Wednesday, December 23, 2020

From Ian:

To fight anti-Semitism, the UN must first define it
The United States “must deal with the insanity at the center of the Human Rights Council — persistent and egregious anti-Israel bias,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft declared last Monday. She criticized the council for targeting Israel more than any other country in the world. Craft is right about the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias, but an effective response to the problem begins with recognizing that this bias is rooted in plain anti-Semitism.

It is the kind of anti-Semitism that manifests itself in double standards. The council obsesses over Israel to the point of distraction and deems it a pariah, all the while turning a blind eye to genuinely oppressive regimes, such as those in Beijing, Tehran, or Damascus.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has recognized that such double standards constitute anti-Semitism as much as other manifestations such as Holocaust denial and symbols like the swastika. The IHRA is a joint initiative of dozens of governments, mainly European, committed to Holocaust education and combating anti-Semitism. Its definition of anti-Semitism has been adopted by more than 25 countries, the European Parliament, and even the English Premier League.

The Human Rights Council may be the U.N. body that has most often engaged in IHRA-defined anti-Semitism. The UNHRC maintains agenda item seven, which requires the council to review Israel’s human rights record at every meeting. No other country is singled out in this way. In fact, resolutions targeting Israel far outnumber those leveled against China, Iran, Syria, and North Korea combined. The UNHRC also supports a special rapporteur whose mandate is limited to investigating alleged Israeli crimes but not Palestinian ones.

In 2016, the council called for the creation of a database of all businesses conducting activities in or related to Israel’s settlements. The list is intended to intimidate companies out of operating in the West Bank, even though they are legally allowed to do so, and even though no such list exists for any other conflict zone around the world, from Russian-occupied Ukraine to the Turkish-dominated northern Cyprus.

Meanwhile, the U.N. General Assembly maintains a special committee to investigate accusations of Israeli abuses. It also has a committee and a division dedicated to advocating for Palestinians, which in practice has mainly entailed denunciations of Israel. The U.N. maintains no analogous bodies dedicated to defaming any other country.

4th Anniversary of Anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334 Can you guess who played a major role?
This December 23rd is the fourth anniversary of the infamous United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which declares that “the establishment of settlements by Israel in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.” The Obama-Biden administration broke with the longstanding practice of both Democratic and Republican administrations to protect Israel from one-sided, anti-Israel United Nations resolutions when it refused to veto Resolution 2334 and abstained instead. Biden was reportedly involved behind the scenes in pushing the resolution forward for approval, including purportedly pressuring Ukraine to vote for the resolution rather than abstain. Biden has not expressed any regret since then for his participation in the Obama-Biden administration’s decision to sell out Israel.

Resolution 2334 demands that “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” Resolution 2334 also calls on all nations “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” According to the resolution, “East Jerusalem” (including the Western Wall in the Old City) is specifically considered a part of the so-called Palestinian "territories occupied since 1967" that are supposed to be off limits for any nation's dealings involving Israelis. When it comes to the resolution’s call to prevent “acts of terror” and “to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric,” the resolution refers elliptically to “both parties.”

As a 2017 Harvard Law Review article noted, “the resolution’s legal language vindicates the Palestinian story of dispossession and could facilitate prosecutions of Israeli officials at the ICC [International Criminal Court].” The article went on to say that “2334’s legal rhetoric entrenches the PA’s [Palestinian Authority] maximalism.”

Resolution 2334 remains in effect to this day. However, despite what the resolution’s supporters continuously assert, it is not legally binding under the UN Charter because it was not passed under the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter. The resolution is not self-enforcing and would require a further resolution to impose sanctions or other punitive measures, which the Trump administration would surely have vetoed.

The question now is whether Joe Biden as president will return to the Obama-Biden administration’s support of the anti-Israel resolution and its distancing from our closest ally in the Middle East. The answer is most likely yes, despite Biden’s claims of unwavering support for Israel’s security. Biden, his Secretary of State-designate Tony Blinken and incoming chief of staff Ron Klain are adamantly opposed to Israel’s settlement activities.
David Singer: Trump’s two-state solution should not be trashed
Kerry was at pains to point out that America had nothing to do with drafting Resolution 2334:
"The United States did not draft or originate this resolution, nor did we put it forward. It was drafted by Egypt – it was drafted and I think introduced by Egypt, which is one of Israel’s closest friends in the region, in coordination with the Palestinians and others… In the end, we did not agree with every word in this resolution. There are important issues that are not sufficiently addressed or even addressed at all. But we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that condemns violence and incitement and reiterates what has been for a long time the overwhelming consensus and international view on settlements and calls for the parties to start taking constructive steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground."

Abstaining on - rather than vetoing - Resolution 2334 - when it did not address or sufficiently address important issues - was irresponsible.

Kerry showed how (intentionally?) out of touch the outgoing Obama-Biden administration was with President-elect Trump’s intentions:
“President Obama and I know that the incoming administration has signaled that they may take a different path, and even suggested breaking from the longstanding U.S. policies on settlements, Jerusalem, and the possibility of a two-state solution. That is for them to decide. That’s how we work. But we cannot – in good conscience – do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away… This is a time to stand up for what is right. We have long known what two states living side by side in peace and security looks like. We should not be afraid to say so.”

Kerry specifically recounted Israel’s former Prime Minister Peres telling him:
“The original mandate gave the Palestinians 48 percent, now it’s down to 22 percent. I think 78 percent is enough for us.”

That was Revisionist history and pure rubbish: The original mandate gave the Arabs 78% – and that is what they have, 78% (Jordan) - and promised the Jews a national home in the remaining 22% - down to 17% (Israel until the Six Day War) The remaining only 5% comprised Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

Trump’s Peace Plan provides a detailed and comprehensive two-state solution, which was intended as a starting negotiation point:
i>Israel: with its current borders extended to include sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria immediately
A demilitarised Palestinian Arab State comprising Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria on condition it renounces terror and is willing to make peace with the Jewish State, with a four year testing period before its establishment.

Trashing Trump’s Plan going forward and going back to square one would be the height of folly.

Europe’s Highest Court Gives Its Approval to Attempts to Outlaw Jewish and Muslim Life
As it turns out, the societal bill for securing animal rights is to be paid by Jews and Muslims—and them alone. That’s because according to the court, requiring stunning in non-Jewish and non-Muslim settings would “adversely affect the very nature of the event concerned.” (Apparently, this is not an issue for Jewish and Muslim affairs.) Likewise, centuries worth of Muslim and Jewish tradition do not qualify as exempted “cultural traditions” that “contribute to fostering long-standing social links between generations.” That privileged carve-out is reserved for the rest of Europe’s citizens. In other words: Bullfighting in, Rosh Hashana brisket out.

Surveying these ludicrous legal gymnastics, one Jewish critic wryly mused: “Perhaps the solution is for Belgian Jews to turn ritual slaughter into a sport, where teams of shochtim [butchers] compete to see which one can slaughter the most animals in an hour and families can cheer them on. After all, killing animals is fine for recreational purposes, right?”

But the truth is, bans like Belgium’s are no laughing matter, and are representative of something far more insidious: a socially acceptable sanction for bigotry.

Everyone understands that skinheads marching under fascist banners or terrorists who shoot up Jewish institutions want to make Europe unlivable for its remaining Jewish inhabitants. But those who seek to outlaw basic Jewish and Muslim religious practices—ritual slaughter, but also infant male circumcision (contrary to the global health consensus)—are doing the same thing. They just dress their exclusionary ideology up in the language of righteousness to make it acceptable in polite company.

No one should fall for it. Such efforts should be anathema not just when they come from the unwashed masses, but when they are part of an elite-driven campaign and presented as high ethical culture. After all, European anti-Semitism has always constructed itself as morally superior to the benighted practices of the Jews it persecutes. That doesn’t make it any better, it just makes it dangerous.

Fortunately, Europe is not yet on board with this unfolding plan to repress Jewish and Muslim religious life. Most states don’t have bans on kosher and halal slaughter, and most likely don’t want one. In advance of last week’s ruling, the European Union’s own advocate general advised the court to reject the Belgian restrictions as a violation of EU law and its commitment to religious freedom. But the court’s decision to disregard this guidance and uphold the Belgian bans has set a troubling precedent that could supercharge similar efforts across the continent.

It’s up to people and countries who care about Jewish and Muslim rights to speak out and deter other regions of Europe from following suit.
JCPA: Breaking the Silence’s Report on Roads in the Territories Is Misleading and Blatantly Partisan
The Israeli organization “Breaking the Silence” (BtS) published a study in December 2020 highly critical of Israel’s transportation infrastructure projects in the West Bank. However, the study ignores the relevant provisions in the Oslo Accords signed by the PLO and Israel. This study is meant to delegitimize Israel’s presence in the territories and undermine an agreed negotiation process. It cannot be divorced from those international and national non-governmental organizations and member states of the European Union that advocate an identical hostile political line to Israel and finance and support Breaking the Silence.

The study falsely assumes that the territory belongs to the Palestinians. In fact, Israel’s entry into the territories in 1967 after being attacked by its neighbors, and its subsequent control and administration of the territories, were in accordance with the relevant requirements of international law.

Occupation of territory during the course of an armed conflict is not illegal. To the contrary, it is an accepted and recognized legal state-of-affairs. Pending a negotiated resolution of the conflict, Israel committed itself to abide by international humanitarian and legal norms, and such administration has been under strict judicial supervision by Israel’s Supreme Court.

There exists no binding international determination that the territories are Palestinian. Similarly, according to the 1995 Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the permanent legal and political status of the territories has yet to be negotiated. International law enables the legitimate utilization by the authority administering the territory of non-privately-owned land and property, pending the permanent settlement of the dispute. The Oslo Accords enable both sides to conduct planning, zoning, and construction activities in the areas under their respective jurisdiction, and thus to construct roads and transportation infrastructure.
Actress Alyssa Milano Blasted for Singling Out Israel, ‘Targeting Jews’ in Twitter Post About Stimulus Deal
American actress Alyssa Milano was roasted by social media users on Monday for a Twitter post that singled out Israel for receiving US aid.

The US Congress approved on Monday a nearly-$900 billion coronavirus aid package that includes $600 stimulus checks for Americans. This second round of stimulus checks will be sent to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and couples making less than $150,000.

Milano reacted harshly in a Twitter post, saying, “Between 30 and 40 million families are at risk of eviction, but Congress can only afford $600 per person. I’m sure the $500 MILLION in arms and military aid to Israel and the $2 BILLION for Air Force missiles will help keep them warm when they are on the streets.”

Her post was retweeted by Jewish actress and “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing.

Milano’s comments followed a similar tweet by journalist Walker Bragman.

But, as others pointed out, the aid to Israel was part of a broader $1.4 trillion agreement to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year, not the COVID-19 relief bill. The spending agreement allocates foreign aid to a number of countries as part of the 2021 Defense Department budget, including $700 million to Sudan, $453 million to the Ukraine, and $1.3 billion to Egypt — almost three times the amount headed to Israel.
British Political Party Investigating Own Spokesperson’s Claim That Antisemitism Concerns Are ‘Fake’
The UK’s third-largest political party, the Liberal Democrats, has launched an internal investigation into antisemitism after one of its spokespeople described the antisemitic scandals in the Labour Party as “fake.”

Jonathan Coulter — a former editor of the Liberal Democrats Friends of Palestine newsletter — was a speaker at the December 12 launch of an organization called the Campaign for Free Speech, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.

During his remarks, Coulter claimed the “fake antisemitism campaign against Labour is the worst single episode of misinformation I have ever witnessed.”

Declaring he had been a member of the Liberal Democrats for five-and-a-half years, Coulter claimed that since 2015 the mainstream media had “put out a uniform wall-to-wall narrative” on Labour’s antisemitism issue “and failed to report evidence that disputes it.”

Coulter, who is regularly quoted as the spokesperson for the party’s chapter in Bromley, near London, then accused the UK’s national broadcaster, the BBC, of willfully repeating false accusations against Labour.

“It is a surreal situation, where the BBC produces a documentary about Chinese treatment of Uighurs, called ‘How to Brainwash a Million People,’ while itself contributing to the brainwashing of tens of millions of British people, by more subtle means, in the run-up to the 2019 General Election,” Coulter charged.

Coulter then praised the Campaign For Free Speech’s “unapologetic approach in dealing with antisemitism smears, and contrast this to supporters of Palestinian rights who often appease the pro-Israel lobby in one way or another — sugaring the pill, hiding the truth, always talking about sensitivities, hoping to gain acceptance with the media, political parties or whatever.”
University of California Merced Sticks by Professor Behind Antisemitic ‘IsraHell’ Twitter Account
The University of California Merced’s School of Engineering was on Wednesday sticking by one of its top professors despite a viciously antisemitic and anti-Zionist Twitter account that he maintained for nearly two years having come to light.

A spokesperson for the school said that its faculty member — Abbas Ghassemi, a professor emeritus in its engineering department — had operated the account as a private individual.

“As the now-inactive Twitter account made clear, these were the opinions of a private individual, not the positions of the institution,” James Chiavelli — assistant vice chancellor of external relations at UC Merced — said in a statement.

Ghassemi’s Twitter antics were exposed earlier this week by the J-Weekly, a Jewish news outlet serving northern California.

In one recent post commenting on President-elect Joe Biden’s Nov. 4 victory, Ghassemi tweeted: “Surprise, surprise!! The entire system in America is controlled by Zionist. Change of president is just a surface polish, change of veneer. Same trash different pile!”

Another post on Dec. 13 read, “the Zionists and IsraHell interest have embedded themselves in every component of the American system, media, banking, policy, commerce … just a veneer of serving US interest and population — everyone pretends that is the case.”

Many of the 2,200 tweets posted by Ghassemi since the account was launched in July 2019 referred to Israel with the insulting pejorative “IsraHell,” the J-Weekly reported.
Disciplinary charges against Jewish student for complaining about lecturer’s “Israel lobby” remark dropped by Warwick University
Dubious disciplinary charges against a Jewish student who complained about antisemitism have been dropped by Warwick University.

The President of the Warwick Jewish Israeli Society submitted a complaint on behalf of a member against Dr Goldie Osuri for saying, in a lecture on 11th November 2019, that “the next time they say that the Labour Party is antisemitic, you know there are some people possibly that are possibly antisemitic, but this idea that the Labour Party is antisemitic is very much an Israeli lobby kind of idea.”

However, the complaint was rejected by the University, which backed the controversial academic, who doubled down on her outrageous claims. She also apparently emailed the entire class about the complaint and was absurdly portrayed by allies as being victimised because she is a “lecturer of colour”.

Dr Osuri then made two counter-complaints against the President of the Jewish Israeli Society, the first relating to the recording and publishing of her lecture and the second with regard to the University’s ‘Dignity at Warwick’ policy, which had allegedly been breached by supposed “harassment” of an academic and the “submission of a vexatious complaint”.

Warwick has now dropped the complaints, however, following representations from the student.

Throughout this saga, Warwick, which only grudgingly adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism after considerable pressure, has shown itself unwilling to address antisemitism. On this occasion, it has at least stopped short of punishing the victims.
92% of all WordPress attacks are on Israeli sites - report
A whopping 92% of all brute-force hacking attacks on WordPress sites around the world in the last few months were targeted at Israeli sites, according to a report by Internet security company F5 Labs.

The report also found that Israeli sites of all types were targeted far more often than those of any other country during the last quarter. The study was based on an analysis of more than a million honeypot-logged connections collected by F5’s research partner, Effluxio, during the third quarter of 2020. About 180,000 attacks against Israel were identified during the period. The United States was a distant second, with about 130,000 attacks, followed by Russia at 75,000 and India and the Czech Republic with 50,000 attacks.

More than 7,000 brute-force attacks targeted Israeli WordPress site administrative portals with the /wp-login.php URL. By comparison, only a few hundred were recorded against American sites, and no more than 100 against any other country.

“The target paths in the data show no particular association with Israeli systems or organizations,” the company said. “We can only speculate about the bigger objectives of attackers looking for Israeli WordPress sites to compromise – they could be geopolitical adversaries looking to get a foothold inside the country to launch further attacks against Israel or its allies, or they could be actors with zero interest in Israel who are looking to misdirect attention.”
Antisemite of the year: A law student from New York
Nerdeen Kiswani is a law student at City University of New York's (CUNY) Hunter College. On Tuesday,, a nonprofit that tracks antisemitic activity, announced her as "antisemite of the year."

Kiswani previously co-founded and served as president of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter, a pro-Palestinian activist group largely active on college campuses.

“Antisemitism is a serious problem that requires serious consequences for those who promote it," said Liora Rez,'s executive director. “Too many antisemites like Kiswani are spreading their radical hate through mainstream sectors, from education to law, by disguising it as criticisms of Israel." was founded following the 2019 Tree of Life synagogue shooting, answering the call to track the recent rise in antisemitic rhetoric and acts.

Kiswani has a storied history of terrorist glorification. In February 2018, she tweeted, "I was boutta kill a couple settler colonies But they did it to themselves."

She also posted and then deleted photos of her on Instagram with terrorists, twice. The first was in June 2019, of her with Rasmieh Odeh, who was deported and stripped of US citizenship at the age of 70 for her involvement in two terrorist bombings.

The second instance was in December 2016, when Kiswani posted photos of herself in her room, with pictures of Leila Khaled, a convicted Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP) terrorist, visible on the wall.
Simon Wiesenthal Center supports Puma, JCDecaux amid BDS campaign
Antisemitism watchdog organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center has sent letters of support to sportswear firm Puma and outdoor advertiser JCDecaux due to an ongoing BDS campaign against them by the pro-Palestinian group Collectif Palestine Vaincra.

According to the letters written by the center's international relations director Dr. Shimon Samuels, the group is continuing its ongoing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Puma "through social media and distribution of leaflets in mailboxes" due to Puma being the equipment provider for the Israeli soccer team.

In a statement, the center provided screenshots from the organization's Twitter account, showing the distribution of BDS leaflets against Puma and other articles and statements focused on boycotting the sportswear company.

The group has also made posts on social media celebrating terrorist attacks by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other terrorist groups.

Recent tweets also praised specific terrorists, such as Leila Khaled, who was involved in two different hijacking incidents and was invited in recent months to events at both the University of Hawaii and San Francisco University.
Notorious Anti-Zionist Student Group SJP Fails in Legal Effort to Overturn Ban at Fordham University
The anti-Zionist student organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) received another legal blow on Tuesday in the group’s five-year battle for recognition by the campus authorities at Fordham University in New York.

A ruling by the Supreme Court of New York’s appellate division rejected an appeal submitted by SJP last month that attempted to overturn Fordham’s decision to ban the group — which advocates the elimination of the State of Israel — from its campus.

The ruling defended Fordham’s “conclusion that the proposed club (SJP), which would have been affiliated with a national organization reported to have engaged in disruptive and coercive actions on other campuses, would work against, rather than enhance, respondent’s commitment to open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding, was not ‘without sound basis in reason’ or ‘taken without regard to the facts.'”

SJP was originally denied recognition in 2015, when Keith Eldredge — dean of students at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus — announced his reluctance to permit a student organization “whose sole purpose is advocating political goals of a specific group, and against a specific country, when these goals clearly conflict with and run contrary to the mission and values of the University.”

Eldredge added that “[S]pecifically, the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel presents a barrier to open dialogue and mutual learning and understanding.”

Pro-Israel groups and Jewish advocacy organizations widely hailed Fordham’s decision at the time.

A protracted legal battle saw Fordham’s original decision overturned by a court order in August 2019. Fordham appealed court order in January 2020 , claiming that the university’s decision to ban SJP was based on the premise that a chapter of the group on campus was not in the “best interests” of Fordham’s students, according to Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications.

BBC WS radio promotes the claim that Jesus was ‘Palestinian’
On December 18th the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Heart and Soul’ aired a 27-minute programme (since repeated several times) titled ‘Black Jesus’.

“The identity and colour of Jesus – and why it matters – has taken on a new significance in this year of protest and change. Seeing Jesus as a darker skinned Palestinian rather than blonde European is both historically accurate and theologically important, but it’s not a new idea.”

The notion of Jesus as ‘Palestinian’ is repeated during the programme itself by its presenter Robert Beckford.

01:16: “Despite the fact it’s more realistic as a first-century Palestinian Jew that Jesus was dark skinned, somehow the white Jesus has become the most popular and accepted image.”

25:37: “The colour of Jesus matters, both literally and symbolically. A first-century Palestinian Jew had colour…”

Beckford is of course by no means the first to promote the notion of Jesus as a Palestinian, be that for political ends or as a result of lack of knowledge.
The Times falsely casts Israel as responsible for Palestinians' COVID vaccines
The Dec. 21st print edition of the The Times included the following short article suggesting that Israel was shirking its responsibility to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians:

First, as our CAMERA colleague Tamar Sternthal posted in response to an AP article titled “Palestinians left waiting as Israel is set to deploy vaccine”, the the Oslo Accords clearly stipulate that Palestinian leaders — not Israel — are responsible for the health care, including vaccines, of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.

Though, however, COVID-related cooperation between Jerusalem and Ramallah is of course still important, it’s been reported that efforts to coordinate between Israeli and Palestinian authorities on procuring vaccines for Palestinians was stymied by the PA’s decision to cut off all coordination with Israel.

Further, as the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday, Palestinian officials “haven’t approached Israel for help in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines” and said “they are planning to purchase them on their own with the help of the international community”. The article went on to report that a senior PA Ministry of Health official said that the “Palestinians do not expect Israel to sell them, or purchase on their behalf, the vaccine from any country”, and that the PA will soon receive millions of COVID-19 vaccines from the US, UK, China and Russia.

To recap our rebuttal to the Times narrative that, though Israeli is planning on vaccinating 60,000 Israelis a day, Palestinians in the West Bank won’t be included in their program:
- The PA Ministry of Health is responsible, by virtue of the Oslo Accords, for health care, including vaccinations, in the West Bank and Gaza.
- The PA hasn’t approached Israel for help in obtaining COVID vaccines, and their officials have stated that they don’t expect help from Jerusalem.
- The PA claims to have acquired enough for their population from foreign countries.
- Efforts to coordinate Israeli-Palestinian cooperation on procuring vaccines for Palestinians was damaged by the Palestinian decision to cut off all coordination with Israel.

So, the implicit premise of the Times sentence we highlighted, suggesting that though Israel is responsible for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinians, they are not fulfilling this obligation, is clearly erroneous.

German Catholic Bishop Condemns Antisemitic ‘Relapse Into the Middle Ages’ Over Coronavirus
A leader of the Catholic Church in Germany sounded the alarm on Tuesday concerning the growing hold of antisemitic conspiracy theories over the country’s vocal movement of coronavirus skeptics who are opposed to social distancing, mask-wearing and vaccinations.

Ulrich Meyer — the bishop of the central German state of Thuringia — asserted in a media interview that the new wave of antisemitism marked a “relapse into the Middle Ages,” a period of history when Jews were frequently blamed and then persecuted for outbreaks of plague and disease in the general population.

“What worries me even more is the theory of the world Jewish conspiracy, sometimes at subliminal level, at other times quite openly,” Bishop Meyer told local broadcaster MDR.

Meyer said it was critical for German Catholics to embrace their country’s Jewish heritage. Events to celebrate “Nine Centuries of Jewish Life in Thuringia” begin next year.

“As a Catholic, one is glad that there is Jewish life and culture, that there are people of the Jewish faith among us,” Meyer said. “The Jews remain our older brothers and sisters.”

Demonstrations against coronavirus protocols organized by the group “Querdenken” — German for “lateral thinking” — have taken place throughout 2020 and have regularly featured far-right symbols and visual themes comparing social distancing to the Nazi Holocaust.
Ohio lawmakers vote to launch Holocaust education commission
Lawmakers in Ohio have launched a Holocaust education commission for the state amid increased concern about Holocaust awareness in the United States.

The Holocaust and Genocide Memorial and Education Commission would “help cultivate knowledge and understanding of one of the most tragic occurrences in the world’s history,” the state Senate said in nearly unanimously approving the bill on Dec. 9. The state House of Representatives followed suit last week in a 77-7 vote.

The 12-member commission, which includes top state educational officials, will “promote public awareness of issues relating to Holocaust and genocide memorial and education through public education programs.”

Studies have shown that Holocaust awareness among Americans is diminishing.

Ohio Jewish Communities, an umbrella body for the state’s Jewish organizations, lobbied for the bill.
Czech far-right youth group uses anti-Jewish trope and caricature in anti-vaccine campaign
An antisemitic tweet was posted by the youth wing of the Czech Republic’s far-right Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) as part of its campaign to discourage vaccinations against COVID-19.

The tweet, featuring an anti-Jewish caricature, said: “We will not allow ourselves to be vaccinated against COVID-19! Those globalising bastards can blackmail us all they like!”

The Workers Youth organisation (DM) has frequently used Nazi images or propaganda in its posters, on its Facebook page and in other promotional items. The Czech Interior Ministry categorises the DSSS as one of the extreme right-wing parties. The DM and the DSSS share the same registered address.

The DSSS came into existence after its precursor, the DS was dissolved in 2010.

Ukraine Airlines to Compensate Israeli Couple Over Antisemitic Slurs
An Israeli court has ruled that Ukraine International Airlines will have to pay an Israeli couple 5,000 shekels ($1,550) in compensation for publicly humiliating the two in an incident that happened two and a half years ago.

According to the couple, airline personnel refused to fly them from Vienna to Israel even though their luggage was already checked in.

The couple was asked to pay an extra charge of 60 euros ($70) due to excess weight in their carry-ons. The two attempted to move an item from one bag into another and were “humiliated in public” when airline workers made antisemitic remarks, such as “Why do Jews always have a problem paying money?”

The workers refused to give the luggage back to the couple until after the two arrived in Israel on a different flight.

The airline denied the allegations, but did not contradict the plaintiffs’ testimony.
Israeli Fintech Powerhouse in Advanced Talks to Enter Nasdaq via Special Purpose Acquisition Company
Yet another Israeli powerhouse is making its way to Nasdaq. Calcalist has learned that fintech company Payoneer is in advanced negotiations to merge with an SPAC company, apparently an American one, at a valuation of $2.5 billion to $3 billion.

Payoneer is currently drafting an S-1 filing to submit to the SEC on the chances that the talks, which are in advanced stages, mature into a deal. In case the deal falls through, Payoneer means to conduct an IPO. Either way, the company aims to go public in the next six months, with the main benefactor being venture capital fund Viola, which is Payoneer’s lead backer.

This is not the first time Payoneer has eyed a Nasdaq issuance. It examined the possibility as early as 2015, but it failed to materialize. In early 2019, the company also held meetings with investment banks with the goal of kickstarting the move, but then too, it failed to advance. Now, in light of the blistering hot IPO market, it was decided they would try again.

Like other fintech companies, Payoneer has benefited from the accelerated digitalization process taking place in large part due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, with huge clients like Walmart and Amazon increasing their use of its products. The fact that the company continued to recruit new employees even during the height of the crisis is a testament to its ongoing growth. In August, Payoneer began recruiting 150 new employees in Israel and a similar number for its global offices. Before that, the company was employing 1,500 people worldwide, 900 of them in Israel. Payoneer is managed by Scott Galit, who replaced founder Yuval Tal as CEO in 2010, with Tal becoming president. Keren Levy runs the Israeli operations.

Founded in 2005, Payoneer provides online money transfer and digital payment services. Users can pay and receive funds via several methods, including credit cards, debit cards, electronic wallets, and bank transfers. In recent months it has also started to enter the enterprise credit card clearing business. It is currently active in more than 20 countries and has upwards of four million customers.
9 of the most beautiful churches in Israel
Israel is filled with churches. After all, this holy land is where everything you read about in the Bible took place.

Sure, you’ve got to check out the most famous of them all: The gold-domed Church of Mary Magdalene and Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, for example.

Just as historically significant and breathtakingly beautiful, the churches and monasteries on this list house many a historical tale, including ancient ruins, tombs of famous saints and apostles, and medieval artwork that is hard to believe remains to this day.

Some are in fairytale locations with some of the best views in Israel, from the heart of the desert to mountaintops overlooking Israel’s seas. Others warrant stripping down to your bathing suit for a quick spiritual dip. Read on and you’ll find out just exactly what we mean on this one!

10 unforgettable Christmas scenes from Israel
Christmas in the Holy Land is celebrated like nowhere else on earth. After all, this is where the events in the life of Jesus, as described in the Gospels, actually took place!

December is therefore a popular time for tourists from across the world to join the Christian communities of Israel for a season filled with sacred rituals, colorful decorations and authentic holiday traditions.

We’ve collected these magnificent photos for you to get a peek at the pageantry and excitement leading up to Christmas on December 25, or January 7 for the Eastern Orthodox traditions.

The German Colony in Haifa, all dressed up for the holidays.

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

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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 18 years and 38,000 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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