Thursday, May 27, 2021

From Ian:

Eve Barlow: The Social Media Pogrom
Two weeks ago, as Westerners began educating themselves about Sheikh Jarrah and the Iron Dome through stick figures with biased speech bubbles on the Diet Prada and Refinery29 Instagram feeds, something else started happening on social media. I coined it the world’s first social media pogrom. The activity that Jews—Zionist Jews in particular—experienced all over the web was bizarre at best and invalidating, abusive, and dehumanizing at worst. Zionist Jews weren’t just being unfollowed for advocating for themselves and their brothers and sisters in Israel and Palestine, we were also losing access to direct message and comment abilities, having posts removed for violating community guidelines (while blatant antisemitism online almost never receives the same treatment), and having our accounts threatened with temporary suspension or closure.

The cherry on top, of course, was that we were simultaneously fighting off a barrage of thousands upon thousands of troll comments and hateful direct messages, which frequently included homophobic, misogynistic, and extremely violent language. Some people even generously took the time to record voice messages. I received a few of those, including one from a woman with a British accent calling for my family to burn in hell. She sang it. Or she tried to.

The seeds of this pogrom have been sown for a while. Online, there are different degrees of erasure and exclusion. First comes the unfollow, which hurts, especially from those we consider friends, those we love and cherish, whose memories are still fresh. Sometimes an unfollow is the result of pressure from other online users who dox people they disagree with. Sometimes an unfollow is a decision taken with complete autonomy, someone deciding to simply delete a person from their timeline rather than ask for clarification or, God forbid, pursue a fair-minded discussion.

If you’re a Zionist, you are not deemed worthy of dialogue. Most people who think this couldn’t give you a working definition of Zionism. They just know which labels are accepted by the intersectional world, and which labels are not. Anti-Zionism good. Zionism bad. Except Zionism is a globally recognized concept, whereas anti-Zionism doesn’t seem to have an agreed-upon definition. It exists only as a knee-jerk rejection of a belief in the State of Israel and anyone’s justification of its existence, regardless of how reasoned, empathetic, or fair-minded that justification might be.
Social Media Backlash After Actor Seth Rogen Mocks Jewish Journalist Trolled on Twitter
Actor Seth Rogen was criticized by Twitter users on Wednesday for poking fun at a Jewish journalist who wrote an article about the rise of antisemitism.

Reporter Eve Barlow tweeted a link to a recent article she published in Tablet magazine that discussed being trolled by hundreds of Twitter users who wrote “Eve Fartlow” — which was also trending on Twitter — and compared the current rise of antisemitism on social media to digital pogroms. Rogen, 39, who is also Jewish, responded to Barlow’s Twitter post with a “gust of wind” emoji commonly used to represent flatulence, further mocking the journalist.

Rogen’s reply received over 14,000 likes and 1,000 retweets, fueling the abuse directed at Barlow. The star of “An American Pickle” also engaged in conversation with a Twitter user who continued the mockery by posting “Eve Fartlow” along with an attempted joke about apartheid.

Many came to Barlow’s defense and slammed Rogen for his crude response, including former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind. He wrote, “Seth, how pathetic are you? How desperate are you to be liked by Jew haters that you’re trolling a Jew on their behalf?”

Others called his remark “disappointing” and accused Rogen of “dumb, vicious, misogynistic bullying of a Jewish woman.” One Twitter user said, “With a massive platform, comes a level of responsibility. Shame you choose to use yours to orchestrate pile ons onto a besieged woman.”
Alan M. Dershowitz: How Social Media Validates Anti-Semitism by Censoring Everything but Anti-Semitism
People often forget that the very concept of political correctness was invented by Stalin's Soviet Union.

Now... that social media companies have decided to become "Glavlit" -- to publish only material that is supposedly truthful and passes its "community standards" -- they have become more like the former Soviet Union than like the United states under the First Amendment.

This is not a call to censor anti-Semitic tweets. It is a call for the social media companies to stop censoring other speech based on criteria of supposed truthfulness, "community standards" and other such questionable criteria that are subject to political, Ideological and other biases. I want no censorship other than for material that is already prohibited by law. But if the social media companies persist in censoring, they must apply a single standard to everything. I want no censorship other than for material that is already prohibited by law.

The current social media have the worst of both worlds: they censor material that is neither dangerous nor necessarily false; and then permit material which is both highly dangerous and demonstrably false.
Bethany Mandel: 17,000 Tweet ‘Hitler Was Right,’ and Big Tech Barely Reacts
In a disturbing example, the anti-Semitic hashtag #Covid1948 has been trending on Twitter in several countries, including the United States. Often accompanied by nakedly anti-Jewish content, the hashtag likens the birth of the state of Israel in 1948 to the COVID-19 virus. According to the NCRI, the hateful hashtag was shared up to 175 times per minute for over four hours on May 13. It often appears alongside #FreePalestine and is associated with other anti-Semitic hashtags like #Hitlerwasright and #Zionazi. Adolf Hitler raises a defiant, clenched fist during a speech.

Disturbing messages of “Hitler was right” were reportedly posted across social media channels over 17,000 times.

While we’ve seen President Donald Trump and countless numbers of his supporters booted off Twitter’s service, purveyors of Jew hate like Iran’s Supreme Leader Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyeh, and Louis Farrakhan are still regularly posting. Adeel Raja posting in praise of Hitler throughout his time on Twitter finally lost him a gig as a freelance CNN contributor but didn’t even warrant a suspension, let alone ban, from the social media service.

Over the last year, we’ve seen official and viral social media campaigns for Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate. Social media companies and their users stood up to hatred and promoted content designed to stand athwart prejudice. And now with an increase in online and in-person hatred against Jews, we’re met with silence.

Around the world, we’ve seen violent attacks on Jews walking down the street, dining at kosher restaurants, at synagogues, and demonstrating in support of Israel. The videos of incendiary devices thrown at Jews standing in the Diamond District or dining outside are jarring — and the muted reaction online, with the only vocal response coming almost entirely from the Jewish community, has been perhaps even more alarming than the attacks themselves.

These aren’t just an isolated set of events with a handful of bigots roaming the streets looking for Jews to target; no, we are witnessing a wholesale abandonment of the Jewish people at the hands of these mobs both in the streets and on the web.

The popularity of these anti-Semitic messages, the silence of social media companies and their users in response to these attacks, and their outrage that someone like Meghan McCain would dare speak up against it speak volumes about our priorities as a society. While we may stand against some forms of hatred, the oldest form, Jew hate, is still fair game.

Seth Frantzman: Ethiopian Jews and the Elephant in the Anti-Israel Room
The organization IfNotNow claimed that “we can show the world that Jews don’t need Israel in order to keep us safe.” Their argument is that “we’re creating thriving, flourishing, safe Jewish lives here in the diaspora by building strong communities and working in solidarity with other marginalized people against white supremacy.”

When we look back at Operation Solomon, bringing so many Jews of color from Africa to Israel, it’s hard to square with the vicious anti-Israel comments in the West, and especially comments that try to portray Israel as a “settler” or “colonial” country.

How can a country where the population is mostly descended from refugees, including people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Ethiopia, and many other countries in the region, be “colonial” and “settler”?

Operation Solomon is an elephant in the room for the extremist anti-Israel voices. They say Jews should build a home in the Diaspora, and that we don’t “need” Israel. But the 15,000 Jews sitting in Addis Ababa in 1991 needed Israel. No one was going to fly them to New York, and they didn’t want to go to the Diaspora, they desperately wanted to come to Jerusalem. Thousands had already died in the early 1980s trying to reach Israel through Sudan.

Anti-Israel activism is essentially a crusade against the diversity of Israel, and an attempt to rewrite history. None of those anti-Israel activists posted about Operation Solomon during the 30th anniversary. For them, the rescue of people is not a beautiful story. Their “thriving” community is a gated community often unwelcoming to Jews of color and Jews whose stories are anchored in the Middle East. Theirs is not just a claim that they don’t “need” Israel, but a desire to not have a thriving diverse Israel for all types of Jews.
UN Watch: WHO Meeting Deviates From COVID-19 to Single Out Israel As Violator of Health Rights
The UN's World Health Organization held a session Wednesday to condemn Israel for allegedly violating the health rights of Palestinians. The session concluded with a vote of 82 to 14, with 40 abstentions, to adopt a Palestinian resolution to prepare another report on health conditions in the Palestinian territories, including eastern Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights. Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, condemned the "cynical politicization of the world's top health agency at the expense of focusing on the Covid-19 pandemic."

"Out of 34 items on the current world health assembly's agenda, only one, Item 25 targeting Israel, focused on a specific country. There was no agenda item or resolution on...Syria, where hospitals and other medical infrastructure are repeatedly and deliberately bombed by Syrian and Russian forces; not on war-torn Yemen, where 18 million are in dire need of health assistance; and not on Venezuela, where the health system is in a state of collapse and 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance."

"Despite the fact that the Palestinians have their own health system, and under the Oslo II Peace Accord it is the Palestinian Authority which is responsible for vaccinating their population, Israel has vaccinated over 100,000 Palestinian workers since March as well as donating thousands of vaccine doses for Palestinian medical workers."

"Anyone who has ever walked into an Israeli hospital or clinic knows that they provide world-class health care to thousands of Palestinian Arabs as well as to Syrians fleeing Assad."

List of “Pro-Palestinian” Violent Attacks On Jews In The U.S. and Canada
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the scores of reported attacks against Jews that have occurred over the last several weeks. While Hamas targeted Israeli Jews with rocket fire and explosives, the “anti-Zionists, not-anti-Semites” of the western world targeted diaspora Jews in America, Canada, and Europe for harassment, destruction of property, and even violent assault.

For the past five years or so, mainstream media and international NGOs alike have agonized over White Supremacy; it has often been claimed that, of all repugnant Judeophobic ideologies, White Supremacy poses the greatest threat to diaspora Jewry today. The last few weeks—peppered with reports of horrific attacks against Jews by ‘activists’ seeking to “Free Palestine” — suggest otherwise.

Indeed, a Tuesday, May 18 article in The Jewish Press reported that anti-Semitic incidents in the U.K. had risen a staggering 438% between then and May 6 alone. As of the article’s publication, 86 incidents had been reported since the 6th, and the perpetrators in all but three of them used “language, imagery or behaviour linking them to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.” Moreover, in the 10 days prior to May 8, there were 16 such incidents reported.

Disheartening though it has been, we’ve been trying to collect and document as many of these reports as we can find. Since Sunday, May 14, we’ve posted about multiple physical assaults in Los Angeles, more in New York, and calls for the rape of Jewish women at “Palestine” protests in London:
Anti-Israel Protest In London: “F**k the Jews” “Rape their daughters” “Free Palestine”
VIDEO: “Pro-Palestinian” Gang Seeks Out And Attacks Jews In Los Angeles
VIDEOS: “Pro-Palestinian” Gangs Attack Jews In Multiple Locations in Manhattan

Unfortunately, those reports only scratch the surface. So here is a list of some other instances we could find, listed alphabetically by location. We’ve also focused mostly on the U.S., and Canada, there are plenty of attacks going on elsewhere. It’s not comprehensive, because the attacks are so widespread and continuing daily, but it’s a good starting point.
Outrage Mounts at New York Times Depiction of Jewish ‘Bloodlust’
Outrage is mounting at New York Times coverage of the recent Israel-Gaza war, with prominent Israeli and American Jewish leaders denouncing the newspaper using terms like “shameless,” “bias,” “propaganda disinformation” and “blood libel.”

Lenny Ben-David, a former Israeli diplomat, commented, “I have never seen worse anti-Israel propaganda disinformation than this @nytimes piece in my 40+ yrs of defending #Israel in media trenches. Every child’s death is a disaster, but the Times presents a blood libel vs Israel.”

The national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, wrote, “The New York Times continues to be shameless in its coverage of the Hamas war against Israel and its citizens. Its bias against Israel and Jews who support Israel is reflected in its coverage internationally, domestically and on the opinion pages. NYT readers deserve better!”

The assistant managing editor for international news at the New York Times, Michael Slackman, did not respond by deadline to a request for comment submitted through the New York Times website.

At issue are not only an avalanche of harshly anti-Israel Times opinion pieces, but news coverage faulting Israel for inflicting what the newspaper has described in news articles as a “high civilian death toll” in Gaza.

Thomas Friedman’s Fantasy
Thomas Friedman, the self-appointed unrelenting critic of Israel for The New York Times, has seized another opportunity to bolster his credentials. As it also did for future Senator Bernie Sanders, the Jewish state transformed him from a teenager whose embrace of Israel prompted him to spend three summers working on a kibbutz into a disillusioned, eventually sharp denigrator.

Friedman’s embrace of Israel ended during his undergraduate years at Brandeis, when his passion morphed into membership in a “peace” group that endorsed Palestinian aspirations for statehood at Israel’s territorial expense. Hired by the Times in 1981, he was posted in Lebanon in time to castigate Israel for the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Philangists. As he would reveal, he “buried every illusion I ever held about the Jewish state.” Free to provide unrelenting criticism of Israel at his choosing, he has done so ever since, first as Jerusalem Bureau Chief and then as Opinion page columnist.

Friedman’s recent column (May 26) is a dismal — but hardly new — example. He quickly disclosed his (enduring) passion for a “two-state” — Israeli and Palestinian — solution to the recent wave of Palestinian violence in Israel that accompanied a cascade of Hamas missiles. Otherwise, he predicts, an even worse catastrophe is on its way. The obvious (for Friedman) solution is the separation of Israelis and Palestinians “into two states for two peoples.” Otherwise, in his doomsday scenario, “the charge that Israel has become an apartheid-like entity will resonate and gain traction far and wide.” It certainly will for Friedman, who believes that the only alternative would be “a one-state Israel that is not even pretending to be a democracy anymore.”

Friedman fervently hopes that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his forthcoming visit to Israel, will express the Biden administration’s intention to treat the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank “as a Palestinian state in the making.” Efforts should focus on “a series of diplomatic steps to concretize Palestinian statehood in order to preserve the viability of a two-state solution.”
5 Ways Media Are Twisting Coverage of the Israel-Hamas Conflict
The topic of Israel and the Palestinians is notoriously contentious. A minor clash in Jerusalem has the potential to generate headlines around the world, stir up sentiment throughout the Middle East, and, in turn, lead to more fighting and even war.

That’s why it’s essential the media tell the story accurately. But news organizations repeatedly distort stories relating to the conflict.

Here are five ways news outlets continue to do so:

1. Blaming Israel for Palestinian violence
From the beginning of the latest escalation, Israel was routinely blamed for the decisions of Palestinian terrorists.

Consider, for example, this headline by The New York Times, suggesting that rocket fire from Gaza was in response to the actions of Israeli security forces in Jerusalem: “After Raid on Aqsa Mosque, Rockets from Gaza and Israeli Airstrikes.”

Repeatedly, journalists have framed the decision by Hamas to launch projectiles at Israeli civilians throughout the country as a response to an Israeli “raid.”

In reality, Israeli security forces were compelled to enter the mosque after Palestinians had turned it into a stronghold, stockpiling rocks and boulders meant to be thrown at Jews, and using fireworks as makeshift missiles. Concurrently, Arabs in numerous locations pelted Jewish pedestrians and drivers with stones, and attempted to lynch at least one Jew close to the Temple Mount.

Notwithstanding the “raid,” Hamas had no justification to target Israeli civilians. Suggesting that rocket attacks by Palestinian terrorists came “after” Israel quelled violent rioters, confuses — whether intentionally or maliciously — cause and effect.

More recently, comedian John Oliver recorded a segment in which he accused Israel of committing “war crimes” and “child-murder” in Gaza.
If You Cheer for Hamas, You Should Understand It Wants Israel Wiped from the Map
"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." So goes the chant by anti-Israel demonstrators over the past 10 days.

Let there be no doubt about what these words mean. They do not represent an appeal for a Palestinian homeland to be established as part of a two-state settlement.

The slogan is an aspirational bid for Israel, which lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, to be wiped off the map of the world.

Only this week, Hamas deputy political chief Mousa Abu Marzouk said his group's war against Israel would end with "their [the Jews] leaving Palestine."

How has it come to be that supporting the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Jew-free zone within its current borders has become something acceptable to express in public?

Unfortunately, for many critics of Israel, their rhetoric around the nation state is interchangeable with their attitude towards Jewish people in general.

New York State Police to increase patrols in Jewish communities
New York State Police will increase patrols in Jewish neighborhoods in the Big Apple due to recent anti-Semitic incidents amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

“In the wake of the unacceptable recent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes nationwide, I am proactively deploying State Troopers to provide security at Jewish religious, educational, and community facilities,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Troopers will also work with communities to help with any security concerns in the city, as well as Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The increased police patrols come days after pro-Israel and pro-Palestine demonstrators clashed in Times Square over the 11-day war in the Middle East. A Jewish man was beaten in a hate attack while walking to the rally — with the assailant declaring that he’d “do it again.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday also decried anti-Semitic incidents in Gotham and said the “NYPD is now out in force” in Jewish neighborhoods.

“You are going to see that presence… we are going to protect the Jewish community and make sure people feel that protection is there,” Hizzoner said. (h/t jzaik)
‘Free Palestine’: NYPD Arrests Three Individuals for Violent Antisemitic Assaults in Brooklyn Over Shabbat
Police in New York have now arrested three suspects in connection with two ugly antisemitic attacks in Brooklyn last Saturday, in which the assailants targeted two different groups of Jewish men.

Danial Shaukat, 20, Ashan Azad, 19, and Haider Anjam, 20 allegedly accosted two Orthodox Jewish men on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn on Saturday evening, during Shabbat.

The trio rolled up on the victims in a blue Toyota. Shaukat and one of the other men jumped out of the car with a cricket bat to pummel and choke their targets when they refused to say, “Free Palestine,” prosecutors said.

About five minutes later, Shaukat, Azad and Anjam chased four other Orthodox Jewish men, while shrieking, “Kill you Jews. Free Palestine,” prosecutors said.

The victims ran for refuge in a synagogue, Agudath Israel of Sixteenth Avenue in Borough Park.

Shaukat and one of his cohorts banged on the doors to get inside the temple and kicked out the passenger window of an Audi vehicle parked outside, prosecutors added.

Calling Israel ‘apartheid’ and ‘terrorist’ is antisemitic, say 4 Jewish Democrats targeting party colleagues
Four Jewish House Democrats have called out party colleagues who accused Israel of apartheid and terrorism, as well as a Republican who has likened coronavirus restrictions to the Holocaust.

Their rebuke was part of a letter condemning the rising antisemitism sparked by the Israel-Hamas war earlier this month — the latest plea to President Joe Biden to make a priority of tackling the phenomenon.

One congressman who signed the letter, Dean Phillips of Minnesota, was chastising a fellow Democrat, Ilhan Omar, in a neighboring district, though Phillips did not use her name.

“Elected officials have used reckless, irresponsible antisemitic rhetoric,” said the letter sent Tuesday.

Along with Phillips, the other signers are Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Elaine Luria of Virginia and Kathy Manning of North Carolina. They do not name their targets but include direct quotes of their controversial comments.

“These include repeated, unacceptable, and blatantly antisemitic statements made by a Member of Congress comparing facemasks and other COVID-19 public health measures to ‘what happened in Nazi Germany’ during the Holocaust,” the letter said, referring to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who has drawn condemnations from leaders of her own party for her remarks.

“We also reject comments from Members of Congress accusing Israel of being an ‘apartheid state’ and committing ‘act[s]’ of terrorism,” the letter said. “These statements are antisemitic at their core and contribute to a climate that is hostile to many Jews. We must never forget that less than eighty years ago, within the lifetime of our parents and grandparents, six million people were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust because they were Jews. Israel has long provided the Jewish people with a homeland in which they can be safe after facing centuries of persecution.”
US Jewish groups pushing White House to appoint antisemitism monitor
Major Jewish organizations in the US have been pressuring the Biden administration to take action against antisemitism, including appointing a monitor at the Department of Homeland Security and naming a liaison with the Jewish community.

Representatives from five organizations met with White House officials on Monday to discuss the suggestions, as well as other issues, in the wake of a sharp spike in antisemitic attacks that came amid renewed violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Among the names that have been suggested as a monitor of antisemitism are former Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman; Nancy Kaufman, former chief executive officer of the National Council of Jewish Women; and Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Holocaust studies at Emory University, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The meeting was quickly organized by the White House after the organizations had sent a letter on Friday urging US President Joe Biden to speak out against the wave of antisemitism and to appoint special officials to deal with the matter.

The groups that sent the letter and were represented at the meeting, in addition to the Jewish Federations of North America, were the Orthodox Union, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and Hadassah.

CNN’s Cuomo: Democrats ‘Not Where the Anti-Semitism Is Coming From'
On Tuesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Cuomo Primetime,” host Chris Cuomo argued that it’s an “ugly tactic” for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to say rising antisemitism in the Democratic Party is being ignored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Because “This is not about Pelosi and the Democrats. That’s not where the antisemitism is coming from.”

Cuomo said that McCarthy is still ending up in the same place as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), “which is, you use any ugly tactic you can to blame something bad on Democrats. ‘At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats,’ true, ‘antisemitism is on the rise[,]’ true. But where does he say it’s on the rise? ‘[I]n the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.’ … This is not about Pelosi and the Democrats. That’s not where the antisemitism is coming from. But that’s what he says.”
Over 120 Gender Studies Departments Sign Letter Calling on Feminists to ‘Join the Struggle for Palestinian Liberation’
In a letter signed by at least 120 departments studying gender and sexuality from universities across the United States and Europe, the Palestinian Feminist Collective called on feminists to “join the struggle for Palestinian liberation” and condemned what it called the “indiscriminate bombing of Gaza.”

“As gender studies departments in the United States … We center global social justice in our intersectional teaching, scholarship, and organizing,” the May 17 letter read. “From Angela Davis we understand that justice is indivisible; we learn this lesson time and again from Black, Indigenous, Arab, and most crucially, Palestinian feminists, who know that ‘Palestine is a Feminist Issue.’”

The letter called for “the end of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and for the Palestinian right to return to their homes,” and maintained that “as residents, educators, and feminists who are also against the settler colonialism of the US, we refuse to normalize or accept the United States’ financial, military, diplomatic and political role in Palestinian dispossession.”

“We do not subscribe to a ‘both sides’ rhetoric that erases the military, economic, media, and global power that Israel has over Palestine,” the letter continued. “This is not a ‘conflict’ that is too ‘controversial and complex’ to assess.”
Amid a Spate of Antisemitic Attacks, Orange County Muslim Leader Incites More Hatred
A Southern California imam called Israelis “child killers” and urged Muslims to “sacrifice whatever resources we can in defense of that land,” in a talk live-streamed last Thursday on YouTube.

Sheikh Tarik Ata’s remarks came after Jews were targeted in at least two antisemitic attacks in Los Angeles.

The video remains available on the Orange County Islamic Foundation‘s YouTube channel, called ShuraTV.

Ata is a Foundation board member. He also serves on the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California‘s board. The Council includes 74 Southern California mosques and Islamist organizations, including local chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

“And so we see our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem defending [the Al Aqsa Mosque],” he said in the live-stream. “…They’re putting their life on the line, men and women. Standing, shielding [the Al Aqsa Mosque] from that apartheid regime. The Israeli soldiers. The IDF. The child killers. And they’re willing to sacrifice their blood.”
British Actors’ Union Accused of ‘Deliberately Trolling Jewish Members’ With Statement on Israel Conflict
A statement issued by the UK’s largest actors’ union was panned as “deliberately trolling” its Jewish members on Wednesday, following several resignations from the group protesting its support for a pro-Palestinian march that saw widespread antisemitic activity.

The union, Equity, noted Wednesday that it condemned Israeli government actions, in what it called “a message to Equity’s Jewish members” that was purportedly aimed at backing the fight against antisemitism.

“After listening to the concerns put forward by some members regarding the union’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, we would like to emphasize that while we condemn the recent military actions of the Israeli government, we are appalled by all of the violence directed against civilian Israelis and Palestinians, including the terrorist activity of Hamas,” the statement said. “We categorically condemn the abhorrent abuse that has been directed towards members of the Jewish community in the past couple of weeks, as well as the small minority of hateful banners and rhetoric present on recent and otherwise peaceful Palestinian solidarity marches.”

Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, said in response, “Equity is now deliberately trolling its Jewish members with this statement that it stands by everything it has done and again singling out Israel for attack. Utterly foul.”

Equity’s statement Wednesday was issued after complaints by Jewish members regarding the union’s position on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Last week, the union called Israel’s treatment of Palestinians “disproportionate” and “horrible,” prompting the resignation of the actress Maureen Lipman and at least other members, the Chronicle reported.

Jewish school advises pupils to wear hats over their skullcaps and cover school blazers in public as reports of antisemitism skyrocket including violent assaults
A prominent Jewish school has advised its pupils to wear hats over their skullcaps and to cover their school blazers in public as reports of antisemitism have risen 568 percent within the last seventeen days, equating to some 267 reported incidents. Reported incidents are lower than actual incidents as reports can take time to process and many incidents go entirely unreported.

The letter from the school’s headmaster, which was sent out to parents, read: “I am writing to remind you and your children about the need for enhanced awareness and caution with regard to security in these troubled times. Of course, the news of the recent ceasefire was most welcome, but I fear that the tensions and the incidents of antisemitism in this country will be slow to decline.

“We still advise all boys to wear a cap over their kippah when travelling to and from school, but we are also now suggesting that not wearing the College blazer (or at least covering it with a coat) on those journeys is an additional, sensible precaution for all pupils.

“It is sad that this should be necessary, but safety is – as ever – our top priority.”
Instagram page of leading Jewish charity for children with learning disabilities hacked and plastered with “Free Palestine” messaging
The Instagram page belonging to the Jewish charity Norwood has been hacked by anti-Israel trolls today.

Norwood’s display photo was changed to that of a Palestinian Authority flag with the words “Free Palestine, end apartheid” circling it.

The hackers also uploaded a photo of a man holding a Palestinian Authority flag with the caption “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Another photo uploaded of the Palestinian Authority flag bore the caption: “Repeat after us: Palestine will be free. Free free Palestine.”

According to Norwood’s description on Instagram, it is “the UK’s largest Jewish charity supporting children, families and people with learning disabilities and autism.”

The charity has no affiliation with Israel and has likely been targeted purely because of its association with the British Jewish community.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel” is an example of antisemitism.

Amazon Employees Pressure Company To Cut Ties With Israel
Amazon employees are pressuring the company's leadership to divest from the Israel Defense Forces days after a ceasefire agreement brought an end to weeks of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem.

In a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos first reported by The Verge, Amazon employees call for the company to terminate a $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government. Over 500 employees have signed the letter, which asks "Amazon leadership to acknowledge the continued assault upon Palestinians' basic human rights under an illegal occupation."

Employees at major tech companies also publicly denounced Israel as it launched counterstrikes against Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Workers at Apple and Google sent letters to corporate leaders asking them to condemn and cut ties with Israel. All three letters reflect a growing interest from Silicon Valley workers in using corporate power to weigh in on geopolitical issues.

The Amazon letter calls on the company to avoid "using language that implies a power symmetry or situational equivalency" between Israel and Hamas terrorists. The letter also demands that Amazon "commit to spending equitable time and effort to learn about and engage with the Palestinian community," language pulled directly from the Apple employee letter. The signatories claim Amazon is "erasing" its Palestinian workers by not putting out a statement on the conflict.

Tech employee groups have used similar tactics to lobby against engagement with the U.S. military. Google caved to employee pressure in 2018 when it declined to renew an AI contract with the Department of Defense called Project Maven. The tactic has also worked in personnel decisions. In early May, Apple employees successfully lobbied to have ad executive Antonio García Martínez fired because of passages in his memoir they found offensive.
Cambridge, Mass., Rejects BDS Resolution After Contentious Council Meeting
The city council of Cambridge, Mass., rejected a resolution supporting the BDS movement.

The resolution, Policy Order #109, was voted down after nearly seven-and-a-half hours of public testimony by more than 300 people late Tuesday.

The proposed resolution sought to direct the city manager to “review corporate contracts and identify any companies that are in violation of Cambridge’s policy on discrimination, including (but not limited to) Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Hewlett Packard Incorporated over their role in abetting apartheid in the Middle East.”

Cambridge, however, has not had any contracts with Hewlett Packard since 2014, the city said.

The boycott was proposed by Mass Against HP, a working group of Jewish Voice for Peace, on the basis of HP’s provision of computers to the Israeli military. MAHP is supported by Our Revolution Cambridge, Democratic Socialists of America, and Students for Justice in Palestine, all of whom cooperate with the BDS movement which is dedicated to the ultimate destruction of Israel.
David Gardner's Revolt Does a Financial Times editor support Palestinian violence?
We’ve posted previously about the full-throated support for the Palestinian cause consistently expressed by the Financial Times international editor, and former Mid-East editor, David Gardner. But, his latest column takes his anti-Israel advocacy a step further.

Before we get to Gardner’s framing of Palestinian violence, let’s first briefly address the egregious distortions in his op-ed (“Palestinian unity upends Middle East status quo”, May 26):
Longer term, a rightwing-dominated Israeli political elite that assumed it had domesticated Palestinians by colonising their land is confronted with an uprising across Greater Israel…

As we’ve noted previously, only a very small percentage of West Bank land, prior to the Six Day War, was privately owned Palestinian land. Most was state land. So, it’s entirely inaccurate to suggest that all of the contested territory in Judea and Samaria – occupied by Jordan before the war – is “their land”.

Here’s another ahistorical claim:
Having rejected a two-state solution — an independent Palestine alongside Israel — Israel’s politicians face having to manage a de facto single state.

Gardner is being dishonest by eliding the Palestinians’ rejection of several Israeli peace offers over the last twenty years.

The op-ed continues:
This has roughly equal Arab and Jewish populations, but with such disparity of rights it is described by critics as an apartheid state.
BBC’s Jeremy Bowen rewrites the Beit Hanoun shortfall rocket incident
In other words, Bowen’s idea of accurate and impartial reporting, as demanded by BBC editorial guidelines, is to present a piece of shrapnel provided to him by parties who already blame Israel for the incident which he cannot verify is related to the said event and to quote “independent experts” that he does not identify by name or association in order to support the messaging he has chosen to promote in this entire report.

Ignoring the Fatah flags and posters around him, Bowen goes on:

Bowen: “Another family in the village is mourning a son; Ibrahim Hassanein who was 16. His father said Israel broke their hearts and made them hate their lives when they took his boy.”

Ibrahim Hassanin was killed in the same incident near the al-Masri residence (see p. 7, no. 8 here) which was caused by a shortfall Palestinian rocket but Bowen has no problem amplifying those false claims concerning Israel.

Bowen: “Palestinians don’t believe Israel’s insistence that it works hard not to kill civilians, warning them to get out before some raids like the one that destroyed this part of Beit Hanoun.”

The BBC already has a well-established record of failing to accurately report the often tragic consequences of rockets fired by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip which fall short of the border.

In this report however (presented with the purposefully misleading title “Palestinian community mourns 7 children killed in Gaza airstrike”), the gatekeeper of BBC Middle East reporting takes that one step further, going out of his way to ensure that in the minds of his UK viewers, Israel is to blame for the deaths of children, even though he has no proof of that and his report fails to present any direct comment from Israeli authorities.
CBC Blames Israel For Gaza Destruction, Despair and Deaths
After HonestReporting Canada issued its alert and our subscribers sent complaints, CBC News surreptitiously amended Margaret Evans’ online article to now say that “Israel said more than 4,300 rockets were fired at the country by Hamas and other militant groups from the Gaza Strip during the recent conflict, , most of which were intercepted by Israel’s missile defence system.”

As we pointed out in our alert, this vital about Hamas terrorism context was nowhere to be found in her report from Gaza.

Original Alert: May 26, 2021:
In a report published to the CBC’s website on May 26 and on a CBC The National report on May 25, journalist Margaret Evans filed her latest report from Gaza blaming Israel almost exclusively for Gaza’s destruction, despair and deaths.

Evans’ report was skewed to blame Israel from the get-go, with repetitive angles about the Israeli blockade, while giving a platform to Palestinians to falsely claim that Gaza is “occupied”.

Little context was given about the 4,000+ rockets that would have devastated Israel and massacred civilians, were it not for the Iron Dome missile defense interceptor, red alert sirens and bomb shelters.

Evans interviewed different Palestinian families to hear about what they endured during the recent hostilities, saying that “The Israeli military says it doesn’t deliberately target civilians and issued a statement saying it had struck Hamas’s underground infrastructure.” She then commented that: “Whatever the cause, people’s homes became their tombs.” And there you have it, intentional or accidental, Israeli air strikes killed innocent Palestinians.
Toronto Star Permitting Anti-Israel Activist Journalists to Report on Israel
On May 16, HRC broke the news that hundreds of Canadian journalists had signed a partisan and one-sided anti-Israel open letter lobbying Canadian news organizations on how to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Journalists from CBC, the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, CTV News, Macleans, Yahoo News Canada, Chatelaine, Global News, IPolitics, all signed the letter accusing Israel of carrying out “indiscriminate attacks” and “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, despite being duty bound to be objective and politically neutral.

HRC has liaised with all news organizations, many who have acknowledged and upheld our concerns and some who have told staff that they are no longer able to report on matters related to the Arab-Israeli conflict due to their anti-Israel biases. For example, Vice News has reported that several CBC journalists have been told that they cannot report on the conflict.

We also encourage you to read Andrew MacDougall’s column in the Ottawa Citizen where he cautions on this issue that “reporters must not become activists, no matter how worthy the cause.”

HRC Profiled in Western Standard: “Media Reports On Israel Rife With Thousands Of Errors”
The worst media bias relentlessly manifests in two false narratives: Israel’s an apartheid state and Israel occupies Palestinian land.

Let the howling begin. Go study history and the Bible, then we’ll talk. (Are we still allowed to say Bible out loud in Canada?)

“When Israel’s detractors employ this empty rhetoric they purposefully do so to tarnish Israel’s reputation,” says Fegelman. “Is Israel perfect? No, far from it and more must be done to promote Arab minority rights, but we should not be obtuse to how Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East in which its 20% Arab minority enjoys full equal rights before and under the law.”

Arabs sit on ‘apartheid’ Israel’s Supreme Court, serve in parliament and fight in the Israel Defense Forces.

Anyone know how many Jews hold esteemed positions in Gaza?

Surprisingly, Fegelman believes most media strive to be unbiased but “various impediments interfere with their goals.”

Media’s been infiltrated by many with sinister agendas trying to present anti-Semitic garbage as honorable reporting. Increasingly, media worldwide promotes anti-Israeli propaganda.

“Defensive military efforts become wars of aggression, Israeli peace overtures are dismissed, and terrorism is ignored or treated as an acceptable method of statecraft,” says Fegelman.

“The enemies of Israel today spend millions of dollars and employ hundreds of personnel to get ‘their side’ of the story out. Photographs are doctored, fake news stories are staged, and Palestinian ‘fixers’ are used as sources of information by overworked reporters trying to capture a complex story in just a few soundbites.”

Run error-riddled story…demonize Israel/Jews…make correction…repeat cycle…lament intolerance in Canada…cash subsidy cheque from taxpayers being lied to.
Hamas to The Onion_ ‘Enough Anti-Israel Propaganda’ (Satire)
The Gaza-based, Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamist terror organization, Hamas, chided The Onion yesterday for its anti-Israel obsession, urging the Wisconsin-based satirical publication to “focus more on the LOLs.”

The group’s message came during the recent outbreak of violence leading to a series of Onion articles that, in the words of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, “were the kind of anti-Israel rants we normally only see when Ahmed’s chugging the fermented goat’s milk.”

“Listen, we love hearing people rip on those Jews as much as anyone, but we already have the UN for that,” Haniyeh noted. “We log onto The Onion to take our minds off work with some humor, not to feel like we’re being lectured to by professional amateurs AOC & Co.”

Haniyeh pointed specifically to a story accusing an Israeli soldier of joyfully killing a Palestinian baby, when in reality the IDF provided advance warning to civilians “in order to allow them sufficient time to evacuate…”. He called the article “heartless” and compared it to pre-Hitler-era antisemitism, noting that “blood libels should be handled by professional human rights Judeo-skeptics like Hamas.”
Israeli chipmaker Valens to merge with PTK in SPAC deal at $1.16b valuation
Valens, a maker of high-speed chips for the audio-video and automotive markets, said Tuesday it will merge with special purpose acquisition company PTK Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, in a transaction that values the Israeli firm at $1.16 billion.

The company will be called Valens and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “VLN” following the transaction’s finalization, which is expected to occur later this fall, the companies said in a statement.

The deal will see Valens raising $240 million of gross proceeds from the deal.

The Hod Hasharon, Israel-based firm, founded in 2006 by founders Massad Eyal, Alon Benzaray, Gaby Gur-Cohen, Eyran Lida, Nadav Banet and Dror Jerushalmi, makes semiconductor chips for the delivery of uncompressed high-definition multimedia content for the automotive, industrial and consumer electronics market. The company has shipped over 25 million chipsets worldwide to date, the statement said.

The startup has raised $164 million to date from investors including Goldman Sachs, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment; Mamga Venture Partners and Genesis Partners, according to Start-Up Nation Central.
Forter raises $300 million at $3 billion valuation
E-commerce fraud prevention startup Forter announced on Tuesday that it has raised $300 million in Series F funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from Third Point Ventures, and Adage Capital Management. Existing investors also participated including Bessemer Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, March Capital, NewView Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Scale Venture Partners.

The announcement comes six months after the company completed its $125 million Series E round, almost tripling the valuation to $3 billion.

Two of the founders of Porter. Right: Michael Wrightblatt (CEO) and Liron Damari. Photo: Avi Raul Two of the founders of Porter. Right: Michael Wrightblatt (CEO) and Liron Damari. Photo: Avi Raul

Forter will use the additional funding to continue expanding its global ecosystem of trust enabling retailers, e-commerce platforms, issuing banks, and payment providers to fight fraud together, boosting confidence and improving shopper experience across the entire purchasing journey. Over the last 12 months, Forter has doubled the size of its global network of merchants to exceed $250 billion in annual online transactions while protecting more than a billion shoppers globally.

Tiger Global Management is known as one of the most active high-volume funds and has a strategy that is reminiscent of that used by SoftBank in its first fund. It invests massive funds after a very quick due diligence process and acquires significant stakes in companies. Tiger has invested in the likes of Redis Labs, SentinelOne, and many others.
New Book About Israel is the Much-Needed Schooling/Scolding for all Sides of the Conflict
It’s the morning of Jerusalem Day in Los Angeles, and Noa Tishby is doing what was expected to be another routine interview to promote her debut book, “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth.”

Immediately after this 10:00 AM interview begins, the most violent clashes in seven years between Israelis and Palestinians wreak increasing havoc throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Every minute of the interview, Tishby’s phone is inundated with texts, news alerts, and voicemails from friends, family, and media seeking her input. She answers some briefly, speaking in quick bursts of Hebrew.

A hashtag war of perspectives and pejoratives on every possible Middle East policy position would flourish on social media over the next week, a back-and-forth assault that continues even still. The sharp 46-year-old first-time author makes several Instagram videos speaking directly to her almost 220,000 followers, correcting the same “misunderstandings” that she addresses in her book. By the following Monday, Tishby would even film an Instagram video rebuttal to HBO’s John Oliver’s take on the situation on “Last Week Tonight.” Her book seems like an afterthought. Tishby’s concern is setting the record straight.

Seeing a solution in every problem is how Tishby approaches life. After almost twenty-five years in Los Angeles, Tishby is merging her ability to communicate as an actress with her desire to set the record straight on her troubled homeland.

The result is an entertaining yet informative 334-page primer on Israel, published in April by Free Press/Simon & Schuster. The book’s Amazon charts rank the book sales at #1 in categories of “Middle Eastern Politics,” “Historical Middle East Biographies,” and “Israel & Palestine History.”
The Tikvah Podcast: Seth Siegel on Israel’s Water Revolution
“Water,” said Israel’s second prime minister Levi Eshkol, “is to the country like blood to a human being.” From the time of the Hebrew Bible and through the ages, Jews have prayed for water in the land of Israel, and when early Zionist leaders began building the institutions of statehood, they made water a central policy issue. In recent years, Israeli technology has effected a water revolution through desalinization, drip irrigation, and agricultural science. Now, the Jewish state’s hydro-innovations have given it the diplomatic leverage to strengthen its friendships across the world.

On this week’s podcast, Seth Siegel, a water-technology expert, joins Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver to talk about Israel’s water revolution. Siegel is the chief sustainability officer at N-Drip, an Israeli hydro-technology company, and the author of the 2015 book Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water Starved World. In this podcast, he talks about his work and about how this precious natural resource affects everything from Israeli utility bills to international diplomacy.

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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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