Thursday, June 10, 2021

From Ian:

We Are Entering a New Phase of Discrimination Against Jews
We are seeing, in the West, the beginning of a new phase of discrimination against Jews. Many cannot openly identify as Jews without fear of being assaulted, which is happening all too often in Europe, the United States and now Canada.

Much of the animosity is related to the support of Jews for Israel and its historical/philosophical foundation, Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish People in their ancestral homeland.

The very word “Jew” comes from the membership in the tribe of Judah which, about 3,000 years ago, became a kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital, under David and Solomon.

Many Jews today grow up proudly learning about this astonishing history that uniquely binds the past to the present. However, Jews are now increasingly assailed by hostile, mania-driven campaigns, foremost at universities, bent on erasing this history altogether.

There are ever-mounting efforts underway, including by people who consider themselves part of a “progressive” movement asserting human rights for minorities — a noble aim in principle — to single out only one country, Israel, and its national movement, Zionism, for vilification. Delegitimizing rhetoric seeking to portray Israel as a “settler-colonialist” enterprise imbued with “white supremacy” is hurled with feverish abandon unhinged from fact and history.

We’re in the realm here not of reason, but of a quasi-religious cult of incantation.

Almost 100 years ago, writing at another moment of great danger in Jewish history, Albert Einstein saw the re-creation of a Jewish homeland as “the embodiment of the reawakening corporate spirit of the whole Jewish nation.” In his day, Einstein was a progressive who abhorred violence and cared deeply about the human rights of the Palestinian Arabs. Nonetheless, he recognized the great moral need for Zionism.

Einstein urged that “we Jews should once more become conscious of our existence as a nationality and regain the self-respect that is necessary to a healthy existence. We must learn once more to glory in our ancestors and in our history.” To that end he called for “reconstruction of our native land.”

One doesn’t “colonize” one’s native land. One returns home.
Tracy-Ann Oberman: I will not be silenced on antisemitism
And their fears were justified when the actor and performers union Equity decided to use its membership base to condemn Israel. Its President and General Secretary called on members to demand sanctions and join the march in Hyde Park. A similar march a week earlier had seen multiple antisemitic placards, including one with Jesus nailed to a cross with the words: “Do not let them do the same thing today again”.

Equity has a duty to look after its members at a time when most haven’t earned a penny in 18 months. It also doesn’t routinely make pronouncements on anything. Do you know how many times Equity, its President and General Secretary have issued statements, let alone called for sanctions, against China, Turkey or Syria? Or offered support to the Kurds, the Yazidis or the Russian LGBTQ community? Zero. Do you know how many times they’ve made a statement on Israel and Palestine? Twenty-eight times.

So much for promoting my work. I found myself pulling different factions together to push awareness of what was happening. I was invited onto Newsnight to talk about the many performers who had sent me their resignation letters from Equity, including the incomparable Dame Maureen Lipman, who said she was putting her subs toward helping victims on both sides of the conflict. Where the Dame walks, people follow.

Murray Hecht, a long-time Equity union leader and activist, joined me in the outrage and led a delegation of angry Jewish and non-Jewish members who ripped up their union cards.

Many Jewish performers feel they must pass a political loyalty test — a purity exam to weed out any Zionistic tendencies. I hope my fellow Chinese, Iranian, Turkish, Russian and Pakistani performers aren’t put under equal pressure about countries they do not live in and are not citizens of.

I have promoted Palestinian rights; I think Israel must be brave and lead talks to forward a two-state solution and coexistence.

I am overwhelmed by how much love and support I have received from so many fellow actors, directors, musicians, producers, casting directors, writers and others. It is heartening to think this message really impacted. But I won’t allow myself and my fellow performers to be lectured by people whose only understanding of the situation is what they’ve read on Instagram.

I won’t be told to tone it down by fellow actors who are unable to call out antisemitism for fear of looking “pro-Zionist”. And I won’t stay quiet when my industry’s union exacerbates this mindset.
The Tikvah Podcast: Matti Friedman on How Americans Project Their Own Problems onto Israel
In 1958, the American author Leon Uris published Exodus, the novel about Israel’s founding that became an international phenomenon. Its hero, though an Israeli kibbutznik, was portrayed as a blond, blue-eyed man of culture and elegance, a portrayal reinforced by the film version of the novel, which starred Paul Newman. Whether or not this was his point, by portraying Israelis as racially white and as Western in their sensibilities, Uris was making it easier for most Americans to identify with Israel and its cause. This week’s podcast guest, the frequent Mosaic contributor Matti Friedman, argues that Americans still see themselves in Israel-just not always in the way that Uris hoped. In a recent essay, Friedman finds in the American reaction to the Jewish state’s recent confrontation with Hamas the same mythology that once animated Uris’s writing—only in reverse. Where in Uris characters are portrayed with distinctly Western sensibilities so as to attract Americans to Israel, contemporary portrayals of Israelis are now advanced by those who wish to distance Americans-and the world-from Israel.
Stop Comparing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to the Black Lives Matter Movement
Assuming that global conflicts can be navigated and understood via American history and the present tensions in American society concerning race is total nonsense. The Jewish people have been victims of thousands of years of displacement, expulsion and discrimination, and in the last century, we have faced war and terrorism in backlash to our indigenous right to self-determination in our ancestral homeland.

As someone who grew up in South Africa, I can proudly report that Israel is definitely not an apartheid society. Israeli Arabs are an enmeshed part of Israeli society, including the myriad who serve in the Israel Defense Forces and work as doctors, lawyers, scholars, ambassadors, and politicians.

In the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, gender-based violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community and minorities are prevalent. There is widespread detention without charge or trial by the Palestinian Authority, while in Gaza, military courts rule the day and capital punishment is prevalent. Hamas violently took over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, murdering hundreds of Palestinians in their quest for power.

U.S. tax dollars given to Israel must be used to purchase goods from the U.S., keeping many Americans employed. The Palestinian Authority used U.S. tax dollars to make payments to the families of persons imprisoned for acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens, including to the families of suicide bombers.

The Palestinian people are not the enemy of Israel; Hamas is. Israel is not the barrier to peace; Hamas extremism and terrorism are. It is inappropriate and tone-deaf to use the Black Lives Matter movement to give credence to anti-Israel rhetoric. Israel is a democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-cultural society with every right to defend its sovereignty and civilians against Jihadi terrorists.
After outcry, Omar insists she wasn’t equating US, Israel with terror groups
Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Thursday hit back against criticism from Jewish colleagues who accused her of equating the US and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban.

“It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call,” Omar tweeted. “The Islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”

Her post linked to a statement signed by 12 Jewish Democrats who said Ilhan’s grouping of the US and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas in remarks about pursuing war crimes prosecutions gave “cover to terrorist groups.”

In a subsequent statement on Thursday, Omar said: “On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations. To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel.

“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she added. She did not tweet the statement.

The Palestinian ‘battle flag’
Confederate flags are no longer sold on eBay or Amazon, but thousands of merchants sell Palestinian flags. The people of Europe have certainly had no trouble finding them to display at their recent anti-Israel demonstrations.

In the last few weeks, the streets of Europe’s great cities have erupted in unabashed, almost carnivalesque, Jew-hatred. In London, hundreds of cars bearing the Palestinian flag paraded through the streets, blaring over their P.A. systems: “F**k the Jews and rape their daughters.”

In Brussels, the flag-wavers shouted, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,” a reference to a seventh-century slaughter of Jews by Muslims, and in Amsterdam, they chanted Hamas’s song: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” In Berlin, Israeli flags were burned by people waving Palestinian flags.

“The anti-Jewish mob has returned,” as JNS columnist Ben Cohen put it. He’s right, and its standard is the Palestinian flag.

Southern states began in earnest removing Confederate symbols from public display after photos of the neo-Nazi white supremacist Dylan Roof posing with the Confederate flag became public. Through the shame associated with the murderer who chose his victims solely because they were black (especially compared to the dignity and grace of his victims’ family members who forgave him), the Confederate flag gradually disappeared from public display, and the Southern Cross disappeared from state flags.

Mississippi was the last state to remove it in January of this year. Flying, waving or wearing the Confederate flag in 2021 signals in-your-face, defiant racism.

How many more attacks on Jews by violent men waving the red, white, green and black will it take before the Palestinian flag becomes stigmatized as a symbol of hatred every bit as virulent as the Confederate flag?

Clearly, we’re not there yet. The media resists evidence that the Palestinian flag has become a symbol of hatred, and anyone who disagrees is attacked. That’s what happened when the headmaster of the Allerton Grange School in Leeds, England, observed two weeks ago that some of his pupils felt threatened by the Palestinian flag.

After he asserted that the flag was “a message of support of anti-Semitism,” the British media descended upon him, and he was soon forced to apologize. He shouldn’t have.

It’s time for the world to see the Palestinian flag the way Palestinians see it—as the symbol of a Judenfrei country called “Palestine” that can only exist if Israel ceases to exist.
Violent Man Randomly Attacks Kosher Pizza Shop In Flatbush, Punches Man In Head
A violent man randomly attacked Bash Kosher Pizza in Flatbush, Wednesday afternoon.

Sources tell YWN that the man suddenly entered the establishment, located on Nostrand Avenue and Avenue J, at around 1:00PM. No words were exchanged, when the man began screaming, and randomly throwing tables and chairs.

Frightened people eating lunch quickly barricaded themselves into the store bathroom.

Eventually, a Jewish person in the store threw a chair at the suspect, who then chased him out of the store. One outside the store, the suspect then attacked a Jewish man, by punching him at least once in the head.

At that point, multiple people jumped on the suspect, and held him down.

The NYPD and Flatbush Shomrim responded immediately after receiving more than a dozen calls, and the suspect was taken into custody. Flatbush Hatzolah was on the scene, and treated the victim who was assaulted. Thankfully, he did not require a hospital.

The Commanding Officer of the 63 Precinct, Captain Genevieve Isom, personally responded to the scene, and made it her business to speak to the group of around 10 women – including an infant and a pregnant woman – who were barricaded in the bathroom for 15 minutes. She calmed them down and ensured everyone that police were taking the matter seriously.

An NYPD source tell YWN that until the suspect was being held down, no anti-Semitic slurs were used. Police are investigating the incident.

Critical Race Theory and the ‘Hyper-White’ Jew
You open your welcome packet. It contains the bestseller all first-year students are expected to read: Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. You flip to a random page and read, “Only whites can be racist.” You flip to another page where you read that to deny being racist is itself evidence of “white fragility.” You wonder what you’re supposed to do in order to not have “white fragility.”

You dutifully read the book.

Your first day arrives. You decorate your room with pictures. Your favorite is the one of you and your extended family in Israel when you were little. Your cousins live in Tel Aviv and you love visiting them. You hang a hamsa above your desk. Your roommate seems nice.

The theme of orientation is “Campus Inclusion.” The first thing you learn about is “microaggressions.” The associate dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion explains that perpetrators of microaggressions are often unaware of the harm they’re causing. They can even have good intentions. But as the handout says, “almost all interracial encounters are prone to microaggressions.”

You were looking forward to meeting people from different backgrounds. You didn’t realize it would be so fraught — you don’t want to perpetrate anything. It never would have occurred to you that asking someone where he’s from could be a microaggression. Or that saying “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” is. Even saying “America is a melting pot” is on the list.

You cringe when you read that it’s a microaggression to say “there is only one race, the human race.” That’s something your grandmother always says. Her father, who survived several concentration camps, used to say that, too. They aren’t racist. But according to the list, it’s also a microaggression to deny being racist.

You wonder whether it’s a microaggression to deny being antisemitic. You look on the list for examples of microaggressions against Jews. There aren’t any.

In your second year, you attend a campus protest against systemic racism. You hear from the Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Union, the Latinx Student Union, the LGBTQIA+ Alliance, the Black Student Union, and the leaders of student government. All of them reiterate in various ways that any system with unequal outcomes is a “white supremacist” system. “We’re either racist or antiracist,” says Sandra, the president of the student government. She adds, quoting this year’s summer reading for all students, Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist: “The claim of ‘not racist’ neutrality is a mask for racism.”

You’re against racism. Now saying you’re “not racist” is not only a microaggression and evidence of white fragility, but is itself racist? It makes your head spin. In any case, you know how evil white supremacy is. Your great-grandparents were unambiguous victims of it. Your grandmother was born in a displaced-persons camp, and most of her extended family were murdered by the Nazis.

“Denial is the heartbeat of racism,” Sandra says before closing, again quoting Kendi. She adds something about being a true “ally” and antiracist, accepting her own racism, “doing the work,” and standing in solidarity with all movements for liberation and self-determination.

Jewish passers-by report that police stood by as demonstrator outside Israeli ambassador’s residence shouts “F””” the Jews”
Jewish passers-by have reported to Campaign Against Antisemitism that police stood by as a demonstrator shouted “F””” the Jews” outside the residence of the Israeli ambassador in London.

The witnesses did not see the demonstrator but described the voice as being that of a woman.

The incident took place at around 19:10 at a protest last night outside the residence.

This is not the first time in recent weeks that police officers have failed to act in the face of antisemitic hate crime or have participated in political protests in contravention of policing protocols. Campaign Against Antisemitism has submitted complaints in respect of the relevant officers.

CUNY Faculty Union Weighs Resolution Accusing Israel of ‘Massacres’ of Palestinians, Demanding Boycott
The City University of New York (CUNY) faculty union will vote on Thursday on a resolution to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and accuse Israel of “crimes against humanity” and “ongoing settler colonial violence.”

“Be it resolved that PSC-CUNY condemn the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli state,” said the resolution, posed to the faculty’s Professional Staff Congress (PSC) Union by its Anti-Racism Committee, International Committee and Academic Freedom Committee.

The resolution also called on the union to join student and faculty efforts to endorse the BDS movement and have CUNY “divest from all companies that aid in Israeli colonization, occupation, and war crimes.”

Writing at the website Left Voice, CUNY professors James Dennis Hoff and Olivia Wood described the “Resolution in Support of the Palestinian People” as “unprecedented” in the union’s history, and said they are “proud to be a part of a union whose members have the integrity and courage to take a stand against Israel.”

They also wrote that they were “extremely disappointed” that the union’s Executive Council has opposed the resolution and presented a “watered-down alternative,” which was similarly critical of Israel but did not advocate divestment.

Brooklyn College history professor K.C. Johnson told The Algemeiner on Wednesday the union has “struggled to deliver on bread and butter issues to the membership, so it’s not hard to see all this … as a way of saying ‘alright, if we’re not providing the membership with economic representation, at least we’re giving voice to the extreme anti-Israel figures.'”

“Basically, if you’re the union, you’d rather be talking about Israel than why you haven’t gotten a raise,” he said. Brooklyn College is part of CUNY, which comprises 25 colleges and is the largest urban public university in the country.
Gender Studies Faculty Sides With Hamas
Seeming to give proof to Orwell’s observation that some ideas are so stupid they could only have been thought of by intellectuals, yet another group of academics—this time faculty in some 120 Gender Studies departments—has, after the latest conflict in Gaza, followed the lead of various student governments, faculty, and other academic organizations by launching yet another attack in the cognitive war against Israel.

With the characteristic pseudo-intellectual babble that currently dilutes the scholarly relevance of the social sciences and humanities, a “solidarity statement” issued by the Palestinian Feminist Collective (PFC) pretentiously announced that “as gender studies departments in the United States, we are the proud benefactors of decades of feminist anti-racist, and anti-colonial activism that informs the foundation of our interdiscipline.”

“We center global social justice in our intersectional teaching, scholarship, and organizing.,” these moral termagants continued. “From Angela Davis we understand that justice is indivisible; we learn this lesson time and again from Black, Indigenous, Arab, and most crucially, Palestinian feminists, who know that ‘Palestine is a Feminist Issue.’”

Palestine may be a feminist issue in the addled minds of these academics, but, tellingly, they conveniently make no mention in their statement of the terrorist group Hamas which is singularly responsible for initiating this latest clash with Israel and which commits a war crime each time its militants launch a rocket toward civilian neighborhoods with the intention of murdering Jews. And while these gender studies activists seem so concerned for the emotional and physical welfare of Palestinian women, they do not mention any Israeli women in their statement or commiserate with the reality of living with a genocidal enemy at one’s border. They do not mention mothers of children in southern Israeli towns like Sderot, a frequent Hamas target, where bedrooms have been converted to bomb shelters, residents sometimes have only 15 seconds to seek cover from incoming rockets, and over 40 percent of the town’s children suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of living with the specter of terrorism and possible death clouding daily life.
Controversial Warwick lecturer Dr Goldie Osuri reportedly claims International Definition of Antisemitism is “part of a broader gamut of Tory moves to legitimate racist speech”
A controversial Warwick lecturer has reportedly claimed that the International Definition of Antisemitism is part of a Conservative plot to “legitimate racist speech and de-legitimate anti-racist and anti-colonial research, teaching and activism”.

Goldie Osuri, a sociology lecturer at the University of Warwick, made the comments at an event in April organised by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) called ‘Resisting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism’ (also known as the International Definition of Antisemitism).

UCU has been at the forefront of efforts to oppose or revoke adoption of the Definition at British campuses, and its reputation in the Jewish community is in the gutter. The union recently included the Definition on a list of potential threats in a survey of members.

According to Hurry Up Harry, which this week released audio and a transcript of the event, Dr Osurie added that “Pressure to recognise or adopt the [Definition] with its examples should be understood as a racist move against Palestinians” and that the Definition “should be understood as a way of smearing as antisemitic and hence silencing critics of Israel and pro-Israel advocacy organisations” and “is part of a broader gamut of Tory moves to legitimate racist speech and de-legitimate anti-racist and anti-colonial research, teaching and activism.”

Dr Osuri is part of a coalition of Warwick academics disgracefully trying to pressure the University to retract its adoption of the International Definition of Antisemitism, which the University only did after significant pressure.

GMB union elects new boss with history of speaking out against antisemitism
A new GMB union General Secretary, with a history of speaking out against antisemtism, was elected last Thursday.

Gary Smith has previously said: “No political party has clean hands on the issue of antisemitism but nobody should need any reminders that antisemitism is on the rise and we in GMB are clear that it is absolutely intolerable.”

In the past, he has spoken out against Richard Leonard, the former Scottish Labour leader, for failing to support the International Definition of Antisemitism.

In March 2019, he labelled the Labour Party’s handling of antisemitism “disgraceful” and revealed that he even thought about leaving the Party himself.

Mr Smith also spoke out when Rhea Wolfson, a Jewish official with the GMB Scotland union, was targeted in an article which mentioned that Hitler had alleged that Jews had gradually assumed leadership of the trade union movement.

A colleague of Mr Smith’s stated: “Some union people struggle with the idea of treating racism against Jews in the same way they would treat racism against other ethnic minorities. Gary understands the poisonous nature of anti-Jewish racism, and does not operate with any hierarchies.”
JC accused of being ‘Jewish cabal’ after Urdu YouTube investigation
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “YouTube has become a top-tier platform for spreading hatred of Jews.

“Google has been making some progress in removing antisemitic incitement videos that are in the English language, but that progress is slow.

“However, as we know, some of the worst anti-Jewish incitement is not in English.

“The JC’s investigation has shone a spotlight on the fact that some of the worst incitement on YouTube is in languages like Urdu.

“These prolific broadcasters are whipping up hatred of Jews amongst Urdu speakers around the world, including here in the UK.

“There can be no excuses — Google needs to act and we will be discussing the JC’s findings with them.”

A YouTube spokesperson said: “Hate has no place on YouTube. To fight the spread of harmful content and protect our community, we’ve worked hard to develop responsible guidelines to define and make clear what content is unacceptable.

“When content is flagged to us, we work quickly to remove videos that violate our policies.”

Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din said: “I categorically reject the claims that my remarks are antisemitic.”
Globe And Mail Refuses To Acknowledge That Israel Claims Airstrike Targeted Hamas Terror Infrastructure
On May 27, the Globe and Mail’s business section and website published an article by Fatima Syed about how the Toronto tech startup Open Screenplay pledged to continue work in Gaza after an Israeli bombing destroyed its office.

Ms. Syed stated the following in the lead paragraph of her article (emphasis added): “Around 5 p.m. ET on May 17, Toronto startup Open Screenplay’s Slack channel received a message from the head of its team of developers in Gaza: ‘They just attacked the building that has our office…’ The message came with a photo of a destroyed building – the target of an Israeli air strike on the 10th day of deadly attacks in the city. In the picture, the building, which housed the Canadian tech company’s office as well as an insurance company, several charities and a bank, was a blackened ruin. Four people died in the attack.”

She also reported that: “Ibrahim Muhaisen, a 29-year-old developer and head of Open Screenplay’s Gaza team, said the team was grateful to be working remotely for a week before the air strike on the office.”

The article closed by quoting Mr. Sabawi as saying (emphasis added): “‘We’re going to continue to hire developers in Gaza,’ Mr. Sabawi added. ‘Despite suffering bombings and apartheid, they inspire us every day with their hard work and resilience. I’m honestly in awe of them.'”

In a complaint sent to the Globe and Mail on May 27, HonestReporting Canada asked if the Globe can substantiate that it was indeed an Israeli airstrike that destroyed this building or if it was an errant Hamas rocket perhaps. We also asked if the Globe was aware of the identities of the four people who allegedly died in the attack? Were they civilians and/or combatants? Lastly, we asked that if it was an Israeli airstrike that felled the building, what was the context behind this incident and alleged attack? Were Hamas terrorists firing from the building or within its vicinity? Did the building house Hamas terror infrastructure? Did the IDF give advance warnings to residents to evacuate the area? Has Ms. Syed asked the IDF for a response to this incident?
British Singer and Radio Host Warned He Faces Jail for Spreading Anti-Jewish ‘Racial Hatred’
A radio host and singer in the United Kingdom who pleaded guilty to spreading racial hatred that targeted Jews has been warned that he may face time in prison.

Graham Hart, 69, of Penponds, near Camborne in Cornwall, pleaded guilty on Monday to eight counts of “produc[ing] a program in service with intent or likely to stir up racial hatred” at Truro Crown Court on Monday. The charges are related to comments he made between 2016 and 2020, which Stephen Silverman from Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said “constitute some of the most extreme hatred towards Jews that we have ever encountered.”

Silverman added, “It is vital that the Jewish community is protected from this man, and we hope that the sentence will also send a message to like-minded people that hate towards British Jews will not be tolerated.”

Hart released a song called “Hoax Train” that appeared to question the Holocaust to the tune of “Love Train,” the UK’s Jewish News. The BBC said his music was also banned by the Cornish Pirates rugby team in March 2019 after he was accused of antisemitism regarding lyrics of a song he published on YouTube.

Judge Robert Linford released Hart on bail and banned him from using the Internet. The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for August 6, pending a psychiatric report, and warned Hart that he “should anticipate an immediate sentence of imprisonment” when he returns to court.
The LGBTQ+ community has an antisemitism problem
The voices of Jewish people, who have historically shown up for social justice movements, are being silenced and erased. When it’s time for people to show up for us, we are met with silence. For LGBTQ+ Jews, who live at the intersection of more than one marginalized identity, Israel is used as a weapon, a litmus test, to keep us from participating in the movements we care about.

“I’ve gotten to the point that if I mention I’m Jewish to many leftists in the queer community, I’m immediately given the ‘good Jew’ test,” Spencer, a 30-year-old cis gay man from California, tells me as he discusses the instances of antisemitism he faces with his husband, a trans man.

If LGBTQ+ Jews dare bring up how Israel, where roughly half of all the world’s Jews live, is also a safe haven for LGBTQ+ people in the Middle East (you know, a region where gay people are still publicly hung, “honor killed”, and facing other atrocities), we are accused of pinkwashing. “Pinkwashing” implies that Israel is only LGBTQ+ friendly to cover up for their abuses against the Palestinian people. It’s a cynical conspiracy that not only delegitimizes the existence of queer Israelis, but paints the Jewish state as some sneaky, insidious being trying to “trick” the world. Sounds a lot like classic antisemitism, rebranded.

It is clear that the LGBTQ+ community at large must grapple with where their Jewish siblings belong in their movement. Pushing us out, should we happen to fail this trial imposed on us where we must denounce half the world’s Jews for surviving pogroms, expulsions, and even genocide, does nothing to advance the cause. If anything, it just proves to many diaspora Jews that we will never be fully accepted. As history has shown us, when antisemitism reemerges in society, it often masks itself as social justice. From the antisemitism of Hitler disguised as “anti-globalism” to the antisemitism of the Soviet Union disguised as “anti-capitalism” (and yes, even “anti-Zionism”), societal shifts have often led to the oppression and scapegoating of Jews in one form or another.

So please, don’t fall victim to this reemerging pattern in society. Listen to Jews. Learn more about our history, globally. After all, if we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.
The anti-Semitic double standard faced by every Jewish athlete
On Sunday, May 16, 2021, in a game against league-leading Melbourne City, Tomer Hemed, an Israeli striker playing for the New Zealand–based Wellington Phoenix, scored two goals, including a crucial 87th-minute equalizer that allowed Wellington to secure a 2-2 tie. Hemed is, in fact, the first Israeli to play in the top-level Australian A-League in which Wellington competes. While scoring twice in one match would usually be worthy of some commendation, Hemed was instead faced with widespread criticism from the New Zealand media.

The reason? His celebrations.

After his first goal, Hemed ran to the stands and joined a group of supporters who were waving Israeli flags, eventually grabbing a flag himself and wrapping it over his shoulders. Following the second goal, Hemed pulled out a kippah and placed it on his head, covered his eyes and, in a gesture instantly recognizable to Jews around the world, recited the Shema. He was given a yellow card following the latter celebration, apparently contravening a rule banning any player from covering their face or head with a mask—or anything else.

Hemed wrote on Instagram after the match: “My heart is with you. Praying for PEACE!”

Stuff, the most popular website in New Zealand, was apparently unfamiliar with the Shema (which, it should be noted, pre-dates the modern state of Israel by more than 3,000 years). Its report referred to the post-goal prayer as a “show of support for his home country during a time of violent conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

Wearing a flag and saying a prayer are among the most common celebrations for athletes in any sport and in any country. After winning the 2019 World Series, Washington Nationals star Juan Soto held aloft a Dominican flag, unsurprisingly proud to link his professional achievement with his homeland. Egyptian striker Mo Salah has routinely dropped to his knees to perform the sujood, the prostration towards Mecca that is an integral part of Muslim devotion, and which is a welcome sign of representation for Muslims around the world. Even the Shema is not out of place on the soccer pitch: Israeli midfielder Eran Zahavi has been reciting the prayer before matches for many years.
Police call for witnesses after Carlisle Castle daubed with antisemitic graffiti
Carlisle Castle has been daubed with antisemitic graffiti.

Cumbria Police are reportedly investigating the vandalism at the 900-year-old landmark near the border between England and Scotland as racially aggravated criminal damage.

The graffiti was discovered on 2nd June and the police are currently appealing for witnesses.

A police spokesman said: “Hate related incidents can have a serious impact on communities and individuals. There is no place for hate on the streets of Cumbria and these types of incidents are dealt with vigorously and appropriately.”
More Clubhouse rooms emerge in support of Hamas and calling for death to Jews and LGBT people
Clubhouse is rampant with antisemitism yet again with users calling for the death of Jews and donning profile photos of Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group.

Clubhouse is a live audio app that emerged during the COVID-19 lockdown, described by Bloomberg News as a favoured haunt for “venture capitalists and other Silicon Valley insiders.”

Last night, users participated in a pro-Hamas Clubhouse room called “Why are all Zionists ugly?” which featured several users donning profile photos of Hamas militants. It is understood that participants in the Clubhouse room also praised Hitler and issued death threats to Jews.

The room was shut down but a second was opened in its place, named “Zionists VS. HAMAS”, which not only featured users with Hamas profile photos but also one user with an image of a Jewish man beneath Hebrew text that called him a “dog” and a “whore.”

It was also reported by a Twitter user that hostile activists also raided another Clubhouse room titled “LGBT Jews and Allies”, where they called for death to Jews and LGBT people.

Last week, it was reported that there was a Clubhouse room called “Is Zionism racism?” that was filled with “antisemitism, hate and ignorance.” According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g. by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour)” is an example of antisemitism.
WWII victim’s 1938 novel about Kristallnacht makes English-language revival
In the wake of Kristallnacht, a German-Jewish merchant named Otto Silbermann sees his seemingly secure life collapse. With Nazis ransacking Jewish homes and arresting Jewish citizens, Silbermann is forced to live on the run. His day-to-day life becomes a series of train journeys across the Third Reich as he looks to escape his increasingly antisemitic homeland.

This is the plot of “The Passenger,” a groundbreaking novel written in 1938 by German author Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz. It was reportedly the first literary work to address Kristallnacht, which erupted in Germany and Austria that November.

The novel’s backstory has as many twists and turns as the narrative itself. Boschwitz was a promising writer whose life became jeopardized under Nazism when he learned his family had Jewish roots. He himself went on the run, and during his flight through Europe, the 23-year-old author penned “The Passenger,” or “Der Reisende” in German. The refugee novelist was treated as an unwelcome arrival, first in the United Kingdom and then in Australia. Ultimately, he died while en route back to the UK, on a ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1942.

Although “The Passenger” was published during the author’s lifetime, it fell into obscurity. Now the novel and its author are undergoing a revival. German publisher Peter Graf, who has a track record of unearthing writers from his country who were lost to history, learned about Boschwitz from a surviving relative in Israel. This led Graf to find the original manuscript of “The Passenger,” located in Berlin. He revised the work based on this manuscript, aided by the author’s family.

“The Passenger” was published in Germany in 2018; now, thanks to Graf, an English-language version published by Pushkin Press has also hit shelves, with a translation by Philip Boehm. It earned a top-10 spot on the hardcover bestsellers list of the UK-based Sunday Times.
HBO’s ‘Oslo’ Is a Mixed Bag
HBO Films deserves credit for tackling the difficult task of the behind the scenes negotiations of the Oslo Accords. For starters, one can’t expect a film to match the drama that the Off-Broadway play had (the film is an adaptation of that production).

The film is driven by the fine acting of Doval’e Glickman (who famously plays Shulem in Shtisel), who brings comedy to the part of professor Yair Hirschfeld. Meanwhile, Salim Dau is sensational as Palestinian Abu Ala, who shows his fury and desire not to be taken advantage of.

Ruth Wilson (who you may recognize from Showtime’s The Affair) plays Mona, but doesn’t get enough screen-time to spice things up; but then again, her character is not a major player. She and her husband’s character vow not to get involved politically, but rather to give the different parties food and shelter. Andrew Scott plays Terje Rød-Larsen, and he is all too confident that a deal will be reached.

Because we know that peace eventually will arrive, the actors need to amp up the conflict. But other than Dau, and at times Glickman, we don’t see it enough. There are a few jokes that miss the mark, but one can imagine the nervous tensions in the room. One question is obvious: did the men in the room actually think they had a real chance to come up with something that would lead to a long-lasting peace?
Vienna university offers $9,000 scholarship for young Jewish studies researchers
Young scholars specializing in Jewish studies now have a shot at a scholarship worth more than $9,000 from the University of Vienna.

The Austrian university and a family foundation announced last month that they would be giving out a scholarship of $9,129, or 7,500 euros, to two young researchers every two years.

The Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Young Scholar Awards will be offered to “two young international scholars for a research stay of three months at the University of Vienna,” in the framework of their doctoral dissertation or as a follow-up to their master’s degrees, the statement by the university and the foundation said.

On May 26, the foundation and the university gave a $20,000 prize to the first winner of an award for scholarly excellence that the two partners had created last year. The laureate, historian Michael Brenner of Germany, won for his work and lived experience bridging the US and Europe, the board said.
Israeli tech raises whopping $10.5 billion this year, topping 2020 record total
Israel’s tech sector broke a new capital-funding record this week, with firms raising a total of $10.5 billion since the start of the year, matching the total raised in the whole of 2020, a record year, in less than half the time.

The data was compiled via the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the local tech ecosystem.

The increase in investments in Israeli tech companies, mostly from foreign investors, is even more pronounced when compared with investment performance worldwide.

While Israel recorded an increase of 137% for the first five months of 2021, compared to the first five months of 2020, according to SNC data, the increase globally was only 89%. Europe recorded a 123% jump over the same period, while the US saw an increase of 91% and Asia saw an increase of 69%, according to data compiled by PitchBook.

“The record funding in 2021 indicates that the growth in 2020 was not a short-term Covid-related boost but reflects top investors’ increasing trust in the Israeli innovation ecosystem,” said Uri Gabai, the incoming CEO of Start-Up Nation Central’s new Research and Policy Institute, in a statement.

“The significant increase in median deal size reflects a maturing ecosystem that is able to maintain its competitive edge as a global hub of technological innovation and offering problem-solving solutions. We hope a new budget by the expected incoming government will focus on growth-oriented policies such as enhancing the innovation ecosystem’s economic impact and tackling the chronic shortage in tech-oriented human capital.” raises $574 million in Nasdaq IPO at $6.8 billion valuation, the developer of a workplace collaboration and management platform, said shares would start trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday after the pricing of its initial public offering of shares to raise $574 million at a valuation of about $6.8 billion.

The company said in a statement that it had sold 3.7 million ordinary shares to the public at the price of $155 per share, above its target price. The company had said originally it was targeting a price range of $125 to $140 a share.

The firm has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 370,000 ordinary shares at the initial public offering price.

The IPO gives the firm a market value of some $6.8 billion, based on the outstanding shares listed in filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Including stock options, the company’s diluted value is more than $7.8 billion, Bloomberg said.

The public offering of shares is at the second highest valuation ever for an Israeli tech firm via an IPO process, according to IVC Research Center, which tracks the sector. Playtika, a mobile gaming firm based in Herzliya, held an IPO of shares on the Nasdaq in January this year at a valuation of $13 billion. Playtika was acquired in 2016 by a Chinese consortium, thus making it technically not an Israeli firm, but it is listed in IVC’s data because of its Israeli founders and its continued activities in Israel.
Jewish leaders, Emiratis discuss how Muslims and Jews can work together in Gulf
Diplomats, Jewish community leaders and Emiratis discussed how Muslims and Jews in the region can work together to support each other at a Shabbat dinner hosted by the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC), the people-to-people network of Jewish communities in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, last weekend in Dubai.

Ambassador Houda Nonoo of Bahrain, Marcy Grossman, Canadian Ambassador to the UAE; and Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s Head of Mission in Abu Dhabi, were all in attendance and spoke with the group, said a press release issued by the AGJC on Monday.

Grossman and Na’eh shared inspiring messages with the group focusing on the opportunities for Jewish life in the GCC region. This was followed by a panel discussion featuring the AGJC’s Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie and board members Ambassador Houda Nonoo and Alex Peterfreund of the UAE. The three shared their hopes and vision for Jewish life in the Gulf over the next five years and answered questions from Emirati participants about how Muslims and Jews in the region can work together to support each other.

"The AGJC Shabbat dinner was a wonderful time for us to share the spirit of Shabbat with our Emirati friends and neighbors," said AGJC Rabbi Dr. Eli Abadie.

"One of our guests shared that this was the first time she had experienced Shabbat in the UAE and that she hopes this will be the first of many. We’re looking forward to hosting her for many more Shabbat meals in the future," he added.
Israeli scientists move closer to averting deadly immune overreaction to COVID
Israeli researchers say they have identified a possible method to stop the immune system overreaction that has been linked to many deaths from COVID-19, as well as other diseases.

The body’s T cells normally protect it against disease, but they can cause serious health problems when they become overactive. These include cytokine storms, the immune reaction that causes major inflammation and is believed to be behind many of the deaths among COVID-19 patients. The cytokine storms also harm many people suffering from autoimmune diseases.

But researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology think they have identified a possible route for stopping this overreaction. They have pinpointed a “regulatory site” in a protein within T cells which decides whether or not to launch immune reactions.

Prof. Debbie Yablonski and her team believe it’ll someday be possible to “dial down” the reaction through medication.

They have published their research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Immunology, where it was recommended by the editorial board as a top read, and are now trying to work out how to harness the knowledge to actually halt cytokine storms. The team is already working on identifying drugs that may have that desired effect.
7,000-year-old seal impression marks prehistoric site as early trade hub
The ancient Beit She’an Valley village of Tel Tsaf may have been a prehistoric commercial mecca, according to a recent article published in the journal Levant.

Alongside mounting evidence of organized large-scale agricultural production, a tiny 7,000-year-old blob of clay with geometric patterns — the earliest impressed sealing discovered in the region — is giving academics new insight into what may have been one of the earliest trade hubs and administration centers in the southern Levant.

According to Hebrew University Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, the sealing was used on a grain silo door or a commodities sack or vessel much in the manner of a hair placed on a doorjamb — to catch trespassers.

“Even today, an electrical meter is sealed with a plomba [lead seal] to see if somebody has opened it and played with the numbers,” Garfkinkel explained to The Times of Israel on Thursday. “It’s an administrative device still used today — like wax and notaries’ stamps.”

The clay sealing was uncovered in a Middle Chalcolithic context (5200–4500 BCE) during excavations conducted by Garfinkel and Ariel University’s Prof. David Ben-Shlomo and Dr. Michael Freikman in 2004–2007.
How Wikipedia warriors made ‘Polish writer’ Isaac Bashevis Singer Jewish again
Few things rile an online crowd like a mistake in The New York Times. One example is the Twitter account of a contemptuous troll dedicated to pointing out typos and grammar mistakes in the paper of record.

But there’s another category of error — the botching of a fraught historical detail — that elicits a special shock and insult.

In April, novelist Sigrid Nunez, writing an essay about unexpected bonds between strangers in the Times’ style magazine, was found to have committed such a violation. She described, in passing, Isaac Bashevis Singer as a “Polish-American author.”

The various reactions featured words like “yikes,” “obscene,” “disgusting,” aghast” and “shanda.”

“Shame on @NYTIMES for erasing his identity and heritage,” one Twitter user wrote.

It may be true that the Nobel laureate was born and raised in Poland, but Singer is, in fact, best described as a Jewish author, and any labeling that elevates the former while ignoring the latter will strike many Jews as tone-deaf at best. This sensitivity is understandable given that Singer’s hyphenated identities are the result of his immigration to the United States only a few years before the near annihilation of Polish Jewry.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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