Friday, June 11, 2021

From Ian:

Noah Rothman: Journalists Against Truth
The very notion that the news media is somehow unable to “accurately reflect the plight of the Palestinians” is so solipsistic that one has to wonder what reality these reporters inhabit. The Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem are routinely described in the press as “occupied,” though that’s oversimplified to the point of being misleading. In Gaza, every Jew was forcibly relocated by the Israeli government in 2005, and much of the territory presently under “occupation” would be ceded to Israel according to the terms of the many proposed resolutions to this conflict. The American press frames military offensives by Hamas as a response to American diplomatic overtures to Israel, such as moving the U.S. embassy to Israel’s political capital, which ignores the conspicuous failure of the Fatah-led West Bank to similarly erupt. We are routinely treated to soft-focus profiles of the long-suffering Palestinian people who languish under oppressive regimes that devote more of their money and energy to making war against Israel than serving their people. And yet, the villain of this rather straightforward story is always the same and almost never the true malefactor.

Indeed, the hunger to promote Palestinian narratives is so all-consuming in the press that they seem willing to fall for anything. At the end of the conflict in May, Sarah Leah Whitson, a veteran of the group Human Rights Watch, which produced the odious “apartheid” report, publicized a claim alleging that an “Israeli pilot revealed that the destruction of residential towers in #Gaza Strip was ‘a way to vent the army’s frustration.’” This admission of a war crime was promoted breathlessly, including by some whose names grace this open letter. The notion that the strategic planners and IDF attorneys who select targets were overruled in the air by overzealous pilots would be shocking, and surely the IDF’s MAG Corps’ General Staff Mechanism for Fact-Finding Assessments will be outraged by this development. Either that, or this never happened, and it could only be believed by those with a burning prejudice against Israel that precludes the potential for anything resembling rational thought.

But perhaps rationality has been subordinated to emotion. After all, as reported, progressives in government and the press have come to view the Palestinian cause as an extension of the Black Lives Matter movement. They use BLM’s campaign against police violence as a heuristic to navigate a conflict they don’t understand and which they don’t seem to want to understand. Rather, they want it to comport with a childishly simplistic, Marxist-flavored narrative about how power dynamics explain the world.

Call that what you will, but you can’t call it reporting. What these alleged journalists want isn’t journalism. They are on a “sacred” mission to promote “contextualized truth.” Another way to say “contextualized truth” is “lie.” It even makes for pithier copy, which is what real reporters strive to produce.
Another Militant Operative Identified on New York Times List of Children Killed During Gaza Conflict: Report
A second Hamas military operative was among the New York Times list of children killed during last month’s clashes between Israel and the terror group, according to findings released Tuesday by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC).

The ITIC identified 16 year-old Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman, who was killed on May 11 in an attack in the eastern part of Jabalia along with his father, a commander in the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, the Hamas’ military-terrorist wing.

A video released after the end of the 11-day hostilities in May shows Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform learning to shoot a machine gun and train other weapons, according to the report.

“The instructor next to him is also wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform. Thus despite his young age, he had been recruited by Hamas to its military-terrorist wing,” the report read.

The Times‘ front page “They Were Only Children” May 26 article featured the pictures and names of 67 children under the age of 18 who were killed, two in Israel and 65 in the Gaza Strip.

Since publication, the paper has issued several corrections on the article, and reported that Khaled al-Qanua, listed in the article as a 17-year-old, was a fighter in the Mujahedeen Brigades, a group allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and close to Iran. The Tuesday ITIC report claimed that al-Qanua was in fact a 20 year-old terrorist operative, based on a mourning notice issued by the Mujahedeen Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Mujahedeen Movement. Al-Quanua was killed on May 13 in an aerial attack on a Palestinian terrorist squad near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.
AP Snubbed as Al Jazeera Wins Hamas Prize for Gaza Coverage
Earlier this week, Qatari news network Al Jazeera accepted an award from Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization with which it used to share office space in Gaza City. The terror group praised the "high professionalism" of Al Jazeera's coverage during the recent clashes between Israel and Palestinian terrorists, as well as its demonstrated "affiliation with the cause of the oppressed Palestinian people."

The network's Gaza bureau chief, Wael al-Dahdouh, was photographed receiving the award from Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas in Gaza. Terror officials praised Al Jazeera's coverage, while also denouncing "the barbaric behavior of the occupation soldiers." According to the Hamas website, the event was "part of a series of continuous visits carried out by Hamas media relations to honor the media."

The decision to award Al Jazeera for its favorable coverage of anti-Semitic terrorism was a humiliating rebuke to the AP's hard work on this same front. For example, the Atlantic reported in 2014 on the AP's extensive efforts to ensure that its coverage did not conflict with the Hamas goal of eradicating Israel.

When the power trio's shared office space was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike last month, AP executives insisted (unconvincingly) they had no idea they were working next to terrorists. National security expert Noah Pollak reported, however, that the office building contained "multiple Hamas operations and offices including weapons manufacturing and military intelligence" and the AP's local reporters "knew about it."

It's possible that Hamas was aggrieved by the AP's out-of-character decision to rescind its job offer to Emily Wilder in response to media reports about her radical anti-Israeli activism in college. The AP has an otherwise impressive record of employing anti-Israeli activists, such as Gaza bureau chief Fares Akram, who previously worked as a consultant for the radical left-wing Human Rights Watch and has said he finds it "difficult to distinguish between what the Israelis call terrorists and the Israeli pilots and tank crews who are invading Gaza."

'The days of the ghetto are over, no one will tell us where to live'
No one will tell the Jewish people where they can live, Jonathan Pollard said Thursday, speaking at this year's Sovereignty Youth conference, which opened Thursday at the Oz VeGaon Nature Preserve in Gush Etzion.

The conference launched an official initiative to expand the borders of Jerusalem to include Mevasseret Zion, Gush Etzion, Maaleh Adumim, and some settlements in the Binyamin Regional Council.

"We received this land from God, not from the United States, not from the British, not from the United Nations, but from God. There is no need for us to explain our belief that this land is ours. No one will tell us where to live. The days of the ghetto have ended. We are a free Jewish people," Pollard said, adding that no American president would tell the Jewish people where they were allowed or not allowed to live.

Pollard said that Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett "must take action to defend our honor in the future," and urged conference participants to demand that Israel sovereignty over the four communities in northern Samaria that were evacuated as part of the 2005 disengagement plan be restored.

Pollard also called for more construction throughout Area C, due to "the need to expand Jerusalem."

"Our objective is to ensure a Jewish majority and prevent the isolation of the city," which he said was the goal of the Biden administration.
The Past and Future of Black–Jewish Relations
To commemorate the first day of Black History Month this year, 170 Hollywood industry leaders announced the formation of the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance, aiming to “bring our two communities together in solidarity” against racism and antisemitism. This initiative harked back to the era when black and Jewish groups coalesced with labor, churches, and liberals to win passage of countervailing legislation against Jim Crow and to effectuate less-tangible changes in our culture, anathematizing overt bigotry.

Today, sadly, bigotry appears to be rising again in certain quarters, even while the dominant culture seems ever more alert against it. Former President Trump vehemently denied accusations of racism, but the “populist” wave he rode carried along extremists who reveled in flouting intergroup taboos. For example, on, the website where the QAnon movement’s multitudinous online conversations are compiled, the search utility yields 47,000 hits for the “n word” and 37,000 for the equivalent “k word” aimed at Jews. The harm is not limited to insult. Words that wound may be followed by terrible acts, as the massacres at a church in Charleston and a synagogue in Pittsburgh reminded us so chillingly.

Clearly, Jewish and black Americans share a bedrock interest in combating the extremists and their acceptance in respectable politics. But whether this alliance can have any larger agenda is uncertain, given the disparate experiences of the two groups. In America, Jews endured prejudice, discrimination, and even lynching, but the abuses heaped upon blacks through centuries of slavery and then Jim Crow laws were immeasurably more grievous. And while Jews have largely prospered despite adversity in America, black Americans still occupy disproportionate space on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

Even with a limited agenda, renewing the black-Jewish alliance entails recalling something of the history of relations between the two groups, including both high and low moments, and also considering what each can do today to make relations as mutually beneficial as possible.

In its heyday, the black-Jewish alliance jelled in the fight for civil rights, which had been denied so long and so flagrantly. While anti-discrimination laws also applied to Jews and other minorities, some of the most critical measures, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, scarcely affected Jews directly. Yet Jews rallied around them, less out of self-interest than a sense of justice and identification with the downtrodden. Of course, there were Jews who shared in anti-black prejudice, but the prevailing spirit of the Jewish community then was to view the black cause as its own.

The NAACP, the preeminent American civil rights organization, was founded in 1909 by several black leaders, most notably W.E.B. Du Bois, and a larger number of liberal whites, a disproportionate share of whom were Jews. One of those Jews, Joel Spingarn, “formulated much of the strategy that fostered much of the organization’s growth” in its first years, according to the account on the NAACP’s website. Spingarn became the group’s president in 1929 and a decade later was succeeded in that role by his younger brother, Arthur, who served until 1966, when he was in turn succeeded by yet another Jew, Kivie Kaplan, who held the post until his death in 1975. Jews were also important officers, staff, and funders of the National Urban League and the Congress of Racial Equality, the other two oldest of the “big five” black organizations that led the civil rights movement in its heyday.
S. Africa's Chief Rabbi responds to Anglican Archbishop's anti-Israel letter: 'Hamas is an enemy of Christians and Jews alike'.Op-ed.
Reply to Makgoba's letter by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein:

Dear Archbishop Makgoba,
In your recent letter to Anglican Church members, you attack Israel in very harsh terms, casting it as evil, unjust and comparable to apartheid South Africa. You are making a terrible mistake that endangers your own Church. Allow me to explain.

Archbishop, we have known each other for many years and worked together for the good of South Africa on a number of important matters. I fondly recall how we joined forces in protesting the corruption of state capture and being part of the civil society movement to restore integrity to our country.

On this matter regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, I wish to express my deep disappointment in the moral confusion of your letter and disregard for the facts.

The facts remain that Israel is the only free democracy in the Middle East – a country whose citizens, be they Jewish, Christian or Muslim, enjoy complete equality. All citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity or any other marker, have the right to vote, and to serve in government.

At this very moment, it is an Arab-Islamic party that has shifted the balance of power in government and is a central member of a coalition that looks set to remove Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, from power. In what sense of the word can this be called apartheid? It is a defamation of the Jewish state, disrespectful to the victims of apartheid and a dangerous lie, which brings to mind the Christian blood libels against Jews in medieval Europe.
South African Jews Lodge Complaint Against Pro-BDS Judge Known for Infamous Comparison of Nelson Mandela with Ayatollah Khomeini
South African Jewish activists have lodged a judicial complaint against a judge whose idea of a tribute to the late President Nelson Mandela involved comparing the revered figurehead of the anti-apartheid struggle with Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s theocratic Islamic Republic.

The complaint against Judge Siraj Desai was laid out by the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) in a statement on Thursday. The SAZF charged that Desai — a former Cape Town High Court judge recently promoted to be the country’s Legal Ombudsman — had engaged in actions that were “plainly in breach of the Code of Judicial Conduct and entirely unbecoming of a judicial officer.”

“We recently became aware of the exact range and extent of Judge Desai’s misconduct,” the SAZF stated. “This includes his involvement in political controversy, misusing the prestige of his Judicial Office to advance his personal political interests, failing to recuse himself in a case in which he was obviously conflicted, and involving himself in activities that used the position of his Judicial Office to promote a partisan political cause.”

Desai has been a vocal supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate the State of Israel within the international community by misrepresenting it as an “apartheid state.”

“The BDS movement is notorious for its zealous anti-Zionism and for fostering enmity towards the South African Jewish community,” the SAZF statement asserted. “Despite his long-standing links to partisan advocacy organizations such as the BDS, in 2015 Judge Desai presided over a case brought by BDS activists. In 2018, Judge Desai welcomed and supported the Palestinian militant group Hamas during their trip to South Africa. This, despite the fact that the Hamas Charter includes direct calls for violence against Jewish people and the destruction of the State of Israel. Using the prestige of the Judicial Office to publicly promote an extremist organization is clearly contrary to the precepts underlying the Judicial Code of Conduct.”
London Assembly unanimously passes motion calling on Mayor Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police to commission strategy for tackling antisemitism in London
The London Assembly has unanimously passed a motion calling on the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Metropolitan Police to commission and publish a strategy for tackling antisemitism in London.

The motion comes following numerous antisemitic incidents in the capital, including the beating of patrons of a kosher restaurant and an assault on a rabbi, harassment of Jews on the street, the hacking of the social media account of a prominent Jewish charity, incidents at hospitals targeting Jewish patients and staff, and a Jewish school directing pupils to conceal clothing that may identify them as Jewish, to name but a few, as well asa convoy of cars that drove down the Finchley Road shouting “F*** the Jews…rape their daughters” through a megaphone.

In some incidents, police officers appeared to stand by as possible hate crimes were being committed.

The motion, which was passed yesterday, was proposed by Greater London Authority Conservatives Leader, Susan Hall. Ms Hall said: “It’s no surprise many Jewish Londoners feel let down by our city’s response to the recent horrific scenes of antisemitism on our streets. Something has clearly gone wrong when mobs parading on our streets, and even a convoy of vehicles driving through a Jewish community, can freely broadcast their hateful, disgusting and violent views. Worryingly, while antisemitism on London’s streets went unchecked, a police officer chose to agree publicly and shout the protest’s political message.

“The officer’s misguided action not only undermines the force’s impartiality but the Jewish community’s faith in the police. This cannot happen again. Condemnation of antisemitism alone won’t make London any safer. We need strong action to root it out. In the future, there must be a swifter police response with robust police action to keep Jewish Londoners safe. We cannot allow a repeat of the antisemitic demonstrations and displays we have seen recently in London. I hope the Mayor and the Metropolitan Police listen and act on the recommendations the London Assembly have made today.”
A Member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Diversity Council is Embroiled in an Anti-Semitism Scandal. The Anti-Semitism Watchdog Has Nothing to Say About It.
The Anti-Defamation League, which bills itself as an anti-bigotry watchdog group, is curiously silent in the face of anti-Semitic remarks from an employee of a key member of its corporate diversity council.

Google, which reassigned a top employee last week after a Washington Free Beacon report on his anti-Semitic remarks, is among a handful of corporations that work with the ADL on diversity issues. "We thank these corporations and others who stand with us to help us build diversity," a recent ADL report said, recognizing Google as a partner in its efforts.

Google came under fire last week for the anti-Semitic remarks made by its then-diversity chief, Kamau Bobb, who said in a 2007 blog post that Jews have an "insatiable appetite for war." Bobb is still working on Google’s tech education initiatives, although he was removed from his diversity role after the Free Beacon reported on his comments.

An ADL spokesman did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The ADL's silence follows criticism that the group has taken a biased and partisan approach under director Jonathan Greenblatt, who joined the organization after serving as an aide to President Barack Obama. The group criticized Facebook—which is not listed as a member of its corporate leadership council—for its failure to permanently ban President Donald Trump from the platform due to his "hate and disinformation" posts and also vocally condemned Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

It is unclear if Google has donated to the ADL. An ADL pamphlet advertising the corporate leadership council says that corporate leaders interested in joining should contact its fundraising department.

Has the American mainstream been 'Corbynized'?
Fortunately, Labour was largely defeated in the 2019 general election. However, the antisemitic legacy of his leadership persists in politics across the West. The recent Israeli conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the subsequent rise in antisemitic language used by politicians in the United States demonstrate how "Corbynism," or institutionalized anti-Semitism, has seeped into the mainstream dialogue. When Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined eight of their colleagues on the House floor on May 13 to condemn America's Israel policy, they referred to it as an "apartheid state" and accused it of carrying out "ethnic cleansing" against Palestinians.

All three Democratic congresswomen have been criticized for perpetuating antisemitic tropes in the past. However, their recent remarks came amid an ongoing violent conflict in the Middle East that began when Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group, launched hundreds of rockets targeting Israeli cities.

The Middle East conflict led to an explosion of anti-Semitism in America, ranging from physical attacks targeting Jews to the vandalizing of synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the conflict resulted in a sharp uptick in incidents across the United States. In response to the growing number of assaults against Jews, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a staunch critic of Israel and ally of "The Squad," suggested progressives should "tone down" calling Israel an apartheid state.

In 2019, British Jews feared the growing tolerance of anti-Semitism within their country's political sphere under Corbyn. Today, Jews in the United States are witnessing some progressive circles embrace compliance with antisemitic rhetoric. It should not be radical or controversial to defend Jews or the existence of a Jewish state, and those who spew antisemitic rhetoric and age-old tropes should be constrained from contributing to the dialogue.

Corbyn tells Cambridge Union: Luciana Berger ‘was not hounded out’ of Labour
Jeremy Corbyn has sparked renewed fury after telling Cambridge University’s debating society that former Jewish MP Luciana Berger “was not hounded out of the Party.”

Appearing before the Cambridge Union the ex-Labour leader was responding to a comment by the society’s President Joel Rosen who had asked him what he had done to stop the Liverpool Wavertree MP from being “hounded out” of the party.

Corbyn’s responded by saying: “Luciana was not hounded out of the party.

“She unfortunately decided to resign from the party.”

The Islington MP then added he was not suggesting Berger was wrong to quit Labour.

He recalled how he had appointed her as his shadow minister for mental health and said they had worked well together.

Corbyn added:”We gave her all the support she needed and deserved.”

The ex-leader said people had been prosecuted as a result of the abuse Berger was forced to endure.

But he then added:”She received appalling abuse, Diane Abbott received appalling abuse – and so did Dawn Butler.”

At one stage Corbyn was given the opportunity to reflect on his meetings in the past with terrorist sympathisers and Holocaust deniers.

But sources at the debate said rather than offer genuine regret he merely repeated his regular claim to be a committed anti-racist.

British Teacher’s Union Defends Hiring Activist Who Daubed ‘Free Gaza’ on Warsaw Ghetto Wall for Antisemitism Workshops
After receiving a scathing open letter by a leading British Jewish group on Wednesday, the National Education Union (NEU) issued a statement defending the role of an activist who had previously daubed the Warsaw Ghetto wall with anti-Israel graffiti in its antisemitism workshops.

On Wednesday morning, the Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “profoundly disturbed” over the NEU’s hiring of Ewa Jasiewicz to organize a series of workshops titled, “Understanding Antisemitism,” as reported by the Jewish News.

In 2010, Jasiewicz vandalized the surviving wall of the Warsaw Ghetto with the words “Free Gaza and Palestine” and, in Hebrew, “liberate all ghettos.”

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl wrote in the Wednesday open letter, “To have somebody with this sort of track record organizing antisemitism training workshops for your union is simply grotesque. There are a number of outstanding Jewish communal organizations in the UK which provide training on understanding antisemitism.”

It noted that Jasiewicz had defended her behavior by saying that Israel had “co-opted” the Holocaust for the “agendas of colonization and repression.”

“For many Jews, however, her actions were profoundly antisemitic,” van der Zyl continued, “both by making a direct comparison between the Nazis and Israeli, and by her gross disrespect to the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Jews incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto who were murdered by the Nazis.”

Now Magazine Gives Platform To Anti-Israel Group's Comparing Zionism to White Supremacy
At a time when antisemitic attacks, harassment and discrimination are at an all time high in Canada, Now Magazine has the gall to quote an anti-Israel group who claims that Zionism “serves the goals of global white supremacy.”

That statement was made by none other than the radical and fringe anti-Israel Canadian organization known as Independent Jewish Voices (IJV).

In a June 9 article by Radheyan Simonpillai, ostensibly about Canadian artists who fear backlash for speaking on the “Israel-Palestinian conflict”, IJV’s “communications lead,” Aaron Lakoff, made the following statement:
‘A lot of the time we actually forget the really powerful arms of Zionism are also supported by Christian Zionists or by white WASP Republican groups or white conservatives,’ says Lakoff. We have to remember that the goals of Zionism really do serve the goals of global white supremacy.'”

Associating Zionism, which is defined as the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland, to white supremacy, is beyond the pale. White supremacy is the belief that white people are a superior race and should dominate society, to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups, in particular black or Jewish people.
Sky News (in Arabic) refers to pre-'67 Israel cities as 'settlements'
Sky News Arabia – a joint venture of Comcast (the American owner of UK-based Sky News) and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation – has a long tradition of calling Jewish communities inside Israel’s Green Line “settlements”. As we’ve previously shown, this word choice, in effect, delegitmises the entire Jewish population of Israel.

Unfortunately, after a considerable period of time where this false phrasing was largely avoided by the outlet, the last round of escalation reintroduced it to Sky News Arabia’s news cycle.

Between May 10th and May 20th, we have counted no less than sixteen incidents where Jewish communities inside Israel’s internationally recognised territory were referred to as “settlements”, and their residents as “settlers”. Other problematic terminology such as “the 1948 Lands” is also common in these reports.

Here are a few examples:
- May 13th – “An Israeli settler was stabbed in the city of Lod in the 1948 Lands” (the victim was a local Lod resident).
- May 15th – “Sky News Arabia’s Gaza correspondent has reported that rockets were launched from the Strip towards the city of Beer Sheva in Southern Israel, and the settlement of Kiryat Mal’akhi”
- May 17th – “Home Front Command has advised that the residents of the settlements near the border with Lebanon seek shelter”
- May 20th – “Recent days’ rocket and bombshell launches have brought residents of the Gaza envelope settlements to run away by the thousands”
Neo-Nazi Andrew Dymock found guilty on twelve terrorism charges
Andrew Dymock, a 24-year-old politics graduate from Aberystwyth University who was accused of creating and running the website of the neo-Nazi System Resistance Network group, has been found guilty on twelve terrorism charges.

During the trial at the Old Bailey, the court heard that Mr Dymock wrote and shared several antisemitic and hate-motivated articles through the website. He was being prosecuted for fifteen offences including encouraging terrorism through the use of propaganda.

One article was allegedly titled “Join your local Nazis”, while another, “The Truth about the Holocaust”, said that “the only guilt felt by the Germanic race in regard to the Holocaust should be that we did not finish the job.” The article reportedly went on to say that Jews were a “cancer on this earth…that must be eradicated in its entirety”. Numerous antisemitic stereotypes and tropes were also said to have been included, such as conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the banks and the Government.

Another article reportedly written by Mr Dymock read that white people needed to “wake up and bring slaughter to Europa, cleansing it of the unclean filth that pollutes her lands”.

System Resistance Network is the successor to National Action, which the government proscribed as a terrorist organisation in 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others.
Quebec Government adopts International Definition of Antisemitism following recent spate of antisemitic incidents
The Quebec Government has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism following the spate of antisemitic incidents last month.

Anti-Racism Minister, Benoît Charette, said: “It is our duty to take all possible means to combat antisemitism. This is why the Government of Quebec is joining the renewed international effort by adopting, as many countries, parliaments and international organizations have done.”

The decision, which was announced earlier this week, was greeted by Jewish organisations, including Federation CJA and Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Quebec.

Eta Yudin, Vice President of CJA Quebec, said: “Today, the Minister responsible for the Fight Against Racism, Benoit Charette, and the Government of Quebec have taken a concrete step forward in the fight against antisemitism. The adoption of the [D]efinition is a clear affirmation of our elected officials’ recognition of the seriousness of the upsurge in hate targeting Jews and of the need for concrete action to counter this rise. We applaud Minister Charette and the Government for their leadership in the fight against Jew-hatred, an issue that concerns all Quebecers.”

The decision comes after Canada was rocked by a significant increase in antisemitic incidents during the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

On the weekend of 15th May in Montreal, police had to intervene using tear gas after a rally in support of Israel was interrupted by counter-protesters. Rocks were thrown at pro-Israel demonstrators and several antisemitic slurs were said to have been used. Antisemitic signs featuring Nazi imagery were also spotted among the counter-protesters.
Polish City of Krakow Announces Crackdown on Antisemitic ‘Lucky Jew’ Figurines
The municipal authorities in Poland’s second-largest city have called for an end to the sale of so-called “lucky Jew” figurines and paintings, which depict Orthodox Jews with stereotypically antisemitic facial features counting gold coins.

“These figurines are antisemitic, and it’s time for us to realize that,” Robert Piaskowski — the cultural representative of Krakow’s mayor, Jacek Majchrowski — declared on Thursday.

“In a city like Krakow, with such a difficult heritage and a painful past, it should not be sold,” Piaskowski said. “Enough of sweeping it under the rug.”

The statement followed a consultation process launched in 2020 over the continuing sale of the figurines, which have aroused ire both inside and outside Poland. Museums, religious associations and other institutions were canvassed as to their views on the matter by the Krakow municipality.

“Our position is a breakthrough,” Piaskowski remarked. “We finally named the phenomenon, we showed it. I hope this will be the beginning of an important conversation about Polish-Jewish relations, empathy and seeing the other.”

While the city cannot impose an outright ban on merchants selling the offending figurines, it has introduced a policy that conditions licenses for market stall holders and other retailers on a commitment not to sell them going forward.

Piaskowski said that he had visited several stores selling the figurines to persuade them otherwise.
The Tech Ventures That Made Incoming Israeli PM Naftali Bennett a Millionaire
Naftali Bennett’s expected term as Israel’s prime minister will be marked by many firsts. He will be the first premier since 2009 not named Netanyahu for one, the first to come out of the national-religious right, and the first to come from a party with only seven seats in parliament.

He will also be the first Israeli prime minister who came into politics from Israel’s high-tech industry, where he made most of his fortune. Estimates have Bennett’s capital at NIS 30 million (over $9 million), most of which he earned in 2005 after selling Cyota, the high-tech company he co-founded in 1999. However, this is not the only feather in his tech cap.

It recently became known that an investment Bennett made in Payoneer 13 years ago, before entering Israeli politics, is expected to yield him millions of dollars. The Israeli fintech unicorn plans to carry out an IPO through a merger with a SPAC named FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp., at a value of more than $3 billion. Bennett is believed to have invested several hundreds of thousands of shekels in the company in its early days. Bennett has a long standing relationship with the company’s founder and president Yuval Tal, introducing him to Keren Levy, Payoneer’s current COO, who previously worked at Cyota.

Israel’s incoming prime minister launched his career in the local technological ecosystem in 1996, while studying law and business administration at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During that time, he began working in software quality assurance (QA) and later in sales, including at I-Scrapr, which his older brother Asher founded.

In 1999, during his fourth year at the Hebrew University, Bennett and his partners Dr. Michal Tsur Shalev, Ben Enosh, and Lior Golan, founded the cybersecurity company Cyota. The company developed algorithms to verify users’ identities based on the level of risk involved in the online transactions they carry (Risk-Based Authentication). At its prime, Cyota employed 140 workers and was used by banks in the US, Canada, England, and Japan, as well as most banks in Israel. Cyota raised $27 million in four rounds led by venture capital funds Bessemer Venture Partners, Israel Seed Partners, Giza, and Poalim Ventures, and was valued at $23 million in its last round in 2004.
Amazon Web Services Says Will Open Data Centers in Israel
Amazon Web Services said it will open data centers in Israel, with the announcement coming weeks after Israel signed a deal with AWS and Google for a more than $1 billion project to provide cloud services for its public sector and military.

In April, AWS and Google won a tender for the four phase project known as “Nimbus.”

“Today, Amazon Web Services Inc, an company, announced it will open an infrastructure region in Israel in the first half of 2023”, AWS said in a statement on Friday.
Ancient stone anchor used for 2,000 years found on Israel’s northern coast
Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient boat anchor made of stone that remained in use for around 2,000 years, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority announced Thursday.

The anchor, which was found in an underwater dig at the Tel Dor archaeological site in northern Israel, was first used in the Bronze Age some 3,300 years ago and remained in use during the Byzantine period until roughly 500 CE, according to the parks authority.

It weighs around 100 kilograms (220 pounds), with the parks authority saying it is similar to other anchors found in the ancient Syrian port of Ugarit and the Uluburun shipwreck off Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Archaeologists also found that the bottom of the bay around the ancient settlement at Tel Dor was covered with ballast stones, which are used to stabilize ships, and discovered numerous stone tools and shards of earthenware that were used to transport goods such as wine and oil.

“Making Tel Dor’s heritage accessible to the public could connect thousands of years of maritime and continental history of one of the most import cities discovered in the Land of Israel,” archaeologist Dror Ben-Yosef was quoted as saying in a statement from the parks authority.
The Heroine Who Rescued Jewish Girls from Lebanon and Syria
She was a revolutionary, a passionate Zionist and among the founders of the Jewish defense organization Hashomer. She was also one of only two women in the group. It’s difficult to think of a Zionist humanitarian project in which Rachel Yanait Ben-Zvi wasn’t involved during the establishment of the Jewish and democratic state her generation had always dreamed of.

Of all her various activities, her top priority was immigration to the Land of Israel. Ben-Zvi was especially concerned with the immigration of young women, as well as their training. These young women needed to acquire the skills that would benefit the Zionist project. While most people of her generation perhaps preferred to wait for a later opportunity, or perhaps were not at all concerned with the matter, Ben-Zvi saw great importance in bringing Jews of Arab origin to the ‘state in-the-making’, as soon as possible. When she identified a window of opportunity to realize this great dream, she immediately pursued it.

It was the events of the Farhud – the horrific massacre in Baghdad on June 1st, 1941, in which 179 members of the Jewish community were murdered – that convinced Rachel Yanait Ben-Zvi that time was running out for the Jews of the Arab world. Since access to Baghdad was practically inaccessible, “an idea had come up; to​bring young women from the neighboring Arab countries – Lebanon and Syria.” The mass grave of the victims of the Baghdad Farhud, from the book Iraq, edited by Haim Saadoun (Hebrew)

Ben-Zvi met with Henrietta Szold, the coordinator of the Youth Aliyah organization, spoke with children who emigrated from Syria on their own and promised to bring as many young women as possible to Mandatory Palestine and train them in agriculture. Szold provided her with fifty immigration certificates (issued by the British) for the mission. There was concern that if she were to gather too many young women, the British would deny them entry into Israel.

From Jerusalem, Ben-Zvi headed out to Beirut. She relied on connections she had formed with Beirut community leaders during their visit to Mandatory Palestine and promptly met with Joseph Farhi. Many were opposed to the journey, arguing that “in Jewish homes in these countries girls are not allowed to leave the house,” and concluded that she would not be able to persuade the families to let the young women leave.


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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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