Monday, June 07, 2021

From Ian:

Anti-Zionism: the Modern Antisemitism
The Holocaust did not put an end to antisemitism, but it made all its existing forms unacceptable. Had the Nazis entered Palestine and eliminated the Yishuv (the pre-state Jewish population of the Land of Israel) anti-Zionism might have followed the fate of its predecessors, but fortunately the Nazis did not. Yet, prior to the Holocaust, Judaism played the role that Zionism plays today. Hatred of Judaism was shared by both the right and the left; though on the left, it took not a religious — as with the Church — but an ideological approach. Karl Marx in his notorious “On the Jewish Question,” written in 1843, proclaimed the antisemitic manifesto of the hundred years that followed: “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” Thus Judaism, as an expression of Jewish particularism, as the culture of the People of Israel in the Diaspora, was declared persona non-grata. Hitler’s ideas about the impossibility of peaceful coexistence between the Jews and the rest of the world, and his view of the inevitability of the final solution, stemmed from Marx’s maxim.

After the Holocaust, however, it seemed for a brief short moment that the Holocaust had not only failed to finish off the Jews, but had killed antisemitism for good. Not so fast. As happened many times during the twentieth century, the Soviet Union came to rescue. The 1930s saw the USSR slowly return to the antisemitic roots of the tsarist regime. The pact with Nazi Germany and the dismissal of Maxim Litvinov were the turning points, and the war that followed only injected the Soviets with the rabid antisemitic propaganda disseminated by the Nazis. After the war ended, with the dawn of the Cold War, Stalin, for many different reasons, needed a new internal enemy. With the class struggle being officially almost over, Jews proved to be a perfect candidate.

Yet Judaism proved to be irrelevant, as the Soviet Union was anti-religious, with most religious practices either banned or under strict government supervision, not to mention the association of traditional antisemitism with the Holocaust. Thus Zionism presented itself as an excellent replacement for Judaism, fitting perfectly with Marx’s ideological antisemitism. And for naive or conniving Western intellectuals, the allure of the rebranded hatred proved to be irresistible.

It is important to note that, prior to the Soviet turn to anti-Zionism, anti-Zionism itself as a defined ideology and political stance did not truly exist. There were groups of people, some large, of both Jews and non-Jews who advocated against the Zionist enterprise. However, they did so either on a purely religious basis, like some Orthodox Jews, or because they saw the enterprise as unfeasible and undesirable. Very few argued against the Jewish state as such.

And there is a reason for this: anti-Zionism, as an idea, is absurd. Imagine a political movement calling itself anti-France. It is a laughable idea that one can support only as a joke or due to a mental disorder. So why does anti-Zionism not get similar treatment? The answer is antisemitism. The defining feature of antisemitism is to treat the Jews in a way that is the opposite of one’s treatment of other people: what is allowed to everyone else is forbidden to Jews. What is tolerated in others is condemned in the Jews. And so France is fine, however questionable its long history, but Israel is not.

The general rule when observing the oldest hatred is that if one singles out Jews from among all other nations, then one is antisemitic. Anti-Zionism is no exception.
The UN’s anti-racism mission excludes Jews
António Guterres, the UN’s secretary-general, has described rising anti-Semitism as a ‘multi-headed monster’ of intolerance that’s creating a ‘tsunami of hatred’ across the world, and the UN proclaims ‘anti-racism’ as its defining ideology. But the UN is failing to confront discrimination and violence against Jews — and at times even nurturing it.

The UN special rapporteur on racism, E. Tendayi Achiume, ought to be among the leading global voices speaking out against Jew hate. Last year, she called on Bulgaria to stop hate speech and discrimination against the Roma, she urged the Human Rights Council to address abuses against people of African descent and she appealed to world leaders to confront ‘structural forms of racial and ethnic injustice’.

Yet Achiume has a blind spot about one kind of racial and ethnic injustice. When ‘anti-Zionist’ activists descend on Jewish neighborhoods with calls to ‘kill and rape’ Jewish women, and when Jews were targeted by protesters chanting ‘Zionists are terrorists’ at rallies around the world, Achiume says nothing.

She did, though, produce a report on anti-Semitism in 2019. But that only addressed the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the context of ‘neo-Nazi and related intolerance’. This exposes a fundamental flaw in the UN system, one amplified and promoted by influencers, thought leaders, academics and journalists: Jew-hatred can only be acknowledged when it carries a tiki torch. When it comes cloaked in the language of ‘racial justice’, it’s excused or ignored.

The UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, has also been silent about race-based violence against Jews. Not only that, she’s lined up with the inciters. She recently marked the 20th anniversary of 2001 World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, by endorsing its racist final declaration. Instead of combating racism as it claimed to, the Durban conference became one of the worst international manifestations of anti-Semitism in the postwar period.

The Durban conference featured ugly displays of intolerance, anti-Semitism and baseless claims against the Jewish state. Anti-Israel activists gathered from all over the world to accuse the Jewish state of crimes against humanity. They equated Zionism with racism, threatened Jewish activists, and brandished anti-Semitic caricatures of money-clutching Jews with hooked noses and fangs dripping with blood. Two decades later, these memes recur in the anti-Jewish invective spouted by left-wing activists in the name of ‘racial justice’.
Ben Shapiro: The muddled thinking of 'antiracism'
This week, a clip of America's most prominent racial grifter, Ibram X. Kendi, began making the rounds on Twitter. Kendi, the author of How to Be an Antiracist, has undoubtedly made a fortune by indicting those who disagree with him as complicit in American racism – and by providing partial absolution to those who repeat his cultish ideas.

In one particular clip from a recent interview, however, Kendi was asked to do one very simple thing: to define racism itself. Kendi failed signally in that task. "I would define it as a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas," Kendi stated.

The audience laughed out loud.

Kendi then reiterated his definition and added: "And antiracism is pretty simple using the same terms. Antiracism is a collection of antiracist policies leading to racial ... equity that are substantiated by antiracist ideas."

This, of course, is utterly nonsensical. No term can be defined by simple reference to the term itself. If someone asked you to define an elephant and you quickly explained that an elephant is, in fact, an animal known as an elephant, you would be adding no new information. If someone asked you to describe anger and you then defined anger as the feeling of being angry, you would leave the listener in serious doubt as to your sanity.


‘Look, I Don’t Like Hamas, But…’
Anti-Israel activism can be a confusing space for young impressionable college students who sincerely want to fight for social justice and be on the right side of history.

Unfortunately, the anti-Zionist Scholar-Activists have mastered the art of talking points. They have refined their sloganeering to the point where they sound as if they are making succinct statements built upon the foundations of solid scholarship, empiricism, and nuance. And with the greatest of ironies, they accuse their Zionist opponents of being “Hasbara-trolls”, purveyors of Israeli propaganda, working on behalf of an “Apartheid Jewish supremacist state” because ethnic supremacy matters more to Jews than justice for the Palestinians.

With that in mind, I offer this modest beginner’s guide to anti-Zionist Scholar-Activist Speak. This is hardly an exhaustive guide. Such a guide would be the size of the OED in tiny font, and require the magnification of an electron microscope, much as the imaginary pernicious global impact of Israeli war crimes requires an electron microscope when held up against China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and about 70 other massive states who oppress their populations, many of which are Muslim states who vow to wipe the sole Jewish state off the map.

But if you seek the truth, this handy guide should be sufficient to get you started.

Lest there be any confusion – and these are confusing times! – the talking points are followed by their actual meanings.

“Look, I don’t like Hamas, but…” – This one is a classic. What the social justice activists mean is that “terrorism is OK if Jewish civilians in Israel are the target.”
-Dr. Judith Butler legitimized this sentence-starter when she declared Hamas and Hezbollah to be part of the Global Left.

“That Hamas Charter is meaningless; they don’t follow it anymore” – “It’s OK to draft genocidal foundational principles so long as you don’t actually kill every Jew hiding behind every rock and every tree.”

-A rather fascinating take. I suppose Hitler set the bar rather high with Mein Kampf since the Nazis were one of the few groups in history that literally implemented every genocidal statement in their foundational documents.

Although Hamas writes that “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” this has yet to happen. Though blown-up school busses, Passover Seders, and 4000 rockets launched at Jews suggest that the charter’s genocidal agenda is not off the table.
Special to the New York Times
Perhaps a look at history might prevent egregious and ignorant errors in NY Times reporting based on mendacious propaganda and counting on no one knowing the facts, such as the ridiculous set of maps the NY Times posted recently - unless the Gray Lady doesn't care:

-Before Israel, there was a British mandate, not a Palestinian state .
-Before the British Mandate, there was the Ottoman Empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Ottoman Empire, there was the Islamic state of the Mamluks of Egypt, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Islamic state of the Mamluks of Egypt, there was the Ayubid Empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Godfrey IV of Boulogne, known as Godfrey de Bouillon, conqueror of Jerusalem in 1099
-Before the Ayubid Empire, there was the Frankish and Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Kingdom of Jerusalem, there was the Umayyad and Fatimid empires, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Umayyad and Fatimid empires, there was the Byzantine empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Byzantine Empire, there were the Sassanids, not a Palestinian state. -Before the Sassanid Empire, there was the Byzantine Empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Byzantine Empire, there was the Roman Empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Roman Empire, there was the Hasmonean state, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Hasmonean state, there was the Seleucid, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Seleucid empire, there was the empire of Alexander the Great, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the empire of Alexander the Great, there was the Persian empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Persian Empire, there was the Babylonian Empire, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Babylonian Empire, there were the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, there was the Kingdom of Israel, not a Palestinian state.
-Before the kingdom of Israel, there was the theocracy of the twelve tribes of Israel, not a Palestinian state.
The last three spanned over a thousand years
-Before the theocracy of the twelve tribes of Israel, there was an agglomeration of independent Canaanite city-kingdoms, not a Palestinian state.
Actually, in this piece of land there has been everything, EXCEPT A PALESTINIAN STATE.
When Scientists Support Hate, Racism and Antisemitism
Paraphrasing Ecclesiastes, there is a time to join and a time to leave. I left the totalitarian anti-Semitic Soviet Union 30 years ago as a stateless refugee. It was long past time for me to do so, but the motherland would not allow me to escape its chokehold embrace until then. Little did I know that the scientific society I would soon join in the United States—Behavior Genetics Association (BGA), which is supposed to serve researchers in my field studying mechanisms of behavior—would bring back memories of my old unlamented country.

The first reminder seemed unrelated to science. The U.S. population has recently been informed by university professors, the media and the government that Soviet propaganda was true while America was irredeemably racist. Also, the only people who are racist are the so-called “whites.” They are evil oppressors, and the rest are oppressed—a very familiar Marxist set-up as well. Unlike another totalitarian regime, the Third Reich and Nazi Germans, there are no “genetic” laws here that would define the proportion of blood that makes one “white” and “racist,” though skin color suffices for the time being. Simply, “whites” are defined in the same manner as Ku Klux Klan defines them. With one exception: Jews.

According to updated racial rules, the Jews still end up being bad—no longer as non-white, but on the contrary, as “white” and thus “racist.” It doesn’t matter that Jews are of all known skin colors and origin. That origin could be put more precisely as “Middle Eastern”; however, that non-white term has been assigned by the media exclusively to those of Arab descent. As a result, half-dozen synagogues and three Jewish schools were vandalized in Los Angeles during last year’s Black Lives Matter riots, complete with anti-Semitic graffiti, while the pogromists chanted, “Kill the Jews.” Torah scrolls had to be hidden in anticipation of further destruction. A local rabbi said, “It’s Kristallnacht all over again.” BLM is part of the Movement for Black Lives whose platform has included anti-Semitic slander of Israel. Its racism and anti-Semitism bring me back to Behavior Genetics Association.

I recently learned that the company’s executive committee expressed support for BLM. I was shocked. Not only does BGA have no business getting engaged in partisan politics, but the BLM attacks on the Jewish institutions were not random. The three founders and leadership of BLM are anti-Semitic and support the ethnocidal BDS movement against Israel.

Unsurprisingly, the BLM leaders also describe themselves as “trained Marxists,” followers of the ideology whose founders, including Karl Marx himself, were not only anti-Semites but anti-black racists whose disciples have been history’s greatest mass murderers. Always employing the virtuous grandiloquence of “justice” and “rights,” Marxist ideas may be comforting to and mislead those who have not been exposed to them in their crystalline form.
Bella Hadid Post on 1939 ‘Palestine’ Soccer Team Shows Jewish, Pre-State Team, Notes Pro-Israel Influencer
A pro-Israel activist on Twitter noted on Monday that the Palestinian-American model and prominent Israel critic Bella Hadid seemingly drew attention to an all-Jewish, pre-state soccer team in a recent Instagram post.

Hadid, 24, posted on her Instagram Stories a photo of the British Mandate of Palestine soccer team that played against Australia in 1939. The photo said “Palestine vs Australia 1939” and the model commented on the photo saying “So cool” along with a heart emoji.

A YouTube video of the 1939 match in Australia showed that sports broadcasters also referred to the team as “Palestine,” referring to the territory governed by the United Kingdom that preceded the 1948 birth of the State of Israel.

In response to the photo, Israeli-Arab activist Yoseph Haddad explained in a video uploaded onto Twitter that the team was Maccabi Tel Aviv, representing the British Mandate of Palestine. The team was comprised of all Jewish athletes and they had Hebrew writing on their jerseys, which can be seen in the photo shared by Hadid as well as a group photo of the team posted on Twitter.




Quarter of top UK universities released potentially anti-Semitic comments, report suggests
A report by a UK think tank claims that up to a quarter of Britain's leading universities released statements that veered into potential anti-Semitism at the height of the recent violence between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel.

The Pinsker Centre claimed that student unions or faculty bodies at 12 of the country's top 40 universities — including Oxford and Cambridge — published "highly partisan" anti-Israel statements that might have breached the widely agreed working definition of anti-Semitism, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The center maintained that two highly partisan tropes were leveled against the Jewish state; namely that it was guilty of being both an "apartheid" state and one that was a "settler colonialist" entity.

Its report supplied two main recommendations: The Charity Commission — an NMGD the regulates registered charities in England and Wales — should update its guidance to student unions to give wider and better protection to Jewish students on campus, and universities should adopt disciplinary frameworks to enforce the IHRA definition with sanctions, and government should cut funds to universities that fail to do this.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on anti-Semitism, adopted by the UK government, lists calling Israel a "racist endeavor" or "applying double standards" as examples of what could be anti-Semitic, depending on the context.


Hatem Bazian: Professor of Hate
Fox News reported Thursday that “an ally to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., runs an organization that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says has ‘provided a platform for anti-Semitism.’ University of California at Berkeley instructor Hatem Bazian is a Tlaib ally and donor who is also a co-founder and professor at Muslim liberal arts school Zaytuna College. In 2006, Bazian founded a controversial, advocacy organization named American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which has featured Tlaib at events.”

Hatem “Hate ‘em” Bazian is, essentially, a Professor of Jihad, not in the sense that he teaches about the concept, but that his entire academic career is a jihad, a jihad of the pen, designed to accomplish essentially the same goals that other jihadis are trying to attain by different means: the advancement of Islam and Sharia. Bazian is a Professor of Jihad in other ways as well: he is head of a group with multiple ties to the jihad terror group Hamas,

IPT News reported in May 2017 that AMP was set up as a “ruse” by former officials of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and the American Muslim Society (AMS) after those two organizations were “found liable for an American teen’s death in a 1996 terrorist attack” and ceased operations, claiming to be unable to pay. IPT adds: “A subsequent criminal prosecution found that other defendants in the original lawsuit, like the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and the United Association for Studies and Research, were part of a Muslim Brotherhood-created Hamas-support network in the United States called the Palestine Committee.”

Even the ADL, which has largely morphed into a smear group targeting conservatives (including those who are pro-Israel), noted that the AMP “promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism under the guise of educating Americans about ‘the just cause of Palestine and the rights of self-determination.’”

Despite all this, Fox notes that Tlaib was “the ‘guest of honor’ at AMP’s annual convention in December 2019 and months earlier in July delivered a briefing organized by AMP to over 70 people. The Michigan Democrat also addressed AMP’s Palestine Advocacy Day delegates in April of 2019.” Also, “in March of 2013, AMP put up a billboard accusing Israel of engaging in ‘apartheid’ against Palestinians.” Tlaib and her far-Left Muslim colleague in Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu) “were featured as speakers for a virtual AMP event in November 2020, and both congresswomen attended the same pro-Palestine conference as Bazian.”
Noura Erakat’s Fairy Tales About Israel
On March 2, 2021, the UC Santa Barbara Center for Middle East Studies hosted human rights attorney and professor Noura Erakat as a part of her international book tour.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA)’s campus department has thoroughly reviewed the book and refuted its falsehoods.

Regarding the lecture itself, it is undeniable that Erakat is an excellent speaker who presents a digestible, emotionally charged view of the world. It is very appealing, almost like a fairy tale. And just like a fairy tale, it isn’t true.

The most shocking moment of the event came during the Q&A that followed Erakat’s lecture.

During the lecture, Erakat brought up how, “In 2014, in the span of 51 days, Israeli forces killed 2,100 Palestinians, some 534 of them were children. Zero accountability, right?”

This prompted one student to challenge her on the topic. His question, which was read aloud by the moderator of the event, Professor Sherene Seikaly, in part read that, “[while] the deaths of … children is a tragedy … there is irrefutable evidence that they were used as human shields and were purposely put in harm’s way.”

In response, Erakat asserted the following: “There has been zero evidence about the use of human shields. … The only evidence that has been furthered and forwarded that demonstrates that Hamas has used anyone, and definitely not children, but anyone as human shields have been pictures, memes, that the Israeli Defense Force [sic] … has produced.”

It is both shocking and alarming that a legal expert and professor such as Noura Erakat would push such blatant falsehoods during lectures to university students.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, is a terrorist organization, and among the reasons for that classification is the organization’s use of human shields.

Contrary to Erakat’s assertion that there is “zero” evidence of this practice, there is video evidence that Hamas fires rockets from densely-populated areas.
Indy apologises for referring to pro-Israel Indians as 'right-wing trolls'
A news article at the Independent (“India expresses support for ‘just Palestine cause’ at UN”, May 17), by Maroosha Muzaffar, included the following:
“In India, some right-wing trolls had been trying to trend #IndiaWithIsrael on Twitter. India’s statement at the UNSC virtual meet comes as a surprise to them.”

This sentence referring to Indians who are pro-Israel in the pejorative at “right-wing trolls”, we argued in our complaint to editors, clearly runs afoul of the prohibition in the Editors’ Code against blurring news with opinion. If the journalist’s hatred of Israeli is such that she considers anyone supporting the state on Twitter a “troll”, we added, she’s entitled to feel that way or even to frame the debate over Israel and the Palestinians in that manner in an op-ed.

But such egregious bias, we concluded, should never bleed into a straight news article.

Our complaint was ultimately upheld, and the sentence revised thusly:
In India, some people had been trying to trend #IndiaWithIsrael on Twitter. India’s statement at the UNSC virtual meet comes as a surprise to them.

The following editor’s note was added to the article:
CBC Claims Hamas “Retaliated” By Firing 4,000+ Rockets At Israel
Today, in a report on its website, CBC News claimed that Hamas’ firing of 4,000+ rockets at Israel was done in retaliation for the clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protestors at the Temple Mount compound and due to slated evictions for Arabs who didn’t pay rent in the Sheikh Jarrah / Shimon HaTzadik neighbourhood.

CBC reported the following:
The most recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, began last month when tensions escalated over an ongoing legal battle between Jewish settlers and several Palestinian families under threat of forced eviction their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces subsequently clashed with Palestinian protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is part of a holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City revered by both Muslims and Jews, and Hamas retaliated by firing rockets at Israel.”


Why did the CBC, our public broadcaster, adopt the Hamas terror group’s narrative claiming they acted in self defense and “retaliated,” versus how in an act of war and bona fide terrorism, Hamas indiscriminately fired thousands of deadly rockets at Israel unprovoked?

The CBC’s article centered around how “some Palestinian supporters say they think Facebook has suppressed content related to recent violence in the Middle East. The social media giant blamed a technical issue for impacting how users were able to share information.” CBC ignored how Facebook shut down a pro-Israel page that reportedly had 77 million followers, after a “cyber terrorism” campaign by “radical Islamic” groups — who coordinated to target it with hate speech.

Importantly, this CBC article lists CBC reporter Dalia Ashry as a contributor. HonestReporting Canada had previously filed a complaint with CBC News as Ms. Ashry’s Twitter page is rife with pro-Palestinian advocacy posts (see screen grabs appended below). While Ms. Ashry says her “Thoughts and views do not reflect my employer,” that goes against CBC policy, as journalists are required to refrain from commenting and taking stands on issues they cover.
Left-wing media engages in out of control Israel bashing
So BDS supporters, who accept the (false) premise that the Palestinians are indigenous to Israel and oppressed by Jewish white colonialists, have it backward. It is the (non-white) Mizrachi Jews in continuous habitation in Israel from time immemorial who were oppressed under a series of imperial regimes, up to and including the British Mandate." Indeed, they are the opposite of colonizers. They speak the same language and revere the same sacred spaces as their ancestors did 3,000 years ago.

The real colonizers of the land of Israel were those who occupied the land during Jewish exile: the Babylonians, Romans, Christian Crusaders, Arabs, Ottomans and the British. The Jews were merely reclaiming what had been stolen from them. They would have preferred to do it without "armed struggle," which Paradkar so admires in other liberationist groups, but Judeophobic Arabs gave them no choice.

Paradkar's statement that the British "colonized Palestine" which they seized from the Ottoman Turks after World War One is historical revisionism. There was no such thing as a Palestinian people before 1964, when the KGB created the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and trained them in terrorist operations, which of course they also funded. The USSR in fact created several national liberation fronts: the PLO, the National Liberation Army of Bolivia with Ernesto "Che" Guevara as its leader (1964), as well as the National Liberation Army of Columbia (1965). All these fronts espoused militant Marxism and demonized capitalist democracies.

The KGB also trained their propagandists in emollient rhetoric. What a good student Paradkar is. The words "armed struggle" sound romantic and heroic. "Suicide bombers" and "terrorism" have less cachet, but more truth in them.

In another brazen statement of misdirection, Paradkar states: "Across Canada, thousands of people have rallied to support Palestinians, as they were newly bombed by Israel." Even the Star's editor—if indeed Paradkar is assigned one—should have balked at that canard. That's like saying that the US "newly bombed" Afghanistan in 2011, omitting the small detail of the attack on the Twin Towers. Perhaps 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilians slipped Paradkar's mind as the motivation for Israel's acts of self-defence and justified retaliation, but somebody of authority at the Star with a nanogram of journalistic honour should have insisted she fill the glaring omission.

She also omitted to mention that the Israeli military is the first and only military in human history to warn its enemy with an hour's notice of where and when its bombs will fall. And even then, Hamas does not evacuate its citizens but insists they remain in place as human shields to ensure death rates are high enough to arouse the fury of the world.
In the Wake of Latest Gaza War, Rolling Stone Piles on with Anti-Israel Spin
Rolling Stone, the partially Saudi-owned music magazine that has just announced a new business venture in China, has published no less than six articles and features that were factually inaccurate and/or one-sided and biased against Israel since the start of Operation Guardian of the Walls.

CAMERA previously wrote about the magazine’s highly misleading news article, “A Group of Senate Democrats Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” (May 17, 2021), which was followed up with an even more slanted photo slide feature titled, “Life and Death in Gaza, In Photos” (May 19, 2021). After CAMERA’s contact with an editor there, no revisions were made to either piece. Instead, the publication doubled down with two more news articles, an opinion piece, and a bizarre article about Israeli social media influencers.

On May 27, Rolling Stone reporter Daniel Kreps published “Rage Against the Machine, Serj Tankian, Roger Waters Sign Letter Asking Artists to Boycott Israel.” Despite Rolling Stone’s claim that it, “has actually been in the hard news/investigative reporting business since its inception,” this article is not journalism at all – it’s just regurgitated propaganda.

The article quotes extensively from the titular letter, including repeating the false charges of apartheid and war crimes, and names some of the more prominent signers. It then goes on to quote an Instagram post from the band Rage Against the Machine, which repeated false claims about Sheikh Jarrah and the Temple Mount (also known as Al Aqsa mosque) without fact-checking them.

Kreps does not seem to have reached out to any number of people or organizations in the music and entertainment industry who could have provided a balancing perspective, such as Creative Community for Peace, Liberate Art Inc., or the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance.

Nor did the article mention Roger Waters’s virulent antisemitism. The ADL has documented many of Waters’s statements, including, the group wrote in 2020, “in a recent interview with Palestinian news agency Shehab, Waters employed a range of antisemitic tropes, claiming that the U.S. is being controlled by Jewish Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, whom he describes as a ‘puppet master’ who is ‘filling the coffers and pulling all the strings’ on U.S. policy regarding Israel/Palestine.”
Has Christian Century Turned a Corner_ Maybe . . .
It’s appropriate that after a long period of isolation, suffering, and polarization coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, CAMERA can offer some qualified good news about Christian Century, historically referred to as the flagship magazine of mainline Protestantism in the United States.

The good news is that the magazine has finally come to grips with the legacy of its second-longest-running editor, James M. Wall who inveighed against Israel and Jews with a troubling animus during his career as a journalist at the magazine and who, after his retirement as editor, threw in his lot with vicious antisemites.

The qualification is that the magazine has recently published an article about Hamas’s war against Israel that exhibits some of the same techniques Wall used to downplay Arab and Muslim hostility toward the Jewish state and portray Israel in an unfairly harsh light.

Despite this qualification, there is still reason for hope that the magazine has decisively turned the page on an ugly chapter of its history.

Christian Century Under Charles Clayton Morrison
Christian Century has had a troubled history when it comes to dealing with issues related to the Jewish people. Its longest-serving editor, Charles Clayton Morrison, exhibited an undeniable animus toward the Jewish people during their time of trial in the 1930s and 40s, portraying efforts of American Jews to alert their fellow citizens about the mass murder of their brethren during the Holocaust in malign terms. This and other examples of Clayton’s animus toward collective expressions of Jewish identity were well documented in American Protestantism and a Jewish State by Hertzl Fishman and So It Was True: American Protestant Press and the Nazi Persecution of the Jews by Robert W. Ross.

Fortunately, the magazine’s editors acknowledged Clayton’s contempt toward the Jewish people. In 1985, the magazine published an acknowledgement by longtime senior editor Martin Marty that “Charles Clayton Morrison and the Christian Century were deeply flawed.”
Hundreds Rally Against Hate, Antisemitism Post-Graffiti at Florida Holocaust Museum
One week to the day after the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg was vandalized, hundreds gathered on Thursday to say no to antisemitism and stand up for the Jewish community.

It was back on May 27 that graffiti, including a swastika and the words “The Jews are guilty,” was discovered painted on the outside of the museum. It came amid an upswing in antisemitic incidents worldwide—many related to Israel’s recent conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip—and St. Petersburg Police are still searching for the suspect or suspects.

The June 3 rally was a community response to show their support for the Jews of St. Petersburg and beyond.

Among speakers at the event was Toni Rinde, a Holocaust survivor who said, “I once asked my parents why is it that people hate us. Can you explain hate to a 7-year-old little child? We in our museum try to explain hate. We teach how to be an upstander. When you see wrong being done, we teach: Fix that wrong.”

The city’s mayor, Rick Kriseman, also addressed the crowd, as did local faith and community leaders.

A letter sent to the museum by White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond was read aloud by the Holocaust Museum’s Executive Director Elizabeth Gelman.

It said, in part, “As the museum has recognized, this cowardly act of hate demonstrates that its work is more important than ever. We are grateful for the witness that you provide regarding the lessons of the Holocaust, especially during such challenging times and we pledge to continue working with you to ensure that every life is valued and that no one has to fear because of who they are or how they worship.”
Italian police arrest neo-Nazi group that called for anti-Jewish attacks
Italian police have dismantled a neo-Nazi group that allegedly spread antisemitic and racist propaganda on social media, police said on Monday.

The group, consisting of 12 people between the ages of 26 and 62, was present on Facebook and the Russian social network VK under the name “Ordine Ario Romano,” a Carabinieri police statement said.

Posting content “inspired by Nazi, antisemitic and Holocaust-denial ideologies, as well as by anti-Jewish conspiracy theories,” the group called for violence against Jews and foreigners, the statement added.

It was also in the early stages of planning an attack against an unnamed NATO site using homemade explosives, with the help of fellow far-righters from Portugal, police said.

Its members have been charged with criminal association aimed at spreading propaganda, and incitement with ethnic and racial discrimination motives, and were ordered to regularly report to police while the investigation against them continues.

According to reports, one of the people targeted by the police raid was Francesca Rizzi, a 39-year-old woman previously investigated for far-right extremism.

According to La Repubblica and other Italian media, Rizzi, who has a Nazi eagle and a swastika tattooed on her back, won a “Miss Hitler” contest organized by the VK social network in 2019.


Arson suspected outside German synagogue
An unidentified individual is believed to have started a fire outside a synagogue in the city of Ulm in Germany, resulting in superficial damage to the building’s exterior.

The suspected arson Saturday in Ulm, which is situated about 70 miles northwest of Munich, did not damage the building’s interior because a witness called firefighters who arrived on the scene within minutes and extinguished the flame, Deutsche Welle reported. Police are looking for the culprit.

“It shows the insidious face of antisemitism, which we oppose clearly and unambiguously, ” said Winfried Kretschmann, the prime minister of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, where the incident happened.

Nazis destroyed the interior of Ulm’s synagogue in the 1938 Kristallnacht pogroms. What remained of the structure was demolished soon thereafter. It was reopened only in 2012.

Antisemitic violence in Germany and across Europe has increased in recent weeks, in connection with the 11-day exchange of fire between Hamas in Gaza, which ended on May 21.

Far-right violence, which is usually not connected to Israel, is also prevalent in Germany. In 2019, a neo-Nazi tried to break into the synagogue of Hale near Berlin and killed two people on a nearby street after he failed to get past the synagogue’s fortified door.
Headstones smashed at Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine and Romania
Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in two separate incidents over the past week in Romania and Ukraine.

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania-MCA reported Sunday about the incident in the town of Ploesti, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Bucharest.

Multiple headstones, some from as recently as 2009, were knocked over. Several were smashed.

On Thursday, at least 10 of the 60 headstones were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery of Radvanka, a western Ukraine village on the outskirts of Uzhgorod, according to the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several communal interests group.

The group also said that on Friday, in an unfenced hillside graveyard with overgrown grass, several of the headstones were smashed.

In both incidents, police were informed of the damage. There are no suspects in either case.

In 2012, the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental body that is not part of the European Union, adopted a nonbinding resolution placing responsibility for the care of Jewish cemeteries on national governments. The resolution was based in part on a report that said Jewish cemeteries are “probably” more vulnerable than other cemeteries.
Israel flooded with trademark applications from Gulf
The newly announced peace deals in the region between Israel and four Arab countries has led to an influx of trademark applications from companies in the region.

The deals, commonly known as the Abraham Accords, were brokered by former US President Donald Trump in 2020 and are considered a major foreign policy accomplishment for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the former administration.

The peace agreements have led to varying degrees of normalization between Israel on the one side, and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan on the other side. The expectation is that full-fledged ties will be established in the near term (in the case of Bahrain and the UAE this has been achieved).

According to data exclusively obtained by Israel Hayom from government agencies, the number of applications from the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain has increased several-fold in the wake of the deals.

For example, in the two years prior, there were only 26 applications from the UAE, but in the months since the announcement of the normalization deal there have been more than 100 requests, a surge of 400%.

The citizens of the Arab countries that are part of the accords can now register their trademark in Israel using the Madrid Agreement, which applies in multiple countries for five years.
US Army to Buy Remote-Controlled Weapons From Israel’s Rafael for $150 Million
The US Army chose American company Oshkosh Defense and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to provide it with remotely operated weapons positions in a deal worth $942 million. Rafael’s share of the deal is estimated at $150 million.

The positions are a Rafael development and are referred to in the IDF as “lethal” positions. They are used by the IDF’s ground forces on Armed Personnel Carriers (APC), as well as on navy ships. The US Army is expected to equip three brigades with about 900 APCs in total, with the new positions carrying a 30mm cannon.

The positions will provide the APCs with stronger firepower, and better protect soldiers thanks to their remote control operation that will allow the crew to shoot while remaining inside the APC.

Meanwhile, it appears that Rafael is also on its way to seal another deal for the Iron Dome defense system. The US Marine Corps has announced it is looking into combining the Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptors with an American-made radar and operation system to protect American forces and interests against cruise missiles, which Iran and its proxies have proven to accurately use. The Iron Dome has displayed its capabilities against such a threat in past tests.

According to a report by Janes, a global open-source intelligence company, the plan to integrate the Israeli missile into American systems has recently received engineering approval, and a decision on whether to proceed with a deal and acquire the interceptors by 2022 will be taken soon. It is unclear whether Rafael, and its American partner Raytheon, will receive a direct order for the interceptors, or whether they will have to bid in a tender. The two already announced a year ago that they are preparing for joint, American-based production of Tamir interceptors. The US Army has already purchased two full Iron Dome batteries for $373 million in a deal that includes IAI radars, a Prest control system, and 480 interceptors.
Divers welcome to explore the past at Israel’s first underwater national park
Israel has opened its first underwater national park at the ancient port city of Caesarea, where divers can tour the 2,000-year-old remains of what was once a major complex extending into the sea.

Caesarea is already one of Israel’s top tourist attractions where archaeologists have, over decades, uncovered the remains of massive sprawling building projects on the shore constructed by the first century BCE King Herod.

However, much of Herod’s work now lies beneath the sea.

With the inclusion of marine areas in the existing national park, authorities hope to attract divers to the area, where they will be encouraged to help out in piecing together the port’s past. While local divers have been helping out with archaeological work for years, administrators are eager to attract visitors from further afield.

“We want to develop diving tourism and tourism in the country,” said Kobi Sharvit, director of the Israel Antiques Authority marine archaeology unit, told Channel 13 news in a report broadcast on Saturday.

“We expect that divers who see something will report it to us,” he said. “For the most part, a small discovery by divers can lead to a very large and impressive discovery and change our entire understanding of the place.”

“That happened more than once to us in recent years,” Sharvit said and noted that stormy weather earlier this year had uncovered some of the wooden structures used in the port.

A large discovery of gold coins in 2015 and a trading boat that still had cargo in the hold of wreck were two examples he gave.
Israeli unicorns being 'born' faster than ever, report finds
Not only is Israel shifting from "startup nation" to "scale-up nation," but the time it takes Israeli startup companies to scale up – even to "unicorn" (valued at $1 billion or more) status – is decreasing, according to a new report compiled by Jonathan Cohen of Catalyst Investments.

Cohen investigated the numbers behind the recent change in the Israeli startup ecosystem, and found that the shift from "start-up" to "scale-up" reflected a change in the influence of US investors in Israel.

US-based corporate and financial institutions have increased their exposure in Israel and are now predominant, both in terms of investments and exits, Cohen explained.

"If we look at the investment rounds above $100 million, more than 70% (including all the rounds ever) occurred from 2019, and 27 rounds (i.e. 33%) were completed this year, from January to May 2021. Out of these 27 rounds above $100 million, 23 were led or co-led by American institutions. As comparison, only a third of the rounds were led by American investors prior to 2019," Cohen said.

"There are many reasons to explain the increasing amount invested by US investors: First, the Israeli VC and PE ecosystem is maturing, with more companies and experienced entrepreneurs succeeding in convincing US corporates and institutions to invest larger amounts in the country. Second, the 'startup nation' has developed a large number of companies valued between $300 million and $3 billion that are good targets of mid-cap and large-cap investors, for either large investments or buyouts. Third, American investors consider that Israeli companies are cheaper than US companies, and are willing to invest in them as they know that Israeli companies will relocate their headquarter in the US to help for the future exit.

"Lastly, Israel's ability to cope with crises such as COVID-19 was a great advertisement for the Israeli companies and its economy as a whole," Cohen continued.


Synagogue in eastern Hungary to get facelift thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis
An abandoned synagogue in eastern Hungary is getting a facelift thanks to Hollywood actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

On Sunday, the actress — who is currently in Budapest for the shooting of the upcoming film “Borderlands” — attended the pre-opening of a new memorial museum and cafe dedicated to her father, beloved American actor Tony Curtis, in the Hungarian town of Mateszalka, 275 kilometers (170 miles) east of the capital.

The museum contains photographs, film props, costumes, and memorabilia from Tony Curtis’s life. It will open to the general public on the Night of Museums, June 26, when museums around the country throw open their doors to the public and offer a variety of programming through dawn.

Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz to Hungarian-Jewish immigrants who had moved to New York from Mateszalka. According to Hungarian media, the actor, who died in 2010 at the age of 85, visited his parents’ former hometown several times.

In an Instagram post for her 3.2 million followers, Jamie Lee Curtis wrote that the museum is located “just down the street from the synagogue that my family worshiped in so long ago.”

Curtis noted that the former synagogue, originally built in 1857, is “empty now, as the entire Jewish population was exterminated but the building stands as a living tribute to those who lived there and continue to live there.”

Curtis has committed to help raise funds to restore the dilapidated building and turn it into a community center “for celebrations and art and music.”
David Dushman, last Auschwitz liberator, dies at 98
David Dushman, the last surviving soldier who took part in the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in 1945, has died at the age of 98.

Dushman, a Red Army soldier who later became an international fencer, died on Saturday, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.

On Jan. 27, 1945, he used his T-34 Soviet tank to mow down the electric fence of Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland, helping to set prisoners in the death camp free.

"We hardly knew anything about Auschwitz," he said, recounting that day in an interview in 2015 with Sueddeutsche daily.

"They staggered out of the barracks, sat and lay among the dead. Terrible. We threw them all our canned food and immediately went on to hunt down the fascists," he said.

Only after the end of the war did he learn about the scale of the atrocities in the camp.

Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, said Dushman's death was "particularly painful."


Former Israel Space Agency Chief Dies of Wounds Sustained During Arab Riots
Avi Har-Even, former director-general of the Israel Space Agency, died on Sunday from complications related to injuries he suffered during the riots that rocked the country last month.

Har-Even, 84, was staying with his wife at the Effendi Hotel in Akko when Arab rioters set fire to it on May 11. Though his wife was saved, Har-Even suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation. He was transferred to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center for treatment, where he finally succumbed to his wounds.

Har-Even served many roles within Israel’s aerospace industry during the 1980s and 1990s. He led the Israel Space Agency from 1995 to 2004. Although the agency had a tiny budget, Har-Even developed it by partnering with space agencies from other countries, including the United States, France, Germany and India.

“He was a key figure in advancing the field of space in Israel, both in industry and in the defense system,” said current ISA Director-General Avi Blasberger.

“In his role as director of the Israel Space Agency, he promoted the agency’s foreign relations and was the first to place it at the center of the global space industry. Due largely to the work of Har-Even, Israel to this day is a space power on a global scale,” said Blasberger.

Har-Even also won the Israel Defense Prize for efforts that remain secret to this day.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “I heard with great sorrow about the death of Avi Har-Even, winner of the Israel Defense Prize, former director of the Space Agency, who contributed greatly to Israel’s security in ways that will never be recounted.”











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