Monday, May 10, 2021

From Ian:

Natan Sharansky: A Hero for All Seasons
Sharansky reasons that until there is a fundamental internal transformation of Palestinian Arab society that embraces democracy, there can be no realistic negotiations. He roundly condemns Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as a dictator and a terrorist. He views his successor Mahmoud Abbas as a pale and equally corrupt reflection of his predecessor. Sharansky is under no illusions about Palestinian leaders. He believes that they still are wedded to the goal of Israel's elimination. Sharansky underscores his point by quoting Soviet dissident and creator of the USSR's hydrogen bomb, Andrei Sakharov: "Never trust a government more than it trusts its own people."

Sharansky comes down hard on the Iranian regime as ideologically the most dangerous of enemies, claiming that he is in agreement with prominent Iranian analysts such as, Uri Lubrani, the last Israeli unofficial ambassador to Iran; Dr. Bernard Lewis, the most accomplished western Islamic scholar, and Ron Dermer, the long-serving Israeli ambassador to the US. Sharansky has sharp words of condemnation for Barack Obama; he accuses the former US President of having abandoned Iran's dissidents by his refusal to offer even verbal support for anti-regime demonstrators during their nationwide protests in 2009.

Sharansky... is a fierce critic of the "new" campus-based anti-Semitism, and catalogues several programs that Israeli and some American Jews have developed to lend courage to Jewish-American youths to defend, fight back, and celebrate their Jewish identity in the face of radical Jew-haters as well as self-hating American Jews who serve as a poisonous brew that eventually destroy both the institutions of democracy and the freedoms of individual liberty.
Dermer suggests Israel should prioritize support of evangelicals over US Jews
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer suggested Sunday that Israel should prioritize the “passionate and unequivocal” support of evangelical Christians over that of American Jews, who he said are “disproportionately among our critics.”

“People have to understand that the backbone of Israel’s support in the United States is the evangelical Christians. It’s true because of numbers and also because of their passionate and unequivocal support for Israel,” Dermer said in an onstage interview at a conference organized by Makor Rishon, a news outlet affiliated with the national religious community

The interview marked Dermer’s first public remarks since he ended a marathon seven-year term in January as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, where he became known for having the ear and “brain” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dermer was lauded for using that relationship to play a key role in advancing several pro-Israel decisions taken by the Trump administration. However, the premier and his ambassador were accused of undermining Israel’s traditional bipartisan support in Washington by cozying up to the Republican party where the ideological differences of opinion on Israel are minimal, while alienating Democrats — the party supported by the vast majority of American Jews and whose last president Barak Obama sparred regularly with Jerusalem on a number of key issues.

In a wide-ranging interview, the former envoy was pressed on whether Netanyahu had placed too much emphasis on evangelical Christians in the US.

Dermer dismissed the suggestion and argued that Israel actually hasn’t designated enough time in engaging with evangelical Christians.

Nikki Haley: Ex-UN Ambassador: What Countries Say Behind Closed Doors | Rubin Report

Jerusalem Day: Temple Mount to be closed to Jewish visitors
Temple Mount will not be open for Jewish visitors today, following an assessment led by Chief of Police Kobi Shabtai early this morning.

The decision was made together with the Jerusalem District Commander, Superintendent Doron Turgeman, and all security officials.

"The Israel Police will continue to allow freedom of worship but will not allow riots," read the Police spokesperson statement.

Thousands of police and border police officers have been deployed across Jerusalem and the Old City since early this morning to maintain public security and safety during the events scheduled to take place for Jerusalem Day.

Reacting to the police decision to close Temple Mount to Jewish visitors, Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir said he will not be voting on any laws and regulations in Knesset in the upcoming weeks.

"Violence and bullying have won. The heads of the security establishments are to blame for their any policies which contain harm to the Jews," said Ben-Gvir in a statement. "But more than that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Amir Ohana who have allowed the police to give in (are to blame)."
Jonathan S. Tobin: Ignoring the Lessons of Some Unhappy Anniversaries
Avoiding what happened in May of 1921 was exactly why Jews had immigrated to the territory then known as Palestine. In Europe, especially in the territories of the Russian empire, Jews had been repeatedly victimized by pogroms whipped up by antisemitic agitators. Surely, that would not be their fate in their historic homeland, where, only a few years earlier, Great Britain — then the greatest power on Earth — had pledged to assist them in reconstructing a national home for the Jewish people.

But on May 1, 1921, an anti-Jewish pogrom took place in Jaffa. Similar attacks at Rehovot, Kfar Saba, Petach Tikvah, and Hadera then rippled across the country during the next few days. By the time the violence ended, 47 Jews had been slain and another 146 injured. Among the assailants, some 48 Arabs were killed by Jewish defenders and by British forces that belatedly came to their assistance.

When compared to the oceans of Jewish blood that have been spilled in the following 100 years, both in the land that is now the State of Israel and elsewhere, those four dozen souls lost may not seem like much. But at the time, the scale of the killings was shocking both to the fledgling yishuv and the rest of the Jewish world.

The attacks were important not just because of the lives lost or the way it happened as Arab mobs stormed a hostel in Jaffa and other Jewish outposts. It mattered because it had been inspired by agitators who sought to send a message to the Jews that not only were they not welcome, but that they could be killed with impunity. It was also an attempt to influence the British to betray the promise they had made in the November 1917 Balfour Declaration.

Though they are an essential part of Israel’s pre-state history, the 1921 riots are not widely known or understood by most of those who pontificate about the Middle East. Still, the centennial of what happened in Jaffa deserves recognition — and not merely to keep alive the memory of those early Zionist heroes who fell in that week. Rather, its importance lies in the fact that though so much has changed in the 10 decades since then, Jews and Arabs are still essentially locked into conflict because the same delusion that motivated the agitators of that slaughter is still helping to fuel the ongoing violence and make peace impossible.
Dr.Kedar: How Islam Views the 1967 Liberation of Jerusalem

Jerusalem as the Omphalos of the World
However, in the corresponding passage of the Tosefta Yom ha-Kippurim 2:14, the cosmogonic function of the even shetiyyah is clearly introduced and sets the tone for the comments in the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds, and for later midrashic texts in general. These later ideas were attached to the even shetiyyah by the common midrashic device of etymology. The mysterious word shetiyyah is derived either from the root “to found” (hence “stone of foundation,” i.e., foundation stone of the world), or from the root “to weave” (hence “stone of weaving,” involving comparison of the act of creation to the weaving of cloth). Thus, the even shetiyyah provided a convenient peg on which Palestinian amoraic authorities were able to hang certain speculations about the cosmic and theological centrality of Jerusalem.

Why might these ideas have been stressed in Eretz Israel in amoraic times? Again, we may suspect a political purpose. Rome also regarded itself as the center of the world, the hub of a network of roads leading outward to the edges of its empire. This was symbolized by the milliarium aureum in the Forum, the “golden milestone,” which “in letters of gilt, indicated the mileage from Rome along the trunk roads to key points in the empire.”

The amoraic sages seem to have increasingly regarded Rome and Jerusalem as rivals, particularly after the empire became officially Christian and went over to “heresy.” Jacob Neusner has suggested that this rivalry is a major motif of Genesis Rabbah. The rabbinic story which circulated in amoraic times, that Rome was founded when an angel stuck a reed into the sea and a mud bank grew around it on which the city was built, reads like a parody of the story of the creation of the world from the even shetiyyah in Jerusalem.

The new emphasis on Jerusalem as the navel of the earth may be part of this anti-Roman rhetoric. Alternatively, it may have been intended for an internal, Jewish audience. Isaiah Gafni has argued that the new stress on the importance and centrality of the Land of Israel which he finds in Palestinian amoraic sources reflects an emerging political struggle between the rabbinic schools of Eretz Israel and Babylonia. The religious authorities in Palestine, alarmed by the growing reputation of the Babylonian academies, began to highlight ideas which asserted or implied the primacy of Eretz Israel. Perhaps the tibbur ha-olam and the even shetiyyah traditions were employed as part of this propaganda. If either of these suggestions is correct—and they are not mutually exclusive—then, once again, for all its mythological color, the assertion that Jerusalem is the navel of the earth is intended, as in Jubilees, primarily to serve political ends.
The Jerusalem Quartet
Among the greatest, and surely the weirdest, 20th-century spy novels, written by a former CIA Mideast case officer and centered on the early history of the State of Israel, is hiding in plain sight

As the super spy he is, Yossi sees all these approaches coming before the offer is made. The tricky thing about accepting a Syrian offer is that the Syrians use spy work as a cover for smuggling and other criminal enterprises. In classic fashion, Tajar and Yossi confer and decide to keep Halim incorruptible— “an eccentricity in Damascus.” Halim’s well-crafted cover personality is a patriotic but innocent Syrian, astute at commerce but lacking in the cunning required for espionage. This buys him breathing room inside Syria, where he has so completely become Halim that in his increasingly frequent discussions with Tajar about what will happen when the operation ends, he cannot face the idea of returning to Israel, where he has a wife and soldier son—and the prospect of a grandchild.

In a wonderfully drawn instance of the classic clash of intelligence with policymaking, Whittemore pits Yossi and Tajar against Israeli politicians’ early-1980s opening to the Lebanese Phalange, led by Bashir Gemayel, here known as Naji. Yossi argues against the fantasy of an Israel-Lebanese peace treaty based on an alliance with the Naji-led Lebanese warlords, citing the limitless brutality of the Syrian Baath, which is on the verge of murdering Naji. Jerusalem, high on the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon, ignores its precious intelligence resources and lives to regret it.

Whittemore spares Yossi/Halim the ghastly real-life fate of Cohen/Thabit, but otherwise, his rendering of the life of an Israeli deep-cover officer in enemy territory is mind-blowingly accurate. Cohen’s own profile has remained high lately, with the Netflix series The Spy and Sacha Baron Cohen’s superlative interpretation of Cohen, and the evergreen rumors that Israeli-Syrian diplomacy might bring about the repatriation of Cohen’s remains.

Even le Carré at his best never hit the altitudes Whittemore explores in Jericho Mosaic. There is a reason Jericho is in the title—Yossi’s ex-wife, son, future daughter-in-law, the exiled Bell, and an assortment of others live in the ancient village, and (spoiler alert) Yossi himself eventually turns up there. But the rendering of the death-defying tension of Israel’s double-triple agent in Damascus, marked from birth with triumph and doom, is what makes Jericho Mosaic a spy classic.

Jericho Mosaic was published in 1987 and would be Whittemore’s last book before he died of prostate cancer eight years later. He had struggled to finish another vast, eccentric novel titled Sister Sally and Billy the Kid, which Karasik, with whom he had by then had a brief affair, edited heavily and cut drastically for Wallace to place, but the sale never happened. At present, the only reliable way of finding the Quartet novels is via e-books. Fittingly, one of the best espionage novels ever written remains elusive but operational, hiding in plain sight.
To mark Jerusalem Day, ancient city’s ‘unique’ tech scene is celebrated in video
Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Old City on the eve of Jerusalem Day, May 09, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

To mark Jerusalem Day, a national holiday on which Israel celebrates the reunification of East and West Jerusalem 54 years ago, a coalition of nonprofit organizations and government agencies has created a series of videos that highlight the “unique technological ecosystem” that developed over the years in the capital of Israel.

The videos highlight some of the entrepreneurs and the ventures that operate in the city, underlining how Jerusalem’s cultural diversity and the sense of community that permeate one of the oldest cities in the world also help make it the home of cutting-edge self-driving technology, biotechnology and multinational R&D centers.

The initiative was set up by Start-Up Nation Central, a nonprofit organization that seeks to boost the nation’s tech ecosystem, which teamed up with the Jerusalem Foundation, Jerusalem Development Authority, and the Ministry for Jerusalem and Heritage.

Celebrations of Jerusalem Day this year have been marred by major clashes at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, as police closed it to Jewish visitors amid clashes between law enforcement and Palestinian rioters inside the site considered holy by both Jews and Muslims. Wendy Singer, executive director of Start-Up Nation Central (Miri Davidovitz)

“Jerusalem’s tech sector has grown dramatically in the past decade,” said Wendy Singer, executive director of Start-Up Nation Central, in a statement.

Khaled Abu Toameh: For Some Arabs, Preventing Peace with Israel Is More Important Than Combating Coronavirus
The project sounds like the type of assistance that Jordanian women need, especially during this difficult period of the economic and health crises in their country.

What particularly irritated the anti-normalization activists and groups in Jordan was that some of the Jordanian women appeared in a video praising the project and talking about how happy they were to join forces with their Israeli neighbors on the other side of the border.

This Jordanian writer [Mohammed Sweidan] has taken it upon himself to be the spokesman for all women in his country. He claims to have some special knowledge of their actual intentions. Notably, he did not even bother to contact the Jordanian women to ask them about their attitude toward the joint project with the Israeli women.

These [Arab] leaders and media have filled the Arab people with so much hate against Israel that participating in a positive, productive endeavor becomes a major crime.

As long as such incitement against Israel in the Arab world continues, any talk about peace will be a pipe dream with hopes going up in smoke.
HRW exploits human tragedy to further its political agenda - opinion
HRW’s concern is not the violation of Palestinian human rights, but rather the autonomy and the very existence of a Jewish state. Indeed, in its report, HRW denies Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state and reduces all security policies to “demographic objectives.”

HRW’s unfounded accusations of apartheid are not only vitriolic; they are also demonstrably false. Israel is a vibrant and diverse society which affords full rights to its minorities. Arab, Muslim and Christian citizens can be found in the highest echelons of society. We see them in the High Court, in senior military positions, as members of parliament and as popular sports and entertainment figures. To characterize such a society as apartheid is not only inaccurate, but also cheapens the experiences of those who have lived under real apartheid regimes.

Let’s be clear. Those who truly want a better future for the people of this region and to put an end to human rights abuses like those which Hamas inflicts on Gaza, would do well to rise above ideological and personal attacks and focus on what really matters. By choosing instead to erase the victims of terror and blame Israel for the region’s tragedies and injustices, the officials of HRW become part of the problem, not part of the solution. We must all stand up and speak out against such misinformation, false accusations and demonization.
Human Rights Watch did a one-sided takedown of Israel - opinion
That this new report from such a high-profile nonprofit, bemoaning the absence of Israeli-Palestinian peace and denouncing Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians, appears now is more than a little ironic when one takes even a cursory look at recent developments on the Palestinian side.

Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected in 2005 to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, has refused to cede power ever since. After calling for elections this spring, he just canceled them out of fears that Hamas would win the parliamentary elections and perhaps even the presidency.

While refusing to give Palestinians the right to choose their leaders, the PA continues to celebrate terrorism against Israelis. On PA TV recently, a host greeted “one of the outstanding people of our nation” – terrorist Rushdi Abu Mokh, who had just completed a 35-year sentence for murdering an Israeli soldier – with “pride, glory, dignity and elation, but with humility as well.”

In March, a top Abbas adviser nonsensically told Palestine TV that Theodor Herzl, founder of the modern Zionist movement, said of those in Palestine in the early 20th century, “We must exterminate them. We must throw them in the deserts or in the jungles of Africa, and let wild beasts devour them.”

Nor have the terrorists of Hamas, who rule Gaza with an even harsher hand, moderated their views. In late April, Khaled Mash’al, who runs the Hamas Diaspora Office, told Al-Aqsa TV that those who “normalize” relations with Israel have “lost their conscience and their sensibility” and amount to “worthless scum.”

So, across the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian leaders severely restrict the rights of Palestinians while nourishing the anti-Israeli hatred on the ground that, more than anything else, makes Israeli-Palestinian peace elusive.

Not that anyone would learn any of that by reading this shockingly one-sided report of Human Rights Watch.
Why Human Rights Watch's apartheid accusation is incorrect - opinion
This is why the Palestinian population in areas A and B fall under a different set of laws than the Israeli civilians in Area C. That said, if HRW suggests one civil law for all, it would mean a de facto annexation. As for freedom of movement; the restrictions are solely in place out of security considerations and not based on any racial discrimination.

It would be ludicrous to claim otherwise since 20% of Israel’s population is in fact Arab and are free to move anywhere they please. And to completely expose the hollowness of the accusation of apartheid: Jews and Arabs alike are able to visit the same restaurants and shops in area C, exactly like anywhere in Israel.

Moreover, the HRW uses Israel’s basic law of The Nation-State Law to strengthen the apartheid accusation. Yet by invoking The Nation-State Law, it is, on the contrary, proving once again that the actual aim is to delegitimize and ultimately abolish the state of Israel in its entirety. Otherwise why mention it? Would the Palestinians in the territories obtain more rights if Israel’s nation state law is removed? The Nation-State Law was passed as Israel’s sole law that guarantees the Jewish character of the state of Israel. The Hebrew language, the anthem and its flag are subsequently reinforced by law which enact the purpose of the establishment of a Jewish state.

Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that this law does not abolish nor does it contradict any of the existing basic laws ensuring minority rights and equality before the law. Arabs still reside on Israel’s Supreme Court and obtain seats in Knesset, study at Israel’s universities, exercise any profession they like and pray at the numerous mosques all across the state of Israel.

Although it is widely considered among moderate voices that the HRW has taken a leap into the unknown with a report that is slanderous at best, it is wrong to assume that the truth will prevail. HRW knows all too well that it has a strong backing, as its authors have watched the UN and its multiple bodies single out Israel systematically for targeting.

Therefore, refuting the 200 pages of the HRW report by coming forward with the truth, will not suffice. There is a whole system in place on the international platform to delegitimize the state of Israel by standards applied solely to Israel. HRW has just taken it a step further.
Critical Race Theory and the ‘Hyper-White’ Jew
Why does current social justice theory target Jews?

According to Kendi, the leading scholar of antiracism, “racial inequity is evidence of racist policy,” and “racial inequity over a certain threshold” should be “unconstitutional.” This obviously presents a particular problem for Jews, who represent roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population. A much higher proportion of Jews than non-Jews attend college. Jews represent an outsize share of winners of major awards, like Nobel prizes. As of 2020, seven of the 20 wealthiest Americans were Jewish. In virtually every major American industry and institution, Jews hold leadership roles disproportionate to their overall demographic numbers.

American Jews have generally looked upon Jewish success in the United States as evidence of the country’s fundamental (if far from fully realized) commitment to the principles of tolerance, fair play, and recognition of individual merit. But, according to critical social justice ideology, that explanation is not just false. It’s racist. Jewish success can be explained only by Jewish collusion with white supremacy.

Again, this is no accident. Critical social justice is not an extension of liberal or progressive politics, or even a critique of such politics. It is, as its more sophisticated proponents readily admit, a form of anti-liberalism. In Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic explain that “unlike traditional civil rights, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.” Concepts like the rule of law, merit, reason, knowledge, and even truth are seen as fictions constructed by the “white cisheteropatriarchy” that are used to perpetuate injustices against BIPOC groups (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).

Arguments against this view are rejected out of hand. Logical analysis — or any independent thinking that questions the theory’s pivotal presuppositions — is evidence that the questioner is ideologically suspect and requires either education or ostracism. In fact, logic is itself seen as a tool of white supremacy, thereby invalidating it as a legitimate way of making a case. Perhaps this is how people who subscribe to critical social justice ideology can be blind to the inherent antisemitism within it. They must adopt the doctrine as a belief system rather than doing the critical thinking necessary to work through its internal logic.

Simply put, the “critical social justice” movement, informed by critical theory, represents an assault not just on core concepts of liberal democracy, but also on the epistemology that undergirds it. That’s something that ought to concern anyone, Jewish or not, who cares deeply for freedom and reason. And it should also concern everyone who wants to see true social justice succeed.
Forcing Jewish Students to Malign and Injure Israel at Pomona College
As more evidence that maligning and seeking to weaken and destroy Israel is still common behavior on American college campuses, the student government of Pomona College successfully pushed through a resolution that would compel student clubs to participate in a boycott of targeted companies doing business with Israel. Claremont Colleges Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Claremont Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) sponsored the odious bill and the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) passed the resolution aimed at “divesting all ASPC funds from companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine, and banning future use of funds towards such companies.”

The resolution, revealingly named “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine,” was not unique in targeting the Jewish state for divestment and boycott; other campuses have pushed through resolutions that call on their respective university administrations to divest from holdings in companies that do business with Israel or which somehow are “complicit in the occupation of Palestine.” When those student efforts to push for divestment are passed, university administrators have regularly rejected the demands, claiming, rightly, that such boycotts and targeted divestment are inconsistent with university policies and moral behavior by focusing solely on Israel.

The Pomona divestment bill, however, took the novel and troubling step of focusing the divestment on student funds for the college’s various student organizations, thereby sidestepping the inconvenient step of convincing administrators that seeking to punish Israel, and Israel alone, is a sound or reasonable policy in the first place.

This bill put the divestment activities in the hands of the students themselves so that the ASPC “will change its internal spending habits . . . by stopping . . . spending on items that knowingly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine or contributes to any companies on the . . . United Nations list . . . [of] companies involved in the creation of illegal Israeli settlements ‘in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.’”
Israel Hating Mob Deprives Jews of their Human Rights to Peacefully Protest
This afternoon there was a late-notice anti-Israel demo in Whitehall opposite Downing Street, to protest about Sheikh Jarrah/Al Aqsa. It was organised by Palestinian Forum in Britain.

The evictions in Sheikh Jarrah are perfectly legal. And see Professor Avi Bell here. And the reason Israel’s security forces had to enter the Mosque was to arrest violent Islamist criminals incited by Hamas. Regrettably the lies have been fuelled by Labour politicians: Starmer, Corbyn, Jonathan Ashworth, Wayne David, Zarah Sultana, Naz Shah, Richard Burgon, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Apsana Begum – for example. And shamefully the Jewish Labour Movement. And the Teachers’ Union. And War On Want and the other Usual Suspects. And Claudia Webbe (suspended from Labour). And Humza Yousaf of the Scottish Cabinet.

So four of us countered the mostly Islamic Israel Haters (around 250) in Whitehall (Ramadan is a time of peak militancy). Of course the organisers hadn’t informed the Police about their demo – maybe because they knew the Police would have put Covid restrictions on it. So there were only two police there when we arrived. We got our Israel flags out but were soon (me and Martin Hizer) attacked by the Haters. My pole was broken and stolen and my flag was stolen. Video here (mine) and here (PressTV) and here (by the great Mel Gharial). And here (owner unknown, pl contact me for crediting).

The Police escorted us away. As we were walking we saw vanloads of police arriving.

How appalling that Islamics in the UK can deprive Jews of their human rights to peacefully protest.

Independent Investigation: Supposed Zionist Pressure Not Why U. Toronto Refused To Hire Anti-Israel Academic Valentina Azarova
Back in November 2020, we covered the case of Valentina Azarova, a Germany-based “human rights scholar” who was denied the directorship of the University of Toronto School of Law International Human Rights Program (IHRP). Outraged, her supporters complained that a Jewish alumnus and donor—a sitting Tax Court judge ill-disposed to Azarova’s work on “Israel’s occupation of Palestine”—prevented her hire via behind-the-scenes pressure. Now, an independent investigation has disproven this claim, but Azarova’s advocates are sticking to—and relentlessly spreading—their original, false narrative.

Conclusion: Zionist “Meddling”? Or anti-Zionist Political Warfare?
Ultimately, the Azarova affair (as perceptive readers might have gathered) isn’t really a case about academic autonomy or even of free speech. Instead, like so many others involving Israel on the college campus, it’s a case about bigotry, arrogance, and the propensity of intellectuals to self-delusion.

From the outset, Azarova’s champions have appeared all too willing to trumpet an explanation for her misfortune that would not feel out of place were it straight out of the pages of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Though they’ve clearly worked hard (as most BDS-ers often do) to dress up their charges in the ostensibly fair-minded language of pluralism and human rights, the hateful premise of their accusations remains obvious:

A powerful, wealthy Jew sneakily used money as leverage in his conspiratorial plot to engineer the world to his liking. Judge Spiro sought, of course, to prevent one of the noble, courageous few who speak truth to power from further revealing the sinister reality of his own people—those dastardly Israelis—and their oppressive behavior. Like so many weak-willed peons before him, Dean Iacobacci submitted to the lure of Jewish wealth and, when discovered, haphazardly tried to construct a cover-up. Luckily, wise defenders of morality from all over the world have risen to stand in solidarity with the brilliant Valentina Azarova—a faultless victim of Jewish Zionist manipulation—and hold the corrupt accountable to the principles of freedom and justice.

It’s a tired, familiar tale, but Azarova’s advocates have refused to consider any other possibility.

It can’t possibly be that, given their own political ideations, the unanimously pro-Azarova advisory selection committee members may have been predisposed in her favor, independent of UT’s selection criteria. It can’t possibly be that Judge Spiro merely inquired off-handedly without any intention of exerting pressure on the school (as Justice Cromwell found). It can’t possibly be that Azarova’s own repeated request “for summers off”—atypical for the post she sought—indicated to Dean Iacobucci that she didn’t quite understand what the job would entail (as Justice Cromwell noted). Nor can it possibly be that there was an accidental miscommunication that led Azarova to mistakenly assume she’d officially snagged the position—or that the timing of her work availability had always been a major factor. No, it must be that the rich Jew had tried to silence “talk of Palestine”.
PMW: PMW demands Facebook stop being a tool for terror
In addition, PMW has reported on numerous examples of the Fatah Facebook page being used to promote violence in the last few weeks. Fatah’s continued use of Facebook to spread incitement and direct calls to violence is a clear breach of Facebook’s Community Guidelines. [ See more examples at]

During this volatile time, PMW has demanded that Facebook stop being a willing partner in the PA terror and violence promotion. If Facebook chooses to allow these terror promotion pages to function, Facebook will be morally and ethically responsible for the continued violence. In addition, PMW warned Facebook:
“If you fail to act as the violence rages and as Fatah and its leaders continue to abuse the Facebook platform to spread violence, we will have no choice but to submit an official complaint to the Israeli police against Facebook in general and key personnel, in particular, for the aiding and abetting the violence.

We expect your quick and decisive response.” [PMW Letter, May 9, 2021]

If Facebook chooses to continue to be a platform for terror promotion, PMW will be submitting complaints to the Israeli police, against the organization and its staff based in Israel.
BBC corrects inaccurate presentation of Oslo Accords term
As noted here recently, a BBC report concerning Mahmoud Abbas’ indefinite postponement of elections (“Palestinian elections: Abbas postpones rare polls”, 30th April 2021) informed readers that:
“…under a previous agreement with Israel governing Palestinian voting rights in the city, only up to 6,300 could vote there in Israeli-designated post offices. In the last election, the remainder were allowed to cast their vote so long as it was outside the city boundaries.”

CAMERA UK submitted a complaint pointing out that Article IV of Annex II of that “previous agreement” – the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II) – shows that rather than being “Israeli-designated”, those post offices were in fact specifically named in the agreement signed by the PLO. We also pointed out that the number 6,300 does not appear in that agreement and that the Oslo Accords relate to elections for Palestinian Authority institutions whereas Abbas’ presidential decree ordering the 2021 elections was issued two days after his initiation of a change to the law “stating that this is no longer an election for the Palestinian Authority but for the State of Palestine, that is, for the President and the Legislative Council of the State of Palestine”.

On May 7th we received a response in which we learn that the BBC considers misrepresentation of part of the Oslo Accords “a technicality”.
Jonathan Tobin on Israel's Response to Poland's Holocaust Revisionism
Jonathan Tobin, editor-in-chief of the Jewish News Syndicate, spoke to an April 16 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about the Republic of Poland's controversial revisionist history law and the Israeli/Jewish response to it.

In 2018 the Republic of Poland passed a law that made it a crime to accuse Poland or the Polish people of complicity in the Holocaust. As a result, "anybody who speaks of antisemitism or anti-Jewish violence among Poles can be liable to be prosecuted."

Most recently, two Polish historians of the Holocaust, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, were found guilty of defamation for publishing an account of a Polish mayor who allegedly betrayed a group of Jews to the Nazis, resulting in their deaths. A March 2021 New Yorker article discussing their case has reignited debate about historical revisionism in Poland.

At the time Germany invaded, antisemitism in Poland "was deeply embedded in the political culture, and also unfortunately in the religious culture as the Catholic church at that time was stuck in ... an ancient mindset of hatred towards the Jews." The late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, whose family was killed by Polish collaborators, famously remarked that "the Poles suckled antisemitism with their mother's milk."
Actor Josh Peck Bombarded With ‘Free Palestine’ Comments on ‘Shabbat Shalom’ Instagram Post With Son
An Instagram post uploaded by Jewish actor Josh Peck on Friday was flooded with pro-Palestinian comments, including some that called for the destruction of Israel.

The 34-year-old former Nickelodeon star, best known for his starring role in “Drake & Josh,” posted a picture of himself with his son Max wishing everyone “Shabbat shalom,” each wearing a kippah. While many in the comments section responded with the same well wishes, others posted a series of Palestinian flag emojis and messages such as “Leave palestine alone,” “#freepalestine” and “Israel must be destroyed.”

The wave of responses was first reported by

Peck has not been shy about his Jewish heritage on social media. He’s previously shared photos of him celebrating Hanukkah and Passover, and said at a 2016 event “I’m proud to be Jewish.” He had a self-described “ultra-Reform” bar mitzvah and said during an interview “You inherently feel Jewish no matter what. Where I draw my spirituality from is still being decided. But culturally I feel it’s very much a part of my core.”
Agtech firm discovers markers to make tomatoes resistant to dread virus
Israeli ag-tech firm TomaTech, Ltd. said Monday that it has made a “major advancement” in the fight against a tomato virus that causes billions of dollars’ worth of damage to the fruit.

The company, which combines molecular technology with breeding techniques to create new and resistant varieties of tomatoes, said it has identified DNA markers in the tomato that can elicit resistance to the tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV).

The discovery will accelerate the breeding and commercialization of high-resistance non-GMO tomato varieties, the firm said in a statement. TomaTech has filed a provisional patent for these markers, the company said.

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) was first seen in Israel and Jordan in 2014 and has spread rapidly since. The main hosts of the plant virus are tomatoes and peppers. The virus causes distortion of leaves, and brown wrinkly spots on the fruit. Outbreaks can be sharp and can cause the damaged fruit to be unmarketable.

The discovery of the DNA markers follows “years of intensive R&D efforts,” said Ofer Ben Zvi, the CEO of TomaTech. “This discovery will allow us to rapidly develop a complete portfolio of resistant tomatoes varieties for global introduction and will benefit the growers and the entire value chain, providing a consistent supply chain while lowering production costs.”

The ToBRFV virus has been “inflicting havoc” on indoor tomato plantations globally, affecting a broad spectrum of tomatoes, from sweet cherry lines to full-sized beefsteak tomatoes, the company said. Outbreaks have overwhelmed greenhouses across the North America, Europe, and the Middle East and are spreading to other regions.
Intel CEO Announces $10 Billion Chip Plant in Israel

What do ancient coins tell us about Bar Kochba and the Omer period?
What do ancient coins tell us about the Omer period and the time of the Bar-Kochba revolt, when the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot became associated with death and mourning?

According to the Bible, the seven weeks between the two holidays referred to as ‘omer’ – a unit of measure which was used to quantify the amount of produce to offer as a sacrifice to God – was not meant to carry any specific connotation other than its agricultural meaning.

“And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering – the day after the sabbath – you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: you must count until the day after the seventh week – fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the Lord,” reads the 23rd chapter of Leviticus (verses 14-15).

Later on, however, in the decades after the destruction of Jerusalem’s Second Temple at the hands of the Romans in 70 CE, calamity struck; according to the Jewish tradition, during the counting of the omer, some 24,000 students of the great Jewish sage, Rabbi Akiva died, decimated by a plague or killed by the Roman forces during the rebellion led by Simon Bar-Kochba (132-135 CE).

A window into that period and the life in the land of Israel during those years can be opened today through an unexpected means: the ancient coins minted by the rebels.

“Coins were considered an expression of sovereignty,” Donald T. Ariel, head of the Coin Department at the Antiquities Authority (IAI), told The Jerusalem Post. “Minting coins meant to be free.”
Holocaust survivor whose photos documented the partisan resistance dies
Faye Schulman, a Holocaust survivor who lost most of her family to the Nazis, joined a group of partisan fighters, and documented their work in photographs, died on April 24, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

She was 101 years old.

Schulman’s photographs often depicted the smiling faces of young partisan fighters, with Schulman at times at the center in a stylish leopard print coat. Michael Berkowitz, a professor of Jewish history at University College London, told the Post that her photos were “extremely important in documenting the history of the resistance.”

Schulman was born in Lenin, Poland, a town that bordered the Soviet Union. Her family was killed in 1942 when the Nazis liquidated the ghetto there, marching most of the town’s Jews to trenches outside the town and shooting them. Schulman was saved due to her occupation — she was put to work photographing Nazi officials and developing prints for records.

She joined the partisans after escaping to the forests and became a nurse to wounded partisan soldiers. She developed her photographs by night.

She was liberated by Soviet troops in 1944 and later that year married a fellow Jewish member of the partisans, Morris Schulman. They lived in a German displaced persons camp after the war until moving to Canada in 1948, where Schulman lived until her death.

In 1995, Schulman published a book, “A Partisan’s Memoir: Woman of the Holocaust,” that included many of her photographs.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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