Wednesday, March 17, 2021

From Ian:

Meir Y. Soloveichik: The Miracle of Osirak
The year 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of the “Begin Doctrine,” according to which no enemy of Israel will be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, and that Israel will act, on its own if necessary, to ensure this remained the case.

Four decades along, it is easy to forget how unexpected the attack was and how outraged much of the world was by it. In Israel, Begin’s electoral opponent, Shimon Peres, had sent him a letter pleading to hold off, but he only convinced the prime minister to act. Shilon describes how Begin told a cabinet member, “For all I know, a month from now, Shimon Peres will be sitting in this room. From his letter it’s clear to you that he certainly wouldn’t carry out this operation, and I’m not willing to leave the stage knowing that I left this problem hovering over our children.”

The international media largely denounced the attack as state-sponsored terror, and even world leaders sympathetic to Israel came down hard. Margaret Thatcher spoke of “a grave breach to international law,” and the Reagan administration ordered Jeane Kirkpatrick (to her dismay) to support an anti-Israel resolution at the UN.

The controversy and surprise show just how this operation, which kept a nuclear weapon out of the hands of Saddam Hussein, was a testament to the unique worldview of one man. Menachem Begin was a modern Zionist, but unlike some of Israel’s other founders, he always felt the personal presence of those murdered in the Holocaust, especially of his father and mother. Again and again, Begin made clear, in the months before the attack, that the fate of his family was very much on his mind. “This morning,” he told the cabinet during an Osirak planning meeting, “when I saw Jewish children playing outside, I decided: ‘No, never again.’” In a meeting with American Jews in May 1981, Begin was asked what he thought the lesson of the Holocaust was. He replied:
First, if an enemy of our people says he seeks to destroy us, believe him. Don’t doubt him for a moment. Don’t make light of it. Do all in your power to deny him the means of carrying out his satanic intent. Second, when a Jew anywhere is threatened, or under attack, do all in your power to come to his aid. Never pause to wonder what the world will think or say. The world will never pity slaughtered Jews. The world may not necessarily like the fighting Jew, but the world will have to take account of him.

These Americans had no idea what Begin was planning when he said these words. He was indeed the fighting Jew, and the world certainly did not like him. Time magazine helpfully informed its readership that the name Begin “rhymes with Fagin,” and American Jewry in 1981 was told repeatedly that they must choose “between Reagan and Begin.” But Begin did not “pause to wonder what the world would say,” and the world did indeed “have to take account of him.”


Yisrael Medad: Did Jews Contest the Temple Mount During the Mandate Period?
As for the Temple Mount, there surely were Jewish claims to access and they did enter, both prior to World War One and for a few years afterwards. By the mid-1920s, the Mufti Haj Amin El-Husseini began to increase restrictions on Jews entering and after the 1929 riots, for all practical purposes, Jews could not enter even as tourists.

But what did occur was that the Mufti extended the Temple Mount’s borders.

As the so-called International Commission of 1930 decided,
To the Moslems belong the sole ownership of, and the sole proprietary right to, the Western Wall, seeing that it forms an integral part of the Haram-esh-Sherif area, which is a Waqf property. To the Moslems there also belongs the ownership of the Pavement in front of the Wall and of the adjacent so-called Moghrabi (Moroccan) Quarter…Such appurtenances of worship and/or such other objects as the Jews may be entitled to place near the Wall either in conformity with the provisions of this present Verdict or by agreement come to between the Parties shall under no circumstances be considered as, or have the effect of, establishing for them any sort of proprietary right to the Wall or to the adjacent Pavement.

In other words, a wall that was built by Herod, a Jewish king, and where, for centuries, Jews had worshipped, was not Jewish property. All Jews could rightfully claim were the bringing of “hand-books or other articles customarily used at their devotions either as a general thing or upon special occasions”, the “wearing such garments as were of old used at their devotions”. The “prohibitions against the bringing to the Wall of benches, carpets or mattings, chairs, curtains and screens, etc….are to be made absolute…The right, however, for Moslems to go to and fro in an ordinary way along the Pavement shall be respected and remain inviolable as hitherto. It shall be prohibited to bring to the Wall any tent or a curtain or any similar object with a view to placing it there even though for a limited space of time. The Jews shall not be permitted to blow the ram’s horn (Shofar) near the Wall…”.

To speak as if the Jews could, in any way, possibly ‘contest’ the Temple Mount is obfuscating the entire issue. Non-Moslems could only enter the Haram precincts after the first third of the 19th century as for four centuries strict security measures had been in place. In April 1947, a young Jew, a recent immigrant and survivor of the Holocaust, who accidentally entered the Haram compound, was beaten and stabbed to death by Moslems. He wasn’t the sole victim of Moslem exclusivity practices.

Once Jewish political sovereignty retuned in 1967, of course there was a renewal of internal Jewish debate over whether entrance should be permitted and whether the Moslem apartheid approach to the Temple Mount is justified. That does not indicate that all was dormant, as there were aspirations and yearnings. Dothan Goren has published (in Hebrew here) a survey. We know that the precursors of political Zionism, the Rabbis Kalischer, Alkalai and others, discussed the possibility of sacrificing the Paschal offering on the Temple Mount as a link in the very practical return to Zion. The students of the Vilna Gaon thought likewise. In 1836, Kalischer proposed a far-reaching project to Baron Anshel Rothschild: that the latter should purchase the Temple Mount from the Egyptian ruler Muhammed Ali. The Kabalah school of the Rashash was also quite attune to the Temple Mount as the story of their attempt to bring the Messiah reveals.

Dormant to an extent, yes, but not sterile or fossilized or outside planning considerations.

There is much to argue about and discuss regarding Jewish rights on and to the Temple Mount. There is no need to corrupt history.
The Israeli-Palestinian Context | Unpacked: Was Zionism a Form of Colonialism?
We’re unpacking the journey of the Zionist — from the beginning of the Roman exile in 70 CE to the present — its relationship with the Arabs in Mandatory Palestine, and its equation to colonialists today. Rooted in the word for the Land of Israel, Zion, the word Zionist may not actually be as “modern” as you thought! In fact, Zionists have been around for thousands of years. The complex and rich history of Israel’s path to statehood is abundant with often-overlooked facts. Historically known as Zion, the Land of Israel has a long and winding past that touches on many peoples, cultures and events.


‘Progressive Except for Palestine’: A new label for an old hatred
Rutgers University assistant professor of Africana studies Noura Erakat demands that self-professed progressives share her Israel-hatred, lest they carry the taint of “Progressive Except for Palestine” (PEP). She made this point laboriously during a March 3 webinar with Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick, whose recent book, Except Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, is dedicated to Erakat’s terrorist cousin, Ahmed Erekat, killed last June by Israeli border security after committing a car-ramming attack that injured a guard.

Hill, professor of communications at Temple University, and Plitnick, former co-director of the radically anti-Zionist Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and former vice president of the anti-Israel Foundation for Middle East Peace, spoke with Erakat as part of a book talk presented by Chicago’s leftist Haymarket Books bookstore. The trio invoked the tired litany that the State of Israel racially oppresses Arabs, whether its own citizens or their Palestinian relatives. Hill claimed absurdly that PEP is just as unacceptable as “Progressive Except for Slavery.”

Erakat praised the infamous 2001 Durban, South Africa, United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which degenerated into a hate-fest against Israel. She had had a tangential conference connection as a researcher for a conference paper titled “The Forgotten ‘ism’: An Arab-American Woman’s Perspective on Zionism, Racism, and Sexism.”

“Global, grassroots coalitions” went to Durban, she boasted, “intent on holding up the banner that Israel is an apartheid state.”

The U.S. Durban delegation, led by America’s first black Secretary of State, Colin Powell, thought differently. Disgusted by the conference’s anti-Semitism, the delegation withdrew. Erakat asserted without evidence that the “United States was using Israel to protect itself because it was going to be held to account for reparations for people of African descent in the United States.”

For Erakat, Palestinians are always victims, never violent perpetrators. Last summer, she fantasized that Israeli border guards shot her Palestinian cousin during a tragic car accident and not a car-ramming attack, as video proved conclusively (all the more reason for Hill and Plitnick to honor him).


How We Fought Against: Ep. 13- "Antisemitism on Social Media": Arsen Ostrovsky & Michal Cotler Wunsh
The power of online platforms cannot be denied. However, 'with great power, comes great responsibility'. That was the cautionary advice given by Member of Knesset Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who was the guest on our 'How We Fought Against ...' Podcast. MK Cotler-Wunsh is the Chair of the Knesset Subcommittee on Israel and Diaspora Relations and a co-founder of a bi-partisan, global taskforce to combat antisemitism online, where she has been a leading voice. We discussed with MK Cotler-Wunsh how can the IHRA working definition be used to fight antisemitism online, how to respond to those who claim it restricts free speech and why the best way to counter antisemitism is education.


‘Evolving Strain’ of Antisemitism Is Emerging on Left, Argues Israeli Think Tank in New Report
A new report on progressive antisemitism was released Tuesday by a top Israeli think tank, arguing that a new form of antisemitism is becoming increasingly powerful in left-wing ideology and activism.

The Reut Group — which works in areas of national security, Israeli-Jewish relations, and socio-economic development — issued the paper on a new form of “erasive antisemitism” that is gaining traction in progressive discourse.

“Erasive anti-Semitism is a de-facto undermining of Jewish narrative self-determination: the very right to define Jewish identity, experience, and vulnerability according to concepts and language that reflect the unique nature of Jewish vulnerability, including that it tracks differently from other dominant experiences of oppression,” lead author Daphna Kaufman told The Algemeiner.

This brand of antisemitism “negates the rights of Jews individually or collectively to define their own identity, experience, and vulnerability,” the paper argues — in part, because of paradigms that frame Jews as “powerful white oppressors,” it “lumps them within the dominant majorities it delineates.”

“Erasive anti-Semitism does not necessarily feed on hatred,” Kaufman said, and is often an unintentional consequence of accepting those paradigms. “However, a marginal fringe does purposefully advance anti-Jewish and anti-Israel agendas utilizing its tenets, exploiting contemporary progressive paradigms to challenge Jewish inclusion and support for Jewish and pro-Israel agendas on the left.”

Eran Shayshon, CEO of the Reut Group, told The Algemeiner that Jewish communities and pro-Israel groups had found some success combating anti-Zionist activities and the campaigns to boycott Israel that have gained a foothold on US college campuses. But he argued that efforts like support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Anti-Semitism would not be as effective against the “erasive” strain of antisemitism.


Roger Waters Says Holocaust Guilt Stops Criticism of Israel, Brian Eno Blames Jewish State for Antisemitism on Panel
In a livestream panel discussion on Monday, British musicians Roger Waters and Brian Eno promoted the anti-Israel BDS movement and accused the Jewish state of “inspiring” antisemitism.

Eno and Waters engaged in a virtual conversation as part of the YouTube series “Let’s Talk It Over,” hosted by Frank Barat.

Eno, the second panelist to speak, began by claiming that Israel practices apartheid, and blamed its government for the spread of prejudice against Jews.

“We have a right to say that this is not an issue to do with being Jewish or anything like that. It’s an issue of human rights,” he said.

“If anything is to inspire antisemitism, it’s this type of behavior by the Israeli government,” he told viewers. “We are being called the enemy because we question what is happening in Palestine. That’s all you have to do to be called antisemitic.”

Waters followed Eno by slamming what he called the “antisemitic smear sword wielded at the behest of the Israeli government” against former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been criticized by British Jewish and suspended by the party for promoting antisemitism.

Earlier in the panel discussion, the former Pink Floyd frontman focused on the UK, France and US, claiming that they refuse to call Israel an “apartheid” state because it’s not economically and politically “convenient.” He also suggested that it’s impossible to speak the “truth” because of Holocaust guilt.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Antisemitism Gets Endorsed By the Grammys
For the last 10 months, many Americans have embraced the notion that their country is guilty of “systemic racism.” In the wake of the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police last spring, a wave of support for critical race theory and its catechism about “white fragility” and “white privilege,” as well as a revisionist view of American history—as exemplified by The New York Times’ fallacious “1619 Project”—have swept across the country. Initially focused on claims about police killings of African-Americans that are contradicted by the facts, support for the Black Lives Matter movement has transcended that limited argument and now become one that seeks to rethink much of the way the nation thinks about itself.

Evidence of this shift in the culture is everywhere but a better example can’t be found than the 2021 Grammy Awards program, which solidly aligned the music industry with woke politics. But the Grammys did something else this year. The program put its seal of approval on Tamika Mallory: a notorious antisemite and supporter of hatemonger Louis Farrakhan.

That was just the latest example of how support for the BLM movement leads inexorably to a permission slip for antisemitism. But the question to ask about this incident is not why the music industry is treating Mallory as not only a legitimate spokeswoman for the African-American community but as someone with the moral authority to scold the nation from the bully pulpit of a music awards show. We need to ponder why so much of the organized Jewish community has drunk the BLM and critical race theory Kool-Aid. That has led to them essentially legitimizing not just the rampant antisemitism that exists in parts of that movement but those, like Mallory, who have identified themselves with hate groups, as well as opponents of Israel who spread the libel that it is an “apartheid state” and deny its right to exist.

Among the most enthusiastic endorsers of this allegedly progressive stance are liberal Jewish organizations. Groups like the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Anti-Defamation League have embraced the BLM mantra as unquestioned truth. As is the case elsewhere in society, those who won’t bend the knee to this groupthink are smeared as racists (as happened to Zionist Organization of America national president Morton Klein) or, as is the case with a principled liberal like former Jewish Council for Public Affairs CEO David Bernstein, they come to the conclusion that their only viable path forward is to leave and work to fight wokeness from outside of the organized Jewish world rather than within it.
ZOA to Grammy Award Leaders: Stop Honoring Jew-Haters
The ZOA is calling on the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), which is best known for its Grammy Awards, to immediately institute reforms within its organization and its annual event in light of its elevation of three prominent Jew-haters during the Academy’s 63rd Grammy Awards ceremony on March 14, 2021 and events during the preceding week.

NARAS nominated anti-Jewish rapper and Farrakhan-promoter Jay Electronica for a major award; featured anti-Israel, Farrakhan-praising activist Tamika Mallory in the Grammy Awards’ climactic broadcast segment; and honored Israel-bashing singer John Legend by designating him as honorary co-chair of the “Black Music Collective,” an advisory group that is part of NARAS. The Grammy Awards website features a 24-minute discussion between Legend and Mallory that was released last week. Legend is also one of NARAS’ trustees.

The litany of Jew-hatred expressed by these NARAS honorees (see further details below) include that: Jay Electronica’s Grammy-nominated album “A Written Testimony” includes anti-Jewish, anti-white and violence-promoting lyrics, plus excerpts from antisemite Farrakhan’s speeches. Electronica also attacked Rabbi Cooper of the pro-Israel Simon Wiesenthal Center as a “devil.” John Legend repeated the outrageous lies that the areas where Palestinian Arabs live in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip are “open-air prisons” because of Israel, and that Jews have stolen Arab lands. Tamika Mallory aggressively attacks Jews and deceives the public about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Mallory is a devoted fan of the Nation of Islam’s antisemitic Louis Farrakhan. She has referred to Farrakhan as the “GOAT” (“Greatest Of All Time”) and has attended at least 30 of his events. She is a frequent collaborator with notorious anti-Israel Jew-hating activist Linda Sarsour.

Morton Klein stated:
“In an age where organizations and institutions take great pains to be sensitive to minorities and their concerns, and when those who engage in prejudice and behaviors that target minorities are shunned, it is appalling that NARAS would honor one Jew-hater, feature a second Jew-hater during its broadcast, and gives a prominent position to yet a third Jew-hater. Why is there this double-standard when it comes to those who are anti-Jewish and who spread vicious lies about Jews, Jewish history, and the Jewish State? Why is Jew-hatred acceptable by the Recording Academy?
Hen Mazzig: The Grammys Proved You Can't Get Canceled for Anti-Semitism
These days, one can get canceled for anything...except anti-Semitism. Food critic Allison Roman lost her job at The New York Times for saying she doesn't want a cookware line like Chrissy Teigen. Chris Harrison was axed from the next season of "The Bachelorette" because he requested that the "woke mob" wait until a contestant accused of racism responded to the underlying allegations. Meanwhile, the San Francisco school board has voted to rename houses of learning that bear the names of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Muir, Paul Revere and Francis Scott Key for their "problematic" stances and acts, even if they were all luminaries for their time.

Do not get me wrong, I think people should be held accountable for their wrongdoings. I believe that racism, homophobia and bigotry towards anyone must be condemned publicly. These prejudices should not be allowed into the public discourse. But I can't help but notice how hypocritical so many who perpetuate cancel culture (or as writer Roxane Gay calls it, "consequence culture") are when it comes to those who hate Jews. Sunday night's Grammy Awards ceremony was a shining example of how you cannot get canceled for anti-Semitism; in fact, you will probably be rewarded for it.

In March 2020, the English pop singer Dua Lipa shared a post on her Instagram story that called all Israelis "fake Jews." This is an insane conspiracy theory propagated solely by the most hardened of anti-Semites—the statement that any Jew is not "a real Jew," let alone the six million who live in Israel, is dangerously ignorant. In 2019, four ended up murdered in a Jersey City kosher supermarket by violent extremists who held these precise views.

Dua Lipa's post also falsely claimed that Israel masterminded the anti-Semitic outfit Hamas, whose founding organizational charter calls for the genocide of all Jews—everywhere. Hamas is recognized by the U.S., EU and most liberal countries as a terrorist organization for that reason, as well as its frequent violence committed against Israeli civilians. Claiming Jews are the cabal behind anti-Semitic violence and hate groups is an obvious act of hatred.
Bristol University launches formal investigation into Professor David Miller
Bristol University has launched an investigation into a professor who called Jewish students “pawns of a racist regime engaged in ethnic cleansing”.

The institution has come in for severe criticism from communal organisations for not taking action against the academic. After the announcement, Jewish students said the probe was launched “far too late”.

This comes after the government was urged to look into the matter after it was raised in Parliament, while hundreds of MPs joined Jewish leaders in writing to the vice chancellor.

Professor David Miller caused uproar after he accused Jewish students of running a “campaign of censorship” on behalf of the Israeli government, branding communal institutions as working for the ‘Israel lobby’, and being “pawns of a racist regime engaged in ethnic cleansing”.

In a statement issued yesterday, Bristol University said: “We are aware of concerns about comments made by David Miller.. and that a written question has also been raised in Parliament regarding Professor Miller’s comments, and the principles of freedom of speech at the University of Bristol.”

We recognise that this matter has caused deep concern for some members of our community, and also that people hold very different views on the issues raised. The University has offered support to both students and staff who have been affected by it.”

We can confirm that the University has already initiated an investigation into this matter. The investigation is being carried out in accordance with the University’s internal process and, as we have explained in a previous statement, that process is confidential. In particular, it is not appropriate for the University to make any comment on this matter while the investigation we have referred to is underway.”
Nick Cannon Says He’s Searching for ‘Teshuvah’ But Not Asking for Forgiveness After Making Antisemitic Comments
TV personality Nick Cannon said on Tuesday night he is seeking repentance as he reflected on the antisemitic comments he made last summer.

“I’m not seeking forgiveness, I’m seeking for growth,” he said on the ABC special “Soul of a Nation.” “I’ve always said that apologies are empty.”

In June, Cannon made antisemitic remarks during an interview on his podcast, “Cannon’s Class.” He said Black people are the “true Hebrews” and that they could not be antisemitic because they are “Semitic people.” He also referenced antisemitic conspiracy theories, slammed Jews for criticizing Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and questioned the birthright of Jewish people alongside his guest, rapper Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, who was kicked out of the rap group Public Enemy in 1989 over antisemitic comments.

Following his offensive remarks, Cannon — who was at the time hosting the MTV show “Wild ‘N Out” — was fired by ViacomCBS, while the launch of his syndicated daytime talk show was postponed. Cannon posted an apology shortly after on Twitter and Facebook, after initially refusing to apologize.

The host of “The Masked Singer,” who is now pursuing a master’s degree in divinity, said on Tuesday that he’s not looking for forgiveness from the Jewish community, but is hoping to make up for his comments through teshuvah, a Jewish concept of repenting for one’s sins.

“In Hebrew they call it, you know, teshuvah, the process of not only you know, repenting, but through that — if you’re ever met with a similar situation that you make a different decision,” Cannon explained to ABC News co-anchor Linsey Davis. “That goes beyond apologizing. And I’m on this journey of atonement because it’s the right thing to do.”


Disqus’ De-Platforming of Frontpage
The relentless de-platforming of conservatives in general and of the David Horowitz Freedom Center specifically, continues.

On March 3rd the Editors at FrontPage received an email from Disqus, the networked community platform used by hundreds of thousands of sites all over the web. The statement reads:
It has come to our attention that your site is included in the Hate Groups listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map:

As fostering Hate is a violation of the Disqus Terms of Service and Basic Rules, we can no longer support your site on the Disqus network. Disqus will be removed from your site on March 17th, to allow time for transition and a comment export. If you will need a manual export, please let us know before the removal date.


That was it. As of tomorrow, March 17th, Disqus is de-platforming us. They have refused to respond to inquiries seeking further explanation. Disqus has taken on faith the libelous accusations of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a widely-discredited, partisan group that frequently characterizes mainstream conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

As loyal and dedicated readers of FrontPageMag.com, you know how vital the comments section is to a website. It engages the readers, provides a platform for lively debate and discussion, and allows for a community of like-minded readers to converse with each other. Comments are critical to the lifeblood of a website that engages in opinion and discussion.

Rest assured, we will still have comments flowing tomorrow. We are switching to a new service and while the look and feel will be a little different, we ask for your patience in getting used to the new section.
Vice’s James Greig, Who Boasted About Boycotting Israeli Dating Partners, Refuses to Correct Misleading Article
Research shows time after time that news consumers regard objectivity to be one of the most important litmus tests for professional journalism. Reporting the facts – without agendas and biases – is widely understood to be the media’s prime function.

Three weeks ago, Vice World News failed to live up to this journalistic standard by publishing a slanted, pro-Palestinian piece that blatantly misled readers. Even though HonestReporting called out the article and pointed out the facts in a March 7 critique, Vice has yet to issue a correction.

Related Reading: VICE Perpetuates Palestinian Refugee Myth, Blames Israel For Hamas’ Attack on Women’s Rights

Young Palestinians Are Leaning Into TikTok – Even if Their Content Gets Deleted, written by Vice UK journalist James Greig, was ostensibly meant to highlight how Palestinians have taken to the TikTok video-sharing platform to promote their collective national identity. However, instead of empowering these individuals, the piece perpetuated misleading claims about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and downplayed the fact that terrorist groups are using social media to incite violence.

To summarize our previous criticism, the piece deceived readers by claiming that most Palestinian refugees are “barred from returning to their homeland,” based on the false assumption that there are more than five million Palestinian refugees. In reality, according to US government estimates, less than 200,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 War of Independence are still alive, and most others are not refugees by “any rational criteria.”

Moreover, Greig blasted TikTok for suspending QNN, deceivingly described it as “a Palestinian news network.” What went unmentioned is that QNN stands for Quds News Network, a Hamas-affiliated news agency known for promoting hate and violence against Jews. Effectively, Greig had attempted to whitewash the Gaza-based Islamist terrorist group and its activities on social media.

Greig’s Disconcerting Connections to BDS
After publishing our critique earlier this month, HonestReporting tried to engage with James Greig through social media several times, but to no avail. We also sent an email on March 8 to Zing Tsjeng, executive officer at VICE‘s UK office, but similarly received no response. While attempting to contact Greig through social media, we discovered several anti-Israel posts on his Twitter account, some of them bordering on racism.
Predictable messaging in BBC’s Syrian civil war feature
As we have noted on several occasions in the past:
“The corporation’s journalists appear to be incapable of understanding that Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons bound for Hizballah or Israeli responses to cross-border fire from Syria do not make Israel a ‘player’ in the Syrian civil war but are in fact related to the Iranian and Hizballah aggression against Israel that long predates that conflict.”

Although the BBC’s feature includes references to injured civilians and the need for humanitarian assistance, readers see no mention of the medical treatment and humanitarian aid provided by Israel for over five of the war’s ten years.

The BBC initially largely ignored that story but later produced a handful of related reports.

BBC THROWS MUD OVER REPATRIATION OF SYRIANS
BBC ARABIC REPORTS ON SYRIAN PATIENTS IN ISRAELI HOSPITALS – BUT NOT IN ARABIC
AT LAST: AN ACCURATE AND IMPARTIAL BBC REPORT ON SYRIAN PATIENTS IN ISRAEL
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME: BBC DRIVING DIRECTIONS SHOW BASIC ME GEOGRAPHY FAIL
BBC RADIO 4 DOCUMENTARY ON SYRIAN PATIENTS IN ISRAEL
BBC NEWS IGNORES ISRAELI AID TO DISPLACED SYRIANS


This BBC feature about the civil war in Syria demonstrates how the corporation continues to adhere to the often unhelpful framing that it has been promoting for a decade.
Guardian manages to put anti-Israel spin on biblical scroll discovery
In an extremely rare discovery, dozens of 2,000-year-old biblical scroll fragments were excavated from Judean Desert caves during an Israeli rescue operation – Greek translations of the books of Zechariah and Nahum from the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. It represents the first such discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 and the early 1950s.

The story has garnered widespread international coverage, including in the British media.

Not surprisingly, the Guardian was the only outlet we reviewed that managed to put an anti-Israel spin on the discovery. The article, (Dead Sea scroll fragments and ‘world’s oldest basket’ found in desert cave, March 16) by their Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes, included the following:
Sections of the dig took place in the occupied West Bank, a part of the Palestinian territories, a common Israeli practice that has led to controversy. The IAA coordinated with the defence ministry, which runs the occupation.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordanian forces in the 1967 war. International law bans the removal of cultural property from occupied territory.


This is extremely deceitful, because Holmes acknowledged elsewhere in the article that the scrolls were found in a place known as the Cave of Horror (near Ein Gedi), which is within Israel’s pre-67 lines.

So, the question of whether the removal of historically important ancient Jewish artifacts – what Holmes describes generically as “cultural property” – from the disputed territory would be considered “illegal” isn’t at all relevant to the story.


East London paper falsely declares territories 'illegally' occupied (Updated)
A tendentious, one-sided news article in the east London-based Hackney Citizen (“Petition calls on council to divest from companies complicit in occupation of Palestine”, March 15) included the following sentence:
“Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is considered a violation of international law and an obstacle to a two-state solution, according to the United Nations”.

As we’ve noted previously, though Israeli settlements (located in the territories) are considered by most international parties to be illegal, the claim that Israeli control of the disputed territory is “illegal” is not correct, as there is no legal consensus over that matter.

We contacted editors at the Hackney Citizen requesting a correction.

Editors responded and tweaked the sentence, which now reads:
Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is considered a violation of international law and an obstacle to a two-state solution, according to many commentators.”

The following addendum now appears at the bottom:
This article was amended at 14:23 on Tuesday 16 March 2021. The original article stated: “Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is considered a violation of international law and an obstacle to a two-state solution, according to the United Nations”. It now states: “Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is considered a violation of international law and an obstacle to a two-state solution, according to many commentators.”
Reviewing BBC reporting on legal stories involving Israelis and Palestinians
On March 12th the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page published a report headlined “Yehuda Meshi-Zahav: Zaka founder and Israel Prize winner accused of assault”.

While one can debate the relevance of that particular article for the site’s international audiences who will be unfamiliar with the person and the organisation, its appearance highlights a broader pattern in BBC reporting on legal and/or criminal cases.

Since January 2020 visitors to the ‘Middle East’ page have seen twenty-one reports (including the above) relating either to legal cases in Israel or to cases not in Israel but involving Israeli citizens.


US sees near-doubling in distribution of white supremacist propaganda — ADL
Distribution of white supremacist propaganda in the United States nearly doubled in 2020, though only five percent of it targeted Jews, the Anti-Defamation League said in a Wednesday report.

The year saw a total of 5,125 incidents in which racist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ and other hateful messages were disseminated in the US — an average of about 14 incidents per day and almost twice as many as the 2,724 reported in 2019, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

For the purposes of its report, the extremism watchdog defined “incidents” as the distribution of propaganda leaflets or banners or a white supremacist in-person gathering, rather than physical attacks or online posts. If hundreds of fliers were handed out on a particular day, that was counted as a single incident.

An ADL spokesman explained that the impact of such incidents are twofold because there first is the dissemination of hate propaganda in an offline setting, where extremists are able to demonstrate their physical presence. Then, white supremacists photograph the leaflets and post them on social media, allowing them to spread their messages further.

CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement that the surge was due to an “embolden[ing]” of white supremacists. “The election year, the pandemic and other factors may have provided these extremists with additional encouragement,” he said.

The ADL’s annual report found that at least 30 known white supremacist groups were behind hate propaganda efforts, affecting every state except Hawaii in 2020.

The states with the highest number of incidents were Texas (574), Washington (345), California (333), New Jersey (323), New York (308), Massachusetts (276), Virginia (249), and Pennsylvania (238).

Three groups — Patriot Front, New Jersey European Heritage Association and Nationalist Social Club — were responsible for 92 percent of the activity, the report found.
New York Hasidic men detained in German airport – was there any reason?
About 16 Hasidic men, including a group from New York traveling to Vienna, were detained at a German airport for more than 10 hours without actually getting charged, according to the Jewish rights group Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA), the New York Post reported. Five of the men were apprehended by authorities Frankfurt already on March 7, and were detained without food and water.

According to a press release, other Hasidim were also held at the airport, founder of AAA, former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, announced Tuesday, adding that some members of the group were pulled away and “harshly interrogated."

“It’s unconscionable for something like this to happen to innocent people anywhere, but even more so to identifiable Jews in Germany, of all places,” Hikind said in the statement.

“They reached out to share their story with me,” he added. “I can tell you the trauma and pain they suffered is scarring and traumatic, so we are calling on the German government to investigate this appalling treatment of [these] innocent people immediately.”

The Post reported that, according to interviews with the men released by the Jewish group, the problems began when the five New-Yorkers were stopped at border control at the Frankfurt airport.

“As soon as I gave my papers over to the officer, he looks at me, he says to me, ‘Are you all five together?'” one of the detained men said. “And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘You need to step aside.'”
FIFA urged to take action after stadium renamed for Nazi collaborator
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) penned a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino in response to the naming of a stadium Ternopil after Roman Shukhevych, who was a Nazi-allied militia leader.

In the letter send to Infantino, the center noted the efforts of Eastern Europe Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Efraim Zuroff's efforts to persuade the city of Ternopil to reconsider the "renaming of its stadium in honor of Nazi collaborator, Hauptmann of the SS Schutzmannschaft 201, Roman Shukhevych, an active participant in the mass murder of Jews and Poles in World War II, many in the same city of Ternopil."

It is “fully understandable” that Ternopil seeks to “honor those who fought against Soviet Communism,” wrote Zuroff, but not those behind “the mass murder of innocent fellow citizens.”

Zuroff suggested the stadium should be named after the "Ukrainian Righteous" who harbored, and protected Jewish fugitives, from the man for which the stadium was named for, at the expense of their own safety.

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oleg Nikolenko, on Twitter defended the country “preserving the national memory,” following a protest by Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine, Joel Lion, on Twitter. Nikolenko added this “remains one of the priorities of Ukraine’s state policy.”

The letter also noted the correspondence FIFA and the SWC had surrounding the outrage at the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) glorification of terrorism in naming tournaments, teams and stadia after murderers."

Infantino responded at the time, invoking FIFA Statute art. 4: "...to take a clear stance against discrimination of any kind.”
Worst of oil spill cleaned up, 82% of official beaches open again
A month after Israel's Mediterranean coastline was polluted by crude oil in one of the worst environmental disasters in decades, the Environmental Protection Ministry announced Wednesday that the "event" was over and the state of emergency had been lifted.

The Environmental Protection Ministry said that local authorities would continue to work on the beaches that were still not graded "blue" – meaning low-level pollution or clean – according to its beach map.

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said Wednesday morning, "After an especially intense month, we are moving to the next stage and continuing to support coastal authorities in their work to clean and remove the tar to allow the beaches to be fully cleaned. We thank the employees of the ministry, the local authorities, the volunteers, and the environmental groups, primarily Ecoocean, with whose help the incident was addressed quickly and effectively.

"We are continuing to work with the International Monetary Fund to demand compensation for the serious damage to Israel's beaches," Gamliel added.

A statement from the ministry noted that in the past few weeks, intensive clean-up efforts had restored 82% of the country's 101 official beaches to use.

"If we look at all the beaches, official and open, 61% are clean or have only very low levels of pollution; 36% are graded as having low-level to mid-level pollution; and only 3% of beaches are significantly pollution – mainly, Selaim Beach," the ministry said.

As of Wednesday, over 650 tons of mixed tar have been removed from the beaches, the equivalent of 83% of the pollution that washed ashore from the tanker.
Israeli MMA Fighter Set to Make History by Competing in UAE Tournament
Noad Lahat will become the first Israeli mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter to represent Israel in an Arab country when he competes in the UAE Warriors 18 event in Abu Dhabi on March 20.

Lahat, 36, will take on Sean Soriano of America. The Israeli athlete has an overall 14-4 record in MMA and has competed in both the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator.

He said he is proud to represent his country and is not concerned if fans don’t cheer for him.

“I got booed in Berlin and in other places, so I don’t care,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “For this fight, I’m proud to make history and I’m gonna win for sure. To have my Israeli flag in a place in the world and fight in a place I never even thought I could even visit is cool.”

Lahat, who grew up in the Shomron, was a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces. He fought in the Gaza Strip and the Second Lebanon War. He has been training in MMA since he was 4 years old and said his best move is the rear naked choke.

He told The Jerusalem Post that at a previous fight people threw things at him and called him a Nazi. He also shared on Instagram that haters have called him a “Zionist dog” or “child-killer.”
After a Tumultuous Year, Israel Set to Host World Flag Football Championship
The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) has selected Israel to host the Flag Football World Championships at the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem from Dec. 6-8, 2021. The three-day tournament is expected to attract more than 40 teams from up to 30 countries competing for the world title and a spot in the World Games 2022.

The biannual tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Denmark in 2020 but was postponed due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. The Kraft Family Sports Campus hosted one of the most successful European Championships in 2019.

The men’s and women’s teams that finish in the top eight in Israel respectively will go on to compete in the World Games in Birmingham, Ala., in July 2022, when the flag football competition will fall under the auspicious of the National Football League (NFL).

The Israeli men’s team is currently ranked fifth in the world, while the women’s team is ranked 11th.

Steve Leibowitz, president of the Federation of American Football in Israel (AFI) and chairman of the 2021 flag Football World Championships (FFWC) Local Organizing Committee, told JNS that “the past year has been very tough for all sports, including American football. Here in Israel, we have been mostly off the field until last week. First, Denmark and then Spain withdrew from hosting the World Championships. Israel has a strong organization and the backing of the Kraft Family and other sponsors, and we saw an opportunity to host.”

He explained that Israel was slated to host the World Championships in 2014, but the Gaza war forced the IFAF to move the championships to Italy.
3 tiny Israeli satellites to orbit earth on just 1 gram of fuel a day
Israeli scientists are preparing to launch a trio of tiny satellites that will hurtle around earth every 90 minutes, using a total of just 1 gram of fuel per day.

The shoebox-sized nanosatellites will leave Earth from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian rocket at midday local time on Saturday, and will be launched from the rocket four hours later, 50 kilometers above the surface of the earth, for a three-year orbit.

The mastermind behind the operation is Pini Gurfil, an aerospace engineer whose father and grandparents were banished from Russia to Kazakhstan “just because they were rich Jews.” The Israeli-born professor, whose father immigrated to Israel in 1973, told The Times of Israel that launching his innovation from Kazakhstan feels like closure of the traumatic ordeal endured by his family, which ultimately killed his grandmother.

Israel has already staked a place in the growing field of nanosatellites with several single-satellite launches, including one last month. Gurfil’s team hopes the ambitious three-satellite plan will further bolster Israel’s standing in the global push toward tiny satellites. Nanosatellites built at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, inside the boxes from which they will be ejected in to orbit (courtesy of the Technion)

The satellites are being launched to test whether a series of small satellites, instead of a single large satellite, can be used to monitor signals from emergency locator beacons used by ships, planes, explorers and hikers. If it is possible, researchers say, it could pave the way for much cheaper monitoring of these systems.
Oldest woven basket in the world found in Israel, dates back 10,000 years
A perfectly preserved large woven basket dating back some 10,500 years was unearthed in the Judean Desert, the Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

Experts believe the artifact is probably the oldest of its kind ever uncovered. It was excavated in a Judean Desert cave by the IAA in cooperation with the Civil Administration’s Archaeology Department.

“This is the most exciting discovery that I have encountered in my life,” Dr. Haim Cohen said during a press briefing at the IAA lab in Jerusalem.

Materials from four different parts of the basket were analyzed to date it. The researchers concluded that the object was manufactured around 10,500 years ago during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period.

“The basket has a capacity of some 92 liters,” Cohen said. “We do not know yet which type of plant was used to make it, but we are looking into it. However, we can already say that two people wove it, and that one of them was left-handed.”

The basket was found empty and closed with a lid. Only a small amount of soil was retrieved in it, and the researchers hope it will help identify what the vessel contained.


March of the Living to commemorate Holocaust, pay tribute to medical staff
Participants of the International March of the Living's symbolic march in Poland, held in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, will be able to join the event from their homes, thousands of miles away.

But the coronavirus pandemic has had some unexpected positive outcomes, especially when it comes to making certain events more accessible to people who would usually not be able to join them.

The virtual event will be led by President Reuven Rivlin, Holocaust survivors, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, Jewish Agency chair Isaac Herzog, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL) chair Avraham Duvdevani and Israel's former chief rabbi Israel Meir Lau.

Using innovative 3D filming technology, the participants were filmed so it appears they are actually marching along the traditional marching route - a 3.2-kilometer path from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

As a tribute to health officials who risked their lives to help those in need during the Holocaust, as well as to those currently risking their lives to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other notable medical organizations will join the virtual event to show their respect.

Among the notable medical experts who will participate in the event is Israel's Coronavirus Commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash, currently leading Israel's national campaign against COVID-19, and a second generation to doctors who survived the Holocaust.







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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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