Saturday, June 19, 2021

From Ian:

Is There a Future for Young Jewish Families in Los Angeles?
Since I’m more involved in the Jewish community rather than the artist community these days, I worry about the Jewish future of Los Angeles. When I go to synagogue, I notice there are more baby boomers and gen Xers than millennials and gen Zers. Baby boomers tell me how concerned they are about my generation since it’s so unaffordable here. I am too.

Sadly, I don’t believe that the Jewish community has much of a future here with the way things are going. Aside from the fact that we can’t purchase property here and start building generational wealth for our children, it doesn’t seem like the non-Jews like us very much. It’s not only frightening that Jews are randomly getting attacked on the streets and synagogues are being vandalized, but also that antisemitism is now being institutionalized. Just look at how the LA teachers’ union is supporting anti-Israel boycotts. It’s peculiar how they don’t boycott China for interning Uyghurs in camps or Iran for killing gay men. Somehow, everyone and their mother have an opinion on Israel. But that’s beside the point.

The nonsense in LA and California in general is at an all-time high. On a typical Shabbat, my husband, daughter and I have to walk through homeless encampments that smell like marijuana and human feces to get to shul. The homeless encampments are allowed to stay there, but if you build your fence a little too high to protect your family, the city’s going to fine you. What did LA residents do to deserve this kind of punishment, aside from paying our taxes and abiding the law?

All this being said, I love California so much that I’m willing to stay until I can’t anymore. When I was a depressed 14-year-old in my hometown, Baltimore, my mom sent me to a hippie summer camp in Northern California. It cured my teen depression and gave me a whole new positive outlook on life. I vowed to move to California one day because I had such fond memories of this state. As soon as I finally arrived here from New York nine years ago, I instantly felt happier.

The Jewish community here is beautiful, the scenery is incredible, the kosher food is the best in the country and the successful people are inspirational. I’m sure that because I’m a content person in general, I would be happy in other places, but probably not as happy.

For now, like many people my age, I’m pulling a “let’s wait and see,” hoping the future gets better, praying for a miracle and having faith in G-d that no matter what, I’ll be OK.

Palestinians call for probe into ‘vaccine scandal’
Palestinians are calling for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into the Pfizer vaccine agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Despite the PA government’s decision late Friday to cancel the agreement, many Palestinians denounced the deal as a “big scandal” and called for holding those responsible to account.

Under the terms of the deal, announced on Friday morning, Israel would give more than one million soon-to-expire Pfizer doses to the PA. In return, Israel would receive later this year the same number of vaccines that were purchased by the PA.

Some Palestinians initially criticized the PA for striking the deal with Israel on the pretext that it was a form of “normalization with the Israeli occupation.”

But upon learning that the Israeli-supplied vaccines were about to expire, many Palestinians condemned the PA and accused it of “tampering” with the health of the Palestinian people.

The PA’s decision to cancel the deal has failed to calm many Palestinians.

Several Palestinians denounced the deal as a “political, health and moral scandal” and said that the vaccines could have endangered the lives of thousands of people.

Netanyahu’s departure may worsen tensions with Western liberals - opinion
Many on the Left also misread the regional context in which Israelis find themselves. While the West obsesses over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israelis worry about Hezbollah in Lebanon (with 150,000 rockets aimed at Tel Aviv), the war raging in Syria (a 90-minute drive from the West Bank), the ever-tenuous Jordanian monarchy and the increasingly real nuclear threat from Iran’s ayatollahs. Should Israel withdraw from the West Bank, which overlooks its major population centers, Israelis fear that rather than creating a Palestinian state, it will produce a power vacuum to be filled by one of the myriad regional actors committed to perpetrating another Holocaust.

We thus find ourselves in a predicament where few Israelis believe a solution to the conflict exists. According to a joint 2020 study between Tel Aviv University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Israeli Jews show more opposition than support for the two-state solution.

It’s this realization from a post-Netanyahu Israel that will shock many liberals and progressives. Contrary to what they claim, Bibi is not why the two-state solution lies comatose; nor has he led Israel down an irredeemable path of ‘creeping annexation’ of territories viewed by Palestinians as part of their future state. Rather, the past two decades have left Israelis overwhelmingly skeptical about any prospects for a peaceful withdrawal from Palestinian territories.

Israelis aren’t blind. They’re well aware of the daily indignities Israel’s military presence in the West Bank causes Palestinians. But what Israelis understand, unlike many liberals and progressives in the West, is that there’s no quick fix. Until the Palestinians demonstrate in good faith that they have, once and for all, accepted Israel’s permanence in the region as a Jewish state, Israelis will continue to dismiss calls for territorial withdrawals. This is a reality that cuts across the ideological divides of Israel’s new coalition.

In the coming months, Netanyahu’s critics on the Left will come to realize that it’s not just Netanyahu who opposed grand maneuvers on the Palestinian front, it’s the majority of Israelis. Once reality sinks in, they’ll have two choices: to turn their hostility toward the world’s only Jewish state, or to re-evaluate their long-held creeds surrounding the conflict.
Poll: Most American voters back banning Israel from using US funds to annex land
A majority of US voters endorsed restrictions that would keep Israel from spending US defense assistance to detain Palestinian minors, destroy Palestinian buildings, or annex parts of the West Bank, according to the results of a new poll conducted during the most recent Israel-Gaza conflict.

The poll, conducted by Data for Progress, a progressive polling firm, sought to capture public opinion on a question that is increasingly dividing Democratic lawmakers: whether US aid to Israel should be withheld if Israel does not meet certain conditions. For many years, that opinion has been considered off-limits for politicians, but that has shifted recently with the rise of a progressive left in the Democratic Party.

Asked whether they would support or oppose a bill that “would stop Israel from spending US taxpayer dollars on: the military detention of Palestinian children; the seizure or destruction of Palestinian property and homes; or, support for Israel’s annexation of Palestinian territory,” 55% of respondents said they would support it and 29% said they would oppose it, according to the poll.

Democrats were far more inclined to restrict the aid. Broken down by party, 72% of Democrats, 57% of Independents, and 36% of Republicans supported the bill.

The reference in the poll question is to a bill introduced in April by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota, that so far has garnered 27 Democratic co-sponsors in the US House of Representatives. McCollum’s bill requires State Department and General Accounting Office reports to Congress on how Israel spends US assistance but has no enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance. Two major liberal pro-Israel groups, J Street and Americans for Peace Now, back the bill.
Biden to host Rivlin at White House on June 28
US President Joe Biden will welcome the outgoing Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to the White House on June 28, 2021, the White House announced on Saturday.

“President Rivlin’s visit will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel and the deep ties between our governments and our people,” the White House statement reads.

According to the White House, “It will be an opportunity to consult about the many challenges and opportunities facing the region. As President Rivlin approaches the end of his term, this visit will honor the dedication he has shown to strengthening the friendship between the two countries over the course of many years.”

According to Rivlin's office, he will also hold formal meetings with UN Officials in New York, and with Jewish community leaders.

The Israeli president is expected to return to Israel on June 30, ahead of the formal end of his term on July 7. He will be succeeded by Isaac Herzog who was elected earlier this month as Israel's 11th President.
US to pull Patriot batteries from key MidEast countries - report
The US is moving up to eight Patriot air defense batteries from key countries in the Middle East, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday.

The report calls it a “major realignment” of the US military footprint, potentially affecting Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, key US partners in the region.

This means it also could affect Israel. Air defense batteries are key to protecting countries against Iranian missiles and other threats. Removing them and their radar have far-reaching ramifications, if the reports are accurate.

According to the WSJ report, administration officials said “the Biden administration is sharply reducing the number of US anti-missile systems in the Middle East in a major realignment of its military footprint there as it focuses the armed services on challenges from China and Russia.”

This will include eight Patriot anti-missile batteries.

“Another anti-missile system known as a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD system, is being withdrawn from Saudi Arabia, and jet fighter squadrons assigned to the region are being reduced,” those officials said.

This comes at a time of increasing attacks by Iranian proxies in Iraq against American forces. The US had deployed Patriots to Iraq alongside C-RAM and other systems to protect US forces in 2020. Now, new drone threats are emerging in Iraq. Iranian-backed Houthis also use drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia, and Iran attacked the kingdom in September 2019 with drones and cruise missiles.
Tom Friedman’s Latest Stratagem Is Having US Taxpayers Subsidize Syria’s Assad
New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman floats an unconventional idea in his latest article: having the US pay the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, to kick Iran out of Syria.

Here’s how Friedman frames it: “I have an idea: One way to defuse the tension between the US and Israel would be for Biden to attempt a radical new diplomatic initiative — a leveraged buyout of the Iranian presence in Syria.”

The Times columnist writes that “Biden and the gulf Arab states could go to the Russians and Assad with this offer: Kick out the Iranian forces from Syria and we will triple whatever financial aid Iran was giving Syria, and we’ll tacitly agree that Assad (though a war criminal) can stay in power for the near term.”

Friedman acknowledges that the idea would be “cynical,” but contends, “Israel’s military would back this deal, because breaking the Syrian land bridge that Iran uses to keep Hezbollah supplied with rockets would be a game-changer.”

Friedman’s column doesn’t give a dollar amount, but a May 2021 report from the Atlantic Council said, “Experts place the Islamic Republic’s annual support for Assad’s war at $15 billion per year.” Triple that would be $45 billion a year, or more than 11 times annual US aid to Israel. That would indeed be a “game changer,” though perhaps not exactly in the way Friedman means it.

Just how bad an idea is it to drop $45 billion a year on Bashar Assad’s Syria? Let us count the ways.
The world’s most dangerous terrorists
It’s not enough to train people to shoot accurately. You also need to give them a reason to hold a gun in the first place. And the best way to do this is not just with an ideology — though that sits front and centre — but to construct an apparatus around it. Hezbollah builds schools and creates youth outreach programmes; it funds building works and the training of doctors and engineers; it cares for the sick and the elderly. After the destruction of the 2006 Lebanon War, when the Israelis flattened swathes of Lebanese infrastructure, Hezbollah began distributing large amounts of cash to anyone who could prove their home had been damaged. Known as the “Green Flood” (Al-sayl al-akhdhar), the dollars reportedly came into Beirut from Iran via Syria.

And the young Lebanese Shia who do join Hezbollah to fight get not only top-class training and the respect that comes with carrying a gun, but a reason to do so, beyond the cult of martyrdom endemic across the Middle East. 30 December 1999 was the last time Hezbollah launched a suicide bomber when a fighter drove a car bomb into an Israeli military convoy; unlike al-Qaeda and ISIS, and (very often) Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah is interested in people who can do more than just die.

Right now, the Party of God sits on Israel’s northern border. The extensive combat experience Hezbollah gained fighting an ultimately successful 15-year insurgency against Israel in Sothern Lebanon is now complemented by almost a decade of fighting in Syria. Its soldiers are battle-hardened to a degree that Israel’s other border enemy Hamas simply cannot match.

Seeded within its territory are an estimated 150,000 missiles (many Iranian-made), and this is where Hezbollah’s threat becomes regional — indeed possibly global. Through them, Iran can now strike deep into Israeli territory, with a force that would be beyond the ability of Israel’s anti-missile system Iron Dome. Hezbollah has become Iran’s primary means by which it can deter and respond to Israel in the case of war.

But that’s not all. As a proxy force Hezbollah gives Iran not just an expanded forward footprint but something almost as valuable: deniability. The Iranians are now beginning to seed its Zulfiqar missiles in Western Iraq among their PMF Shia militia clients — giving them another position from which to fire into Israel.

Israelis are in no doubt that it is Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, acting to all intent and purposes as a forward Iranian base, that now poses the greatest threat to national security. They are on its border and are arguably the toughest foe Israel has ever faced. Mohtashamipur might be dead, but Spyer still remembers 2006, “Hezbollah reminds me of what people said about the German Army at the end of World War II: you cannot afford to take chances with them: they will punish any lack of professionalism. You have to be at the very top of your game, or you will pay.”
Australian intel doesn't oppose full terror sanction for Hezbollah
The domestic intelligence agency for Australia does not object to designating the entire Lebanese Hezbollah movement as a terrorist organization, according to a recent Sydney newspaper report.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Mike Burgess, head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, the formal name for the country’s domestic intelligence agency, said “A key point I can make... is that, for me, our ability to do our job is not impacted if the listing was broadened and that’s ASIO’s input into a conversation.”

He added that “I agree that the mere fact of a group being listed does give law enforcement another lawful means by which they can deal with problems that we’re seeing in our society.”

According to the author of the article, Nick Bonyhady, “Australia's domestic spy agency has no opposition to the country listing Lebanese militant group and political party Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, in a major development that could lead to the entire organization being blacklisted.”

The newspaper report said the Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is assessing whether to proscribe a full terror designation for the Lebanese Shi’ite organization.

Australia has merely outlawed Hezbollah’s “External Security Organization,” which has carried out terrorist attacks outside of Lebanon. Iran plays a critical role in financing Hezbollah. The United States government under both Republican and Democratic administrations has defined Iran’s regime as the world’s worst state-sponsor of global terrorism.
Brendan O'Neill: Is it racist to confront a suicide bomber?
Some of the failures on that night were organisational, others technical. Some were errors of judgement, others suggest there was a cavalier attitude among some of the security guards towards people’s concerns about Abedi. But the failures of the security guard who didn’t want to confront Abedi because he was worried about being thought of as racist are perhaps the most striking. The report documents the security guard’s concerns. ‘[He] was fearful of being branded a racist’, it says. The security guard ‘hesitated to report SA [Salman Abedi] because of his concern about what the reaction might be’. He was worried that ‘he might be accused of racism’.

This requires some reflection. It suggests that today’s promiscuous use of words like ‘racist’ and ‘Islamophobic’ are having a worrying impact on our society. We already know that numerous local authorities around the country failed to confront grooming gangs of largely Pakistani heritage because they were worried about appearing racist or stirring up racist feelings in the populace. Now it is possible that a security guard failed to confront a suicide bomber – who was rightly suspected of being a suicide bomber by ordinary members of the public – for the same reason. Because he dreaded being branded with the r-word. Because we live in a time when almost everything can be called racism – even, some seem to fear, asking an agitated Muslim man with a bulging rucksack what the hell he is up to.

Abedi was seen praying. He was seen struggling with his rucksack. He was seen hiding and lurking in the mezzanine of the arena for an hour and a half. It was perfectly reasonable for people to suspect he was a bomber. And yet, given that we live in a racism-obsessed public culture, given the influence of the Islamophobia industry that sees everything from criticism of the niqab to frank discussion about Islamist terrorism as a species of racist bullying, it is not surprising that individuals might feel reluctant to act on their instincts and confront such an individual. Identity politics and its insistence that racism is everywhere seems to have made people fearful about engaging honestly and openly with their fellow citizens and with the problems in our society.

We will never know if Abedi could have been stopped. And no individual should be made to feel responsible for the barbarism of that night. It was Abedi and his accomplice brother, Hashem, who carried out this atrocity. This was their crime and their crime alone. But it seems unquestionable now that a trepidation about speaking one’s mind, about taking decisive action against a suspicious individual, may have partially allowed Abedi to do what he did. And we need to talk about that.
BBC News website turns ‘arson attacks’ into ‘fire balloons’
Visitors to the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on the morning of June 16th were informed that Israel had carried out strikes on Gaza after an “arson balloon” (singular) had been launched.

The report to which that headline linked was originally – and accurately – titled “Israel strikes in Gaza after arson attacks”. That headline was subsequently changed to read “Israel strikes in Gaza after arson balloons launched”. Later on in the morning the headline was amended yet again and what started off as “arson attacks” was downgraded to “fire balloons” – including on the ‘Middle East’ page.

The report itself – “Israel strikes in Gaza after fire balloons launched” – relates to three main topics presented in its opening paragraphs:
“Israel says it carried out air strikes in Gaza overnight after Palestinians launched incendiary balloons from the territory, in the first major flare-up since an 11-day conflict last month.

The Israeli military said it targeted compounds belonging to Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.

The incendiary balloons sparked 20 fires in southern Israel on Tuesday.

Hamas said they were a response to a march by Israeli nationalists in occupied East Jerusalem.”

Interestingly, while some may consider that the “flare-up” began (literally) when Hamas approved the launching of airborne incendiary devices into Israeli territory much earlier in the day, the BBC reserved that description for Israel’s response.

Also notable is the BBC’s predictably unqualified amplification of Hamas’ reference to “occupied East Jerusalem”.

Iran Poised To Elect Mass Murderer
Iran’s presidential frontrunner personally approved the secret mass murder of hundreds of regime critics in 1988—and can be heard defending and laughing about the gruesome massacre in a decades-old audio recording translated by the Washington Free Beacon.

Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric who serves as chief justice of Iran, is reported to be Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s favored candidate to win Friday’s presidential election, which most international observers see as a sham given the regime’s decision to disqualify any candidate viewed as a moderate. Raisi, who served as deputy prosecutor of Tehran in 1988, sat on a four-man panel that oversaw the killings of nearly 1,000 political prisoners. In an August 1988 audio recording, members of the commission can be heard defending the executions, arguing in support of killing 200 additional prisoners, and even laughing about their efforts to expedite the murders.

The recording indicates the Iranian regime is poised to empower one of the most hardline presidents in decades—a setback for the Biden administration which seeks closer relations between the United States and Iran. While Raisi's overseeing of torture is well–documented, the audio independently translated by the Free Beacon sheds new light on Raisi’s principal role in authorizing the killings.

Raisi's likely election comes as the Biden administration seeks to reenter the 2015 nuclear accord, which would pave the way for Iran to receive billions of dollars in sanctions relief. A radical new president could complicate the negotiations, as Iran signals that it wants more than was promised under the Obama administration’s original agreement. Outgoing president Hassan Rouhani, who was widely praised by the American media as a moderate, has backed his government’s demand for across-the-board sanctions relief, including on the country’s contested nuclear and missile programs.

In 1988, then-supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa that established "death commissions" in Iranian provinces, in order to execute nonviolent political dissidents who were already serving out prison sentences but had refused to renounce their political or religious affiliations and swear allegiance to the Islamic Republic.

The family of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who objected to the killings and was the heir apparent to the supreme leader at the time, published a recording of a 1988 panel meeting online in 2016. Montazeri had requested a meeting with the Tehran panel in 1988 to voice his strong opposition to the executions—a stance that later cost Montazeri his place in the line of succession and his clerical title.
Hardliner Raisi wins Iran presidency in landslide, amid record-low voter turnout
Iran’s hardline judiciary chief won the country’s presidential election in a landslide victory Saturday, propelling the supreme leader’s protégé into Tehran’s highest civilian position in a vote that appeared to see the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.

Ebrahim Raisi was elected president with 61.95 percent of the vote, according to figures released by Interior Minister Aboldreza Rahmani Fazli.

Voter turnout was 48.8 percent of the more than 59 million eligible voters in Friday’s election, he said, a record low for a presidential election in the Islamic republic.

In second place by a wide margin was the ultraconservative Mohsen Rezai, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who won 11.8%. He was followed in third place by the only reformist left in the race, former central bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati, who scored 8.4%. Last placed out of the four candidates was another ultraconservative, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, who won 3.5%.

Over 3.7 million ballots were declared void — more votes than were won by second-placed Rezai.

Three of the original seven candidates had dropped out two days before the election — reformist Mohsen Mehralizadeh and ultraconservatives Saeed Jalili and Alireza Zakani.
TV: Israeli officials warn ‘no choice’ but to ready attack plans after Raisi win
Security officials believe Iranian President-elect Ebrahaim Raisi will adopt Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s hardline views on foreign and nuclear policy, and assess that Israel must once again ready plans to potentially attack the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities, Israeli television reported Saturday.

Channel 12 said Raisi backs a return to the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, and the estimate in Israel is that an agreement with the US to restore the accord won’t be signed until August, when he takes office. In the meantime, however, Iran is expected to build up its stockpile of enriched uranium.

“There will be no choice [now] but to go back and prepare attack plans for Iran’s nuclear program. This will require budgets and the reallocation of resources,” an unnamed senior Israeli source was quoted as saying.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted Saturday evening: “Iran’s new president, known as the Butcher of Tehran, is an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians. He is committed to the regime’s nuclear ambitions and to its campaign of global terror.”

Lapid argued that “his election should prompt renewed determination to immediately halt Iran’s nuclear program and put an end to its destructive regional ambitions.”

And Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat tweeted that Raisi will be the “most extremist president to date.
The Biden Administration's Iran Policy: All Carrots, No Stick
Secretary of State Antony Blinken... stated at his inauguration hearing that he had "deep concern about the designation" of the Houthis as a terrorist organization, in that "at least on its surface it seems to achieve nothing particularly practical in advancing the efforts against the Houthis and to bring them back to the negotiating table...." One wonders if the same thinking would apply to Al Qaeda or Islamic State.

In yet an additional form of appeasement, the Biden administration has been strenuously ignoring the Iranian regime's aggression and destabilizing behavior..... now, [Iran] is sending a destroyer... and a support vessel... to Venezuela.

"If the boats [seven Iranian high-speed missile-attack craft] are delivered, they may form the core of an asymmetrical warfare force within Venezuela's armed forces. This could be focused on disrupting shipping as a means of countering superior naval forces. Shipping routes to and from the Panama Canal are near the Venezuelan coast." — H I Sutton and Sam LaGrone, USNI News, U.S. Naval Institute, June 1, 2021.

Tehran has not only been using Venezuela for military cooperation, but also, it seems, to advance its nuclear program.... Iran's ruling mullahs, in fact, appear to have been using Venezuela as part of a larger agenda for increasing Iran's influence and the presence of its proxies in Latin and North America.

Instead of confronting Iran's predatory regime, the Biden administration, has been forging ahead with the failed 2015 "nuclear deal" -- which permits Iran to become a legitimate, full-blown nuclear power in just a few years. The Biden administration is also turning a blind eye to the regime's alarming and increasing human rights violations.
‘Yes To A Democratic Iran:’ Iranians Burn Campaign Posters, Refuse To Vote In Unprecedented Boycott Of ‘Sham’ Presidential Election
The Iranian people burned campaign posters and vandalized Tehran with pro-democracy messages as they organized an unprecedented public boycott of what citizens said is a sham presidential election this week.

“Our vote is regime change and Yes to a democratic Iran,” was scrawled on walls in Tehran, along with other messages like, “we will not vote for murderers.” Posters of the regime’s favored candidate were vandalized and burned in the days leading up to the election, video footage provided to The Daily Wire showed.

Video clips filmed on Friday by supporters of the resistance inside Iran and provided to The Daily Wire show scenes of dozens of deserted polling sites across the country, including in the country’s capital.

Faced with what appeared to be abysmal turnout, the Iranian Interior Ministry announced Friday evening that polling station hours would be extended late into the night until 2am or as long as voters showed up at polling places.

The presidential candidate favored by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s regime is judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner who was involved in the mass executions of Iranian political prisoners in 1988. Raisi, who is all but guaranteed to win, was sanctioned for his role in the executions by former President Donald Trump in 2019. The candidate’s sordid past appears to be one of the chief factors lending strength to the resistance movement this election cycle.

Luciana Berger and Labour antisemitism: A reply to Jeremy Corbyn
Speaking to Cambridge University Debating Society last week, the former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn was asked why he had not acted to prevent the Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree) being hounded out of the party in 2019. ‘Luciana was not hounded out of the party’ he replied.‘She unfortunately decided to resign from the party.’ Corbyn added, ‘We gave her all the support she needed and deserved.’

Corbyn’s claims are untrue.

Typically, he ignores Berger’s own accounts of her experiences. On resigning, she said ‘I cannot remain in a party that I have today come to the sickening conclusion is institutionally anti-Semitic.’ She added, ‘The leadership has wilfully and repeatedly failed to address hatred against Jewish people within its ranks.’ Berger told the BBC that Corbyn had not spoken to her to offer his support between late 2017 and her exit from the party in 2019. Watch her account of the abuse she received here. EMBED THIS

The following extracts from my 30,000 word report Institutionally Antisemitic Contemporary Left Antisemitism and the Crisis in the British Labour Party – published in March 2019 and cited in the EHRC’s own 2020 report ‘Investigation into Antisemitism in the Labour Party’ – contain ample evidence that Berger was hounded out of the party and that the party leadership did not give her the support she needed and deserved. All original citations can be found in the full report, here (EMBED REPORT).

1. Labour Antisemitism and the Wavertree Labour Party

Case: Alex Scott-Samuel, Chair of Wavertree Party
Alex Scott-Samuel is the Chair of Liverpool Wavertree CLP. He tabled a motion of no-confidence against Luciana Berger, the Jewish (and then) Labour MP, only weeks before she was due to give birth. According to the JC he has been ‘a regular guest on the [antisemitic conspiracist] Richie Allen Show on David since 2015. Mr Allen – who has continued to invite Dr Scott Samuel on his show since splitting from Mr Icke to air his shows on his own website – hosted notorious antisemite Gilad Atzmon last July, former KKK Grand Master David Duke in 2016 and self-described “Holocaust revisionist” Alison Chabloz in 2018.’

According to The Spectator, ‘On the show, Labour Wavertree’s chairman told the audience that “The Rothschild family are behind a lot of the neo-liberal influence in the UK and the US. You only have to Google them to look at this.”’
‘Notorious antisemite’ in campaign to pressure school over charity donation
A man the High Court recently ruled can fairly be labelled a “notorious antisemite” has been at the centre of a vicious campaign to pressure a Manchester headteacher into backtracking over a donation to the Red Cross organised by pupils.

Students at Stretford High School in Trafford raised £278.42 for charity to go towards helping the victims of last month’s conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

But headteacher Nicola Doward found herself under fire from parents and anti-Israel campaigners who objected to the funds going to the Red Cross, which aids both Israelis and Palestinians affected by violence.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson last month wrote to school headteachers to to remind them of their legal requirements for political impartiality following a spate of incidents involving pro-Palestinian activism at schools.

Sources have also told Jewish News that at several schools across the UK there is growing concern that children, who ask to raise funds for causes such as that involving the Palestinians, are being exploited by political extremists.

Among those to join in the campaign against high school head Doward’s decision to choose the Red Cross humanitarian charity was Tony Greenstein, who was previously expelled by Labour over allegations involving antisemitism.

The Red Cross’s Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel Crisis Appeal provides medical and humanitarian aid and supports the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Palestine Red Crescent and Magen David Adom, Israel’s medical emergency service.
Naz Shah’s new community cohesion effort
Oh dear. It was just two weeks ago that Labour’s Naz Shah found herself in trouble for attending a pro-Palestinian rally in Bradford at which a speaker made antisemitic remarks in Arabic. Now the shadow minister for community cohesion appears to be again tempting fate after a scheduled appearance next month at a charity dinner alongside fellow frontbencher Imran Hussain MP.

A poster circulated for the ‘Free Gaza, Free Palestine’ fundraiser at the Bradford Hotel on July 3, showed smiling images of the two MPs alongside Imam Asim Hussain for the £25 a head three-course dinner. Unfortunately, a quick check of the latter’s 187,000 follower strong Facebook page makes the Bradford Imam’s views clear, with ‘the media’ being ‘controlled by certain lobbys’ and that ‘Arabic is one of the Semitic languages therefore based on this definition what the Jews and the west say about Palestinian Arabs is “anti-Semitic.”’

Another Facebook post called Mumtaz Qadri a ‘lion’ for assassinating the Pakistani politician Salman Taseer – ‘a true servant of Allah’ as ‘what he did [was] in honour of the Prophet.’ Other statuses ask ‘When will the UN take the Israeli regime to trial for their war crimes like they did with the Nazis and Bosnian war lords’ while in his online talks he has called Gaza ‘the largest concentration camp in the world,’ claimed ‘Zionism does not represent the true teachings of Judaism’ and raised the spectre of Muslims ‘losing’ al-Aqsa – an incendiary claim given its status as one of the holiest Muslim sites.

Back in 2019, Hussain resigned from his position at the Al-Hikam Institute after being accused of 'gross misconduct' and 'serious violations of morality.’ But he since appears to have resumed contact with the Institute, appearing in YouTube videos using its name and promoting last month’s controversial pro-Palestine convoy which saw antisemitic abuse hurled out of car windows on the Finchley road.
Did Ben & Jerry’s stop using social media due to pro-Palestinian activism?
Pro-Palestinian activists were swarming the social media comment sections of Ben & Jerry’s, demanding that the company boycott Israel.

In response, Ben & Jerry’s appears to have indeed engaged in a boycott — of social media itself.

The international ice cream brand, with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales, typically posts to its Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages daily, including about the many progressive social causes that the company supports. But Ben & Jerry’s fell silent on May 18 amid the deadly exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which played out intensely on social media.

The company did not respond to a request for an explanation by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Those who waged a social media campaign against Ben & Jerry’s because of its affiliated factory in Israel and the availability of its products in Israeli settlements are taking credit for the silence.

“20 days without online advertising means @benandjerrys knows they can’t go back to business as usual without addressing their investments in Israeli colonization and land theft. Now is not the time to back down,” a user named @princessmlokhia, an anti-Zionist account with nearly 15,000 followers, tweeted earlier this week. The movement even has a hashtag, #HasBenand JerrysTweetedYet.

The silence is atypical for a company famously founded by two Jewish hippies in Vermont. Ben & Jerry’s, which launched in 1978, is known for its marketing strategy of appealing to social justice values. Last year, following the murder of George Floyd, the company added a special section of its website devoted to combating white supremacy.

“Silence is NOT an option,” the site says.

But Ben & Jerry’s has conspicuously refrained from weighing in on Israeli-Palestinian affairs. So while it has readily marked the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling barring school segregation in the 1950s and condemned the January 6 US Capitol attack as a riot for white supremacy, the company did not mention Israel or Palestine even as the flare-up in May grabbed headlines around the world.
How one brave woman held Germany accountable for father’s suicide in Tel Aviv
When Emanuel ‘Manu’ Rosen was a teenager in the 1960s, he told his mother Mirjam the following joke:

“You know that falling from a tall building won’t kill you? It’s the contact with the sidewalk that does the trick.”

Mirjam did not laugh. In fact, she had a pained look on her face. It was only decades later that Rosen understood why his usually receptive mother found absolutely no humor in what he considered a witty quip.

Unbeknownst to Rosen at the time, Mirjam was enmeshed in a protracted legal battle with Germany to compensate the family for her father Hugo Mendel’s suicide in Tel Aviv in 1957. Mirjam was forced to prove that her father’s death by suicide in Israel more than 20 years after emigrating from Germany was directly caused by persecution by the Nazis — specifically the stripping of his successful legal career and ensuing consequences.

In British Mandate Palestine, and later Israel, Mendel was incapable of culturally adapting, learning Hebrew, or continuing to work in the law. His attempts at business failed and he sank into a state of deep anxiety and depression, until he finally jumped from a high staircase at a building on Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street.

Mendel’s death and the subsequent lawsuit are at the heart of Rosen’s new family memoir, “If Anyone Calls, Tell Them I Died.”

The book takes its title from what Rosen’s mother would regularly tell her children before taking her daily afternoon nap. It was a bit of black humor from a young woman who lost her military officer husband to a sudden heart attack, and then her father to suicide — all within the span of a few years.
Participants in startup accelerator for 8200 veterans raise over $1B
Startup accelerator 8200 EISP, established by veterans of the IDF's elite 8200 intelligence unit, is planning an event for Monday, June 21, to celebrate its 11th anniversary and showcase the many accomplishments the company has achieved since its inception, including fundraising in excess of $1 billion.

"The long-term investments from previous years have borne fruit in recent months, with extraordinary successes, including the exits by Zeekit and and notable fundraisers by TailorMed and Explorium, bringing the total fundraised amount over $1 billion," said CEO of 8200 EISP Yarden Abarbanel.

She also pointed out the latest worrisome decline in the number of new startups, which makes the accelerator's work that much more critical.

"This decrease calls for even more encouragement, mentoring and assistance to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, so that we can continue to achieve new high-tech records in the years to come and preserve the growth engine of Israel's economy and employment," she said.

The company's program this year was attended by several prominent entrepreneurs, including Ohad Bobrov and Gil Hirsch, who came to share their experience in the field.


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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 19 years and 40,000 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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