Friday, June 04, 2021

06/04 Links Pt2: Bobby Kennedy’s Admiration for Israel; Melanie Phillips: Facing a tsunami of antisemitism, diaspora Jews cling to their bubble

From Ian:

Bobby Kennedy’s Admiration for Israel
In the months between his graduation from Harvard in the spring of 1948 and his enrollment in the University of Virginia Law School in the fall of that year, Bobby Kennedy embarked on an overseas trip at the urging of his father. Through the elder Kennedy’s Boston connections, the 22-year-old aspiring attorney landed a reporting job with the Boston Post. There, Kennedy convinced his editors to let him report from the Middle East on the Arab-Israeli war.

Kennedy arrived in early April and spent a few weeks in war-torn Palestine. From there, he wrote four very vivid and wide-ranging articles. He left Palestine before Ben-Gurion’s May 14th declaration of Israeli statehood and returned through Europe to the United States.

In early June, after Israel was established and diplomatically recognized by the major powers, the articles were published in a series under the byline “Robert Kennedy, Special Writer for the Post.” In the first article, under the headline “British Hatred by Both Sides,” RFK labored mightily to present the arguments of both Arabs and Jews. “There are such well-founded arguments on either side,” Kennedy wrote, “that each side grows more and more bitter toward the other. Confidence in their right increases in proportion to the hatred and mistrust for the other side not acknowledging it.”

In the subsequent three articles, however, RFK and his Boston Post editors no longer attempted to convey an objective view of the competing claims of Jews and Arabs. As the headline on his June 4th article indicates, RFK chose a side: “Jews Have a Fine Fighting Force—Make Up for Lack of Arms With Undying Spirit, Unparalleled Courage—Impress the World.” The article gets directly to the point: “The Jewish people in Palestine who believe in and have been working toward this national state have become an immensely proud and determined people. It is already a truly great modern example of the birth of a nation with the primary ingredients of dignity and self-respect.” Many similar articles appeared in the American press of the day. The surprising thing about these Boston Post articles was not their pro-Zionist sentiments, but the fact that they had been written by Joseph P. Kennedy’s son.

Melanie Phillips: Facing a tsunami of antisemitism, diaspora Jews cling to their bubble
The problem isn’t just the appalling number of Jews who believe the lies about Israel. The deeper issue is the desperate desire of Diaspora Jews to “fit in” with the surrounding society.

In Britain, missing the point that the country’s entire establishment is running scared from Islamist extremism, they are now shocked to find the police standing by when Muslims publicly scream for the murder of Jews.

In America, terror of being thought Islamophobic, anti-Black Lives Matter or anti-Palestinian—thus alienating the Democratic Party and the all-powerful liberal cultural elite—has similarly paralyzed most of the Jewish community in their response to the attacks. They, too, are behaving like rabbits caught in the headlights.

The correct response by Jewish community leaders to the anti-Semitism onslaught would be to call out the factors driving it. Jewish leaders should be pointing out the lie that Israeli residence in Judea and Samaria is illegal. They should be producing the copious evidence that exists of Palestinian Nazi-style anti-Semitism. They should be accusing anyone who supports the Palestinian Arab cause of supporting genocidal, racist fanaticism.

Yet from Diaspora Jewish community leaders, there has been on these crucial matters only silence.

The problem isn’t just the appalling number of Jews who believe the lies about Israel. The deeper issue is the desperate desire of Diaspora Jews to “fit in” with the surrounding society.

They refuse to acknowledge the full enormity of what’s happening because it would force them to confront what they have constructed an entire social framework to deny—that they will always be regarded as “the Jew” in society, as the ultimate outsider. And the toleration of them will always be conditional.

This was recently spelled out with brutal clarity when Aaron Keyak, the Biden administration’s “Jewish engagement director,” told American Jews: “It pains me to say this, but if you fear for your life or physical safety, take off your kippah and hide your Star of David.”

The majority of American Jews have bought into liberal universalism and rejected Jewish nationhood. For British Jews, minhag anglia (“English custom”) means never rocking the cultural boat. These trembling Diaspora Israelites don’t even realize that they are feeding the beast that intends to devour them. Their Jewish identity will not survive the experience.
British Actor Stephen Fry Praises ‘Brilliant’ Essay Calling Israel an Embarrassment to Jews
Jewish British actor and comedian Stephen Fry shared on Thursday what he described as a “brilliant” essay that bashed Israel and described the country as an embarrassment to Jews.

“It’s hard for me to think of the State of Israel as anything but a shanda fir di goyim … a Jew that embarrassed the Jews, and thus justified Gentile persecution and hate,” wrote 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Benjamin Moser in an essay published on his Substack newsletter on Tuesday, titled “A trip to Hebron.”

Fry posted on Twitter on Thursday a link to the essay and wrote, “This is quite brilliant, as Benjamin Moser so often is. Aside from being a wonderful piece of writing in itself, it has clarified so much for me.”

Moser, who is Jewish, started his essay by recalling a trip to Israel five years ago for the Palestine Festival of Literature and his visit to Hebron. The Houston-born author said that when his parents were growing up, “Jim Crow was the law of the land in our state,” referring to the laws that enforced racial segregation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the US.

“Yet Hebron felt worse to me than anything I’d read about Jim Crow. Worse than apartheid — a word that is now, finally, being applied to Palestine,” he added. “The restrictions on Palestinian life — starting with the simple ability to walk down the street — are so suffocating that you can’t quite believe you’re not in some grotesque movie. The Palestinians have no citizenship, and nowhere to go: if they leave the Occupied Territories, they become stateless refugees. And if they stay — well, their lives are restricted in ways that are very hard to imagine. Imagine the COVID lockdowns, but for your entire life, generation after generation, and with no vaccine on its way.”

The Tikvah Podcast: Benjamin Haddad on Why Europe Is Becoming More Pro-Israel
Among European diplomats and public figures in the 1990s, it was universally believed that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was the central key to understanding the Middle East. It was their view that until Israel made peace with the Palestinians and enacted a two-state solution, the region would remain in constant chaos, a view that made Israel the subject of much European opprobrium. Since then, even through the second intifada and multiple wars with Hamas, Israel remains in largely the same position with the Palestinians as it was two decades ago. The broader Middle East, however, has changed dramatically, with direct results for European security. Europe has endured countless Islamist terror attacks and has seen a refugee crisis in Syria bring numerous migrants to its borders, redrawing the fault lines of its politics.

In light of all of this, are European leaders finally changing their views of the Jewish state? This week’s podcast guest, Benjamin Haddad, the director of the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, thinks that many are. In a recent essay, Haddad argues that the reaction of leaders across Europe to Israel’s recent confrontation with Hamas revealed a significant shift in European thinking about the Jewish state. In conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, he explains the change he’s seeing, and why it’s happening now.

The New York Times’ ‘Nazi Correspondent’
At the outbreak of the Second World War, The New York Times bureau chief in Berlin, Guido Enderis, was known to sit in the bar of the city’s famous Adlon Hotel spouting “a loudmouthed defense of Nazism,” eventually provoking another reporter to complain to the Times’ publisher: “Isn’t it about time that The New York Times did something about its Nazi correspondent?”

But the Times had no intention of doing anything about Enderis. In fact, it valued his close connections to the Nazi government, as it had throughout the 1930s. All American newspapers found reporting in Nazi Germany difficult. The government tightly controlled information and harangued and threatened reporters who managed to publish what it didn’t like. The Nazi regime also didn’t hesitate to use its strongest weapons—banning a newspaper from distribution in Germany, kicking a reporter out of the country, or denying a reporter’s reentry. As a putatively “Jewish-owned” newspaper, The New York Times considered itself a special target. Bureau chief Enderis’ job therefore was “administering reasonably soothing syrup” to Nazi officials, as another Times reporter put it.

Yet, Enderis’ actions weren’t purely strategic and their consequences were grave. Throughout the 1930s, Enderis helped steer Times coverage to play down Jewish persecution and play up Germany’s peaceful intentions. He kowtowed to Nazi officials, wrote stories presenting solely the Nazi point of view, and reined in Times reporters whose criticism he thought went too far, shaping the news in favor of a genocidal regime bent on establishing a “Thousand Year Reich.”

Other New York Times reporters, most conspicuously Walter Duranty—who deliberately minimized the Soviet famine that took millions of Ukrainian lives in the 1920s—have become notorious for misreporting the news, once time had passed and archives had opened. Enderis, however, has remained largely under the radar. I wrote about him in my 2005 book, Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America’s Most Important Newspaper, but Enderis’ personal perfidy likely got lost in the transgressions of his employer.

To be clear, the Times had no agenda to bolster Nazism. In fact, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the Times publisher during most of the Nazi era, detested Hitler and advocated U.S. intervention to stop German aggression. Nor was Enderis a Nazi collaborator—a charge that should be leveled carefully, given that Nazi propaganda services actually enlisted American correspondents.
Hitler’s Multicultural Supporters
The pernicious myth that racism is a fundamentally different phenomenon among non-white groups, politically or morally, is at the heart of everything from political correctness to critical race theory. But the admiration for Hitler and the Nazis across racial lines shows that’s a lie.

Racism is racism. And racial nationalists have a natural sympathy. That’s what impelled the alliances between Malcolm X and the KKK. It’s what turned a Nazi sympathizer’s racial tract into the basis for the La Raza movement in the United States. It’s why Hitler remains popular in the Muslim world and among a variety of non-white racialist and nationalist organizations.

You can see photos of black soldiers in Nazi uniforms fighting as part of the Mufti of Jerusalem’s Free Arabian Legion which included Arab and African Muslim soldiers. A generation after the Mufti was urging Hitler to wipe out the Jews, Malcolm X met up with him in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Malcolm X called Hitler's Mufti a “cordial man of great dignity” and casually noted that he “referred to New York as Jew York.” Three years earlier, Malcolm X had shared a stage with the leader of the American Nazi Party. And nothing had really changed with his famous “epiphany”.

Hitler’s popularity says little about the syphilitic failed painter, but a great deal about his fanbase and the nature of racism. Hate is universal and ubiquitous. It crosses all racial boundaries. There is no division between racism and reverse racism, between punching up and punching down.

Beyond antisemitism, Hitler and the Nazis remain popular among racial supremacists and nationalists because they embody the ultimate model and ideal of killing the ‘other’. Mass genocide is the final seductive and murderous fantasy that runs through Islamist groups, through black supremacist movements and through La Raza ideology.

Those who are not members of the group must die off or be killed.

There’s nothing ‘white’ about this idea. It’s as old as tribe and time. And some of the worst racists in the world are non-white members of racial movements that admire Hitler.
My family fled Soviet anti-Semitism, never expecting to encounter it in the US
For Jewish refugees like my parents and me, fortunate to have been welcomed by the United States after leaving the Soviet Union, it’s been shocking to witness the recent outbreak of anti-Semitic violence on the streets of the country we revere.

The world’s oldest hatred has haunted the Jewish people as long as Jews have been a people. We have been enslaved in Egypt, kicked out of our biblical home in Israel by the Romans, burned at the stake in Medieval Spain, massacred in Eastern European pogroms and just about exterminated by the Nazis.

My own family has been victimized by virulent anti-Semitism. My great grandmother died of cold and starvation on the streets a Nazi ghetto. My grandparents, with whom I shared a room for the first 11 years of my life, barely survived the Holocaust.

My parents endured the bleak, daily anti-Semitism of the Soviet era, which attempted to snuff out our Jewish heritage. It was not uncommon for me to be called a zhid (“kike”) in the schoolyard. That’s why we desperately wanted to get out of the USSR and go to the U.S., the goldeneh medina (“golden land” in Yiddish). Eventually we did.

From the moment my parents, grandparents and I set foot on American soil on Aug. 13, 1981 (my little sister, who was born in the U.S. three months later, could—as my parents pointed out—could become president), we knew that this nation was special.

Religious tolerance was a big revelation, because it was so mundane here. My family settled in a blue-collar, working-class neighborhood in New Jersey. Every interaction with either “American Americans” (as we referred to those who spoke English without an accent) or immigrants like us reinforced the notion that in the United States, being Jewish would not be an obstacle. Everyone had a shot at realizing their dreams. Even Jews like us.

For most of our four decades in the United States, anti-Semitism seemed to be a distant problem. Over the years, we’ve come to expect Jew-hatred from the likes of David Duke, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan, but they were outliers. No one around us thought that their Jew-hatred reflected the views of a significant group of Americans. However, in recent years, we’ve witnessed anti-Semitism creep closer to home.
The legitimization of anti-Semitism must be stopped
Hatred and bigotry can become societally acceptable when two things happen: They move from the realm of the unfathomable to the legitimate; and collective outrage and resistance towards them is inadequate or stifled.

The sharp rise in anti-Semitism in the United States, as around the world, is occurring because it has become legitimatized. In the United States, it has been mainstreamed by Democratic members of Congress and by the platform and leadership of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Condemnations of anti-Semitism are laughably insincere when made by the same people who are perpetrating the phenomenon. Worse, anti-Semitism cloaked in ostensible concern for the Jewish people is a brilliantly evil strategy to subtly legitimize Jew-hatred.

It is the strategy currently utilized by individuals elected to represent the public. Take Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), for example. At a rally more than two years ago with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) by her side, Omar stated that supporters of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship “push allegiance to a foreign country.”

Around that same time, in January 2019, Tlaib criticized Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s efforts to punish those attempting to boycott Israel with a tweet, “They forgot what country they represent.” Rubio, who is not Jewish, posted, “The dual loyalty canard is a typical anti-Semitic line.”

Meanwhile, Omar and Tlaib both voted for House Resolution 183—which states that “accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States” constitutes anti-Semitism—while engaging in the very anti-Semitic conduct it condemns.
Team Biden’s atrocious advice to Jews to hide their identity
“It pains me to say this,” tweeted Team Biden staffer Aaron Keyak recently, “but if you fear for your life or physical safety, take off your kippah and hide your” Star of David. Keyak’s official White House title is “Jewish engagement director,” and his tweet revealed much about Team Biden’s views on anti-Semitism and cultural politics in 2021 — none of it good.

Keyak, an Orthodox Jew, is a longtime Beltway swamp creature and Democratic Party hack. During the 2020 campaign, it was his job to tell Jewish voters that then-President Donald Trump was their No. 1 enemy, that his supposed philo-Semitism was a ruse.

Trump was arguably the most pro-Israel and pro-Jewish president in US history. Fulfilling a promise made by several of his predecessors, and dismissing the objections of the foreign-policy establishment, Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. To the amazement of the world, he also brokered historic peace deals between the Israelis and several Muslim states.

How to paint Trump as bad for Jews and Israel? Easy — by lying.

Repeatedly, Keyak echoed the “both sides” calumny, the false notion that Trump praised the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville in 2017. Trump, Keyak said, had “inspired . . . anti-Semites to feel encouraged” and thus “made me feel unsafe in my own country.” Trump’s presidency, he wrote in the lefty Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “has helped embolden white supremacy throughout America. He has routinely refused to condemn their hatred.”

All lies. But all, apparently, in a day’s work for a Biden apparatchik.

CAIR Organizes Anti-Israel Rallies with Convicted Member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad
The mainstream media likes to paint CAIR as a mainstream Muslim group interested in protecting the civil rights of the Muslim community. The reality, though, is that CAIR is a support network for terror with both foundational and financial links to Hamas. This past month, CAIR’s true nature showed itself, as the group partnered with a convicted member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hatem Fariz, to run a series of Tampa, Florida rallies meant to curse Israel and excuse Hamas violence. The events were proof of why the media must end its cozy relationship with CAIR. To continue to promote this group only legitimizes hate and terror.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was established in June 1994 as a part of the US chapter of the global Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which at the time was headed by then-Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Mousa Abu Marzook. Officials from CAIR have been convicted of terror-related crimes, and the US government named CAIR a co-conspirator to the financing of Hamas. The Florida chapter of CAIR has not strayed much from its national parent. In July 2014, CAIR-Florida co-sponsored a pro-Hamas rally in Downtown Miami, where rally goers repeatedly shouted, “We are Hamas” and “Let’s go Hamas.”

The Islamic Community of Tampa (ICT), a.k.a. Masjid al-Qassam, was founded by Sami al-Arian, a convicted terrorist who set up a Southwest Florida PIJ terror network, over three decades ago. ICT was a big part of the network. At a 2017 CAIR media brunch, then-CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly said that the group depends on ICT for “programs, fundraising” and more. He said, “Really, we couldn’t do the work without the tremendous support we get from the mosque.”

Attending the CAIR brunch was Hatem Fariz, a former al-Arian cohort and the Director of ICT. Fariz, like al-Arian, was convicted for the role he played as a member of PIJ. According to the indictment against him, al-Arian and six others, Fariz “was a PIJ member” and did “conspire… to commit offenses against the United States… by making and receiving contributions of funds, goods, and services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” Fariz pled guilty and was sentenced, in July 2006, and spent nearly four years in prison.
LAPD Arrest Suspect in Vandalism of Synagogue and Kosher Restaurant
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) West Los Angeles Patrol Division announced in a June 3 press release obtained by the Journal that a suspect has been arrested over a spate of recent vandalisms, which included the targeting of a synagogue and kosher restaurant in the Pico-Robertson area.

According to the press release, the suspect, Jon Knight Prince, 26, was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism. Prince was allegedly involved in 13 separate incidents of vandalism between May 26 and June 2 on Westwood and Pico Boulevard that featured rocks, bricks and other hard objects being thrown at windows during each of these vandalisms. Prince also has past convictions on his record and an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor, per the press release. He’s currently being held on $325,000 bail.

Jewish groups lauded the LAPD for the arrest.

“We thank LAPD for the arrest of a suspect in connection with a series of vandalism incidents, including antisemitic acts directed at the Young Israel of Century City synagogue and Pat’s Restaurant,” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams said in a statement to the Journal. “These incidents are part of a surge of antisemitic attacks recorded across the country.” Abrams added that the “ADL continues to monitor” for antisemitic incidents and encourages “community members to report any suspicious activity targeting the Jewish community to both law enforcement and ADL.”
Jewish USF student files complaint over email’s ‘delegitimization’ of Israel
As the Israel-Hamas conflict was raging last month, a program assistant at the University of San Francisco forwarded an email to a group of students in the School of Education promoting a Palestinian protest taking place the following day.

The email, sent to students in the International and Multicultural Education master’s program, included details about the protest, which filled the streets in San Francisco’s Mission District on May 15, an annual day of grievance for Palestinians known as the Nakba.

The original email from the San Francisco Bay Area Palestine Action Network was forwarded along with its subject line, “Tomorrow: Solidarity with Palestine,” and described Israel’s recent actions in Jerusalem as “settler-colonialism” and condemned the Jewish state for “violent and illegal attempts to forcibly expel” Palestinians from their homes.

It marks the second time since the start of the violence in Israel and Gaza that the university’s official channels have been used to advocate for the Palestinian cause and raises questions about how an educational institution should be navigating the conflict.

On May 19, the university took down an Instagram page associated with another School of Education master’s program after a student running the account reposted tweets that USF President Paul J. Fitzgerald publicly condemned, calling the messages “disturbing, violent, and perceived as anti-Semitic.”

“Social accounts published on official university platforms are subject to USF community standards and alignment with the university’s values,” the president said in a community-wide message. Although he was aware of the IME email at the time, his public remarks referenced only the Instagram posts.
California Teachers’ Union Activist Has History of Anti-Semitic Posts
One of the driving forces behind a California teachers' union's anti-Israel efforts publicly called Zionism a "sick bourgeois" ideology and called for an end to "Israeli war crimes and colonization."

Soni Lloyd, a left-wing activist and teacher who unsuccessfully ran for the presidency of the United Teachers Los Angeles union at the beginning of 2020, described the United States as an "evil empire" that funds "ugly Zionism" around the world in a Facebook post on May 14. Lloyd did not respond to a request for comment on that Facebook post or another where he posted a cartoon of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropping bombs on Gaza with the help of the United States. After the Washington Free Beacon reached out for comment on those posts and others where Lloyd expressed anti-vaccine sentiment, he locked his Facebook profile.

The UTLA is facing accusations of anti-Semitism on multiple fronts as critics say it is prioritizing a left-wing cause over issues facing students and families. A group of parents of California schoolchildren authored an open letter to the president of the UTLA demanding an "unequivocal apology for the anti-Semitism and intolerance coming from you and the union you lead." The group, California Students United, ripped into UTLA president Cecily Myart-Cruz for leading a union more concerned with condemning the Jewish state than reopening schools.

"The leadership of the union representing our children's teachers has no business singling out one country and its people, especially a people who have been victims of discrimination persecution, and genocide for generations," the letter stated. "The position of the union you lead has thrown gasoline on the fire of what was already a volatile, unsafe, and increasingly frightening environment for Jews."

The letter comes after leaders of the union passed a resolution on May 19 condemning Israel for the fighting in Gaza and calling for an end to U.S. aid for the Jewish state. The resolution is one of a number of resolutions being considered, and its passage makes it likely that the resolution will come up for a vote in the union's policy-making body, the House of Representatives. The next meeting of the House is in September.

Another resolution, obtained by the Free Beacon and which is currently being circulated within sections of the union, calls for the end of U.S. financial aid that is being used for "incessant warfare against an indigenous people in the Middle East."

"UTLA denounces the he [sic] recent bombings in the West Bank and Gaza by the Israeli army resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilian people, mostly women and children," a copy of the resolution says. "The high intensity aerial warfare is unjust and inhumane. Palestinians have the right to self-determination free of violence and occupation."

Chilean Congress drafts bill to boycott goods from Israeli settlements
The Chilean Congress has drafted a bill to boycott goods, services and products from Israeli settlements, with Jewish Chileans expressing outrage at the latest anti-Israel move by Chilean parliamentarians.

The bill was drafted by the Chile-Palestine Inter-Parliamentary Group in the Chamber of Deputies of the Chilean Congress.

While the bill refers only to "territories occupied illegally" and does not make any specific mention of Israel or the Palestinian territories, Sergio Gahona – the leader of the initiative and a deputy of Chile – and a number of other parliamentarians referred to the bill as targeting Israel.

Gahona dressed in a Keffiyeh (an Arabian headdress) when he announced the bill, according to the Palestinian Community of Chile.

The bill calls for importers of products or services from "illegal settlements in occupied territories, as determined in accordance with international law and declared to be such," to be penalized with the punishments associated with the crime of smuggling.

Punishment could include a fine of up to five times the customs value of the goods.

Examining early BBC Radio 4 framing of the May 10 hostilities - part one
In addition to all that repeated promotion of what is actually Hamas messaging framed as casualty reports, listeners heard more of the terrorist organisation’s talking points straight from the BBC Middle East editor’s mouth in a conversation with Justin Webb (who managed to gloss over the fact that Israeli villages, towns and cities were being attacked by terrorists) from 1:15:12.

Webb: “There’ve been calls from around the world for the violence in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem to be brought to a halt before it leads to an all-out Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

Partway into that conversation Webb and Bowen resurrected another theme promoted by the BBC whenever violence erupts: the notion of ‘disproportionality’.

Webb: “It’s interesting – isn’t it? – when you look at these rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza; a huge number of rockets; an attack that any state presumably has to respond to in some way. The question is the extent of the response, the proportionality, I suppose.”

Bowen: “Well it is from the Israeli point of view and sometimes they deliberately respond in what they would deny but what is a disproportionate manner. But you know Palestinians hearing your question would say well hang on a minute; actually we’re acting in self-defence is what they would argue…”

BBC domestic audiences were of course not informed what the principle of proportionality in warfare actually means.

Bowen went on to claim that the scheduled PA elections had been cancelled by Mahmoud Abbas because “the Israelis wouldn’t let them have elections for Palestinians inside Jerusalem as well”. In fact – as reported at the time – Israel never formally told the Palestinians whether it would permit the vote to take place in Jerusalem.

Bowen later returned to his ‘self-defence’ theme:
Bowen: “…the Palestinians would argue that actually they’re on the rough end of Israel’s policies of…ah…settlement colonialism…ahm…making Jerusalem more of a Jewish city and that these are actions of self-defence.”

Part two of this post will look at two interviews with outside contributors also heard by listeners to this programme.
Examining early BBC Radio 4 framing of the May 10 hostilities - part two
In the hours after Hamas’ May 10th rocket attacks on Israel’s capital city and other locations and Israel’s subsequent response, the BBC’s main domestic news and current affairs radio station repeatedly and unquestioningly amplified Hamas propaganda (see here and here) in the form of casualty figures from the Gaza Strip with the emphasis on nine children supposedly killed by Israel. Not only did Radio 4 fail to adequately clarify the source of the information it promoted to British audiences, it refrained from telling them that it had not independently verified those claims.

In addition, in a matter of hours Radio 4’s domestic audiences heard two long interviews with Palestinian representatives who spread deliberate falsehoods and disinformation that went unchallenged by the station’s presenters who – perhaps not unrelatedly – exclusively adopted PLO recommended terminology to describe the site at the heart of the story.

Both these programmes steered audiences towards the mistaken impression that Israeli police had attacked peaceful Muslim worshippers on Temple Mount over a period of days.

Both programmes added fuel to that fire by repeatedly focusing listener attentions on the topic of supposed gross Israeli disrespect for Muslims and an Islamic holy site during the “holy month of Ramadan”.

The BBC’s public purposes state that “[t]he BBC should […] help contribute to the social cohesion and wellbeing of the United Kingdom” and the corporation knows full well that events in that particular part of the Middle East often translate into tensions on British streets.

Did BBC Radio 4 producers and presenters really believe that they were contributing to “social cohesion” in their own country by irresponsibly broadcasting unverified – and inaccurate – reports about dead Palestinian children? By enabling the amplification of deliberate falsehoods about Israeli ‘war crimes’, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’? By promoting the inflammatory lie that Israel had without reason attacked ‘peaceful worshippers’ at a Muslim holy site during Ramadan?

The BBC’s funding public is owed a lot of answers from BBC Radio 4.

French court gives Holocaust denier 5 years for death threats against Jews
A blogger who posted videos of himself calling for the murder of prominent French Jews was sentenced to five years in prison by a court in France.

The sentence, for promoting terrorism and making death threats, is among the harshest in recent years in France over such offenses.

The tribunal of Cusset, a town near Vichy in central France, handed down its guilty verdict and sentence on Thursday to Ahmed Moualek, 53, who had posted death threats against Gilles William Golnadel and Alain Jakubowitz, two well-known Jewish lawyers, as well as journalist Elisabeth Levy, La Montagne reported.

Moualek is a former associate of Dieudonne M’bala M’bala and Alain Soral, Holocaust deniers who 10 years ago founded the now-defunct Anti-Zionist Party. Moualek was among the party’s founders.

On the 2019 anniversary of the 2015 murder of four Jews by a jihadist at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, Moualek posted a video addressed to “the dirty Jews” in which he said, “You know it would have pleased me no end if the Shoah existed but I’m just sorry you weren’t on the train.”
Hilter's 'Mein Kampf' re-edited in France to confront Nazi ideology
However, historians behind this new project said that the polemical release of this edited version of the book will perform a valuable service in elucidating and thereby disarming the Nazi ideology for French readers.

Indeed, the new version of Hitler's Mein Kampf is an extended adaptation of the previous edition, with contributions from over a dozen experts and historians led by Florent Brayard, a French historian specializing in Nazism and the Holocaust, and Andreas Wirsching, the director of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, which had led work on the German version.

The book titled Historicizing Evil: A Critical Edition of Mein Kampf is at approximately 1,000 pages, with twice as much commentary as text. Scholars, researchers, and teachers are the main target audience.

Each of the 27 chapters is prefaced by an introductory analysis, and Hitler’s writing is annotated, line by line, with commentary that debunks false statements and provides historical context, the New York Times explained. Fayard, which first started work on the project a decade ago, said the book was a “fundamental source to understand the history of the 20th century.”

With Mein Kampf now in the public domain and freely available online with little to no context, Fayard argued that it was urgent to publish a critical version that would deconstruct the text and guard against uncritical translations that still circulate.

“To know where we are going, it is vital that we understand where we are coming from,” Sophie de Closets, the head of Fayard, wrote in a letter to booksellers explaining the reasoning behind the publication, the New York Times reported.
Antisemitic Content Multiplied on German, French Online Platforms During COVID-19: EU Analysis
Antisemitic content posted on major online platforms in German and French has skyrocketed in the first two months of the year compared with the same period last year before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a report by the European Commission showed.

During January and February 2021, antisemitic postings saw a 13-fold surge on German language accounts and a seven-fold increase in French channels studied. The report — conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based think-thank focused on extremism, and published Tuesday — is based on collated data on online antisemitic content in French and German on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram.

According to the analysis of the data, almost two thirds of the messages matching antisemitic keywords were detected on Telegram, showing it to be the platform most prone to antisemitic messaging by a large margin, compared to Facebook and Twitter.

“This research points to a considerable grey area of legal but harmful [antisemitic] content and behaviors prevalent across platforms. Addressing the proliferation of such ‘legal but harmful’ antisemitic content provides a considerable challenge for tech companies and governments alike,” the report stated. “Our research points to the urgent need to address online antisemitism as part of a comprehensive digital regulatory regime at a European level.”

Data for the report was collected from January 2020 until March 2021 to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on online antisemitism. The report comes amid a European policy debate around countering online hate speech.

The findings of the report drew on data analysis using social listening tools and natural language processing software, combined with qualitative analysis.
Biden science adviser takes oath on 500-year-old Jewish text
When Eric Lander was sworn in Wednesday as the White House’s first-ever Cabinet-level science adviser, the geneticist also made Jewish history — by taking his oath of office on a 500-year-old copy of a Jewish text filled with ethical precepts.

Lander chose a 1492 edition of Pirkei Avot from the Library of Congress’ holdings after searching for a swearing-in volume that reflected his Jewish and professional values, he told Vice President Kamala Harris at the ceremony.

“It means a lot to me about why we’re all here doing this work,” he said.

Lander, who has taken leave from positions at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Religion News Service that he had convened a family meeting to brainstorm books. The family homed in on the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world,” that has come to represent social justice for many American Jews.

That thought led Lander to the Mishnah, the text compiling early rabbinic discussions of how to apply Jewish law in everyday life. And from there he landed on one section, Pirkei Avot, that contains a precept that he said reflects his personal and professional beliefs: “It’s not required that you complete the work, but neither may you refrain from it.”

The particular volume of Pirkei Avot that Lander identified was published in Naples in 1492, a time when Jews were finding refuge there after being kicked out of Spain during the Inquisition. He said during his ceremony that a researcher only discovered that the text was that old about 10 years ago.

“The world has experimented with intolerance, with the view that everybody has to think like I think, worship like I worship,” Lander told Religion News Service. “(But) the world experimented in 1492 with tolerance — with the idea that we would have a diversity of people and perspectives. I think the lessons of the 1492 era are lessons for today: coming together and making our diversity an incredible asset for this country going forward.”
Documentary on Babi Yar Massacre to Premiere at Cannes Film Festival
Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary film “Babi Yar. Context” has been selected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July.

The 120-minute long film is based entirely on archival footage uncovered by Loznitsa, which depicts the events leading up to and the aftermath of the Babi Yar massacre in September 1941. In a period of two days—from Sept. 29-30—33,771 Jewish victims were shot to death by the Nazis and left in a ravine.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, Roma, the mentally ill and others were later shot there throughout the Nazi occupation of Kyiv. The estimated number of victims murdered at Babi Yar is around 100,000, making it Europe’s largest mass grave.

“Babi Yar. Context” is Loznitsa’s seventh film to be presented in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival. It will be screened in the Séance Speciale section of this year’s festival.

The film, which includes previously unseen eyewitness testimony, immerses viewers in the period and reconstructs the context in which Babi Yar unfolded.

“Just as other Holocaust crimes, the tragedy is almost devoid of authentic visual representation—Nazi authorities banned photo and film cameras from the places of mass executions,” said Loznitsa. “However, it is possible to reconstruct its historical context through archive footage, documenting years of German occupation of Ukraine. My aim is to plunge the spectator into the atmosphere of the time.”
The Tulsa Race Massacre and Oklahoma’s Jews
The Tulsa Race Massacre – also known as the Black Wall Street Massacre and the Tulsa Race Riot – was one of the most horrendous incidents of racial violence in United States history. On May 31 – June 1, 1921, hundreds of people were injured and killed, and thirty-five blocks of the city were destroyed, along with over 1,200 homes.

While relatively few whites exhibited empathy and compassion to the persecuted African American community of Tulsa – largely due to the influence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and others – many Jewish families made efforts to help African American families by taking them into their homes or businesses, feeding and clothing them, as well as hiding them during and after the atrocity.

During the time of the Race Massacre, a number of the Jewish families went into North Tulsa to secure their black employees, friends, and their families, in order to protect them at least until Martial Law was over on June 3rd… some even longer.

Many of the Jews in the city were recent immigrants from Eastern Europe who remembered firsthand suffering through violent pogroms and anti-Semitic policies in the Russian Empire and elsewhere.

Here are a few family stories from that terrible time that have been passed down within the Oklahoma Jewish community.

Pickle vats and underskirts
Jewish Latvian immigrant Sam Zarrow (1894-1975) and his wife Rose (1893-1982) owned a grocery store and hid some black friends in their large pickle vats at the store, while Rose concealed some of the little kids under her skirt! In addition, they hid others in the basement of their home. Sam and Rose’s sons, Henry (1916-2014) and Jack Zarrow (1925-2012) became two of the most well-known and philanthropic men in Tulsa’s history, supporting a range of causes across the city.

Waiting with a shotgun
Tulsan Abraham (Abe) Solomon Viner (1885-1959) and his wife Anna (1887-1976) owned the Peoples Building and Loan Association. On the day of the Massacre, Abe went to all of the homes on his block, collected all of the maids from their quarters and assembled them in his living room. He then sat by the front door with a shotgun in case anyone broke into the house.
UAE Becomes First Arab Gulf Country to Open Holocaust Education Exhibit
In a continuing cultural relationship with Israel and the United Arab Emirates as part of the Abraham Accords, a museum in the United Arab Emirates debuted an exhibition about the Holocaust that also aims to raise awareness about antisemitism amid an increase in hate crimes against Jews worldwide.

The “ ‘We Remember’: Holocaust Memorial Gallery” at Dubai’s Crossroads of Civilizations Museum is the first Holocaust exhibit in the Arabian Gulf. It opened the week after a ceasefire was put into place between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip following an 11-day conflict.

It features artifacts and testimonies from Holocaust survivors, as well as pays tribute to Holocaust victims. A press release for the gallery said it “explores the chain of events leading up to the Holocaust and uses personal stories, many of which come from Jews in the Arab world. There is also a special tribute to Arab heroes—upstanders who defended and saved Jews.”

The museum’s founder, H.E. Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, said “we are concerned about the rise in antisemitism in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. By teaching and informing our visitors about the Holocaust, we will create more awareness about the danger that this negative rhetoric and resulting actions can lead to. As a leading cultural institution in the UAE, it is very important to us that we focus on educating people about the tragedies of the Holocaust because education is the antidote to ignorance.”

UAE Chief Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, whose wife’s family was saved from the Holocaust by an Arab doctor, said “this exhibit reminds us that we must rise to the challenge of combating extremism as neighbors, as friends.”