Tuesday, May 25, 2021

From Ian:

Bret Stephens: Anti-Zionism Isn’t Anti-Semitism? Someone Didn’t Get the Memo.
In this storm of hate, political leaders such as Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain have issued appropriate statements of condemnation. On CNN, correspondent Bianna Golodryga called out the anti-Semitism of Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, when he cited “deep pockets” and “control [of] media” in terms of Israel’s influence on public opinion. Good for her.

But if there’s been a massive online campaign of progressive allyship with Jews, I’ve missed it. If corporate executives have sent out workplace memos expressing concern for the safety of Jewish employees, I’ve missed it. If academic associations have issued public letters denouncing the use of anti-Semitic tropes by pro-Palestinian activists, I’ve missed them.

It’s a curious silence. In the land of inclusiveness, Jews are denied inclusion.

One response to the attacks that I have seen coming from the left is that attacks on Jews are wrong because an American or British or German Jew should not be held responsible for the actions of the state of Israel. That’s true, and fine as far as it goes.

But it doesn’t go far enough. Would the assaults in Los Angeles and New York have been more justifiable if the victims had been Israeli citizens — even, say, Israeli diplomats? Is hatred of an entire country and threats or violence to its people acceptable as long as the hate is untainted by some older prejudice?


Ayaan Hirsi Ali: How influencers have legitimised anti-Semitism
Indeed, Jewish communities across the world are already experiencing the fall-out from a new wave of anti-Semitism that has been legitimised by celebrity activists. This month, for example, has also seen the rise of a second frequently misunderstood slogan: a version of “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Mohammed will return”, which dates back to the massacre of the Jews by Muhammad and his army in Khaybar, northern Arabia, in the 7th century.

Today, it remains a battle-cry used by Muslims when attacking Jews or Israelis; in the past month alone, it has been used not only in Istanbul, Casablanca, Kuwait City, Doha and Karachi, but in western Europe, too: in Utrecht, Warsaw, Vienna, Rome, Munster, London, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam.

The resurgence of anti-Semitism Europe, in many ways, is unsurprising; it has been simmering under the surface for over a decade. Yet despite a number of terrible anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, America, by comparison, has felt relatively immune — immune, that is, until now. Indeed, I have friends who moved to the US from Europe a decade ago to escape anti-Semitism. This month, for the first time, they are now questioning whether it is safe to walk to synagogue or wear their kippahs.

And is it really so hard to see why? Last Saturday, a man was arrested for attacking Jewish diners outside a restaurant in Los Angeles “on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon”. Two days earlier, a Jewish man, Joseph Borgen, was attacked by a group of pro-Palestinian activists in New York City’s Times Square. They reportedly beat him with a crutch, sprayed him with mace, called him a “dirty Jew” and explained that “Hamas is going to kill all of you”. Remarkably, a photo of one of the men accused of assaulting Borgen, Waseem Awawdeh, recently appeared in a now-deleted Instagram photo posted by Bella Hadid from a pro-Palestinian protest.

Yet what I found most disturbing was how Awawdeh’s comments following the attack mirrored those of Mohammed Bouyeri’s after he killed Theo van Gogh. Just as Bouyeri refused to apologise, Awawdeh reportedly proclaimed from his jail cell: “If I could do it again, I would do it again.” A video has since been released, purporting to show Awawdeh leaving prison on bail; his friends welcome him outside, put him on their shoulders and proclaim that he was a “hero”.

And herein lies the problem: when such odious acts as Awawdeh’s can be represented as heroism, you suddenly see how easy it is for false narratives to turn into deadly fantasies.
WSJ: The Rise of Woke Anti-Semitism
There's something especially unsettling about the newest eruption of the oldest hatred - anti-Semitism. We live in an age of heightened awareness of ethnic and racial victimhood, but in the quarter-century the FBI has kept records, hate crimes against blacks have declined by more than a third between 1996 and 2019. By contrast, the number of anti-Semitic crimes - which are, proportionate to the share of Jews in the population, much more frequent than anti-black crime - has scarcely changed.

In the past, most of the anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. have been the product of the usual depraved minds: white supremacists or sick individuals deciding to take out their pathologies on the group most often blamed for society's flaws. But mostly they haven't occurred as the kind of street-level response to geopolitical events that is too common among political activists in Europe. This latest outbreak, however, has come about in direct response to the recent conflict in Gaza.

The wider political and cultural environment is what makes this outbreak of anti-Semitism especially unsettling. The latest conflict in the Middle East has been made to fit the binary classification of the human race into oppressor and victim on the basis of identity. The wide penetration of this notion into the consciousness and discourse of prominent elected figures is new.


Walter Russell Mead: Hatred of Jews Hardens Israel's Resolve
The Gaza war spilled into America last week as some pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas demonstrators crossed the line separating protest from mob violence in several U.S. cities. Mobs visited widespread violence on random Jews, or in some cases "Jewish-looking" non-Jews.

The core insight that drove Theodor Herzl, architect of the Zionist movement, was that though the ideals of the liberal enlightenment were beautiful and appealing, European Jews would perish horribly if they entrusted their fate to them. Many Israelis believe from familial and personal experience that Herzl got it right.

Rising violence against Jews in the UK, Germany and France has been winning Herzl new converts. Last week's attacks likely caused some U.S. Jews to wonder, perhaps for the first time, if Herzl had a point.

Those who challenge the place of Jews in America challenge the basis of America itself. Jew-hatred aims to destroy the beliefs that allow our diverse population to live in peace and that make our democracy work. Jew-hatred is the implacable enemy of the American way.

Anti-Semitism did more than fill Israel with persecuted Jews. The constant threat of destruction by hostile neighbors welded Israeli immigrants into a single people. It forced Israel to build its military and intelligence capabilities.

Anti-Semites also made Israel tough. Missiles from Gaza, missiles from Lebanon, and unceasing incitements to genocide from Iranian mullahs busily enriching uranium all promote the idea among Israelis that their enemies are implacable and irrational and can be deterred only through strength.


‘Calling a truce with left-wing antisemitism’: The Case Against the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism
The IHRA definition should not be replaced with the JDA.

JDA’s express purpose is to ‘serve as a tool to identify, confront and raise awareness about antisemitism’. Comparing it with IHRA, which it is explicitly designed to replace (FAQ), suggests that the effect of adopting it in place of IHRA would not be to assist the fight against antisemitism. Like IHRA, it addresses ‘classical’ antisemitism and Holocaust denial. But these points of similarity cannot point to the likely effect of substituting JDA for IHRA. Only the differences can do that. And what they show plainly is that where antisemitism cloaked in political discourse is concerned, it will not serve as ‘a tool to identify, confront and raise awareness about antisemitism’, but as a tool to legitimise anti-Israel and anti-Zionist speech, whether or not it is antisemitic in purpose or in effect. The fact that it devotes 300 words to criticism of Israel/Zionism it says is not prima facie antisemitic (paras. 11-15) versus 15 words to criticism of Israel/Zionism it says is prima facie antisemitic (para. 6), is further evidence that this is what the document is designed to do.

The JDA cannot even manage to be straight about its intentions in relation to IHRA. On the one hand, ‘Institutions that have already adopted the IHRA Definition can use our text as a tool for interpreting it’ (Preamble); on the other hand, ‘if an organization has formally adopted the IHRA Definition it can use the JDA as a corrective to overcome the shortcomings of the IHRA Definition’ (FAQ). Yet – among its replications of IHRA, the JDA breaks with it on the fundamental question of ‘double standards’ and implicitly on the widespread and vile ‘Zionist / Nazi trope’ too. No question of ‘correction’ – still less, ‘interpretation’ – really arises. This is weasel language to conceal the extent of the gap between the two documents.

The JDA is evasive when it should be straightforward; it is opaque when it should be clear; it equivocates when it should be definite. It is both prolix and incomplete. It is deformed by its implicit politics: calling a truce with left wing antisemitism in the interests of unity against the right.[22] It is self-contradictory, it does not achieve what it says it sets out to do, it will leave its readers confused and uncertain about particular instances, and thus further demoralise Jews, while giving comfort to their antisemitic enemies.


Brendan O'Neill: We need to talk about those journalists who praised Hitler
However, we have got to be crystal clear about how perverse this situation is. Both the BBC and CNN, the self-styled moral consciences of the West’s right-thinking set, had reporters who relatively recently, or very recently, expressed support for Hitler. Just think about that. This should alarm us. It should alert us to how mainstream anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism has become.

What is most striking is the relative lack of fuss and fury these cases have generated. Yes, there has been a lot of commentary, some of it rightly angry. But generally it feels muted. This scandal hasn’t trended in the way one might expect. The cancel-culture mobs of the radical left have been especially schtum. The kind of people who will spend days and days agitating for the sacking of someone who made a joke about ‘trannies’ 20 years ago have been strikingly quiet about mainstream reporters who PRAISED ADOLF HITLER.

Once again we can see the double standard that is always deployed in relation to anti-Jewish hatred. Imagine if it was discovered that a reporter for the Daily Telegraph had tweeted approvingly of a genocide against black people. Or if a writer for the Wall Street Journal was unveiled as a loather of Muslims who fantasised about their removal from the face of the Earth. Do you think that kind of thing would have dropped down the concern-o-meter as speedily as these Hitler tweets have? Of course it wouldn’t. It would be obsessed over for days – weeks. It would be held up as proof of the moral rot at the heart of the right. But when it comes to Jews, it’s always a different story. Nothing to see here. It was only a bit of praise for Adolf Hitler. Move along.

The Hitler tweets controversy hasn’t only raised serious questions about the BBC and CNN. It also raises the question of why racial hatred against Jews doesn’t bother the woke set anywhere near as much as other forms of racial hatred do. These are the kind of people who are hyper-sensitive to prejudicial speech, who see racism and Islamophobia and transphobia everywhere, and who will furiously cancel anyone who fails to use all the correct identitarian terminology. Yet when journalists at two of the top broadcasters are revealed to have spoken favourably about the man responsible for the most horrific racial crime in history, they look the other way. That demands an explanation.
After CNN and BBC staffers praise Hitler, Tom Gross debates media bias with ex-AP Mideast editor
After CNN this week fired its contributor for tweeting “The world today needs a Hitler,” the AP fired a staffer for her extreme anti-Israel activism, and the BBC investigates its reporter for saying “Hitler was right,” Tom Gross debates the role of the media in covering Israel with Dan Perry (the former Middle East bureau chief of the Associated Press, and the former chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem). Recorded live 9.30 pm, May 24, 2021.


The Cowardice of Chuck Schumer
That’s Schumer’s tweet. It’s the equivalent of a “Now that’s not nice” finger wag at a 5-year-old who just called his younger sister a doody-head. That’s the best he could muster up? He sits back while the knobhead squad members throw out smears about Israel on a daily basis, and he says nothing.

And the reason why? He’s terrified of AOC. You see, Schumer is up for reelection in 2022. Now, he’s not scared of any Republican challenger because a Republican has no chance to beat him. It’s likely his “opponent” will be some Trumper type who will rely on low primary turnout and the fact that Schumer won in 2016 with 71% of the vote to grab the nomination and collect money from people who’d rather not burn it in their fireplace.

AOC is not as smart as she thinks she is, but she is politically savvy. I have my doubts as to whether or not she’ll challenge Schumer for his seat. Schumer’s a weasel, but you don’t get to be Majority Leader without knowing how to sidestep some landmines. Still, Schumer is afraid of her, as is Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi, another longtime proud supporter of Israel, has remained silent as the far-left of her caucus goes off on Israel and stokes anger against Jews here at home.

But Schumer is distinct from Pelosi has always made sure to boast of his support for Israel and Jews here in the United States, making sense since he represents the state with the largest Jewish population in America. That makes his actions, or lack thereof, that much more appalling.

Calling Israel an “apartheid state” or to claim they’re engaging in “ethnic cleansing” is not “criticism” of Israel — a common defense used by people to give cover to their disdain for Jews and Israel (and no, there is no distinction between anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism in my view). And Schumer remains silent. Hell, even Bernie Sanders managed to burp out that Democrats should “tone down the rhetoric.”

But Sanders isn’t facing a possible primary challenge.

It’s relatively easy to write, “Sooner or later, Schumer will have to say something.”

He doesn’t. And he won’t. At least not until he secures the Democratic nomination for the Senate race in 2022. Then he might feel more empowered to speak out.

Just like a weasel.


Actor Mark Ruffalo Apologizes for Accusing Israel of Genocide: ‘It’s Inflammatory and Disrespectful’
American actor Mark Ruffalo said on Monday he is sorry for wrongfully accusing Israel of genocide.

“I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing ‘genocide,'” the 53-year-old wrote in a Twitter post. “It’s not accurate, it’s inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole.”

His apology comes after he accused Israel of apartheid, urged the US to sanction the Jewish state amid the recent Israeli-Palestinian violence, and echoed claims of a “military occupation over Palestinians.”

Elisha Wiesel, the son of late Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, thanked Ruffalo for having the “courage” to admit he was incorrect about Israel.

“We can all get overheated and say things that we don’t mean, or that don’t make sense, or that are dangerous in their inaccuracy or emotion. It takes courage to say when you get something wrong,” Wiesel said in a Facebook post. “And we should keep engaging with someone who does that as long as they acknowledge the mistake, apologize for it, and don’t repeat it. It’s hard to imagine something more dangerous than this classic blood libel against Jews by a widely followed public figure, but I take his message at face value that Mark understands and regrets the severity and danger of his actions.”
Male Model Anwar Hadid Said He Wanted Jewish Soldiers ‘Erased from the Planet’
Celebrity model Anwar Hadid said he wanted Israeli soldiers "erased from the planet" in a series of anti-Semitic messages obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Hadid, best known as the boyfriend of British singer Dua Lipa and younger brother of models Gigi and Bella Hadid, sent several private messages to an Israeli women in 2018, including one calling for the death of all members of the Israel Defense Forces. "I don't give a fuck to know about the IDF lady," Hadid wrote to Taylor Amrari, who served in the IDF. "Its [sic] the last thing I care about I wish them all to be erased from the planet."

The messages come as Hadid's girlfriend Dua Lipa and two sisters defend themselves from charges of anti-Semitism leveled in a full-page ad in the New York Times. All three have used their massive social media followings to attack Israel as it was bombarded with rockets from terrorist group Hamas. Bella Hadid attracted a response from the Israeli government when she posted a video to her millions of followers of herself at a pro-Palestinian rally chanting, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," a call used by those who want to eliminate Israel entirely. Anwar Hadid has accused Israel of "apartheid."

Amrari shared her correspondence with Hadid in a series of TikTok posts this week. She says she began the July 2018 conversation after he made "really terrible" comments that demonized the IDF, and was hopeful to educate him with information from the other side. Amrari shared screenshots of the messages with the Free Beacon.
Over 66,000 Sign Petition Calling for Brands to End Partnerships With Models Gigi and Bella Hadid After Posts on Israel
A petition launched last week that urges major companies to drop supermodels and sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid as brand ambassadors for spreading “misinformation” about Israel has garnered more than 66,000 signatures, with a goal of reaching 75,000.

The petition is addressed to a number of companies that have contracts with the sisters, including Victoria’s Secret, Maybelline, Burberry, Versace and Moschino.

“Gigi and Bella Hadid have been fanning the flames of antisemitism by spreading misinformation and perpetuating antisemitic tropes through their social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram,” the petition stated. “Posting that Israel practices ‘ethnic cleansing, military occupation and apartheid’ and claiming that it is not a country but a land settled by colonizers is not only historically inaccurate but patently antisemitic.”

The petition also mentioned the rise in antisemitic violence in Europe and the US since the onset of the Israel-Palestinian conflict earlier in May. It added, “we hope that your brand meets the magnitude of this moment by taking a stand against antisemitism and breaking its ties with individuals like Gigi and Bella Hadid who espouse such hateful and dangerous views. It is one thing to be critical of a country, it is quite another to claim that it does not have the right to exist. ”
Adidas Funds Nonprofit That Posts Anti-Semitic Content
Adidas and other major companies and universities are partnered with a nonprofit group under fire for posting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic materials that promote the Jewish state’s eradication.

Slow Factory is a nonprofit and online content mill dedicated to "social, cultural and environmental change." When Israel went to war with the Hamas terrorist group in mid-May, Slow Factory posted a series of messages accusing the Jewish state of "ethnic cleansing" and of being a "settler colonial project." It also called for "total revolution to liberate both man and land" for the non-existent state of Palestine.

Anti-Semitism watchdog groups said Slow Factory's posts could contribute to growing anti-Jewish violence spreading across the United States and Europe in the wake of Israel’s latest conflict with Palestinian terror groups and called on groups partnering with Slow Factory to end their support. Adidas is listed as a major donor to several projects on the organization's website. Adidas, as well as Gucci, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Law School, among others, is also listed as teaming up with the organization as part of an effort Slow Factory is spearheading to raise funds for Beirut. It's unclear what that partnership entails. Adidas, Gucci, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Law School did not respond to the Washington Free Beacon‘s requests for comment.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which combats anti-Semitism, called on Slow Factory’s supporters to cut ties with the group.

"The Simon Wiesenthal Center is demanding that Adidas and other companies and entities remove their funding from a group that openly spouts lies and that adds a fuel to the fires that are endangering the lives of Jewish Americans as we speak," Cooper said. "It’s the height of irresponsibility."
NY Cops Arrest Second Suspect for Brutal Assault on Jewish Man During ‘Free Palestine’ Demo in Manhattan
A second suspect has been arrested by police officers in New York following last week’s shocking attack on a Jewish man in midtown Manhattan by pro-Palestinian thugs, during a day of violence emanating from a “Free Palestine” demonstration in the district.

Faisal Elezzi, 25, of Staten Island, was charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime, the New York City Police Department said on Monday.

Elezzi is one of five men suspected of assaulting Joseph Borgen, 29, while making antisemitic statements during rival pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protests in Midtown on May 20, according to the NYPD.

The first suspect in the attack, 23-year-old Wassem Awawdeh, was arrested by police last Friday and then released on bail over the weekend.

Awawdeh reportedly told prosecutors, “If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again.” During the attack, Awawdeh allegedly told 29-year-old victim Joseph Borgen, “F*** Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you,” and called him a “dirty Jew.”

Borgen, who was kicked, beaten and pepper-sprayed by the five assailants, later recalled his ordeal from his hospital bed.

“I felt a liquid being poured on my face, and at first I thought I was getting urinated on,” he said. “But it turned out I was getting maced and pepper-sprayed. My face was on fire. That pain was worse than the concussion and all this other stuff that followed.”
‘Primary Suspect’ in Antisemitic Assault at LA Restaurant by Pro-Palestinian Thugs Faces Additional Hate Crimes Charges
Police in Los Angeles have arrested a man they identified as a “primary suspect” in last week’s violent assault on a group of Jewish diners who were sitting outside a Japanese restaurant in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.

LAPD officers took 30-year-old Xavier Pabon into custody on Friday night. In a statement following his arrest, the LAPD said that Pabon, a resident of Banning, California, had been booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and that detectives were recommending that additional hate crimes charges be applied.

Pabon was released Sunday after posting $275,000 bond and was next due in court on Sept. 23, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Eyewitnesses to the attack on May 18 said that a group of men had been driving on La Cienega Boulevard in a convoy waving Palestinian flags. They aggressively challenged the diners at a table outside the Sushi Fumi restaurant as to whether they were Jews, leading to an angry verbal exchange. The thugs then climbed out of their vehicles, throwing bottles and yelling antisemitic pejoratives, and proceeded to attack the diners.

“They were chanting, ‘Death to Jews’ and ‘Free Palestine,’” one witness to the attack told the LA Times on Sunday. “They had malice.”


Bernie Says Dems Should ‘Tone Down’ Rhetoric Against Israel
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), a longtime critic of Israel, called on Democrats to dial back their rhetoric against the country as anti-Semitic attacks flare up across the United States.

"I think we should tone down the rhetoric," said Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, on CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday. "The job of the United States is to bring people together. And that is what we have got to try to do."

The Vermont senator, however, has for years singled out the Jewish state for criticism. In a New York Times op-ed earlier this month, Sanders accused Israel of "entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control" over Palestinians and said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting an "increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism."

In 2019, a Sanders presidential campaign video compared the conditions for Palestinians in the region to South African apartheid. The video included comments from Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King, who has defended anti-Semitic public figures such as Louis Farrakhan and Linda Sarsour. Sanders also touted an endorsement from the anti-Israel group IfNotNow on the campaign trail. In May, IfNotNow published and later deleted a tweet supporting violent Palestinian rioters who called for the bombing of Tel Aviv.

Sanders's senior foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, also accused Israel of "terrorism" last year following reports that Israeli operatives assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Republicans in Congress have accused Duss of anti-Semitism.

Sanders's comments come amid a wave of anti-Semitic attacks across the United States. Pro-Palestinian activists have attacked Jews on the streets of New York City and Los Angeles, and anti-Semitic content on social media has surged since the start of the latest Israel-Hamas conflict.


Meghan McCain vs. "The View": Why are we in the media so selective about which anti-semitism we criticize?
Whoopi Goldberg is eager to remind McCain that Greene has never been punished by her own caucus whereas Pelosi has brought Omar into line. Eh, not really. The resolution that the House passed a few years ago after the uproar over Omar’s “all about the Benjamins” comments regarding AIPAC didn’t single her out and didn’t even limit itself to condemning anti-semitism. True to lefty form, it also took care to denounce “anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities” so as not to offend the party’s woker precincts by implying that their grievances are less serious than Jews’ are. The resolution was so diluted that Omar herself felt comfortable voting for it.

It’s true that Omar’s steered a little further away from controversy since then than Greene, who relishes it, has. But McCain reminds the audience that only one of them has been stripped of her committee assignments by Democrats for being fringy. And it ain’t Omar.

At another point Sunny Hostin cites the fact that Greene outraised AOC in the first quarter as proof that she’s more representative of the GOP base than Ocasio-Cortez is of the Democratic rank-and-file. But that’s a weak point considering that AOC was a fundraising dynamo during her first full term in the House, earning $20 million — more than every one of her Democratic colleagues except Nancy Pelosi. Even Adam Schiff, who became a Democratic hero for his role in Trump’s first impeachment, fell a bit short of Ocasio-Cortez. Ironically, Greene raked in big bucks this year for the same basic reason that AOC did in 2019-20, which is that she’s an avatar of a radical populist base that relishes seeing her drive the folks on the other side to distraction.

Of course, AOC also has an agenda beyond just “owning” the other party. But then, Greene’s scarcely different from the rest of her post-policy party on that.

Start with the first clip here, which picks up around two-thirds through, and then watch the second. McCain, Goldberg, and Joy Behar are all palpably annoyed with each other by the end.


Apple refused to remove negative ratings for the Facebook app left by pro-Palestinian activists upset over censorship
Apple refused a request from Facebook to remove negative reviews in the App store after pro-Palestinian protesters coordinated an effort to tank ratings because of censorship of Palestinian content, NBC News reported.

On Saturday, the Facebook app had a 2.3 out of five-star rating in the App store compared to a more than four-star rating last week. The largest category of ratings is one-star reviews, with many comments saying their rating is due to Facebook censoring hashtags like #FreePalestine or #GazaUnderAttack.

“User trust is dropping considerably with the recent escalations between Israel and Palestine,” said one senior software engineer in a post on Facebook’s internal message board, NBC reported. “Our users are upset with our handling of the situation. Users are feeling that they are being censored, getting limited distribution, and ultimately silenced. As a result, our users have started protesting by leaving 1 star reviews.”

An internal message reviewed by NBC showed that the company was very concerned about the coordinated effort to tank ratings, categorizing the issue as an SEV1, which stands for “severity 1.”

Ratings on Facebooks App in the App store were down to a 2.3 out of 5 on Saturday night.

Facebook contacted the App store to have the negative reviews removed and Apple denied the request.

Pro-Palestinian activists have complained that many social media sites have restricted or deleted pro-Palestinian content and accounts.

Instagram restricted posts with hashtags referencing Al-Aqsa, the holy mosque in Jerusalem, telling some users who posted with the hashtag that their content was associated with “violence or dangerous organizations.”
Federal Labor MP caught up in 'eliminate Israel' social media post
"Eliminate Israel" is the aspiration of Hamas and other terrorist groups and their backers in Iran, says Sky News host Chris Kenny.

The remarks come after a federal Labor MP allegedly posed in a Melbourne University ALP club picture which "parroted" the slogan of Hamas on the bottom line: "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free".

"For a Federal Labor MP to be associated with this, and for a University Labor group to spout it, is truly disgusting," Mr Kenny said.

"When objections were raised, they deleted the post - but it is hard to delete such awful hatred and extremist goals - which is why the conflict so often seems intractable."

Mr Kenny went on to speak about the issue of anti-Semitism with the Australasian Union of Jewish Students' Gabi Stricker-Phelps.

Discussing recent anti-Semitic remarks on an online university forum, Ms Stricker-Phelps said there was "no doubt" about its anti-Semitism.

"I think that when that happens and it's within the university jurisdiction they should be stepping in to reaffirm their stance against anti-Semitism to ensure that every student ... should be safe on campus." she said.
Maureen Lipman resigns from actors’ union after it urges members to join pro-Palestine march
Dame Maureen Lipman has resigned in fury from Equity, the actors’ union, after the organization called on members to join Saturday’s pro-Palestinian march in London at which protesters burned Israeli flags and held up antisemitic placards.

Several other actors and performers including Tracy-Ann Oberman, Dom Joly, Sanjeev Bhaskar, and Eddie Marsan have also condemned the union over its statement, and there have been least three other resignations.

Others have told the JC how they have been subjected to vicious antisemitism over Israel during their stage careers, with Jewish actors saying they are terrified of being “blacklisted” simply for revealing their identity.

In a statement released on Thursday ahead of the massive rally in London, General Secretary Paul Fleming and President Maureen Beattie condemned Israeli actions in the Middle East and called on union members to support 'Palestinian comrades' and join the march.

Dame Maureen, who has been an Equity member for 54 years, said the union president, Ms Beattie, “doesn’t speak for me or any actor in the union with a brain. She speaks for a mob mentality”.

She added that the had “nothing to do with the poor Palestinians, who are only pawns, and everything to do with Jewish people”.
School under siege after head hits out at Palestinian flag: Protesters picket at the gates after teacher brands emblem 'a call to arms'
Protesters picketed a high school yesterday after the headmaster described the Palestinian flag as ‘a call to arms’.

Mike Roper has now apologised for the comments he made during an assembly at Allerton Grange in Leeds.

A clip from the assembly circulating online showed him telling pupils that the flag was sometimes ‘seen as a message of support of anti-Semitism’.

Yesterday police were stationed outside the school as protesters gathered at the gates, waving Palestinian flags and chanting.

Last week’s assembly is understood to have been held to try to address tensions after some pupils were disciplined for wearing lanyards bearing the flag.

Yasmin Ahmed, 30, from Leeds, said Mr Roper’s comments were ‘shocking and inflammatory’.

‘The kids at that school were displaying the Palestinian flag in a peaceful way to make a statement about how they felt about what is happening over there, and to display their anger and their solidarity,’ she told The Daily Telegraph.

‘For the headmaster to then issue a video saying that the Palestinian flag is a call to arms and a symbol of anti-Semitism was shocking and inflammatory.’

In the video, Mr Roper is heard saying: ‘When I spoke to them they were so articulate in how they felt about innocent people in the Middle East and how they were being treated.


BBC Monitoring’s Tala Halawa whitewashes antisemitic chant
The focus of Halawa’s film is a video of an anti-Israel protest put out by the American fashion model Bella Hadid.

Halawa: “But it was this video that led to condemnation from Israel’s official Twitter page. The accusation from Israel is extremely serious. They claim she’s advocating for Jews to be ‘thrown into the sea’.”

Halawa next presents the video in question which shows people shouting the familiar chant ‘from the river to the sea Palestine will be free’ and ‘free, free Palestine’. She then ‘explains’ that chant to BBC audiences.

Halawa: “Whilst Israel has labelled the chant as anti-Semitic, the slogan has been used by Palestinian activists across the world and it refers to the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, which formed the boundaries of Palestine after World War One and part of which became the State of Israel.”

Of course the fact that the chant “has been used by Palestinian activists across the world” does not mean that it is not antisemitic. The AJC defines it as: “the catch-all phrase symbolizing Palestinian control over the entire territory of Israel’s borders, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”,
Guardian continues to promote Jews who oppose Israel's very existence
Angel – much like the Guardian, in their amplification of such voices – wants readers to believe that he’s in the vanguard of a growing movement within the Jewish community that opposes the continued existence of the Jewish state.

However, the data simply doesn’t back up this assertion.

A 2020 poll by American Jewish Committee – the oldest and, arguably, most prestigious US Jewish group – shows, in fact, that the overwhelming majority of American Jews (85%) not only don’t identify with anti-Zionism, but believe the rejection of Israel’s right to exist is antisemitic – a number almost identical to those of their 2019 poll.

Given that a mere 14% believe it’s NOT antisemitic to reject Israel’s right to exist, we can infer that a much smaller number are actually anti-Zionist, since we can safely assume that there are a good number of Jews who may not think anti-Zionism is necessarily antisemitic, but who don’t hold anti-Zionist views themselves.

The very premise of Angel’s op-ed – much like his specific claims about Israeli hisotry and the recent violence – is based on a lie.


Le Devoir Cartoon Co-Opts George Floyd’s Murder for Anti-Israel Propaganda Purposes
Today, on the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, Le Devoir prominently published a cartoon by Godin which depicted an Israeli soldier placing his knee on the neck of an innocent Palestinian, suffocating him to death, in a cynical and odious attempt to draw an analogy to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police wielding unwarranted and abusive force.

Not only is the cartoon offensive and the analogy drawn erroneous, it’s also highly disrespectful to the Floyd family as Le Devoir and cartoonist Godin have co-opted their suffering – on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death no less – to advance anti-Israel propaganda.

In truth, Israeli police and soldiers endeavour to act with the utmost restraint and to safeguard innocent life when faced with violent Palestinian rioters and armed Palestinian terrorists. There is no comparison to the murder of George Floyd, an innocent African American man who was murdered by police during an arrest after a store clerk suspected he may have used counterfeit money in Minneapolis. This is just the latest shameful and reprehensible attempt at applying intersectionality to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Holocaust survivor wishes TikTok Shabbat Shalom, gets hit with antisemitic hate
Lily Ebert is 97. Her great-grandson, Dov Forman, helped her create a TikTok account so she could tell its youthful community about surviving Auschwitz.

On May 14, instead of one of her pithy recollections, Ebert had a simple message for 90,000 followers, delivered from her London home: “Wishing you a lovely, peaceful weekend,” she said, and repeated a similar wish in Hungarian, her native language. She added “Shabbat Shalom.”

Her account was flooded with hateful messages, many of them holding her responsible for the military conflict between Israel and Hamas that broke out May 9 and ended last week.

“Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp,” one commenter said.

“Happy Holocaust,” said another.

“Over the past few days my great Grandmother (Auschwitz survivor) and I have continued to receive messages of hate on Tiktok and Twitter,” Forman said on Twitter on May 16. “We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horrors of the past, and what hatred can lead to. Hate only breeds hate.”
Controversial Birmingham cleric stands by his description of Jews as “a cowardly nation” and call for a “jihad” against Israel
Sheikh Asrar Rashid, a controversial cleric in Birmingham, has stood by his description of Jews as “a cowardly nation” and call for a “jihad” on Israel.

Whilst commenting on the violence in Israel and Gaza in a panel discussion, Mr Rashid was quoted as saying: “Personally, I believe the only solution is jihad, and a call for jihad, and an announcement for jihad by Muslim majority states that we have.

“Even surgical strikes or wallpaper strikes, the type that Saddam Hussein did in the early Nineties, I believe. Thirty-nine rockets he fired into Tel Aviv and every Jew was running into his shelter. Those with a European passport would be running back to Europe.”

“You see the way they react to Katyusha missiles or Qassam missiles that do not even kill anyone, they run into their shelters so the Jews are known as…a cowardly nation.”

Following criticism from the Jewish Chronicle, which Mr Rashid described as a “Zionist newspaper”, he defended his comments on Facebook and Twitter, writing that the term “Jews” was “used in the same vein as the mainstream media regularly employ ‘Muslim’, ‘Arabs’, or ‘Palestinian’.”

He went on to say: “This context also reflects my statements that the ‘Jews are known as a cowardly nation’, pertaining to the State of Israel and its actions against the Palestinians where women and children are indiscriminately killed.”
Two of the 14,325 stories behind ‘Operation Solomon’
Ethiopia was in the midst of a brutal civil war in 1991 when Israel decided to launch an intrepid mission that would bring 14,325 Ethiopian Jews to Israel over the course of 36 hours. The covert operation used 35 aircraft to do so, with the Israeli Air Force and its national carrier El Al having stripped its planes of seats to cram in as many souls on board as possible. It was accomplished while Yitzhak Shamir was prime minister.

While “Operation Solomon” was the third major mission (after “Operations Moses” in 1984 and “Operation Joshua” in 1985) bringing Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, it was also the largest and most complex aliyah mission to date, according to those involved.

The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mossad and the Israel Defense Forces all worked alongside the Jewish Federation of North America and the American Association for Ethiopian Jews to bring this group of men, women and children home and save them from a fate where, at best, they were certain to be subjected to political upheaval. Avi Mizrachi (left) with Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, then-deputy chief of staff and commander of “Operation Solomon.” Photo by Nomi Levitsky.

But behind the logistics are very real emotions regarding what people felt 30 years ago during that time and what they’ve held in their heart since. Below are just two of so many different stories.
In wake of COVID success, Birthright is back
The first group of Birthright Israel, the largest educational tourism organization in the world, landed at Ben- Gurion International Airport on Monday , for the first time after a yearlong halt due to the pandemic.

"The participants are vaccinated students from the United States, arriving Israel for a 10-day educational tour," the organization said in a statement.

Before the outbreak of the global pandemic, Birthright Israel had provided trips for more than 750,000 young Jewish adults from 68 countries. In 2019 alone, the organization hosted 45,777 participants; that number was topped only by the 48,000 participants it brought in 2018.

"Dozens of more trips are expected during May and June, with many more tour groups planned for July, August, and October, the company said.

Gidi Mark, the CEO of Birthright, which is also known as Taglit, said he was "extremely excited that we are renewing the connection between the young Diaspora and Israel. We've developed the best plan to safely and efficiently resume our trips, which play such a critical part in strengthening the Jewish identity of hundreds of thousands of young people around the world and connect them with the State of Israel. Following the rise of antisemitism over the past weeks, this is now more important than ever before."

To attend a Birthright Israel trip, "all fully vaccinated or recovered participants with one vaccine doze will be required to provide a negative PCR test before boarding a flight to Israel as well as take an antibody test upon their arrival at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport."

Israel is one of the early nations to have achieved a high level of inoculation of its citizens due to the modern and effective vaccine distribution and due to the early orders secured by the government from Pfizer and other vaccine makers.
Remembering the Farhud pogrom and its lessons for today - opinion
Unfortunately, we see many similar worrying signs in the violence in mixed Israeli towns and cities.

There are many players in the region who seek to whip up the Arab citizens of Israel into a frenzy, whether Iran or extreme Sunni elements. They see Jewish-Arab coexistence as a challenge that needs to be dismantled and replaced with enmity and animosity.

Lies about Jewish takeover attempts to invade and destroy al-Aqsa Mosque originated with the very same Haj Amin al-Husseini a century ago. Unfortunately, it is a canard that has not gone away since and raises its head whenever necessary for those who wish to sew divisions in Israel.

It is exactly this type of incitement that Israeli politicians, religious leaders and other opinion-shapers should confront and demolish. Instead of driving communities apart, we should be investing in coexistence, collaboration and partnerships. We know that the silent minority in both communities do not seek violence and division, and we have witnessed in recent years tremendous steps in bringing Jews and Arabs together.

The creation of the State of Israel is a remarkable and unique event in Jewish history and became a refuge and a home to the hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Middle East and North Africa who had to flee their millennia-old homes.

Israel is a beacon of light in a region where there has been such a history of darkness for so many, including Jews. Now that we have reestablished sovereignty in our indigenous and ancestral homeland, we need to learn the lessons of the past and use them to create a more peaceful and secure future for all who live within its borders.

That would be the greatest memorial to the Jews murdered during the Farhud 80 years on.











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