article called an “orgy of violence” and “rioters and looters” in American cities following the death in police custody of George Floyd. More than 800 Times staff members signed a letter protesting the article’s publication, and more than two dozen New York Times employees called in sick to protest the op-ed.

New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet resigned after the publication of the Cotton article, but others sought to blame its appearance on two Jewish opinion-page staffers, Bari Weiss and Adam Rubenstein. I covered the episode at the time under the headline “Republican Senator Writes New York Times Op-Ed. Zionist Jews Get Blamed.”

“‘Blame Weiss and Rubenstein’ is the NYT’s new motto, and unlike its previous one, actually accurately describes what the paper aims to do every day of the week and twice on Shabbos,” quipped Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner magazine.

Weiss left the Times in July, complaining of “unlawful discrimination” and “constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views.” Now Rubenstein has also departed. He did not reply to a message asking why, but Weiss, on Twitter, wrote that he “was hung out to dry by his own colleagues.”

“The bottom line is that what @nytimes did to Adam was a disgrace,” Weiss wrote on Twitter.

French Cops Arrest Perpetrators of Violent Assault on Jewish Family Singing Hanukkah Songs in Their Car
French police arrested four individuals on Friday in connection with an “incredibly violent” assault on a Jewish family who were traveling in their car in a Paris suburb the previous evening.

In another example of the brazen and potentially-lethal antisemitic attacks endured by French Jews over the last decade, Thursday night’s incident began with the unsuspecting Jewish family sitting in their car, where they sang and listened to songs and messages celebrating the festival of Hanukkah.

The four individuals are alleged to have descended on the car as they screamed, “F— the Jews.” They then began shaking the car violently while smashing glass bottles against the body of the vehicle.

Police officers arrested the entire group shortly afterward on charges of assault aggravated by religious hatred.

France’s interior minister urged in the wake of the attack that the four perpetrators be “punished” with sentences appropriate to the seriousness of their crime.

“Last night, in the middle of Hanukkah, a family from Aubervilliers was insulted and attacked for being Jewish. In France, in 2020,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted.

He continued: “The assailants were arrested very quickly by the police. They should be punished commensurate with the gravity of these facts.”
CAA files complaint with Netherlands prosecutor’s office over Wiley’s antisemitic tirade launched from Rotterdam
Lawyers acting for Campaign Against Antisemitism have filed a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecution Service in the Netherlands, which is where grime artist Wiley was located when he launched his tirade against Jews.

Ron Eisenmann, a partner at Eisenmann & Ravestijn, filed documents on behalf of Campaign Against Antisemitism seeking Wiley’s prosecution in the Netherlands over his antisemitic incitement. We are extremely grateful to Mr Eisenmann and his firm for agreeing to represent Campaign Against Antisemitism on a pro bono basis.

On 24th July 2020, the rapper Richard Kylea Cowie, who is known as Wiley, spent days engaged in an escalating rant on social media against Jews. After likening Jews to the Ku Klux Klan and claiming that Jews had cheated him and were “snakes”, Wiley tweeted that Jews should “hold some corn”, a slang expression meaning that they should be shot. He added: “Jewish community you deserve it”. He then also called on “black people” to go to “war” with Jews.

Wiley repeatedly evoked conspiracy theories that Jews were responsible for the slave trade and that modern-day Jews are in fact imposters who usurped black people — a conspiracy theory that has incited acts of terrorism against Jews, such as a shooting in Jersey City and a stabbing attack in Monsey, NY during the festival of Chanukah last December.
Court date set for three new charges against notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz following action by CAA
Notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz appeared in court today to deny three new charges of sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent message or material. The charges were brought following action by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Her defence counsel argued that the charges were “vague” and noted that some of the broadcasts in question were “done in the USA”, even though Ms Chabloz herself was in the UK when she appeared on the channels.

“She doesn’t actually appear to know what is grossly offensive,” the prosecution said, adding: “There are comments that may be grossly offensive, such as ‘Hitler was right’. There are hundreds of evidential exhibits in relation to the transcripts of the broadcasts.”

Ms Chabloz is a virulent antisemite and Holocaust denier who has an extensive record of using social media to publicise her hatred for Jews and to convert others to her views about Jewish people. Following a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism, which was later continued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Ms Chabloz became the first person in Britain to be convicted over Holocaust denial in a precedent-setting case.

Ms Chabloz is fixated on the idea that the Holocaust did not occur, and that it was fabricated by Jews and their supporters as a vehicle for fraudulently extorting money in the form of reparations. This forms the basis for her second obsession, that Jews are liars and thieves who are working to undermine Western society. Ms Chabloz is also connected to extremist right-wing movements, at whose meetings she gives speeches and performs her songs, in the UK, France and North America.

The three charges under section 127 of the Communications Act relate to two internet radio broadcasts featuring Ms Chabloz.

Amid pillaging and looting, Tunisia works to preserve its Jewish heritage
Tunisia is struggling to protect North Africa’s Jewish heritage, threatened by vandalism, looting and the smuggling of valuable artifacts bearing witness to the long history of the region’s Jews.

While many of Tunisia’s own synagogues and Jewish graveyards lie neglected, the country has also become a conduit for antiques pillaged in lawless neighboring Libya.

“A huge number of antiques have been looted in Libya, and people are trying to smuggle them to Europe,” said Habib Kazdaghli, a historian at Tunisia’s Manouba University.

Kazdaghli is campaigning for the creation of a museum of the country’s Jewish heritage — a sensitive subject given public opposition to Israel.

Jews have lived in North Africa for over 2,000 years, a community strengthened by multiple waves of immigration, notably an influx of refugees expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century and the arrival of Italian Jews in the 17th.

Several hundred thousand Jews lived across North Africa in the 1940s. But the vast majority left after the creation of Israel in 1948, many of them fleeing local hostilities directed at them over the establishment of the Jewish state and leaving homes, synagogues and graveyards abandoned and vulnerable to looters.
Taking Israeli Chutzpah to the Moon: Its Next Lunar Mission Aims to Land Not One, but Two Vessels
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been active in the space arena for the last three or four decades. It launched its space program in the late 1980s, blasting off its first satellite in 1988, to help track the southern border and monitor the Sinai Peninsula for security threats.

In addition to producing various types of satellites, last year, together with SpaceIL and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, it launched Beresheet, a Moon lander that unceremoniously crashed moments before reaching its target. In an exclusive interview, General-Manager of the Space Division at IAI Shlomi Sudri spoke to CTech about the company’s unveiling of its particularly ambitious plans for Israel’s next spacecraft, Beresheet 2, which is set to launch in 2024.

“Israel is one of a few countries in the world that possesses space capabilities and can launch, develop, and build satellites. We do all of this at IAI,” Sudri said, noting that the Jewish state is a “one-stop-shop” for many international customers. The company yields $4 billion in sales a year from exports, with 75 percent of its products sold and purchased overseas to over 90 countries, while 25 percent of its products are purchased and used domestically.

IAI is currently a government-owned company but has recently received approval to issue minority shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, a move planned for the first quarter of 2021.
Rapper Nissim Black opens up about creative process and COVID recovery
Nissim Black is passionately, assuredly, confidently in love with God.

Not in love with Judaism, though he’s fastidious in prayer and observance. Not in love with spirituality, though most mornings, you can find him meditating in the Israeli hills after sunrise. Not in love with ritual, though he’s a devoted Hasidic Jew.

No, Nissim Black is in love with the creator of the universe, with whom he has an intimate and fierce connection. He’s faced no shortage of adversity, experienced myriad modes of connection with the divine. Yet he’s unapologetically who he is, doing what he loves — rapping — with the undeniable gifts — perceiving and conveying clear-eyed truth — he’s been endowed with.

Days after his 34th birthday, on which he released “The Hava Song,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency spoke to Black at length about his music, his faith and his communities.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. The word Hashem, literally meaning “the name,” is a Hebrew word for God commonly used by Orthodox Jews in everyday speech.
Smokey Robinson Called ‘Mensch’ for Offering to Redo Personalized Hanukkah Message After Mispronouncing Holiday’s Name
Motown legend Smokey Robinson asked to re-record a “Happy Hanukkah” message he sent to a fan after he realized that he mispronounced the name of the Jewish holiday.

Jeff Jacobson, who paid $399 for Robinson to film a holiday greeting on Cameo for his mother, shared the original video message on Sunday on Twitter, writing in the caption, “My mom grew up on the same street as Smokey Robinson in Detroit. So for Chanukah, I wanted to reunite them via @Cameo. But the video takes a strange twist.”

In the clip, Robinson accidentally pronounced Hanukkah as “Cha-NOOK-ah” and admitted he had “no idea what Chanookah is.”

He afterward said he wanted to redo the message. Robinsin tweeted on Monday, “Hey @jeffjacobson — in the spirit of 2020, I’m gonna need a do-over! Please DM your mother’s phone number so we can try this again.”

Jacobson, who called Robinson a “mensch” for offering to film another video, replied to the singer saying, “Coming right up, Smokey but you owe her and us nothing. We love you!”

Robinson called Jacobson’s mother on Tuesday to wish her a happy holiday, and she invited him for dinner at their home in Vancouver, Canada.

Jacobson shared on Twitter a video of the former neighbors speaking on the phone, and said about the singer’s mispronunciation, “By the way, @smokeyrobinson can pronounce it any way he damn well pleases. He is a true legend whose music has been with me since birth. His kindness and generosity of spirit has already made this most-unusual 2020 Chanukah one of my family’s most memorable. Also, my mom says hi.”
What Dubai taught me about Hanukkah - opinion
In my wildest dreams I never imagined lighting a full menorah on the eighth day of Hanukkah in the United Arab Emirates. Nor had I contemplated saying the kaddish memorial prayer for my father on his 14th yahrtzeit, the anniversary of his death, earlier this week, in the desert dunes on the periphery of Dubai. (My father would have been amused and excited about both moments, I think.)

And yet, here I am in an Arab country, newly at peace with Israel, on Hanukkah – the holiday of Jewish spiritual resistance and military victory. Amazingly, there is no reason to hide my Jewish religious affiliation or my national citizenship as an Israeli. Just the opposite is true. Everyone here is thrilled to meet a religious Jew and a real Israeli. Emiratis are proud to be associated with us.

(I am here as a scholar-in-residence, teaching Torah and strategic affairs on behalf of for Jews from around the world. Reportedly, 50,000 Israelis are running around Dubai this month. From here, it seems the number is double that!)

To tell you the truth, at first I was put off by the seemingly preening skyscrapers of modern Dubai. Every guide boasts that the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, which reminds me of the Tower of Babel, of which God did not approve. “And they said: ‘Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’” (Genesis 11:4). And indeed, God then scattered mankind upon the whole face of the earth, to curb the arrogance.

But then I learned from Emiratis to see their tall towers differently. They do not mean to lord it over others or express conceit. They mean to say: We are a forward-looking nation.
Hanukkah miracles can still happen, no matter the place or year
Heavy snow fell on New Jersey this week, just as it did 14 years ago as I prepared to return to Israel.

After a two-week speaking tour in 2006, I was anxious to get home and join my family for the final days of Hanukkah. But as always, I first stopped to visit my parents, still living in the house where I grew up, a 20-minute drive from the airport. After our visit, I arrived at the terminal filled with my mother’s latkes and my father’s always-solid advice, and stood in line for check-in.

Directly in front of me was A.B. Yehoshua, the internationally acclaimed writer and outspoken peace activist whose novels I revered but whose politics I often abhorred. It wasn’t only his ultra-left positions on the peace process I rejected but his recent pronouncements on American Jews. They were only “partial Jews,” he declared, unlike the “complete” Jews of Israel. I ached to tell him that American Jews were complete in their own way and did not think of themselves as exiles. Their identity was not at all as frail as Yehoshua depicted it, but frequently brave and even muscular. Zionism, I wanted to state, was not a zero-sum game. One could be proudly Israeli and still respect the integrity and legitimacy of American Jews.

Yet I said none of this. Rather, in a typical Israeli way, the moment we starting talking it was only about the balmy weather back home and how much we missed it. Warmly, we exchanged stories about our respective journeys across the United States. He insisted that I call him “Boolie” and introduced me to Rivka – “Ika” – a clinical psychologist and his wife of 27 years. Handing over our bags, we retired to the departure lounge still chatting.

But the snowfall grew heavier, canceling many flights. Soon ours, too, disappeared from the board, and then the entire airport closed.

Thousands of travelers were stranded without food, ground transportation or the slightest guidance. The Yehoshuas, I could tell, were anxious. Nearly in their 70s and with limited English, they had nothing but the clothes they wore and absolutely no one to phone.

“Stay calm,” I assured them. “I’ll call my father.”

They seemed perplexed. How could some man who was even older than they were extricate them from this mess? They didn’t know Lester Bornstein.
Pfizer CEO, son of Holocaust survivors, joins Israeli embassy Hanukkah lighting
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla lit the Hanukkah candles at a virtual ceremony organized by the Israeli embassy in Washington on Wednesday evening, just days after his pharmaceutical corporation received the final go-ahead to distribute its coronavirus vaccine across the US.

Introducing Bourla, Ambassador Ron Dermer pointed out that the business executive is also the son of Holocaust survivors, as his parents were among the few Jews from Thessaloniki, Greece to survive the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis.

“Seventy-five years after the Nazis murdered millions, Dr. Bourla is today leading the race to save millions,” Dermer said, lauding Pfizer for being the first corporation to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, which will be distributed to countries around the world, including Israel.

In brief remarks before lighting the candles, Bourla noted that Hanukkah is “the story of great determination in face of adversity,” and also “the story of the possible becoming possible.”

“This Hanukkah, as this extremely difficult year comes to a close, and we look to a new beginning, we are celebrating both the incredible human spirit and determination it took to create the COVID-19 vaccine and how these efforts made the impossible — developing a vaccine so quickly — possible,” he added.

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