Monday, March 01, 2021

From Ian:

David Collier: Weekend at David’s. Relentless attacks – on Jews, Zionism and Israel
The current attacks on Jewish people, Zionism and Israel are relentless. Zoom provides a cheap and easy option to hold an endless stream of events and anti-Israel activists are making the most of it. This is the story of my weekend:

Weekend – Friday night starter
On Friday night, just before I sat down to eat dinner and welcome the Shabbat with my family, I sat through a David Miller support event. There is no rational reason for supporting Miller – the professor clearly overstepped the mark in his comments on Bristol’s Jewish students. If instead of Jews, he had attacked members of the black community or British Muslim students in a similar fashion – he’d have been fired the same day. We all know this is true, but because Miller attacked Jews – he didn’t just avoid sanction – he has a support network.

The organising group for Friday’s event was ‘Labour Campaign for Free Speech‘, which like ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ appears to be just groups of people who want to freely attack Jews with impunity and are annoyed that currently there seems to be a price to pay for doing so.

The event was mainly attended by ‘suspended’ or expelled Labour Party members and their friends. People who in many cases were caught sharing antisemitic posts or commentary – and want to blame the ‘bad Jews’ for the situation they find themselves in. Attendees included well-known Labour antisemitism figures such as Tina Werkmann, Moshe Machover and Jonathan Rosenhead. Approximately 150 people attended in total.

The list is long. Other familiar faces included antisemitic conspiracy theorist Tony Gratrex of Palestine Live fame – and long time anti-Israel activist Tony Greenstein. It was Tony Greenstein who made the message stream the most colourful with his talk about CST and their ‘strong connections’ to the Mossad:

The speakers told the usual lies about the IHRA, spread disinformation about Labour’s antisemitism – and some made the most outrageous of remarks. The truly frightening thought is that some of these people used to be Councillors or hold posts in their local constituency party. One of them stood to be Treasurer of the Labour Party in the 2020 NEC Elections.
Anti-Semitism in Britain: Tuvia Tenenbom’s ‘The Taming of the Jew’
Tuvia Tenenbom, now in his mid-60s, is a phenomenon. Born in Israel, he lives in Germany and the United States. He is a theatre director, playwright, author, journalist and the founding artistic director of the Jewish Theater of New York. But he is best known for his irreverent, topical and hugely opinionated books including, recently, Catch the Jew! (2014), The Lies they Tell (2016), Hello, Refugees! (2017) and now, The Taming of the Jew: A Journey Through the United Kingdom (Gefen Publishing House, available on Amazon at £15.59). He deserves to be better known here and The Taming of the Jew is a perfect place to start.

Tenenbom is perhaps best described as an Israeli version of Michael Moore or Borat, someone who goes around, meets people, takes on hugely controversial subjects and gets them to open up in the way more conventional journalists don’t manage to. All those exclamation marks in the titles gives you a good sense of Tenenbom’s style.

He begins his seven-month tour of Britain and Ireland in Dublin. The first person he interviews is an Irishman, called Mike, who he has just met at lunch. “Is there one issue that unites all the Irish people? I want to know. ‘Ireland,’ Mike tells me, ‘is the most anti-Israel, anti-Jewish country in Europe…’” And we’re off. Then he meets the Lord Mayor of Dublin and in no time the Mayor is telling Tenenbom, “Irish people would have a lot of sympathy with the Palestinian people.”

The pace and the bonhomie are unrelenting. But so is the anti-Semitism. Tenenbom manages to catch people off guard with his disarming honesty and in no time they are coming out with these astonishing views about Israel, Jews and anti-Semitism. Everyone he meets in Ireland, North or South, seems to hate Israel and love the Palestinians and yet Tenenbom likes them all and enjoys everything he sees about the Irish. He puts some of these encounters online and “Irish people respond in writing”. What do they say? “Truly the Jews are a disgusting species.” “Reminds me I need to get some new lampshades, some soap too.” He’s not remotely bothered. It’s as if, unlike every mainstream journalist, he knows this is what people are like, that you don’t have to probe far under the surface to find the most appalling views about Jews and Israel. And yet the cheery bonhomie is never rattled by these encounters.
What will the Middle East look like in 2030? An Israeli Perspective
The following article addresses the question of how the Middle East might develop in the coming decade. Long-term and detailed strategic predictions are a thankless task and are often doomed to failure. One need look no further than the World Economic Forum’s report on global risks published in January 2020.1 It assessed the likelihood of an infectious disease outbreak or instability in the global energy market as relatively unlikely, even though both ended up happening less than two months after the report’s publication.

Therefore, this article refrains from attempts at prophecy but deals instead with “thinking about the future.” It opens with an analytical framework for scenario development, supplemented by “trends impact” and “horizon scanning.” The second section studies “the futures of the past,” in terms of what we might learn about the pitfalls of future projection and scenario-building from those outlining possible futures for 2020 from years past. Then, on the basis of the first two sections, four scenarios elaborate some distinctly different pathways that the Middle East might take to 2030. Finally, the article concludes with several key takeaways for Israeli decision makers. Read the report (PDF)


How You Can Respond to the Vaccine Diplomacy Libel
In recent weeks we’ve spoken about the “vaccine libel,” the fraudulent claim in the media that Israel is denying vaccines to Palestinians. This week the story took on a new twist: the allegation that Israel is giving away vaccines to countries around the world for political gain at the expense of Palestinians.

We’ve been working behind the scenes with journalists, correspondents and bureau chiefs to educate and inform: our goal being not only to make a change in current articles, but also to proactively foster a better understanding of the current circumstances in order to shape the future narrative. This kind of meaningful change is a key part of what HonestReporting is all about.

In the meantime, some of you have contacted us to ask how you can respond to the vaccine diplomacy libel that is being promoted in your own communities via local news and social media. For your own use, here are a few of the points we have been sharing in our conversations with journalists.

What actually happened?
In recent days Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started sharing some of the country’s excess supply of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines with friendly nations, in some cases presumably as an inducement for them to move their embassies to Jerusalem or other diplomatic assistance. This plan now appears to be on hold, as Netanyahu is facing a domestic legal challenge over whether Israeli law allows him the authority to share vaccines abroad.

However some publications such as the New York Times, NBC News, and others have turned the story into a morality play about the Palestinians.

While there is nothing wrong with reporting the news that Israel is sharing vaccines around the world, and while it is true that Palestinians are not the only, or even necessarily the largest direct recipient, here are five key points that any responsible, honest journalist must include.
Yad Vashem warns of abuse as antivaxxers liken vaccine passes to yellow star
Anti-vaccination protesters have likened the so-called green passes for those who have been inoculated against the coronavirus to the yellow stars that Nazi Germany forced on Jews during the Holocaust.

At a demonstration Thursday in Tel Aviv, several hundred people gathered to protest against the government plan, which will give green pass identification papers to those who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, granting them more access to public venues than those who refuse the shots.

Alongside banners deploring the green pass system as a form of apartheid, there was also a banner equating the pass to the yellow stars of the Holocaust and the numbers Nazis tattooed onto the arms of concentration camp inmates.

Some people reportedly also wore yellow stars.

Yad Vashem, while declining to comment specifically on the protesters’ actions, on Monday referred The Times of Israel to a past statement it had given in which it warned against “the demagogic abuse of Holocaust imagery and language which distorts the past as well as the current reality for political purposes.”

“Exploiting these terms from the Holocaust, in order to incite and inflame hatred, desecrates the memory of the Holocaust,” the museum said in the statement.
Canadian Jews Outraged After Anti-Vaccine Conspiracy Theorist Creates T-Shirt Comparing Inoculation Drive to the Holocaust
Outrage erupted in Canada’s Jewish community after a Vancouver anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist created a t-shirt comparing COVID-19 vaccinations to the Holocaust.

Canadian television network CTV reports that Susan Standfield’s t-shirt shows a yellow Star of David in the style of those that Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis, marked with the words “Covid Caust.”

Standfield is known locally as a anti-vaccine conspiracist, and has made other t-shirts that denounce vaccinations and question the dangers of the coronavirus, such as “real men don’t wear masks” and “immune by nature.”

Standfield appears to consider herself akin to a Jew during the Holocaust, claiming in an Instagram video, “We are the official yellow star class in Canada, so that’s why I made that design.”

“People like me that have my values and live my life and say, ‘Well I don’t have to wear a mask and I’m not being vaccinated and I have liberty and democracy,’ we are systematically being targeted,” she claimed.

She added that Canada’s vaccination drive should be seen as a Nazi-style attempt at the mass extermination of disabled and indigenous people.

“My design is an act of solidarity among all persecuted people,” she told CTV.
From Israel with hope: Best data yet suggests vaccines will empty COVID wards
New national data shows that just one in 1,500 fully vaccinated Israelis has tested positive for COVID-19, giving the strongest indication yet that widespread inoculation has the power to empty virus wards.

Of 1.82 million people who were inoculated by early February, only 1,248 — 0.07 percent — had tested positive by February 25, according to data from an internal Health Ministry forum that was released to The Times of Israel on Monday.

And while Israel’s hospitals are still in crisis mode, with 1,247 virus patients, including some 742 in serious condition, the stats show that almost all of them are unvaccinated. Only 122 fully vaccinated people — meaning at least one week after their second shot — have ended up in hospitals, of whom 73 deteriorated to serious condition.

While fatalities have not stopped completely among the inoculated, there were just 23 COVID deaths in that population. Almost all shots used in Israel so far have come from Pfizer.

In hospitals, doctors reacted optimistically to the data. Prof. Eyal Leshem, a senior member of the coronavirus team at Sheba Medical Center, said it reassured him that patient numbers will soon drop — and constituted a clarion call for vaccination.

“This data indicates that in a theoretical situation where we have 100% vaccine coverage, we would only need a few dozen COVID beds in the whole country, and only a handful for patients in serious condition,” he said, adding that a more realistic situation of high but not total coverage would still drastically reduce patient numbers.
Vaccines in action: Over-70s now use no more ventilators than under-50s
The impact of COVID-19 vaccines has been so dramatic that elderly Israelis are currently taking up approximately the same number of ventilators as those under 50, researchers said Sunday.

In October, Israelis over 70 who needed breathing support outnumbered the under-50s by almost six to one. But now, following intense vaccination among the elderly, the ratio is 1.07 to 1 respectively, according to a multi-institution research team.

Israel currently has 241 ventilated patients. Notably, this is a greater total number than the figures in October — but comes amid an unprecedented infection wave that has seen far higher morbidity and death rates than during previous surges.

The researchers believe the data reflects the vaccine reducing infection rates and softening the illness for those that do get infected, but didn’t analyze the extent of each effect.

The data was compiled by a research team from Ben Gurion University, the Shamir Medical Center and Maccabi Healthcare Services. Some of their research was published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday.

“The bottom line is it seems that the vaccine has extensive protective effect against serious illness, and this is the most important outcome,” Ben Gurion University epidemiology researcher Ehud Rinott told The Times of Israel.
Climbing R rate clouds plans to resume full economic activity
Coronavirus transmission rates are edging up again, putting into question the government's plans to gradually resume full economic activity.

The Health Ministry said Monday that the R rate – the virus' reproduction rate – rose back to 1. Ministers are set to debate the next steps in lifting the restrictions imposed as part of the third lockdown later in the evening.

"R" measures the coronavirus' ability to spread by indicating how many other people each person carrier is likely to infect.

The Health Ministry has stated that maintaining the R rate at 1 or below is one of the criteria necessary to allow relaxing restrictions, as is the number of people who have been fully vaccinated and the number of patients in serious condition.

Israel has recorded 778,172 coronavirus cases since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, including 5,758 deaths.

There are currently 38,480 active COVID-19 patients, 742 of whom are in serious condition. To date, 733,410 Israelis have recovered from the disease.

Data further shows that as of Monday, 4,723,966 Israelis have received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 3,368,759 have been fully immunized.
The Washington Post, Israel’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and Bigotry
The Washington Post can’t seem to get Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination policy right. Or perhaps it just doesn’t want to. Time and again, the newspaper has offered incomplete and misleading coverage on the subject.

As CAMERA has noted, many news outlets have tried to posit that it is Israel’s responsibility to provide Palestinians with COVID-19 vaccinations. But the Oslo Accords are clear. Annex III, Article 17 of the 1995 Interim Accords stipulate:

“Powers and responsibilities in the sphere of Health in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be transferred to the Palestinian side, including the health insurance system.”

Additionally, the agreement, signed by Palestinian and Israeli leaders alike, notes:
“The Palestinian side shall continue to apply the present standards of vaccination of Palestinians and shall improve them according to internationally accepted standards in the field, taking into account WHO recommendations. In this regard, the Palestinian side shall continue the vaccination of the population.”

Suffice to say, there is nothing ambiguous about these passages, which clearly state that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for vaccinating Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Indeed, as the Jerusalem Post’s Lahav Harkov has documented: “The PA has been keeping its end of the bargain on that front for nearly 30 years, something that news outlets whose reporters constantly quote the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry…surely already know.”

But knowledge and facts are one thing. Finding an excuse to blame the Jewish state is another. And it is clear that many reporters are foregoing the former in order to propagate a narrative that is underpinned by twin bigotries.
The “Saturday Night Live” joke is the wrong issue
Let me see if I’ve got this straight.

Dozens of terrorists who murdered American citizens are walking free in Palestinian Authority-controlled territories. The Biden administration is preparing to send hundreds of millions of dollars to the unreformed, terror-sponsoring PA regime.

PA bulldozers are damaging Jewish historical and religious sites in Judea-Samaria and building homes in areas under Israeli control.

And the number one issue on the agenda of prominent American Jewish and Zionist organizations is an unkind joke about Israel on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL).

In the final weeks of the Trump administration, there were a number of issues on which pro-Israel groups should have spoken out. They should have pressured the outgoing Trump administration to force Jordan to hand over Sbarro bomber Ahlam Tamimi who was responsible for murdering American Malki Roth and others. They should have demanded that the departing administration release the long-buried report proving that the number of Palestinian Arab refugees is far lower than Arab propagandists claim.

They didn’t undertake any protest campaigns on those urgent issues. Yet now they have been inspired to speak out because SNL comedian Michael Che made an unpleasant joke about Israel’s vaccination program.

This past week, my inbox has been overflowing with press releases from Jewish organizations furiously denouncing Che’s joke. I can’t see the rationale for so much duplication of effort. It’s as if each of these organizations felt that all the other organizations’ press releases were insufficiently indignant, so each had to issue one of their own that would be even longer, or even angrier, than the others.
University professor embroiled in anti-Semitism row is sole shareholder of Corbynite group
A university professor embroiled in an anti-Semitism row is the sole shareholder of a Corbynite campaign group bankrolling far-left figures accused of harassing Jewish people, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Professor David Miller is facing calls to quit his academic role after accusing Jewish students at Bristol University of 'being used as political pawns' by Israel which he described as 'a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing.'

He said members of Bristol's Jewish Society were part of an orchestrated campaign to attack him after he said it was 'fundamental to Zionism to encourage Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism'.

Now it has emerged Mr Miller is also the sole director of the 'Chris Williamson Campaign Group' which is backing a raft of far-left figures accused of anti-Semitism or who have been kicked out the Labour Party.

Professor David Miller is facing calls to quit his academic role after accusing Jewish students at Bristol University of 'being used as political pawns' by Israel which he described as 'a violent, racist foreign regime engaged in ethnic cleansing'

Chris Williamson, a former Corbynite Labour MP, is using his 'Left Legal Fighting Fund' to help bankroll legal challenges by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley.

Livingstone was found to have 'unlawfully harassed' Jewish people by the Equality and Human Rights Commission when he claimed criticism of an MP's alleged anti-Semitic comment was 'part of a smear campaign by "the Israel lobby"'.

Meanwhile Ms Bromley was accused of posting anti-Semitic comments on Facebook in a Labour anti-Semitism report.
Jewish Groups Call for Action Against State Department Official After Racist and Antisemitic ‘Blood and Faith’ Blog Is Revealed
Jewish leaders and groups as well as New York Congressman Ritchie Torres expressed outrage Sunday after revelations that a State Department official had a long history of racist and antisemitic online posts.

According to Politico, Fritz Berggren, described as “a mid-ranking Foreign Service officer,” has been making racist and antisemitic statements online for several years on his website, bloodandfaith.com. He has openly used his own name and picture in doing so.

In one post, he wrote, “Jesus Christ came to save the whole world from the Jews — the founders of the original Anti-Christ religion, they who are the seed of the Serpent, that brood of vipers.”

“They murdered Jesus Christ,” he said. “How then can they be God’s chosen?”

Berggren also appears to advocate a racist and religious brand of ultra-nationalism, with exhortations like, “Europeans must reclaim their blood and faith.”

“The revival of Christian nation-states is required for the advancement of Truth,” he says at another point.

Some of his posts are racist against Black and other people of color, and express a white supremacist ideology. “The world gasps in horror with each new ‘endangered’ sub-species, but cheers the elimination of White culture from whole regions of the earth,” he wrote. “This will not stop until White people stop it — we have been handmaidens to our own demise.”

Such posts reportedly number in the hundreds.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Algemeiner Sunday, “If this antisemite and racist wants to deploy medieval Jew-hating tropes let him do it on his own time and own dime.”

“Secretary of State Blinken should do what his predecessors failed to do — throw him out,” he said.
Canary Mission report: Besides Israel, National SJP puts US, Canada in crosshairs
A new report from Canary Mission, an anti-Semitism watchdog group, documents how National Students for Justice in Palestine has now taken a position against the existence of the United States and Canada.

“Students for Justice in Palestine have a history of violence and anti-Semitism. While they have long sought the destruction of Israel, they now admit that they are against the existence of the U.S. and Canada, calling it ‘occupied Turtle Island.’ It is undoubtedly a significant development, and we are monitoring it closely,” it told JNS.

According to Canary Mission, the phrase “Turtle Island” is used by some indigenous people to refer to North and Central America. It has been adopted by far-left activists seeking to delegitimize the existence of the United States and Canada.

Earlier this year, National SJP announced that it has rebranded its organization across North America to form a “cohesive, centralized structure for the Palestinian solidarity movement.”

Among its goals, according to the organization, was to develop “a national structure for SJP, co-creating shared principles and values for the SJP network, and rebranding National SJP to be reflective of the organization we seek to cultivate.”

Additionally, the Canary Mission report also released new information documenting the 2019 National SJP conference held at the University of Minnesota. The watchdog group said that it has identified 89 attendees at the 2019 conference, which was held under “extreme secrecy,” it said.

The report listed several individuals who were said to have made remarks calling for violence and delegitimizing the Jewish state.
Left-wing activists work to stop reconstruction of Hamburg synagogue
An initiative to rebuild a Hamburg synagogue destroyed by the Nazis has been met with fierce opposition from German supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement and Israel left-wing activists.

Opponents of the move say the reconstruction of the synagogue is tantamount to "rewriting and erasing its history." Members of Hamburg's Jewish community assert opposition to the move is "a terrible insult and political abuse of pure intentions to rectify an injustice that has not been corrected since the Holocaust."

Although the German government and the city of Hamburg have already committed to the project's funding, several German bodies have withdrawn their support for the synagogue's re-establishment as a result of the opposition.

The synagogue is situated at Joseph Carlebach Platz, named for the city's chief rabbi, who was killed in the Holocaust. Originally known as Bornplatz, the square was built in 1906 in Hamburg's Grindel neighborhood, which served as the center of Jewish life in the port city up until the Holocaust. With 1,200 seats, the impressive synagogue was once the largest in northern Germany and northern Europe in general.

The house of prayer was destroyed in the Kristallnacht – "Night of Broken Glass" pogrom of 1938 that saw SA militias attack dozens of synagogues, desecrating them, and setting them on fire. A few months after the pogrom, the Hamburg Municipality demanded the local Jewish community demolish what remained of the building at its own expense. Community members were then ordered to sell the land to the municipality for a symbolic price. After World War II, the plot served as a parking lot for the adjacent Hamburg University. Fifty years after Kristallnacht, the decision was made to replace the parking lot with an art installation that would include the demarcation of the synagogue on the paved plaza.


PreOccupiedTerritory: We’re Sorry You Don’t Deserve Attention Because Your Occupation Isn’t Done By Jews by The United Nations Human Rights Council (satire)
Bureaucracy moves slowly by nature, but the time has come for us to apologize nevertheless: we, the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council, express our regret that your land faces occupation by people who are not of the Hebraic persuasion, and therefore must remain ignored or mentioned only as tokens when our singular focus on Israel becomes untenable even for our Jew-hating audiences.

This Council formed less than two decades ago to replace the Human Rights Committee, a body that devolved into uselessness amid the machinations of undemocratic regimes to coopt it to deflect criticism of their own behaviors by focusing on Israel. In the years since, the same nations have accomplished the same outcome with the Council, such that, unfortunately, if the people occupying you aren’t Jews, tough luck. May be you can tie your cause to the Palestinians, but don’t hold your breath waiting for anyone to get around to doing anything about your pathetic non-Jew-oppressed ass. You have to have reasonable expectations. Expecting us to care when you lacked the foresight to be oppressed by Jews instead of anybody else isn’t reasonable.

Certain individual members of the Council definitely make all the correct noises about concern for the plight of those under non-Jewish occupation. In conducting the business of the Council, however, none of that has any relevance. Can you imagine the naïvety of the Biden administration, thinking they can “reform” this body by being on it? Pull the other one, Joe. You Americans couldn’t do anything with our previous incarnation; you couldn’t do anything when you were part of this Council in the years before Trump; you can’t do anything now, either. It’s structurally impossible. Come on, occupied-by-non-Jews people, even you have to admit it’s funny. Clowns.
Sky News falsely claims Oslo Accords called for a Palestinian state
A Sky News article by their Middle East correspondent Mark Stone (“COVID-19: New West Bank lockdown as Palestinians face surge of coronavirus cases”, Feb. 28)

Israeli officials have constantly said that Palestinians, who have limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank and all of Gaza, are responsible for their own health system under agreements made in the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s.

However, an annex of the Oslo Accords, which were only meant to be a temporary route to full Palestinian statehood, also calls for co-operation to combat epidemics.


A Sky News video embeded in the article (which aired six weeks ago) includes the same claim about Oslo being designed as a temporary route to full Palestinian statehood. However, this is untrue. Whilst Oslo vaguely called for a final status agreement, it never called for the creation of a Palestinian state. Indeed, Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the Accords, firmly opposed any final outcome that included full Palestinian statehood.

As Martin Indyk, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel, made clear in a piece for the Atlantic marking the 25th anniversary of the agreements, the Oslo Accords “did not provide for a Palestinian state.” He also re-emphasized, CAMERA has previously noted, that the two-state solution is “a concept that is nowhere mentioned in the Oslo Accords.” Even anti-Israel historian Avi Shlaim acknowledged, in a Guardian op-ed, that the Accords “did not promise or even mention an independent Palestinian state at the end of the transition period,”
BBC’s ‘disinfo’ article fails to explain why it amplified that propaganda
Visitors to the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on February 27th found an item promoted with the heading “A man who tried to help Syria – and was crushed by disinfo”.

The link leads to a long article headlined “Mayday: How the White Helmets and James Le Mesurier got pulled into a deadly battle for truth” written by Chloe Hadjimatheou and is based on the BBC Radio 4 series titled ‘Mayday’ which she produced last year.

“The British man behind the Syrian civil defence group, the White Helmets, found himself at the centre of a battle to control the narrative of the Syrian war. Russian and Syrian propagandists accused his teams of faking evidence of atrocities – and convinced some in the West. The battle for truth formed a backdrop to James Le Mesurier’s sudden death in Istanbul in November 2019.”

As in the radio series, readers of this article are told of “razor-wire fences and concrete watch towers that marked the disputed border with Israel on the Golan Heights” even though that description is inaccurate. Once again BBC audiences hear of multiple “border crossings” that do not exist.

Like the radio series, the article notes the disinformation concerning the White Helmets put out by the Syrian and Russian regimes and the amplification of that propaganda by Western conspiracy theorists sympathetic to the Assad regime.
In Piece on ‘Terrorizing’ Israeli Strikes, Newsweek Gives Cover for Syrian Propaganda
Two recent news articles starkly underscore the difference between covering Syrian propaganda versus providing cover for Syrian propaganda.

Reuters’ article yesterday, entitled “Syria says Israel attacks areas around southern Damascus,” began:
The Syrian army said on Sunday evening that Israeli-fired rockets struck parts of southern Damascus in escalating attacks that regional intelligence sources say target Iran-linked assets.

A Syrian army statement said the attack came from the Golan Heights and that it had downed most of the missiles, in the second such strike in less than a month on the outskirts of the capital.


Significantly, on four occasions, the Reuters articles cites information from Western or regional intelligence sources noting that Iran is entrenching itself in Syria. Besides the opening sentence, Reuters’ Nayera Abdallah and Suleiman al-Khalidi report:

Regional intelligence sources say Iran’s Quds Force and militias it backs, whose presence has spread in Syria in recent years, have a strong presence in the Sayeda Zainab neighbourhood of southern Damascus where Iranian backed militias have a string of underground bases.

Israel has regularly attacked what it says are Iranian-linked targets in Syria in recent years, and stepped up such strikes this year in what Western intelligence sources describe as a shadow war to reduce Iran’s influence.


Further down, Reuters adds: “Western intelligence sources say Israeli strikes this year have undermined Iran’s extensive military power in Syria without triggering a major increase in hostilities.”


Far Right, antisemites' secret language used online exposed by new study
Antisemites and white supremacists make use of a secret code and lexicon to talk online while avoiding the gaze of algorithms and law enforcement, a new study has found.

According to University of Haifa's Prof. Gabriel Weimann and web intelligence analyst Ari Ben-Am, the secret language works to recruit new followers and spread propaganda. The coded language makes use of certain coded phrases called "dog-whistles," which are only understood by members of certain groups.

Some are simple, such as calling Jews "Skypes," African-Americans as "Googles" and Latinos as "Yahoos." Others are more complex, with letters and numbers meant to indicate certain specific phrases, people or concepts. The numbers 88, for example, represents Heil Hitler, as H is the eighth letter in the alphabet.

The most sophisticated aspect of the language is through the use of visual cues, which often are shown manipulating already popular memes. According to the study, this is by far the most challenging for algorithms.

“It's clear that security, counter-terrorism, and government agencies, as well as social media platforms, are doing much to crack down on abuse,” Weimann said in a statement. “But we need to educate the operators of these companies that run social media platforms to report these violations and also teach their users how to spot them. A human eye is still much more savvy than a computer-generated algorithm.”
Report: Frontier Airlines Boots Orthodox Couple Whose Baby Wasn’t Wearing a Mask
A Chassidic couple was ordered to get off a Fly Frontier airplane on Sunday because their 18 months-old baby was not wearing a facemask. In the video, tweeted by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC), the sound of applause is heard as the couple starts leaving—reportedly the flight staff were the ones applauding.

The airline denied the couple was asked to leave because their baby wasn’t wearing a mask, claiming instead that the couple was “members of a large group, including adults, [who] refused to wear masks.”

However, the OJPAC video of the couple leaving Frontier Airlines flight F9-2878 that was scheduled to depart from Miami on the way to Newark, NJ, shows the entire family covered their faces other than the baby. Federal rules compel airline passengers two years and older to wear a facemask, unless they have a medical permit, or while eating and drinking. The Chassidic couple’s baby was apparently too young to be wearing a mask.

When Orthodox passengers protested the airline staff’s order, the latter ordered everybody off the plane, and when raging passengers continued to complain back at the terminal gate, the flight was canceled.


NJ teen confesses to spearheading plot to vandalize Midwestern synagogues
A 19-year-old from New Jersey admitted on Friday to coordinating members of the neo-Nazi group The Base to vandalize at least two Midwestern synagogues.

Richard Tobin, of Brooklawn, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against rights, the Associated Press reported. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Tobin said he called his efforts “Operation Kristallnacht,” a reference to the pogrom throughout Nazi Germany in 1938 that many refer to as the start of the Holocaust.

He added that he was “triggered by the state of the country” and described feeling angry after seeing large crowds of Black people at a New Jersey mall.
Cybersecurity startup SentinelOne reportedly seeks IPO at $10 billion valuation
Israeli cybersecurity startup SentinelOne is planning an initial public offering of shares this year at a possible valuation of $10 billion, Bloomberg reported over the weekend.

The report said the company has been interviewing bankers ahead of the public share offering, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Tel Aviv based firm, with its global headquarters in Mountain View, California, was founded in 2013 by Tomer Weingarten, its CEO, and Almog Cohen. The firm has raised some $697 million to date, from investors including US VC fund Sequoia Capital, New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global, Insight Partners, Samsung Venture Investment and Qualcomm Ventures, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.

Earlier this month, SentinelOne said it acquired US big data firm Scalyr, a cloud-based data analytics firm, for $155 million in equity and cash.

SentinelOne has developed artificial intelligence-based software to prevent, detect and respond to cybersecurity attacks, allowing organizations to detect malicious behavior at endpoints, data centers on the cloud. The former name of the company was Sentinel Labs.
UK’s Stagecoach to use Israeli software to optimize bus schedules
Stagecoach, Britain’s largest bus, coach and tram operator, will be using Israeli developed artificial intelligence-based software to help plan bus scheduling and better handle changes in how people travel coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stagecoach said that its planned “technological transformation” will see the rollout of the software platform of Tel Aviv-based firm Optibus, a maker of a schedule-optimizing software for bus fleets and public transportation operators.

The public transportation industry still commonly uses outdated planning tools, like Excel spreadsheets and pencil and paper, to plan and schedule complex systems. The lack of digital infrastructure leads to poor service , excess expenditures, and traffic congestion and pollution.

Optibus software aims to change the way things are done and is today used in more than 450 cities around the world. By combining artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and cloud computing, the software delivers smarter timetables and transportation network routes to meet continually evolving consumer demand, especially in light of the pandemic.

Optibus software performs deep analysis and number-crunching on anything that could affect public vehicle schedules: traffic, weather, drivers who call in sick, rock concerts that increase passenger loads, road closures.

It will also reduce CO2 emissions as buses can be planned more effectively, the Israeli firm said in a statement on Monday.
Israel performs first heart accessory implant surgery in the world
The first cardiac accessory implant surgery in the world was performed Monday at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, highlighting a major medical technological advancement in the field of cardiac healthcare.

In this case, a patient required a cardiac aid, but this time, rather than being implanted using open heart surgery as is usually the case, the implant was simply inserted beneath the skin.

The 65-year-old patient had entered surgery to replace a faulty and infected valve when she had suffered heart failure.

Emergency intervention was needed to save her life.

At the prompt decision of Dr. Yaron Barak, director of the Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs at the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Beilinson, the medical team proceeded to perform a surgery that included attaching the patient to a valve implant via a subcutaneous — or beneath the skin — approach, unlike the more common procedure involving open heart surgery to hide the device.

In this procedure, the patient remains fully conscious, mobile and able to perform daily tasks during the recovery process.
Rivlin hosts 90th anniversary of founding Irgun Zvai Leumi (Etzel)
President Reuven Rivlin on Monday hosted the 90th anniversary celebration of Irgun Zvai Leumi, generally known by its Hebrew acronym of Etzel.

Its name translates as the National Military Organization. It was one of three major clandestine paramilitary organizations opposed to the rule of the British Mandate in what was then Palestine.

A breakaway movement from the Hagana, Etzel’s ideology was based on the teaching of Ze’ev Jabotinsky. It functioned from 1931 to 1948, and in the final years of its operations fought the Arabs.

For many years it was viewed by the British as a terror organization.

It was headed by a series of supreme commanders, the last of whom was Menachem Begin, who led it from 1943-1948.

Etzel is most famously known for the bombing of the King David Hotel on July 22, 1946. As a result, 91 people were killed and 46 injured. The hotel served as the headquarters of the British High Command.

Coincidentally, the 90th anniversary of the Irgun was celebrated on the same day as Ambassador Mohamed Mahmoud Fateh Ali Al Khaja of the United Arab Emirates arrived at the King David for a four-day stay. Later in the day Khaja presented his letters of credence to Rivlin.







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