Saturday, April 24, 2021

From Ian:

Lyn Julius: To combat Holocaust denial, call out Arab antisemitism
As a result of Palestinians' failure to defeat Israel militarily or through terrorism, their intention to commit genocide has morphed into politicide, through the demand of the "right of return" of Palestinian "refugees" to Israel proper, "lawfare"' to delegitimize Israel in international fora and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Satloff's strategy has been to create empathy among Arabs by attempting to find Muslims who saved Jews. But this approach has its pitfalls: Holocaust education has been manipulated to confirm Palestinians in their victimhood. Spurious, morally equivalent comparisons are made between the Nazi victimization of the Jews and the "Nazi-like" behavior of Israelis towards Palestinians.

A Holocaust museum set up in Nazareth by Khaled Mahamed, an Arab Israeli, was initially praised by Yad Vashem until he displayed a Palestinian flag, photos and posters of the so-called nakba, the "catastrophe" of the exodus of Palestinian refugees from Israel in 1948. Yad Vashem condemned Mahamed for "conflating the Holocaust with other events and contributing to the misappropriation of the Holocaust as a tool against Israel."

The Anti-Defamation League spokesman in Israel pronounced himself "troubled" that Palestinians were said to be paying the price for European guilt over the Holocaust.

Professor Mohammed Dajani won praise as one of the few Palestinians to campaign against Holocaust denial. He led a group of students from Al-Quds University on a visit to Auschwitz in 2014. Consequently, he found himself in hot water with his own people, and promptly lost his job; he went to work for Satloff at the Washington Institute.

On a previous visit to Auschwitz, however, he had said: "We do not compare the nakba and the Holocaust as if the atrocities that occurred are on the same level." But he made just such a comparison when he stated: "I feel we must have empathy for each other, in the sense that I, as a Palestinian, must understand what the Holocaust meant to a Jew and a Jew must understand what the nakba is to a Palestinian."

The best way to prevent distortion and manipulation is to raise awareness of antisemitism in the Arabs' own backyard – eliminationism against Israel and the Jewish nakba of almost a million Jews from the Arab world, who now comprise more than half of Israel's Jewish population. The Jewish nakba has been thought of as collateral damage of the Arab failure to destroy Israel, yet we know that the Arab League drafted a plan to persecute and dispossess their Jewish citizens before a single Palestinian refugee had fled Israel.

The League states applied Nuremberg-style laws, criminalizing Zionism, freezing Jewish bank accounts, instituting quotas and imposing restrictions on jobs and movement.

The path to true reconciliation surely lies in a balanced view of history, where Jewish victims of Arab antisemitism are allowed to tell their stories, and Arab states are called to account for their own actions.
Liat Collins: Justice for Sarah Halimi and justice for all
In a recent incident caught on security cameras in a Jewish neighborhood in London, a man crept up on a pregnant ultra-Orthodox woman, placed a bag over her head and punched her in the stomach. A vile hate crime – or just high jinks by somebody who can’t be considered responsible for his actions?

In Jerusalem, there has been a string of assaults by Muslim youth on ultra-Orthodox Jews since the start of Ramadan last week in what is being called “TikTok Attacks.” Far from denying the crimes, the perpetrators have posted them on social media, particularly on the TikTok platform. This leads to copycat attacks. And it can quickly spiral out of control from there.

Hate crimes are exactly that – crimes. They are not carried out by bored kids just looking for a bit of fun. No responsible parent, educator, religious or community leader – of any religion or community – can condone such attacks (or revenge attacks).

The cannabis excuse is a smoke screen. A murderer is hiding behind it and the smoke will allow more attacks to take place. No one will be safe – the young, the old, the disabled, people of every skin shade and religion are at risk.

Sarah Halimi’s family is reportedly now considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after the Cour de Cassation in the Palace of Justice in Paris proved that it couldn’t distinguish between human rights and wrongs.

Last week’s verdict is not good for France and it’s not good for the world at large. Several protest rallies are being organized on Sunday, including in Paris and outside the French embassies in London and Tel Aviv.

It has become almost trite to hold a sign saying “Je suis Sarah Halimi” or with the names of other victims of hate crimes. But unless the severity of the incident is recognized the fact remains that we will all be potential Sarah Halimis – from a criminal’s hash to a victim’s hashtag. Where’s the justice in that?
Biden SBA Pick Serves on the Board of Anti-Israel Group
President Joe Biden’s nominee for a top Small Business Administration job sits on the board of a group that lobbies in favor of the anti-Israel boycott movement and describes Israel as an "apartheid" state.

Dilawar Syed, Biden’s pick for deputy administrator of the SBA, has served on the board of the Muslim-American advocacy group Emgage Action since 2017, according to his public financial disclosure form submitted as part of his nomination process. Emgage Action is a staunch defender of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) that seeks to hurt Israel with economic pressure.

The stance could be an obstacle for Syed ahead of his confirmation vote by the Senate Small Business Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.), one of the Democratic Party’s most vocal opponents of BDS. Emgage Action denounced Cardin's 2017 anti-BDS legislation as "unconstitutional."

Emgage Action has described the BDS movement as a "constitutionally protected nonviolent response that seeks to end the occupation" and says it "support[s] the right to boycott, divest, and sanction, as well as the Right of Return of Palestinians." The organization also describes Israel as an "apartheid" state, stating on its website that Palestinians "continue to suffer under racist, undemocratic Israeli apartheid rule that steals their land and destroys their homes to make way for illegal Jewish settlements."

Syed is CEO at the health care company Lumiata. He served on the White House Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under President Obama and as a liaison with the SBA and the Department of Commerce, according to the White House.




Rocket sirens sound in Gaza border area as attacks launched into Israel
Red Alert sirens went off at Kibbutz Nirim in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel on Saturday evening.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported that the IDF was investigating the incident.

A rocket landed in an open area near the border fence that separates Gaza and Israel, the IDF reported.

No injuries or damaged property were reported.

Another red alert was registered to the Nahal Oz area, but a warning was only announced in the red alert app and only in an open area. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit later confirmed that the rocket was a failed launch that landed in the Gaza Strip.

In addition, hundreds of Gazans rioted along the border fence in the north of the coastal enclave, burning tires and throwing stones before the IDF dispersed them.

The Iron Dome had intercepted a rocket launched from Gaza less than an hour prior, following an assessment by the Defense Ministry from earlier Saturday that said that life can return to normal in the villages surrounding Gaza and that no additional rockets were expected.
Gantz: If quiet is not kept, Gaza will suffer
The escalation in Gaza, in which terrorists launched almost 40 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory throughout the weekend, is tied to the ongoing riots in Jerusalem in which far-right Jews and Arabs clashed throughout the week, security officials said over the weekend.

Gazans launched 36 rockets into Israeli territory in the night between Friday and Saturday, and another two on Saturday night before press time. Seven rockets were intercepted. In retaliation, an IDF tank attacked a Hamas outpost and IAF aircraft struck rocket launchers during the night.

Security officials believe that a further upsurge in violence in Jerusalem could lead to an escalation in the South — and vice versa — while calming the clashes in the capital could stop the deterioration of the situation in Gaza.

They also believe that Hamas has lost control of the situation, as there was no intention by Hamas to ignite the situation to this extent with Israel. Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other “recalcitrant organizations,” as they are known in the security establishment, fired most of the rockets.


UK Government urged to boycott Durban IV commemoration in September
"In Parliament this week, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and CFI Vice Chairman Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP called on the UK Government to boycott Durban IV, the 20th anniversary commemoration of the infamous 2001 UN Conference Against Racism, at the United Nations in September.

Mrs Villiers noted that 'the 2001 UN Conference Against Racism in Durban degenerated into hatred, antisemitism and criticism of Israel that was excessive, disproportionate and unfair'. She asked: 'Will the UK Government boycott Durban IV, which marks the 20th anniversary of that disgraceful 2001 conference?'

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK 'will not support any partisan or political attacks on Israel' and underlined that the Government is 'absolutely crystal clear in our condemnation of and opposition to any and all forms of antisemitism'.

In 2011, then-Prime Minister David Cameron boycotted the Durban III conference to mark the 10th anniversary, and the UK voted against the 31st December 2020 General Assembly resolution to convene Durban IV.

In his speech in the House of Lords debate on the Integrated Review, Lord Polak echoed calls for the UK not to attend Durban IV and urged the UK to proscribe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation."
Biden Told Erdogan he Plans to Call 1915 Massacres of Armenians Genocide
US President Joe Biden on Friday told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that he intends to recognize the 1915 massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a genocide in a Saturday statement, a potential further blow to the already frayed ties between the two NATO allies.

The much-anticipated first phone call between the two leaders took place more than three months after Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, a delay that is widely seen as a cold shoulder to Erdogan, who had enjoyed close ties with former president Donald Trump.

It also came a day before Armenian Remembrance Day when Biden is expected to break away from decades of carefully calibrated White House statements that had previously described the events as “Metz Yeghern” (great evil).

Neither the White House statement on the phone call nor the readout from the Turkish presidency made any mention of the issue.

“President Biden spoke today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conveying his interest in a constructive bilateral relationship with expanded areas of cooperation and effective management of disagreements,” the White House said in a statement.
Seth Frantzman: Escalation over Jerusalem is how wars start - analysis
The situation is also not like the “stabbing intifada,” a wave of lone-wolf violence from 2015-2016 that led to numerous attacks and the killing of knife-wielding Palestinians. This is because the current clashes have not yet involved terror attacks by Palestinians.

But this does not mean that what is happening is not serious. The linkage of Jerusalem to Gaza and the demands by Hamas to get involved not only in the tensions, but also the Palestinian elections, are a precursor to more tensions.

Hamas and Palestinian factions also want there to be Palestinian elections next month, with voting in east Jerusalem. Elections cannot be held if the Palestinians in Jerusalem can’t vote, the factions say. This could give them an excuse to heat up violence in Jerusalem as a way to cancel the elections or try to force Israel’s hand.

It is not yet clear what trajectory and shape this violence will take. The emergence of hundreds of far-right Israelis chanting anti-Arab slogans this past Thursday has led to a laser focus on Jerusalem. The police have tried and succeeded to reduce tensions.

But the month of Ramadan brings other considerations. Clashes at Kalandiya checkpoint on Friday evening represent the type of wave of clashes that can spread. In Israel’s favor, the country has learned how to prevent deaths as in past clashes.

It is worth considering that the current clashes also come after a year in which the global pandemic mostly helped keep people home and quiet. Under health regulations, there were no large marches, religious events, or far-right rallies that can spark more tensions.

That isn’t the case now, however, because of Israel’s vaccination campaign. The determining factor now is whether agendas in Ramallah, Gaza and Jerusalem may heat up or reduce tensions. And Israel still lacks a new coalition government, which also gives wind to the flames of extremism and chaos because Israel’s parties also cannot seem to agree.
Palestinians: Israel responsible for Jerusalem violence
The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian factions on Saturday held Israel fully responsible for the violence that erupted in Jerusalem over the past few days and called on the international community to put pressure on the Israeli government to stop its “provocations.”

In a statement, the PA leadership condemned the “incitement to kill Arabs by settlers and far-Right groups, who are protected by the Israeli army and police.”

The statement warned that “Jerusalem is a redline” and called on the international community to “provide protection for the residents of Jerusalem against the aggression of the settlers.”

The Israeli government, the statement added, is fully responsible for “this serious deterioration.”

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of practicing “organized state terrorism to Judaize Jerusalem, impose fake realities, and harm Muslim and Christian holy sites.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah, Hamas use Jerusalem unrest to deflect attention from own problems
The Palestinian factions have succeeded in their effort to turn the dispute over the inclusion of Jerusalem in the upcoming Palestinian elections into a major theme of their electoral campaigns, which are set to begin this Friday.

They are already competing for the title of the best “defenders of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque” against alleged Israeli efforts to “Judaize” the city and alter the historical and legal status of the holy site.

The factions, specifically Fatah and Hamas, are also seeking to use the issue of Jerusalem as a distraction from the internal problems and challenges they are increasingly facing on the eve of the elections.

Israeli authorities, on the other hand, evidently underestimated the calls made by the factions and their leaders over the past few weeks to turn Jerusalem into a battlefield for “constant clashes” with the Israeli security forces and “settlers.”

The calls, mostly from Fatah and Hamas leaders, came in the context of a concerted Palestinian campaign to exert pressure on Israel to allow the elections to take place in Jerusalem. Israel has yet to spell out its position on the participation of Jerusalem Arabs in the vote.

The latest violence began on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, when activists believed to be affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction attacked policemen stationed near the Old City of Jerusalem with fireworks, rocks and petrol bombs. Several Jewish passersby were also targeted.
Israeli Driver’s Warning Shot Prevents Lynching by Arab Rioters in Downtown Jerusalem
An Arab crowd of several dozen masked men carrying rocks, bricks, and bats, attacked dozens of Jewish-owned vehicles around 4 AM on Friday on Bar-Lev Road, near Zvhil Square in downtown Jerusalem.

The Chasidic dynasty of Zvhil, whose institutions are located nearby, was founded by Rabbi Moshe of Zvhil, the son of Rabbi Yechiel Michl, the Magid of Zlotshev.

The Arab crowd smashed vehicles and threw rocks and bricks at Jewish pedestrians for several, long minutes. Honenu legal aid society attorney Nati Rom, who drove his car near the scene, was stoned by the raging mob and called the police. Eventually, realizing the rioting mob was looking for blood, Rom fired a warning shot with his personal weapon.

Dozens of vehicles were hit by rocks, and many Jewish lives were in danger before Rom’s shot drove the Arab crowd back for a short time, long enough for police forces to arrive on the scene and disperse the rioters with stun grenades and tear gas.

Attorney Rom described his experience (see video below): “Today at four in the morning I return from work towards the hotels’ junction on Route 1 in downtown Jerusalem, when suddenly dozens of rioters run into the intersection with rocks in their hands starting to pelt vehicles as well as many pedestrians who were there. People start screaming, it’s really very scary, the rioters start to close in to reach us, and they keep throwing stones, vehicles are smashed everywhere, people are hit, I fire one shot in the air which discourages the rioters and they start to flee and our lives are saved.”


For first time since June, Israel goes 24 hours without COVID fatality
Israel's coronavirus infection rate stands at 0.4%, according to Health Ministry data released Friday, as just 129 of the 35,027 people who tested for the virus were found to be carrying COVID-19 the previous day.

For the first time since June 2020, no deaths were recorded from the virus, Thursday.

There are 1,897 active cases of the virus, 160 of which are serious. Of those in serious condition, 97 are on ventilators. While 829,627 people have recovered from the virus, 6,346 have died.

As for Israel's vaccination campaign, 5,005,418 Israelis have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry issued a warning against "unnecessary travel overseas" and in particular to Ukraine, Ethiopia, Brazil, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Turkey.

The ministry clarified the warning was directed at both unvaccinated and vaccinated Israelis.

"In light of the high morbidity rates around the world and the presence of worrying variants, the Health Ministry recommends the general population not cross Israel's borders at this time."
Fire Extinguished on Oil Tanker off Syria After Suspected Drone Attack
Syria’s oil ministry said firefighters on Saturday put out a fire on an oil tanker off the Baniyas refinery after a suspected attack by a drone coming from the direction of Lebanese waters.

Iran‘s al-Alam TV said the vessel was one of three Iranian oil tankers that had recently arrived at the Syrian oil terminal with supplies. It said there was limited material damage due to two projectiles but no casualties.

Syria’s coastal town of Baniyas houses a refinery, which along with another in Homs, covers a significant part of demand for diesel, heating fuel, gasoline and other petroleum products, according to industry experts.

The war-torn country has faced gasoline and fuel shortages over the past year, rationing supplies in government-held areas and hiking prices.

Syria has grown more dependent on Iranian oil shipments in recent years but tightening Western sanctions on Iran, Syria and their allies, as well as a foreign currency crunch, have made it more difficult to get enough supplies.

Syrian state news agency SANA, which cited the oil ministry statement, gave no further details about what it said was Saturday’s drone attack.

The pro-Damascus al-Mayadeen TV said the tanker was suspected to have been hit by an Israeli drone.
Local authorities cancel Iftar meal amid row over UAE ambassador’s participation
The Israeli Federation of Local Authorities canceled Sunday’s traditional iftar evening meal, marking the breaking of the day’s Ramadan fast, following the controversial invitation of the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Israel to the event.

The planned participation of Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khajah in the Iftar event caused outrage among leaders of some of the Arab locals, telling the head of the union, Haim Bibas, they would boycott the event, the Walla news site reported.

Following the cancellation of Al Khajah’s participation by Bibas, the local leaders still said they would boycott the planned event in the Ramada Nazareth Hotel on Sunday.

The UAE’s first ambassador to Israel, Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah in Jerusalem on March 1, 2021. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

The union’s committee said the boycott of Al Khajah’s participation, is to prevent the “implementation of an agenda or political objectives” in the event.

“With all due respect, why exactly has he been invited and not others?” the leader of one of the local authorities told Walla.

“The event that the Federation of Local Authorities holds every year is welcomed, but everyone understands the sensitivities, and we do not agree with them conducting political moves at our expense, certainly not amid the holy holiday meal,” the unnamed leader said.

Muslims traditionally refrain from eating and drinking during the day during Ramadan, only breaking their fasts after sundown.

“In general, they should not plan events for us without consulting us first,” he added.


The nuclear genie – nourished by Obama, bottled by Trump, let out by Biden. What gives?.
Obama tagged detente with the devil as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He spoke tongue in cheek. It was a once-in-a-lifetime threat. Whatever happens under Biden the genie is out and about. Former nuclear negotiators with the Soviets, Shultz and Kissinger, warned Obama – you have put Iran on steroids.

A mischief-maker stalks the corridors of power, leaving a footprint of unintended consequences, of freak realignments. The Saudis embraced Israel to stave off the common threat of Iran. Obama permitted Russia to sell its missile system to Iran, so making it difficult for Israel to bomb the nuclear sites. Middle East distrust of America the brave left a vacuum for the Abraham Accords to fill. Biden has refinanced UNWRA and the PA – two hard Jew-hating entities.

The world has seen normality perhaps for the last time.

So here’s a timely class for Joe Biden. The spectacle of natural allies falling out of bed and habitual enemies climbing into bed, springs to mind the tale of the sorcerer’s apprentice. Left in the workshop to his own devices, he enchants a broom and a pail to do the chores for him. In no time the place is in chaos. The apprentice is clueless how to stop the magic. He breaks the broom in half, hoping that will do the trick. Indeed the pieces turn into more brooms while the pail slops water at twice the rate. The old sorcerer returns and beholds the unholy mess. “Leave powerful spirits,” he says, “to a master wizard.”

Leave pact making to wise and trustworthy diplomats. And don’t get into bed with Islamists. Those would be the lessons for Biden to take from the nuclear accord he raised up from the grave.

And there is Jewish folklore from which to learn. A dead malcontent may return to possess the living. The troubled soul is known as a dybbuk, and it runs amok making mischief. The fiend was used for plots, to aggravate family wrangles to the point of madness. Yet for all its wicked antics the dybbuk only wished to settle a score. It upturned some lives in the Jewish ghetto, but not the balance of world power. And no dybbuk, before Obama, toyed with a President of America.

Christopher Marlow could give another class. Like his creature Mephistopheles (and Hitler after it), Iran will never strike a bad deal – that is, a deal bad for Iran. The pact that Biden is jumping through hoops to revive is a pact with the devil. And it’s a wager infinitely more reckless than Dr Faustus made with his devil. The medic gambled his own soul. Biden, bartering with Iran behind closed doors, gambles with the lives of hundreds of millions.

The devil never deals itself a bad card. It signs pacts with blood, and that’s another thing to bear in mind. The devil also likes to break his word before giving the signatures time to dry, and that’s something else to bear in mind. Pacts with crazies and the paper they’re written on are equivalent in value.

Let no one accuse Tehran of non disclosure. It has revealed its hand – twice now. In the thrall of a dybbuk Obama was blind and deaf to omens. Let Biden not repeat him. Feted honour beckons like a pot of gold. The fate of Marlow’s Dr Faustus was eternal damnation. Yet the gambling medic was not the President of America. Faustus sealed his own fate, not the fate of mankind, which is what a pact with Iran could seal.
‘Inform the World How Evil This Regime Is’: Scholar Detained for Three Years in Tehran Recounts Lessons From Captivity
An American doctoral student who spent over three years held in an Iranian prison joined Algemeiner members for a conversation on Wednesday, where he shared details of his captivity and discussed what he saw as a “moral responsibility” to tell the world about the regime in Tehran.

In 2015, then a PhD student at Princeton University, Xiyue Wang received a rare visa from Iran to study Persian and perform archival research related to his studies on Islamic Inner Asia under Russian rule. After three months working in the country unmolested, Wang received a call from the police just hours before his planned return to the US.

“‘You’re not going home today,'” Wang recounted the voice saying. His passport and computer were confiscated, and without any due process or opportunity to contact his wife in the US, he was detained for a harrowing 18 days in solitary confinement.

“It was devastating, it was so quiet,” he said. “I have never been in a such quiet place … you simply just go crazy.”

Those traumatizing days in limbo soon turned into a ten-year sentence on baseless charges of espionage. As if to highlight the absurdity of holding an earnest scholar of the country’s history as an enemy of the state, Wang’s prior support for a US presidential visit to Iran was used as “evidence” in court that the young American sought regime change.

He ultimately spent 40 months in the infamous Evin Prison — notorious for the use of torture and other human rights abuses — before being freed in December, 2019, exchanged for an Iranian scientist arrested by the US for violating sanctions against Iran.


‘You Know As Well As I Do, Jews Are Jews’: Chicago Alderman Indicted on Multiple Corruption Charges Made Antisemitic Comment
A Chicago city legislator in court this week on multiple counts of corruption made an antisemitic comment about a Jewish lawyer, federal prosecutors alleged this week.

77-year-old Alderman Ed Burke, the longtime dean of the Chicago City Council, was described as “thoroughly corrupt” in a brief.

Burke was charged in Jan. 2019 and indicted in May of that same year on 14 counts, including racketeering, federal program bribery and attempted extortion. For the last two years his legal team has sought to have a judge toss out evidence collected using wiretaps. But a 227-page brief released on Wednesday demonstrated why the monitoring of Burke’s communications was so necessary, prosecutors argued.

The brief asserted that “[A]gain and again, Burke shamelessly tied official action to his law firm’s receipt of business.”

One of the key examples prosecutors detailed was Burke’s alleged attempt to strongarm the developers of the Old Main Post Office, an $800 million development, into using his law firm to appeal property taxes. Burke allegedly made an antisemitic comment about a Jewish lawyer, and was quoted in the document as saying, “Well, you know as well as I do, Jews are Jews and they’ll deal with Jews to the exclusion of everybody else unless … unless there’s a reason for them to use a Christian.”
FDD: New Zealand’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Divests From Israeli Banks
New Zealand’s $36 billion sovereign wealth fund divested $4 million from five Israeli banks last month because of their West Bank operations. This could cause reputational and financial problems for New Zealand and for companies managing its sovereign wealth fund.

Flawed information and analysis spurred the fund’s decision. In a letter explaining the move, the Guardians – the government entity that runs New Zealand’s sovereign wealth fund – cites concern about Israel’s plans to annex portions of the West Bank. However, Israel agreed to suspend its annexation plans in September 2020 as part of its peace deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Subsequently, UAE-based Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with Bank Leumi, one of the Israeli banks subject to divestment.

The letter erroneously describes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared that Israeli settlement activity “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law,” as “binding.” However, the council passed that resolution under the non-binding Chapter VI.

The Guardians’ letter also relies on reports by the UN Human Rights Council, a body composed of numerous autocracies that has passed nearly as many resolutions criticizing Israel as the rest of the world combined. This reality undermines the credibility of the council’s reports.

Thanks to the Guardians’ decision, Israeli companies now comprise 11 of the fund’s 53 divestments not related to tobacco or cannabis. Two of these are Israeli construction companies from which New Zealand divested in 2012 for building West Bank settlements. The Guardians excluded the others for manufacturing certain weapons or for alleged labor or unethical-conduct issues.

Yet even as they condemn Israel, the Guardians invest in one of the world’s leading human rights abusers. The fund holds nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of investments in 625 Chinese companies, including two companies blacklisted by the United States for violating the rights of ethnic minorities. China has detained up to 1 million Uighurs from Xinjiang province, suppressed pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and continues to occupy Tibet.
California College Distances Itself from Planned Event with Palestinian Terrorist
The University of California, Merced, tried to distance itself from a planned Zoom discussion with a Palestinian terrorist that was canceled after the university faced pressure from Republican congressman Doug Lamborn (Colo.).

UC Merced spokesman Jim Chiavelli claimed that the school "was never the ‘cohost or sponsor'" of an online discussion featuring Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. UC Merced professor Sean Mallow was set to cohost Friday's event on UC Merced's Zoom portal alongside San Francisco State University professor Rabab Abdulhadi.

"This program, as described, was about free speech, not terrorism or violence," Chiavelli said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. "UC Merced in fact does sponsor and host events we believe will better understanding among people."

Chiavelli said UC Merced allows faculty members to have unrestricted access to the school's Zoom platform for teaching purposes. The university "does not restrict that access based on the content."

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told the Free Beacon that he spoke to UC Merced chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz "to reiterate that our universities should not provide legitimacy to foreign terrorist organizations." McCarthy said he would work with the Department of Education in the coming days to bar universities from providing aid to terrorists.

"Freedom of speech is one of our most valuable rights we get to enjoy as Americans. It should be protected at all costs, but this right should never be exploited to give legitimacy to a foreign terrorist organization," McCarthy said.


StandWithUs Letter to Pomona President Concerning Student Senate BDS Resolution
Dear President Starr,

We write to you on behalf of the StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department and the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, divisions of StandWithUs, an international, non-profit Israel education organization. We are deeply concerned with the recent student resolution, “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine,” (“resolution”) which passed under suspect circumstances by the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) Senate on April 22, 2021.

First and foremost, thank you for your prompt response to the disgraceful circumstances surrounding this resolution, which excluded any possible opposition by the mainstream Jewish community. We commend you for showing moral clarity by sharing your own concern with the resolution’s goal of requiring all ASPC-supported student clubs to comply with anti-Israel divestment or lose funding. We agree that this is alarming. We believe that this resolution may violate the ASPC Senate’s bylaws as well as viewpoint discrimination policies rooted within Pomona’s Statement of Non-Discrimination and constitutional First Amendment principles.

Therefore, we ask that you assert your authority to use whatever means are at your disposal to invalidate this resolution; if this is not possible, at the very least, we ask that you invalidate the resolution’s final clause that eliminates funding to any clubs that do not divest from “companies that contribute to the settlement and occupation of Palestinian occupied territories by the UN-designated companies or the Israeli state.” This clause may violate constitutional principles by removing funding from student groups for noncompliance with a particular viewpoint (see below).
'We are not like that', says distraught mother of convicted Neo-Nazi Oliver Bel
The distraught mother of convicted Neo-Nazi Oliver Bel today blamed possible far-right online “groomers” for taking advantage of her “vulnerable” son.

Speaking exclusively to the JC, Mr Bel’s visibly shaken mother, Carolyn, spoke of her shock at her son’s actions.

When asked if she had any idea what lay behind her son’s Neo-Nazi views she replied: “I don’t know myself”.

Communicating through the half-opened front door of her new build semi-detached home in Little Hulton, Greater Manchester, Mrs Bel added: “We are not like that. I think it’s that he’s vulnerable. He’s got autism and he was lonely and going online.

“He’s got Aspergers and I think people took advantage of him online over time.

“He was not like that living with us. It happened in the last two years. He had a normal upbringing. I’m sorry, I can’t say any more.”

The JC previously reported that Mr Bel was known as a “charming” young man by his university contemporaries, according to a contact from his campus days.
Morocco, Israel to Launch Direct Flights After Ramadan
Abd Al Rahim Byoud, the head of the Moroccan Liaison office in Tel Aviv announced that the opening of direct flights between Morocco and Israel will take place after Ramadan.

Israeli foreign ministry quoted the head of the liaison office on Tuesday, saying that both countries will work together to launch direct flights between the two countries.

“The historic peace agreement aroused great joy among Moroccan people, who love Israel,” Byoud said.

The launch of the flight between the two countries is part of the joint declaration Israel and Morocco signed on December 22 along with the US.
In Tel Aviv, amazing Brutalist architecture hides in plain sight
Chances are you already know that Tel Aviv is the Bauhaus capital of the world.

But Israel’s city of seaside fun is not all about curvy balconies and stark white corners. In fact, it’s also full of big, gray buildings built in a style called Brutalism that resonates with local history and ethos.

Brutalist architecture emerged in post-war Europe, where utilitarian buildings were created to meet social needs. The style is characterized by its rawness – brut in French – as expressed in the use of raw cement and the exposure of the buildings’ systems and materials.

“It’s very clear. You look at the building and you can see how it was composed. It’s about the truth of the matter,” explains Hadas Nevo-Goldberst from the Tel Aviv-Yafomunicipality’s conservation department.

Nevo-Goldberst and the conservation department’s head, Jeremie Hoffman, authored a book called Aphoria – Architecture of Independence, the Brutalist Style in Tel Aviv Jaffa, 1948-1977 (in Hebrew) that relates the story of Brutalist architecture in the city. Almost all the photos seen here are from the book.


Short film targets everyday anti-Semitism represented by ‘Miss Hitler’ pageant
“Miss,” a short film that debuted on Vimeo on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, at first seems like a British version of Lena Dunham’s “Girls”: Two young female roommates, Nina and Olive, share a London flat and appear to have something of an uneasy relationship.

Nina tells Olive that she wants to compete in an online beauty pageant and would like her photographer roommate to take some pictures for it. After a photoshoot, Nina steps out and Olive peeks on her computer, only to find that Nina’s contest is the infamous “Miss Hitler” pageant — an annual neo-Nazi event full of SS regalia that has gotten some of its contestants arrested.

The title of the 12-minute film, like its plot, refers to how anti-Semitism can fester under the surface of everyday life. Yael Roth, the film’s London-based co-director, spoke with JTA about her journey as an up-and-coming filmmaker and how the project shines light on a shocking form of modern-day anti-Semitism.

The film is now free on Vimeo.


Michael Oren: A Place to Call Home
The Australian series, set in the aftermath of World War II, portrays religious life (and Jews) with bracing sincerity

In one of the final scenes of the hit Australian series A Place to Call Home, Sarah Nordmann lights the Sabbath candles. She blesses the wine and the bread and passes them around the table. The moment is extraordinary, not only because Sarah, born Bridgette Adams, is a convert to Judaism, but because all her guests are gentiles. Some of them were formerly anti-Semites. Sarah embraces them and wishes them an ardent “Shabbat shalom.”

Sarah ranks as one of the most complex characters to appear in contemporary television—principled, passionate, long-suffering, and intrepid. Her decision to convert, made after falling in love with a Jewish doctor during the Spanish Civil War, leads to her excommunication from the Catholic Church and subsequent estrangement from her mother. It results in her internment in the Ravensbrück concentration camp and her torture by the Nazis. Yet the most insidious challenge to Sarah’s identity comes after the Holocaust, when a wealthy Australian widower invites her to work as a nurse in his quiet country town. There she must wrestle with almost daily displays of anti-Semitism.

It comes in various stripes, from the “Hitler should have gotten you all” variety to the aristocratic “to be born a Jew is misfortune enough, but to become one is a tragedy.” Jew-hatred is shown to permeate every stratum of Australian society, along with prejudice against gay people, women, and Blacks. Sarah stands up for them all. Though not formally observant, she is fiercely attached to her adopted faith and what she regards as its liberal ideals. She confronts the bigots and, for the most part, defeats them. When chancing on a former Ravensbrück guard, she seeks not closure but vengeance, and after giving birth to a son, insists on having him circumcised. Along the way, Sarah befriends other Jews, many of them Orthodox, all of them noble.

If glowing in its portrayal of Jews and Judaism, A Place to Call Home, which is streaming on Acorn TV, is no less admiring in its treatment of Israel. Sarah is unreservedly proud of the Jewish state, defending it from detractors and yearning to visit at the earliest opportunity. Zionism serves as an inspiration to other liberation movements, she believes, as do several of the series’ protagonists. “Israel … it gives a man hope,” an aboriginal worker observes to her. “Two thousand years for your mob and only 200 years for ours … so maybe there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Spielberg-produced Holocaust documentary to be streamed on Netflix
An Oscar-winning documentary about the experience of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust that was produced by Steven Spielberg will be made available for streaming on Netflix.

“The Last Days” will be remastered from the original 35 mm film before its streaming release on May 19.

The documentary, which won the Academy Award for best documentary feature in 1998, tells the stories of five Hungarian Jews who survived the Holocaust. One was Tom Lantos, who would go on to become a congressman from California from 1981 to 2008.

The film follows the survivors after the war as they return to their hometowns, as well as visit the ghettos and concentration camps where they were imprisoned.

Spielberg was an executive producer together with the USC Shoah Foundation, which he founded after directing the 1993 Oscar-winning film “Schindler’s List” about the life of German industrialist Oskar Schindler and the Jews he saved during the Holocaust. The foundation houses more than 55,000 Holocaust testimonies.









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