Monday, June 21, 2021

From Ian:

The New Refuseniks
At a recent United Against Terrorism rally in Beverly Hills, Jennifer Karlan, 17, spoke passionately about why American Jews should stand for Israel. With remarkable confidence, she talked about a new form of antisemitism facing American Jews: “Today, they no longer say they hate the Jew; today they say they hate Zionists. Today they no longer say they hate the Jewish people; they say they hate the Zionist entity. But the hate is the same.” Some 2,000 people had gathered for the rally. Karlan drew cheers as she insisted that Jewish identity and Israel are deeply interconnected: “Israel is not just the name of the land; it is the name of our people. We are the people of Israel, each and every one of us: Am Yisrael Chai.”

Karlan is a graduate of Club Z, a Zionist club for teens and quite possibly the most important American Jewish organization you’ve never heard of. Club Z was founded four years ago by Masha Merkulova, a Soviet Jewish immigrant from Minsk. Along with a handful of other organizations that Russian-speaking American Jews have started over the past few years, it is changing the conversation about Jewish identity, Jewish peoplehood, Zionism, and Israel. Disappointed with the way the United States’ organized Jewish community has treated these issues, and alarmed by the growing embrace of politically weaponized Zionophobia—the form of antisemitism that they know so well from their lives in the Soviet Union—these immigrants are taking matters into their own hands.

The recent Hamas-Israel confrontation unleashed an antisemitic onslaught on social media and in the streets of U.S. cities of a kind that American Jews had never seen before. It wasn’t just the intensity of the hate that was shocking—it was also its source and nature. Suddenly, violent antisemitism was coming at American Jews from the left. Suddenly, it was progressive politicians who were fanning the flames of antisemitism, while the Democratic Party—the political home of most American Jews—looked the other way. Nothing in American Jews’ background or system of beliefs had prepared them for this moment, and many did not seem to know how to respond.

In that moment of crisis, only a few individuals and groups stood out as they fearlessly fought hate and propaganda. They did not log off their social media accounts. They showed no signs of confusion, and they most certainly were not demoralized. They simply stood up and joined the battle against what they perceived as an assault not only Israel but on who they were as Jews.

That ex-Soviet Jews projected a more confident and resilient Jewish identity in the midst of this crisis than many native-born American Jews is a fact that is both fascinating and significant. In the three decades since Soviet Jews arrived in the United States, they proved largely impervious to American Jewry’s attempts to inculcate their sense of what it meant to be Jewish. Having never bought into the idea that religion was central to Jewish identity, they stayed away from synagogues. The American tikkun olam perspective, which demanded that Jews put the world’s priorities ahead of their own, struck them as the height of folly. And they certainly did not buy into the notion that the far right had a monopoly on antisemitism.
Zionism has EVERYTHING to do with Judaism
The great American civil rights warrior, Martin Luther King, said way back in 1968 in response to a question from a student attacking Zionism, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking Antisemitism.”

Today there are many people who say they are only anti-Zionistic and not anti-Semitic.

They try to defend it by saying they have nothing against Jews, only Israel.

Often this is done under the banner of so-called liberal and progressive movements that supposedly fight for freedoms and human rights. Groups such as Black Lives Matter or Jewish Voice for Peace or the United Nations Humans Right Council. The great irony of this is that true liberals who share progressive values should be at the forefront of supporting Israel with its freedoms for all its citizens, rather than leading the charge against it. But their minds are so clouded with hatred and antisemitism that they have lost all sense of what liberal values even mean. These are not groups of freedom but groups of hate.

And anti-Zionism is a movement of hatred, fuelled by the darkness of humanity, not the light. It brings out the worst in people, not the best. Its supporters are not driven by a sense of the lack of justice in the world, but rather by a sense of a reinforcement of long-standing injustice directed against only one particular group of people. They wave the banner of morality, while conveniently ignoring the absolute lack of morality of their own cause.

They try to ‘educate’ us by saying Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism – that somehow Zionism isn’t a Jewish movement at all, so you can therefore be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic. Of course Israel can be criticised and there are no bigger critics than Israelis themselves, but these people are not against any policy at all – they are against the very existence of the country.

They want to confuse you into thinking it’s some kind of evil movement by throwing in emotive and inflammatory terms such as colonialism, white supremacism, ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

So let me unconfuse you by setting the record straight:

Zionism has EVERYTHING to do with Judaism.

Too Jewish For Hollywood: As Antisemitism Soars, Hollywood Should Address Its Enduring Hypocrisy In Hyperbolic Caricatures of Jews
If Jews controlled Hollywood, it’s fair to say this would not be happening.

There are anomalies, and those, too, deserve mention. Israeli actor Shira Haas, who earned an Emmy nom for her role in “Unorthodox,” will play Golda Meir in the upcoming small-screen drama “Lioness,” which Streisand is set to executive produce. And then, there is “Shtisel,” the Israeli TV series so meticulous in its nuanced, understated, realistic portrayal of Jewish life — that it revolves around a Haredi family living in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood detracts none from its universality; it’s a commercial hit in places ranging from Stockholm to Paris — it’s of near-miraculous proportions. Why? Because “Shtisel” never panders to Jewish stereotypes. Its characters are Jewish, they are played by Jews (albeit secular ones, which goes even further to prove my point) and its plotlines unfold in ways that, while adhering to the laws and traditions of ultra-Orthodox Jewry, never once undercut the impenetrable humanity of its protagonists. They are Jews, but they are people.

The Jews just are.

Hollywood has a social responsibility to reflect with unflinching accuracy the experience of being an ethnic minority in America, whether Asian or Black or Muslim or Indigenous, and that same social imperative holds true for the Jewish community. Because being Jewish is not about a wig or an accent or talking really loud. It’s not about bagels. Being Jewish is about a shared history, a soul, a spirit — in Hebrew we call it a neshama. Amidst the terrifying rise of antisemitism, Jews in America do not feel safe. And in truth, we never have. The ways in which we are portrayed on screen yields significant real-life consequences—some positive, but far too many dangerous. The last thing the Jewish community needs right now is hyperbolic misrepresentation of who we actually are.

The simple, boring truth:

Jews are human.

Emily Schrader: The Price of Being a Zionist Woman on Twitter
In the pro-Israel world, there are few vocal female voices. This, again, is not a coincidence. Personally attacking and threatening women is a method of silencing their voices, online and in real life, and deterring new ones from speaking up. “With women there are no boundaries ... The most common comment I get is sharmuta (“whore” in Arabic),” said TikTok influencer Shai Emanuel Yamin. “I saw men also suffering from hate comments, but it’s never about how they look or what they wear.” Liora Rez, the founder and executive director of Stop Antisemitism, agreed that the online attacks against women are more personal: “From the most deranged rape threats to the doxxing of my parents’ information, antisemites have no boundaries when it comes to harassing female Jewish activists online.”

To be clear, it’s not just Jewish women being targeted. Yasmine Mohammed, an ex-Muslim and women’s rights activist with over 100,000 Twitter followers, has been the target of gender-based hate comments for years after speaking against antisemitism. In response to the Israeli-Gaza conflict, she tweeted, “I’m normally inundated with death threats, but these past couple of weeks, it’s been more vicious than ever.” In conversation, she told me, “The explosion in the intensity of hate that I receive when I speak up in support of Israel or against antisemitism … no one can ever get used to that. And some threats are even more vile than just death.”

We cannot continue to shrug our shoulders and say “Just ignore it,” because the results, as we’ve already seen for Jews, can very rapidly escalate into real-world violence. Harassing women, launching public smear campaigns, levying threats of sexual violence—these are actions with real consequences that should have no place on social media, and every social media platform should have a zero-tolerance policy toward such virulent abuse.

Yet, despite the myriad risks, as Jewish and pro-Israel female voices, we must not back down in the face of cyberbullying. Instead, we must elevate female voices and encourage new voices to join the conversation and help fight back. As Rez put it, “Antisemites just failed to realize that their hatred and obscenities do nothing but motivate me to continue and amplify what I’m doing.” It’s draining to be on the receiving end of such abuse, but it also reaffirms that what we are fighting for is worthwhile, and more important than ever before.
Emily Schrader: Jews don’t owe the world an explanation on Israel - opinion
WHAT CHANGED? Is Israeli policy so much worse? Has the occupation intensified? Are more Palestinians dying? In fact the opposite. The only change is that the illegitimate and obsessive criticism of Israel has morphed into old school Jew-hatred more than ever before.

This is unacceptable and the entire Jewish community and all its supporters must unite to speak out against this vile bigotry Jews around the world are experiencing. But there is one more aspect to this wave of Jew-hatred that must be stated unequivocally: Jews do not owe anyone an explanation on Israel.

Whether you are a Jew, an Israeli, or simply a Zionist, unless you are the spokesperson of the IDF or the prime minister of the State of Israel, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about Israeli policy or Israeli military actions. You don’t need to condemn Israel, or state that you “support Palestinians and also Israelis.” You don’t need to argue about whether Israel is moral or not, or talk about Islamophobia because of anything which occurs in Israel. You don’t need to answer to anyone, or to prove yourself, ever, simply because you are a Jew.

Being a proud Jew who supports the Jewish right to self-determination in the Land of Israel doesn’t necessitate that you explain how you don’t “hate” Palestinians or demand that you explain how you support a Palestinian state too. The Palestinian state is a political question, not an ideological belief about fundamental rights of a people, as is Zionism.

A Jew (or anyone) can support Zionism without needing to explain themselves about Palestinians because Zionism doesn’t negate anyone else’s right to self-determination. A Palestinian state has nothing to do with believing that Jews have a right to live in their ancient homeland, and anyone who assumes otherwise holds prejudiced views about Jews.

The demand that Jews (or Israelis) “condemn” Israel’s actions in and of itself reeks of antisemitism and must be called out. No Jew should ever be pressured or expected to explain the policies of Israel, the same way that an Arab in New York has no obligation to answer for the actions of the Palestinian government. The woke campaign to cancel proud Jews must be stopped, because there is nothing “woke” about smearing and bullying one of the most historically oppressed groups in the history of mankind.
Outrage Erupts After Philadelphia Festival Disinvites Israeli Food Truck Due to Antisemitic Threats
Outrage erupted on Sunday after an Israeli vendor was banned from a Philadelphia food festival due to antisemitic threats of violence from anti-Israel activists.

Eat Up the Borders was set to hold the event A Taste of Home, which would feature cuisine from around the world as an expression of support for immigrants, including from the Israeli food truck Moshava.

The group announced on Saturday, however, that Moshava was disinvited, initially saying, “This decision came from listening to the community we wish to serve and love.”

However, organizer Chris “Chip” Coughlan later admitted in an Instagram message that threats of violence had prompted the decision, saying, “We received more hate than I thought was possible for having an Israeli vendor.”

“The amount of uproar we received and legitimate threats forced our hand,” he claimed.

Moshava responded to the decision, also in an Instagram post, saying, “The organizers of the event heard rumors of a protest happening because of us being there and decided to uninvite us from fear that the protesters would get aggressive and threaten their event. … By the looks of it fear, violence, and intimidation got the best of them.”

“We really do hope that in the future you don’t succumb to such antisemitic and dividing rhetoric and keep true to your words of a safe environment for all religions and nationalities — not just all of them except Israeli and Jewish ones,” Moshava said to the organizers.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia branch issued a joint statement with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Philadelphia, saying they were “deeply disturbed” by the incident.
An Israeli Food Truck Was Disinvited From Philadelphia Immigrant Business Showcase. Backlash Ensued, So Entire Event Was Cancelled
As the Post noted, the Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia wrote on Twitter that it was “deeply disturbed” by the organizers’ decision.

“We have spoken with the event organizers and expressed that we unequivocally disagree with their decision,” the ADL wrote. “We do understand that threats to the organizers were made, and we understand the fear and confusion that comes when your community faces that intimidation.”

“However, the decision to bow to this antisemitic intimidation by disinviting Moshava was wrong,” it added. “In the next few days, we will be meeting with the organizers to discuss what happened, provide education on antisemitism and share communal security resources.”

In response, Eat Up the Borders made its social media pages private, and the co-organizer, Sunflower Philly, announced the entire “Taste of Home” event would be canceled.

“At Sunflower Philly we truly believe in creating a positive and inclusive community space here in Philadelphia,” the organization said in its own Instagram post on Sunday.

“Due to the ongoing situation with one of our event partners @eatuptheborder and @moshava_philly we have to decided to cancel the ‘Taste of Home’ event today.”

“Sunflower Philly is a non-profit organization created to bring our community together through art, music & sustainability. We will continue to host events with people of all races, nationalities and sexual orientations who are aligned with our mission,” the group added.

‘River to sea’ Labour councillor condemned
A Labour councillor has sparked condemnation after footage emerged of her leading a chant that calls for the annihilation of Israel.

Obaida Ahmed blared the words “from the river to the sea” into a megaphone at a pro-Palestine demonstration in Wolverhampton last month.

In response to her chant, protesters shouted, “Palestine will be free”.

“From the river to the sea" is a common refrain made by anti-Israel campaigners who advocate the dismantling of the Jewish state. It has also long been a Hamas rallying cry. Last month Ms Ahmed, who is the Cabinet Member for Digital City at Wolverhampton Council, tweeted: “I see the #PalestineStrike is not trending on Twitter.. find that really difficult to believe! Clearly someone in Twitter HQ has had their collars pulled (sic)”.

Responding to Ms Ahmed’s actions at the rally last month, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “The chant ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ is taken to mean the destruction of Israel in its entirety.

“This is considered a hostile statement by the overwhelming majority of UK Jews. It also runs counter to Labour Party policy, so we call for an urgent clarification by the councillor of the remarks and by Labour that this chant will not be tolerated.”

Cary Nelson: The Consequences of Official Departmental Anti-Zionism
John Wilson has recently claimed that official anti-Zionist proclamations by academic departments are protected by academic freedom. “A statement is just a statement,” his Academe Blog post concludes, “It’s not an act of oppression.” Wilson was writing in opposition to my own June 3 essay in Inside Higher Education, “Is Academic Freedom a Casualty of the Gaza War?,” that responded to “Gender Studies Departments in Solidarity With Palestinian Feminist Collective,” itself signed by 130 departments and programs. In response, I should begin by pointing out that some universities have an official policy that academic departments cannot issue any formal statements unless they seek and obtain university approval beforehand. Of course, a group of faculty members in a department can take political positions, just as faculty across campus or across the world can and do sign petitions and position statements. But that, despite Wilson’s suggestion to the contrary, is not what happened. By obliterating the distinction between a group of faculty members who affiliate for purposes of political expression and a university department that officially adopts a political mission, he allows an anti-Israel bias to cloud his judgment and deny the coercive effects that flow from administrative units defining themselves in political terms.

Academic departments can certainly issue statements of any kind, even statements that would be illegal, such as those advocating political violence. But academic freedom does not protect them from consequences for doing so. A department head who endorses a political mission statement without gaining university approval beforehand could be fired from his or her administrative job as a consequence. Tenure would protect that person’s faculty position, but not their administrative role. The AAUP has long acknowledged that administrators are at-will employees. They only possess academic freedom when performing academic functions like teaching or conducting research. So Wilson is being misleading when he states “the notion that academic freedom requires the silence of anyone with authority is erroneous, impossible, and dangerous.” Administrators don’t have to be silent about campus policies; indeed, they should be free to debate them when they are under consideration. But they have to comply with them once they are adopted or risk their jobs. And administrators can lose their jobs if they contest adopted policies like affirmative action.

But that is not the most serious of what I consider to be Wilson’s errors. As law professor Steven Lubet wrote in a June 15 Dispatch article responding to both Wilson and me, “such political declarations by university departments can have a chilling effect on the academic freedoms of other faculty and students, effectively silencing opposing views and thus diminishing their rights.” He adds that “Wilson’s insistence that ‘a statement is only a statement’ trivializes the achievement and impact of obtaining the endorsement of 130 university departments on a single declaration of principle.” Lubet calls the statement in question one “of exclusion and intimidation.” Wilson confuses the issue by claiming I suggested anyone could be “banned from disagreeing with the statement,” an absurd suggestion I did not make. But many students in a department that signed the statement would certainly self-censor if they disagreed. The statement isolates those who disagree, depositing them in a moral wasteland.
How Academic Freedom Can Be Used to Silence Others
One may either agree or disagree with the objectives of the solidarity statement—and accept or deny an academic department’s right to make such a pronouncement—while nonetheless recognizing that it is meant to be a form of line-drawing. Its clear intention is to separate those who have joined in Palestinian solidarity from others who may believe that the conflict is “too ‘controversial and complex’ to assess,” or who reject the characterization of Israel as a “settler colonial” state. It is no surprise, therefore, that the statement was celebrated on the website of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Wilson’s insistence that “a statement is only a statement” trivializes the achievement and impact of obtaining the endorsement of 130 university departments on a single declaration of principle. Academics are notoriously individualistic, especially about language, and university departments are often slow to act. Even so, the Palestinian Feminist Collective was evidently able to prompt departmental votes and universal agreement to powerful and uncompromising wording within a matter of days. To call the product “only a statement” is a disservice to the backers of this exceptionally successful effort. It would be far more accurate to call it a challenge, or perhaps a “positioning.”

In fact, the continent-wide commitment to “center global social justice”—defined as opposing the “military, economic, media, and global power” of Israel—“in our intersectional teaching, scholarship, and organizing” leaves scant room for political disagreement within the signatory departments. (Nor should it escape notice that the so-called “media and global power” of Israel treads perilously close to a classic anti-Jewish trope.)

I agree with Wilson that university departments have the right, under the rubric of academic freedom, to issue statements on contested political issues. But that right can nonetheless be abused, and such statements can too easily become instruments of exclusion and intimidation. Such has been the case here, where the announcement of categorical solidarity has an unmistakable “with or against us” quality that will surely discourage dissident academics from pursuing careers, or taking courses, in feminist or gender studies.

Nelson is right that the anti-Israel blast from women’s and gender studies programs represents one more regrettable step in a “pattern of disciplinary politicization.” Wilson is also right that departments are entitled to take inflammatory and exclusionary public positions. Academic freedom does not guarantee wisdom, tolerance, or even decency; nor should excesses be free from criticism. And a statement, unfortunately, is not always only a statement.
BDS has no place in schools
It is critical that these divisive resolutions do not find their way into any classroom, and that the school districts in San Francisco and Los Angeles not tolerate any resulting or connected discrimination or harassment on the part of their teachers who are members of these unions. It should be obvious that a school district that chooses to ignore an open call by its teachers to discriminate on the basis of national origin would be exposing itself to potential liability if students were to feel negatively affected, and according to reports, the resolutions are already contributing to Jewish students feeling unsafe and unwelcome at school.

Aside from the Title VI concerns, any negative repercussions against Jewish and/or Israeli students stemming from the resolutions could also well violate the anti-discrimination provisions of the state's Education Code (in particular section 220, which, among other things, forbids discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, ethnicity, and religion), and subject these districts to even further liability.

As the worldwide surge in antisemitic incidents continues, it is morally incumbent upon school officials to quickly and publicly distance themselves from the kind of hateful and inflammatory resolutions that these teachers' unions are promoting, and to make sure that their Jewish students feel supported. It should never have to come to this, but if there is any moral hesitation on the part of school officials to speaking out against antisemitic hate, then the administration should also be on notice that under Title VI they have an affirmative legal obligation to protect their Jewish students- even from their own teachers and their unions if need be.
Seattle Teachers Union Passes Pro-BDS Resolution, Endorses ‘Deadly Exchange’ Libel
Seattle’s teachers union passed a resolution last week endorsing the antisemitic BDS movement against Israel and demanding an end to the Seattle police department’s collaboration with Israel.

Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center was quick to condemn the union’s move.

“Attention all US teacher union BDSers. Be sure to offload all Israeli technology from your iPhones and computers,” said Associate Dean Abraham Cooper. “Don’t forget to tell your health coverage providers to be sure your meds and diagnostics are Jew-state-free.”

Emma Klein, a Jewish anti-Israel activist and Seattle Education Association member told Mondoweiss, a news website often accused of peddling antisemitism, that the move was “a bold, vocal stand against injustice.”

Another member, Palestinian-American Cameron Payne, said, “I hope this mobilization will continue, because for us, this is just the beginning.”

The condemnation of law enforcement collaboration is based on the widely discredited “deadly exchange” conspiracy theory, which falsely claims Israel teaches American police officers to harm and kill people of color.

Collaboration between Israeli and American law enforcement mostly involves anti-terror tactics and management issues. Israel does not teach on-the-street arrest techniques.

The Seattle resolution said it was modeled after a similar resolution passed in May by the United Educators of San Francisco.

What’s Disproportional Is the Criticism of Israel
The fighting between Israel and Hamas may have stopped for now, but what hasn’t even paused are the efforts by human rights organizations and certain pundits and politicians to condemn Israel. The Jewish state is variously accused of using “disproportional force,” ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Jerusalem, and of being an apartheid state.

The charges have come from multiple directions — politicians like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and her “Squad” colleagues, columnists like Nicholas Kristof, and comedians like John Oliver and Trevor Noah — and are uniformly false. But as Jonathan Swift said, “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it.” These flying falsehoods have fed growing antisemitism and helped trigger the sudden explosion of violent, anti-Jewish attacks on the streets of major American cities, including New York and Los Angeles.

Perhaps the most inflammatory charge is that Israel is an apartheid state, because the only remedy for apartheid is the dissolution of the offending state. The charge is often buttressed with a list of supposedly discriminatory Israeli laws, but the list itself is ridiculous — it even claims as discriminatory a law establishing Israel’s flag.

But there’s a broader way to look at the apartheid charge. Consider, for example, that in “apartheid” Israel, when President Moshe Katsav was charged with serious crimes against female aides, he was convicted by a three-judge panel headed by an Israeli Arab (Israel doesn’t have jury trials). When he appealed to the Supreme Court the charges were upheld by a three-judge panel that included a different Israeli Arab judge, Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran.

The Jewish state obviously practices a unique and previously unknown form of apartheid. (And Katsav didn’t receive a slap on the wrist; he was in jail for five years.)

As for ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, when the city was unified by Israel in 1967 after the Six-Day War, it was 26% Arab. Now, after 54 years of “ethnic cleansing,” Jerusalem is more than 38% Arab. Israel is, after all, the land of miracles.

In The New Republic, Dalia Hatuqa Pulverizes The Facts
“Why the Unrest in Gaza Might Get Worse,” the June 17 The New Republic article by freelance journalist Dalia Hatuqa is so rife with factual errors and partisan reporting it’s hard to know where to begin.

In her most outrageous, factually-challenged assertion, Hatuqa fabricates: “Gaza was pulverized by an 11-day-long Israeli bombardment in May.” But the facts tell a different story. According to the United Nations, in the last round of fighting last month,”450 buildings in the Gaza Strip were completely destroyed or damaged by missiles.” According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (2018), there are 186,156 buildings in the Gaza Strip. In other words, no more than .2 percent of the buildings in the Gaza Strip were damaged or destroyed. (Presumably, additional buildings have been constructed since 2018, driving the percentage down further.) The tiny percentage of buildings affected by the fighting completely belies Hatuqa’s sweeping fabrication that “Gaza was pulverized.”

Hatuqa’s article opens with misreporting, as the very first sentence errs: “Using the discharge of incendiary devices across the wall that hems in the Gaza Strip against the Mediterranean Sea as justification, Israel, under new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, launched a series of airstrikes in the besieged coastal enclave on Tuesday night.”

The incendiary balloons that Palestinians from the Gaza Strip launched into Israel prompting more than two dozen fires last week crossed a fence dividing the coastal territory from Israel, not a wall. While an underground wall was constructed to thwart Hamas’ cross-border tunnels,a fence divides Israel and Gaza above the ground.

Indy corrects op-ed claim that all Gaza casualties were 'civilians'
However, as we pointed out in our complaint, the claim by Steel – who, in 2014, literally referred to Israelis as “child murderers”- that all of those killed in Gaza were civilians wasn’t even asserted by Hamas, which had, at the time, merely released information on the total number of casualties, without breaking them down by civilians vs combatants.

Though the actual breakdown is of course currently disputed, with Israel claiming that a large majority of those killed were terror operatives, even the United Nations reports that only half of those killed were civilians.

After a series of follow up emails over nearly four weeks, editors finally agreed to amend the article, and revised the sentence thusly:
The Israeli army refers to the deaths of civilians among the 227 dead as “unfortunate, unintended civilian casualties”.

The following addendum now appears at the bottom:
BBC Arabic employees breach corporation's social media guidance
On May 27th a Jewish Chronicle report by Jonathan Sacerdoti exposed some BBC employees’ disregard for the corporation’s editorial guidance concerning social media activity.

CAMERA Arabic has conducted further research into the social media activity of BBC Arabic employees (in addition to those which we have mentioned elsewhere by name). The social media profiles of all eight individuals listed below currently identify them with BBC Arabic. All but two do not include a voluntary disclaimer which would (ostensibly) separate their views from those of the BBC.

Abbas Srour:
London-based Abbas Srour has been working for the BBC since late 2014. On May 15th 2021 he responded with a laughing emoji to his personal friend, Twitter user “Mohamad Trad”, who shared an antisemitic joke told by Hamas spokesperson Abu Obaida:

“By God, Jews, I’ll make you pay the price of the garbage bags you used to put in front of Prophet Muhammad’s door”

This joke refers to a widespread antisemitic tale about a Jew who used to put trash in front of the Prophet’s door every single day. Srour’s friend commented: “Abu Obaida nailed it.”

Luela Hassan:
Luela Hassan has been working for BBC London and BBC Arabic as a “journalism researcher” since May 2019. On May 15th she Tweeted the following (note the “Zionism is terrorism” sign in particular):

Layla Bashar al-Kloub:
Layla Bashar al-Kloub has been working for the BBC as an Amman correspondent since October 2020. Before that, when she was already a freelance journalist in 2016, she posted the following tweet about Israel following the sentencing of a 14 year-old Palestinian assailant to 12 years in prison:
“The Zionist entity does not recognize any international law or agreement, their entire [legal] proceedings are infringements of human rights treaties

They are the terrorists, not us #Ahmed_Manasrah”
Bullet fired at Brooklyn synagogue on Shabbat, no injuries
A bullet was fired at the Khal Zichron Mordechai synagogue in Brooklyn over the weekend, the New York Post reported Sunday. There were no reports of injuries.

A bullet hole was discovered in one of the windows on Saturday night. Police examined surveillance footage and discovered the shot was fired at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, the Post reported.

The synagogue, on Nostrand Avenue, was closed at the time.

Police have not apprehended a suspect.

Recent weeks have seen a spike in antisemitic activity across the US, largely linked to the recent fighting between Israel and terror groups in Gaza. However, New York City has seen dozens of antisemitic attacks in recent years.

Israel's tech ecosystem ranked #3 in the world
Israel’s start-up ecosystem ranks third in the world on StartupBlink’s annual Startup Ecosystem Index Report. That’s the same place it ranked last year among 100 countries, but Israel’s showing was stronger this year, the Haifa-based research center said.

The United States placed first by a wide margin, with a score of 124.2 on StartupBlink’s index of countries’ tech ecosystem size, quality, and ease of doing business. The UK came in second at 28.7, and Israel ranked third at 27.7.

“Last year, the UK had a relatively large lead over the 3rd ranked country Israel, but this difference has now narrowed substantially with the UK and Israel having almost the same total score. For the first time since 2017, it seems that Brexit does have some negative influence on the UK ecosystem,” the report said, indicating that Israel could move into the second spot in the near future.

“Israel’s success is especially interesting given that the country’s ranking for the Business score, indicating mainly infrastructure and regulation, decreased from 16th in 2020 to 25th this year. The country’s success is attributed to very strong performances on Quality and Quantity scores,” the report said. “Most notably, in 2021, Israel has overtaken the UK in the Quality score, now ranking 2nd after the United States.”

Israel also ranks second globally in Hardware & IoT, Health Technology, and the Software & Data industries, and it ranks in the world’s top 5 in Energy & Environment Technology, Marketing & Sales Technology, and Social & Leisure Technology.
Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne seeks $7 billion valuation in NY IPO
Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne Inc. has filed a prospectus with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to raise as much as $928 million in an initial public offering of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, aiming for a valuation of over $7 billion.

The company said it plans to sell 32 million shares priced between $26 and $29 a share, according to the filing. In February, Bloomberg said the firm was seeking an IPO at a possible valuation of $10 billion.

Founded in 2013, SentinelOne has developed AI-based software that protects laptops and cellphones from security breaches by identifying unusual behavior in enterprise networks.

The Mountain View, California-based company was founded in 2013 by Israelis Tomer Weingarten, its CEO, and Almog Cohen. The firm has raised some $697 million to date, from investors including US venture capital fund Sequoia Capital, New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global, Insight Partners, Samsung Venture Investment and Qualcomm Ventures, according to the database of Start-Up Nation Central, which tracks the industry.

In November, the firm said it raised $267 million in a series E funding, which gave the firm a valuation of more than $3 billion.

Entities affiliated with Tiger Global, Insight Venture Partners, Third Point Ventures and Sequoia Capital, each existing shareholders, have separately agreed to purchase a number of shares with an aggregate price of some $50 million, at a price per share equal to that of the public offering price, SentinelOne said in the filing on Monday.
Mazal Tov! 96-Year-Old American Woman Makes Aliyah
Congratulations are in order for Tammy Goldenhirsch, who made aliyah from St. Louis this week at the age of 96, proving that it is never too late to make one's dream of moving to Israel a reality.

Goldenhirsch was first greeted at Ben-Gurion International Airport by employees of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, who registered her as a citizen. She was then welcomed by three generations of family, who came to the airport to surprise the new Israeli with matching shirts, welcome posters and songs.

The idea for the surprise came from Eli Zon, who is married to one of Goldenhirsch's granddaughters. He thanked the ministry, as well as the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B'Nefesh, for easing the process of aliyah for the 96-year-old.

"A process that takes at least half a year only took one month. In a way, this is a closure for our family. Now 4 generations live in Israel. Tammy has come home to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren," he said.

Goldenhirsch is joining the 38,475 Jews from North America who immigrated to the Jewish state in the last decade. During the coronavirus pandemic alone, some 4,790 North American Jews moved to Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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