Wednesday, June 02, 2021

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The strange reluctance to defend liberal principles
Last weekend, there was a particularly shocking antisemitic incident at a demonstration near the Israel embassy in London.

A masked youth was filmed telling a Muslim crowd: “We’ll find some Jews here ... We want the Zionists, we want their blood!” Minutes earlier, a YouTuber called Mohammed Hijab had whipped up the mob against the “terrorist apartheid state of Israel” by declaring: “We love death.”

The Times reported:
Hijab, a former trainee history teacher, told the group through a megaphone: “The truth of the matter is that we are with the brothers and sisters of Palestine and we will get our vengeance in this dunya [world] or the akhirah [hereafter] ... we will get our justice.”

Surrounded by chants of allahu akbar, Hijab continued: “The difference between us [Muslims] and them [Jews] is this ... We believe that life begins with death. We don’t care about death. We love death, and if you think that our people in Palestine or across the Arab and Muslim world will let go of the struggle and our sacred places, like Al Aqsa [mosque in Jerusalem], you are grossly mistaken.”


The Metropolitan Police are now said to be hunting the masked youth who called for Jewish blood. But police officers who had been within earshot of his ranting had stood by and done absolutely nothing while he incited the murder of Jews.

Why was this? Probably for the same reason that the police did nothing over many years when several thousand young white girls in northern British towns were raped, pimped and serially sexually abused by gangs of Pakistani-heritage Muslim men.

The police are quick to feel the collars of Christians publicly preaching Biblical passages against homosexuality. But they are not moved to similar action, apparently, when Muslim men scream for the blood of Jews on a London street.

The reason is that the police are terrified of being thought racist or Islamophobic. So Muslim Jew-baiting and incitement to murder Jews get a free pass.
Ruthie Blum: Antisemitism at Rutgers University isn't all academic
In a sardonic twist, SJP assailed Molloy and Conway for "lumping" together the murder of George Floyd with attacks against Asians, Indigenous persons, Hindus and Muslims "for the purpose of making a blanket statement decreeing that 'racism is bad.'" Of course, SJP doesn't consider virulent anti-Zionism and antisemitism to be "racist," but rather deserved.

The group concluded its tirade by demanding that the Rutgers administration not only apologize, but "call out and expose any and all ties to Israeli apartheid and commit to action that reflects a global call to uplift the humanity of Palestinians, to recognize their violent displacement by the state of Israel, and acknowledge the gross mass murders occurring at the hands of the Israeli Defense Forces."

Without skipping a beat, Molloy and Conway obeyed.

"In hindsight," they groveled in a statement on May 27, "it is clear to us that the message failed to communicate support for our Palestinian community members. We sincerely apologize for the hurt that this message has caused."

Rutgers, they wrote, "is a community that is enriched by our vibrant diversity. However, our diversity must be supported by equity, inclusion, anti-racism and the condemnation of all forms of bigotry and hatred, including antisemitism and Islamophobia. As we grow in our personal and institutional understanding, we will take the lesson learned here to heart, and pledge our commitment to doing better. We will work to regain your trust, and make sure that our communications going forward are much more sensitive and balanced."

The ridicule and outrage on the part of pro-Israel organizations and victims of antisemitism this nauseating piece of breast-beating elicited caused Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway to take charge of the controversy. In a statement on May 29 – titled "On Hatred and Bigotry" – he announced, "We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against antisemitism."

Perhaps not. But Holloway – whose attempt at a tough response replaced the previous two statements on the school's website – was no more specific about antisemitism than Molloy and Conway had been.

"Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world," he said. "At Rutgers we believe that antisemitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur."

Erasing the particularity of antisemitism is one goal of SJP and like-minded radical organizations. Another is denying its existence on the grounds that Jews are privileged and Israel is evil. Such aims themselves stem from and perpetuate antisemitism.

It's bad enough that Rutgers administrators and their counterparts at colleges around America act as though they're oblivious to this fact. Far worse is their active collusion, based on cowardice.
How a ‘Wokestorm’ Is Misleading a Generation About Israel
The Israeli-Arab conflict is a decades-long, complex conflict, but woke culture sees no nuance, only supremacist and victim. Many of the leading lights of the Democratic party amplify this mess. If only Bernie could listen to Bernie from 2014 telling protestors that Hamas uses Gazan children as shields. Common sense isn’t what it used to be.

And of course, Judaism advocates for a certain kind of “wokeness.” Judaism instructs us to pursue justice constantly. But the prophets of the Hebrew Bible were not only the most adamant in calling for a righteous society but in creating a generous one too. “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God,” the prophet Micah charged. It seems that today’s generation has forgotten Micah’s last sentiment. Woke culture is in desperate need of humility, admitting that truth does not dwell in Twitter nor the messiah in a meme.

If the “woke community” really sought to awaken, it would realize that Jew hatred is the oldest of hatreds. Of all the countries in the world with egregious human rights records, how is it that the State of Israel, which has Arab members of Knesset and a LGBTQ parade in Jerusalem, is so often singled out by the United Nations for reprimand? Which other country on the planet would tolerate a daily barrage of missiles aimed at its civilian populations? How can one justify the assault on non-Israelis in cities worldwide elsewhere in the name of ending the “occupation”?

It is time for the world to “wake up” and recognize when defense of Palestinian rights becomes a one-sided, distorted, often violent assault against Jews, plain and simple. People of conscience and especially Jews ought to know better. (h/t Cliff)


Lapid informs president he can form government removing Netanyahu from power
Thirty-five minutes before a midnight deadline, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday night informed President Reuven Rivlin he is able to form a government in which he and Yamina chief Naftali Bennett will switch off as prime minister, positioning themselves to replace Israel’s longest-serving leader Benjamin Netanyahu as premier.

Under the terms of the new coalition, Bennett is to serve as prime minister until September 2023, when Lapid will take over from him until the end of the Knesset term in November 2025. The agreement came together after Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas threw his support behind the would-be government late on Wednesday night, setting up his Islamist party to be the first majority Arab party to be part of a ruling coalition in Israel’s history.

Despite Lapid’s declaration, it remained unclear that the prospective “change government” will make it past the finish line. It is set to include 61 of the 120 MKs — the narrowest possible majority. And an MK from Bennett’s Yamina, Nir Orbach, earlier on Wednesday night announced he could vote against the new coalition, a move that could potentially doom the prospective razor-thin government of right-wing, centrist, left-wing parties and the Islamist Ra’am.

“I am honored to inform you that I have succeeded in forming a government,” Lapid told Rivlin according to a Yesh Atid statement. “The government will be an alternate government in accordance with Clause 13(a) of the Basic Law: The Government, and MK Naftali Bennett will serve as prime minister first.”


We cannot ignore Muslim anti-Semitism any longer
Recent events have confirmed what I have known for a while – that Britain has allowed the scourge of anti-Semitism to fester in poorly integrated elements of the Muslim population.

The evidence has shown for some time that such problematic beliefs are relatively concentrated within the British Muslim population. A 2017 report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) suggested that, across a range of indicators, the degree of anti-Semitic beliefs within British Muslim communities was a serious cause for concern. When set against the general population, British Muslims in the study were more likely to believe that Jews have too much power in Britain (eight per cent versus 27 per cent), exploit the Holocaust for their own purposes (10 per cent and 25 per cent), and possess feelings of ‘group superiority’ over non-Jews (13 per cent and 28 per cent).

My own study, based on December 2019 polling, showed that when compared with British Muslim respondents who are more socially integrated through their friendship groups, lesser-integrated Muslims were more likely to believe that British Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the UK. Similarly, lesser-integrated British Muslim respondents were more likely to think that there is too much Jewish control in the global spheres of politics, banking, media, entertainment and arms production. The survey data suggest that tight-knit, predominantly Muslim social networks in Britain have the potential to act as ideological echo chambers in which anti-Semitic beliefs and anti-Jewish views are reinforced without challenge.

The vast majority of British Muslims are decent people – they reject anti-Semitism. But the existing data suggest that believing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and holding anti-Jewish views are problems which are more concentrated within British Muslim communities. In particular, poorly integrated sections of these communities can present a fertile ground for Islamism, in which anti-Semitic ideas have the potential to take root.
Aaron Klein: Anti-Israel liars are inciting antisemitism
One particularly egregious example of misleading reportage and ensuing slander occurred when the IDF used precision munitions to down an emptied 12-story tower in Gaza that housed a Hamas headquarters for carrying out attacks on Israelis. The complex was used as a Hamas operations base for gathering information to wage terror war, R&D operations for weapons systems and positioning equipment to hamper IDF operations.

Hamas placed its murder machine inside a building that also housed civilian offices, including those of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. In doing so, Hamas knowingly put foreign reporters in danger, using them as human shields to wage jihad on Israelis.

Before taking out the terror tower disguised as an office building, the IDF ensured that the entire complex was emptied by warning all occupants inside about an impending strike, even providing enough time for Hamas to evacuate. After employing such warning tactics as phone calls, SMS and loud sounds outside the building, the IDF sent the landlord into the structure to ensure it was entirely emptied and acted only after receiving verification.

The strike, carried out to protect Israelis, was a perfect example of the lengths to which Israel goes to ensure civilians are unharmed when working to stop an enemy that revels in non-combatant deaths. There was not a single casualty.

Yet anti-Israel ideologues went into overdrive painting a misleading picture of Israel bombing journalists’ offices as if Israeli military leaders woke up in the morning and decided to attack the free press. Those critics only encourage Hamas to further place journalists and other civilians in harms way by embedding their terror infrastructure in civilian zones knowing that Israel – and not Hamas – will face international censure for legitimately protecting itself.

After weeks of incitement against Israel in the public sphere, it is small wonder that antisemites worldwide have been triggered. The purveyors of anti-Israel propaganda are fuelling antisemitism and are just as responsible for the violent consequences as the miscreants on the streets of America and Europe going around attacking Jews.


Google Diversity Head Said Jews Have ‘Insatiable Appetite for War’
Google’s head of diversity strategy said in a 2007 blog post that Jews have an "insatiable appetite for war" and an "insensitivity to the suffering [of] others." The comments were part of a longer meditation from Kamau Bobb, now head of diversity strategy at Google, that also slammed Israel’s military actions in Gaza and Lebanon that same year.

Bobb was at the time a research associate in technology at Georgia Tech, according to his LinkedIn. The post, titled "If I Were A Jew," described how he believed Jewish people should view the Middle East conflict.

"If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself," he wrote in a Nov. 30, 2007, post on his personal blog, where he was still actively publishing as recently as April 2021. "Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others." The blog features commentary from Bobb on a wide range of issues, including racial equality, U.S. politics, and education policy.

Bobb identifies himself as a Google employee in his blog's biography section.

Google and Bobb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The post is likely to cast a new light on Google’s diversity strategy in the wake of demands from a group of employees that the company cancel its business contracts in Israel and publicly condemn Israel’s military defense operations in Gaza. While Google has been a vocal supporter of diversity initiatives—the company released a statement about its "commitments to racial equity" in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last year—it has not commented on the recent spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes.

Bobb’s blog post was heavily critical of the Israeli government and argued that Jews should be "tormented" by the country’s actions.

"If I were a Jew today, my sensibilities would be tormented," he wrote. "I would find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the long cycles of oppression that Jewish people have endured and the insatiable appetite for vengeful violence that Israel, my homeland, has now acquired."

Bobb wrote that the history of Jewish suffering, particularly the Holocaust, should theoretically provide Jews with more "human compassion."


UNRWA Gaza chief recalled after uproar over claim that IDF strikes ‘precise’
The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s mission in Gaza has been recalled from his post following an uproar in the coastal enclave after he told Israeli TV that IDF strikes during last month’s 11-day war appeared to be “precise” and “sophisticated.”

Matthias Schmale, along with his deputy David de Bold, left the Hamas-run coastal enclave on Wednesday, according to Channel 12, the network to which the UNRWA director made the original comments last month. The interview led to accusations from Gaza rulers Hamas that he was exonerating Israel for the deaths of Palestinian civilians, prompting Schmale to apologize.

A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency told Channel 12 that Schmale had been called back to Jerusalem for consultations and had decided to take an extended leave of absence.

De Bold was also deemed persona non grata by Hamas, according to Palestinian media, which said the terror group was demanding that both he and Schmale be fired.

The UNRWA spokesman told Channel 12 that De Bold would continue his job remotely from Jerusalem and that Deputy Commissioner-General Leni Stenseth would run the Gaza office on-site in the interim.

A protest scheduled outside UNRWA’s headquarters for Wednesday was canceled following Schmale’s departure.

In the May 23 interview, Schmale was asked about the IDF’s assertion that its military strikes were very precise. He responded: “I’m not a military expert but I would not dispute that. I also have the impression that there is a huge sophistication in the way the Israeli military struck over the last 11 days.”
New York Times Corrects Its Headline Claim That Gaza Dead Were ‘Mostly Civilians’
The New York Times is retreating from its claim, made in a top-of-the-front page six-column headline, that the recent Israel-Gaza war left “More Than 250 Dead, Mostly Civilians.”

A correction published by the Times in the June 1 newspaper confesses that the paper can’t substantiate the May 21 headline’s unattributed claim. “A headline with an article on May 21 about the conflict between Israel and Hamas overstated the death toll in the conflict. As the article correctly stated, more than 240 people were killed in Gaza and Israel, not more than 250, according to local officials, and it is not known whether most of those killed were civilians,” the correction says. It offers readers no explanation of how the erroneous claim made its way into the headline.

The Times correction itself, in addition to being defensive, is itself erroneous, or at least imprecisely worded: the article, which carried the names of six of the paper’s journalists, didn’t “correctly state” that it wasn’t known whether most of those killed were civilians. Rather, it passed along to Times readers Hamas claims that “The Israeli aerial and artillery campaign has killed more than 230 people in Gaza, many of them civilians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.”
Syracuse University: We support Israel and peace. It’s Hamas that wants a war (Guest Opinion)
Richard D. Wilkins lives in DeWitt. Miriam Elman is an associate professor at Syracuse University. Lynn C. Koss lives in Fayetteville. They write on behalf of 36 others whose names are on file with the authors.

Surely, it’s possible to distinguish between Israel, concerned not only for the safety of its own civilians but also of civilians in Gaza, and Hamas, which cynically enables and exploits the suffering of both. It hides its rocket launchers in homes, schools, clinics and mosques, and after launching rockets, welcomes in return the high value propaganda of civilian casualties, committing a double war crime.

When sirens blare day and night, Israelis living in the vicinity of Gaza have 15 seconds to rush to safety. Only the protection of the Iron Dome has prevented massive death and injury. Hundreds of Hamas rockets, falling short in Gaza, have killed scores of Palestinians, and yet so many have shamefully and reflexively rooted for the side with the higher body count! Israel builds shelters, while Hamas builds a “metro” of tunnels for moving its fighters and sheltering its leaders. Meanwhile Israel, uniquely among today’s armed forces, alerts the residents of Gaza, via “roof knocking” duds, telephone and text messages, sparing lives.

In the 1990s, the Oslo peace process was supposed to put an end to Palestinian terrorism. It didn’t. Sadly, the duplicity of Palestinian leaders has been evident ever since. How dissonant their English words are, from those in the Arabic. In fact, destruction of Israel is a shared goal — covertly for Fatah, overtly for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and an alphabet array of splinter terror groups. Repeated Israeli peace feelers have been summarily rebuffed, without counteroffers.

Yet, as the Abraham Accords attest, the wider Arab world has begun to move on. For the Palestinians, it’s still 1948. This century old war continues due to their intransigent refusal to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish homeland in a sovereign Middle East state.

Even now, Israel’s hand remains outstretched waiting for a new Palestinian leadership to come forward to clasp it.


Taxpayer-funded Bronx legal aid honcho blasts Israel, ‘US empire’ for ‘genocide’
A director at the taxpayer-funded Bronx Defenders Office sent out an email blasting Israel, the “US empire” and even the NYPD amid the ongoing dispute with Palestinians in Gaza — likening the situation to “sanctioned genocide” against blacks and native Americans in America.

Shannon Cumberbatch, director of Bronx Defenders’ Office of Equity and Institutional Transformation, sent the May 14 email from her work email address to her “anti-oppression team.”

Bronx Defenders has received $262 million in city funding over the past decade to provide services to accused criminals and other poor defendants and citizens in legal proceedings, according to records compiled by Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office.

The Bronx legal services group was also awarded $25 million in funding from the state over the last decade, records show.

In the email blast, Cumberbatch said Bronx Defenders stood in “solidarity with our comrades in Colombia, Brazil and Palestine who are fighting rampant state violence by militarized police forces that the US Empire helps to train and support financially and otherwise, while disproportionately targeting black, brown and native people in their countries, just as those forces do in the United States.”

Cumberbatch went on to “highlight the suffering of our Palestinian colleagues and comrades whose loved ones continue fighting for their survival and security” during the final days of Ramadan.

She then slams Israel military actions while downplaying Hamas’ launching of missiles into the Jewish State from Gaza. She specifically mentioned the “raid” of the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

“The present reality of the displacement, disenfranchisement and military violence happening abroad is reminiscent of the settler colonialism, state violence and sanctioned genocide weaponized against Native and people of color in the United States,” Cumberbatch said.
Arrests at Bronx Memorial Day March After Anti-Israel Protesters Shout Violent Slogans, Scale Bridge
Anti-Israel protesters shouted violent slogans calling for the ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews and scaled a bridge in the Bronx during a Memorial Day march, leading to several arrests.

The New York Post reported that the mob of demonstrators chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” referring to the imposition of an Arab state in place of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Video posted to Facebook showed the protesters also shouting “long live the intifada,” a reference to Palestinian violence and terrorism against Israelis.

The members of the mob chanting the violent slogans also carried signs reading, “Defend the Palestinians! For a Socialist Federation of the Middle East!,” “Stop US aid to Israel,” “Stop the zionist annexation,” and “Stop the ethnic cleansing.”

Protestors climbed a bridge at White Plains Road and East Tremont Avenue, waving Palestinian flags. This reportedly led to several arrests.

A video posted on Twitter showed police arresting one individual from the mob, as others shouted at the police in an apparent attempt to prevent the arrest.
Seattle Protest group to block Israeli ship
A BDS protest group in Seattle is attempting to stop an Israeli ship from docking in the city port, according to a statement by the group. The announcement makes no mention of the goal of stopping the boat from docking, aside from general declarations of "#ShutDownApartheid". The ship belongs to the Israeli shipping company Zim, that in 2018 joined into a partnership with the 2M Alliance, one of the world’s largest shipping groups, to open trade lines between the east coast of the United States and Asia.

It has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since February 2021.
‘Pupils competed to stick Palestine flags on me’, says tearful Jewish teacher
A Jewish teacher has bravely spoken out after becoming the target of physical abuse in the classroom following increased tensions in the Middle East.

The school teacher in north London, who does not want to be identified out of fear of the abuse worsening, told Jewish News how they became a magnet for harassment from pupils.

“The whole school was full of Palestine flags, the pupils all began shouting ‘Free Palestine,” they said. “At the beginning, I thought they were just making a statement for all the teachers, but then I realised it was targeted to me and other teachers that are Jewish.”

The teacher, who works in a non-Jewish school, said pupils competed to see who could stick the most amount of Free Palestine stickers on their hair and clothing.

“They were trying to stick Free Palestine stickers in my hair, I broke into tears, I couldn’t take my class that morning,” they said.

The senior leadership of the school has not offered any support following the incident, they alleged. The NEU, a teachers’ union, was also criticised for emailing members urging them to attend a pro-Palestinian demo, while not condemning antisemitism.

“I resigned immediately,” said the teacher. “They didn’t try and get me to stay, they just said if you want to resign follow this link.”

It comes after teachers at JFS staged a mass exodus from the union citing its stance on Israel and wider antisemitism.
Jeremy Bowen on Gaza: how impartial is the BBC’s Middle East Editor?
Then there is what is missing from this piece and Bowen’s “Notebook” on Israel and Gaza in The New Statesman the week before (21 May). Nothing about last year’s Abraham Accords, the first public normalisation of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. The Abraham Accords were the crucial context for the outbreak of violence by Hamas, who felt threatened by the first significant signs of peace between Arab states and Israel for almost thirty years. There is not a single reference by Bowen to who funds Hamas and Fatah and who supplies Hamas with missiles. There are no references at all to Hamas using human shields or how many casualties were self-inflicted. (Bowen wrote a now infamous piece for the New Statesman in 2014, in which he claimed that he had seen “no evidence” of Hamas using human shields in Gaza.)

The British media, in particular the BBC and Sky News, did a terrible job of covering the conflict between Hamas and Israel, with numerous examples of bias and one-sided emotive reporting. As the BBC’s first and so far only Middle East Editor, Bowen bears some responsibility for this. Now past sixty, he has been covering Israel and the Middle East since 1995, apart from an interlude from 200-2005. It is time for him to be moved. 26 years is a long time for one man to be the main voice of the BBC, covering the most controversial conflict in the world.

He has been criticised for bias on numerous occasions. In April 2009, the BBC Trust upheld in full or in part three complaints on the grounds of accuracy and impartiality in two reports on the Middle East by Bowen. The decision led to criticism of the BBC on two fronts – from those who claim its Middle East coverage is biased and from those who said the move would give further ammunition to the corporation’s critics.

In July 2014, Bowen was accused of quoting figures provided by the health ministry in Gaza, without telling viewers that the ministry is run by Hamas. He also quoted the then UN Human Rights commissioner, claiming that there was serious doubt that Israel was complying with the laws of war that protect civilians — without quoting her criticism of Hamas for launching missiles indiscriminately at Israeli civilians from residential areas in the Gaza Strip and concealing weapons caches in such areas.

It is time for newspapers, magazines and news programmes to think about using a greater range of voices to cover Israel and the Middle East, to be properly scrutinised for bias and for examples of bias to be properly reported by the BBC and in newspapers and magazines. The BBC could make a start by publishing the Balen Report, a 20,000-word document written by the senior broadcasting journalist Malcolm Balen in 2004 after examining thousands of hours of the BBC’s coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, following persistent complaints from the public and the Israeli government about allegations of anti-Israel bias. Almost twenty years on, it has never been published.


Local Labour chair suspended over hostile meeting claims to have been reinstated
Louise Regan, who was suspended last year over a pro-Jeremy Corbyn motion, ran a meeting at which a Jewish member said they had to leave due to the 'unacceptable' atmosphere

The chair of Nottingham East Labour Party, who was suspended over her handling of a meeting at which a Jewish member said the atmosphere was so hostile he felt he had to leave, has claimed she has now been reinstated following an investigation.

Louise Regan, the CLP chair, had been suspended last November after allowing a motion in support of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be debated at a meeting.

Steve Lapsley, 50, a local Jewish constituent, who attended the local party meeting complained:“I have just left my CLP meeting after a man who abused me in front of witnesses was allowed to say without censure that he had never seen antisemitism in the party. The whole meeting is horrific.”

Multiple sources inside the meeting confirmed the intimidating atmosphere at the meeting.

Local MP Nadia Whittome, previously a staunch supporter of Mr Corbyn, also intervened twice to condemn the decision to allow the motion to be heard.


Removing Facts, Inserting Lies: Vice News Aired Palestinian Propaganda Masquerading as Documentary
During the Israel-Hamas conflict, Vice News released Inside the Battle for Jerusalem, a documentary that purportedly portrays the events in eastern Jerusalem over the previous three weeks. Within 24 hours, the video garnered over a million views on YouTube. While Vice promoted it as “one of the most comprehensive reports from [the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of] Sheikh Jarrah and Al Aqsa,” this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Almost every other sentence uttered by Vice‘s reporter on the ground, Hind Hassan (formerly of Al Jazeera), is missing crucial facts and context, or contains falsehoods. Below, HonestReporting dissects Vice‘s three most blatant breaches of journalistic standards:

1. Turning a Blind Eye to Palestinian Violence
Who’s to blame for the escalation in Jerusalem? After watching the Vice documentary, an uninformed viewer could be forgiven for thinking that Israeli police on May 8 attacked innocent Muslim worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Without providing any context, Vice opens the documentary with claims like: “The Israeli police has been arresting loads of Palestinian children. Palestinians are retaliating because so many young men have been taken away by the police.”

In reality, the tensions in the city had already intensified around the start of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, and Israel was not the instigator. On April 15, a Palestinian man attacked two ultra-Orthodox Israeli boys on the Jerusalem light rail. The footage of the unprovoked attack went viral on the video-sharing app TikTok.

In the days that followed, more and more clips of attacks on unsuspecting Israeli civilians started appearing on the platform.

Simultaneously, young Palestinians staged violent protests at the Old City’s Damascus Gate. Hundreds of rioters, some of them hurling fireworks, rocks, and petrol bombs, clashed with Israeli police for nights on end. The riots left dozens of police officers and innocent Israeli civilians injured. On April 23 and 24, Gaza-based terrorists further fanned the flames of conflict by firing dozens of rockets into the Jewish state.
Harvard Police Investigating Vandalism of Jewish Center After Window Smashed, Palestinian Flag Zip-Tied to Door
Rabbi Jonah C. Steinberg of Harvard Hillel confirmed on Tuesday that Harvard University Police Department were investigating two acts of vandalism targeting the Jewish group’s Reisman Center in the Rosovsky Hall campus building.

The most recent incident, which is the second in two weeks, occurred during a party on Mount Auburn Street when someone shattered one of Rosovsky Hall’s windows, according to an email from Steinberg seen by The Algemeiner.

Police have not yet determined whether the offender “specifically aimed” the impacting object at the building.

Several days earlier, Rabbi Steinberg added, two masked people “zip-tied” a “Palestinian flag bearing [an] anti-police slogan … to the front door of Rosovsky Hall.”

He suggested the second act may be connected to a recent Cambridge City Council meeting featuring “public testimony on both a boycott resolution against Israel and a resolution on police-defunding.”

“The essence of Harvard Hillel is a welcoming, inclusive, and resilient togetherness, which I regard as indomitable in the face of hatred and violence,” Steinberg said.

Rising Harvard senior Sam Meyerson told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that he was alarmed that the Reisman Center — his “home on campus” — has now twice been a target for antisemitic harassment.


Hollywood Industry Group Calls Cultural Boycotts of Israel ‘Affront’ to Those Seeking Peace, After 600 Musicians Sign Open Letter
As a call for a cultural boycott of Israel signed by hundreds of musicians continued to circulate Tuesday, the head of an entertainment industry organization said that such efforts are “merely another roadblock to peace.”

“Boycotts are also an affront to Palestinian and Israeli moderates alike who are seeking to reach peace through compromise, exchange, and mutual recognition,” Ari Ingel, director of the non-profit Creative Community for Peace, told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “It is these voices who we should amplify.”

The comments came in response to an open letter signed last week by at some 600 musicians — including Patti Smith, Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, and The Roots’ Questlove — calling on other artists to boycott Israel and publicly show solidarity with Palestinians.

“If musicians were to only play in countries where they approve of everything a government does, we would soon be living in a world without live music,” Ingel continued. “While we may not all agree with some of the policies and actions of the Israeli and Palestinian governments, just as we may not agree with the actions or policies of the American or British governments, we should all believe in the power of artists and their ability to affect lives and effect positive change in the world. This is especially true with music, which has the ability to bring together people of all backgrounds.”

He added, “While politicians on both sides of the conflict hold some blame to the current impasse in peace negotiations, unifying activities, like concerts, are crucial to help bridge the cultural divide and bring Arabs and Jews together in the shared love of music.”

The May 27 boycott letter also accused Israel of war crimes and said the Israeli government “operates a settler-colonial project committed to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.”
Pomona College Student Government Passes Resolution to Defund Clubs Supporting Israel
The student government at Pomona College in Claremont, California, has passed a resolution with the goal of defunding student groups that support Israel.

The resolution, titled, “Banning the Use of ASPC Funding to Support the Occupation of Palestine,” states that being “apolitical” in the “face of injustice” is “fundamentally a political statement.”

“To endorse oppression by compliance is an affront to the students of the College already negatively affected by unjust political and economic systems,” the resolution adds.

The resolution goes on to say that the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) will “change its internal spending habits” regarding its investments portfolio, owned business entities, senator budgets, and more, by stopping “categorical spending on items that knowingly support the Israeli occupation of Palestine or contributes to any companies” on the United Nation’s list of businesses linked to Israel.

The ASPC will therefore work with Students for Justice in Palestine “to perform an annual check” on the student government’s businesses “to ensure all goods sold adhere to the guidelines outlined in this resolution.”

The resolution also “calls upon the other Claremont Colleges Student Government Associations to follow suit, with the end goal of an ultimate adoption of a Consortium-wide agreement to ban clubs from using student government allocations to invest in or purchase goods or services from companies that contribute to the settlement and occupation of Palestinian occupied territories by the UN-designated companies or the Israeli state.”

“Clubs that fail to divest and/or refrain from such uses of funding would face the loss of all Claremont Colleges Student Government Association funds,” the resolution adds.
HonestReporting: Los Angeles Times Erases Terror Link of Gaza Bookstore
While the dust of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict has settled, the media war against the Jewish state continues. Unsurprisingly, the narrative pushed by major news organizations has been that Israel is at fault for taking action in defense of its citizens. At the same time, terror groups in the Gaza Strip are exonerated of any guilt. Some outlets have even gone as far as to blame Israel for killing a goldfish.

Now, the newest libel: Israel being accused of intentionally bombing bookstores.

On June 1, the Los Angeles Times published “Bookshop, Gaza cultural icon, destroyed in Israel-Hamas war.” The report from Gaza, written by special correspondent Hana Salah, blasts the Jewish state for launching an airstrike on the Gaza City building that housed the Samir Mansour Bookstore. The LA Times featured the story on its front page that same day. The one-sided report, however, fails to mention what kind of books were sold by Mansour.

An investigation by HonestReporting has found that the store carried numerous controversial novels.

First, some background. According to the Israeli army, Hamas used the six-story building for intelligence gathering. It also asserts that the terrorist group manufactured weapons above Mansour’s store. While the IDF did not substantiate these claims, it’s an indisputable fact that Hamas and other terror groups embed themselves among the civilian population. On the day that the bookshop was leveled, Gaza-based terrorist groups fired 335 rockets at Israeli population centers. Graphics shared by the IDF show that many of these projectiles were fired from populated areas inside Gaza City.

The LA Times story, however, insinuates that Israel deliberately targeted Samir Mansour’s business. “The occupation wants to send the message that ‘even your books, even the Palestinian narrative, we will destroy,'” the newspaper quotes a Palestinian saying. While deciding to include the accusation, the LA Times failed to exercise basic journalistic due diligence by researching the veracity of such anti-Israel claims.
BBC ME editor promotes think tank proposals on BBC platforms
So what exactly are those “good ideas” and what are the aims of the people who came up with them?

Titled ‘Breaking the Israel-Palestine Status Quo’, that paper was written by Zaha Hassan, Daniel Levy, Hallaamal Keir and former Jordanian politician Marwan Munasher.

Zaha Hassan is listed on the Carnegie website as a visiting fellow who previously “was the coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine’s bid for UN membership, and was a member of the Palestinian delegation to Quartet-sponsored exploratory talks between 2011 and 2012”. That bio does not clarify that she is also a policy member at Al Shabaka – a BDS supporting, ‘right of return’ endorsing organisation with members who advocate for the dismantling of the Jewish state.

Daniel Levy is president of the US Middle East Project and a co-founder of J Street as well as a trustee for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund which has given grants to a variety of political NGOs supposedly engaged in ‘peacebuilding’.

As for the paper itself, it is perhaps most remarkable for what it does not say: that its authors advocate a two-state solution to the conflict.

Indeed in a recent interview, Hassan touted the ‘apartheid’ smear (also in an article she wrote together with Daniel Levy), expressed objection to the Abraham Accords (claiming that they are “undermining Israeli-Palestinian peace and international law”) and appeared to regard the so-called ‘one-state solution’ – the result of which would be the end of Israel as the Jewish state – as a legitimate option, albeit one which is not currently practicable.

“Of course, centering rights does not get you a peace agreement tomorrow. We aren’t so naïve as to think that—whether that’s a one-state solution or a two-state solution.”

Apparently then we can conclude that the BBC’s Middle East editor is of the opinion that ambivalence towards the right of Jews to self-determination is one of the “good ideas” put forward in the paper he is obviously keen to promote.
Instagram Censors Jewish Website Fighting Anti-Semitism
The popular worldwide Jewish education institution Aish Hatorah reports that Instagram has blocked several of its postings that were trying to educate the public about anti-Semitism.

Aish Hatorah runs Aish.com, one of the world’s largest Judaism websites. Chief editor Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith said that with the alarming uptick in anti-Semitism in North America, they have made it a priority to create social media content not only to educate the world about Jew-hatred, but also to advise what to do about it.

“But Instagram didn’t like what we’re doing and censored us,” Coopersmith said Monday, explaining that the social media platform that is owned by Facebook objected to a series of slides that highlight the current availability of Hitler’s infamous book Mein Kampf on the Amazon website and some of the history behind the book.

The images posted on the Aish Hatorah Instagram account all had graphics that described Hitler’s insidious political manifesto that helped spark World War II including an image showing that Mein Kampf can still be bought online in America.

“We shared the facts. The fact that anti-Semitic literature is readily available for sale around the world, including on Amazon. We told the truth,” Aish posted on its Facebook page.

Coopersmith said that Instagram considered the posts “insidious, hateful or offensive.”
BBC Radio 4 gives PA envoy unchallenged platform for promotion of lies
After Hotovely had repeatedly tried to explain that the police were responding to preplanned violent rioting, Shah moved on to the topic of the Sheikh Jarrah court case which BBC audiences have not seen properly portrayed to this day. When Hotovely explained that the court case had been postponed in an effort to “ease tensions”, Shah retorted:
Shah: “But for Palestinian families though there is no de-escalation if they’re going to lose their homes.”

After closing that interview Shah repeated Hamas claims concerning casualties – yet again without clarifying their source.

Shah: “Voices in Gaza say that more than 20 people were killed in that attack.”

The programme’s producers then chose to bring in (from 20:17) the head of the PA mission in the UK, Husam Zomlot, who – given the frequency of his appearances in BBC content – they were no doubt aware would provide listeners with five full minutes of falsehoods, propaganda and hyperbole. Shah’s failure to challenge his intentional distortions of the truth is therefore all the more noteworthy.

Shah: “Rockets were fired into Israel. It was inevitable that there would be some kind of response from the Israeli Defence Forces, wasn’t there?”

Zomlot: “You know this has been happening for a long time. The Israelis do the act – the act of provocation, the act of violence. Only this morning they have injured more than 300 peaceful worshippers in al Aqsa Mosque. They have stormed the clinic the night before and therefore all these injured did not have a place to be attended to. And therefore if you were on [in] Palestine [sic] tonight you would see people peacefully demonstrating all over – not only the West Bank and Gaza but actually Palestinian cities inside.”


Even that reference to locations in Israel as “Palestinian cities” failed to solicit a reaction from Shah.
The Times promotes BLM's demonisation of Israel
An article in The Times is titled “Why Black Lives Matter is backing the Palestinian cause“, but it doesn’t even come close to delivering on that promise. Instead, the article, by their Washington correspondent Allistair Dawber (former Jerusalem correspondent at the Independent) merely promotes Black Lives Matter talking points, whilst failing to critically scrutinise the group or carefully examine their record on Jews and Israel.

The piece begins thusly:
Among the many Palestinian flags and hand-drawn placards being flown at a recent anti-Israel demonstration in New York one stood out. It read: “We can’t breathe since 1948”.

It combined the emotive slogan of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement with the date of modern Israel’s foundation, or the Nakba (catastrophe), as the Palestinians remember it.


In addition to being “emotive”, the sign, with its reference to 1948, as opposed to 1967, clearly indicates that, for such protesters, their problem with Israel doesn’t center around the occupation, but with its very existence.

As CAMERA noted in their backgrounder on the group (as opposed to the general cause), BLM has a record of public statements and affiliations which suggest their problem is with the continues existence of Israel, not merely their polices. In addition to the fact that they support BDS, a 2016 policy platform by the Movement for Black Lives, an umbrella group that includes all the smaller groups affiliated with BLM, included the charge that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians.
Young Jewish Siblings in LA Targeted by Paintball Fired From Vehicle After Shabbat Services
Two young Jewish boys returning from Shabbat services at a Los Angeles synagogue were shot with a paintball gun fired from a passing car, amid a nationwide spike in incidents of antisemitic violence and harassment.

Yanky Munitz — the father of the boys, aged 11 and 13 — told The Algemeiner on Tuesday that his sons were walking with their mother to their cousins’ home in the city’s Hancock Park area on Saturday, when a paintball fired from a black Honda struck the younger boy in the chest.

“It could have been a lot worse,” said Munitz, who noted that his sons were outwardly wearing kippot and ritual tzitzit. He said the car had quickly driven away, before any witnesses could identify the driver or any passengers.

A photo posted by Munitz on Facebook, where he shared details about the incident, showed a red welt on his son’s chest left by the projectile.

“Antisemitism is not a new thing — I’ve experienced it when I was younger … it’s been around forever,” said Munitz, adding that he tells his children to always be aware of their surroundings, but without being afraid.

“By being scared to go out or being scared to wear your yarmulke or anything like that, you’re allowing them to win. That’s what they want — you’re doing their job for them,” Munitz said of his message to the young boys. “You be proud of being Jewish, and you display it properly, and you just have to be vigilant.”
Jewish student forced to eat pork after missing football training session
Eight football coaches have been placed on administrative leave after allegedly forcing a Jewish athlete, who keeps kosher, to eat pork as punishment for missing a weight training session, according to CW news affiliate Cleveland 19.

According to the report, McKinley High School's Coach Wattley Marcus and seven of his assistant coaches are being accused of ordering the 17-year-old student into the gym, sitting him down and forcing him to eat a pepperoni pizza sitting on the floor.

If the student refused, he would have been kicked off the team, and the entirety of the squad would have been forced to run extra exercise drills for his defiant behavior.

A lawyer representing the family said they might consider filing a first amendment lawsuit against the school district.

Cleveland 19 further notes that the student is a prominent athlete who has been offered several scholarships to play football in college, although being just a junior.

The family is debating if the student will return to McKinley High — located in Canton, as is the NFL Hall of Fame — from which multiple students have gone on to play professionally following successful college careers.
Belgium to return Nazi-looted painting to German Jewish family
Belgium will return a painting to the family of a German Jewish couple from whom it was stolen after they fled Germany during World War II, the government research department said Wednesday.

“Blumenstilleben,” or “Still life with Flowers,” was painted in 1913 by Lovis Corinth and has been kept in the collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, alongside around 30 other works thought to have been stolen during World War II.

After decades of analysis and research, experts have concluded that the painting was looted from a warehouse by officials of the German occupation, from goods owned by German Jewish refugees.

Gustav and Emma Mayer were forced to part with some of their belongings as they made their way to England, and a crate containing the painting was stolen from storage at the beginning of the war.

In a letter sent on May 26 to the German lawyers of the couple’s grandchildren, Belgian secretary of state Thomas Dermine officially confirmed the Belgian state’s agreement to hand back the piece.
Sick bats self-isolate, helping avert COVID-type crises — Israeli study
Bats are widely believed to have given the novel coronavirus to humans. But Israeli researchers say they have probably spared us from numerous other diseases, thanks to their largely unnoticed social distancing behavior.

Tel Aviv University scientists have just published peer-reviewed research observing that bats that feel unwell stay “home” in their caves, reducing interaction with other species.

They observed that sick bats also stay away from their peers at the slightest hint of feeling inflammation in their bodies, after making five Egyptian fruit bats sick and following them in a large colony for 72 hours.

The researchers used onboard GPS to track foraging, acceleration sensors to monitor movement, infrared video to record social behavior, and blood samples to measure immune markers.

The researchers concluded that the self-isolating behavior they displayed minimizes the risk of infections “jumping” to humans, directly or via another species.

“We observed that during illness bats choose to stay away from the colony and don’t leave the cave,” said Prof. Yossi Yovel, head of neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. “This suggests that in order to encounter a sick bat, people must actually invade the bats’ natural environment or eliminate their habitats.”
Arab student awarded medal from college for saving Jewish man from lynch
Over the weekend, Ono Academic College awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal to graduate student Fadi Kasem, in a special ceremony.

Kasem, who works as a nurse at the Galilee Medical Center, was awarded the medal for saving the life of Mor Janashvili during the recent nationwide riots between Jews and Arabs that overlapped with the escalation in Gaza.

Janashvili who was visiting his mother last month in Acre when dozens of Arab Israelis tried to lynch him, stabbing him with knives and assaulting him with rocks and sticks. Even after he got out of his car and tried to run away, they continued to attack him.

“I arrived at the scene together with a sheikh from Acre and several other residents from the Arab sector in order to calm the winds,” Kasem, 28, explained. “Immediately, I saw Mor lying on the ground. The only thing I could think of was how to save him. It didn’t occur to me if he was Jewish or Arab.”

Kasem shielded Janashvili with his own body while he bandaged his wounds. Then, he offered support to Janashvili’s mother, who had fainted at the sight of her injured son.

“I promised her that I would take care of him,” Kasem, who had Janashvili transferred to the Galilee Medical Center, said.
Remembering a Great Scholar and Defender of Jews: Harold Brackman
I was shocked to open my inbox on Sunday, and receive a message that Harold Brackman had passed away. Harold was a brilliant, prolific, and fiercely pro-Jewish scholar, whose work ranged from the historic, to his work with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to his crusade to expose the hatred of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

As the Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner, I worked with Harold on a weekly basis. He produced some amazing content — usually my favorite on the site — and I strongly encourage you to look up his past catalogue here.

Being an Opinion Editor is an interesting position; some authors are easy to deal with, others are not. Some re-write versions of the same article over and over. Others only write on current events. Most are only interested in speaking to you when they have a new article.

Harold Brackman, however, defied all these expectations. I’ve developed great relationships with many authors over my 8 years in this position, but none will ever be quite like Harold. He was a combination of a grandfatherly mentor, and a zany uncle.

Brackman was educated at UCLA, and focused much of his work on the relations between Jews and African-Americans. He wrote extensively about the longstanding and positive connections between Jews and Black people that often go unreported.

While he sometimes wrote on current affairs, I always loved — and encouraged it — when Harold would write on historical issues, often unearthing amazing histories that had been lost. Just three days before his death, I was telling a friend of mine about this article he wrote about America’s first non-Jewish, “Jewish novelist.”

Harold had an abundance of intellectual curiosity, and a scope of knowledge (Jewish or otherwise), that I have found very rare in life.











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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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