Thursday, May 06, 2021

From Ian:

Amb. Dore Gold: “Why Is a Meeting in San Remo 101 Years Ago So Important?”
On April 29, 2021, Dr. Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center, was interviewed by Professor Ugo Volli of Turin University in Shalom Magazine, published in Italy. Below is the translation of excerpts from “Siamo Ancora un Popolo Che Dimora Da Solo” – Intervista a Dore Gold

What is the 101-year-old San Remo Conference, and why is it important today?
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, states were born through great international conferences. For example, the Congress of Berlin took former Ottoman territories in 1878 and granted them independence, creating Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro. Bulgaria also emerged from this division of Ottoman territories. After the First World War, international conferences of the victorious allied powers led to a division of formerly Ottoman territories as well. It was in San Remo, Italy, that the powers decided on the emergence of a national home for the Jewish People that established the State of Israel. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was a statement of British policy; the San Remo Resolution of 1920 was a formal international treaty that was legally binding.

In the years between 1919 and 1922, many states were established. Why, after one century, is the right of the State of Israel to exist still disputed?
Israel is the only state whose legal foundation was rooted in acts of the League of Nations and the United Nations. Its legitimacy was backed by both bodies. But Israel is a state that is not protected by coalitions of countries. If a group of states wants to challenge the existence of Belgium, they will confront the collective power of the European Union. If Singapore’s existence is called into question, then the ASEAN states will “circle the wagons.” The American veto in the UN Security Council has provided Israel with protection from one-sided attacks on Israel. But that is not applicable in the General Assembly with its 193 members. Israel is still what the Bible (Numbers 23:9) describes as “a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.”

Yet, after the Balfour Declaration, San Remo and the League of Nations, a large non-government organization, Human Rights Watch, can criticize the existence of the state of the Jewish People as “racist.” Is it a political issue, or is it anti-Semitism?
This is pure anti-Semitism. Why do French people have a right to France, but the Jewish people have no right to a state of their own? Double standards are one of the indicators that anti-Semitism is present. And the apartheid charge is yet another form of anti-Semitism that ignores the reality of modern Israel.

In apartheid South Africa, there were separate hospitals for blacks and whites. Anyone who visits an Israeli hospital, like Hadassah in Jerusalem, will see in the Emergency Room and all wards Arab and Jewish doctors working together taking care of Arab and Jewish patients. In the 1980s, Israel sent its air force into Africa to bring out Ethiopian Jews. Is that an apartheid state?

Israeli President Pays Homage to David Raziel, First Commander of the Etzel Pre-State Militia, on 80th Anniversary of His Death
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday paid tribute to David Raziel — the co-founder and first commander of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (Etzel), the pre-state right-wing Zionist militia — on the 80th anniversary of his death.

Speaking at the memorial ceremony for Raziel, Rivlin called him a “great leader on behalf of the people and the country.”

The Etzel grew out of the right-wing Revisionist Zionism movement led by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who personally appointed Raziel to lead the militia in 1938.

Rejecting the mainstream Labor Zionism policy of restraint in response to Arab violence, the Etzel under Raziel undertook a series of retaliatory attacks against Arab targets that aroused considerable controversy in the Zionist movement.

During World War II, however, the Etzel put aside its opposition to British power over Palestine in favor of collaborating in the fight against Nazism. Despite having been imprisoned by the British in 1939, Raziel chose to support the war effort upon his release. Sent to Iraq by British intelligence to fight an attempted pro-Nazi coup, Raziel was killed in action by a German air attack in 1941.

Building on the framework that Raziel established, Menachem Begin eventually took command of the Etzel and led it through a guerrilla war against the British power in Palestine.

The Etzel’s revolt was eventually credited with helping to push the British out of Palestine, paving the way for the establishment of the State of Israel.
Jonathan Tobin: New York courts prove that woke politics endangers Jews
The problem is that those who have taken the lead in promoting measures like bail reform in the name of social justice not only drew no conclusions from the dismal results of this legislation with respect to the rest of society, they are also unmoved by the way it endangered Jews.

In the days after Burnette’s release, the Anti-Defamation League, which continues to pose as the defender of the Jewish community against anti-Semitism, said nothing about the case. Since his release, both the group and its CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, found time to publicly advocate for Facebook to continue its ban on posts from former President Donald Trump and to claim that American police were engaging in “systemic racism” against African-Americans. Although they raise massive funds from liberal donors by seeking to depict Jews as under siege from hate crimes, they were mum about the way those who committed such crimes have benefited from bail reform.

The reason for this is that Jordan Burnette is not the kind of anti-Semite that interests the ADL.

We know that had he been a right-wing extremist, the attacks on synagogues in Riverdale would have been considered a threat to all Jews. Whether or not there was evidence for it, they would have linked it to Trump and Greenblatt fodder for more lectures about white supremacists in which he would have analogized the shattered glass of Riverdale synagogues to Kristallnacht. But since Burnette didn’t fit into that scenario, the ADL has remained silent about a Jewish community being terrorized and then having to endure the sight of their assailant sent back out onto the street.

The shame here goes deeper than the way the ADL has betrayed its mandate. That is merely a symptom of a broader problem in which liberals have sacrificed Jewish security on the altar of woke politics and maintaining alliances with allies like race-baiter Al Sharpton. Doing so doesn’t merely tie them to radical causes that undermine law enforcement and falsely label America as an irredeemably racist nation. It also leads them to treat attacks on Jews by those who can’t be tied to their partisan opponents as something to be minimized or ignored so as to avoid having to confront the consequences of their ideological choices. “Bail reform” hasn’t just hurt New Yorkers. It exposed the Jewish left’s willingness to treat Jewish security as an afterthought.

50 prominent Jewish Americans sign letter panning ‘social justice ideology’
An open letter published Wednesday and signed by about 50 prominent Jewish Americans is warning of the rise of “social justice ideology,” which is described as a “pernicious” force that is “antithetical to Judaism” and threatens to stifle free debate and democratic values in the United States.

The group that organized the letter and many of its signatories say they were inspired by last year’s Harper’s letter, which made a similar argument about censorship of unpopular opinions in the public sphere.

Signatories of the so-called “Jewish Harper’s letter” include prominent conservative writers Bret Stephens, Bari Weiss and Seth Mandel, major academics and authors such as Stephen Pinker and Daniel Gordis, as well as leading rabbis like David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

They were brought together by a new initiative called the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values.

The letter calls on Jews to take action against the “suppression of dissent” that is said to be dominating the United States.

“Jewish tradition cherishes debate, respects disagreement, and values questions as well as answers,” the letter says. “We members of the Jewish community add our voices to the growing chorus supporting our liberal principles, opposing the imposition of ideology, encouraging open discussions of challenging topics, and committing to achieving a more just America.”
Israeli actress Noa Tishby’s ‘Simple Guide’ to Israel shakes up US progressives
Shortly after being interviewed recently on popular American TV talk show “The View,” Noa Tishby received a text message from a friend. The message had her seething later that morning during a Zoom interview with The Times of Israel.

In her on-air chat with co-host Meghan McCain, the Israeli-American actor and producer discussed her new book, “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.” Tishby said that given it’s been endorsed by both liberal political commentator Bill Maher and conservative counterpart Ben Shapiro, the book is balanced. She also said anti-Zionism is a politically correct version of antisemitism.

Her friend was having none of it.

“It’s just horrific what he wrote me,” says Tishby, before reading the text message aloud.

“We all have decisions to make in our life,” Tishby reads from her phone. “Ben, Bill and Meghan are three of the most disgustingly Islamophobic people in public view. Noa, you’ve played a deeply important role in my life and I’ll forever be grateful to you, but if you continue saying things like ‘anti-Zionism is antisemitism,’ there’ll be no room for people like me in your life. I will continue to stand with people of conscience around the world in demanding full liberation for the Palestinians.”

As she finishes reciting the text, she’s clearly upset.

“And to think this comes from one of my most progressive friends,” says Tishby, 45, who lives in Los Angeles, after spending the first half of her life in Israel. “I’m like, this guy’s Jewish and his family perished in the Holocaust. To say Bill Maher is Islamophobic is absurd. This lack of nuanced conversation on the left is exactly the problem.

“Various voices that want to dismantle Israel are using people like my friend and this lack of facts to push their agenda,” she says.
Post Corona pordcast with Dan Senor: Post Corona Has Arrived – And This Is What It Sounds Like.
Today we’re doing something… different. After 15 months of avoiding business travel, I boarded a plane to attend meetings in Israel. When I landed, it felt more like I boarded a DeLorean and time-traveled ahead to the era of Post Corona – a land far, far away. With 85% of Israelis, 16 and older, inoculated, and with hospitals emptying out, it was clear that as far as Israelis are concerned – the pandemic is now just another chapter in history. Life in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem felt like a movie trailer for the rest of the world – coming soon to a theater near you. I wanted to capture this intangible energy and bring it to your ears. So I called up Tuli, a Tel Aviv sound engineer and friend of ours who usually works on Israel’s leading films and television shows. He joined me for an afternoon of conversations at the heart of Tel Aviv’s bustling streets. I started with Amit Aronson, a well-known restaurant critic in Israel, a television journalist, blogger and writer. Then I met with Yonatan Sagiv, a PhD in Literature and novelist who has written three popular Hebrew language detective novels. A few blocks away I met with Yaara Keydar, a fashion historian and curator, who is now working on her doctorate at Hebrew University. I wrapped up the day with my old pal Danna Starn, who is Managing Director of YES Studios and — according to The Hollywood Reporter — has a knack for turning “hyper-local shows like ‘Fauda’, ‘On the Spectrum’ and ‘Shtisel’ into international hits”. These conversations paint a picture of life in Post-Pandemic Israel… A picture that could be our reality in a few months.
Pfizer vaccine 96.7% effective at preventing COVID deaths, Israeli data shows
Vaccines are proving 96.7 percent effective at protecting Israelis against COVID-related death, and 97.5% effective against serious illness, new research has shown.

The study, full of statistics on the vaccine that will generate hope worldwide, was published Wednesday in the leading peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.

“In Israel we can see the reality of what vaccines do all around us, but this research is important in quantifying it and documenting it for others around the world to see, and understand the full benefits of vaccines,” Bar Ilan University epidemiologist Prof. Michael Edelstein told The Times of Israel.

“This puts our new reality in the form of academic research for all to see.”

The analysis was conducted by Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, head of public health services at Israel’s Health Ministry, with international collaborators. It found that full vaccination, involving two Pfizer doses, is 95.3% effective in preventing infection. Pfizer’s clinical trials suggested this rate, but doctors were unsure whether it would be so closely replicated in the real world.

It is 97% effective in preventing symptomatic illness and 91.5% in protecting against asymptomatic infection.

The researchers found that vaccines are 97.2% effective against COVID-19-related hospitalization. They stressed that vaccine benefits are felt across all ages, writing: “In all age groups, as vaccine coverage increased, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 outcomes declined.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci: 'Israel is close to herd immunity'
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to US President Joe Biden, described his work fighting the novel coronavirus, his time working alongside former President Donald Trump and currently under Biden, in an interview with Channel 13 News on Wednesday night.

"I would say consistently that my worst nightmare would be the appearance of a new virus that jumps species from an animal host to a human that would have two characteristics: one, that it would jump extraordinarily easy from person to person, and two, it had the capability of resulting in a considerable degree in morbidity and mortality, said Fauci. "And unfortunately, my worst nightmare has come true."

"I often use Israel as the prototype example of what actually goes right" he continued, acknowledging Israel's success in the fight against the novel coronavirus. "I don't think Israel did everything perfectly – no one does."

Fauci described advantages the Jewish state has had in fighting the virus, such as its small population.

"I think that the history of Israel, because of its size and political circumstances, knows how to stick together as a single unit."

He stated clearly that he strongly believes Israel will achieve "herd immunity" – the situation where a sufficient portion of a population is immune from a contagious threat through vaccination or recovery, so that it won't spread significantly to the rest of the population. But he also believes that other countries that have suffered greater difficulties against the virus will eventually learn to control it. "I believe it's likely that we will have to continue vaccinating over a period of several years," he predicted.
EU Countries Agree to Open Up to Israeli Tourists
The European Union on Thursday added Israel to the list of countries who’s citizens will be allowed to visit for leisure, as Europe seeks to revive travel and salvage summer tourism from tough COVID-19 restrictions.

Reopening to Israeli tourists comes as the EU is moving to ease its current blanket ban on non-essential travel from foreign countries, with only a handful of exceptions, including Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand, as well as China, as long as entry permits are reciprocal.

European countries such as Greece and Cyprus have already made the move to welcome Israeli tourists who are vaccinated, have recovered from the virus or test negative.
Israeli experts from Hadassah to help Argentina fight COVID-19
Five top medical experts from Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem will travel to Argentina this month in order to share their expertise with colleagues and provide insight into the treatment of COVID-19 based on their own experience, Hadassah International said in a statement on Monday.

The organization further said that the two sides were holding discussions on "a phase III study of Brilife, the Israeli COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research and tested primarily at Hadassah."

"Hadassah Medical Organization's delegation to Argentina seeks to provide critical knowledge and experience to frontline medical professionals in Argentina in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Israeli delegation's visit also provides an opportunity to broaden the lines of communication and co-operation that go beyond the challenges of COVID-19 and may result in a wide range of areas in which lifesaving procedures and research can be shared for the betterment of humankind," President of Hadassah International Robert Dorfman said.

Dalia Itzik, who is the chair of the Hadassah Medical Organization's board of directors in Israel added that "Global pandemics do not know political or geographical boundaries, they hit everywhere and anywhere with the same strength, without differentiation" and noted that "these are the times when the beauty of humankind needs to prevail, and as such Hadassah's obligation is to share its knowledge and COVID-19 expertise obtained during the past 14 months when HMO treated more patients than any other hospital in Israel."
HonestReporting: How HRW’s Apartheid Claim Puts Vulnerable Groups At Risk
Last week, Human Rights Watch put disaffected and oppressed peoples across the globe in a precarious position by manipulating the definition of apartheid.

Most of the world thinks of apartheid in terms of the institutionalized racism, and resulting segregation, that once characterized South Africa — a system that today is still in place in some countries. For example, China is holding hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Uyghur Muslims in what experts have described as concentration camps. Apartheid also is practiced in Egypt and Algeria, for example, where under the law Christians don’t have equal rights.

Apartheid extends beyond racism, a reality made clear by the fact that its manifestation has a unique word. However, HRW specifically said in its report on Israel that it was no longer using the traditional definition of apartheid. Instead, HRW wrote an entire 60,000-word paper just to accuse Israel of what it calls the “crime of apartheid.” The only way the organization could make that egregious claim was by creating this new definition, the explanation for which was buried deep inside the document.

HRW’s “definition” is so broad that if you applied it fairly and rigorously then almost every person in every nation would be guilty of it, in one way or another. In doing so, HRW has effectively put the world’s most vulnerable populations at risk. How? Watch our video to find out!

Disorientated: the confusions of Edward Said
In November 1974, Yasser Arafat delivered a speech at the UN in New York. The PLO leader, viewed by the US government as a terrorist, attacked “Zionist racists and colonialists” and honoured the “popular armed struggle” to free Palestine. But he ended with a (qualified) peace offering: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom-fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.” Those resonant lines came from the pen of nearby Columbia University’s Edward Said. Some of his older colleagues might have been surprised that Said, an expert on Joseph Conrad, was moonlighting for Arafat. When he was first hired, it was rumoured he was an Alexandrian Jew.

Such paradoxes followed Said around. His close friends nicknamed him both “Abu Wadie,” echoing a militant’s nom du guerre, and “Eduardo,” a suave Renaissance man. At his most optimistic, Said saw himself as he described his hero Jonathan Swift, as both a “man of letters and a man of action.” Yet throughout his work runs a darker fear that his political and literary interests, which he fused in the hugely influential Orientalism (1978), were ultimately incompatible. That book argued that western writing about the east is inevitably belittling because of the unequal power relations between the describers and those being described. It is one of those rare books that founded a new discipline—postcolonial studies—and ensured the dusty term “Orientalism” became charged with negative connotations. You can still see it being used on social media to discredit western commentators on Islam.

Towards the end of his life, he elevated “intransigence, difficulty and unresolved contradiction” into a credo—these words serve as the epigraph to Timothy Brennan’s new biography, Places of Mind. But Said’s intransigence was not always admirable, and his contradictions often mere confusion. He veered from trashing European scholars of the orient to venerating their achievements; from defending Islam against western calumnies to condemning fundamentalists who had learned his lessons all too well. Finally, he returned to western high culture after making his name labelling it as complicit with colonialism. He went, as it were, from Eduardo to Abu Wadie and back again.
Variety Calls Historic Jewish Connection to Land of Israel ‘Myth’
In a May 4 review of Blue Box, a documentary about how the Jewish National Fund (JNF) acquired land in Mandatory Palestine before and after the creation of the State of Israel, Variety writer Alissa Simon strays from evaluating the film’s overall quality to erasing the Jewish people’s ancient connection to the land. She then proceeds to rewrite modern Israeli history, casually overlooking the violent Arab response to the United Nations’ partition plan that would have given the Palestinians a state of their own.

Variety Fail #1: Israel’s ‘Land Without a People National Myth’
In ‘‘Blue Box’ Review: The Little-known History of Israel’s Biggest Real Estate Transaction, Simon writes:
Offering a stark contrast to the popular Israeli national myth of “a land without a people for a people without a land,” this multi-layered documentary will inspire much debate and deserves wide distribution.”

To begin with, the Jewish people’s connection to Israel dates back about 3,000 years. For those who do not accept the Biblical narrative, archaeological findings have proven this. By using the words “national myth,” Simon seemingly implies that the drive for Jewish self-determination was illegitimate, little more than a fable detached from the historical record.

Second, Simon suggests that Jews who moved to what was then British Mandatory Palestine — this, prior to Israel’s formal establishment in 1948 — thought they were entering a “land without a people.” In reality, there were in 1947 over one million non-Jewish people in the area – who never formally organized themselves into a functional national entity. Indeed, the Palestinian independence movement took off with the establishment in 1964 of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a terrorist group committed to Israel’s destruction.

As Zuheir Muhsin, a former head of the PLO‘s Executive Council, said in 1977: “Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only practical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.…”

Not only was the local Jewish leadership well aware that Jews were not living in a vacuum, they also sought ways to accommodate the Arab population. For example, Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky insisted on granting full equality, civil rights and cultural autonomy to the Arab minority in any future State of Israel:
Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] on both sides of the Jordan River – its territory is suitable for a million Arabs, for a million of their descendants, for several million Jews – as well as for peace.”
Harvard Pro-Palestinian Group Hosts BDS Speakers at Israel Apartheid Week
The Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee ended its annual Israeli Apartheid Week, which included a roster of anti-Israel and antisemitic speakers and programs.

Programs, held from April 26-30 virtually this year, included webinars titled “Healthcare Injustices in Palestine and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” and “Divestment as a Historical Tool for Justice,” which was a discussion with tenured Harvard Professor Cornel West, a supporter of BDS, and BDS movement co-founder Omar Barghouti.

Featured panelists included Swarthmore College associate professor and BDS advocate Sa’ed A. Atshan, and Palestinian feminist scholar and activist Yamila Hussein-Shannan, who has claimed that Palestinian men are “forced to parade naked in the streets” by Israeli soldiers and citizens and blamed the oppression of Palestinian women on Israel’s “occupation.” Another featured panelist was Sumaya Awad, who has expressed support for violent protesters in Israel and promoted hatred against the Jewish state, according to Canary Mission.

A number of student organizations co-sponsored the week’s events, including Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine and Jewish Coalition for Peace, the school’s newspaper The Harvard Crimson reported.

Gilead Ini, a senior research analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), told JNS he is not surprised that “such discriminatory, anti-Jewish programming was brought to campus.”

How The New York Times’ Misreporting Has Distorted History
The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times’s Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History by Ashley Rindsberg (Midnight Oil Publishers, 2021)

In his new book, Israel-based American author Ashley Rindsberg demonstrates the extent to which “interest and ideology” have skewed The New York Times‘ reporting on major world historical events — such as World War II, the Holocaust, the Second Intifada, Stalin’s Russia, and, most recently, the hotly criticized 1619 Project. The book has received much fanfare from prominent figures as diverse as Glenn Greenwald, Daniel Pipes, Mark Crispin Miller, and Jenny Holland.

Below are selected excerpts from The Gray Lady Winked:
The New York Times is quite likely the most powerful news organization in the world. Its reach and influence are staggering. And its prestige is unparalleled. I experienced firsthand the tremendous influence of the Times, and the dynasty that owns it, as I wrote and published … my book on how the Times’ misreporting changes history (and not for the better).

The seed for the book was planted when I stumbled across a footnote in a work of history about the Second World War, William Shirer’s famed “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” In the footnote, Shirer mentions that on the eve of the outbreak of the war, The New York Times erroneously reported that Poland had invaded Germany. I was shocked by this barely noticed fact.

The story (told in horrifying detail in Chapter 1) opened my eyes to a different understanding of The New York Times than the one I had held for years.

From Chapter 1 — Canned Goods: “Minding the Nazis Less Than Most”
(About Coverage of World War II)
Guido Enderis was still writing and assigning articles that were sympathetic, if not outright supportive, of the Nazi regime. It got so bad that, according to Laurel Leff’s “Buried by The Times,” members of the Times’ own staff started to protest Times reporting coming out of Germany. A city-desk reporter at the Times named Warren Irvin, who later became a part-time correspondent in Geneva, found Enderis’s articles on Nazi Germany too much to handle. Irvin was so outraged by the articles that he did something the autocratically run Times considered almost blasphemous: Irvin wrote a letter to the Times’ then-publisher, and patriarch of the Ochs-Sulzberger family that owns the paper, Arthur Sulzberger.

In the letter, Irvin asked the Times publisher a simple but daring question about Guido Enderis: “Don’t you think it’s time that The New York Times did something about it’s [sic] Nazi correspondent in Berlin?”

Irvin went on in the letter to accuse Enderis of a “loud-mouthed defense of Nazism,” which he found so damaging and offensive that he threatened to go public with the information. “I don’t want to do anything to hurt my own paper; but I feel my loyalty to my country comes first, and if some action is not taken I shall feel compelled to publish these facts,” Irvin wrote to Sulzberger.
The Washington Post’s Israel Problem
The Washington Post has a problem. The newspaper’s coverage and commentary on Israel is getting noticed—and for all of the wrong reasons.

It is, the journalist Armin Rosen tweeted on April 27, 2021, kind of “interesting how the Washington Post has like a designated anti-Israel newsletter, but it’s apparently so irrelevant that both pro- and anti-Israel obsessives treat it as if doesn’t exist.” The Jewish state, Rosen noted, “is discussed far more” by the “newsletter” than “any other country, almost always in terms of whatever the activist talking points happen to be at the time.”

Rosen, who has authored groundbreaking reports for Tablet Magazine and Business Insider, among other outlets, clarified that he was specifically referring to the Post’s World Views “analysis,” which is authored by columnist Ishaan Tharoor.

While masquerading as “analysis,” Tharoor’s column is often more commentary than reporting. And, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) has documented, it is often skewed and superficial.

The World Views columnist has authored no fewer than three dozen articles on the Jewish state, nearly all of them blaming Israel for the lack of a Palestinian state. Not once has he noted that Palestinian leaders themselves have rejected no fewer than three offers for statehood in the last twenty years alone.

In a Sept. 17, 2019 column, the Washington Post columnist warned of a “shadow of apartheid” in Israel’s upcoming elections. Instead, that election witnessed record turnout from Israeli Arabs—disproving Tharoor’s entire thesis less than 48 hours after it was published.

In a Sept. 28, 2018 interview, Tharoor called Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad—a man who once said “Jews rule the world by proxy. They got others to fight and die for them” and “I am proud to be antisemitic”—a “venerable statesman.”

Read the vile Google reviews a troll left on some Sydney Jewish tourism spots pages - and why the tech giant still hasn't removed them
Racist and anti-Semitic posts left on the Google reviews page of two leading Jewish community institutions appear to have been ignored by the tech giant.

The vicious troll posted a fake review of Bondi's Central Synagogue in mid 2020, then another about The Sydney Jewish Museum in January which appeared to deny the Holocaust.

Appalled members of the Jewish community contacted Google asking them to delete the ugly reviews in the past two weeks - but they still appear on their page.

'Didn't like it. Smelled like fish and tears. Defo wouldn't go back,' said the first review of The Central Synagogue.

The synagogue is a place of daily worship and has a long history in Sydney, beginning in 1913.

The fake review of The Sydney Jewish Museum read: 'I couldn't get tickets to the comedy festival so I went here instead.

'Had a great time, funniest stuff I've seen in a long time. The actors were great, you could see they almost believed the lies they were telling.

'12/10 would defo visit again'.

The Sydney Jewish Museum was established in 1992 by a generation of Holocaust survivors who came to Australia.

A statement given to Daily Mail Australia said: 'As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, including a grandmother who was sent to Auschwitz, I am hurt by the fact that Google would choose to keep racist, anti-Semitic content online for ten days after being alerted to it by numerous people.

After Heated Debate, French City of Strasbourg Adopts ‘Action Plan’ to Combat Antisemitism
Councillors in the French city of Strasbourg have agreed on an “action plan” to combat antisemitism, following a heated debate that lasted into the early hours of Tuesday morning. However, the agreed text leaves out any references to anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism — the source of the original controversy in March, when an attempt by council members to obtain the city’s endorsement of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism failed.

The latest resolution — proposed by the city’s Green Party Mayor, Jeanne Barseghian, and supported by 46 of the 65 councillors — affirmed that Strasbourg was “fully committed to the fight against antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.”

While the text adopted the definition of antisemitism proposed by the IHRA — in essence, a negative perception of Jews expressed through rhetorical and physical hostility — it notably ignored the several examples that accompany the definition, some of which outline how attacks on Zionism or the State of Israel can incorporate antisemitic tropes.

However, the resolution did “strongly condemn all antisemitic prejudice, discrimination and violence based on a real or perceived connection to Israel, including those that have taken the form of new expression through the denial of the very existence of the State of Israel.”

Strasbourg has not been spared the alarming rise in antisemitism recorded elsewhere in France. Among the incidents during the last year was an assault in Aug. 2020 on a young Jewish graffiti artist who was working on a project commissioned by the city council. After his assailant spotted him wearing a T-shirt carrying the names of various world cities, including Tel Aviv in Israel, the artist was jostled and showered with antisemitic abuse. The assailant then grabbed one of his paint canisters and sprayed offensive slogans on the ground, including “forbidden to Jews” and “bitch.”

At a court hearing in Nov. 2020, the assailant — identified only as a 38-year-old man — was cleared of the crime of committing extortion aggravated by religious hatred and released.
Swiss Neo-Nazi Fined for ‘Outrageous’ Antisemitic Speech Accusing Jews of Starting Two World Wars
A Swiss far right politician has been convicted by a court in the city of Basel for pushing antisemitic propaganda in a Nov. 2018 address that was described by one political analyst as “the most outrageous antisemitic speech in decades.”

Tobias Steiger of the neo-Nazi Partei National Orientierter Schweizer (PNOS) was ordered to pay a fine of approximately $2,200 for claiming in the speech that Jews were responsible for starting both the First and Second World Wars. Under Swiss law, “spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories that accuse the Jews of having instigated and financed the Second World War” is a criminal offense.

Steiger was also sentenced to a suspended fine of nearly $13,000, which he will have to pay if he breaks the law again.

According to Hans Stutz — an expert on the far-right in Switzerland — Steiger delivered “the most antisemitic speech in decades” to be heard by a Swiss audience.

Steiger is also known as a Holocaust denier and enthusiastic promoter of antisemitic conspiracy theories about the provenance of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has argued that “Zionists” deliberately settled “Africans and Muslims” in Europe, and claimed that the coronavirus is a “Zionist virus” designed to weaken the Swiss economy.
Preparing for a World of Holocaust Deepfakes
The problem with the most pernicious lies is that they are often based on elements of truth.

In a now-famous image known as the Ivanhorod Einsatzgruppen photograph, six huddling Jews were captured on film while being menaced by a rifle-wielding German soldier in Ukraine. Taken in 1942 by an unknown individual, the image was intercepted by the Polish resistance and eventually made its way into public view after the war, providing a chilling personal window into the horrors of the Holocaust.

Years later, however, the picture was enlisted in the service of Holocaust denial. In 1962, a far-right West German newspaper claimed that forensic experts had determined the Ivangorod Einsatzgruppen photograph was fake, and that it had been staged by Polish communists to wrongfully depict German war crimes. The result was a back-and-forth, he said, she said of media forensics until the fraudulent claim was eventually debunked in 1965.

Crucially, the West German newspaper did not need to edit or alter the photograph itself to cast doubt on its authenticity. Instead, the propagandists used the true, real picture, and merely declared that it had been faked.

This is far from the only time that accurate Holocaust imagery has been deployed to undermine the historical facts of the Holocaust. In 2018, a viral meme on Facebook purported to feature the billionaire and liberal financier George Soros dressed as a Nazi.

The meme actually featured a real photograph—but it was not George Soros. It was a Nazi guard named Oskar Gröning.

The viral Soros meme is relatively new, but the problem it illustrates is old. Holocaust denial has long relied on real images—and different tactics for image manipulation, editing, and recontextualization—as well as simple claims of forgery or inaccuracy, since well before the dawn of the social media era. Paradoxically, many of the same images that have become most important for verifying the Holocaust have also been used by Holocaust deniers to advance conspiracy theories.

While this might seem like an esoteric point, mostly of interest to scholars of Holocaust denial, understanding it could be essential for future attempts to combat online misinformation. That’s because the danger we face today comes less from entirely fabricated media than from carefully massaged authentic media. The challenge is not so much the spread of “misinformation” as figuring out what constitutes “misinformation” in the first place.

Any adequate response to this challenge will need to reckon not only with outright lies, but the manipulation of truth.
Britain sets up ‘VC club’ to boost investor activity in Israel
The UK-Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy, in partnership with the law firm Taylor Wessing, has launched a “VC club,” an invite-only collaboration forum of VC funds from the UK and Israel that will seek to boost bilateral ties and shared business intelligence between the parties.

The initiative comes as UK investors are seen as missing out on investment opportunities in Israel. According to IVC research Centre’s 2020 report, UK investments accounts for only 3% of the some $10 billion invested in Israeli startups in 2020, “leaving UK investors behind in the market share,” the embassy said in a statement. By comparison, US investors account for 35% of the total market share, the statement said.

On the other hand, there is growing demand from Israeli investors wishing to access investment opportunities in the UK, the statement said.

The new club will seek to increase the UK’s market share in investments in Israeli startups and help Israeli investors identify opportunities in the UK technology market. The initiative comes as the European Union has also underlined that it is punching below its weight on the Israeli tech scene. A first-of-its-kind report by the European Union published earlier this year showed that EU firms and investors are also “disproportionately small” players in the Israeli tech scene.

“The UK-Israel Tech Hub identified the need to provide UK and Israeli VCs and investors exclusive access to start-ups from both ecosystems by building an exclusive and collaborative platform for both countries to exchange knowledge and business intelligence on investment opportunities,” the statement said.

The UK Israel Tech Hub, a UK government unit set up in 2011 at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, aims to promote economic growth in both countries by partnering British companies with Israeli innovation.

“With the UK being both the number one destination for Israeli entrepreneurs in Europe and the second-largest foreign investor in Israel, we know investors on both sides want to step up engagement,” said British Ambassador Neil Wigan. The program will help “promote familiarity and trust-based relationships.”
Here’s a cool green way to upcycle millions of old tires
If you’ve ever seen a tire graveyard piled high with trashed rubber, you can easily understand that Israeli company EcoTech Recycling has a green gem of an idea.

EcoTech’s nontoxic process produces a unique material, Active Rubber (AR), from end-of-life tires. With1.6 billion tires manufactured annually, and 290 million tires discarded each year in the United States alone, tires are the world’s largest source of waste rubber.

“Rubber is a valuable commodity, and we are making it reusable,” says CEO and President Gideon Drori.

“AR is a substitute for synthetic rubber that can be used to make new tires, automotive parts or an inner wall and flooring insulation called ECOINSUL that we developed ourselves.”

ECOINSUL, Drori says, “is literally a new standard that outperforms the current standard 10-fold. There’s almost no difference in price and it’s easy to handle and apply. It does very effective acoustic and thermal insulation. And it’s all made out of waste.”
An Israeli Startup’s Concrete ‘Bio-Habitats’ Bring Life Back to Urban Coastal Waters
An Israeli environmental startup has developed a technology to address one of the world’s least sexy problems — bringing concrete to life — by using a special cement structure that invites marine fauna to grow on coastal infrastructure.

“Our admix is like the salt and pepper to a recipe,” ECOncrete CEO Ido Sella told The Algemeiner. “It is a chemical modification of the composition of concrete for a better, more balanced biology and to make it more hospitable to marine life.”

About half of the world’s population lives along a coastline with bridges, ports and seawalls, which are mostly built with concrete threatening to destroy marine life. The technology developed by the Tel Aviv-based ECOncrete, launched in 2012, turns concrete into a new substance with materials that are plant and animal-friendly. The products are designed with tiny holes for small fish to live in and on top of which seaweed can grow, while corals and oysters appear around it once put into water so that aquatic life can thrive.

The concrete is stronger than commercial concrete because of the biology growing, a process called “bio protection.” Instead of building traditional concrete blocks, ECOncrete’s products — which include blocks, tide pools, and mats — are based on a technique known as bio-mimicry, which copies the shapes and textures of natural systems.
Israeli scientists develop tiny swallowable ‘tweezers’ for use against bacteria
Israeli scientists have developed tiny “tweezers” capable of breaking down defenses that bacteria build to survive the human immune system.

In a bid to stay alive and reproduce in humans, bacteria construct biofilms — shields to protect themselves against the immune system that is programmed to try to destroy them.

Such protection helps many infection-causing bacteria survive. It’s also the mechanism that bacteria use to live in our mouths — part of dental plaque is a biofilm that helps bacteria survive underneath despite our toothbrushing. Biofilms are also grown by bacteria in plants, animals and other environments.

Researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, with collaborators from the US and Germany, now say they have built “molecular tweezers” that pull the biofilm apart, breaching the bacteria-built defenses.

“The tweezers are just like your home tweezers but a million times smaller, and instead of plucking hairs they attack fibers of the bacteria’s biofilm,” Prof. Raz Jelinek of Ben Gurion’s chemistry department told The Times of Israel. “By doing that they break the biofilm, making it more vulnerable to human immune defenses and external substances that are used against bacteria like antibiotics.”

Together with his PhD student Ravit Malishev, he tested the tweezers, made from small organic molecules, in an in-vitro lab experiment on Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria. The study was is reported upon in a newly peer-reviewed article in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.
Israeli TV series ‘Dismissed’ headed internationally
WestEnd Films, the company run by Israelis Sharon Harel-Cohen and Maya Amsellem, has purchased the international rights to Dismissed, the new darkly funny Israeli TV series about a group of young women soldiers, known as HaMifakedet in Hebrew.

Israeli Television Academy award winner Nir Berger (Dead End) and Atara Frish (Heroine), created the series and Frish is also the director. Naomi Levari (One Week and a Day) and Saar Yogev (Chained) produced it for Black Sheep Film Productions and Kan, the Israeli public broadcaster. KAN 11 is broadcasting the much buzzed-about series in Israel.

Dismissed is about Noa (Alona Saar), an awkward IDF soldier. Although Noa’s superiors consider her unfit to be a commander, through a series of circumstances that will not seem implausible to anyone who has had any experience of military bureaucracy, she is assigned to lead a platoon composed of a troubled group of recruits who refuse to accept her authority.

This is not the first time that female Israeli soldiers have been front and center in a drama that has gone around the world. In 2014, Talya Lavie’s Zero Motivation, the story of two women soldiers who are unhappily stuck on a remote base, won the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and was shown all over the world. The recent series Sisters also had a character who was a female soldier, as did the series Combat Medics (remade in the US as 68 Whiskey).

WestEnd will be in charge of sales through its WeSeries division. The company’s series credits include Valley of Tears, the drama about the Yom Kippur War, which recently streamed on HBO Max, and Traitor, which is now in post-production. Both series come from writers/producers Ron Leshem (Euphoria) and Amit Cohen (False Flag). WestEnd is also developing a female-driven thriller series from Leshem and Cohen.
Plans Unveiled for New Royal Air Force Exhibit on Jewish Bomber Command Personnel
As part of the British soccer team Chelsea FC’s “Say No to Antisemitism” campaign, the Chelsea Foundation and the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum have partnered on a project that will highlight Jews who served in the RAF.

The Chelsea Foundation and the museum announced an expansion of the museum’s “Hidden Heroes” project featuring a new Bomber Command exhibition, focusing on the previously little-known stories of Jewish personnel in the RAF during World War II and the vital role they played in defeating the Luftwaffe (Nazi Germany’s air force) in the Battle of Britain.

The new Bomber Command exhibition at the museum’s London and Cosford sites will open in 2023. The partnership is sponsored by Chelsea FC owner and Russian-Israeli businessman Roman Abramovich.

New additions to the “Hidden Heroes” project will include in-gallery screens that explain contributions by Jewish personnel to the Bomber Command. The Avro-Lancaster — a British World War II heavy bomber on display at the museum — will be accompanied by a large augmented reality screen that will show Jewish RAF members sharing personnel stories.

According to the announcement by Chelsea FC, “The partnership will also bring to life the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ Community Outreach Program, which will extend to the wider community through school networks in London, sharing the positive narrative of the Jews fighting for their country and the survival of their race.”
Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience set to open in New Orleans
Officials with the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in New Orleans announced on Wednesday that it will open to the public on May 27.

Originally slated to roll out its exhibits in February 2020, it was delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Exhibits will explore the many ways Jews in the American South influenced and were influenced by the distinct cultural heritage of their communities. The museum covers 13 states and more than 300 years of history, including colonial times, the Civil War, World War II, and the civil rights movement.

"We are excited to announce an opening date after a pause as a result of the pandemic," said museum chairman Jay Tanenbaum. "Jews in the South formed bonds of deep friendship and community-building with their non-Jewish neighbors. These stories show how people of different backgrounds come together to create the American experience. This can be a bridge to a better understanding and future for all of us."

Multimedia exhibits illustrate how Jewish immigrants and succeeding generations adapted to life in the American South. The museum also addresses issues of race and antisemitism, as well as ways that Southern Jews navigated them.
Ambassador Mohamed al Khaja: My first month with the Sabras
The Abraham Accords changed the course of history and established, for the first time, peaceful relations between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel. The agreements ended an era of distance and disengagement and launched a new phase of openness, cooperation, and a common pursuit of peace and progress in our corner of the world. The ways in which all parties benefit from this achievement on the economic, political, and cultural levels are infinite.

As we began to build ties, we, the representatives of the UAE and Israel, discovered that we have a lot in common. When I arrived in Israel, I was surprised to find out how true this is on a personal level as well.

The public in Israel sometimes seems to the outside observer as tough, even sarcastic. A "Sabra", as you say. When I got here, I immediately discovered the softer side of which you speak. Whether it is in a formal meeting or at a falafel stand, you, the citizens of Israel, can make anyone feel at home. The same can be said about the public in the UAE. Tens of thousands of Israelis who have already visited can testify to this.

On one of my first tours in Tel Aviv, I was surprised to see in one of the most central and prestigious locations in the city, right between the Carmel Market and the beautiful beach, an active mosque, hustling and bustling. The ability to live together — Jews, Muslims, Christians, and members of other religions — is an amazing quality of the citizens of Israel that not many know about. And what surprised me even more is how commonplace it is for residents. In the UAE, too, members of all religions live together in peace out of mutual respect, and more than 200 nationalities call the UAE their home.

Israel has another surprising feature that makes it very special: the merging of cultures. Jews came to Israel from all over the world — from Islamic countries, Europe, North and South America. Each community came with its own cultural heritage and absorbed from others so that a new and wonderful society and culture were created.

Israelis genuinely live together as one nation and one people. The UAE also embodies this fusion in its status as the gateway to the Middle East and a country that combines East and West, modern and traditional.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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