Tuesday, February 23, 2021

From Ian:

Matti Friedman: Zero-Sum Game
When I started reporting on Israel for the international press, I was made aware of linguistic quirks unique to this particular beat. One good example was the word “settlement,” which, in ordinary usage, means “a small village,” an isolated community out of Little House on the Prairie or perhaps colonial Rhodesia—but which we often used to describe suburban towns of 50,000 in the West Bank or certain neighborhoods in Jerusalem. A typical reader of the English language envisioned one thing, while the reality was another. Another quirk was our use of the word “capital,” which we refused to apply to Jerusalem, even though Jerusalem is Israel’s official seat of government, and that is the meaning of the word, which has nothing to do with international recognition. Or there was the word “disputed,” which we weren’t allowed to use for the West Bank, even though there’s obviously a dispute over the territory—the word “disputed” would make it seem like Israel might have a case. Our vocabulary was a kind of political code.

One of the most confusing examples was the word “refugee.” In describing the problems associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we regularly referred to “millions of Palestinian refugees,” summoning a clear image for Western readers—tents, camps, displaced people. The word “refugee” means “a person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country,” but this wasn’t true of the vast majority of the people we were describing. So what were we talking about?

That very good question is the subject of a very good book, The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace, by the Israeli journalist Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf, formerly a member of Knesset for Israel’s Labor Party. The authors, like most liberal Israelis (and like me), once believed the 1990s-era Western narrative about Israeli-Palestinian peace: that the Palestinians would eventually be satisfied with a state alongside Israel, that everyone desired the same kind of progress, that maximalist rhetoric on the Arab side masked more modest goals, and that the Palestinian talk about millions of refugees and their “right of return” to Israel was a starting position that was bound to be bargained away. We were all wrong, and in this book, the authors set out to explain why.

“Our book demonstrates,” they write, “that in the case of Israel and the Palestinians, decades of shuttling, strong-arming the sides, and endless hours of negotiations came to naught because none of the diplomats or negotiators truly understood and dealt with the root causes of the conflict, choosing instead to turn away and focus on that which appeared easier.” The part that appeared easier, they believe, was the route of the future border—which chiefly meant pressuring Israel to remove settlements. But all along, the real root causes, Schwartz and Wilf argue, were the Palestinian refugees and the desire of Israel’s enemies to use them and their descendants to reverse the very creation of Israel.
Richard Kemp: The Duped Generation that Supports BDS
BDS tells its supporters that it is "an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia". That is a lie.

BDS has also succeeded in making life worse for Palestinian Arabs, the very people they falsely claim to help. This includes backing and strengthening the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas....

Vast international funds provided to assist them have been systematically embezzled by their leaders for their own enrichment.... This month, the UK's Jewish News revealed that $145 million of British taxpayers' money has been spent on incitement in Palestinian schools since 2016 alone.

Young and impressionable men and women, whose main attention is on studying for their degrees, have been duped by Barghouti's BDS rabble-rousers into thinking they were demonstrating in support of a two-state solution to be achieved by peaceful means.

Using words chillingly resonant of the Third Reich, Mahmoud Abbas said during a speech in Egypt: "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands". He meant Jews. Israeli Arabs would be welcomed.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that he and President Biden are "resolutely opposed" to BDS because it "unfairly and inappropriately singles out Israel and creates a double standard". The US administration should take up the plans... to target organisations that engage with or otherwise support BDS, such as Amnesty International, Oxfam and Human Rights Watch, and cut off government funding. British and European governments should follow suit....

On pursuing justice: A Merseyside perspective
The following is an op ed by Johnny Cohen of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. Mr Cohen is a respected pillar - and veteran leader - of the city's Jewish community and currently serves as president of the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council.

His article is published under the title “Arnold’s anger over the release of woman who murdered daughter” in this past weekend’s Jewish Telegraph in the United Kingdom.

Their online edition does not include this welcome piece. So with Mr Cohen’s permission, we are grateful to reprint it here. * * * In March 2014, the Liverpool Jewish Forum hosted a special visitor from Israel, Arnold Roth.

He and wife Frimet, parents of a profoundly disabled daughter Haya, had set up the Malki Foundation following the brutal murder in 2001 in the Sbarro Pizzeria massacre in Jerusalem of their older 15 year-old daughter Malki, one of two US nationals among 15 civilians, including 7 children and a pregnant woman, who were killed. 130 others were injured, many severely.

The Foundation, Keren Malki, enables families in Israel to provide quality care at home for children with disabilities, and later I spent a few years as a Trustee, until I found that time pressures did not allow me to do justice to that position.

Arnold’s talk concentrated on the foundation and on Malki herself, not on her murder. But he did express anger and disappointment that the woman who directed Malki’s murder, Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi, was one of more than 1,000 Israeli-held security prisoners who had planned/perpetrated various terror attacks against Israeli targets, but were released from prison in exchange for Gilad Shalit in 2011.

Tamimi, the first woman ever to be admitted to the ranks of Hamas terrorists, had pleaded guilty in an Israeli court in 2003, did not express remorse for her role, and had received 16 consecutive life sentences and an additional 15 years in prison.

The Perils of NonViolent Islamism by Elham Manea
Reviewed by Phyllis Chesler As the Egyptian-born child of a Yemeni diplomat, Elham Manea and her family traveled widely. But their move from Morocco to Yemen, when Elham was a young teenager, stands out. She compares it to time travel, leaving a free and modern life for a place where women are veiled and public life is gender segregated. She was told that art, music, poetry, and philosophy were forbidden, and that her new, true family of "sisters" and "brothers" were other Muslims who believed all this.

She was taught to "hate," Jews in particular, and that it was right to deceive infidels. When she was told that a husband is God to his wife, that she would have to sacrifice her blood family in favor of other true believers, she backed away.

She has been backing away ever since.

In The Perils of NonViolent Islamism, her fourth book in English, the University of Zurich political scientist, author, activist, and consultant offers a warning to the West.

In Manea's view, "nonviolent Islamism" is the basic building block that leads to violent jihad. And our misreading of that reality can lead to real harm.

If we continue "cancelling" politically incorrect ideas and speech, continue "vilifying dissent," and continue "insisting upon the infinite guilt of the West" then, as Russell A. Berman writes in the foreword to this work, "we should expect the real-world consequences of this ideology soon to become clearer and rougher." Manea believes that repressing dissent can easily turn into repressive practices. "Cancel culture" may indeed be our "Islamism."

Nonviolent Islamism's insidious nature is one of Manea's most important points. Westerners have been hopelessly gullible in their choice of "smiling and patient" Saudi-funded Muslim Brotherhood/Salafi representatives as their go-to experts on both Islam and Muslims.
Thank You, Michael Che!
Sadly, too many of us hear “I hate you” and translate it into “let’s talk about this.” which is why so many smart Jews who ought to know better still spend so much time parsing the non-existent differences between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, say, or rushing to qualify their support for Israel with some sharp words about Bibi Netanyahu. It’s why the ADL sidles up to Al Sharpton, America’s most prominent pogromist, and why the JCRC in New York cheered on the comically inept mayor Bill de Blasio when he basically blamed the Jews for spreading COVID-19. Again and again and again, we see those calling themselves our communal or intellectual or moral leaders engage in this kind of insufferable sophistry, trying to find shades of gray even in the most pronounced streaks of black and white.

Again and again and again, reality stands up and slaps them in the face.

If, by contrast, you’re a normal human being with even an ounce of self-esteem and don’t have any fetishes involving pain and humiliation, you can join me and step right out: Out of pretending like the Michael Ches of the world are anything but rank bigots, out of engaging with the drivel they create and call culture, out of the institutions they’ve hijacked and then crashed into the towers of our civilization.

What should we do instead? Build new things, I’d say—whatever can produce an alternate saner, more sustaining reality in which we don’t spend our time fretting about hateful people doing hateful things to us, over and over, in perfectly predictable ways.

But no one can build anything with blinders on. The first step is to, as a wise woman said in these pages, stop being shocked. And stop letting others be shocked too. Next time (and there will be a next time, very soon), be the person in your WhatsApp group to puncture everyone else’s surprise. Be the one to catapult others out of the paralysis of constant outrage and into forward-oriented action. Rome, after that visit from the Visigoths, was never the same again, but the values that made it great in the first place lived on elsewhere—nurtured by men and women who had few illusions about the horde’s true intentions. Our Rome has been sacked; it’s a pity. Time to move on: The future is too bright to miss.
Jpost Editorial: Response to Michael Che's SNL joke is unreasonable
Is Saturday Night Live antisemitic? Is NBC? Do the Jewish people or Israel gain anything from insinuating antisemitism was at play here?

If everything is antisemitic, than nothing is, so the appellation must be used sparingly.

Two weeks before the SNL episode, Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor and former CNN contributor who was fired in 2018 for including the genocidal phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” in a speech at the UN, took part in a panel hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America entitled “DSA, BDS and Palestine Solidarity.”

And here is where it is imperative to distinguish between what is important and what is less so, because on that panel Hill let rip a comment that could be used as an illustration of the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition of antisemitism.”

“Let’s imagine new possibilities, and one of the new possibilities they have imagined is a world that is anti-imperialist,” Hill said. “They don’t want to just nation build, they want to world make. So Black Lives Matter very explicitly is talking about the dismantling of a Zionist project, the dismantling of the settler-colonialist project, and is very explicitly embracing BDS on those grounds.”

It is against comments such as those, which are explicitly antisemitic – since they deny Jews the right of self-determination – that the fury and harsh condemnations of American Jewish organizations, and Israel’s representatives in the US, should be directed.

But the message is diluted and even cheapened when the same ammunition is loaded up to deal with Che’s joke.

Antisemitism is a serious charge. It is the heavy ammo. And you don’t need to take out the cannons to kill a mosquito. If you do, not only will you be wasting valuable ammunition, but when you actually do need to use the big guns, they will make much less of an impact since everyone will have become inured to the blast, having heard it so many times before.
'Antisemitism is never funny': Christian group condemns Che's SNL joke
As part of Israel's efforts to mass-vaccinate, Magen David Adom EMTs and paramedics will operate a COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Qalandiya Crossing in east Jerusalem on Tuesday.

MDA president Jonathan Feldstein joined others, including the AJC and StandWithUS, in insisting that the harmful stereotypes perpetuated by this type of joke can manifest real danger to Jews.

In the past, Feldstein said, they have been "used widely, throughout the generations, to persecute and attack Jews, and even as triggers for genocide."

Israel has come under scrutiny for the complications it faced with providing Palestinians in Gaza with the vaccine.

On Monday, they initiated a vaccine campaign, thanks to doses donated by Russia and the UAE.

"Our point" in condemning Che's joke, Feldstein noted, "is not to point a finger as much as to highlight this as an egregious and unacceptable mistake, one which can never happen again."
Michael Che’s Israel Vaccinations ‘Joke’ Reflects NBCUniversal’s Real Coverage
Saturday Night Live’s “joke” that Israel is vaccinating Jews only sparked widespread public outrage against the exploitation of a gross falsehood that taps into an age-old antisemitic trope. But Michael Che’s bigoted slur, delivered in the comedy show’s satirical news segment, brings into focus a false smear repeatedly propagated in NBC’s real news coverage: Israel is allegedly guilty of a moral and legal crime by not supplying Palestinians with the coronavirus vaccine.

That’s a libelous narrative that NBCUniversal’s various broadcast and digital platforms have pushed for weeks by glossing over the Oslo Accords, mischaracterizing the Geneva Accords and Israel’s status in the Palestinian territories, and inserting gratuitous, context-less observations about low vaccine rates among Palestinians in completely unrelated coverage about the pandemic in Israel.

In December, MSNBC gave a platform for pollster James Zogby to rage, unchallenged, that Israel is “not doing what is their required obligation to do for them and so Palestinians are suffering,” dismissing the fact that the bilateral Oslo Accords designated health care, including vaccines, the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority.

A few days later, in an article about Israel’s unfolding vaccine campaign, NBC dissembled that Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank live under Israeli control, a falsehood cited to supposedly bolster the claims of critics that Israel is violating its legal obligation to vaccinate them: “Palestinians living under Israeli control in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are not included in the vaccination drive, prompting criticism that Israel is not meeting its legal obligations” (“Paralyzed by covid-19, Israel bids to be first country to vaccinate its way to safety,” Jan. 3).

Earlier this month, NBC mischaracterized the Geneva Accords, reporting, “many international legal scholars say the Geneva Conventions oblige Israel, as an occupying power, to provide for Palestinians — a responsibility that trumps the terms of the Oslo Accords, [Caitlin] Procter [of the Migration Policy Center] said” (“Israel shines as coronavirus success story, while neighbors in Gaza are left without vaccines,” Feb. 9). But Article 56 of the Geneva Accords do not require the occupying power to “provide” vaccines. Rather, it call for maintaining health “with the cooperation of national and local authorities.” According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, if the local and national authorities are capable of managing the population’s health needs, the occupying power is not obligated to take on responsibility for handling an epidemic, nor it is required to be at all involved. Rather, the occupying power must “avoid hampering the work of the organizations responsible for the task.”
American Jewish Committee Condemns SNL, Michael Che for 'Anti-Semitic' Skit

Is David Baddiel right that Jews don’t count?
David Baddiel’s new book, Jews Don’t Count, could not have been more timely. Look at some of the recent stories about anti-Semitism and British universities and what is striking is not what’s been said but two kinds of silence. First, the silence from the universities themselves and, second, the silence from our leading TV and radio news programmes.

Take the controversy about David Miller, Professor of Political Sociology at Bristol University. Last May he was suspended from the Labour Party soon after The Jewish Chronicle revealed that he had said that the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, was “obviously not going to” conduct “a proper investigation” into a leaked anti-Semitism report because he was “in receipt of money from the Zionist movement”.

Miller said he was suspended because of the “targeted harassment of socialist members” of the Labour Party, people who understand the “racism of Zionism”, which confirmed “the degree of influence that Zionist advocates and lobbyists for Israel have over disciplinary processes and Party policy”.

This month he called for the “end” of Zionism as a “functioning ideology of the world”, after attacking Bristol University’s Jewish Society and the Union of Jewish Students, who had made formal complaints about his conduct. He said, “We will continue to see this drive to stop anyone speaking out against Palestine or having any critical account of Zionism as racism, as settler colonialism…”

The controversy escalated on Friday, as a number of leading organisations wrote to the Vice-Chancellor at Bristol University, complaining about the hostile environment Professor Miller was creating for Jewish students at Bristol. Among those who wrote were The Holocaust Educational Trust (“it is time for Bristol University to take action”), The Jewish Board of Deputies (“Professor Miller’s attacks against the UK’s Jewish community, Jewish communal organisations and Jewish students, which one might charitably describe as completely deranged”) and The All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism (Miller has “been inciting hatred against Jewish students on your campus”). Thangam Debonnaire, the Labour MP for Bristol West, and the Labour Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, have both voiced support for Jewish students at Bristol.

A number of well-known supporters of Jeremy Corbyn rushed to Miller’s defence, including former MP Chris Williamson, Kerry-Anne Mendoza, editor-in-chief of The Canary, and Malia Bouattia, the former president of the NUS.
UK Jewish Students Plan Virtual Rally as Members of Parliament Join Outcry Against Antisemitic Bristol Professor
Members of parliament joined a chorus of condemnations against a University of Bristol professor who has been fulminating violent antisemitic conspiracy theories about Israel and British Jews, with a virtual rally by Jewish students set to take place Wednesday.

Professor David Miller has yet to be removed from his position despite two years of public antisemitism, beginning in 2019 when a slide show from one of his classes was revealed which charged that a massive Jewish-Zionist conspiracy is “one of the five pillars of Islamophobia.”

Local publication the Bristol Tab reports that a group of MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism criticized the University of Bristol in a letter to Vice Chancellor Hugh Brady, saying, “For every day that this goes unaddressed, you will be giving a green light to anti-Jewish incitement.”

“Professor Miller brings public shame to your institution and his comments are dangerous,” they said, charging him with “inciting hatred against Jewish students on your campus.”

Noting that they had contacted the university previously about Miller’s conduct, they said, “The lack of action since has been palpable.”

The University of Bristol responded, “We do not endorse the comments made by Professor Miller about our Jewish students. We are proud of our students for their independence and individual contributions to the University and wider society.”

The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) is set to hold a virtual rally on Wednesday against Miller, saying, “This type of language, hatred and intimidation has no place on our campus and it’s time to call for HATE OFF CAMPUS.”

Only Antisemites Oppose the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism
Needless to say, antisemites have no problem with being antisemites. Many do, however, have a problem with being called antisemites.

It is worth pointing out what a remarkable historical anomaly this is. Western and Islamic civilization alike have a rich history of defining truly moral conduct and best practice in contrast to “the Jews.” Only since the Shoah has there, temporarily, been a suggestion that what we might now bracket under the umbrella term antisemitism is not an acceptable opinion, but a particularly problematic position best kept under wraps.

This taboo is now rapidly eroding, but as long as it is still partially in force, most antisemites continue to feel the need to keep protesting against the contention that they are antisemites. Against this backdrop, outright expressions of antisemitism have lost a great deal of their spontaneity, and educated antisemites in particular never tire of trying to demonstrate that their ostensible sophistication sets them apart from a position as crude as antisemitism. Hence the need to set up a working group and publish a long report to justify what its authors and their colleagues knew they thought all along. Yet, to quote Hannah Arendt, “We are concerned here only with what you did, and not with the possible noncriminal nature of your inner life and of your motives … For politics is not like the nursery.”

Only at the point at which antisemites object to being called antisemites, does the issue of free speech come into this whole debate. It is the antisemites who want to curtail free speech, namely, the rights of those who would call them out on their antisemitism. Sartre was spot-on, when he stated categorically that, “I refuse to characterize as opinion a doctrine that is aimed directly at particular persons and that seeks to suppress their rights or to exterminate them. … Antisemitism does not fall within the category of ideas protected by the right of free opinion.”
California’s Ethnic-Studies Curriculum Is a Serious Issue for All of Us
It should be noted that Jews are not the only targets of the offensive views born of a Critical Race Theory agenda. For example, this curriculum omits any mention of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while lauding Pol Pot, the architect of the Cambodian genocide that killed nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population, close to 2 million people. It also glowingly describes radical Black Panther George Murray, who claimed that the US Constitution was a “lie” and referred to the American flag as “toilet paper.”

I see this as merely symptomatic of a larger problem—that is, our own (Jewish) complacency of the growing systemic antisemitism in the United States. It is becoming part of a political position that delegitimizes Israel’s very right to exist and is scarily moving into mainstream ideology. It is an indication of a complete break from all Jewish values, part of the founding Judeo-Christian ethos upon which America was established.

Is this what we want as a curriculum for American public schools?

What has brought us to this point, and how has the situation gotten this bad? The answer as I see it is simple: Jewish illiteracy. How can we stand up to defend our Jewish history being rewritten—or, worse, erased—if, as Jews, we aren’t even familiar with it? And if we aren’t familiar with Jewish values, then we certainly won’t recognize when those values are smeared or upended.

When we don’t know why we need to care, we can’t create solutions.

Creating awareness of the problem is only the first step. We can still impact the decision to prevent this deeply troubling curriculum from being implemented. Let’s tell California’s representatives why ESMC should not be supported.

Beyond that, we need to work harder—from within. We must address the epidemic that is Jewish illiteracy. The Ministry of Diaspora Affairs in Israel recently found that 80 percent of Jews outside of Israel are completely “disconnected.”

This is the larger problem, one that has created an environment in which this shameful curriculum could get this far. We can only address the problem if world Jewry works together.

California’s problem is our problem. We absolutely cannot—and must not—be complacent in the systemic rewriting of Israel’s history, its people, its right to exist. So let’s start at the beginning, with a reconnecting of Jews to our timeless heritage and values on an unprecedented scale.
Top New York Civil Rights Advocate Under Fire for Calling Orthodox Jews ‘Extremist Bloc’ in Media Interview
The executive director of a leading civil rights advocacy organization was under fire on Monday over comments she made describing Orthodox Jewish voters in New York as an “extremist bloc” in a media interview.

Interviewed for a Gothamist article on Sunday focusing on New York City mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang’s robust defense of private Jewish schools, Susan Lerner — executive director of Common Cause/New York, a civil rights group — argued that the introduction of Ranked-Choice Voting in this year’s election would diminish the influence of Orthodox Jewish voters.

“One of its goals is to build a consensus majority, and you don’t do that by taking extreme positions,” Lerner said of the new system.

“If you’re pandering to an extremist bloc, you’re perhaps not being strategic,” she said.

Lerner’s blanket labeling offended observers inside and outside the Jewish community.

Freshman Congressional Rep. Richie Torres (D), who represents The Bronx borough on Capitol Hill, said on Twitter that “Calling Orthodox Jews an ‘extremist bloc’ is appalling and antisemitic. It should be possible to disagree on policy without demonizing a whole class of people.”

“We cannot accept labeling the Orthodox Community as ‘extremist,'” NY State Sen. Brian Benjamin, who represents Harlem, declared on Twitter. “Those running good government groups should know better than anyone not to traffic in stereotypes or stigmas.”
Hate mail to French Jewish lawmaker: 'Soon the camps again'
The Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation after a Jewish member of the National Assembly, France's lower house of parliament, received anti-Semitic hate mail, according to the European Jewish Congress.

Parliament member Yael Braun-Pivet published the offensive email on Twitter. "Yid, prepare yourself, soon the camps again," it read in part, referencing Nazi German concentration camps during World War II and the Holocaust.

Replete with threats and insults, it also evoked international Jewish financial conspiracies.

In response, Parliament member Yael Braun-Pivet posted: "Faced with such filth: denounce, file a complaint, never let anything go." Fellow parliamentarians came to Braun-Pivet's defense, as did Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, who said "these words are to be vomited … these insults are addressed to the whole nation. I wish it with all my heart [that] justice will be done."

CAMERA Op-Ed The Media Isn’t Telling the Truth About the Houthis
“If you want to keep a secret,” George Orwell once observed, “you must also hide it from yourself.” The Biden administration’s decision earlier this month to remove the Houthis, the Iranian-backed, Yemen-based militia, from the registry of Foreign Terrorist Organizations is no secret. But it can, perhaps, be categorized as an exercise in self-deception.

The Houthis can fairly be classified as a terror group, and both press and policymakers would do well to note it.

In fact, less than 48 hours after the decision to delist the Houthis as an FTO, the organization sent an armed drone into southern Saudi Arabia. The unmanned aerial vehicle was equipped with bombs and reportedly intended to target “civilians and civilian objects,” according to the Saudi-led coalition that destroyed the drone before any casualties occurred.

The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply troubled” by the attempted attack and urged the Houthis to “immediately cease attacks impacting civilian areas” and to “refrain from destabilizing actions.” But “destabilizing actions” are the group’s raison d’être. Indeed, less than a week after the State Department’s statement, the Saudi-led coalition announced that it had intercepted another armed Houthi drone.

The Houthis themselves aren’t shy about revealing their objectives. The Houthi motto (“Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam!”) is straight out of a terrorist playbook. The slogan is even stamped on the staff and student IDs of universities under the group’s control.
NY Times Casts Haganah, Defenders of Jewish Community, as Anti-Arab
In 1920, the vulnerable Jewish minority in Palestine formed the Haganah, an underground self-defense organization, after concluding the British authorities weren’t particularly interested in protecting Jews against Arab attackers.

Or in New York Times speak: the Haganah was “an underground military organization sometimes battling alongside the colonizing British against the Arabs.”

Partners with colonialists and attackers of Arabs. This is how Times features reporter Penelope Green cast the organization in her obituary for Ruth Dayan, an Israeli fashion-house founder and peace activist. Dayan had been married to Israeli political leader Moshe Dayan, who in his youth was active in the Haganah, and this was the author’s entrée to the skewed summary.

There is no shortage of experts whom Green could have looked to for a more fair-minded description.

The Haganah “was organized to combat the attacks of Palestinian Arabs on Jewish settlements, and it effectively defended them despite being outlawed by the British authorities and being poorly armed,” begins an entry in the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.

An article in the Encyclopedia of Judaism states that “The Haganah was the underground military organization of the yishuv, the Jewish community of Palestine. It was formed in June 1920, in response to Arab attacks against Jewish civilians and the tepid British military response.” (In April 1920, five Jews were killed during anti-Jewish riots in Jerusalem.)
Independent Arabia frames Jews' connection to Israel as a Zionist forgery
“According to Hebron Rehabilitation Committee’s director Emad Hamdan, […] ‘the Jews had the infrastructure and the physical power to establish a state, but they lacked anything to connect them to Palestine, and that is what they are trying to form.’”

This jaw-dropping “expert take” on Jewish history appeared, uncritically and without context, in a report at Independent Arabia (a joint venture of the UK based Independent and the Saudi media group SRMG) published on February 14th.

Entitled “Palestinian rejection of Hebron’s Judaization by [the means of] giving neighborhoods Hebrew names”, the report featured the quote above amid discussing Israel’s sinister plans to “Judaize” this West Bank city, populated by almost a quarter million Palestinians.

Not only did the reporter, Independent Arabia’s West Bank correspondent Khalil Mousa, fail to call out the ignorance of his interviewee, Independent Arabia’s correspondent also issued a similar statement in his own voice just a few words prior:
“Ever since [they began residing there], the settlers have tried to consolidate their presence in Hebron, working to Judaize it and form historical connections to it, with the support of the Israeli government.”

Regardless of the city’s current disputed status and conflict over site naming, denying Hebron’s vastly documented Jewish history of two millennia – whether in the reporter’s voice or via an unchallenged quotation – is a clear violation of basic standards of journalistic accuracy and impartiality.
German president warns of growing anti-Semitism
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday lauded the contribution of Jews to German culture at a recent ceremony to celebrate 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany.

Jewish history in Germany "is one of emancipation and prosperity, but also of humiliation, exclusion and disenfranchisement,'" Deutsche Welle reported.

"Whether in philosophy, literature, art and music, science, medicine or business, Jews have been instrumental in writing and shaping our history and illuminating our culture," Steinmeier said at the ceremony held at a synagogue in Cologne.

Steinmeier maintained despite Jews' decisive contribution to Germany's transition into the modern age, Jewish life in the country was being threatened by open anti-Semitism .

He noted that the centuries of marginalization and persecution of Jews required an "honest look" and urged that it was necessary to counter the scourge of anti-Semitism , by accepting lessons from the past for a brighter future.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews, said Jews would not celebrate the year in view of recent attacks on Jewish institutions and increasing anti-Semitism according to DW.
Polish historian resigns over 2007 photos of him performing Nazi salute
A senior state historian in Poland resigned following the publication of photos from 2007 in which he appears to be giving a Nazi salute.

Tomasz Greniuch had served as acting director of the Institute of National Remembrance’s branch in Wrocław, in southwestern Poland, since 2019. The institute in its announcement Monday wrote on Twitter that Jarosław Szarek, its president, had received and accepted the resignation.

Last week, the Gazeta Wyborcza daily published the pictures from 2007 of Greniuch extending his right arm in a gesture similar to the Nazi salute during a meeting of the far-right ONR group to which he used to belong. Greniuch’s appointment was controversial in Poland because of his ONR ties, which he said at the time extended mostly to reading the group’s literature on Polish nationalism.

The publication of the photos sparked an uproar and protests, including from those close to the right-wing government of the Law and Justice party.
Canada arrests, charges political party’s leader for promoting hatred of Jews
The leader of a far-right political party in Canada has been arrested and charged with willfully promoting hatred against Jews – reportedly a first for a Canadian political party.

Travis Patron, the founder and head of the Canadian Nationalist Party, or CNP, was taken into custody in the Saskatchewan town of Carlyle.

Wednesday’s arrest of Patron, a 29-year-old native of that province, stemmed from a 2019 social network video called “Beware the Parasitic Tribe” that news reports said cast Jews as “swindlers” and “snakes.”

Patron also has a social media history of denying the Holocaust, according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

In his video, Patron claimed that Jewish people “infiltrate the media, they hijack the central bank, and they infect the body politic like a parasite,” and “what we need to do … is remove these people, once-and-for-all, from our country.”

Last year, Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre filed an official complaint against Patron with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Saskatchewan attorney general.
Israel, Germany Ink Deal to Equip Leopard 2 Tanks With Israeli Protection Systems
Israel and Germany have signed an agreement to supply the latter’s fleet of Leopard 2 tanks with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ TROPHY active protection system (APS), the Israeli Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The agreement includes the provision of systems for a company of tanks, interceptors and spare parts, as well as operational and technical training, according to the ministry. The systems will be delivered over the next several years.

The TROPHY APS (called “me’il ruach,” or “windbreaker,” in Hebrew) was designed to protect armored vehicles from anti-tank missiles and rocket fire. It was declared operational in 2009 and has since been integrated into Israel’s Merkava III and IV tanks and Namer armored personnel carrier (APC). Its capabilities have been extensively battle-tested, having logged more than 500,000 operational hours, according to Rafael. The system is also fielded by the US Abrams M1A1/A2 tank, and has been tested on Stryker APCs.

“Germany’s expression of confidence in an Israeli system emphasizes the important relationship and close cooperation between our countries, and highlights the strength of Israel’s industries,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

TROPHY, said Gantz, “is first and foremost a life-saving measure. It is the product of Israel’s groundbreaking defense industry, which is crucial to strengthening the state’s security.”
Israel’s GenCell joins forces with Japan’s TDK to create ‘green’ ammonia
GenCell Energy, an Israel-based manufacturer of fuel-cell-based electricity generators, said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with a Japanese maker of lithium-ion batteries, TDK Corporation, to develop an environmentally friendly “green ammonia” at low cost.

Ammonia is a pungent gas used widely today to make agricultural fertilizers as well as in the pharmaceutical industry. It is commonly made from methane, water and air, using the so-called Haber-Bosch process, which creates a gas reaction between hydrogen and nitrogen at moderately elevated temperature and high pressure. This process is also a source of carbon dioxide emissions. GenCell’s fuel cell technology also uses ammonia to produce its clean electricity.

“At GenCell we make electricity that is clean, with no emissions. But ammonia is not a clean fuel,” said GenCell CEO Rami Reshef in a phone interview. That’s why the Israeli firm partnered with TDK. “We want to replace ammonia,” he said. “We’ll be working to develop clean, green ammonia which has no CO₂ emissions.”

Many other companies are working at creating green ammonia, he said, but GenCell has already patented what he said is a “unique and breakthrough” way to create ammonia without emissions by using excess solar and wind energy and an electrochemical process.

“The entire process from the creation of the fuel to its consumption will be without CO₂ emissions,” he said. “We already know how to do this and we have patented the technology. Now we need to make a product and will be doing this together with TDK.”

Some 235 million metric tons of industrial or so-called brown ammonia is produced today, reflecting a market value of some $70 billion.
Israeli-Swedish Ocean-Wave-Energy Producer Wins UAE Global Innovation Award
Swedish-Israeli wave energy developer Eco Wave Power (EWP) has won the public voting for the Global Innovation Award in the “Life Under Water” category at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week for its solution to generate clean electricity from ocean and sea waves, the company announced on Monday.

EWP is recognized as a “pioneering technology” by Israel’s Energy Ministry, and has been designated an “efficient solution” by the Solar Impulse Foundation. An EWP project in Gibraltar received funding from the European Union Regional Development Fund and from the European Commission’s HORIZON2020 framework program. The company has also been given the United Nations’ Climate Action Award.

Sponsored by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the award is designed to attract innovations from around the world to the UAE. The UAE established the ministry in February 2006 as the Ministry of Environment and Water. Under its redefined scope, the ministry has taken on a dual mandate, aiming to strengthen the UAE’s efforts in preserving the environment and promoting food diversity, and to take part in combating climate change on the global level.

A record number of entrants applied for the 2021 award—more than 1,200 candidates from 65 countries. This year, the scope of the award was expanded to include three new categories, each dedicated to a different sustainable development goal: Sustainable Cities, Responsible Consumption and Production and Life Below Water, which EWP won.
Israeli Singer Omer Adam Dominates The Apple Music Charts
Israeli star Omer Adam, the most-streamed Israeli singer on Spotify in 2020, has broken a new record by filling the top eight positions on the Apple Music charts after launching his new album.

This is the first time all eight places on the Apple Music chart of most listened to songs in Israel are held by one Israeli singer.

The singer, known for his blend of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) and Mediterranean rhythms with Western pop, has solidified his international career by collaborating with major global artists including reggaeton giant Nicki Jam and Gypsy Kings singer Chico Castillo. He is also Israel’s most successful singer in recent years.

Adam has released eight songs in a new album called The 8, which includes three new tracks and five others that have streamed separately in the past until Adam decided to release as part of an official album. In the past week, Adam has released a song from the album each day with each gaining enormous popularity, according to an announcement.

Spotify revealed last March that Adam was named the most-streamed artist in Israel in 2020 and also led the most-streamed album category for his album Omer, which was released at the beginning of the year.
Film to Explore Holocaust Survivors Who Gave Largest-Ever Donation to Israel
Stone Canyon Entertainment announced the start of production on a documentary about a couple who bequeathed nearly half a billion dollars to Israel—the largest donation in the country’s history.

“Who Are the Marcuses?” will start filming in Israel and Austin, Texas, in the first quarter of the year for a 2022 release, Variety reported last week.

The film will examine the lives of the late Holocaust refugees Howard and Lottie Marcus, who lived in a simple apartment in San Diego and gave $400 million to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beersheva after meeting American investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett when he was a graduate student.

A large portion of their gift was dedicated to the university’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, which studies sustainable water usage and desalination. The couple believed that solving the problems of water scarcity and potable water would help lead to peace in the region, JNS previously reported.

Howard Marcus died at the age of 104 in 2014, and Lottie Marcus died in 2015 at the age of 99. BGU announced the large endowment from the Marcus estate in June 2016.

The film’s co-producer, Bradford Schlei, told Variety, “What could be more compelling than a mystery story that explores our generation’s most timely issues: climate change and wealth accumulation? This is that story.”

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